‘Game of Thrones’ Review: “And Now His Watch Is Ended”
‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 conjures its third episode of the season “And Now His Watch Is Ended,” as a mutiny breaks out at Craster's Keep, while Varys plots to assure Sansa Stark's safety, and Daenerys takes command of the Unsullied.
Last week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ episode “Walk of Punishment” saw Tyrion facing a new challenge at Kings’ Landing, while Jaime attempted to protect Brienne in captivity at great cost, and Daenerys made a surprising bargain to buy her army, so what will the newest episode bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3, episode 4, “And Now His Watch Is Ended!”
His severed hand dangling from his neck, Jaime and Brienne continue riding with Locke and his men, before Jaime keels over and collapses in the mud. Begging for water, Jaime manages to steal a sword, but can barely fight off his captors with the left hand. Brienne attempts to intervene, but to no avail as the men beat Jaime.
Over in Kings’ Landing, Tyrion visits Varys looking for help getting back at his sister for the attempt on his life. Varys fiddles with a crate, telling Tyrion the story of how he was first cut as a boy, the man who did it burning his genitals in a blue flame, and speaking with a mysterious voice through the fire. Rather than give up on life however, Varys survived and made his way from a thief to the small council, his influence slowly growing over time. Finally , Varys opens the crate, revealing the mutilated and captive sorcerer who first cut him, assuring Tyrion that the revenge he wants will be his in time.
North of the wall, discontent among the Night’s Watchmen grows at Craster’s Keep, while Gilly returns Sam’s thimble and begs of him to help save the life of her baby. Meanwhile, Bran has another dream of running through the forest, climbing a tree on Jojen Reed’s advice to catch the three-eyed raven. When he reaches the top however, a vision of his mother begs him to stop climbing, knocking him off balance and sending him straight down, awakening on the impact.
Varys meets with Ros, surprised to hear of Podrick’s apparent prowess with the whores last week, but more interested in Littlefinger’s intentions for young Sansa Stark. Ros shows Varys the manifest for his upcoming voyage to the Vale, revealing the purchase of two feather-beds likely for he and Sansa. Elsewhere, Joffrey shows Margaery around the Sanctum, while Cersei and Olenna debate the upcoming wedding. Margaery urges Joffrey to follow her lead, walking outside to greet the cheering crowd with a wave, though Cersei resents Margaery’s growing influence over her son.
Out in the forest, Theon Greyjoy and his new friend move toward finding Theon’s sister, keeping wary of any men loyal to Theon’s father. The pair make their way through a storm drain, as Theon laments that he sided with the wrong family and made a mess of his life. The man finally leads Theon into the room where Yara waits, though when he lights the torch, we see it to be the very room he was tortured in earlier. Several men subdue Theon and return him to the stock, as the mysterious man claims that Theon killed the others.
Brienne begs Jaime to eat, if only to live for revenge rather than sink into depression over his “misfortune.” When he finally agrees, Brienne asks why Jaime helped spare her from rape earlier, lying about the worth of the Sapphire Isle to protect her, but Jaime doesn’t answer. Back in Kings’ Landing, Cersei presses her father to be more proactive about rescuing Jaime, chiding him for not valuing her contributions the way he does Jaime or even Tyrion. Indulging her, Tywin ignores her complaints about the Tyrells, pointing out that Margaery’s influence over Joffrey will turn out for the better, and believing Cersei to be less intelligent than she presents.
Over in the gardens, Lady Olenna terrorizes more handmaidens, before Varys arrives to speak with her. Amid friendly banter, Varys proposes that they pool their interest in protecting Sansa Stark from harm, pointing out that Lord Baelish would likely come to rule all the North should he be allowed to marry Sansa. While the two debate their solution, Margaery pays a friendly visit to Sansa herself, and suggests that she marry Loras Tyrell in order to finally leave Kings’ Landing.
The Night’s Watch burn the bodies of one of their dead, as more discontent grows from Craster’s hoarding of food from the men. Inside, one of the men insults Craster, stirring up a conflict, but when Craster charges the younger man stabs him through the throat. Jeor Mormont raises his sword to quell the mutiny, but is quickly stabbed from behind by one of his own men. In the chaos and killing, Sam races to find Gilly, and flees into the woods with her.
The Brotherhood Without Banners lead Arya, Gendry and the Hound into their secret lair, where a man named Berric Dondarion presides judgement for the Hound’s crimes. The Hound insists he took no part in any of the crimes of the Lannisters or his brother, but Arya points out he killed Mycah the butcher’s boy months earlier. The Hound protests it wasn’t his place to question a prince’s orders, but Berric sentences the man to a trial by combat, with none other than he himself.
Finally, Daenerys prepares to assume command of her army of Unsullied, reluctantly handing over her tethered dragon to the Astapor slaver. The slaver hands over the symbolic whip, but when he protests the dragon’s misbehavior, Daenerys reveals that she has been able to speak and understand Valyrian all along. Daenerys commands her army to free the slaves and kill any slavers of Astapor, setting the dragon to burn the slaver alive and fly free. In the aftermath of the chaotic battle, Daenerys assures all the Unsullied they are free men, and will only fight for her if they so choose. All of the soldiers begin to rattle their spears in support, and the army marches out of the gates while the dragons fly overhead.
Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast! Last week's episode certainly spiced things up from the place-holding and refreshing nature of the first two weeks, but "And Now His Watch Is Ended" really jumped up a notch. There were horses, and a man on fire, and they killed Ser Jorah Mormont!
All kidding aside, there can be no arguing that tonight's episode set a new standard for the season, with most characters staging one uprising or another. A few scenes feel a bit of of place, if only to check in with Bran or Tyrion, while Theon's journey doesn't appear to be made much clearer now that he's back to the dungeon. The ending certainly sets up and incredible new path for Daenerys, though we have a feeling those unfamiliar with the books may come to expect a much greater fallout than actually ends up happening.
Not to mention, that the mutiny at Craster's Keep sends Samwell Tarly off on his own journey with Gilly, costing us Ser Jorah Mormont in the process. As usual, "And Now His Watch Is Ended" feels a bit overcrowded, and only pays lip service to certain characters without very much focus, but certainly provides the most exciting episode of the season we've seen yet.
Did you get your fill of sword-swinging ‘Game of Thrones’ action? What did you think about tonight’s episode “And Now His Watch Is Ended?” Check out all our other ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 coverage, and join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3′s latest episode “Kissed By Fire” on HBO!