Game of Thrones Daenerys and Drogon Image Credit: HBO Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky
As the episode begins, Daenerys has just returned from her Dothraki experience to find Meereen under siege from the slave Masters. What a welcome home! Following in the Mad King’s footsteps, Daenerys’ first reaction is to crucify the Masters, set their fleets on fire, and kill all of their soldiers, and return their cities to the dirt. Tyrion makes sure to caution her not to become the psychotic father she never knew and Daenerys agrees to tweak the plan slightly.
Why destroy entire cities when you can hop on top of Drogon, saddle up next to Rhaegal and Viserion, burn the rebels alive with the precision of dragon breath, and polish off the rest with Dothraki reinforcements?
This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for since the second we found out that dragons exist in the realm of Game of Thrones. Finally, the dragons have been militarized and given the freedom to explore the full depths of their beautifully chaotic and destructive nature. No longer are they chained and subdued in the way the Masters chained and subdued the slaves Daenerys fights to keep free.
Speaking of which, it’s rather ironic that Daenerys “breaker of chains” chose to enslave her own dragons who are essentially her children and yet seeks to free the unknown slaves in each city she conquers. Perhaps this contradiction within her personal philosophy was subconsciously preventing Daenerys from achieving success.
She could not conquer the Masters when she acted as a slave Master towards her own dragon children. But now that she has embraced the primal nature of that which previously terrified her, she has re-united with her dragons and can command the necessary power to ensure victory in her conquest.
As the Masters’ forces are being demolished, Tyrion reminds them that their betrayal will not be forgiven and asks them to choose one of them who will die. In righteous fashion, Grey Worm slits the throats of the two men who so willingly volunteered their friend for death. You’ve got to love when the wicked are punished so poetically. He also gives his thanks for the armada, as Daenerys was in need of ships and will be able to keep the ones she does not scorch into dust.
Tyrion uses the remaining Master to spread the message that the reign of Daenerys Targaryen has just begun and that any opposition will result in the brutal deaths of her enemies. A tactic we’ve seen many times before. Leave survivors to tell the story and discourage any other person or group from attempting to challenge you again.