What Is Hype May Never Die: A Game of Thrones Rewatch! 3.4 And Now His Watch is Ended
All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As much as I can, I am going to try and keep things episode/season specific. It’s out of respect to the narrative as well as the later seasons. Onwards!
3.4 And Now His Watch is Ended
The title is nothing more than a phrase uttered by the Night’s Watch when a member of the brotherhood has died. This happens in a couple of different ways- a few of the brothers commit mutiny, Sam puts his vows aside in order to save Gilly, Jaime’s redemption arc sans hand starts, and Kraznys… well… he’s dead by the end of the episode. And all the Unsullied are no longer slaves so there’s that.
The episode opens right where it left off- with Jaime’s hand as it’s hung around his neck. Locke teases him about Cersei- and it’s clear that the rumors of their relationship are in every corner of Westeros. Brienne is begging for the Bolton men to help Jaime but instead the beat him down- Brienne is one of the more honorable characters on the show and the shift in allegiance not only reflects that the beginning of Jaime’s change is genuine, but that the Bolton men are not to be trusted at all. Scattered throughout this scene are shots of Jaime attempting to reach and grasp a sword, his identity and everything he knows slipping away from him.
Down in King’s Landing, Tyrion seeks evidence of Cersei’s attempt to murder him from Varys, but Varys is busying himself with a crate, containing the man who purchased him as a boy and sliced off his bits. At the time, Varys also heard a voice- from the flames- and Varys declared himself against any sort of magic and especially the Red God. As gentle and as physically harmless as Varys seems sometimes, he reveals himself as quite sinister in this scene. It’s a good double back by showrunners that we may or may not be able to trust him.
Up at the Wall, Rast is really entertaining the idea of abandoning the Night’s Watch because neither Mormont or Craster are interested in keeping them alive. Meanwhile, Gilly is terrified that her son’s life will be Craster’s next sacrifice and she challenges Sam’s affection for her.
In his dreams, Bran and Jojen are chasing the three-eyed raven and he pursues it up a tree only to run into Cat. Dream Cat demands he stops climbing and throws him from the tree and we get the same shot of Bran that closed out the very first episode. I don’t remember this scene. It might be that Bran blames himself for a lot of what has happened- if he wasn’t climbing, he wouldn’t have seen Jaime and Cersei, they might not have had it out for Ned, Joff wouldn’t have tried to kill him, Cat wouldn’t have went south, and so on.
Back down south, Ros and Varys are gossiping about Pod’s legendary antics from the previous episode. Ros drops intel that Littlefinger is leaving to marry Lady Lysa soon and that he’s included a second bed on his travels- meant for Sansa.
Across the way, Joff is gleefully giving Margaery a tour around the Sept of Baelor, more specifically all the Targaryen graves with details of how they died. Olenna and Cersei are having a veiled conversation about how their husbands and sons do nothing more than seek out death and don’t have any brains, lamenting over how the world is unfairly run by these mentalities. Olenna says the arrangement is “ridiculous” and Cersei rightfully reads into this as that the Tyrell women are the ones to look out for.
There’s a crowd outside the sept clamoring for Margaery to make an appearance and as the doors open, Cersei can hear just how popular she is. Worse for Cersei, Joff joins her and waves at the crowd, perhaps the only time we hear people shouting in favor for him- this is such an un-Joff-like move and gives us a huge indicator of how much control Margaery already has over him- and it’s not by demanding it. She’s handling him just in the way that Cersei was able to read off Olenna’s words.
Theon is riding to Deepwood Motte with the stranger that saved him from the prison and pursuing guards. Apparently, this dude is from the Iron Islands and his village wept when Theon was taken away and that they were praying for the last son of Balon to return (pretty much how Viserys thought Westeros was praying for his return). This is a … complicated scene for Theon. He’s still trying to come to terms with what he did at Winterfell, saying he was only fulfilling his birthright as an Ironborn and that he couldn’t possibly be anything else. He also lets slip what we already knew- that he never found the Stark boys and that the heirs of Ned Stark are still alive. At the climax of the scene, Theon admits that what he’s done everything wrong and that the man who really raised him and the man he considers his father was Ned Stark. The conversation doesn’t go much further than this and I don’t think it needs to for us to understand the inner turmoil he’s had.
After this really nice scene with Theon, his helper reveals that he’s actually brought him back to the dungeon and he’s tied once again to his flaying cross. There has been no worse false sense of security until this.
Back near Harrenhal, Jaime claims that the loss of his hand was much more than misfortune and Brienne lays it straight for him- other people in Westeros have lost or endured much more than the loss of a limb. Faced against the same enemies, they finally begin to trust each other as Jaime begins to eat at Brienne’s insistence and Brienne acknowledges that Jaime went out of his way to help her.
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei is doing nothing more than watching Tywin pen a letter. He attempts to dismiss her, but Olenna’s conversation has stuck with Cersei- while her brothers have grown up foolish and have never shown any interest in taking Tywin’s seat, she has grown up as a dutiful Lannister. Tywin’s response is that Cersei has displayed weakness and clouded judgement- especially when it comes to her children- and he’s all in favor for someone to keep Joff in line even if that someone is a Tyrell. Tywin sees Margaery as a useful distraction for Joff, because that means he can run the Seven Kingdoms without Joff getting in the way.
On another walk in the garden, Varys and Olenna sling mud at each other with such a comfortable and natural banter that’s half flirting, half backhanded bitch slapping. Varys, in complementary colors to match Olenna’s outfit, speaks openly of his affection for Ned and wants to discuss Sansa Stark, who will become heir to Winterfell and key to the North which will undermine and challenge the Tyrell/Lannister rule. Olenna is fairly keen on retaining as much power as she can over Westeros and so…
Delivering Olenna’s and Varys’ new alliance, Margaery comes smiling to Sansa’s side and it almost looks like Sansa’s begun to take fashion cues from her- Sansa’s usual collar from the purple dress is gone and the neckline is a V. It’s not as deep as Margaery’s but it does come off as an attempt to match her style. In their walk, it’s the most smiling we get from Sansa in weeks. The smile only gets bigger when Margaery proposes the idea of marrying Loras so that they can be sisters. Even though we know that Margaery is manipulating Sansa (and Sansa even shows how gullible she is in their conversation), there’s a part of me that really believes that Margaery knows that this is for Sansa’s best interests and wants to keep her safe, not just to secure the North and a possible alliance.
Up north of the Wall, Rast is whining that Craster is starving the Night’s Watch and Craster really just wants them to get out of his keep. Starving, Karl, Rast, and a few other men angrily demand food from Craster before killing him and Jeor both. Sam takes the opportunity to smuggle out Gilly, while the rest of the Night’s Watch scatters in the confusion.
Down south, the Brotherhood Without Banners is escorting Arya and Company to their secret clubhouse behind a waterfall. Hiding in the waterfall- it’s Beric Dondarrion! Granted, it’s a different actor from Season 1, but it’s still him. I have a feeling this guy was on the waitlist for Jorah or someone else- he’s got a good voice. Anyway, Beric declares himself and his company the protectors of the innocent in the light of the one true god aka The Red God because that’s another term they use for him. Whatever.
Anyway, the Hound insists he’s performed some heinous acts but he was never completely dishonorable- that would be his brother- but Arya jumps in and says the Hound mercilessly killed a child, her friend the butcher’s boy. Beric jumps on this and tells him he’s sentenced to trial by combat and all we see is the glint in Arya’s eyes when one of the people she hates is put up for death.
Finally, over in Astapor, I’m finally giving the Scene of the Episode to Dany. She’s finally getting her army of Unsullied and hands over Drogo in exchange. Kraznys hands over the scepter and Dany immediately tests out the Unsullied- in High Valyrian. She lectures Kraznys out on his ideologies of slavery as well as his underestimation of her, orders the Unsullied to kill the masters, and finally tells Drogo “Dracarys.” Kraznys gets burned the fuck up. Then, she frees the Unsullied, refusing to take slaves on as her service- but they still declare themselves for her anyway. It’s kind of Lord of the Rings-y as they all drive their spears into the ground. This really is the peak of Dany, to go from someone who had no idea of her place in the world to someone who was willing to act on what she believed was right. We are introduced to a lot in this scene- the music we associate with the character, as well as “Dracarys” and dragon stuff, and there’s this steely gaze that Emilia Clarke really nails in this scene. I don’t think I really liked the character until this scene and even after it- it was hard for me to like her as much. Her Valyrian speech thankfully touched upon some of the lessons she had been taught and the ideas that had been forming in the previous episode and I don’t think they were able to keep the momentum up or even maintain this- she just stalls out as a character for me after.
Up next: 3.5 Kissed by Fire! [sobs quietly, questions true love]