Well, they’ve done it again.
Game of Thrones has divided the internet more than the Star Wars trailer and Avengers: Age of Ultron combined. Family Guy killing off Brian feels like child’s play in comparison.
For those complaining that not much is happening this year – I’m definitely in that camp – the show has responded. Message boards have exploded, with people desperate to express their opinions on that scene. Yep, this week it was revealed that Westeros contains cock merchants. The particulars of such a job is not really something I’d like to hear more about, but I’m slightly curious all the same.
Okay, you know that’s not the real reason why people are ripping on this episode. I’ll get to that.
Shame on you (i)
I don’t even know what’s happening with Arya’s (Maisie Williams) story anymore, which is pretty much exactly how I felt at this point in the books. But hey, that shot of all those dead faces was as cool as it was creepy! So that’s how those assassins do it. They put a dead man’s face on, and then use the disguise to kill people in a horrible, efficient way. Clearly they’ve been watching The Silence of the Lambs.
But seriously, where are they going with this? Is Arya going to become a Faceless Woman? I really don’t know. I think I preferred her when she was hanging out with the Hound (Rory McCann), using her wits to survive in war-torn Westeros. Seeing her moping about that bleak building is just kind of… bleak.
Shame of you (ii)
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Yes Bronn (Jerome Flynn), I agree. His and Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) adventures in Dorne continue, and the show delivers its rubbishest fight scene yet. It makes you almost want to weep when you consider the truly breathtaking battle scenes in past series, or the Mountain versus the Viper last year.
Bronn and Jaime fighting the Sand Snakes, the vicious daughters of Oberyn (Pedro Pascal), really should’ve been awesome. But it was so badly choreographed, and shot with so much shaky cam it was like watching a Bourne movie. I couldn’t follow what was going on.
Bronn’s taking on two, Jaime’s taking on one, the other is trying to kidnap Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free)… I just don’t know. I was seriously excited about the introduction of Dorne this year. But Prince Doran (Alexander Siddig) has barely been involved, the Sand Snakes really aren’t that great, and Jaime and Bronn took six episodes to even get to the damn place.
I seriously hope this is going to get better. There’s only four episodes left, people. And I feel like they may as well not have bothered.
Shame on you (iii)
Let me ask you a question. Your survival, and that of your city, depends on the help and good grace of a family. What do you do? Well, I tell you what you don’t do: have both its heirs imprisoned.
Cersei (Lena Headey) is at it again, and now both Tyrell children are in the care of those insane Sparrow people. Not even the awesome Queen of Thorns (Diana Rigg) can help them. I have to admit, though, her scene with Cersei was just gold. In fact, every scene that Olenna’s in is gold. Definitely one of my favourite characters.
Oh, I’m so looking forward to this blowing up in Cersei Lannister’s face. And it will do. Mark my words.
Shame on you (iv)
Okay, I’ve been putting it off, so let’s talk about it. Let’s get it done with. Game of Thrones delivers another rape scene.
This time, it’s Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) who forces himself on poor Sansa (Sophie Turner) while Theon (Alfie Allen), who’s quite simply had enough by this point, is forced to watch.
“It’s unnecessary!”, “It advances the plot nowhere!”, “It victimises women!”, “I’m not watching anymore!”, “Wah!” – just some examples of what I’ve been reading online. Hell, it seems people have even been bugging George RR Martin about it, which seems a little excessive, seeing as he didn’t actually envision this happening to Sansa.
No, in Martin’s version, told in great detail in A Dance with Dragons, Sansa is actually Jeyne Poole, who’s been dressed up by the Lannisters to look like Arya Stark so the Boltons would have a better claim to the North. Ramsay doesn’t just rape her here, he gets Theon to do it. Ramsay doesn’t even care about poor “Arya”. It’s just another form of torture for his Reek, which he delights in. He even puts a knife in Theon’s hand at one point, daring him to make a move. Of course, Theon knows if he does this, he’ll suffer for it. Badly. So guys, it really could’ve been worse.
Look, rape is horrible and disgusting. Nobody is disputing that. And it’s never nice to watch in TV shows. You’re supposed to be freaked out and horrified by the act. I mean, what did people expect? Ramsay to suddenly grow a conscience and decide he was going to be a nice bloke? Sansa stepped into the lion’s den when she agreed to marry him. Yes, it makes her a victim once more, but watch this space. There’s still more to come. Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is on his way, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) is camped out nearby, and maybe Sansa herself will get revenge. One person can only take so much!
To those ready to stop watching because of this, I ask you: Did you care this much when Theon was castrated? Didn’t think so.
I certainly won’t be stopping. Join us next week when maybe, finally, Tyrion will get to Meereen. I’m serious, show. If you spend an entire season building up to Tyrion and Daenerys meeting, then ask us to wait until next year for it, I may well end up threatening to boycott you on internet forums. You’ve been warned.