Last night's "Game of Thrones" contained what could be the single most horrifying scene in the series' history -- and, for a show like this, that's saying something.
Before we get to Sansa and Ramsay and Reek at that disturbing final scene, let's first get through the rest of "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken." (Warning: Spoilers ahead.)
Arya is still on corpse-washing duty at the House of Black and White, and has (valid) questions about where the bodies go after they're taken through that mysterious door. "I'm not scrubbing one more corpse until you tell me why I'm doing it!" she says.
There are also more rounds of the Game of Faces - which we now know is not quite a game, but is more like that "two truths and a lie" ice-breaker you played at college orientation. Arya tells Jaqen H'ghar stories about her life, while throwing little fibs. When he knows she's lying (and he catches her, every time), he hits her with a stick. For what it's worth, she lied about hating The Hound. Also, she doesn't want to be "No One." She still wants to be Arya, just with assassin training she can use to get vengeance.
Later, a man brings his sick and suffering daughter to the House of Black and White to put her out of her misery, and Arya convinces the girl to drink the deadly fountain water by claiming it will heal her. Score one for Arya in the Game of Faces. That earns her a trip through the mystery corpse door, into a cavernous hall filled to the ceiling with faces for Faceless Men shape-shifting.
Ser Jorah and Tyrion, having passed through the ruins of Valyria and survived (well, perhaps not so much for Jorah) an ambush by Stone Men, face another setback when they're attacked by slave merchants. The men decide to kill Tyrion and sell his genitals, because apparently a dwarf's, erm, member has magic powers. Tyrion manages to talk his way out of certain death by convincing them to wait for a "cock merchant" to verify he's indeed a dwarf before they do it. (Best line of the night goes to Tyrion, after one of the merchants says they'll be able to tell it's a dwarf's: "Guess again.")
Tyrion also throws Jorah a lifeline by telling their captors he's a great warrior, and that they should sell him to the fighting pits. This, at least, keeps them going in the direction of Meereen and Dany.
Lots of big developments here this week. The first involves Littlefinger, who reported to the capital at Cersei's request and promptly begins his work as a master manipulator.
He tells the Queen Mother that Sansa is marrying Ramsay Snow (conveniently, he leaves out the part where he arranged their betrothal) and offers to send knights from the Vale to fight whoever wins the looming battle for Winterfell, whether it be Stannis Baratheon or the Boltons. Cersei knows he wouldn't stick his neck out for the Lannisters unless something was in it for him, too, and there is - if the plan works, he tells her, he wants to be named Warden of the North. So this was what he was plotting for all along - eliminating Stannis and the Boltons, and getting the North (and Sansa) for himself.
Second, the Tyrells. Can we give a warm welcome back to Lady Olenna, High Queen of Sass? She's back, at granddaughter Margaery's behest, to help get her brother Loras released from prison. She has a sit-down with Cersei, who maintains her innocence in the whole matter - she didn't arrest Loras, it wasn't her! - but Olenna sees right through it.
There's an inquest into Loras' alleged misdeeds, but despite being told it's not a formal trial it certainly feels like one. He swears to the High Sparrow that he's never had sex with men. Margaery takes the stand and denies any knowledge of her brother's homosexuality. Everyone can go home now, right? Wrong.
The High Sparrow pulls a trump card -- Loras' lover, Olyvar, comes and testifies that he and Loras were intimate and that Margaery walked in on them once and didn't seem surprised. He even describes a Dorne-shaped birthmark on Loras' thigh as further proof. And, with that (and a deliciously evil smirk from Cersei), both Tyrell siblings are hauled off to jail to await formal trials.
Myrcella is taking a stroll around the Water Gardens with her betrothed, Trystane Martell, and the two of them actually look like they're happy and like one another. Their romantic moment is interrupted, however, when Jaime and Bronn show up to "rescue" her.
And they're not the only people out for Myrcella -- at that same moment, the Sand Snakes swoop in to try and exact revenge for their father's death. A fight ensues but it's quickly broken up by the appearance of Martell guards, who force Jaime and Bronn to surrender. Elsewhere, Ellaria Sand (who plotted with the Sand Snakes to hunt down Myrcella) is apprehended as well.
It's time for another Westeros wedding, and we all know how those go. Myranda goes to draw Sansa a bath and help her get ready, and passes the time by telling stories about all the other women Ramsay has grown bored with and then abused. But Sansa stands firm: "I'm Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home and you can't frighten me."
Whether or not she's bluffing, it's a huge moment for Sansa. But the episode doesn't end there. A cleaned-up Theon arrives to escort her to her wedding ceremony, which happens in a snowy wood and goes off without incident. After, Ramsay takes his new bride to a bedroom with Theon in tow, and questions whether she's still a virgin after her marriage to Tyrion. He then orders her to take off her clothes and forcibly consummates their marriage while making Theon watch.
The episode ends on that awful note, made all the worse because you don't see it -- there's just Sansa crying and the tortured look on Theon's face as he sees what's happening.
Tell us: What did you think of this week's episode?