[Review] - Game Of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 3, "Breaker of Chains"

Courtesy of HBO
Looking to deliver a eulogy/history lesson/birds-and-the-bees talk? Can't seem find an organic way to work all of those things into a single speech? Delivering said speech to an emotionally compromised youth whilst standing over the corpse of his brother? Think that might be an awkward time to besmirch the memory of said departed family member? If so, call Tywin Lannister, the golden tongue of the Seven Kingdoms. He doesn't understand the concept of "too soon." Or tact. Or mourning. Such things are a waste of valuable lesson learning time. Yes, Tywin Lannister is the man for you if you want your ceremony/event/time-of-grief stripped of all emotions and have your flaws explained in stark black-and-white.Yes, that's Tywin Lannister: he doesn't have time for your shit, he has things to do.

But at least he won't rape the dead boy's mother beside the still cooling body (for inquiries, please consult Jamie Lannister, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and kind of a dick).

Hit the jump for the brief review, which contains spoilers that get paid a fair wage for fair work.

Considering the events of the last episode, and that this one picks up literally seconds after the last, you'd think that this episode was be devoted to mourning. But no, not really. As Tyrion puts it pretty succinctly, the world is better without Joffery in it, and the highborn of Westeros move on from the news of Joffery's untimely demise pretty well. Only Cersei, rather understandably, spares a minute to his memory (again, in Tyrion's words, "say what you will about her, she loves her children"). Everyone else has stuff on their mind. Tyrion most especially, since he's the one trussed up in the dock, blamed for the King's death.

And it is with Tyrion that the mystery begins. It stands to reason that the only person in King's Landing capable of abstract thought would be the one to being to start Sherlocking his own case. He's spent a lifetime (or at least, the last three years) learning everyone's motivations and weak points, and quickly reduces a list of suspects. For all the good it does, locked up, with only a paltry defense available to him, and forced to cut loose the only two people in the city who are his genuine friends. Tyrion has never been the most popular man in the capital, but he is well and truly on his own now.

Elsewhere, Tywin set about maintaining his power centre, giving us the best two scenes of the night. First, he explained to Tommen exactly what kind of king he'll be, where he likes it or not. And in the second, he and Oberyn put aside their clever analogies and said straight up what they think of each other. Then invited the Prince of Dorne to sit as a judge of his son's trial. Charles dance has been one of, if not, the best thing this series has had going for it, and the writers clearly recognize that because they keep giving him more and better stuff to do.

It was a night of juxtapositions. The show faltered hard by undoing a season's worth of positive character development on Jamie. This season, he's been a general dick, but this episode he was pretty much a monster again. And it's a shame, because we need more characters to root for, and Brienne seemed to have softened him to the extent that he was at least a sympathetic character. I don't care what kind of evil Cersei is, rape isn't a way to make your character appealing. On the extreme other hand, you have Davos, who is easily the most likable character the show has going. his two scenes, with Stannis and the young princess, were wonderful and humourful and wry and great. And promise exciting develops in Stannis' story.So long as Stannis' plot is driven by the ingenuity of his semi-literate Hand, I'm all for expanding that branch of the narrative. Others needs pruning.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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