Welcome to the Fresh Prince of Westeros, where we recap each episode of Game of Thrones. Needless to say, MAJOR SPOILERS lie within these walls. Enter at your own caution.
I’m not quite sure what it was about this episode, but it was a damn good one. Maybe it’s that we’re seeing heavy shifts to plots that have so far been relatively stable. Maybe it’s all that White Walker screen time we get. Critics renounce it for being the episode that so far most drastically departs from the books, but I would argue that the biggest departure – Bran and the mutineers – gave his story some much needed life. Aside from the not-in-the-books adventures of Raisin Bran, there was lots going on in ‘Oathkeeper,’ especially in terms of setup, all across both continents.
Here’s what’s going on:
Daenerys takes over Meereen. Welp, that was quick. I was expecting a season-long struggle, but in a few well-placed scenes Daenerys proves again that she is really, really good at taking over large cities with minimal effort.
As if they know they are on camera, the many liberated hobos throw their collars at Khaleesi’s feet in a gesture of overt, yea-we-get-it symbolism. As if that weren’t blatant enough, they shout their name for her – Mhysa – over and over again, in a way that suggests they just watched the season 3 finale. Never ones for subtlety, those Meereenese.
“There’s no TV in Meereen.” Nor is there any love. Sorry, Jorah.
I’d also say that Dany really nailed it with her punishment of the slavers. It’s easy to talk each character’s moral ambiguity to death, but it’s not without good reason that Ser Barristan warns her against crucifying the slave masters. You think about the 163 children that these people murdered, and it does ease the blow a little. Still, what can I say… mass-crucifixions usually make me uncomfortable.
Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish continues his attempt to make
out off with Sansa Stark. During a scene in which Sansa uses her wits more than she has in the collective previous seasons, Littlefinger confesses that Joffrey’s murder was a tag team effort between himself and Granny Olenna, a fact that Granny later confirms. Sansa finally has learned to say ‘I don’t believe you,’ but now that she’s said it she’s actually wrong. It was indeed Littlefinger and Granny, in the reception forum, with the murder-necklace.
We also find out where these two are headed. The Eyrie?! Shit. Hardly the home he’d promised to take her to, but maybe she’ll run into Arya, who’s headed there as well. Gods know it wouldn’t kill us to have a little Stark family reunion happiness. Either way, there’s little doubt she’ll be better off at the Eyrie than she was in the capitol. Sansa Stark is a wanted woman in Westeros, prime suspect #2 in the trial of Cersei versus Anyone She Can Think Of.
Speaking of Cersei, let’s talk about someone who’s really starting to lose her shit, reaching new heights of red-hot fury and icy coldness. She’s always been a conniving, power hungry hot mess that any psychologist would have a field day with, but her insecurities and paranoia are starting to eat her alive. “If I told you to find me that murderous little bitch and bring me her head, would you do it?” Daaayum. Calm. Your. Self.
“That will be all” is the new turn in the Jaime / Brienne plot. Jaime sends her off to hunt down Sansa… though not in the way that his sister would like. The Kingslayer has promised Lady Stark that he would bring back her daughters. In case you’ve forgotten the Red Wedding, Lady Stark is dead, her throat cut to the bone and her body thrown into a river, but the Jaime has learned a thing or two from Brienne about upholding your vows. And boom, just like that, the man everyone was railing against last week is back in everyone’s good graces again, sending off everyone’s favorite gender bending manlady with a symbolic sword and a new suit of armor that Dracula would be proud of. Oh, and Podrick’s going with her. Yay!
Jon Snow confers with Sam (who I think is pregnant) and prepares to head north of the Wall again, ready to face the Night’s Watch mutineers who could give the Wildlings the information they need to break into the South. As Jon proclaims his intent to march north, he calls for allies to go with him, and a slew of extras who will likely be killed rise to his aide. Among the men who will go north is Locke, the man who cut off Jaime’s hand and serves as buddy-bro to creepy Roose Bolton. I sense a setup for intense murder-drama…
Unbeknownst to Jon, his younger brother(ish) Bran has already stumbled across the mutineers, and is enjoying their pleasant company. Watching the lead mutineer – played with chilling conviction by Burn Gorman – drink from the skull of Ser Jorah’s father really gave me the willies.
The only parts of the episode more morally depraved than this were the mentally-handicapped guy getting stabbed in the leg, the command to have an innocent child murdered, and…
WHITE WALKER BABY.
This really was my favorite part of the episode. Every time I see the White Walkers, I’m left wondering if all the political machinations that the show centers around really even mean anything at all. Melisandre saw in the flames that ‘the real battle lies north.’ And when have the flames ever lied?
Stuff We’re Left Wondering:
- Where did Daenerys get that massive Targaryen flag? I doubt there are any seamstresses among them, especially none who know how to stitch HBO logos.
- How the hell DID Margaery get past those guards?? Is she a Jaqen H’ghar-esque assassin, the stealthiest of the stealthy? IS Margaery Jaqen H’ghar? Is Granny Olenna really Khal Drogo?
- Is it fair to indict Ser Pounce, Tommen’s cat, as a possible participant in Joffrey’s murder? Joffrey wanted him skinned and boiled – smells like motive to me.
- With Jon on his way to Bran, are there TWO Stark family reunions in store?
+164 Slave Masters
– 1 White Walker
GAME OF THRONES KILL COUNT: 5361
And you can check out a preview of next week’s episode, ‘The First of His Name,’ here: