At this point, we're used to seeing the Game of Thrones plot diverge from that of the books. Characters are in different places, have taken different paths, or are completely left out of the TV series, so we've grown accustomed to accepting the changes and how they impact the overall story. However, one storyline from the TV series that we just can't stomach is the convoluted trash fire that is the Dorne plot. There was so much potential with the introduction of the charming Oberyn Martell and his sultry lover Ellaria Sand back in season four, but it all went to pieces when Oberyn died and we were taken to Dorne — and it's been going downhill ever since. None of the Dornish were featured in the season seven premiere, but the peeks of them in previews don't inspire hope that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are going to gain any substance soon.
I bet you think I'm exaggerating. Well, let me break down the clusterf*ck of all things Dorne for you.
- Everything about the Sand Snakes falls flat. They seem to exist for gratuitous violence and to help bring some distorted type of feminist balance to the show. "Oh, you think we're sexist because a majority of the women on our show are always either naked, crying, or being objectified? Check out these women: they may be naked, but they kill everybody and get the power!" OK, that could be cool if the Sand Snakes weren't such a hot mess. After an entire season, all we know about them is that they're beautiful, they're bastards, and they fight dirty. And even with their skill in fighting, the Sand Snakes are more like bratty henchmen than intimidating warriors.
- What was even the point of Tyene's game with Bronn in the prison? Seriously.
- Let's discuss the gentling and death of Prince Doran. I can't even begin to understand why they had Prince Doran lack the venom that we saw in the book version of the character. Book Doran had plans in place! They were going to put Myrcella on the throne! Then, after that plan was kaput, he had plans to unite House Martell with House Targaryen by marrying his son to Dany! My man had plans A-Z in the book, and the TV series took it all away from him to do what? Get him stabbed by Ellaria and reinstate a matriarchal system of power? Even though Dorne is different from Westeros and the ability to inherit is equal between men and women? Yay, girl power through senseless murder!
- The death of Myrcella Baratheon. True, everything leading up to her death told us it was going to happen. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes' thirst for vengeance was so undeniable that no one held much hope for the little princess. But killing Myrcella, an innocent in all of this chaos, was such a senseless act of violence that only served the purpose of bringing Cersei and Jaime grief. It went against everything Oberyn believed in; he literally tells Cersei that they don't hurt little girls in Dorne! So the fact that the dirty act was completed by his partner and children is the worst.
- In season six, Ellaria is seen striking a deal with Olenna Tyrell and Varys to join Dany's fight against Cersei, but logically how can that work? Even though Dorne is an equal-inheritance kingdom, neither Ellaria nor the Sand Snakes have any claim to the throne — they're all bastards. Does Ellaria even have the support of the people? She mentioned that Doran was regarded as weak among their people because he did nothing to avenge the death of Elia and Oberyn, but that doesn't mean they'll respect any old body sitting on the throne. Who's to say they'll be OK with the woman who murdered their prince?
- Ellaria and the Sand Snakes literally killed the last of the Martells. They legitimately ended the ruling family of Dorne because . . . reasons. Kay.
- How is Tyrion going to react when he learns that the women who join Dany's cause are also the women who killed his beloved niece? He sent Myrcella to Dorne to make peace with Doran with a promising betrothal and to keep her safe. Now he's gotta work with the women who poisoned her?! Sure.