Sorry I wasn't around last week to cover the previous episode.
Lots of doings transpired in the previous episode, though: dinner with the Boltons, the attack of the Stone Men, and can we at least acknowledge how awesome Stannis correcting grammar was?
Last night's episode, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," was — for the most part — fairly unremarkable. Several plotlines advanced, sure, but it was the culmination of Sansa's arc, one that's been building for five seasons now, that's likely to cause the most consternation.
Locations (* = new): KIng's Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, Braavos, Meereen, Dorne
Ser(s) Not Appearing In This Episode: Stannis Baratheon, Jon Snow, Melisandre, that big red-haired bastard.
Making up for an Arya-less episode last week, we find our Faceless Man-in-training cleaning corpses at the House of Black and White. Not very exotic, as Arya (Maisie Williams) realizes the "game of faces" is more difficult than anticipated. Especially when, as Jaqen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) tells her, you "never stop playing." She finds out how true that is when she "eases the suffering" of a sick girl, and Jaqen shows her the ... Hall of Face? 'Max Head' Room? She's not ready to become No One, but she's ready to become someone else.
On the road to Meereen, Jorah (Iain Glen) grows increasingly irritated with Tyrion's (Peter Dinklage) constant attempts to start a conversation. You can forgive him for being short; he's got greyscale and doesn't have a dad who can call in a host of maesters and apothecaries to cure him. Doesn't have a dad at all in fact, as he learns the former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch was murdered by his own men.
They discuss the queenly merits of Daenerys Targaryen, but before the pair can delve too deeply into her leadership qualities, they're captured by slavers. Tyrion convinces them to go to Meereen instead of Volantis. And also not to cut off his penis. All things considered, you gotta call that a win.
Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) returns to King's Landing, receiving an unsubtle warning from "Brother Lancel" and assures Cersei (Lena Headey) the Vale "supports the throne," whatever that means. He also offers the services of his army to unseat Roose Bolton, and all he asks is to be named Warden of the North.
In Sweet Valley High, sorry, Dorne, Myrcella and Trystane Martell pitch woo as Prince Doran (Alexander Siddig) mulls over how to protect them. Meanwhile Bronn (Jerome Flynn) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) approach in disguise. The Sand Snakes versus J&B show doesn't really go anywhere (I felt like Pete Venkman watching that: "That was your whole plan, huh? 'Get her!'") before Areo Hotah (DeObia Oparei) and the palace guard interrupt, capturing Ellaria (Indira Varma) as well.
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"If they arrested all the pillow biters in King's Landing, there'd be no room in the black cells for anyone else." Oh, Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg), how we've missed you. Delightful conversation aside, Olenna's threat is real, but Cersei — in a continuing series of poor decisions — chooses to ignore it. Loras' "inquest" begins, with denials all around, until his former lover is brought in. Now Loras is in the shit, and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) too, as Tommen proves his mama's boy credentials once again. Convenient that only one witness is necessary to lock up the queen. You paying attention, Cersei?
What the? Another wedding? Sansa (Sophie Turner) is getting ready for Ramsay (Iwan Rheon), showing some unexpected steel to Miranda, Ramsay's current lady friend. She also throws Theon/Reek (Alfie Allen) under the bus. Your little bros are still alive, kid! Nice weirwood shot, but creepy ass wedding. I admit, I wondered how they were going to play this, but was unprepared for how unpleasant it was. Sure, it was in character for Ramsay, who's an utter scumbag, but way to derail five seasons of developing the character of Eddard Stark's oldest daughter. I mean, I'm sure the whole point was to set up a sweet vengeance scene, but fucking ugh.
Stuff That Will Piss Off Book Purists: The Jamie and Bronn do Dorne thing is completely off the rails, I don't even know where to start; I'm guessing Arya's ... next phase begins next week? Hey, nice work with the Sansa rape, guys.
Next Week: Jon's decisions aren't playing well with the Night's Watch, and things are coming to a head in King's Landing.