After two fast paced episodes, this week’s chapter was quieter with more character driven narratives; yet it set up some major power plays in future segments. There was plenty of rich dialogue amongst the major players tonight. It focused on the aftershock of Joffrey’s death, Sansa’s escape, Tyrion’s imprisonment Dragonstone, the Wall, Arya’s journey and of course, Dany, at the gates of Meereen..
We open with the aftermath of Joffrey’s death. Cersei has Tyrion arrested as well as implicates Sansa in the murder. Tywin instructs the gates of the city closed so that she doesn’t escape.
Sansa escapes with Dontos through the back alleys of city amongst a gorgeous sunset in KL. There is a small boat waiting for them. As he rows them into the harbor, she takes one last look at her former quarters. As the fog rolls out, they come upon a large galleon ship. Once there, she is pulled up by Littlefinger, who tells her that the worst is over. As LF agrees to pay Dontos $10,000 gold dragons, bolts kill him. Sansa gaps in horror saying that Dontos was only helping her. Baelish reveals the fool was working for him by showing her the necklace, telling her it was him (LF) who bought it thus, crushing it into the sea . He gently reminds his new friend; not to worry because she is “sailing home” to safety.
Meanwhile, Margery wonders if she is still a Queen because she is cursed with husbands dying. Olenna reassures her that the House Tyrell is in a remarkably better position since the Lannisters still need them. The Queen of Thorns advises her granddaughter that she did the best she could with Joffrey but the “next one” should be easier.
As Joffrey lies in state at the Sept with a grieving Cersei and Tommen, Tywin decides to educate the future King against his daughter’s wishes. He gives him a lesson in how a King should rule with wisdom, justice and listening to his advisors. And as they walk out of the temple, Tywin begins a lesson about the birds and bees.
Jaime enters and instructs that the septons to leave the building. A grieving Cersei tells her lover/brother that Tyrion was responsible for Joff’s death as he (TYrion) warned that her “joy will turn to ashes”. Jaime pulls her into a kiss but she pushes him away. Cersei asks him to kill Tyrion for her and their son. Jaime replies that Tyrion is his brother too. Jaime questions himself by remarking, “Why have the gods made me love a hateful woman?” Again, Jaime grabs Cersei into an embrace as they end up on the floor while Cersei tells him that “it’s wrong” as Jofrrey’s body lays on slab.
We find Oberyn and Ellaria at the Brothel enjoying some well-deserved downtime. All of sudden, Tywin Lannister pays Oberyn a visit. The Hand questions him about his knowledge of poisons and his conversation with Tyrion. Oberyn ‘s response is that his sister, Elia was killed by the Mountain on Tywin’s orders. Tywin tries to cover it up by saying he didn’t know what happened. The Hand offers a tempting deal to the Prince by asking him to be a judge at Tyrion’s trial and a seat on the King’s small counsel. As well, a promise that he will get a chance to question the Mountain. Tywin informs his Dornish friend that the Seven Kingdoms need Dorne as there are problems in the North, at the Wall, the Greyjoys and in the east as there is a Targaryen girl with dragons.
Lastly, Pod comes to visit Tyrion in his cell with news that his trial is in fortnight. Pod reports that Bronn is under watch, Shae is gone and Sansa is nowhere to be found. Tyrion knows that this make him look even guiltier at trial. He tells his squire that he has been framed for murder. Pod also tells his Lord that someone tried to bribe him to turn evidence against Tyrion. Pod declined the offer. Tyrion’s last commands to his squire were to send Jaime and then to leave Kings Landing for his own safety.
The heat is definitely turning up at KL since Joff’s death and it seens “chaos is a ladder”. Littlefinger’s return signals that there is much more to the events at wedding than we had anticipated; hopefully we’ll find out soon. The Tyrells have plans for Margery to become Queen again. One of the biggest adaptations is Cersei and Jaime’s scene from the books to the show. This is going to affect both characters (and their relationship) as we see that Cersei only wants vengeance and Jaime has his own promises to keep. They each have different motivations. Overall, Charles Dance owns Kings Landing as Tywin Lannister. I hope he gets an Emmy nomination next year. Daniel Portman as Pod rocked this episode too.
Arya and the Hound continue on their journey to the Vale, they stop near Fairmarket, broke and hungry. Clegane reminds his little companion that once he gets gold from her aunt, he is going to across the Narrow Sea to be a sells sword. Arya remarks she has friends in Braavos. They come upon a farmer and his daughter. He asks whom they have been fighting for and Arya exclaims the “Tully’s of Riverrun”. The farmer welcomes them into his home. The Hound remarks that “guest rights don’t mean much anymore”. And in Hound fashion, requests some ale. The farmer asks his guests if they would stay on to help work in the fields and for protection. Sandor a agrees, “fair wages for fair work”. In the morning, the Hound robs the farmer of his silver. An angry Arya confronts him about his actions. The Hound educates her that this is the “way things are” and thatfarmer and his daughter won’t last the winter.
It’s still a tumultuous time for these two. Arya’s crooked smile when she announces that they were under the Tully banner as an I told you so moment is priceless. The banter between her and the Hound is well written; it makes well worth watching. Hopefully, they’ll run into action soon.
Word has reached Stannis that King Joffrey is dead. Stannis grows weary of Davos’ attempts to gather an army. He reminds his Hand that he named Joffrey in his leech burning and scolds him for letting Gendry go. Davos tells his King that “prophecies and visions don’t win war, soldiers do”. He suggests buying sellswords such as the Gold Company in Braavos. But, Stannis grows impatient as they are running out of time.
Next, Davos visits Shireen for another reading lesson. She pulls out a book about a Bravossi Warrior for him to read. They discuss the difference between a smuggler and a pirate. Davos recounts how he almost was killed by a Brovossi. Suddenly, the Hand has an brilliant idea. He has Shireen help him write a letter to the Bank of Bravos on behalf of Stannis.
This is definitely building up to something exciting. Has Stannis has forgotten about the North? It’s nice to see Davos coming into his own as Hand. It will be worth the wait to see how this plays out. Davos is one of my favorite characters so let’s hope he can bring a mile to Stannis’s glum face. What will Melisandre say about this?
Over at the Wall, Sam checks on Gilly to see how she is surviving at Castle Black. He is worried about her being the only female there amongst the Rangers. Gilly asks him if he is bored with her. Sam suggests that Molestown might be safer for her and the baby as he only wants to protect them. Gilly is none too pleased as they arrive at a Tavern and meet the madam. She tries to make a deal with Sam but he won’t have it. Gilly is not impressed with her new digs,nor, Sam either.
The Widings raid a village near Castle Black and killing everyone. They send a child to the Wall warning the “crows”, they are on their way. At the Wall, the NW discuss how they will deal with Mance and his army. Jon Snow reminds them that the King beyond the Wall will attack; without restraint. Maester Aemon let it be known that they are the “Watchers of the Wall” and their first responsibility is to defend it. As Green and Ed return from Crasters Keep, they recall the mutiny there with Rast. This could be a threat to NW if Mance finds them. Again, Jon reiterates that Mance thinks there are 1000 Rangers waiting, but the reality is that there is only 100 men to defend the Wall.
The subtle attraction between Gilly and Sam is undeniable. Sam is definitely fighting his feelings for her. Things are getting tense at Castle Black. This storyline is just beginning to build up to a huge battle but also a question of leadership. And Thorne has a definite dislike for Jon Snow. Will Stannis make it there?
At last, Dany arrives at Meereen. The city awaits her arrival as they send out a champion to challenge her . He mocks the Khalessi and her army while urinating on the ground. Dany is irate and unimpressed as she has something to say to Meereen; but first she must quiet the champion down. Daario steps up to challenge as he has nothing to lose. Dany accepts and he winks at her. As the fighter comes towards him, he kills the horse knocking the champion to the ground and kills him too. Then Daario proceeds to urinate on the ground as return insult. The Meereense are horrified. In High Valyrian, Dany points out how she has freed slaves in both Astapor and Yunkai. She makes it known the Meereen masters have killed many slave children. As a show of strength, the Unsullied bring out catapults aimed at the city. On command, they fire barrels full of slave chains that break after hitting the wall.
Daenerys is showing her strength in numbers. She is definitely not intimidated. And for once, she hasn’t used her dragons; although it would have been an added bonus. Daario is stepping up his game. Missendi noticed. Again, another set up that will surely intensify later and we can only suspect there is a lot of action coming to Meereen.
“I fight for Dorne but when it comes to love, I don’t choose sides” Oberyn Martell to Olyvar
“Wisdom makes a good King” Tywin to Tommen
“Money buys a man’s silence, but a bolt in the heart silences it forever” Littlefinger to SansaETA: It should read:”Money buys a man’s silence for a time. A bolt in the heart buys it forever”.
“Point out the next map shop…I’ll buy you one” Hound to Arya
“…ask the Stranger not kill us in our beds tonight at all” Hound at the dinner table
Here is Episode 4 promo: “Oathkeeper”