Brandishing a whip, spear and knives, the lethal “Sand Snakes” vow to avenge their slain father, Prince Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), on “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” Episode 46 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Oberyn’s paramour Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) blames House Lannister for the prince’s gruesome death. That’s why she unleashes the Sand Snakes — Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes), Nymeria (Jessica Henwick) and Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) — for some bloody payback.
They’re on a mission to capture Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free), the daughter of Queen Mother Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), before she can marry Oberyn’s nephew, Prince Trystane Martell (Toby Sebastian). If the plot succeeds, Ellaria will ship Myrcella back to Cersei in pieces.
“Unbowed, unbent, unbroken — for Oberyn,” Ellaria solemnly says to the Sand Snakes before sending them on their way.
Determined to rescue Myrcella are her “uncle” (actually her father) Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and expert swordsman Ser Bronn (Jerome Flynn), who engage in a fierce battle with the Sand Snakes.
Abruptly ending the struggle is Dorne’s ruler, Prince Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig), whose guards seize the combatants plus Ellaria. Looks like that royal wedding is back on track.
In other action, Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and his captive Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) resume their long trek to Meereen in hopes of joining forces with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).
These uneasy travel companions were recently attacked and nearly killed by exiled “Stone Men” suffering from deadly greyscale. Now Jorah and Tyrion are abducted by slavers heading away from Meereen.
“You’re about to be rich,” Tyrion exclaims, trying to convince the slavers that Jorah is a famous warrior. Sail for Meereen, Tyrion urges, and Jorah will earn a fortune in the fighting pits.
“Put a sword in my hand,” Jorah chimes in, “I’ll prove my worth.”
In the city of Braavos, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) continues her apprenticeship with assassins known as the Faceless Men. Her teacher at the eerie House of Black and White, Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), allows Arya to enter a secret chamber honoring the god of death.
“That girl is not ready to become no one,” shape-shifting Jaqen says of Arya. “But she is ready to become someone else.”
Back at King’s Landing, Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) fights to free her grandson Loras (Finn Jones) after he was accused of homosexual acts by religious zealots called Sparrows.
Olenna knows, of course, that Cersei orchestrated the arrest to undermine Loras’ sister, newly crowned Queen Margaery (Natalie Dormer).
Cersei claims Loras will be exonerated at a brief inquest conducted by the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce). It’s a trap, however, because the religious leader orders Loras to stand trial.
Furthermore, Margaery is arrested for lying to protect her brother. Score one for Cersei.
Scheming to earn Cersei’s favor, meanwhile, is ruthless Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen). He betrays his niece Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) by revealing she’s in hiding at her ancestral home of Winterfell.
Cersei wrongfully blames Sansa for the poisoning death of her son, King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). Accordingly, Littlefinger volunteers to march his troops on Winterfell if Cersei names him “Warden of the North.”
“I’ll know you’re a man of your word,” Cersei icily responds, “when I see Sansa Stark’s head on a spike!”
And as for poor Sansa, she’s been coerced by Littlefinger into marrying sadistic Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Ramsay’s cruelty emerges when he rips off Sansa’s clothes and forces servant Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) to watch.
Never bore Ramsay, his mistress Myranda (Charlotte Hope) warns Sansa.
“Have you ever seen a body after the dogs have been at it?” Myranda ominously asks. “Not so pretty.”