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[S5E9] The Dance Of Dragons

Meanwhile, a Braavosi water dancer easily dispatches his Dothraki opponent then focuses his attention on Jorah. Jorah finds himself hopelessly outmatched by the water dancer and suffers many cuts from his opponent's rapier. During the fight, a Meerenese Pit Fighter is able to lance his opponent in the chest. The water dancer eventually knocks Jorah to the ground and is about to deliver a killing blow, but fails to notice the pit fighter who kills him from behind. Jorah then battles the pit fighter, kills him, and is the last fighter standing.

[S5E9] The Dance of Dragons

This episode also takes its name from a massive form of kinslaying, the famous Targaryen civil war known as The Dance of the Dragons, which Shireen is reading about before her death. Brother and sister fought over the Iron Throne, they both ended up dead, as did many Targaryens, and the war led to the end of dragons (until Daenerys), which in turn eventually led to the near destruction of House Targaryen.

It's been frustrating in recent weeks how Daenerys hasn't taken full advantage of her dragons as a source of hard-handed legitimacy to her rule. Even if roasting local elites at random wasn't the best intimidation tactic, the Mother of Dragons still needs her namesake to lay down the rule of the law. We wanted dragons, and this week we got them.

The Norvoshi makes for the Northman and thrusts his axe at Jorah's head, the knight side-steps, ducks a transition swing and tries for a crescent-moon roundhouse cut. The priest catches the blade on the fire-hardened wooden haft, turns two more overhead cuts from Jorah and tries a half-turn maneuver of his own, driving the butt of his long-axe into Jorah's groin. Mormont is able to deflect the reverse grip blade of the priest's follow-up attack with his gauntlet, but the priest allows the rebound to swing the end of the handle across the knight's face, smashing his lips and gums open and downing him in the sand. Much to Dany's barely concealed consternation. The axeman grandstands to the crowd, giving Jorah just enough recovery time to shake off his concussion and deflect the finishing chop, before kicking the priest in the back of the knee and bringing him down. Mormont tries for a sword plant but the priest dodges and sweeps the stuck blade with a low swing, sending Jorah tumbling as his sword spins away. Jorah comes up on his knees and draws a diamond-shaped dirk from his boot; the priest closes, but Jorah has the advantage on the inside, nearly slicing the gladiator's wrist open with a surprise slash and disarming him in turn. The priest seizes Jorah's knife-hand while punching him in the face with his left, the bear has a granite jaw though, so he tries to choke Jorah out with one hand while controlling the blade by the grip on his wrist, even as the Dothraki is stabbed through the spine by the water dancer and the edge shoved up and down within before being yanked out. Jorah stomps his opponent's knee-cap down, pulls free from his grip and shanks the priest in the heart as he's on his knees, spurting a good deal of blood from his aorta, much to the crowd's grisly delight.

Jorah looks up at Daenerys, clearly dedicating the kill to her before casting aside his side weapon and picking up his sword. The water dancer confronts him, wiping the Dothraki's crimson off of his rapier with his own belt sash, before performing some fancy katas and a foil point to the exile. The knight is only too glad to oblige. Jorah is an excellent fighter, but only a middling fencer, it takes merely one parry and two weaves for the Bravo to nearly take Jorah's left eye out, Mormont is fast enough to escape the counter with a shallow graze to the cheek. Though this does little to stop Dany's mounting terror. Jorah's next blows come no closer to hitting his opponent than before and the water dancer scores a line on his thigh before rolling under and away from Jorah's return cut and an economical jab to the stomach that only partially pierces Jorah's armour when the knight telegraphs his swing too early.

The Loyal Bear lasts three more parries before the Bravo slams the pommel of his rapier into the already split skin of Jorah's cheekbone, staggering him back. Jorah puts his all into the next sequence, a steel song five kisses long against a water dancer of such high calibre is nothing to be sneered at. But the Bravo's finesse overcomes even Jorah's chivalric combat-boost and he slices the northern knight's right upper arm with an angle switch on the sixth parry, blossoming a bright patch of red through Mormont's shirt and bringing him to his knees before slashing him across the torso; the blunted force of the blow casting Jorah down on his front to taste dry dust and shattered dreams.

Daenerys is rapidly losing composure as a winded and bloodied Jorah rolls on his back to be met with the water dancer holding his life at the pointy end. Mormont doesn't seem to care, he'd rather look beseechingly to the girl he's served and serves still. However, he's not asking for mercy; merely recognition. Tyrion tells Dany that she can end the fight and save Jorah but Hizdahr rebukes him, how will the populace take it if their Queen denies them blood? Dany is too conflicted to make a decision either way and as the water dancer prepares to skewer Jorah he himself is run through from behind by the Meereenese champion's spear. And Dany stops holding her breath, solace renewed though still under assault.

In several short bounds Daenerys Targaryen inherits the spirit of her ancestors, becoming a rider of dragons for the very first time as she is lifted from the earth, mounted on Drogon's back as he gathers his feet, cracks his tail and launches upwards into the clear sky. She is carried higher and higher around the stands before cresting over and into the city and Drogon doesn't stop there; as he and his rider disappear into the blue and Dany's allies gather to watch the magnificent sight. Tyrion stands at the forefront, perhaps now a believer that kindness can be used to make a better world. Especially when it's backed up by something like that. 041b061a72


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