Happy Easter everyone and welcome to another ‘Game of Thrones‘ recap. For those who don’t remember (and really who could forget?), last week’s episode “The Lion and the Rose,” saw the demise of Joffrey Baratheon, the infamous ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and everyone’s favorite ‘Game of Thrones’ villain. While his quick and gruesome death was celebrated by the fandom, the land of Westeros mourned his loss and descended into a state of chaos. Though quiet compared to its bombastic predecessor, the show’s third episode “Breaker of Chains,” was no less intense.
The episode begins where “The Lion and the Rose,” left off. A hysterical Cersei holds Joffrey in her arms and demands that Tyrion be arrested for the murder of the king. She also wants Sansa’s head, but the Stark girl is nowhere in sight. While Joffrey was choking, Ser Dontos pulled Sansa aside and warned her that she needed to leave.
Despite Lord Tywin ordering the city’s gates to be closed, Sansa and Dontos manage to slip away and escape via a rowboat. Sansa seems relieved to put King’s Landing behind her, but that moment of joy is shattered when they stop at a large ship anchored in the harbor. Lord Baelish, also known as Littlefinger, awaits Sansa on the ship. After killing Dontos, Littlefinger reveals that he was the one who orchestrated Sansa’s escape. He purchased the necklace she wore to the wedding and told Dontos what to do. Littlefinger insists that Sansa will be safe with him.
Meanwhile, Margaery Tyrell (or is it Lannister?) frets over being a two-time widow. Her wise adviser and grandmother, Lady Olenna, insists that Margaery is in a better position now then she was when she married Joffrey. Although she did her best to tame Joffrey’s sadistic urges, marrying his younger brother Tommen, who is the new King, will make it much easier for Margaery to gain control of King’s Landing.
The Tyrell’s aren’t the only people on King’s Landing who see Joffrey’s death as a blessing. Lord Tywin proceeds to lecture Prince Tommen about the attributes of great king’s over his grandson’s dead body. Cersei is a silent witness to the scene, mourning the death of one son and watching the other slip away. Though this scene was not in the book, I really enjoyed it. We haven’t seen much of Tommen thus far in the series and though he only had a few lines in the episode, it is clear that he is no Joffrey. Unlike his older brother, Tommen understands that to be a great king, one must possess wisdom. Tywin seems pleased by Tommen and proceeds to further lecture him about his kingly duties.
Jamie joins Cersei’s vigil beside Joffrey’s body. The Queen Regent begs Jamie to kill Tyrion. She is convinced that he killed Joffrey due to comments he made earlier in the series. While it is clear that Jamie wants to comfort his sister/lover, Jamie does not believe Tyrion was behind Joffrey’s death.
The scene takes a rather disturbing turn as the Lannister twins begin making out. While their incestuous relationship is nothing new, the presence of Joffrey’s dead body did little to extinguish their passion. The make out session quickly turns hostile after Cersei pulls away from Jamie due to his fake hand. He then gets angry and proceeds to rape Cersei amid her protests. Everything about this scene is wrong, but then again, so is the relationship between Cersei and Jamie. By having Jamie attack his sister in a holy building beside their dead son, the writers are able to illustrate just how twisted the Lannisters are.
Far away from the drama of King’s Landing, Arya and the Hound continue their never ending quest for food and shelter. In the season’s premiere episode, “Two Swords,” it was revealed that the Hound was taking Arya to her Aunt Lysa in the Eyrie. They take a break from their journey to rest when they come across a farmer and his daughter. The kind man offers the travelers a place to stay. They indulge in the farmer’s hospitality for one night, but in the morning, the Hound robs the man of his silver. Arya is disgusted by his actions and proceeds to yell at the Hound. The former member of the King’s Guard responds thusly: “I just understand the way things are…how many Starks do they got to behead before you figure it out?” The Hound’s words are harsh but true. The loyalty and honesty the Starks hold so dear is quickly disappearing from the Seven Kingdoms. In order to survive, one must learn how to play the game.
Last season, Sam rescued Gilly, a wildling girl who was married to Craster. The two of them ran away after Craster was murdered and stumbled across a White Walker whom Sam killed with a dragon glass blade. Now Gilly and her newborn baby are living at Castle Black with Sam and hundreds of other men. Gilly isn’t bothered by the arrangement. In fact, living in close proximity to Sam puts her in a good mood. Sam, ever the gentleman, is worried about Gilly’s virtue. He doesn’t trust his brothers on the Wall and decides to move Gilly to Molestown where he finds her work in the kitchens of a whorehouse. Gilly is not pleased, but Sam assures her it is for the best.
Despite proclaiming his intention of joining the Night Watch at the Wall last season, Stannis and his men are still at Dragonstone. Melisandre burnt non-believers at the stake last episode and though the priestess did not make an appearance last night, her presence was felt. Stannis breaks the news to Davos that Joffrey Baratheon is dead. He needs to strike now in order to cement his claim. Davos has rallied some houses to support Stannis, but the would-be king is unhappy. He needs more soldiers.
Unable to help Stannis, Davos meets up with the king’s daughter Shireen for a reading lesson. She gives him a book about Braavos which inspires Davos to ask the city—particularly the Iron Bank which King’s Landing owns money to—for men that can help Stannis’ cause.
Poor Prince Oberyn. Every time he and his paramour Ellaria Sand visit a brothel in King’s Landing, they are interrupted by a Lannister. Tywin calls upon the Prince of Dorne and asks him for a favor. He knows that Daenerys is heading for Westeros with her three dragons and it was Dorne who previously defeated the Targaryan’s and their fiery pets. The Seven Kingdoms will not survive without Dorne’s help. Oberyn is wary of Tywin. He still wants revenge for the death of his sister and her children. Recognizing that Oberyn has the potential to be a dangerous enemy, Tywin promises to arrange a meeting between the prince and the Mountain if Oberyn agrees to sit on the jury at Tyrion’s trial. He will also have a seat on the small council. Oberyn is left speechless and ultimately accepts the offer.
For book fans, this turn of events is a surprising development. I will not give anything away, but it will be interesting to see how this story line plays out and impacts the future of the show.
Tyrion awaits trial all alone in the dungeons of King’s Landing. He is visited by his squire Poderick Payne, who informs him that Tyrion is allowed to call witnesses. Tyrion initially wants his wife Sansa to testify for him, but Poderick explains that Sansa has disappeared from King’s Landing. This puts a wrench in Tyrion’s plans. If Sansa fled, then someone is definitely trying to set him up. The only thing Tyrion knows for sure is that Cersei did not kill Joffrey.
The conversation between the two men ends with Poderick telling Tyrion that he was offered a lordship if he testified against Tyrion. Fearing for the life of his squire, Tyrion urges Poderick to leave King’s Landing. Poderick doesn’t want to abandon Tyrion, but the Master of Coin insists it’s for his own good. It is unclear whether Poderick will actually leave, but his concern for his master is touching. Tyrion hasn’t had an easy season thus far: Sansa won’t speak to him, he sent Shae away, he was accused of a murder he did not commit, and now the life of his squire is threatened. So it’s refreshing to see someone treat him as an actual human being.
Somewhere South of the Wall
Hell hath no fear like Ygritte scorned! Still angry over Jon Snow’s betrayal, Ygritte is out for blood, helping her wildling tribe slaughter an innocent town. Styr, one of the Thenns we met in the season’s premiere episode, captures a boy from the village and tells him to warn Castle Black that they are coming.
The Night Watch has hundreds of skilled fighters at their command, but they come to the realization that they are no match for Mance Rayder and the wildlings. Though they initially agree to stay and defend the Wall, news from Craster’s camp, headquarters for former Night Watch members, forces their hand. Jon is afraid that Mance will team up with the mutineers and march with them against the Watch. He proposes that they need to venture up North and deal with the men at Craster’s camp before Mance can get there.
After countless episodes of walking and talking, Daenerys and her army of Unsullied finally arrive at Mereen where they receive a cold welcome. The slavers of Mereen think Dany is a joke and send out a warrior to dispose of her and her army. Though all of Dany’s advisers want a shot at killing the warrior, the Queen ultimately selects Daario. He is not a valuable part of her council like the others and is easily disposable. Daario knows this and has no problem proving to Dany and Mereen that he is in fact quite handy to have around. He stands there, calm and collected as the Mereen warrior plows towards him on horseback. Using nothing but a dagger, Daario defeats the challenger in seconds. Dany address the citizens of Mereen, assuring them that she is not an enemy. It is their masters who they should be wary of. She wins their favor by pelting the city with barrels of collars. They were removed from the crucified slaves Dany encountered on the way to Mereen. One slave picks it up and eyes his owner.
That’s all folks! What did you think? Was this episode a worthy follow up to the Purple Wedding? What do you think is going to happen next? Sound off in the comments.