Episode 9 of season 5 of Game of Thrones, ‘The Dance of Dragons’, opens as Stannis’s camp is set upon by Ramsay Bolton’s men. Tents, supplies, horses and men are lost in the blazes.
Just north of Stannis, Jon and the wildlings arrive at the Wall. After a tense moment in which it appears that Aliser Thorne may not let them through, the gates are opened for the wildlings. Olly, Jon’s young aide, glowers at Jon as the wildlings go through.
Back at Stannis’s camp, Stannis orders Davos to return to Castle Black to retrieve supplies for the men. Davos requests that Selyse and Shireen go with him, or at least Shireen. Stannis refuses. Davos visits Shireen to say goodbye and gives her a beautifully carved stag toy as thanks for teaching him to read. He promises to carve her a doe as well.
In Dorne, Jaime is brought to a meeting with Doran, Myrcella, Trystane and Ellaria. Jaime tells Doran about the threat that Cersei received, causing his attempt to save Myrcella. Doran, a peacemaker and negotiator at heart, agrees to send Myrcella and Trystane back to King’s Landing with Jaime — under the condition that Trystane is allowed to join the King’s Council. Jaime then asks about Bronn’s fate. Trystane decides to allow Bronn his freedom after having Areo Hotah hit him, taking out some of the man’s teeth.
In Braavos, Arya is about to carry out her duty and kill the Thin Man when Ser Mace Tyrell and Ser Meryn Trant arrive to meet with the Iron Bank. As you may remember, Ser Meryn is one of the men on Arya’s list. She leaves behind her duty to follow Meryn around. She trails them to a brothel where we discover that Meryn is also a pedophile, giving Arya even more reason to kill him. When Arya returns to the House of Black and White, she lies to Jaquen, telling him that the Thin Man was not hungry.
We return to Dorne to see Ellaria swearing her allegiance to Doran under threat of death. After, she visits Jaime and has a remarkably civil conversation with him. She reminds him that you love who you love, regardless of what society thinks about it.
Stannis arrives in Shireen’s tent. She tells him about the Dance of Dragons, a fight between two Targaryen brothers that tore Westeros apart. Stannis asks which brother she would have chosen. Shireen says that she would choose neither since both of them caused huge amounts of damage to the country. Stannis remarks that sometimes you have to choose and asks Shireen if she will help him. She says she will, not understanding what he asks. Stannis then brings Shireen to his men, who lead her to a pyre. She is sacrificed and burned alive by Melisandre while her parents watch as she screams.
We then head to Meereen to the rest of the episode. Daenerys, Tyrion, Daario and Hizdahr have arrived in the fighting pits to watch the fights. Daario inserts himself into Hizdahr and Dany’s conversation, forcing Hizdahr to remember that Dany is in love — or at least, lust — with him.
Jorah Mormont is in the second fight, with 5 other men. He is able to kill the first man he battles, but is on the verge of being killed by a second when a third man kills his battle partner. Jorah is then able to kill the third man. He turns to the stand, and for a moment, it appears that Jorah is about to kill Dany. However, he throws his spear at a man who has just donned a mask of the Sons of the Harpy. The stadium erupts into violence as the Sons murder civilians, Dany’s guards and even Hizdahr. Jorah and Daario attempt to help Dany escape.
The situation is looking especially dire when Drogon appears. The dragon begins killing the Sons and innocent bystanders. He cannot be stopped, except by Dany. The Sons continue to antagonize him, forcing Dany to climb onto Drogon and ride him away from the stadium. Tyrion, Daario, Jorah and Melisandre are left, watching in awe as Daenerys flies away.