The dragon is unleashed as Daenerys seizes control of her destiny in a stunning game-changing episode

April 22, 2013 at 01:56 AM EDT

Hear that? It’s the sound of millions of Game of Thrones fans geeking out. Tonight’s episode “And Now His Watch Is Ended” concluded with the most exciting scene in the show’s history: Daenerys Targaryen unleashing both her inner and outer dragon in a bold move to acquire the army she’s sought since the show’s first episode.

And that big fire-breathing climax (which we’re going to do a deep dive on) wasn’t even close to being only major game-changing scene this week. There was the Night’s Watch rebellion at Crasters, Theon’s reversal of fortune, Jaime on death’s door, Margaery proposing to Sansa, The Hound getting put on trial, and a wicked scene with Varys. Tonight’s hour felt more like a cliffhanger-packed season finale instead of merely episode four.

Road: We open on Jaime’s hand. See, he hasn’t lost it, it’s right there! Locke and his goons have hung it around his neck like a ghoulish fashion accessory. “How many of those fingers do you think we could shove up his ass?” one of the men heckles. I want Jaime to flip him off with it in response, but he’s too weak.

Jaime begs for water. Locke tricks him into gulping horse urine. This is like being held captive by a gaggle of back-of-the-class eighth graders; their evilness is made so much more frustrating by their immaturity. Jaime gets a sword but he can’t fight left-handed and they beat him in the mud. “Do that again and I’ll take your other hand,” Locke warns.

This is what absolute defeat looks like. As usual watching Thrones, my present-moment empathy clashes with a memory of the past — it’s “Oh no, he’s suffering!” vs. “He threw Bran out the window!” Speaking of…

Woods: Bran is… Hey, what do you think Bran is doing? Any guesses? That’s right. He’s dreaming of the three-eyed crow! I bet Thrones writers have “Bran is dreaming of the three-eyed crow” hot-keyed to F6 on their laptops by now. So in the dream, Jojen tells him to go after the stupid crow. Bran climbs the tree to reach it. Then suddenly Catelyn appears and goes crazy yelling at him until he falls. Dude, that’s the worst — getting crow-blocked by your mom.

King’s Landing: Varys! We haven’t seen much of you this season. As he might say (and does), “Welcome back, old friend.” Varys has a special delivery and is very pleased to monologue to Tyrion like a Bond villain while he opens his crate. Hey Varys, what’s in the box?

We’re getting the story of how Varys lost his genitals. Well, “lost” isn’t really the right word. A man drugged him, mutilated him, and burned his bits as some sort of dark magic ceremony. “I still dream of that night,” he says. “Not of the sorcerer, not of his blade — I dream of the voice from the flames.” And, um, what’s in the box?

Varys says he sold himself, became a thief, and worked his way up to the Small Council. Now he hates “magic and all those who practice it.” Varys, what’s in the boooox!?

Varys opens the crate and reveals…

NEXT: Podrick’s brothel mystery deepens

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