Game Of Thrones Watch: Episode 4 - Cripples, Bastards, And Broken Things

Having spent the weekend watching the first two seasons of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix, I found myself comparing the final scene of tonight’s Game of Thrones with what might have happened, should this Stark and Lannister drama have taken place in Charming. If you really think about it, Catelyn’s kind of the Gemma of the Stark family. She’s smart, strong, sometimes a little bit scary and most importantly, she’ll do what she has to do to protect her family. Would Gemma have paused to acknowledge a few allies before making a move on Tyrion? Probably, especially considering how sneaky the man is.

While I’m sure there’s more comparisons to be made between Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones, there’s no time for that as tonight’s episode was quite literally all over the map.

On the Wall

Samwell Tarly was introduced to the story tonight. Sam strikes me as somewhat of the Neville Longbottom of the group. He’s a bit soft, lacks confidence but has the potential to be a great friend and a reliable ally. Jon took a liking to Sam early on, or at the very least, was willing to defend the nervous, round kid who’s completely out of his element in this Nights Watch Trainee program.

Sam’s story is about as depressing as the rest of the Nights Watchmen’s stories are. After he turned eighteen, his disapproving, disappointed father offered him two options: Take the Black or die in a tragic hunting “accident.” Sam took the black and fortunately for him, he found a friend in Jon, who encouraged, convinced and in one case threatened the other boys into laying off the pudgy kid.

Jon put his neck out for Sam, even after he learned that the kid can’t fight, doesn’t have good eyes and is afraid of heights. He’s pretty much the opposite of what you’d want from a Nights Watchman. All the same, there’s something to be said for finding a true friend and someone you can really trust. We saw a bit of that between Sam and Jon as they talked and joked about their lack of sexual experience. Maybe Sam’s not the most suited for the job in most respects but I suspect he’ll prove useful in other areas as things move forward.

A Tournament, A Mountain and, Another Bastard

Ned continued to sniff around, looking for more clues to figure out who killed Jon Arryn. A discussion with a Maester leads him to a book that has to do with noble families. Littlefinger also offered him some advise, which included encouraging Ned not to trust him. Helpful. Ned’s biggest find was meeting King Robert’s bastard son, who’s set up making swords and seems to know very little about his parents.

While Ned’s still playing investigator, Robert is busy bedding prostitutes while he forces Jaime to listen at the door. It’s amusing to me that Jaime finds it so insulting that Robert is spending so much time cheating on Cersei when Cersei’s cheating on Robert with Jaime.

Sansa is fretting over what she’ll do if she doesn’t give Joffrey any sons once they’re married. Meanwhile, Arya’s pretty much ruling out sons or marrying a rich lord. She told her father as much while she was demonstrating some of the things Syrio has taught her with the sword.

The Hand’s tournament began, which introduced us to the Hound’s giant of a brother Gregor a.k.a. “The Mountain.” The man is scary and demonstrates how a splinter can kill a person if it’s big enough and penetrates a squire’s neck just right. Following this display of jousting manliness, Littlefinger reveals to Sansa (who’s already looking fairly ill after watching a man choke to death on his own blood) that it was Gregor who burned The Hound’s face. Siblings have weird relationships on this show.

In Winterfell…

Bran dreams of a three-eyed crow and of being able to walk. He’s still adjusting to being a cripple, which includes being carried around by Hodor and refusing to accept that he falls under the category of crippled. Fortunately for Bran, Tyrion arrived and offered some plans for a saddle that will allow Bran to ride again if they train the horse correctly.

Once again, Tyrion’s flair for pointing out things people don’t want to discuss about themselves allows us to get to know another character better. Tonight, he spoke briefly with Theon Greyjoy, the only surviving son of Balon Greyjoy. As I understand it, Theon was captured by the Starks and then raised by them. So he’s sort of part of the Stark group but he doesn’t like to consider Ned Stark his master. There’s probably more to it than that but for now, I think that’s all we need to know.

Tyrion might’ve done well to get far away from Winterfell, but he didn’t know Catelyn was on her way back and looking to take him down, believing he’s the one who tried to have Bran killed. The last we see Tyrion, he’s surrounded by swords and about to be captured.

Meanwhile, Out East…

Viserys doesn’t seem to be capable of adjusting to his situation. Even when he’s enjoying the company of a beautiful woman (one of Daenerys’ handmaids), he begins to get attitudey. This comes after a long, descriptive conversation about dragons. Viserys is way into dragons.

Dany continued her ascent to awesomeness tonight as she laid the smack down on her brother when he mistook her request that he join her for dinner for an order. After he tried to attack her, she fought back and overtook him, then stated, “The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.” Yeah, the weak, frightened, victimized Daenerys appears to have left the building and in her place a Khaleesi is truly beginning to emerge.

Interestingly enough, Dany had a conversation with Jorah that made her realize that her brother isn’t going to be king. Not only does she not want to see him claim the Iron Throne but also she seemed to realize that the odds of him being able to do it, even if Drogo gave him an army, weren’t good.

We’re seeing Dany embrace her new life as a Dathrakian more and more and this realization that the original plan is probably a long shot at best may be just what she needs to move forward.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.