Game of Thrones season 5, episode 6 entitled Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, named after the House Martell motto, although we didn’t spend much time in Dorne at all, in fact it was probably my least favourite part of the entire episode. The star, once again this week, was Sansa, with Winterfell really proving to be the location of interest this season after a long absence. Everything is pointing to the northern capital and when all is said and done it’s not going to look very pretty.
Season 5 has done an excellent job of really setting the scene for the final four episodes, by the end of this installment everyone of our main characters was in a very precarious position, some more so than others mind you. Lets start down south and make our way upwards toward the meat of the episode. No Dany this week, instead our Essos experience was captained by Jorah, poor old, greyscale infected, Jorah and everyone’s favourite imp Tyrion.
These two are pretty awesome together, not much of a surprise there and what we saw this episode only gives the promise of this relationship blooming even further. Unable to find a boat to sale to Mereen, we find the odd couple plodding along the beach, hungry and becoming pretty desolate. They did however share a really nice moment where we were reminded of Jorah’s heritage as Tyrion informed the ex knight of his father’s passing, well his murder at the hands of his own men beyond The Wall.
Not a moment later however, the two of them were being captured by slavers, relying on Tyrion’s ever present quick wit to prolong their lives. He somehow had the presence of mind to convince their captors to take them to Mereen, the location they were heading to anyway, so Jorah can prove his metal in the newly reopened fighting pits. That promises to be some mighty fine television should we get to that situation, especially as Dany will no doubt be close at hand to see what her latest move has done to her one time friend.
Going west a little, our time in Essos was also glimpsed through Arya, absent last week, as she continues her ‘training’ with the faceless men. Not a lot of story happened in Braavos this week but after an excellent scene where Arya proved her worth by lying and mercy killing a poor sickly girl, she was taken down further into the temple to a gigantic room filled with some very scary looking faces. It was quite the sight and I am guessing this is where one would get their face shifting powers from. Arya has been a little bit on the back burner so far this season so it’s awesome to see things cranking up now in her attempt to become a badass magical assassin.
Across the Narrow Sea to Dorne, Jaime and Bronn are infiltrating the River Gardens, hoping to find Myrcella in a rather rushed and convenient affair. The idea that these two, dressed up in local garb, could infiltrate this powerful city in broad daylight and then just happen to bump into the exact person they are looking for in a matter of minutes was a little much to be honest.
They really could have done with spending more time on Dorne, with its characters, and in fact this whole plot point. It’s understandable however, there is so much going on and only so many minutes to fill. The fight sequence between Bronn, Jaime and the Sand Snakes was well done and the fact that pretty much everyone in that scene ended up being arrested sets up some potentially exciting scenarios, especially now that Myrcella has actually seen her uncle/father.
Upwards to Kings Landing and the only person who has any idea what’s going on, Littlefinger of course, is on his way to meet the Queen Mother after a intriguing little chat with Brother Lancel and his motley crew of religious freaks. These guys are really beginning to piss me off and that doesn’t change any as the episode goes on. Before that however, Littlefinger finds his way to Cersei and we get an awesome moment where the ever devious and calculating Baelish informs Cersei that not only is Sansa alive but is residing back at Winterfell, ready to marry Roose Bolton’s ex bastard Ramsay.
Littlefinger really is a genius, covering all his bases, he has managed to make sure that no matter the outcome of the war for Winterfell, he will be very well placed to further his own Machiavellian plans, convincing Cersei to make him Warden of the North once Roose and Stannis finish killing each other, should he bring her, Sansa’s head that is. Now I am not sure exactly where Petry’s head is at in all this, whether he would actually betray Sansa like that is uncertain. If it was anyone else, there would be no question but he does have some kind of sick love for her which makes me wonder just a little. Whatever his exact plan is, in an episode where pretty much everyone is losing, he is undoubtedly winning, once more playing with more cards than everyone else. The clever son of a bitch.
Also in the capital, we see the trial of Loras Tyrell which was one of the most infuriating scenes of the show so far. How Tommen and Margery can let these newly empowered fanatics host this farce and then arrest the queen herself was ridiculous. Surely something like this could never happen. I know religion has a very strong authoritative say in this world but come on! If anything, this scene helped to prove what a spineless whimp Tommen is, even when faced with the prospect of losing his voluptuous older wife. Things seem to be going too well for Cersei right now, her plans are going off without a hitch, which makes me think things are about to turn around and get very bad for her indeed. We’ll have to wait and see what exactly unfolds but I am sure the Tyrell’s aren’t going to go down without a fight.
Finally getting up to Winterfell, we find ourselves on the night of Sansa’s marriage to Ramsay. There was a great moment before the ceremony where she is visited by one of Ramsay’s smitten wenches, who tried desperately to scare the soon to be Bolton but fortunately, remembering her lessons from Littlefinger, Sansa found the strength to essentially tell her to piss off and that she couldn’t be threatened in her own home. This was a great prelude to the horrific events that were to come.
After a very awkward ceremony, being given away by poor Theon, we arrive at the bedroom and at the traditional consummation of the marriage. No one expected Sansa’s marriage to Ramsay to be easy, we all know what he is like, but what was about to happen was just horrendous. Forcing an agonizing Theon to watch, Ramsay proceeds to virtually rape the helpless Sansa over the edge of the bed. Now this moment has caused quite the stir online.
I mean, no one likes witnessing a rape scene but I thought it was handled effectively and it really showed how strong Sansa has become. Letting herself be taken like that was indeed the strongest thing she could do at that point, knowing, or at least hoping, that everything Littlefinger told her would come true, that she would get her revenge and that he would come to her eventual rescue, she did the only thing she could, she, for pretty much the first time, played the game of thrones.
It’s an awful game, a bloody horrendous and malicious game, but she is playing it now and she knows that this is how she gets what she wants, this is how she reclaims her home and avenges her family. Of course she could never have expected Ramsay to do what he did, having dodged the bullet twice before with marriages, it was awful to see her now finally in a position of such despair but like I said, she wasn’t powerless, sure she had no choice, Ramsay would have surely beaten her for resisting but by going along with it, allowing this evil maggot to have his way with her, she displayed true courage and a great show of power.
Ramsay will get his just desserts at some point, I am sure of that, hopefully very soon and in the most painful way possible. Sansa might have to suffer for a little while longer but she is where she needs to be now, with Breinne close by, ready to jump in at a moments notice, with the north in her corner and Stannis on his way to rage bloody war, she can finally have her truly deserved revenge. If it happens, please God let it happen, it is going to a joyous and magnificent occasion both for her and for us.
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, as I do every week. With the exception of an understandably rushed Dorne sequence, this week’s entry continued to gather up pace, setting the scene for what promises to be some truly bloody, very exciting television. Delivering another awful addition to this shows list of nightmarish wedding moments, ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’, showed that once again Littlefinger is the master of deceit and with the exception of a surely doomed Cersei, the only one currently winning the game of thrones.