Game of Thrones S04E03 “Breaker of Chains” Review
“Breaker of Chains” starts right where “The Lion and The Rose” left off. With Joffrey’s strangled, slightly zombified frozen facial expression looking straight at the camera complete with coagulated bloody-snot running down his cheeks. Poor Tyrion stands holding the goblet looking guilty as can be while Cersei is yelling at the guards to arrest her brother. This is the first time I can remember Cersei loosing her steely cool demeanor in the series. I don’t think she lost her cool this bad when Tyrion shipped out her youngest daughters out to the Kingdom of Dorne. Her reaction was very surprising to me being that Joffrey was a douche even to her, but it seems that the proud incestiuous mother loves her diabolical sadistic son till the bitter end… literally.
Ser Dontos quickly comes to Sansa’s rescue just in time to get her out of dodge and into a small dinghy that was deliberately waiting for their escape out of the Capital just as Cersei and Tywin are ordering a complete lock down of the city as well as a BOLO on Sansa. Ser Dontos and Sansa leave the coast of Kings Landing and find themselves in the middle of a heavy foreshadowing fog, a-la Pirates of the Caribbean. Ser Dontos reaches a decent sized ship anchored in the midst of the fog and encourages Sansa to climb up the ladder.
As soon as Sansa reaches the top of the ship, Little Finger abruptly grabs her, helping her onboard, revealing himself to be behind the Kings assassination. In a sad moment Ser Dontos looking up at Little Finger asks for his end of the bargain, 10,000 gold pieces. Little Finger motions at 2 men who peek over board with crossbows aimed at Ser Dontos, in a sudden plea for his life Ser Dontos dies with 2 bolts, one to the chest another to the face.
Sansa naturally scared and sadden by what just happened, Little Finger manages to comfort Sansa by letting her in on the details. Ser Dontos saved her, because he ordered him to, Ser Dontos gain her trust, because Little Finger cooked up the right story about House Hollard and the heirloom necklace Sansa received. The necklace was a fake, the story was a lie and Ser Dontos was doing everything for a price at the bidding of Little Finger. He quickly asks Sansa as she stands shocked by the murder of Ser Dontos, “What did I tell you about Kings Landing?” in which she reply’s “We’re all liars here.” Great little scene, sad that Sir Dontos wasn’t as genuine as he seemed. I’m still not liking Sansa’s situation, Little Finger is a shifty bastard and I’m sure he’s got something in store for her.
After the death of Joffrey, Margaery and her mother Olenna discuss Margaery’s current status in the Kingdom. Is she the Queen or not? Olenna clarifies that she’s more of a Queen than she was with Renly and less of a Queen if Joffrey would’ve consummated the marriage before dying but given the current circumstances it’s probably not a good idea to press the issue. Margaery figures that she must be cursed, being that her first husband preferred the company of men and the second was happiest torturing animals (and people). Olenna reminds her that even though it was horrible witnessing the death of Joffrey it’s still not as horrible as it would’ve been having to remain married to him. Agreed. I love Oleena in these moments. Her experience and sharp wit makes her one of the most enjoyable and lovable characters in the series.
In a moody dark sept, Cersei, her son, now Joffrey’s successor, Tommen along with Tywin stand looking at Joffrey’s dead body laid upon an altar with fake googly eyes rested onto of his closed eye lids. Tywin starts to drill Tommen about what makes a good King? Tommen goes through the motions… Holiness? Just? Strength? Tommen eventually hits it with “Wisdom”. And Tywin goes into why Wisdom is the one trait that makes a Good King and explains how Joffrey was not a wise or a good king.Tommen doesn’t seem no where near as treacherous as Joffrey but we’ll see what happens to him once he gets put through the Political machine.
Tywin leaves the sept with Tommen crossing paths with Jaime. They leave and Jaime orders the septons to give Cersei a moment alone. As soon as the doors echo shut, Cersei goes into her accusations of Tyrion being behind the murder of Joffrey, Jaime clarifies that he’s not even sure of what is going on. Cersei demands Tyrion’s death Jaime stops to remind her that he’s their bother. Ok I have to admit, it’s hard for me to watch these two characters alone together, I follow up every one of there lines with “Eww”, “Gross” and “These people are fucking nasty.” lol. This scene was particularly hard to watch because Cersei says “Avenge our sons death.” … these people are well aware of there nastiness and embrace it to the umpteenth degree.
Anyways, after an charge of emotions leading Cersei into Jaimie’s arms and their first kiss since Jaime’s return, Cersei sobers up and pushes off of Jaime, he’s not having that. He gets all agro and curses the gods for loving a hatful woman… ugh how about hating the gods cuz you loving your sister. Cersei puts some what of a half hearted fight against Jaime, in which he quickly over powers her and starts to rip off all those regal layers of clothing. They hit the floor, she keeps telling Jaime, “No”, “it’s not right.” and he keeps repeating, “I don’t care.” So… he essentially rapes her, with her sort of kinda not wanting it. So gross.
Now back to my new 2 favorite characters in the show. The Hound and Arya. They’re off to the side of a small bridge watering their horses. A farmer walks by with his daughter in a horse drawn wagon and greets The Hound. The Hound in he’s usual anti-social ways tells the farmer what does he want. The Farmer iterates that this is his land. After a small spat with the farmer, Arya quickly cooks up a lie about The Hound being her father and how he fought and got injured during the war as her mother died in a barn fire. The Farmer wanted to know what house did The Hound fight for, Arya said House Tully. The Farmer quickly offered for them to stay the night and have dinner with them. Both The Hound and Arya give a “nice going” look to each other.
In a funny scene at the dinner table, The Hound and Arya are both frothing at the mouth looking at the Rabbit stew sitting in the pot while the Farmer is giving thanks to the 7 gods, one by one. by the 5th or so god The Hound mutters “is he going to go through all 7 of the fuckers?”. Arya quickly acts surprised and offended and bids the farmer to continue. As soon as it was over, The Hound snatches the pot and slops the stew into his bowl followed by Arya and they both slurp down the entire bowl like famished pigs. It was a welcomed light hearted scene which ends in the Farmer offering The Hound a job at the farm helping out and protecting it from raiders. He accepts.
Arya lays in the barn and is awakened by the scream of the farmers daughter. She runs out and finds the farmer laid out on the ground and the daughter by his side. The Hound is walking away from the scene with a purse of silver. Arya yells at him saying how good the Farmer was to them how the Hound said he wasn’t a thief. Eventually calling him the worst shit, the Hound turns around and tells her that he’s seen worse, he just see things for what they are, come winter both the Farmer and his daughter will be dead, the farmer is weak and incapable to defend himself. He ends his point by telling Arya “How many Starks to they have to behead before you figure that out?”. As much as I would’ve wanted The Hound to show a more human side by not going all raider on the farmer he makes his point brutally clear. And much to her dismay, I think Arya accepts it. It’s a short but awesome scene gives a little bit of levity but stays true to the characters and world which they live in.
Enter Ser Davos to Stannis Baratheon’s chamber. Stannis let’s Davos read a letter that’s lying on the table containing news of Joffrey’s death. Stannis tells Davos that after throwing a leech full of Robert Baratheons bastards son’s blood into the fire, he’s presented with an opportunity he cannot capitalize on since Davos let go Roberts bastard. Davos tells him he’s working on the situation but Stannis makes it clear that it’s too little and that he’s running out of time which means Davos is running out of time.
After leaving Stannis’s chamber Davos visits Stannis’s daughter, she’s a cute kid scolding Davos for being late to their reading session. After settling down she puts him to read and tells him the book is one of her favorite for it’s sword fights and pirates, she goes on to ask Davos if he was a pirate, he tells her he was a smuggler and that theres a big difference. After telling her a quick story he remembers something from his smuggling days that might very well be the solution to his problem with building an army for Stannis. He kisses the girl on the forehead and thanks her for helping him and puts her to write a letter to the Offices of the Iron Bank of Bravoos. I wished they elaborated a little more on this but this is as far as they went. Definitely an intriguing story development. Let’s see if Davos comes through for Stannis or does he have something else in mind.
After a relatively light orgy scene (as far as Game of Thrones orgies go) Tywin walks into the brothel bringing Prince Oberyn’s party to an end. After clearing the room Tywin and Oberyn start talking about Joffrey’s assassination. Oberyn admits to have studied poisons and says that the King was poisoned. Tywin asks Oberyn that he talked to Tyrion in private the day he arrived. Oberyn told Tywin that they spoke about the death of Oberyn’s sister. Oberyn accuses Tywin of giving the order to the Mountain to kill his sister. Tywin swears to have nothing to do with it. Oberyn seems to have believed him in which he says he wants to talk to the Mountain. Tywin capitalizing on the tragedy to gain Dorne as an ally asked Oberyn to serve as a judge on the trial of Joffrey’s assassins and to act as a principled advisor to the (new) king. Apparently content with the offer Oberyn agrees. Interesting but subtle twist. I thought Oberyn was going to be a bigger threat to Tywin but looks like he’s mainly just concerned with the Mountain. Something tells me Oberyn is only leading on.
Podrick visits Tyrion in his jail cell. Trying to smuggle in some outside comforts he manages to get, duck sausage, candles, quill and parchment by the guards. Pod gives Tyrion the bad news of the trial being held in a fortnight. Tyrion asked about Shae and Pod say’s that he’s heard nothing of her. Tyrion admits to that actually being a good thing. After trying to go through a list of possible people that would testify in Tyrion’s behalf all have been bribed against Tyrion or are ineligible to stand witness. He finds out Sansa has disappeared which leads him on to realize that whoever planned the Kings assassination wanted him to take the blame for it. Quickly trying to go through a line of possible people he doesn’t bring up Little Finger as a possibility and seems to think his father might be responsible.
Before leaving Pod admits to being offered a bribe to take the stand against Tyrion and testify that he bought a poison called the strangler. After finding out Pod didn’t accept the bribe, Tyrion demands he leaves Kings Landing because they’ll kill him for not taking the bribe, hesitant at first Pod agrees to leave after a quick but heart felt good bye. Love Podrick, one of those side character you quickly gravitate to for his well-rounded good heart. Hope this isn’t the last we see of him but if he stays around after turning down the offer I’m sure he’ll meet he’s demise sooner rather than later. RUN PODRICK! RUN!
So after moving the story forward we reach one of two action scenes this episode has to offer. We see some busy solitary tribe going about with their daily duties. A son and dad are walking talking about what they’re going to have for dinner when the dad suddenly drops dead after taking an arrow to the back of the head. The son turns around to see John Snows main squeeze Ygritte turning around with bow in hand and knifing another villager. The child’s mom orders the kid to hide which he does but not for long. The creepy bald headed viking guy snatches the kid and asks if he knows how to get to Castle Black. Kid nods yes, the creeper forces the kid to watch his parents get mutilated as he tells him that he’s going to eat his parents and to go to Castle Black and give the crows that message.
It was a sudden spark of violence but helped break up the monotony of slow story plots. The very next scene we see the kid next to John Snow, the over all sentiment among the Nights watch is to go and fight the Wildlings. John admits that it would be safer to stay. After they reluctantly accepted to stay an alarm is heard, rangers are returning from North of the Wall. After the rangers make it inside they explain what has happened. Karl of the Nights Watch lost his shit and lead a banned of mutineers to take Crasters House and his wives. John fears the worst and says out loud that they have to ride north and kill them all. John goes on to explain that he told Mance that there was 1,000 Nights Watchmen at Castle Black alone. Once the Wildlings find the mutineers, how long before they find out the truth. So now that the Nights Watch has to go out and put down the mutineers at Craster’s, I wonder if they would make it back before running into the Wildlings? I swear these episode need to be 2 hours long.
We finally catch up with the Khaleesi. She arrives at the wall of Meereen. A crowd has gathered to see the spectacle. Meereen sends a solitary Champion on horse back to challenge any warrior the Khaleesi has to answer the challenge. After a quick show of disrespect, the Meereen warrior whips out his junk and takes a leak while insulting the Khaleesi and her army. The newly casted Dario Naharis bids to fight for the Queen. She takes him up on the offer. The Meereen Champion gets into full gallop as Daenerys asks Dario if he wants a horse, he declines saying horses are dumber than men. Dario stands alone with the Meereen warrior closing in on him. Dario raises a long dagger, gives it a good luck kiss and flings it striking the horse in the eye, throwing both the warrior and the horse into a forward tumble, the warrior came to a stop at Darios feet, kicking up a cloud of desert dust. And in one fell swoop Dario beheads the Warrior grabbing the unwarranted attention of the Meereen spectators.
Daenerys gives her speech about how she has been to 2 or 3 different slave cities and now those former slaves stand with her out of their own free will. The slaves are moved by her words when she gives the order to ready catapults. The music picks up and the catapults are fired. These barrels go flying beyond the wall and crash on various towers and structures spilling out the collars of all the former slaves that now make up her free standing army. A slave is seen picking up one of these collars and looking at it bewildered, he turns around and see’s his master watching him nervously and that’s how this episode comes to a close.
It was a great way to end the episode but the whole thing felt short and unfulfilling. Mostly all small but crucial developments throughout the story’s characters but nothing severely substantial other than Khaleesi finally getting her say to the slaves of Meereen.
Now, as far as the Khaleesi’s speech… it’s a small issue but an issue I have nonetheless. Daenerys sounds terrible when she’s speaking other languages. She reminds me of Mila Jovovich from the 5th Element. She sounds like she’s speaking a fakey language and it comes across totally unnatural. But it’s a minor detail I can over look especially now that she has a grand army, 3 almost fully matured dragons and is a very real threat to those she opposes. Unlike the second episode which she was overly annoying, acting like a big shot when it was just her Jorah and her handmaiden.
When the barrels of collars were launched over the wall for a split second I thought she had put weapons in them for the slaves to revolt against their masters, now that would’ve been bad ass but sadly we’re not moving that fast. I hope to see how the slaves within the walls react now that they are given a choice.