By Katie M. Lucas
This week on Game of Thrones, the spirit of revenge hovers in the air like an angry dragon. The episode begins with Varys prying open a crate to reveal the captured sorcerer who cut him and ends with Daenerys unleashing her power in a scene that solidifies her claim to the Iron Throne. In an interview for HBO GO’s interactive features, actress Emilia Clarke explains that by trusting her instincts, Dany exceeds all expectations, including her own. Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss agree, calling the mother of dragons a “major force to be reckoned with” in this week’s Inside the Episode. Going a step further, the Hollywood Reporter declares Dany’s vengeance on the slavers of Astapor to be the biggest game-changer since Ned Stark’s death. The scene’s stunning visual effects also wowed audiences. Benioff spoke to Entertainment Weekly about creating the powerful display; it was that moment from the books that compelled him to make the show.
Dany wasn’t the only woman to assert her influence last night. As Slate’s Rachael Larimore points out, although Cersei and Lady Olenna commiserate about their subservient positions, “There was a lot of lady power on display.” Kate Aurthur supports that position, in typical Buzzfeed fashion, with "9 Ways Game of Thrones Is Actually Feminist." This theme rings true as women are seen motivating men throughout the episode; Ros nudges Varys to thwart Littlefinger; Margaery coaxes Joffrey to face his constituency; and Brienne pushes Jaime to survive.
And then there are the men who have sworn off women. Lord Commander Mormont meets a tragic end, stabbed in the back by his own men. Actor James Cosmo spoke to Access Hollywood about Mormont’s untimely demise and his character’s influence on Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly, saying, “The traits in his character [are] something that they will hopefully try to emulate as they grow into adulthood and become leaders in their own right.” The Guardian asserts that the scene reinforces one of Game of Thrones’ strengths, “the way it refuses to flinch from the realities of war.”
Were you surprised by the brutality of the Night’s Watch? What do you think this means for Jon Snow? And the biggest question of the night -- what was your reaction to Dany’s revenge?