A Murder of Crows: The Dorne dilemma

Dorne.

Few storylines – not even Jon Snow’s! – have caused more controversy or hand-wringing amongst both the novel and television fandoms, and this week’s season premiere, “The Red Woman,” didn’t help things: the wholesale slaughter of clan Martell marks not only a huge divergence from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, it also leaves the character of Prince Doran Martell woefully underdeveloped as compared to his literary counterpart.

Trystane Martell faces down the Sand Snakes

There’s actually a lot of factors to take into consideration with this scene, and it raises even more questions about the future of both Martin’s novels and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss’s HBO series. It’s a good thing we have a veritable brain trust here at the Wall to tap into.

Marc

Marc N. Kleinhenz:

Let’s discuss Dorne: what transpired all throughout season five, and what just went down last weekend. There’s a lot to unpack, including:

  • Is there still the possibility for any of the original Dornish storyline from the novels to somehow be incorporated?
  • What does this mean for the books’ future narrative?
  • How many of these developments will remain unique to Game of Thrones, and how do they serve the show’s overarching themes?
  • What should Benioff and Weiss have done differently?

Sue

Sue the Fury:

Thanks to Dorne, I’m not sure we can read too much into the show anymore, as far as the novels go. Fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, for a long time, have been assuming we can infer certain things about future events in the books based on how the plot of Game of Thrones shakes out. I do still think a small handful of major GOT characters will have the same endgame points as the novels, based on Benioff and Weiss having discussions with George R.R. Martin. But when it comes to most of the plots and characters, we are completely clueless now when it comes to the books. I’m okay with that.

Behold: Dorne!

I think the original Dorne storyline of the books is completely gone and has nothing to do with the show. Arianne Martell [Prince Doran’s daughter] was the heart of that plot – her ambitions, charisma, and mistakes – and scattering it across Ellaria (who became a Darkstar/Obara hybrid) and the Sand Snakes was a rather large error. I think the showrunners underestimated the audience’s ability to care about and follow a new female character who wasn’t so closely tied to Oberyn, though she was family. Though Dorne isn’t the best loved of all book plots, it has its positives, and the story we’re seeing onscreen lacks subtlety. The women are empowered solely through violence, rather than politics, which is a rather narrow take on things.

Increasing the role of the Sand Snakes or condensing them into one character would have been acceptable to me if we had Arianne as a balance. Instead, in the story, we had tepid Trystane and a sorely underused Doran.

Book wankery aside: as I said in my “Red Woman” recap, even show-Oberyn would hate these people, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes on Game of Thrones. I feel like Benioff and Weiss are cleaning house – they’re done with the Dorne experiment, and if we see more of this story, it’ll just be to kill off more characters.

Geoffery

Geoffery:

I agree with Sue – I don’t think what’s happening on the show, Dorne-wise, is any reflection of what will happen in the books. The storylines have taken off in a completely different direction. Generally speaking, I don’t mind it when the show does that, as long as it does it well. Unfortunately, Dorne has not been handled at all well. Rather than the more subtle, female-driven plot of the novels, we’ve ended up with a bunch of two-dimensional Sand Snakes who are really only differentiated by which weapon they’ve got and an Ellaria who started well in season four and has somehow evolved into a murderous stab demon.

Ellaira killes Prince Doran Martell

I am interested in where the show will take Dorne now they’ve essentially got a clean slate. It seems clear to me that D&D, on seeing that Dorne wasn’t proving as popular as some of the other storylines, decided to literally shank it in the kidneys rather than build up the characters. But I really feel like Alexander Siddig and DeObia Oparei, who are both wonderful actors, were completely wasted. Oh, and young whathisface who played Trystane, but I was only really interested in him because he had some nice outfits.

If the show really wanted to remove a core character like Arianne and still have the Dorne plot work, then they really should have injected a bit of soul into the characters beyond the random boobs, slapping games, and bad pussy. Still, there’s always my theory that this has all just been a really weird holodeck adventure for Dr. Julian Bashir.

Marko

Hear Marko Roar:

I’m grateful for the fact that we cannot infer too much about the future books anymore; it will make the reading experience that much more enjoyable for me.

Dorne on the show was, as Sue said, an experiment. A failed one, sadly, as I don’t think it achieved much dramatically or otherwise. The premiere has seen a total reset that wiped the slate clean; this bait and switch, on top of other problems, has made the Dorne subplot very weak, independently of any book consideration. I’d be happier with any Dornish shenanigans necessary for the story to happen off-screen in seasons five and six.

One thing where the show may still align with the books is a future Dornish alliance with the Targaryen bloodline.

Nate

Nate:

Agree with Sue, Geoffery, and Marko. Though I don’t know much about the book Dorne storyline, I do know a bit about Arianne, and I’m disappointed the show didn’t use her. Oberyn was such a presence in season four, and I felt cheated that he left so soon and was replaced with such underdeveloped characters. That’s not to say the actresses themselves aren’t talented – they’re just not given much to work with. D&D would’ve benefited from bringing on some new staff (Moira Walley-Beckett from Breaking Bad would’ve been my top choice, seeing they also borrowed Michael Slovis for season five, and director Michelle MacLaren, who recently left Wonder Woman) to develop the Snakes and Ellaria before throwing them into a whirlwind of murder and madness.

The Sand Snakes

I’m not even sure Dorne serves a narrative point now (in the show), and my thinking is D&D only brought it into the fold to kill Myrcella and further Cersei’s prophecy. I actually thought the scenes in “The Red Woman” were the best of Dorne yet (which isn’t saying much). The location itself is stunning, but the writing feels half-assed a lot of the time. Trystane’s death, I was pretty satisfied with. He was weak, just like Ellaria said, and deserved a bloody end. Doran was definitely underused and wasn’t portrayed as even half the mastermind he was in the books (from what I know), but, rather, as reluctant and withstanding. Reducing the Snakes and Ellaria to violence and vengeance furthers the themes of GOT, but the end effect isn’t what the showrunners expected for the audiences.

To begin with such a bloody opening, I can only expect we’re in for our most violent and vengeful season yet.

As for the continued drift away from the books, I agree it will make for a more enjoyable reading experience after.

Axe

Axechucker:

Here’s my take on Dorne:

I think the Dornish rebellion storyline falls to Ellaria, as there is no Arianne to seed it. Prince Doran is clearly a different (and, subsequently, weaker) character than he was in the books. There is no “long game” for him to play – no daughter to wed to Viserys, no son to wed to Daenerys. So this Doran is weak and clearly needed to go if Dorne is going to rise up in rebellion… which it obviously is. (Other than loyal Hotah, it seems obvious to me that all the guards are siding with Ellaria over the perceived weak Prince Doran – probably in the name of their beloved Prince Oberyn.)

As for future narratives, so long as Dorne rises in rebellion (which will clearly happen in the books, as well), I think it works. Would Daenerys be more willing to work with Ellaria than Doran? Maybe. I can’t really say. We only know she turned down Quentyn [Prince Doran’s son in the novels].

Quentyn Martell and his crewof Thrones

Quentyn Martell (and his crew), by Sasha Gladysh

What should Benioff and Weiss have done differently? As gorgeous as that Spanish palace is, I think it hampered what they could do – at least outside (all the interiors were gorgeous). They couldn’t film at night, which made last season’s infiltration feel like Keystone Cops, and the fight scene between the Sand Snakes, Jaime, and Bronn was probably the worst we’ve seen on the show (short or Arya and the stable boy). Maybe part of the problem was an extremely limited area in which to film, but they at least should have used stunt people. Nikolaj looks terrible using his left hand, and two out of three of those girls do not make believable fighters at all (and the third just had a whip). It just looked bad.

(Aside: was Nym really intent on using a whip to try and kill Trystane in his cabin? Wouldn’t a knife be wiser? And why – because a whip is “her weapon of choice”? Is this show suddenly becoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Are we eight-years-old again and collecting the action figures? I assume the Nym figure comes with a whip. Absurd.)

I would have killed Hotah more believably. He looks too sturdy to have been taken down by a single knife to the back. I would have made it nine or ten stabs in quick succession, kidney, liver, spleen… then have her quickly get away while he bleeds out. One blow to the back? Felt cheap. But I guess that’s symbolic of the show’s Dorne storyline.

I would have also at least given some sort of lip service as to how the Sand Snakes caught up with Prince Trystane’s ship. Even though logic tells me that it was obviously a smaller (and probably faster) ship, couldn’t they have shown it next to Trystane’s ship? And what happened to Bronn? Are we led to believe that the Sand Snakes boarded Trystane’s ship (even with the crew and guards on their side) and simply ignored Bronn?

We may still get the answers in episodes to come, but last season doesn’t give me a swell of confidence that anything Dornish will end satisfactorily.

Petra

Petra:

I agree with Sue that the show and books have diverged to the point where we can no longer use the events of one to make predictions about the other, except perhaps in very general terms (i.e., going by the trailer, it looks like Theon will reunite with his sister this season, as he does in the books, but under completely different circumstances).

Theon Greyjoy and Sansa Stark prepare to jump

I think it’s safe to say that in both A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, the hostility between the Lannisters and the Martells will reach some kind of culmination. Beyond that, much like Jon Snow, we know nothing.

The one positive thing I have to say about the Dorne plot is how it serves the show’s theme of the cycle of violence: characters’ fixation on “justice” is the cause of so much misery that it saps all the romance from the notion of righteous anger.

What should Benioff and Weiss have done differently?

This is one of those times when I really do think that sticking to the source material would have fixed everything. Personally, I’m not over the moon about Dorne in the books, but I really like Arianne and her quest to crown Myrcella. That’s what the Dorne plot should have been in the show. It’s a storyline about women trying to empower other women (and start a war and avenge dead family members), and it was adapted into a subplot about two men trying to rescue a princess. I get that the show didn’t want to jar us by transplanting the audience into a storyline with totally new characters and landscapes (ergo the inclusion of Jaime and Bronn and the emphasis on Oberyn), but if seasons three and four had followed Myrcella as she adapted to life in Dorne, then we could have moseyed into the Feast for Crows storyline organically.

Previous Murders

The best season yet?

Teasing season six

Murder!

The countdown to season six

Season eight

The final word on season five

Should Game of Thrones be boycotted forever more?

“The Wars to Come,” season five, and you

What if season five sucks?

The year in review

Casting the recastings in a new light

Westerosi immersion

The best – and worst – season of Game of Thrones

416 responses

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    1. Interesting discussion. I disagree on many things, especially Arianne.
      But it was a interesting talk.

      Hope the thread stay’s civil, though I doubt it…..

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    2. My guesses about the Dorne plot is that Quentyn already died so the Targaryen ally will not work that’s why he cutted. Arianne is on her way to Aegon(who is just a Blackfyre) and they were cutted as well for some reason. (I think the reason is this Blackfyre-thing what they didn’t want to explain, because there is no time for that) I think they will die all and Doran’s all plan fails. After that he dies or someone kills him and the dornish people will follow a new leader, because Doran isn’t the right leader for a war, for Dorne, because he is half-cripple. (And a leader will be some woman perhaps? Like formerly Nymeria? That’s why this hint in the series? We’ll see…)

      There are two things with show-Dorne what i hate:(Because i’m okay with stabbing Hotah in his spine thing.)

      1. They made Doran a totally coward character. In the book at least he have plans for a war.

      2. Nymeria’s joke after killing Trystane…it was unnecessary.

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    3. Mihnea,

      It’ll stay civil if people don’t want to have their posts deleted, or to get banned. Same rules as always apply. No personal attacks or name-calling.

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    4. Sue the Fury:

      It’ll stay civil if people don’t want to have their posts deleted, or to get banned. Same rules as always apply. No personal attacks or name-calling.

      Sue, you’re a cotton-headed ninny muggins!

      😛

      ~M.

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    5. r-hard,

      They gave Doran, Ellarias stance from the the book.

      I myself liked peace oriented Doran. Just because how much I disliked his plan in the book and how ridiculous it is when people call that pure chance a ”master plan”.

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    6. “I would have also at least given some sort of lip service as to how the Sand Snakes caught up with Prince Trystane’s ship. Even though logic tells me that it was obviously a smaller (and probably faster) ship, couldn’t they have shown it next to Trystane’s ship?”

      Thank you. Literally two more minutes of film just to at least show something. And Trystane showing literally no shock or emotion. I don’t care that they somehow got there and killed him, but the production, dialogue and overall execution was dreadful. Indicative of most of the Dorne storyline.

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    7. I wonder where Ellaria goes from here. Is she the new ruler of Dorne? She seems to have pulled off a military coup. It would be interesting if she installed democratic rule in the way “strong men” in the 20th century held sham elections to legitimatize their military might. Then the endgame involves a democratically-elected leader, who’s also a murderous traitor.

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    8. About Dorne: I’m having trouble believing that the Season 5 Dorne scenes were written by the same people who gave us all that other good stuff. My main example is the scene between Jaime and Myrcella in episode 7. Where do I begin, that dialogue is some of the worst I’ve ever heard. Not just in GoT, but in anything. I mean Jaime clearly tells her that “Threats have been made.” and she’s like “why I gotta leave I don’t get it”. Myrcella then says she wants to stay and Jaime is like “I don’t understand…” OH MY GOD WHAT’S NOT TO UNDERSTAND?? Then she replies with “Of course you don’t.” (oh my god guys please make it stop), followed by the overly cliche “You don’t know me.” This has to be one of the most forced parent/child drama scenarios in the history of television. Niko gave the scene his best, the camerawork and lighting was great, but the dialogue is complete shit. And weirdly enough, Dorne scenes are the only one where this shows. Sure, the writers have made questionable decisions in other areas, but none of that even comes close to this scene. Are you telling me that was written by the same two people who gave us Cat’s “I couldn’t keep my promise” speech and Littlefinger’s “I hate bad investments”?

      Chances are that they just handed the whole thing to that Cogman fellow who came up with the whole sending Jaime to Dorne idea. Then again, that’s the same guy who wrote 305 “Kissed by Fire” and 404 “Oathkeeper”, which were both solid episodes.

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    9. Honestly, Doran’s master plan amounts to nothing more than waiting for time to kill his enemies, allowing his people and family members to grow irate and treasonous, and culminates, so far, in the utterly lacklustre and ill-thought hope that Daenary’s would honour a wedding pact she was not privy to, and then, failing that, his unprepared son decides to steal dragons, ending in his own agonising death (Myrcella was also maimed under his watch, I recall). And there’s nothing more (until GRRM makes up his mind what the plan is, because I honestly don’t think he quite knew). In addition to this, it’s all rather long-winded, with various cul de sacs and narrative dead ends. I’m grateful the show just did away with it, even thougha lack of screen time has turned the plot from a bloated mess to a diluted, almost pointless note.

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    10. I was initially angry about what happened in this storyline, but now, I’m more-or-less okay with it. The explanations I’ve heard for the various “plot-holes” do make sense to me, and if Hotah was stabbed in the spine (especially if the dagger was poisoned), it makes sense that he would collapse like that.

      I DO think it would have been better if they had kept Doran more in line with his book counterpart, but oh well. It’s obvious this storyline isn’t meant to be a priority, so I don’t mind them cutting to the chase a little. And I still think it will end up at (more-or-less) the same place as in the books,

      with Dorne siding with a Targaryen (just a different one).

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    11. Axechucker, I agree with what you said. Even though the location was great, the stipulations that they had to abide by seriously hampered any development. They picked the wrong spot to film Dorne. That’s not the whole reason but I believe it was a big part

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    12. Valaquen,

      From the moment he refuses to send Arianne away to Vyserys until Dany pops up in Meereen he has no plan..

      That’s why the ”fire and blood” speech falls short to me. His 2nd plan is pure chance.

      Yeah his first plan was…good but in no way is it a ”master” plan.

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    13. Obviously Dorne is not gonna dissapear (the bad dream continues boys). In my opinion, the only way to save this plot is presenting a new character or a book one (like Quentyn, but with a history in the show completely different, of course), like a Doran son (that will be Quentyn) or one of the many sons of Oberyn, show exclusive.

      And do a invasion angle, with that character an her army, there are 12 other houses on Dorne I think, attacking the city in a great scene and killing Ellaria and the sand snakes for their acts.

      I think that would be pretty interesting imo, with a great new character badass, like Oberyn, introduced in the show and killing the most hated characters in the show right now lol.

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    14. Mihnea,

      This pretty much also applies to Jon’s murder. People keep hating on Alliser, but after that speech he gave last episode I really see where he’s coming from.

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    15. BloodyAl,

      That’s not going to happen.
      Quentyn isn’t just going to pop up now.

      Nor do I think the lords will fight Ellaria. As long as she gives them the war they want, why fight her. The Lannisters are the real enemy.

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    16. I liked Dorne in The Red Woman. I didn’t enjoy Dorne much in Season 5 – especially the Jaime and Bronn getting to the palace gardens without anyone knowing part. Makes Doran and Hotah look foolish.

      I believe the Dorne end-game (of the entire series, that is) will be the same in the show and books. Doran and family will not be around any more; the Sand Snakes (one or more) will assume power in Dorne at the end. I think that both Show!Ellaria and Book!Arianne will die before the end.

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    17. Connor,

      Again. If Doran denies them vengeance isn’t he a traitor too?

      From their perspective, in my opinion, he is a traitor that shames Ellia and Oberyn’s death, not them.

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    18. Didn’t GRRM say something about seeing a lot more of the Sandsnakes in TWOW?

      Hard to say if Dorne’s problems fall on D&D’s laps or if they were hamstrung by George’s extraneous plot threads?

      I suppose our answer is coming soon.

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    19. By the way, can someone remind me, just to put my mind at ease a little – From the filming spoilers we saw, do we know whether there were any more scenes filmed at Dorne this season? Or, from what we saw, could this potentially be the only one?
      I would hate it if they just ended the storyline here…

      (Remember to put your reply in spoiler tags)

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    20. I assume that Dorne in the show is taking the place of what Dorne/FAegon are doing in the books which is rebelling against the 7 kingdoms starting in the storm lands. They cut FAegon and company, half the Martells that way they do not need to cast all those new characters. Im guessing this is somewhat forshadowing events in the books. Ellaria/Sandsnakes start marching North from Dorne Waring with Lannisters/Tyrells and I think this will serve as more destruction to Westeros and More dissalusionment to the real threat beyond the wall. I assume that The Lannisters might have to split there host up one going north toward the boltons/freys and one going south toward Dorne Meanwhile Jon/wildlings/northman attacking bolton/frey from the north. A huge war sandwich. Dany eventually comes in to clean house with fire. I think something similar will happen in the books so they cut out some fat. However, they are doing it very shitty. People tell me Ellaria’s actress is good(i dont see it yet) Sandsnakes suck(not in the book) waste of Sidig(who I cant imagine was cheap)

      I happen to love all the extra stuff in the books and it sucks Knowing that this could mean Dorne/FAegon accomplish nothing but thats where I see it going.

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    21. Sword of the Morning:
      I wonder where Ellaria goes from here. Is she the new ruler of Dorne? She seems to have pulled off a military coup. It would be interesting if she installed democratic rule in the way “strong men” in the 20th century held sham elections to legitimatize their military might. Then the endgame involves a democratically-elected leader, who’s also a murderous traitor.

      There are other similar coups in history, though the reigns of the usurpers never lasted too long. In the ninth century Irene of Athens, who had no royal blood herself, usurped her son Constantine IV as Emperor of the Byzantine Empire: Constantine’s own people at court conspired with his mother to chase him out, and his own men bound and carried him to Constantinople, where his mother had him tortured and his eyes gouged. He soon died from his wounds and his mother usurped him, ruling for five years until the rise of Charlemagne (in eleventh century Byzantium we also find two female co-rulers appearing on a coin. This arrangement only lasted two months, according to historians, but it’s another example of non-conventional female rule in a medieval empire.)

      I don’t know how Ellaria’s (I guess she’s a composite character, right, incorporating Dark Star and Arianne?) coup works in tandem with traditional Dornish politics, but I think what we saw was meant to be tinged with revolutionary overtones anyway. I wonder if Varys will get involved in Dorne; perhaps we’ll learn that he and Doran were in communication, I don’t know. Either way I think Doran in the books will be deposed simply because his plan spans decades and people just don’t have that sort of patience when the country’s beloved royals and soldiery are being murdered with no recrimination and Doran’s plot just brews, and brews, and brews….

      Wontime:
      Dragonmcmx,

      You mean the speech that made no sense because the wildings are already south of the wall

      Just because they’re south doesn’t mean the matter is settled: the Watch could easily rally some Northern houses to rid the country of the Wildlings, and considering how deep the animosity between some Northern houses and the Wildlings go, it won’t be as hard as begging for recruits. Jon would naturally be an impediment to that. The Wildlings from hereon will have to fight for their survival. It’s not a settled matter at all.

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    22. I love the TV show…

      With that said, Dorne in season 5 is, without question, the worst storyline of the 51 episodes so far.

      I saw what happened in Dorne in Episode 1 as a way for D&D to quick finish a story line that obviously was not working well. So they streamlined it and got right to the point.

      For a show with so many great characters, I found this to be efficient.

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    23. I might be in the minority but the Dorn plot in the books felt like a waste of time to me. While the show’s Dorn wasn’t that great either last year, I think it serves a very specific purpose. By killing Doran, I think the snakes will take over an go to war with the Lanisters. That conflict will serve to replace the invading force of the fake targaryen, and also propel the need for Jamie to travel to the riverlands to free up his troops so they can fight the Dornish.

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    24. I kinda liked the Dorne scene in The Red Woman, felt like house cleaning. Hopefully Ellaria and the Sand Snakes don’t show up again until ep 4 or 5 and are killed immediately, then we can move on from the whole debacle.

      What D&D should’ve done differently was cut Dorne altogether. At least Bronn’s screentime is always a pleasure.

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    25. Mihnea:
      BloodyAl,

      That’s not going to happen.
      Quentyn isn’t just going to pop up now.

      Nor do I think the lords will fight Ellaria. As long as she gives them the war they want, why fight her. The Lannisters are the real enemy.

      Same, I don´t think they gonna introduce Quentyn to the show, personally I would love it though.

      The Lannisters are their priority, but I personally think that the lords of the other houses of Dorne if they find out what Ellaria did, they are gonna focus on her for treason.

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    26. I really don’t feel anything for Doran both show-wise and book-wise. He had some brilliant lines in the books and that was it. All his plans were as hopeful and ridiculous as Viserys’. Oberyn was the only saving grace from Dorne and he doesn’t last long either.

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    27. The cock merchant,

      You are not the only one, don’t worry.

      I hated Dorne in the books. Hated it. Hate may even be a to soft word.

      Dorne S5 was mostly ”meh for me. I was just glad we where sparred Arianne and Darkstar.

      S6 Dorne started very good for me. I hope they keep it up.

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    28. BigMac,

      My issue with this: “if Hotah was stabbed in the spine (especially if the dagger was poisoned)”

      is that they did not convey any of this potential info onscreen, not in any way. The HBO recap says he was stabbed in the spine, but we didn’t see that, we saw him from the front. They didn’t show him physically reacting to poison, like he was coming over numb or something- he just dropped. If he’d been nicked with poison, and then reacted to that, and dropped to the ground, I could’ve bought it. But right now, this is just a combination of info outside the show and fan speculation.

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    29. Icewalker,

      I agree completely on Doran’s ”plans”

      His 1st one was a decent plan and he abandones it as not to anger his wife.
      It was a decent plan, nothing over the top, but decent and solid.

      His 2nd plan…pure chance, pure chance, short sighted and again pure chance.

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    30. The problem with Dorne in the books is that it felt disconnected from the other main stories and it went into details that didn’t feel important to the overall story. I guess that could be said for over half of books 4 and 5….

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    31. BigMac:
      I was initially angry about what happened in this storyline, but now, I’m more-or-less okay with it. The explanations I’ve heard for the various “plot-holes” do make sense to me, and if Hotah was stabbed in the spine (especially if the dagger was poisoned), it makes sense that he would collapse like that.

      I DO think it would have been better if they had kept Doran more in line with his book counterpart, but oh well. It’s obvious this storyline isn’t meant to be a priority, so I don’t mind them cutting to the chase a little. And I still think it will end up at (more-or-less) the same place as in the books,

      We can all imagine how to fill in plot holes, but that doesnt make for good viewing. Thats called lazy story telling. “Just let the viewer make it up.” Sorry no. Especially with GoT, which has shown to be much much better than that.

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    32. Sue the Fury,

      Here I agree. Hotah’s death is my only complaint.

      A different shot would have been better. Also would have liked to see him fight. Not this season, but rather last season, perhaps with Bronn.

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    33. Sue the Fury:
      BigMac,

      My issue with this: “if Hotah was stabbed in the spine (especially if the dagger was poisoned)”

      is that they did not convey any of this potential info onscreen, not in any way.The HBO recap says he was stabbed in the spine, but we didn’t see that, we saw him from the front. They didn’t show him physically reacting to poison, like he was coming over numb or something- he just dropped. If he’d been nicked with poison, and then reacted to that, and dropped to the ground, I could’ve bought it. But right now, this is just a combination of info outside the show and fan speculation.

      This this this.

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    34. Dragonmcmx,

      Really? I thought the Jamie/Myrcella scene was one of the better Dorne scenes last season. That sort of is how petulant teenagers talk, which is what Myrcella was supposed to be in that scene.

      Anyways, I’ve given up on the Arianne thing long ago, so I’m actually strangely into Dorne this season? Ellaria’s coup was the most surprising thing for me in the premiere – since we all just expected Doran to execute her – and now we have no idea where she/Dorne will go from here.

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    35. Esmail: We can all imagine how to fill in plot holes, but doesnt make for good viewing. Thats called lazy story telling. “Just let the viewer make it up.” Sorry no. Especially with GoT, which has shown to be much much better than that.

      There is a difference between plot holes and a story not giving all of the details.

      Dorne is more about not giving all of the details…. not really plot holes.

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    36. Mihnea:
      Connor,

      Again. If Doran denies them vengeance isn’t he a traitor too?

      From their perspective, in my opinion, he is a traitor that shames Ellia and Oberyn’s death, not them.

      Ah, I see what you’re getting at.

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    37. 1. Will the SS blame the Lannisters for Trystane’s death, or will they admit they did it?
      2. I really, really, REALLY hate that picture of Quentyn. It makes him look like a rapper.
      3. SPECULATION FOR WINDS OF WINTER

      It’s been speculated that Obara will ally with Darkstar and Urswyck to attack Oldtown. Since Show!Ellaria is basically a Darkstar/Obara hybrid, as Sue says: Could she try to do it in the show?

        Quote  Reply

    38. Dorne is not my favorite story in the show, much like the Iron Born (just a cranky bunch of annoying people, though i hear we are getting some Iron Islands this season and that may change).

      With that said, I actually have enjoyed the Dorne story line since the beginning. 🙂 Look forward to seeing where this goes.

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    39. I broadly agree with Axechucker. It seems the location, albeit stunningly beautiful, was not conducive for filming the scenes. I also think there is a lot of book purism going on with the criticism as the unsullied reaction hasn’t been anyway near as negative as the sullied reaction (although admittedly there have been some complaints). I think the problem is that there wasn’t really enough time to do it justice at all. Also, this wouldn’t have been aided by the addition of Arianne, as Jaime and Bronn would have still had screentime elsewhere (therefore there might have been even less time in Dorne).

      I didn’t see much with the scenes in episode one, but on balance I do think it might have been better to not do Dorne at all (and have Myrcella killed “offscreen”).

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    40. Esmail,

      Call it lazy writing if you want. Call it atrocious writting if you want. I won’t argue.
      I stopped arguing peoples opinion when I discussed Star Wars with some people.

      But they are not plot-holes. If we would have seen them in Dorne when Doran died and then see them on the ship in KL, that would have been a plot-hole.

      But these are simply not plot-holes.

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    41. Meh, i didnt think twice about Hotahs death. Using my imagination, i assumed she got him in a pressure point, enough to bring him down quick.

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    42. Mihnea:
      Sue the Fury,

      Here I agree. Hotah’s death is my only complaint.

      A different shot would have been better. Also would have liked to see him fight. Not this season, but rather last season, perhaps with Bronn.

      Trystanes scene is exactly the same… show a boat sneaking up at night to the main boat with cloaked figures climbing onto the ship stealthily. Then show them creeping inyo Trystanes room. He awakens startled and they reveal themselves. He is confused and shocked by their presence and calls them out about Myrcella. They admit it and explain why. And then they murder him.

      THAT would have been so much better. And just 2 or 3 minutes longer footage.

      But no. We got a hack job.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Mihnea:
      Esmail,

      Call it lazy writing if you want. Call it atrocious writting if you want. I won’t argue.
      I stopped arguing peoples opinion when I discussed Star Wars with some people.

      But they are not plot-holes. If we would have seen them in Dorne when Doran died and then see them on the ship in KL, that would have been a plot-hole.

      But these are simply not plot-holes.

      Call it whatever you want. It was poorly done.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Esmail,

      2 or 3 minutes filming = one day of shooting = not going to happen. That would have to come from another scene being cut by 2-3 minutes.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Esmail,

      Can’t edit my comment.

      I just disagree on the stealth part. To me showing that the guards where on this was as important as Doran’s death, if not more.

        Quote  Reply

    46. S5 Dorne was poorly executed, but I was willing to give it a chance for the sake of the story. S6 Dorne is poorly written on top of being poorly executed and there is no excuse for that. In a vacuum, the events that take place make no sense. In the context of the show and especially when held up to the books it’s mind bogglingly hackish.

      I have always been forgiving of limitations the show might face, but I won’t forgive rushed/lazy/poorly written storyline. Dorne is bad and it’s like a cut away to a completely different show when the rest of it is so good.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Esmail,

      I disagree. But I won’t argue your opinion. You are free to dislike it just as I am free to like it.

      I just don’t believe this are ”plot-holes”. Bad writting? To some, sure. But not plot-holes.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Mihnea:
      Esmail,

      Fair opinion.

      Im just asking for a little more set up. Especially since we last saw them on the dock as the ship sailed off. And then suddenly they are in his room in broad daylight 1000 miles away, and Trystane acts like no big deal. He doesnt want to hurt them.

      Not trying to be argumentative. Just love the show and think they dropped the ball. The rest of the episode was great.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Esmail,

      I never argued your opinion was wrong. I even agree 2-3 minutes of more screen time would have been great.

      I just disagreed that there are ”plot-holes”

        Quote  Reply

    50. Knight of the Walkers:
      Esmail,

      2 or 3 minutes filming = one day of shooting = not going to happen. That would have to come from another scene being cut by 2-3 minutes.

      Possibly. But many episodes are longer than 50 minutes. Either way it was lacking if even due to logics.

      Even more reason to have fewer episodes in season 7 and 8. It needs to be quality, not quantity as D and D said.

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    51. Basically exactly what Petra said. Dorne is horseshit in the show because they didn’t stick to the book storyline. End of story.

      OT: Where the hell is the new GOO episode? The workweek is almost over, y’all.

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    52. I didn’t like Arianne or the book storyline in Feast-Dance. That doesn’t justify the simplistic characterizations of the Sand Snakes, but I am honestly kind of perplexed by those that argue that the inclusion of Arianne would have improved the storyline in any substantial way. One of the problems of the Dorne storyline in the show, in my mind, is that there are so many characters, that there wasn’t enough time to really get to know or feel attached to any of them. So I think it was smart to cut out Quentyn, cut out Arianne, and instead focus on the conflict between Doran and the Sand Snakes. I don’t think they did a good job with it, but to me that doesn’t justify throwing in more characters.

      I really think that if Ellaria and the Sand Snakes were just a tad bit more nuanced in their quest for revenge – like, maybe showing an emotion other than glee at the prospect of killing their cousin Trystane – the storyline wouldn’t really be that problematic for me. Doran being so easily toppled is actually justified in an interesting way, with Ellaria pointing out how impatient the people of Dorne were with him and his insistence on peace, and how ill-equipped he was to really understand his people. As it is, I find Ellaria and the Sand Snakes very two-dimensional, so their being the only remaining characters of the storyline, no matter how justified it is as a plot point, is still just frustrating.

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    53. People complain about Dorne…say screen time could be used elsewhere even though it has barely any screen time…and now people complain that not enough screen time was used and could have showed more Hotah and SS boarding Trystane’s ship…ok so what is it? Make up your mind because you are contradicting yourself.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Ser Roger Sterling:
      Basically exactly what Petra said. Dorne is horseshit in the show because they didn’t stick to the book storyline. End of story.

      OT: Where the hell is the new GOO episode? The workweek is almost over, y’all.

      If they stuck to the book storyline, it would have been 2 times in length, with 3 times the number of characters, and 4 times as boring.

        Quote  Reply

    55. I have to say this – there’s been so much complaining about the Dorne plot; my sense is that D&D set up Dorne for a bigger role last season, while Martin spent most of last year writing, and I think he hadn’t quite gotten to the point where something/anything frankly, of note happens in Dorne that affects the main story. Martin’s Dorne plots with the exception of Doran’s son, were all hanging guns on the wall. As such, there may be a possibility that Martin, around this time last year, didn’t get gun to go off. D&D who were in the midst of writing Season 5 at the same time last year, decided, not to wait for Martin (as they rightly shouldn’t) and simple trimmed the fat.

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    56. Jack Bauer 24:
      People complain about Dorne…say screen time could be used elsewhere even though it has barely any screen time…and now people complain that not enough screen time was used and could have showed more Hotah and SS boarding Trystane’s ship…ok so what is it? Make up your mind because you are contradicting yourself.

      Welcome to the book readers of GoT. You can’t win with them.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Jade Joon:
      I have to say this – there’s been so much complaining about the Dorne plot; my sense is that D7D set up Dorne for a bigger role last seas. Martin spent most of last year writing, and I think he hasn’t quite gotten to the point where something/anything frankly of note happens in Dorne. Martin’s Dorne plots with the exception of Doran’s son, where all hanging guns on the wall. As such, there may be a possibility that Dorne in Martin’s forthcoming book hasnt reached a point where something does happen that affects the main story. D&D who were in the midst of writing Season 5 right about now last year, decided, that Dorne wasn’t going anywhere, and decided not to wait for Martin (as they rightly shouldn’t) and simple trimmed the fat.

      Season 5 last year was being aired, not written.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Mihnea:
      Esmail,

      Can’t edit my comment.

      I just disagree on the stealth part. To me showing that the guards where on this was as important as Doran’s death, if not more.

      If the guards were totally in on it then why did the sand snakes even have to go all the way 2 Kings Landing? Why didn’t the guards on the ship just kill Trystane and Jamie to?

        Quote  Reply

    59. Mihnea,

      Oh man…there’s only one line I could hate at close to the same level as the bad pussy.

      I’ve been dying a little each day since you came back in my life.

      bleck

        Quote  Reply

    60. Chris: Really? I thought the Jamie/Myrcella scene was one of the better Dorne scenes last season. That sort of is how petulant teenagers talk, which is what Myrcella was supposed to be in that scene.

      Yeah but Jaime is no better, according to that scene. Best Dorne scene in my opinion was Tyene seducing Bronn, and no, not just because of the nudity. That scene somehow got everything right. It really made us fear for Bronn. The music, the camerawork and lighting, the dialogue, even the Snake’s performances were really solid.

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    61. Sue the Fury:
      BigMac,

      My issue with this: “if Hotah was stabbed in the spine (especially if the dagger was poisoned)”

      is that they did not convey any of this potential info onscreen, not in any way.The HBO recap says he was stabbed in the spine, but we didn’t see that, we saw him from the front. They didn’t show him physically reacting to poison, like he was coming over numb or something- he just dropped. If he’d been nicked with poison, and then reacted to that, and dropped to the ground, I could’ve bought it. But right now, this is just a combination of info outside the show and fan speculation.

      That’s fair. I guess I’m just not really bothered by that. Maybe I’m too easily satisfied, but as long as there’s a logical explanation I can come up with, that’s enough for me…

        Quote  Reply

    62. Jack Bauer 24:
      People complain about Dorne…say screen time could be used elsewhere even though it has barely any screen time…and now people complain that not enough screen time was used and could have showed more Hotah and SS boarding Trystane’s ship…ok so what is it? Make up your mind because you are contradicting yourself.

      I am not contradicting myself. I never said I wanted less Dorne. All I have said is I want good storytelling.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Jack Bauer 24,

      Was it? Wait, what season are we on now? Oh yeah, apologies – meant to say that D&D were writing this season, at this time, last year – about the same time that Martin was presumably working on the next book.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Jack Bauer 24:
      People complain about Dorne…say screen time could be used elsewhere even though it has barely any screen time…and now people complain that not enough screen time was used and could have showed more Hotah and SS boarding Trystane’s ship…ok so what is it? Make up your mind because you are contradicting yourself.

      Come on, arguments like these are BS and you know it. Last season people complained because Dorne did indeed waste screentime, even if it wasn’t much. This season people complain because Dorne does indeed not take the screentime that it needs to properly tell the story.

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    65. John W:
      The way they have totally butchered Dorne they would have been better off leaving it out of the show.

      Based on how quickly they got to the conclusion of the storyline, my guess is that the showrunners agree in hindsight. Hence why they just got to the point…

        Quote  Reply

    66. The Martell’s were useful to prove a point. You can be eaisly destroyed, it doesn’t matter how powerful your family name is. Remember it this Sunday when Tyrion gets killed by the dragons.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Jack Bauer 24,

      I think I’ve mentioned several of the opinions that our WotW contributors have mentioned about Dorne.

      More screen time or less screen time is a valid question…we’re not sure what the right thing to do might have been.

      As a generic statement, Dorne isn’t really up to the same level as the other characters and storylines. GOT is amazing so it’s a tough standard…but if you’re ranking there always has to be a last place.

      Oberyn and Ellaria of Season 4 made Dorne have potential…but it didn’t keep that level in Season 5.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Dragonmcmx: Come on, arguments like these are BS and you know it. Last season people complained because Dorne did indeed waste screentime, even if it wasn’t much. This season people complain because Dorne does indeed not take the screentime that it needs to properly tell the story.

      Be honest…even if they took 2 extra minutes to show the SS board that ship it wouldn’t magically change peoples minds about this storyline. People would still be complaining about Dorne and we’d still be having this conversation. The snakes boarding that ship changes nothing.

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    69. Bronn’s Bro:
      The Martell’s were useful to prove a point. You can be eaisly destroyed, it doesn’t matter how powerful your family name is. Remember it this Sunday when Tyrion gets killed by the dragons.

      Wait…What?

        Quote  Reply

    70. Just to pick up on something Axey talked about; I love the palace, the way it looked, and I’m glad they shot there. I think the limited timeframe may have affected the fight scene, but I don’t think that was the biggest problem, honestly. The real problem I have with it are that the Sand Snakes are pretty indistinguishable from each other, and because Jaime and Bronn were both in disguise, they were pretty indistinguishable too. And the scene kept going back and forth between the two fights too quickly. (Plus…a guy with a sword going against one person with daggers, and another with a whip? I feel like it’s hard to make that work for anyone).

      And, ultimately, a bad fight scene doesn’t ruin a storyline for me. The problem I had with that scene was more how convenient all the circumstances around it were – no guards to block the Sand Snakes or Jaime & Bronn, but they do appear in time for there to be no consequences to the fight. I think that’s just bad plotting, and better choreography wouldn’t have improved that.

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    71. The only thing I wish they did was show Bronn..somewhere. People are having issue about the snakes boarding that ship, but I think the bigger question is…where’s Bronn? Is he in KL? Didn’t look like he was on that small boat with Jaime and dead Myrcella.

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    72. Jack Bauer 24: Be honest…even if they took 2 extra minutes to show the SS board that ship it wouldn’t magically change peoples minds about this storyline. People would still be complaining about Dorne and we’d still be having this conversation. The snakes boarding that ship changes nothing.

      It’s not just simply them boarding the ship. It’s the whole development of that scene. When we last saw them they were on the dock as the ship sailed off. In the scene they instantly are in his room to kill him. There’s just no set up for it. And then Trystane just shows no emotion. The dialogue sucks. And if the sand snakes had taken control of the military then the guards on the ship should have just killed everyone already. There are too many gaps in the storyline that viewers are forced to make up on their own. Showing them sneaking onto the ship would at least sit you up that something is about to happen and they didn’t just magically appear. Sometimes good storytelling is just as visual as anything else. This isn’t a comic book.

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    73. Hodor Targaryen:
      Just to pick up on something Axey talked about; I love the palace, the way it looked, and I’m glad they shot there. I think the limited timeframe may have affected the fight scene, but I don’t think that was the biggest problem, honestly. The real problem I have with it are that the Sand Snakes are pretty indistinguishable from each other, and because Jaime and Bronn were both in disguise, they were pretty indistinguishable too. And the scene kept going back and forth between the two fights too quickly. (Plus…a guy with a sword going against one person with daggers, and another with a whip? I feel like it’s hard to make that work for anyone).

      And, ultimately, a bad fight scene doesn’t ruin a storyline for me. The problem I had with that scene was more how convenient all the circumstances around it were – no guards to block the Sand Snakes or Jaime & Bronn, but they do appear in time for there to be no consequences to the fight. I think that’s just bad plotting, and better choreography wouldn’t have improved that.

      I love the aesthetics of Dorne and I’m glad we got the chance to see a different locale and environment after 5 seasons. Just one of the reasons I enjoy Dorne. It’s different. I also like how the Snakes have different weapons because we really don’t see anybody use poison daggers or whips anywhere else. Again it’s different.

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    74. Jack Bauer 24:
      The only thing I wish they did was show Bronn..somewhere. People are having issue about the snakes boarding that ship, but I think the bigger question is…where’s Bronn? Is he in KL? Didn’t look like he was on that small boat with Jaime and dead Myrcella.

      That too. Like I said it’s the whole scene that lacks total development or thought. Maybe the audience is to just assume the sand snakes killed him before they killed Trystane. Since the audience is left to imagine what’s happened between episodes and between scenes because it’s just not necessary why not.

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    75. Esmail: That too. Like I said it’s the whole scene that lacks total development or thought. Maybe the audience is to just assume the sand snakes killed him before they killed Trystane. Since the audience is left to imagine what’s happened between episodes and between scenes because it’s just not necessary why not.

      I think that would be a massive mistake to kill Bronn off screen.

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    76. Esmail: It’s not just simply them boarding the ship. It’s the whole development of that scene. When we last saw them they were on the dock as the ship sailed off. In the scene they instantly are in his room to kill him. There’s just no set up for it. And then Trystane just shows no emotion. The dialogue sucks. And if the sand snakes had taken control of the military then the guards on the ship should have just killed everyone already. There are too many gaps in the storyline that viewers are forced to make up on their own. Showing them sneaking onto the ship would at least sit you up that something is about to happen and they didn’t just magically appear. Sometimes good storytelling is just as visual as anything else. This isn’t a comic book.

      Well said 😉

        Quote  Reply

    77. I’m with those who also miss Arianne. And largely because D&D, for most of the show’s run, have been pretty solid on keeping what is necessary and eliminating what is not necessary. So they dump Belwas, because he’s pointless, and keep Barristan. They lose Tyrion’s band of annoying companions, and nine different sellsword companies, in favor of a two-person character-based journey between Tyrion and the far-more-important Jorah Mormont. We haven’t seen “Harry the Heir” and I doubt we will, because Sansa ended up just going to Winterfell (a smart choice…whether her story was turned into Theon’s story is another discussion).

      In Dorne they went ass-backwards. The only real important relationship here is Arianne and Doran, and that was eliminated. And they could have preserved it, even having Myrcella killed in the process of the Queenmaker plot (really, Ellaria’s plot makes no sense, and neither does Jaime’s. How do you know you’re in an “Idiot Plot,” as Roger Ebert would have said? When another character specifically voices the more intelligent option to you, i.e., as Doran says, “You could have come and asked.”)

      You could have had Jaime/Bronn arrive just as Arianne and the others make off with Myrcella to crown her, and then have her secretly killed as well, too.

      And I also share the opinions of those who believe they wasted Alexander Siddig (they did) and DeObia Oparei (same).

      It’s a shame, because they couldn’t have gotten Oberyn done more perfectly. It’s one case where they could have A) kept some of the book plot and B) not been so worried about introducing a new group of characters without sending someone familiar there in the first place. (Sigh)

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    78. Of all the things wrong with the Dorne plot, i’m surprised so many people use the “Oberyn wouldn’t want this” argument. That’s actually one of the few things I’m okay with. They’re taking this great man’s philosophy and bastardizing it (no pun intended). They’re extremists. They’re the ISIS to Oberyn and Doran’s Islam. It’s not supposed to be some “let’s rally the audience with justice!” plot line.

      If the other things went well with Dorne, I think more people would like that about the plot. Unfortunately, other things didn’t go well. The fight choreography and filming/editing went terribly. One of the actresses in particular looks ridiculous swinging her weapons around (I like to point out that the Waif using the staff against Arya is the exact opposite–it’s like the Waif has been using the weapon her entire life… which is what needs to come across). And, arguably, the worst lines ever spoken on this series were uttered from a Sand Snake.

      But, for me, their motivations are interesting. They’re the vile, putrid ideas that can spawn from something as justifiable as Oberyn’s justice. Of course Oberyn would be turning over in his grave if he knew, and I think that’s the whole point. I just wish it was handled better,

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    79. Trust me I have issue with the running time of the season so far. Yes, some of the later episodes are longer which is great, but overall it seems they are very uneven.

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    80. My take on Dorne …

      The book Dorne story was a bad story. Doran, a supposedly “mastermind,” does not even think about sharing his plans with his children, which should really be important considering, ya know, marrying off his children in order to spark a rebellion against the Lannisters is such a huge part of his plan.

      First, he sends his eldest son, Quentyn, off on a shaggy dog adventure to marry Dany, which of course resulted in a BBQuentyn.

      While he’s doing that, he doesn’t even bother to share his plan with his heir, Arianne, who becomes suspicious of all of this so she runs off to enact the Queenmaker plot. This introduces us to the BEST CHARACTER IN WESTEROS EVER — Darkstar (SPOILER: He is of the night!). The Queenmaker plot makes no sense on its own merits … why would sweet Myrcella be willing go to war against her younger brother Tommen? But OK, whatever. Of course this plan fails spectacularly, and Myrcella ends up losing an ear.

      It is only after all of this happens then Doran finally reveals his super-duper secret plan and gives a somewhat nifty speech. Yeah, sharing that plan with Arianne earlier would’ve saved so much trouble.

      And of course, my favorite part is where we meet the Sand Snakes individually, hear their different plans for vengeance, and all of them are promptly jailed.

      The Dorne section of AFFC/ADWD was a total and complete mess. I certainly don’t blame D&D for coming in and trying to fix it up. Unfortunately, D&D failed utterly at this, and Dorne is just as big a mess on the show as it is in the books.

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    81. I think that Doran is going to help and support FakeAegon, either way that’s going to bite him in the ass later and produce the fall of house Martell causing death everywhere across Dorne, including his beloved watergardens.
      In the tv show, without FakeAegon, Doran doesn’t have the chance to screw up, so D&D made Ellaria kill him with the consent of his guards to show that he already made mistakes off screen and his people have had enough of him.
      That’s why I don’t understand all the hate

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    82. There was some kind of irrational hate for this storyline even before S5 aired. I don’t think they could have done anything. Internet decided to hate Dorne even before S5 and there was no help.

      The majority of scenes in Dorne were fine or even interesting. I think every scene with Doran and Ellaeria was good. Scene with SS and Bronn was good. Scene with Doran and Jaime was fine. Scene with Ellaria and Jaime was ok. Fight scene with Jaime and Bronn in E4 was really good.

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    83. Love the show…HATE Dorne…but upon re-watch…the Season 6 premier of Dorne wasn’t THAT bad especially if you weren’t a book reader…my non book reader friends had no problem with it…my opinion…more character development would have made these characters much more impressionable…the sand snakes literally have NO development at all…AND Ellaria went from a weeping paramour to the un-doer of the Martell dynasty in a matter of a few episodes…hundreds of years of Martell reign undone by a bitter paramour…seriously?? Not only that…murdering your lovers BROTHER & NEPHEW??? Lol how does that avenge the deaths of Elia and her children????

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    84. Others, meanwhile have pointed out the inconsistencies and issues with Doran’s plans in the books, and it’s unfair to leave that out, so to echo that, Doran’s plans seem pretty much mostly like Hail Marys to me:

      1. Have Arianne marry Viserys. Presumably those who had knowledge of this idea were Doran, Illyrio Mopatis, and Varys, and after Viserys started to get older, it can’t have escaped the mind of those three – arguably three of the more intelligent people in Westeros/Pentos – that Viserys’ volatile, dunderheaded nature would get him killed.

      2. Have Arianne then shift to marry “Aegon.” This is a riskier, but perhaps more fruitful idea, depending on whether Westeros ends up buying the idea that Aegon really is a Targaryen, something us book readers don’t even know yet.

      3. Have Quentyn travel to distant Meereen to convince Danaerys to come back and marry him. This leg of the plan probably came through later, but again, it seems quite the long shot.

      All three of these ideas were long-shots, so it’s not stupid to suggest that Doran’s “long game” is so long as to be non-existent, nearly the equivalent of waiting for a big rock to accidentally fall on Joffrey’s head. And in the end, we hear about the grand plan from Doran after Tyrion has already taken out Tywin, after Joffrey has already died, et cetera.

      I wish they’d kept the essential relationship and plot between Doran and Arianne – even if it is exposed as wholly unrealistic, fantastical, and slow-moving. Even if the big revelation is that Doran and Varys have been in cahoots from the beginning, so that when Dany does have her army and navy, she is given permission to land at Sunspear, just as it took 4 seasons before we find out that A) Lysa killed Jon Arryn and it takes 3 episodes before we find that Baelish and Olenna conspired to kill Joffrey.

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    85. mau,

      i havent read the books but maybe people hated before it aired because it sucked so much in the books? Lol

      I agree with you. thought it was fine, and i enjoyed it.

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    86. Murdering Doran and his son does not avenge Elia and Oberyn, but allows her TO continue avenging their deaths by going to war with the Lannisters. Duh.

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    87. Am I the only one who intensely disliked Arianne and is very glad she is not in the show? She seemed the most Mary-Sue-esque character GRRM came up with and was very dull and predictable to read. I skim read her chapters, which I didn’t do for any other POV characters in the books (though some of those Brienne and Bran paragraphs tested me).

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    88. Dee,

      Lol so all of Dorne will now submit to Ellaria’s reign because she is a great expert at forming militias, armies, etc.? Oberyn who thought the murdering of innocent children distasteful would roll in his grave at this obscene storyline lol…especially if his children who were raised under his values committed the murders.

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    89. Che,

      I didn’t like her and I think the fight scene in the books where Ser Arys Oakheart was killed was the worst fight scene GRRM has ever written.

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    90. I’ll rate the individual Dorne scene’s we’ve gotten so far per episode.

      502: Alright debate between Ellaria and Doran, but a little weak for an introduction. Would’ve worked better if it was the second or third scene in Dorne. 7/10
      504: Very meh Sand Snake introduction, but a good fight with Jaime and Bronn. 7/10
      506: Good scene with Bronn singing and all, followed by terrible “infilitration” and meh fight. 4/10
      507: Really good scene with Bronn and Tyene, followed by a pretty bad scene with Jaime and Myrcella. 6/10
      509: Both scenes were solid 8/10
      510: Meh farewell scene, alright Myrcella death scene. 6/10
      601: Solid Doran death scene (with a few nitpicks about the way Areo Hotah went down), solid Trystane death scene, unexplained Sand Snake teleportation powers however. 7/10

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    91. They should have given Arianne role in the books to Trystane in the show, he should have tried to crown Myrcella by allying with Sand Snakes, and he could be used better in season 6 filling Quentyn shoes and being sent to Meereen so he can say Oh while releasing the dragons.

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    92. Dragonmcmx,

      thank you. I always have to scroll a few posts down (because multiple people have tried unsuccessfully to get the first Hodor in) before I come to a comment that actually discusses the article.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Dee,

      I think he meant that death of a family member drives you to war…but killing them yourself is fine? Sure, they aren’t immediate family…and who likes their extended relatives…but really?

      Also, you’re no longer a sens fan?

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    94. As a non reader, this is how I see things:
      I thought last year’s Dorne plot was poorly written, directed and played, to a point it got annoying. But I actually thought it was character-setting. I thought it was to show what a mild character Doran Martell was. And I expected him to change when he found out what Ellaria and her daughters had done. Also I expected that Cersei would execute Trystane as a countermeasure, to revenge Myrcella’s death. And that then Doran would stop being a pacifist altogethet.
      Well that didn’t happen. No that I was scandalized by it or anything (after all, all this master plan people talk about I completely ignored), I just can’t see where they are taking it from here.
      Having said that, I kind of like Ellaria’s villain. Wouldn’t mind see more of her. If only the sand snakes stop coming across so ridiculous.

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    95. Mihnea:
      Esmail,

      Because the SS where going to KL anyway.

      I am not being sarcastic here at all but where do you get that from. Did I miss that in season 5? I can go back and relax but I don’t remember that thing specifically stated. Just honestly wondering. Still however the sand snakes could have killed everybody before they even got on the ship. Why go through the trouble of being sneaky about killing Myrcella with poison when you could just overwhelm and kill everybody.

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    96. Sand Snakes & Ellaria:
      Hey guys, let’s all get dressed up like Xena Warrior Princesses and undo everything Oberyn stood for and avenge his death by KILLING HIS OWN BROTHER & NEPHEW…we’ll use Oberyn’s death as a cause for revenge…we will make it seem like we want revenge because of what Oberyn stood for…lol but what Oberyn stood for is the EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE’RE DOING 0_0

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    97. I wished it went down like this:

      Aero and Doran find out about Myrcella’s death and go to confront Ellaria and the Sand Snakes. The Sand Snakes eventually provoke a fight, resulting in the deaths of Nymeria, Obara and either Ellaria or Tyene. Stabbing Doran could start the fight, but I’d prefer it if he lived. Whoever survives the fight (either Tyene or Ellaria) is impriosned in a tower, similar to Arianne in the novels.

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    98. Che,

      I’m not sure you know what a Mary Sue is. Arianne is a canonical character (and not a self-insert of the author, I think it’s safe to say). She’s not “overpowered,” because she makes plenty of mistakes, as we see by, well, the disaster of her plot.

      “Mary Sue” has become this catch-all insult for female characters and it’s pretty sexist.

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    99. I think there are more Martells…not shown in the show though.

      It would be cool if one of them came and killed the snakes to exact revenge on them for killing Doran and Trystane.

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    100. I think they just should have cut SS and have Ellaria as the only face of revenge. With Darkstar maybe. But of course not cartoonish Darkstar from the books. They could have done with him what they have done with Daario.

      SS are the source of hate for Dorne storyline. Without them I think everything in Dorne would be fine.

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    101. Really interesting read. Lots of great points. Would have liked to have seen Arianne in the show. Will wait and see where they take Dorne…

        Quote  Reply

    102. While I am not a fan of Arianne at all, and am MORE than fine with her not being in the show, I also don’t get the “Mary-Sue” comments about her. If she were a Mary-Sue,

      among other things, her plan wouldn’t have been foiled by Doran.

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    103. Connor,

      Haha exactly. Sue nailed it. There’s no way any version of Oberyn would have approved of this. Which basically makes Ellaria a cartoonish villain.

        Quote  Reply

    104. mau,

      Agreed on the Sand Snakes.

      It’s quite possible that having Ellaria deal with upcoming plots will be interesting, because I do like Indira Varma. She’d be an interesting foil to Olenna. But having to watch more SS is probably what annoys people.

      Also, I think we feel like Dorne is pointless because we don’t yet know what part they’ll play moving forward. I feel somewhat suspicious because apparently they thought of cutting Dorne entirely but Cogman convinced D&D to leave it? So either they left it because they thought it would be fun or that it can be the site of a plot that is important to the story and moving it forward or accomplishing something, even though it may not be exactly in process like the books.

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    105. I love the Show

      But show Dorne cannot be fixed in any way shape or form
      The premise of having Ellaria somehow being successful in her coup is so false, and goes against all rules and regulations in this world. How the hell does a bastard who isn’t a member of the royal family, or any noble house pull this off… she has no armies, no bannerman, nothing… but somehow we are expected to believe Ellaria gathered up so much power that Dorne let her do this without blinking an eye lid? Those guards would’ve defended Doran.
      There is nothing anyone can tell me to convince me this plot works. It being so false, will make any plot points going forward in this region impossible for me to invest myself in or take serious in any way. Maybe Im being nitpicky, but this is a show and story that prides itself in presenting power struggles in a realistic and nuanced way.
      If the showrunners are working towards writing off the storyline altogether, then im all for it.

      Again, I adore the show, and I think we are in for a masterpiece of a season.
      But Dorne is truly awful, and it was unnecessary in the first place.
      They should’ve not done it. They don’t have time for it. Not many book readers are that invested in it anyways.

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    106. mau,

      I think Doran was great, as well as Hotah…I can understand why Ellaria is pissed…at least we know why she is enraged…

      the Sand Snakes…okay their father died…and they want revenge for Oberyn (got it)…but apparently family is everything to the Martell’s…yet they murder their own cousin? It just makes no sense.

      They have 0 character development…at least let us get into their heads and figure out what makes them tick…instead we get cartoonish over the the top characters in a show renowned for its attention to QUALITY…I think that’s the reason why people are upset…but like I said…my non book reader friends don’t seem to have a problem with the plot…I just pray it gets better…the premier was GREAT…the northern scenes were excellent…but the Dorne plot left a bad taste in my mouth…and that’s just my opinion.

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    107. Remember, another Sand Snake could still appear. She may have a significant role in

      Oldtown. Sarella would meet Sam, who knows about dragonglass. She is a skilled archer and can work with Sam to improve his archery. Gilly can help them make dragonglass-tipped arrows to defend the Citadel from the WW invasion. Sarella and Sam can learn to use the glass candles to communicate the accumulated knowledge of the Citadel without ravens. I still have hope!

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    108. Sue the Fury:
      Che,

      I’m not sure you know what a Mary Sue is. Arianne is a canonical character (and not a self-insert of the author, I think it’s safe to say). She’s not “overpowered,” because she makes plenty of mistakes, as we see by, well, the disaster of her plot.

      “Mary Sue” has become this catch-all insult for female characters and it’s pretty sexist.

      well, I certainly don’t know what a Mary Sue is. To be honest, up to now I thought it was a type of women shoes!

        Quote  Reply

    109. The first thing I want to add to any conversation about TV-Dorne is this: Yes, it is the weakest subplot of the show, probably throughout the series. But it isn’t terrible, and the fact that there’s such a to do about it goes to show the embarrassment of riches we have become accustomed to from Thrones.

      That being said, there have been some mistakes made with the subplot. The chief mistake over the course of the entire inclusion of Dorne is the paltry amount of time allotted to it, and especially to its chief antagonists, the Sand Snakes. They come off as caricatures, and that is a striking difference from the plethora of detailed, complex characters they share the screen with. Almost every complaint I have about Dorne stems from that major flaw.

      As far as Dorne on TV relates to the Dornish plot in the books (one of GRRM’s weakest plot lines), it seems clear that we are diverging drastically, if not totally. It seems that Dorne in TV will be one of the casualties of the omission of Young Griff, which is another plot line I’m not sad to see go. Without Young Griff, there is no need for Arianne, and without Arianne a lot of the Dornish plot becomes extraneous.

      From what we saw in The Red Woman, the only thing that bothered me in the slightest was that Areo Hotah was killed before we saw him get to fight. All the rest of it was logical enough to understand, even if I might not like what took place. I expected a reckoning between Doran and Ellaria, I just expected the opposite outcome. It seems clear now that TV Doran was fundamentally different from his literary counterpart, and there really is nothing inherently wrong about that.

      I expect to not see much more of Dorne this season, and maybe not at all. It seems likely to me that the next time we see them, it will be in the context of courting allies for Daenerys.

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    110. TheMannis:
      Sand Snakes & Ellaria:
      Hey guys, let’s all get dressed up like Xena Warrior Princesses and undo everything Oberyn stood for and avenge his death by KILLING HIS OWN BROTHER & NEPHEW…we’ll use Oberyn’s death as a cause for revenge…we will make it seem like we want revenge because of what Oberyn stood for…lol but what Oberyn stood for is the EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE’RE DOING 0_0

      They couldn’t begin to avenge Oberyn because Doran was in the way. They had to eliminate him.

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    111. Dragonmcmx:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Agreed. It puzzles me that they left so many things out when this episode contains barely 45 minutes of footage.

      Maybe they are so busy with the filming schedule that some of the corners get cut. They have pretty big budget but the time is very limited. If I remember correctly I read from some article that they had over 700 filming days in season 6 vs 550 in season 5.

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    112. mau,

      Yep, this is what I think too. The Sand Snakes, I am grieved to say, are ridiculous. They kind of remind me of the Spice Girls with deadly weapons.
      I have no idea who Darkstar is though.

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    113. Also think Dorne looks bad in contrast with Oberyn.

      Clearly this is a function of incredible acting, but Oberyn was dynamite. So perhaps they thought – there’s this incredible character that people responded to, so what if we gave the audience his family’s story of revenge etc, given that perhaps they do play some part in a final rebellion, with Dany or whatnot.

      But instead the Sand Snakes seemed so pathetic in comparison to Oberyn, who was sharp, witty, charming, but also seemed to have this sense of justice to him. The SS have none of that and either the writing or acting (or both) was horrible.

      And what Sue says is true – they seem like people Oberyn would’ve hated, in part because they’re so one dimensional where Oberyn was not.

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    114. Sue the Fury,

      I think I’ve misunderstood what a Mary-Sue is for all these years. I thought it to mean a female character who is overly-attractive, intelligent, good, who we, as the reader, are supposed to root for, but actually end up disliking due to them being too cliched and predictable. I think I’ve had it wrong and didn’t realise it was a sexist term. Apologies for that. My issues with Arianne are that she comes across as this popular character (amongst book characters), but comes across as vain and irritating (in my opinion). She is my least favourite of GRRM’s female POV characters, but then again, she was also one of the least developed.

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    115. TheMannis:
      mau,

      the Sand Snakes…okay their father died…and they want revenge for Oberyn (got it)…but apparently family is everything to the Martell’s…yet they murder their own cousin? It just makes no sense.

      Where they said that? Pride is everything for the Martells.

      They have 0 character development…at least let us get into their heads and figure out what makes them tick…

      But no one cares for them in the books or in the show. They are not developed characters and you can’t make good and rich characters from them. They should have just cut them to make more room for Indira Varma, who is a great actress.

      I really don’t see why anyone should waste their time in an attempt to make SS compelling and grey characters. They are not and they can never be. Their plans in the books are stupid. They are just annoying and not interesting and there is absolutely nothing that can change that.

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    116. HousePotterz:
      The first thing I want to add to any conversation about TV-Dorne is this: Yes, it is the weakest subplot of the show, probably throughout the series. But it isn’t terrible, and the fact that there’s such a to do about it goes to show the embarrassment of riches we have become accustomed to from Thrones.

      That being said, there have been some mistakes made with the subplot. The chief mistake over the course of the entire inclusion of Dorne is the paltry amount of time allotted to it, and especially to its chief antagonists, the Sand Snakes. They come off as caricatures, and that is a striking difference from the plethora of detailed, complex characters they share the screen with. Almost every complaint I have about Dorne stems from that major flaw.

      As far as Dorne on TV relates to the Dornish plot in the books (one of GRRM’s weakest plot lines), it seems clear that we are diverging drastically, if not totally. It seems that Dorne in TV will be one of the casualties of the omission of Young Griff, which is another plot line I’m not sad to see go. Without Young Griff, there is no need for Arianne, and without Arianne a lot of the Dornish plot becomes extraneous.

      From what we saw in The Red Woman, the only thing that bothered me in the slightest was that Areo Hotah was killed before we saw him get to fight. All the rest of it was logical enough to understand, even if I might not like what took place. I expected a reckoning between Doran and Ellaria, I just expected the opposite outcome. It seems clear now that TV Doran was fundamentally different from his literary counterpart, and there really is nothing inherently wrong about that.

      I expect to not see much more of Dorne this season, and maybe not at all. It seems likely to me that the next time we see them, it will be in the context of courting allies for Daenerys.

      I don’t think they’ll keep Dorne off the show for 10-15 episodes and then just reintroduce it for Dany. Obara and Nymeria are now in KL. What are they going to do off screen for 10-15 episodes if they don’t show them?

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    117. HelloThere:
      I love the Show

      But show Dorne cannot be fixed in any way shape or form
      The premise of having Ellaria somehow being successful in her coup is so false, and goes against all rules and regulations in this world.How the hell does a bastard who isn’t a member of the royal family, or any noble house pull this off…

      There are so many examples in history. Someone mentioned them even in this comment section .

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    118. I am so very tired of the love for Dorne in the books. It is a waste of time to read.

      Arianne is just a sexpot with a stupid plan. It’s obvious George wrote her with a boner.
      Quentyn is an idiot who was sent on an idiotic errand and got in trouble.
      Doran’s master plan is pathetic and his attempts to improvise are laughable. He’s one killer line and nothing else.

      Keep in mind that no Dornish person got anything accomplished. Even Oberyn’s killing of the Mountain was undone.

      How could the show improved what it did? (And improved the book)

      1) Have Doran give his “Viper/Grass” speech at the end of Season 5, maybe when he’s chewing out Ellaria. Make it clear he’s about to share with them his grand plan.

      Help Ellaria out by giving her a little bit to remind Doran that SHE was the one who saw Oberyn get his skull crushed, not Doran. So, maybe cut her some frickin’ slack?

      2) Doran tells Jaime he can have Myrcella, as soon as he get the Mountain’s head. Until then, no. But Doran gives his word that Myrcella will be well-treated. (You’d have to start the Dorne stuff earlier in the season for this, so Jaime can send a raven to get what he thinks is the real head)

      3) Myrcella and Trystane are leaving. Have Ellaria kill Myrcella with the death makeout again. So now we’re thinking, “Wut? Was THIS what Doran meant?”

      4) Then you can open much the same way. Ellaria even gets to say, “Your plan is moronic. Our way is better.”

      OR, you can even have Doran in on it, and Trystane is betrayed by his father or he was in on it too. Yes, it changes the careful planning of the books, but it also gives Doran something else to do.

      It’s clear that Dorne’s role, if it even has one beyond being stupid and overrated, is to be the landing point for Dany’s army.

      The show is gong to make that tougher because Tyrion is going to be like, “You did WUT to my niece?” and Ellaria’s going to be all, “Listen, twerp, Oberyn died trying to save your ass” and Dany is just going to fry everyone to be safe.

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    119. mau,

      Ah. Well that to me says that Dorne plays some role to come, most likely with Dany, and perhaps having Doran specifically isn’t necessary.

      Again, I’m totally fine with Ellaria making those moves. I think she’d be an interesting foil to Olenna or Dany if she meets them at some point.

      But those wretched Sand Snakes.

      As Sue said, Oberyn would’ve friggin HATED what they did to Trystane. He seemed to have this sense of honor and justice, even amongst the droll charm and that burning desire for revenge. The SS are everything the opposite of that.

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    120. TheMannis,

      Yeah but just because oberyn doesn’t agree with it doesn’t mean it’s bad story telling if it happens
      Doubt mr. Eddard stark is proud of all the actions of his children lol

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    121. rhymeswithweak,

      HAhahaa always a sens fan 🙂 I just keep losing my details and don’t feel like typing the full name anymore hahaha

      Listen I think she is going to extremes.. But it makes sense..

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    122. The Internet uproar about Dorne – mostly driven by book readers, but not entirely – and all of the thinkpieces designating it at “The Worst” have honestly annoyed me far more than anything that the show committed to the screen. Is it my least favorite currently running storyline that this remarkable show has given us? Yes. But I don’t think it’s that bad – it’s just been consistently several steps below the exceptionally high standards that we’ve come to expect from Game of Thrones (which in the grand scheme of things, makes it OK). Does it have issues? Most definitely. But it’s far from the cinematic and moral abomination dipped in Satan’s blood that its loudest detractors have made it out to be.

      But that’s my own issue. I shouldn’t hold the loudest Internet reactions against the many fair criticisms that people have about this storyline. And in the interest of fair disclosure, I strongly dislike the Dornish storyline in the books. I’m shedding no tears for what was lost.

      That doesn’t mean that I think the show’s version is superior – it just means that I think that show committing to adapting the novels’ storyline in its entirety would have been a serious mistake. Should they have been a bit more faithful, in spirit if not in plot? That’s a discussion worth having. Should they have cut Dorne entirely, as per their original plan? That’s a fair topic for debate as well.

      On to the questions.

      Is there still the possibility for any of the original Dornish storyline from the novels to somehow be incorporated?

      Only to the extent that Dorne may wind up supporting a Targaryen (even if it’s a fake one in the novels) and declaring war on Crown. There’s also the possibility that the Sand Snakes may cause some trouble in King’s Landing (assuming Obara and Nymeria stay there, and don’t return to Dorne). For the rest, no. And in my opinion? I won’t miss it.

      The so-called “Dornish master plan” is an extremely thin construct. It is substantiated mostly by Doran’s single, admittedly badass speech, and I believe that speech that has been mythologized to an unrealistic extent by fans who have been waiting over a decade since AFFC was released. I don’t doubt that Doran had a plan, but that plan took a big hit when Viserys died, and went up in literal smoke when Quentyn was barbequed. Years and years and year of growing the grass to hide the viper, all for nothing. It got mowed down in an instant.

      What does this mean for the books’ future narrative?

      I’m sticking this under spoiler tags, even though it’s just guesswork.

      It means that in the aftermath of Quentyn being burned to death and the utter ruin of Doran’s “master plan”, an apparent lifeline will appear for Doran in the form of fAegon landing in the Stormlands. Doran will send Arianne to treat with him, and they will form an alliance, possibly cemented by marriage. The fAegon/Dornish alliance will conquer a good deal of the southern kingdoms and eventually march on King’s Landing. fAegon may eventually take the Iron Throne from Tommen, while Dany spends most of TWOW kicking around the Dothraki Sea before finally making her way back to Meereen to clean up the hellish mess that she left behind. All of this will up take far more pages than it should.

      But eventually Dany will get to Westeros and destroy her “nephew” fAegon. The second so-called Dance of Dragons won’t be some grand conflict for the songs, but a bloody, pointless, ruinous conflict that will screw up Westeros even more … and it already plenty screwed. fAegon will be revealed as a Blackfyre pretender and/or a fraud, and the Mummer’s Dragon will die screaming in a real dragon’s fire. Dorne will be left shit out of luck once again. If Arianne doesn’t die alongside her husband/ally, she goes back to Dorne, where Doran is still sitting, “planning” and mourning the death of his son. Maybe he dies, maybe he doesn’t. But he never realizes his ambitions, and his grand plans end in tragedy.

      The less said about the hunt for the awful joke that is Darkstar, the better. If we spend so much as one precious page of TWOW on that storyline, I will cry.

      Jon Connington will die, perhaps leaving Westeros with the parting gift of a greyscale epidemic before he does. Maybe someone will bother to tell him that the supposed son of the man he loved and devoted his life to was a fake before he dies – a Spider’s trick, a shadow on the wall.

      Oh, and none of this will play into the endgame against the White Walkers in any meaningful way. Other than leaving the Seven Kingdoms utterly unprepared for their assault. I’d say they’re pretty much there already – both in the books and the show.

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    123. Also the Sand Snakes clearly have to do something in Kings Landing. I think that parallels the book and the makes sense in the show.

      Only thing is, it can’t be subtle like it is in the books, getting someone on the Small Council. These people murdered Myrcella – how can they be involved in anything except for violence in KL?

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    124. To me it shakes out like this. Last season Doran warns Elleria that he has given her another chance to not screw up and he looks pretty serious about it. Then we see that she is the one to kill Myrcella. I would consider that a pretty big screw up and would be seen as such by Doran.

      At that point the first thing I thought of was “oh that girl is in trouble now”. So it is not surprising to me to see Elleria take the offensive and get Doran before he gets her.

      It was pretty well established that the show is off books for this part of the story anyway. As for taking out Trystane in the process, it was good strategy to remove any obstacle that could come up for her getting revenge for the death of Oberyn.

      As to how they got on the ship…don’t care. Why didn’t we see Bronn? I think he was on the same boat with Jaime, just not shown. The whole scene wasn’t about Bronn it was about Cersie realizing that Jaime is coming back from Dorne with yet another dead child for her to deal with.

      A bit sloppy, but for me nothing that I got stumbled by. Where does Dorne go from here? If Elleria is still going to live, she has to go I think and there are two Sand Snakes at least on a boat in the bay, do they go back to Dorne? Don’t know. Not sure really how much damage two savage killers could do in Kings Landing. Season 6 Dorne was a much improved Dorne. If they wrap it here, great. I wish GRRM had found a better plot for D & D to work with.

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    125. Doran’s plan in the books is terrible. It’s a cool sounding idea in theory that a guy who appears weak on the outside has really been playing the long-con the whole time, but the sheer longness of his long-con makes it a candidate for an SNL comedy sketch.
      “I have been plotting… for the past 20 years… to take down Tywin Lannister and everything he holds dear.”
      “Uh… Tywin Lannister is dead sir. Killed by his own son, in a move you certainly couldn’t anticipate or orchestrate.”
      “MY PLAN IS WORKING.”

      Having him be someone who wants to avoid war for the greater good in the show makes a lot of sense in theory, it’s just the execution that is all muddled up (with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, etc.)

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    126. The S6E1 sand snake action was absurd and as pointed out in the article, cartoonish. To have Jamie’s ship somehow followed and overtaken without anyone knowing or realizing they were being followed and/or boarded, then have the two of them pop into the cabin wielding ABSURD weapons for what they wanted to do – exactly as was said above, like the Ninja Turtles having to use their designated weapon all the time.

      You want to get rid of Trystane? You can have him sitting in that cabin, then have one of the men on the board serve him a drink that’s been poisoned. You accomplish 2 things: 1) kill him, 2) make the audience realize how much support Ellaria has among the rank and file. Done, and with at least marginally less absurdity than the show wound up doing.

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    127. Ellaria Sand…from timid, soft spoken paramour to ender of great dynasties…lol Sansa needs to hang out with Ellaria…she could learn something from her…what has taken Sansa 5 seasons to build to has taken Ellaria less than 5 episodes.

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    128. How many of these developments will remain unique to Game of Thrones, and how do they serve the show’s overarching themes?

      Dorne in Season 5 wasn’t Dorne’s story. It was Jaime’s story, centering on the complicated feelings he had about Myrcella being his daughter. And as I’ve said before, I liked that part of the story, as well as Jaime’s rapport with Bronn. All of those developments, culminating in Myrcella’s tragic death in her father’s arms, worked perfectly for me.

      The Dornish characters were antagonists and background players in that story, which is why none of them really resonated with viewers. They were used because Dorne is where Myrcella was sent in Season 2. If Bryan Cogman hadn’t pitched Benioff and Weiss on the idea of sending Jaime to Dorne to retrieve his daughter, Dorne may have been cut entirely after Oberyn’s death. It definitely wouldn’t have been in Season 5.

      Jaime doesn’t really care about his kids in the novels (which is a credit to him in the show) so none of that will factor in. Myrcella will inevitably die in accordance with Maggy’s prophecy, but it will probably in some other way. I doubt that GRRM had settled on the precise method of her demise at the time he told Benioff and Weiss about the endgame. Maybe he’s figured it out since.

      As for Season 6 … Ellaria and the Sand Snakes staging a bloody coup will remain a show-only development. I’d be surprised if we saw Ellaria again in the novels as anything but a background player. She is, as has been well-established, a pacifist in the novels. The Sand Snakes – who have none nothing on the page to warrant their fearsome reputation, will cause some trouble in King’s Landing and Oldtown, but they probably won’t assassinate any Martells.

      As for thematic significance … Ellaria and the Sand Snakes’ coup represents part of the rising tide that’s lifting up all of the potential power players in this world who have long been overlooked. The Cripples. The Bastards. The Broken Things. And the women, who have been consistently undervalued, disregarded, and outright abused by Westeros’s political structure.

      That structure is crumbling in Season 6. Dany, Sansa, Arya, Brienne, and even Cersei will all be rising up this year (even if some of them will inevitably fall). So will Bran and Jaime (the cripples), Jon and Ramsay (the bastards), and Sam and Theon (the once-broken things). There are other examples as well. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are, perhaps, the least interesting and most extraneous part of that thematic through line, but they are of a piece with it. Weak men with an ancient family name no longer rule Dorne. Now, ruthless women of bastard birth are setting the agenda. Time will tell if they manage to make anything of their newfound power.

      Also, it doesn’t matter what grand plans you have. You can play the game of thrones, but if you don’t keep tabs on all of the pieces (especially your own) or cultivate the necessary allies, you will eventually die. We have seen the grand plans of many traditional rulers fall to ashes over the course of this show (Robb, Tywin, etc.) because they weren’t aware of what was happening right in their own camps, with their own supposed allies or family. Doran Martell joins that tragic list. The fact that his grand plan was just to keep his people out of a terrible and unnecessary war that will ruin their country makes his death more tragic in my eyes, not less.

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    129. Dee,

      I like her in season 4…and seeing how Oberyn died could mess her up…but to pass all that hate on to all her daughters?

      The odds that one of them doesn’t say “Hey, isn’t this over the top?” to killing Doran and Trystane…it’s too much for me.

      Someone mentioned the Dornish all looking like they smelled something bad. It’s true…it looks like no one there is ever happy. Ever.

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    130. mau:
      Sou,

      Darkstar is something like a male SS from the books. But there is a room to make him more believable.

      Oh Lord.
      For a second I thought you were talking about THE SS. Like the Schutzstaffel. Himmler and all.
      I really need some rest here.
      Thanks for clarifying though!

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    131. They should have cut Dorne from the show and have Myrcella die off-screen. If they really wanted to include it, they should have made Doran switch to Team Dany like they did with Varys on the show. Siddig was easily the best actor in the Dorne storyline and his character had potential.

      But since Dorne still made it on the show: I would have had Doran execute Ellaria to get the Sand Snakes to listen, send two of the Sand Snakes to Meereen to deal with Dany (one can play the Quentyn role and get rekt by the dragons), send the third Sand Snake to fuck shit up in King’s Landing (where she can die, I don’t care), use Trystane as a possible husband for Dany when she arrives (assuming Jaime is dumb enough to send him back on the boat instead of keeping him as a pawn, which the show has proven he is). That way you trim the fat (by killing off a few people) and still try to somehow save the story by focusing on the one actor in that Dorne arc nobody was annoyed by.

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    132. I share a lot of the criticisms of Dorne in the books, particularly in terms of the efficacy of Doran’s plans. But any adaptation of the book plot would have been much better than what the show ended up doing. And in particular, I consider Jaime and Trystane sailing all the way to King’s Landing when Myrcella was murdered within sight of the dock to be the single-stupidest plot development in the entire show; flat-out insulting to the audience’s intelligence.

      A lot of people have discussed the lack of nuance in Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, which I think is a deliberate choice on the show’s part, and one made for the same reason the Faith Militant have been turned into ISIS-like caricatures who carve huge tattoos into their foreheads and may as well have “villain” signs hung around their necks: because the showrunners want the audience to be entirely on the side of the Lannisters (and in particular Cersei) in the conflicts with these guys. Both of these factions have unsympathetic sides and have/likely will do unsympathetic things, but particularly in the case of Dorne, the faces of that storyline in the book are sympathetic people. In the show, the Dornish are purely villains.

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    133. Sean C.,

      And what would Jaime do in Dorne again? Kill Ellaria?

      If I rememebr FM have tatoos in the books as well. And HS is written in a much more positive light in the show.

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    134. Sean C.,

      I wonder if fans will end up liking them if they join Dany lol. Honestly, I’d be even more annoyed because that means more screentime for the Sand Snakes.

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    135. mau:
      And what would Jaime do in Dorne again? Kill Ellaria?

      Um…yeah, exactly that. Or arrest her. They’re literally right at the docks. There is no reason Trystane wouldn’t go back and warn his father immediately that Ellaria has reneged on her terms of release and is playing him false.

      Instead, they sail away and give them plenty of time to escape, which is what would logically have happened in a non-bonkers plot. Instead, they use that time to overthrow the entire government.

      If I rememebr FM have tatoos in the books as well.

      No, in the books they dress like military orders of chivalry, which is what they are.

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    136. Sean C.:
      And in particular, I consider Jaime and Trystane sailing all the way to King’s Landing when Myrcella was murdered within sight of the dock to be the single-stupidest plot development in the entire show; flat-out insulting to the audience’s intelligence.

      I’m not disputing the clumsy way this show communicated this to the audience, but the establishing shot of the ship in the Season 6 premiere does at least show that the ship that brought Jaime back to King’s Landing was a Dornish ship. It has the Martell sigil on its sails. It was probably under Martell command, with a Martell crew. It’s possible that they weren’t willing to take orders from Jaime – assuming that Jaime even wanted to go back to Dorne. If he had, he may never have been allowed to leave.

      Your point that Trystane could have ordered the ship to turn around is a fair one, however.

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    137. mau,

      I did think Jamie might fear for his life going back…but I also thought he would have threatened Trystane’s life when re-entering the port. The SS might have been like whatevs…but word would get back to Doran.

      Bronn could have made quick work of any guards on the boat.

      If word got to Doran in that way, right away, he and Areo would have been on guard.

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    138. Jared,

      I didn’t say it was solely Jaime’s decision. Both Jaime and Trystane would have wanted to go back; Trystane would have wanted, not only to avenge his betrothed, but to warn his father that Ellaria had immediately gone back on his amnesty. Instead they proceeded on to King’s Landing, when it would have taken maybe ten minutes to go and get Ellaria.

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    139. Sean C.: Um…yeah, exactly that.Or arrest her.They’re literally right at the docks.There is no reason Trystane wouldn’t go back and warn his father immediately that Ellaria has reneged on her terms of release and is playing him false.

      He could accomplish that with a letter. There is no reason for Jaime to believe that Doran can guarantee him safety after what happened.

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    140. I agree with Axechucker that the lack of a long-game for Doran was the main problem, because they took away all of his chess pieces from the book, and only left him Trystane and Myrcella.

      But I have to disagree with the argument being the location limited them. Everything could have been greatly improved with a few interior scenes of Doran plotting quietly with Trystane. Something to show that Doran had a master plan of revenge against the Lannisters would have been awesome; including Trystane in the mix would have made both their deaths more meaningful.

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    141. mau:
      He could accomplish that with a letter.

      Except no, because that gives Ellaria all the time she needs to escape (or, as it turns out, mount a coup).

      There is no reason for Jaime to believe that Doran can guarantee him safety after what happened.

      Not Jaime’s decision, to begin with, and that concern is never raised. If he fears for his safety, remain on the ship while Trystane goes back. Moreover, Jaime is planning to send Trystane back, there’s no indication he’s worried about Doran not having control of the situation in his palace.

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    142. I’ve always wondered why they made Tyene Ellaria’s daughter for the show. The weak answer seemed to be that they weren’t going to show Oberyn’s young ones but still wanted to emphasize that Ellaria was mother to some of his daughters. But even then it’s just not that significant a piece of information.

      Doran’s assassination scene, though, gives a couple more reasons for the change. If Ellaria is going to have only one Sand Snake with her, it would make sense for that one to be her daughter (both in terms of it not looking strange and Ellaria wanting to keep her child close during a dangerous moment). Then there’s Doran’s, “Your mother is a brilliant woman” (or something) line, which is pretty significant as his last words before shit started going down.

      It’s hardly conclusive, but it sorta hints to me that the writers knew where Dorne was going all along. Which puts a lot of things in different light. The coup could have been Ellaria’s end game all along. After all, the first step in her plan this time was killing Myrcella; it’s not hard to see how this is exactly what she was trying to do the first time around.

      It doesn’t excuse a fair amount of sloppy handling, but I do think it makes for an interesting lens through which to rewatch the season 5 Dorne stuff.

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    143. I agree with the dig on last season’s fight scene. Obara looked awful, and not only in comparison to Oberyn, who absolutely spoiled us for Dorne. It would have been awesome if Hotah died while fighting all three Sand Snakes. It would also be awesome if all three of them are killed in the next episode. Please don’t give us more seasons of the worst actors on the show.

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    144. Sean C.,

      That’s fair. That issue could have been alleviated by giving Myrcella a slower-acting poison that wouldn’t have kicked in until the ship was well out to sea. It took the Long Farewell at least a few hours to work on Bronn, and it only really kicked in when Tyene teased him to get his heart rate up. I guess we’re supposed to infer that the emotional rush of Jaime and Myrcella’s father-daughter moment had a similar effect, and caused it to work quickly.

      It’s the shot of Ellaria and the Sand Snakes staring on the docks, starring out at a ship that’s still visible that’s the problem. There was no need for that. They could have shown her back in her room, looking all smug and triumphant there, allowing for the possibility that more time had passed. Same effect. Slightly less cinematic, but more plausible.

      As a bonus, that time-jump would have allowed us to more easily infer that Nym and Obara sprang into action immediately after seeing Jaime, Myrcella, and Trystane off and boarded the next ship bound for King’s Landing so they could assassinate Trystane. As it stands, it seems fairly clear that idea was devised after the fact.

      Oh well.

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    145. I understand how we can all get attached to certain things/paths in the books but I personally found that the last two books were increasingly becoming meandering and scattergun – as if the storyline was out-of-control. The Dorne bit was probably the worst of it (other than for Jaime’s side trip) and I applaud the series for trying to cull out some of those excesses to focus on the core story lines and characters. I agree it seemed all a little pointless on screen but this is a series with a sprawling narrative in need of some serious trimming back. All power to series writers, it cannot be easy trying to stay true to the core story and fit it all into a set number of TV seasons. I feel that this season things are going to move quickly (not that ep 1 had many signs of that other than possibly ending the Dorne storyline). Mick was wrong, ‘time is not on our side’ when it comes to concluding this epic on TV.

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    146. I mostly disagree with the majority of the Murder’s conclusions.

      First, like many, I was left cold after the S5 Dorne. However, after a year of hearing speculation that Doran would execute Ellaria for Myrcella’s murder, I found the fact that the exact opposite happened incredibly… refreshing. I am not attached to the ‘Dr Bashir’ or ‘Areo the badass’ memes, so seeing the two go down like chumps was actually pretty cool for me. I also don’t think that the deaths are a way of killing the plot (like Sue apparently does) – I think that they are a way of opening it and pushing it forth. And I’m pretty cool with it.

      Second, although I’m a woman, I’m totally OK with the Snakes being as they are. If they were the *only* women in the narrative, this would be problematic for me. But they aren’t. They are bit players. And, hey, in the end women have as much of a right to be bloodthirsty idiots as men. And I can believe that of all the people, the daughters of Oberyn Martell would think that they are untouchable and invincible. Kinda taking after their father, actually, in that.

      Third, I disagree that the show Dorne plot will be completely different from the book Dorne plot. Not to be spoilerish, but I think that the purpose of both plots is to effect one more war in the South of Westeros, destroying these lands before the Walkers and Dany both arrive. And I think that the show and book plots will merge at about this point – once the war is officially declared and has started.

      Fourth, I sincerely don’t understand the complaints of the people who said that they would like more time spent to clarify the Trystane scene. When I actually watched the episode, there was nothing missing for me. The ‘Obara and Nym boarded a second ship, reached the first one when that one was moored in King’s Landing’ thing was obvious. It was only when I got on the Internet that I learned that people had problems with the scenario!

      …Honestly, don’t tell anyone, but the Snakes have started to somewhat grow on me.

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    147. Sean C.: Except no, because that gives Ellaria all the time she needs to escape (or, as it turns out, mount a coup).

      Not Jaime’s decision, to begin with, and that concern is never raised.If he fears for his safety, remain on the ship while Trystane goes back.Moreover, Jaime is planning to send Trystane back, there’s no indication he’s worried about Doran not having control of the situation in his palace.

      But he thinks that Ellaria’s head won’t please Cersei so everything is pointless.

      First of all after Myrcella’s death, he needed to realise that she was poisoned. She needed to figure out how, by whom, and when and to be sure that Doran had nothing to do with that.

      And of course after Myrcella’s death the situation became very uncertain. Every rush reaction could have big consequences. He has no right to make such a big move without Cersei, Tommen, Kevan,…

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    148. I really like Arianne and her quest to crown Myrcella. That’s what the Dorne plot should have been in the show.

      Completely agree!

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    149. I enjoyed Dorne (not a book reader). I’m pretty sure it’s over at this point, but I hope it isn’t. I’m guessing in the next episode we’ll get a shot of Obara and Nym on the boat, heading back to Dorne. I think there is a chance Bronn will be with them. Personally I hope the SS stick around and cause some chaos in King’s Landing.

      Dave and Dan have left out far far more ridiculous stuff from the books than stuff they’ve supposedly adapted poorly so I’m thankful for the job they’ve done.

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    150. HelloThere,

      They would follow daughters of a very popular dead prince.

      Ellaria and SS will be like Euron. They are populists. They will give people what they want. War.

      People in Dorne and in the Iron islands think that their current leaders (Doran and Balon) are weak and passive and they need someone to make some big moves.

      And I believe both Euron and Ellaria will then turn to Dany.

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    151. As for the “Red Woman” Dorne criticisms…

      The way Areo went down bothered me, but not for being unbelievable. Just disappointing that we didn’t really get to see him in a proper fight. I thought it was pretty clear that Tyene got him in the spine. In all fairness, I did shout, “WHAT!?” when it happened.

      Obara and Nym showing up on the boat didn’t bother me at all. I actually assumed it as soon as they were conspicuously absent at Doran’s assassination. So they caught up on a voyage that took a week or two and the Dornish sailors let them on in the same way Doran’s guards did nothing. Makes perfect sense to me.

      While I agree that even show Oberyn wouldn’t approve of Ellaria killing Doran, I don’t see how that would stop Ellaria unless Oberyn were alive. She loved Oberyn because he was so fiery, because he was the kind of guy to fight Gregor Clegane to avenge his sister. As much as she might understand that family drove his passion, it was his passion she loved, and seeing his brother dispassionately refuse to avenge Oberyn would have infuriated her beyond reason. Which it did. And she acted with his kind of passion rather than his specific love for his family.

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    152. Dee,

      Nah. The comments I see on facebook and twitter from regular fans indicate the opposite. There aren’t many people who enjoy them, they’re a disappointment (considering they’re supposed to be related to Oberyn of all characters), and their acting isn’t that great.

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    153. But I really feel like Alexander Siddig and DeObia Oparei, who are both wonderful actors, were completely wasted.

      There are too many comments for me to catch up on, but I wanted to reply to Sue’s comment. Not only did they waste those actors, but they basically threw away the incredible setting. I was expecting to see much more of it; we got just a sliver of that marvelous building. Sad, but then it all is.

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    154. Oh, and one more thing. The part about ‘what would Oberyn do if he learned…?’ – it’s pretty clear to me that his opinion no longer matters. Shouldn’t have let himself get killed if he wanted it otherwise.

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    155. I liked show Doran. He reminded me of Ned Stark, he wants to see his people in good conditions, he doesn’t believe in murdering children because they belong to a hated family… And I agree that the Sand Snaked are terrible, but I also thought they were terrible in the books. Overall, I hate this plot a lot less in the show.

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    156. ash: There are too many comments for me to catch up on, but I wanted to reply to Sue’s comment.Not only did they waste those actors, but they basically threw away the incredible setting.I was expecting to see much more of it; we got just a sliver of that marvelous building.Sad, but then it all is.

      “Wasting” them doesn’t make sense though. If their time was up then their time was up. Simple as that.

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    157. Petra

      This is one of those times when I really do think that sticking to the source material would have fixed everything. Personally, I’m not over the moon about Dorne in the books, but I really like Arianne and her quest to crown Myrcella. That’s what the Dorne plot should have been in the show. It’s a storyline about women trying to empower other women (and start a war and avenge dead family members), and it was adapted into a subplot about two men trying to rescue a princess. I get that the show didn’t want to jar us by transplanting the audience into a storyline with totally new characters and landscapes (ergo the inclusion of Jaime and Bronn and the emphasis on Oberyn), but if seasons three and four had followed Myrcella as she adapted to life in Dorne, then we could have moseyed into the Feast for Crows storyline organically.

      ‘This. I generally have been pleased with how the show and adapted the book and usually can justify why they didn’t do so well This time there is no justification. Arianne’s plot would have been good tv, we would have learned more about the characters and thee would have been some sense of connection to other things happening Westeros. And they easily coul dhave found a way to kill Mycella. The Sand Snakes and Ellaria are now just cartoon chaacters, and thats not what I expected from a show like this.

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    158. What should Benioff and Weiss have done differently?

      I’m reluctant to play this game, because I love what Benioff and Weiss have done in pretty much every other storyline, cuts and changes and all. They’ve made a truly great show that’s far more faithful and artful than it’s often given credit for – and one that, in balance, I love more than the novels it’s based on. They’ve certainly made a far better show than I could ever hope to make (or than most ardent book fans could ever hope to make) – not that that’s a particularly high bar to clear. For as much time as I spend thinking about the show, they’ve spent far, far more. Their work and their process deserves respect, even on the rare occasions when the final product falls short.

      That being said, assuming that they kept Dorne rather than sticking to their original plan to cut the Kingdom …

      1. HBO shouldn’t have hyped up the Sand Snakes so much in the lead-up to Season 5. That would have helped keep expectations for those characters in check. Considering that they do nothing in the novels, this wouldn’t have been hard. This isn’t really on the writers – it was a marketing error.

      2. Spend more time differentiating the Sand Snakes so they could become distinct individuals, rather than a collective group. Too many people still can’t tell them apart on anything more than a superficial basis. Also, let them speak in their normal voices, rather than trying to mimic Oberyn’s accent. KCH in particular really struggles with it.

      3. Move the fight between Jaime, Bronn and the Sand Sankes out of the Water Gardens so that the choreography wasn’t hindered by filming in the Alcazar. This has been discussed to death. Ideally, they’d have sacrificed the gorgeous backdrop to allow more time and freedom for the stunt team to do its usual stellar work.

      4. Show more of the Dornish populace’s anger over Oberyn’s death. People have joked about how sparsely populated Dorne seems. Personally, I buy it when Ellaria says that Dorne despises Doran (the shot of the unmoving guards watching him die was very effective in that regard). But it would have been nice to see more of Dorne than just the Water Gardens. A few wide shots of a crowd of extras jeering and shouting in the streets. That would have been enough.

      5. Give Alexander Siddig more to do as Doran. It didn’t need to be his Fire and Blood speech (rendered pointless by the excision of other characters), but he’s a great actor, and he was a great choice for the role. I actually like the idea of Doran as a tragic figure who is genuinely only concerned with his people’s welfare, but such a character is necessarily going to be subdued. He should have gotten a moment to shine.

      6. Make Ellaria more sympathetic in her quest for vengeance. I don’t mind that she became our main Dornish POV, since we’d already met her in Season 4 and she had a direct connection to Oberyn. And Indira Varma is more than up to the task. But don’t just have her constantly spitting venom. Give her some quieter moments that remind us why she loved Oberyn so much, and why losing him destroyed her to such an extent that she’d be willing to tarnish his memory by murdering an innocent girl in the name of revenge – something that Oberyn swore that Dorne would never do.

      7. Let Areo Hotah have at least one badass fight scene. Failing that, give him a better death. He was stabbed in the spine (that’s why he dropped), but seeing him caught by surprise like that was unfortunate.

      8. Spend the time to cover your bases better, and hold the audience’s hand when necessary. That sounds unnecessarily mean, but I’ve heard too many people questioning how the Sand Snakes made it onto the boat (they took a second ship) or why Jaime didn’t go back to Dorne (it was a Martell ship – note the Sun and Spear on the sail) or what Trystane was doing there (see Jaime’s letter on Making Game Of Thrones for that).

      I don’t like it when shows overly explain things, but in this case, the masses have spoken. Further onscreen guidance was needed. Show the second ship, even if it ruins the element of surprise. Give Jaime a line of dialogue that explains why he returned to King’s Landing without going back to Dorne first. Show Jaime’s letter on screen. All those answers could be inferred, but they could have been spelled out more clearly. There’s enough to keep track of on this show without making jumps like this.

      9. Keep Arianne Martell and Quentyn Martell on the page. Don’t second guess this now. Cutting them was the right the decision in my view. Their stories are both dead ends, and they would have in turn become loose ends in the show. A better Dorne storyline could have been told without these characters – the show just didn’t find the right angle. All Quentyn does is release the dragons. Anyone can do that. Arianne’s inheritance rights are not something the show needed to devote precious screentime to, and now she’s bound to get caught up in the fAegon storyline … a sinking ship that can’t sink fast enough for me.

      10. Cast Darkstar for the sole purpose of killing him in a horrible way. OK, this one’s a joke. 😉 I’m glad that Darkstar never sullied the show with his presence, and I hope that GRRM writes him out of his books as soon as humanly possible.

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    159. Abyss,

      Too slow, I guess…

      I love this site. One suggestion would be a “typing reply” icon so you know when someone else is replying. Still it’s kinda fun to get duplicate replies, adds to the chaos.

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    160. Sue the Fury,

      they did not convey any of this potential info onscreen, not in any way. The HBO recap says he was stabbed in the spine, but we didn’t see that, we saw him from the front. They didn’t show him physically reacting to poison, like he was coming over numb or something- he just dropped. If he’d been nicked with poison, and then reacted to that, and dropped to the ground, I could’ve bought it. But right now, this is just a combination of info outside the show and fan speculation.

      Hee wonder if there’s going to be one of those dream sequences where everyone wakes up, everyone’s alive, and they try this all over again, this time including some hint as to how the two SS got onto the ship

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    161. Russcolli:
      Jared,

      Nice, I’m with you on this one Jared

      Ditto. The response to Dorne has gotten really ugly and out of hand. I respect that people were upset with adaptation, but the level of criticism has been very disproportionate to what was actually displayed on screen. It’s a lot of group think to be honest, reminds me of what I see in politics with the election. Some people cannot formulate their own opinions and have to bark the same fucking talking points that they hear everyone else making over and over. Again, not taking aim at everyone that dislikes Dorne, just the ones who took their hatred to the next level.

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    162. Dorne is utter shite in the show and in the books. GRRM and D&D both did really well with Oberyn and then fucked everything else up.

      Although, I do wise they were faithful with Ellaria, she is such a sweet character in the books and I think the show watchers would have loved her but I can understand why it had to be done.

      I just hope we only get 1 more scene with Dorne this season after this and that’s it, make it the scene where they vow to support Dany when she lands then in the final season have them get completely slaughtered by whatever force.

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    163. I hated Dorne in S5, but I have to say, the first episode of S6 was an improvement. People say that Ellaria’s revenge doesn’t make sense, because Oberyn chose to fight the Mountain. But the truth is Oberyn sought out the Mountain just so that he could get revenge for his sister. He found the perfect opportunity with Tyrion’s trial, but let’s not kid ourselves: he didn’t do it to help Tyrion, but to avenge his sister. He died trying to do that, so Ellaria is right saying that it’s the Lannister’s (for Elia’s rape and murder) and Doran’s (for not doing anything) fault that Oberyn is dead. If the Lannisters hadn’t ordered the murder of Elia, and if Doran did something to avenge her, Oberyn wouldn’t have to fight the Mountain and die.

      Of course Ellaria’s character and the SS are very one-dimensional. They could have spent like 5 minutes explaining their reasons, or showing some nuance, some trepidation, or second thoughts.. but anyway… Maybe they should have one Sand Snake and Ellaria, that would give them more time to develop the characters. But overall, the last episode was a huge improvment on last season.

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    164. mau:
      But he thinks that Ellaria’s head won’t please Cersei so everything is pointless.

      First of all after Myrcella’s death, he needed to realise that she was poisoned. She needed to figure out how, by whom, and when and to be sure that Doran had nothing to do with that.

      And of course after Myrcella’s death the situation became very uncertain. Every rush reaction could have big consequences. He has no right to make such a big move without Cersei, Tommen, Kevan,…

      Any idiot could tell she was poisoned when blood starts spontaneously coming out her nose; Bronn, especially, would be able to identify it since he was poisoned the same way, by the same people. It’s also pretty easy to deduce Doran had nothing to do with it, otherwise he wouldn’t have let them go. Further, Jaime tells Cersei in this same episode that he’s going to go back to Dorne to get revenge, so he’s not waiting to consult.

      And all of that ignores, again, that it’s not ultimately Jaime’s decision, it’s Trystane’s.

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    165. Jared,

      Their stories are both dead ends, and they would have in turn become loose ends in the show.

      1) I don’t think it’s fair to connect Quentyn and Arianne here. Q is def a loose end/unnecessary. Arianne not as much.

      2) If Arianne is a loose end what are the SS and Ellaria? Where do they believably go from here?

      It’s not like Nym is joining the small council or Obara is going to chase down DkS and Tyene most certainly isn’t infiltrating the Faith.

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    166. I really think that if Ellaria and the Sand Snakes were just a tad bit more nuanced in their quest for revenge – like, maybe showing an emotion other than glee at the prospect of killing their cousin Trystane – the storyline wouldn’t really be that problematic for me. …I find Ellaria and the Sand Snakes very two-dimensional, so their being the only remaining characters of the storyline, no matter how justified it is as a plot point, is still just frustrating.

      Quote Reply

      Exactly. From the moment I met her to her final scream, I really liked her and was curious how she would handle losing the love of he life. I was expecting sadness, some anger, certainly wanting revenge (tho to be honest if Oberyn wasn’t so cocky demanding the words from Mt, he would be alive and Mt would be dead). But this evil woman is a totally different creature from before. And I can’t imagine those three sisters being for Oberyn. Much more could have been done here to make them more complex, let us know more about them, give us cause to make us like them even when they are murderous. This was just sad

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    167. Sue the Fury,

      Huh, I’ve also seen it used to descirbe a character, usually a main one, who is as good as gold and alway right. Ive seen it used on both genders. But I guess what it means depends on how its used

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    168. Jack Bauer 24,

      I knew they had a time limit, but it seems like they could have used different angles….I dunno. You may be right, but I know I wanted to see more and thought it would be more incorporated into the story.

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    169. Sue the Fury:
      Che,

      “Mary Sue” has become this catch-all insult for female characters and it’s pretty sexist.

      Not really. More and more often “Mary Sue” is being invoked to describe male characters as well. It’s even been applied to Superman with wonderful results. Yes, it’s a catch-all insult, but it hasn’t been used exclusively to describe women for a loooooooong time.

      I agree Arianne is not a Mary Sue. She’s just one of many poorly constructed Dornish conscripts parachuted in.

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    170. Sean C.: Any idiot could tell she was poisoned when blood starts spontaneously coming out her nose; Bronn, especially, would be able to identify it since he was poisoned the same way,

      Bronn wasn’t poisoned the same way, but yes, he would be able to identify it. But that takes some time.

      It’s also pretty easy to deduce Doran had nothing to do with it, otherwise he wouldn’t have let them go.

      Maybe or maybe not. Many people in this fandom thought that Doran had something to do with it, even when they saw him threatening to Ellaria in E9.

      Jaime would realise sooner that later that Doran’s involvement makes no sense, but again it takes time.

      Further, Jaime tells Cersei in this same episode that he’s going to go back to Dorne to get revenge, so he’s not waiting to consult.

      He never said anything similar.

      But what he did say is that he doesn’t think that Ellaria’s head will please Cersei, so there is no reason to rush back in Dorne after what just happened. His main motive is to avoid the war, and returning to Dorne immediately would be very risky and it would be very pointless.

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    171. Just because it was Alexander Siddig who played Doran, doesn’t mean it was a waste. We are blessed that he wanted to play such a small role.

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    172. My original thoughts with Aegon cut out:

      The Wars to Come

      Ellaria is en route to the Water Gardens as the ship passes by the ports of Sunspear, brightly lit in Oberyn’s honor. At the palace, she finds Doran on the balcony, watching the youngest Sand Snakes and servants frolicking about in the pools. Ellaria brings him the proclamation, but he refuses to read it, unwilling to see the reality he knows all too well displayed in writing.

      Cersei fears for Myrcella becoming the subject of Dornish retribution after Oberyn’s death. As a preventative message, she sends Jaime to Sunspear with the head of the Mountain, hoping that will pacify at least Prince Doran if no one else.

      As Doran contemplates the future of Dorne with his brother’s demise, Ellaria notes the sheer power of public anger displayed at Sunspear. She suggests that the royal Martell retinue return to the capital to better quell the public anger. Doran agrees, taking one last look at the pools as the memories of him and Oberyn playing in the gardens play before his eyes, a time that ended far too swiftly. Arianne watches Ellaria wheel Doran into the palace, frowning in concentration from the shadows.

      The House of Black and White

      Present-day: Arianne is with a reluctant Nymeria and a mildly impressed Tyene, watching Ser Gerald Dayne spar with Dornish guards. He reluctantly stops each moment where it seemed that his sword would triumph. Arianne thinks of his blade ripping through a guard and the thought gives her an unexpected amount of pleasure. Tyene watches him with a keen eye of her own, but she refrains from any advancement in light of Arianne’s clear interests. Nymeria instead comments on the importance of House Dayne as a whole and Gerald’s jealousy of being less significant than Arthur.

      Nymeria and Tyene depart to prepare for Obara’s arrival, who was at a bout at Starfall, the seat of House Dayne. Arianne takes one last note of Gerald before she departs as well for her chambers, where she finds Myrcella waiting for her with a game of cyvasse. Arianne probes Myrcella about her life in King’s Landing and if she ever thought about becoming the queen. Myrcella notes that her gender prohibits her from sitting on the Iron Throne. Arianne nevertheless probes her, wanting to know what Myrcella would do with that power if it was hers. To top it off, Arianne notes how unfortunate that situation was, as the amount of danger for poor, young Tommen was surely more than he could bear.

      High Sparrow

      Flashback: A young, temperamental Oberyn arrives at a brothel in Lemonwood, the citrus air swirling around him. He approaches the brothel’s main door, demanding to see a whore who claimed to have had the prince’s child. She brings out a young Obara and Oberyn throws a spear down at the child’s feet. He gives her a choice between the spear and her mother’s tears. She picks the spear. Oberyn carries his daughter and his spear into the desert sunset, the tears of Obara’s mother becoming more faint by the minute.

      Jaime and Bronn pass by the Isle of Tarth as they travel through Shipbreaker’s Bay. Bronn probes Jaime on Myrcella’s parentage but he remains mum, fixating instead on his desire to kill Tyrion for the demise of Tywin. Their arrival in Sunspear was notably a dull affair but as their caravan travels through the capital city, it’s suddenly attacked by a group of brigands. Jaime discovers a new usage for his golden hand. The Dornish guard arrive in time to save Jaime and Bronn, under the direction of steely-eyed Obara, who greets Jaime with this gem as he lies on the ground: “Need a hand?”

      Sons of the Harpy

      Ellaria, Doran, and Areo Hotah are in wait for the Lannister host. Doran wastes no time in getting down to business, ordering the Mountain’s head to be placed on a spike in the capital. Jaime is clearly uncomfortable every moment Doran speaks of the crimes that the Lannister family has committed against the Martells. Bronn continues to stare at Arianne, who pays him no attention whatsoever. Doran reaches a settlement of his own choosing, noting how his past experience with war has committed him to avoiding it at all costs in the future. Nymeria would take Oberyn’s place on the Small Council, the Lannisters would make a pledge to defend Dorne in any conflict, and all of the lands that had belonged to the Mountain would be signed over to Trystane and Myrcella as a wedding gift.

      Kill the Boy

      Arianne, disgusted with Doran’s lack of response to Oberyn’s death, sets her plan in motion. Knowing Nymeria’s penchant for gathering as much information on essentially anyone, Arianne discovers Bronn’s broken betrothal to Lollys Stokeworth and surmises that Jaime must have promised the sellsword something better in return. But the reasoning for that confuses her. Surely a simple journey to Dorne wouldn’t warrant such a price? Nymeria arrives at the conclusion that Jaime is here to take Myrcella back to King’s Landing, which surprised her considering the Lannister gold mines had run dry. Arianne, surprised greatly by that tidbit, thinks of a plan. As her eyes grow alight, she hears notes of “The Dornishman’s Wife” waltzing through the corridors.

      Jaime tries to connect with Myrcella without revealing his parentage but she simply is unable to do so. Jaime feels for the first time his severe shortcomings as a parent, trying to come to terms with the choices he has made in the past coming home to roost. Ellaria arrives in Jaime’s chamber, telling him that she knows quite well what his ulterior motive is behind arriving in Sunspear and that no one can choose whom they fall in love with. By trying to be a parent now and whisking Myrcella away, the only thing he would end up doing is hurting the very daughter he was trying to protect. The best thing he could do as a parent was to leave the capital as soon as he could. He agrees to depart with the arrival of the next ship to King’s Landing.

      Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

      Arianne, heaving heard of the news of Jaime’s departure, puts a pedal to her plan. At her behest, Nymeria uses the jealousy Ser Gerald espouses towards the late Arthur to garner his support to install Myrcella on the Iron Throne. Ser Gerald’s support secured, Arianne turns towards Bronn. She arrives quietly into his chambers, wanting to know more about him and who he was. Bronn, in typical fashion, attests that he is no one, merely a man who takes joy from the simpler pleasures in life. Arianne responds with an accusation that that assertion was a lie. Castle Stokeworth, was, after all, hardly simple. Bronn admits that he has lost Lolly’s hand. Arianne guesses that was at the behest of Ser Jaime, which was a shame as the Lannisters had lost all of the gold from their mines. She kisses him on the lips and caresses his shocked face before she departs from his chambers.

      Trystane meets with Myrcella over another game of cyvasse. Myrcella beats him easily, despite her mind being elsewhere entirely. She confesses to her betrothed that she found her Uncle Jaime’s behavior to be fairly unusual, considering he had never before talked to her for longer than a second and Robert had never acted like a father towards her at all. She might as well have been invisible. Trystane notes that perhaps he was simply trying to make up for lost time and that it was never too late for her to get some of the parental love she had lost. Family is important, he notes, something Jaime is perhaps realizing after the death of Tywin. Myrcella’s mind harkens back to Arianne’s words about becoming the Queen and protecting her family from the Iron Throne. She and Trystane kiss, her mind made up.

      In the underground chambers of the castle at Sunspear, Arianne arrives to meet Obara, Nymeria, Tyene, and Trystane, all of whom espouse her enthusiasm for revenge wholeheartedly. Arianne lays out her plan, to have Myrcella smuggled out of Dorne in the cover of darkness and onto the ship Jaime and Nymeria are leaving on. Jaime would be accused of kidnapping the key to further Dornish heirs and upsetting the Lannister-Martell alliance. Arianne, Obara, and Tyene would arrive in disguise, quickly toppling Tommen and install Myrcella as the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Trystane would stay behind with Doran, although Arianne notably stiffens at the thought. Knowing full well the complete danger of their plan, the five join hands and mutter “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. For Oberyn.” The camera moves over the four sisters and brother, their hands joined together over their golden lit sigil of the spear through the sun.

      The Gift

      As Ser Jaime begins preparations to leave, Bronn makes a promise to Arianne that he would ensure the safe passage of Myrcella on the ship. She kisses him, promising a castle in Dorne with a wife more beautiful than any Lannister could provide. Unbeknownst to Arianne, a guard assigned by Doran to keep watch over her overheard their conversation. He’s quickly distracted by Tyene, however. She leads him knowingly into the sept, pricking his thumb with poison. Tyene teases him and the guard’s pace begins to quicken. His breath is shortened and he collapses, his mouth foaming. Tyene looks at him sharply, turning back towards the altar of the sept as the guard shakes to his death.

      Upon the Dornish docks, Jaime begins to make a confession but Myrcella hushes him, noting that she knows exactly what he is about to say. She confesses her gratitude at the unspoken revelation before the delegation to King’s Landing departs. She takes a deep breath as the ship sails across the Sea of Dorne, feeling a pang of guilt at her unspoken lie. Within the palace itself, Myrcella meets with Arianne, giving the anxious princess the gift of declaring her intent to return to the capital and sit on the Iron Throne. Arianne beams with pleasure and anticipation.

      Hardhome

      No Dorne this week. Hardhome, y’all!

      The Dance of Dragons

      The conspirators depart Sunspear in the dead of night, making their way to the silent shores of the sea where Jaime’s ship would have docked . As the morning rises, the caravan is suddenly attacked by mercenaries allied with Gerlad Myrcella loses an ear as Gerald attacks her. Arianne saves her just in time and Gerald falls to Areo Hotah’s axe.

      An embattered, embittered Arianne and her co-conspirators are led to Doran and Ellaria in the catacombs beneath the palace in Sunspear. Doran somberly declares his disappointment in that Arianne did not trust her own father in retaining her right to the throne in Sunspear. Ellaria and Doran reveal that instead of an all-out war, they have something else planned entirely, a key of what they call the Dornish Master Plan. The Martells would craft an alliance with Daenerys, providing the Queen in Essos with a Westerosi launching pad for her invasion of the rest of the continent.

      Mother’s Mercy

      No Dorne in the finale. Give those extra minutes to Stannis and or Jon.

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    173. dee

      Murdering Doran and his son does not avenge Elia and Oberyn, but allows her TO continue avenging their deaths by going to war with the Lannisters. Duh.

      This works better in a vacuum. In the premiere Roose explains to Ramsay that without Sansa they don’t have the support of the north. The same principle can be applied here. I just don’t see how Ellaria believably consolidates power (or takes it to begin with). She, nor the SS, have a right to rule Dorne…although…anyone up for a QUEENSMOOT Dorne style???

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    174. In terms of the Dorne storyline on the show, what has always bothered me is that Ellaria’s motivation is nonsense and no one has called her on it. She is furious that Oberyn was “butchered” as though he was murdered or betrayed, but not only did he volunteer to fight to the death–for a Lannister–but he used poisoned spears, which most people would consider cheating.

      In terms of the books, I wonder if this may be somehow predictive and had been pushed back from the finale in the hopes that TWoW would be published before S6. This resolution would have worked better for me in S5-10, than in S6-01.

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    175. Tycho Nestoris,

      That would only work if you could see what the other posters reply is about. He/She might reply to a totally different part of you post then the other poster. – And that’s not even considering the situation of more then two replies to a post at the some time. That could easily happen when it comes to complex discations. The work on the back end that would be needed to make that happen is just not worth it. – In fact, I have never seen that feature on any website.

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    176. I was extremely disappointed with the Dorne plot in Season 5. I listened to an interview of D&D where they said they wanted to keep working with Indira Varma, so maybe they believed we were already invested in the character and they could make Ellaria the main character in Dorne. But Oberyn wanted to kill Tywin and The Mountain, not Myrcella, a girl that didn’t have anything to do with what happened to Elia. Oberyn was likable, against hurting little girls. You could root for him.
      On the other hand, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes aren’t likable at all. They killed a girl that didn’t have anything to do with Oberyn’s death. They are kinslayers. They killed Doran and Trystane without remorse and making jokes. They aren’t wise enough to understand they couldn’t have won a war against the Throne before.
      I think there will be an alliance between Varys and Ellaria to help Danny retake the Iron Throne. I hope they don’t decide to attack King’s Landing by themselves or go to Meeren or Oldtown.

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    177. My own take is that Doran’s death does create some symetry between the far north and the far south. At the Wall, Jon Snow dies at the hands if a traitor for taking a controversial action. In Dorne, Doran dies at the hand of a traitor for controversially failing to take action. Interesting juxtoposition.

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    178. Dee:
      Just because it was Alexander Siddig who played Doran, doesn’t mean it was a waste. We are blessed that he wanted to play such a small role.

      Agreed. You get the best available actor you’re looking for and when their time is up it’s up. The “wasted” argument holds no water.

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    179. I think it’s disingenous to say that nothing can be predicted from the show’s Dorne plot about the books. They’re heading in the same direction: war with the crown, possibly with a Targaryen alliance.

      Axechucker has the right of it: both the books and the show have a Dornish rebellion storyline, except in the books it was Doran pretending to be a docile pacifist, just waiting for the “right moment” to unveal his plans of revenge; and in the show, Doran is actually a docile pacifist, and Ellaria is the one with plans of revenge. I think it’s funny that some people deride Ellaria and the Sand Snakes for wanting to avenge Oberyn, as he died in a willing trial by combat… which is true, except that, you know, Doran wants to avenge him too, it’s not just about Elia. Doran became interesting when he revealed his plans; but he went from becoming an apparently wise character to yet another person blinded by revange. In a way, the show allowed him to die pure.

      And, as I was saying and Axechucker rightly pointed out, it all ends up in the same point. Even if you didn’t like the journey to get here, now it’s where it should get interesting, just as in the books the subplot only became interesting when Doran revealed his plans of vengeful rebellion. In the show, it’s very much the same thing: now that Dorne is rising in rebellion, the plot has actually kickstarted and can go to interesting places: Obara and Nym can interact with characters we actually care about and thus develop them into at least bidimensional characters; and Ellaria and Tyene can take the lead in the big game of raising armies and maybe allying themselves with Daenerys.

      Axechucker also understood the production limitations of the Alcazar last season. There is such a thing to consider as the realities of production. They could only shoot there for about a week for all the Water Garden scenes, and they weren’t even allowed to shoot at night; Bryan Cogman explains in the commentary that both Jaime’s and Ellaria’s plans with Myrcella make much more sense in the script, as they were more stealthy nighttime raids.

      Also, I share Axechucker’s thoughts about Hotah (damn, I really do agree with Axechucker, don’t I?!). After the initial shock, I thought the Dornish coup was great… except for Hotah. He should’ve died after killing a bunch of the treasonous guards, at the very least! And of course, there’s that one backstab with a dirk killed him… Come on!

      I’m a bit more hopeful about the future of the storyline, though, now that it has finally kicked into gear.

      Mihnea: I’m one of those people who liked the SW’s prequels much more then ”The Force awakens”.

      You are dead to me.

      Not really 😛

      (But a bit really).

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    180. Tycho Nestoris,

      Yeah, that exists, but it is only really useful in something like a chat, were the reply is almost immediate and the posts are much shorter and less complex. That feature is also much easier to set-up. Shouldn’t need much more than keyboard input recognition for all the users in the chat. No actual text needs to be send or stored until the person that is typing hits enter.

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    181. Axechucker hit it completely on the head. Alas other book readers are still in denial. Reality is that plots in the book for Dorne do not play pivotal role in the end game just as many of us who slogged through hundreds of pages suspected. So question is how to get from point A (Oberyn death) to point B (Dorne uprising)? Axechucker’s criticisms are almost all spot on too on what could have been improved (which was a lot). But please I disrespectfully disagree with the other book readers that “D&D should have sticked to the source material”. Absurd never would have translated well to the screen and would have required removal of much more critical scenes elsewhere. As a book reader, season 5 scared the bejeezus out of me, it was make or break IMO and would require serious editing and chutzpah to get through the poor source material. Most changes they did were excellent (thank you for no pig riding Tyrion). Will some critics acknowledge that changes to Sansa where improvements over keeping her in the Eyrie? And made last episodes scene with her and Brienne so incredibly powerful? Or that it is now totally believable that Sansa has grown and will likely become Queen of the North? So Dorne was poorly done and am glad that the site here met it head on to discuss but this was an award winning season and I thought it could very well have been the death knell of the show…

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    182. I think Bronn was in on Myrcella’s and Trystane’s deaths. You don’t get expensive antidotes without the favor being called back in eventually.

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    183. Tycho Nestoris:
      mau,

      Bronn wasn’t poisoned the same way

      Bronn takes the same antidote that Ellaria takes, no?

      But he was poisoned by dagger, not kiss. I believe it took some time for Jaime and Bronn to come to the conclusion thatSS and Ellaria don’t need to use weapons to poison Myrcella.

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    184. Looper: Of all the things wrong with the Dorne plot, i’m surprised so many people use the “Oberyn wouldn’t want this” argument. That’s actually one of the few things I’m okay with. They’re taking this great man’s philosophy and bastardizing it (no pun intended). They’re extremists. They’re the ISIS to Oberyn and Doran’s Islam. It’s not supposed to be some “let’s rally the audience with justice!” plot line.

      THIS. Please. THIS.

      This is not a plot hole. It’s the irony of this story. The whole point of this story, perhaps!

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    185. Luka Nieto:
      . I think it’s funny that some people deride Ellaria and the Sand Snakes for wanting to avenge Oberyn, as he died in a willing trial by combat… which is true, except that, you know, Doran wants to avenge him too, it’s not just about Elia.

      I agree. This is a really good point. Book purist are ranting that D&D made Ellaria about revenge only , but then they praise GrrM for Doran’s twist where he turns pacifist into a revengeful person.

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    186. RichP: To have Jamie’s ship somehow followed and overtaken without anyone knowing or realizing they were being followed and/or boarded, then have the two of them pop into the cabin wielding ABSURD weapons for what they wanted to do – exactly as was said above, like the Ninja Turtles having to use their designated weapon all the time.

      Followed? They KNEW they were going to King’s Landing. They didn’t have to follow them or overtake them. They saw them off at the docks, then Nym and Obara took a ship hours later and arrived hours later (a day later, it looks like) than Trystane and Jaime, and killed Trystane. Theyt didn’t have to explain “they took a freaking boat”.

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    187. mau,
      Doran turns pacifist into a revengeful person.

      Doran didn’t go pacifist to revengeful. He pretended pacifism while he plotted revenge. The bigger problem with swapping Doran for Ellaria is that she has no claim to power whereas he was the Prince.

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    188. HelloThere:
      mau,

      The show has still given almost no solid reason for why Dorne would follow Ellaria Sand.

      Are you serious?

      “The House of Black and White”, literally the introduction of this subplot:

      “Your brother was murdered and you sit here in the Water Gardens staring at the sky and doing nothing.”
      “Oberyn was slain during a trial by combat by law, that is no murder.”
      “Your brother…”
      “You don’t have to remind me. He was my brother long before he was anything to you.”
      “What will you know about his death?”
      “I will bury him. I will mourn for him.”
      “And then? You would have me go to war.”
      “The whole country would have you go to war.”
      “Then we are lucky the whole country does not decide.”

      “The Sand Snakes are with me. They have the love of their people. They will avenge their father while you sit here in your chair doing nothing. Oberyn is dead. And this Lannister girl skips about the Water Gardens eating our food, breathing our air. How many of your brothers and sisters do they have to kill? Let me have her. Let me send her to Cersei one finger at a time.”
      “I loved my brother. And you made him very happy. For that, you will always have a place in my heart. But we do not mutilate little girls for vengeance. Not here. Not while I rule.”
      “And how long would that be?”

      And the climax of this conflict, in “The Red Woman”, reiterated pretty clearly why the guards didn’t help Doran, and why the whole country is against him:

      When was the last time you left this palace? You don’t know your own people. Their disgust for you. Elia Martell raped and murdered, and you did nothing. Oberyn Martell butchered, and you did nothing. You’re not a Dornishman. You’re not our prince. […] Your son is weak just like you. And weak men will never rule Dorne again.

      They set it up perfectly. The whole emnity between Ellaria and Doran was based on the fact that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes agreed with the whole of the Dornish common folk in seeking vengeance, while Doran wanted peace and stability above all.

      Yaga,

      Completely agreed.

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    189. Dee,

      If “them” is the small folk of Dorne I can see it. I don’t think the other Dornish houses can be included without some kind reasoning beyond they “despised” Doran. I think Dornish civil war in the power vacuum is more probably than Ellaria becoming ruler.

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    190. I never cared for the Dorne storyline in the books, so even when I was surprised by the quick dismissal of Doran and his bodyguard, I was not affected at all.

      It’s not that I hated this storyline in the books, but quite frankly I was more interested in the historic role of Dorne (during the past long night, during the Targaeryan invasion of Westeros, as well as during Robert’s Rebellion).

      At the time the current story unfolds, I felt that whatever made them so different in the past had faded away. Now it is a kingdom populated by a lot of hot-headed, wreckless and not very bright people, which made me think they stood very little chance of surviving the Westerosi turmoil. So it was difficult for me to share other readers’ passion for Arianne, the Red Viper and the Sand Snakes.

      Arianne’s plan was not very good and it was very poorly executed (similar to Ellaria and the Sand Snakes’ plan in the show, by the way). The fiasco was easily avoidable if only she would’ve asked her father why he was not treating her as the heir of Dorne. She’s a grown woman who behaved like a bratty teenager and complicated matters for all.

      Quentyn’s trip was sort of pointless (similar to Trystane’s in the show). It reminded me of a Mexican comedy film about Romeo and Juliet, where Cantinflas’ character -Romeo- complained that he had a very little to do in the play and he read one of his scenes: “Romeo enters… Romeo remains silent… Romeo exits”.

      Prince Oberyn’s reaction to Elia’s death a long time after the fact was strange for me. I felt someone as resourceful as he was supposed to be would have found a way to confront the Mountain much earlier. If he was following Doran’s orders not to retaliate, I’m sure they had long discussions about this decision. So what he did 15 years after would make Oberyn a reckless idiot.

      If he voiced his opposition to Doran’s plan during those 15 years, then Doran was the idiot, as he must have seen how passionately Oberyn reacted on the subject and he should have sent someone else to represent him at the Purple Wedding. He could have sent his heir, Arianne, and that would have solved two problems in one move.

      Ellaria’s claim in the show that Doran didn’t know his own people sums up a lot of what I felt about the dornish storyline in the books.

      So, in a way I feel the show mirrored the books in a bizarre kind of way

      I think that the problem with the show’s take on Dorne has to do with several issues:
      1) Pedro Pascal set a very high bar. He made us care for the character in the show. We were expecting that Dorne would be so good because of him.
      2) The Sand Snakes were increadibly hyped before season 5. Aeroh Hotah was presented as this imposing new character, and Doran as this bright mind. Above all the actresses who gave life to the Sand Snakes gave a gazillion interviews about how cool their characters were. But the material (even if executed brilliantly) was not that huge to begin with.
      3) On top of this, the storyline was not brilliantly executed. Doran felt bland; Aero Hotah had very little to do; the Sand Snakes and Ellaria’s bits felt rushed and clumsy…

      So, if D&D did this as a correcting move, I think it’s fine. If, on the other hand, is a move that reflects where the story is leading in the books… hmmm… I think I will really drag through the remaining Dornish chapters…

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    191. Tycho Nestoris:
      mau,
      The bigger problem with swapping Doran for Ellaria is that she has no claim to power whereas he was the Prince.

      They have repeatedly made a point in the show about bastards being much more respected in Dorne. In the books the point that was repeatedly made was the inheritance of women being different, because that’s what was relevant to the book plot with Arianne. So… However could bastardy being respected in Dorne become relevant to the plot? Well, what about a bunch of bastards taking over? The Dornishmen want war and revenge. They hated Doran for not giving it to them (in the books too; remember they almost revolted when he arrived in Sunspear?), so when these bastard paramour of Oberyn and their bastard daughters took care of Doran… well, there you have it! A popular uprising. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before in real life history, bastards and other lower class people taking over with the support of the populace.

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    192. I think the problems with the Dorne storyline in the show mainly come down to the fact that there was simply not enough time to devote to it. Story- and character-wise, everything in it could work just as much as the rest of the storylines… if they had had more time to develop the characters more, and explain things better. As it is, it isn’t as developed as the other storylines, because it was introduced relatively late in the series, and they (rightfully) felt they should devote more of their time to the already-established characters.

      The fact that they’re keeping it tells me it will have some importance later… It’s just that it came too late into the series to really develop much, alongside all of the already-existing storylines. As such, they had no choice but to rush it, with minimal explanations of certain things.

      Basically, this was the point where there was simply one too many storylines for them to handle. Unfortunate, but I can understand it. And I do still think it’s OK, if not up to usual GOT standards.

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    193. Some of the editors’ idea that they wrapped up the storyline is a bit baffling to me. What we saw in “The Red Woman” was pretty much the opposite, in my eyes: the Dornish plot finally kicking into gear and starting to have some relevance outside its own borders. It was basically a declaration of war. How would they just ignore it now? It’d make no sense.

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    194. By the way, I know this wasn’t the most loved death scene, but I hope we still get Curtain Calls for Alexander, DeObiah, and Toby.

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    195. Luka Nieto,

      They have repeatedly made a point in the show about bastards being much more respected in Dorne.

      It sounds like you are saying Obara will take over not Ellaria. Am I understanding that correctly? I have more of a problem with Ellaria seizing power than Obara.

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    196. Tycho Nestoris,

      Both are bastard daughters of important Dornish houses. Obara may have a better claim as the daughter of a Martell, the ruling family, but as I have tried to point out this is a popular uprising and claims and legitimacy cease to be so relevant. Ellaria is older and wiser (though not wise), and obviously the master mind of this whole thing. Obara is a follower. So Ellaria will rule.

      My point is Dornishmen will follow bastards more easily than anyone else. As Ellaria put it, “the Sand Snakes have the love of the people”. They are the face of the rebellion, even if Ellaria is the one actually in charge.

      Inheritance and legitimacy are kind of a second thought at best in these populist rebellions.

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    197. Tycho Nestoris,

      I consider Arianne a loose end because

      The sample chapters for TWOW strongly suggest that George’s next step for Arianne after her failed Queenmaker escapades will be to tie her into the fAegon storyline, either as his future wife or just an ally. In fact, Dorne as a whole seems likely to shift away from the idea of supporting Dany towards supporting fAegon in TWOW, since Dany’s dragons killed Quentyn and Dany herself isn’t getting to Westeros any time soon.

      The fAegon story has been excised from the show pretty cleanly. I strongly believe it was something the show was never, ever going to introduce (and good riddance – it would have been more trouble than it was worth). So Arianne would have needed to do something else post-Season 5. If Dorne is eventually going to support Dany in the show, then Arianne could have been a part of that development. But she wasn’t going to marry Dany, as fAegon might. She would have just lined up behind Doran as his heir. She probably would have faded into the background. Either way, the show would have needed to create a new story for her. Now, they don’t have to.

      As for Season 5, the core of the Queenmaker plot is centered around Arianne’s inheritance rights. That’s a tertiary concern for the show at best, and that’s being generous. Expecting the audience to care about whether or not a brand-new character got to rule Dorne when her father died would have been a tall ask. If that plot was going to be included (i.e. if the impetus for the Dornish characters had been to crown Myrcella rather than kill her) then it needed to be restructured around major characters. Those characters turned out to be Jaime and Ellaria … only there was no crown involved, just blood.

      Dorne’s story in Season 5 was Jaime’s story – a story about retrieving his secret daughter and earning her love and acknowledgement before ultimately losing her. Ellaria was the chief antagonist. The other Dornish characters were subordinates or background players. That’s probably why viewers never felt invested in them. Humanizing Ellaria and the Sand Snakes more would have helped in that respect.

      Arianne admittedly could have done a lot of what Ellaria did in Season 5, minus the violence (she’s not much of a fighter). But I believe that the show opted for Ellaria and the Sand Snakes over Arianne because those characters shared a closer personal connection to Oberyn. Ellaria, as Oberyn’s lover, actually appeared in Season 4, and the show cast an actress they liked in Indira Varma who they wanted to use. The Sand Snakes, as Oberyn’s daughters, were at least mentioned in Season 4. That theoretically should have made them feel more relevant to viewers, only it didn’t turn out that way because they weren’t developed enough in their own right.

      Arianne, by contrast, is more closely tied to Doran, who was introduced more as Oberyn’s more tempered brother rather than as the Prince of Dorne or any kind of “master” planner (though again, his plans aren’t worthy of all the acclaim they receive). In retrospect, perhaps boiling Dorne solely down to “Oberyn’s family” was the core issue as to why the Dornish plot felt thin. Oberyn cast a long shadow. One man was truly larger than a kingdom here.

      As for where Ellaria and the Sand Snakes go from here … their motivations for wanting war with the Iron Throne have at least been clearly established. They may not even wait for Dany. They may just attack with their newly-won army. If Nym and Obara stay in King’s Landing, they may try to kill Tommen or something along those lines. Or they may fade into the background until Dany arrives.

      Or, if the show is cutting its losses, they may never appear again. Perhaps, having drawn blood by killing Myrcella and by killing the men who they believed were appeasing the Lannisters, they’ll be content to rule the new Dorne. I don’t think that’s likely, however.

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    198. Luka Nieto,

      Wait, there has been little to no background on Ellaria’s family and father (I remember none outside of the book). How does that work that pretty out of nowhere her father is relevant to this. Even in the books

      House Uller is only mentioned passively.

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    199. IMO
      Dorne’s history is spectacular. In a male dominated world it stood out with Martell’s union with Rhoyne refugees and their warrior queen. Women could inherit. Women could rule. They were open minded and evolved and they resisted dragons and the Targ invasion for centuries unbowed, unbent and unbroken.

      I fell in insane love with Oberyn, book and show. He was such a charismatic and intriguing character with maester chains and second sons experience and…well he was taken way too soon. And in the books I wasn’t AS riveted by Dorne as I was by him, but there was potential.

      I was interested in where G was going with Areo being a witness to the sandsnakes anger and Doran’s quiet intelligence, and I was SUPER excited to meet the sand snake who was hanging around the Citadel…

      In the show-someone said it above-it was very keystone cops-I agree. I think I read somewhere that they initially wanted to skip Dorne altogether but Oberyn was so popular? I wish they’d gone with their gut. The only purpose the entirety of Dorne had for me was that Myrcella was murdered.
      A raven with a harshly worded note and/or a boat with a body on it could have accomplished all of season 5 Dorne without the bad pu**y, slappy hands in prison and over the top vengeance demon Ellaria (please note I usually love this actress)

      And–just imo–Dorne in premiere was either cleaning house to fix a mistake, or they planned it all along which is why poor Dr. Bashir got zero good lines in 5. Either way, I don’t know how it relates to the books but I hope this is the last season we see them on screen.

      I’d rather look at the world book again and remember a time when Dorne had Nymeria and the Sword of the Morning.

      I will add that “Weak men will never rule Dorne again” is the best line ever uttered in Dorne. So…that’s a positive 🙂

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    200. Tycho Nestoris,

      I just made the point it will not be relevant at all 😉

      I’ll try to word it differently: this is a popular takeover. Claims, legitimacy and inheritance cease to be so relevant when they have just extinguished the ruling House. These matters become a second thought at best. This is more like a dictatorship. Ellaria is the master mind of this whole thing. Obara is a follower, no matter her “better” claim (which isn’t even good). As Ellaria put it, “the Sand Snakes have the love of the people”. They are the face of the rebellion, and Ellaria is the one actually in charge. And the Dornishmen will follow because, as we’ve been told, not only they don’t disparage bastardy, but also they agree with them on going to war and took Doran out, who was impeding this.

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    201. Dorne was a plotline, not a storyline. In the books, it was the plotline for a very poorly developed faux protagonist who looks like she might be nothing more than a foil for a foil.

      My bet is that all she is going to be is a supporter of Aegon, who in turn is just there to create the dilemma of “loyalty to primogeniture or loyalty to myself?” for Daeny

      As for Doran being underdeveloped, sure: but he’s a background character in the books, and devoting time to developing a background character who does not drive the story distracts the audience from the development of the main characters that is driving the story.

      My bet is that the Dornish plotline has just been streamlined considerably. Ellaria and the SS will throw Dorne’s lot behind Daeny. After all, Daeny is the aunt to the SS’s deceased cousins: and Daeny (unlike Doran) is most definitely not weak. I suspect that it will come to this in the book, too: but only after a lot of stuff happening that I greatly fear will be action-backed filler.

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    202. Luka Nieto,

      And the Dornishmen will follow

      1) Are you including the other houses (still not introduced) in the “people” who love the SS or just the Dornish commoners? If you are (fine) but they (D&D) really smashed the entire Dornish population into a single mindset (revenge).

      2) Part of my overall problem with the Dorne story is that I didn’t feel the need of another one dimensional (revenge) villain. In a battle between KL and SS/Ellaria I hope the Mountain cuts them all down. My problem being I don’t want to root for the freaking Mountain which is the corner D&D have put us in.

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    203. Luka Nieto: It was basically a declaration of war. How would they just ignore it now? It’d make no sense.

      I will play contrarian (shocking, I know), and suggest that neither of these will quite happen. Dorne will not be a primary plotline this season: none of the primary characters are there. However, it will be a minor one: I am betting that Ellaria and Co. are going to think (or have already thought): “we need allies to take on the Lannister’s: let’s try to get the woman who’s Martell sister-in-law, niece and nephew were killed by the Lannisters.”

      But what that might mean is that we do not see much of the Dornish again until the end of the season: when (I am expecting) they, the Iron Born, Dothraki, Second Sons, Unsullied and Dumbledore’s Army coalesce and strike west.

      And do you know? That would suit me just fine! (Have I ever mentioned that Dorne sucks more than the Iron Islands? Probably not….. 😀 )

      Luka Nieto: Are you serious?

      With this, I agree completely. This gun was not just hung on the wall, it basically had a chasing set of lights culminating in an arrow pointing at it while a mariachi band playing in front of it with a singer intoning “look at me! look at MEEEE!!!!”. It was a veritable Shy Lady Dragon Knife!

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    204. Tycho Nestoris: My problem being I don’t want to root for the freaking Mountain which is the corner D&D have put us in.

      You misspelled “me”: there is no “u” or “s” in it!

      😉

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    205. Tycho Nestoris:If you are (fine) but they (D&D) really smashed the entire Dornish population into a single mindset (revenge).

      So did Martin. The people were almost revolting when Doran arrived to Sunspear in “The Captain of the Guards”. They were all shouting, and all had the same message of “To the spears!” and vengeance for Oberyn. Not a single shout of support for Doran’s apparent stance of peace. And in that very chapter the Sand Snakes make the same point Ellaria does in the show, with the same words: the people want war and revenge.

      As for the Dornish Houses… we haven’t met them and we probably won’t at all. Not that we really did in the books, or not much. There may be some mention of dissent or of support, but I doubt it will be a major plot. I think these Martell bastards can use the Martell army and raise an army with the inflamed populous, without the need of other men. This is the only kingdom aside from the Vale which hasn’t suffered in the war. They must have plenty of men.

      Wimsey: Dorne will not be a primary plotline this season: none of the primary characters are there. However, it will be a minor one

      I agree on that, so you don’t need to play contrarian. But Obara and Nym are in King’s Landing, just as Tyene and Nym are in the way to King’s Landing in the books, and GRRM promised lots of Sand Snake action. So I imagine they’ll have a few scenes with the Lannisters, Tyrells and the small council. And then by the end of the season we may get one scene or two of Ellaria and Tyene rallying the troops and marching to the capital. A minor plotline, sure, but I think it’s silly to say they wrapped up the plotline in the premiere; they started the plotline in the premiere.

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    206. I noticed the knife in Hotah’s back is buried about 1 inch. That’s about it when she pulls it to throw at the messenger. Booooooo.

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    207. Dorne is where the books went off the rails. Arianne is meh. Doran is the stupidest lord paramount, fire and blood my ass.

      As a result, I was HIGHLY SKEPTICAL of Dorne being included in the show – why include if it’s going to suck even more (somehow??). And nothing they did in Season 5 convinced me that they improved on the books. So yeah I hated Dorne along with the rest of you last season… but now, I am all in. I loved seeing stupid Doran stabbed to death for his failure to act. I loved seeing Hotah – the most useless character in literature – dying due to being stabbed in the freakin’ spine. Yes.

      And I really think that some of the “book wankery” as Sue puts it is failing to allow the show version of Dorne to stand alone. Let these characters be who they are – not who you want them to be standing in for.

      Like the idea that Ellaria should be wanting to do what Oberyn would have wanted as Sue implies – this is something that people project on to her because of what the book character is like. It’s quite clear, now, that Ellaria doens’t give a damn what Oberyn would have wanted. He was slightly better than these other two weakling Martells, but really even he wasn’t able to make War on the Lannisters . Ellaria & the snakes, it’s clear now, believe that the Martells are a decayed and useless dynasty, only empowered in the first place by an outsider (Nymeria) and not worthy of being the rulers of Dorne.

      Now do I think they are good people? HELL NO. But not every female character can – or even should – be good. In fact to have every female character act only for altruistic hippy dippy reasons is even a little bit sexist. Female characters, like Ellaria, that are in it to get power for themselves, regardless of how many people they have to STAB TO DEATH have a place in the world. I certainly hope Dany doesn’t ally with them, though. Hopefully they will be dragonfood. 🙂

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    208. Tycho Nestoris: Sunspear does not equal all of Dorne.

      Oh come on. It was a Greek chorus, telling us about the popular disagreement with Doran. The whole chapter was making the point that Dorne wanted war. You cannot read that chapter and believe otherwise. Obviously not literally all individuals in Dorne, but the people in general, sure. That’s why in the books Doran went to Sunspear in the first place, to appease the people.

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    209. Wimsey,

      I agree that we won’t see much of the Dornish this season.

      I expect only 2 scenes.

      One scene, where Ellaria will reveal that they will support Dany. It will be a big moment for her. I expect that soldiers will be there. She will have big speech, similar to Fire and Blood.

      And one scene with Varys (and Olenna?) at the end of the season.

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    210. mau,

      Those are scenes set in Dorne, and I agree. But you don’t think we’ll get any other Dornish scenes? Obara and Nym in King’s Landing, perhaps?

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    211. Tycho Nestoris,

      Alone? No. But in a majority? Probably not. I suspect that the vast majority of the audience does not see “villains” and “heroes” in Game of Thrones: instead, they see people acting like people. Our histories are littered with wars initiated by the desire for revenge: desiring revenge is a very natural human emotion, unpleasant though that might be. This is not Tolkien: there are no “good” or “evil” peoples or powers in this. It is not even like Ellaria and Co. are whipping up the Dornish people into a false state of vindictiveness just so that they can profit from oil drilling rights in Casterly Rock. Instead, the storytellers are showing people doing what people really in order to provide realistic evolution of the main characters. And having the Dornish whipped into a desire for revenge could easily present dilemmas for Daeny: she will want their military support, but might wish she did not have to pay their price for it as it could do further damage to a Kingdom that she wants to take while doing as little harm as possible.

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    212. Luka Nieto,

      I agree that the mob wanted war. I can even concede that for purposes of the show, “Dorne” wants war. My main problems are 1) adding another villain and 2) a Paramour (even one as savvy as Ellaria) taking power from the Dornish houses through kinslaying. They (the other houses) would want something in return for fealty EVEN if they did want war. They aren’t joining for free. Maybe the SS don’t need the other houses like you said but the Martell forces minus their bannerman is not that formidable IMO.

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    213. Luka Nieto,

      The show really didn’t make their arrival in KL such a big deal, and they would have if SS will play some role there. The majority of people didn’t notice that they are in KL at all.

      I think that Obara and Nym will return to Dorne. They will be no more than extras until the end of the show.

      I know what GrrM said about them, but I don’t think that D6D care that much about that.

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    214. QueenofThrones: Now do I think they are good people? HELL NO. But not every female character can – or even should – be good.

      By the same token, can we say that they are “bad”? This is not a world in which playing holier-than-thou wins you anything. It would not be just the Dornish that would deem Doran weak: it would also be the rest of Westeros. And for every Ned Stark who would not take advantage of that, there are dozens of others who would.

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    215. mau,

      I just think that the Dornish will have some political presence in King’s Landing, however small, simply so that there is a coherent throug line along the whole season. Will the show just suddenly return to Dorne in the latter half of the season after no Dornish character has appeared since episode one? I doubt it. Previously I thought it would be Trystane with a few Sand Snakes. Obviously, now I believe it will just be Obara and Nym.

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    216. Tycho Nestoris,

      I think your book knowledge is really influencing your opinion. The show has no time to waste on Dornish politics or what Martell’s bannerman think.

      It was established that they don’t like Doran, that they want war and strong leadership and that is enough for the show.

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    217. mau,

      If we see a Dornish army, I will be surprised if we see a single non-Martell banner. Because I don’t think they’ll be involved at all. I’ll be shocked if they are even mentioned!

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    218. Luka Nieto,

      But they can’t have political presence in KL after what they have done.

      I think there will be a coherent line along the whole season. I think Dorne will appear again in E4 or 5 and than in E10.

      3 episodes for them. Theon had 3 episodes in S4.

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    219. Wimsey,

      I suspect that the vast majority of the audience does not see “villains” and “heroes”

      C’mon. If we are talking ASoIaF then I agree. GoT though has plenty of heroes and villains.

      Jon/hero. Dany/hero. Brienne/hero.
      Ramsay/villain. Gregor/villain. Locke Vargo Hoat/villain.

      I am not saying it’s Tolken but the show def drums up heroes vs villains (see Oberyn vs. The Mountain).

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    220. mau: But they can’t have political presence in KL after what they have done.

      It’s not like anyone can prove it. There is no CSI Westeros.

      Anyway. We’ll see how this pans out. It’s strange we’re discussing such a minor storyline with so much fervor. Why aren’t there articles like this about… you know, the rest of the storylines? The major ones that will actually ocuppy most of the show?

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    221. mau,

      The show has no time to waste on Dornish politics or what Martell’s bannerman think.

      Then why does Roose need Sansa? He can just force his will on the North. Or better, why would Sansa change the north’s opinion of Roose? Shouldn’t the north be rebelling against the Boltons?

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    222. Luka Nieto: Why aren’t there articles like this about… you know, the rest of the storylines? The major ones?

      You mean, ones featuring an actual protagonist???

      I do hope that they do not dither past this week where Jon is concerned. Say the magic words and be done with it, Mel! Oh, and keep your choke on, please….

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    223. Tycho Nestoris:
      mau,

      The show has no time to waste on Dornish politics or what Martell’s bannerman think.

      Then why does Roose need Sansa? He can just force his will on the North. Or better, why would Sansa change the north’s opinion of Roose? Shouldn’t the north be rebelling against the Boltons?

      The North is not Dorne. They are different cultures with different histories. It is like comparing France and India.

      And of course, when we speak outside of the story, Dorne is not nearly as important as the North.

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    224. Tycho Nestoris: Then why does Roose need Sansa?

      It is not about Roose: it is about Sansa. She is one of the protagonists, after all. And because Roose needs her, and because it’s awful storytelling to not setup plot elements that affect the main characters, we need to see that.

      None of the Dornish characters are main characters. Instead, they are all supporting characters. They exist to create dilemmas for the main characters. Last year they created issues for Jaime. They have created an issue for Jaime and Cersei this year. They probably will create issues for Daeny (and possibly Tyrion: he did like his niece) later. That is what supporting characters do. And it is equally awful storytelling to spend too much time worrying about the foils of the foils (which is all the Dornish would be): it’s just needless detail that obfuscates the story.

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    225. There is no way they are going to make a connection between Dany and Dorne. Like people have said, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are very minor characters who are basically one dimensional baddies (which I have no problem with). It would be extremely awkward to have Ellaria form an alliance with Dany.

      I think what will happen is next episode we’ll see Nym and Obara on the ship heading home. I think Bronn will be there also. And that will basically be the end of all of those characters for the series.

      Of course that leaves the hanging plot thread of the impending Dornish invasion of King’s Landing since that seems to be exactly what Ellaria wants to do. Of course if the Lannisters and Ser Gregor get crushed this season, then maybe that will put an end to that.

      Dave and Dan are pretty defiant and it wouldn’t surprise me if they found a way to keep Dorne “in the fold” as a minor plot line for at least this season (maybe the Sand Snakes stay in Kings Landing to hunt down Cersei or Ser Gregor). I have actually enjoyed the Dornish characters and wouldn’t mind this at all.

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    226. mau,

      It doesn’t feel like Dorne is important to anyone (except the crazy book zealots like me who want more than paper thin characterization).

      Wimsey,

      Roose needs her (Sansa).

      We agree on the this. Roose needs Sansa to control the North (I think we agree on this as well). What I don’t get is why Ellaria doesn’t need a “Sansa” of her own to claim power. She can just take Dorne through kinslaying (usually frowned upon by GoT and its viewers) and populace. I think we can respectfully disagree that “Dorne’s” desire for vengeance constitutes the backing Ellaria needs.

      tl;dr Sorry, I am all worked up. I feel like the Dorne plot is intentionally troll-y to book readers. I like the show. Hardhome ep tops pretty much anything in either universe. The show has way more WW and NK treats. What I do miss is Martin’s subtlety in plot that D&D often substitute with simple killings.

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    227. Connor,

      I’ve seen this logic everywhere, and I feel it’s too simplified.

      Ellaria and Olly are kind of in the same boat on my shit list. They both killed (or participated in killing) someone who was supposed to be their prince and their lord commander, respectively, believing, truly believing, that what they were doing was right, even though there are many who would disagree. Should Olly and the other brothers have ignored his gut instinct that what Jon was doing was wrong? Their truths are their own. What is logical doesn’t matter; and whatever moral prism you wanna peep it through doesn’t matter.

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    228. The Bastard,

      Considering how far ahead they write these things, I am convinced that this whole arc was planned this way and it was just a crude means to dispose of Dorne’s storyline because it would take at least an extra season that they didn’t want to shoot to get a reasonable facsimile in. This is why Ellaria was written to be a worse version of Arianne in S5 instead of the gentle, wise woman that appeared in the books who knew that the cycle of violence had to be broken. “It is known.”

      Honestly, I think that if the case was that Oberyn wasn’t such an awesome character, they would have just cut Dorne out entirely.

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    229. Jared,

      I appreciate your perspective. I think there are plenty of ways the Dorne plot could have been better, but I don’t thing realignment with the book storyline would be a very effective remedy. I honestly think that if Ellaria and the Sand Snakes were just a bit more nuanced and interesting I would have extremely few problems with Dorne on the show.

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    230. Mihnea:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I disliked S5 Dorne a lot, a lot less then book Dorne.

      S6 Dorne started very good for me.

      In my view D&D replaced a book plot that didn’t work with a TV plot that didn’t work…The bottom line in regards to endgame in both books and show will, I think, likely be the same; Dorne will rebel against the Crown and will likely support Danny when she lands.

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    231. What can I say that hasn’t already been said before? Well nothing really, mainly because I have made my thoughts well known before in other threads. Overall I don’t mind Dorne even if I do understand certain criticisms here and there. (Again, I haven’t read the books but the in depth summaries and such for Dorne don’t leave with a good impression overall).

      I don’t think that a glib moment between siblings after Trystane was killed could be considered a joke or quip but then I did chuckle so what do I know?

      As far as the heroes and villains thing…I will concede that some characters are borderline extreme one way or the other but, in the case of Jon and Dany, they are not perfect. They mess up, there is fall out from their choices and they have to deal with them unlike stereotypical heroes who shit roses and have the sun shinning on them always.

      You can’t even put the Mountain and Locke in the villains category because in my eyes both of them are not even characters, just plot devices used by actual characters to further plot line.

      Doran seems weak to me either way, he’s just sitting in his chair and hoping for things to work out, its just that in one he claimed he had a plan and the other one he just wanted peace as far as we know. To me, if Sid was wasted in anyway, it was playing a character that did nothing.

      Oberyn would hate these people and what they did? He would be rolling in his grave? Well if he wanted his opinion to matter he shouldn’t have gotten himself killed. Don’t get me wrong, I like the character a lot but he was a damn fool much like his niece oddly enough. Both acted stupidly because their liege, their prince, just sat in his chair and didn’t let anyone in on his master plan.

      In a way, Ellaria is right that Doran is at fault for what happened to Oberyn. Had he done something before, Oberyn wouldn’t have fought the Mountain at all. Then again we wouldn’t have an awesome fight scene if we did.

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    232. Wimsey,
      I feel like you are very wrong in your assumption that all Dorne will be will be allies for Dany. I think they will be a minor antagonist for Cersei before that. They clearly want a war with her, they are hotheaded, and they don’t know that as per the narrative imperative, Dany’s coming. So, I see them as an S7 influencer, similar to Euron. (I’m assuming that Dany will make a pit stop in Volantis and then to fight Euron, and will touch down in King’s Landing only in S7 E6/7.)

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    233. I just want to touch down on one more aspect of the whole thing – the fact that some people apparently find it unbelievable that Dorne would consolidate behind Ellaria and the Snakes in bloodthirstiness and desire for revenge.

      These folks, do you remember the last Iraq war? The US, led by an idiot heavily influenced by his religion (‘Gog and Magog are at work in Iraq…’), went to war with the wrong country, over fake evidence, losing however times as many people as died in the original offence and tanking its economy, and it was bloody 21st century!

      And best of all, they did it with an almost unanimous support of politicians of all stripes, as well as the media and the general populace.

      So if you find the Dorne consolidation in rage over a very insignificant number of deaths to be strange…. just recall America circa 2003. Should help.

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    234. Jared,
      Luka Nieto,
      QueenofThrones,
      (and many others – the thread is very long, so sorry, reader, if I overlooked your, in particular, post!) I feel like we see the matter in very similar ways. Maybe we should write some sort of a Dorne rebuttal master post, or something. ?

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    235. Yaga,

      That is an apt example (no sarc). I did/do not support the war in Iraq. You can see then why I also oppose Dorne doing the same.

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    236. One thing where the show may still align with the books is a future Dornish alliance with the Targaryen bloodline.

      Yep, I think they were just getting the pieces where they needed them to be, as quickly (and clumsily) as they could to support an eventual Daenerys invasion.

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    237. Yaga:
      I just want to touch down on one more aspect of the whole thing – the fact that some people apparently find it unbelievable that Dorne would consolidate behind Ellaria and the Snakes

      The issue there is simple. Ellaria’s and the Sandsnakes last name is Sand. They are bastards, and yea, in Dorne they treat bastards better, but it has been established in both books AND show that bastards do not inherit in this medieval world. So, yea it’s a problem, unless D&D address it.

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    238. Jared,
      Dude! I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written in this thread. I happen to be in the apparent minority in that I liked Dorne in the books (waaaay better than the Iron Islands stooges–Boring). It was far more engaging and seemed to be tying in to the rest of the story by bringing this hitherto ignored part of the Seven Kingdoms into the story for their own reasons. Their revenge-driven motivations mirrored the other revenge-driven plotlines (LSH, anyone?) nicely, and it seemed to have some connection to the ToJ, which is central to the story from the beginning. Also, it is the home of the Daynes, who have remained the most mysterious of the houses, making me believe that they have some important role to play in the endgame (hence my screen name here).

      My point is this: If, as many of you are arguing here, Dorne is simply a side trip into oblivion and should have been completely cut, what then is the role of the Daynes, also a powerful Dornish house, and why the big mystery surrounding their words and sigil (which ties in to the comet), the mentions of the Sword of the Morning, Dawn (again, the comet tie-in), Ashara’s tragic story, Edric Dayne’s appearance with the BwB, etc.? Is it simply the longest-running red herring in the series??

      Btw, I agree with Sue (was it Sue?) that the books and show are completely diverging at this point, and that nothing that happens from here on out can point us toward any event that will happen in the books, so perhaps the Daynes are just not show canon. I guess the upcoming ToJ scene–the only appearance of an actual Dayne–will tell us.

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    239. Ashara D:
      Jared,
      My point is this: If, as many of you are arguing here, Dorne is simply a side trip into oblivion and should have been completely cut, what then is the role of the Daynes, also a powerful Dornish house, and why the big mystery surrounding their words and sigil (which ties in to the comet), the mentions of the Sword of the Morning, Dawn (again, the comet tie-in), Ashara’s tragic story, Edric Dayne’s appearance with the BwB, etc.? Is it simply the longest-running red herring in the series??

      Btw, I agree with Sue (was it Sue?) that the books and show are completely diverging at this point, and that nothing that happens from here on out can point us toward any event that will happen in the books, so perhaps the Daynes are just not show canon. I guess the upcoming ToJ scene–the only appearance of an actual Dayne–will tell us.

      1. I love all the Dayne stuff in the book, and if George had made that his focus in the Dorne storyline I would have liked it. Alas, he didn’t.

      2. I think the issue of show and book divergence has been greatly exaggerated, and that IF George sticks with the ending that he told D&D about in 2013, the book and show endings for Danny, Jon, Tyrion, and the Starks will be quite similar, and the outcome for the “War of the Dawn” will be the same. If that happens, most people will count GOT as a fairly faithful adaptation.

      3. Arthur Dayne IS show canon; his name wasn’t spoken but it was clearly visible on camera on a page from a book Jaime was reading…

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    240. What I don’t understand is how D&D are willing to overlook the logical consequence of the plot they laid out. First off, while being the daughter of a noble Dornish house, she’s still a bastard. Okay, this is Dorne, so it’s less frowned upon then in the rest of Westeros. But even so, outside of having given birth to four of Oberyn’s daughters (none of which legitimate ties to the ruling house, btw), she doesn’t have any remaining ties to the now extinct ruling house of Dorne, House Martell.

      Secondly. Are all noble houses in Dorne okay following a bastard paramour when there’s a very clear power vacuum in Dorne right now? According to Ellaria, Dorne is alligned against the Lannisters, but that doesn’t mean that House Yronwood (anti-Martell) will let Ellaria lead them, while they could seize power in Dorne for themselves before heading off to war. When there’s a powervacuum, an unified country will often times start to show cracks forced by personal ambition.

      Based on the actions shown in 6×01, civil war should soon erupt in Dorne, before they go fight against the Lannisters. But I think D&D are going to blissfully overlook this logical consequence. “The sandsnakes are loved, so Dorne will follow them”, just doesn’t cut it with me. The Starks were loved as well, and yet we have seen the Karstarks and the Boltons leave their side for personal grievances and gain, and

      along with Umbers actively partake in fighting against Stark-allies.

      .

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    241. Tycho Nestoris:
      Dee,

      If “them” is the small folk of Dorne I can see it. I don’t think the other Dornish houses can be included without some kind reasoning beyond they “despised” Doran. I think Dornish civil war in the power vacuum is more probably than Ellaria becoming ruler.

      Long thread is long, I hadn’t seen your post, but after my posting, I searched the word “civil” and we have very clear identical thoughts on the matter. 😀

      I think d&d arr going to glance over this point and just force an alliance with Dany and then the reasoning becomes: “I barterred the alliance we needed (because Dorne’s military might is truly a façade), so I rule due to Daenerys’ orders” type of sham..

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    242. Ser Oromis Locke,

      Bastards can rise high though and it wouldn’t be the first rebellion done in the name of an illegitimate candidate, I seem to recall there being five for the Black Dragon over the Red. (And I think house Yronwood fought for the Black Dragon as well, correct me if I’m wrong) Yes the Yronwoods are anti-Martell but technically, house Martell is extinct now so you never know, they might just side with the Sand Snakes and Ellaria.

      Good point on the North but it was more than just personal grievances. Lord Karstark thought that Robb was weak, he practically gave him grief for ‘Losing the North’ even when he killed two innocent boys and even told him that he lost the war when he married Talisa. The Bolton’s were considered the second greatest Northern house weren’t they? Roose definitely furthered his family’s position but he also ended a conflict that would have taken more northern lives in the process.

      I’m not saying that you’re wrong, they are definitely anti-Stark but it wasn’t just because of personal matters, Robb, bless him, fucked up and pissed them off. He just expected them to listen to him without question…kinda like how Doran was but as we know, your name means nothing in this series, your actions do.

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    243. George:
      3. Arthur Dayne IS show canon; his name wasn’t spoken but it was clearly visible on camera on a page from a book Jaime was reading…

      Actually, his name IS spoken. Joffrey mentions it in Season 4 (along with Ser Duncan the Tall), while looking through said book.

      By the way, I just want to say that, knowing how this fandom can sometimes be, I’m amazed at how civil this whole discussion has been.

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    244. Show Dorne is terrible, and it’s a shame because book Dorne had potential (even if it wasn’t too great in the books either). I understand that they’re cutting Aegon, and Dorne and Aegon go hand in hand but jeeeeeeesus is that not a good excuse for the crap they pulled with this storyline.

      Instead of trying to salvage Arianne and place her and Doran at the center of the storyline (because they were the heart of Dorne in the books), HBO shanked Arianne and her plot in favor of making Jaime save the princess from evil Arianne. And every smaller detail in that storyline simply makes no sense. Ellaria threatening King’s Landing? What? Sand Snakes going to kill Myrcella exactly when Jaime arrives? Believable. Ellaria and Tyene simply waiting for the message to arrive to kill Doran and Areo? Silll as hell. The Sand Snakes appearing in Trystane’s boat with zero explanation, just because plot development and I honestly fucking doubt they’ll even remain in King’s Landing to do anything of worth this season. My guess is the silliness continues and they just return to Dorne with the same jet-pack they arrived on.

      There’s only so much we can stretch our disbelief, and Dorne took that to a whole new level. So it was incredibly mediocre even before you look at the two-dimensional characterizations. Arianne cut. Doran was changed from a cunning mastermind in desguise of a weak war weary man into just a weak war weary man. Ellaria was changed from a peace-calling woman who tries to stop the cycle of vengeance and only brings more and more death to the personication of mindless vengeance, going as far as not only disobeying, which even that she wouldn’t do in the books but killing her Prince and Oberyn’s brother and nephew, she really is a murderous, mindless nut in the show with not a hint of nuance to her… and the Sand Snakes. Well first of all they’re all one character, which makes you wonder why we needed three of them in the first place, and secondly… even their book versions had enough of a moral, familial compass to not fight over who gets to murder their cousin. I mean, whatever happened to “we don’t hurt little children in Dorne”? Oberyn, the Dorne you promised is a far, far cry from what we got and it would have been better off just cut from the show. I sincerely hope that the premiere’s events are indication that the show is pushing that storylind out and we don’t have to suffer another minute of D&D’s annoying version of the Sand Snake and their abomination of a mother.

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    245. George,
      Ser Oromis Locke,
      The argument about how ‘they are bastards’ is another one I really don’t understand. It’s based on such a rigid and shallow understanding of the game!

      Ellaria offers a widely popular policy. What would a hypothetical Lord tell his people? ‘No, we won’t go to war, we’ll stay home as Doran wanted us to?’ It’s much better to pretend to support the popular leader, and try the countercoup when the war, inevitably, tanks the economy, and the casualties mount to make it unpopular.

      And, on the other hand, who knows? Maybe Ellaria will be successful? Then you get the possibility of marrying into the new House Martell – something impossible with Doran/Trystane.

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    246. He was weak, just like Ellaria said, and deserved a bloody end.

      Wow, OK. Am I the only one who thinks this is just a tad too much social darwinism? We aren’t supposed to root for the psycho killers, you know.

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    247. Lollius Palicanus,

      No we’re not but from the point of view of Ellaria, and however many people who support her, Doran’s presence was detrimental to the vengeance that they wanted. Getting rid of him made sense to them.

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    248. I did a mistake I hate. I let the books influence my view on Doran.

      So I went back and watched all the scenes again.
      This time it’s clear as day that Doran has no plan. He wants peace and to save his people suffering and pain, he says as much to Jaime.

      I also didn’t took Ellaria at her words when she said ALL of the country wants war. I thought she exagerated a bit. But looking back all these were signs.

      Also Ellarias scene with Jaime makes more sense to me now.
      Also puts Myrcellas death into a new perspective. I thought they where a bit hasty by killing her there, but that was the point.

      Perhaps I was influenced by the talk around here, everyone was so certain Ellaria will die.
      But nevertheless the fault is mine alone. I did what I accused others of doing! I will be much more careful from now on.

      All in all I am beyond grateful that we where sparred Arianne and Quentyn. It took me about 2 weeks to go trough Arianne’s second chapter. I would read 2 lines and throw the book away.
      That never happened in the show. Like I said S5 Dorne was ”meh” for me. S6 Dorne started very well for me.

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    249. Thomas Sandstone,

      It raises the same question I first asked.

      Is she a traitor if she kills a traitor? Because in their eyes Doran is the traitor, it’s him who shames Ellia and Oberyn’s memories. And in the eyes of a very large part of the country I might add.

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    250. Mihnea,

      Exactly. If the guards loved Doran, then they would have come to his defense the second Areo got stabbed. To be honest, I think sending Jaime and Myrcella away and alive might have been the final straw for them. I mean, you had one hostage there, and another one willingly comes into your country illegally and you let them go?

      Not saying that they’re right but in their minds they are justified.

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    251. Black Raven: It still don’t explain how the Sand Snakes got there

      Like everybody does in this freaking show: in a ship. Do they really have to show them arrive in a ship, turn to the camera and say “gee, it really is good that we have more than a single ship in the whole of Dorne and that we knew Trystane’s destination so we didn’t have to follow his ship”. The show assumed we were more intelligent than that. It may have assumed too much, apparently.

      Tycho Nestoris:
      Yaga,

      That is an apt example (no sarc). I did/do not support the war in Iraq. You can see then why I also oppose Dorne doing the same.

      Of course you can oppose Dorne going to war! It is a stupid decision… as most decisions in this world, especially when fuelled by vengeance. But there is a difference between disagreeing with what characters are doing inside the story and opposing the storyline itself because you don’t think it’s believable, which seems to be the point you were initially making.

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    252. George: The issue there is simple. Ellaria’s and the Sandsnakes last name is Sand. They are bastards, and yea, in Dorne they treat bastards better, but it has been established in both books AND show that bastards do not inherit in this medieval world. So, yea it’s a problem, unless D&D address it.

      Ser Oromis Locke: What I don’t understand is how D&D are willing to overlook the logical consequence of the plot they laid out. First off, while being the daughter of a noble Dornish house, she’s still a bastard. Okay, this is Dorne, so it’s less frowned upon then in the rest of Westeros. But even so, outside of having given birth to four of Oberyn’s daughters (none of which legitimate ties to the ruling house, btw), she doesn’t have any remaining ties to the now extinct ruling house of Dorne, House Martell.

      It’s an angry populist rebellion with one purpose: war. They are not planning or thinking ahead. They just extinguished the whole of House Martell; they aren’t thinking of claims, inheritance and legitimacy. We agree if you think such a rash move is stupid for the characters (it certainly is), but if you also believe it’s unrealistic in the story and stupid for D&D to write it like this, I’d recommend that you read some History because things like this have happened a thousand times over. As for the other Houses, I’m willing to bet that we won’t see a single banner from any other house when we see the Dornish army. It will be Ellaria’s populist army made up of the Martell army and whoever wants to go to war.

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    253. George,
      Ser Oromis Locke,

      And if you believe a country hasn’t backed a bastard or other kind of lower class people before… Come on. This has happened a myriad of times in real life, and there are a few examples in the world of ASOIAF too.

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    254. I’m glad that the ‘what would you do’ was included as most time it isn’t appreciated so I thought I would add my 2cents 🙂

      I don’t want to get into book material – honestly I read it years ago and the details are vague – I only want to work with what the show gave us (at least as much as possible)

      As so much of the season 6 opener discussion was centered on Dorne, I could help (over) thinking about too. I think the main issues for me are execution and timing. As many of us realize time in a GOT episode are not always linear for each character, but it can still be confusing. Jon, Sansa, Arya and Daney storyline are clearly right where we left off. Jon and Sansa almost immediately, and Arya, Daney, and Tryion perhaps within 1-2 days. But KL and Dorne, more time had to have passed. Tyene’s hair is noticeable longer and even by ship, it would take some time to arrive back in KL. (it took Jamie at least 2 episodes (I think) to leave and arrive, not sure how long that was supposed to be)… but there is also the amount of time it would have taken for a messenger to travel back from KL to Dorne with Marcella death notice. The show makes it all seem simultaneous, when if you take a moment to wrap you head around it – it couldn’t be. It might have been better to kill Trystane this episode, and save Doran’s death for episode 2 – allowing for a little time – but this would have killed the surprise factor, so I see why they didn’t.

      Then there was this problem, if this was the plan from the beginning – when they were on the pier – why wait? Why let Jamie leave alive? He is a far more valuable ‘kill’ than Marcella – as he is actually a threat to them. It would have been better to ambush them on that pier, blitz attack them when their guard was down, or poison all of them at a meal. Why wait for a letter to arrive announcing Marcella’s death? They obviously had amble time to kill Doran and Hotah in dozens of sneaky ways – it just seemed pointless to make them wait to make their final move – they already made their choice back in season 5… so why? Obviously Jamie can’t die yet. He is in Dorne, so the show demands he survive to the next season… so

      How to fix Dorne
      Season 5 – DO NOT SEND JAMIE TO DORNE

      I think trying to force Jamie into that plot was the problem. It seems as if they felt that they needed a ‘main character’ in order to tell the story, but they really didn’t need to and their attempts to insert Jamie were clumsy and made the entire story line muddled. There were so many WTF moments. Alexander Siddig and Indira Varma are both talented recognizable veteran actors that audiences are (or should be!) familiar with – both can carry a scene and carry a story line – in fact some of the best Dorne moments/dialog were between these two. The audience would be familiar with Indira from the previous season and seeing the aftermath in Dorne with the fate of Marcella I think would have been enough. This and giving the SS and Marcella and Trystane a little personality and something more to do and say would have been enough to save it.

      Keep the main story points – Ellaria and the SS mad and out for revenge. Doran wanting to keep the peace. Perhaps show Trystane a little more afraid for Marcella safety. Play up Marcella’s sweetness a little more (it was effective for Shireen right?) Keep it simple, no silly fights, the actors were clearly not hired for the fighting skills, just show them practicing would be enough – plus the location also complicated such shoots. They each argue their side, trying to convince the other to their point of view – perhaps play up the guards attitudes (disgust, disappointment, etc.)

      Last episode, Ellaria does her coup, but instead of killing Doran and Trystane – do what Doran did in the books (i know, i know – couldn’t help it 🙂 lock them in a tower! Simple, no unnecessary killing of your relatives and being smug about it. Keep Doran as a figure head only – to control those parts of the population that wouldn’t automatically jump on board the SS train. Ellaria could still use him, in name at least to rally all of Dorne, those who agree and those that might need convincing. I hate when writers try and homogenize an entire people or population into a single thought/emotion. People are people everywhere you go, they are diverse and complicated and have different opinions. Not everyone will be with Ellaria, at least not in the real world – loyalty runs deep, even when you disagree (Selmy or most of the Areys Kingguard, Ned, Davos, you get the idea) you might not like Doran or his passivity but murder… no I can’t see everyone being cool with that. Not that I see it playing out that way in the show, no time or interested really in developing a ‘who will rule Dorne’ plot – waste of airtime. I’m actually surprised at how many people are concerned with lineage, lol

      Once they are in the tower, the show need not visit them again. Like Gendry on the rowboat… they just stay locked in the tower never to be seen again (unless the plot demands it later, perhaps if they do side with Daney and she wants to meet with him? Perhaps he will have a change of heart by then 🙂

      They could have even keep Bronn in the storyline, have him arrive with a few good men (just w/o Jamie), get caught breaking in, have a fight with Hotah, everyone but Bronn dies, he gets locked up, even poisoned (for those who liked that scene, I didn’t mind it – a little exposition for some of Tyene’s poisons, right).

      Sadly, Marcella would still need to die, I mean that was the point of adding Dorne right and least one of them. Marcella is poisoned and dies in Trystane arms (very romeo and juliet) and they send Bronn back to KL with her body. Ellaria sends Obera and Nymeria to KL (separate ship). Where the story will be back to where season 6 is.

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    255. Forgot predictions!
      I don’t see Dorne going away, Cersei might have her plate full, but she will not forget or forgive this and with Obera and Nymeria in KL, I don’t think they will just return home. More likely we will see them disguised as maids or something, working their way into the palace – perhaps try and Kill Tommen and/or others?

      I also saw a lot think they will join Daney, as it is indicated in the books – but I don’t think any part of the Dorne book story line is going to be saved, no time, and Daney is too far away and in no position to connect with Ellaria, I just don’t see that as Ellaria’s plan, she is impatient and isn’t going to want to wait around for Daney to show up… I think it is far more likely if they do join forces with anyone it will be with Euron and the Ironborn.

      Euron will see the weakened state of the monarchy and see this as his opportunity to make a move for the throne (as is hinted in the books). It seems as if Yara will go find Daney, and I doubt Euron will stay put for long – he will head south and start attacking the Oldtown (where Sam will be) and close enough to Dorne to allow for those story lines to converge. Also, I kind of like the idea of Ellaria and Euron teaming up – they seem a similar type who would get a long (well if the Euron from the books is in any way similar in the show). Perhaps they might even know (of) each other, Oberyn was the adventurer and traveler – could see him meeting up with Euron sometime in the past 20-30 years and drinking a couple of beers as they swap stories.

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    256. Dragonmcmx,

      I might be able to see where he was coming from if he hadn’t been an ass and hated Jon the whole time he was at the Wall, and it happen before he went to Hardhome. But anyway you look at it he is a man without honor for plotting and carrying out the murder of his Lord commander. Wildlings were already let through, making it a hate/revenge kill. Thorne could have at least tried getting behind his LC and actually sit down and talk with the wildlings about the need to make peace, get a feel for them basically. After all they are just people, not monsters. Well, all but the creepy Thenns…

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    257. ygritte:
      Dragonmcmx,

      I might be able to see where he was coming from if he hadn’t been an ass and hated Jon the whole time he was at the Wall, and it happen before he went to Hardhome. But anyway you look at it he is a man without honor for plotting and carrying out the murder of his Lord commander. Wildlings were already let through, making it a hate/revenge kill. Thorne could have at least tried getting behind his LC and actually sit down and talk with the wildlings about the need to make peace, get a feel for them basically. After all they are just people, not monsters. Well, all but the creepy Thenns…

      They could have also played up the clash of attitudes and friction between the Wildlings – they make it seems as if once they pass through the gate, they are well behaved and grateful… they are Wildings, they are the gypsys of Westeros – they take things, and act in ways that would irritate ‘normal’ people, exasperated even more when you are force to live together – especially given all the past grievances between the two groups. They were over crowded, food running short, resentment and irritation should have been palpable

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    258. Did Myrcella ever wear a golden crown in the show? Or has that part of Maggie The Frog’s prophecy been disproven? I always assumed that meant she would rule or at least claim to rule before dying. But perhaps they meant just some sort of “being born a princess” crown.

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    259. More than anything I just find it frustrating that they have wasted Hotah and Doran, not to mention the acting talents of Oparei and Siddig. I also find it sad and weird that they seemingly just wiped out a House (short of introducing more Martell’s) without much fanfare.

      Whilst messy, I was a fan of the Dornish plot in the books, so have always been somewhat saddened that we never got Arianne, Quentyn etc. However I’ll just be happy if the show takes this dramatic turn of events and uses it to create something interesting with the characters and region.

      I’m skeptical it would happen, but I would love it if they introduced Alleras. Could connect with Sam’s story too.

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    260. Ashara D: Btw, I agree with Sue (was it Sue?) that the books and show are completely diverging at this point, and that nothing that happens from here on out can point us toward any event that will happen in the books, so perhaps the Daynes are just not show canon. I guess the upcoming ToJ scene–the only appearance of an actual Dayne–will tell us.

      Do you really believe that? The show’s answers to the following central questions will certainly be the same in show and books, IMO.

      Who are Jon Snow’s parents?

      Will Daenerys sit the Iron Throne?

      Will Daenerys “go mad” like her father?

      Who will ride the dragons?

      Who will be on what side on the final conflict? Who will die in the final conflict?

      Who will kill Cersei?

      Sure, some things like exactly how these things happen might vary, but the what will be the same (unless GRRM changes his mind…).

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    261. Dee,

      When AFFC was released the most discussed subject was this.

      ”Witch sucked more, Dorne or the Ironborn” That should tell you more then enough.

      I myself was firmly in the ”Dorne sucked more” camp. The Ironborn where at least a bit more interesting.. Especially Euron.

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    262. Ok so my two cents on how things could have gone differently if I was in charge, not that anyone asked. Again keep in mind that I haven’t read the books, just the summaries and that I like Dorne in the show. Might get a little fanfictiony but whatever. Get ready for a long post.

      I would have kept things kinda the same just expanded. I would have shown the Snakes trying to rally the people and then get arrested for disturbing the peace or nearly inciting a riot or any BS reason really. Since Doran views them as family, he wouldn’t throw them in the cells for the common prisoner but he would have them watched all the same.

      Ellaria would confront Doran, and their conversation would more or less play out the same way they first have a scene together but she wouldn’t threaten Myrcella. Though she would remind him that his actions today wouldn’t go over well with the people. End of Dorne’s time in episode one.

      In episode 2, we would see a glimpse of Arianne, who was arrested previously because her little plot was discovered before she could enact it. She’s talking with Tyene about how things would have been great had her plan worked and Tyene reminds her that it was a folly.

      “Dornish Law only applies to our people.” Or something to that effect. They can even talk about the Dance of the Dragons even if that situation is not the same as this one. (For starters, the previous king wanted his daughter rule after him, no one was clamoring for Myrcella to be queen prior to this. Correct me if I wrong).

      We cut to a scene where Trystane is training with Ser Arys and Quentyn is watching intently. When the session is over, Quentyn compliments Trystane on his improvement but he makes a disparaging remark about Myrcella, calling her a Lannister whore.

      Both men jump to her defense, Ser Arys saying she is the kings sister and a lady above all. Trystane would express his love for her and say that she would be family.

      “She could be the sister of a god, it wouldn’t change who she is and I wouldn’t care less than I do now.”

      Ser Arys gets in his face, ready to spout his indignation, but Quentyn pulls a dagger from his sleeve and holds it too his groin.

      “Where was this indignation when Sansa Stark was beaten by one of your sworn brothers?” Quentyn asks calmly. “What spell does the Lannister whore have over you I wonder?”

      A guard calls to him, saying his father wants to speak with him. He reminds Arys that any threatening action toward a prince, even a Dornish one, is a punishable offense. Ser Arys reminds him that he only serves one royal family and he will do anything to protect them.

      “Its your head, not mine.” Quentyn shrugs and takes his leave. Trystane watches him go with a sad expression. He apologizes to Ser Arys, telling him that Quentyn used to be kinder before but his fostering and travels have made him a different man.

      The next episode would feature the talk with Doran in his solar, with Areo standing guard, and Maester Caleotte there. Doran is chastising Quentyn for his behavior, saying that while it is okay to mourn for his uncle, he should be respectful to others.

      “Even if I did mourn him, how I do so is my business,” Quentyn snaps back.

      “You do not mourn for you uncle?”

      “Why would I mourn for the person whose stupidity saw me be fostered with our rivals? Whose stupidity lead to my mother going back home to Norvos?” (I will point out the he loves his uncle, but that doesn’t mean he won’t feel a bit of resentment either).

      Doran stares at him silently and Hotah frowns at him along with the Maester. Doran asks if he was ever mistreated but Quentyn tells him that it wouldn’t matter if he was.

      “You would still sit in your chair, wasting away and shaming our people. Shaming our family even, with your inaction.”

      Doran ignores the remark and tells him the reason for the meeting. Both he and Arianne will be removed from the line of inheritance and Dorne will be Trystane’s to rule due to their antics. They would only be reinstated if they changed their ways. Quentyn laughs, saying that Dorne was never going to be his anyway so why should he care?

      We cut to a scene where the Sand Snakes are training in hand to hand combat, with Ellaria and Arianne are quietly talking off to the side when the door opens. Quentyn smiles at his cousins and welcomes more people in, a group of men and women. He tells his cousins that they deserve a treat despite what his father says and orders the group to attend the Snakes.

      “They don’t have anything to help you escape, the guards checked.” (Again he might resent their father but that doesn’t mean he resents them).

      He asks for Ellaria and Arianne to join him outside where they all take a walk with guards surrounding them. He explains the inheritance shake up, with Arianne exclaiming that her father had no right to take away what was hers. Quentyn corrects her, saying that as long as their father rules, his word is law whether they like it or not.

      He even makes a comment that his father probably never wanted him to inherit because of the potential influence the Yronwoods may have had on him. The guards with them exchange glances.

      The next time we see Dorne again will be when Jaime and Bronn along with a few Lannister soldiers at night sneaking into the Water Gardens, maybe episode five. As they sneak around, there is seemingly a lack of guards which makes one of the soldiers comment about Dornish incompetence.

      “No wonder they fucking lost the last war.”

      Jamie and Bronn share a concerned glance, something seems wrong. Their worries are confirmed when the see Areo standing by himself in the courtyard, illuminated by many lanterns, his axe (glaive) behind him. He tells them if they surrender, they will not be killed.

      Jaime gets held back by Bronn when the soldiers that came with them charge forward to kill Areo, thinking it would be easy. Areo grabs his axe and murders the one in front of him in one stroke while the other two get shot with arrows.

      “That’s why I told you not to move.” Bronn points to the side where two figures walks into the light, holding bows with the drawstrings pulled back. “The terms for surrender still apply?”

      Areo only nods as an answer and both Jaime and Bronn surrender. Jaime asks how they knew they knew they were coming. Areo says that a merchant informed on them and the patrol that was sent out hadn’t returned. Bronn gives Jaime a smug look.

      Dorne would be back in the next episode with Quentyn sparing with a wooden stick against his cousins. It would end when Areo enters the room just as Nymeria whacks Quentyn hard across the face. Areo asks if he is in pain.

      “A flea bite,” Quentyn says dismissively, earning a scoff from Nymeria. Areo removes him from the room and they head to where everyone is gathered. Quentyn notices that Areo wants to say something so he tells him to speak. Areo tells him that he’s being unfair to his father but Quentyn interrupts him.

      “Why is it that you always defend my father but you never defend the rest of the family so adamantly?”

      Areo protests that he serves the family always but Quentyn disagrees. He says that if he did, then why did he not go back to Norvos with his mother? Why did he not try and make his father see reason and fight after his aunt and her children were killed?

      “Because I serve at my Princes leisure and I happen to agree with him. War is not the answer.”

      “Neither is cowardice.”

      When they get to their destination, Jaime is sitting in a chair and speaking to Doran. Trystane is sitting with Myrcella, Ser Arys standing behind her. Arianne and Ellaria are sitting together. Quentyn goes to sit with them as his father explains the situation.

      “I was just telling Ser Jaime that his being here was fortuitous otherwise all his men would be dead for trespassing.”

      “And the Kingslayer was spouting nonsense about Myrcella being threatened.” Arianne rolled her eyes and scoffed.

      Quentyn gets an elaboration from Jaime about the message and why he came to them in secret, saying that he was afraid of who might be involved in the plot. He then explains that Myrcella is to come back with him. We know how the rest of the scene plays out except there are only looks of disgust from Arianne and Quentyn who don’t even drink the wine when the toast is raised.

      The last bit of Dorne in season five is the day they see Jaime, Myrcella, Trystane, and Bronn off. The Sand Snakes wouldn’t be there but everyone else would be. Quentyn would give them all curt nods as they depart, Arianne and Ellaria would kiss the two love birds goodbye.

      “How long will the poison take to work?” Quentyn asks Ellaria when they are in the room with the Sand Snakes.

      “Long enough for them to not save her in time.” Ellaria replies quietly, taking the antidote. “Are you sure that the ship is safe?”

      “The crew are loyal to me and they understand what needs to happen. The Kingslayer will see another one of his children die and Trystane will be brought back here. I just hope my contact in the Step Stones is ready to do his part after wards.”

      Ellaria would nod and say that all this was necessary. The Lannisters had gotten away with too much and they needed to pay.

      “For Elia.” Obara says, raising her cup of wine.

      “For Rhaenys.” Nym copied her.

      “For Aegon.” Tyene said.

      “For Oberyn.” Ellaria adds with a hard expression.

      “For Dorne.” Quentyn is the last to speak and he takes a drink.

      The opening for S6 would be the same except Doran doesn’t die but he would be imprisoned. Areo and Caleotte would die differently.

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    263. Nice discussion

      Is there going to be Curtain Calls?

      In hindsight, I can understand them needing to introduce Dorne via Ellaria

      They could have gone with just 2 Sand Snakes and Arianne

      In this case it is rather quite incredulous that bastards can simply get away with killing off the rest of the Dornish Royal family, wiping out the Martell dynasty over the death in trial by combat of a beloved Second Son Prince which obviously does not honour Oberyns legacy at all

      No other House would follow them, especially House Yronwood

      At a stretch, if Arianne had been the one to stab and take power, that is remotely plausible as she is still of the bloodline.

      All in all, Dorne and Arianne would have been fantastic to explore the differing nature of power, eg a great contrast to Sansa where the younger Rickon (and Bran) hold the stronger claim, it would have been good to explore the thematic opposite with Arianne and Trystane.

      Trystane could have been held as a hostage, it would have been good to see Doran reach out to Tyrion, Varys etc to alliance build – after all he has the authority to alliance build, plus he has worked with Tyrion before re Myrcella/Trystane marriage and of course Oberyn saw fit to be his Champion – this would have served the purpose of helping Tyrions plot along in terms of being Dany’s Hand

      Instead I think we are getting some Dany/Ellaria hookup which is supposed to be some kind of “girl power” thing for a Season 7 invasion. There are many types of power, Brienne and Arya re good for action heroes but as for the people who find Sansa annoying, I hope she never wields a knife, as people need to forget Hollywood action-hero attitudes and realise that there is a lot of Matricarchal power to be found in an Elizabethan/Mary Queen of Scots/Catleyn Stark Lady-like perspective and of course QoT

      Obviously we won’t get the books and Dornish Master Plan spoiled which is something

      I have very faint hope of a Rhoynar vs Andal Dornish civil war and a House Yronwood challenge but not holding my breath given casting call information

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    264. Ghosts Lunch,

      There is no ”master plan”

      Doran will support Griff, that’s all there is to it. This isn’t even a plan, it just kinda happens.

      Not going to go into how Ellaria will manage Dorne, others wrote better then me above.

      I just disagree that the lords will even be angry, why be angry at her if they despised Doran and thought he shames Oberyn and Ellias memory.

      Why be angry at Ellaria if they see Doran as the real traitor.
      Anyway I don’t want to see any Dornish politics. The faster they do this the better. It was made preaty clear in S5 that the entire country wants war.

      Anyway. I’m beyond glad we didn’t get Arianne or Quentyn. Beyond glad.

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    265. Ghosts Lunch: nstead I think we are getting some Dany/Ellaria hookup which is supposed to be some kind of “girl power” thing for a Season 7 invasion.

      The SS and Ellaria are not portrayed by any stretch of the imagination as “girl power”. They are portrayed as VILLAINS. Villains who happen to have vaginas, which really should not be a relevant point. If people didn’t have preconceived notions about these characters this would be obvious – it IS obvious to everyone who watches the show without the books. It’s yet another case of those who are ruthless and willing to stoop to evil means coming out on top.

      If Dany hooks up with them, that would be her going down a much more villainous path. Much more likely that she and especially Tyrion will feed them to their dragons for the crimes and put someone else in charge of Dorne. And the people of Dorne will follow, if like Ellaria claims they follow strength.

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    266. Yaga,

      I remember hearing something, that the media called those opposed to war ”anti-American” and things like this, at that time.. Might be very wrong, I read this years ago and don’t remember the source.

      But I wouldn’t find it odd if the War-faction in Dorne calls, does who oppose the war against the Lannister ”traitors” or like Ellaria did to Doran, that he isn’t a ”real” Dornishmen.

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    267. Tycho Nestoris: That is an apt example (no sarc). I did/do not support the war in Iraq. You can see then why I also oppose Dorne doing the same.

      Wut? You’re making her point for her. No one is saying you should support Ellaria and co. They are villains. But that doesn’t mean it’s unrealistic.

      I don’t know if you noticed before last episode, but sometimes bad things happen to good people in this series, and sometimes bad people get ahead.

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    268. QueenofThrones,

      If you search the page for “villains” you’ll see an example of someone saying Ellaria and company are not villains and that I am in the minority on that.

      I will add that the POTUS is different from a paramour. Sure, countries go to war on mob mentality and bastards can seize power. I said earlier that Obara would have been easier to accept than Ellaria. I can’t think of an instance where a paramour murdered the ruler and seized power in this manner (historical or otherwise).

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    269. Tycho Nestoris,

      Constatine VI.
      His own mother killed him. She then took over with the armies help.

      Let’s not even mention that Ellaria is Oberyn’s lover. Who without a doubt they loved.
      Why fight her now, when she gives them what they want. War.
      Why be angry at her if she killed the man they hated, the one who in their eyes was the real traitor. The one who was shaming Ellia and Oberyn’s memory.

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    270. Tycho Nestoris,

      I just figured they were trying to buy time for Nym and Obara, or needed time to kind of plan the coup with the guards or whatever? If only we’d have seen or somehow been made privy to how they got on Trystane’s boat. But maybe they’ll make a mention of it or it will be explained/insinuated next show, I don’t know- that’s why I just enjoy each ep as they come and not do my own analysis or judgments until after the season has wrapped (I hate being disappointed so I don’t want to guess what’s going to happen, trying to keep an open mind).

      I am definitely guilty of viewing the show through a Pollyanna lens, but I won’t apologize as it’s the only thing that I truly love enough to even bother to keep up with anymore entertainment wise, with Real Life getting in the way. Truly, I really love everything about the show, I just love some things less. I’m a goblet-half-full book reader and show watcher.

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    271. Mihnea,

      I give up. The mother of a ruler is not the same as the lover of his brother. As long as I can view Ellaria as a villain I’m good.

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    272. Tycho Nestoris,

      I think a several people above posted examples of random people overthrowing legitimate rulers and installing themselves. I’m not a history buff so I don’t have any more to add, but as to the paramour part, who cares who they were sleeping with before hand? I imagine that kind of thing typically doesn’t make it into the historical record.

      And about the villain thing, if you mean Wimsey saying that there are no real villains or heros, I suppose that’s a legitimate opinion, but not one I agree with at all. There are plenty of straight up villains and heros in the show an books. Sometimes the books are more 1-dimensional in their villainy.

      Cartoon Villains – Gregor and his men, all the Brave Companions, Ramsey, Elliaria/SS (show), Euron, Kraznys

      Non-cartoon villains – Littlefinger, Roose, Tywin, Cersei, Joffrey, Green Grace

      If you didn’t feel “the need” for any more villains, well, GRRM has always added more villains (cartoon and not) as he went – why should the show differ?

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    273. QueenofThrones,

      I agree on everything.

      But not Joffrey, to me was even more 1-dimensional then Ramsey.
      Ramsey at least has his relation with his father that gives him a bit of nuance.
      Joffrey had nothing.

      He was a puppy killing mad men. That’s it.

      A bit on villians.

      I agree that she is one from the viewers point of view. I disagree that she is one in the story, especially in Dorne. I think people will love her for killing, who they saw as the real traitor.

      Same goes with most characters.

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    274. Lollius Palicanus: Wow, OK. Am I the only one who thinks this is just a tad too much social darwinism? We aren’t supposed to root for the psycho killers, you know.

      It’s like saying Sansa deserved her treatment last season. Insane.

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    275. George,

      I realize Arthur Dayne is canon (I’m not blind nor deaf, after all) but that is in the past. Will the Daynes play a role in the endgame on the show, or are they just disposable? After all of GRRM’s cloaking them in mystery, are they just window dressing that can be accomplished in the show without ever introducing a living Dayne? I’d like to see a living Dayne, damnit! Btw, I know that this is my personal book wanker obsession-my Cleganebowl–so no need to call me out on it. I am aware. Not a complaint, just a wish.

      This is a great discussion, but it really boils down to the weak characterizations. D&D chose to streamline by rolling many of the characters together, and that’s fine. But if you’re going to do that, you need to establish those characters’ motivations and connections with more than a line or two. A little crowd scene of the Dornish populace grumbling, and yes, Luka, showing the two SSs getting on a boat (or at least talking about getting on a boat, or taking their leave of Ellaria on the pier) to follow Trystane, especially if they’re going to stay in KL. Dorne suffers from too much “tell” rather than “show” (the people’s dissatisfaction, the popularity of the SSs) and too much “show” rather than “tell” (the SS/Jaime fight, the goofy SS behavior) in all the wrong places. I still have hope that the Dorne plotline can be salvaged: they just need to introduce Sarella in Oldtown… and show me a Dayne! 🙂

      Dee,
      I think you’re perhaps right about that, and that’s why a lot of us are wishing for more–or different–scenes in Dorne. The book characters and the plots in our head are interfering with our understanding of what is being portrayed. I’ll have to go back and watch the Dorne scenes all in a row as a coherent storyline and see if I feel differently. Thanks for the idea, Mihnea!

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    276. Tycho Nestoris,

      Don’t worry. You were very civil. We disagree but that doesn’t mean we have to insult one another.

      At other places, I was called a ”idiot who can’t understand the complexity of the books”.

      So all in all our discussion, while it was in disagreement, was very civil.

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    277. Maester Murks,

      No, it’s nothing like that.

      From the soldiers point of view, Doran deserved to die. He was a traitor, he let the Kingslayer go, he married his son to a Lannister, by denying them vengeance he was shaming Ellia and Oberyn’s deaths.

      I don’t necessery agree with them. But I can easly see why they hated Doran so much.

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    278. Mihnea: I agree that she is one from the viewers point of view. I disagree that she is one in the story, especially in Dorne. I think people will love her for killing, who they saw as the real traitor.

      To many people in Dorne, yes, their actions were justified/Doran had to go. But that doesn’t make them “not villains” from the story perspective. The storytelling is very clear – Ellaria & the SS murdered two innocent kids who just wanted to live in peace. Then they murdered a pacifist leader. They are villains, if anyone is.

      I don’t think popularity with your people has much to do with the extent of villainy. Another example would be Roose, Tywin, or Walder Frey. Probably a majority of their people are loyal and agree with the horrible things they do, because they personally benefit. Still villains! Robb Stark – by the end he’d lost the loyalty of a lot of his men due to some actions he took that were morally correct but politically unwise. Still a hero!

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    279. Ashara D,

      Well I don’t know if you will feel different, but it’s definetly a good idea.

      One mistake I made was I was thinking Doran had a plan, not intentional but well we all make mistakes.

      But watching it knowing there is no plan for war/vengeance really helped.

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    280. QueenofThrones,

      I completely agree that from a storytelling point of view they are villains. I never denied that, I never will.

      But that’s what I think about, when people say there are no villains. Ellaria did what she thought was right and good for Dorne. In her eyes and others from Dorne she is the farthest thing from a villain possible, hell in their eyes Doran was the villian.

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    281. Mihnea,

      You clearly don’t understand how a feudal society works. If you’re the head of a house, your younger brothers bastard girlfriend does not get to dictate what you can or can’t do.

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    282. bloodcraven,

      But the people and army do.

      Lose their support and you are dead. Ellaria clearly took advantage of the peoples hatred of Doran.

      Also there are no rules anymore. It’s chaos, Laws and customs don’t mean crap anymore.

      ”power is a shadow on the wall” The moment Doran lost the respect of the army/people he was dead. The moment a ruler no longer has the respect of his people, at the very least fear if not respect, he is dead.

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    283. bloodcraven:
      Mihnea,

      You clearly don’t understand how a feudal society works. If you’re the head of a house, your younger brothers bastard girlfriend does not get to dictate what you can or can’t do.

      So apparently you know how a feudal society was supposed to work. But you don’t know how often that went wrong.

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    284. And what happened to Bronn? Are we led to believe that the Sand Snakes boarded Trystane’s ship (even with the crew and guards on their side) and simply ignored Bronn?

      Honestly, who cares where Bronn is? Why does he have to be anywhere?

      The ship docked at King’s Landing. He came ashore and went to the nearest brothel for some beer and some “bad pussy”. It’s that simple.

      Why is his absence from these scenes such an issue? I don’t understand. He’s not Jaime’s squire. He’s not commander of the City Watch anymore.

      He went with Jaime to rescue Myrcella. He didn’t sign up to act as Trystane’s bodyguard / babysitter. He has absolutely no reason to still be on that ship.

      Perhaps in a future episode we will see Jaime coercing him away from the company of whichever noblewoman he’s ended up betrothed to next, in exchange for more money and more adventure.

      But in the meantime there’s absolutely no reason for him to be hanging around waiting to be killed by Dornish assassins on their way to kill a Dornish prince that Bronn no longer has any business being anywhere near.

      It’s such a non-issue and, frankly, the fact that people insist on lingering on things like this just shows that some people are looking for holes to pick and things to be unnecessarily confused by.

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    285. Mihnea: One mistake I made was I was thinking Doran had a plan, not intentional but well we all make mistakes.

      But watching it knowing there is no plan for war/vengeance really helped.

      At the end of season 5, I too thought Doran had a plan and was in fact, the mastermind. To realize he was not, and was perfectly happy to ally with the Lannisters through marriage, is a shock. For me the Dorne storyline has now become far more interesting.
      I think that in Season 5, if they had not introduced Jaime and Bronn in Dorne, Trystane, Doran, etc., it would have been much better. Just have a scene at King’s Landing announcing that Myrcella and Trystane, Areo and Doran had been assassinated. Then show a scene or two in Dorne, with a speech from Ellaria to the people, with Oberyn’s daughters by her side.

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    286. I kind of thought Ellaria might have taken over a bit of Arianne’s plot in the book before we got Dorne on screen in S5. I thought maybe she would convince Myrcella to go for Queen against Tommen, Doran finds out and in a fight that happens of SS vs Doran’s guards, maybe Myrcella accidentally dies then. Jaime could then arrive in Dorne, find dead Myrcella and bring her back to KL while Doran locks SS and Ellaria in a tower for show. He sends Trystane off to Dany then frees the SS and Ellaria as he only locked them up to placate Jaime and tells them that they will start to plot against the Lannisters while Trystane gets Dany on side for a big rebellion later on. If Trystane is a loose end, burn him with dragons or have him die in a suitable way on the trip there. Without knowing the endgame with Dorne in the books it is kind of hard to know what is relevant. The book plot is a bit all over the place too.

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    287. Kay,

      Yeah. It’s difficult to accept that Doran doesn’t have a plan, that Doran just wants peace, but when you do, things fall into place.

      The assassination isn’t that unbelievable. It’s actually faithful to the novels, where Hotah is always prepared for an assassination attempt from the Snakes. In the novels, as in the show, Doran’s inaction is extremely unpopular. Difference is that the novel Doran wants revenge, and calms the Snakes when he tells them their role in it. The show Doran has no such recourse; he’s blocking the Snakes and Dorne from their dreams of revenge. He has to die.

      The consequences in both cases are similar: Lannisters have one more enemy, and the Targs have one potential ally.

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    288. Dorne has always been a minor side story in the books, I never understood why people make such a big deal about it. And we still have to see if it leads somewhere or if everything was useless like Quentyn’s storyline and Arianne’s plan and Doran’s “masterplan” (which consisted in doing nothing for decades and planning a wedding with someone who’s now dead).

      It was shortened in the show and linked to the main characters and plots (Jaime, Cersei, Dorne vs Lannisters) and I’m okay with that. It was far from perfect but okay for a side story.

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    289. I don’t think Dorne is bad in the show because the plot is different than the one from the book, or that the characters were underdeveloped, or bla bla bla. What I don’t understand is how can D&D shove more inconsistencies and plot holes in two scenes in one episode than in all the other 50 episodes combined.

      Oberyn clearly states that Myrcela won’t be harmed in Dorne, because they are not animals. Several episodes later, his lover kills Myrcella. Why would Ellaria care for what that idiot wished for his people or try to uphold the things he believed in. Nonsense. WAAAAR!

      The soldiers are suddenly on their side, although several days prior to the coup, they stopped them from killing Myrcella on Doran’s orders. It must be the bad pussy effect.

      People are on her side, although there was no previous mention whatsoever in the show that can prove this.

      All of Dorne hates Doran. And we have to believe that, because Ellaria said it.

      Because they managed to convince some bodyguards to join their coup, they now control all the military and Dorne, because popular revolt. A popular revolt never mentioned in the show.

      We also have to somehow believe that all the other noble houses in Dorne are ok with this, because war. They can kill the bastards, avenge Doran, elect someone from their ranks and still have their war.

      Oberyn stabs the Mountain in the chest with a poisoned spear, and he lives for days. In agony, but still alive. Areo is insta killed with a small dagger. Even if it was poisoned, it would take seconds for the poison to take effect on someone his size. Even if she hit the spine, he would still have control over his upper body, at least for the seconds until the poison takes effect.
      The next second, the weak sickly Doran in stabbed in the heart(or lungs), but he survives and talks for minutes, enough times for Ellaria to spin the most ludicrous revenge plan ever, with not a single second of time in the show that can corroborate her insane statements. I guess he was immune to poison and missing vital organs?!?

      The start of her plan to get revenge for the two Martells killed by the Lann is to kill the remaining two Martells. Enough said.

      Doran is dead, but their plan to seize control can still be in danger. They have to kill Trystane as well. Well, the book AND show clearly state that a bastard can never inherit, but since the people are on their side…Or maybe the king can legitimize one of the bastards. It’s a shame that the king might be a little upset with them, since they just KILLED HIS SISTER!
      But back on track, Quentin…grrr…I mean Trystane must also die. Isn’t it convenient that they can catch up with the ship, find Trystane still on board for ….reasons, there are no Lann guards, no Bronn. Even then, Trystane has no loyal friend/soldier with him, and he throws all his training away and turn his back on one of the persons that clearly state they are there to kill him. Convenient plot is convenient.

      Don’t know about the show, but in the books Doran explains that his plan took so long because Dorne doesn’t have the military power to stand up to the rest of the great realms, so he has to wait for the Targ to mature, and rally some troops of their own before uniting and destroying their enemies.
      They were undefeated only on their own turf, where they could use the terrain to their advantage.

      I guess since they kept things so damn vague, there might not be other houses in Dorne, or she can be the first president, or maybe they have the greatest army the world has ever seen(but why wouldn’t Oberyn use it then?), and 10000 ship in their fleet, and Drogon decided to leave Essos and chose Ellaria as his new rider, or any other crazy thing that makes no sense compared to how things work in this world.

      But let’s hope they join Dany. And Tyrion has no issue with them killing one of the few Lann he actually loved. But since Davos seem to forget Stannis and Shireen actually existed from one scene to the next, this sounds doable.

      And to think many of these issues could be simply fixed with a couple extra scenes.
      -Ellaria has sex with the General of Dorne’s armies(also an old friend of Elia’s), and he decides to help her rule Dorne.
      -We see several nobles disgruntled with Doran, who try to convince Ellaria to betray Doran because she can get close to him. In exchange, they declare independence and support one of the bastards as the new rules, because none of the lords have enough support to rule themselves, and they want to avoid a civil war.
      -We could get a scene where we see the people’s dissatisfaction with Doran.
      -Since they had all the guards on their side, they could all swarm Areo. He would kill several, but succumb to his wounds, because even if he’s an awesome fighter, nobody is invincible.
      -Two seconds showing two ships side by side before cutting to Trystane’s cabin.
      -Etc.

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    290. Moka,

      Exactly why I like it.

      It is what it’s supposed to be, a minor side story.

      I would have been fine with 2-3 more mins of screen-time added, but some suggestions people make here are ridiculous it would require 10-15 more mins of screen-time. That would have been a very bad decision, I don’t want them to give Dorne that much screen-time.

      Martin tried to make it this new big player, he failed miserably. I’m glad they decided to just turn it into a small side story.

      All in all I thought S5 Dorne was preaty ”meh”, but no where near the abomination some make it out to be.

      S6 Dorne started very well for me, I really liked it. Hell Ellaria killing Doran was the highlight of the episode for me, her speech was really, really good. I was spoiled Mel’s reveal so there’s that……
      I hope they continue this way and keep it up.

      Maria,

      After re-watching I don’t find it hard at all. It was the books that clouded my mind a bit, I mistake that I hate myself for doing, I did what I accused others off doing and I really hate that!

      Anyway, once you re-watch the scenes, without any book-stuff in your mind, it’s preaty clear. For example, in S5 Doran’s reply to Ellaria is sincere, when he says he wants to bury his brother and mourn him, he actually means it.
      Same in his scene with Jaime where he expresses his distaste for war. There is no ruse there, no double meaning, he again actually means those words.

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    291. Mihnea: I completely agree that from a storytelling point of view they are villains. I never denied that, I never will.

      You said “I agree that she is one from the viewers point of view. I disagree that she is one in the story“. I took that to mean you don’t think she is one from a storytelling perspective. Thanks for clarifying

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    292. Jacob Snow,

      I think Dorne is cursed to be awful and inconsistent in any genre. Here are the book weirdnesses:

      Oberyn agrees to sit on his ass for fifteen years. NOT in character.

      Doran doesn’t tell Arianne (his heir) anything at all. Neither she nor Quentyn know how many men Dorne can send into battle; neither know anything about any plans. Same seems to be true of Oberyn, whose bastards are no more knowledgeable than Doran’s kids. This is weird enough as it is, but it is especially strange, as Doran’s health is frail. If he dies unexpectedly, Dorne is going to be ruled by a woman who knows nothing about the logistics of the region she’s supposed to control. This would all make sense if Doran were power obsessed and narcissistic like Cersei, but Doran is supposed to be an intelligent man.

      Doran and Oberyn are supposedly allied with Dany and Viserys. You’d think they’d do something to make sure that Targs see them as allies, given that there’s a marriage alliance and all, but they don’t. Dorne does nothing for Dany and Viserys. No financial help. No allies sent. Nothing.

      Doran sends Quentyn to Dany, taking it for granted that Dany will agree to marry him after seeing Viserys’s marriage contract with Arianne. Again, Doran is supposed to be a smart guy. Doran did nothing for Dany and her brother, so he should know that Dany has zero reason to think of Dorne as an ally. Why risk his son in the assumption that Dany would agree to a marriage alliance?

      Arianne doesn’t like Lannisters, yet is so sad when Myrcella is hurt. It’s almost as if she really and truly wants to crown Myrcella, but why go through this kind of weird planning? Trystane is betrothed to Myrcella. Joff is dead. Tywin is dead. Cersei is alive and dumb as a rock. Why doesn’t this family of poisoners and assassins kill Tommen, so that Myrcella with Trystane can take the throne?

      …also, why doesn’t this family of assassins assassinate Tywin? Why have they done nothing, for FIFTEEN YEARS?

      Arianne has zero understanding of the game. Doran sends her off to judge whether or not Aegon is real, which is insane.

      …and I won’t go on. It’s all rather bizarre. I wish both GRRM and D&D had just cut Dorne.

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    293. And what about those two Sandsnakes in the capital? wouldnt surprise me if they went after Tommen actually… (and fail obviously cause it would a major mind fuck if they actually succeeded) I just hope Bronn wont get in their way or something. I can see something like that happen.

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    294. Maria: Why doesn’t this family of poisoners and assassins kill Tommen, so that Myrcella with Trystane can take the throne?

      I always wondered this. I guess that even Book!Doran can’t stand the idea of a Lannister-Baratheon on the throne? But, if Doran really cared about his people and not only vengeance, this is the route he should have taken since it would have gotten a Dornishman on the Iron Throne without having to start a massive war.

      He can mollify the ‘snakes by assuring them that Cersei, Jaime, Tywin and any other Lannister they want will be poisoned to death during the takeover.

      I just… cannot with people that think Doran and or Arianne are brilliant – It seems like GRRM wrote Arianne’s (boring, meandering) plot with exactly one purpose – so that he could have Doran say “Vengeance, Justice, Fire and Blood”. Couldn’t that have been accomplished in one chapter? And he didn’t even have the guts to actually kill Myrcella – at least if that had happened there would have been some point to it all.

      Then after AFFC he had to figure out how to make this whole thing work in ADWD with Quentyn. But he didn’t have the pages to do it so it ended up being laughably terrible and making Doran look like a moron. The plot hole about how the Dornish did literally nothing for Dany and Viserys for almost 2 decades, and yet expected (one of) them to marry into their family and be grateful about it is especially massive.

      *sigh*

      I just hope that unlike with Dorne, the showrunners can actually improve upon the Ironborn plot, which was almost as bad, and even make me care about some of the people involved? As it is in the books there’s really no point to it either… Ships to get Dany home is not exactly something that can’t be written in some other way (in fact they demonstrated this last season by writing them in with a single line of dialogue… only to burn them this episode, lol). And besides that the only purpose I see of further Iron Born plot is Theon’s endgame, I guess, and for me that ranks pretty far down the list.

      Hopefully, like with Dorne, I’ll be surprised by what happens!!

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    295. I agree with Petra – D&D could have successfully pulled off Dorne if they would have TRIED to follow the book storyline. They wouldn’t need EVERYTHING or ALL of the Dornish characters, but I do feel D&D shot themselves in the foot by not including Arianne. They could have kept it simple – Arianne tries to take Myrcella away on her Queenmaking mission with ONE Kingsguard and she is met by Areo Hotah, who had been informed of the plot – they eliminate characters and complexity, keep the meat of the story.

      I completely agree that they could have avoided the fans’ overwhelming confusion of suddenly being introduced to Dorne and its characters – they would only need to have a couple Myrcella scenes per season since Season 2 for fans to be acquainted with- and possibly even fans OF the new characters. Scenes of them (Myrcella, Arianne, Trystane, Sand Snakes) all playing at the Water Gardens would have established so much and the Sand Snakes would initially been accepted by fans as fun-loving and caring women BEFORE their plots are revealed. This would have done WONDERS to avoid what we actually got from having no prior scenes with the Sand Snakes – they seemed one-dimensional, abrasive, and nobody CARES about their plans…

      Unfortunately it’s become apparent that D&D only think one season at a time (big plot points aside), and don’t have the foresight to do something like that…

      The BIGGEST blow to me was the D&D immediately killed Doran & Trystane SIMPLY because they had such negative feedback on the Dornish plot last season. Instead of working to IMPROVE they decided to chop it as quick as possible. Doran was supposed to be initially viewed as a coward, then over time we slowly realize he IS up to something until we eventually learn he has been working on an elaborate long-game this WHOLE time. I’m not saying he’s a GENIUS in the books; it’s just WAY better than what’s going on with HBO… A shame….

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    296. Ser Clintalot,

      What makes you think they killed them because of ”fan” reaction? You have absolutly no proof to support this claim.

      I think they went the way they always wanted to go.

      Not even going to discuss how horrible Arianne is and how stupid Doran’s plan is, others addressed it above more then enough.

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    297. Jacob Snow,

      And to think many of these issues could be simply fixed with a couple extra scenes.
      -Ellaria has sex with the General of Dorne’s armies(also an old friend of Elia’s), and he decides to help her rule Dorne.
      -We see several nobles disgruntled with Doran, who try to convince Ellaria to betray Doran because she can get close to him. In exchange, they declare independence and support one of the bastards as the new rules, because none of the lords have enough support to rule themselves, and they want to avoid a civil war.
      -We could get a scene where we see the people’s dissatisfaction with Doran.
      -Since they had all the guards on their side, they could all swarm Areo. He would kill several, but succumb to his wounds, because even if he’s an awesome fighter, nobody is invincible.
      -Two seconds showing two ships side by side before cutting to Trystane’s cabin.
      -Etc.

      I’ll give you the last one about the boat. They could’ve put that in shot. Although I don’t think it was entirely necessary. The audience don’t need to be spoon fed everything.

      But could you perhaps tell me which scenes you would have sacrificed or cut short in order to fit these extra scenes into the show?

      How would they fit into the timeline of events in the episodes you propose them for?

      And what relevance would such scenes have, other than to provide exposition for a sub-plot that may or may not be relevant to this season’s major plots?

      Thanks.

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    298. Esmail,

      I really agree that they should have added a few extra minutes to elaborate a visual on how the Sand Snakes got on Trystane’s ship or at least show their ship next to his, since this episode is apparently the shortest (50 minutes) to all the rest this season (52-60 mins).

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    299. mau,

      I agree. I could only imagine being D&D; I would cut half of that out immediately. I still find problems in my own writing of it.

      Apologies on the lack of spoiler tags! Slip of mind.

      Maria,

      I still think the books handled it better than the show, but dear Lord the Dorne plot in the books still strains logic, no doubt.

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    300. QueenofThrones:

      Then after AFFC he had to figure out how to make this whole thing work in ADWD with Quentyn.But he didn’t have the pages to do it so it ended up being laughably terrible and making Doran look like a moron.The plot hole about how the Dornish did literally nothing for Dany and Viserys for almost 2 decades, and yet expected (one of) them to marry into their family and be grateful about it is especially massive.

      I wonder if Dorne was an afterthought. That would explain the lack of any Dornish involvement in the Dany-Viserys plot in the first few novels. Aegon also reads like an afterthought; he doesn’t make a lot of sense when tied to the Varys-Dany-Dothraki plot. In the novel, Martells and Aegon are tied together, and it really, really reads like a waste of good paper.

      The show was smart to cut Aegon, in that this way Varys stays a Dany supporter, and Dorne is just one more Lannister enemy. I wish D&D had cut Dorne, too, but maybe they included it because it’s potentially such a colorful realm, and Oberyn was very popular. Sadly, it didn’t work.

      I agree on the Ironborn. I was bored out of my mind reading their chapters.