Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Out of all of the shocking moments over the course of four and a half seasons of Game of Thrones, Sansa’s wedding night with Ramsay was probably the one that made me feel the most uncomfortable. Nothing is ever too shocking about this show anymore, but there was something about watching Sansa go through that that felt worse than usual. She has been through a lot over the years, but has always seemed to manage to escape dreadful things happening directly to her. That all changed with Ramsay forcing himself on her without her being able to protest, with Theon/Reek commanded by Ramsay to watch the whole thing.
And to think this all came after a great Sansa moment, where she completely tore down the dangerously jealous Myranda. Time will tell if this is going to be a case of one step forward and two steps back for Sansa. We’ve seen her survive and endure and then even start to “play the game” herself. I somehow don’t think we’ll see her regress to being a victim again, and I’m hopeful that she’ll begin to plot and scheme her own way out of this. There’s a lot of variables involved here. We can’t know for certain what Littlefinger’s real plan is, but we’ve been led to believe that he honestly cares about Sansa. So could he ride into town with the knights of the Vale and be her savior? It would be an amazing moment if Littlefinger arrived to “aid” the Boltons and then had his men attack once they were inside the walls of Winterfell, ala Tywin Lannister during the sack of King’s Landing all those years ago.
You also have to think that Brienne is going to factor into these events considerably. Brienne, who has been labeled by many (including me) for wanting to save a girl who didn’t want to be saved, may now be the best positioned to aid her. Sansa will also have help from her fellow Northerners who have already provided her with an S.O.S signal to use. And all of this is still going on while Stannis marches with his army towards Winterfell. Again, there’s just so many different variables here. I think one thing’s for certain, everyone watching at home wants to see Ramsay get what’s coming to him. With Joffrey gone, there has been a lack of just pure evilness recently, and Ramsay is all too willing to fill that void. Seeing him flayed would be immensely satisfying, but as has been proved so many times on this show in the past, we can’t always get what we want.
While things in the North are as interesting as ever, Jaime and Bronn’s Dornish adventure is feeling a little underwhelming. It all feels a little bit too rushed, with the duo landing in Dorne and then making their way to Myrcella within the space of three scenes. It just feels a little too quick to me, and it doesn’t help that we’ve seen so very little of Dorne. The Sand Snakes have also been a bit of a disappointment. Oberyn was such a lively, boisterous presence on the show last season, but so far his daughters have been rather dull. We haven’t seen anything from them yet that makes them stand out, although they did bring an exasperated “Oh for f**k’s sake” from Bronn when they confronted him in one of the funniest little moments of the entire series. This whole arc feels like it’s aiming towards some more redemption for Jaime. His time spent with Brienne went a long way towards redeeming him as a man, and this arc may do the same for him as a father. With the whole thing gone to hell now, though, it’ll take a lot for Jaime to be able to make it out of Dorne alive.
Cersei stepped up her campaign against the Tyrell’s this week, and ended up going a long way to claim back her crown as the most powerful person in King’s Landing. Not only did she get Margaery locked up alongside Loras, but she also best Olenna in a verbal confrontation which is no mean feat in itself. It’s funny, in a week where we had Tyrion questioning whether Daenerys could rule in Westeros, we saw once again that Tommen is simply not up to the task. He sat there and watched as his queen got dragged away by the Faith Militant, and all he could do was look around for help. This was a big week of wins for Cersei, but you have to wonder how long she can keep it going. She has orchestrated this whole thing perfectly, and is effectively removing all of her rivals, but one slip up would be disaster for her. You have to think that her luck will run out at some stage.
As I previously mentioned, Tyrion and Jorah had a great chat about a range of things this week. From Jaime and Brienne to Arya and Tywin, Game of Thrones has given us some great pairings over the years, and these two are looking like another great match-up. With so many different storylines going on at once, it’s easy to forget which character knows what, so seeing Jorah find out about the death of his father like that was a really solid moment. Tyrion filled Jorah in on a little bit of the backstory of why he has fled Westeros, and it looks like the two of them are starting to strike up a bit of respect for each other. Of course they now find themselves captured by a group of pirates, led by Lost’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Only Tyrion’s quick thinking saved him from a grisly death, and now it appears as if the two of them are on their way towards Slaver’s Bay, where Jorah is going to have to fight for their lives.
Finally, Arya continued her apprenticeship with the Faceless Men over in the House of Black and White. Nothing much is actually happening in this storyline so far, but I’ve found it all quite fascinating, nonetheless. Watching Arya trying to become “no one” while some part of her fights to remain Arya Stark has been great to watch. I don’t think anybody wants to see the Arya Stark we know go away completely, but we also want to see her getting vengeance against those who have ruined her life. What a nice touch that was, too, when Jaqen could tell she was lying to herself about hating the Hound. Arya took a big step by convincing that dying child it was okay to drink the water. Jaqen clearly saw something in her there, and it looks like he may be willing to let her proceed without giving herself up fully to the lifestyle. We got a glimpse of the House of Black and White’s basement, which consists of hundreds, or maybe even thousands of stored up faces. I think it’s safe to assume that these are all of the identities that the Faceless Men can assume (I was half expecting to see Jaqen face amongst them), and it may be a skill Arya is on her way to learning.
This was another solid episode of Game of Thrones, closed out by a shockingly disturbing scene that’s sure to create a lot of controversy. There has been a ton of emphasis put on the power struggle in the North, and Sansa now finds herself being tormented right bang in the middle of it. It’s really hard to guess which way any of this will go in the end. We all want to see the Bolton’s pay for what they’ve done, but we rarely get what we want on Game of Thrones. As if Stannis vs. Roose Bolton wasn’t an interesting enough prospect, Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale have been thrown into the mix. Littlefinger has been expertly orchestrating everything from even before the beginning of the show, and we’ve watched him go from Master of Coin, to Lord of Harrenhal, to de facto ruler of the Vale and now he’s heading towards becoming Warden of the North. With each scheme of his, Littlefinger gains more power, and if he manages to become Warden of the North with Sansa at his side while also still retaining the backing of the Vale, then the next logical step is the Iron Throne.
85/100 – Great
What were your thoughts on that closing scene? Did you think they took things a step too far, or was it not even the worst thing that has been on the show before? Tweet me @OldSnake24. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded!
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