Arya is washing corpses in the House of Black and White. There is a gorgeous music playing in the background. Waif comes in and tells Arya to get back to work. Waif tells her she will know why she is washing corpses when it's time, she also tells her of herself a bit. And then she asks was it a lie or truth? Arya doesn't know.
Jaqen teaches Arya lying. Whenever Arya lies he hits her with a whip. Arya says that she hated Sandor and he hits her. I was hoping she will mention Brotherhood without Banners. No such luck. Why do you do these things to me?
Meanwhile, Jorah and Tyrion are still traveling. Tyrion tells Jorah that he killed Tywin and tells Jorah that at least his father was a good man, referencing commander Mormont - you remember him, right? It was nice that they finally reminded the audience of a connection between Joer and Jorah which was last mentioned in what, season 1? Before he died commander mentioned Jorah to Sam but it was never featured in the show.
Tywin tells Jorah of his father's death, how he was killed by his own men. Apparently Tyrion has better intel than Littlefinger.
Arya is scrubbing floors when a man enters, carrying a sick girl. The man asks Arya to end the girl's suffering. Arya approaches the girl and tells her not to be afraid. Arya tells her that she was sick and dying too but her father never gave up on her. Arya says she drunk the water from the fountain and it healed her. The girl drinks and Jaqen is watching from the distance, pleased with Arya's progress in the art of lying.
The girl is then shown dead and Arya is stroking her hair. Jaqen comes in. Arya then follows him downstairs. They enter the room - or to be more specific - the Hall of Faces. Jaqen asks if she is ready to give up all that she is. Jaqen tells her she is not ready to become no one, but she is ready to become someone else. The design of the Hall was very well done and the whole scene was appropriately atmospheric.
Back to Jorah and Tyrion they talk about Daenerys. Jorah asks if Tyrion believes in gods, to which Tyrion responds no. Jorah says he was like Tyrion until the night dragons were born and Daenerys was unharmed by the fire. Then they talk of Jorah's plan. Tyrion is hesitant because Daenerys has no experience and he doesn't think she would be a good queen.
And bam! They are imprisoned by slavers. Led by Mr. Eko, no less. They want to chop Tyrion's cock off because dwarf's cock has magic powers. The hilarious exchange follows where Tyrion tells them they have to show the buyer a dwarf otherwise he won't know the cock came from a dwarf. One of the slavers says he will know it's a dwarf's cock and Tyrion goes "GUESS AGAIN!"
Slaver tells them Daenerys opened the fighting pits. Tyrion spins the tale about Jorah being an incredible warrior. Jorah tells them he killed the dothraki blood rider in single combat and Mr. Eko is impressed. The plan is to get Jorah into the fighting pit. He really can't catch a break, can he?
In King's Landing Batfinger arrives. Faith Taliban arrives along with Lancel and tells Littlefinger of all their great deeds they have been doing like spilling wine into the gutters. My God, the audacity. Littlefinger tells Lancel he is there with urgent business to Queen Mother and he is allowed to go.
Cersei is sitting in front of her wine and Littlefinger asks her if she thinks it's wise to arrest the heir of Highgarden. Cersei tries playing him like Tommen and tells him it's the Faith that arrested Loras. Littlefinger tells her House Tyrell won't tolerate it. Cersei drops golden line of how Loras was promised to her and instead chose the company of boys so she is the one who is insulted.
The conversation steers to Lysa and Cersei says she pities her son Robin. Cersei asks if the knights of the Vale will fight for the King. LF tells her he always counsels loyalty to the throne. He has told so many other versions to different people I'm surprised he can keep track, especially given his insane stupidity that is reaching new levels with this whole Sansa plot.
And here comes the bomb - Littlefinger tells Cersei he found Sansa. He tells her his sources tell him Sansa is in Winterfell and is to marry Ramsaay. Cersei is furious at Roose who was proclaimed to be Warden of the North by Tywin. LF mentions Stannis is marching on Winterfell so Cersei should just let them slaughter each other. Cersei tells LF Jaime and Kevan cannot help with any forces that could go there and claim the castle. So LF offers Vale riders. LF wants to be named Warden of the North.
Surely the riders won't back him up, yes? Please tell me they won't listen to this glorified gigolo.
Dorne gets even more cheesy with Trystane and Myrcella. Trystane who is - wait is he the son of Doran in the show? Who cares. And Myrcella, the daughter of Jaime and Cersei. They are all lovely dovey and Doran along with his bodyguard Areo look at them from the balcony. Doran tells him they need to protect the young couple.
We finally get to hear Dornishman's wife, beloved song from the books. We hear Bronn sing it on his way with Jaime. The two are wearing Dornish outfits...to blend in. You know with all the grass that surrounds them. Jaime and Bronn sneak into Water Garden with ease. By that I mean that NO ONE is there to guard the place where the prince lives.
At the same time Sand Snakes and Ellaria say the house Martell words "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" and shout "for Oberyn". Yeah, I don't think Oberyn died for that shit.
Meanwhile, Trystane and Myrcella are sucking face and they are interrupted by Jaime and Bronn. Myrcella is stunned to see "her uncle" there. Trystane notices blood on Bronn's clothes and reaches for a sword, so Bronn hits him. Jaime urges Myrcella to go but in true Twilight fashion she refuses.
Enter Sand Snakes. Boy that fight scene....I tell you Oberyn is rolling in his grave. It was so funny. I mean it was terrible but at least it was funny. It was basically Bronn and Jaime waving their weapons around while these three were jumping around and making hilarious noises. Thank God, Areo shows up and arrests them all. Including Ellaria.
Also Keisha what's her name is the only actress in the show who is Oscar nominated and let me tell you her acting was so bad I seriously started missing Shae.
Grandma Olenna arrives, throws comment about how everything smells like shit and then takes Margaery for a little "Renly was gay, who cares, Loras is gay, who cares, they can't imprison people for that" conversation.
Olenna then goes to see Cersei. She tells her to release Loras and reminds her of how precious Tyrell-Lannister alliance is. Cersei says how there is just gonna be an inquiry and she is sure Loras is not guilty. Olenna remarks that she respected Tywin, implying that she has absolutely no respect for Cersei and her actions are foolish. Still, I was surprised by how easy Olenna went on Cersei.
The inquiry happens and High Sparrow is questioning Loras about Renly. Loras denies ever having any relations with him. The High Sparrow asks Margaery to testify. She says she doesn't know of any wrong doing on her brother's part. Then Olyvar, that convenient bisexual plot device from Littlefinger's brothel is brought in.
He says that he had relations with Loras many times and that Margaery knew about it. Cersei is all like "how dare you accuse great house of such things" and plot device mentions the plot device in the form of Dorne-shaped birthmark on Loras
Dorne-shaped birthmark, seriously, you guys.
While all of this is almost as flimsy as Sansa plot in Winterfell, at least King's Landing storyline got going and Cersei regained her bitchy, fabulous self. This will only keep getting better and better with every single episode now.
And here we go to the land where we all cry and scream in agony.
Sansa is sitting by the candlelight and there is a knock on the door. It's Myranda. She tells Sansa that Ramsay sent her to draw her a bath. Then Myranda is washing the black dye off Sansa's hair - because there is no reason to hide anymore (when was she hiding, exactly?!). She then proceeds to tell Sansa of Ramsay's previous girls and the horrible fate they met.
Sansa won't have any of this - she tells this basic bitch "I am Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home. And you can't frighten me.". She sends Myranda away. I loved Sansa in this moment. She was channelling so much of Catelyn, her pride, her fierceness, her nobility.
Which made what followed so much worse.
Theon comes by. Sansa is wearing a beautiful wedding gown. Theon is there to escort Sansa to Godswood where she will marry Ramsay. He asks her to give him her arm but Sansa refuses. Theon says that Ramsay will punish him and Sansa tells him she doesn't care what happens to him.
Sansa is escorted to the Godswood - it was so nice seeing this beautiful place again and the whole sequence looked gorgeous. Roose and Ramsay are there and Theon gives away the bride. Sansa agrees to marry Ramsay.
And then the real awfulness started.
In the next scene Ramsay and Sansa walk into the bedroom with Theon. Ramsay becomes more and more creepy with each passing moment while Sansa tries being sweet, smiles at him, answers politely. He asks her about her virginity and Tyrion. Sansa remarks how nice and gentle Tyrion was, a little thing I really liked hearing.
And then everything goes to horrible place.
Ramsay orders Theon to stay in the room, saying he saw Sansa growing up and now he will witness her becoming a woman. He orders Sansa to undress and she does it slowly so he loses patience and rips her beautiful dress. He bends her over and we see frightened expression on Sansa's face.
Then all we see is camera closing in on Theon's face, as he cries and becomes filled with rage and hopelessness as Sansa screams in agony.
They had Catelyn and Ned's daughter raped by the worst monster in the show. Just a little over a year ago an episode where Cersei was raped by Jaime - though they had consensual sex in the books - aired. There was backlash and that was the last straw for many, which now pushed them to hate watching. Now, any sane or at least risk avoiding person would try to avoid this kind of trouble again. Any station would want to avoid having this many women upset. And what do the writers and HBO do? They have Sansa raped by Ramsay.
Not only was that not even in the books, as Sansa is used as replacement for whole other character while book Sansa has a story of her own. This is one of those times where it's really difficult to write about the scene without seeing the rest of the season.
For us book readers, we have no idea what is going to happen. We can only assume that just as in the books SPOILER Theon and the bride escape and run into Stannis. END OF SPOILER But truly if that is it, if that is the pay off and Theon finally snaps, couldn't he snap before Sansa was raped? This is the girl who saw her father die - she was the ONLY Stark who saw her father die - this is the girl whose direwolf was killed, who was abused by Joffrey, married to a man she didn't love, almost raped by a mob, then a toy in psychopath's hands and now her first sexual encounter is with Ramsay.
Please tell me there is a point to this. Please tell me there is an epic vengeance coming for this particular thing. Please don't brush off rape and this girl's first sexual experience being an assault as one of the many things that command revenge. This on its own commands revenge.
The only reason why I have hope this will lead to something and I'm probably wrong is the way this scene was done. They were so lucky Jeremy Podeswa was the director here. The scene was as tasteful as it could possibly be and captured every single nuance - Theon's rage which will no doubt culminate in him overcoming Reek and helping Sansa and Sansa's growing realization that her charm won't stop Ramsay's brutality.
I cried twice watching Thrones. When Catelyn saw Robb's dead body hit the floor and when Stannis told Shireen of how much he loves her.
During Sansa's wedding and bedding scene I cried for the third time.
I'm not ready to join the outrage. There are people calling for a boycott, shouting they'll never watch the show again and even thinking that the title of the episode is a disgusting pun referencing Sansa. But this time I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt.
Yes, they can make it worse. They can have Sansa pregnant with Ramsay's child. But they can also have her team with Stannis or even be the one who slaughters Ramsay. Whatever happens, my judgement on Sansa in Winterfell hangs to the answer on two questions - will Sansa avenge her innocence being taken? And will she avenge the North?
I hope she cuts Ramsay's dick off while Stannis shoves a sword down his mouth.
I also hope Stoneheart shows up and hangs Brienne. That stupid bitch is sitting in the tower waiting for candle light while Sansa is getting raped.
Sophie Turner and Alfie Allen were wonderful again. Allen's work especially is just incredible. If there is someone who truly deserves the Emmy this season, it's him. And I suspect him and Sophie have several wonderful scenes coming up in this season.
As a whole the episode was very good. I thought this is gonna be my least favorite episode of the season on account of what happened to Sansa, lack of Stannis and the inclusion of Dorne but the episode was very well paced and at least Sand Snakes were so awful they provided comic relief, which Lord knows was needed this week.
Next week the one true King returns in The Gift - Stannis is determined to keep marching on Winterfell, Sansa and Theon find new understanding, the winter arrives and Cersei visits Margaery, while Jon leaves for Hardhome
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