After last week’s cosmically awesome Purple Wedding episode, “Breaker of Chains” deals with the aftereffects of the death of King Joffrey.
As it turns out, Margaery is no closer to the throne than before her betrothal. She feels “cursed,” and who could blame her? Her first husband, King Renly Baratheon, was killed by a smoke demon and Joffrey was poisoned on their wedding day – talk about bad luck with the fellows. Her grandmother assures her she will be queen. She says an alliance with the Lannisters is necessary. This might cross grandma Tyrell off the suspect’s list. If she wanted her granddaughter to sit at the throne, why would she poison the King? Or maybe she wanted a better suitor for Margaery? The investigation continues…
Tyrion is the alleged culprit and has been in temporary confinement since the wedding incident, awaiting trial. His father, meanwhile, is going around town, putting together a group of judges for the trial – one of them another possible perpetrator: Lord Oberyn. He makes no effort to hide the fact that he despises Tywin and his family for the rape and death of his sister, or that he studied poisons at Citadel. However, as the old adage goes: “keep your enemies closer.” Tywin invites him to sit on the small council of King’s advisers. He states the inevitable future that awaits them and the enemies coming for them: Greyjoys, Wildlings, a girl with dragons, etc., and that the Dornish, the house that Oberyn belongs to, were the only ones that resisted dragons in the past. Let’s see how long they’ll be able to let bygones be bygones.
With Joffrey dead, there needs to be a successor. Naturally that role falls to Tommen, the even-tempered, nice Lannister boy. Tywin questions him on the qualities it takes to be a King: justness, holiness, strength and wisdom – all things that Joffrey lacked, which is why he was a sucky King, according to Tywin. True? Yes. Crass, considering he said it in front of a mourning Cersei? Oh, yeah. And it probably didn’t help that Jaime forced himself on Cersei, next to their deceased son’s body. Good grief!
Meanwhile, Sansa has left the city, and surely escaped a similar fate as Tyrion. However, her situation is just as sketchy. She’s found her way back into the hands of Littlefinger – the man who had a thing for her mom, then transferred all his creepy feelings onto Sansa. She’s been unable to leave the city throughout the entire series, Joffrey ordered the beheading of her father, her brother Rob and mom are dead, she assumes Arya to have had the same fate, has been forced to marry Tyrion (not really the worst thing that has happened to her) and has had to put up with Joffrey’s threats of rape and death hitherto. When will this poor girl get a break? It’s Game of Thrones, so probably never.
Meanwhile, we see Sam and his girlfriend Gilly and her son, who she uniquely named Sam. He loves her, but is scared for her and baby Sam’s safety and doesn’t like the attention she gets from the other watchers, so he does the only noble thing that can be done: sets her up at a brothel. It’s not quite as bad as it sounds, he gets her a maintenance gig, to keep her safe, but Gilly sees this as a sign of abandonment.
The Wildlings, headed by one angry Mance Rayder and equally vengeful and broken-hearted Ingrid, make their way to the Wall, but not before ravaging a small town and eating – yes, eating – some of them.
During the last ten minutes of the episode, we see Daenerys (sans dragons) making her way to another opulent city with skyscraping architecture and offensive walling. A tiny cockfight ensues, before she makes her speech to the city people of Meereen that she is there to set them free. She’s speaking, of course, to only a specific group of people. In her pilgrimage, she has gathered nothing short of an impressive army, full of dedicated, disciplined warriors willing to die for her – all slaves. Her objective is the same. She has come to Meereen to set the slaves free and ask them to join her. She is, as the episode eludes, the chain breaker.