“Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” is the motto of the House Martell – referring to their spotless track record in combat.
It could also be the motto of so many of this show’s beleaguered characters who somehow manage to week after week claw their way out of almost certain doom.
And doom is heavy-handed in this episode, with a number of characters throwing others under the bus to get ahead (Baelish-style).
It’s been a little while since we’ve seen Arya Stark and she’s pretty much where we left her – scrubbing floors and cleaning corpses in the House of Black and White.
Frustrated, she attempts to play the Game of Faces with her grumpy neighbour – a game in which you tell lies and truths and the other person tries to determine fact from fiction.
Arya’s not great at it.
She tries again with Jaqen H’ghar, but he can detect her little fibs, rewarding her with a huge slap across the face very time he does.
It’s a scene that would elicit outrage in any other TV show but seeing a man beating a young girl is so commonplace in Thrones we don’t flinch.
Interestingly, Jaqen deems Arya’s claim she “hated the Hound” a lie. So maybe there was a little love there after all?
Frustrated and sick of being the cleaning lady for far too long, Arya finally cracks and takes drastic measures to prove to Jaqen she’s ready to become “no one”.
When a father brings his sick daughter to be healed, Arya encourages her to drink the lethal water in the house.
Seeing this, Jaqen is impressed and decides to let her into another, creepier room – the Hall of Faces.
So that’s where all those bodies were going.
It’s creepy and weird but Arya seems pretty happy to be there. Jaqen says while she isn’t ready to become “no one”, she’s ready to become “someone else”.
Hopefully this is a better alternative than getting one of the few remaining Starks to renounce her name.
Just when you were starting to enjoy the little comic frisson between Tyrion and Jorah, a slaver’s ship rushes in to ruin the fun.
But not after Tyrion accidentally breaks the news to Jorah that his father, the former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, has passed away.
The news clearly weighs heavily on Jorah, a man who is already down in the dumps due to his recent Greyscale diagnosis.
The slavers capture the pair, promising to sell Jorah to the highest bidder and kill Tyrion to auction off his penis (yes, you read that right).
Apparently dwarf penises fetch a high price on the black market – who knew?
Anyway, in true Tyrion style he manages to talk his way out of the situation proving once again that he simply. cannot. die.
In doing so, however, he pretty much encourages the slavers to put poor old Jorah Mormont into the fighting pits back in Meereen (“He’s been in the sun too long we can all see that,” he quips about Jorah’s ageing appearance).
This will present an interesting conflict for Daenerys, who always had a soft spot for Jorah and had been fighting to get rid of the pits up until recently.
Will she be forced to watch her former advisor walk into the very thing she fought so hard to destroy?
God, we’ve missed the real talk dished out by Olenna Tyrell.
Watching her verbally joust with Cersei Lannister is one of life’s true pleasures. So much sass.
Unfortunately, even her stoic, confident presence can’t prevent the runaway train that is Cersei’s High Sparrow buddy, who is lauding his newfound power over everyone.
Olenna has come to rescue her grandson, Loras, whom the High Sparrow has thrown into a jail cell for his crimes of homosexuality.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, an inquest into Loras’ crimes is held, with a few surprise additions.
The Sparrow calls on Margaery to testify for her brother and deny his crimes, which she obligingly does.
Cue the spanner in the works: that pesky prostitute Olyvar who pulls a Shae and hurls his former lover under the bus.
That explains why we spent so much time focusing on him in recent weeks.
Olyvar’s testimony is used to put both Loras and Margaery into jail to await a formal trial.
Cersei is quietly elated, Olenna is not-so-quietly peeved and Tommen is still trying to recover from last night’s episode of The Teletubbies.
Olenna’s not the only person making a return to King’s Landing.
Petyr Baelish, resident brothel boss, is back in town to chat to Cersei.
He hits Cersei with several truth bombs – Sansa’s alive, she’s marrying a Bolton, they plan to invade King’s Landing and so does Stannis Baratheon.
He then offers a solution: let him send his knights from the Vale to fight whatever side wins the Bolton/Baratheon showdown.
In return? He will be named Warden of the North, giving him more power than ever and likely Sansa as his sidekick.
We imagine a North with Littlefinger at its helm would look something like a medieval King’s Cross?
Whatever, bring it on. It can’t be worse than a Bolton-lead North.
“Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene.
“From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-cross’d lovers….”
Yes, Game of Thrones has gone all Shakespeare on us.
Jaime and Bron arrive to rescue Myrcella from the grips of the Dornishmen not realising she is quite literally in the grips of a Dornishman and LOVING it.
Myrcella and her betrothed, Prince Trystane Martell, are two crazy kids in love with the potential to prevent a big clash between two powerful houses.
They’re quite content to carry on looking like Disney characters, wandering around the garden and smooching, but everyone else has other plans.
The Sand Snakes arrive to capture Myrcella at the same time as Jaime and Bron arrive to rescue her.
No one gets what they want, of course (this is Game of Thrones, remember?) because Hota breaks up the brawl after we get to see some of the Sand Snakes’ mad combat skills. Even Bron is impressed.
We’re not sure where this goes next, but let’s hope it doesn’t get too Romeo and Juliet up in here.
Weddings SUCK in Westeros. Seriously guys, why even bother anymore?
And when it comes to sucky weddings, Sansa Stark is by far and above the expert.
If you thought Joffrey was bad, Ramsay Bolton is the apocalypse of husbands.
We’ve known for a while that something bad was coming Sansa’s way – Sophie Turner alluded to a particularly traumatic scene on set and any Stark who comes in contact with the Boltons never gets away unscathed.
Did we know it would be as bad as Sansa being raped by Ramsay while Theon Greyjoy looks on?
No we didn’t, otherwise many of us might not have tuned in.
Thrones is never easy viewing, but it was particularly tough seeing one of its last bastions of innocence having her childhood so brutally taken from her.
The scene isn’t particularly graphic, but Theon’s tear-stained, grimacing face says it all.
It leaves us praying Sansa’s next move will be to light a candle in the broken tower to summon Brienne.
We can’t endure any more of Ramsay’s bulls**t and nor can Sansa.