Every Monday, our resident Game of Thrones fanatic E. Spencer Kyte will recap the previous night’s episode. Here’s his take on Season 5, Episode 6 —Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.
Warning: what follows is a review and analysis of what happened on Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones. If you haven’t watched it and don’t want to encounter spoilers, we suggest you go read something else on this site. Consider yourself warned.
Remember last week when we said it seemed like there was a major storm (or seven) brewing in The Realm and it was going to be a helluva big storm? Yeah, it’s getting closer and appears like it might be a tsunami-level event.
Here’s what went down Sunday night.
Becoming Somebody, Not Nobody
Arya’s apprenticeship amongst the Men without Faces continues, but she’s getting restless. She wants to know where the bodies she cleans go. She wants to play “the game.” She wants to get on with things already. After all, she still has a list of people she wants to kill etched in her memory banks for safe keeping.
Jaqen H’ghar starts rattling off questions to the youngest Stark and smacking her with a switch every time she lies… and he can tell when she’s lying. Every little embellishment gets her whacked. “My father died in battle.” THWACK! “I was kidnapped by a man named Poliver.” THWACK. “I hated Sandor Clegane.” THWACK.
Though Jaqen deems her not ready, he eventually brings her beyond the second door in the cleaning room and into the lower reaches of the House of Black and White, unveiling tower after tower of faces (apparently it’s called the Hall of Faces), extended into the darkness beyond what we can see. Arya is mystified and Jaqen senses something. She’s not ready to give up who she is and become nobody – she never will be – but she’s still ready to become someone else.
The Travelling Twosome Encounters Some Trouble
As Tyrion and Jorah continue their journey to see Dany – now by foot since the Stone Men ruined their boat last week – they continue bantering about Jorah’s intentions and hopes once he turns Tyrion over to Queen Dany and why exactly Jorah is convinced she is the one to follow in the first place. He’s still clinging to the whole “I saw her emerge from the fire with three baby dragons” thing.
Along the way, Tyrion speaks of Jorah’s father, former Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, and how the men spoke highly of him. The use of the past tense shakes Jorah, as he had not gotten word of his father’s passing. Tyrion tells him how it happened – the mutiny at Craster’s Keep – and offers his condolences.
That’s when they run into a band of slavers, who quickly decide they’ll keep Jorah as manual labour and kill Tyrion, cutting off his man bits to sell to a “Man Parts Merchant” because apparently dwarf penises have special powers. Tyrion convinces them not to kill him since the “Man Parts Merchant” will want proof the parts came from a dwarf since not everything on a dwarf is to scale.
He also convinces them that Jorah is a great warrior who can do them proud in the newly re-opened fighting pits in Meereen. They’re not sold on the story until Jorah tells them of his Season 1 battle with one of Khal Drogo’s riders. On the plus side, they’re getting a ride to Meereen. Of course, they’re headed their as hostages, but hey – free ride!
That No Good, Scheming…
Littlefinger returns to King’s Landing, where he’s first greater by Crazy Lansel Lannister and the religious militants, who warns him to tread lightly in the new King’s Landing. Littlefinger, being the smarmy douche that he is, makes some quip about having to see the Queen Mother and everyone having fantasies.
Once in Cersei’s company, he informs her of Sansa’s pending marriage to ex-bastard Ramsey Bolton, neglecting to mention that he arranged the whole thing. He tells Cersei of the battle brewing in the North between Roose Bolton and Stannis, and suggests that Team Lannister strike as soon that fight is finished, since that would give them the best chance to win.
He offers up the Knights of The Vale to do the fighting on behalf of Team Lannister, which is a noble offer, except this is Littlefinger and he doesn’t do anything out of the kindness of his heart. If they win, he wants to be named Warden of the North. Cersei says she’ll speak to King Tommen about it – which means it’s as good as done – and that she wants to Sansa Stark’s head on a spike.
As always, Cersei needs a good massage and a couple Valium; that lady is tense.
Trouble in House Tyrell
Pro: Lady Olenna Tyrell is back in King’s Landing, called in by Queen Margaery after the whole “Loras has been arrested for sleeping with men” fiasco from last week.
Con: Cersei still hates her and is continuing to deny being the one that set the High Sparrow and his militants loose in the capital. Lady Olenna threatens to pull the plug on the supplies and funding coming from House Tyrell if Cersei doesn’t release Loras immediately, but the Queen Mother sticks to her guns.
Besides, it’s just going to be an inquest. All Loras has to do is declare his innocence and all this will be over… yeah, because that’s how it works whenever Cersei is involved. Everything goes smoothly, especially for her rivals.
The inquest starts out smooth enough – Loras lies, Margaery gets called to testify and she backs her brother’s lie – but then the High Sparrow brings in Loras’ former squire and bedmate, the one Margaery caught him with earlier this year, and he lays it all out there for everyone. Loras freaks and after the High Sparrow demands he be taken away, he instructs his followers to do the same with Queen Margaery – lying to the gods is one of the worst sins anyone can commit.
Margaey pleads with Tommen to stop this as she’s being led away, but the Puppet King does nothing as his mother sits there smirking.
Meanwhile, In Dorne…
Jaime and Bronn head to the Water Garden intent on springing Myrcella, but it turns out she’s all smitten with Prince Trystane Martell. Just as Jaime and Bronn, disguised as Dornish guards, ride into the Water Garden, Ellaria Sand deploys the Sand Snakes to get their revenge for their dead father.
As you’d expect, the two groups after Myrcella arrive at pretty much the same time and a skirmish ensues. Bronn gets lashed on the arm, but that’s the only injury as before anyone can get the upper hand, Prince Doran’s guards arrive to break up the melee.
Bronn drops a “You fight pretty well… for a girl” on one of the Sand Snakes and Prince Doran’s head guard, Hota, says that a fight with pre-amputation Jaime would have been a good time before everyone that isn’t supposed to be in the Water Garden is lead away.
Awfulness in Winterfell
It’s Sansa and Ramsey’s Wedding Day, so of course he sends crazy-jealous Myranda to give Sansa a bath. As she’s washing the black out of eldest remaining Stark’s hair, Myranda tells her about Ramsey’s previous dalliances and how he doesn’t like to get bored. Clearly picking up what she’s trying to put down, Sansa stops Myranda dead in her tracks, calling her on her romantic thoughts about Ramsey and telling her she can’t be intimidated in her home.
Way to go, Sansa!
Once she’s all dolled up for the big event, Theon/Reek arrives to walk her down the aisle. He asks her to take his arm, but Sansa refuses. Theon/Reek tries to explain that Ramsey said she had to take his arm and if she doesn’t, he’ll get punished, but Sansa doesn’t care.
After the most tense wedding ever, where Sansa pauses for several beats before agreeing to take literal crazy bastard Ramsey as her husband, the newlyweds head back to their quarters, accompanied by Theon/Reek. Ramsey questions Sansa about her virginity, confused as to how she’s still a virgin after having been married to Tyrion. Sansa explains that he was caring and nice to her and never touched her and you get that feeling like something bad is going to happen.
And it does.
First, Ramsey instructs her to undress and as Theon/Reek is starting to leave, he tells him to stick around. After all, “You saw her as a girl; now see her become a women.” Theon/Reek is clearly not okay with this, but what’s he going to do? Sansa, beginning to cry and removing her clothing ever so carefully gets a helping hand from her new husband, as Ramsey rips the back of her dress down the center before bending her over the end of the bed.
The tears stream down Sansa’s cheek as you hear more of the dress being shredded. She gasps in pain. Theon/Reek is horrified and looks like he throws up in his mouth. It’s a grim, difficult scene to digest.
Fade to black. Roll credits.
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There have been some unsettling moments over the course of Game of Thrones, but the final scene of Sunday’s episode was the hardest to endure. Ramsey raping Sansa on their wedding night and forcing Theon/Reek to watch is one of those “you know it serves a purpose in the story, but (expletive deleted) that was hard to watch” moments that you’d much rather just block out of your memory.
BTW: Ramsey better die an horrific death before this season is over. Hopefully Sansa is the one that puts a blade through him and the demented bastard suffers. Is there a more evil, twisted character on television right now?
The situation in Dorne feels like it hasn’t finished playing out – there is no way the only real fighting we get from the Sand Snakes is a brief skirmish with Jaime and Bronn. Even though everyone has been taken into custody, it looked like Prince Doran’s guards where ready to lock up Ellaria Sand too, so that should piss of the Sand Snakes even more, which should lead to a bigger, more entertaining battle before season’s end.
Jorah and Tyrion’s story feels like it’s stalled a little, even though it keeps moving forward in little bits here and there. Revealing Jorah’s father passed and his impending appearance in the fighting pits will be important bits in the future, for sure, but for right now, it kind of feels like “Get to Meereen already!”
Cersei is an evil, manipulative, vengeful, power-mad sociopath… and we love her. Seriously. After having a Cersei-less episode last week, it’s like there was an extra dose of Cersei awesomeness thrown in this week to make up for it. Her back-and-forth with Lady Olenna (a.k.a. The Queen of Thornes) was amazing and should continue now that both Loras and Margaery have been taken to jail or wherever people who defy the laws of “The Seven” are taken.
Much like Tyrion and Jorah, Arya’s transformation into whoever she is going to be come has been a drawn out process and it’s a good thing “the new Arya” is close to being unveiled because another week of “wash the bodies and don’t ask questions” would be hard to take.