Well, as usually happens to me, I start watching a show and I start to pontificate on it—thinking about the show possibly too much…that has kind of happened here.  I caught up on the back episodes this week! I know all about what has happened by series so far, on top of what has happened in the books.  Ok, due to the sheer number of people and Tolstoy-long quality of the books, I have started re reading because all the stuff I missed the first time around!

Sansa gets out just in time, due to help from her knight turned fool, Dontos…or did he really help her?  We find out that everything about his alleged fealty to Sansa was at Littlefinger’s instruction. Littlefinger offered Dontos money for bringing Sansa to him, but gave him an arrow in the heart instead.  Littlefinger is definitely about as trustworthy as one of Supernatural’s demons—he’s telling you not to trust anyone…he includes himself in that “anyone”…

Meanwhile, Sansa leaving made Tyrion look more guilty of Joffrey’s murder.  Not only did Joffrey die right there after Tyrion gave him the wine, but Tyrion’s wife took off during the choking. Truthfully the situation couldn’t have had a good result for her.  if she stayed, she would surely be in a dungeon cell, accused of conspiracy to murder with Tyrion.  Leaving though did just make her look more guilty.  Tyrion was arrested. We learn that his trial is in two weeks, with his tribunal composed of his father who also was finding other people he would be able to manipulate as far as voting was concerned.  Tywin promises Prince Oberon that he will help Oberon get justice for Elia’s death…Cersei of course wants Tyrion’s immediate termination.  Jamie thought the trial was best.  He does not want to have to kill his own brother.  It will be interesting to see how the conversation with Jamie goes for Tyrion—if he is able to speak with his brother.  As far as Tyrion is concerned, the only thing that he s certain of is that Cersei would not have harmed Joffrey even to get rid of him (Tyrion).  She is the only one he is sure isn’t trying to do him in.  Everyone else, including his father, could possibly have set him up.

In the commentary after the last episode, the producers talk a little bit about how usually they have a big death at the end of a season, but they wanted to break it up a bit—throw the watchers off—and that Joffrey’s death has such an impact that the aftermath will take up much of the season.  We see that his death has had a big impact.  Not in that Joffrey was a loved king who has died, but in how it throws off Westeros even further. 

With Cersei, we see that although she is a horrible, vindictive, hateful woman, she has one redeeming quality in the love she bears for her children.  This seems like essentially her one redeeming quallity.  Ok,even that is pretty tainted.  Look at Joffrey.  He was a narcissistic monster—it would seem that he got away with entirely too much. Marcella and Tommen seem ok though.  But is it Cersei that made Joffrey who he is—or Tywin’s influence? How much of the way Joffrey was, the way Cersei and Jamie are, is because of having too much attention from Tywin? I ask because Tywin essentially ignored Tyrion, and Tyrion doesn’t seem to fit the same Lannister horror mode.  In this episode, we see Tywin give some advise to Tommen—essentially telling him to heed his advisors’ (and assuredly especially the Hand’s) advice.  Some of the information about past kings was important.  Tywin is a study that way.  He is a smart, inciteful man—assuredly where Tyrion got his intelligence—but he is also a cold, vindictive man who has a personal motive for everything he does.  If Tommen spent too much time with Tywin, would he wind up being like Joffrey?  It seems to come down to the nature vs. nurture problem…But continuing with that, since Tommen has not thus far been raised to rule, but raised to follow, could he potentially be more like Ned Stark, who wasn’t supposed to be the Lord of Winterfell, but became Lord when Brandon was killed.

Speaking of roles and titles, Margaery wondered if she would actually be considered Queen of Westeros now with Joffrey dead. Her wedding to Joffrey happened, but Westeros isn’t really into female rule, and they never actually consummated the marriage. Having two husbands die does start to make Margaery look like a bit of a black widow—or maybe just cursed as she remarks.  Olenna is definitely right though—Margaery is far better off with Joffrey gone.

Joffrey’s death has only strengthened Stannis’s resolve that Melisandre’s sorcery can win him the Iron Throne.  He is pressuring Davos to find money and find troops.  Davos, who is being taught to read by Stannis’s daughter, knows about the importance of what is coming from the North, and is working on a plan to get them sellswords and money over the narrow sea to continue Stannis’s claim.

The Hound still has planned to get Arya to kin that could pay for her return.  Arya’s Aunt Lysa is still alive at the Eyrie. Arya’s quick thinking got them shelter for the night, where we learn more about how things had been since the Red Wedding, as far as Guest Right was concerned, as well as finding out about the area pillaging.  The Hound wound up robbing their hosts, although he claimed to not be a thief before.  In this “brave new world” it seemed pretty clear to Clegane that the man and his daughter would not live through the winter.  As much as Arya has changed, even now being a murderer, she has a strong sense of code and honor as is befitting a Stark.  Clegane asked her how many Starks had to lose their heads before she would realize that quality will not help her.

Sam was worried about having Gilly at Castle Black.  He was picking up a lot of slack tom his brothers about their relationship, and Sam was concerned that one woman alone with 100 men with an oath of celibacy was asking for problems. Gilly was not happy with the arrangement. Sam is a good guy, but Gilly didn’t really seem any better at the new place.  She would just be out of his sight, so he wouldn’t have to think about how he, a self proclaimed coward, would protect her.

Danaerys works to free more slaves!  I definitely have mixed feelings about Danaerys.  On the one hand, I think it is great that she is liberating people on the other side of the narrow sea.  What I find disconcerting is that these people seem to be leaving one yolk for another.  Oddly enough, it seems almost like her followers are becoming as fanatical as Stanniss followers are.  On some levels she has pushed this as well—Danaerys the Unburnt, the Mother of Dragons.  She seems to be looking not only to rule, but to be revered, worshipped. In that sense, I see a little bit of the Targaryan crazy in Dani and worry about what kind of a ruler she would be if she did make it across the sea.

Another interesting character to note this episode is Jamie Lannister. I did read where some felt that the show went too far with the scene where Jamie rapes Cersei in front of Joffrey’s dead body.  It seemed pretty clear here that Jamie raped his sister.  I didn’t feel that this was going too far in as much as the story is concerned, because I felt it said a lot about the characters.  Cersei is destroyed by Joffrey’s death. Having Jamie’s action be nonconsensual stays in that theme that she would be horrified defiling the place where Joffrey is supposed to be at rest, the final viewing before he is gone forever.  Cersei being taken aback by this—not wanting sex in that way there conforms to our empathy for Cersei’s one redeeming quality.

The scene I think is also to remind us about Jamie’s character.  Jamie is the Kingslayer.  He threw Bran out of a window. He was horrible to Brienne when they first met. Over time, we have heard the story of why he killed Aegon.  We wanted to believe that the reason that he threw Bran out the window was because of Cersei.  And Brienne, well, maybe we felt that he learned his lesson when he got brutally made fun of by Joffrey for his inability to fully function as a night after losing his hand.  Maybe that losing his hand took him down a peg or two and he learned some respect for cripples and people who weren’t as “blessed” as the Lannisters.  As Theon got emasculated literally, Jamie got emasculated figuratively. Did losing his hand make him a better person?  Has Jamie been redeemed?  I can’t say yes since I don’t think Jamie ever felt he was in the wrong doing anything he did. I can’t say he has learned any lessons, or decided to make himself a better person. I think that this scene is a reminder of who he is.  We may have softened a bit about Jamie.  We want to see him as having redeeming qualities—maybe he can be a better person…but it won’t happen right away.  If it is possible, I would think it would need to be away from his sister—away from his father too…

“Breaker of Chains” was the title of this episode.  Literally, the breaker of chains seems to be Danaerys, who is breaking chains of slaves…but breaking the shackles that hold us is a major theme of the entire episode.  Whether we are talking about Westeros being freed from the tyrannical rule of Joffrey, Gilly being freed of Castor and being freed from the potential harm of being among the Knight’s Watch, the world is changing.  This isn’t all positive.  The chains of custom and morals are being broken as well.  Guest Right doesn’t appear to mean anything since the Red Wedding and Lords are not keeping their lands safe for the people living on the lands providing fealty to them.  In Westeros it seems that winter truly is coming.

Let me know what you thought of the episode!  Screencap from grandecaps.tumblr.com

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