Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6: Our Uncensored Reaction to Sansa’s Wedding Night

game of thrones season 5 episode 6 Sansa and Theon Wedding NightGame Of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 6 “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

After last week’s highly focused episode, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” returns to a number of the other storylines. Arya in Bravos and Jamie in Dorne have been the two least developed storylines of the season and while both move forward this episode, only one them is hitting the mark. Without Jon’s storyline, arguably the season’s strongest, or a highlight moment like Drogon in Valyria, this episode feels like a bit of a mixed bag. Full spoilers ahead.

I’m still processing the final scene and what to make of it. It’s disturbing to say the least. I do think it’s clear that the writer’s intention is to depict Sansa getting raped. The fact that this is her wedding night which she knew was coming and that Ramsey is now her husband doesn’t make it right. I think that’s a important distinction in light of last season’s controversial scene with Jamie and Cersei.  

Another reason it’s a difficult scene to watch is that Sansa’s been relatively protected up to this point. Tyrion never layed a hand on her and the Hound saved her from getting raped during the riot.  We’ve also seen Sansa make some strides last season in handling Lysa’s death at the inquisition and in holding her own against Myranda during her bath. So it feels like we’re taking a step back in terms of her character’s agency though I’m not really sure what she could have done.

Going into this season there was speculation on seeing a Dark Sansa, perhaps as an instrument of vengeance for her family but what we’ve seen from her is sadly a powerless pawn. Perhaps then having Sansa going from dark hair back to red is symbolic in some way. Sansa is a character that we’ve seen grown up and go through so much pain, I can’t help but to feel bad for her.  Alfie Allen’s facial expression is excellent, adding to the horror of it all.

I used to think that Littlefinger’s creepy attraction to Sansa meant that he’d keep her for himself or at least protect her from harm. Instead, he’s thrown Sansa into the lion’s den, using her for his own ends. Compared to other characters, this slime ball is playing the game many moves in advance.

Game Of Thrones Season 5 Sansa-Ramsay

The middle section focused on Dorne from which the episode title gets its name. Unfortunately these scenes felt rather disjointed. Usually checking in on characters gives insight or something of substance to chew on. Here both Prince Doran and the Sand Snakes have yet to feel like fully formed characters. The buildup to the fight between Jamie and Bronn versus the Sand Snakes was rushed. I also didn’t completely buy that Oberyn daughter’s were these bad ass fighters. I’m still curious how the Dorne plot will unfold but so far it’s not living up to its potential.

In Bravos I’m liking the latest developments with Arya. Unlike the other storylines, Arya’s has nothing to do with political machinations or on learning how to be a ruler. It’s a different kind of character evolution that is both incredibly intriguing and at the same time feels true to who Arya is.

One aspect of the face slapping truth game that I liked is that we got to learn something about Arya, specifically lying about wanting to make the Hound suffer. I also liked how she earned her way to the lower levels of the House Of Black and White. Like Jaqen said, she’s not prepared to be no one but she’s ready to become someone else. I can’t see Arya abandoning her quest for vengeance which is something she would have to do to truly become no one. I think Jaqen sees that in Arya and wants to help her become a faceless assassin anyways.

Game Of Thrones Season 5 Arya in House of Black and White

I do like that the drama and danger in King’s Landing continues to escalate but compared to last season it isn’t as compelling. Bringing back the Queen Of Thorns is a good move by the writers and I’m looking forward to how she’ll maneuver to save her grandchildren. The last thing I’ll say about what’s going on in King’s Landing is that silly scene about Loras’ Dorne shaped birthmark back in episode 1 actually has a pay off here.

Overall, like last episode, the middle section wasn’t as strong as the other storylines. However, I think it’s the final scene that will be most polarizing to viewers. What happened to Sansa is obviously disgusting and I can understand if book readers have a strong reaction to how things played out on the show differently. In the grander scope, Game Of Thrones has always had terrible things happen to both their male and female characters. So I don’t see what happened to Sansa is the show having a hidden agenda to demean its female characters. If you didn’t see Sansa’s wedding night coming, I guess what happened might be shocking to you but I don’t think it was the show runners intent to depict her rape solely for the shock factor. 

What do you think about Sansa’s wedding night? What did you like or dislike in this episode? 

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Posted on May 18, 2015, in Game of Thrones, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I did not like the last scene. Ending on that was in bad taste. The rape of a child is no way to end a TV show. I don’t like seeing young actresses have to do stuff like that. If I weren’t so invested in the show I would stop watching.

    • It was difficult to watch the last scene. And her cries were brutal. I wished that somehow she could maneuver her way out of that situation. I can’t wait to see the Boltons get their comeuppance.

  2. I really kept hoping that Sansa had a knife up her sleeve or that Theon would intervene some how to stop it. The fact that Ramsey was showing such control over both of them in that scene was awful. It’s funny how this show makes you have sympathy for characters you used to hate. I like that they show many sides to one character. I’m hoping that maybe this will be a turning point for Sansa’s character and she finds a way to fight back. That being said I wish they could have found a way to do that without her being raped.

    • I’m also hoping this will be a turning point for Sansa. I want to see her rise up and not be anybody’s pawn or prisoner anymore. I really wished there was a way for Sansa to get out of that situation. I like seeing the different sides of characters too. There’s a moment during the wedding vows that I liked when Theon said his name for the first time in a while and there’s this reaction in his eyes.

      • I totally know what you mean about the wedding scene when Theon says his name. I’m wondering if he will tell her at some point that he didn’t actually kill her brothers. Sansa definitely needs to rise up. At some point the Stark in her has to kick in.

        • I think the truth about her brothers might give Sansa some hope. I’m not sure if Theon can be redeemed but I can see him trying to help Sansa. Yeah, I hope for the day to see the Stark in her Sansa to come out.

  3. Like Barb, I was really, REALLY hoping that Sansa had a knife up her sleeve. It was so uncomfortable and I hope in the upcoming episodes she does find the strength and take out the Boltons once and for all. I can’t believe I found another character to despise more than Joffrey!

    • I thought Joffrey took he cake for me too but there seems to be no limit to Ramsey’s twisted mind. Down with the Bolton’s I say!

    • Yeah as much as Joffrey is despised, the Boltons are taking it to another level. I really hope Sansa doesn’t suffer anymore, it’s really time for her to be strong and not be the victim.

  4. I knew it was headed for this, but I was hoping against hope that someone (Brienne, some Northerners loyal to the Starks, etc.) would get involved before the wedding or something. I’m not sure I see the value of doing this to Sansa or even having put her in the position for it to happen from a story standpoint. I feel like I need to see what happens next to really know how to feel about this decision by the writers.

    Didn’t like the Dorne stuff either, but I thought Arya’s story this week was really great and Jorah/Tyrion’s was fun too.

    • With all the candles that were lit, the friend I was watching this with thought Sansa maybe also lit one to get the loyal Northerners to help. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. That’s a good point, let’s see what happens next.

      It’s too bad with the Dorne stuff, I think it needs more time to flesh things out. The episode started out strong, alternating between the Arya and Jorah/Tyrion scenes.

  5. Hey there friend, great write up yo. This was another one of those episodes where I was just like, “There were parts I liked, but it wasn’t exactly a winning episode.” For me the most interesting parts was with Arya, I’m liking her development and seeing her learn to play the game and understand what needs to done in order to advance in her training to become a Faceless Man. I like that Jaqen is finally taking Arya to the next step and I’m curioys to see who she’ll become. That crazy lower level of the House of Black & White with all those pillars of faces, holy crap! I was wondering how that was all put together, how were they placed? And if they need to be collected then how does one get the higher ones? Is there a ladder?

    The stuff in Dorne wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped. The only stuff I really liked was that moment with Jamie and Bronn when Bronn was singing that song and he wasn’t allowed to finish. Oh and that scene when he disses one of the Snakes for being a small girl. I thought the fight between Jamie and Bronn and the Sand Snakes was bit lazy and lacking in the choreography section.

    Now let’s move onto the scene that’s got the internet talking. The rape of Sansa Stark by Ramasy “The Asshole” Bolton. All I have to say is Poor Sansa, I really like the girl, she now has my respect. The show’s been building up her character and now I feel like this moment is either gonna undo all of her courage and turn her into a sad, defenceless victim like the majority of the first three seasons. OR she’ll use this horrible situation, turn into fuel and fuck Ramasy up late on. Maybe pretend to be messed up and then fuck the dude up late on? One can only help. Now for that scene was very disturbing and the reason for it is because of the points I stated above, but also because Theon was forced to watch and even though the deed was done off-screen, it was crafted in a way that left your mind to ponder of the horrors that was unfolding. I knew that Sansa was in for a bad time when she agreed to the marriage, but this is just the worst case scenario for Sansa’s first marriage and sexual experience. I was totally hopinh she had a hidden blade in her dress when she started undressing, but alas that didn’t come to pass. I also thought that Theon may do something since there was such a long focus on his face at the end, but again that didn’t happen either.

    As for how I feel about the show going too far, I wouldn’t say this was the worst thing ever. Violence is never a provblem, but things of a sexual nature are and I can’t say I’ve ever been completely comfortable with some of it. I would say the scene with Cersei and Jamie was way creepier and unsettling because of the way it was done and the fact that it was next to their dead child. Though I think the most surprising and unnerving thing for me was that moment during the Red Wedding when Talisa is stabbed in the stomach multiple times by Lame Lothar. That was just unbelievable. A pregnant lady getting stabbed in the tummy, that shit shook me up.

    Well anyway that’s my thoughts, can’t wait to here your thoughts man, hope you’re well! 😀

    • Hello my friend! That’s a good way to put it, I think there are a number of issues with this episode that prevented it from being a solid one. The Arya stuff is really good. So glad to see her again after a couple of episodes off. The lower level of the House of B&W is cool and a little freaky. I hope the show explains how the face changing works. I’m guessing they can only change into the faces of the dead heads. So their voices change too but not their bodies? Haha, yeah they would need a huge ladder or something.

      I totally agree that the fight in Dorne is lacking in the choreography section. It kind of hurt the Sand Snakes as being this supposed threat. They didn’t look deadly. I heard some fans speculate that Bronn might be cut with a poisoned dagger. I don’t know, I guess we’ll have to see.

      Poor Sansa. She’s already suffered enough. I’ve read some writers describe her as the Westeros whipping girl. The way it was shot off-screen, Theon’s expression said it all. And like you said, it was Ramsey of all people … just when we think we can’t despise him more. Theon didn’t step in but I’m guessing they are building him up to do something to help Sansa at some point. Or who knows, maybe Sansa will use/help Theon just to spite Ramsey.

      The show doesn’t shy away from violence. The sad thing is this stuff happens in real life. I hope the show isn’t just trying to top itself in terms of violence/abuse. I also hope that the writers have thought this through. I haven’t ready any interviews with the show runners but I’d be interested in hearing their explanation. I remember an older interview with George R. R. Martin, he said that some things he’s writes are controversial and he hopes people have a discussion about them. The thing is (and not to the spoil the books or anything) the events you mentioned in your last paragraph didn’t happen the same way in the books or not at all.

      This was a heavy episode to watch/think about but it’s great as always to discuss it with you. Hope you’re doing well too!:)

  6. abbiosbiston

    I feel like this series is taking forever to really get going and it all feels really bitty. While Sansa’s wedding night was brutal GOT has always been brutal and I can’t say I was that surprised. Littlefinger us at the point now where he is out-douching Joffrey. He knew something like this was bound to happen yet just left Sansa to it.

    • Yeah, a lot of fans feel like season 5 doesn’t have as much momentum as they’d like. It doesn’t feel as focused as it could be and some story lines are taking too much time to take off like Dorne. I heard last week that this ep would be the one where Sansa gets married so I kind of guessed this was coming. Plus the show is adapting this story line from the books (but with big differences). I’m glad you pointed out LF, let’s not let him off the hook for the situation he put Sansa in. He’s done so much damage to the Starks.

  7. Poor Sansa. That was a horrible scene to watch. I guess the writers wanted viewers to know the full extent of her suffering. And having Theon watch, beyond humiliating. Was it a necessary scene? Don’t know and hope it didn’t serve as a plot device.
    The Dorne scenes were underwhelming. The Sand Snakes are supposed to be so bad-ass but I haven’t seen evidence of that. Seemed more like teenage girls who aren’t quite what they will be yet.
    The only character that doesn’t appear to have a single redeeming quality is Cersei. She thinks she is so devious but is completely transparent.
    Enjoyed everything with Arya. Her desire for vengeance is something that controls her, not that it’s bad, just that it makes her training harder.
    Will be interesting to see how the next episode plays out and which area will be focused on. Dorne certainly needs improvement given the hype surrounding it.

    • Yes, Poor Sansa. I felt so bad for her. I feel kind of protective of her character and didn’t want her to suffer anymore. That’s a good question whether that scene was really necessary. I don’t now either. Would it have worked if we see them walk in the room, close the doors behind them then fade to black? Or would it be neglectful of the show to brush it under the carpet so to speak? I think I see what you mean about hoping it’s not a plot device. I think the show should be above making rape as her motivation for vengeance or that this will turn out to be a “good thing” that will empower her.

      That’s a good point about Cersei. I have to say I laughed when Queen Of Thorns said, “we both know you’re not writing anything” lol.

      Arya’s scenes are so good. I think her storyline is progressing nicely. Looks like she might put on a face the next time we see her. Who she’ll be assassinating this season should be interesting to see. I’m glad that she’s knows her desire for vengeance is something that is important to her. She needs to be honest with herself which I guess is one aspect to playing the game of faces.

      I haven’t read next week’s synopsis. I’m guessing we’ll return back to Jon and Dany. And Tyrion is usually in 9 out of 10 episodes a season if not all of them. I hope the storyline in Dorne picks up, I’m guessing we’ll see Prince Doran meet Jamie next ep.

  8. brendantbewley

    The thing that I think was important about that last scene (that I think some of its critics are missing) is that marital rape is really an inescapable reality for most women. Some I think are reacting to this as if Sansa’s storyline was going in a normal trajectory and the showrunners forced a rape scene in there. To me, if her consummation night went amoothly (either with Ramsay or someone else), I think that would have felt more forced, less believable, and kind of like the showrunners were trying to purposefully smooth what is normally an incredibly bumpy path for women so as to protect Sansa. You’re absolutely right that she has gained some agency and competence since last year, but I think you’re also right that there was really no avenue through which she could avoid that. Even strong, competent women can be taken advantage of and raped, especially in this world.

    • I’m glad to hear your rational and thought out comment. Like you said, it’s unfortunate this happens in marriages and in everyday reality. I read a statistic that 2/3 women on the planet experience violence/abuse in their lifetime. Yes, by saying I’m not sure what she could have done, I’m saying it’s not her fault. Victims sometimes think there is something she could have done to prevent it but they’re not to be blamed, it could happen to anyone.

  9. I’ve got to say, in spite of not having watched the series as of yet, the costume design, sets and actors are incredibly well thought out. I’m looking forward to some heavy summer viewing to catch this show.

    • This episode was a great showcase for the costume design and sets. Her wedding outfit is stunning. I could have posted better pictures, but there was a really scenic winter outdoor wedding set in the night. I hope you get a chance to catch this show. There’s the undead on this show believe it or not haha. 🙂

  10. I thought it was a great episode and the backlash for the last scene is not warranted yet – I hope it actually has some consequence. I don’t understand why people call it ‘gratuitous’ – it was done as tastefully as it could be. Instead of questioning this people should be questioning the very notion for Sansa to marry Ramsay which was really poorly set up

    • Yeah, the directing and editing was done in a way in which we actually didn’t see the act. But I knew as soon as the episode ended I thought “here we go again” … another controversy. Still uncomfortable to watch.

  11. I don’t get why everyone reacts so strongly with the Sansa scene. I get rape is horrible but its hardly a surprising act for this show. People have been raped loads on this show. But as with reality nobody cares if it happens to someone who isn’t important.

    Also, and I don’t like to point it out, is it rape?
    She married him, never said no, resisted in no way and wasn’t under the influence of any drug. Granted her option where slim to nothing but technically was it?

    On a lighter note (kind of) I imagine Ramsey’s death scene will be spectacularly painful and graphic.

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