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We got our first look at ancient Valyria on last night's Game of Thrones and the sight of Drogon flying over the ruins of the old city sent chills down my spine.

Dragons once again are alive in Old Valyria. This scene gave me goosebumps.
The Game of Thrones episode, "Kill the Boy" marks the halfway point for season five, and I love that we got our first look at Old Valyria, the civilization that marked the highest point of human endeavor for everything in the series A Song of Ice and Fire.

The setting was kind of perfect (very surreal), which you can do with the kind of budget that HBO now has for Game of Thrones. We had these two men who might have been friends under different circumstances: Tyrion on board a small boat being guided by Jorah Mormont (who's sailing through The Smoking Sea to avoid pirates who are afraid of Valyria for good reason).
As superstition goes, there is no place that is more haunted and more dangerous than Valyria. In the particular scene, everything is so quiet and Tyrion and Jorah recite this poem that tells of the "doom that befell Valyria." They're looking around at these ruins that can only be described as grand and recalling that the world has lost an incredibly great civilization. But then out of the mist of The Smoking Sea explodes Drogon flying over the city like a ghost. Daenerys's black dragon is huge and seeing it so big in the sky is this completely arresting moment hinting that there are wonders still that remain in this ancient place...wonders that manage to be frightening and awe-inspiring at the same time.
Look at this gif of gorgeous exquisite ruins.
I read once that George R.R. Martin was unsure as to whether he would include dragons in his stories. I'm glad that he made the decision to do so, because he's treating them with a delicate touch. He's made them legends, allowing his story to unfold not through mythical monsters, but through the daily squabbles and betrayals of ancient families. When one of the mythical creatures does make an appearance (like one of these dragons) it's like you're looking at something incredible. A lot of writers of fantasy could take a page from this writer's playbook, and use things sparingly so that they don't seem commonplace.
The Fourteen Flames, as depicted by Ted Nasmith. "The Fourteen Flames" are an immense
chain of volcanoes extending across the neck of the Valyrian peninsula. The ancient Valyrians
discovered dragons lairing in the Fourteen Flames. They tamed them and used them as
basically super weapons to conquer the world.
I have a feeling now that we are on the downside of season five, we will see the white walkers once more in an attack on the village of Heart Home when Jon Snow sails forth to get the remaining Wildlings hiding north of the wall.

Stannis will get bogged down in winter snows assaulting Winterfell. Somehow Sansa will get rescued, and I hope that Ramsay Bolton gets killed along with Theon because I really don't like these two characters.

Jorah Mormont is marked for death now because he let one of the stone men touch him and now has greyscale: a disease that's highly contagious and that toughens skin and presumably spreads inward to harden the victim's insides. So he'll save Daenerys in the fighting pits that's been advertised on one of the promos for the season and get killed (thus sacrificing himself for his queen and dying a redeemed man). Who knows, maybe he'll infect a few people with greyscale in the meantime.

And because the episode is called "Kill the Boy" I think that the revelation that Ramsay's father is expecting a child with his wife (and that it's going to be a boy that could potentially replace him in every way in his father's eyes) will urge Ramsay to kill the child in some way. Call it foreshadowing, or just another way in which Game of Thrones continuously shocks its audience with the cruelty of its characters.

I gotta say, season five is really knocking it out of the park.

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