Game of Thrones. S04 E03 Breaker Of Chains
by Nikole Gunn
After the much-anticipated Purple Wedding saw the demise of the Caligula-esque King Joffrey, you’d be forgiven for thinking GoT would let us lay back, light up a cigarette and enjoy the moment.
Nope. No such luck. There is no ‘slo-mo’ replay of his death. But we do get a recap of events just after: Cersei blaming Tyrion, Tyrion being hauled off by the guards and Sansa being whisked away by Ser Dontos.
And after delivering her to Littlefinger, Dontos is promptly killed. Dead men tell no tales; or as Petyr puts it so eloquently: “Money buys a man’s silence for a time. A bolt in the heart buys it forever”.
So, Sansa sails off into the mist with Petyr, whose motivations don’t appear to be entirely altruistic. Hmmm. Another case of ‘this may not end well’. But was Littlefinger responsible for Joffrey’s death too? Maybe.
Cut back to Maergery lamenting the fact that she won’t be Queen, while her Grandmother tells her that her ‘next marriage’ will be easier. Is Dame Diana Riggs eye-ing off the new boy King?
This brings us to the grieving mother: Cersei keeping vigil over a dead Joffrey. And with the body barely cold, Grandfather Tywin ‘schools’ King Tommen on how to be a better king than his brother. And gives him ‘the sex talk’.
Enter Jaime, the grieving father/uncle, who refuses Cersei’s demands to kill Tyrion on the spot. He won’t do that, but he will ravish his sister next to the body of their dead son. Can it get any grosser?
Yes, it probably can.
While we contemplate that Game of Thrones reality, let’s spin the wheel and check in on another favourite character. And it lands on … Arya!
She’s still travelling with the Hound and proves that she’s more than just handy with a blade. She can think on her feet and convinces a passing farmer that the Hound is her father, who was ‘damaged’ fighting for the good guys against Walder Frey.
He takes them in, they eat his food and the next morning the Hound robs them of their silver, much to Arya’s disgust.
Now to the Wall, where Samwell and Gilly flirt a bit, before he decides that she’s not safe living with the men of the Night’s Watch and packs her off to Mole Town, where she’s definitely NOT safe.
Stannis, in the meantime, gets a message that Joffrey is dead. The leech-full-off-bastards-blood-thrown-onto-the-fire trick has worked. He’s not keen on Lord Davros’ plan to use “swords for hire”. Because black magic is so much more reliable, right Stannis?
Oh, then we get a brothel orgy scene involving Oberyn of Dorne, his lover, a couple of women and a young man. In the world of A Game of Thrones, this is known as ‘sexposition’. A sex scene to introduce important background information. Also, there is a boob, bum and penis quota that needs to be filled in this episode.
Tywin and Oberyn indulge in a little verbal fencing, before the King’s Hand offers Oberyn a seat on the small council. Oberyn will also sit in judgement on Tyrion, when he stands trial for murder.
That brings us to Tyrion in his cell. His squire Podrick gives him the lowdown on the trial and that Sansa has vanished. He’s also been offered a Knighthood if he lies and claims Tyrion is the killer. Tyrion tells him to get out of King’s Landing while he still can.
We then head back to the north, a Wilding raid and the men of the Night’s Watch. Jon recognises they’re in deep trouble: Mance Rayder and his Wilding horde are coming and there’s not enough of the good guys to stave off defeat.
You’re not alone if you feel as if the GoT team were ‘checking off the characters’ in this episode. They touched base with most of them, although there was a distinct lack of Hodor in all his Hodoring glory.
The death of Joffrey has changed the focus of Game of Thrones and it’s not for nothing that the episode is titled “Breaker of Chains” rather than “Who Killed Joffrey?”.
With the psychotic Joffers no longer around to keep us at King’ Landing (apart from Tyrion’s trial), it’s clear the focus will now fall on Daenerys. She’s the “Breaker of Chains”. She’s the one setting free the slaves of Astapor, Yunkai and Mereen.
And while she’s turning slaves into her army of supporters, Jon Snow will be fighting the good fight on The Wall.