TV Review: Game of Thrones Season 4 (Breaker of Chains)

Breaker of Chains by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Warning: Major Spoilers!

I haven’t mentioned this before, but my flatmates often watch these shows with me, (with GoT it’s my mate Jaz) and if they make any funny or insightful comments I’ll probably mention it in the blog. Now for this week’s episode.

In the aftermath of the purple wedding (and Sansa’s escape from King’s Landing, to be rescued by Littlefinger, who was clearly involved in the plan to kill Joffrey) a lot of important scenes happened. Tywin began to instruct Tommen (Joffrey’s younger brother) on what makes a good king, in a fantastic scene which showcases yet another great child actor, giving us hope Tommen won’t be too dull a replacement for Joffrey. Another good scene came as Tyrion warned his loyal squire Pod (Jaz ‘aww he’s so cute) to get out of the capital before Cersei tries to use him as collateral damage against Tyrion. One more scene deserves a mention – the controversial scene where Jaime rapes Cersei barely a meter away from Joffrey’s corpse. It’s shocking, surprising and somewhat out of character with the side to Jaime we’ve been seeing in recent episodes.

Elsewhere, things are getting serious in the North, with the wildlings massacring a village full of farmers to send a message to the nights watch (a particularly brutal scene – I think my flatmate is starting to hate Ygritte now!) who are powerless to stop them, because they barely have enough men to hold the wall if Mance and the main wildling army attack. The situation seems so bleak Sam moves a reluctant Gilly to Mole’s town to protect her (both from wildlings and his desperate brothers who might try and take advantage of her). Sam definitely has grown as a character more than most, but so has Jon Snow, who is definitely becoming more of a leader – warning that ‘Mance has all he needs to crush the Watch, he just doesn’t know it yet’ because of Jon’s lie that they have a 1000 men at castle black (when they actually are down to a 100…). These scenes are slowly but surely setting the stage for a massive confrontation between the wildlings and the watch (and Jon Snow and Ygritte!) later in the season.

Other storylines? Well the Hound stole some silver from a kindly farmer that had fed and sheltered him and Arya for the night, reminding us that despite his impressive swordplay and put-downs, he is not a nice guy. This action seemed to dent his relationship with the more moral Arya though (while she now doesn’t give a damn about killing bad guys, she doesn’t abuse people who are trying to help her) and might have pushed the hound a few places up her list. At Dragonstone meanwhile, Stannis reprimanded Davos because he is unable to take advantage of Joffrey’s death, leading Davos (thanks to some inspiration from Stannis’ daughter Shireen) to contact the iron bank of Braavos for a loan to hire soldiers.

The episode ends with Daenerys’ arrival at Meereen. After being confronted by the champion of Meereen spewing insults at them, Daenerys sends Daario (the only advisor she can afford to lose) to face him. Typically the cocky, arrogant Daario does the job, flinging a knife into the opposing champion’s horse and them killing him in one move. Daenerys’ smirk as Daario walked back to her spoke volumes, as my flatmate noted: ‘She is so wet right now’. This moment suggests the two of them will be getting a bit more ‘physical’ as the season progresses. Daenerys then proceeded to deliver a speech to the slaves of Meereen encouraging them to rise up against their masters and then catapulted barrels of broken slave collars over the wall as a statement of intent. It’s easily the best scene Daenerys has had since that ‘Dracarys’ moment in season 3.

Overall another excellent episode, abet one that was 95% talk, though the wildling’s village attack got my pulse racing for a while.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Next Time: Jaime has a present for Brienne and Margaery pays Tommen a late-night visit (no not like that!)

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