Game of Thrones
Season 4, Episode 3 “ Breaker of Chains ”
Positives this week included... Lord Baelish's reveal, Tywin's lessons to Tommen, Tyrion and Podrick's emotional farewell, Oberyn and Tywin's verbal sparing, Dragonstone scenes, Arya and The Hound's scenes, Daenerys arriving at Meereen
Negatives this week included... Jaime seemingly raping Cersei, Sam's idiotic plan for Gilly, Castle Black scenes in general, choppy editing at the beginning of the episode
|Let's fuck some Meereenese bitches up!|
We begin with where we left off last episode, Joffrey's death. I didn't realise up until this point that Alex Graves has returned to direct this episode; he directed not only last week's episode, which now ranks as my 3rd highest rated episode of Game of Thrones, but also my highest rated episode of all time, Kissed By Fire. As we begin, we get the shot that sent us out last week, and get some choppy editing of Cersei and Tywin yelling at off screen characters! The reason I mention the editing, is because of how disconnected Cersei and Tywin feel from each other; the cuts are much too quick, Tywin doesn't seem to be yelling to anyone in particular, as does Cersei, and Sansa's escape is incredibly rushed. Fortunately, the editing clears up as we see Sansa escaping; it's obviously vital that she gets away, seeing as Tyrion, her own husband, is now accused of murdering the guy who killed her own father. Former Ser Dontos leads her through the streets of King's Landing, before rowing her out to a ship, that Lord Petyr Baelish happens to be on. Turns out that Sansa's salvation in Dontos was misled; Baelish informs her that Dontos was paid to give her the necklace that she received in episode 1, and had acted as if he was scared for her safety at the wedding on Baelish's command. It's a fairly short but necessary and important scene, seeing as we get a little bit of exposition into who may have committed the purple wedding poisoning. For anyone who hasn't read the books, it would appear as if Baelish orchestrated the entire operation, and to some extent, he did. The full story will undoubtedly be revealed by Baelish himself within the next 2 episodes. Sophie Turner's performance was stronger this week than it was last; she seemed somewhat disinterested and extremely plain last week, whilst here, she does exert at least some emotion into her performance. Aiden Gillen fortunately carries the entire scene, and he's a very good actor; people often credit Peter Dinklage and Charles Dance for their performances in the show, as will I later in the episode review, but viewers commonly forget about the lesser actors, such as Conleth Hill and Aiden Gillen, both of whom I believe are in fact better than the rest of the cast, and Gillen's performance this episode only further cements that belief of mine.
|That's a fine final performance Mr. Gleeson!|
Arya and The Hound return this week, to provide one of the more memorable scenes of the season thus far, and the first major book deviation in relation to these characters is introduced here. See, the tavern fight that occurred back in episode 1 actually occurs very far into the third book, towards the end, and (Spoiler alert) The Hound becomes mortally wounded from various strikes dished out by the men he was fighting, and dies. (End spoiler) Now, seeing as they've reached the end of Arya's story line relative to major events, the writers are now 100% deviating from the base story, and will wait until episode 8 or 9 to regroup and rejoin back with the book plot. This makes for some actually surprising viewing, seeing as I'm literally in the dark when it comes to what they're going to do next for these characters. So, Arya and The Hound are discussing how far it is to the Eyrie, the seat of her aunt Lady Lysa, before a farmer and his daughter stumble upon them. With the help of Arya's charm, they manage to convince the farmer that The Hound is a Tully soldier, and that she is his daughter. The farmer pities them, takes them in, and feeds them. All seems swell, until The Hound cuts down the farmer and takes his silver. It's another great scene between Arya and The Hound, and the chemistry between Maisie Williams and Rory McCann is absolutely sublime. The two obviously have a great friendship going on outside the series, and it shows in their scenes together.
|Mr Snow, why are your brother's scenes the|
low point of the season so far?
Tyrion's officially in the shit; Cersei, Tywin, among others appear to be rallying for his head, and this obviously doesn't bode well with the man. Podrick arrives in Tyrion's make shift cell, and informs him that people all over the city are accusing the half man of committing the crime, and some are even trying to convince Pod himself to lie about Tyrion's actions, and tell the court at the trial that is to come, that Tyrion bought poison before the wedding. Daniel Portman's chemistry with Dinklage shows in this, and it makes for a really heartfelt scene. Tyrion dismisses Pod, and tells him to get out of the city for his own safety, being as the evidence piles up towards Tyrion. It's such an incredibly harrowing farewell, despite the fact that Pod didn't actually get much screen time with Tyrion as a matter of fact. Don't worry viewers, this won't be the final time we get to see Podrick Payne on the screen, but for the mean time, this was one of the stand out scenes of the episode, that really showcased the acting capabilities of Dinklage and Portman.
|Kill slavers, free laborers; Dany's motto|
There's too much going on in this episode to go into everything in depth, but I will acknowledge the great scene between Oberyn and Tywin, which allows Oberyn a chance to get acquainted with the man. Oberyn is given the opportunity to sit the trial of Tyrion, along with Tywin himself and Mace Tyrell, before Oberyn requests a "talk" with The Mountain. Tywin grants him that, as long as he sits through the trial, and takes side with the Lannisters. Margery and Olenna have a short but funny scene, with Olenna having a questionably upbeat attitude about the whole purple wedding situation. Finally, at Dragonstone, Shireen aids Davos partially, by mentioning the Iron Bank; the Lannister's have a bad situation with the Iron Bank of Braavos, as Littlefinger has borrowed too much without paying anything back. Davos obviously sees the Iron Bank's impatience with the Lannister's as an opportunity for Stannis's cause.
The Night's Watches scenes were much too weak for my taste, and some poor editing to begin with makes for some major negatives. But after such an episode as The Lion and the Rose, a bit of a come down is to be expected. With strong performances, at times questionable but effective character development, and an awesome final scene, this week's episode of Game of Thrones was still an incredibly strong one.
Junkie Score: 8.3
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