The night is dark and full of spoilers, fair friends of the Realm. Which is to say if you have yet to watch Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” we highly suggest you turn away from this very informative lil recap tout de suite. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya, ya gooses.
Oh, Game of Thrones, how you torture us with the push-pull of this steady build. Something terrible is coming (and we don’t just mean the White Walkers) — we see all the pieces of the puzzle being put into place, but we’re still not quite sure where it’s all going. We have our theories, of course (and yes, they are grizzled and deadly, filled with murderstuff), but we’re still not sure what and when it’s all going down. So let’s just dive right into it, shall we?
OVER IN BRAAVOS:
Arya is learning a thing or two about what she signed up for when she decided to pursue the serial murderperson existence. The night was heavy on the Arya (yay!), and gave us quite a lot more insight into just what in the heck these Faceless Men really are — a religious band of shapeshifters (essentially), hoarding the faces of the bodies they use to be other people within the walls of the House of Black and White. But it wasn’t an easy road to answers for Arya, who spent the whole of the evening washing dead bodies, being whipped any time she lied to Jaqen while playing the Game of Faces, and helping a poor, sick, young girl go gently into that good night. She may not be ready to go full-on Faceless, but she proved herself ready for the next step: being someone else. Oh my gosh is Arya going to shapeshift into another human’s body next week?
Perhaps the most interesting part of the night for us, though — besides the faces, which! Ahhh the faces! — was the reveal that Arya’s humanity might still be more intact than we thought, as evidenced by how Jaqen believed her to be lying when she said she hated The Hound. She may have hated him at one point, but by the time they were traveling companions she probably lied to herself to make things easier. Who knows, but it made me feel oddly better about the mental state of Arya Stark (even though she was getting whipped by Jaqen in the process). Maybe she’ll be OK and not a shell of her former self after all! Unlikely but hey: let us have this moment.
JUST OUTSIDE VALYRIA:
Tyrion and Jorah got to know each other based on their own personal daddy issues. In fact, the duo had themselves a bit of a heart-to-heart …until pirates showed up and foiled their plot, taking them captive on their way back to Volantis. (Nooo! But they were just there!) Prior to Malko and his crew’s arrival, Jorah and Tyrion discussed the merits and ethics of Dany’s rule — how Jorah came to believe in her after seeing her birth the dragons; why Tyrion thinks it’s probably not all that wise to have someone rule who’s never lived any part of her adult life in Westeros, especially someone from as batshit crazy a line as the Targaryen’s — and why the Lannister imp would be anywhere but King’s Landing. Tyrion also accidentally spilled the beans on Lord Commander Mormont’s death …something of which his son, Ser Jorah, had no knowledge. OOOF. As if contracting Greyscale wasn’t bad enough.
Although who knows where these two are going to end up at this point: Malko and his pirates turned out to be all-too-keen on selling Tyrion’s magical dwarf dick to some professional dwarf dick-sellers, which are apparently a thing because Realmstuff. What a place!
MEANWHILE IN KING’S LANDING:
Cersei continued to paint herself into a corner. Because there is no scenario in which this all works out for her, right? I mean, everyone’s unhappy, the Faith Militant have been quite ham-handed with their new high-and-mighty position as moral judge and jury, and something tells us we should add “pissing off Lady Olenna Tyrell” to the list of major Westerosi no-nos. Cersei’s scrambling and making rash mistakes, going about this whole “hold onto control” thing way, way wrong.
Nothing about letting the Faith Militant run things could possibly bring her luck — not with her brotherlovering, niece-and-nephew-mothering, and the murder of her ex-husband all fairly terribly kept secrets within the Realm. Conniving people can only play the “who me?” game so long before someone sniffs out their mountains of bullshit. It’s only a matter of time.
Besides, Cersei’s “allies” are paper-thin at best: the Faith Militant …and Littlefinger? Honestly, there may be no more self-serving human in the whole of the Known Realm so good luck getting him to stay on your side, girl. As soon as he has himself the title Warden of the North and Lady Sansa on his arm? (Oh yeah p.s. Cers, she’s ALIVE TWIST/SPOILERS) FORGET IT. Words mean nothing to that man. And maybe if Cersei actually listened to the words that were coming out of his mouth rather than what she wanted to hear she’d get that already.
All of this has proven how delusional Cersei truly is: “House Lannister has no rival”; “I have no love for these fanatics, but what can I do?” GIRL NO ONE IS BUYING YOUR GILDED HORSESHIT just stop.
DOWN IN DORNE:
We got another quick glimpse of the Sand Snakes, this time getting into a bit of a skirmish with Jaime and Ser Bronn (who FINALLY got to show off his ample vocal abilities at last).
After sneaking into the Water Gardens to rescue Myrcella from the Martell clan and their intended marriage, Jaime and Bronn were ambushed by the Sand Snakes (at the behest of Ilaria) and drawn into battle. Though it wasn’t long before everyone knew what was up and Areo Hotah, Prince Doran’s main sword, was on them.
Because no one — save Trystane and Myrcella, doing their best Romeo and Juliet — is happy about this marriage. Not the Martells, not the Lannisters, not even the Sand Snakes. It’s funny to see everyone scheme and angrily seeth about this marriage when really, if they all just said it out loud, they could probably find a nice little resolution. But that would be wildly boring and unbloody, so! We’re going to scheming route instead.
AND FINALLY, IN WINTERFELL:
We had another wedding. A terrible, awful, no good, very bad wedding: between Ramsay Bolton and Sansa Stark. And, as you might’ve guessed: it ended very, very rapeily. Sigh.
At first we had hopes that things would be OK: how Sansa raked Miranda over the coals for trying to scare her regarding Ramsay’s violent and insane ways. “I’m Sansa Stark of Winterfell, this is my home and you can’t frighten me.” We thought, ‘Oh hey girl you GO!’ But that very quickly faded when we saw the terror in her eyes.
It was also a bit upsetting to see her bristle (very understandably, we might add) at Theon’s attempts to care for her in his Reek-y way. If only he could tell her that he lied about killing her brothers and that they’re actually north of The Wall! If only they could look past the ugliness of their earlier days and just find solace in one another and/or try and plot to kill Ramsay.
I mean, the way he forced Theon to watch him take Sansa’s virginity — there was a flash of rage in Theon’s eyes under the sadness and grief, no? We thought for a second that he might actually kill Ramsay in that moment. We just really want Sansa to have someone in her corner in that damn castle — winter is pretty much here in Winterfell, and the time to find allies feels like right about now.
Silver-lining to all of this, though? They finally let poor Theon take a bath.
What’d you think of the episode? Let us hear it in the comments.