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Recap: Game Of Thrones S 3 E 4 And Now His Watch Is Ended
In King's Landing, Tyrion asks Varys whether he has any evidence that his sister tried to have him killed during the Battle of Blackwater. Varys has none. He does, however, give Tyrion a nice lecture on how revenge is a dish Best Served Cold. He tells of how as a boy, he was castrated by a sorcerer as part of a dark magical ritual (hence his distrust of all magic), then cast aside. Varys worked his way up from petty thief in Myr to Master of Whispers in King's Landing, always expanding his influence. He opens a large box to reveal the sorcerer, bound and gagged, finally in Varys' clutches after all these years. Later, Varys is informed by Ros that Littlefinger likely plans to take Sansa with him to the Vale, as he has ordered two feather beds for his ship. Varys intends to stop him from doing so, as he discusses with Lady Olenna. Lady Olenna comments that Sansa is a naive and uninteresting girl, but as Robb Stark's heir (since Arya, Bran, and Rickon are presumed dead), to control her opens the way for control of the North.

Joffrey takes Lady Margaery on a tour of the Great Sept of Baelor. She pretends to share his macabre interest in the Targaryen tombs. She leads Joffrey to greet the crowd of common people outside the Sept, who give them, or at least Margaery, their adoration. Cersei is increasingly concerned with the Tyrells' influence in the city and on Joffrey, as she points out to Lord Tywin. Her father points out that the Tyrells saved the city from Stannis' army, and that someone needs to rein Joffrey in if Cersei is incapable of doing so. Furthermore, he chews her out for not being as intelligent as she thinks she is, saying that his reason for not giving her more influence is his lack of faith in her political abilities rather than her sex.

Sansa and Margaery meet in the Godswood outside the city, and seem to hit it off rather well. Margaery suggests that once she becomes Queen, Sansa could marry Ser Loras and live in Highgarden. Sansa is thrilled at the idea.

In the North, Bran has another dream where Jojen tells him he has to catch the Three-eyed Raven. When he tries to climb a tree to reach it, his mother Catelyn appears and reminds him that he promised to stop climbing. Psychotically, she screams, "Promise Me!" over and over again and then shoves him out of the tree. He wakes up shaken, with Jojen staring at him.

Elsewhere, Theon is led by his apparent savior to Deepwood Motte, where his sister Yara is allegedly waiting for him. They sneak into the castle through the sewers, where Theon expresses his regret at his past actions. He admits that Ned Stark was his true father all along and that Balon Greyjoy never cared about him. Unfortunately, his actions during the Sack of Winterfell have ruined any chance of reconciling with Robb and the others, so he feels he has no choice but to return to the Iron Islands with Yara. The Boy leads Theon to a room which turns out to be the very torture chamber that he thought he'd escaped from. A band of men step out of the shadows, and the Boy claims that Theon was the one who killed their comrades during his escape attempt (when it was really himself), telling them to, "put him back where he belongs." The men beat Theon up and bind him kicking and screaming to the cross once more.

In the Riverlands, Arya, Gendry and the Hound are led to the hidden base of the Brotherhood without Banners. Sandor Clegane is brought before the Brotherhood's leader, Beric Dondarrion, and told he will stand trial for his crimes. When they accuse him of the Mountain's crimes, he retorts that he hates his brother and has nothing to do with Gregor's actions. As the men of the Brotherhood cannot name any specific crimes that the Hound has committed, Arya mentions his killing of her friend Mycah. Lord Beric, a convert to the faith of the Lord of Light, sentences Clegane to a trial by combat to determine his guilt. He will fight the Hound himself.

Elsewhere, Jaime is suffering further torments by Lord Bolton's men. Left to ride with his severed hand dangling around his neck, he loses consciousness and slips onto the muddy ground. When he begs for water, Locke gives him horse piss to drink. Jaime manages to grab a sword off one of the soldiers, but is hopeless at fighting with his left hand. He is handily defeated, beaten and told that he will lose his other hand if he makes such an attempt again. While sitting by the fire that night, Brienne criticizes Jaime for slipping into despondency, telling him he cannot hope to get revenge if he dies. She asks him why he lied about her father's wealth in order to save her the night before. Jaime cannot answer.

Beyond the Wall, the surviving men of the Night's Watch are still recovering their strength in Craster's Keep. Some of them are dying of their wounds, and the rest are starved for food. Many suspect that Craster is secretly hoarding supplies and keeping it from them. One night, tensions boil over, and a fight breaks out between Craster and some of the men. Craster is killed by Karl. When Lord Commander Mormont tries to intervene, Rast stabs and kills him. In the ensuing chaos, Sam runs to fetch Gilly and her son. They escape into the night, with Rast promising to slit Sam's throat.

In Astapor, Daenerys is making the final transaction to buy all the Unsullied in the city. She hands Drogon, her largest dragon, over to Master Kraznys on a chained leash. Kraznys hands her a ceremonial whip, a symbol of command over the Unsullied. Upon establishing that the deal is finalized and after testing the discipline of her new army, Dany reveals to Kraznys that she does indeed speak Valyrian, and could therefore understand all his insults. Furthermore, she points out that a dragon is not a slave and not his to control. She orders the Unsullied to kill all the Good Masters of Astapor, spare the children, and to free any slaves they find. To Drogon she simply says "Dracarys", whereupon he burns Kraznys mo Nakloz to a crisp and rains fire over the city. After the sack of Astapor is complete, Dany tells the Unsullied that they are no longer slaves, and may go their own way if they so please. They all declare their willingness to stay with her as free men. Eight thousand soldiers march out of the gates of the city under Daenerys' banner, her three dragons flying overhead.

Tropes:

  • The Ace: Theon mentions seeing Robb this way. See "Feeling Oppressed By Robb Stark's Existence" below.
  • A Day in the Limelight: A variation. Critics have noticed that this episode focuses on Varys to an unusual extent, even revealing an important part of his backstory and motivation. Half of the King's Landing scenes even feature him at their centre, rather than his usual role of simply snarking or offering advice. However in typical Game of Thrones fashion the show continues to move around, showing events miles away that have nothing to do with him for the majority of the episode.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The books give Theon's escape attempt only a brief mention in a flashback. Also, it involves Kyra, who isn't in the series, instead of The Boy.
  • Adapted Out: Willas Tyrell, the older brother of Loras and Margaery, has apparently been excised (he was mentioned in the Season 1 viewer's guide, but disappeared from the season 2 and 3 versions), which is why Margaery has to offer to pair Sansa up with Loras. It adds to the adaptation, as it will imply that Loras will be made a King's Guard not only as a reward to the Tyrells but also as the Lannisters' counter to Lady Olenna's plans involving Sansa.
  • And I Must Scream: The sorcerer in Varys' box is gagged, presumably to prevent him casting spells as well as screaming.
  • Anyone Can Die: Craster, Lord Commander Mormont.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Brienne asking Jaime "Why did you help me?"
  • Artistic License Geography: In-universe example. While following the boy to his sister's location in the east, Theon asks how much further it is to Deepwood Motte. The only problem with that is that Deepwood Motte is in the far west of the North and across the country from the Dreadfort, separated by hundreds of miles. The only major stronghold east of the Dreadfort would be Karhold, seat of the Karstarks. May be justified in that Theon is never exactly sure where he is being held, nor by whom.
    • It may be Theon noticed this; in his next appearance he guesses his captors are the Karstarks, perhaps for this very reason.
  • Ascended Extra: The sorcerer who castrated Varys actually appears. In the novel he's merely mentioned.
  • Asshole Victim: Kraznys mo Nakloz was an utter asshole the entire time he was dealing with Danaerys and her people. Drogon crisping the bastard is immensely satisfying.
  • Bait the Dog: The Boy, see Hope Spot below.
  • Batman Gambit: Dany's comes to fruition here in the closing moments of the episode: Trade Drogon for Astapor's entire legion of Unsullied, make the trade, burn the Good Masters, take Drogon back, bask in awesome closing music.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Daenerys tells off the Good Masters in style. See Oh, Crap further down the page.
    • Tywin has a nicely understated one; after his "The Reason You Suck" Speech about Cersei's lack of control over Joffrey, she suggests that he try to stop him doing what he likes. Tywin simply says "I will."
  • Badass Grandpa: It was always taken as read that Mormont would be this, but we finally get the demonstration of it.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Craster a bastard.
  • Best Served Cold: Varys shares the story of how a sorcerer castrated him to use the parts in a spell, and he survived against all odds simply for the chance at revenge. Which has now finally paid off.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Dany purchases the Unsullied, orders them to sack Astapor and then gives them their freedom. The battle sequence and the following scene of 8000 soldiers marching out of the city gates are suitably epic.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Daenerys pretends to not understand the language when she is in the Slaver Coast cities and is underestimated by the native speakers. The translator is surprised to hear it, and the jerk who was speaking very ill of her in front of her gets an instant look of surprise and horror on his face.
  • Blindfolded Trip: Arya and Sandor are hooded by the BWB so they don't know where their headquarters are.
  • Break the Badass: Jaime can't even bring himself to eat after losing his sword hand.
  • Bullying a Dragon: You'd think people would learn...
  • Buy Their Freedom
  • Call Back: Varys welcomes someone to the capital by telling them "King's Landing is made brighter by your presence." Olenna even lampshades it, saying that she bets that it's his normal line.
    • Tywin making his daughter wait while he scribbles on a parchment recalls him doing the same thing to Tyrion earlier in the season, and implies Cersei is in similar disfavour — Tywin quickly confirms this.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Cersei over her father favouring his sons over her, when she's the only one who cares about the family legacy "that you love so much more than your actual children."
  • Catapult Nightmare: Bran has one.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Unsullied in Astapor easily kill Astapor's non-Unsullied soldiers and sack the city.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Tywin claims that the reason he distrusts Cersei is because she's not as clever as she thinks she is, rather than because she's a woman. The books mention that his wife, in addition to being the love of his life, was his most trusted confidante, so it's quite possible he means what he says.
  • Feeling Oppressed By Robb Stark's Existence: When the Boy asks Theon if Robb "lorded it over" him, Theon replies "Didn't have to, all he had to do was ... be. Be who he was born to be, his life fit him better than his clothes. How could someone like that be a brother to me?"
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: The Boy posing as Theon's rescuer is a Darker and Edgier version of this, as the deception leads Theon to give up far more important information than what he told his torturers.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Ohhh, poor Theon. He thinks the Boy is leading him to Yara, but in fact he leads him back to his stronghold by a different path, and back into the exact same torture room he rescued him from previously.
    • The next episode reveals that Sansa's prospects of marriage to Loras are another case of false hope.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Brienne chastising Jaime: "You sound like a bloody woman!"
  • I Drank What: Jaime begs Locke for water, who lets him gulp down a container before telling him it's horse piss.
  • In the Back: Mormont gets stabbed in the back by one of his own men while facing down Craster's killer.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down:
    • The Bolton men beat Jaime very severely and repeatedly.
    • What the Boy does to Theon.
  • Kill It with Fire: Half of Daenerys' plan for Astapor.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Margaery continues to play Joffrey like a fiddle, and tempts Sansa with an offer to marry Loras, despite Sansa being just about the only person in King's Landing ignorant of his sexuality. However she's still doing Sansa a kindness by rescuing her from more uncaring manipulators, so she's arguably acting as a Guile Antihero.
    • And on the absolute darkest end of this trope, we have the Boy who toys with Theon.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Theon has a moment of this when he realizes that the Starks were more his family then Balon and Yara ever were.
    Theon: My real father lost his head at King's Landing.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Varys' line "It's been a long time, my old friend" was implied to be directed at Tyrion or someone like Doran Martell in ads for the season. It's actually to the sorcerer who castrated him.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Margaery plays as one to appeal to Joffrey. It works wonderfully.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: A noticeable incident, where Cersei and Tywin pronounce "Tyrell" differently (Tie-rell vs. Tyh-rell) in the same discussion.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Daenerys reveals she was playing at this in her dealings with the Good Masters
  • Oh, Crap:
    • Yes, Kraznys, Daenerys has understood everything you were saying.
    • Theon is apparently so stunned by the betrayal that he can't even properly have this reaction.
  • Parental Favoritism: During his conversation with Cersei, Tywin makes it clear Jaime is his favorite of his children. Cersei is in the middle and Tyrion is at the bottom.
  • Pet the Dog: However politically motivated Margaery's ambitions for Sansa to marry Loras might be, she does seem to be genuinely happy for her.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Dracarys." Muthafucka!!!
  • Psychotic Smirk: Theon's "rescuer" gives quite a creepy one after he reveals his true colors.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: An unusual version with Daenerys's conquest of Astapor, as the first two are forbidden, yet she burns down a good part of the city and completely overthrows its aristocracy.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Tywin quickly puts Cersei in her place by dismissing her fears over the Tyrells gaining influence, noting that they are doing a better job than her at reining in Joffrey. He also tells her in simple terms that he isn't raising her as an heir to strategically protect House Lannister simply because she isn't as smart as she thinks she is, not because she's a woman.
  • Replacement Horse: Daenerys gets one following the Sack of Astapor.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The Unsullied trampling Daenerys' discarded whip as they march out of Astapor, having killed their former slavers.
  • Running Gag: Word of Podrick's epic session with three of Littlefinger's best ladies makes it all the way back to Varys.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Rast and his friends violate it when they attack their host Crastor and start a riot.
  • Scenery Porn: The interior of Baelor's Sept.
  • Self-Deprecation: Lady Olenna continues her habit of tearing her own house to pieces, this time lamenting the less-than-impressive words of the Tyrells; "Growing strong." She also calls herself "decrepit" while playfully inquiring if Varys is attempting to seduce her.
  • Shout-Out: This is not the first time one of Charles Dance's characters has noticed someone is "still here".
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Craster threatens to kill anyone who calls him a bastard a second time, Karl calls him a bastard and then Crosses the Line Twice, by calling him a "daughter-fucking wildling bastard".
  • Sigil Spam: Olenna doesn't care for the Tyrells' tendency to do it, especially since they have such an unimpressive sigil and words compared to other major houses.
  • Slasher Smile: The Boy's when Theon is tied up again.
  • Slow Clap: The Unsullied will serve Daenerys as free men.
  • So Proud of You: Jorah and Barristan share a smile as they watch Daenerys free her slaves having taken over Astapor.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Unlike in the books, TV!Varys never got a moment to express his admiration for Ned Stark to the man himself. Instead, in this episode he tells Lady Olenna that he admired Ned and sympathizes with the plight of Sansa Stark.
  • Tactful Translation: The slaver Kraznys mo Nakloz keeps insulting Danaerys in Valyrian. His translator and slave Missandei "cleans up" his statements when she translates Kraznys's words into Westeros.
  • Taking You with Me: Jeor Mormont tries to choke his killer to death after being stabbed in the back. He comes close, but succumbs to his injury seconds before he manages to.
  • Title Drop: "And Now His Watch Is Ended" is part of the eulogy given to fallen Night's Watch members. They recite it while cremating their fallen brothers.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Craster probably should have known he was sitting on a powder keg and that the crows were on the verge of succumbing to cannibalistic urges. His penchant for insulting people in a creepy manner didn't help either.
    • Too Dumb To Escape: Theon has spent nine years as ward of the Starks. Maester Luwin has been seen teaching a ten-year-old Bran the heraldry, history and geography of the noble houses of Westeros, so presumably he has taught the other children as well, including Theon. Yet, when Theon is captured and strapped on an X-shaped cross, he fails to remember that a man strapped to an X-shaped cross is the sigil of House Bolton. In addition, when The Boy frees him, he instructs him to ride east to Deepwood Motte. Deepwood Motte is on the western coast of the North.
  • Trunk Shot: When Varys shows Tyrion the trapped sorcerer, they are shown watching him from this angle, with part of the lid and box visible and covering them.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Dany's advisers are appalled by her trading of a dragon for an army. Neither they nor the viewers are aware that her plan involves turning her dragon against the would-be buyer and using the army to conquer Astapor.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kraznys mo Nakloz loses it Dany orders the Unsullied to kill the Good Masters of Astrapor.
    Kraznys: [In Valyrian]: Kill her! Kill her! KILL HER!
  • Wangst: In-universe, Brienne calls Jaime out on his whining, pointing out it's likely the first drawback of his cushy life.
  • Wham Episode: The Boy leads Theon back into a trap, revealing the rescue as a lie to break Theon's spirit. Commander Mormont is murdered by Rast and the Night's Watch north of the Wall disintegrate into anarchy. But these pale compared to Daenerys' sacking Astapor in a Batman Gambit.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Dovaogēdys!" ("Unsullied!") Letting everyone and their mother know that that Daenerys' entire exchange with the Good Masters was done with a Completely Unnecessary Translator, she understood everything Kraznys mo Nakloz said about her.
    • "A dragon is not a slave."
    • "You are a bastard."note 
  • With My Arms Bound: Brienne tries to back Jaime up, despite being having her arms completely bound. The mere fact she managed to get off her horse in such a state is impressive both for her and her actress.
  • Worthy Opponent: Varys mentions that he enjoys Littlefinger's presence, but that he terrifies him with his willingness to destroy the Seven Kingdoms in his drive to rule them.

Game Of Thrones S 3 E 3 Walk Of PunishmentRecap/Game of ThronesGame Of Thrones S 3 E 5 Kissed By Fire

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