"No one can give you your freedom. If you want it you must take it". These are the words Grey Worm says to the huddled down slaves as they discuss overthrowing their masters in Meereen. This week's Game of Thrones was a slow-burner of an episode, but provided some interesting insight as class revolts occurred both in the east and north of the wall, and certain characters took action in order to try and make a difference.
Daenerys becomes the great emancipator of Meereen not through action but through words, though one master ravaged by the hordes is all we see in terms of revolution. Still, the shot of her triumphantly standing atop the city's giant pyramid now draped with the Targaryen banner is a pretty awesome sight. She also has no time for mercy, crucifying the former masters and saying, "I will answer injustice with justice".
Whether Tyrion will receive justice remains to be seen. After being attacked with both sword and harsh words by Bronn, Jaime decides to finally pay his younger brother a visit. There's tension between the two, as both seem unsure after all that's happened whether they can trust one another.
Despite Jaime's protestations, Cersei remains adamant that Tyrion killed her son Joffrey. Nursing multiple glasses of wine alone in her chamber, she directs cold malice towards her twin and former lover after his rape of her last week appears to have severed their relationship.
We're thankfully kept in suspense no longer about who really did kill Joffrey, as it's revealed that both Littlefinger and the Queen of Thorns played a part. Petyr Baelish tells Sansa that his 'new friends' wanted the tyrannical boy king slain, and the subsequent cut to Margaery and Olenna reveals who those new friends are. Diane Rigby continues to steal every scene as she all but admits her act to her granddaughter, before departing King's Landing. "You don't think i'd let you marry that beast do you," she tells her.
And whilst Cersei is distracted with grief, Margaery is instructed to lure new king Tommen to the Tyrell way of thinking. Enchanting her prospective husband in the middle of the night by claiming she will one day be all his, it appears this Lannister child is much more impressionable and susceptible to charm that his elder brother.
But all this bitter infighting and regicide seems petty when compared to the wider issues at work here both in the east and north of the wall. This episode was bookended by two revolts of sorts, the slave rebellion in Meereen and the mutineers at Craster's Keep. Karl Tanner is clearly a nasty piece of work, slurping wine from former commander Mormont's skull as his men do as they please with Craster's daughters, but as he rants about lords and ladies its clear his hatred stems from being born to the bottom of the feudal system. Abolishing slavery is one thing, but removing the class system of Westeros is a much tougher prospect.
For now Karl's captured Bran, Hodor and the Reed siblings, and realises their worth as a ransom. It's now up to Jon Snow, a bastard who has been brought up as nobility, to come to the rescue of his half-brother.
Playing the Game
There always seems something insidious about Littlefinger and the Queen of Thorns, so it's no surprise to hear the two both had a hand in Joffrey's death. Olenna's reason is clear, as Joffrey would have been both an unreliable ally and horrible husband for her granddaughter.
But what did Baelish have to gain? As he explains to Sansa, "Always keep your foes confused". Despite not immediately benefiting from killing the king, Littlefinger is a man who can find a way to exploit chaos and confusion for his own interests.
Jon Snow might have returned to the Night's Watch, but there are some who wish he never returned. Sensing the popularity of the Stark son, Janos Slynt tells Alliser Thorne to send him off to Craster's on what they believe to be a suicide mission, but this backfires when the a horde of loyal brothers volunteer to go with him.
One of those is Locke, who after being sent by Roose Bolton has managed to infiltrate the Night's Watch. It's far too convenient that Locke, who is on the hunt for Bran and Rickon, would arrive at Castle Black just as Jon and Sam are talking about the young crippled Stark going north of the wall, but he should prove an intriguing foil to the brother in black.
Season four has sadly lacked the bickering of Jaime and Brienne, but they did get a great scene together here as Jaime gave her a new sword and sent her out to fulfil a promise. Whilst it's hard to like Jaime after what he did to Cersei last week, he at least maintains his sense of honour when he gives his Valyrian sword to Brienne, as well as a squire in Podrick, and tells her to venture out and try and find Sansa and Arya. He might not be able to fulfil his oath to Caitlin Stark, but perhaps she can.