I’ve been very critical of one of HBO’s biggest hits lately, primarily because the most recent season hasn’t been up to the high level expected of Game Of Thrones. This season in particular has been one big disappointment after another. My normal operation with reviews of GoT is compare and contrast the tv series to the book series, which up until halfway through season 4 had been relatively positive, all things considered.
If you haven’t watched the current season of the tv series and don’t want spoilers, you should probably go watch something else.
IF YOU ARE NOT CAUGHT UP WITH THE CURRENT SEASON OR NOVELS OF GAME OF THRONES, DO NOT READ FURTHER, THERE ARE SPOILERS.
Season 5 episode 6 ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’ looked like it was shaping up to be good, at least going by things placed in motion by episode 5. Oddly enough, Grandpa George (R. R. Martin) had to close the comments on his official blog because of the flood of messages there, which is one of the very few times in the show’s history he’s had to do that.
I love the house of black and white. It’s probably second only to Dorne as my favorite location in the book series. I am so happy with how they’ve been handling the story of Arya there. She and Faceless Man Jaqen h’Ghar continue the game of faces, and Arya struggles to understand what she must do in order to be accepted into the ranks. She is tested again and again, and finally shown the Fall Of Many Faces, a visual I’ve been waiting to see the entire series. I felt robbed that we didn’t get the skull and worm scene, but willing to forgive the absence for the beauty of the walls lined with quiet heads. The audience begins to understand part of the magic given to the faceless, and what the bodies of the dead are used for once they’ve breathed their last. Needless to say, Arya is more interested than ever in continuing to walk the path of the Novice.
Over on the shores off Meereen, Tyrion tells Jorah about his daddy issues. Namely, Tyrion tells Jorah about his murder of Tywin. Jorah nods knowingly, unphased by the admittance of patricide. The thing that DOES unnerve Jorah is the news of his father, the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch, and of his death. Tyrion does his best to assure his captor that his father died with honor…..well, as much as he could after the coup of sworn brothers killed him. The two are so engrossed in the story, they don’t hear the approach of soldiers. There is talk of removing Tyrion’s favorite bit of anatomy, but some fast talk and praise of Jorah’s previous Ser-ly endeavours save the two.
In Dorne, Jaime and Bronn have stolen themselves some lovely Dornish uniforms. And who knew Bronn was such a good singer? They FINALLY reach the Water Gardens, and try to rescue Princess Myrcella, who is in the thralls of young love with Prince Trystane. Little did the Lannister delegation know that the angry daughters of Oberyn Martell were lying in wait to strike as only Sand Snakes can. I am so goddamn disappointed with the ensuing fight. The Snakes are supposed to be great warriors on their own, and they are reduced to a poorly choreographed and executed fight scene. True, this entire “rescue the princess” thing didn’t happen in the books (the absent from the show Princess Arianne actually kidnaps Myrcella from the capitol of Sun Spear in hopes of ransoming her or possibly worse in order to get back at the Lannisters for her father’s untimely death). Needless to say, I was really hoping for more. I blame Fury Road for raising my expectations of what a woman in a fight sequence can do.
The Queen Of Thrones has made her way back into King’s Landing in the hopes of releasing her grandson Loras from the dungeon of the High Sparrow *cough*Cersei*cough*. Remaining one of the fabulous casting choices (seriously, well done guys) Lady Olenna Tyrell doesn’t mix words and let’s the Queen Mother know she isn’t happy, and the capitol would quickly lose the aid of Highgarden without a timely end to the arrest of the Knight Of Flowers. “As for your veiled threats-” “What veil?” A small trial of Loras happens, and he cannot escape his true nature. The High Sparrow traps Queen Margaery in perjuring herself, and calls for her arrest as well.
Ok, let’s get to the wedding night of Sansa Stark back at Winterfell.
I would like to remind everyone that IN THE BOOK, Ramsay Bolton marries a fake Arya Stark, not the real Sansa Stark. The girl is Jeyne Poole, who grew up with the Stark girls, and had been held in King’s Landing for at least two years under the arrested care of Cersei. She is sent out by Littlefinger to Winterfell posing as Arya with the purpose of convincing Roose and Ramsay she is the last remaining Stark. They get married, and Ramsay forces Reek (Theon) to service her with his mouth, as he no longer has his man parts intact, then Ramsay takes his liberties with Arya-Jeyne. It’s pretty brutal, and if the show runners had done the scene as written, the internet wouldn’t be happy, at ALL.
In tonight’s episode, Ramsay rips the (gorgeous) white dress from Sansa’s back, and orders Theon to stay in the room to witness his taking of Sana’s maidenhead. The sheer amount of anger on social media about this scene surprises me because the scene is, in reality, the gentlest rape in the series to date. Yes, I am highly aware of how stupid that statement sounds, but how could continual viewers of the show be outraged when so many worse things have happened? The series has multitudes of rape and war, not exactly the gentlest subjects. If you do not sit well with such things in your fantasy television series, you probably shouldn’t be watching the series to begin with. We (the audience) are not shown the ‘act’, but are instead shown the horror in Theon’s face, which actually made him a more sympathetic character in the scene. Everyone seems to forget that Theon didn’t actually kill the youngest Stark boys.
When asked who my favorite characters are from the books, my answers are usually met with blank stares and lots of “are you serious” responses. Theon Greyjoy and Davos Seaworth. I like characters who go on journeys; sometimes the broken ones are the most fascinating to follow. There really aren’t any other characters other than Lady Stoneheart who go through such a drastic transformation from who they are in the first book to becoming what they are in the most recent. Remember that Theon didn’t actually kill Bran and Rickon, and wasn’t going to kill the two miller’s boys and pretend they were his near-brothers, that was all Ramsay in the guise of Reek whispering in his ear.
Hopefully, the show will continue to gain back the writing momentum of previous seasons, and the audiences will remember the series is not soft, not kind.