Redemption? I Think Not.
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
We begin the episode just as the last one ended, with a closing shot of Joffrey’s dead face. Cersei begins to scream for Sansa’s head, but she escapes in a terrifically shot montage through King’s Landing with the help of Ser Dontos, who delivers her to – gasp – Littlefinger. He immediately has Dontos killed before revealing that he had been working for Petyr and the family heirloom was a fake. I like Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger, but boy was his voice off. It sounded like a raspy pirate and not the cold, calculating machine he really is. Taking it a bit far, he is. Hopefully he tones it down for next week. Poor Sansa, from the capitol to Littlefinger’s suitably creepy ship hidden in the mist (what a perfect entrance for him, though). Although frankly Littlefinger sounds like a better option than a King’s Landing dungeon. Slightly. Presumably he’s taking Sansa to the Eyrie, and we’ll see how that storyline goes.
Margaery and Olenna embarked on one of their regular garden talks, Olenna making pointed remarks about how much better Margaery is off with Joffrey dead. Margaery sullenly says she would have been queen, but Olenna makes a remark about the wonderful work she did on Joffrey and how much easier the next one would be to control. By extension of logic it appears we’ll see Margaery and Tommen engaged soon. And one thought King’s Landing was awkward enough already. Living it With the Lannisters, eh?
Tywin had a beautiful moment in this episode, with his “What Makes a Good King?” speech. He basically declared Joffrey an idiot in front of his body and his mother. It might be construed as being insensitive, but this is Tywin so in the grand scheme of things this is pretty nice of him, actually. Tywin is approving of Tommen, who’s a lot calmer and more keen on listening to other people versus torturing them. Good qualities in a king. He goes through the previous rulers of Westeros, namely Joffrey, Robert, and Aerys the Mad King, asking what the most important quality was in a ruler. Tommen answers “Wisdom” and Tywin looks as proud as if Tommen had just garnered a PhD in Political Science. Cersei looks uncomfortable as she sees Tywin working her son like a finely tuned whistle. And to top the whole schabang, Tommen is going to receive sex education from Tywin… which sounds hilarious.
Jamie rapes Cersei. This scene bothers me for several reasons. One, it seems out of character for Jamie. Two, it was right next to Joffrey’s corpse. Three, some people find it okay because Cersei is a terrible person, which is terrifying in its implications on how people these days think. And four, if this isn’t addressed properly in the upcoming episodes, I’ll be a little disappointed. Thrones, for the great show that it is, has had a few missteps and this would be without a doubt one of the biggest ones if they treat the rape as a passing plot point. But it happens and there’s that. Ultimately it seems that it was intended to “turn” consensual by the end, but if that was the case, then Graves made a rare misdirection in how he shot it. Then again, David Benioff said “he rapes her” so we’ll see how the show moves forward with it.
Arya and the Hound have gotten icier after their sweet bonding moment over killing people at the roadside inn. A farmer and his daughter give them shelter and in return the Hound steals from them. Arya is furious, but the Hound assures her that the farmer and his daughter will be dead by winter. Well, Hound, you really helped speed up that process, didn’t you? What a catalyst. Arya calls him the biggest shit in the Seven Kingdoms (although I’d argue Ramsay takes that title, or maybe Walder Frey) to which the Hound coolly responds with the question of how many Starks have to get beheaded before they learn the ways of the world. Cruel, but fair.
The Night’s Watch is actually interesting these days, go figure. But dear heavens, Sam. When it seemed that you were going to get better, you send Gilly off to Mole’s Town for her safety. Okay, the Night’s Watch has a lot of rapists, but how on Westeros does it make any sense to have Gilly be “safer” at the whorehouse in Mole’s Town? Damn it, Sam! Meanwhile the wildlings commit a massacre. Ygritte kills a man right after he speaks to his son about potatoes out of all things with an arrow. Styr axes the boy’s mother and then tells him in the creepiest of manners that he was going to eat his parents and he better run to the Night’s Watch to give them a warning. He does so immediately but the Watch also receives news about the mutiny that took place way before in Season 3, Episode 4 “And Now His Watch Is Ended”. Jon Snow, realizing the danger the mutineers posed by potentially crossing with the wildlings and telling them how many members the Watch really has (far below the 1,000 plus he told Mance). They decide that the mutineers had to be taken care of.
Stannis is, um, well, Stannis. He reads about Joffrey’s death and gives Melisandre the credit. The damn leeches. Even more zealous than before, he gives Davos crap for actually, you know, being a decent person and sparing Gendry’s life. He groans and moans about having no army and then proceeds to, well, you know, sit and continue to moan and groan. Davos then goes to his tutor Shireen and in their conversation the Iron Bank of Braavos is mentioned. Davos has a great idea. Aww, these two.
Oberyn and Ellaria are having their usual orgy at Littlefinger’s brothel, with Oberyn professing his bisexual nature loud and clear as he smacks asses all across. Oh, Oberyn. Tywin interrupts this lovely gathering (the Lannisters these days…) and makes it “clear” that he did not give the orders for Ellaria’s rape and murder (I totally believe him, by the way). In turn as an olive branch of sorts, Tywin offers Oberyn the position of a judge at Tyrion’s trial and a seat on the Small Council. Oberyn accepts with a weary eye.
Daenerys! She arrives at the behemoth city of Meereen and she does not look happy. All of the city it seemed had gathered at the walls to see her. The Meereenese send their champion, who is as interested in defeating Daenerys’s champion as he is in a pissing contest. Daenerys essentially says that Daario is the most expendable out of her retinue (so sweet) and then proceeds to be her champion. Niftily he kisses his dagger and throws into the champion’s horses eye as he charges with his lance (a scene so reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail it’s hilarious). The horse falls and then Daario beheads the champion. It’s badass. And then he of course has to complete the pissing contest. Daenerys moves to give an impassioned speech to the slaves about their true enemies being their masters. With the fiery High Valyrian and the badass Daenerys attack theme composed by Ramin Djawadi, she catapults barrels over the walls of Meereen. They crash and revealed inside are the broken collars of the crucified slaves she buried on her march to the city. The final shot is of a horrified slaveowner watching a slave pick up the broken collar, look at it intently, and then glance over to him. Cue black. My heavens, Daenerys is just brilliant, isn’t she?
Title: Breaker of Chains
Written By: David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Director: Alex Graves
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