Once again, we were treated to another character driven exposition episode with a surprise ending that none of us expected. Bryan Coogman wrote tonight’s chapter which was heavily adapted for screen. The focus was on Meereen, Kings Landing, Sansa, and the Wall and beyond.
Our story continues from last week with Missendi teaching grey Worm to read in Common Tongue. They recall how they became slaves. We find out that Grey Worm came from the Summer Isles while Missendi came from Nall. Deanery’s interrupts them and tells Grey Worm, “It’s time”.
In Meereen, a group of slaves contemplate a revolt but they are concerned that they are not soldiers. The Unsullied infiltrate their meeting disguised as slaves and arm their friends with weapons. Grey Worm ignites a fire within them to fight their masters. Valur Morghulis.
As master walks the streets, he sees writing on the wall that states, “Masters must die “. He looks up at Flag of Meereen which has been changed to Dany’s sigil. Suddenly, he is attacked and killed by a mob of angry slaves.
Shortly, thereafter, Dany strolls through her new city as slaves chant,” Mysha” while breaking off their chokers. The Khalessi is advised by Selmy to “answer justice with mercy”; however, she decides to answer “justice with justice”. The masters are put upon crosses by nailing one of their hands as answer for their crimes.
Now that Dany has conquered Meereen, the storyline will take some intriguing twists and turns. There are definite hints of subplots coming to play between her advisors and commanders for the Khalessi’s attention. We might see more Missendi/Grey Worm tutoring sessions being explored. Don’t forget about those dragons.
Jaime continues his left hand training with Bronn. The sellsword unsheathes him and the Kingslayer tumbles to the ground. Next, he tells Jaimie how he met Tyrion by championing for him in the Vale. Bronn plays on KIngsguard’s emotions by stating that Tyrion wanted his brother as a champion, thus, quilting him for not seeing Tyrion yet. It seems that Bronn believes that Tyrion is innocent.
Jaime reunites with his brother in his holding cell. The Kingslayer brothers have a heart to heart chat regarding Cersei and her quest to see Tyrion dead. Jaime seems impartial to the fact that Tyrion refers to Joffrey as his son, but there is a definite silent acknowledgment between them. Jaime asks his brother point blank; if he or Sansa killed the King. Tyrion answers with a resounding “no” and even though, Sansa had good reason to, she isn’t a killer, yet. Tyrion asks his brother to help him escape but Jaime can’t as he is the head of the Kingsguard which would mean treason for him.
Meanwhile, aboard Littlefinger’s Ship, Sansa discovers that LF is planning to marry her aunt Lysa in the Vale. During their conversation, Littlefinger discloses more of how he played a part in Joffrey’s death. He also plays some mind games with Sansa by implicating her guilt by wearing the necklace. Sansa questions him to what he wants since he has a title and money. Baelish expresses his discontent with Kings Landing, while forging an alliance with new friends who wanted to “grow strong”. And yes, LF wants “everything”. Is Sansa the price?
Back at Kings Landing in the Tyrell gardens, Olenna informs Margery, she is going back to Highgarden. It seems that the garden at Kings Landing isn’t to her liking anymore. They converse about her and Tommen’s match. Olenna gives her grandaugher some womanly advice on how to gain Tommen’s trust before Cersei can turn him against her. The Queen of Thorns subtly lets it slip that she was responsible for Joffrey’s death; moreover, she was only protecting Margery from that beast.
Jaime visits a cold hearted Cersei who seems to like to drink more each day. She asks him why there is only guard at Tommen’s door. In a harsh tone, she questions her brother about his vow to Catelyn Stark. Jaime replies that he agreed to return Cat’s daughters, in order to get back to her faster. Cersei tells him that his secret vow to the enemy means nothing now and asks him to kill Sansa. As well, the Queen Regent knows that he went to visit their brother, “the beast”. Jaime tries to convince her that Tyrion is innocent. He is taken back by her cold, ruthless demeanor. Cersei dismisses the Lord Commander by commanding that four men be posted at Tommen’s door .
The new King to be, Tommen, wakes up startled by a noise. Lo and behold, Margery appears (heeding her grandmother’s advice) with the announcement that they will be married soon. Ser Pounce, his cat, jumps on the bed and Margery is taken by the cat to Tommen’s delight. She educates her new King by informing him that she will become his forever and that they shall share ‘secrets’ together. As Margery departs, she kisses him on the forehead which leaves Tommen wide eyed and blushing.
Finally, we find Brienne reading the Book of Brothers about Jaime’s history as a Kingsguard. Jaime bestows a new sword of valyarian steel to Brienne and explains that it was forged from Ned’s sword and new armor. Jaime explains that he is honoring his promise to Catelyn Stark by finding Sansa and keeping her safe. He gives this duty to Brienne, who swears an oath to Catelyn and to him. His last gift to her, is Tyrion’s squire, Pod, . Brienne protests at first but Jaime convinces her by saying he needs safety. Bronn gives Pod Tyrion’s axe for protection. Brienne names the sword, “Oathkeeper”; hence the title of this episode. Jaime bids Brienne a heartfelt goodbye as she rides away with Pod.
There were many great scenes at Kings Landing with so much character substance between players. Bronn really comes through as an ally for Tyrion with Jaime. It definitely put Bronn in a good light so far. Tyrion and Jaime’s dungeon scene was pure brilliance in dialogue as well as acting. The Commander definitely knows that his brother is innocent. We are witnessing emotional wreckage of Cersei . Her and Jaime’s relationship is on the downslide. Margery is taking her grandmother’s advice about Tommen to solidify her status as Queen. Sansa is finally standing up for herself. Her journey to the Vale ought to be engrossing to watch especially with Aunt Lysa. Don’t underestimate LF’s devious maneuvers for her and his new position. The best scene by far was Brienne and Jaime’s goodbye and the underlying feelings of respect and loyalty for each other.
The Wall and Beyond
Jon is now training new recruits to fight against Wildings. Out of Nowhere we see Locke appear (on orders from Bolton). Thorne’s dislike of Snow is quite apparent as he remarks about Jon’s position. Jon meets Locke,who gives him a story about being in the Stormlands and choosing to come to the Wall so he didn’t lose a hand (great play on words). Slynt advises Thorne that it might be best if Jon goes to deal with mutineers at Crasters since Lord Snow is well liked at Castle Black, a potential threat to Thorne’s leadership vote.
Later, we find Sam and Jon in the scroll/book room. Sam is worried about sending Gilly to Molestown and wonders if she is safe there. Jon reminds his friend that he brought him back to Wall when he wanted to escape to join Robb. Sam tells Jon that he tried to convince Bran to come to the Wall. Jon is worried that something might happen to his brother. As they look at maps, Jon realizes that Bran maybe have found shelter at Crasters which is not safe at the moment. Locke finds them and tells Snow that Thorne has requested to see him. Thorne permits Jon to go to Crasters but he can’t take any brothers with him; only volunteers. Jon speaks to his fellow brothers about his mission to Crasters as a way to repay Mormont’s horrible death. He asks for volunteers and several men agree to come with him, including Grenn, Pyp and Locke.
We are taken to Craster’s Keep where Karl is drinking from the skull of Mormont. Craster’s wives are being beaten and raped by the exrangers. Karl orders Rast to kill the “beast” . One of the wives brings in Craster’s last son as the wives begin to chant “gift to the Gods”. Karl is informed that boys are not killed but sacrificed to the White Walkers. The wives begin to chant again. Karl sends Rast to do the deed. As Rast carries out his duties, we find Ghost, Jon’s dire wolf locked up. He taunts the wolf with water as Ghost growls ferociously.
Off in the distance, we find Hodor, Jojen, Meera and Bran trying to keep warm. They hear a baby crying and Bran waargs into Summer who gets caught in a net. As Bran wakes up, he lets his cohorts know he saw Ghost, Jon’s dire wolf but Summer was caught. Jojen warns “it is coming”. Meera tries to convince Bran that is time to go. They come upon Crasters to see if they can find Jon but they find exrangers men there. Again, Meera warns Bran that they need to leave. Bran won’t leave without Summer. As they prepare to find the wolf, all are caught by Karl’s men. Hodor is chained and tortured while Bran , Meera and Jojen are taken inside. As they are questioned and beaten. Karl realizes they are hiborn, a valuable commodity. Jojen has a seizure. Meera is unable to help him, Bran announces he is,” Brandon Stark of Winterfell”, aka Jon’s brother.
We find our White Walker and baby travelling through the icy cold north to Lands beyond Winter. It arrives at an ice like stone hedge altar. We see a line of White Walkers waiting his arrival. The King of White Walkers comes forth to see the baby . He places his finger on the baby’s cheek and turns it into another “Wight” soldier.
This storyline was heavily adapted for both Bran and Jon. Jon’s speech was exquisitely written showcasing Jon’s strength and maturity. And with Locke there, it intertwines the Bolton’s plans to erase the last of the Starks and Jon Snow. Jon and ghost will finally reunite. Whether Jon and Bran will reunite is questionable as they were so close last season. I had to watch the episode a few times as first I wasn’t so impressed that Sam told Jon about Bran (which doesn’t happen in the books) but perhaps it helps Bran’s story arc so that he isn’t aimlessly travelling North. Tonight’s ending was spine tickling since we don’t know much about the Others/White Walkers. It gave both readers and nonreaders a definite spoiler to what really lies beyond the Wall.
“A man with no motive, no one suspects….” Littlefinger to Sansa……”always keep your foes confused”
“One of my three judges wishes me dead many times and that judge is my father” Tyrion to Jaime
“That was me knocking your ass to the ground with your own hand” Bronn to Jaime
Here is a preview of Episode 5 “First of his Name”: