Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT! (For the show, NOT the books)
They’re really not wasting any time at all this season, are they? While last week’s episode may have been a little bit slower than the first two in the wake of the “Purple Wedding,” “Oathkeeper” grabbed a handful of storylines and dragged them on into some unexpected territory. Book fans who are looking for a few surprises from the show (don’t worry, no book spoilers here!) should be especially delighted as there’s a lot of material here unique to the show.
After taking her time to reach Meereen, Daenerys didn’t waste a second in taking the city. Her words in last week’s episode planted the seed of rebellion in the minds of the slaves and it only took a little bit more encouragement from Grey Worm to set the slaves into action. The disappointing thing here was I would have liked to see a bit more of the action as the “Masters” were overthrown, but unfortunately we had a little fade-out moment, and when we returned, Daenerys had taken full control. The shots of her overlooking the city were quite well done however, in fact they were almost as great as Daenerys choosing to crucify one “Master” for every slave that had been nailed to the markers along the road to Meereen. Our little Mother of Dragons has come so far!
Up until last week’s hugely controversial rape scene, Jaime seemed to be back to his Season 3 self. I have to say, personally, I hated that scene. Jaime is one of my favorite characters from the book series, with his arc being one of the best. Last week’s episode radically, and perhaps irrevocably, undid all his growth from last season. Reading comments from people involved with the show also makes me think they didn’t exactly know what they wanted to do with that scene, and it’s ended up creating one hell of a mess. Anyway, moving on, we got several great scenes involving Jaime this week, starting with another sparring lesson with Bronn. Jaime is definitely getting a bit better with his weak hand but still nowhere near his old level of skill.
Jaime then paid a visit to Tyrion for a spot of death row brotherly bonding. Like I’ve mentioned previously, there’s certainly a parallel between Ned Stark’s time locked up in Season 1 and Tyrion’s time here as he only gets a slight bit of time on screen each episode. They make the most of that time here though as the two very different brothers have as honest a conversation as they’ve probably ever had, filled with the usual barbs of course. Hearing Jaime ask whether Tyrion actually killed Joffrey was great, with Tyrion bringing up Joffrey’s parentage being equally great to watch. Following on from this, Jaime then bestowed a quest upon Brienne: find and protect Sansa Stark. Jaime and Brienne were a great pairing last season so it was touching to see Jaime give her his sword and a specially commissioned set of armor, considering they both know this may be the last time they see each other. The upside of this is we now get to see the adventures of Brienne and Pod!
Sansa had a nice little expository scene with Littlefinger as we pretty much got confirmation that Littlefinger was the mastermind behind the assassination of Joffrey. What may surprise people is the revelation that he was working with Olenna Tyrell. Yes, the curmudgeonly Queen of Thorns was behind the assassination of Joffrey, sparing Margaery from having to live with the little monster. Olenna being completely straight with Margaery and telling her how the game should be played was also good to see. Margaery herself now has to move on to the next boy King, Tommen, and she set about working on getting into his good graces here by visiting him in his room late at night. I can’t imagine Cersei will take too kindly to these chats when she inevitably finds out, but she’s a little distracted at the moment.
We got to spend a lot of time dealing with The Nights Watch side of things this week as Jon tried to whip up a ranging to go take out the mutineers at Craster’s Keep, while we also got caught up with those mutineers. By far the most interesting thing about this however is how Bran’s story has suddenly intersected this one. Those who’ve read the books know only too well that Bran’s story is probably the most isolated from the others, but here he is on a collision course with Jon’s. He and his fellow travellers find themselves captured by the mutineers by the end of the episode, and while it may seem obvious that Jon is on his way to save them, let’s not forget that Roose Bolton’s man Locke (the guy who cut off Jaime’s hand) has infiltrated The Nights Watch and is travelling with Jon, intent on killing Bran and probably Jon himself. There’s a lot of variables at play here, so it should be fascinating to see play out.
And of course, how about that freaking ending?! We’ve all surely had thoughts of exactly what the White Walkers had been doing with those “offerings” that Craster had been making, but actually seeing that baby brought to some sort of shrine, only for what looked like a White Walker Lord to come over, touch its face and turn it into… presumably a pure White Walker? It was chilling, freaky and completely awesome to see. It was also completely new to book fans too, so again, it’s fantastic that this series can surprise everyone.
Overall, this was another really great episode of “Game of Thrones” where we got to see massive forward movement on several stories. Dany has conquered Meereen but now finds herself with a whole city under her control. Things continue to be as troubled as always in Kings Landing. Sansa finds herself on the way to see her crazy Aunt with Littlefinger while Bran lies in the clutches of the mutineers. With Jon Snow travelling with a real wild card in the form of Locke, there’s plenty to look forward to as we reach the midway point of the season. Hopefully we get some more freaky White Walker madness sometime soon.
What did those who read the books think of the new plot? What was your favorite storyline in this episode? Discuss it in the comments below. NO SPOILERS for the books.
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