The Ninjabot

We’re All Liars Here – Game of Thrones, “Breaker of Chains” Review

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 10:31 am by Amanda Andonian

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Although it probably goes without saying, there are show spoilers (but not book spoilers) ahead in the following review. For those who have read A Song of Ice and Fire and know what’s coming next, please don’t jump the gun in the comments or pick apart this review based on knowledge of the books. I’ve purposely written this review for those who have not read the books.

This week on Game of Thrones, we find out more about the machinations behind the Iron Throne, get an update on Stannis Baratheon (though who cares about that guy anymore?), and see Castle Black preparing for the wilding incursion. Because it tries to cover so much ground, this week’s episode gets particularly disjointed and exposition-filled as it sets the scene for Tyrion’s trial, the attack on Castle Black, and Danerys’ siege of Meereen.

Spoilers From This Point On!

The mystery of who killed Jofferey doesn’t stay a mystery for long: Petyr Baelish arranged Jofferey’s poisoning through Dontos, who planted it in the necklace he gave Sansa. We still don’t know who actually put the poison in Jofferey’s cup, but since Sansa has conveniently disappeared, it looks like Tyrion’s going to take the fall. As he says, though, “I would like to think if I were arranging a royal assassination, I’d plan it in such a way that I wouldn’t be standing there gawking like a fool when the king died.” Of course, that’s of no import to Cersei or Tywin, both of whom are more than willing to pin it on Tyrion. While it’s clear that Cersei fervently believes Tyrion murdered her son, I sincerely doubt that Tywin believes it as well, which his meeting with Oberyn Martell in the whore house would indicate. Rather, Tywin wants to get at least one of his recalcitrant children out of the way, and he’s made no bones about the fact that he hates Tyrion and doesn’t consider him a worthy son.

Speaking of Lannister sons, Jaime goes completely off the reservation this week. We’ve come to see him as something of a reluctant hero, trying to do the best that he can, which has made us forget that he’s still the kind of man who would throw a ten year old boy out of a tower window to die. Jaime raping his sister in the sept, right in front of the barely cold body of their son, reminds us that he’s still as much of a villain as anyone else in King’s Landing. Not that I care so much about respecting the memory of a little shit like Jofferey, but the situation between Jaime and Cersei is set up to make her rape seem justifiable. This man who claims to love her ignores her fighting and protests, and the scene leaves no doubt that she absolutely does not want him. As horrible and hateful as Cersei is, I still found her rape extremely disturbing.

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On the road again (still). The Hound is an ass, and Arya shows some pluck. She really doesn’t need this guy, amirite?

With word of Jofferey’s death getting out, Stannis Baratheon is more impatient than ever to press his advantage and claim to the throne of Westeros. He’s not wrong in assuming that everyone’s going to forget about his claim unless he does something about it; after all, we’d forget about him completely if the show didn’t keep reminding us that he’s still under Melisandre’s thrall. Unfortunately, Stannis doesn’t have the men he needs, as we see from his conversation with Davos. Since Stannis refuses to hire mercenaries, it looks like Davos is going to reach out to the Iron Bank of Braavos, presumably to beg for a loan in Stannis’ name, though I don’t see why the Iron Bank would agree to that since very few support his claim or believe he can take the throne.

More importantly, though, is the impending invasion of the wildlings. The small group that came over the wall with Jon are quickly making their way back north, and the Thanes are more than eager to eat their way through helpless villagers. With barely 100 men at Castle Black, however, the Night’s Watch doesn’t really stand a chance, especially when they get word that the traitors who took Caster’s Keep beyond the wall could expose their weaknesses to Mance Rayder’s army. Meanwhile, Sam is being a dummy with misplaced concern over whether Gilly is actually safe around the men of the Night’s Watch. Personally, I think she’d be safer there than in Mole Town, which is literally a crappy hole in the ground.

Finally, Daenerys arrives at the gates of Meereen. They try to show their disdain for her by sending a guy to pee in her presence, but the Mother of Dragons will have none of it. In an impressive display of bravado and daring, Daario Neharis takes the mounted soldier out by throwing a dagger in the horse’s eye, then unceremoniously slicing the guy’s head off. Exciting stuff! I was less impressed, however, with the last few moments of the episode, which showed Daenerys using trebuchets to fling the collars of dead slaves over the walls. Yeah, yeah, it’s a symbolic gesture meant to rally the slaves against their masters, but it’s a bit anti-climatic compared to dragon fire. Just saying!

While things did get a little bogged down by the necessary updates on Castle Black, Stannis, and Daenerys, the brief moments with Tyrion and Arya made the episode mostly worth watching. Plus, there was nudity! What did you think of Game of Thrones last night? What’s Petyr Baelish up to? Will Tyrion manage to clear his name? Leave your comments below!

“Breaker of Chains” – B-

Game of Thrones: Season 4 Episode 3, “Breaker of Chains” aired April 20th, 2014 on HBO.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

Please Note – Due the nature of this show being inconsistent with the books’ timeline 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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