The chains have been broken, but at what cost?
1. Tyrion’s arrest.. Trust Joffrey to cause Tyrion grief even after he’s dead. Tyrion has drawn the short straw several times but now more than ever; blamed for murdering his tyrannical nephew, who I’m sure he would have gladly killed, but is nonetheless innocent. After the Red Wedding I wouldn’t be surprised if George Martin has Tyrion’s head on a pike for a crime he didn’t commit. I thought the emotional farewell to Podrick was well done, another of Tyrion’s allies fleeing the city.
2. Sansa’s escape.. Finally the poor girl is out of Kings Landing, but is she better off in the hands of Petyr Baelish? I think not. Baelish is a schemer, and a ship off the coast of hostile territory with an unpredictable gambler and opportunist is no safe haven.
3. The new king.. All hail King Tommen. His grandfather must certainly be satisfied with a king that is younger, needing to learn, and therefore much easier to manipulate. This was made clear when Tywin casually slipped into the conversation that a wise king knows to listen to his councilors and advisers even after coming of age.
4. A rekindled romance.. It seems that Jamie isn’t taking no for an answer, but seriously right there next to Joffrey’s body is still a touch distasteful. I would expect two twins with three inbred children to have higher standards.
5. An alliance with the Martells.. Someone is not what they seem in this situation. I doubt Oberyn will support the Lannister’s at Tyrion’s trial. It’s not impossible, but I doubt it. There’s no way Oberyn bought Tywin’s denial of involvement in his sister’s death.
6. Arya learns a lesson from the Hound.. The Hound gets more vicious every time we see him. What a bite this episode, robbing a farmer and his daughter of their last silver after they sheltered him from a storm, fed him and offered him the silver for a months work. His excuse to Arya; they’re weak and won’t survive. It’s a shame, but the truth of the matter is kind people in Westeros never fare well with Lannisters and Boltons around, not that this justifies what he did.
7. Sam says farewell to Gilly.. Another character sent away for their protection; Shae, Podrick and now Gilly. Is this a way of removing minor characters from the show or a legitimate plot device.
8. Davon finds a way.. After being badgered by Stannis for lack of forces and gold he came to a sudden realization while reading to Shireen. He had Shireen write a letter in the name of her father to the Iron Bank. I hope this pays off, otherwise he might find himself back in a cell.
9. Maneuvers at Castle Black.. In the face of Mance’s invasion the Knights Watch decided to deal with the mutineers to prevent Mance learning that their forces are depleted. There is no way they can defeat Mance at present and all this will do is delay the inevitable. The situation at the Wall is clearly dire, and there is no telling how it could pan out at this point.
10. Daenerys arrives at Meereen.. The climax of the show saw the rulers of Meereen underestimate Daenerys Targaeryn, disrespectfully taunting her with a champion. Daario Naharis dealt with him swiftly and then a message was delivered to the people of Meereen. It was a very symbolic gesture; catapulting unlocked slave collars into the city. This gesture was symbolic of her purpose, to deliver freedom to the slaves of Meereen. Judging from the walls of Meereen, I am unsure if Daenerys can take this city, but then I thought the same of Yunkai last season and it fell to her will. She will most likely find a way and I look forward to seeing the siege play out.
Conclusions.. This episode saw many chains broken. Sansa Stark escaped Kings Landing which had become her prison, albeit for a potential new prison. Tyrion freed Podrick from his service. Jamie unchained his lust for Cersei. Tywin is now free to exercise power over a young and inexperienced monarch. Daenerys is ready to break the chains of every slave in Meereen. There will be consequences for all of these liberations, and only time will tell what they will be.