Synopsis of 5×07: Sansa is living in a continuous nightmare as Ramsay’s wife while her brother Jon deals with other troubles at the wall. The Lannisters in general are having troubles with their children in different parts of the world, and that little thing called incest rears its ugly head once more.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

After last week’s disaster of an episode had many people swearing off the show, I wasn’t expecting too much in regards to an actual redemption. And you know what? There really wasn’t. I’m finding myself at that weird point in a show where the writers need to do something to make up for some really bad story lines and, while this episode gave me a glimmer of hope, there’s only three episodes left for the season to redeem itself.

These vows of celibacy don't seem to be that important [HBO]
These vows of celibacy don’t seem to be that important [HBO]
This episode opens up where the last one ended – the bedroom of Sansa and Ramsay. She’s bruised, in pain, and tired after being raped continually night after night. Other people writing about the show bring up the fact that this is now a portrayal of marital rape and that fans who abandoned the series are just abandoning Sansa, but can it simply be called marital rape when she was forced into this marriage, this situation, and literally had no control of it from the beginning?

Either way, she’s in desperate need of help and begs Theon to go and light a candle in the tallest tower for her and when he agrees, he turns around and tells Ramsay, who has the old woman (Sansa’s only ally) flayed and hung nude to show his control. Sansa gets the last word in and shows that she still has the desire to live when she taunts Ramsay about how he is simply a bastard and that Joffrey was a bastard and that she can survive them, but his father is having another child soon and that would leave Ramsay a bastard forever. I’m only happy that Sansa is still alive.

But of course we have another threat of rape in this episode. While Jon has gone off, Aemon has died, leaving Dany the only Targaryen left in this world (or is she? Dun dun dunnnnnnnn). Left alone and without any other allies, Sam finds himself in a dangerous situation when some of the other Watchers start to threaten Gilly. I was about to be done with the show if Gilly had been raped, but Sam (and Ghost!) defend her from the attackers and makes sure she’s alright.

So of course they consummate their relationship and while it was cute because, aw yay Sam and Gilly, and sweet because, aw look Gilly is the one making sure that Sam is okay and taking the lead, it was also gross because did this really need to be prefaced with “She could have been raped though”?

Also, in terms of people in the North, Melisandre proves to be crazy and tells Stannis that he needs to sacrifice Shireen. He refuses, but if the focus they’ve put on her these past few episodes is to BURN HER ALIVE it’ll be hard to get me to watch the show. I mean, we all know her mom is crazy and devoted to Melisandre so I’m pretty nervous.

Myrcella, too pure for this world [HBO]
Myrcella, too pure for this world [HBO]
In a whole other world though, Jamie tries to reason with daughterniece Myrcella, who is actually really, really mad that her uncle(dad) would try and abduct her from Dorne. He really can’t explain too much, but says that her mother really wants her to go home and she just brushes him off saying that she has fallen in love with Trystane and that she’s going to marry him and there’s nothing he can do about it. Uncle(dad) Jamie is dumbfounded and tries to get her to listen to him but she’s not having any of it. Myrcella is quickly becoming one of my fave princesses in this show.

Unfortunately though, Bronn is suffering a worse fate. While many fans speculated that he actually had been poisoned when he was cut last week, the end result was a little less than boring. Yes, Bronn was cut. Yes, he was poisoned. But in one of the biggest “WTF” moments of the season the Sand Snakes seem to jump out of character so hard and Tyene satisfied the shows compulsory need for female nudity and objectification by stripping nude, making Bronn call her the most beautiful woman in the world, and then giving him the antidote for the poison after that.


After that.

Let’s take these legendary bad ass warriors and then turn them into gratuitous female nudity that really isn’t as empowering as people are trying to make it out to be.

This is my face during pretty much every episode of this damn show [HBO]
This is my face during pretty much every episode of this damn show – pure disgust. [HBO]
 Another Lannister is having trouble in a far off land though. Tyrion and Jorah find themselves set up in a slave pit ready to get messed up. Really though, if they threw Tyrion in there, he’d just get destroyed. But Greyscale Jorah (that’s his new fighting name I’ve made up) actually knows a thing or two about combat and does a damn good job of taking care of himself in the ring. But of course, who shows up at this same exact ring? Dany herself, the object of Jorah’s misplaced affection. While he’s ecstatic to see Khaleesi, she sure as hell ain’t excited to see him. When you think Greyscale Jorah is about to be out before his career as a Gladiator can begin, Tyrion pops up and declares himself to be the gift that Jorah has been trying to send to her.

I mean, I get that people are super excited about this, I really do. But Dany has a lot to learn about being an actual leader and Tyrion might not be the best to team up with at this point. Sure, the Lannisters have bad blood with pretty much every other house in the show, but these two are going to be stuck together for awhile, so we’ll just see how this goes.

Wipe that smirk off your face [HBO]
Wipe that smirk off your face [HBO]
But yeah, while every other Lannister seems to be in jeopardy, Cersei is skipping around King’s Landing with the biggest smirk on her face that I just want to slap off of her. Out of all the conniving, devious characters on this show, she probably is my least favorite. She’s been crafted as such a hateful being and I love to hate her. But as Tommen cries over Margaery’s imprisonment and his lack of ability to do anything, Cersei just continues to emotionally abuse him by exerting her power once again.

Seeing her visit Margaery to do nothing but taunt her made my blood boil, but I have to admit out of all the handlings of this plot I’m happy to see that Margaery is only in prison for knowing about her brother’s homosexuality instead of the book reason where Cersei plants lies about her being an adulterer and bringing in droves of men to lie about that.

We already have enough sexual violence and demeaning of women on this show.

But the real OG, Olenna herself, isn’t going to let her grandbabies rot in prison – oh no. She teams up with Littlefinger once more (BFF’s since the Purple Wedding of Season 4) and he promises her to deliver a gift of a handsome young man as he did to Cersei. Lady Olenna seems pleased with this, and her brief encounter with the High Sparrow (calling him “Little Fellow” from now on in my head) showed that she isn’t one to be messed with in this game.

And in the final moments of the episode, it seems that things are only getting worse for the Lannisters. You remember, incest didn’t just happen between brother and sister, oh no. It happened between cousin and cousin. And with one cousin, the one who granted the High Sparrow all of his power, and the other, one of his most devout followers, Cersei should have known not to throw stones in glass houses.

Because she’s now finding herself behind bars (and I’m bracing myself for a great book moment). Yes, Cersei, the one who thought she had everyone in her back pocket, is finding out that she really has no control over anyone. Not her lover, not her children, and certainly not the crazed religious militia she has let loose onto the city.

Overall the episode was pretty ehhhh until the end when Cersei got hers but I’m still pretty tentative about this season as a whole. Oh well, three more to go.

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