Recap Season 4

Season 4, Episode 3 – Breaker of Chains – Open Chat

Tonight brings the aftermath of the Purple Wedding, Dany’s arrival to Meereen, the continuing adventures of Arya & The Hound, and the promise of much more. Discuss the third episode of Season 4 with fellow fans and look forward to our recap later tonight. Episode details are after the break.

Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Director: Alex Graves
Runtime: 57 minutes
Synopsis: Tyrion ponders his options. Tywin extends an olive branch. Sam realizes Castle Black isn’t safe, and Jon proposes a bold plan. The Hound teaches Arya the way things are. Dany chooses her champion.
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  • Lucky bastards, think of us poor souls that have to wait another 20+ hours.
    Crying myself to sleep… again!

  • I keep forgetting Game of Thrones is back on, or at least keep forgetting it’s Sunday. Last week, I thought for some reason that Sunday was Saturday, so I when posting on forums, I kept saying “tomorrow” instead of “tonight”.

  • I can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to the Meereen stuff! I think its because Dany’s story has been so jarringly simple. Everyone else is bogged down in politics and constant complications while Dany breezes from one slave city to another freeing slaves and being worshiped. Reality is going to bite when she realises how difficult it is the rule.

  • Hoping for the Meereen stuff to be pretty epic. That shot from the episode preview of the Unsullied setting off the siege weapons at the city walls looks amazing in scale. Hard to believe this is TV and not film sometimes.

  • I don’t care that I’m not first. Tonight’s episode deserves this:


  • Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’m looking forward to that as well! With his reintroduction, Sansa’s storyline really begins to accelerate. I’m hoping the showrunners did a decent job of exploring that dynamic. It’s a fantastic–albeit creepy–relationship and an opportunity to shock viewers. I’ve been waiting for Eyrie material for so long!

  • I am wondering when the newly cast Mountain will make his 1st appearance.

    I can’t wait to see what D&D do to build up his character and show the TV viewer just what a real monster this guy is (both physically and psychologically).

    I also can’t wait to hear that Oberyn sand snake theme music!

    But for tonight’s episode I am looking forward to Sansa’s storyline, this will be a huge turning point for her!

  • Sansa Bird,

    I don’t know that I’d consider it an acceleration to Sansa’s story. It’s a change, which is always good, but there isn’t all that much excitement to her story that’s published as of yet.

  • I admit, the Littlefinger – Sansa scenes are the ones I’m looking forward the most tonight !

    Followed by the return of Edd and Grenn, Tywin proposing Oberyn and Mace to be the other two judges, Arya’s reaction to the PW and to see how they write Stannis.

  • Clob,

    I guess that’s based on what your opinion of her and her storyline is. I personally found all her chapters exciting while I was reading, and when LF was revealed after the PW, I was all the more enraptured. But Sansa is not everyone’s favorite character so it’s understandable how you might not find her change in story that intriguing. I personally think her progression from this point on are some of her most exciting moments to date.

  • Arthur,

    Actor said he’ll appear in three episodes, so ?, 7 (killing peasants, seen in set photos) and 8 (title obviously). He also said he spent one week shooting in Belfast, so probably an interior scene.

  • I wonder if Arya will find out about Joffrey’s death tonight?

    The Littlefinger reveal should be really good. I hope they wait to reveal the QOT’s guilt for another couple of episodes though. Now I’m salivating over the pawns and players speech that will come later one. That will be a highlight of the season I’m betting.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Did you called me?

    It is odd how they scheduled filming in Iceland in the summer, when for 4 seasons now, people have fervently uttered “Winter is Coming”.. it was more winter in the first season than now.

  • It would be so badass if the episode ends with Littlefinger and his big FU to Cersei and the Lannisters. Chaos is a ladder.

  • Jon Snow will step up to becoming Lord Commander tonight, and eventually King to the Queen Arya.

  • Hope we get the max from Kings landing, Arya and hound and even some wall story line. The rest seems irrelevant ! Dont care about Mereen! Its just another city!!! Dragons are overrated really!

  • I am SO upset about how they changed that scene in the Sept… Rape? Seriously? It was 100% consensual in the books! They’re making Jaime look bad and I don’t like it at all.

  • I’d heard rumblings about how the scene would come across but wanted to wait and see and…yeah, I don’t understand why they would change the tone like that.

    In the book, Cersei does say no at first, if I remember right, but she then consents. Jaime doesn’t force himself on her….

  • Tatters,

    Lol, wall or i should say beyond the wall story for the past 2 seasons were lame as crap! But now that theres a war coming and also 2 ass holes giving jon a hard time are there too its pretty interesting! The bald russian cannibals are also sth to look for…

  • Scott Glennon:
    That scene with Pod and Tyrion…got to me.

    The North Remembers.

    To me too.

    Wow, this episode flew.. i was like no way thats the end of the show.. must be more than 20 minutes left.. but no.. really liked it, although i am not sure why they changed the tone at the tombfuck..

  • Damn!

    Actually think that was better than last week!

    Iron Bank! Golden Company!!! Guest right!

    Shireen and Arya still awesome!

    This season really isn’t slowing down. Can’t wait for next week!

    Ben Kingsley for Doran Martell or I riot!!!

  • Yeah! The Golden Co & Stannis? Wow. The trebuchet barrels full of broken manacles! Nice touch. SansaFinger begins! Pod the ultimate squire!

  • …..reporting from the West Coast…… strong episode, intrigue overrule changes ( well, except for the Thenns).

  • Pretty solid episode. Didn’t like the Sept scene. But some great shout outs to ASOIAF history.

  • I really don’t know what to think about that episode. Call me extremely biased but the only thing I enjoyed was the Sansa/Littlefinger scene. The Tywin/Tommen scene in the sept was good too, but I feel like the quality of writing suddenly went down. But that’s just a first impression right from watching, I’ll have to think about it.

  • Littlefinger was every bit as creepy as I would’ve hoped.

    Pod made me get a little teary eyed.

    The Meereen scene was great. I loved the broken chain flinging and Dany’s speech.

    Overall, it was damn kid for an episode that was mostly set up for the later episodes.

    Things I didn’t like. Sept sex was way too rapey. WTF? We’re supposed to be sympathizing with him at this point, not hating him.

    The opening scene was a little rushed. I wish they’d stayed on Cersei and her reaction a minute or two longer.

    The transition from the Wall scene to Meereen was really sudden and jarring.

  • One of the worst episode. Only scenes I liked were the Tywin scenes. Ending especially was dreadful.

  • WildSeed:
    …..reporting from the West Coast…… strong episode, intrigue overrule changes ( well, except for the Thenns).

    The Thenns are one misstep away from being silly.

  • Lovely episode, definitely a setup ep. Favorite part was Tywin/Oberyn. Minor quibble: are they writing out the already established show fact that Darrio is commander of Dany’s cavalry?

  • Could’ve done without the Sam and Gilly stuff but a great episode overall. Loooved Dany’s scene at the end (And Now His Watch Is Ended pt 2), loved the Castle Black scene at the end, shed a tear during the Tyrion/Pod scene (though more out of sadness for what’s to come in episode 10 than the current scene), loved the Wildling scene with the awesome new theme music that actually makes the Wildlings an awesome subplot.

    Sept was dull but needed, Arya/Hound scene? I suppose the purpose was to foreshadow someone’s trip to Braavos and possibly a separation from the Hound very soon, could’ve done without yet another Oberyn sex scene but loved the interaction with Tywin.

    There were several funny one liners, too.

    Overall fabulous

  • Sansa Bird,

    I have yet to watch the episode but I’ve had a theory that they don’t equally write every episode together. Some episodes are more David Benioff and some are more DB Weiss and that would explain the changes is quality for the D&D episodes. I think there is a weaker link between them and which ever one of them was responsible for writing most the of the premiere I wish would take over writing responsibilities.

  • Blood Crow:
    Lovely episode, definitely a setup ep. Favorite part was Tywin/Oberyn. Minor quibble:are they writing out the already established show fact that Darrio is commander of Dany’s cavalry?

    I agree…it’s almost as if Daario of last season didn’t happen…

  • Call me crazy, but I love the Thenns. I love everything they’ve done with them. They took the wildlings from being a completely silly, irrelevant bore last season to being awesome to watch and genuinely exciting characters. I think it was a much needed change that’s gonna put 4.9 on a completely different level.

  • Great episode!

    The only problems I had were the rape like scene with jamie and cersei. And then how the episode ended in the middle of the Mereen battle

    I loved the Hound & Arya scenes. Felt really bad for that old man. But it was a good reminder that The Hound is not this good person even though he gets along with Arya

    I also loves the Tyrion and Pod scene. Very touching

    I’m glad we got to see Tywin and Oberyn interact alone

  • WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    It was completely consensual in the books:

    “Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.” She kissed his ear and stroked his short bristly hair.

    – A Storm of Swords, Jaime VII

    The show made that scene intensely rapey and I was really disgusted. They’d rather show some more sexual violence rather than sex between two consenting adults because it’s incest. That’s shocking to me. I would have thought D&D would have wanted to build up the incest, make it controversial. I don’t understand?

  • Yeah, what the fuck with the sept scene? I’d like to get an answer at some point as to why they made it look like rape. If they wanted to redeem Jaime they sure as hell made yet another obstacle for him to overcome. First he kills his cousin and now this? And Stannis and Sansa fans are the ones complaining?

    The episode was pure setup for the rest of the season. I really could have used a bit less Sam and Gilly. Other than that and the attempted Jaime character assassination(Seriously, he hangs men for raping a whore in the books!), it was an okay episode. If I hadn’t read the books I would root for Daenerys. It’s easy to see why she is so popular.

  • JamesL,

    I think that might cause issues in the future if they aren’t completely on the same page? I’m not super familiar with how scripts are written and how collaborative they are, but I am hesitant to trust D&D at this point seeing as they took on mostly all the of episodes this season. (There isn’t much room for diversity in writing since they got rid of the other writers, right?)

  • Sansa Bird,
    I was concerned as well about the sept scene. However, this situation will most likely up the tension factor between them in future episodes. They are done. This was an emphatic, ugly statement regarding the ending of their “relationship”.

  • From the unsullied thread on

    “And Jaime, you were doing so well on redeeming yourself, and now you go and do that.”

    “Jaime…shame on you.”

    Yep, what a monumental fuck up by D&D.

  • Question for those who read the books. I’m halfway through A Feast For Crows, and I’m wondering what is going on with Theon and that whole crazy scenario he’s in (in the tv version). Is that any part of the books I just haven’t got to yet?

  • Venger:
    Question for those who read the books.I’m halfway through AFeast For Crows,and I’m wondering what is going on with Theonand that wholecrazy scenario he’s in (in the tvversion).Is that any part of the books I just haven’t got to yet?

    Yes. Kinda.

  • Wow, they turned Jaime Lannister into a full-on rapist on the show. Three seasons worth of character development down the toilet in one crappy scene.

  • It was not 100% consensual in the books. Here is the exact quote:

    “There was no tenderness in the kiss he returned to her, only hunger. Her mouth opened from his tongue. ‘No…not here. The septons…’ ‘The Others can take the septons.’…She pounded on his chest with feeble fists, muttering about the risk, the danger, about her father, about the septons, about the wrath of the gods. He never heard her”.

    If you think Jaime wasn’t going to have sex with her whether she wanted to or not, you are reading it wrong. I don’t think they should have gone that rapey with it, but let’s not pretend Jaime wouldn’t have done it even if Cersei hadn’t started enjoying it.

  • It looks like it was meant to be like the book Just apparently handled very badly and completely tone deaf

    From Alan Graves interview with Hitfix

    “Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle. Nobody really wanted to talk about what was going on between the two characters, so we had a rehearsal that was a blocking rehearsal. And it was very much about the earlier part with Charles (Dance) and the gentle verbal kidnapping of Cersei’s last living son. Nikolaj came in and we just went through one physical progression and digression of what they went through, but also how to do it with only one hand, because it was Nikolaj. By the time you do that and you walk through it, the actors feel comfortable going home to think about it. The only other thing I did was that ordinarily, you rehearse the night before, and I wanted to rehearse that scene four days before, so that we could think about everything. And it worked out really well. That’s one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever done.”

  • Venger,

    Yes. I thought the same thing last season as I was right about where you are. It’s the same exact thing that happens in the books, it’s just that GRRM’s angle (which I prefer to the show’s) is to leave you wondering about Theon for two books and then he introduces this character named Reek a little ways into ADWD. At the end of the chapter you realize it’s Theon and you go Oh Shit.

    So you don’t see the torture happen, you just see what he’s become and then you see what happens from there.

  • Thoughts of the showrunners: “So JL is a giftwrapped character. We could change nothing about his arc and he will still be a highlight of the show. Now lets have him randomly kill his cousin and rape Cersei.”

  • Enfield,
    Also, Jaime and Cersei had about 15 layers of clothing on between them. No way he could have been so forceful with her with only one hand and all those clothes.

  • The rape was a weird and not very good choice but I’m far more concerned about the Tyrion character assassination. The one in which he looks like a complete evil asshole for murdering Shae after she “betrays” him, since, you know, in the show they’ve broken up, have no relationship anymore, and Shae thinks Tyrion broke her heart, lied to her, and betrayed her. Book Tyrion would NEVER have murdered or even felt betrayed by Shae after what he did to her. Deuces to the Tyrion fans Yeah that one’s still eating away at me and I think Jaime’s a dick for life anyway

  • Sansa Bird,


    I can’t remember if they each write a whole script for the same episode and then exchange or if one writes the beginning and one writes the end and they exchange, but in their Long Story Short video recently released they said that they do one of the two. When they exchange, they edit the other’s work and then exchange again, repeat and repeat cycle. Then I suppose they come up with one finish product that’s been written and edited by both.

  • Shan:
    The rape was a weird and not very good choice but I’m far more concerned about the Tyrion character assassination. The one in which he looks like a complete evil asshole for murdering Shae after she “betrays” him, since, you know, in the show they’ve broken up, have no relationship anymore, and Shae thinks Tyrion broke her heart, lied to her, and betrayed her. Book Tyrion would NEVER have murdered or even felt betrayed by Shae after what he did to her. Deuces to the Tyrion fans Yeah that one’s still eating away at me and I think Jaime’s a dick for life anyway

    I’m really starting to think that Tyrion won’t end up killing Shae. I bet he sneaks into Tywin’s room, finds Shae already dead on the bed, and that’s what prompts his killing of Tywin.

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe things will look differently after the trial.

  • Enjoyed the whole episode EXCEPT for the scene in the Sept. Liked the tutoring scene with Tommen and Tywin, then that scene with Jaime and Cersei – ugh, hated it! In the book passage, Cersei seemed more to be doing the feeble protesting, passive-aggressive thing, more like she was toying with him, and onscreen, it seemed much less consensual and like Jaime was just a heartless rapist.

    I think that since season one the writers have tried to soft up Cersei and show a side of her that viewers will find more sympathetic, the loving but overindulgent mother, the poor misused wife, etc. Cersei is more of a nutjob in the books, and while I don’t mind them trying to show her as more than a pure villain, that scene made Jaime seem a lot more villainous than it came across in the book.

    Given his character improvement after all his time with Brienne, I thought he came across as a too black hearted in the Sept, and Cersei much more the victim. Victim Cersei does not play as well as crazy Cersei.

    The scene with Tyrion and Pod was great. Loved the kid playing Pod, he did a lovely job in that scene.

  • Shan,

    I was never really that comfortable with Tyrion killing Shae in the books, but I agree that this makes it so much worse. ESPECIALLY after he just encouraged Pod to take the deal and testify against him (until he finds out Pod already rejected the offer, then he encourages him to flee the city instead). He didn’t want Pod to die for loyalty to him. Why the hell would he expect Shae to die remaining loyal to him? It’s gonna come off really hypocritical and doubly evil, imo.

    But I also don’t see D&D doing away with Tyrion killing her. They like stuff with shock value. So… I’m worried.

    And yeah, Jaime raping Cersei in the sept was so gross. It didn’t really look like it became consensual at any point—just that maybe Cersei gave up fighting to get it over with faster. Absolutely disgusting and counter-productive to the arc Jaime had been on. But from what Alex Graves said, maybe the problem was less in the script and more in the way the actors played it, I don’t know…

  • Too many stories not moving forward. I am a huge fan of the books but I am losing interest in the show : (

  • The Sept scene was annoying. Get it right D&D, seriously. This is one more thing that I’m going to have to defend Jaime about to people who hate him. Aside from that the episode was good. The only other thing I was grrr about was the scene at the end… really? Another horse? I hated that Daario did that. He’s becoming more and more annoying. I also was annoyed with Dany’s reaction. I love Dany to pieces but really? That’s not hot of him… that’s low. I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts about her reaction and Darrio. Am I not understanding the scene right? Do I just not get him?

    On a more positive note, I loved Gilly and her response to things. The actress does an excellent job. I wish I could have gotten to see more from Jon. He’s so satisfying and enticing. I loved the Tyrells scenes and I’m glad they are making Margaery’s opinions on Joffrey more clear. I liked Sansa’s scenes. I appreciate what Alex Graves did with that scene and how he brought it to life, even if it’s annoying at how the Sept scene between Jaime and Cersei went in the show. What were they all thinking?

    I can’t wait for next week!!

  • It’s amazing and slightly disconcerting how many people can read a description of a rape from the point of view of a rapist and come away without realising a rape took place at all.

    Jaime isn’t on any kind of a redemption arc. Through Brienne’s influence he is TRYING to be a better person and a ‘true knight’, hence his commitment to the Kings guard, but he doesn’t know how. He’s almost playing at it. In Jaime’s mind, the only true, pure, noble thing in his life is his love for Cersei, and now he is back in Kings Landing he seems to have decided that the right thing to do is to try to be a good ‘husband’ and ‘father’. Jaime is a deeply screwed up individual and Cersei only makes him worse.

    I am guessing the people who are upset that this has ‘derailed’ Jaime’s redemption are the same ones who think Arya is going to grow up into an awesome kickass assassin who will avenge all the evil that has been done to her or that Dany, Tyrion and Jon are going to ride in at the last minute on dragons to save everyone from the Others. If you haven’t realised it’s not that kind of story by now you never will.

    What is good about the sept scene is how it affects CERSEI’s character arc. She has just lost one son, and sees the other, the youngest, one that belonged only to her, spirited away in front of her eyes to be fed into the meat grinder of Westerosi politics. She tries to use her last remaining source of power, her sexuality, to convince her brother to take revenge on the man who she thinks murdered her son. Instead, Jaime, her ‘soulmate’ and the only person she has ever trusted, calls her a monster and takes what he wants anyway. Cersei has absolutely no power or agency at the moment, which will help us to understand her later actions.

    On a lighter note, Ed’s back! Wildlings are doomed now…

  • Kenneth,

    Kenneth: And then how the episode ended in the middle of the Mereen battle

    That didn’t look like the beginning of a battle. That was just Daenerys appealing to the slaves. Any actual battle hasn’t started yet.

    It’s amazing and slightly disconcerting how many people can read a description of a rape from the point of view of a rapist and come away without realising a rape took place at all.

    It may be written from Jaime’s POV, but based on Cersei’s actual dialogue in the book, I don’t think that was rape. She starts off resisting, but eventually consents and even seems as eager as he does.
    I agree with basically everything else you said.
    I assume making it effectively rape in the show was to cement the idea that it’s not going to happen again and their twincest is at an end.

  • Weirdly enough, as a book reader, the sept scene didn’t bother me because that’s how Jaime and Cersei’s relationship has always played out – fighting is their foreplay, anger and grief is usually what drives them to each other.

    However, it is way easier to explain that in writing where GRRM has the characters’ internal monologues to work with.

    I’m not sure how the sept scene came across to unsullied.

  • This episode was a disaster. Jaime undoes all the sympathy built up for him over Season 3. The Hound doesn’t have a code after all; he and Arya would have looted the bodies of those they killed at the tavern in episode 1 so I see no need for him to rob the kind father who fed him stew. The Sam/Gilly section advances the plot not-at-all. Jon and the Blackwatch heading out to murder their brothers at Craster’s place invalidates their oaths. The whole “Wildings as free peoples” theme is brought to nothing by the cannibalistic Thenns. Stannis goes nowhere. There is no sign of Theon’s sister and her 50 badass Ironborn who are supposed to rescue Theon. Well, the producers have just experienced their Stalingrad. A few more episodes like Breaker of Chains and the whole show will be nicknamed Breaker of Franchise.

  • David,

    I read the sept scene in the book between Jaime and Cersei. It was done very differently in my opinion then how the show did it. I don’t see why they felt the need to paint Jaime as a “raper” when he wasn’t in the books. It’s indeed annoying. The hound does have a code. He could have killed that man, most others would have. Yeah, it was kind of lousy, but he still does have a code. It’s one we are learning about as the show goes on. I enjoy Sam and Gilly’s scene. It might not seem pertinent now but the scene that was shown could lead up to something great. Give it a chance. Give Theon’s sister time; sailing how far they need to sail takes a looonng time. There are a lot of things I’m waiting for to happen. All in due time.