Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones. Make sure you're up to date before reading further!
Throughout its seven seasons to date, Game of Thrones has been home to a multitude of violent deaths that have taken viewers on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. While the loss of fan favorites like Hodor, Robb Stark and Oberyn Martell left us all in tears, the sight of a particularly unpleasant Jeoffrey Baratheon choking to death gave fans something to celebrate. In keeping with this deadly tradition, Season 7's 'Stormborn' brought the wrath of Euron Greyjoy upon Yara's Iron Fleet. This led to the capture of Yara, Ellaria and Tyene and the death of Nymeria and Obara Sand at the hands of Euron.
While some fans felt indifferent to the Sand Snakes' murder (and others even celebrated their demise), the design of their deaths echoed a common foreshadowing technique that has been used many times in the show. Under the imprisonment of Euron Greyjoy, Ellaria and Tyene are on their way to King's Landing and a closer look into Nymeria and Obara's deaths could tell us what's about to happen to Euron's prisoners - and it's not pretty.
In 'Game of Thrones', You Reap What You Sow.
Thanks to Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand, the Sand Snakes became incredibly adept in the art of killing. While Nymeria Sand was proficient with the whip, Obara mirrored Oberyn's spear-handling skills. With this in mind, it was no coincidence to see Euron impaling Obara with her favorite spear and subsequently choking Nymeria to death with her weapon-of-choice, the whip. In short, these characters died in a way that was reminiscent of their favored method of killing.
However, this isn't the first time a character has been given a taste of their own medicine thanks to this particular storytelling technique:
- Lysa Arryn, who often sentenced people to death by forcing them through the Moondoor, was pushed out of said door by Petyr Baelish.
- Walder Frey, who organized the cutthroat "Red Wedding", had his throat slit by Arya Stark (mirroring the murder of Catelyn Stark.
- Roose Bolton was gutted by his son Ramsay, who also killed his newborn child (mirroring the murder of Talisa Stark and her unborn child).
- Ygritte, whose weapon of choice was her bow and arrow, was shot by Olly with an arrow.
- Ramsay Bolton would often feed his victims to his dogs, and was ultimately eaten by them himself.
Thanks to these examples, we can see that for better or worse, these characters have faced deaths that parallel their own mode of killing. With Nymeria and Obara's death, this technique has made its way to Season 7 as well. Considering Ellaria and Cersei's strained relationship, fans might get to see this technique again soon, when the pair meet for the first time since Myrcella's death.
What Does This Technique Mean For Tyene And Ellaria Sand?
To understand how this technique could apply to the upcoming episodes of Game of Thrones, we must remember the troubled history between Cersei and Ellaria.
To strengthen the political alliance between House Martell and House Lannister, Cersei's daughter, Myrcella Baratheon, was sent to Dorne to marry Trystane Martell. However, things went wry at Joffrey's wedding, causing Tyrion Lannister to be accused of killing the young King. Because Tyrion demanded "trial by combat", Oberyn Martell stepped up to represent him, thereby giving The Red Viper of Dorne a chance to take revenge on The Mountain.
During the fight, Oberyn was killed, thereby driving Ellaria to take revenge on Cersei and the Mountain herself. With Myrcella at Dorne, Ellaria had the upper hand but was foiled due to the political ties between the Martells and the Lannisters. Before Ellaria eventually seized control of Dorne, she planted a poisonous kiss on Myrcella's lips, just as the young Lannister was leaving for King's Landing.
Upon returning to King's Landing and learning about Myrcella's death, Jaime promised Cersei that they would avenge their daughters death - and season 7 has now given Cersei the opportune moment.
As news in the Seven Kingdoms travel quickly, Euron likely heard of Ellaria's betrayal, causing him to take her hostage instead of killing her. This power move will not only satisfy Cersei and give Euron a chance to win her hand in marriage, but will also weaken Daenerys's position considerably. With Ellaria and Tyene at the Queen's mercy, Cersei might look to avenge her daughter by giving her killers a death that parallels their own crimes.
Can Cersei Go A Step Further To Take Revenge On Ellaria?
We've already seen the lengths that Cersei will go to have revenge when she blew up the Great Sept of Baelor, killing the High Sparrow and all those who conspired against her. So, it was notable to see her take a rather grounded approach in the case of Unella. As the uptight Septa had her tortured in prison, Cersei had vouched to be the last face Unella would see before she dies.
This proves that when it's personal for Cersei, she'll come up with a constructive method of torturing her enemies in a way that mirrors their own sins. Therefore, it's likely that Cersei will use Tyene to show Ellaria the pain she has caused.
Cersei has access to Qyburn's unlimited source of potions, so she could request the most painful poison for Tyene - thus avenging Myrcella's death and giving Ellaria's daughter a paralleled death. Torturing Ellaria by poisoning her daughter (and thereby giving her a death reminiscent of Myrcella's) will certainly give her an ego boost before her brush with the Mother of Dragons.
With only 7 episodes left and an army of White Walkers approaching The Wall, Season 7 is certain to boost the body count and momentum with "The Queen's Justice".
Do you think Cersei will poison Tyene Sand in the next episode? Let me know in the comments.