The big reveal in last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” left my eyes so wide they practically popped out of my head and my jaw on the floor, but more on that latter.
The world of “Game of Thrones” is so big and there are so many characters that there have been times when I’ve had a difficult time keeping track of everybody and everything that happens. Since I have decided to blog about the fourth season I have found during previous weeks that when I sit down the next day I can’t always keep track of everything. That’s why last night I decided to make little notes to myself as the episode aired. Not just to keep track of everything that happened but to take not of my own reactions to those events. The truest reaction to events in a book, TV show or movie is the reaction you have when you are watching something for the first time. When you go back later to dissect things it is through an intellectual lens rather than a purely emotional lens. I think the first time viewing or reading experience is the most valuable because it is the most honest.
Back to the episode…
As the credits rolled my husband made note that there was no Peter Dinklage in the episode. I wondered what a Tyrion free episode would be like. Turns out it was a very good episode with a big reveal and a heartbreaking choice. I did notice one thing that was different about this episode. In many episodes characters often only get one scene because there are so many places and people to get to. Last night several characters like Cerci, Sansa, Arya and Brienne got two scenes, I think this is in part because there were no scenes with Tyrion.
When Joffrey became king there was a sense that something awful was on the horizon. There was good reason for that, from the very beginning he was a little monster. At the start of last night’s episode Tommen became king, the third king in the run of this show.
As I watched sweet Tommen become king I felt bad for him. He is clearly in over his head. What was more interesting than Tommen officially becoming king was the interactions of those around him, specifically Margaery and Cersei. As Margery watched Tommen from a distance she and Tommen shared a knowing look. When Cersei stepped into Margaery’s view I thought she was playing crazy mom cock blocker but things went in a direction that was different than I thought. When Cersei approached Margaery I was expecting some kind of show down but instead it seems that Cersei wants Margaery to marry Tommen. As I watched it I didn’t mind but after the episode was over I spoke to my husband and he said that didn’t happen in the books. I wonder why this change has been made. I can’t really believe that Cersei has suddenly had a change of heart about Margaery. Maybe she does think Margaery would be the best option for Tommen. I did find it interesting that Cersei basically admitted to Margary that Joffrey was a monster, a monster she loved but a monster none the less. The scene ended with a great line of Margaery saying that after she marries Tommen and Cersei marries Loras she won’t know if she should refer to Cersei as sister or mother.
To the east Daenerys Targaryen learns that Joffrey has died. Is it time for her to make her big move and capture King’s Landing and reclaim her families kingdom?
Obviously not, that seems like it has to be a last book/last season kind of thing. In the mean time she learns that the cities that she has already freed are being re-enslaved. I get that she wants to be a great liberator and I love how strong she is but I wonder what her true journey is. At least for now it seems that her journey is to keep people free and establish her power while building a larger army as her dragons grow up.
Then came one of the two great scenes of this episode and one that changes the game for everything moving forward, Sansa and Little Finger arrived at the Veil. At the beginning of this sequence I was feeling very frustrated with Sansa. She is still so passive. I want her to fight. She is still so soft spoken, she still is so innocent and she still just lets things happen to her. I wonder if she’ll ever take command of her own life. Of course, the reason Little Finger and Sansa are at the veil is because he is going not marry her Aunt Lysa. When Sansa greeted her aunt for the first time I thought that Lysa was a wildcard. We had not seen her in so long and I figured her reappearance was important I just didn’t know how. I soon found out how. When it was relieved that Littlefinger and Lysa had been lovers so years and that she had poisoned her husband on his instructions I was more shocked than I have ever been with this show and that is saying a lot. I really could not believe it.
I have always thought of Littlefinger being a secondary character. Somebody who is a supporting player in other people’s starring roles. I never, EVER, would have imagined that he was the ultimate puppet master. Who would have thought that the events he put in motion off screen before the first episode even began would shape nearly everything we’ve seen in the four and a half seasons of this show? My husband told me that his reveal is the big shocker at the end of the third book. It certainly would have been even more powerful as a season finale or at least the last scene of an episode. As it was I found it unbelievably impactful but I do think it was a bit of burying the lead. I don’t know why the producers made this decision but I do know that I certainly won’t look at Littlefinger the same way ever again.
I imagine it was difficult for the writer’s to have such a big reveal early in the episode and then just keep going but the episode flowed seamlessly to the next scene. In the next scene Cersei approaches her father about Tommen marrying Margaery. What was most interesting in this scene was Twyin telling Cersei that the crown is out of money and that is why they need the Tyrells. It seems that first Joffrey and Cersei and now Tommen and Cersei are going to be made to marry a Tyrell for financial reasons because the Lannisters are broke because basically the Lannisters are one percenters who are living in a house of cards that will fall down if the wrong person find out they don’t have any money.
Arya’s desire for vengeance fueled the next scene. Instead of saying her prayers before going to bed she says the name of every person in Westeros that she needs to kill. What is most powerful about this scene is the last name she says. It is that of her traveling companion/captor, The Hound.
As the show turned back to the events at the Veil I kept thinking about how complex Littlefinger’s plan is. Not only did he have Lysa kill Jon Arryn but he was obviously in cahoots with the Tyrell’s to kill Joffrey. How has he managed to pull all of this off? What is his next move? I guess only time will tell.
It has seemed that poor Sansa has gone from bad situation to bad situation. I do think that she is a slightly better situation being at the Veil with Littlefinger and her Aunt Lysa but last night’s episode solidified my belief that just because she’s not at King’s Landing doesn’t mean she’s in a good situation. In a scene between Sansa and Lysa it is revealed that Lysa is still harboring a very deep resentment for her dead sister. It seems that people’s feelings for the late Catelyn Stark are going to be a curse for Sansa for the rest of her life. Lysa is crazy jealous not just of her dead sister but of Sansa. It’s clear she is deeply in love with Littlerfinger but she is also insanely jealous of anybody that she sees as a threat to their relationship. Sansa may not be stuck at King’s Landing and at the mercy of the Lannisters anymore but I don’t know that being at the Veil and being forced to marry her cousin is really a wining situation for her either. As I watched the scene I wished that Sansa had just a touch of her sister’s fight. Sansa continues to get led around by others. Again, I just want her to fight. Make me root for you girl.
As the story turned to Brienne I couldn’t help but hope that maybe, just maybe there is somebody that is looking out for Sansa’s best interests. Could Brienne’s allegiance to the late Catelyn Stark be the thing that finally gets Sansa out danger?
During Arya’s second scene I was delighted to see her practice her sword fighting. I’ve always loved what a little tomboy Arya is and I appreciate her fighting spirit much more than Sansa’s passive one. But after The Hound hit Arya I was reminded that as much as I love her she is still just a young girl in a very cruel world. Although her journey is more interesting she is as helpless as Sansa in some ways.
Back at King’s Landing Cersei got her third scene. As she visited Oberyn Martell it was clear she was lobbying for Tyrion’s conviction at the upcoming trial for Joffrey’s murder. As much as I don’t like Cersei I was struck by a line towards the end of the scene. When Oberyn Martell says that Marcella is safe and that they don’t hurt little girls in Dorne Cersei comments that everywhere in the world they hurt little girls. Sadly that has always been true, whether it is in the imaginary world of Westeros or in the contemporary world, and it will probably always be true.
Brienne got a second scene. This time it was a sweet scene with Pod, who is provided some much needed comic relief. It was cute to see how much it meant to him when Brienne allowed him to help her remove her armor.
Like last week the ending sequence of the show occurred in the far north. As things unfolded I found myself wondering about Bran’s journey and being a bit confused by it. I get that he has to find the three eyed crow but with the exception of the vision in the second episode there hasn’t even been a hint of how his journey will tie into everything else. I guess we just have to believe that it will.
Although I know it doesn’t occur in the books the near reunification of Bran and Jon broke my heart.
The Stark children have been scattered to the four winds and I would have been so happy to see Bran and Jon reunited. They wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. As Bran had to make a difficult choice I was left in tears. I just wanted him to call to his brother and for them to be together again. But I know that isn’t Bran’s journey. This is the second near unification between these two characters and I am sure it will be the last. As Bran man the decision to leave his brother it was clear that it was in all likelihood it would be the last time he would see any member of his family and it was heartbreaking. I don’t know what Bran’s journey is but I hope that he is able to reach his final destination because he’s given up a lot to go down the road he is on.