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Season 4, Episode 4 – “Oathkeeper”

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.

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Meereen

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.

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Kings Landing

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Random Thoughts/Quotes:

“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”:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Limaxis April 29, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Daenerys at Meereen is about to learn the lesson Tywin Lannister taught Tommen about “strength” as an attribute of a monarch. The ability to win a throne through conquest is not the same as the ability to rule.
    It will be interesting to see where Cersei’s story arc goes in WoW & beyond. You can see the beginnings of a downward spiral here, and one wonders where she’ll be when the saga concludes (if it ever does!).
    The narrative thread of Bronn, Jaime, Brienne and Podrick is by far the best writing and acting we’ve seen in a while. Reading the books it took me a while to warm to Jaime, but the TV Jaime has quickly taken on a definite sympathetic character. The simplification needed to put the story on the screen really helps, as it sifts the action down to its essentials.
    Damn! Now I have one more favorite to worry about!
    And I have to go back and see how Bronn’s role develops from here.
    I was glad they didn’t play around with hints, feints, and misdirection regarding the real murderer of Joffrey as they did in the books.
    Since they are going straight to the Vale, and even the books have not said it yet, I guess it’s okay to speculate on the obvious. Littlefinger is plotting to become King, and he’s already got Harrenhall, the Vale, an ally in the Tyrells, and if our guess is right (I don’t suppose I’m the only one to suspect this), has his eyes on Winterfell, through Sansa, who he sees as a Catelyn surrogate.
    Regarding Jon’s thread, I appreciate the mention of Locke as a plant by Bolton. I had missed that. Plots within plots.
    I wonder if they deliberately deviated from the books with regard to Bran and the mutineers at Craster’s Keep in order to increase the suspense for those of us who have read the books. It shouldn’t work, since we all know how important Bran is to the saga, but somehow it does.
    With Jon on the way, and Summer available for Bran as Warg, Locke thrown into the mix, and knowing that there’s a cliffhanger regarding Jon in the books, this should be exciting stuff.
    Here’s a thought: The White Walkers seem to prize the male offspring of incest. Is there a deep future connection here with Tommen, or is that too far-fetched?

    • nightshadow April 29, 2014, 10:35 pm

      My feelings about Littlefinger is that this his revenge for not being able to be with Cat. He has patiently waited all this time and his actions are now being felt. Somehow, he is likely to get caught one way or the other.
      I love Jaime’s POVs in Book 4. I’m with you on how they portray him on screen. Even Cersei in Book 4 had me laughing at times.
      I think Locke being at the Wall gives us more insight to the Bolton’s ruthlessness as Wardens of the North. It makes the storyline make sense and I’m sure they need to extend it over the next two seasons. It’s also puts Jon in more of a hero like position.
      I think Dany has a lot to learn and now based in Meereen, she will really learn to rule her people. Does that mean she’ll get back to Westeros, perhaps. There is a lot of development to this story.
      There could be a connection or a coincidence…either way, an interesting theory.

      • Limaxis April 30, 2014, 7:18 pm

        “Revenge” is a bit strong for Littlefinger’s designs on Sansa. That word implies someone wronged him and he’s getting back at them. All the people involved in his failed courtship with Cat are dead, so there’s no need for retribution. It’s more a fulfillment of one of his ambitions, of which he has so many.
        I’ve gone back to the chapter where Jaime and Brienne are in the big tub together, and I see I’d completely missed his explanation of why he killed Aerys. It would have made a huge difference in how I’d judged him thereafter if I’d paid attention to that. I can’t imagine why I missed it, unless the thought of Brienne’s nakedness had me distracted.
        Regarding Locke, and going back to the Jon cliffhanger (and being careful not to commit a spoiler) I wonder if Melisandre has the same powers as another follower of the Lord of Light with whom we are familiar.
        Daenerys’ thread has such a long arc that I am sure we are in for a whole range of plot twists before the conclusion (again assuming there is one).
        I’m just praying that GRRM doesn’t have an aneurism or something and die before he finishes the saga!

        • nightshadow April 30, 2014, 7:58 pm

          Ok….Baelish is an opportunist. After all these years, he hasn’t forgotten what had happened to him as a ward of Tullys. So there has to be motive there (don’t want to give away too much). And so Sansa is his “opportunity” then? I’m sure we are going to find out more since next episode.
          I kinda like how Bronn is on the show as opposed to the books. But then one never knows what is in store. Brienne and Pod look like an interesting combination. The bathtub scene was important to Jaime’s arc last season. This season is a bit more bumpy for him. Definitely seeing Cersei’s downward spiral.
          Now that would be exciting to see how Mel deals with Locke. Somehow he will be found out or at least set it up for next season so Theon has a storyline.
          I wish GGRM would finish WoW instead of giving us all these teaser chapters. There is so much I want to know. But there are so many POVs. I can’t imagine the task. And the show will definitely catch up with him soon. That leaves DoS as the conclusion.

          • Limaxis May 1, 2014, 11:39 am

            In the books, Pod sort of shadowed Brienne on her quest and she reluctantly allowed him to follow along. I hope his fate is better than what is hinted at in the books. I guess with the armor she got from Jaime (a nice addition not found in the books) she won’t get the new shield that was a pleasant little diversion in the books.

  • nightshadow May 1, 2014, 9:06 pm

    This ought to be a fascinating combo. Brienne doesn’t want another companion so that will certainly eventful in some way.

  • Limaxis May 2, 2014, 2:51 am

    I heard today that there is buzz going around that the scene that tells what happens to Craster’s male sons is in a not-yet-published book (WoW?). I don’t know what GRRM thinks about this, but if I were him I’d be ticked off.

  • nightshadow May 3, 2014, 8:27 pm

    I have heard that D&D have visited GRRM to discuss the next few seasons and how the story will end. This ought to make it hard to watch for readers of the books since the last two aren’t out yet. Don’t want too much spoilery.