When I wrote my review for “Breaker of Chains” I was afraid that I had been too harsh on Danaerys.  After this week’s episode, I feel I wasn’t harsh enough on Danaerys and was too harsh on Jamie!

Cersei has one redeeming quality in her endless love for her children.  This love does not extend to her brother, Tyrion, who she seems to have never forgiven for “killing” their mother. Jamie’s most redeeming quality really seems to be his love for his brother.  Even though he told Cersei he would not kill their brother, he would not free him from jail.   He also had not yet visited his brother in the dungeon.  Although Jamie has very strong feelings for his brother, and does not believe his brother would kill Joffrey, he cannot bring himself to go against the family and help his brother escape. He does try to break away from the Lannister stronghold in this episode.  Cersei is rejecting him, his father now does not hold him with the same regard he had before Jamie lost his hand.  We see evidence of Jamie making up his mind for himself, in deciding to go against his sister’s belief of his brother’s guilt, and Jamie does trust his brother’s assertions that Sansa is no killer.

I think that Jamie giving his sword to Brienne, along with the other gifts he gives Brienne shows a maturity of character and a willingness to make up his own mind.  Jamie has his whole life obeyed, except that brief moment when he killed the mad king.  That decision, though, has colored the way people have looked at him the entire times since.  He has been nicknamed the Kingslayer…Many don’t see his word as being worth much.  In “Oathkeeper” we see Jamie really coming into himself.  To an extent, Brienne’s strong sense of honor has rubbed off on him.  He will keep the oath he made to Catelyn. Despite the fact that she is no longer alive.  Despite the fact that his sister does not hold such an oath as worthy of even mentioning.  Jamie has found a respect for his word.

Brienne is going to go and try to find Sansa to keep their oath to Catelyn.  Jamie gives her the sword given to him by Tywin that was forged from Ned Stark’s Ice.  The poetry of Brienne using the steel that was Stark’s to protect his daughter is wonderful.  Jamie also gives her new armor, and a squire.  She is now well prepared to be a knight.  In the meantime, she will get Podrick out of King’s Landing, before Cersei can get her hands on Tyrion’s squire.  It is really great to see how Jamie and Brienne’s relationship has matured.  He went from making fun of her unattractiveness to understanding her value and virtue as a friend.

But really, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what transpired in this episode.  Jamie is also still taking lessons from Bronn to learn to fight with his left hand.  Bronn takes a little time in this episode to teach Jamie a little something about loyalty, too.  He relays the story of the Eyrie and how he came to be Tyrion’s champion only after Lysa made Tyrion fight that day.  Tyrion had asked for Jamie to be his champion—knowing his brother would come to his aid.  Bronn also taught Jamie the harsh lesson about how fighting fair doesn’t always get the job done…especially when you have as severe a handicap as Jamie has…

Danaerys uses a tactic of her own in getting Grey Worm to arm the slaves in in order to take over yet another city…which happens fairly easily.  We see may sides to Danaerys here.  It appears Missandei is teaching Grey Worm—this may be at Danaerys’s command…but Danaerys also shows no mercy to the slavers.  She tells Selmy that she will meet injustice with justice…But does this show her to be a good leader, or does it show her to be a ruthless leader, potentially as dangerous and disturbed as her father?  We know her brother was a horrible person who would not have been a good king.  We have also seen how ruthless Danaerys can be on earlier occasions, including allowing her brother to be murdered in a very horrific way.  We may agree with whom she is showing no mercy at the present time, but who truly decides who is in the right?  Who has the authority to pass judgment?  She has the strength to pass judgement, but she isn’t the one actually swinging the sword as Ned Stark felt a true leader needed to do. She also was not going by rules that were established and were being upheld by Ned either.  Instead, Danaerys is deciding herself what is right and wrong.  

In addition, as much as she speaks of freeing these people, I fear that she is essentially making slaves are just slaves of a different yoke. She doesn’t seem to be the leader of these people—but more their god.  They appear to worship her.  Are these people truly free?  There is the argument that they do not yet know how to be free—they do not know how to make decisions for themselves or even how to dream of a future of their own.  Instead, they have  married themselves to Danaerys, taking on her missions, doing what she wants them to do.  Is that Missandei is teaching Grey Worm show that Danaerys is attempting to help her followers rise above their past bonds?  Maybe, but I greatly fear how Danaerys would try to take the Iron Throne if she does get the chance…I imagine she would envision being just as ruthless to all who supported the “Usurper” and his family.

In other revelatory news, we find out who did Joffrey in…Petyr admits to Sansa that he planned out the murder .  The poison was actually in the necklace worn by Sansa.  Petyr really loves to show his knowledge about everything as a way of showing how much power he has over any situation.  Hopefully at some point this will lead to his undoing.  Sansa is totally under his power right now and we do not know exactly what he intends for her.  Here she finds out about how she is an unwilling participant in the murder of Joffrey.  Petyr never tells anyone the whole truth, so there is definitely more going on there.  One of the things is that Petyr doesn’t mention who else was involved.  Even though Sansa doesn’t find out about it, we do as Olenna speaks to Margaery about it…

We find out that even though Sansa was an unwilling participant, Olenna was a full fledged conspirator in the act.  She was unwilling to leave Margaery with Joffrey…Olenna also speaks to Margaery about how she can make sure that she is not shoved out of the match with Tommen.  As the soon to be crowned king, Tommen will need to marry…Margaery will need to get her hooks into Tommen before Cersei is able to poison Tommen and the family against her.

Jon Snow is having more trouble than he even knows with Thorne, who has had it in for him since he originally got to the Wall.  Now, Thorne has decided to go along with Jon’s plan to take out the mutineers at Castor’s Keep.  Thorne hopes that the mutineers will get rid of Jon for him…otherwise, the men love Jon enough that Jon may be his boss soon.  To me this shows more about Jon.  Initially, being at the Knight’s Watch, he had to learn a little about humility—about the differences of class—how to work as a team.  Once he learned though, he was able to grow a lot.  Also, his time amongst the Wildlings has shown him perspective…Jon is someone I see as growing to be a good leader.  Jon also has a new friend at the Wall—a new recruit, Locke, who really seems to have Jon’s back…

Adding to the scariness is that the mutineers have captured Bran!  Bran refused to leave, although the rest wanted to, because he knew Summer was hurt and he knew they had Ghost.  Jon is on his way and the mutineers have Bran and Ghost!

Speaking of Castor, we found out what Castor did to his sons—apparently he offered them up to the White Walkers.  Did Castor know what the White Walkers did to his male infants?  Who knows, but what we now know about it is pretty alarming.

I loved that we see how the White Walkers bring the cold with them.  Winter isn’t just something that comes and the White Walkers come when the weather gets cold, it seems that winter actually comes with the White Walkers—or certain elements of it do, anyway.  We know it has been a very long time since there has been a harsh winter.  So it seems that the weather isn’t only elemental—the White Walkers bring some of it with them…The amount of time the White Walkers have been away from anywhere South of the Wall has made them seem to exist only in fairy tale and myth in Westeros.  Back when there were dragons, they were able to keep the White Walkers away.  Now, with hundreds of years since dragons have been in Westeros, the White Walkers are working their way South once more. Clearly Danaerys’s dragons are needed to save Westeros…I’m not sure how good she personally would be for Westeros, though…

An interesting side note is that Danaerys is very big on ruling herself.  Not only was this nothing that anyone in Westeros was ever concerned about, but even her brother just expected it for himself.  In Westeros, Robert worried about if Danaerys had a son…No one has ever considered even remotely the possibility that Cersei could be Queen of Westeros in her own right.  She was just seen as the Queen Regent for a short time.  If her husband had his way, Cersei wouldn’t have even gotten that.  Robert wanted Ned to advise Joffrey upon his death. I do think that Westeros needs to think more of their women, but I am just not so sure that Danaerys is the right person for that.  She does seem to have a bit of the Targaryen crazy gene coming out…might have to do with all the Targaryen inbreeding…

Very excited about this season and how it is playing out!  Let me know what you thought of the episode!

Screencap from grandecaps.tumblr.com

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