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Someone has to kill Ramsay Bolton, right? They have to. Because that scene was just about the most horrific thing Game of Thrones has ever given us. And that is saying a lot, considering some of the truly twisted things the series has done in the past.
We have all known that Ramsay is plain awful, and we all knew that Littlefinger’s arrangement was going to end poorly for Sansa. But seeing (or, rather, hearing- which made it all the worse) Ramsay raping Sansa while Theon watched. Man. If anyone didn’t want Ramsay dead before, I cannot imagine there is anyone in the viewing audience who is still Team Bolton. Having said that, I do feel a disappointed in myself. While I’ve always known Ramsay is indeed a bastard of a person, I’ve never really felt as visceral a hatred for him as I do following this episode. And that is because the women he tortured (and, Theon as well) were people I didn’t really care all that much for. The women were minor characters whose names escape me even now. And Theon? Well, he hasn’t exactly been a great guy throughout the course of the series. But Ramsay tortured them all, raped many, and sicced his hunting dogs on them. Even with all that, it wasn’t until he raped Sansa that I really felt an all consuming rage and desire to see him dead in the most horrific way imaginable (having Sansa kill him would be amazing, but I suspect it will be Brienne or Theon who gets that honor).
My complete allegiance to Sansa is the result of the excellent job the series has done is building her into such a multifaceted character. This Sansa is strong, principled, and damn smart. She just trusted the absolutely wrong person in this instance (more on Littlefinger in a bit), and is suffering as a result. How Sansa responds to this horrific event will say an awful lot about where the series wants to take this storyline. One would expect that, with only four episodes left, Sansa will, at some point, light the candle in the tower and spark a revolt. But until then, will this break her? Will Sansa fall apart? I certainly wouldn’t blame her at all. Considering the show’s spotty relationship with addressing rape, I would hope that it takes some time to address what has happened, as hard as it may be for audiences to see. It is important that we see how this despicable event has affected Sansa (and Theon as well).
The bulk of the show’s plot movement came from events in King’s Landing, where Cersei continued her power consolidation plan. I have to tip my hat to her for successfully removing the Tyrells from the picture, at least for the foreseeable future. Although, Lady Olenna isn’t one to sit on her hands when her family is in trouble (more Diana Rigg is always a good thing). But I am shocked that Cersei seems to be blind to the major flaw in her plan: Lancel has the ability to destroy her and she is letting him continue with the Sparrows. Perhaps she is beginning to see herself as indestructible, but this is a pretty huge oversight on her part. Just like Littlefinger’s days are numbered as long as he stays in the capitol (his confrontation with Lancel was particularly fraught with tension), Cersei’s are as well.
Speaking of Littlefinger, I didn’t really think he would betray Sansa the way he has. The show has gone to great pains to make us believe he has a genuine affection for her (granted, it is based on her similarities to Catelynn, but still). Apparently he’s willing to risk her life to play both sides in the war. One does have to wonder if he knows the size and strength of the army Stannis is marching out to Winterfell. I can’t see Littlefinger’s bets actually paying off, as I assume Stannis will take back the North. Can King’s Landing quell Stannis’s rebellion when Cersei seems so preoccupied with wiping out her political rivals closer to home?
Finally, Jaime and Bronn, everyone’s favorite duo (sorry Tyrion and Jorah) are in loads of trouble. And I’m not just talking about getting caught by the Dornish. Bronn is going to die. Getting cut by a Sand Snake is the kiss of death. If you recall from last season, Oberyn was a big fan of poisoning his blades before fighting. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to the Sand Snakes. Unless Bronn chops off his arm (and as awesome as the thought of a handless Jaime and an armless Bronn fighting together sounds), I have to think our favorite sellsword is not long for this world. And, unless Jaime can get creative himself, I worry he might not be either.
— Arya’s journey is continuing, and I have to say, seeing all those faces in the House of Black and White was really cool. It was exactly how I imagined it to be.
— The show’s other buddy team of Tyrion and Jorah is back on their way to Meereen, but things are looking a bit bleak there as well. Jorah is bound for the fighting pits (considering how he left things with Dany, I’m not entirely sure she will be willing to spare him), and Tyrion’s life is on the line should the slavers find a cock merchant (oh, the things this show can come up with). I have a great deal of faith Tyrion will make it to Meereen intact, but I do worry for Jorah once they arrive.
— Excellent work by Sophie Turner (Sansa), Alfie Allen (Theon), and Iwan Rheon (Ramsay). It’s not easy to be a part of a scene like that.
— The episode’s title is House Martell’s moto: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken