On Sunday, the second last episode of Game of Thrones Season 6, The Battle of the Bastards, aired. And my Gods, it was amazing!! The Bastard Bowl itself was out of this world, and for my recap and review on that, click here. But that isn’t the only war being fought in Thrones right now. We got a glimpse into what’s going on in Meereen too, and let me just say it is no small thing.
As always, spoilers are coming, so if you haven’t watched episode 9 of Season 6 yet, turn away now!
The show opens with Meereen being fired upon by the Masters. The city is in flames. And from the Great Pyramid, Daenerys is watching it all unfold. She turns to Tyrion, clearly not happy, so he tries to make the best of a bad situation, telling her that Meereen is on the rise, despite appearances. Her people are behind her…most of them, anyway. Tyrion’s basically trying to prove to Dany that this war would have happened with or without his decision, though his pact with the Masters did make it come sooner. And he knows that. But his intentions were only for the good of Meereen and the good of her people.
“The Masters cannot let Meereen succeed, because if Meereen succeeds, a city without slavery, a city without Masters, it proves that no one needs a Master,” Tyrion tells her, and he isn’t wrong. Meereen was always a threat to Slaver’s Bay. And what happens next is why I believe Daenerys will not become the Mad Queen.
She tells Tyrion her plan, to crucify the Masters, burn their ships, destroy their cities and people. Now, this does bring to mind her father, the Mad King. But the Mad King didn’t have Tyrion Lannister, he didn’t have a wise voice that he would listen to by his side. But Daenerys is smarter than that, and whether she likes what she hears or not, she will listen to those who counsel her. Tyrion tells her what her father’s plans for King’s Landing were, that he was going to burn them all, every man, woman, and child. Killing your enemies is one thing. But killing your citizens, those loyal to you? You won’t gain any support that way. You’ll lose it. So Tyrion suggests an alternative. One that is strong, and infinitely more effective.
They meet with the Wise Masters, negotiating terms of surrender. But not hers. Theirs.
They laugh, smirk at her seeming arrogance. “Your reign is over,” they sneer at her. She replies simply, “My reign has just begun.”
Drogon flies down over the Masters, landing next to Dany, and this proves how much of a Dragon rider she truly has become. He folds his wing, allowing her to climb onto his back easily. When she first rode him, he fought and was hesitant. Now, he knows. It was a small detail, but an extremely powerful one. She holds on as he takes off, flying over the city of Meereen and we see her two other dragons break out of their captivity. They spot her and take off, flying by her side. This scene gave me intense chills. Mixed with the music, it was so empowering and exhilarating to watch. They fly over the Sons of the Harpy, and we see they are brutally murdering the citizens of Meereen. But not for long. The Dothraki arrive, with Daario riding alongside them, killing the Sons of the Harpy in almost an instant. Again, this is just a testament to how far Dany has come. In Season 1, she had nothing. She was sold to Khal Drogo, she didn’t have any dragons, she certainly wasn’t thinking of reclaiming and ruling the Seven Kingdoms in the pilot. And now she’s come so far. She has a Lannister on her side. She has an army of Dothraki, Unsullied, she has the Second Sons, and 3 dragons. The list goes on, and later in the episode, it’s added to.
The dragons fly over the Master’s fleet and target one of the ships, setting it ablaze and destroying it. It certainly sends a message. And it’s the leverage that Tyrion and Grey Worm need. Grey Worm steps up and tells the soldiers that they have two options. They can either fight for men who would never fight for them, or go home to their families. Without a moment to spare, they drop their weapons and run. Good move, boys. Good move.
And that’s when Tyrion steps forward, playing the Game he is excellent at playing. He talks about Daenerys’ forgiving nature before saying that the breaking of this pact cannot be forgiven. Again, it’s a slight, small detail, but important nonetheless. It implies that the Queen is not savage, as so many think. She is simply practical, and must do what needs to be done, no matter how terrible it may be.
One of the Masters must die, as a punishment. And it is no surprise that they quickly push the lowest of the three forward, claiming he is lowborn and does not speak for the Masters. Grey Worm steps forward as the man falls on his knees, begging to be spared. Grey Worm takes his dagger out and without hesitation, slits the throats of the other two Masters in one fluid motion. Badass move by the way, I would just like to point that out.
Tyrion tells the Master that is left alive to leave, and tell the people that he lived by the grace of her Majesty. They leave him there, and the weight of it all crushes down on this Master. I doubt they’ll be having any trouble from them again.
And now for the really fun part! The Greyjoys have arrived in Meereen!!! Now this is the meeting I have been waiting for. Yara is one of the strongest female characters on the show, something Dany can certainly relate to, but I totally didn’t realize that Theon and Tyrion would be meeting again as well! And his sass is through the roof, reminding him of the last time they spoke, at Winterfell, and the jokes he made about Tyrion’s height. Theon replies that it was a long ago, and Tyrion says, “It was. And how have things been going for you since then?” I mean, he has a point. And yeah, Season 1 and Season 2 Theon was just an absolute mess and a terrible person. But he has changed quite a bit since then.
Dany is unimpressed so far, assuming that in return for their ships, Theon expects her to support his claim to the Throne of the Iron Islands, but he shakes his head. It’s Yara’s claim. And this catches her attention. She asks Yara if the Iron Islands have ever had a Queen before, and she replies, “No more than Westeros.” Only the beginning of a witty, flirty conversation. They explain to her what their uncle, Euron has done, how he killed their father. It turns out Dany and Yara have much in common. They both had terrible fathers, both killed by a usurper.
The ships should be enough, but Tyrion points out that there are more than 100 in the Iron Fleet. Euron has the rest, and is building more. Daenerys asks why she should not just wait for him to come, but Yara tells her the truth, that the fleet would be in exchange for marriage, and “his big cock”. Classy Euron.
When Dany says, doubtfully, that their offer is free of any marriage demands, Yara replies, quite flirtatiously, “I never demand, but I’m up for anything, really.” AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT IS SHIPPING THIS!?!?
Now, I’d just like to point out that while it was left out of the show, there were many times in the books where Daenerys was pleasured by her handmaidens during the night. After Khal Drogo died, and before she met Daario, this was a fairly common occurrence. So, that being kept in mind, it isn’t a totally radical idea. And how amazing would that relationship be!? I’m talking the next power couple. And you know, I’m sure Yara wouldn’t mind if Daario got in there sometimes. I am totally supporting this. One hundred percent, let’s get it done, writers.
Dany stands, and talks about each of their fathers were evil men, men who left this world in a much worse shape than they found it. But they will do the opposite. They will leave it better. She will support Yara’s claim, help her murder an uncle or two, and in return, she will respect the integrity of the Seven Kingdoms. The Ironborn will no longer raid, or rape. They will change their way of life if they want her help. And though someone like Euron would have spat in her face, Yara, with a nod from her brother, agrees. And with a nod from Tyrion, Daenerys grasps Yara’s hand.
It is done. The alliance is confirmed, and it is the best one we’ve seen in a long time! Even if they do not become romantically involved, this is the power pair in Game of Thrones. The patriarchy we are so used to seeing is ending, and the women are taking their rightful places. The writers claimed that this is the season for Queens, that the women are ten times more powerful than they ever have been before, and they weren’t lying.
With this new alliance formed, Daenerys finally has her fleet. Which means that as soon as the finale, she could begin her sail to Westeros!!!! With a massive army at her back!! And with the help of Varys back in Westeros, gathering allies, she could be taking the Throne sooner than we ever could have hoped!
I need Sunday to come. And I need an entire episode just devoted to this new alliance, because I am loving it!!