Episode Reviews Feature Reviews

Feature – The Eye of Newb – GoT Season 4 Episode 3

Editor’s Note: “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode listed. If you have not watched the episode written about, you have been warned. But as Matt has not read the books (as of yet), you do not have to worry about future spoilers.


The Eye of Newb (Return of the Newb)
Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 3: Breaker of Chains

“Your father lacks an appreciation of the finer points of bad behavior.” – Ser Davos



Still reeling a bit from the bloody demise of my beloved Ros’ killer, Friends.  Hee, hee, hee… did I mention that Joffrey’s dead?  Did I mention how I laughed?

Thus, it’s fair to say that your faithful Newb may… how you say… struggle a bit to stay present and pay attention through this next installment.  But… for you, for you, Dear Readers, I will (albeit briefly) cease and desist rewinding and re-watching the President of the Westeros Junior Sadists’ League agonizingly throttle on his own sputum while mewling for his psychotic mommy.

More stuff, apparently, has happened in Westeros of late.  So-o, armed with trusty notepad and fortified with a perfectly chilled Dark Horse Special Black, I will soldier on.  And off we go!

  • We return to Cersei’s rage and Tywin’s loss of certainty and control.  Yummy.  Can’t get enough.
  • But are quickly whisked away to answer the riddle of where, precisely, the Human Wine Cask is spiriting Poor, Poor, Pitiful Sansa.  Up and alley, down an alley, into a dinghy and out of a dinghy, to scale the trim hulk of a ship in what I assume must be the Blackwater, hidden in swirling mists.  Aboard said vessel lurks none other than Tommy Carcetti, er, Littlefinger!
  • Of course Baelish had to be here.  New rule, to swipe unceremoniously from Bill Maher… If someone, anyone, dies under mysterious circumstances anywhere in Westeros, henceforward the Newb will simply attribute some level of de facto a priori involvement and malfeasance to Littlefinger.  Period. Amen. Crack-a-dew.
  • Oh, Dontos, you truly gifted fool, don’t wait for your pay!  GTFO while you still ca… never mind.  There it is.  Shot in the face for your troubles.  This is Petyr Baelish’s world my sad, sodden little  man, and you merely die in it.  Lord, how I’ve missed Littlefinger.
  • The only downside i that my whole whodunnit theory just got set on fire, sunken in the swamp and otherwise obliterated.  To this point, I’d believed, after multiple viewings of the prior episode, that Dame Tyrell was the murderer.  That little speech about killing a man at a wedding was too juicy a clue.  I thought she and she alone must be the one to whom I owed the biggest ever hug to.  But now… now I am forced to revise my thinking.  Baelish, you beautiful bastard – YOU did it.  Didn’t you?
  • With no clear answer either way, we’re dashing off coastward to the aforementioned Dame Tyrell and her lovely not-quite-Queen daughter conferring at some length about dead, doughy lumps and other things as well.  Prattle, prattle, prattle, and your basic reveal that these two are the living, if fictional, embodiment of “operators”.  Nice.  And thus seemed so sweetly shrewd.
  • Cut to Joffrey’s body… giggle… I enjoy that particular juxtaposition of referential nouns no end.  Cersei and Tommen are brooding here.  Maybe even grieving.  At least Tommen may be capable of grief.  I doubt Cersei is capable of such a nuanced emotion in her deep, dark bag of bitchy superiority.
  • Sheesh, not for nothing, but those little eye pebbles Joffrey is sporting are creepy.  Not crying, hallucinogenic fauna creepy, mind.  But still and all… creepy.
  • Oh, goody, Tywin’s here, too, and he’s blowharding.  Since when does he care what makes a “good” king?  The term “good” can hardly be applied to him, or any, save one, of his progeny.  Interesting guessing game, though, and quite the tour of past crazy seated on the throne.
  • Oooohh… I see where this is going now.  Tommen, dear boy, listen to me, your Hand, and your council or you’ll be just as dead as all of those other idiots.  Tywin, you may not be good, per se, but you’re good at this whole completely evil and manipulative f**ker deal.  I do love the slap at Joffrey right in front of his corpse and his mommy.  I love Cersei’s smothered outrage even more.  Lena Headey is killing it with her expressions tonight.  They run the full gamut from homicidal to outright psycho.
  • The fact that Tywin starts in on the birds and the bees just as UncleDaddy Jaime wanders in is also rich.  Chuckle.
  • So Cersei wants Jaime to kill Tyrion and avoid a trial altogether.  And good on Jaime, he refuses.  This new Kingslayer-with-a-conscience is appealing… but…

… What in the (bleepity bleep motherbleeping bleep in the name all that’s bleeping holy) was THAT?!  Did this just turn from sitting shiva to a ‘smack my bitch up’ video?  The Newb feels a tad violated, in all candor.  Cersei is a hateful woman, and I pity Jaime his love for her, but forcible rape on the chapel floor is more than a few steps beyond.

  • Thankfully, we fade to Arya (yes, Arya!!) and the Hound under a bridge.  Sandor Clegane calmly contemplates a future as a sell-sword across the narrow sea.  Seems logical.  But then, what ho…
  • Along comes Dennis the Farmer – help, help, he’s probably been repressed – and Arya covers their presence on Dennis’ land with a rapid lie and a wonderful guess as to loyalties.  This girl is quick-witted, Friends.  Full stop.  And that’s not even in the top three things I most admire about her.
  • Thanks to the successful guesswork, we cut to a most unappetizing scene of prayer and stew-guzzling.  Dennis the Formerly Repressed Farmer and the Hound reach a quizzical agreement.  I’ve never pictured any Clegane as a farmhand.  But I also understand that there is no good reason for a man not keep at least a dram of ale in his house.  None at all.
  • The next morning, we awake with Arya to cries of alarm, and find that Clegane the Farmhand was never to be.  Also, apparently that whole “Hound with a Code” only applies to people that the Hound believes will live long enough to miss the items stolen.  Dammit!  (Brief aside, Friends… as a big guy myself, with some hand-to-hand combat skills, courtesy of kind senseis and a bit of a checkered career path, this turn of events really irks me.  I was coming around to truly liking this new Hound, but now I’m, well… what was that word my dear mother used to wield like a rapier?  Ah, yes.  Disappointed.  Very disappointed.)
  • He does raise a valid point, though, even in the midst of disappointing me.  Arya has to come to terms with the rules of engagement of the sh*theap in which she lives, before it costs her her own head.
  • Cut to the Wall – Castle Black to be precise – and, aw God, no.  The Tarley.  Time to get another beer.  This storyline is just… So. Damn. Tiresome.  Someone wake me when this slubbering, whiny blob figure life out.  I do feel sorry for Gilly, though.  While The Tarley did save her and her baby’s lives, caring for someone as clueless as Blob Boy here has got to be frustrating as hell.
  • Snip to the Chamber of the Wacked-out Baratheon Table.  Stannis is somehow convinced that leeches led to Joffrey’s death.  Poor, dense bastard.  It pains me to watch The Onion try to reason with the Emotionless One about the efficacy of infantry over flame-broiled annelids.  Davos is clearly feeling some pressure to solve the problem of troops, and by extension gold.
  • This pressure does not prevent him from attending a reading lesson with the daughter Baratheon, who thankfully survived last week’s encounter with Melisandre.  And this scene produces both the line of the night, as well as the runner-up.  “If you see the word ‘knight’ and say ‘ker-nig-it’…”  Hahahahahaaa!  Somewhere Graham Chapman is laughing just as hard as I am.  I’d swear it.
  • Aaaand, the encounter produces a spark of illumination for Davos, as well.  Something to do with the Iron Bank of Bravos.  I’m sure there’ll be more on this later.
  • Oh, crap.  Cut to The Tarley again.  Gilly, dear girl.  Listen to my words, please?  Find someone new.  This boy is a round mound of confounded.  By literally everything.  Yawn.

So-o, Producers?  Yeah, you clowns.  Lean in close, please, so’s I can yell a bit in your ear.  It was someone’s high artistic concept to jump me, your trusting viewer, from The Tarley to an orgy?!  Seriously?  Very, extremely not cool.  It’s gonna take several rounds of high-test, some therapy and possibly a sweat lodge or two to wash that off my synapses.  Don’t.  Ever again.  Just don’t.

  • Moving on.  Oberyn and his dusky companion are, um, sampling the wares a bit, it seems.  I wonder how much Baelish is clearing on this binge.  Hey, who’s the busty redhead with the sweet caboose… oh, sorry.  Got distracted.  I miss Ros.  I really do.
  • Tywin joins the party, at least metaphorically, as in Tywin walks into the room where the party is occurring.  And he has accusations a-brimming.  Very interesting reveal about Oberyn’s expertise in poison, as well.  As such, he is invited by the senior Lannister to join Tyrion’s trial jury.  Even offered a Small Council seat.  Because…?  Newb is confused.
  • Aha!  Tywin is playing the long game here.  I did not know that Dorne successfully resisted the Targaryens and their aerial, flame-spewing iguanas.  Besides, that verbal sparring was easily the strongest scene of the night, so far.
  • And off to the dungeons again.  That means Impness!  Yay!  Pod pays a visit, and Tyrion pays tribute and farewell to Pod very fittingly.  A thing of immense beauty and vulnerability.  Tyrion, you Are. Not.  Allowed.  To  Die.  Got it?  Good.
  • Pod provides a single juicy clue – Joffrey (allegedly) was killed by a poison named “the strangler”.  Seems an apt description, given Joffrey’s denouement.
  • Condemned, imprisoned and all, The Imp still asks for his big brother Jaime.  Huh.
  • Cut to a brook and a village and some blokes discussing potatoes.  See, these, here, are the Newb’s people.  And they’re getting killed.  Stupid freakin’ monosyllabic cannibals.  And Ygritte, too.  They send one newly-minted orphan off the warn the Crows, at…
  • Castle Black it is.  And Bubba Sno-Tep, the walking cardboard cutout, holding court.  At least he displays common sense in this instance.  It appears (shudder) that Jon Snow may know more than nothing after all.  Both not chasing the cannibals and marching of to kill the mutinous Crows keep are good, sound strategic calls.  Someone does need to kill Karl dead.  Hopped up little sh*t.  He never should have killed Mormont.
  • Sharp swing to across the narrow sea and Sweet Dany outside the walls of Mereen.  And, oh joy… Novartis.  At least the dull prettyboy can hurl a knife.  I do love the catapulted slave chains – nice move, Danaerys.  Plus, this means more blood and violence.

Hmmm… a full hour of irksome things, loathsome things and table-setting.  At least I had the afterglow of Joffrey’s strangled demise to ride it out with.  ‘Til next time, Friends, I remain your faithful, if deadline-challenged, Newb.


By P.G. Holyfield

Founder of SpecFicMedia, author of Murder at Avedon Hill, and host of several podcasts.