Monday, April 22, 2013

Game of Thrones 3x04 And Now His Watch is Ended

By s. Monday, April 22, 2013 ,
Last night's episode of Game of Thrones was easily the best in this season. In fact, while it's not as great as Blackwater, I'd rank it among the best episodes of the series so far. The amount of intrigue and politics reminded me of season 1. Also perhaps the show runners should see the correlation - no random tits - better quality of the episodes.

We opened with insanely unpleasant scene with Jaime and Brienne. I wasn't sure if they will include that one particular thing from the books which was very cruel and hard to read about, but they did - after Jaime's sword hand was cut off, his captors made him wear it like a necklace. So Jaime, completely broken at that point, is literally witnessing his talent and essentially all that he was, rotting away in front of him.
Nikolaj Coster Waldau is doing such a tremendous job this season. He completely captured Jaime's depression and hopelessness. Hell, they even included the moment when he was made to drink horse piss. Brienne, who witnessed all of that, comes to his rescue, asking their captors to stop. The shot of Jaime, lying on the ground, covered in mud with his severed hand next to him must have moved even his haters. What is that saying? You have to reach the bottom to be able to start over? Well, this is the rock bottom for Jaime.

We did get the mutiny in Craster's Keep this week .That was the weakest part of the episode. First Sam was acting even more idiotic than usual - he spoke to Gilly, who has just given birth to baby boy (and male kids are sacrificed), with "aww, he is beautiful" approach. While the scene of the actual mutiny was well done I couldn't believe how rushed commander Mormont's death was. He didn't even say his last words to Sam - in the book Sam hears his last wish, for his son Jorah to join The Night's Watch.
We got another dream/flashback from Bran, this time with Catelyn yelling at him for climbing and him falling out of tree. Fortunately this was the only Bran's scene this week.

In King's Landing, the Tyrells are working their magic. Varys comes to see Olenna, who had many wonderful lines here, even asking Varys to seduce her and pointing out that she wonders what would happen since he is a eunuch. He tells her about Littlefinger's plan to take Sansa with him to Eyrie. Sansa is valuable - she is the second in line to be the heiress of Winterfell. The two agree that such a precious treasure shouldn't go to Batman Littlefinger.
Margaery approaches Sansa and they talk a little. Margaery is charming, elegant and sweet. In the books Sansa even says that she is like the sister she always wanted Arya to be. I really adored their scenes together in the book, considering how Sansa finally experiences some joy after all her hardships. The scene was very sweet and in it Margaery hinted that if Sansa married Loras, she could leave King's Landing. Sophie Turner's acting just breaks my heart. Seeing her sweet, naive face and everyone around her using Sansa as a pawn is heartbreaking.

Varys got a lot of screentime this week, all three of his scenes being additions to the book. Tyrion comes to see him as he is in a desperate need of spies to prove that Cersei tried to have him killed during the battle of Blackwater. Varys is clearly busy opening a certain box and he tells Tyrion a story of how he was castrated. When I first saw the shot of that box in the promos I turned into Brad Pitt and kept asking what was in the box. Well, it turns out Varys has captured the sorcerer who cut him and what will probably follow is a lot of torture. I really liked Varys's monologue here and his line to Tyrion - I have no doubt that the revenge you want will be yours in time.
Another scene was between Varys and Ros. Ros is spying on Littlefinger for him and it was her who told Varys about Littlefinger's plans towards Sansa. They also exchange some lines about Podrick - apparently he is now a sex legend among whores. How nice.

Before I discuss two other scenes from King's Landing, let's go back to Jaime and Brienne. Jaime and her are sitting by the fire together and he has blank, dead expression in his eyes. She tells him that he behaves like a bloody woman, whining and crying after one "misfortune" happened to him. Jaime is shocked by her choice of words and explains to her that his talent as a sword man was all he ever was. Brienne tells him that he can't just give up after finally tasting the real world. She tells him he should go on living, for revenge.
Another really nice moment here was Brienne telling Jaime that she knows he saved her from getting raped. She asks Jaime why he did that, but he doesn't answer. The brilliant touch here, and I'd like to think it was intentional, was the fact that this scene cut to the close up of Cersei's face. Brienne is a complete opposite of her - she is not beautiful, but she is noble, kind, caring and honorable. Let's face it - Cersei is an evil hoe. All she does, she does for herself, even the stuff she does for her kids is self-serving.

Jaime, who spent all his years blinded by his lust for his sister, almost crippled by it, is slowly opening his eyes because of the time he spends with actual good person that cares for him and for others. Jaime, the man who pushed a child off the tower to keep Cersei safe, is about to change. He is finally going to become the man he was supposed to be. Not for his house and not for his sister. Not even for himself. But for those who deserve his love and his protection.
Though show's Cersei is much more sympathetic than book Cersei, we still get to see her true colors this episode, no matter how many fake smiles she throws at Tyrells. We got brilliant scene in The Great Sept, where Joffrey was showing Margaery around, laughing about people being eaten by dragons, charmer that he is. Meanwhile Cersei and Olenna were talking about mothers and sons and how they would do anything to keep them from the grave.

It's a great shame the show is omitting prophecies. Cersei's story in the book is my favorite right after Jaime's because I love the stories where a character hears a prophecy, does everything they can to stop it from coming true and their actions lead just to that. When Cersei was young she heard the prophecy and part of it was "Queen you shall be. Until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear". Many believe that the prophecy refers to Margaery. I'm not one of those people - it is Sansa who is time and time again referred to as "beautiful".
That said, there was brilliant little moment that reminded me of those words and even if it's not Margaery in the prophecy, those words certainly apply here. Margaery convinces Joffrey to go outside and wave to his people. Charmed by her and seduced by her words, Joffrey agrees and greets the same crowd that threw shit at him not so long ago. Margaery looks back, with a despising look at Cersei, who rushes over in horror, convinced the crowd will attack her son again. And then she hears the crowd lovingly chanting Margaery's name. The girl who did something Cersei never could - make Joffrey dance to her tune. While the women have a bit of a staredown, Joffrey smiles and waves away, like a dumbass. The crowd loves Margaery so much they are wiling to forgive him and love him too.

So Cersei does what she always does in situations like this one - she runs to daddy. Poor Tywin. He has all those important letters to write and his children keep interrupting him. I love how much focus they put on these little details - by now I'm sure even non book readers realize that since they keep showing Tywin write all of those letters, this has to be important somehow. Cersei informs her father that Tyrells are a problem. While he is kinder to her than he was to Tyrion, there are still some great and hurtful lines here including him pointing out the fact that Cersei is not as clever as she thinks she is.

Meanwhile, up North, Theon is being led by the boy who rescued him to see his sister. While the boy is trying to open the gate, Theon starts talking about the horrible things he did. He admits to the boy that the boys that he killed weren't Stark boys after all. Then he says that his "real father" died in King's Landing. Again - if i didn't loathe Theon so much I'd feel bad for him. Especially after what happens after.

Theon and the boy enter a room and the boy lights a torch. And then - surprise. We are back in the dungeon Theon escaped from. The boy is working with his captors. As for his identity nothing was explicitly stated yet but I don't think HBO can make it any clearer to all of you than that shot of the boy with a flaming torch behind this thing Theon is being tied to. Though I'm sure once Catelyn receives a certain morbid gift the boy's identity will be officially revealed.
We were introduced (or better word being - reintroduced) to Beric Dondarrion. Back in season 1 he was played by another actor in the scene where Ned Stark, during his brief time sitting on the Iron Throne, gave him the command over the group of knights sent after The Mountain. Those men are now the Brotherhood without Banners. And Beric, now played by Richard Dormer, is their commander.

In the scene in which we meet Beric (properly this time), The Hound is brought before him. Gendry and Arya are present as well. The Hound starts defending himself, telling them that they shouldn't blame him for his brother's actions. Then Arya reminds him of the boy he killed. Maisie Williams was excellent in this moment - she had tears in her eyes remembering the boy who died because they played together, yet at the same time she was so fierce. Dondarrion sentences The Hound to trial by combat.
Oh my God, Daenerys. First of all, enjoy her being badass while you can. The shit that is happening with her character in book 5 is the worst thing Martin did story-wise. Such regression. Fortunately, she will be awesome this season, so let's not concern ourselves with what the hell HBO will do since they hyped her up so much and focused most of show's advertising on her.

In the finale sequence of the episode, Daenerys meets with the slave owner to finish the transaction - her one dragon for his 8,000 Unsullied. Other slave owners gather around, wanting to see the dragon. Drogon, the one she has to give up, is chained and Daenerys gives the chain to the slave master. He hands her a whip - a symbol of her now owning Unsullied. As she turns around we can hear Drogon crying for his mother.
Jorah, Barristan and Missandai seem sad and then Daenerys...starts speaking Valyrian to Unsullied. She kept pretending she doesn't know it, yet she speaks fluently. Missandai is the first one to actually realize that Mother of Dragons is now speaking to her army without any need for translation. Daenerys gives them command to slay all the slave masters and soldiers and free every slave. Slave owner asks her how is it possible she speaks Valyrian and she tells him that as a Targaryen, of blood of old Valyria, Valyrian is her mother tongue.

Right after she said this came my favorite moment - we saw Jorah, breathless and in awe, seeing his beloved Khaleesi triumph. He realizes she was few steps ahead of everyone and she never had any intention of handing over her child. While slave master can't hold Drogon who doesn't listen to him Daenerys points out that a dragon is no slave and few moments after that all music, all noise stop and we see Daenerys say a single word - DRACARYS.
It's the command to breath fire and Drogon obeys, burning the slave master and then along with his bothers, burning whoever his mother commands to burn. After flames die out, seemingly to the ending of Fire and Blood, we see Jorah approach Khaleesi. That moment broke my heart as she didn't even look at him. I think it was meant to be symbolic, showing that at this moment she is beyond everything else, she is The Queen and The Breaker of the Chains.

Daenerys gets up on the horse and addresses Unsullied. She tells them that they are free and if they wish to leave, they can. They don't move nor speak. Daenerys asks them if they will fight for her as free men. After few seconds of silence a single one of them starts hitting his spear on the ground and others follow indicating to her they are now her army and they wil do whatever she commands. During all of this Jorah and Barristan exchange smiles, as if they were the world's most overqualified groupies.
Daenerys throws away the whip and Unsullied step on it while marching. And then we get one of the most epic shots of the series and the closing shot of the episode - the wide shot of 8,000 Unsullied marching forward with Daenerys' dragons flying above them.

One more thing - so I start having dreams about Robb Stark and this is the single episode this season he was not in? Really, HBO?
Here is the promo for this Sunday's episode - Kissed by Fire.I may not survive the sex scene that will be featured here if it's even half as ridiculous as it was in the books. 

But we will get plenty of amazing things - Jaime and Brienne in Harrenhal, Robb with half-opened shirt, Tyrion getting very shocking news and one of the series most amazing duels.


  1. "Last night's episode of Game of Thrones was easily the best in this season. In fact [...] I'd rank it among the best episodes of the series so far."

    I COMPLETELY agree. Multiple great scenes with Varys (something the show has been lacking so far this season), another great scene and line from Olenna Tyrell - "I wonder what happens when the non-existent bumps against the decrepit", the sad end of Commander Mormant, and of course the whole bit with Dany and the Slavers - something I've been looking forward to. It could have easily functioned as a season ending episode, it was that good.

    "The shit that is happening with her [Dany]character in book 5 is the worst thing Martin did story-wise. Such regression."

    Once again, I COMPLETELY agree. I was very disappointed that Martin took such a strong character and decided to waste, yes waste, an entire book trying to remind us that she is still just a teenager. I'm hoping it's another "you must fall before you can rise" scenario like he has had with several other characters. (Ditto for Tyrion's situation in the same book.)

    1. Varys is one of my favorites in the series, I don't think he had boring scene so far. The actor who plays him is doing incredible job.

      I agree about it being so epic it could be used as a finale, really amazing moment!

      I will be very interested to see how the show handles it. I suppose Dany will take a backseat next season and they will use the story from book 5 in season 5. Honestly the only good scene she has there is the one with Drogon near the end.

    2. I'm thinking they are going to have to combine books 4 and 5 together for the show, simply for the logistics of keeping the performers going, and then they would split those stories somewhere in the middle of the character's various stories from the two books. They would probably have to invent some scenes, like they did with Dany in season 2.

      With their budget limitations they will probably only be able to film one city Dany comes to with her army per season, although they may end up doing the first one at the end of this season to give her character a big send off. I guess we'll see.

    3. I think King's Landing will be the most prominent part of season 4, with Wherever Whores Go scene being in 4x09. They will probably only use ASOS material for Dany there and then season 5 will be ADWD.

      I think "Mother!" scene is the closing moment for Dany this season.

  2. I can't reference the books like you, but I can reference the acting. The actresses are giving the best performances on TV...any TV. Lena Headly,MichelleFairley, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke all without a single emmy nom. Lets hope Dame Diana's presence shows just how classy, and worthy, these actresses are!

    1. Oh, absolutely! Headey really should have been nominated for Blackwater.

  3. Yaay this episode was awesome!

    Man Margaery. She's so cool. And I too loved the show cutting to Cersei's face after that Jaime bit. She's such a paranoid bitch.

    Er... what is Sansa going to do next? I adored Margaery in this scene too.

    Varys was excellent.

    And then of course, DAT ENDING! Awesome. Not as awesome as Wildfire but hey, GIRL-DRAGON POWAH! And then Jorah with all his love <3 <3

    1. Cersei is only going to become increasingly paranoid which will be quite amusing :) She really sees danger everywhere and in the books she even has dreams where Tyrion is creeping under her bed :P

      Sansa's future will be revealed in next episode, I bet none of those who didn't read the books will see it coming.

      I must say since Glen is Jorah in the show Daenerys' unwillingness to love him is pissing me off :P

  4. Indeed, by far the best in this season and all because of that final scene. I'm a bit worried though when you say this all took place later in the books.. what will they do with her, rush her entire storyline? Keep her out for a while?

    Jorah, oh, Jorah... there's really nothing else to say.

    Joffrey .. man, he makes me laugh a lot these days because the actor who plays him .. even when he smiles.. he feels evil and I don't know if it's the guy himself or just his brilliant acting. Gleeson said he would quit acting after GoT.. that would be a waste in my opinion..

    1. Oh Dracarys scene happened early in third book. She has some great scenes to follow this season and since they are splitting the book to be used in season 4 too, some of it will happen there.

      I think they will feature less of her in season 4 once they use the material from Storm of Swords and they will feature book 5 material in season 5 and 6, depending how soon Winds of Winter is published and depending what Daenerys does there. There is a potential for her to have better scenes in book 6, but it all hangs on Martin and what he decides to do.

      He is very talented. He makes Joff so campy but he himself as an actor never comes off as ridiculous. I hope he continues to act.

  5. The Jamie/Brienne scenes are just so damn perfect. Exactly how I'd imagined them playing out while reading the book. So excited to see how the rest of their story is played out onscreen. SO excited.

    The episode ending was perfect. Had me grinning and made me want to do a fist pump high into the air.

    1. I think this story is the best adapted in season 3. I just cannot wait for Harrenhal scenes and of course bear pit scene which is my third favorite sequence in ASOS, after the horrible awful that happens at the Twins and Tyrion's final chapter in the book.

  6. I'm sorry, Sati. I cant read these anymore. You hint around too much. I havent read the books, nor do I want to. I want to watch the show and see things as they unfold.

    Just wanted to let you know, cause you do put a lot of time into these and you know Im watching the show, so I didnt want you to think I'm just blowing you off... but there were at least three things in there that I didnt want to know.

    1. To be completely honest I had no idea you even read those or any of the posts here recently, seeing how seldom you leave comments.

      I make a point of not spoiling things and hinting at them, yes. What's the point of my knowledge of the books if I can't compare the show to them.

  7. I agree, what an incredible episode, and to think it's only going to get better from here.

    1. Dracarys feels like end of the prologue, now there is going to be amazing scene chasing another amazing scene :)

  8. That last photo with the dragons is simply STUNNING! Kind of remind me of Reign of Fire, ahah. I'm sorry that I can't really comment on these posts as I don't know any of the plot, but I do enjoy looking at the pics. Especially if you put Nikolaj and Iain on here :D

    1. Nikolaj is having a hard time this season - they hosed him off with mud before each scene :) Fortunately he will look much better in next one ^^

  9. News you should love. Lee Pace in final talks to play main villain of Guardians of the Galaxy.

    1. Yep, heard about it! :) He is also rumored to appear in Hannibal season 2, so great news all around.

  10. "as if they were the world's most overqualified groupies." That line seriously made me laugh. I loved that last shot of the dragons flying over the army. It was so perfect. I too, felt bad for Jorah. He's so stuck in the friend zone. Speaking of feeling bad, I did feel bad for Theon when he said "my father died in King's Landing." I'm still not ready to forgive him, because he fucked up SO MUCH shit, but he had my sympathy for a second there. I know this is nit-picky, but I was kind of hoping Jaime and Brienne's scene where she calls him a craven was word for word from the book. I realy liked that moment.

    1. I'm sure people were thinking "Oh my God, Barristan is back he will do some serious damage!" after 3x01 and I don't think he had a single line this episode :)

      Khaleesi is so unreasonable. They tuned down Daario's awfulness for the show judging from the trailers but still, seriously? This guy?

      Alfie Allen is doing a great job, his scenes are very sad and heartbreaking but I don't think I'll ever forgive Theon for Rodrik and those boys. And obviously biggest one of all - fucking over Robb so much.

      Yeah, I wish they followed it word by word too, but overall I think this story is very well adapted so far.

  11. Great write up, great episode!! I do miss the random tits though......season 1 lured me in with all the nudity ;)

    I own the books, but they look too daunting so havent started reading them yet. Nice to be surprised by the show, and easily the best show on TV (until Dexter returns!)

    1. Thank you! :P I'm sure there are plenty more tits coming up, they can only go without them for one episode :P

      First 3 books are a great read, books 4 and 5...well, these are quite challenging :)

  12. I'm trying to skip your reviews of GoT episodes, since I haven't seen them yet. But the temptation to read them is nearly overwhelming. ;-) Your reviews are so beautiful(visually and in terms of writing style), and there is so much GoT awesomeness here. I am definitely looking forward to seeing some of these scenes on screen especially the one where Daenerys buys the slaves and agrees to give up a dragon. I found that one of the most gripping chapters in the books so far.

    I am disappointed in the 4th book in the series -- I'm kind of plodding through so I can get to #5. I seems he's taken several of his most important characters off the canvas for now or is wasting his time with them, and there is so much filler. Granted, I forgave Tolkien the excessive descriptive detail in his books ... but oy! I am having trouble staying interested in all the characters. Although I've loved the darkness and moral ambiguity up to now, I'm starting to feel like "Shit ... is there even anybody here worth rooting for?" ;-) I'm not sure if the primary problem is with the book or with me -- maybe I've just powered through the series too fast and am getting GoT fatigue.

    1. Thank you! :) They do take time to make but I love the show so much I want to make proper posts about it :)

      I loved that scene. There are some good moments with Dany in book 3, including what I assume will be in the finale of this season, but DRACARYS was such a memorable scene.

      I think I read somewhere book 4 and 5 were written together but they moved some stuff around because there is no way all of that could be published as one book, it would probably have 2000 pages. Also the events that happen happen at the same time, so it's really not much progression in grand scheme of things.

      I don't think it's you - books 4 and 5 are considered to be a major step down. I still find some stories there great, like Cersei and Jaime, and the fact Tyrion meets certain character in book 5 and their stories merge, but it looks to me like Martin is sabotaging several story arcs (mainly Daenerys) because he doesn't know how to wrap up everything that leads to what I think is the only possible finale.

    2. I'm definitely looking forward to Tyrion coming back into the story -- he's been MIA since that epic moment in the privy. I had hoped he and Sansa would actually connect, maybe even develop real romantic feelings for one another. Sansa isn't the brightest character, but I am waiting for her to mature and develop and be more than just a pawn. And I would love Tyrion to forge an alliance with Daenerys. So much wasted potential. :-) But I'll hang in there to find out what happens.

      When he's *on,* Martin is brilliant. But he could've benefited so much from the services of a better editor. Just my humble opinion.

    3. That moment in the privy is one of my favorite chapters of all the books. I cannot wait to see it in season 4, I bet they will handle that beautifully, especially since I consider Dinklage and Dance to be the ones who give the pest performances in the show.

      I think they may connect more in the show - Tyrion is such a beloved character and I think Sansa has at least a little respect for him after he saved her in the throne room when Joffrey's men were beating her up. Sansa may actually smarten up, after all Littlefinger is teaching her and he is one of the best players in the game.

      Oh, absolutely. There are too many details there sometimes that are completely useless to the main story.

    4. I couldn't agree more about the privy scene. That was a splendid moment. :-)

      It broke my heart, in Book 3, when Tyrion wanted to reach out to her and felt he couldn't, because she seemed repulsed by him. I was sorely disappointed that relationship wasn't taken in a more interesting direction. Ah well.

    5. I don't know why people dislike "wherever whores go" line. For me it was so perfect. It showed Tyrion's evil and also implied that maybe there is a chance Tasha is somewhere out there. Plus it was pretty badass final line, Tywin wouldn't flinch even under threat of death to leave his convictions, as awful as they were, plus he completely underestimated his son yet again.

      I think Sansa escaped too early, but I feel Martin really wanted to have the two weddings play so close to each other. In the show there will be 2 episodes between The Red Wedding (3x09) and Purple Wedding (4x02) so hopefully there will be some nice scenes with Tyrion comforting Sansa, seeing as he is the one who tells her what happened in the books.