In Game of Thrones episode 3×4 entitled “And Now His Watch Is Ended,” we see the end of quite a few people – not one but two members of the Night’s Watch, a Wilding bastard, oh and the entire slave-master population of Astapor. This episode was quite a game-changer, and felt more like a season finale than a mere episode 4. But this episode has been anticipated for years. Since the creators of the show originally read the scene with Dany and her dragons in Astapor in Martin’s novel, they wanted to turn the book series into a television show. Finally, they saw their dream become a reality and it was in the most epic way possible. But let’s dive into the episode:
We open to Jaime’s hand, but this time it’s unattached and hanging on a rope around his neck. “How many fingers can we shove up his ass?,” the Northmen mock the Kingslayer. They also mock him about his relationship with his sister. Interesting, so people know about that. Anyway, it’s clear the Jaime Lannister is not in good shape. He is starving and weak, and he actually falls from his horse, flat on his face into a pile of mud. Yuck. He’s so desperate and thirsty that they easily trick him into gulping a jug of horse urine. Brienne tries to help him, but there’s not much she can do. This is where Game of Thrones is so good. You see Jaime suffering and weak, beyond pathetic, and you can’t help but start to feel sorry for him. Then, you remember how he tossed little Bran out a window and attacked Ned Stark and there goes the sympathy! Still, this is the definition of defeat. Jaime tries to fight with his left hand, but he is quickly beaten down. Locke threatens him, “Do that again, and I’ll take your other hand.” Yikes! Jaime needs to be seriously careful.
We see Jaime and Brienne one more time as they talk around the fire. Jaime is defeated and refusing to eat. Brienne tells him he’s finally had a taste of the real world where people have important things taken from them. She tells him his whining and crying makes him sound like a bloody woman. Jaime is smart enough to know he’s being manipulated, but he gives in and eats anyway. Brienne asks him why he lied and said that “Sapphire Isle” meant that Tarth was full of sapphires, not that the water was blue. “Why did you help me?,” she presses Jaime but he doesn’t answer. Does he even know himself?
Tyrion Lannister visits with Varys. Score. I love scenes with these two together. Tyrion asks that they speak in confidence. “Always in confidence,” mimicks Varys. Yeah, confidence shmofidence. Tyrion proceeds to tell Varys that he wants proof that Cersei tried to kill him in the Battle of the Blackwater. Varys doesn’t have proof, just whispers (as usual). All the while, Varys is working to open a crate, contents of which are unknown to both Tyrion and the audience.
Varys is telling Tyrion how he “got cut”. He traveled the free cities as a boy with a group of performers, when one day in Meer, he was taken by a man and given a potion that made him powerless to move or speak, but still able to feel. The man cut him, burned his parts and spoke words until the flamed turned blue. Varys goes on to explain that the man was a sorcerer practicing dark magic. After the flames turned blue, the sorcerer called out and a voice answered his call.
“I still dream of that night. Not of the sorcerer, not of his blade, I dream of the voice from the flames. Was it a god, a demon, a conjurer’s trick? I don’t know. But the sorcerer called and a voice answered.” Such an eerie thought. But it explains why Varys hates magic and why he helped Tyrion against Stannis and Melisandre. Finally, Varys gets the box open as Tyrion tells him it’s a great story, but he just wants revenge against his sister. Tyrion understands revenge, as he wants it too. He explains that he never let the sorcerer’s magic defeat him. He healed from his wounds and went on to become a skilled thief until he eventually became a member of the Small Council. “Influence grows like a weed,” and Varys has worked his until it extended all across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. He then finally reveals the contents of the crate, and drumroll please…. it’s the sorcerer, with his mouth shown shut. Really creepy. This was not so smart on the sorcerer’s behalf. If you’re going to torture and mutilate someone, you should kill them when you’re done or else they’ll track you down, sow your mouth shut, and ship you across the world in a tiny box.
The next Lannister we catch up with is King Joffrey, who is gleefully detailing the horrid details of the history of Westeros and the demise of the Targaryens to Margaery. They are in the Sept of Baelor with his mother and Olenna, where the wedding of Joffrey and Margaery will soon take place. Cersei and Olenna together is one dangerous pair of women that I would not f–k with.
Margaery enthusiastically pays attention to Joffrey’s tales. Cersei doesn’t like how Margaery is so interested. Olenna and Cersei wonder off as the children run around and they talk about their sons and husbands. “We mother’s do what we can to keep our sons from the grave.” A more truer statement has never been spoken. Cersei will do whatever she can to protect her children, and I have no doubt that Olenna is the same type of woman.
Meanwhile, Joffrey and Margarey are bonding. Cute? Not really. It’s actually kind of creepy. But Margaery convinces Joffrey to go out and see the people screaming outside. Joffrey seems nervous as this is not something that the Lannisters are used to doing but she convinces him that the people of King’s Landing adore him. As he goes out, Cersei panics and runs after him yet she recoils from the crowd like a vampire recoiling from the sun. The people are screaming for Margaery but she shows Joffrey how to do the “parade wave” and they quickly scream for both members of the royal couple.
Next, we’re lucky enough to have some Cersei and Tywin Lannister action. This time, we have Cersei and not Tyrion sitting on the other side of her father’s desk, waiting for Tywin to stop writing. She pretends to be there for Jaime, checking up on his search. Of course she knows Tywin is doing everything he can for him. She’s really there for something else and Tywin knows it. What, Cersei? Spit it out.
Cersei wants to know why Tywin doesn’t pay attention to her. She tells him that she’s the one who was listening to him lecture all these years about family and legacy. She’s the one contributing to the Lannister name. “Did it ever occur to your that the daughter might be the only one listening to them, living by them, that she might have the most to contribute to your legacy, that you love so much more than your actual children?” Feels like a line practiced for years. She warns him that the Tyrell’s are a problem. But instead of presenting any of the stuff she should talk about like Margaery’s sneakiness or Olenna’s dealings with Sansa, she talks about Margaery’s claws in Joffrey. Cersei knows he’s being manipulated, but Tywin is glad and wishes it was Cersei and not Margaery. “I don’t distrust you because you’re a woman, I distrust you because you’re not as smart as you think you are.” Ouch Cersei. Even I can feel that burn. Then, just like that, she’s dismissed. She looks just as defeated as Tyrion did in 3×1. But she leaves with one last jab, that maybe Tywin should try to stop Joffrey from doing what he likes. He responds “I will” in the most chilling way. Damn you Charles Dance, you’re good.
Overall, not much happened for the Stark’s this week. Still, we checked in with a few members of our favorite family so let’s see what they’re up to.
Bran – Guess what guys, Bran is dreaming. Are you surprised? He’s running through the woods after the three-eyed crow, which perches itself at the top of a tree. Eager to capture the crow, Bran looks on down below. Jojen appears in his dream and tells him that he has to go after the crow. Bran immediately takes off climbing up the tree. It was kind of nice to see Bran in action again. Once he arrives on the same limb as the crow, Catelyn appears and goes crazy yelling at him, just like she did in the first episode, “I’ve told you Bran, no climbing!” He then falls from the tree. Do you ever have dreams where you’re falling? Aren’t they the worst? Just like everyone else, Bran shoots awake right as he’s about to hit the ground. When he wakes, Jojen is knowingly looking on. Remember because of his powers, he sees what Bran sees.
Sansa – Team Save (Manipulate) Sansa is moving full steam ahead; the big question is who is the team captain, Varys or Littlefinger? I don’t trust either of them. Right now, the only person I trust in this ploy is Lady Olenna. She seems like a straight shooter (please don’t make me regret saying that).
Varys is such a sneaky, sneaky man. He’s ready to take down Littlefinger, and how he is going to do that? By getting a few steps ahead of him. Varys meets with Ros, everyone’s favorite ex-prostitute, and she tells him that Littlefinger has requested two feather-beds on his ship to the Eyrie. Why would a strapping single man need two feather-beds? Varys believes that Littlefinger wants a title and not just any title; he wants the title. Through his arranged marriage, he could control the Vail and by taking Sansa with him, if Robb Stark falls, he has control of the North too.
How does Varys plan to stop this? He runs to Lady Olenna with the info and the two decide there really is only one option. It’s time for Sansa to get a husband.
Margaery visits Sansa, who’s praying and despite Margaery’s begging decides to keep her prayers to herself. Can you just imagine? “Dear gods, please protect my brothers and sisters and bring them here as soon as possible so they can kill that psychopath that sits on throne. Please, please don’t let me run into Joffrey today, he sucks, k thanks.”
Margaery is there to tell Sansa the good news. Sansa will marry Loras. Poor Sansa is beside herself with excitement. Maybe aligning with Margaery was a good idea after all. It breaks my heart how hopeful Sansa is by the news; even after everything this girl has been through she still believes in happy endings. Aw, Sansa.
Arya – Arya and Gendry are moving right along as guests of the Brotherhood Without Banners. They arrive to the Brotherhood’s hideout where we meet Beric Dondarrion, their leader. (His character was in one episode of the first Season but was portrayed by a different actor.) He further explains that members of the Brotherhood are Baratheon/Stark devotees as they originally formed under orders of Ned Stark when he served as Hand of the King to hunt down The Mountain, but now and even more importantly, they’re defenders of the weak. They’re still searching for The Mountain but for now, his brother, The Hound, will suffice. Surely, at some point The Hound has killed someone purely innocent and defenseless. Luckily, Arya is there to remind them of the time The Hound murdered the Butcher’s boy in Season 1 for attacking Joffrey, even though she was the culprit. Beric, a follower of the Lord of Light (like Stanis Baratheon’s lady in red, Melisandre) says that The Hound will have a trial by combat next week for his crimes. I’m interested to see the contrast in beliefs between Melisandre and Beric, how devoted of a Lord of Light follower is he? Also, we know fire plays a big part in his beliefs. What does that mean for The Hound, who is terrified of flames? I don’t know but something tells me its going to mean bad news.
Theon – Oh Theon, Theon, Theon. If he’d stop thinking about himself for one measly second, he might have noticed what was about to happen.
We catch up with Theon and the Boy (Iwan Rheon) as they’re making their way to safety and Theon’s sister. Theon is wallowing in self-pity, telling the Boy about his past year as the Boy leads the way. Theon sure is trusting of this stranger; something tells me he’s going to regret that.
It’s during his pity party, that Theon says something that truly breaks our hearts. “I paid the Iron Price for Winterfell. I murdered these boys, poor orphans living with the farmer, so I could keep Winterfell and make my father proud. My real father lost his head at King’s Landing, I made a choice, and I chose wrong, and now I’ve burned everything down!” Gah, Game of Thrones, stop toying with my emotions! I want to hate Theon so bad but now I feel kind of bad for him.
The Boy continues to lead Theon back to his sister. Actually, surprise! We’re back in the torture dungeon. “I brought him back; he killed the others,” the Boy says. “Put him back where he belongs.” They Boy was way too excited to see Theon back in the torture chamber, someone obviously has issues. So, who is this guy? And, who’s in charge? The men seem to be following his directions. We have our theories, what about you?
The Night’s Watch – The episode was titled “And Now His Watch is Ended,” and I’m not going to lie, I definitely thought we were going to get a little Jon Snow action. But no, instead we got another little treat, the DEMISE of the Night’s Watch. We catch up with the fellas back at Craster’s Keep and they’re just as annoyed and hungry as they were the last episode. While shoveling poo, they begin to discuss next steps. One points out that they’ve got to start looking out for themselves because it doesn’t seem like anyone else is going to do it.
The rebellion starts with the funeral of their fellow Watchman, Bannon. In the Lord Commander’s speech we get the title of our episode, “Now His Watch Has Ended.” We also get the most disgusting line of the entire episode. As the starving group of men looks on at the burning body, one says, “Never knew Bannon could smell so good,” buhhh cannibalism. The men blame Bannon’s death on Craster for refusing to give them more food. In Craster’s defense, he does have a lot of ladies to feed. Craster doesn’t care about these men. As the Lord Commander discusses the welfare of his men, Craster recommends cutting the throats of the wounded and moving on without them.
“Who’s throat ya gonna cut, old man?” says a member of the Night’s Watch (Who is this actor?! He looks so familiar, an intensive IMDB search will happen later.)
In response, the Lord Commander tells him to wait outside, sensing a potentially tense situation.
One of the other men responds by calling Craster a bastard, ohhhhhh snap. Craster’s mother was a Wildling and his father a member of the Night’s Watch, bastard material for sure.
Completely oblivious to how much danger he’s in Craster replies, “Go sit in the cold with empty bellies.” Dude, you are surrounded by trained watchmen and past criminals, not smart.
The Night’s Watchman calls him “a daughter-f—ing Wilding bastard,” and then it’s on. One of the Watchmen stabs Craster, killing him. Next they turn on the Commander. He is stabbed and continues to fight back, but then succumbs to death. I’m sure a part of me should be upset that we’re losing the Commander, but I’m kind of on Snow’s team here. The way he turned a blind eye to Craster’s bad behavior was appalling.
While all of this is going on, Sam is like “peace guys!” He goes to save his precious Gilly and her newborn son (who she was hiding from Craster). While the rest of the Watchmen stay behind to feast (on the women and the food, I’m sure) Sam and Gilly make a run for it.
With the Night’s Watch disbanded, what does that mean for Mance’s upcoming attack on the wall? It seems like it’s going to be pretty easy. Will Samwell and Snow reunite soon? I hope so; it’s such a great bromance.
Here it is, folks. The best scene ever to be seen on television. I’m sorry but nothing compares to the mayhem that unfolds in the final few minutes of Game of Thrones. And boy, is it satisfying. Okay, here we go.
Dany enters the square in her blue gown and ash-washed jeans (the outfit that we’ve been waiting for) flanked by her translator and Queensguard. Missandei immediately begins translating. Kraznys is still mocking Dany, telling her to send captives back to Astapor if she finds any so the slave masters can make new Unsullied. Dany gives him Drogon on a long chain leash and trades Kraznys for the Golden Whip of The Unsullied. Jorah and Barristan look so nervous as this exchange takes place. They truly believe Dany is giving up a dragon, and they think this is a huge and foolish mistake.
“Is it done then?,” Dany asks as they make the exchange. She wants to be sure that The Unsullied belong to her. She’s the ruler, Kraznys assures him as he tries to hold on to Drogon. Drogon is making horrible sounds and clearly doesn’t enjoy being on the chain. Then, Dany speaks Valyerian as she directly addresses The Unsullied. Oh crap. She can understand Valyerian. She commands her Unsullied and they respond like a remote control. Kraznys doesn’t seem to get it and he asks why Drogon isn’t listening.
“A dragon is no slave,” Dany responds in Valyerian and this time Kraznys gets it. Dany can understand him as she is the Blood of the Dragon of House Targaryen and Valeryian is her native language. Dany’s translator smirks cruelly at Kraznys as she realizes Dany is aware of all of the horrible things that Kraznys has said. Dany then changes the game forever, and finally becomes the true Dragon Queen.
“Slay the masters. Slay the soldiers. Slay every man that holds a whip.” Dany commands The Unsullied to do this but save every child and every innocent person and they follow her command without question. Kraznys desperately attempts to have someone attack and kill Dany but she silences him with one word. “Dracarys.” Drogon lights Kraznys up and unleashes flames upon the city. Drogon and The Unsullied sack the city in minutes.
Jorah and Barristan look at her afterwards in shock and admiration. And Jorah wants to jump her bones, clearly. She doesn’t talk to either of them, but mounts a horse and addresses her soldiers. She tells The Unsullied that they are free and they can leave without judgement. But if the stay, she asks them to fight for her as free men. This is a huge step for Dany. She proved that even though she has suffered before from saving innocent people, and even though she can be ruthless and merciless, she is a ruler who is fighting for a cause. She is fighting for the oppressed and she will do whatever she can to save the innocent from her crusades. Will they fight for her, as free men? They respond yes in an almost ceremonial-like stomping of their spears. The scene gives me chills, as the spears are soon joined by drums and a musical score. The music in this scene is perfect.
Dany leads her new army of free soldiers along with her Dothraki and the freed slaves out of Astapor. She throws the whip aside and The Unsullied symbolically march across it. She marches out of the city, with a woman flanking her right and the Queensguard close behind her. The dragons are flying overhead, and the soldiers are seen endlessly flooding out of the gates of Astapor. The scene ends with the sound of Drogon crying and breaks right to the drums. THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD ENDING. This is a moment that I’ve been waiting for for years. We finally see Dany become the Dragon Queen, rule an army and march with a horde behind her and her dragons flying free above her. It was like a dream come true. Thank you writers, for the most perfect adaptation possible.
No news on Stannis or Melisandre this week. We know that Melisandre needs someone else with Baratheon blood to make another demon baby and she’s out to accomplish that mission. Someone should hide Gendry, fast.
Rock Paper Watch’s Top Quote of 3X4:
“A dragon is no slave.” Daenerys Targaryen
“Dracarys.” Daenerys Targaryen
Game of Thrones Recaps are authored by Jenn O’Mera (Lannister and Targaryen) and Elizabeth Bond (Stark and Baratheon). Feel free to contact any author with feedback or questions. Also, we know that the Night’s Watch and Theon are not technically a part of House Stark, it’s easier to recap this way.