Each week of Game of Thrones this season we’re going to be posting a collection of thoughts about the episode in the form of a recap/review. This is from the perspective of someone who has read the first two books and not any further than that, so the show’s plot will all be new to me. Also, please watch the show beforehand because there will be SPOILERS! Enjoy!
So the king’s dead and now we are faced with the aftermath. Tywin immediately starts brainwashing the next in line to the throne, Joffrey’s younger brother Tommen. Tommen is much younger than Joffrey and is not a sadistic psychopath, so for Tywin, he will be easier to control. It was particularly striking that Tywin begins lecturing his grandson right over Joffrey’s dead body, saying that Joffrey was neither a good nor wise king. Charles Dance absolutely owns this scene and sounds just like a grandfather teaching his young grandson some facts about life. I think his chemistry with the younger actors is really good, as those scenes with Arya at Harrenhal also really stood out. Cersei in that scene was also played really well, as she stood silently over her dead son, listening to Tywin talk about how he was a bad king. Cersei is more like Joffrey than Tommen, (I’m sure thats where he gets most of his evil from) which seemed especially clear last episode, as both of them were being particularly vindictive at the wedding (Cersei telling the kitchen not to donate the food to the poor, Joffrey and his actions towards Tyrion), and she is clearly grieving and is finding it difficult to cope with his passing. Jaime and Cersei then proceed to have sex right in the High Sept, next to Joffrey’s dead body. That was an incredibly uncomfortable scene to watch and seemed a lot like it was rape. It seems to stray from the whole redemption of Jaime arc and serves to remind us that this is a guy who threw a young boy out the window.
Meanwhile Sansa is led away from the wedding by Ser Dontos and travels by a small boat to a ship, upon which Littlefinger is on board. He finally makes a return to the show and I guess its not so surprising that he was involved in the murder, as he had the necklace made and people have shown that Oleanna removed a jewel from the necklace to poison Joffrey. It does not mean for sure that he was involved, but it strongly seems that way. He had some fantastic lines in this episode, like ‘money buys a man’s silence for a time, but a bolt in the heart buys it forever’. After his speech last season (‘Chaos is a ladder’), I think he is definitely to be feared. I feel like he will be dangerous as he is always scheming, waiting for the opportune moment to pounce and further benefit his cause. He also has a really creepy vibe about him especially when he was talking to Sansa.
Arya and the Hound continue to travel through the countryside and they meet a farmer and his daughter. The Hound proceeds to interrupt the farmer’s prayers and wolf down his share of stew, before robbing the farmer of his silver. As the viewers are left in brief shock, he explains to Arya that the farmer was weak and would have been killed and robbed anyway. It is this harsh realism that makes Game of Thrones such a great show. Any other show would have gone the way of Arya and The Hound working for some money and then proceeding on their way. It is harsh and brutal and in this episode, both the Stark girls are reminded about how the world is a cruel place and that their honourable, Stark way is not the best if they want to survive in Westeros.
“No-one boils a potato better than your mum!” Famous last words from a random villager in the north. The green little village and its inhabitants had me thinking that perhaps they were from a different show entirely, before the wildlings came in. The contrast between the happy villagers, and the green lands with a small river and just the sheer violence of the wildlings really highlighted the brutality of the world they live in. We also got to see how terrifying the Thenns are, with the leader telling the kid that he was going to eat his parents. Ugh.
The episode ended with Dany’s storyline as she continues march on from city to city. She has reached Meereen, where a cocky (pun intended) warrior awaits, mounted on a steed with lance in hand. He is slain easily by Dario Naharis and then Danaerys gives a rousing speech before ordering the catapults to fire upon the city. It seems clear she’s become a master of psychological warfare, the slaves are clearly shocked and seem to realise that she is here to free them. I particularly liked this shot of the slave holding the collar, which is open around his own neck with his master and the blue sky behind him. It shows so well him realising the possibility of freedom with the new conqueror, with his master helplessly standing behind.
After last week’s big episode, this one did well to deal with the direct aftermath and serve to set up for future weeks. It also did that without being too much of a filler, with many big incidents happening as well. It was also a very grim episode, with the showrunners clearly intending to show just how devastating a place Westeros is and that in order to survive, one must adapt or be killed. This season has yet to disappoint.
- It doesn’t seem Margery was in on the plot to kill Joffrey as she ‘wanted to be queen’.
- Tyrion and Podrick’s exchange was touching. Tyrion is innocent and even though it looks like he’s in a really sticky situation this time, I can’t help but feel like he’ll still be able to talk his way out of this one.
- Davos continues to just an all round good bloke all the way out in Stannis’ camp. He’s got a cunning plan and I wonder how that’ll play out.
- I’m not exactly sure what Oberyn is up to by agreeing to help out with Tywin in exchange for getting to speak with The Mountain.
- Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch are preparing to kill a bunch of deserters at Craster’s Keep. That’ll be fun.