Becoming Someone Else | Game of Thrones “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” Review
As the title suggests, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” deals heavily with the Dornish storyline that’s coming to a head. We do, though, get to see some great scenes with Arya continuing her journey with the Faceless Men, a social injustice with Cersei at the helm and a particularly eerie scene with Ramsay. A typical day is Westeros, eh?
In the last episode, “Kill The Boy,” Jaime and Bronn killed a handful of Dornish guards, and we find that they’ve taken the guards’ clothing. They are hoping to sneak into the Water Garden of Dorne and smuggle Myrcella back to King’s Landing. But, as you’d imagine, things don’t necessarily go as planned. We’re not ones to believe that Bronn’s sleuthing is up to par either. As the pair find Myrcella, she is with her soon-to-be-husband, Trystane Martell, and they are both confused about seeing Ser Jaime. Bronn tells Trystane to give the two time to talk about why he is here, but instead Trystane pulls a sword. For his sake, he’s lucky that the Sand Snakes impede on the reunion.
As we learned from earlier in the season, there’s a fracture between the late prince Oberyn’s lover, Ellaria Sand and his brother, Doran. Ellaria demands justice for his murder, while Doran understands that the importance of their family marrying into the Lannisters is of prime importance. But, you know what they say about a women scorned.
Ellaria and her Sand Snakes begin fighting with Bronn and Jaime in an attempt to take Myrcella. The battle scene was fun and exciting, and it’s always nice to see a new style of battle come to the show. Their fight is short lived as Doran was prepared for this quarrel and quashes it quickly. We will have to wait an episode or two to see the fallout of what is to come. It’s hard to say what Doran will do with the two sides. I don’t think he would kill Ellaria because she was his brother’s lover, but I also don’t think he mess up his alliance with the Lannisters.
Unaware of all the trials and tribulations of the other characters, Arya is finding that becoming a part of the Faceless Men most difficult. Arya has only been seen cleaning bodies and washing the floor, and she continues to do so here. She is, essentially a housemaid early on in the episode. Her curiosity has her questioning where the bodies go, and she is met with more questions than answers. Jaqen wakes her up suddenly and begins questioning her to see if she is ready to become part of The Faceless Men. Everytime she lies, she is whipped. Interestingly enough, she is whipped every time she says that she left The Hound on the hillside to die because she hated him. She persisted about the hatred and continued to get whipped. We later find that she isn’t supposed to love or hate. To become no one she can’t have any ties, be it for a positive or negative nature.
In a later scene, a father brings his sickly daughter into the House of Black and White in hopes of finding a way to save her. For the first time, Arya takes an eerily curious demeanor and fabricates a story that empathizes with the girl. She tells her to drink the water which will heal her. Instead, the water puts the young girl out of her misery as we see Arya standing over her. Jaqen then leaves the door down into the secret room in The House of Black and White. We are greeted with a chilling scene with pillars filled with heads as far as the eye can see. And finally, Jaqen says, “No, the girl is not ready to become no one, but she is ready to become someone else.” The dynamic between the two is interesting. They are “friends” in a sense, but only because Arya previously saved his life. Of all the characters in Westeros, I am most interested to see how this transformation will affect Arya and if she will ever reunite with Needle.
Back at King’s Landing, Cersei continues to rule the realm. Tommen, obviously only the King by name, is so neutered it’s ridiculous, and one of our favorite characters calls Cersei out on the way she is taking over. Olenna Tyrell hasn’t been seen for quite a while, and I’m grateful she made a return as her comedic touch cuts through the dour tone of the show. Olenna is trying to stop Cersei from allowing the Faith Militant to imprison Loras and many other higher-ranking individuals throughout King’s Landing. But as you’d expect, the cards are stacked against the Tyrells.
The convening is to see whether or not Loras should go to trial for lying with a man, but his imprisonment is of little importance once Margaery gets pulled in. They question Loras about it, and he denies any wrongdoing stemming from his supposed relationship with Renly Baratheon. Then, the High Sparrow calls Margaery to answer questions where she once again denies any wrongdoing by Loras. The High Sparrow pulls the trump card and brings in one of the men that Loras did bed. Cersei, in her smugness, exclaims that they can’t just simply trust him at his word with such a serious accusation. He explains that Loras has a red birthmark high on his upper thigh, essentially proving to be the smoking gun. This not only sets the stage for a trial for Loras but also Margaery for lying under the gods, a crime even worse than that of Loras’s.
Assuming they get a fair-trial, which they won’t, can’t we assume that Loras’ squire has seen the birthmark because he was his squire? Squires do everything, which assumingly includes getting a bath ready for their combatant. A simple out, unless of course you are going up against Cersei and the crown.
Up in Winterfell, things really aren’t going any more smoothly. It is the day Sansa Stark is to wed Ramsay Bolton, and it’s safe to say her more trying days are ahead of her. Ramsay’s lover, Myranda is giving Sansa a bath and sending veiled messages to her about how she must keep Ramsay happy. Since Sansa has grown quite a bit through the seasons, she keys in on this and quickly calls her out on the threats and exclaims, “This is my home, and you can’t frighten me.” It’s nice to see Sansa has a backbone, but will it be enough to survive Ramsay?
As the wedding is about to begin, Ramsay has Reek get Sansa from her chambers. He is supposed to take Sansa’s arm, but she refuses because she still believes that he killed her brothers, Rickon and Bran. Reek tells Sansa that she must take his arm, and if she doesn’t Ramsay will punish him. The wedding, which is in front of a majestic looking Weirwood tree in the Godswood of Winterfell, really emphasizes the doom that is about to take place under the Bolton’s rule. After they are married, they go back to their chambers, and an awkward talk about Sansa being a virgin takes place. Ramsay tells her to take her clothes off and is adamant about not making him ask again. Reek attempts to leave, but his punishment is to watch Ramsay lay Sansa. The scene is so insanely powerful for many characters. It shreds any sense of redemption you’ve tried to find in Ramsay (there is none, so stop looking). It forced us to see that Sansa has learned that she must play along to survive and exact revenge on the Boltons, and we feel insanely bad for Reek, even though he brought some of this upon himself. When Reek was standing there letting out a tear, it was one of the more emotional scenes of the season.
After Mormont and Tyrion survived the Stone Men in “Kill The Boy,” we get a few short scenes with the two. Tyrion explains that he should be lucky to have a father like Jeor Mormont, though that he would be missed. This strikes Jorah because, up until this point, he assumed that his father was still alive. A moment where we almost feel bad, although it’s easier to like just about anyone over Jorah. The two are later captured by slavers. and the silver-tongued Tyrion talks his way out of them being killed. The slavers talk about cutting of his Tyrion’s manhood because they are considered magical, but he convinces them that they wouldn’t believe it was a dwarf’s unless they saw him in person. He also, somehow, convinces them that Jorah is a decorated fighter and that they could make more money off of him by having Jorah fight in the pits. Not only are they kept out of slavery, they are going to be hand-delivered to Danaerys Targaryen.