'Breaker of Chains' Round-Up: Learning the Hard Way


King Joffrey's decree last week that "a royal wedding is history" came full circle in the wake of his death. "History has become both a specter hanging above the Westerosi’s heads and the driving force behind their decisions," Time notes

For Tywin Lannister, those decisions revolve around safeguarding his grandson Tommen's hold on the throne. "Tywin doesn't have a shred of sentimentality," David Benioff states in this week's Inside the Episode. "It's all about what's best for the family." And Tywin's poorly timed lecture was no ordinary lesson, the Daily Beast asserts: "He was manipulating him: unleashing the full force of his political cunning – flattery, persuasion, sophistry, fear – to secure for himself, Tommen’s chief counselor, as much political power as possible."

Of course, there was more to their convo than strategy: 

This week’s episode saw the return of The A.V. Club’s "favorite master of manipulation" – Littlefinger. If there was any doubt, actor Aidan Gillen tells Entertainment Weekly about Littlefinger: "He's dangerous… Dangerous in that you’re not sure what his game is or where his allegiances lie."

And now Sansa is in his clutches. "So now after being captive for basically the entire show by Joffrey and the Lannisters, Sansa finally escapes for about 15 seconds ... and manages to get captured again by somebody else!" Entertainment Weekly bemoans. Sansa's circumstances illustrate a larger theme of the episode: "The role of women in this world and how limited their options are in the face of male brutality," The A.V. Club notes. It’s especially true for the Stark girls. For Arya, "tolerating the Hound is the cost of her continued survival," The Washington Post explains

Daenerys Targaryen offers the people of Meereen a choice, but if history is any indication, ruling might not be as simple as she anticipates. Rolling Stone compares Dany's bravado to "Robb Stark (early on, anyway), Theon Greyjoy, Renly Baratheon, Joffrey, even Dany's own brother Viserys," and asks, "How'd that work out for everyone?" The Atlantic isn’t completely sold on Dany's righteousness: “She, in defiance of everything we viewers have learned, acts like amassing power doesn’t have to be a dirty game." Rolling Stone hypothesizes that "all who find themselves beneath the shadow of her dragons may have to learn it the hard way."

What are your thoughts on Dany's mission for Meereen? Do her intentions set her apart from Westerosi power players like Tywin? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Icing on the Lemoncake
Relive Dany's big moment:

Grey Worm isn't the only one who wants language lessons: