Warning – the following recap contains spoilers. Do not read unless you have seen ‘Breaker of Chains’
‘Breaker of Chains’ is a fitting title for this episode as we see the literal and figurative imprisonment and escape of characters. Alliances are forged between unlikely Houses, lines are crossed that should never be crossed, and we are reminded in this episode that despite Joffrey’s death, Westeros is still a place filled with people just as bad, if not worse, than him.
The episode picks up where we left off at the wedding; we watch Ser Dontos take Sansa away onto a boat, and to ship. Immediately, the creepy vibes set in. It looks like a ghost ship, a pirate ship in the middle of nowhere, and on board is Littlefinger, who we haven’t seen since he married Lysa Arryn. After a shocking turn of events, in which he kills Ser Dontos and reveals that he had been paid to convince Sansa to trust him, we’re left with a sick feeling as Littlefinger grooms Sansa into believing that he is the only person she can trust to keep her safe. He also admits to playing a part in Joffrey’s death, smashing the necklace he gave her to reveal that a poison was contained within the gemstones – which then begs the question – who actually committed the act if Littlefinger wasn’t even there? (Hint: watch ‘The Lion and The Rose’ again and you’ll see it!)
Whilst Cersei is mourning with Tommen in the Septon, Tywin takes advantage of the situation to manipulate Tommen into believing that a good king trusts his advisors with all of his decisions. Thus, Tywin basically rules Westeros. (As he has always tried to do.) Cersei is visibly shaken, as she watches her father take her only living son into his arms and into his trap unable to do anything about it. As they leave, Jaime appears. This is when things get disturbing and not because the body of their dead son is lying right there.
Jaime tells everyone to leave him alone with Cersei, and we watch the most peculiar scene as Jaime rapes Cersei. Goodbye seasons worth of character development. It is hard to believe, Jaime Lannister, someone who openly feels sick when he thinks about rape and even got his hand chopped off protecting Brienne from getting raped would even think about doing something like this to the woman he loves. This is the weakest point of the episode.
Arya is also reminded that the world is filled with cruel people – as the Hound takes advantage of a rather nice farmer, and then steals his money.
We also see Tywin forge an alliance with Oberyn. In an unlikely scene, he promises Oberyn not only to talk to the man responsible for raping and murdering his sister, but a seat on the council. It’s a smart and surprising move; we see just how smart and cunning Tywin can really be when it comes to taming his enemies. Similarly, Davos gets a cunning idea to repent for allowing the perfect chance for Stannis to take the throne slip through his fingers when he released Gendry, the true heir to the Iron Throne, last season.
While we are constantly reminded of all the bad men in the world, we are reminded that there are glimmers of hope. Podrick Payne, Tyrion’s loyal servant refused a knighthood and risked death, when he was asked by a strange man to testify against Tyrion in court. A tearful farewell commenced as we watched Tyrion order him to leave Kings Landing in order to save his life. The show is reinforcing here that in order to live in this world, good men must stay as far away from the game of thrones as possible.
Meanwhile, Sam has convinced Gilly it’s not safe for her and her babe at the Wall because the brother’s are all bad people too – though she quickly realises it’s only because Sam is in love with her, and it’s more for his benefit. Jon Snow and Co. also quickly realise that Mance will take them down when he reaches the wall if they don’t do something.
Finally, Daenerys is continuing Tour De Free-Every-Slave-In-Every-City. She catapults barrels of the freed slave’s chains at the current slaves in Meereen and we end on a scene of disbelief from both the slaves and the Higher Ups, and the sound of another slave revolution looming in the next episode.
Monday’s, Sky Atlantic, 9pm