Context: My players were trying to sneak into an old mansion at the back of town. The Dragonborn Barbarian had already thrown two catfolk sorcerers over the wall. 

DM(me): Okay Dynas it’s your turn, are you going to go over the wall or continue being a living Dragonborn catapult?

Dragonborn Barbarian: Well I’m…..

Catfolk Sorcerer #1: -starts chuckling- Cat-a-pult!

Everyone else: -laughs- 

Dragonborn Barbarian: yeah…I’m gonna continue doing that. 


“What are you doing here?” I asked accusingly. 

At the same time Jamie asked, in a similarly accusatory tone, “How much do ye weigh, Sassenach?” 

Still a bit addled, I actually replied “Nine stone,” before thinking to ask “Why?” 

“Ye nearly crushed my liver,” he answered, gingerly prodding the affected area. “Not to mention scaring living hell out of me.” He reached a hand down and hauled me to my feet. “Are ye all right?” 

“No, I bumped my head.” Rubbing the spot, I looked dazedly around the bare hallway. “What did I bang it on?” I demanded ungrammatically. 

My head,” he said, rather grumpily, I thought. 

“Serves you right,” I said nastily. “What were you doing, sneaking about outside my door?”

He gave me a testy look

“I wasna ‘sneaking about,’ for God’s sake. I was sleeping— or trying to.” He rubbed what appeared to be a knot forming on his temple. 

“Sleeping? Here?” I looked up and down the cold, bare, filthy hallway with exaggerated amazement. “You do pick the oddest places; first stables, now this.” 

“It may interest ye to know that there’s a small party of English dragoons stopped in to the taproom below,” he informed me coldly. “They’re a bit gone in drink, and disporting themselves a bit reckless with two women from the town. Since there’s but the two lasses, and five men, some of the soldiers seemed a bit inclined to venture upward in search of … ah, partners. I didna think you’d care overmuch for such attentions.” He flipped his plaid back over his shoulder and turned in the direction of the stairway. “If I was mistaken in that impression, then I apologize. I’d no intention of disturbin’ your rest. Good e’en to ye.” 

“Wait a minute.” He stopped, but did not turn back, forcing me to walk around him. He looked down at me, polite but distant. 

“Thank you,” I said. “It was very kind of you. I’m sorry I stepped on you.”

He smiled then, his face changing from a forbidding mask to its usual expression of good humor

“No harm done, Sassenach,” he said. “As soon as the headache goes away and the cracked rib heals, I’ll be good as new.” 

He turned back and pushed open the door of my room, which had swung shut in the wake of my hasty exit, owing to the fact that the builder had apparently constructed the inn without benefit of a plumb line. There wasn’t a right angle in the place. 

“Go back to bed, then,” he suggested. “I’ll be here.” 

I looked at the floor. Besides its essential hardness and coldness, the oaken boards were blotched with expectorations, spills, and forms of filth I didn’t wish even to contemplate. The builder’s mark in the door lintel had said 1732, and that was plainly the last time the boards had been cleaned. 

“You can’t sleep out here,” I said. “Come in; at least the floor in the room isn’t quite this bad.” 

Jamie froze, hand on the doorframe. 

“Sleep in your room with ye?” He sounded truly shocked. “I couldna do that! Your reputation would be ruined!” 

He really meant it. I started to laugh, but converted it into a tactful coughing fit. Given the exigencies of road travel, the crowded state of the inns, and the crudity or complete lack of sanitary facilities, I was on terms of such physical intimacy with these men, Jamie included, that I found the idea of such prudery hilarious. 

“You’ve slept in the same room with me before,” I pointed out, when I had recovered a bit. “You and twenty other men.”

He sputtered a bit. “That isna at all the same thing! I mean, it was a quite public room, and …” He paused as an awful thought struck him. “You didna think I meant that you were suggesting anything improper?” he asked anxiously. “I assure ye, I—” 

“No, no. Not at all.” I made haste to reassure him that I had taken no offense. 

Seeing that he could not be persuaded, I insisted that at the least he must take the blankets from my bed to lie upon. He agreed to this reluctantly, and only upon my repeated assurances that I would not use them myself in any case, but intended to sleep as usual in the cover of my thick traveling cloak.

I tried to thank him again, as I paused by the makeshift pallet before returning to my fetid sanctuary, but he waved away my appreciation with a gracious hand.

1.05 Rent

A comprehensive list of all the things Prometheus did to Oliver in 5x17 alone: 


  • Chaining him to a dungeon floor for 7 days 
  • Probably depriving him of food and water for 7 days (the norm is 3 days without water and you die, but rare individuals can survive up to 10 days without water)
  • Forcing him to hold his breath under water up to the maximum extent his lungs could take it for x number of days
  • Shooting him in the shoulder with 3 arrows (despite the fact that Prometheus aimed not to kill Oliver by doing this, there’s still a large amount of nerves/muscle in this area; honestly, one arrow alone would be enough to send most people into shock) 
  • Ripping out the 3 arrows unceremoniously and giving him 0 medical attention (also something you could die from–not to mention, you could still be in shock)
  • Burning his skin with a freaking blow torch
  • S T R E S S


  • Isolating him
  • Mocking him
  • Deceiving him
  • Constantly reminding him of his past mistakes 
  • Painting all of his actions–both good and bad–in a severely negative light
  • Making him question his life calling (look, I get anxious when people attack the ideas and choices that I care about, so just imagine someone doing that to you but about every corner of your life–just imagine how exposed and vulnerable and helpless you would feel)
  • Threatening the woman he loves
  • Threatening his son
  • Making him doubt the genuineness of his friendships–the very people he trusts most in the world–and thus making him doubt the fabric of himself
  • Pretending to kill someone he cares about right in front of him
  • Having said person actively betray him to his face again
  • Taking away a piece of his identity–the Bratva tattoo–without his consent
  • Forcing him to admit his sins out-loud and then condemning him for them

This poor man went through the speed version of hell–through 10 years of pain in about 7 days. As sick as this episode was at times, I also think this could be the thing that pushes Oliver into a better place. He finally went where was never mentally willing to go, and as upsetting as that has to be…it could also be liberating in the long run. I am but no means condoning or supporting Prometheus’s methods, but I hope Oliver is able to seek and receive the help he needs as a result of this…encounter. I’m not a physician, but I know that everything that happened was more than enough to kill a normal person. Once again, Oliver’s power is how he just endures. 

I’m not really sure why I made this list other than to point out that despite the fact that the torture we actually saw was “minimal,” I have never been so shaken from watching a TV episode. I’ve seen less intensity in Oscar-nominated films. While Josh Segarra and Madison McLaughlin were also excellent, Stephen Amell 100% made this episode, bringing us back to the core of why Arrow is such a phenomenal show. What a powerful performance. I am still in awe.