Spoilers. Major spoilers. And you’re going to hate this episode.
With this week’s Game of Thrones 5×6: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken I was expecting the unexpected. What I got was a the worst possible turn of events so far. This going to be a recap I do grudgingly. I don’t know what the showrunners were thinking, I don’t know what the writers were thinking, I don’t think they’ve thought this through. Watching this left a bad taste in my mouth. We’ll have to explain everything else first.
Inside the House of Black and White, Arya is still learning the game and losing. Then, a tender moment with a father asking for mercy for his daughter who lives in chronic pain ends in Arya giving her water from the well. Her reward is a trip past the door and down the stairs to a room full of masks. Or are they faces. Jaqen H’ghar tells her she’s not ready to become nobody but perhaps she’s ready to become somebody else. Intriguing, and so far we’re good.
Jorah and Tyrion get caught by slavers. They’re all for selling Jorah, but they’d rather kill Tyrion and sell his cock. Apparently they believe his cock has magical powers. Tyrion manages to convince them to keep them alive just so the buyer knows where it came from. He also manages to convince them that Jorah is a warrior that would sell well in the fighting pits of Meereen. Way to hitch a ride. Tyrion thinks fast. Fortunately Jorah complies and assists his deception, although he tells the truth. Or the truth that helps them in any case. Danger for Tyrion and Jorah, but still a great scene.
Jaime and Bronn try to rescue/capture/retrieve Myrcella. Enter the Sand Snakes. Jaime and Bronn are obviously out of their league. The cops arrive and arrest everyone. Dorne guards apparently wait until people are fighting before they swept in. Or was that an intentional tactic from the Prince of Dorne? Also arrested, Ellaria Sand who was orchestrating her own power play having the Sand Snakes take Myrcella. Good action scene, we have no clue what happens next.
Olenna Tyrell reappears to confront Cersei and rescue Loras. You’d expect a barb-trading battle but it’s really just Cersei ignoring Olenna. Things go from bad to worse when a trial presided by the High Sparrow himself takes place. Margaery supports Loras’ fib to set him free but the Sparrows have a surprise witness: Loras’ lover. The outcome is not only Loras is to sentenced, the very Queen Margaery is taken prisoner by the Faith Militant. Now we’re starting to see Cersei’s plans come to fruition, but one can also see danger for the entire kingdom.
And then we go back to Winterfell.
First, let’s remind ourselves that this has not happened in the books. There were other developments, not necessarily better than these but still the idea of putting Sansa in the path of the Boltons was a decision made entirely for the show. And that idea goes from worst to despicable when we see Ramsay Bolton raping Sansa on their wedding night. It’s not actually on screen. We see that Sansa is definitely scared and then the camera cuts to Reek/Theon as he’s forced to watch on Ramsay’s orders.
The show has introduced another rape as a plot point. This is supposed to be a development. This is supposed to move the fucking story forward and this is a complete clusterfuck of a mistake. Yes, the show has put violence against women in the background before and that has not been ok either. We already love Sansa. She’s already overcome the abuse of a psychopath. We already hate Ramsay. We’ve already seen him torture someone physically and mentally to the point of breaking their spirit. WHY THE FUCK IS THIS ADDED. Fortunately the camera doesn’t linger because I would’ve puked. All rapes are unnecessary. I would’ve thanked the show to cut down on displaying them. Adding one? To stress the character traits of two characters that were already defined?
Worst possible turn of events and lessens the entire show because of it.
- Arya finally catching a break with the Faceless Men.
- Littlefinger confronting Laurel. Littlefinger maneuvering Cersei using her hatred for Sansa.
- Olenna Tyrell telling Cersei that they both know she’s not writing anything.
- Rape. And the entire show goes down in quality again because of it.
That will do for now.
“First, let’s remind ourselves that this has not happened in the books.” Well, sort of since Ramsay had Theon please Jeyne with his tongue before Ramsay got in on it in A Dance with Dragons. If anything, I’d say that the show has managed to somehow tone DOWN Ramsay’s cruelty, given what he does to the women, not to mention Jeyne. I think it’s about dominance since Ramsay clearly knows he has Sansa in the palm of his hand. I mean, I personally didn’t have a giant issue since this is the same show that had a king, his bride, and mother killed at a wedding, a man have his head crushed, and has had major killings or executions in almost every episode this season, but I’d hardly say the show is less because of this.
They sacrificed a strong female character to further develop a male one. Sansa has gone through hell before and we’ve already asserted Ramsay’s character. And yes, I am making the difference that it was not Sansa in the books – then again we don’t know if GRRM was planning this all along. The point is the show has subjected a rising female character to more torture than, in my opinion, was needed for the sake of building up a man. Call it over-building where the cost is higher than the reward.
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