Oh goody, we’re in A.J. [After Joffrey] time. Like Tyrion astutely noticed some time ago, kings are dropping like flies. Valar morghulis.
Here are some superlatives for “Breaker of Chains”…
Grossest mother-daughter obsessive: Petyr Baelish
Seven hells, Littlefinger is back. I hate this guy: He is creepily obsessed with Catelyn (and therefore Sansa), has no honor, and basically instigates everything happening in Westeros…and it doesn’t help that Aidan Gillan plays him with that pseudo-Bane voice. And now Sansa is trapped on a boat with the guy who killed rescuer Ser Dontos and continues to lie about having taken her mother’s maidenhead while telling her, “You’re safe with me. We’re sailing home.”
Not cool, Petyr. Not cool. Besides, as Arya knows, there is no more Winterfell, so WHERE ARE THEY GOING? Use your head, Sansa. Ask yourself where you are going!
Best looker on the bright side: Lady Olenna
On their favorite terrace, twice-widowed Margaery wonders with her grandmother whether she is still the queen, since Joffrey is now dead (without any consummation, for the second time). Margaery laments that her first husband preferred the company of men and was stabbed through the heart, and her second husband liked to torture animals and wound up poisoned at his wedding feast.
Lady Olenna reminds her that it’s better for her that a dead Joffrey is much preferable to a husband Joffrey, and points out that the Lannisters really need the Tyrells while stating, “The next one should be easier.”
Not actually a rapist: Jaime
So Joff is dead, and Tywin wastes no time in training (a weirdly teenage) Tommen to be the new king. He asks his grandson—whom he believes to have the “right temperament”—what quality makes a good king, and dismisses holiness (Baelor the Blessed wound up fasting himself to death by eschewing food), justice (Orys I was murdered by his brother, whose evilness he could not recognize), and strength (King Robert was strong but attended three small-council meetings in 17 years, and spent his time whoring, hunting, and drinking). Ha, I love how GoT inserts these little Westeros history lessons!
Anyway, Tommen realizes that these guys (including his own “father”) all lacked wisdom, and Tywin’s all, BINGO! A good king must listen to his advisors until he comes of age (uh, like Tywin?), and then continue listening to them, unlike Not-Wise Joffrey, who might be still alive if he had any sense. (And Tywin essentially insults Cersei’s beloved son to her grieving face as she stands over Joff’s corpse.)
As Tywin walks away with his grandson (while sort of giving him a lecture about the birds and the bees), Jaime walks into the sept and assures Tommen that he’ll be okay (in a fatherly way) before heading to his sister, who begs him to kill Tyrion.
He tries to comfort Cersei before it turns kind of sexy but she suddenly recoils and pushes him away, which leads to Jaime awesomely telling her, “You’re a hateful woman. Why have the gods made me love a hateful woman?” Unfortunately this ends up with Jaime forcing himself on Cersei, as she very clearly protests and cries out, “Stop it…It’s not right!” and he repeats, “I don’t care!”
What is up with Game of Thrones (the TV series) turning consensual sex from the books into undeniable onscreen rape? THIS WAS NOT A RAPE SCENE IN THE BOOKS. I repeat, Jaime did not rape Cersei in the sept! Maybe I feel the need to protect Jaime’s honor or something since he’s kind of a cool guy (despite killing Aerys, incesting with Cersei, throwing Bran out of a tower et al.), but something similar happened in the pilot when Khal Drogo was very obviously raping a distraught Dany…even though he didn’t touch her in the books until she gave “consent” (eh, she’s like 14 so maybe not in our society but it was less creepy).
Sigh. I guess rape is more interesting? But why would the showrunners want to ruin any favor that Jaime has gained with the audience? Whatever.
Worst shit in the Seven Kingdoms: The Hound
Hooray for more Arya! The Hound doesn’t know where they are and he’s getting annoyed at all of Arya’s questions, like what he plans on doing after delivering her to the Eyrie.
Anyhow, a nice single dad shows up with his daughter Sally, and Arya proves her worth to the Hound by coming up with a sob story about his dead wife and their allegiance to House Tully, which results in this guy offering food and shelter. At dinner, upon seeing the Hound’s size, the farmer asks the Hound to stay for an extra month to help out: “Fair wages for fair work?” The Hound agrees.
Of course, he’s the Hound so the next morning, Arya wakes up to Sally’s screams because the Hound just busted their host’s head and stole his silver. Arya yells at the Hound, accusing him of lying and pointing out that he violated the guest right. The Hound’s like, yeah that’s true, but he’s weak and can’t protect himself, so he and his daughter will be dead come winter.
Boo. I hate it when the bad guys are right. Plus, he has a point that the sooner Arya accepts the way the world works, the better off she’ll be. Maybe she should go find those friends in Braavos. She still has that coin from Jaqen H’ghar, after all.
Least interesting people in Westeros: Sam and Gilly
Sam the Slayer is so sweet…but could I care any less about these two?
But I liked that cute kid, Guymon, who had to witness his dad’s murder and hear that Thenn tell him how he was going to eat his parents. YUCK. At least we know Guymon made it to Castle Black.
Biggest Baratheon bitch in Dragonstone: Davos Seaworth (smuggler, not pirate!)
Freakin’ Stannis, man. He’s all mad at Davos, his semi-literate Hand, for not finding enough armies to capitalize on this post-Joffrey world. But he’s the one listening constantly to Melisandre, who sucks, and not listening to the SOUND ADVICE that Davos is giving him about looking east for more support. Duh, Stannis—Dany already knows this.
Too bad that Davos can’t get a break from Princess Shireen, either, who’s like, yo, we got our work cut out for us in these reading lessons. But luckily for him, the book that Shireen picked out about the First Sword of Braavos gives some idea that requires Shireen to write a letter to the Iron Bank of Braavos.
Most (literally) fucked guy from Dorne: Oberyn Martell
We transition to this subplot via some lady’s very smooth butt, and of course, Oberyn, Ellaria, and that blond guy are having an orgy with two brothel girls. Oberyn’s like, hey silly gay boy, you’re denying yourself half of the world’s pleasures if you have a gender preference for sex. (Standard arithmetic.)
Anyway, stone-faced Tywin arrives at the brothel and doesn’t blink an eye at all the naked bits as he requests an audience with the Dornish prince, who evidently studied poisons at the Citadel, but Tywin already knows that Oberyn did not poison Joff. He’s there because there will be three judges presiding over Tyrion’s murder trial, and Tywin wants Oberyn to join him and Mace Tyrell.
Tywin, who “categorically” denies involvement in Elia Martell’s murder, also invites Oberyn to sit on the small council as one of Tommen’s new principal advisors. Oberyn recognizes that this would be a major political win for Dorne, the only region that was able to resist Aegon I and his dragons. Tywin knows how important Dorne is—given that Dany now has three dragons, plus his granddaughter is still there—and offers Oberyn the chance to avenge Elia if he would help him serve justice to Joff’s murderers. Considering how every scene apparently requires Oberyn to talk about how hatred of the Mountain (and Lannisters), he is clearly going to accept.
Loyalest squire to have ever lived: Pod Payne
How cute are these two? Pod tried to sneak in some wine for an imprisoned Tyrion but the guards took it. Sniff, at least Tyrion acknowledges that it’s the thought that counts. (Hooking up your squire with a bevy of flexible whores is good karma.)
So Tyrion’s going to stand trial in a fortnight and probably his only good witness, Sansa, has disappeared. Boo. Plus, Varys has already been claimed by Cersei as her own witness, Bronn is under investigation…hm, maybe there’s Jaime? Pod’ll see what he can do. (Though Tyrion has a point: If he had conspired to murder Joff, he wouldn’t have planned on “gawking like a fool” at the scene. Don’t these guys realize that Tyrion is too smart for this?)
But before Pod leaves, he admits that some guy offered him a knightship if he testified that Tyrion used a poison called the Strangler. He has already refused, but Tyrion’s like, I’m your boss—you can’t die for me! “This is farewell.” (This was a really sweet scene. I felt sad.)
Best hider-of-cock-in-asshole: Dany
Man, I almost forgot about Dany. She’s at the Temple of the Graces at Meereen, where a single rider comes out. As Jorah explains, the Meereenese (haha, Meereenese knot) send out a champion and Dany must send one out too.
After rejecting Grey Worm, Ser Barristan, and Ser Jorah’s offers to fight for her, Dany accepts Daario’s request since he is, after all, the newest addition to her team. It takes Daario (who’s all like, mischievous wink, I don’t need a horse!) maybe a minute (and a tiny sword) to stab the guy’s oncoming horse in the g.d. eye and to slay the rider with a thing that sort of looks like a Dothraki arakh but probably isn’t.
Of course, this all ends with Dany yelling to the Meereenese (the poor-looking ones, mind you, not the fancily garbed guys) that she isn’t an enemy but a BREAKER OF CHAINS (okay, she didn’t actually say that but it’s implied from the episode title) who is supported by former slaves of Astapor and Yunkai. Then she gets her people to sling what I think are broken chains from those dead bodies that point the way to Meereen. (The catapults reminded me of Helm’s Deep but actual fantasy nerds will probably be horrified by that statement.)
Take your freedom, Meereenese slaves!
- Uh, where are the dragons?
- Where’s Shae?
- Where’s Bran? Do you think he’s getting less screen time this season since Isaac Hempstead-Wright is now a giant?
- What’s the point of “revealing” that the necklace that Sansa was wearing at the wedding had anything to do with Joff’s death, if it’s not more clearly explained?
- Will there ever be a GoT episode that does not end with Dany doing something badass toward her enemies?