Game of Thrones: Breaker of Chains
This is the fourth season of Game of Thrones, as such; I should be used to the ebb and flow of action. The natural rhythm to the writing of Benioff and Weiss is to have each episode act as a beat and counter beat. This episode was a counter beat, in other words, it was the setup for a payout later. However, it wasn’t all setup, there is still the immediate fallout of Joffery’s death, that fallout is handled not with a tremendous crash, but with a resounding sigh of relief.
Breaker of Chains picks up immediately after Joffrey’s death. Tyrion is arrested, while Sansa escapes. Cersei seems to be the only one genuinely mourning the loss of her son, and the king, while Tywin begins counseling Tommen on the necessary virtues of a good king. Later, Tyrion learns what faces him as he is tried for the assassination of his nephew, and begins to attempt to discover the true assassin.
In Castle Black, Sam sends Gilly away for fear of the numerous rapists serving on the Night’s Watch. While Jon attempts to keep the Wildling army from discovering how outmatched the Night’s Watch is.
Arya and The Hound continue their journey toward The Vale, and their relationship is not growing warmer.
Finally, the episode ends with Daenerys arriving at Meereen having cut the collars off all one hundred and sixty-three dead child slaves along the way.
This episode contains very few moments I would classify as exceptionally memorable. It is however constructed of moments that are vital the foundations of the story. It is hard to become excited over exquisitely constructed foundations when the steeples and buttresses are drawing your eye. Fortunately, it was not all foundations and footings. There were cornerstones to admire, twists that may be shocking, and trademark endings that make this series binge worthy.
Of the extraordinary performances, I must commend Dean-Charles Chapman, who stepped into the role of Tommen in last week’s episode. I believe he is the first actor to return as a principal cast member after already having bill killed in a previous episode. In a show where everyone is very likely to have a chance to die, Dean-Charles Chapman just may have the unique privilege to die twice. That bit of fun aside, he gave a commendable performance as the even-tempered, young king with much yet to learn.
Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 3 “Breaker of Chains” directed by Alex Graves, written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss: 8 out of 10