The Ninjabot

Game of Thrones: “And Now His Watch Is Ended” Review

Posted on April 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm by Jeff Mueller

Game_of_Thrones_Title-DVD

This week’s episode, in my opinion, was a welcome return to what made this show a hit in the first place; amazing character acting and a metric crapton of political intrigue…

And dragons.

So much transpired in this episode it is hard to narrow down what to discuss. First let’s talk for a second about the ever growing list of characters; tonight we had the re-introduction of another major player (Dondarrion!!!), exposition setting up a few more Tyrells and the revelation that Theon’s supposed guardian angel is a complete and utter psychopath. We also, sadly, bid adieu to one of the cast (we will get to that in a bit) but in typical A Song of Fire and Ice fashion the cast of characters grows more quickly than George R.R. Martin kills them off. So if you are struggling to follow along, I really wish there was something I could say to make it better, but there isn’t. You are just going to have to start taking notes or something to try and keep up.

So what were the highlights of this episode?

We started right back into the Jaime Lannister’s living nightmare. From the moment you see him, atop a horse with his own hand adorning a rope around his neck, you can tell he is a broken man. It is obvious this is just the beginning of a long road to hell for this character. The scenes with Jaime just illustrate how masterful the writers of this show truly are. I guarantee that if you took someone who has only seen season 1 and told them what happens to him, they would tell you he deserves it and how awesome it would be to see that sort of abuse heaped on him. Now though, it take effort to remember the man who carelessly pushed Brann from the window ledge. To cement this we are now clued in, by Brienne (who seems to now feel a sense of debt towards him), that he lied about why the Sapphire Isle was so named to save her.

In keeping with the them of characters turning a new leaf we also spend a little more time with Theon. Now at no point am I going to say I have forgotten what a reprehensible little snot he is, but in a world where everyone sticks to their convictions, with an unwavering belief that they are in the right, it is refreshing to see someone who obviously realizes he has made grievous mistakes in his life. It is almost sad how badly he wanted to be a Stark and wanted his father’s approval, only to fail at both. Making it all the more sadder is that the moment he realizes that he has made horrible mistakes, and that he wishes he could repent and undo his wrongs, it becomes clear that he truly has no path to redemption and that he will continue to be horribly punished.

What remains in this episode is some of the best political maneuvering we have seen since season 1.

We watch both Margaery and Olenna Tyrell continue to play King’s Landing’s weakest links like fiddles. I mean seriously, Margaery toys with Joffrey like a cat plays with a mouse and then turns around and makes Sansa dance like a puppet on a string. Out of all the characters it is she who frightens me the most. When the other lords and ladies are playing their games you can see the glint in their eyes or the smirk on their lips; Margaery’s machinations occur behind a frightfully blank facade. On the other side of the coin we have Olenna, the Queen of Thorns, who seemingly could care less if people knew what she was scheming. She lays it out on the table in a lovably cantankerous way¬† which will surely cement her as another fan favorite. On a side note, it was nice to get a glimpse inside the Great Sept of Baelor as she and Cersei conversed about the dangers awaiting their children.

Speaking of Cersei, sensing a disturbance in the force she finally makes her play; not only for her father’s trust, but to try and eliminate the Tyrells from the equation. Unfortunately Lord Tywin, icy cold as always, rebukes her with a sick Westeros burn.

Game of Thrones - And Now His Watch Is Ended

“I don’t mistrust you because you are a woman, I mistrust you because you’re not as smart as you think you are.”

Across the seas we also get to see Daenerys grow in confidence and swagger as Cersei’s wanes. Even though you had to have seen this coming, it was still powerful watching the turn of events unfurl. The cast of this show is unparalleled on TV today (or ever, if you want to be honest about it) but every so often certain actors have moments that catapult them to the top of the food chain, and tonight was one of those times. You believe Emilia Clarke when she speaks. Her every action, her measured words, the way your blood boils along with hers when she speaks out with force and will… she owns that role, and tonight it truly showed. When she started dropping Old Valaryian you knew things were about to get real up in Astapor, and real they certainly got. “Dracarys” bitches.

I have to say my favorite part about this episode though was the focus on Varys. A major player in the first season, he was beginning to feel a little under utilized. So I was very happy to see him onscreen as much as we did; reminding everyone why his is so feared in his own way. From finding out that Ros has been spying on Baelish for him to the way he moved to block the Littlefinger’s plans by getting the Tyrells involved, it all felt like watching a master chess player casually moving his pieces on the board in an almost effortless path to checkmate. His motives have always been shrouded in mystery, along with his history, so it was also nice to get a glimpse into where he came from and how he accumulated the influence that he has. Granted, there is always a chance that it was pure fabrication but I am willing to believe that the story he dropped on Tyrion was true. Probably because he [punctuated it with that creepy as hell reveal. It isn’t often you get to see Tyrion disturbed like that. I, for one, would like to see more of the Spider’s machinations!

Influence is usually just a matter of patience” – Lord Varys

Finally, before we move on to discussing this episode I think we should take a moment and bow our heads in silence for the Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. A bad ass until the very end, he did his best to keep the chaos together. Whoever takes up the mantle, be warned; this is what happens when you man an army of criminal conscripts.

Make sure to follow @themightyjerd on Twitter for more Game of Thrones musings!

Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 4 “And Now His Watch Is Ended” aired April 21, 2013 on HBO.

Please Note – Due the nature of this TV show being quite far behind the books in terms of plot, we want to remind everyone that there is a zero tolerance policy regarding spoilers in the comments. Keep discussions relevant to the show only!

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