Game of Thrones Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken recap: S5, E6

I’ll start cranking out this recap as soon as I’ve taken about a dozen hot showers to wash away the visual of that disgusting final scene. While the ever changing chess board that is this season of Westeros has been the series’ most engaging since Season 1, the show keeps finding frustrating and disturbing ways to demean its female characters.

Raping the female characters is sadly becoming a go-to shock moment for Game of Thrones as it’s the third such incident to happen to a significant character in five seasons. It’s even more maddening when the events veered so far off from the books (and prompted me to go on a spoiler search to see if the series’ most obnoxious character has been killed off in the books yet). Attention showrunners — there’s other ways to get viewers buzzing and you’ve done a great job of it this season, but let’s burn the rape section of the show plot lines grab bag. You can do better.

On the eve of her wedding night, Sansa had to endure some light threatening from Miranda, Ramsay’s looney sidepiece, who warned Sansa not to bore Ramsay else she could become the next prey in their hunt. Sansa summoned all her Dark Sansa experience she’s been building since last season and put Miranda in her place. Finally, Sansa was Stark-ing out and letting someone know she was not going to be anyone’s victim.

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Season by season, Sansa has been developing into a strong young woman first by beginning to stand up to Joffrey, abiding the lessons by mentors like Little Finger and Olennna Tyrell, and slowly living up to her family legacy. And then that awful final scene occurred.

game of thrones Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken - sansa and theonRamsay was at his worst tonight, happily grinning like a simpleton during his wedding to Sansa and then upping his psychotic craziness by a 1,000% on his wedding night — forcing Reek to stay and watch him rape Sansa.

This may be the first time in ‘Game of Thrones’ where Joffrey was a better option. Joffrey was at least good for getting smacked around by Tyrion. And deep down as evil and twisted as he was, there was some rationalizing his actions as Cersei and Tywin just enabling the rotten little bastard. Ramsay is just a purely deplorable character who the writers haven’t bothered developing at all since his introduction and spotlight him far too often in skin-crawling creepy that his scenes now just make me want to fast-forward rather than sit through another stomach-churning segment.

Ramsay’s only meaningful purpose will come when Theon/Reek finally guts him, but if watching his ‘sister’ getting raped could only move him to tears it may be time to get #KillRamsay trending.

It’s a shame that final segment occurred as it ruined what up until that point had been another sensational eventful episode with some killer dialogue.

game-of-thrones-unbowed-unbent-unbroken-iain-glen-peter-dinklage-001Jorrah learned from Tyrion that his father, Jeor Mormont — the former leader of The Night’s Watch — had been killed as Tyrion questioned Jorrah’s end game after presenting him to Daenerys as well as why Jorrah thought she would make such an effective leader. Before Jorrah could finish vouching for his Khaleesi, a group of slave traders (led by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) capture them. They plan to take Jorrah and kill Tyrion and sell his genitals as dwarf parts are considered good luck, but Tyrion assures them no one will believe Lil Tyrion came from a dwarf since it’s hardly dwarf sized. Tyrion talks fast enough to get Jorrah entered into Mereen’s pit fights and potentially a reunion after all with Dany.

Back at King’s Landing, Littlefinger sees is met by Lancel Lannister (now referring to himself as Brother Lancel) hanging with some of his Faith Militant brothers. He warns Littlefinger that there’s a new order in King’s Landing and it does not take kindly to his types of business.  Littlefinger retorts with a sharp line: ‘We both peddle fantasies. Mine just happen to be entertaining.’

Littlefinger’s schemes are never done as he informs Cersei that Sansa is back at Winterfell set to marry Roose Bolton’s son, which infuriates Cersei, who vows revenge on yet another set of traitors. Littlefinger advises her to just wait out the victor of the Stannis Baratheon/Roose Bolton conflict and offers his army at the Vale in exchange for being named the Warden of The North. It’s becoming harder and harder to figure out whose side Littlefinger really is on besides Team Littlefinger.

game of thrones Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken - olenna and margeryCersei has other matters to deal with though as her manipulations and scheming lead to Loras’ inquisition for his homosexual behavior. After perjuring themselves Loras and Margaery are shocked when the High Sparrow brings out Loras’ former squire who readily admits they were lovers and Margaery knew about it. The High Sparrow sends them to prison for perjury as Cersei can barely hold back her smirking. She really ought to as now she’s annoyed their grandmother, Olennna, who is the last person Cersei needs to get on the wrong side of, especially since she has her own secrets that could find her in a cell right alongside Margaery. Cersei is sooooo gonna wish she didn’t start this war by the time the season is done.

Bronn and Jaime make it to the main palace of Dorne to get Jaime’s niece-not-daughter Myrcella back home safe and sound, but arrive just as Oberyn’s daughters, The Sand Snakes, arrive to kidnap her and start the war between King’s Landing and Dorne. Despite being outnumbered, Jaime and Bronn hold their own long enough for Prince Doran’s bodyguard and troops to break up the fight and take them all into custody.

game-of-thrones-unbowed-unbent-unbroken-deobia-oparei-001At the House of Black and White, Arya is beginning her training on becoming no one and Jaqen finally took her to the lair behind the closed door revealing the warehouse of faces. This season has had some fantastic looking sets and this chamber was one of my favorites. Jaqen seems to feel Arya is ready to get going even if she can’t fully separate herself from Arya Stark.

After the pacing of the last two episodes, which allowed for enough time to the various subplots, this episode jumped around a bit too much shortchanging Bronn and Jaime’s scene as Jon, Stannis, Brienne and Dany sat on the sidelines. Hopefully next week will allow the subplots to breathe a bit smoother and the writers can save the next big terrible awful thing that happens to a character for Ramsay. Yeah, I know that won’t happen, but I can still dream.

Click here for Ep. 7 – The Gift

  • Barry Murray

    “The Dwarf lives until we find a cock-merchant”
    A line i never expected to hear out loud ever.
    Everything else in life will be a let down now…
    And of course, if you didn’t hate Ramsay before now, you will hate him forever…

  • That whole exchange had me cracking up.
    I’ve long since given up hope that Ramsay will get what’s coming to him, but killing him off almost seems too easy for what he’s due.

  • Barry Murray

    Yeah. He’s too bad of a character to kill off. They only seem to kill off the goodies.

  • Sadly you’re 100% right 🙁

  • Barry Murray

    Yeah. I am pretty sure Ramsay is alive as of now in the books.

  • Maybe he’ll be another character they kill off before his death in the books?

  • Barry Murray

    Nope. He will be kept around. The baddies are more interesting!

  • Roose I find very interesting. Littlefinger is fascinating and Cersei is always engaging. Ramsay just leaves me cold as he’s just always gonna do some terrible, miserable thing.

  • Barry Murray

    He must be a fun character for Iwan Rheon to play though. I bet he’s a nice guy in real life. But the character is a train wreck waiting to happen, lol

  • Oh I bet when Rheon gets the script he’s like “wow. I’m doing that this week?!?!”

  • Barry Murray

    Lots of controversy for the rape scene this week. And considering we have seen black oil smoke monsters born from a witch-woman, hookers killed with cross-bows, a guy who had thirty daughters all with kids he himself fathered(And that he donated all the sons to evil ice monsters in the woods), a man having his junk chopped off then turned into little more than a beast and a guy who got leeches dropped on his naked body, i thought Sansa’s “marriage” being consummated was fairly tame.

  • It’s more the continual go-to crutch of the rapes. They’re not constantly doing any of the other stuff and that’s where more of the outrage is coming from with viewers.

  • Barry Murray

    Yeah. It is brutal, but it’s known from the word go how brutal this can be. This show can be very shocking.

  • It feels like it’s been so long since the first season, but I don’t remember a lot of shocking scenes before Ned’s death. From there, it’s been crazy downhill!

  • Barry Murray

    Yeah. It all kicked off when Ned died.

  • Paulina Thomason

    “Continual go-to crutch” might be a bit much. Twice, or thrice if you include the one which was apparently meant to be consensual but wound up looking like a rape because of confusion between the writers and directors, is hardly continual. Mary Sue’s argument (in their follow up article, not in the original piece which just stated they didn’t feel like watching it anymore) was that they didn’t feel game of thrones and media more generally, didn’t devote enough time to exploring the trauma coming form the event. Honestly, that didn’t seem fair to me. They went into Daenary’s arc and how she dealt with it, pretty thoroughly (obviously she’s negotiating this within the context of a still deeply patriarchal society, but it certainly wasn’t unexamined) and they made their announcement before the next episode so I can’t really believe they were very interested in giving them a chance to investigate the aftermath of that either.

    At the risk of being run out of town by my fellow mary sues, choosing not to cover one of the few shows which offers a genuine variety of varied, rich and fully developed female characters because of this is really cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  • Thanks for commenting Paulina.
    I said that more in the sense that it’s been far too common for the main female characters on the show to get raped or have sorta implied rape/consensual sex and it seems used more for shock value than a meaningful contribution to the story.

    My kneejerk swearing off the show moment came with The Red Wedding (I was growing weary of the good guys always getting screwed around) but I’m still here.

    I’d hope they explore Sansa’s rape and somehow use that to make her stronger. I’m worried this will undo all the building up of her character and put her back into a victim’s mindset (which probably is more realistic).

    I was having this discussion with one of my friends and I’m curious, which of the female characters do you find the strongest?

  • Kris

    I do not see why you worry this rape will undo the build up of her character and put her back into a victim’s mindset. What about when Joffrey was raping her? Did it skip your attention? When she was to marry Tyrion she says that after what Joffrey did to her she is not afraid of this kind of pain. The only difference with Ramsay is that he made another man watch it, which is getting it to another level of sadism. Besides: what rape? Aren’t they married? Doesn’t wife belong to her husband? I think it is a good commentary on the culture where a wife belongs to her husband and her duty is to please him no matter what. The Church preached this for many centuries, citing the good Bible, and this mentality still prevails in many parts of the world.

  • Interesting take Kris. While he came close, Joffrey never slept/raped Sansa. Tyrion made an extra effort not to come close to her.
    I’ve always looked at rape as non-consensual and Sansa definitely wasn’t consenting with Ramsay.