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We can predict many things that will happen in the realms depicted in Game of Thrones, but peace will never be one of them. This show is rife with turmoil, pain, and conflict runs just as deeply through every character as it does between them. At times, it is nothing more than the stakes that keep the poor souls that populate this world moving forward. It is what makes us feel so deeply for them, as their suffering draws out our compassion. I mean who isn’t still reeling from Ned Stark’s death back in season one? Still, despite all this suffering, we trudge on through the muddy battlegrounds of Westeros not as a viewer, but as loyal followers of this immense story. And we’re only halfway through this season.

This episode’s turmoil starts when a group of Karstarks, bannermen to Rob Stark, burst into a room and kill two Lannister boys that were serving as Rob’s squires. As a result, Rob executes the men and risks losing powerful allies in his fight to avenge his father’s death and save his sisters. After The Hound wins his trial by combat, Arya Stark feels cheated by the gods. Alone, missing her father, she now also loses her last friend Gendry as he agrees to stay with The Brotherhood without Banners as their smith. Tyrion, the imp, struggles with his dull new appointment as Master of Coin and the incredible expenses of the upcoming royal wedding. Daenerys, to whom we bend the knee, is marching her new army and freeing slaves with blood and fire. But it is Jamie Lannister’s suffering that stands out

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most this episode. For two years we have known him as an oathbreaker and all around villain. Now, the whole story of why he broke his oath comes out in a gush of anguish over what he did. It is a story that completely turns his character around and sheds a new light on him.

As ever, this episode is filled with deception and the unease of not knowing who will be left standing at the end. Just when you think you know what’s happening, a twist in the plot makes you see things from a whole new angle. The writers have done an excellent job adapting the show from the source material and the actors bring the characters to life just as we imagined them. Every set and location truly seems like it belongs in this cruel and unforgiving world. This show is fantasy as it was meant to be put on film and this episode was an excellent reminder of that fact. 

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