Game of Thrones Episode (4×04) Review – “OathKeeper”
Kudos for not dragging out Joffrey's killer. Love, love, love the Queen of Thorns! (Yes, I will continue to say that every week. Deal with it!) So good to see Jaime and Tyrion have a real discussion without their usual snark. The excitement over the White Walker reveal will never cease to excite. Thanks for the treat!
Pacing of show was a bit slow, but the final 15 minutes more than made up for it.
When the last 30 secs of Game of Thrones make you say, “Oh Shit!”
This week’s episode of Game of Thrones was a treat, not just for television fans, but book fans as well. Not only did the mystery of Who Killed Joffrey get solved, but we finally learned the two majorly burning questions of what happened to Ghost and what in the hell the White Walkers do with Craster’s sons. By the end of the episode it looks as if most of the surviving Stark children may somehow reunite with at least one long lost sibling, while Brienne and Pod embark on a search for Sansa and Arya. Jon is about to lead an expedition to suppress the Night’s Watch Rebellion, and Daenerys has crossed a huge moral line. What’s going to happen next? I have no clue thanks to the spoilers dropped in the episode, but I’m willing to roll with it. Guess that’s what happens when a show burns through the source material faster than it’s written. We are living in exciting times, folks! Now that we’re all caught up, let’s dive in and tackle episode 404, “Oathkeeper.”
“No one can give you your freedom, brothers. If you want it, you must take it.”…Daenerys finally seized control of Mereen, but in doing so crossed a huge moral line. Still steaming from the children crucified among the road as a warning to stay away, Daenerys decided to return the favor by nailing up the slavers in the same manner she found the children as a lesson to them, and all others who would do the same. Were you as shocked as I was when Dany executed the slavers? Ser Barristan was right, sometimes mercy is better to serve up. Dany has always been a champion of the underdog, and no matter what horrors she’s seen in the past, the “Breaker of Chains” has always been merciful, even to her enemies. Until now. Dany believes her actions just, but so did Joffrey Baratheon when he beheaded Ned Stark, and Dany’s grandfather Aerys when he cooked Ned’s father and brother alive in their armor. Slippery is the slope of a ruler becoming a tyrant, and if Dany isn’t lucky, she could wake up one day with people shouting for her to be removed from power.
Barristan: Sometimes it’s better to answer injustice with mercy.
Dany: I will answer injustice with justice.”
The Kingslayer Brothers
The Lannister boys had a difficult week. Tyrion looks guilty as hell for his nephew’s murder, and by all intents and purposes is as good as dead. Sansa is in the wind, and he’s sent his staunchest supporter away. Jaime’s sword fighting has improved loads since last week, but Cersei is still giving him the cold shoulder, and Jammie can’t do anything to help his little brother. Wasn’t is touching to see the boys spend some time together? It had to be one of the best scenes of the episode, and that’s saying something! By the end of the episode, the boys were both in the same situations, but at least Jaime managed to get Brienne and Podrick safely away. All of my ‘ships have been destroyed on all of my shows this season, so watching Brienne glance bak at Jaime as she and Pod rode away broke what was left of my heart. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think her feelings for the Kingslayer were a bit requited. Or am I reading too much into their meaningful glances? (Say it ain’t so!) Now that Jaime has lost one of the few people left in his corner, his position kind of feels as weak as his lil’ bro. While we now know who indeed killed Joffrey, what us viewers know won’t save Tyrion, because he has grasped his situation clearly. The truth doesn’t matter. He’s had an ax hanging over his head since they day he was born.
Tyrion: Are you really asking if I killed your son?
Jaime: Are you really asking if I’d kill my brother?
“I was good. I was very, very good, but you’re better.”
For those of us who thought we couldn’t find out the killer’s identity until the end of the season, “Haha!” the jokes on us. The suspect list we’ve been compiling the last three weeks did have Joffrey’s killer, but the twist was that asswipe wasn’t just killed by one suspect, but three. I guess they really wanted that fool to die. As smarmy Littlefinger tells Sansa, Ser Dontos provided the poison necklace she wore that was made at Littlefinger’s request, while the poisoned bead was removed by Olenna Tyrell who dropped it in Joffrey’s wine. Got that? Phew! Nothing in Game of Thrones is ever simple, is it, and this murder plot was as complicated as you can get. After all her years(?) of living in King’s Landing, you’d think Sansa could figure out the conspirators’ motives, but this is Sansa we’re talking about, so…. *crickets* It’s obvious Ser Dontos was a drunk who wanted silver to buy more wine, but Olenna and Littlefinger’s motives were pure genius! So much so, that I want to take lessons at Olenna’s School of Intrigue with Littlefinger as one of my instructors. Both of these people are pros at manipulation, and their long-range planning is out of control insightful.
Olenna: You don’t think I’d let you marry that beast, do you?
Olenna was no fool. She knew Joffrey was a monster who’d turn on Margaery the moment he grew bored. From the way things stand, it appears Olenna planned all along to have Joff killed so Tommen would be king and Margaery his queen. What was Littlefinger’s plot? Snatch Sansa and marry Lysa Aaron. Sounds kind of boring, until you consider that Lysa’s son sickly Robert is Warden of the East. If I were a gambler (and I’m not), I’d bet a man capable of conspiring to kill the king would have no problem offing the sickly child after marrying his mother. If he does, then Littlefinger will not only be The Lord of Harrengal, but Warden of the East, and with Sansa as a hostage (and wife #2?), Littlefinger could also wind up Warden of the North. After that, he’d just have to kill off the Lannisters and claim the West. The man did say, “I want everything.” Oh, who are we kidding? The man is just a lecherous pimp from the Fingers. He couldn’t possible pull something off that ambitious.
“Fuck ’em till they’re dead!”
Karl and the other mutineers were still raping and pillaging Craster’s Keep, but little do they know that Jon and a bunch of Brothers are headed their way. Too bad Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor are now the gang’s hostages. The scenes at the Wall and beyond were very different from the books, so it was refreshing to see something new. It also was a bit scary. Questions of how these changes affect the outcomes of the characters involved, and future storylines abound, but as surprising as these changes are, they’re also a bit exciting. Now for one of the first times, book fans know what it feels like to be a television fan, and not know where things are going to go. It’s obvious Karl is one cold bastard, and hopefully he’ll either get run through by Jon when he arrives, or his throat ripped out by Ghost and Summer. Then again, this is Game of Thrones, so with our luck Karl will wind up atop the Iron Throne.
Karl Turner: And I thought this was going to be another boring day.
No matter how exciting it was to see Jon make a new friend and get put in charge of a Raider group aka death trap, or Karl drinking from Mormont’s skull (yuck!), nothing took the cake more than learning what happens to Craster’s sons. In another It’s Not In the Book! scene, we discover that after the White Walkers take Craster’s “sacrifices,” some horned Walker Priest(?) turns the babies into the undead. Why the White Walkers would want babies boggles the mind, but you have to admit the demon Walker Priest did seem kind of paternal towards the little bean. Maybe the kid didn’t get such a raw deal. I mean, being a Walker has to be better than ending up on the mutineer’s spit. (WTF was the meat they were eating anyway?)
“Oathkeeper” was a really spoilery episode that offered up more questions than it answered. Michelle MacLaren wrote a fantastic episode filled with intrigue, great pairings, and still managed to keep viewers guessing. Olenna’s dirty confession to her granddaughter Margaery was nicely paired with the younger Tyrell taking Olenna’s advice. While there was something a bit icky about Margaery and Tommen’s secret rendezvous, the scene also somehow managed to be sweet. Brian Cogman gave great direction as he overlapped the scenes which revealed Joffrey’s killers. Tyrion saying, “Sansa’s not a killer. Not yet, anyway,” overlapped nicely with Sansa learning about Littlefinger’s role in the king’s death. Just like Littlefinger’s comments about his “new friends” shed light on Olenna Tyrell’s part in the regicide. Not only that, but the way Cogman displayed the White Walker’s home through the eyes of the newborn added to the creep factor of the child turning into the zombie baby from Dawn of the Dead. Right now it seems that the Stark children are in for a reunion, but when have the Starks ever been made happy? No one on this show is happy, but we can dream!
Questions… Comments… Wonderings…
- “What are you waiting for? A kiss?” C’mon, Bronn, you know you love Pod as much as we do!
- Had Dany crosses a line she can’t come back from? Could she be going crazy like the rest of her inbred family? Is that why she hasn’t bothered to build ships and sail to Westeros?
- Margaery’s play for Tommen: Hot or not?
- Now that Jaime has saved Podrick and Brienne from Cersei’s wrath, will he find himself next on the chopping block, or can the Kingslayer rebound from his new lowly station?
- Were you wondering how Karl’s wine managed to stay in the skull like I was, or did the whole ‘drinking from a human skull’ thing throw you? Seems to be the wine would have leaked out the sinus cavity… Anyone have a skull on hand?
- Who’s willing to bet Ghost is going to rip that Mutineer’s throat out for teasing him with the water? My money’s also on Summer killing Locke when he makes a play for Bran. Should we start a pool?
- WTH DO WHITE WALKERS NEED BABIES?!? Do these things grow into adults? If so, how do we explain the little girl Walker from episode 101? Can baby Walkers take care of themselves? Are their Momma Walkers somewhere? What was that horned thing, and why do the Walkers have a temple? They practice religion? Where do they live? UGH, I think my brain is about to explode!