Westeros in "Game of Thrones" is not a happy place. It's full of terrible things happening to good people. The few rays of hope in the show are very far away from King's Landing, and their quests to right the wrongs of the world are in their early stages. "Game of Thrones" Season 5, episode 6, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" featured a horrific scene that may have fans turning away in anger.
Warning: "Game of Thrones" Season 5 spoilers and "A Song of Ice and Fire" discussion ahead.
Sansa Stark's Wedding
Sansa's wedding night may have been the lowest moment of the series. Last season featured a questionable scene involving Cersei and Jaime -- one that many felt involved rape. It only added insult to injury that this moment was never dealt with on the show. There was plenty of controversy regarding that scene -- which also appeared in George R.R. Martin's novels -- but this new scene involving Sansa's screams as Ramsay begins to have sex with her on their wedding night may have been too horrifying for fans to justify or explain.
Sansa Stark remains trapped in Winterfell on her wedding day. Miranda, the kennel master's daughter, draws her a bath and reveals how much of a monster Ramsay has been to other women. This is reminiscent of her relationship with Joffrey and she is once again faced with the prospect of living with a horrible person -- except "Game of Thrones" Season 5 was setting up the groundwork that she was not the helpless child blinded by a romantic notion of becoming the queen. She accepted her role in Littlefinger's scheme, armed with knowledge of how horrible Westeros was. Sansa has power and agency for the first time, and she's one of the few truly good characters viewers want to see have a satisfying storyline.
The wedding starts as Sansa has regained her red hair and Reek/Theon is set to give her away. Sansa looks beautiful in white -- a very stark contrast to the black-clad Boltons. The snow and the weirwood tree make for a lovely setting. It would be the perfect ceremony were it not for the circumstances. As the scene occurred, I'm sure every viewer hoped for something terrible to happen to Ramsay. He has to get his comeuppance, right? Miranda's stories foreshadow a twist of fate for Ramsay.
If the wedding wasn't bad enough, the wedding night was even worse. This is the first time in "Game of Thrones" anyone cheered for Theon. "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" ends on a horrific note, and we see Reek/Theon's face while hearing Sansa's agony.
Depending on how much you trust D.B. Weiss, David Benioff and George R.R. Martin, this scene may have been horrific in a way that's just ugly. The Red Wedding was horrible, but it made sense within the narrative and was bolstered by the history of the show. It made sense that Robb Stark and Catelyn Stark would die, but does that apply to Sansa? There are four more episodes where Sansa could destroy the Boltons, but would that be enough for viewers?
Arya's Apprenticeship Gets High Marks
Arya Stark begins her training with the Faceless Men by washing and preparing cadavers, a step up -- albeit a morbid one -- from sweeping the floor.
Considering it's Arya, we know she's having a hard time adjusting to giving up her entire identity. She remains stubborn and wants answers, which are pretty hard to come by in the House of Black and White. Arya fails again at the Game of Faces, and we get a clue about her real feelings for the Hound.
What's real and what's not? That's a question Arya has to face daily. There's the game -- which is all about honesty -- and there are the stories that are told, the identities put on by the Faceless Men. These have to be as real as the truth to the individuals who are about to receive the gift of death. Arya tells a complete lie, but the story provides mercy and peace to the young girl prior to drinking from the cup.
With that, Arya passes to the next stage of the apprenticeship. The room of faces is stunning to behold. There are so many lives, individuals, histories, stories and experiences represented by these masks. If Arya becomes a member of the Faceless Men, she'll have to put on one of these faces and become something completely different. That means giving up her plans for revenge in Westeros, but is Arya up to that task?
Dornish Diversions And Slaver Setbacks
Myrcella Baratheon and Tyrstane Martell are in love despite the arranged nature of their relationship. It's a glimmer of hope in "Game of Thrones" Season 5 and for the show in general. There's rarely any happiness in Westeros, which means these two are doomed.
Jaime and Bronn have reached the Water Gardens rather easily. The timing of their visit couldn't be any better as the Sand Snakes and Ellaria launch their own attack. The two factions square off, but it's all for naught as Areo Hotah and the Dornish guards intervene. Jaime, Bronn, the Sand Snakes and Ellaria Snakes are in quite the predicament.
Across the Narrow Sea, Tyrion and Jorah continue to have a hard time on the road. Jorah is the gruff, silent type while Tyrion is a bit more talkative. Tyrion shares the news he killed Tywin. Jorah's father, on the other hand, was a great leader and was an admirable Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Tyrion breaks the news Jeor Mormont was killed during the mutiny at Craster's Keep. It's easy to forget news doesn't really travel, and Mormont's death occurred in "Game of Thrones" Season 3.
Tyrion and Jorah discuss Daenerys and her right to the throne. The whole idea of justice and a rightful claim in Westeros is an ideal notion that may not have much basis in reality. While a certain part of Tyrion's anatomy got him captured in Volantis, it gives him a pardon from death until a suitable merchant can be found. Jorah's prowess as a fighter means he'll have to earn his right to live in the newly reopened fighting pit.
Tyrells In Trouble In King's Landing
Littlefinger has arrived in King's Landing, and he's doling out good advice. He drops another loaded sentence dripping with knowledge of past indiscretions. In doing so, he promises the Vale will remain loyal to the throne, but does that extend to House Lannister? He quickly spins a yarn about Sansa Stark winding up in Winterfell and set to marry Ramsay Bolton. He lays the blame at the feet of the Boltons, and his chess game nets him a larger prize -- the North.
The Queen of Thorns has also returned to King's Landing and she pulls no punches. The "tart" comment hit Cersei hard, but she's having the last laugh. Oleanna Tyrell never liked Tywin, but respected him. With Cersei, there's no respect, but there's still an alliance to be kept.
Things could not have gone worse for the Ser Loras inquisition. The High Sparrow continues to be a nuisance and Cersei's scheming has reached a new level with the imprisonment of Margaery Tyrell. While she's looking like the victor, will Cersei soon reach too far?