Game of Thrones: And Now His Watch is Ended Review - Mania.com



Game of Thrones Review

Mania Grade: A+

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  • Episode: And Now His Watch is Ended (Season 3 Episode 4)
  • Starring: Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Richard Dormer, Ciarán Hinds, Kristofer Hivju
  • Written By: George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire), David Benioff (creator)
  • Directed By: Alex Graves
  • Network: HBO
  • Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
  • Series:

Game of Thrones: And Now His Watch is Ended Review

Continues to delight

By Jarrett Kruse     April 23, 2013
Source: Mania.com

HBO’s Game of Thrones continues to delight and astonish me but this week’s episode hit a non-performing enhancing drug home run deserving of the A+ grade I have given it. I gave that grade just one other time in thirteen years of reviewing TV & Movies. Turns out the only other A+ I had given was for GOT Season two’s finale from last year. I have watched this week’s episode three times already and I am just blown away by the cohesiveness and maintenance of the narrative. The ancillary stuff that we think has no meaning comes roaring back to bite us in the ass. Sometimes us geeks complain; where was this character or that? Why didn’t they do this? Why isn’t my favorite character being featured in this episode? After an episode like this, any gripes I have had this season are now forgotten.

Jaime Lannister has fallen very far in the last year and I think he deserves every punch, kick or cutting off of hands that come his way. He reminds me of that animated Prince in Shrek 2 that wants everything handed to him simply because of his title. Now, Jaime has only one hand and can barely ride his horse. When he falls off of his mount as they trek through the mud, Brienne’s maternal instinct kicks in as she tries to tell the men not to hurt him. Jaime does what he can to fend off the men but he is one handed, weak and starving. Plus he just drank a canteen of horse piss. To his credit he did better than most one-handed royalty could do under similar circumstances. They are doing their best to make Jaime the Kinglayer a sympathetic character. However the event that is the spark of the entire series is Jaime pushing Bran from climbing so if you ask me he is lucky having escaped with the loss of just one hand. 

At night Brienne explains to Jaime that this is the real world and people lose things every day and that he is whining like a woman. It was a humbling moment for Jaime as Brienne laced into him and told him for lack of a better word to stop acting like such a puss*. Whining and crying that this is his first taste of the real world was too much for Brienne to take. She recommends revenge above all else rather than yapping about how far he has fallen. It is actually a message that we can all relate to at some point in our lives. Feeling sorry for oneself is the easiest thing in the world to do. I thought it was an extra shot to the spoiled Lannister to wear his own hand around his neck. A constant reminder of what he has lost; his sword hand.

Tyrion does not have many people to trust and ironically seeks the advice of The Spider. The Eunuch tells him a chilling story of what happened to him as a child all the while opening a crate. It seems that a Sorcerer gave him a tonic that did not allow him to speak or move but also did not dull his senses. After “Jim and the twins” were extracted by knife, his privates were then barbecued. Yikes. But rather than go after he sorcerer as a child, Lord Varys decided to wait. And wait. As he finished the story, the box is opened and Tyrion looks in astonishment at its contents: The Sorcerer. By biding his time and waiting Lord Varys built himself back up and now he has the man by exactly what he lost. The man that ruined his life is in a box and Varys free to do whatever he sees fit. Later on in a meeting with the Queen of Thorns with which he has found a kindred spirit, The Spider explains the dangers of Littlefinger and that he is one of the most dangerous men in all of Westeros. The two muse that “If Robb Stark falls; Sansa Stark is the key to the North” as Baelish is leaving King’s Landing with a plan to take Sansa along for the ride. The elderly Queen quips that if that does come to pass, Littlefinger will have the key right in his pocket. The Spider is one tricky bastard and IMO more dangerous than Littlefinger. 

At Crasters, one of his daughters has delivered a son and as we learn later he has killed 99 sons and we all remember what he does should one of his daughters have a girl.  Sam had taken a shine the last time the Night’s Watch made their way through of Craster’s daughter that has just delivered a son. Without any place to go, they must kowtow to Craster and eventually a rebellion breaks out as a hungry Crow calls the killer of son’s a bastard. Sam sees this as an opportunity to get his crush and newborn son away from her father in all of the confusion. He is proving to be a far more crafty character than I expected and he has a good heart despite everything else.

The Brotherhood without Banners has Arya and she is being treated as justly as possible. To be fair I think she is the strongest Stark of all. They also have “The Hound” in their possession and want to see what the scarred warrior can do at their proverbial clubhouse. They do not show anything but I am looking forward to a Rocky versus Drago type matchup. Theon Greyjoy seemed to be rescued last week but things could not be worse.  I love the tricks that are played on us from week to week by the writers and producers. Greyjoy again is held prisoner on a cross by the boy that promised he was going to take him to Deepwood Motte to see Yara. However as Theon enters the chained quarters he begins to profess his wrongdoings as Prince of Winterfell. A minute later he is back on the rack tied up around men that lost children or friends in his brief hostile takeover of Winterfell. To be quite honest I am a little happy that I did not read the books because I would not have such unbridled enthusiasm for the show. I would be busy pointing things out that were absent. That is not to say you guys that read all of the books are not having a blast as well. They are just so adept at figuring out to know how to toy with us just enough to be completely engaged in the web-like narrative.

Margaery has a girl to girl talk with Sansa after she dazzles King Joffrey with her charms. All I kept thinking while Joffrey showed Margaery the majesty of the kingdom is that this chick is definitely up Joff’s alley. She wants him to open the doors to the kingdom and wave to the commoners but clearly he is hesitant. Cersei makes an attempt to stop it but too late. Margaery plays the part of royalty beautifully as she starts waving to the masses. Looking befuddled and confused, Joffrey starts to wave and looked like Marty McFly in Back to the Future at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance when he straightened out the time continuum waving to his future father as he began getting “erased” from history (or the future). That was all I could think of while watching this scene. Margaery is playing her cards perfectly and is a master manipulator. She credits Joff with the bravado to actually open the doors to the people. I cannot figure out if she is on the level or just really cunning and desiring a throne; any throne. I think it is the latter.

Daenerys’ absence was felt greatly in episode three but man was it worth it. After making the deal to give up her biggest dragon for eight-thousand unsullied troops for her army, a seismic shift occurs. Krasnys has been insulting Khaleesi throughout their negotiations and has been using a translator that softened his words. But guess what? Daenerys speaks Valyrian and it is her mother tongue. She has put up with Krasnys’ bile for far too long. Since the deal is done and the soldiers now hers, she commands them to kill all of the masters, soldiers and slavers. As a final flip off she cues her unwieldy dragon to fireball Krasnys’ ass and burns him to a crisp. Whoa. This totally was the entrée I had been waiting for since last season.  A+ for an outstanding episode that has tremendous repeat value. Well done. (No pun intended about Krasnys’ fate). 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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fatpantz 4/23/2013 12:52:42 AM

Hell ya that was an A

So much to run through my brain and process...I am going back to watch it again, but man did I have chills at the end!!  Argue all you like, but best series ever.

mlaforce 4/23/2013 2:31:40 AM

I disagree, that episode deserves an A ...Best damn story telling I have ever been witness to, so thank you HBO for your awesome production values, you guys never seem to fail me except when you decide to cancel a show to early on in it's life, like deadwood, john from Cincci and entourage, although the later was just bad writting when it came down to the last season but what the hell right, you guys have clearly made up for it with GOT....Thanks once again...

therockdltj 4/23/2013 3:14:02 AM

 Entourage lasted 8 seasons ! How is that cancelled early ?

ripum853 4/23/2013 4:30:19 AM

 Dany and Craster's Keep; between those two scenes alone, it was one of the best episodes of the series.  This season is knocking it out of the park.  Varys also had a lot of great moments this week; he was barey in the first three episodes, but was all over the place in this one.

 

 

dnbritt 4/23/2013 5:31:24 AM

From a reader of the books, no spoilers ahead, but I would like to point out to those that didn't read the books that I feel like Jaime has been a little short-changed.  In the books, they make abundantly clear what a badass he is.  His is the apex warrior in the Seven Kingdoms, and is not quite as spoiled as they make him out in the series.  Certainly, he's a child of privilege, but he has more than earned his keep and has virtually no equal in combat.  That is why losing his hand is so devastating to him.  Everything that he is is gone, not because he's maimed now, but because being the warrior defined him, more than everything else.  It is easy to hate Jaime and he is deserving of most of it, but keep in mind, he was the only one who was kind to Tyrion, and he came to Brienne's defense.  Many of his evil deeds are as much a shield as they are a part of his character.

dnbritt 4/23/2013 5:32:05 AM

And yes, this was a phenomenal episode.  I got chills.  The way that girl delivered those lines in a (presumably) made up language should be taught in acting classes.

goldeneyez 4/23/2013 7:06:59 AM

Jarett, what I'd say about Jamie to you is "character arc."  Characters in Westeros grow and change, Jamie started off like a little spoiled turd, but he won't stay that way.  Also what dnbritt said.

jdiggitty 4/23/2013 7:44:48 AM

 dnbritt, I totally agree with you about Jamie. The tradgedy of him losing his hand on the show was quite dulled compared to the books. But, now is the point where his character arc really starts, so there is time for the show to strengthen the meaning of this event. 

Dany's expressions were wonderfull. When she told the Unsulied to "halt" and knew she had control, her face said "I'm about to f*** s*** up". 

MrEt 4/23/2013 7:57:43 AM

dnbritt; I also miss the internal monolog Jaime had as a point of view character, I miss him questioning if the taunts he recieves are something that his brother had to endure evey day, it really humanized him. I also love watching everything with theon it is so fresh and new compared to hearing about it after the fact in the books.

batkruse 4/23/2013 8:03:25 AM

Thanks for all of the comments guys, I appreciate the feedback...

-Jarrett

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