So. What did I think of Game of Thrones 3×04: ‘And Now His Watch is Ended’.

This post is: So. What did I think of Game of Thrones 3×04: ‘And Now His Watch is Ended’, since the title bar is acting up again.

Jaime is really not having a good time this season, although – is it a bad thing to say that I’m glad they’re not pulling any punches? Making him drink horse urine, hanging the severed hand around his neck, beating him up…all right, that wasn’t in the book, but again, no punches pulled. May I just pause to applaud Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for a second? He is really taking a beating this time around.

Brienne’s dismissive attitude towards her own gender is a bit jarring, but this is Westeros, biatch – everyone’s affected by the misogyny. Brienne’s had plenty of chances to see that a woman is not exactly the best thing to be in this world. The scene between the two of them, where she bullies him into eating again, is wonderful,  and the beginning of a beautiful wotsit.

Tyrion is on the hunt for who tried to have him killed at Blackwater. Hasn’t he already come to the conclusion that it was Cersei? Or at least very probably her? Why is he still focused on this? Never mind, it gives us a chance to witness Varys giving Tyrion a lecture on how to wait for revenge, while unpacking his very own sorceror in a box. How very convenient that Varys managed to get hold of the sorcerer who’d cut him just in time for this little chat with Tyrion, with a lid that he could lever off all the while that they talked. But at least they included the story of his past, which I sorely missed last season.

Tyrion’s gradually dawning realization about what might possibly be in the box was pretty funny, I’m not going to lie, as was the guy inside the box. How is he still alive? And what is Varys going to do to him? The mind boggles, and then whimpers and runs to hide in a corner.

Back up beyond the Wall at Craster’s Keep, the Night’s Watch is getting more and more tetchy about doing Craster’s errands. Uh, Craster, maybe it isn’t the best idea to increasingly piss off a bunch of men who are, for the most part, criminals? It is only common sense. You’re a pragmatic man – at least when it comes to reducing filial competition and keep whatever’s in the forest placated – be a tad more sensible! Sam is all gooey around Gilly, but she gives back his thimble and wants to spend what time he has with her son. Poor Sam.

Bran has another dream about a three eyed crow, climbs a tree, gets scared by a vision of his mother, falls and wakes up to find Jojen watching him. Glad they reminded us that he’s still here.

Varys meets with Ros and, oh god, can we stop talking about Pod and his ‘Meereeneese Knot’ already? This is just getting ridiculous; now even Varys wants to know about it? It was mildly funny last episode – mildly being the word here – but that time has long since passed. Let it go. Can we just get on with the actually important stuff,  like talking about Littlef- there you go, that wasn’t so hard. now, was it?

Margaery manipulates Joffrey some more, we learn some more about how royally screwed up the Targaryens were, and Cersei trades barbed words with Olenna Tyrell and wants Margaery to step off her territory. She takes her concerns to her father, who is not impressed. Tywin has a blind spot when it comes to Tyrion but oh so not when it comes to Cersei. I all but cheered when he told her point blank: ‘I don’t distrust you because you’re a woman; I distrust you because you’re not as smart as you think you are.’ Yes, yes, yeeeeeees. Plus he points out how terrible she is at managing Joffrey. Hopefully she won’t stick her head in the sand again now that she’s ‘realised’ this salient fact once again.

This is just a massive improvement over book Cersei: she was dear god so annoying with protesting that Joffrey was simply ‘willful’, to say nothing of the business with the cat. Are we still going to get to hear about the cat? I’d initially thought HBO wouldn’t go that far, but after forcing a prostitute to beat another with a scepter (possibly to death), the cat business would be…’tame as hell’ isn’t the phrase I want. How about ‘not really a huge surprise’?

Incidentally, did anyone notice how father and daughter pronounce the ‘Tyrell’ name differently?

Once again, I did not watch the parts with Theon, but I hear his escape attempt didn’t go nearly as well as he had hoped. The next few weeks are going to be uncomfortable for our lone Greyjoy…not that I’ll know anything about that, in a sense.

We really are seeing a lot of Varys this episode, aren’t we? I think this is the most scenes he’s had in one episode since the start. What can I say about his conversation with the Queen of Thorns? Except PLEASE GIVE ME MORE, I NEED MORE. I do think that Varys is acting quite a bit, though, especially when he looked down at his navel in supposed shock after Olenna’s comment. He’s been a eunuch for…I actually don’t know how long, but it’s evidently been quite a while; surely he’s heard everything by now.

Poor Sansa. Margaery does honestly mean well, I’m sure she does, but she’s just using Sansa like everyone else. Using her, I tell you!!! Once again I love Margaery’s dress, and holy moly that is a lot of back! Also, I just love this whole setting that they’re walking around; the sea view, the ruins, the steps…

The Night’s Watch have finally had enough and kill Mormont and Craster and fight a lot. Farewell, James Cosmo, you were brilliant, and I appreciate that they let you die while trying to choke the man that did for you and spitting blood in his face. Plus you get a title based on you! In a manner of speaking. Sam taking the initiative and escaping with Gilly on his own, while essentially trimming the narrative, is a very good move for his character, considering how he’s been portrayed so far. Is their story line from now on going to consist of being pursued by the rebelling Night’s Watch? Or by whatever wants Gilly’s baby? Also, are Grenn and Edd going to run, or are they going to stick with the rebels, and what’s their story line going to be?

Beric Dondarrion, baby, wooot! I’ve been waiting for him ever since I knew the books were being made into a series. He wasn’t quite what I imagined he’d be – he’s rather more perky and lively, for one – but he seems like he’ll be fun. And Rory McCann gets more than one or two lines per episode for the first time since the beginning of the show!

…probably. He spoke a lot in Blackwater, come to think of it, so this is the second time in the show he’s been exceptionally verbose. And what a speech he made! And we get some hints at what happened to Rhaegar Targaryen’s children! Dare I hope that this is laying foundations for someone to be coming up from Dorne and showing scorn towards the Lannisters?

Finally, Daenerys’s bit. I’ve been waiting for this bit since the news of the show as well. It was worth the wait. Dany ordering the Unsullied gave me chills. And then she reveals she can speak High Valyrian! ‘Dracarys.’ Burn baby burn! Dany just stands there and watches the beautiful carnage. And the Unsullied leaving Astapor with their mistress at the end, and the three dragons flying overhead: worthy of a film! A good film. This whole scene easily had the clout to be a season finale – and yet it isn’t. The season finale is going to have to be pretty good to top this.

I liked the little details as well, such as Missandei’s change of wardrobe – finally, after who knows how long of being forced to wear clothes that show off her body for anyone who wants to see, she gets to choose her own outfit. Note that she’s much more covered up now she’s free and has a choice about what she wears. I also enjoy how Jorah was protecting her during the fight; how Jorah and Barristan, despite their differences, can share a look of absolute pride in Dany as she saddles up, and how she lets the whip she was given earlier fall into the dust, to be trodden upon by the freed Unsullied as they leave the city of their torment behind them.

Next time, on Game of Thrones 3×05: Kissed by Fire, we shall see: Dondarrion versus Clegane! Complete with light up sword! Jaime gets brought before Roose Bolton! Or rather thrown before Roose Bolton. It doesn’t look good for Karstark! Tywin knows someone is up to something! Tyrion is not happy! Robb plans a battle! Tormund Giant’s Bane likes Jon but won’t hesitate to do something painful to him if he betrays them! Someone busts in a door, Davos looks around, Jaime screams, Ygritte kisses Jon while nude, the Unsullied are…doing something, Stannis, Jon, Arya screams ‘Burn in Hell!’ and Dondarrion and Clegane fight! 

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