Hi, Steve hasn’t read the books yet, so don’t be a jerk. Cool? Cool.
It appears that Game of Thrones isn’t interested in playing Clue. Everyone assumed that they’d tease out the mystery of who exactly killed Joffrey Baratheon. Most shows would do that. The speculation lasted a week.
Right off the bat, we find Littlefinger, hanging out in a ship graveyard (apparently no one wanted to clean up Blackwater Bay). The character hasn’t been seen on the show since he departed for the Vale of Arryn back in the middle of season three. Petyr Baelish makes it very obvious that he pulled every string behind Joffrey’s death in the previous episode. Hell, I’m surprised they didn’t show a flashback of him recommending that the king put on an entire show using dwarves as actors with the sole intention of pissing off his uncle. The show wants us to know, without a doubt, that this is the man responsible. My roommate put it well, when he said that Game of Thrones doesn’t care about who did it, so much as why that person did it.
This was something that was recently addressed with the popularity of True Detective. Audiences today frantically search for clues and analyze everything to death. We become wrapped up in the who and how and tend to forget about the why. We miss some great character work and moments in the process.
Littlefinger was such a constant presence in the show back in the first two seasons that it was odd to see him depart to marry Catelyn’s batshit insane sister. He gave us that whole chaos ladder spiel. I’m not sure how I didn’t see it coming, now that I think about it. His obsession with Catelyn was the key reason he threw Ned Stark to the lions. He was creeping on Sansa before he left King’s Landing last season. Littlefinger didn’t orchestrate a major political assassination just to bang a teenager, right? He’s the creepiest creep to ever creep.
The other area that the show is interested in exploring in the wake of Joffrey’s death is the power vacuum. It’s not quite as dramatic as Ned Stark confronting Cersei after Robert Baratheon passed away, but it’s just as interesting. Margaery Tyrell (or is it technically Baratheon now?) wonders what her role is, since Joffrey died before they could consummate the marriage. Tywin Lannister apparently didn’t play a role in his grandson’s death, but he’s sure as shit taking advantage of the situation. Tywin wasted no time in planting the seeds of influence in little Tommen. He’s finally got a puppet that he can control.
Tywin is very good at manipulating people and events, but it all comes back to Littlefinger. Baelish has made his intentions known from the beginning. He will do anything to get to the top. Marrying into the Tully family was just another calculated move up that flimsy ladder that he described to Varys. Arya used the Tully name and reputation to secure a meal and shelter for her and the Hound. The name carries a certain weight to it. Baelish is gaining respect, he’s gaining power, he’s killing his opponents. Varys was right to be scared of Littlefinger.
But guys, let me just put this out there: IS LITTLEFINGER THE YELLOW KING???? Big, if true.
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- Creepiest incest scene ever? You betcha. Jaime Lannister’s lovemaking technique was very George and Oscar Bluth-like. Jaime is Arrested Westeros.
- There were more fantastic shots to open up this episode. Alex Graves has painted a gorgeous picture of Westeros with his two episodes this season. I’m excited to see what Michelle MacLaren (best known for being the go to action director on Breaking Bad) does with the next couple of episodes.
- The Hound’s quest for food is a sitcom that needs to happen. Maybe a Westerosi Food Network show, where his disapproval of a dish is marked by his now patented snot rocket.
- Stannis Baratheon was pretty upset to find out that Joffrey died. His magic blooded bastard escaped from Dragonstone with the help of his once illiterate best friend. He’s got relatable problems for a mass audience.
- Is this the end of Podrick Payne? No more delightful romps with Tyrion I suppose. Alas! He almost got him that wine, too…
- Are you sure that’s a safer place for Gilly and her baby, Sam? I know you mean well, but yeesh.
- Maybe Dontos would have been better off with death by booze.
- “Horses are dumber than men,” there’s no debating that, Daario.
- For an episode called The Breaker of Chains, it sure didn’t feature much of Danaerys Targaeryn. Still, her sequence did feature a Sergio Leone style pissing shot. Also, are those people really free when they have to load catapult barrels with broken chains? Come on, Khaleesi.