Thursday, May 21, 2015


Let's recap this week's Game Of Thrones, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" because it's never too late.  It's a fairly dark episode--a lot happens in dark places, and a lot happens that isn't particularly pleasant. (And one thing happened that seemed particularly dopey, but we'll get to that.)

We start with Arya, and her new hairdo, in the (dark) House of Black and White. She's doing her apprenticeship, washing a corpse. She wants to see where they're taken, but she isn't ready, according to the girl who's apparently a level or two higher.  The girl knows how to lie convincingly, which Arya can't quite do yet.  You don't get to be no one until you can be anyone.

At night, Arya is woken by Jaqen, who continues playing the game.  He asks her questions, and every time she lies--he can always tell--he hits her with a stick. The best moment is when she notes she left the Hound behind to die because she hated him. Jaqen knows she's lying, as do we.  Only Arya doesn't know her true feelings, yet.  Of course, Arya doesn't want to stop being Arya--and we don't want her to either.  Can we just make her half faceless?

Meanwhile, Tyrion and infected Jorah are walking to Meereen (sounds like an old Fats Domino tune). No villages yet, so it's berries and roots. They find out a little about each other (you try to stop Tyrion from talking). Tyrion explains he killed his father and all that other stuff that happened in King's Landing. He also lets slip that on his trip to the Wall he met Mormont's father, who's now dead, killed by a mutiny.  Jorah isn't happy to find this out, of course, but the two seem to be growing closer.

Just in time to be captured by slavers.  Mormont would make a good sale, and so would a dwarf penis (which Tyrion assures them is full size).  But when they find out Dany has reopened the fighting pits, the two captives convinces the pirates to take them to Meereen, where Mormont--old but tough--will fetch a great price.

Back at the House of Black and White, Arya lies well enough to convince a sick little girl to drink the waters.  Another corpse for the House, and now Arya is ready to see where they're kept--these are the faces they use?  Jaqen knows she's not ready to leave her old identity behind, but she at least seems ready to become someone else for a while.  Hooray, we may be getting some Arya action.

At King's Landing--remember that place?--Petyr returns. (Because this show films all over the place, the actor has to actually fly to another land to be in these scenes, not just walk to another studio set.) He has a run-in with newly religious Lancel Lannister before meeting Cersei, who summoned him.  Littlefinger and the Queen Mother are both playing each other, of course, but he's got huge news.  He knows where Sansa is--perhaps the one Cersei hates most after Tyrion.  She'll allow him to march his Vale army up North to see what he can do, but what game is Baelish playing?  Has he set up Sansa?  He explicitly says he wants to be put in charge of the North, but is that his endgame, or does he have designs on all seven kingdoms?  He's certainly willing to let Roose Bolton and Stannis go at it, and he'll sweep up after, but is he willing to put Sansa's head on a spike, and stay loyal to the Lannisters? (It does seem like Brienne is right--you just can't trust Littlefinger.)

Down in Dorne, a grown up and beautiful Myrcella (all Lannister women are beautiful) trysts with princeling Trystane, while Doran and his guard look on.  Not far from the Water Gardens, Bronn and Jaime approach, disguised in local garb.  At the same time, the Sand Snakes are ready to make their move.

They get to Myrcella at the same time and have a bit of a fight. (Jaime missing a hand has more trouble than he'd like). The Sand Snakes vow is where the title of the episode comes from, but this moment is why it all seems dopey. I thought Jaime had a plan, and I thought the Sand Snakes had a plan.  But they both simply walk up to Myrcella to take her away. Anyone off the streets can do this?  Why isn't she more protected? Can just anyone get into the Water Gardens?  Eventually Doran's guards come in and round up the people (though I think Myrcella is taken by one of the Snakes, or did I get that wrong?).  Why weren't they there already? Why do I get the feeling the show had to cut the scenes where we see these groups strategizing to get close enough to grab her? Anyway, Jaime's cover is blown. But hey, he's a Lannister.  Why can't he just ask Doran for his niece (niece, that's a good one)?

Olenna approaches King's Landing. I'm not so enamored of this character as others--she seems to me a wan version of the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey.  But you've got to expect her--Loras is in trouble and Margaery can't save him.  She meets with Cersei. Now that's interesting.  Cersei has just had two meetings with the people directly responsible for Joffrey's death, but she's too busy plotting her pointless revenge to notice.

Loras is to be part of an inquest run by the High Sparrow. It'll be over quickly, Cersei assures Olenna.  But these are religious fanatics, who won't accept the lies of royalty over the truth of a squire.  So they're going to hold Loras--and Margaery too for lying under oath!--for further investigation.  For some reason, Tommen let's it happen. Why not shut down this whole thing by royal decree? He may be a kid, but his nookie is being taken away.  Anyway, this may be Cersei's plan, but certainly she can see that letting religious kooks be in charge of royalty can't be a good precedent.

And now we get to the darkest part of the story, Sansa at Winterfell.  Myranda gives her a bath (how does the kennel master's daughter get this duty?) and tries to scare Sansa regarding how Ramsay tires of his women, but Sansa will have none of it--this is her home, and she's going to be queen, not a kennel-related lover.

Theon is required to escort her to the wedding, but she wants nothing to do with him.  They go outside to the weirwood tree, where vows are exchanged.  Sansa may not be thrilled, but she knows enough about the game by now to play along.

Ramsay's finally got his girl. Winter is coming, indeed.  He may be a good boy in front of daddy, but now that he's husband, he's in charge in the boudoir.  He has one especially odd request--Reek must watch as he deflowers Sansa.  She was forced to marry Tyrion, but the Imp was kind enough to leave her alone. We can expect no tender mercies from Ramsay. It's a cruel scene, but exactly what would happen in such a situation. Not that some viewers haven't complained--have they, unlike Reek, not been watching?  Ramsay regularly tortures, hunts and flays men--he tortured Theon for months and cut off his penis--but harshly taking his wife on their wedding night is too much for them?

And that's where we end.  We'd like to see Ramsay dead more than ever. And it would make sense if Reek finally becomes Theon again and does the deed.  Let's hope it happens soon.  Other things we can look forward to--Arya killing again (still think it'll be Meryn Trant), Jorah and Tyrion (and Varys?) getting to Mereen, Jaime finally dealing with Doran, and Cersei getting swept up in her own net.

Meanwhile, large swathes of the story were left untouched.  No news from Dany in Meereen, where things are ready to explode.  Nothing at the Wall, where Jon is on the move and the Night's Watch is reeling.  And nothing from those approaching Winterfell--we didn't see Stannis's army, and nothing from Brienne either.  No doubt we'll catch up next week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I enjoy seeing Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine getting work as the Prince of Dorne, I have been underwhelmed by the Dornish storyline so far.

5:48 AM, May 21, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How old is Tommen supposed to be? He looks like a young man- at least 16- this season but he was a tiny tyke during the Battle of Blackwater which wasn't that long ago. They made him older here so he could bang Maergery but then he takes actions (or inactions I should say) which make him seem more of a lost little tweener.

5:55 AM, May 21, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

They may have aged Tommen a bit so we're not disgusted. It's my understanding all the young characters are older than they are in the book. When you're reading about a 13-year-old doing something it's easier than seeing it on TV. But as far as the timeline overall, I've been waiting for someone to come with a chart, since we really have no idea how many years it's been since Ned Stark left for King's Landing. In fact, I bet if you tried to figure it out, it wouldn't work--some story last days or weeks, others would take months or years.

11:04 AM, May 21, 2015  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Isn't 13 in Hollywood something like 23? I'm sure Roman Polanski thinks so.

I think "The Middle" folks are going to be struggling mightily with that problem. (The 23-year-old one, not the Polanski one. I hope.)

1:28 PM, May 21, 2015  

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