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Recap / Game Of Thrones S 5 E 6 Unbowed Unbent Unbroken

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In Braavos, Arya Stark is washing and tending to another body. She is dutiful and patient but also curious about her tasks. Then the door opens and an attendant arrives and takes the body to a lower chamber. Arya's eyes follows the progress. They leave the room and leave the door ajar. Arya finds herself alone and slowly approaches the door, curious to know what's behind the chamber. Just as she's about to reach the door, a hand shuts the door and bolts it. The Waif studies Arya and tells her to return to her tasks. Arya already driven mad by the Mystery Cult's mysteriousness demands answers. She wants to know what happens to all the bodies she tends. The Waif is unimpressed and tells her to return to her tasks, that she will know when she's ready and not before. Arya then asks when does she get to play the Game of Faces. The Waif haughtily says that they already played and she failed. Arya is confused but the Waif asks her who she is. Arya replies that she's no-one but the Waif reckons otherwise. Arya, frustrated, demands to know how her oppressor got to work and live here. The Waif goes into Sincerity Mode and tells Arya about her own tragic circumstances and how she came to the House of Black and White searching for revenge. Arya smiles but the Waif wipes it off her face by asking her,

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Arya Stark: What?

Arya is stunned and the Waif tells her to get back to work, putting the young novice in her place. Later that night, Arya is sleeping when she wakes up after hearing a voice. "Jaqen" enters the room and wakes her up. Now he asks her to describe who she is. Arya tells a man her name but tries telling white lies in-between every incident of her back-story. Her father was killed in battle. Her mentor canes her for every reinterpretation, much to her surprise. We all know that he was executed. She braves on but for every attempt, "Jaqen" canes her. She stabbed a stable boy in the back *thwack* She stabbed him in the gut *thwack* She was kidnapped by an outlaw named Polliver *thwack* She was kidnapped by the Hound. *thwack* She finally tells him that she left the Hound to die because she hated him and even she's gobsmacked when a man canes her by sensing that even that was a lie. Arya didn't even admit that to herself. She keeps insisting but it's clear she has deluded herself about Sandor.

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No-one: A girl lies to me, to the Many-Faced God, to herself. Does she truly want to be no-one?
Arya: ... Yes.
* thwack* (Arya is struck to the floor, crying out in pain for the first time, she looks up, lip split and spitting)
Arya: I'm not playing this stupid game anymore!
No-one: We never stop playing.

With that lesson ended, Jaqen leaves her and the scene shifts to the Smoking Sea, near the sandbank where Jorah and Tyrion arrived after escaping the stone men. Jorah examines his greyscale infection and seems to be reconciled to the fact that his days are numbered. Tyrion is back to his old talkative self much to Jorah's distaste. Tyrion chides him for being a poor travelling companion but Jorah points out that they are not travelling companions and asks him if he ever shuts up. Tyrion states that he was absolutely silent during his exile from Westeros in Varys's box and Jorah wonders why he had to leave Westeros. Tyrion then tells him that he murdered his father after finding him in the bed with the woman he loved. Along with the whole, trying to execute him for a crime he didn't commit. Jorah can only silently commiserate about the former. Tyrion then laments that at least Jorah's father Jeor Mormont was a good man. This takes Jorah aback. When did Tyrion get to know his father? Tyrion tells him he met the Old Bear when he visited the Wall in Season One and noted that he was A Father to His Men.

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Tyrion: How do they say it in the Night's Watch? We shall never see his like again.

This stops Jorah in his tracks. The Stunned Silence makes Tyrion turn his head around and he becomes genuinely sorry for the first time as he tells Jorah that his father is dead. Jorah only asks, "How?" Tyrion mentions that he had received word about a mutiny in the Night's Watch. Jorah accepts this as best as he can and nods.

We return to The House of Black and White, where Arya is scrubbing the floors. She sees a supplicant approach the pool but sees no one to minister him. Seeing a stranger, he steps up and tells her his story. He's a poor father who cannot afford anymore treatment for his daughter; who's slowly dying in pain and is desirous of ending it all. Arya approaches the girl and speaks to her soothingly. She tells a story to the girl that is carefully altered to fit the girl's circumstances. It is filled with half-truths and evasions to better comfort her. She then offers the waters for her to drink and she immediately dies, painlessly and in comfort. Her mentor is of course watching the event from the shadows. Later that evening, Arya is washing and tending to that girl's body when she suddenly looks up and sees the door open with "Jaqen" standing by it. He walks down but leaves the door open, Arya follows and steps down to the House's third level, dimly lit by torchlight.

She enters a yawning room, a massive candle-lit hall of many pillars and shelves and each shelf contains faces mounted on display all around, the cylinders stretching up, up, up towards the cavernous ceiling. The Faceless Men seem to re-purpose the cadavers of the supplicants who come to die and create lifelike death masks for their disguises. (Masks that can seamlessly conceal the body as well as the face, through some kind of necromantic magic as No-one has shown.) Arya is fascinated with the visage of an elderly woman, touching the cold cheek carefully. A man notes that she's not quite ready to be "no-one", but she is ready to be "someone else".

Jorah and Tyrion are walking along a verdant hillside on The Valyrian Peninsula. As they stroll, they seem to have become friendlier and more respectful. Tyrion now starts asking Jorah about Dany:

Tyrion: Why Daenerys? Why is she worth all this? As I recall, the Mormonts fought against the Targaryens during Robert's Rebellion.
Jorah: Do you believe in anything?
Tyrion: I believe in lots of things.
Jorah: In something greater than ourselves, I mean. The gods, destiny. Do you believe there's a plan for this world?
Tyrion: ... No.
Jorah: Neither did I. I was a cynic, just like you. Then I saw a girl step into a great fire with three stone eggs. When the fire burned out, I thought I'd find her blackened bones. Instead, I saw her, Daenerys, alive and unhurt, holding her baby dragons. Have you ever heard baby dragons singing?
Tyrion: No.

Tyrion is touched but retorts that otherworldly powers don't automatically make someone an effective ruler and that Jorah's plan hasn't exactly improved in the offering despite the mellowing of their relationship. Even supposing Daenerys bests all her enemies and takes the Iron Throne, she's still a foreigner in all but name and the Mad King's daughter to boot; what guarantee does anyone have that she will be different from her father? Jorah suddenly stops him and they hide behind a boulder. Jorah points out a slaver's ship moored below the cliff. But this proves useless because the slavers are right behind them. They take them into custody and pummel poor Jorah for resisting. The leader, Malko, wants to kill Tyrion immediately because a dwarf penis is a supposed lucky charm. Tyrion, panicking, insists that they take him alive to provide proof-of-quality that their product is the real thing.

Slaver: It would be a dwarf-sized cock!
Malko: (Beat)... The dwarf lives until we find a cock merchant.

When realising that the slavers are bound for Volantis, and that the fighting pits of Meereen have been reopened by Queen Daenerys, Tyrion talks Jorah up as a legendary Westerosi fighter in order for the slaver's greed to change their course. Malko is skeptical but shuts up when Jorah boasts of killing a Dothraki bloodrider in single combat. Looks like Tyrion and Jorah found a boat to Meereen after all.

We return to King's Landing, Petyr Baelish has a couple of sellsword bodyguards but even he's surprised that he needs them when he's stopped by a retinue of Sparrows, clad in black and marked by a star sign on the forehead. He recognizes one of them as Lancel Lannister. He insists however that he's now 'Brother Lancel' and that he's Shed the Family Name. Baelish notes that's quite a family to abandon, Lancel reminds him that it's a new King's Landing, his business are outlawed and he's not welcome anymore. Petyr remains cool and tries to slink away but Lancel halts him. Littlefinger reminds him that he's invited by the Queen and that she doesn't like delays. Lancel and his cohort let him pass but he points out that Baelish's days of peddling flesh are over. Littlefinger quips to Lancel that they both peddle fantasies, his just happen to be entertaining. With that thinly disguised blasphemy, he slithers away leaving Lancel to give him a Death Glare.

Littlefinger and Cersei discuss recent changes. Littlefinger questions the wisdom of arming the Faith of the Seven and alienating the Tyrells. Cersei is not interested in answering any questions on that matter but wants to know if she has the support of the Vale. Littlefinger notes that the Vale is in his pocket and that he will remain loyal to the Crown. But he has bad news. Littlefinger tells Cersei that he has found Sansa Stark. She is in the North, engaged to be married to Roose Bolton's son, Ramsay. Cersei, already paranoid, flies into a rage at hearing news of this treachery. Her father had raised those slime-balls up and given them positions of trust and now they are going to brazenly defy her. She promises to flay them inside out just like their bloody sigil. Littlefinger suggests that they Take a Third Option, let Stannis and Roose fight each other and the winner, weakened and bloodied will be easy pickings for them, all she has to do is deploy a force of Lannister retainers with her Uncle Kevan down south. Cersei states that Kevan is hiding in Casterly Rock like a cowardly kitchen-mouse. Littlefinger asks about Jaime, but he's on a diplomatic mission. Littlefinger then offers his services. Cersei notes that he has no military experience but Littlefinger says that his army is loyal and more importantly free of charge, not costing the crown any manpower or upkeep. Not one to reject anyone doing her job for her, Cersei accepts provided that Littlefinger put Sansa's head on a pike. Littlefinger assures her that, "I live to serve."

At The Water Gardens, Prince Trystane and Princess Myrcella are enjoying a romantic afternoon. Prince Doran notes that they make a happy couple but he tells Areo Hotah that they need to protect them on account of Feuding Families. Along the bluffs, Jaime and Bronn are arriving on stolen horses and wearing the Dornish outfits they stole from that unlucky patrol. Bronn starts singing "The Dornishman's Wife" which Jaime complains about. Bronn then asks Jaime if he has any ideas on how they will get the princess out of Dorne, Jaime shrugs and says that he'll improvise. They then join a supply caravan that's travelling to the Water Gardens. Meanwhile, in a room with a highly vaulted ceiling, Ellaria and three of the Sand Snakes are about to take action, they intone the Martell words, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" it seems that revenge for Oberyn is imminent. The three bastard daughters pull on paper-thin disguises and march down a tunnel while Ellaria waits behind.

Of all the contrived coincidences, the duo from the Crownlands arrive at exactly the same time. Bronn points out Myrcella and Trystane making out. Bronn finds it amusing while Jaime is confused. Wasn't Myrcella in danger? Jaime, against Bronn's warnings, marches straight up to Myrcella and calls out to her. "Uncle Jaime?" asks Myrcella in surprise. Prince Trystane strides forward and introduces himself. Jaime asks for a moment alone with his "niece" but neither Myrcella or Trystane are willing to accommodate. Then Trystane notices bloodstains on Bronn's Dornish duds and his hands move to his sword-hilt. Bronn warns the Prince not to do it, but Trystane, now genuinely having his person threatened goes for it, forcing Bronn to knock him out. Myrcella rushes to her betrothed's side while Jaime tries to grab her and run, but at that moment a whip wraps itself around his wrist.

A fight-scene, of a sorts, ensues. Jaime battles the spear wielding Obara with his left-handed sword and his golden hand as shield, Tyene and Bronn fight each other while Nymeria whips everyone ineffectually until Obara tells her to be useful and grab Myrcella. Tyene manages to scratch Bronn with one of her daggers but he brushes it off, while Lady Nym tells Myrcella to come with her, putting a knife to her face. Jaime sees her being dragged away and is desperate to pursue when a crap-tonne of guards suddenly stops everyone in their path. Areo Hotah commands everyone to lay down their arms. Obara tries to use her heritage as a weapon, but it serves her no better than her stick did and she drops said weapon, as does her half-sister, releasing the princess. Jaime welcomes his rescuer, blase, until Areo swings his glaive below his chin and reminds him that he's not got his old muscle memory back yet. Jaime wisely relinquishes his blade. Tyene and Bronn drop their weapons the last and Bronn gets in one back-handed compliment, that triggers her Berserk Button as guards break them apart and arrest everyone, especially Ellaria, who has just stood in that antechamber all this time.

Outside King's Landing, a carriage is approaching the city. Lady Olenna opens the window and laments the stink but presses onwards. In the Red Keep she meets Margaery who is thoroughly distraught about Loras. Olenna promises to do something and deal with Cersei Lannister. She meets the Queen Mother and loses her formerly polite veneer. She tells Cersei to stop pretending that she's writing. Cersei smiles at "the famous tart-tongued Queen of Thorns". Olenna salutes "the famous tart, Queen Cersei" in return, which immediately stops Cersei in her tracks. The dowager queen demands an apology for the insult. Lady Olenna tells her she'll have her apology once she releases Loras. Cersei claims that it's out of her hands, that the Faith is in charge. The Tyrell Matriarch is not convinced in the slightest and implicitly states she will withdraw the agricultural, military and fiscal support of her house if this wrinkle isn't worked out.

Queen Mother Cersei Lannister: I can assure you, our alliance with House Tyrell remains -
Lady Olenna Tyrell: (agitated) Do you expect the alliance to continue after you've thrown our future into prison?
Cersei: (condescending) As I said, I didn't imprison anyone. As for your veiled threats...
Olenna: What veil?

The Queen of Thorns tells Cersei that while she did not like nor even trust her father, she respected him because he understood that it was sometimes better to "work with our rivals, rather than destroy them". Cersei declares that House Lannister has no rival. Olenna seethes at her stupidity. Cersei insists that they wait for the results of the inquest and dismisses her rival.

The Holy Inquest takes place. We see Loras after his period in captivity, he's grown a Beard of Sorrow and looks scruffier than usual. The High Sparrow repeats the charges to which Loras has been accused. Loras denies all these charges, knowing fully well that its not a question he can be remotely honest about. The High Sparrow then calls Margaery as a witness. Margaery is shocked, she's the queen but the Sparrow reminds her that the Holy Inquest has a higher jurisdiction, answering to the gods, and she is called forth. Margaery is asked if she knows about Loras' homosexuality and she denies everything. The Sparrow lets her go, then calls in a surprise witness. It's Olyvar. Olyvar testifies that he's a prostitute who had sex with Loras and that Margaery had walked in on them. Loras calls him a liar. Olyvar then reveals that Loras has a birth-mark on the top of his thigh. Loras gets even more enraged at being sold out by someone he was intimate with and charges at him but the Sparrows hold him back and take him back into custody. Then the High Sparrow calls them to arrest Margaery to, for the crime of perjury. Olenna and Tommen watch in shock as the queen is laid a hold of and carted off with her brother. She calls out to Tommen for help but he is too shocked and brow-beaten to do a damn thing. Cersei can barely hold back from gloating as Olenna fixes her with the evil eye.

At Winterfell, Myranda approaches Sansa's room and draws her a bath, during which, she cleans away the black dye that was in Sansa's hair. As she washes Sansa's back, she tells her about Ramsay's reputation as The Blue Beard. Sansa listens at first but then she tells Myranda to shut her trap, reminding her that whatever she may have been, she was just a kennel-master's daughter and she should have known that Ramsay would tire of her. Myranda can only grit her crooked teeth in suppressed anger and Sansa dismisses her, finishing her bath herself.

That evening, she's dressed in white for her wedding when Reek!Theon knocks on the door. He is here to give her away to his master, but Sansa, already upset at the situation does not want to take Theon's arm. A despondent Theon leads her as they walk to the godswood for the wedding. Roose, Fat Walda and the groom, Ramsay, are of course in attendance, along with a gallery of arms-men, some high lords of the North and even several castle attendants, including Myranda. Theon presents Sansa for the wedding and in probably the only positive moment during the ceremony, has the strength to mention his true name during the vows of giving his step-sister away. After an agonisingly long pause, Sansa takes Ramsay as her husband.

Later, in Ramsay's private quarters, the Bastard of Bolton admires Sansa and asks her if she's a virgin. He's bemused at her affirmative and Tyrion's self-control at not consummating his marriage. And promises to make her happy. Then he orders her to disrobe. Sansa looks frightened but passes it off as shock, since Ramsay's manservant is still with them. At a glance from her, Theon makes to leave but Ramsay has other ideas for getting the night going.

Ramsay Bolton: Oh, no, no, no. You stay here, Reek. You watch. (to Sansa, civility failing, sounding almost monstrous) Do I need to ask a second time? I hate asking a second time. Reek... I told you to watch. ... You've known Sansa since she was a girl. Now watch her become a woman.

And indeed, Theon can only watch, weeping impotently, as Ramsay takes his new bride's maidenhead against her will.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Absentee Actor: Brienne and Pod make no appearance, despite a great deal of the episode taking place in Winterfell. The Chekhov's Gun set up in the prior episode about Sansa calling for help remains unfired.
  • Actual Pacifist: Being this gets Tommen in trouble, as he doesn't order the Kingsguard to rescue Margaery when they begin to draw their swords at once the moment the reigning Queen is dragged to the dungeons of the Faith Militant.
  • Amazon Brigade: Deconstructed. The Sand Snakes make their move, attacking Jaime and Bronn in their attempt to kidnap Myrcella. But they are still just three young girls who are not particularly tall or strong: one fails to beat the maimed Jaime while the other two are held off by Bronn, although he is a skilled fighter.
  • And Then What?:
    • Tyrion asks Jorah about his devotion to Daenerys. What is her master plan? She has dragons and she'll take the Iron Throne but as far as most people know she's the Mad King's daughter. What will she do when she conquers the world?
    • When Bronn asks Jaime how he plans to get Myrcella out of Dorne, Jaime doesn't have an answer.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: A retroactive platonic version. Jaqen's game makes it very clear that Arya, for all her boasting and meanness, really didn't hate Sandor.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Cersei tells Olenna that "House Lannister has no rival"... though the woof ticket falls very flat considering how over her head Cersei is, how reliant House Lannister is on the alliance with House Tyrell, and how Tyrells have for over a full season gotten away with regicide.
    • Malko is unimpressed with the weathered Jorah Mormont, until he says he killed a Dothraki bloodrider in single combat.
    • Sansa gets a quite epic one after reading between the lines of Myranda's attempt to intimidate her.
    Sansa: What was your name again?
    Myranda: Myranda
    Sansa: And how long have you loved him, Myranda?
    Myranda: *Oh, Crap! face*
    Sansa: Did you imagine that he would be with you forever, is that it? And I came along and ruined it? I'm Sansa Stark of Winterfell, this is my home, and you can't frighten me.
  • Badass Creed: House Martell's motto is spoken by Ellaria and her Sand Snakes before their mission: "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken."
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Ramsey's mistress Myranda draws Sansa a bath, telling her she must be clean and fresh for her new husband. The dark implications of the trope are present even though Sansa is a noble woman (and not a dirty poor girl) who agreed to marry Ramsey. Her decision was not exactly voluntary and after the haunting midnight wedding, Ramsey rapes her and forces Theon to watch.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Loras grows a beard during his captivity, likely because the Sparrows didn't let him shave.
  • Biggus Dickus: Tyrion says it might be difficult to prove his cock belongs to a dwarf if it isn't attached to him.
    Slaver: It will be a dwarf-sized cock.
    Tyrion: Guess again!
  • Blasphemous Boast: Littlefinger delivers to the faces of the Sparrows and walks away:
    Lancel: Step carefully, Lord Baelish. You'll find there's little tolerance for flesh peddlers in the new King's Landing.
    Petyr: We both peddle fantasies, Brother Lancel, mine just happen to be entertaining.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Arya's reasoning she gives the girl in pain for why she should drink the water of the Many-Faced God has both of this: it would end her pain, yes, but it would not heal her. Jaqen apparently approves, as he continues her path to be a Faceless Man soon afterwards.
    • Cersei saying that her house has no rivals is technically true, but also deliberately false whether she admits it or not. She does not recognize rival houses at all, but she is clearly aware of the Martells' threats from Dorne... almost certainly only because of Myrcella being there though. All in all, it seems more like she's trying to delude herself.
  • Blood Knight: Areo Hotah welcomes the chance to use his axe again and remarks that a whole Jaime would have been a good fight.
  • The Bluebeard: Myranda gleefully tells Sansa about all the lovers Ramsay has killed when they got boring.
  • Brick Joke: Turns out Tyrion's cock is lucky. It saves his life. He also suggests there is truth to the claim that despite being a dwarf he was blessed in one area, if his suggestion that it's too big to look like a dwarf's is anything to go by.
  • Brutal Honesty: The Queen of Thorns doesn't pull any punches when she verbally spars with Cersei, unlike her more subtle granddaughter.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Even with Olenna in the capital, Cersei continues to antagonize the Tyrells with glee. Olenna even bluntly points out that the Lannisters aren't in a position to threaten the Tyrells but in fact are quite dependent on them now, but Cersei blithely doesn't listen.
  • Call-Back:
    • The High Sparrow brings up the signs of Loras's devotion to Renly during the hearing, such as Loras's Unbroken Vigil and wearing of Renly's armor during the Battle of Blackwater. Then Olyvar shows up and recounts the details of his affair with Loras.
    • Cersei tries to emulate her father's argument technique of feigning disinterest by writing something, which he previously used on her. Olenna sees right through it.
    • Bronn singing "The Dornishman's Wife" evokes memories of his singing "The Rains of Castamere" before the Battle of Blackwater Bay.
    • Sansa's and Ramsay's disturbing wedding night looks a lot like Daenerys's and Drogo's back in the series premiere, but sadly this time it's a fair bet to say the groom doesn't have any redeeming qualities.
    • Ramsay's ripping the back of Sansa's dress might be meant to evoke Meryn Trant's doing the same at the behest of Joffrey, Sansa's other sadistic (intended) husband.
    • Once again, a prostitute delivers a condemning and not quite truthful testimony in favor of Cersei's interests.
    • Littlefinger drops another hint about Cersei's twincest to her face, as in "The North Remembers". This time Cersei shoots back her own snarky comment rather than ordering her guards to cut his throat, because she needs Littlefinger and the Vale Lords army.
    • Tyrion talks with Jorah about the time he met Lord Commander Mormont.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Olyvar's small talk about Loras' birthmark comes back when the former testifies about it to the Faith.
  • Commonality Connection: Subverted; Arya perks up when the Waif reveals she's also from Westeros with her own family tragedy and willingness to take revenge. The Waif then hints she lied about some or all of the story.
  • Consummate Liar: A girl must be one to become a Faceless (Wo)man. It's hinted that the Waif, being an initiated disciple, already is.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: The Lannisters thought they had to rescue Myrcella from her miserable 'imprisonment' as a political hostage with their enemies the Martells. Myrcella's "uncle" Jaime is surprised to find her making out with the Martell boy she was betrothed to, and in fact not only perfectly happy but madly in love with him. (And he with her).
  • Deadpan Snarker
    Bronn: That explains the golden hand.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In Westeros, wives cannot deny their husband sexual access to themselves, particularly on their wedding night. Sansa is disgusted and weeping as Ramsay has sex with her, but she is passively suffering through the experience - yet neither of them would describe this as him "raping" her. This is the same situation as Cersei and King Robert's marriage, or even Daenerys and Khal Drogo's wedding night. Viewers would consider this marital rape by the standards of modern 21st century Earth (Benioff and Weiss even called Daenerys's wedding night "rape" in the Blu-ray commentary for Season 1), but within their cultural understandings, the characters do not. Tyrion's reluctance to do so is discussed, and seen as so outlandish that Ramsay verges on accusing Sansa of making it up.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Jaime and Bronn get inside the Water Gardens by riding in at the rear of a supply column, pretending to be part of their escort.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Considering the power the Faith Militant wields in King's Landing at this point, Littlefinger being openly flippant to Lancel's face comes across as this.
    Brother Lancel: The city has changed since you were last here. We've flooded the gutters with wine, smashed the false idols and set the godless on the run.
    Petyr Baelish: Well done.
[...]
Petyr Baelish: We both peddle fantasy, Brother Lancel. Mine just happen to be entertaining.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Cersei once again fails to see the implications of arming the Faith just to get at Loras and Margaery Tyrell. She does not consider that destroying the crown's relationship with the Tyrells — previously the House Lannister's most important allies, now their de facto patron — might have serious negative consequences, not to mention the precedent she's allowed to be set by the Faith actually arresting a member of the royal family for sins they've committed.
  • Divide and Conquer: After Baelish reveals to Cersei that Sansa is in Winterfell with the Boltons, he states that this course of action would be more advantageous. Whoever wins the Battle of Winterfell, either Stannis or the Boltons, the armies of the Vale will then easily defeat and seize Winterfell from.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Subverted. When Theon meets with Sansa to escort her to her wedding he acts quite normally compared to his perpetually terrified and anxious Reek persona. When he is asked his name by Ramsay at the ceremony he hesitates before referring to himself as Theon Greyjoy instead of Reek. And when he is told he will watch Sansa and Ramsay have sex it seems that he will finally strike back at Ramsay, avenging himself and rescuing Sansa... but no, he's still Reek and all he can do is watch and cry.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Lancel has forsaken his family name and now is just "Brother Lancel".
  • Downer Ending: One of the darkest endings of the show. Every single plot and subplot of this episode ends on a low note:
    • Theon weeps and shakes as Ramsay rapes Sansa.
    • Jaime and Bronn are captured, with Bronn probably poisoned, Myrcella traumatized, and House Martell severely divided to the point of drawn blades.
    • Tommen's impotence is made even more clear with Loras and the reigning queen Margaery both being dragged off without Tommen so much as saying a word, even though the Kingsguard had begun to draw their blades.
    • Arya's plot this episode has more of a bittersweet ending, as she does make significant strides to becoming a Faceless Man... largely by helping a father Mercy Kill his sick young daughter by lying to the other girl.
    • Jorah and Tyrion have a relatively happy conclusion, but only in comparison to every other one: Tyrion managed to talk their way out of being killed... though they're still captured by slavers and Jorah just learned of his father's death.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Bronn and Jaime steal Martell men-at-arms uniforms and weapons to infiltrate the Water Gardens, though Jaime complains that Bronn singing out loud will give them away. Trystane however is also tipped off before too long when he notices that Bronn's Dornish clothing is splattered with the blood of the guard he killed and took it from.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: A man shows hints of this when he wakes Arya up in the middle of the night for a spontaneous training session and gives her a beating for lying poorly. Apparently, a Faceless (Wo)Man needs to lie convincingly as the first part of training. Once Arya can do that, while mercy killing a dying girl, a man sees that she's ready for the next step.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Remember Violet, one of Ramsay's bedwarmers he used for a sick mind game on Theon? Yeah, since then she became pregnant, and Ramsay found that "boring." Doubles as a sort of Casting Gag because Stephanie Blacker, who played Violet in Season 3, didn't appear in Season 4 because she was pregnant at the time.
  • Dye or Die: Averted; as Sansa Stark is marrying Ramsay as herself, she has the dye washed out to reveal her distinctive red hair.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Loras is horrified when Olyvar betrays him to the Faith, and even tries to attack him out of rage.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Upon hearing the news from Littlefinger that Sansa is alive in Winterfell with the Boltons, Cersei cooks up plans to have Roose and Ramsay flayed alive.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Sansa and Ramsay's wedding takes place in the godswood when its snowing. Myranda opts to wear a low-cut top that exposes her cleavage.
  • Facial Dialogue: Jaime has an Oh, Crap! expression when he realises the boy Myrcella is with is Trystane Martell (what was that about avoiding war with Dorne again?). Bronn also reads Trystane noting his bloodstains, and realises he's going to draw his sword despite being warned off.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Jorah and Tyrion see the slavers' ship but somehow miss the slavers right behind them.
  • False Reassurance:
    Littlefinger: I live to serve.
  • A Father to His Men: Tyrion reaffirms that Lord Mormont was this, to which Jorah (his exiled actual son) is left speechless. Tyrion tells Jorah that he doesn't have much reason to complain since he, unlike Tyrion, had a good father.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • In the season premiere Loras starts to rather openly have affairs with other men, against Margaery's warning. Loras was at the time indifferent because he felt with Tywin's death and their respective elevations, he no longer needed to keep up appearances. Naturally, this comes back to bite him in the ass during his trial when Olyvar implicates him.
    • Tywin mentioned back in Season 3 that Cersei's fatal flaw is that she's a Smug Snake who thinks she's smarter than she actually is. Now, Olenna is aghast at Cersei's smug impersonation of Tywin's normal intimidation routine, bluntly asking if Cersei realizes that the Lannisters are still dependent on Tyrell soldiers, gold, and food supplies. Cersei apparently either doesn't care, or genuinely doesn't realize the stupidity of antagonizing one of her few remaining sources of material support.
  • Faux Action Girl: The Sand Snakes make their combat debut, but due to a combination of poor choreography and the necessity of the plot, they're barely more effective than the mooks Jaime and Bronn fought earlier.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Once they reach the newlyweds' bedchambers, Ramsay's "politeness" toward Sansa becomes more sinister.
  • Flower in Her Hair: Our first glimpse of Trystane and Myrcella comes when he places a pink flower in her hair.
  • Forced to Watch: Poor Theon/Reek is forced to watch Sansa's bedding, crying and shaking all the while.
  • Friendship Denial: Arya looks genuinely shocked when she's hit after saying she hated Sandor.
  • Gambit Pileup:
    • Baelish's plans become ever more complex as he tells Cersei about Sansa, the Boltons, and Stannis. He then offers to march on Winterfell on behalf of the crown to finish off the winner of the upcoming battle between Stannis and House Bolton in exchange for being named Warden of the North if he succeeds. At this point in time, it's hard to tell whether he's actually considering this as a win condition for himself, if he's just lying to Cersei, he's just winging it.
      • For those keeping score at home, Baelish's plan would make him Lord of the Riverlands, Lord Regent of the Vale, and Warden of the North, giving him control of three of the eight constituent realms of Westeros. (The Crownlands is the ninth, but it's unimportant here.)
    • Jaime and the Sand Snakes happen to make their respective attempts to kidnap Myrcella at the exact same time — though the Sand Snakes had moved up their own attempt after finding out about Jaime's — while Trystane and Myrcella herself just want her left right where she is in the Water Gardens.
  • Give Away the Bride: Theon has to give away Sansa.
  • Guile Hero: Yet again Tyrion is captured, and yet again he evades death and gets what he wants (passage to Meereen) using his ''barely''-quick-enough wits and persuasion skills.
  • Half-Truth: Olyvar's testimony during Loras's inquisition is somewhat true- however details are altered so that it sounds like Olyvar is just a squire that got corrupted by Loras instead of a professional prostitute that came to Loras first.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: For his master's wedding, Reek got bathed, shaved and put into some clean clothes. Even his posture seems human. If it wasn't for his permanent Thousand-Yard Stare, he'd almost look like Theon again.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Ramsay to Sansa, and he takes his marital "rights" as soon as possible.
  • Indy Ploy: When Bronn asks what will they do once they get Myrcella, Jaime just sighs and says he likes to improvise... not that that got very far thanks to three opposing parties.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: 'Uncle' Jaime walks in on his daughter Myrcella snogging a handsome Dornish boy.
  • It's All About Me: Continuing the trend from previous episodes, Cersei. Olenna attempts to offer her advice that Tywin knew the value of maintaining a relationship with his rivals. Cersei fires back that she has no rivals. Olenna, dumbfounded by Cersei's narcissism, decides to drop the topic.
  • Karmic Death: Cersei intends to flay the Boltons alive — whose house sigil is a flayed man — if Littlefinger ever gets his hands on them. A horrible death to be sure, but nobody would shed any tears for them.
  • Kangaroo Court: A King's Landing tradition continues, though it was technically an inquisition. Loras' trial is blatantly scripted, and once again we have a surprise witness in the form of a prostitute who had been knowingly told to lie under oath while Cersei smirks at the proceedings.
  • Kick the Dog: Out of spite Cersei is dismissive of her uncle Kevan, calling him a coward with the courage of a kitchen mouse when Lord Baelish contemplates a future military operation. It's not only mean and pointless, but also dangerous to reveal this kind of internal dissent to a third party.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Theon pleads with Sansa to take his arm as Best Man, saying Ramsay will punish him otherwise. Sansa coldly refuses, saying she doesn't care what happens to him. Of course, he isn't actually guilty of killing Bran and Rickon as she believes... although he did kill two random children instead, which is every bit as bad.
  • Know When To Fold Them: The Sand Snakes might be good fighters, able to hold their own against Jaime Lannister and Bronn, but even they can't win when surrounded by dozens of guards led by the massive Areo Hotah. Instead they opt for surrender. Likewise Bronn. Jaime hesitates, but also drops his sword after Areo puts a longaxe against his throat.
    • When Littlefinger points out he's in the capital on business for Cersei, Lancel and his fellow Sparrows back down; seemingly, the Faith Militant aren't willing to openly challenge the Crown...yet.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jorah sold poachers into slavery long ago and then kidnaps Tyrion... it is on his way to deliver Tyrion that he himself gets kidnapped and is about to be sold into slavery.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Sansa looks right at the camera for about five seconds while Ramsay rapes her.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Littlefinger not only advises that Cersei let the Boltons and Stannis fight it out, but also advises sending himself and the army of the Vale to finish off whoever's left, which would cost the Lannisters nothing in coin or manpower.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: A very dark version. Sansa clearly has no desire to bed Ramsay, but no choice in the matter.
  • Living Lie Detector: A man has a nigh-supernatural ability to recognize deception.
  • Looking Busy: Cersei tries to ape her father Tywin's habit of writing letters while receiving visitors as a dominance play, but while Tywin actually did have important matters to attend to, she's just faking it. Lady Olenna isn't impressed, and tells her to just get down to business.
    Olenna: Put the pen down, dear. We both know you're not writing anything.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Olyvar turns on Loras, using intimate details against him.
  • Made a Slave: Both Tyrion and Jorah. However, Tyrion manages to persuade the slavers to sell Jorah as a pit fighter in Mereen, where slavery of all kinds is outlawed.
  • Marital Rape License: Ramsay enjoys this part of marriage, and forces Theon to watch.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment Bronn gets cut during the fight in the Water Gardens. This wouldn't be a big deal if the blade didn't belong to a daughter of Oberyn Martell. Let's hope for the best...
  • Mercy Kill: What Arya does to the ill girl, while telling that her pain will end soon.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Myranda's list of Ramsay's former lovers includes two we knew about, plus Kyra, a character who was Adapted Out of Season 2 with Osha taking over her role, and Ramsay did indeed later kill.
    • Bronn sings some of "The Dornishman's Wife", and complains that the whole point of the song is the ending when Jaime stops him. The song is about a man having an affair with the wife of a Dornishman, but in the novels the final verse reveals he's actually just been killed by the angry husband.
  • Nerves of Steel: Littlefinger faces up to the Sparrows and hardly breaks a sweat, even delivering a barely concealed Stealth Insult. Lancel however does give him a Death Glare so he might be over-reaching again.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: In a rare moment of competence, Cersei questions Littlefinger's skill in moving against Stannis, correctly noting that Littlefinger has zero military experience.
  • Non-Action Guy: Credit for trying, but when Trystane Martell draws his Royal Rapier to stop Bronn and Jaime from kidnapping Myrcella, he gets disarmed and taken out of the fight in seconds.
  • No-Sell: Sansa bluntly tells Myranda that her mind game routine is too weak and predictable to scare her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Loras's reaction when Olyvar walks into the hearing.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Jaime interrupts Bronn singing "The Dornishman's Wife", to which Bronn complains that the ending is the best part. Becomes a Brick Joke when he finishes the song in the next episode.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Sand Snakes mask their faces when going to abduct Mycella, but wear form-fitting leather jerkins that clearly show their sex. Even in Dorne there can't be that many Action Girls; especially three of them working together, wielding distinctive weapons.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: It was already hinted at during their first appearance together in "The House of Black and White", but Trystane and Myrcella are actually so in love with each other they want to get married right away.
  • Playing Both Sides: Littlefinger told Roose Bolton that the Vale will ally with him against the Iron Throne, now he tells the Iron Throne that the Vale will ally with the Iron Throne against whoever comes out of time in the Stannis vs. Boltons showdown. Considering his track record, what with having killed Joffrey and all, how he'll go from there is anybody's guess.
  • Playing the Heart Strings: A cello is heard while Theon watches Ramsay rape Sansa.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: During her meetings with Cersei, Olenna all but tells her point blank that she's doing a poor job trying to fill Tywin's shoes.invoked
  • Pretty in Mink: Sansa at her wedding. Virgin in a White Dress also applies (until Ramsay gets involved).
  • Puppet King: Cersei and the Faith have Tommen's wife and brother-in-law imprisoned, and all he can do is watch helplessly.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: Apart from a crying Sansa on the bed, the camera cuts to Theon's horrified expression as he watches her rape.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The Sand Snakes' little rebellion lasts about two minutes of fighting until they get overpowered by a dozen more skilled fighters.
    • Trystane Martell attempts to be the quintessential Prince Charming and defend his beloved princess when two outsiders (Jaime and Bronn) try to kidnap her. Unfortunately for him, he's still just a boy versus two competent swordsmen, and gets disarmed the moment he tries drawing his Royal Rapier.
    • Sansa has been trying to be a cold manipulator like Littlefinger and indeed she calmly disarms Myranda's attempts to intimidate her, but Ramsay is too Ax-Crazy to even consider playing the same game as her. The results are sadly predictable.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Only the Queen of Thorns would get away with calling Cersei "Queen Tart".
  • Shame If Something Happened: Olenna Tyrell reminds Cersei about how the crown currently depends on military assets and supplies (the trifecta of food, gold, and men) from the Reach as an outright threat that the Lannister-Tyrell alliance is on the verge of breaking.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Sansa shoots down Myranda's attempts to intimidate her with gruesome stories of Ramsay's past:
    Sansa: Did you imagine he would be with you forever, is that it? Then I came along and ruined it? I'm Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home. And you can't frighten me.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Tyrstane does it to Myrcella.
    Myrcella: Do you want to marry me because our families arranged it, or do you— (Tyrstane kisses her)
  • Silent Credits: Subverted with a dozen mute seconds before the credit music starts. After Sansa cries out, the screen goes to black and silent credits begin to roll. It lets the horror sink in some more.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Cersei has no problem with disparaging Lysa Arryn and Littlefinger makes only a half-hearted effort to defend his late wife.
    Cersei Lannister: Lysa Arryn, for instance. Thoroughly repellent woman. [Cersei makes a show of regret] Forgive me, I know you're still in mourning.
    Cersei Lannister: She was neither of those things and we both know it.
  • Spot the Thread: Played with. Jaime and Bronn reveal themselves to Trystane and Myrcella, causing Trystane to wonder why the outsiders are dressed as Dornish men-at-arms. Once he spots the speckles of blood on their tunics, he puts two-and-two together and realizes that they're not here to make a friendly visit.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Trystane and Myrcella, two teenagers deeply in love with each other and threatened to be pulled apart by their Feuding Families.
  • Stealth Insult: Unlike her granddaughter, Olenna blatantly insults Cersei right to her face. Justified in how she did imprison her grandson.
  • Surprise Witness: Olyvar is brought out by the Faith to confesses to bedding Loras after he and Margaery deny it to the High Sparrow.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: The Water Gardens. There are seemingly no perimeter sentries (let alone guards actually with Trystane), as both the Sand Snakes and Jaime and Bronn were able to simply walk in. Large numbers of guards do arrive to intervene, but not for several minutes, during which Trystane or Myrcella could have been hurt or killed.
  • This Cannot Be!: Margaery's reaction to learning that she too will be put on trial.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Bronn's reaction to the Sand Snakes' appearance.
    Oh, for fuck's sake!
  • Title Drop: Spoken as a Badass Creed by the Sand Snakes.
  • Travelling at the Speed of Plot: Albeit not as blatant as in season 2, Littlefinger made it from Winterfell to King's Landing with only one episode in between.
  • Undying Loyalty: Tyrion is amazed that Jorah has declared this for Daenerys wondering why she is special. For Jorah this is Character Development since now that he's infected and Secretly Dying, he no longer expects any reward from Dany but merely see her win.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Littlefinger tells Cersei that the Boltons are harboring Sansa to legitimize their claim of the North. Naturally, he left out his involvement in the arrangement. He then convinces Cersei to install himself as the Warden of the North after the battle between the Boltons and Stannis Baratheon settles.
  • Waif-Fu: Subverted.
  • Walk-In Chime-In: Jorah pulls Tyrion into cover because he realises the slavers must have come on shore to look for—
    Malko: Water.
  • Wham Episode: Loras and Margaerey are to stand trial, the former for his homosexuality and the latter for bearing false witness at a Faith inquest. Sansa is married to Ramsay Bolton, who then forcibly consummates their marriage. Jaime and Bronn are captured in Dorne, and Ellaria is arrested as well.
  • Wham Line: For Jorah, when Tyrion tells him that his father is dead:
    Tyrion: We will never see his like again.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Olenna makes it clear that she didn't trust or like Tywin Lannister, but respected him as a rival of quality. She doesn't need to say out loud that Cersei is nothing like her late father.
    • Subverted when Areo Hotah tells Ser Jaime he would have been a good fight...if he still had his hand.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Pun intended. The assassin formerly known as Jaqen doesn't shy away from caning Arya's face bloody when he isn't satisfied with her progress.
  • Wretched Hive: On returning to Kings Landing, Lady Olenna snarks, "You can smell the shit from five miles away." And this is despite Brother Lancel boasting that they've cleaned it up, too.
  • You Got Spunk:
    • Bronn condescendingly praises Tyene Sand with the words "You fight pretty good for a little girl", and is visibly amused by her enraged reaction, which forces the guards to keep the two apart when she tries to attack him again.
    • The slaver captain says, "Got a lot of fight in you" after hitting Jorah a few times. Like the Bronn example, it's meant to be condescending.
  • You Talk Too Much: Tyrion of course, to Jorah's irritation. Tyrion though is genuinely apologetic when he realises he's blurted out the news of Jeor Mormont's death to a son who doesn't already know.

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