Game of Thrones 3.04 ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’ - Review

This week we’re served up an episode of revelations, slowly unravelling (or weaving further) the Game of Thrones web. We begin to see how without Jaime, Cersei is increasingly losing her cunning (if she ever had any), only highlighted by her brash dismissal from her father Tywin, who was so disinterested in her ideas that he continued writing correspondence whilst she shared what she believed were valuable thoughts.

As for Jaime, his brutal victimisation in this episode is difficult to watch, despite his irritating arrogance in previous seasons. It seems we are finally glimpsing some humanity from the man who brutally attacked our beloved Ned Stark; and despite his crimes, we can’t help feeling incredibly sorry for him, wincing every time he’s kicked into the mud. Not only because it looks painful, but also because we’re so darn worried that stump is going to get infected. It’s certainly not looking good for Tywin’s favourite son!

As for Jaime’s brother, Tyrion finally discovers how Varys the eunuch was cut, and it’s not a jolly story. The sharp disclosure of just what is in that box after Varys’ revelation is a cunning twist from the books which serves well in developing Varys’ character, contrasting pointedly with how he is so swiftly cut down by Lady Olenna Tyrell in the gardens later in the episode.

Olenna herself is proving a complex character to behold, and we’re certainly intrigued as to just what her intentions are. Likewise, Margaery seems to take after her grandmother in the ways of enjoying her power. Her ease in manipulating Joffrey is eerie to behold for such a seemingly benevolent character, however we’d already caught a glimpse of this nature last season during a discussion with Littlefinger in which she reveals her determination to become not just any Queen, but “the Queen”.

Meanwhile Margaery’s growing friendship with Sansa Stark endears us further to the poor young wolf, particularly as Littlefinger continues to prey on her. But a match to Loras Tyrell? Somehow we’re not sure that Sansa will get away from her despised captivity in King’s Landing that easily.

Elsewhere up in the North, fights are breaking out with horrendous results amongst the men of the Night’s Watch. A chilling attack from Rast and friends leaves the group in turmoil and an uncertain future for a terrified Samwell Tarley and the rest of his brothers. What will happen to Gilly and her son now? It looks like Sam wants them to stick around but how will that lie alongside his vows? Still plenty of questions to be answered.

Finally the episode finishes, as always, on an epic slice of edge-of-your-seat action. Let’s just say that just like her dragons, Daenerys’ camp is looking a lot stronger. Overall a very sturdy episode for the series so far, covering a broad selection of base storylines with an even course. We’re still left eager to discover what’s occurring amongst Jon Snow and the Wildlings next week though!

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