"Game of Thrones" Recap/Review: “Breaker of Chains”

Mary Baker ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Lena Headey and Callum Wharry in the Game of Thrones episode "Breaker of Chains." Photo Credit: HBO.
Lena Headey and Callum Wharry in the Game of Thrones episode “Breaker of Chains.” Photo Credit: HBO.

Fans of Game of Thrones certainly didn’t have to wait long to see how the crowd reacted to last week’s dramatic (and jubilant) murder of Joffery Baratheon (Jack Gleeson). The episode opens with Cersei (Lena Headey) bellowing at Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Tywin (Charles Dance) and at anyone who would hear her to grab Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). In a fittingly dramatic moment, Joffery used his last moment not to tell his mother he loved her or to try and cough one final time, but instead to raise a shaking hand to point at his uncle Tyrion, whom he had spent the entire episode embarrassing. This is the straw on the camel’s back for Cersei, and she immediately has Tyrion arrested. But wait—where’s Sansa (Sophie Turner)?

Sansa (House Stark)

Found her. Thanks to the drunk-yet-helpful Ser Dontos (Tony Way), Sansa gained a beautiful necklace and an escape route out of King’s Landing. However, there is someone pulling Dontos’ strings—Peter Baelish/Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), who has been sadly absent all season so far. With Sansa safely aboard his ship, he sends his thanks to Dontos via crossbow. He also reveals that he might have been behind Joffery’s death. He also crushes the heirloom Dontos gave to Sansa. It’s important to remember that Sansa looks like the mirror image of her mother, who Littlefinger had a huge-capital-C-Crush on since they were kids together in Riverrun. The encounter left the audience with an icky feeling.

Margaery (House Lannister Tyrell)

That didn’t take long. Margaery (Natalie Dormer) is once again a widow and is once again not too upset about it. Her scene is criminally short, for Natalie Dormer has been giving one of the best performances of the season so far. In this episode, she and her grandmother, the ever feisty Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg), have a chat about husbands and what Margaery’s future will be. However unpleasant it would have been, Margaery and Joffery never consummated their marriage, so Margaery is not technically Queen (which is a serious bummer, she would have been a great ruler.)

Natalie Dormer in the Game of Thrones episode "Breaker of Chains." Photo Credit: HBO.
Natalie Dormer in the Game of Thrones episode “Breaker of Chains.” Photo Credit: HBO.

Cersei (House Lannister)

In a very creepy callback to Jon Arryn’s death in season one, we see Joffery with stones on his eyes, lying in the Sept of Baelor. Cersei, Tywin, and Tommen (a newly-recast Dean-Charles Chapman, who has appeared on the series before as Martyn Lannister) are looking over his dead body when Tywin decides to flex his muscles as Hand and begins to question Tommen on what makes a good king. Tommen appears eager and kind, a pleasant change from his brother. More importantly, though, he appears extremely susceptible to Tywin’s suggestions. The two walk off as Tywin begins to explain everything Tommen might need to know as king, starting with the birds and the bees. Jamie enters the sept and begins to violently kiss Cersei in front of the slab their dead son is lying on. He proceeds to rape her on the ground next to their dead son. This abrupt change of character was shocking and a massive departure from the books. It will certainly be interesting to see where the showrunners take Jamie’s character from here.

Arya (House Stark)
Another episode, another instance of Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) stealing the show as a kindly man and his daughter take them in for the night. The Hound shoots the man in the morning and he and Arya leave with their horses. “They were weak,” claimed the Hound. Arya obviously has qualms and calls him “the biggest **** in the seven kingdoms” but the Hound delivers the burn of the season after:  “I just understand the way things are … how many Starks do they got to behead before you figure it out?”

Sam (Night’s Watch)
Here we have an example of Sam’s (John Bradley) street smarts (or lack thereof): Gilly (Hannah Murray), the woman he rescued from Craster last season, is in danger at the wall of being assaulted by one of the brother’s of the watch. So where, dear Sam, is the safest place to put a woman and her child when you are sacred for her sexual safety? Sam would say a whorehouse, and therefore we saw Gilly and the baby placed in a bare room as Sam made a deal with the owner that she would only be cooking and cleaning—“no extra work.”

Peter Dinklage in the Game of Thrones episode "Breaker of Chains." Photo Credit: HBO.
Peter Dinklage in the Game of Thrones episode “Breaker of Chains.” Photo Credit: HBO.

Davos (House Baratheon)
Davos (Liam Cunningham) and Stannis (Stephen Dillane) are worrying (what else is new) about whether the leech curse Melisandre (Carice van Houten) concocted last season with a shirtless Gendry (Joe Dempsie). Even though Davos has been working to rally houses behind Stannis, his efforts pale in comparison to dark magic. Davos goes to his reading lesson with Shireen (Kerry Ingram), Stannis’ daughter. While reading, he has a sudden epiphany that leads to Shireen writing a letter to the Iron Bank of Bravvos (the bank the Lannisters owe a lot of money to) as her father.

Oberyn (House Martell)
Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) and Ellaria (Indira Varma) are having the orgy-to-end-all-orgies when in walks Tywin, who begins asking Oberyn questions concerning Joffery’s death. He then surprises everyone by asking Oberyn to serve on the hearing council in exchange for a meeting with the Mountain, who raped and killed Oberyn’s sister (presumably on Tywin’s orders, but he denies it.)

Tyrion (House Lannister)
Tyrion is in jail after his assumed successful poisoning of Joffery. Pod shows up, ever the loyal squire, and brings news, candles, sausage, and paper. He tells Tyrion he’s going to go on trial, and even more heartbreakingly, Pod is being called against Tyrion with the offer of a knighthood dangling in front of him. Tyrion isn’t allowed to see anyone of any value to him, so he urges Pod to flee the capital before calling him the most loyal squire, ever, hitting the viewing audience directly in the feels.


The wildlings and Thenns attack a small village, brutally killing everyone but a little boy, who they send to warn Castle Black of their presence. The brothers of the Watch argue about whether to stay and protect the Wall or to go and protect the villagers. There are so few brothers left the decision is to stay at the Wall so they are not picked off, one-by-one. However, when some brothers show up from Craster’s keep with bad news, a battle is sure to be imminent.

Emilia Clarke in the Game of Thrones episode "Breaker of Chains." Photo Credit: HBO.
Emilia Clarke in the Game of Thrones episode “Breaker of Chains.” Photo Credit: HBO.

Daenerys Targaryen

Dany (Emilia Clarke) finally arrives at Mereen, and the slave city sends out a one-man welcoming party who taunts Dany and begs to be fought. All of the main men in Dany’s life volunteer, and (surprise, surprise) she picks Daario (Michiel Huisman). Daario waits as the man rides towards him, then slowly takes out a blade, kisses it, and throws it at the horse, felling the rider. He proceeds to literally piss off the entire city and Dany gives a career-making speech urging the slaves to turn against their owners and to join her. Her grand finale is launching buckets full of the collars she removed from the murdered children on the road to Mereen. Dany’s story is once again the most interesting part of the episode, and one can’t hope that the upcoming interactions with the Mereenese are as dynamic as this scene.

Overall Episode Grade: B+


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