Show: Game of Thrones
Watched: Episode 46 – May 17, 2015
Title: Unbowed Unbent Unbroken
Summary: Mostly great
First off, this week I was watching the titles and realized that the little symbols next to the cast names are the houses. How I never noticed that before I will never know, having watched every episode 2-4 times. Goes to show. There are even made up symbols of the writers and producers.
NOTE: SERIOUS SPOILER WARNING. This review/discussion contains tons of spoilers about the episode and even ones crossing over from the books. It’s really my free-for-all musing given all the information at my disposal.
Arya – We open we house fave in the house (of Black and White). She’s washing a body, but we presume some time has gone by because Arya looks different. Her hair is longer, more girlish, she wears new clothes (after years!). She wonders what they do with the bodies, a thought conveyed by images (the slightly ajar door). When she goes for it, the door is slammed shut by the blonde acolyte. They argue, Arya is impatient. She asks how the other girl got here, and she tells a story of having poisoned her stepmother. But is it true?
Next, Arya is awoken in the middle of the night by Jaqen H’ghar and questioned. Who is she? She tells her story with carefully inserted lies. At each lie, he knows and whips her. But when she gets to the Hound, she lies to herself. Thinks she hated him. An interesting and painful testing.
Later, she is scrubbing the floors upstairs again and a man brings in a sick little girl. He has been trying to heal her, but she suffers continually. Arya goes and tells her a convincing story of how she was healed and serves her the water. Dr. Kevorkian junior. Jaqen having looked on, continues to spy on her while she then cleans the body downstairs. He leaves the door to the next level open and Arya follows him down the same flight of stairs as above to the next giant chamber, this one held up by enormous columns filled with death masks (presumably of everyone serviced by the house). It has me wondering, when Jaqen collected deaths outside on his travels, do those faces end up there. Also gives meaning to the term “many faced god.” NOTE: according to GRRM these are actually the skinned literal faces of the dead, and they magically pull them over their own — I guess they carry around a pouch of “options”.
A boy very much likes Jaqen, and particularly when he intones,”A girl is not ready to become no one, but she is ready to become someone else.”
Overall, an effective and slightly creepy yet serious advancement of Arya’s story. I have to assume next week she’ll be out selling seafood and presumably murdering Meryn Trant.
Jorah and Tyrion – Are washing up waterside. They haven’t come to any villages yet and Ty complains about his diet of berries (and presumably lack of wine). Jorah apparently never asked why Ty is here, but they get into it and the sordid tale of Patercide and Tywin sleeping with Shae is slipped out. Ty mentions that at least Jorah had a good dad (because he new him), and then Jorah learns that dad is dead (Ty didn’t know he didn’t know). What he get here is one superlative bit of speechless acting on the part of Jorah, who’s look says it all. Some nice moments between the two.
Later, as they saunter past some lovely Croatian cliffs, they discuss belief and Jorah confesses to also being a non-believer until he say Dragon’s born in flame. He doesn’t get into his super crush on Dany, but who blames him. They discuss the Targaryens until Jorah notices that same ship (the one pictured below with me — it’s a rental in Dubrovnik). Pirates instantly ambush them.
Poor Jorah seems to take the brunt of the interrogation, as these Summer Islanders use his face as a punching bag. But he at least will fetch a press. The conclude Ty is only good for his “special parts,” but in typical Tyrion fashion he uses his best asset (his tongue) and talks his way into slavery instead — even upgrading it to sell Jorah as a fearsome warrior fit for the fighting pits of Meeren. Classy escort right to where they are going.
Littlefinger – Enters Kings Landing only to be confronted by brother Lancel and schooled on the new boring no-fun order of things. Which does ellicit the awesome, “We both peddle fantasies, Brother Lancel.” But by the time he reaches Cersei he is well informed as usual on the whole situation. They trade barbs about incest and lady Lysa, but then get to the point. Cersei wants to know if he will fight for “the king” and he tells her what she wants to hear — then “spills the beans” about Sansa and the Boltons, leaving out only his own role. She goes ballistic and after he suggests various solutions he knows full well she doesn’t have the power to use (like Uncle Kevan or Jamie) he suggests his knights of the vale can pick up the pieces — if he is named Warden of the North. Of course he also probably has in mind picking up Sansa too. But clearly Littlefinger always serves only Littlefinger, and his naked ambition is there for us to see.
Tyrells – Nice view of Dubrovnik/Kings Landing as Lady Olenna’s coach (which is one of those old, almost Roman style wheelhouses) rolls up. The Queen of Thorns wastes no time catching up with Margaery and the Loras situation. Thinking she has things in hand she braces Cersei. Things don’t go as smoothly or as amusingly as they did with Tywin. This season the dour Cersei hasn’t been a very amusing foil. She just blames things on the Faith, trying to play it down as a minor inquest. Olenna, oddly enough, is stymied. Where is the master manipulator that took out the diabolical Joffrey?
Later, we are in the inquest itself, with the High Septon/Sparrow interrogating the chief Tyrell Pillowbiter (Olenna’s words, not mine — at least she didn’t call him a feather spitter). Everyone important is there, including Tommen and Queen Marg. Loras denies the charges. The queen is called and denied the charges (and I know where this is going), oh Cersei you dog you. Then they roll in Olyvar or whatever Littlefinger’s brothel manager’s name is and he contradicts both their stories — with the Dorne-shaped birthmark as evidence. Marg is arrested for lying to the church.
I was not a big fan of this whole sequence. Being a student of church/religious history I think they could have handled it better. First of all, at the very least Olyvar shouldn’t have looked so spiffy and happy to spill the beans. In those real situations, a witness like him was dragged in from a filthy prison and a bit of hard handling from the rack. This would have lent more weight to it, been more plausible. I thought this was effective in the Tudors when Marg’s (did I say that, I meant Anne Boleyn) was put on trial for infidelity. The musician’s “confession” (pulled out of him on the rack) was used as creepy evidence there. Even at his execution he couldn’t walk, joints pulled out of the sockets you know. Plus, GOT never sells the full religious take over of Kings Landing effectively — although I admit it would be a costly and difficult thing to sell in a short amount of screen time.
Dorne – Finally, after a couple bits of foreplay we get to the main event in Dorne, but the foreplay was pretty rushed and so is the coupling. First, Doran Jr (Trystane) and Myrcella are having a heart to heart. He wants to ask his father about marrying her right away. She asks him if it’s because they are betrothed and he kisses her all hot and heavy — apparently they are supposed to be a love match. They are a cute couple if nothing else.
Doran and Hotah look on, and Doran tells Hotah to watch out for them, all too timely given the events that are coming. Why they call his guandao-like thing an axe is beyond me.
Meanwhile, Jaime and Bronn, dressed as Dornish warriors are riding all hot and heavy up to the Watergardens. Their jokes are good as usual. Jaime: “I like to improvise” Bronn: “That explains the golden hand.”
Seems the triple timing thing is dead on. Ellaria Sand is with the Sand Snakes in the basement swearing some battle oaths. The snakes then sneak out into the Gardens and this is intercut with Jaime/Bronn in the very same gardens — obviously Andalusia. Jaime catches up with Myrcella and Trystane considering if they want to sneak from first to second base and he tries to get her to come with. He’s surprised when she isn’t interested and things go sideways as Bronn knocks out the Prince and the Sand Snakes whip into the scene.
The ensuing 3 on 2 whip/sword/knife/spear fight is okay, but feels a bit unrealistic. Why doesn’t Bronn just slice that whip? In any case, one snake almost gets away with Myrcella only to have Hotah show up and arrest everyone. Even Ellaria, as we see a half scene later.
I wasn’t thrilled with this whole sequence either, and it and the Kings Landing stuff is definitely the weakest in the episode. Drone, despite the marketing build up, hasn’t turned out to be that exciting. It wasn’t in the books either, but I was hoping that Jaime and Bronn would spice it up.
Winterfell – brings us to new fave Sansa in her room. Myranda comes to “draw her bath,” supposedly sent by Ramsay, but it doesn’t really seem that way. While washing out Sansa’s dark hair die for her wedding night she gets all psycho (no wonder she and Ramsay are so close) and talks about Ramsay’s other girlfriends and their sad ends. Sansa isn’t fooled by all this, and taking a page from Tyrion/Littlefinger turns it around asking how long she (Myranda) has been in love with Ramsay. She puts on a good show, and after the other girl leaves lets it all out in private.
And she does look splendid in her white wedding dress with furry shoulders when Theon/Reek (actually cleaned up for a change) comes to get her. She shows him no kindness but follows him out to the Godswood. This is a smaller, northern wedding, more like Robb’s. It looks lovely though in the snow with the lanterns. Theon announces her and Roose Ramsay, and they exchange words. Theon even names himself, in which it’s not totally sure if that was planned/allowed. Sansa hesitates to “take her groom” but eventually does.
The bridal chamber is nicely decked in candles and furs. Let’s hope it wasn’t by Myranda or there might be some dog shit in the bed. Ramsay gets all creepy as usual. First he talks about being honest with each other, grills her on her virginity, then orders Theon to stay and watch (which is borrowed from, but much milder than in the books). Next he orders her to strip, and Sansa plays along. It would also be in character for her to stick up for herself a little more here, but she submits pretty meekly. But still, here she is knowingly taking one for team Stark (on which she thinks she is the only player). It’s pretty sad and hard to listen too as Ramsay just takes her. Everyone else is pretty much crying.
All in all a great episode, but not entirely perfect. The Arya, Jorah/Ty, and Sansa sections (which make up 2/3) are great. Kings Landing was so-so. I had higher hopes for the return of the Queen (of Thorns). Dorne was a decided disappointment and the Wall and Dany had the week off. I do want to see what Sansa is going to do in her new situation and how the whole Stannis army thing shakes out!
HBO’s inside the episode:sharethis_button(); ?>