“The work continues,” Qyburn adds cryptically as he exits. A reference to his Mountain-sized monster under the sheet perhaps?
Cersei is also visited by the cruel septa, who holds out a ladle full of water and demands a confession. Confess you get the water, don’t and you get smacked with the ladle. Another example of binary education. Cersei tries bribes and threats, but nothing works. Septa don’t care.
In Cersei’s lowest moment so far, she slurps the water off the dungeon floor.
Winterfell: Theon brings Sansa food and finds her waiting, very pissed off: “Why?” Theon explains he foiled her escape attempt and told Ramsay about her plans for her own good. From his perspective, this reasoning is sound—Theon’s never been able to fool Ramsay, never been able to escape, and he knows things can be worse.
She presses him and Theon gets all third-person-y, explaining there’s no Smeagol, only Gollum. He interestingly says he fully agrees that he deserved everything he got—but not for the reason Sansa thinks. Theon feels most guilty about killing the two farm boys as stand-ins for Bran (who’s learning some cool warg tricks up North) and Rickon (who’s, uh, partying with Gendry and Arya’s direwolf?).
Sansa realizes her younger brothers are alive. This is the first bit of good news she’s received since season 1. Watching Sansa realize this is a joy, and notice how the director gives her a literal glimmer of hope in her eyes. Sansa now has renewed purpose: Reunite with her brothers (once she’s freed from being Ramsay’s rape-slave, of course). Some might dislike Sansa’s storyline this year, but it’s giving Sophie Turner a chance to do her best work yet.
Theon freaks out that he mistakenly gave Sansa hope. He says he can’t talk to her anymore and storms out.
Elsewhere in the castle, Roose and Ramsay have a strategy meeting: What to do about the stag at their gate? Roose wants to wait and let the winter slowly kill Stannis’ army. Why fight if you don’t have to? Ramsay always chooses violence when he doesn’t have to, so he wants to take 20 men and presumably raid Stannis’ camp. That’s actually not a bad idea either. As miserable as Stannis’ army is, their focus is on fighting the elements. A sneak attack would probably cause even more desertion.
NEXT: The Wight Stuff