Game of Thrones Episode Review: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

****WARNING: This review deals with some triggery subjects such as assault, as presented in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.****

Game of Thrones

Season 5 | Episode 6 | Aired May 17, 2015

This episode was… an interesting one. There were several things about this episode that I enjoyed, but, surprisingly, there were also several things I didn’t like. It also seemed to be a very sibling focused episode, with Sansa and Arya having primary storylines, the Lannisters, the Tyrells, even stories of siblings.

I’m a little torn about Arya’s storyline in this episode. I like that she seems to be coming into her own at the House of Black and White, you know? She seemed to be figuring things out and making progress. But I also hated how they made her out to be a whiny child. Arya’s always been strong, in my opinion, one of the strongest characters on the show.

I'm not playing

In season one she rebelled against the things typically expected of her as a young lady, season two and she was surviving horrific situations, season four she survived travelling around with the hound. It’s like now they’ve stuck her in a dress and got her around new people, she’s suddenly a little girl who is angry at how unfair everything is instead of taking that anger and turning it into strength and vengeance. But! I do think that this will change in the next couple episodes. Arya does deserve to take a bit of a breather and I think we’ll probably see her back to being the badass that she is. Hopefully with Needle.

I am Sansa Stark of Wintefell

As for the other Stark sister, I hated what they did to Sansa in this episode. At first I was excited. As she’s talking to the girl who had been planning to marry Ramsay, she tells her, “I’m Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home and you can’t frighten me.” I was cheering, like, “Yes Sansa!” She wasn’t scared, she wasn’t a child anymore, she had grown up and was dealing with her situation in a way that I don’t think she could have a few seasons ago. And then they went and tore it all apart.

You can't frighten me

After Sansa marries Ramsay, he takes her to bed and forces Theon to stand there and watch. First of all, was this scene necessary? Overall I would like to say no, never, absolutely not. There were so many other ways they could have motivated Sansa to either destroy Ramsay and the Boltons or get her to Brienne without adding in what was completely unnecessary violence against her. There are plenty of other ways to spur on Sansa’s vengeance against Ramsay without making him assault her. What makes it even worse is the idea that it was done so as to advance Theon’s character (which we obviously don’t know for sure, it’s just speculation), as presented by Vanity Fair.

“Even worse than the idea of Sansa needing this to motivate her into vengeance is the notion that the Theon character needed to watch her rape in order to snap out of whatever zombie/Reek fugue state he’s been walking around in. I’m afraid that is the show’s interpretation, based on where the camera lingered. But the last thing we needed was to have a powerful young woman brought low in order for a male character to find redemption. No thank you.”
-Vanity Fair

If they had Ramsay assault Sansa just to move Theon’s character along then that is 100% not okay. Sansa was becoming empowered, she was holding her own. She’s survived so many awful situations and come out stronger and that had better be the case here. If they use this to turn Sansa into some of damsel in distress and Theon, now back to being Theon, comes to her rescue, then this show will have reached a point I didn’t think possible.

There are so many different opinions on this and it is such a hard subject to talk about because of that. I think I probably rewrote this about six times, trying to make sure I got it across properly. In my opinion, I don’t think it was necessary. Obviously in a show like this that stuff does happen, but it really seems to happen a lot in this show and in this case I just don’t think it was needed. Was it meant to motivate Sansa against the Boltons? Well, personally, I think the fact that they murdered her family is enough motivation and this was like he camel on the already broken Camel’s back. I don’t know, I don’t know what to say any about this anymore without repeating myself/having it come out as gibberish. I guess now we just have to wait until next week to see where this leads.

I know there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of different opinions on the matter and that’s all this is, an opinion. Some are saying that it was necessary to develop Sansa’s character and motivate her revenge against the Boltons once and for all. This is a hard subject to talk about because you don’t ever want to justify what happened, but also think that if they use this scene as a means to motivate anyone besides Sansa (because, you know, the fact that Boltons murdered her family wasn’t motivation enough) then that’ll make it worse.

Alright, moving on. Baelish told Cersei exactly where Sansa was and what she was doing there. What? What? Baelish what are you doing? I never know when he’s being sneaky versus when he’s being an asshat so I have no idea who’s side he’s on now. I mean, I guess he’s on his own side, as usual, but seriously, is this supposed to benefit Sansa or Cersei? Is there some underlying plan here? I really hope so. I assume so.

Also, after many weeks of talking about her, we finally met this season’s Myrcella. She actually seems quite happy in Dorne with Trystane which would be great if there weren’t a bunch of people there who wanted her dead. Jaime and Bronn find her and try to convince her to come with them just as the Sand Snakes attack. Thankfully, they all make it out of the fight after several guards from Dorne break them apart. Needlessly to say, this isn’t quite how I thought things would go. I didn’t think they’d find her so quickly, or that Myrcella would like Dorne so much, or that none of them would die. Though, there’s still several episodes left so I guess there’s still plenty of time for things to go South.

Can we just take a minute to acknowledge how beautiful everything in Dorne is. They’re so brightly coloured! I never really noticed it before and despite all the completely awful stuff that happened last night, the pinks and yellows and other bright colours were a nice contrast.

Myrcella and Trystane

We also saw a bit of Tyrion Lannister in this episode and he had quite a nice interaction with Jorah. I love both of these characters separately so having them together, with how different they are, is hilarious. Jorah is so serious and focused on his mission. Meanwhile Tyrion is hungry and wants a drink. I’m pretty certain that ever since Jorah kidnapped Tyrion he’s told the Lannister brother to shut up in every episode.

Sidenote, what happened to Varys? Does he know Tyrion was kidnapped? Does he think he just wandered off drunk? Is he still travelling to see Dany? Will he meet Tyrion there? Where is he?

Finally, this episode may have been called “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, I feel like the Tyrell storyline should have it’s own title of “The Betrayal, The Trial, The Arrest”. Like, that was intense. It seemed like such a relaxed environment, but it turned pretty quickly. Loras is on trial with the High Sparrow for being a ‘Pillow Biter’.

Loras he swears he didn’t do anything and Margaery swears he did nothing wrong (even though both of them know that’s not the case), and for a moment it seems as if everything is going to be okay. And then the doors open and in walks Olivar. Oh my god I was so angry! I liked Olivar. I said in one of my recent reviews that he was only on screen for a few minutes and I’m already attached to him!

Margaery Taken

But he walked in and told them about how he and Olivar had slept together and that Margaery knew because she had walked in on them. This resulted in both Tyrell siblings being arrested. Loras for being a ‘pillow biter’ and Margaery for lying in front of the Gods. I don’t know what I think of all this. I hope Margaery and Loras are released because they’re both amazing. But then this whole thing with Olivar. Did he do just because he could? Did Cersei force him to tell them? Why would he do this? He can’t honestly think he’s going to be declared innocent just because he told them because that’s never how these things work. Did you see Margaery’s grandmother? She is about to flip her lid. The last person who crossed her family choked to death at his own wedding so…

And can I just say, why didn’t Tommen say anything?! He didn’t even get up! Come on Tommen, get it together!

Deep Sigh

This show… I just… I don’t know… I’m always left with so many questions at the end of each episode, but as they usually do, it’ll all come to a head in the last couple episodes and things will explode.

What did you think of last night’s episode? What do you think is going to happen next?

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Game of Thrones Episode Review – “Sons of the Harpy”

Game of Thrones

Season 5 | Episode 4 | Aired May 3, 2015

Whenever I watch an episode of Game of Thrones I take notes on what’s happened. I do this because so much happens in each episode and I want to make sure I remember everything that happens when it comes time to write this. The only problem with this is that I write the notes really quickly because I’m mostly paying attention to the episode and by the time I’m done I’ve got like, two pages of notes that I need to then try and compress into a review.

So, bare with me, because a lot happened in this episode that needs to be covered.

First, Jorah has Tyrion. We didn’t see too much of these guys in this episode, but I wanted to mention this because I was laughing so hard at the fact that Tyrion manages to annoy people even when he has a gag in his mouth. Also because, going off the preview for next Sunday, we’ll be seeing a lot more of these two.

Second, in this episode we finally see Jaime and Bronn arrive in Dorne. They immediately run into trouble in the form of several Dornish men, but despite the danger I was laughing. During his fight against one of the men, the Dornish man’s sword becomes stuck in Jaime’s gold hand, allowing him to kill his opponent. This was so unexpected and such a lucky move that would only ever happen Game of Thrones that I just couldn’t stop laughing.

Jaime and Bronn

However, the happiness doesn’t last long when we learn that Ellaria has three women out in a tent willing to gather an army and kill Myrcella for her. What’s worse is that the captain of the ship who helped smuggle Jaime and Bronn to Dorne has told one of the women about their arrival. I said it before and I’m saying it again, someone’s going to die. Probably multiple someone’s as this is Game of Thrones. But will it be Jaime? Fighting to rescue his daughter? Bronn, trying to uphold his end of the bargain and honour? Myrcella, accidentally caught in the crossfire? Or Ellaria, guided only by vengeance for Oberyn (and we saw how well that turned out for him). Who do you think is going to be killed in the fight?

Now, moving onto the final Lannister sibling. This was a very Lannister-centered episode wasn’t it? Once again we saw Cersei manipulating and conniving and just doing what she does best to get her way. On one hand, I’m really enjoying this whole plot of Cersei .vs. Margaery in their attempt to rule. But on the other hand, I was so angry with Cersei in this episode. At first I didn’t really understand what she and the High Sparrow were talking about until I saw the Sparrows massacring people and then I got it.

I got so worried when Olivar got hurt (he was literally in one episode for about a minute and I’m already attached, I hate this show) and then when they killed those two men for being with other men I was just sitting here going, “No! Not Olivar! No! Please don’t kill him!” And they didn’t. Okay, breathe, it’s fine. Then they took Loras. Naturally, Margaery was pissed. Yeah, I was with her on that one. At first I kind of found Loras annoying and kind of pointless, but this last season and even season four I’ve really gotten to like him (which is never a good thing on this show).

The one I really felt bad for tonight though was Tommen. He’s trying so hard to be a good son and a good husband and a good king and I feel so bad for him! We saw him try to do his first sort of ‘kingly’ duty without his mother by his side and it didn’t work. Instead, he looked terrified and had to stand there while people in the streets called him a bastard. Like come on people, he’s what? Twelve? Thirteen? I’m pretty certain they said how old he was last season, but everything’s starting to blend together.

Speaking of blending together, for some reason I thought Rhaegar was Dany’s father. Apparently he’s her brother. Whoops. All these names and places and storylines tend to bleed together after a while and I honestly have trouble keeping them straight sometimes.

Sir Barristan

Despite that bit of confusion though, this scene made me so happy! This nice little conversation between Dany and Ser Barristan was pleasant and fun and such a break from the normal. I should’ve known it wouldn’t last. By the end of the episode people in the streets had been slaughtered, among them several of the Unsullied and Ser Barristan. I feel like I should’ve seen this coming. No one gets to have a good time on Game of Thrones without dying shortly after. At first I thought Grey Worm was going to die, but as soon as Ser Barristan came onto the screen I just knew, “Oh, this is it. Bye.” I was so sour. Also! We’re left wondering whether or not Grey Worm is alive or dead too! Come on Game of Thrones, don’t do this to us.

Dany

Also in this episode we saw Baelish and Sansa. I don’t know how I feel about this pair. When he kissed her I was kind of cringing, but when I look at the alternative (Ramsay Bolton), I prefer Baelish. We learned in this episode that Baelish will be returning to King’s Landing which means Sansa will now be alone with the Boltons. Not going to lie, I’m a little skeptical about this storyline. If Sansa doesn’t kick some serious Bolton ass before the season is up I’ll be both surprised and disappointed.

Baelish and Sansa

We saw in this episode that Melisandre tried to seduce Jon to convince him to ride south to Winterfell when they leave the Wall. Jon refuses and states that he can’t be with her because he still loves Ygritte. This was both a cute ‘awe’ moment and a sad ‘awe’ moment. Then Melisandre spoke again.

You know nothing

You just have to look on the internet to see how much people were freaking out about this line. Everyone was sitting in front of their TV’s going, “SHE DID THE THING!”

Jon Snow 2

Last, but certainly not least, Stannis. Now, I’ve said before that I tend to get a little bored with the wall. Also, previous to this episode, I wasn’t really a big fan of Stannis. However, this episode I gained a whole new respect for him and I really enjoyed the development we saw in his character.

I’ve always like Stannis’s daughter, Shireen. I think she’s adorable and spunky and just a great character for someone who isn’t on the screen much. Well, tonight she asked her father a question I think many of us have been wondering: “Are you ashamed of me?” Stannis’s response had me (and many others according to the internet) awe-ing. He spoke about how Shireen got Grey Scale and how he wasn’t ashamed of her, that she was his daughter and he loved her.

Stannis

Well, I loved this scene. I know a big part of the show is war and blood and sex, but I love these sides of the characters. These are the things that give dimension to the characters and make the show so much more than just a bunch of people fighting over a rather uncomfortable looking chair. I was also really excited to hear how Shireen got Grey Scale as it’s always been such a big part of her character. Every time she’s in an episode someone brings it up so I’m glad we finally learned how she got it. Not gonna lie, I’m king of Team Stannis for the Iron Throne now.

Shireen

This episode was so crazy. There was so much that happened and so much to cover and it’s definitely all leading up to something. Everyone keeps talking about the big war that is to come, this big for the North, for the throne, for this and for that. It’s building and building and I think something big is definitely going to happen by the end of the season.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you have a favourite part? What are you hoping happens?

Check out the preview for next week!

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Game of Thrones Episode Review – “High Sparrow”

Game of Thrones

Season 5 | Episode 3 | Aired April 26, 2015

Tonight’s episode was very Stark centered. While we did see some of Cersei, a very short scene of Margaery and Tommen’s wedding, a couple minutes of Tyrion, and even a scene between Podrick and Brienne, the main focus of this episode was definitely the remaining Stark children.

Not going to lie, the whole thing with The Sparrows is kind of confusing me. I get that they’re some religious cult-y thing, but this is definitely the scene in this weeks episode that I’m going to have to go back and watch again (there’s always one). I thought Margaery and Tommen were adorable. Honestly, Tommen is already a better kind than his brother was and he hasn’t even done anything yet. As for Margaery, she’s just as badass as she was in the premier and her sassing Cersei had me very happy.

Queen Mother or

We saw Tyrion in the last couple minutes and he was just as sarcastic and sassy as ever, fantastic. Honestly, do they want to give Tyrion the Iron Throne cause I reckon he could do a pretty good job at ruling. Right? Am I the only one who thinks this? Finally the scene with Podrick and Brienne was great. I’ve loved Brienne since her first episode and Podrick since his and their partnership is hilarious and adorable. Podrick tries so hard and Brienne is so focused on her task, but they just seem to fit so well. Though I do hope we eventually get to see Podrick and Tyrion reunited.

Now, onto the Starks. This episode honestly reminded me of episodes from season one. Not in plot or anything like that, but the fact that it was very focused on the Starks and the Lannisters. These are obviously the two main houses and while it wasn’t just these two families in this episode, they were definitely the primary ones.

At the end of the last episode we saw Arya entered the House of Black and White in Braavos. This week we saw her inside the house sweeping and doing other chores. I actually laughed at this because all the stuff she was doing in the House were all things she wouldn’t have done at home in Winterfell. Arya is told that if she wants to become a faceless man then she must get rid of the things that make her Arya Stark. She gets rid of all her clothes and money by throwing them into the water.

Needle

Then she picks up Needle. Alright, so at this point I was freaking out, “No, Arya, don’t throw Needle in the water! Jon gave you that! Don’t do it!” Well, she didn’t throw it and I was able to breathe again. Instead she hid it in some rocks, but for some reason I have a feeling it may not be there when she goes back next time. Braavos is a strange place and weird things seem to keep happening there and we’ve barely seen any of it yet!

Moving on to Sansa. Last season we saw Petyr Baelish propose to Sansa (something that was creepy enough was you think about the fact that he spent years pining for her mother). However, tonight we learned that his proposal was not for himself. He was actually proposing on behalf of Ramsey Bolton. This is creepy and wrong on so many level it’s ridiculous. Not only has Ramsey done some seriously disturbing and unspeakable things (like the way he tortured Theon), but his father, Roose Bolton, is the man who betrayed and killed Robb Stark.

Sansa

While initially I thought Sansa was going to cry when she saw the two Bolton men, instead she plastered on a smile and once again I was punching the air in celebration for Sansa Stark. I know a lot of people thought she was kind of a pointless character who spent most of her time crying and feeling miserable (can you really blame the girl through? Half her family is dead and she’s married/almost married three men who were responsible for their deaths). However, this season we’ve seen her rising above and putting on a good show. Everybody underestimates Sansa and I think she’s counting on that and I am very excited to see where this goes over the next several episodes.

Finally, Jon. Last season I was pretty tired of all the scenes at The Wall. I don’t know why, I just got sick and tired of the storylines there, but this episode made me very excited to see more of what happens there. We saw Jon taking up his first duties as Lord Commander and, after one of the men refuses to do what Jon commands him to, what does Jon do? Cuts off his head. Jon Snow 0-100 in less than a second. I was just staring at my television going, “Alright… alright… alright… that happened.” I didn’t know how to feel! On one hand, alright Jon! Showing everyone that you mean business. But on the other hand, on no Jon… you used to be so adorable and sweet and angry at the world and now you’re cutting off people’s head. Once again this is a situation where I’m not sure if will make things better or worse for him with the members of the Night’s Watch who don’t trust him.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Which part was your favourite? Any predictions for the rest of the season?

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