Unbowed, unbent, unbroken

‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’ is the sixth episode of the fifth season of HBO’s fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 46th overall. In the pic we see a shot of King’s Landing in this episode, where we can see the Castle and also the Great Sept of Baelor: a kind of Vatican within Rome.

As you may have observed, it isn’t my intention to summarise the plots of each adventure thread in various parts of Westeros, but to record the bad messages of the series. The plots are mostly empty and fantastic, although I admit that Martin has a great command of the language.

For example, when in Braavos Arya enters the sanctum sanctorum of the House of Black and White after some time working as a servant and sees the columns with thousands of inlaid faces, there is nothing profound in that idea. It is pure imagery of a writer who, in interviews, has shown himself to be a traitor to his race and who writes for an audience that all it wants is cheap bread and circuses. The only mystery in those scenes that initiate Arya into the mystery cult is a psychological trick: the viewer is eager to find out what exactly the Faceless Men’s religion is. Believing that he is going to find out just by watching all the seasons, he forgets that it’s all cheap fantasy.

Cheap I say, because it’s far more difficult to try to decipher the religions of the real world. (See for example the efforts I made in Day of Wrath in trying to figure out why, in the past, parents led their children to the sacrificial stone.) And precisely because it is infinitely more difficult to understand the religions of the real world, the typical westerner takes a shortcut: attend television circuses even if they lack the least depth. In the episode then we see the first bad message on the Valyrian peninsula: a black slave trader hits the Aryan Jorah twice in the face.

In the warm King’s Landing there is a phrase by Lancel Lannister, now called simply Brother Lancel—a kind of monk of those who destroyed the Greco-Roman world in the 4th century—that deserves to be quoted: ‘The city has changed since you were here last. We flooded the gutters with wine, smashed the false idols, and set the godless on the run’. Far from there, in the cold Winterfell, in the novels Ramsay doesn’t rape Sansa in front of Theon after their wedding, as we see at the end of the episode. But as we know, those who produced the series are worse than Martin.

Published in: on April 10, 2021 at 3:04 pm  Comments Off on Unbowed, unbent, unbroken  
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