Since I’ve become obsessed with Game of Thrones, I’ve found that reading episode reviews and watching Youtube recaps provide almost as much fun as the show itself. However its become annoying when every mention of Dorne in these reviews comes with a collective sigh. The Dorne storyline is DOA. I started this post with the full intention of showing how the Sand Snakes haven’t been the show-killer that everyone thinks they are. I couldn’t do it. For everything in the pro-Dorne column, 3 cons popped up that I was going to have to sweep under the rug. So I’m going to point out the obvious issues and offer my own opinions on how to improve things going forward. My very own Dornish Master Plan!
Ellaria Sand entered Season 5 armed with a boat load of goodwill considering that she was the love interest of season 4 fan favorite Oberyn Martell. That goodwill lasted about 20 seconds. In season 5 she’s gone from being Oberyn’s passionate groupie to a crazed woman intent on revenge. She’s been nudging Oberyn’s warrior-daughters the Sand Snakes into inciting all out war. My issue with this is that we have no reason to respect her opinion or her political prowess in this Game of Thrones. We’ve come to expect political maneuvering from all-time greats like Tywin Lannister, Varys and Littlefinger who have been around since Season 1. Here’s my suggestion for improving Ellaria’s storyline…Kill her.
My issue with Dorne is that nobody has a good plan. Jaime has no idea what is supposed to happen after his planned abduction of his daughter Myrcella. Prince Doran has an incredibly boring wait and see approach to getting revenge for Oberyn. Ellaria’s plan consists of wanting to capture and maim Myrcella Lannister in order to start war with the Lannisters. The Sand Snakes plan on letting Obara monologue about her spear to anyone within ear shot. Killing Ellaria would clear things up a bit and possibly unite Prince Doran and the Sand Snakes behind a new plan for vengeance that actually makes sense.
We got our first real look at Myrcella Lannister and Trystane Martell’s budding relationship this past week. Nothing really stood out from their conversation other than the actor coming across as just being a younger, lesser version of Oberyn with his Antonio Banderas line-delivery. Myrcella doesn’t seem to have her mother Cersei’s mean streak which probably means that Myrcella’s days are numbered. I’m starting to see a scary pattern here because I also think that Myrcella needs to die in order to further the Dornish plot. Considering that the first Season 5 scene was a flashback to Cersei Lannister learning of a prophecy that her children will die before she does, it makes sense that Myrcella has to die.
That would leave young Trystane without a fiance and would allow him to make a power play of his own in the Game of Thrones. I think that Trystane would be a nice addition to the show but he needs more of a backbone to succeed. Bronn knocking him out cold was a highlight of the awful Dorne segments from last week, but it really made Trystane look weak. Trystane needs to become more of a threat in order to become interesting. Also a trip to Mereen to offer his hand in marriage to Daenerys wouldn’t hurt.
Prince Doran Martell is the ruler of Dorne and one of the few Dornish bright spots in Season 5. He and his bodyguard Areo Hotah are a charismatic pair considering that Doran has gout and is restricted to a wheelchair. We’ve only seen Doran wheeling around the Water Gardens in Dorne but hopefully future scenes will find him in a new locale around Dorne. Also I appreciate how Doran seems to be the only Dornish castmember who isn’t doing a bad Oberyn Martell impression. HOWEVER, Doran likes to play his cards very close to his chest which makes for incredibly boring TV. He needs to come out and reveal his plan for vengeance soon or else he can die too for all I care. I don’t care if he alligns with Daenerys Targaryen, if he’s backing Stannis or if he personally plans on marrying Littlerfinger. He just needs a damn plan.
Jaime Lannister’s plan to abduct his fake-niece/biological daughter Myrcella Lannister from Dorne to get back in Cersei’s good graces has damaged the character in my opinion. He’s no longer than man seeking honor that he was when Brienne was around. Now he’s just a handsome man with a gold hand and a bad plan. As always Bronn has made the most of his screentime and his jovial attitude has brightened up this ridiculous subplot. My advice for Bronn is don’t change a thing (except maybe get that dagger wound looked at ASAP..in the words of Bell Biv Devoe..POISON!) I think that Jaime’s storyline will pick up once he has his heart to heart with Myrcella where he reveals that he’s her real father. Then Myrcella will be killed and everyone will feel awful for Jaime again. What if Cersei somehow does something that causes Myrcella to be killed? It would allow Myrcella’s inevitable death AND give Jaime a reason to give up on Cersei for good.
Also I don’t think Jaime will die this season BUT after his line to Bronn about wanting to die in the arms of the woman he loves how awesome would it be if he dies protecting Myrcella? The actor who plays Jaime could start polishing up his Emmy speech immediately. (I have no interest in learning how to spell that actors ridiculous name!!)
The Sand Snakes were ridiculously over-hyped going into Season 5. They were supposed to have the tenacity of Arya with the looks of Maergery Tyrell. Instead we have models prancing around the desert in Hot Topic costumes mentioning their father Oberyn every chance they get because its their only redeeming quality. The fight scene between the Sand Snakes and Bronn and Jaime was horrendous. Seriously, it was bad. For a show that pulled off Brienne vs The Hound this was an incredible let down. The actresses look like they haven’t had enough training with their weapons in order to pull off realistic fight scenes like Oberyn had in Season 4. In all honesty they look like what they are, little girls with weapons. And thats not what we were promised. OK, lets fix this mess. Step 1..Split them up.
Every noble house in Westeros has at least a small army. Do we really think that 3 young women are going to make much of a difference, no matter how well-trained they are? If the Sand Snakes are going to get revenge from Oberyn they will have to do it with political manipulation. Send Nymeria Sand (the one with the whip) to King’s Landing to serve on the small council. Cersei won’t be dumb enough to cause ANOTHER Martell to die..at least I don’t think she is. Last week’s fight taught me how useless a whip really is in a fight scene. It just makes a cool sound, thats it. Obara Sand is played by an Oscar nominated actress but her constant spear monologues are a big part of what have made the Sand Snakes laughable. Send Obara North. There’s a thousand things that she can do up there and plenty of fun allies that she can meet. Obara with Brienne would instantly be one of the show’s coolest pairings. Now for Tyene Sand. Is it rude to call her the pretty one? I think that there’s only one thing that she should be doing. Marry Tyene to Bronn. Yes the age difference is creepy but in a show where Sansa gets kissed by Littlefinger every other week its definitely not the worst thing in the world. It would tie Tyene to a fan favorite and give Bronn a highborn lady to love and grow old with which is all he’s ever wanted.
Ultimately I don’t think that Season 6 should continue this “all Dorne, all the time” subplot. At least they all can’t stay in Dorne. It’s too much of the same thing with every character doing an over the top Spanish accent. Spread them out amongst the Realm and let them play out their schemes that way. I have a feeling that Jaime is going to find a way to allign himself with the Martell’s by the end of the season which will provide them with a great Season 6 plot. A Dornish-backed Jaime vs the Mad Queen Cersei Lannister.