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Aurora Snow’s Game of Thrones: Season 4: Episode 3: “Breaker of Chains” Review

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“Breaker of Chains”

 **SPOILERS**

“How many Starks they gotta behead before you figure it out?”

A brutal pragmatist at heart The Hound is not a man to mince words. Life is cruel and unfair and in order to survive one must play by a different set of rules. The Hound may be many things, but sadistic he is not. Beneath his hardened war torn exterior is a man who cares, a man with his own moral code. He’s holding onto Arya for more than just a reward, he wants to ensure her safety as well. Maisie Williams is perfectly cast as Arya. Strength and courage radiate from the eyes of a child living an adult’s life. The Hound and Arya are a captivating pairing, one I could watch for hours.

Not many tears were shed over the King’s death. Thanks to his wicked ways Joffrey Lannister had more enemies than friends. He never missed an opportunity to torture those around him and the day of his wedding was no exception. Jack Gleeson’s nuanced performance as the diabolical brat king will be missed though Joffrey won’t be. With his fine features, and piercing eyes Gleeson had an adolescent machismo that radiated from the screen. As far as villains go, he was one of the best. He was a monster only a mother could love.

A man can only be denied for so long before he’ll take what he feels is rightfully his. And Jamie Lannister has been denied his woman for too long. As Cersei mourns for her son, it’s obvious her brother has other plans. Staring at their kid’s cold dead body, Jamie rips into his tearful sister, successfully managing to rape her with only one hand. Director Alex Graves claims the sex became consensual towards the end, but if that was the case I missed it. Still looked like rape to me though there was plenty of room for ambiguity. For all of the progress Jamie has made as a character, raping a woman (even if she is/was his lover) negates his likeability. In the book series this was not rape, but somehow that failed to translate onscreen. It was an emotionally complex scene for the Lannister lovers, and wildly inappropriate as is everything about their relationship.

Tyrion ends up shouldering the blame for a great many things of which he is rarely responsible for. It’s his lot in life, he’s cursed with being the smartest and yet shortest Lannister that no one takes very seriously until there is a problem they need a scapegoat for. Tyrion is holding up remarkably well in the dungeon, he’s maintained his morals and his wit. It’s obvious he had nothing to gain from Joffrey’s death, but try getting that through to Cersei. She’s a hateful woman in need of a target.

In a delightful twist, Lord Petyr Baelish resurfaces with knowledge of the King’s death he couldn’t have acquired unless he had a hand in it. What a perfect cover to steal his true prize, Sansa, away. Littlefinger has his eye on the endgame, whatever that is. He’s a man with plans and patience, which can be deadly for those in his way.  In The Game of Thrones book George R.R. Martin wrote “poison is the preferred weapon of women, cravens and eunuchs.” Littlefinger is neither a woman nor a eunuch, so….craven it is.

Being that Littlefinger was miles away from the Purple Wedding he must have had help. I suspect the woman who did us all a favor is Margaery’s spry old grandmother, Lady Olenna. Margaery’s too sweet to kill, but her grandmother strikes me as a calculated matriarch. No doubt the Tyrell’s wanted to save their blossoming flower from bedding the sadist. And since the Lannister’s still need the wealth of the Tyrell’s there is a strong chance Margaery will still be queen. Families must scheme to keep their power under rapidly changing circumstances.

Stannis knows he must move quickly before his claim to the throne is disregarded, the question is how. He doesn’t have much of an army, nor does he have the wealth of the Lannisters and Tyrells. He does have magic and the red witch but those things only go so far as Davos has pointed out. Presumptuously acting on his leader’s behalf, Davos obtains help drafting a letter to the Iron Bank. He may well be digging his own grave.

Faced with a challenger from the city of Mereen, the Mother of Dragons accepts Daario’s offer to fight on her behalf. And what a beautiful, though anticlimactic fight it was. Daario is quite the show off, and meets the challengers pomp and swagger with a calculated cold gleam in his eye. It was a fitting way to show the citizens of Mereen that Deanerys and her army can handle whatever comes their way. No offense to British actor Ed Skrein, but I prefer Michiel Huisman in the role. Maybe it’s because I love watching Huisman in Nashville, but he exudes a douchey dominance that Skrein lacked.

Yes, Samwell Tary, Castle Black is no place for a lady… but it’s a hundred times better than that flea infested whorehouse you’re leaving Gilly in! Sam worries so much about Gilly at Castle Black I’m beginning to suspect he doesn’t trust himself around her either. Or maybe he doesn’t think he can fight off the other crows. She’s a whole lot safer with Sam by her side since she can just as easily be raped or killed outside of Castle Black. But Gilly’s a trooper, she doesn’t complain much despite the obvious s**t hole she and her baby are being left in. This is one of Sam’s worst ideas yet.

Impending doom is around the corner. An epic battle is coming, as Mance Raider and the Wildlings converge on Castle Black. There aren’t enough men to fight them off, and yet fight they must. This will be a fight to the death. I cannot wait to see where Game of Thrones will take us next.

“Breaker of Chains” was a meaty GoT episode. We really delved into the heart of things, and yet with so much going on it always feel like the surface has barely been scratched.

Aurora Snow Says

Episode Rating:

[Rating:4/5]

 

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