NOTICE: I have NOT read any of the books in the Song of Ice and Fire series and I do not plan to! For once I’m going to try and consume an adaptation without reading the source material first. So please don’t spoil future stuff.
Game of Thrones S3 Ep04 "And Now His Watch Is Ended" Directed By Alex Graves Written By David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
“I was that hand.” In the simplest of terms Jaime Lannister was his sword hand. The ultimate tool of “honorable” killing in Westeros, even if he laughed at that idea. It was his identity, his soul reason for being. It’s something that weighs heavy on him as he trots along with his severed hand strapped around his neck. The opening shot of “And Now HIs Watch Is Ended” an extreme close up of that hand, slowly revealing it’s down trodden bearer.
Being in chains for a year is certainly better than all of this. He might be maimed but he isn’t completly without fight. Smart enough to once again steal a sword from one of Bolton’s men. It’s a vain attempt to die by the sword. His reactions slow, grip weak. A year (or perhaps earlier) he could of killed them all no problem. Now he’s just left covered in “mudd” gladly drinking horse urine with one of his hands draped around his neck. Like most of Westeros a pale imitation of former glory.
Jamie Lannister is just smart enough to get himself hurt. Not that Brienne would let that happen. Rightly calling him out on acting like a weakling after facing a setback. He didn’t have to save her with his lie about Tarth being home to sapphires. She clearly doesn't have to save him anymore because of Catlyn’s orders.
Season 1 of Thrones had several monologues that were largely just exposition, often delivered forcefully by Little Finger while his whores did their job. It has been a while since we had a character just break into a expository monologue for little reason other then they just really wanted to say it. This time duties fall to Lord Varys, who is used a lot this episode. Explaining to Tyrion how exactly he became a eunuch. While a young boy he was an actor, until the troupe leader sold him to a man, who proceeded to castrate him. More freighting his parts were used for some sort of ritual. All the while Varys is happily opening a crate and Conleth Hill has an air of camp about him. Then the crate is opened and the look on Tyrion’s face was worth this entire scene. Varys will have his revenge on the sorcerer who cut him.
Varys weaves his way into most of the scenes taking place in Kings Landing. Finally getting some one on one time with Lady Olenna, who is slowly working her way down the list of people to meet within the city. Her disarming frankness threw Varys off for awhile. These two operators compare notes and Varys makes a surprising move. He is actively looking out for the well being of Sansa Stark. I understand some kind of guilt over Ned losing his head but any potential power she has as a Stark is a long ways away. Keeping Sans in Kings Landing would also undermine Little Finger and that is always a thing worth doing. Ironically Varys doesn't mind Lord Baelish, he just fears his unchecked ambition. Baelish (and most others) would see Westeros burn if they could be King of the Ashes.
So who is the obvious sutor for Sansa Stark? Varys and Lady Olenna both have ideas. Margery offers up her brother Loras a couple of scenes later. An interesting choice, but isn’t he part of the Kings Guard and thus forgone all titles and whatnot? Tyrion was a name that immediately popped to mind. It would be a yet another backhanded compliment from his father and sister to be wed to the black sheep of Landings court. Sansa’s scene with Margery as they walked and generally acted like girls was heartfelt. That’s not a good sign.
Cerci is continuing to lose her power in Kings Landing. Margery has Joffery all but wrapped around her finger. Tywin isn’t exactly forthcoming with plots for the Lannisters to hold onto power. It is driving her mad and making Lena Headey do all manner of large eye movements. Tywin doesn't trust her because she isn’t as smart as she thinks she is and it’s true. She is being schooled.
Brann is dreaming and talking to Jojen in those dreams more. So he has to catch the three-eyed crow. And he is the crow. So then what sort of crazy understanding is he going to unlock when he catches it? The more interesting thing in this dream is when Catlyn shows up. As the shade progresses to attack Brann, her skin becomes more and more white. This could easily be due to some sort of special effect snafu but Bran can see into the future. If the color of her skin is an indication it looks like Catlyn is going to meet Ned some time soon.
Much of Westeros is fading opulence and everyone still committing to these ways are fighting to be King of the Ashes. There is large social change happening in the Seven Kingdoms. Stannis has his fire witch, Melisandre, and her monotheistic faith, R'hllor. The Brotherhood Without Banners is an anarchist group by most standards and are also followers of R’hllor. Thoros is a red priest as well and has converted all of them to his Lord of Light. It’ll be interesting to see if this Brotherhood ends up becoming Stannis’ new army. In the Middle Ages, religion triumphed all sense of nationalism. Across the sea you have Daenerys Targaryen being largely progressive in some social areas. In his bid for an everlasting Lannister legacy has Tywin destroyed his family's chances at a future if these things take off?
If there is one great example of the fading glory of the Seven Kingdoms it is the Night’s Watch. What was once a honorable caste within society is now a shadow of itself. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont seems to have remembered the good days and has done his best to instil the virtues of the Watch in his recruits. A lot of good that did him, he gets a knife in the back. The Night’s Watch implode while staying at Craster’s. Burn Gorman (Dark Knight Rises) sets it off by calling Craster a bastard. Sam and Gilly flee into the woods. Leaving behind the carnage of brother fighting brother. Without the Night’s Watch all that social change above doesn't mean squat, unless Ice Zombies can’t climb walls which remains to be seen.
Last week I complained about how Daenerys was being handled, hot and cold as a character. I could have and should have explained that more. It wasn’t that she was going to trade a dragon, a double cross seemed immiment no matter what. Her actions along the Walk of Punishment are what has me perturbed. No such complaints exist this week.
"Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died." – Jorah Mormont
Daenerys isn’t noble or honorable this week. She also stays alive. A double cross was the only real play to make here She gave the master a dragon he gave her the whip. Than she orderes her new army to “Slay the masters, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child.” O yeah and she has her dragon set the master on fire. For an orphan who’s home city and family were butchered this is shocking. You would think the similarities wouldn’t be lost on her.
Emilia Clarke sells the crap out of this scene. Just commands every second once she starts speaking in Valaryian as the leader of the Unsullied. This is why I will put up with crap like “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?” Because it gets you shots of Clarke just standing with smoke everywhere looking like an utterly sure leader. Now with her army I suppose it’s off to Westeros for some “Fire and Blood” or perhaps she is going to hang out some more and pillage the towns, grow the army some more and free some slaves.
The Bits At The End
- This weeks Bronn sings "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?"
- I'm by no means a "shipper" but my buddy in TV Studies is right Brienne and Jamie need to go get married and be bad asses together
- Man, maybe Pod really is the ultimate stud of stud's
- Joffery's idea of a date, showing his would be bride where former lords died violently and thier remains. Yep he's a keeper.
- I can not WAIT for Tywin to lay the smackdown on Joffery.
- Lady Olenna dgaf about her house words or crest. It's whimpy and she know it. She'd have it be like some fierce beast and more AWESOME.
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