Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4 Review and Recap
And Now His Watch is Ended
GOT hit another high this week with “And Now His Watch is Ended,” directed by Alex Graves. Although the episode doesn’t cover many subplots that are happening this season, the subplots to which it does reveal are flawlessly painted on a perfect canvas. Graves brings a very intimate, real and shaky quality — putting the viewer in the middle of the scene. Left out this week are Jon Snow and Mance Raider (my only issue I’ve taken with this episode), Robb Stark, Littlefinger and Stannis Baratheon. Does Graves know how to end on a high and epic note or what? Special credit is due to series writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for crafting the perfect episode.
Graves begins where his writers left off last week. Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) rides a horse in a caravan with the Flayed Men of House Bolton as Brienne looks on with grave concern. The Kingslayer falls from the saddle out of utter weakness and sloppily attempts to fight himself out before getting his face shoved in the mud and receiving a threat to his remaining hand.
Before they depart, Brienne more-or-less thanks Jaime for saving her from imminent rape last week when he created the sapphire story for her benefit. Will Jaime ever recover from this setback? Does he worry if his disfigurement will look unattractive to his sister upon their potential reunion?
Varys (Conleth Hill) makes his first of several appearances in the next scene. (Seriously, this episode is all Varys until the end.) Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) pops in to check with Lord Varys in his attempt to discover who ordered the hit on him during the Battle of the Blackwater. Varys drops a hint that it could be Cersei, but he cannot confirm it. He then urges Tyrion to be patient about revenge which leads to Varys describing the tale of his castration at the hands of a mad sorcerer. Varys then opens a crate before Tyrion, revealing the very same mad sorcerer with a mouth stitched shut and bound in his own filth. This is a very hands-on approach to assuring Tyrion that patience will make revenge all the sweeter. And if Tyrion Lannister’s getting revenge, it’ll be sweet for audiences to revel in his genius. Graves then cuts to Varys and Ros discussing popular Podrick and the politics surround Littlefinger and Sansa Stark. Varys later says Littlefinger would burn all of Westeros down just to be king of the ashes.
We are again privy to a dreaming Bran as he attempts to catch the three-eyed raven of his visions, only to be wrestled off the tree by a manifestation of his mother. After this brief scene, we jump to Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) confess to his rescuer that he regrets denouncing the Starks and that his real father was beheaded at King’s Landing. The staying power of Ned Stark’s memory is impressive through all of Westeros. He may have only lasted nine episodes, but his presence is certainly missed and not at all forgotten.
Cersei and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) following the potential nuptials on a walk. As King Joffrey and Margaery (Jack Gleeson and Natalie Dormer) walk out to visit the people, cheering is heard for the generous Lady Margaery and subsequently Joffrey by proxy. It then dawns on Cersei that her son is no longer “hers.” Graves then jumps to Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), and then appears as she complains to Lannister patriarch, Tywin (Charles Dance) about her involvement with royal business. Her daddy issues come to an earth-shattering revelation when Tywin admits that she isn’t left out because she’s a female, but rather because she just simply isn’t as smart as she thinks she is. The look on Headey’s face is exactly what you’d expect Cersei to do after having seen Headey play Cersei for over two years. This transitions to Olenna and Varys describing the politics of Littlefinger and Sansa Stark in the gardens of King’s Landing. We then jump to Sansa herself praying and then walking with Margaery to talk about being girlfriends and hanging. Their theories on prayer don’t sound too far off from a definitive wish.
Later on, we jump to Craster’s Keep. The men of the Night’s Watch are shoveling pig manure, discussing the potential of Craster handing the Night’s Watch over to White Walkers in lieu of baby boys. Sam then visits a frantic Gilly trying to save her baby boy. From here, we are taken to the funeral of some recently deceased Night’s Watch. This is the reason for the title “And Now His Watch is Ended.” The Night’s Watch then starts a mutiny by murdering Craster and then Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch Jeor Mormont. In the heat of rebellion, Sam sneaks out with Gilly and her baby as the mutinous Night’s Watch calls out to taunt him. And then…
…Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen — a regular George Washington/ King Leonidas of Westeros. My theories for the last year and a half have centered around her dragons (and the White Walkers and Jon Snow, of course) and this week they finally blossomed. It seems as if everyone in her (Emilia Clarke) entourage forgot that Dany is a mother first and her dragons are her children. Did they really buy that she would trade one of her own children in some pseudo-Sophie’s Choice moment? NO! Of course Kraznys was getting screwed. You can’t show a character verbally offend another character in a foreign language that often on television and not have it come back to bite him on the rear.
Of course Daenerys was gonna take the army with her dragon. The swift turn of events was as epic as it was gratifyingly predictable. Watching the Mother of Dragons’ plan go down was the most satisfying television moment of recent memory. Seeing her free slaves as well as the Unsullied join her cause of their own free will was just priceless.
We still have over half the season to unravel.