Game of Thrones has never been shy about delivering action packed episodes each and every week. But, by now, all of us diehard fans know that the biggest game-changing sequences usually take place in Episode 9. It’s where we saw Ned Stark die. It’s when the horrendous events of the Red Wedding unfolded. And now it’s served as the moment all book readers knew was coming: Dany riding away to safety on Drogon's back. During Sunday night’s Game of Thrones episode “The Dance of Dragons," the Sons of the Harpy attacked Dany while she was monitoring the big fighting pits battle. (Little did she and everyone else there know that all that swordplay was simply the appetizer before the murderous main course.)
As the Sons of the Harpy surrounded Dany — along with her brave protectors, which included Daario, Jorah, Tyrion, and Missandei — all hope seemed to be lost for our beloved Mother of Dragons. That is, until help literally fell from the sky in the form of Drogon, who thankfully has been too busy traveling the globe to find himself chained up alongside his other two siblings, Rhaegal and Viserion. Drogon immediately comes to Dany's aid, setting many of her attackers on fire, while eating some of the rest. (Hey, leading a rescue party would make anyone hungry!) However, that didn't stop this mighty dragon from sustaining a few very painful-looking injuries.
Worried for his safety, Dany climbs onto Drogon's back and the two of them fly away from the chaos below. It was a truly stunning sight to behold and can only be summed properly by the look of astonishment on Tyrion's face. (Bet you're glad you were sober for this one, my friend.)
But while the main concept remained true to the book, the writers did take some liberties that strayed from the novels, though, in my opinion, it was all for the better. (Warning, book spoilers ahead!) In A Dance With Dragons , the Sons of the Harpy are not what causes the bloodshed and chaos to ensue. That wrongdoing goes mostly to Drogon in the books, who was drawn to the fighting pits by the big crowd and fresh smell of all that spilled blood. He sets the arena ablaze not really as part of a rescue mission, but rather just because he prefers his meat to be cooked well done.
However, when others begin to attack Drogon, Dany fears for his life and tries to get him out of there. But just before they take flight together, Dany loses her hair and clothing after Drogon sends a mouthful of dragon fire her way. (Luckily, Dany's lovely locks were able to make it out of this episode unscathed.)
So like I said, both scenarios ended up with the same outcome: Dany and Drogon taking off for parts unknown. The main difference is how they actually got to this point. And I, personally, love that Drogon came off as more of a hero here. He may be a killer who's slaughtered many innocent lives for no reason, but above everything else, he still loves his mother. Dragons: they're just like us!
Image: Nick Wall/HBO