We open where we left things off with Cersei hysterically yelling that Tyrion poisoned her son. Dontos takes Sansa away and we see Cersei asking where is Tyrion's wife along with Tywin yelling that no one is permitted to leave the city. Sansa and Dontos rush through the streets of King's Landing and arrive at the shore.
Sansa is worried but reluctantly gets in the boat. The boat sails to the ship and Sansa is pulled in by someone.
Sansa is horrified butt Littlefinger promptly explains Dontos helped Sansa for gold. He says that gold buys silence for some time, but the bolt to the heart buys it forever (I missed his wisdom so much). Then he takes Sansa's necklace, the one Dontos gave her, and smashes it, proving the necklace, contrary to Dontos' words, is worthless. Then he tells Sansa she is safe with him. You know, after he reminds her that once he said everyone is a liar. Your game is off, bro.
There are people freaking out about the necklace seemingly being gone from conversation but it's not, if you watch next week's preview. Why it's important? I think the next week's episode is gonna explain why. As for Littlefinger - Sansa is valuable and she reminds him of her mother, whom Litlefinger 'loved'. Sansa is arguably safer with him then with the Lannisters, especially under the present circumstances. And let's rejoice she is finally out of King's Landing, even if she traded lions' cage for mockingbird's.
Meanwhile in King's Landing, Joffrey's body lies in the Sept. Cersei and Tommen stand next to him. Tywin comes over to talk to Tommen, who is to become the new king. He asks Tommen what is the one quality a king should have. Tommen answers holiness, justice, strength. Tywin gives an example for each why they are not enough.
I really liked how after Tywin said that Robert whored, drunk and hunted and the last two killed him the camera showed Cersei. The show keeps taking the crimes away from her - she was the one who ordered the killing of Robert's bastards, not Joffrey, and the show omitted the fact she was the one who told Lancel to make sure King was very drunk during the hunt - in which he sustained a mortal wound. These things, decreasing the capacity of Cersei's evil, are far more crucial to me than the scene that caused so much outrage today.
Anyways, Tommen finally says that the King should be wise and Tywin agrees. He tells Tommen that Joffey wasn't wise (Tywin is our Captain Obvious this week). He tells him that a wise king, especially a young king listens to his advisers. He then even asks Tommen if he knows why the King needs a Queen and a small sex ed talk ensues. He takes Tommen away leaving Cersei alone.
While Tywin and Tommen are exiting the Sept Jaime comes in. We get a nice little moment in which Jaime tells Tommen that he'll make sure he is all right. Then Jaime tells the Septon and the others to give the queen a moment alone with her son. Cersei tells him that Tyrion did it, that he killed 'their son, their baby boy'. She repeats Tyrion's joy to ashes speech and asks Jaime to kill him.
Jaime says that he won't as Tyrion is his brother (but he's cool with killing his cousin in season 2 (kinslaying, killing someone who has your blood is one of the worst things a person in Westeros can do), another departure that is far more glaring than upcoming scene). He tells Cersei that during the trial the truth will come out. He kisses her and she pulls back.
He then looks angry and says she is a hateful woman. "Why have the Gods make me love a hateful woman?!' he asks as he forcefully kisses Cersei. As they go on the ground Cersei kisses him back however she keeps saying 'no', perhaps meaning the location as they are about to do it next to their son's corpse. Jaime gets inside her and tells her 'he doesn't care'.
Ah, the outrage. In the books the relationship with these two was always rough. Cersei saying no, then saying yes, saying no, while talking dirty. In the books Jaime only arrives to King's Landing in this scene. Cersei is talking dirty to him, then says no, she kisses him, she keeps saying no. She is also on her period which we know from Jaime's POV, so it's particularly...delightful. It's a complicated scene that has nothing to do with rape. But the Gods punished the showrunners with Alex Graves.
Graves has directed some really wonderful episodes but his work these season was mediocre and in this scene - catastrophic. According to him that scene was supposed to be a power play. Unfortunately it really looks like Jaime forced himself on Cersei. I do not think that it was intended as a rape scene, but thanks to inept direction it came off as such. All they had to do was have Cersei say yes instead of no and have her pull away instead of kissing him. A repeated verbal consent would be enough to let TV audience know what is happening. Headey and Waldau (here are his thoughts on the scene) were both wonderful in this episode, but Graves' inept direction makes me worried for episode 8 and 10 this season - first one containing one of the series' most exciting showdowns, latter rumored to be the best, most gigantic and shocking episode in the show yet.
You think that was rape? Craster's Keep events await.
However, the only thing worse are Jaime fans screaming 'worst episode ever!.' 'the showrunners are ruining the show!', 'rape culture!', 'arrrgh!!'. Quit with the hysterics. Cersei and Jaime had far worse departures from the books so far. Overreacting about the scene and namecalling the writers, who had nothing to do with how the scene played out, is just distasteful. Blame the director if you must, not the show.
Margaery and Olenna are having a chat. Margaery wonders if she is cursed, given how her first husband was gay and died and second was cruel and died. Olenna keeps her spirits high by telling her that the Lannisters still need the Tyrells badly and that 'the next one will be easier' referring to Tommen.
Meanwhile, Arya an the Hound encounter a nice man and his daughter. Arya lies and tells them that The Hound is her father, that their cottage burned with her mother in it and that her father fought for house Tully. The man invites them over and gives them food. He offers the Hound a job. Next morning Arya finds the Hound taking the man's money from him and walking away.
Arya screams you're the worst shit in Westeros! and tells the Hound that he said he was not a thief and the man and the girl took them in and offered them shelter and kindness. The Hound says that they both will be dead when winter comes either way. Arya is furious and the two carry on with the plan to take her to Lysa Arryn in Eyrie. Non book readers....where do you think Littlefinger is taking Sansa?...Book readers - I'm being really cruel here, aren't I?
At Castle Black Sam is visiting Gilly. He worries about her as there are all those men there and she is the only woman. Sam doesn't think she is safe there and we get a sweet little moment with Gilly asking if Sam also pictures her during the night like he said other men do. Sam decides to take Gilly and her son to Molestown and he leaves her there, telling the woman who is running the place, whatever that was, that Gilly is not to prostitute herself.
In Dragonstone, Stannis (YEEEEEEY STANNIS!) gives Davos the news of Joffrey being dead. Stannis reminds Davos of the leech that he believes accomplished that and is again angry because Davos let Gendry go. Davos keeps telling him about his progress in rallying some small houses to their side and pissed off Stannis breaks the pieces shaped like ships and says 'they don't have enough men between them to raid a pantry'. With each episode the writers are starting to get Stannis more and more right and I couldn't be more happy.
Hilarity continues as Davos keeps pulling ideas out of his ass and Stannis is outraged. Davos suggests The Golden Company (considered the largest, most famous, and most expensive sellsword company in the Free Cities), Stannis is outraged because they are sellswords. Davos asks how is trusting the visions acceptable but paying for soldiers is not and the camera cuts to Stannis looking like he is about to bitchslap Davos. Stannis tells him he is running out of time and it also means Davos is running out of time as well. It's kinda implied Stannis wants to attack King's Landing again, now that Joffrey is dead and the Lannisters are weakened. All he needs is an army.
While everyone fangirls over Oberyn I'm just gonna shamelessly mention how beautiful Stephen Dillane looked in this episode. There was even the rain pouring behind him. Oh my.
Anyways, Davos goes to Shireen's room for his reading lesson. Shireen was so sweet in this scene and really acted a lot like her father which even Davos notices saying that she is as stubborn as Stannis. Shireen gives Davos a book to read about Braavosi history. During the lesson a gigantic light bulb might have as well showed up above Davos's head. He asks Shireen to write a letter on behalf of her father, the one true king (swooning so hard right now) to the Iron Bank of Braavos...
They are really setting up that damn Bank whenever they can. That Bank is this year's Rains of Castemere, if the Rains were kinda a good thing. They mention it over and over again until you go 'oh my, this must be important!'.
Since there was no nudity last week, they caught up in a major way here. Oberyn, Ellaria and random brothel people orgy. Some pointless ass talk and boobs shots happen and then Tywin enters. The whores leave along with Ellaria leaving Tywin alone with shirtless Oberyn, who to the disappointment of millions of female viewers (minus this one, I'm still recovering from Stannis and he wasn't even shirtless) covers himself up.
Tywin is there to make nice. He mentions how odd it is that few days after Oberyn, who studied poisons arrived to King's Landing, his grandson was poisoned. However it's made clear Tywin doesn't suspect Oberyn - he wants him to be one of the judges in Tyrion's trial (the other two being himself and Mace Tyrell). He also offers Oberyn a place in Small Council.
Tywin backs his proposal by saying how important Dorne is, considering the chaos in the realm and the Targaryan girl in the East with three dragons. Oberyn is still reluctant. He brings the subject of Ellia up again and Tywin says he categorically didn't have anything to do with the Mountain killing her. Charles Dance's poker face 4eva.
Tywin tells Oberyn he will arrange for the meeting with the Mountain and help him with avenging Ellia's death if he helps him with the trial. The scene ends with Tywin extending his hand.
Meanwhile some good Northern folk get slaughtered by the wildlings. Little boy sees his father being shot with Ygritte's arrow (I know you were dumped, but damn, girl!) while Styr and other Thenns and wildlings massacre the village. Styr tells the boy he will eat his parents and then sends him to Castle Black to tell the crows what happened here. They are setting up the wildlings to be brutal animals who deserve to die. I cheered. SPOILER Can you feel it? Can you feel how glorious ep. 9 will be? I can feel it. He'll come. He'll take out the trash. Looking majestic as fuck. END OF SPOILER
The boy arrives and Jon yet again informs his dumb fellow watchers of the wall that Mance is coming with gigantic army. And that's not enough with the bad news. Craster's Keep mutiny rejects show up to tell everyone of what happened and about all the raping and atrocities that are happening there right now. Jon is horrified. He decides they need to go and kill their renegade brothers before Mance gets to them and finds out just how weak the forces on the Wall really are. And there are 1,000 watchers....to 100,000 wildlings.
There was a great scene this week with Podrick visiting Tyrion in his cell. Podrick, a sweet and loyal kid, informs Tyrion that Sansa escaped and Bronn is forbidden to visit him. Tyrion asks him if he thinks he killed the king and Podrick says no. I enjoyed that change - in the book Podrick says no but it's clear he doesn't really believe in Tyrion's innocence. They made him so sweet on the show and he likes and knows Tyrion - it makes sense for him to believe in Tyrion's innocence.
In the scene Tyrion tries to figure out who poisoned Joffrey. Couldn't be Sansa - she is not an assassin. Tywin perhaps? Tommen is easier to control. Not Cersei. Cersei loves her children. Those thoughts lead to the moment where Tyrion drops one of the funniest lines in the whole show - 'She is the only one I'm certain had nothing to do with this murder, which makes it unique as King's Landing murders go'. I roared with laughter.
Then Pod tells him that someone came to see him to ask if he would testify against Tyrion. Pod of course said no. Tyrion tells him the next time they won't ask and they will hurt him to get him to do this. Protectively he tells Podrick to leave King's Landing. As they say goodbye Tyrion tells him there has never lived a more loyal squire. See, I could whine about the show portraying Tyrion as an angel, but how could I do that when that scene was so lovely. Before they part ways Tyrion asks Pod to send Jaime to his cell.
Ah, Meereen. Another nail to Graves' coffin. He also directed And Now His Watch is Ended from last season, commonly known as Dracarys episode. This Meereen scene is basically a poor imitation of that sequence. Daenerys also shows up near the end of the episode, delivers a speech, makes everyone look like weak bitches and is all like 'bow to me'. Only this time the scene fell on its ass.
Meereen looks very impressive and the set design is quite amazing. Once Daenerys reaches the gates a champion of Meereen emerges. He pees on the ground to mock Daenerys, as the masters and their slaves watch from the wall. Missandai translates what the man is saying, in hilarious way. The man insults Daenerys and she decides to give the people of the city a show.
She asks for a champion. Grey Worm, Barristan and Jorah volunteer. Dany deems them all too valuable and chooses Daario. Apparently, amazingly, Jorah can be pushed even further into the friendzone. In quite an exciting sequence Daario kills the champion after winking at Daenerys. She looked like I do whenever Stannis is on screen. Massively turned on. I'm sure outside the frame Jorah was weeping.
Daario then pees on the ground too. I'm sure Daenerys checked it out. Before the episode Graves' teased that the episode has one of the best speeches in the series. Good God. Not only can't he direct for shit, he can't even distinguish a good speech from 'one of the best'. The speech is obviously delivered by Jesus and Savior Daenerys in which she tells the slaves she is here to punish their enemies - their masters. It was a good speech, but it's gonna look like crap once Littlefinger delivers more of his wisdom next week.
Say what you want about Emilia Clarke but the girl really does High Valyrian justice. She orders for the canons to fire and the barrells are shot at the city. When the barrels break, broken slave collars fall from them, proving to the slaves of Meereen that Daenerys is telling the truth and she is indeed freeing the slaves. The episode ends abruptly with one of the slaves picking up a broken collar. That ending definetly lacked a proper punch Game of Thrones' ending should have.
Overall I'm seeing a pattern here - each season the second episode is better than the premiere and then it gets problematic until good and great episodes show up halfway though. Normally, I'd be hopeful for the rest of the season but the problem is that Graves is behind the 2 of season 4 last episodes (with episode 9 being directed by the master who gave us Blackwater, Neil Marshall). Let's hope since these episodes won't include problematic sex scenes it will be allright.
I'm giving the episode the same grade I gave to my least favoite ep from last season - The Bear and the Maiden Fair. Both episodes share a lot of good ideas and one absolutely atrocious scene - in the case of that season 3 episode it was overly long, tedious and unnecessary scene of Theon getting castrated.
Still both had plenty to cherish, in case of Breaker of Chains the highlight for me being Stannis scene and the beautiful adaptation of Sansa's escape.
Next episode entitled Oathkeeper will have Jaime making a tough decision - shall he trust Cersei or Tyrion?, Littlefinger telling Sansa some important secrets, Brienne taking on a new task and what I read is a scene so gruesome it had to be trimmed down. Craster's Keep would be my bet, since our noble hero lord Snow is on his way to end the terror.
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