Game of Thrones: “Breaker of Chains” Review
Good day and welcome back to Hush Comics on this Easter Day as we go analyze this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Breaker of Chains.” I’m sorry to say, there were no Easter miracles taking place this evening – no resurrection of Ned Stark, no take-backsies from the Red Wedding or the Purple Wedding (oh darn…), but we are lucky enough to get a good follow-up episode.
Fresh off the insanity that was “The Lion and the Rose,” there are various reactions to the death of King Joffrey Bieberatheon. The realm engages in a city-wide sweep – a royal version of Clue, really. While Tyrion is taken into custody (this guy just cannot catch a break, yeesh), Dontos whisks Sansa away to safety. Even though I trusted Dontos’ intentions, I can’t help but feel I would not be trusting of him if I were in Sansa’s position. It is she that should be wearing the fool’s uniform, because this dumb girl does whatever she is told. Her inability for bravery has gotten her dire wolf and father killed; you can argue that her passiveness is the cause of Joffrey’s pomposity and bravado. So when Dontos says, “You’re stronger than you know,” all I can do is think about what utter horseshit that is. Perhaps she will bloom into the tough-as-nails Stark she really is, or maybe there wasn’t enough bravery for all of the Starks.
I was actually just talking to John about this yesterday, but I was wondering where in the hell Littlefinger was during all this chaos. And what do you know, there he was. I’ve hated him since Season 1, but just like Varys, I would never bet against a man with no morals and endless ambition. Varys’ enlightened opinion of Littlefinger’s scheme to steal “The Key of the North” and raise an army at Winterfell was spot on. It turns out that he orchestrated the whole thing, and that there were multiple players involved. Again, as much as I hate Littlefinger, I can’t help but respect his hustle. Mayor Carcetti would be proud of his ruthlessness: “Money buys a man’s silence for a time, but a bolt in the heart buys it forever.” Another food for thought, though, is that Varys only warned Olenna Tyrell of this plot. With everything unfolding as it did, I’m pretty convinced that Lady Tyrell had a major part to play in Joffrey’s assassination.
That is where it gets a bit confusing; outside of his own house, the House Tyrell had the most to lose in Joffrey’s death. Without boning Joffrey, the marriage was not consummated, meaning that Margaery’s position as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is in question. Expectedly, the Tyrells do not shed a tear for their fallen King. Margaery is much more concerned with her loss of title, and Olenna is immensely thankful that he is gone. Actually, nobody cares that Joffrey is dead. Like a naughty joke at church, everybody wants to laugh and cheer, but it would be in bad taste. He does have one griever, and her name is Cersei. But, Fuck Cersei, seriously. Like Tyrion had told her before (although I believe in a mocking way), “A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth.” Although this is sadly a quote that now implicates the imp, Cersei has brought the whole house down on her head and it’s an absolute joy to watch her suffer.
Adding injury to insult is Jamie Lannister’s specialty, and this is no different. After being written off by Cersei for “taking too long,” Jamie has been trying desperately to win her back – which, when you forget the fact that they’re siblings, isn’t really that gross, right? I had figured that his time with Brienne of Tarth had humbled the great Kingslayer. He’s lost his hand, his ego and his title, so I figured that he had finally gotten a new lease on life. And in the following five minutes, he goes just about as far left as possible. After getting the cold shoulder from Cersei one more time, he wails that the gods are cruel for making him love a a hateful woman and proceed to rape his own sister at the foot of the her son’s corpse. At least now, if a woman asks you when chivalry died, you can reference the 15:00 mark of this episode.
The internal struggle for humanity is the common theme in “Breaker of Chains.” Sam is going through his own version of Jon Snow’s contention his his vows. He has fallen in love with Gilly, and is much more interested in keeping her safe and taken care of than the impending doom that awaits Castle Black. The Hound, who had seemed to be forming a symbiotic relationship with Arya after they discovered a mutual interest in murdering people, takes a nasty turn when he violates his own code by stealing from a good, honest man, earning him the title of “The Worst Shit in the Seven Kingdoms” by Arya. Oh, and let’s not forget about those cut-throat Wildlings; there is no fury like a woman scorned, and Ygritte is going to have to make some hard de… and there goes an arrow through the throat from Ygritte. Nevermind, then. All the while, Stannis Baratheon and Davos are scheming and plotting to make a comeback after their Season 2 humiliation at King’s Landing. Davos has given up his beliefs, siding with Melisandre and Stannis. He’s now a tool of Stannis, who is pretty much gone crazy. Imagine if the Westboro Baptist Church had nominated somebody for President… of the world. The night is dark, and full of bullshit (except for that time that demon baby murdered Renley).
Not everybody is losing their humanity, though. Stannis’ daughter, Shireen, has been teaching Davos how to read. She’s the one bright spot in easily the lamest of the Seven Kingdoms. She is well-read and sees right through Melisandre’s hocus-pocus. Meanwhile, Tyrion’s squire, Podrick, is unwaveringly loyal to his Lord – which usually ends up getting people murdered. Pod even sneaks Tyrion some food into his cell at the risk of his own life. It’s pretty hilarious, but Tyrion thinks ahead, and knows that “they, the ominous they” are following Podrick and orders Podrick leave King’s Landing immediately (Note: as loyal as Podrick has been, he never does say whether or not he agreed to the mystery man’s offer. You’d like to think so, but you never really know in this crazy game of thrones). Tyrion has effectively pushed away the only two people in his corner (Bran really only follows money, as enjoyable as his company may be). Even in his darkest time, Tyrion thinks of others, and is trying to figure out the crime instead of realizing that his own life hangs in the balance.
Who won the game of thrones this episode?
Let’s not kid ourselves; the real winner of the game of thrones is Tywin Lannister in “Breaker of Chains.” After doing a good job of pretending to be outraged at his grandson’s death, he takes the next heir, Tommen, under his wing. Joffrey’s brother seems much less of a jerk, and Tywin seems pleasured to school young Tommen on the ways of Kingship. For being such a heartless bastard, he gives some solid, compassionate advice that makes me rethink everything about the rule of House Lannister. Considering Tywin was away while Joffrey pretty much caused a war for the throne from multiple sides that nearly cost the Lannisters the crown and lasted three seasons/books long, and maybe this is his way of making amends. He even goes so far as to try to appease Oberyn Martell and forge peace between the Houses – a difficult task seeing as Tywin gave the order to massacre Oberyn’s sister and her children. However, Tywin needs the Martell’s cooperation, because he has the vision to see that Daenerys Targaryen and her formidable forces in the East are in tow to Westeros – with three dragons! Has the Old Lion finally changed his ways, or is this just another trick to keep the Martells under his paw?
Oh, and yes,we finally get some Khaleesi time! It can definitely be argued that the Stormborn has just as good of an episode as Tywin. The trip to Westeros will come, but first she must build an army – an army of slaves. This episode, Meereen is the city being challenged by Daenerys. They meet her at the gate as they laugh in her face, insulting her ranks and the Mother of Dragons, herself. Khaleesi almost seems amused by the hurled insults, as her generals fight over the chance to represent her in battle. It was a little cheesy, and we knew who she was going to pick, but his delivery was well worth it (sorry, horse lovers).
Hush Comics gives “Breaker of Chains” a B for it’s solid progressing story and insightful look into Tywin’s mind. With every episode comes more anticipation of what is to come – which I hear is Winter. In the end, only Daneryas is able to “break the chains.” It seems Jamie, Sam, The Hound and Tyrion are still attached to theirs (Tyrion, literally). While each character struggles to grow or change, we as viewers get the pleasure of watching them struggle to do so. There is a lot to look forward to when we come back to next week’s episode, “Oathkeeper.”
All media credited to HBO