Mother of Dragons!
Old Valyrian: A Game of Thrones Episode 4 Recap
By: Dan Shorr
Joffrey meets the people, Mormont meets his maker and Daenerys Targeryen finally gets her army.
Jaime Lannister thought he used to have it all. A loving (sociopathic, illegitimate, product of incest, doesn’t-actually-know-Jaime-is-his-father) son. A great (physical) relationship with his twin sister (lover). And, of course, one of the most famous and lethal sword-wielding right hands in the entire world. Now look at him. He’s got corns on his feet, he’s dehydrated and he’s got the Addams Family’s hand butler dangling from his neck. At least Jaime isn’t getting stomped into the mud or tricked into chugging horse urine. Oh.
Tyrion wants his old eunuch buddy Varys to help him prove that Cercei tried to have him killed during the Battle of the Blackwater. Varys is much more interested in lecturing about what happens in Myr (it stays there). For everyone that bet big on Varys’ castration being the result of a sorcerers’ bizarre penis sacrifice, congratulations – you got it! If you doubled down and bet that Varys was keeping that same sorcerer in a crate with his mouth grotesquely sewed shut? Even more congratulations as you must be a wealthy person involved with a very quirky gambling ring.
Sam checks in on the Keep’s newest baby mama, Gilly. She is not in the mood for Sam’s uncalled for cheeriness as her son is inevitable sacrifice fodder for Craster. “Can you save my baby’s life?” she asks Sam. He gives her a look like “not if it involves any long distance running.”
Speaking of which, Bran is running. Conditional logic has taught us this also means Bran is dreaming. The kid from Love Actually is hanging out with Bran in his dreamworld and urges the young Stark to go climb a huge tree in search of the perpetually squawking 3-eyed crow. Because that always goes well. Bran gets to the top of the tree and, well, look who it is! Maintaining her reputation as the least fun character on Game of Thrones, Catelyn Stark shows up to enforce her strict “no climbing!” policy and send her son plummeting to the ground. Even Bran’s subconscious recognizes how awful Catelyn is.
Varys assumes the illiteracy of all prostitutes, both former and active. Ros teaches him the ignorance of stereotyping as her ability to READ has led her to discover that Littlefinger has requested not one, but two feather beds for his journey to the Eyrie. Yeah. You heard her. TWO feather beds. Lord Baelish stays in first class. But is the second bed for Sansa? Varys thinks so.
“[the dragon] ate her, while her son watched!” Getting exuberantly riled up on some violent historical anecdotes, typical King Joffrey. While the Queen Regent and the Queen of Thorns, Cercei and Olenna Tyrell, trade quips and check out potential wedding locations, Margaery leads Joffrey into uncharted territory. She brings him face to face with…pedestrians! Meet the 99%, Joffrey, they are just like you – only without the homicidal tendencies and custom crossbow collection. Margaery waves to a massive crowd of King’s Landing commoners as Joffrey initially looks on bewildered. He studies her motions. Short, subtle movement of the wrist. Ever so slight cuppage of the palm. Bright, wide smile. Hey, I can do this! Joffrey waves at the crowd as Cercei looks on horrified and yells: “How did she finally teach him how to wave?!?!?!”
Theon opens up. He admits Ned Stark was essentially his real father and acknowledges how low he has fallen. Whoops! Theon is preaching to the wrong guy as he finds himself victim to the Westeros version of Punk’d with Ramsay Bolton playing the Aston Kutcher role: you get tortured, you get freed – but guess what!! You’re not actually free. And you go back to being tortured.
Disregard everything Theon’s fake friend – revealed as Ramsay Bolton – has said. He is a twisted liar that, in the books, has committed atrocious acts that make King Joffrey look like a six year old Sansa Stark. The bastard son of Robb Stark’s stern Lieutenant Roose Bolton, this new character is a depraved man who was willing to murder his own men just to mess with Theon and destroy his morale even further. I don’t foresee these two becoming the next Tyrion/Bronn dynamic duo. Just a hunch.
Brienne is disgusted with the whimpering Kingslayer and calls him a coward. No wonder he doesn’t tell her why he lied to their captors about the Sapphire Isle, named for its blue water and not for its abundance of gemstones. Jaime just looks at her silently like this is the worst road trip ever.
Tywin Lannister is a serious man with a penchant for excessive correspondence (dude is always writing letters!) and verbally decimating his children. Cercei, her nervousness obvious, confronts her father. First, she just addresses her typical paranoia concerning her loss of influence on Joffrey, a development Tywin seems to celebrate. But she really wants to get some daddy-daughter issues off her chest; Cercei believes she is the strongest Lannister spawn and wants some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Tywin has none for her. “I distrust you…because you are not as smart as you think you are.” Ouch.
Olenna Tyrell gives props to the Stark family motto before noticing “a spider in the garden.” Varys is getting his screen time up. They decide that while they both think Sansa is really boring, they still feel bad for her. Plus, she has that very old last name which makes her the eventual key to the North. Secret matchmaking? I think so!
Margaery finds Sansa preying outside and asks Sansa’s guards to give them some privacy. The guards don’t budge until Margaery threatens to tell the King and boy, do those guards get out of there fast. Margaery lays it on thick. “I want us to be friends, great friends.” Not only friends, but sisters! Looks like Margaery is going to try and set Sansa up, good luck to that guy. Also, Sansa gullibly believed that Porridge Plague was a real disease. She really is Catelyn Stark’s daughter.
Back at the Keep, things get out of hand (where is Jaime when you need him). Following the funeral of one of the Brothers, a contingent of unruly Night’s Watch members unsatisfied with Craster’s treatment finally speak up. Craster slugs through a drum stick while the Brothers watch, near starving – not helpful. Lord Commander Mormont tries to calm the ensuing scuffle, but it is too late. A few vulgarities get thrown around and next you thing you know Craster and Mormont are dead and Sam is on the run with Gilly and her newborn infant.
Thoros and the Brotherhood without Banners escort Arya to their lair, which appears to be the Batcave. There, we meet the Brotherhood’s leader, Beric Dondarrion (he appeared briefly in the first season as Ned Stark sent him to bring the Mountain to justice). Beric, letting the Batcave’s ambiance rub off on him, gives a what-if-christopher-nolan-remade-the-dark-knight-as-robin-hood speech; he basically just babbles crime-fighter jargon. The Hound, after deflecting the various charges levied against him, is accused by Arya for murdering her friend Mycah. The Hound raises a good point, who is he to question princes and princesses, but it isn’t good enough to keep him out of a trail by combat which we will all have to wait until next week to watch.
“I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targeryen of the blood of old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue.” In a scene full of highlights that could very well be the best 5 minutes of Game of Thrones to date, Dany’s language switch was my favorite part. We all watched as the crude slaver called her names and insulted Dany to her face. Guess what? She knew what he was saying all along. Time for a little Astapor BBQ to even the score. The Unsullied kill their former masters (did anyone else think the Valyrian name for the Unsullied sounded like “spaghetti?”) and now with 8,000 eunuchs, 3 dragons and two senior citizens, the Mother of Dragons is ready to take back her throne.
Tune in Sundays at 9:00 PM and then check Independent Philly the following day for the recap!
[Story by Dan Shorr]