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"And Now His Watch is Ended" is an enthralling meditation on betrayal and revenge, bolstered by a mind-blowing surprise for those who would underestimate Daenerys Targarean.
With all of the possibilites that could take place, the season is shaping up to be an exciting one, even though it's taken a few episodes to really get moving.
Still, it should at least be good for a couple of "hand of the king" jokes from the Imp.
Talk about captive audience: In this good but often hard-to-watch episode, it was almost too easy to relate to the many literally and figuratively shackled characters.
It's so invigorating to see someone who was sold to Khal Drogo in the first episode come into her own. Power breeds power. Her self confidence got her dragons. Her dragons got her an army. What will an army get her?
With so many characters being given their just deserts, as it were, this episode was more emotionally satisfying than we've come to expect from GoT.
The secret origin of Varys, delivered in riveting fashion by Conleth Hill, serves neatly as a metaphor for both "And Now His Watch Is Ended" and for "Game of Thrones" as a whole.
[It] was another tale of consequences, a densely plotted, labyrinthine piece of television that coupled complex machinations with wicked retributions.
Watching Dracarys cook him, while Daenerys won an army of 8,000 through communion rather than market exchange, was a spectacular moment of catharsis.
So let's all cheer for Dany, because if a character can keep this season of Game of Thrones afloat, it will be her.