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.
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.
Ramsay 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.
Jorrah 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.
Cersei 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.
At 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.