I liked that Dario looked so concerned about Jorah’s plight. It seemed to me that Dario thought he could be next. The faces Jorah was making at Dany during that scene were great too.
And I liked that Drogon didn’t really know what to do about the situation. It seemed like there was a big part of his brain that just wanted to bite people, and a more rational part had trouble getting across the recommendation that he strafe fire. For dragonriders to make much sense, they have to be able to contribute something to the dragons. So it was good to see Drogon was struggling without a rider.
I also thought Thorne was just right in the episode – still honorable, still kinda a dick - and was happy to see Tormund tussling the kid’s hair.
I thought it was funny that Myrcella was doing the whiny teenager slouch at Jaime. I think it will be a lot of fun to put her into rooms with Cersei and Margaery next season. And Trystane could be interesting with Tommen – surely there would be some competitive sparks there.
It was good that Hizdahr wasn’t the Harpy. It reframes every thing we’ve seen of him, to know that he was always just a guy trying to make peace in Mereen. And he was so happy and cocky at the fight – poor fellow.
I thought Shireen’s series of reactions was perfect. How she seemed to go into denial for a few minutes, and appealed to Stannis and then realized that her only hope was Selyse. Augh, so sad. I was rooting for Shireen.
I really liked Tyrion and Jorah dealing with the pirates. Tyrion was suddenly very motivated to not die, and decided his chances were best in Mereen (or maybe Jorah, Varys, and Drogon have convinced Tyrion to join Team Dany?). Jorah took a while to decide to back Tyrion up, but decided that he wanted to go to Mereen more than he wanted to be sullen. And thus a partnership is born!
The show has been going on long enough that all the notable scenes have some echoes of other scenes. With the Tyrion / Jorah pairing, there is a clear echo to the Jaime / Brienne pairing. Both Lannister brothers are so obnoxious! I want to send Cersei on a road trip with somebody to see what she is like when she doesn't have any responsibilities. Who should she travel with? Yara maybe? Or Dolorous Edd? Gendry? Jon Snow? Actually, Sandor could be a good travel buddy for Cersei, in some alternate universe where they flee from the Battle of Blackwater together. They could both get so drunk and snarky.
I like hanging out with people that can talk theories, but it is just so depressing to spend time in any of these threads.
Every second of GoT has always been combed through by avid fans, which can be fun and cool. But too many people just take such joy in shitting all over the show in every single thread and obsessing over ridiculous nitpicks, pretending that they know the thematic importance of minor aspects of half-told stories, and pretending that no change can be positive. I think I'm just going to have to find a different forum. I love the books. I love the show. I think I'm just going to have to find a different forum because it is too frustrating to engage the fandom here.
I don't think we should expect a Frey army. Walder Frey has little reason to send one - why should he care at this point about what happens to the Boltons? Why stick his neck out for them? Maybe Bolton has a plan beyond castle walls and winter storms, but maybe not - those seem like a pretty good plan.
The SotH-affiliated prostitute isn’t the Harpy – Mereen is too hierarchical a society for the leader of an upper class resistance movement to be literally working as a low-end prostitute (she was working as a prostitute long enough to have that Unsullied as a regular customer, we see her entertaining a client again in the bazaar). The prostitute is a low-level supporter of the movement.
Dario isn’t the Harpy. He doesn’t have the Mereenese connections to be organizing a resistance movement for them. But it is interesting that he seems to have set up an intelligence service for Dany. He might have contacts in the movement. My guess is that he will turn on Dany in seasons 5 or 6, but maybe not.
Hizdahr might be the Harpy, but more likely is just a member of the movement / knows the right people. I think it makes for a better story if he’s just a decent guy trying to steer a sane path for his city in the face of chaos, than if he’s another Littlefinger.
Since those are the only options, I doubt the show is going to introduce us to The Harpy – more likely it will always be a grassroots group that we don’t fully understand.
So at the end of season 5, Dany loses control of Mereen and flies away, leaving Tyrion, Jorah, Dario, Missandei, Grey Worm, and Hizdahr. A member or two of Dany’s entourage might die or otherwise exit the story in the season finale. Any thoughts on how the dragons get out of the crypts without Quentyn? I guess Hizdahr or Dario could try to steal them, but after this week's episode, I doubt either would be so stupid.
In season 6, the show could pick up with Dany pointed toward Westeros and we never go back to Mereen. Tyrion and whomever else survives from Mereen could get on those boats and Dany could join them. Or whatever. In that case, we definitely don’t need The Harpy.
Alternatively, season 6 might open up with more Mereen presumably with Tyrion facing off against either Hizdahr or Dario. Maybe Missandei throws a wrench into things if she stops hero-worshipping Dany. In this case, presumably the Sons of the Harpy would continue to be a relevant faction in season 6.
I wonder if Jorah will ever face a choice of whether to intentionally spread Greyscale in some attempt to help Dany. We haven't seen moral dilemmas from Jorah since he chose to save Dany from the poison in season 1, so he's been able to coast along as a badass good guy interspersed with sad.
It seems like the books are making a big creepy foreshadowing deal about Shireen and greyscale at the Wall. But who knows. The show hasn't had a wildling freak out over Shireen yet, or broken out in creepy songs.
I doubt that the show will spend time on a large Greyscale outbreak in Mereen. There isn't time for that in season 5 (Tyrion and Jorah have to be captured by slavers, get to Mereen, Jorah sold/sentenced into the fighting pits and Dany flies away and the season ends.) Season 6 probably won't spend much time in Mereen at all - Dany and her entourage are going to have to start moving toward Westeros. If the Pale Mare outbreak in Mereen was going to happen in the show, it should be happening right now, but it isn't. It is skipped. Whatever is going to happen with Jon Con/showJorah is going to happen in Westeros.
Anyway, they could have just done the Pale Mare story easily in season 5 with one audience chamber scene ("people are dying of a terrible plague, my queen. What should we do?") and one Dany excursion to visit the sick. I assumed the show would include the Pale Mare, because that was a great Dany moment - both kind and reckless. And you don't have to give an origin story for a communicable disease that breaks out among poor people during war. The show didn't explain how the Iron Born got sick at Moat Cailin.
Instead, they put in a bunch of little scenes with secondary characters to talk about Greyscale, so there must be something important about Greyscale beyond it being a communicable disease that makes life worse in Mereen.
I really liked Jon’s negotiation with Tormund, especially when Tormund stood up to tower over Jon, and then Jon got in his face and unshackled him.
It was interesting to finally hear Missandei’s opinion. I had wondered if she was a true believer in Dany or not. Sounds like she is. Though some people are convinced that she was intentionally mis-counseling Dany. And I agree that the show has left that door open - clearly at some point Missandei's motivations are going to be important in the plot.
I enjoyed that Jorah and Tyrion both had the same poem memorized. And Jorah's line about "and then it wasn't" was very much in character. Those two have a lot of story left for the season, should be exciting!
I think the show is playing Theon’s return to humanity convincingly so far. It seems like a difficult thing to pull that off convincingly and economically. But there was real anguish and caring in Theon’s face when he apologized to Sansa the second time. And earlier in the season he was staring up at the burned corpses thinking about the kids he burned. I’m really looking forward to Theon giving Sansa away at the wedding.