The theme of this week’s episode of Game of Thrones is truth. Okay, truthiness. Each situation that the main characters were forced with was contingent on telling the truth, Arya most of all. Littlefinger has been deceiving all parties in the guise of transparency. Cersei, meanwhile, is finding out that the truth is a very malleable concept, and she uses it to lure the Tyrell family into the grasp of the High Sparrow. Her brother, on the other hand, learned very quickly that sneaking around was not the best course of action. More sinisterly, Myranda told Sansa the truth and she completely ignored it, and by the end of the episode, she was: bowed, bent over and broken.
Faceless epiphany: Arya finally uncovers the secret of the many-faced men. She walks through a chamber, much like the Chamber of Secrets in Harry Potter, and discovers 1000’s of faces kept there. Now, I was always under the impression that there was some kind of magic or voodoo crap going on, and while it’s doubtful that these guys don’t just stash these faces in their pockets when they go out, it’s nice to know there is some type of explanation as to how this happens. Jaqen H’ghar says that while Arya is not ready to become “no one,” she was ready to become “someone else.” Maybe the Arrow?
Tyrion is the best character: Finally, Tyrion’s marathon of speech breaks down Jorah’s walls and open up about their political views. The parts I love most about Tyrion is that his conversations are always fruitful. They may not be what the other characters want to hear, but they are always what I want to hear as a fan. It took him four seasons to figure out that his last name was a curse and not a blessing, and that his cunningness is a trait with much use. His silver tongue saved not only his own genitalia, but rescued Jorah Mormont from being worked to death in the pits. Now they are both on their way to Meereen, albeit not in the best circumstances.
Dornography: With House Martell’s motto being the title of the episode, I’m glad there was finally some focus on what has been building up for most of the season so far. There’s a formal introduction to the lovebirds Trystane and Myrcella, who are really the victims of this whole ordeal. Luckily (and maybe a bit too conveniently), the Sand Snakes’ plans are foiled by Jaime and Bronn. If Jaime and Bronn can take all three of the Sand Snakes, how deadly are they? Areo Hotah is my new favorite character – at least until he dies, which is inevitable before the season ends. I’m excited to see how this unfolds and how Prince Doran, who is understandably angry over his siblings’ deaths, reacts to this situation.
Stones + Glass Houses: Cersei’s idiocy is showing for all to see. Littlefinger is playing her sooo hard, she can’t even see it because she is so caught up in her own rage. She’s unleashed a fire she can’t possibly hope to contain. Lest she forget about her multiple infractions of incest (one of which is a freaking Sparrow man) and bastard children. She’s in for some major atonement.
Withered rose: What a letdown. Lady Olenna traveled all that way to basically add fuel to the flame. Margaery was screwed the moment she opened her mouth, so Olenna not only doomed her son and heir, but her daughter and Queen, too. With the way she handled Joffrey, I was expecting some real action to take place. Obviously, she won’t take this threat lying down, but this episode was a huge misstep for House Tyrell.
Winterfail: Myranda’s jealousy led her to try to scare Sansa off with horrific stories about how she and Ramsay would mutilate and murder his past lovers. However, Sansa really should have heeded that warning – or the one staring her in the face as she accepts her marriage, Reek. Ramsay is an evil shit, and she is a dumbass for thinking things would be different for her. Ramsay is like a grown up version of Joffrey. The ending scene on their wedding night is quite possibly the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen on the show, and it did not sit well with me, mostly because I know it will only get worse from here on out. Somebody please kill this dude.
Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things (Odds and Ends)
The Waif: I may be mistaken, but wasn’t that girl blind the last we saw her? The one Arya called a cunt? I wonder if blindness is in Arya’s future, too.
Suicide Watch: The slaver that takes Tyrion and Jorah captive is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz, Lost), who will play Killer Croc in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. After the appearance of Rila Fukushima in “High Sparrow,” could this be more than a coincidence? Also, could the irony of captors capturing the captor be any stronger?
The Dornishman’s Wife: The song Bronn tries to serenade Jaime with is a ditty from the books, most well known for being sung by Mance Rayder. It’s basically about how a Dornishman killed a man for getting busy with his wife.
Not my Godswood: Something about Ramsay and Sansa being wed underneath the Godswood just pissed me off. It was like desecrating something special. We really haven’t seen the tree used since Bran was still Lord of Winterfell, so this felt just… violating.
Hodor Hodors (Best Quotes)
“The dwarf lives until we find a cock merchant.” – Malko (slaver)
“We both peddle fantasies, Brother Lancel. Mine just happen to be entertaining.” – Petyr Baelish
“Sometimes we must work with our rivals instead of destroy them.” – Lady Olenna Tyrell
Who won the Game of Thrones this episode?
One could argue the point that Cersei won this episode, and I certainly would not say that they are incorrect… but I hate Cersei, and since this game is rigged, I will not allow her to win. While she may have won the battle with the Tyrells, she will not win the war. Littlefinger, on the other hand, has the big picture in mind with his moves. In the interest of appearing transparent with all parties involved, he has revealed the same circumstances to each of the possible victors (aside from Stannis) in the hopes of endearing the winner and possibly supplanting whomever is kicked out of Winterfell. Worst case scenario, he has surrounded himself with subordinates in the Eyrie, whose narrow Bloody Gates make it near impossible to penetrate. He even seems willing to deliver Sansa’s head to Cersei if it means naming him Warden of the North (probably not, though). Baelish is always thinking six steps ahead of his opponents, which at this point is most everybody, so where he ends up is anybody’s guess. The only ones who have been able to match him intellectually in the story so far have been Tyrion and Varys; with them half a world away, Littlefinger can play.
Hush Comics gives “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” a B- for showing us an episode of chess moves that, while entertaining and foreshadowing, was hard to watch as a fan.
All media credited to HBO