Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 4 (“And Now His Watch Is Ended”)

SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from the latest episode of Game of Thrones.   

Influence grows like a weed.  I have no doubt the revenge you want will be yours in time, if you can stomach it. -Lord Varys says to Lord Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) requests Varys' help in getting evidence against Cersei
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) requests Varys’ help in getting evidence against Cersei

One of the main themes in this episode is the shifting of power.  Conleth Hill (who plays Varys) finally gets a meaty episode!  He tells Tyrion the story of how he was cut (lost his manhood) while still a boy actor.  Varys has captured the old sorcerer responsible for the terrible deed, had his mouth sewn shut, and is keeping him in a crate.  (Yowza- that’s some revenge!) 

Prodigies appear in the oddest of places.  -Varys to Ros

Ros (Esme Bianco)  comes to Varys (Conleth Hill) with info on her boss, Littlefinger
Ros (Esme Bianco) comes to Varys with info on her boss, Littlefinger

Ros (seen fully clothed so far) shares some crucial info with Varys: Littlefinger is planning on taking Sansa with him to The Eyrie.  Ros (who can read) reminds Varys that she’s at the right hand of Littlefinger- no longer a mere prostitute.  Knowledge is power, after all.    

It’s like taking a walk through history.  -Lady Margaery comments before visiting the royal crypt with King Joffrey

Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) visit The Sept
Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) visit The Sept

The common people’s lovefest with Lady Margaery continues, as does ours.  (Yup, Margaery is one of my faves this season!)  Though her outfits are on the revealing side for King’s Landing, can she wrap Joffrey around her lovely finger.  She has just the right words for her elders, the poor, and even (the displaced/dejected) Sansa.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Sansa married her older brother, Loras?  “We’d be sisters,” Margaery  says with a beaming smile.  Sansa looks so happy at this proposal- poor girl.   While Sansa’s emotions are on the surface, Margaery can play any part.   

Sansa prays
Sansa prays

 

My real father lost his head in King’s Landing.  -Prince Theon Greyjoy speaks (tearfully) re: Lord Eddard Stark

Theon (Alfie Allen) recalls his "real father"
Theon (Alfie Allen) recalls his “real father”

Sorry to say, I still don’t get what’s going on with Theon!  It’s a circular plot this episode, like the last.  His ally turns out to be an enemy.  But, Alfie Allen gets some great lines- Theon is slowly maturing as character.  He chose the wrong family, he finally realizes. 

My sword hand.  I was that hand.  -Ser Jaime to Brienne 

Jaime (Nicholaj Coster-Waldau) has hit a very low point
Jaime (Nicholaj Coster-Waldau) has hit a very low point

Jaime is close to suicidal after losing his right hand.  He falls off his horse, steals a sword from one of Bolton’s men, and tries to fight with his left hand.  But he can’t do anything!  The Northmen treat him very harshly- it’s tough to watch.  He wants to die, but Brienne convinces him to eat something.  I loved her line about him wanting to give up after “one taste of the real world.”  Gwendolyn Christie is doing a terrific job with the role!     

Did it ever occur to you that I might be the one who deserves your confidence and your trust, not your sons?  -Queen Cersei asks Lord Tywin, her father

Cersei is feeling left out of important matters, much like Tyrion was in Season 2.  She doesn’t have her beloved Jaime nearby.  Soon, she’ll be Queen Regent, and Margaery will be the Queen.  Tywin is reluctant to share info with her, and treats her coldly.   

Varys & Lady Olenna: Unlikely matchmakers for Sansa
Varys & Lady Olenna: Unlikely matchmakers for Sansa

 I could not help Ned Stark.  Perhaps I can help his daughter.  -Varys to Lady Olenna Tyrell re: Sansa

The scene with Varys and Lady Olenna started out very funny, but took a serious turn.  They are both concerned about Sansa.  In the garden, they discuss  a match between her and Loras (no doubt).

Ser Beric Dondarrion has returned
Ser Beric Dondarrion has returned

Ned Stark is dead.  King Robert is dead.  My brother is alive.  (He spits.)  You’re fighting for ghosts.  -Sandor Clegane (The Hound) to Ser Beric Dondarrion and his men, The Brotherhood without Banners

We, along with Arya and Gendry, learn more about the Brotherhood.  They are mostly commoners hailing from different areas.  They now follow the Lord of Light (the god of Melisandre).  Next up- the mano-a-mano battle between The Hound and Dondarrion (who was loyal to Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon).

Cmdr. Jeor Mormont presides over a funeral
Cmdr. Jeor Mormont presides over a funeral

I was surprised/shocked by what happened among the Night’s Watch!  Many were driven wild with hunger.  One of the crows, played by British actor Burn Gorman (Wuthering Heights; Bleak House), insulted and murdered Krastor.  It’s too bad that Cmdr. Mormont was killed by Rast (the raper who was always bullying Sam).  Mormont got Rast before he died.  I was very relieved when Sam, Gilly, and her baby boy ran away from the fighting.  

Daenerys takes the whip from Master Krasny
Daenerys takes the whip from Master Krasny

A dragon is not a slave.  -Daenerys explains in her mother tongue, Valyrian 

Dany declares that the soldiers are free
Dany declares that the soldiers are free

Will you fight for me?  As free men?  -Daenerys addresses The Unsullied warriors

The final scenes (shot in Morocco) with Dany and her dragons were fantastic!  The music was perfect, too.  It was fun to see the dragons after quite some time.  The scared little victim we saw in the series premiere is gone- Dany has become a leader.  Even Jorah was surprised.  (Emilia Clarke is also growing as an actress, as many critics have said.)  

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Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 3 (“Walk of Punishment”)

SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from the latest episode of Game of Thrones.   

The boat carrying Sir Hoster Tully's corpse is set aflame.
The boat carrying Sir Hoster Tully’s corpse is set aflame.

Episode 3 begins with the funeral of Sir Hoster Tully, lord of Riverrun and father of Lady Catelyn.  We learn that he was stubborn and a skilled warrior (took part in many battles).  We are introduced (humorously) to Robb’s uncle Edmure (Tobias Menzies; Brutus in HBO’s Rome) and Catelyn’s battle-hardened uncle, Brynden “Blackfish” Tully (veteran character actor Clive Russell).  Dark humor is woven through this episode. 

Lady Catelyn Stark at her father's funeral
Lady Catelyn Stark at her father’s funeral

A world of war and tragedy is not a world without comedy, but rather a world where comedy is rarely allowed to continue unabated for very long.

At any given point, there are characters in situations where they could forget about the gravity at hand, where the inherent humor of human interaction overwhelms the threat of widespread conflict.

-Miles McNulty (Cultural Learnings blog)

Tobias Menzies (foreground) as Edmure Tully
Tobias Menzies (foreground) joins the cast as Edmure Tully, Robb’s uncle

Edmure’s men have captured two young Lannister boys, but Robb doubts that Lord Tywin will make peace solely for their release.  The Mountain (loyal to Tywin) and his men are still out there, killing and plundering mindlessly.  Robb is worried about all his young siblings, though he doesn’t speak of it.  Blackfish tells Catelyn that she has to believe that Bran and Rickon are alive.  (Fairley gets another emotional/powerful scene where we see that even she can’t be strong all the time.)

Brynden "Blackfish" Tully (Clive Russell)
Brynden “Blackfish” Tully (Clive Russell)

There’s a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.  Ser Jorah 

(This was the most powerful line of this episode, in my opinion.)

Dany and her two advisors, Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan
Dany and her two advisors, Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan

Daenerys is still in the slave city of Astapor, wondering if she should purchase the 8,000 Unsullied warriors we met in Episode 2.  She’s disturbed by all that she sees around her- slaves with chains around their necks, others bloodied and crucified, the despair on the faces of the young kids.  Ser Barristan says that men fight for a leader they admire and love.  He says that her brother Rhaegar was “the finest man I ever knew.”  Ser Jorah says that “The Unsullied are not men,” so they will not rape or kill innocents.  Dany decides to sell one of her dragons (much to the shock of both her advisors)!  She also asks Krasznys for the translator, Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). 

I’m not sure what is going on with Theon, but he gets some help from a young man, who tells him that “you’re not in the Iron Islands.”  Then, there is an exciting riding scene!  Theon is saved from being raped by a gang of vicious thugs by his new friend. 

A spiral of dead horses
A spiral of dead horses

Jon, Mance, Ygritte, and the Wildlings go south of The Wall and come upon a large spiral of dead horses which Mance says belonged the “best warriors” of Lord Commander Mormont.  The “Old Bear” and his men, including Sam, go back to Krastor’s Keep to ask for shelter.  Sam witnesses Gilly, the young woman he befriended in Season 2, giving birth to a baby- a boy.  Uh oh!   

Arya and Hot Pie say goodbye
Arya and Hot Pie say goodbye

Arya and Gendry say goodbye to Hot Pie (who served as comic relief); he impressed an innkeeper with his baking skills.  He gives Arya a (somewhat) wolf-shaped loaf of bread as a goodbye present.  Arya is a “guest” of the Brotherhood without Banners, who will protect her from harm.     

Tyrion goes to fetch the ledgers from Littlefinger's brothel
Tyrion goes to fetch the ledgers from Littlefinger’s brothel

The Lannisters seem to have an odd, old-money attitude toward money. It’s the basis of their family’s fame, and yet too much attention to the making and managing of it is uncouth, unseemly. 

-James Poniewozik  (Time Magazine)

Anyway, it’s not my father I’m worried about, it’s the Iron Bank of Braavos.  We owe them tens of millions. 

-Lord Tyrion

Lord Tyrion is made Master of Coin by his father, since Littlefinger is soon going off to The Eyrie to woo the widowed Lady Arryn, the younger sister of Catelyn.   Tywin feels that it’s a “fine” (strategic) match for Littlefinger, who he made Lord of Harrenhal.  Tyrion soon realizes that “the history of the Seven Kingdoms” is inside the ledgers.  There is a cute (yet informative) scene where he explains how money is borrowed to Bronn.   

Jamie decides to help Brienne
Jamie negotiates to help Brienne keep her “honor”

Ser Jaime (no shining white knight) gets a moment of redemption-  finally!  (Coster-Waldau has become one of the most watchable actors on the show.  His British accent has improved much over the seasons, too.)  Brienne is saved from being raped by Bolton’s bannermen (Northmen) who captured them at the end of Episode 2.  However, Jaime goes  a bit too far (with his egotistical words), and is seriously punished by Locke (Noah Taylor).  It’s quite a shock (One viewer commented that he lost a hand, but gained back a bit of his soul.) 

Midnight’s Children (TRAILER)

I saw the film this past Saturday (National Geographic Society); it was part of DC Film Fest.  It will be in wide release (US) on Friday, April 26.

Running Time: 146 minutes

Languages: English, Hindi, Urdu

Director: Deepa Mehta (the Canadian Indian filmmaker of Bollywood Hollywood, Earth, Fire, Water, & more)

IMG_3129

Screenwriters: Salman Rushdie (British Indian author of the novel; he also does the narration) & Mehta

Starring: Shabana Azmi (Indian; internationally-acclaimed veteran actress), Seema Biswas (Indian; co-starred in Water), Rahul Bose (Indian; indie film actor), Samrat Chakrabarti (British American actor/musician; co-starred in Season 3 of HBO’s In Treatment), Sarita Choudhury (British American; recently seen in Showtime’s Homeland), Charles Dance (British; currently seen on HBO’s Game of Thrones), Khulbushan Kharbanda (Indian veteran actor), Anupam Kher (Indian veteran actor; recently seen in Silver Linings Playbook), Zaib Shaykh (Canadian Pakistani; recently starred on Little Mosque on the Prairie), & several newcomers from the worldwide South Asian diaspora

Director of Cinematography: Giles Nuttgens (British; has worked on all of Mehta’s films)

Soundtrack Composer: Nitin Sawhney (British Indian)

Read more: Recreating Bombay’s Child: An interview with actor Satya Babha