‘Game of Thrones’ Episode 4 Review – ‘Garden of Bones’

Written by Guest April 25, 2012

For the night is dark and full of terrors…

Daenerys stands at the gates of Qarth in a perimeter known as the Garden of Bones, which gives it’s name to the title of the episode. If one is denied access to the city, they are killed on the spot. This week on ‘Game of Thrones’ the major players are all put into situations where they are at the point of no return. It is intriguing but it feels more like a transition than anything else.

Robb’s war against the Lannisters wages on. As the nobles play their game of thrones, the effect it has on the common folk of Westeros is seldom seen. Robb gets a reality check when he sees a young fisherman get his leg sawn off due to a wound. Meanwhile in Harrenhal, his sister Arya witnesses the torture of peasants swept up by his war. If Robb were to end this war now, countless more would die as punishment. As Cersei stated last season: “in the game of thrones, you either win or you die”.

In the Stormlands, Stannis and Renly’s groups finally meet up. Neither are willing to accept their brother as leader. Renly has the numbers to win but Stannis has Melisandre, and neither are ready to back down. Melisandre gives birth to some sort of shadow monstrosity in the shows first explicit display of magic. Davos’ reaction was very similar to mine to the most horrifying birth scene ever on television.

The stuff that nightmares are made of

 

Catelyn is presented with an option by Littlefinger to release Jaime herself to get Sansa and Arya back. Littlefinger is not in the political position to give them up and neither is Catelyn in releasing Jaime. Catelyn must decide to act as a mother or act as a subject to Robb. This potential blow to Robb’s war effort comes just after Theon’s defection.

Back at King’s Landing, Tyrion’s control is challenged by Joffery. Tyrion sends his king-nephew a couple of prostitutes to distract him from torturing Sansa. Joffery forces one of the girls to savagely beat the other one as a message to Tyrion that he will not be controlled easily. This scene, unique to the television series, shows that Tyrion is not able to control everyone even if all the decisions he makes are right. Joffery sure could use another slap right now.

‘Garden of Bones’ is an interesting episode. It is not a stand-out ‘Game of Thrones’ episode but it’s depictions of the consequences of power and the two graphically horrifying scenes provide enough to leave the audience with a desire for more. This is important in any complex drama as it means that the audience is willing to follow it, especially if it means figuring out what the deal with the shadow creature is.

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