“Your enemy has nothing for you but chains and suffering, and commands. I do not bring you commands. I bring you a choice. And I bring your enemies what they deserve.”
– Daenerys Targaryen
The focus of Game of Thrones shifts this week from the violent exchanges and murders of the first two episodes (although that’s not wholly absent!) to some brutal exchanges of words between some of the major players.
Kings Landing is ordered into a lock-down of sorts by Tywin Lannister but the Lion is not quick enough to secure young Sansa Stark.
As Tyrion’s wife, it’s without question that she will be implicated in Joffrey’s assassination – especially when her treatment at the hands of the king is taken into account.
Luckily for the eldest Stark daughter, she manages to flee Kings Landing with the help of Ser Dontos. The drunken knight secures her freedom from an unlikely source – Littlefinger. Obviously, this casts new speculation on the safety of Sansa – has she merely traded one captor for another? And who’s to say that Littlefinger won’t just cast her back to the Lion’s if it serves his purpose?
Hopefully, this will be the release that the character needs as she has merely lingered in the shadows at the hands of the Lannisters. Maybe Littlefinger may cross her for the last time?
Meanwhile, the Lannisters look to their own to secure a new king. Tommen is set to take the Iron throne in his brother’s stead. And he couldn’t be any more different. A good-natured, naive and seemingly innocent boy, Tommen is to be schooled by his grandfather in the hope that the blonde and the blue-eyed can keep their claim on Westeros for the foreseeable future. Tywin sees danger in every corner – particularly with the power vacuum Joffrey has left.
It is why he seems to want to ally himself with Prince Oberyn. It’s apparent that Tywin wishes to ‘keep his enemies close’ and when we encounter the Martells – in the most sexually equal scene of the last four years – he enlists the help of the Dornishman in the trial of Tyrion. This trial needs to fast and efficient in order to focus on the real threat to the Seven Kingdoms – Daenerys Targaryen and the oncoming onslaught of Wildlings from north of the wall.
The highlight of this episode came from the Mother of Dragons. Even though it seems we’ve followed her from city to city repeating the same speech to same slavers, her ever-growing army and her hold over the eastern nations is really starting to take effect. The city of Mereen, resplendent in pyramids and sphinxes is as beautiful as any of the CGI- realised backgrounds we’ve seen and is truly a wonder to behold.
With a nod and wink, Daario takes out the city’s champion (Carry on Khaleesi) but it’s in Daenerys’ speech to the people of Mereen that she truly shines. The ruling classes expect her attention to be directed towards them but, in fact, her words are for the slaves. She is here to free them and to save them. In a moment of real inspiration, she batters the walls of the city with siege engines that fling a barrage of canisters containing broken chains showing the slaves that she intends to rescue them.
It’s an awe-inspiring moment and one that brings home the reality that Daenerys’ power lays not in her physical strength but in the strength she inspires in others.
Of course, the episode was not all shining and magnificent. It dipped into some very dark moments. In a horrific rape scene, Jaime Lannister’s grief turns into lust as he takes his sister next to the corpse of the dead king. The Wildling’s also brutally annihilate a northern village with the aid of the cannibalistic Thenns – the focus has shifted here from the captivating Ygritte to a trail of bloodletting that merely serves as filler.
One of the ongoing joys is the relationship that continues to develop between Arya Stark and The Hound.
Posing as his daughter, the comedy act seeks refuge with a farmer and his child.
While this begins as a joyous intercourse and injects some much needed light-hearted banter into the episode, we are soon brought back to the realization that The Hound is not all smiles as he betrays the farmer for his silver and leaves.
This looks to be part of his conditioning of the Stark girl; she needs to embrace the horrors of the world left in her father’s shadow and do what is necessary to survive.