Game of Thrones Episode (4×03) Review – “Breaker of Chains”
Love the contrasting colors in this episode. From the marble in the Sept of Baelor, to the rich hues in the brothel, the set design on this show is amazing! Arya and Jon returned this week, and both are looking pretty bad-ass. Tyrion's machinations come straight out of Machiavelli, and was wonderful to see in action.
Dany needs to start her own city so her freedman have a place to dwell, and should be preparing to set siege to Westeros now the king is dead. What's she doing instead? Flinging chains over a wall. Zzzz...
Everybody Wants to Rule the World in This Week’s Game of Thrones
It’s hard to top Joffrey Baratheon getting poisoned at his own wedding, but Game of Thrones returned this week with another strong episode. Sir Dontos led Sansa to safety and into the arms of Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish? Seems like he was the puppeteer orchestrating Sansa’s freedom. Does that also mean he was responsible for Joff’s untimely demise? It’s too soon to tell, but he’s definitely been added to the list. While Sansa may have sailed away on the Good Ship Lollipop, her husband Tyrion is the newest resident to move into the Black Cells. Without a friend willing to vouch for his character, it’s beginning to look like Tyrion’s head will roll. Too bad Joffrey won’t be around to see it. Joffrey wasn’t well loved, which is evident by the fact that Cersei is the only one saddened by his death. Tywin is already grooming the new king, Jamie only seemed to have Cersei’s coot on the brain, and Margaery’s pissed she’s lost the chance to be queen. Again. Meanwhile, the Night’s Watch are about to face off with the Wildlings, Daenerys is off conquering another city, and Arya continues traipsing across the country with the Hound. Episode 403 had a lot going on, and everything seems to be leading to something big. So let’s storm the gates and discuss “Breaker of Chains!”
“The world is overflowing with terrible things, but they’re all a piece a cake in the light of death.”
Joffrey is dead, and no one cares. Except for Cersei. No matter what you say about that woman, you can’t claim she doesn’t love her children something fierce, so it was sad to see her endure everyone’s indifference. As Cersei wept over her son’s body during the viewing, Tywin already began schooling Tommen on how to be a good ruler. While it’s true that Tywin offered his grandson good advice, he might have waited at least a day. Another asshat was Jamie. Joffrey was his son, yet it’s obvious Jamie has no paternal feelings for the boy. What wasn’t clear from the scene is if it was because he was never allowed to be his father under the circumstances, or because Joff was such a monster. This is a question for me, because Jamie did show concern for how well Tommen was handling his brother’s death. Hmm…. Under all of this heartlessness, Cersei held her head high with grace, and even her request that Jamie avenge their son by killing their brother Tyrion came off like a grief-stricken mother, instead of the political monster Cersei portrays herself as being.
Olenna: You did wonderful work on Joffrey. The next one should be easier.
Speaking of Cersei and Jamie…. That rape was horrible to watch. It’s bad enough these two are twins. It’s bad enough they’ve engaged in incest. It’s even bad enough they’ve had three children together, but watching Jamie rape Cersei at the foot of the podium on which their son’s dead body lies was horrid. What’s worse, *spoiler* things don’t go down that way in the books. Jamie has had so much character growth, and truly does love Cersei, so it’s hard to believe he would do such a thing as rape her. No matter what you think of Cersei as a character, she never deserved that. Losing her eldest child is enough. I’m not sure why D.B. Weiss and David Benioff made that change when they wrote the episode, but I wished they hadn’t. Not cool, guys!
“Money buys a man’s silence for a time; a bolt in the heart buys it forever.”
While the Lannisters mourn Joff’s passing, Tyrion and Sansa try to find a way out of their respective situations. Thanks to Joffrey “pointing” a finger at Tyrion, Tyrion is residing in the Black Cells awaiting his trial. With Sansa in the proverbial wind, the only person Tyrion has willing to stand by his side is Podrick Payne. The scene of these two men talking over Tyrion’s legal issues was one of the best scenes of the episode. Pod has always been Tyrion’s man, and is even willing to put his life on the line instead of giving false testimony against him. Being the noble person he his, Tyrion asks Pod to take the knighthood and save himself by testifying against him, because he knows a lost cause when he sees one. Tyrion may be too noble for his own good, but Sansa is the scared little bird the Hound always saw her as being.
While Tyrion is about to loose a few extra inches off his body, Sansa ran off with Sir Dontos and wound up on Littlefinger’s boat. Not sure if it was the close proximity Littlefinger maintained while he replayed to Sansa the recent turn of events, or the “seductive” eyes he kept throwing the young girl, but I have a feeling Littlefinger’s designs on Sansa are more than political. True, now that he holds her Littlefinger can control the North, but since he missed out on having Catelyn, wouldn’t having her daughter be the next best thing?
“Dead men don’t need silver.”
Everyone in Game of Thrones seems to be out for money and power. This episode included. Tywin wanted to maintain control of the kingdom. Littlefinger has plans up his sleeves. Even Olenna Tyrell has machinations to marry Margaery off to yet another man and solidify her granddaughter’s place. Throughout the episode people were raping and pillaging, but the two scenes of note on this topic were Arya and the Hound’s robbery, and the Wildling’s sacking of Mole Town.
As Arya and the Hound continued their trek towards the Eyrie, the pair happened upon a man and his daughter in need of help and protection. Arya and the Hound took the farmer’s bread and salt, and even received a place to sleep in exchange for a bit of honest labor. Instead of holding to the bargain, the Hound bopped the dude on the head and stole his coin. Why Arya is still surprised by the Hound’s actions is beyond me, but she was. As far as the Hound saw things, this weak man and his daughter were never going to make it through the winter. Either brigands would rape and kill them, or they wouldn’t have enough supplies to make it through the harsh storms. Either way, they were as good as dead, so why not take their silver while they can? The Hound’s outlook on life is a bitter pill to swallow, but can you claim the man wrong? As hard as it is to admit, the dude had a point.
As for the Wildlings, their strategy to pillage Mole Town as a means of roosting the Crows out of their castles was a smart one, but Lord Snow is even smarter. Unlike some of his brethren, Jon realized the strategy behind these marauder’s actions. If the Night’s Watch runs to help the folks in Mole Town, who’s going to man the Wall? No one, that’s who! 1,000 men went through the Wall with Commander Mormont, and only a few made it back. The Night’s Watch is undermanned, and they only way they’re going to be able to defeat the Wildlings is by pretending they aren’t. Too bad the mutineers are still living it up at Craster’s. All Mance Rayder has to do is capture and torture the truth out of them to know he’s already won. As smart as Jon’s suggestion they ride out and kill their former brothers before Mance gets to them may be, I’m not so sure the other Crows will be hip to Jon’s plan considering most already think him a turncloak.
“If I don’t press my claim, my claim will be forgotten. I will not be a page in somebody else’s history book.”
While everything is going down, Stannis is seething over Davos helping Gendry escape, and is worried how he’s going to finance his next attack against the Lannisters. Short on men and funds, Stannis is left feeling like his time to claim the Iron Throne is passing him by. Not much happened on Dragonstone this week, aside from a glowering Stannis, and Davos’ reading lessons with Shireen. However, while nothing was overly said about this issue, Gendry’s “disappearance” poses a problem: Stannis believes King’s Blood will help him defeat his enemies. Now that Gendry is gone, Stannis may end up using Shireen to further his goals. When all is said and done, Davos may have saved one child and sacrificed another in its place.
Another character who’s not content to be “a page in somebody else’s history book” is Daenerys. This chica is still conquering cities across the desert, and freeing slaves. The best part of this story this week, was some moron pissing in the sand, and later getting decapitated by Daario for his trouble. Can I just add that Daario has mad skills? His opponent screamed and gave a bit of flash as he rode his horse in a premature victory, while Daario calmly killed old dude’s horse, and beheaded the rider. Not only that, but Dany pulled catapults out of her butt (or wherever else she managed to get them from) and threw chains at the slavers while giving a rousing speech that basically said (without saying), “Chain these fools up and ride out to freedom!” While I feel it’s wonderful Dany is freeing these folks from bondage, I can’t help but wonder what she plans to do with them when she sets sail for Westeros. Not too long ago she had a problem getting ships to sail her Khalasar and three dragons, now she has thousands of followers. I can’t be the only one thinking Dany hasn’t really thought out her long-term goals, can I? This mystery is almost as big as Joff’s murderer.
Director Alex Graves used a lot of great angles while filming “Breaker of Chains.” The almost tunnel like vision of Daario as he watched the Essos champion try to run him down was amazing. The dude’s yellow cape flapping in the wind with a sandy backdrop was beautiful. Not only that, but the view of Joff’s wake was nicely done. From the weird stones with the painted eyes placed over his eyes, to the feeling Joffrey’s corpse was going to fall on his mother while she was being raped added tension to an already tense scene. D.B. Weiss and David Benioff continue to adapt GRRM’s series in a way that boggles the mind. Martin’s books are so detailed, that I’m just dumbfounded at how well they manage to convey so much with what little time they have each season to do so. While I’m still pissed off they turned Cersei and Jamie’s tomb tryst into a violation, the episode was rich with characters and stayed pretty true to the source material.
Questions…. Comments… Concerns…
- Suspect List: Oberyn, Varys, Margaery, Olenna, Sansa, Tyrion, Loras, Sir Dontos, Tywin, Littlefinger.
- So… that rule of Guest Rights is dead and done, right? Maybe a raven should be sent out so everyone’s aware. Just saying. Two bloody weddings haven’t been enough proof.
- Tywin schooling Tommen on the Birds and the Bees during Joff’s wake was tacky. What do you want to bet he and Olenna are already hatching plans to marry him of to Margaery? She is single now.
- Obery’s orgy was as fun to watch as it was to see Tywin’s face when he walked in. Watching Tywin bribe Oberyn with “a talk” with the Mountain in exchange for Oberyn’s vote to convict Tyrion was a great scene, and places this pair on equal footing with Tywin/Olenna convos.
- Jon is shaping up to be a good leader. Too bad Ned never got to see it ;(
- Love how Podrick got to say good-bye to Tyrion. Looks like this means we won’t begetting any “Tri-Pod” jokes this season. Fare thee well, friend!
- Am I the only one shocked at how much Tommen has grown? How much time has passed since season 1, anyway?
- Will we ever see Myrcella again?
- Was Sam wise to leave Gilly in a brothel, or would she and the babe been safer at the Wall? Something tells me that Madame will force the girl to earn her keep by doing more than babysitting before you know it.