This week’s “Inside the Episode” features more segments than usual. Usually the producers only deep dive into the top three moments. This week we have five. (And one, Dany’s, doesn’t appear in “Unbowed Unbent Unbroken.” Interesting. I wonder if there was last minute editing and rearranging and Dany’s decision was originally supposed to happen this week? After all, “Kill the Boy” and “Unbowed Unbent Unbroken” were written and directed by the same team.)
Tonight’s episode “Unbowed Unbent Unbroken” sounded from the outset like a story focused on the unwillingness of those to compromise. But as we saw, in an episode structured much like last week’s, this was an episode that focused on fantasies and reality. The fantasies people spin that our characters choose to believe, versus the cold hard reality, when people decline to honor those beliefs.
Littlefinger: “We both peddle fantasies Brother Lancel. Mine just happen to be entertaining.”
Though the show named itself after House Martell’s words, we did not spend all that much time in Dorne this week. In fact we managed to wrap up nearly the entire Dornish plot from A Feast for Crows in less than seven minutes, made sure that Bronn got cut with a poisoned dagger to boot, and didn’t scar Myrcella’s face in the process. The Dornish scene was short, but it too hewed to the theme of fantasies vs reality. The fantasies of Jaime and Ellaria as to what would happen with Myrcella, running up against the reality of what Myrcella wants, and more importantly, what Doran will decree.
Instead the first twenty minutes were devoted solely to our stories in Essos, with Arya and Tyrion. Arya’s story was all about learning the power of fantasy over the power of truth. When she tells the truth she is whipped for lying. Why? Gaslighting, partially. If someone continually tells you your truths are lies, it becomes a little easier to muddle what is and isn’t the truth. But it’s not until Arya learns the power of spinning fantasies, to make facing death just a little easier to bear for the girl in pain, that the keys to the House of Black and White are handed to her. No, she’s not ready to become no one–she’s much too hesitant to not answer “Arya” when asked who she is. But she is ready to spin a fantasy for the unsuspecting and become “someone else.”
As always, with the end of every episode comes the trailer for next week, which we break down for your edification. This title of episode 6 is, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” which are the Martell House words. I’m assuming that we’ll be seeing a lot of Dorne this coming week.
Breakdown, after the jump.
Game of Thrones has released a behind-the-scenes look at the stunt work and makeup that went into the creation of the dramatic conclusion of Sunday’s episode with the Attack of the Stone Men.
Below, watch the scene again, knowing all the work that went into it.
This week’s “Inside the Episode” focuses on Aemon’s speech to Jon, Sansa’s Dinner with the Boltons and Drogon’s flyby. We’ve also got George RR Martin on the Stone Men and Greyscale, as well as Emilia Clarke and Michiel Huisman discussing Daenerys’ decisions this week.
I already broke this down when it originally leaked, but once again I am struck by Roose’s ability to control his son. Also, if he has any brains, he’ll install Fat Walda in a bedroom on the ground level and tell her to stay away from all staircases, windows and wells.
This week on Game of Thrones, we concentrated only on a very few stories. It’s a rare episode when King’s Landing is completely absent, but tonight we didn’t set foot in the capital. Nor did we catch up with those south as south can go in Dorne–not Jaime, not Ellaria, not Myrcella. All took the week off. As for Arya, we must assume she’s washing the dead with gusto, waiting for her chance to be called up. Tonight only focused on four locations: Meereen, The Wall, Winterfell and Old Valyria.
Dany: “Children. Some say I should give up on them. But a good mother never gives up on her children. She disciplines them if she must. But she does not give up on them.”
This lack of location jumping is more indicative of the bringing together of characters than it is the show moving away from the round robin format that has characterized all four seasons. Once again, though the locations were all far-flung from each other, they were joined by one over arching theme–making the hard choices and not giving up on your beliefs. We saw this reflected from the smaller moments, like Stannis in the library, ordering Sam back to his books to learn more about dragon glass, and what it can do in the coming battle against the white walkers. Brienne may be staying in an Inn that we once met Tyrion in so long ago in the first season, but our moment with her reminded everyone that not only is she not giving up on the Starks, neither are Team Servants.
Up at the Wall, Stannis and company took their leave and headed down towards Winterfell. With the loss of Stannis’ men as a distraction, Jon Snow is now left with 50 men to guard The Wall, and not much to hide the fact that he’s about to be a very unpopular leader. But Maester Aemon is not about to give up on Snow. It doesn’t matter what his plan is. Leaders lead, and if they believe in the plan, then they must execute it. So what if Olly and Edd and even question him publicly. Though to be fair, Jon never spelled it out properly in my view. I kept waiting for him to ask “Do you want the Giants on the army of the dead, or on our side? The enemy of my enemy….” And yet that explanation never came, and Olly left that room looking quite less than impressed with his Lord Commander.