We are less than a third of the way in to season four of Game of Thrones and HBO has already dropped some rather large bombs on us. Tyrion breaks up with Shae. Sansa has escaped into Littlefinger’s creepy clutches. Joffrey got extremely choked up at his own wedding, which, where was my invite? It’s enough to feel like this week’s third episode, entitled “Breaker of Chains” which is so obviously about Daenerys, fell a little flat by comparison.
We jump back in to a mini recap of the Lannister and Tyrell nuptuals, which fans lovingly refer to as the Purple Wedding. Cersei screams, Margaery is beautifully bewildered, Jaime rushes to help his nephew-son, and all of the blame is laid on Tyrion for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
As I mentioned in my review from last week, “The Lion and the Rose” is subtly crafted to keep the viewer guessing as to who murdered poor king Joff, since everyone has some sort of motive. Tywin could be in the market for a king his wisdom will actually reach, Cersei could be getting a second king out of the way in order to keep her crown, Sansa has enough hatred to fill the Shivering Sea twice over, and Margaery has always wanted to be “The Queen.”
While it hasn’t been revealed who the culprit is, viewers get to see the aftermath that the Purple Wedding has on individuals, and Westeros as a whole. What can happen to this kingdom with someone new at it’s helm?
Which, actually, this is a great moment to stop and talk about that Tywin scene with Tommen in the Sept of Baelor. This was a really clever way for the writers to stick in some of the source material right under everyone’s noses, and having it play out in the form of a lecture to educate our new King Tommen was brilliantly subdued. And don’t think for a second that we didn’t notice Tywin saying, “King Robert” rather than “your father.” Tommen may wind up being a good king, but all I am concerned about is if he will still have his affinity for Ser Pounce? PLEASE GIVE SER POUNCE A CAMEO.
For all the cleverness of the addition of Tywin and Tommen, the scene directly after it actually makes no sense at all. Book readers, you know what I’m talking about, and show watchers, I know you were confused by it too. The Jaime/Cersei twincest moment. To a lot of viewers, it felt extremely out of place and kind of smacks that character development we’ve been viewing straight out of the tower along with Bran. While HBO and Thrones producers still haven’t attempted to comment in regards to the changed scene, George R. R. Martin himself took to his blog to address the questions and add a little bit of insight.
“I think the “butterfly effect” that I have spoken of so often was at work here. In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.
The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other’s company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why Dan & David played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.
Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.
If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.
That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.”
A few other things of note happened in the otherwise slow episode. There were some touching moments with Podrick and Tyrion, as the dutiful squire brings him news of the realm and stays steadfast in his loyalties. It would’ve been the perfect point for a brohug, but sadly even with Tyrion’s life on the line, they’re still not in the touchy phase yet. Prince Oberyn is offered the chance to help pass judgement in Tyrion’s trial, in exchange for some kingly goodies. Arya carries on her wonderful banter with the Hound as he doles out a few little life lessons of his own. And apparently the Thenns are cannibals? This one is still a little confusing to me, because I feel like I remember enjoying the Magnar and his son in text form. But none of those things are what I’ve really been itching to discuss. Hint: Remember the so obvious name of the episode? She gets her ten minute cameo in the end of the episode, and though I am a steadfast Targaryen through and through, fire and blood and ermahgerd dergens, I just can’t stand watching Daenerys scenes anymore.
And I think I found my catalyst.
Continuing on with my unnatural hate of all things Meereen from episodes one and two, tonight on Game of Thrones episode three, Daario Naharis played by Michiael Huisman winked straight to camera and I felt nothing.
Yes, I’m continuing on with my Daario Recast Hate, and no I’m not going to let it go unless Elsa herself sings it to me in a bright and clean vibrato. During the scene, as I was bored to tears watching Daario take down a horse with a knife to the eye and I’m not sure how that was boring because that is just so brutal yet he made it look yawnworthy, it occurred to me that having not perused the books in awhile that viewers are missing out on the hilarity that is Strong Belwas. Getting my timelines mixed together, I originally thought that Belwas was the opposing fighter and got excited until I remembered that this is absolutely not true and I should be ashamed of myself. As Dany has yet to enter Mereen, perhaps she will meet the character in the slave fighting pits as that would be a more appropriate screen reveal. You know, once she gets inside in about five more episodes. And I will have something to distract me from Daario the Dreadful, as he takes down that horse with little to no effort. Just like his actor counterpart. Other than Ser Jorah’s more and more obvious friendzoning, of course.
Okay, but realtalk, for the entirety of this Meereen sequence, all I was thinking about was, “Huh. When did Skittles change their green flavor from lime to green apple?” Because lime was my favorite, and now they’re gone. Just like Daario.
I realize it isn’t fair to attribute my boredom solely to a recast. Before season four, any time Daenerys whipped out the High Valyrian, I was all like,
And yet on her journey to free Slaver’s Bay, I can’t help but feel all sorts of meh.
I. Just. Don’t. Care. Anymore.
I contribute these changes to the fact that, yes, in the books Dany’s storyline is slow, meaning they will have to milk her POV chapters until dry, and even then continue to water them down a little. I get that. But mostly because Daario Recast Hate. Really, if he can’t even pull off a wink that convinces my ladyparts, I don’t want to see any other parts of him this season. Nope. I’m really only excited for her outfits.
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Check out last week’s play-by-play of the Purple Wedding in Game of Thrones’s second episode, “The Lion and The Rose” by clicking here
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