8:30am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones': The Good News About Daenerys Targaryen's Very Bad Problem
At long last, the chickens have come home to roost — or the slavers, as it were. As of the most recent episode of HBO's Game of Thrones, called "No One," the vicious masters of Slaver's Bay have sailed upon Meereen, launching fireballs at the city's great pyramid and people, looking to simultaneously win back the property they feel they're owed, and crush their property's protector: Daenerys Stormborn (Emilia Clarke) of House Targaryen.
On the surface, the slavers look poised for victory. Their armada is vast, to put it lightly, especially compared to Meereen's nonexistent fleet. (Suddenly the sweeping destruction of Dany's ships at the start of the season makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?) The Masters also have the element of surprise on their side. Meereen has been at peace over the past few weeks, ever since Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) negotiated a treaty that would see slavery die out over the course of seven years. Apparently, the treaty was a farce, at least as far as the Masters were concerned, giving them enough time to completely blindside Tyrion and his allies.
But looks, like Faceless Men, are not always as they appear. For one thing, the Masters did not count on Daenerys returning to Meereen. After spending nearly a full season submerged in Dothraki culture, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea returned to Meereen in "No One," presumably backed by her thousands of new horse-riding companions. Combine the Unsullied, Dothraki and able-bodied Meereenese together, and Dany's army suddenly looks formidable — if only on land.
Hope is not lost at sea, either. Even though Dany lacks ships at the moment, viewers already know that Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) and her brother Theon (Alfie Allen) intend to sail for Meereen, to forge an alliance with the Dragon Queen. With a thousand of the best ships in the Iron Islands at their side, Yara and Theon are poised to make a great overture in their proposed union with Daenerys; smart money says their friendship will be off to a beautiful start, if a violent one.
Then, of course, there are dragons. If there's one tragically overlooked aspect of Daenerys' ferocious speech at the end of "Blood of my Blood," it's that she exhibited unprecedented mastery over Drogon, the largest and most rebellious of her three dragons. If she can tame Drogon, it shouldn't be much of a task to tame Viserion and Rhaegal, especially seeing as they've exhibited fondness for another of Dany's allies: Tyrion. Will Dany and Tyrion, and perhaps a third party, incinerate the slavers on dragon-back? If there's any justice in the universe, the answer is yes … with a caveat.
Among her countless strengths, Dany's gifts as a recruiter are at the very top of the list. She has amassed an army of unflinchingly loyal supports over the seasons, with no sign of slowing down. Not only is she poised to make nice with the Greyjoys, she's also in a position to defeat the Masters and claim their ships, at least doubling the size of her fleet in the process — a necessary numbers boost if she wants a real shot at conquering Westeros.
And make no mistake, that's exactly what Dany plans to do next. After spending every waking minute of Game of Thrones in Essos, the Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons has made her designs on Westeros quite clear in recent episodes. With victory over the slavers so close at hand, the way will finally be free and clear for Dany to fly on over to the Seven Kingdoms, with thousands of soldiers and ships at her command, and three dragons to boot. Everyone keeps talking about winter coming to Westeros, but the denizens of the Seven Kingdoms would be wise to prepare for scorching heat as well.
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