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GAME OF THRONES Recap: An Oathkeeper is a Terrible Thing to Waste

After last week’s “Breaker of Chains” (and that very controversial rape scene), we needed honor to take the front seat for awhile. Though that likely made things low-key on the Fantasy Fantasy League front, Game of Thrones really brought the drama in this week’s episode, “Oathkeeper.” Outside of Dany’s sacking of Meereen (at the hands of the slaves that built it), there was very little bloodshed.

But that doesn’t mean there was any lack of excitement or drama — in fact, I daresay this episode managed to bring a bit of a game changer. At this point, it’s clear that we’re gearing up for a far bigger war than anyone in Westeros (or TV watchers, or book readers) may have anticipated, especially if those last few minutes have anything to say about it.

Over on the S.S. Littlefinger…
Sansa Stark is sure to grow up fast now that she’s hanging out with that weasely Littlefinger. Though he saved her from certain death at the hands of Cersei, there’s little doubt that Petyr has something super-nefarious planned for gingerStark. They may be sailing to the Vale for him to marry Lysa Arryn (Sansa’s aunt, her mother Catelyn’s sister), but I doubt that things will be all easy-peasy for her over there. Oh, Sansa.

North of The Wall…
Let’s start at the end and dive right into the big stuff: Were those in-charge White Walkers with horns The Others? Dressed all in black, hanging out on some terrifying icy expanse, surrounded by hulking mountains marked by a sort of Icehenge? We’ve heard believers of the Old Gods curse their wretches and other bad-doers to the Others — could that have been them? We’re not sure in the least, but something serious is clearly going on there, and no one has the faintest idea what’s going on… which is very exciting. How crazy was it to see the last of Craster’s sons turned into a tiny, baby White Walker with ice blue eyes at the touch of a scraggly nail? We’re fairly certain they are going to bring a far more terrifying threat to the Realm — if only people would stop obsessing over power and just listen for once.

Elsewhere in the North, several members of the Nights’ Watch were preparing to head up to Craster’s Keep after volunteering to help Jon Snow to take down the mutineers (the Brothers who killed Lord Commander Mormont and then decided to stay rather than follow their oaths. JERKS!). Those that stayed behind with all of Craster’s wives and food, in particular Karl and Rast, don’t look to be existing in an environment all that copacetic, though. Tensions ran high between the two for a bit — each one peacocking for the others to see — but that all changed once Bran, Jojen, Meera, and Hodor stumbled within striking distance, ultimately leading to their capture. Here’s hoping Jon Snow gets there in time to save them (and keep them from Locke, who’s trying to take them back to Roose Bolton).

Over in Meereen…
The episode started off with Dany, making us hope that we’d get a bit more of her, but the battle for Meereen was a short one. After infiltrating the city and supplying swords to the slaves, the masters were killed, and that was basically that. Everyone lived happily ever after! Ha, ha, just kidding: all the slave masters were brought out to the street and nailed up like the young children on the road to Meereen. That was what Dany called answering “injustice with justice.” Yikes! Somebody‘s awoken the dragon, eh? Still, the Targaryen banner flies high over Meereen for now, and we’re still left wondering when we’re going to see a bit more of actual action with Dany and Co.

Game-of-Thrones-Oathkeeper-3

Down at The Red Keep…
I deserve a pat on the back for not making this entire recap all about Ser Pounce. Because: Oh, my gosh, Ser Pounce! Isn’t Ser Pounce the best? He’s the best. The royal cat of soon-to-be-king, Tommen, is a purrfect (I know, I know) name for a royal feline. But I suppose we should talk about the rest of the show.

Like the most polarizing man of the evening: the far from perfect (I mean, clearly) Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister. Our gold-handed boy did look to be getting a bit better with his swordplay, but all that focus on his fighting skills hasn’t exactly made him a king in the social department. Turns out he had yet to visit Tyrion in the dungeons before Bronn forced his hand on that. Tsk, tsk! It was nice to see the boys have a laugh over the fact that their sister Cersei wanted Tyrion killed at Jaime’s hand, even if we’d would have much preferred it if Jaime had tried to help his brother escape, sisterlover be damned.

Which: Only Game of Thrones could have someone look like such a monster in one episode and then immediately change that perception in the next. (Working in shades of grey, this deftly is impressive.) This week showed — almost exclusively — the softer side of Ser Jaime, whose affections for Brienne of Tarth resulted in his bestowing upon her on a few parting gifts, like his Valyrian steel sword, which she names Oathkeeper, and some sporty new armor to keep her safe during her travels to fetch and protect Sansa Stark. (Cersei ain’t gonna like that! Not one bit.) And with her brand new squire, Podrick Payne, under her guard, this unlikely duo was set off for what’s sure to be a bevy of weird and wonderful adventures.

Elsewhere in the capitol, Margaery has amped up her queen game, taking a page from the Lady Olenna playbook in order to weasel her way into Tommen’s heart and therefore ensure that she’ll finally — finally — be the queen for real. She really knows how to work people, doesn’t she?

That sort of tomfoolery must be genetic, because no one seems as adept at the art as her grandmother. Not that she used those tricks when she was killing Joffrey. They don’t call her the Queen of Thorns for nothing! The admission threw Marg for a bit of a loop: she was not expecting Granny T to have been the one to off Joff. And she did it, not just because it’s fun to watch a sociopathic, psychopathic, unhinged, torture-happy monster die; but because he would’ve never been a good king for Westeros, or a good husband to Margaery. Getting him out of the way allowed Margaery a chance at queendom with a better, kinder Lannister. Two birds, one poisonous gemstone.

Thoughts, Theories, and Other Things:
– Aww, the Grey Worm/Missandei relationship is just so sweet. Will the eunuch and Dany’s right-hand lady be able to make it work?
– Cersei and her wine, going the distance. Icy and formal as fuck with Jaime. The dynamic has changed, that much is certain.
– Jojen Reed looked AWFUL — what’s wrong with him? Did he get sick and I forgot? Yikes.
– They REALLY need to leave poor Hodor alone. Hodor!
– Locke (Roose Bolton’s sellsword, new/fake recruit for the Nights’ Watch) is so shifty.
– Why can’t these direwolves destroy the wooden cages they’re kept in? First Grey Wind, now Summer?
– SERIOUSLY, THOUGH, WHAT WAS UP WITH THOSE EXTRA-SCARY WALKERS?!

UPDATED: Game of Thrones Fantasy Fantasy rankings

(Editor’s note: we’ll do our best to get these figures out to you in a timely fashion, but as many of you are finding out, there’s a ton of characters! These are calculated by game creator Andrew Nielson. Some of you have slightly different counts in the comments, but any disputes should be resolved by Small Council or your local Game Maester.)

Week 4 – “Oathkeeper.”

Grey Worm: +2
Dany: +3
Bronn: +2
Jamie: -2
Margaery: +2
Tommen: -2

All other characters received a net score of zero points. We will do our best to have these scores calculated for you the day following the original episode’s run.

What’d you think of “Oathbreaker”? Have any theories on those last few minutes? Let us know in the comments!

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24 comments

  • The Others is just another name for the White Walkers. In the books they’re pretty much exclusively called Others, but since you can’t have capital letters in the show it’d lose some effect.

  • im glad the show is throwing fans of the books some curve balls and mixing it up a bit..im glad and hopeful to see Bronn with Jayme..the books pair him up with mute headsman Ilyn Payne and Bronn becomes a background character … Bronn has become a pretty cool part of the show and im glad they made a spot for him to stick around.

  • The title of this episode may reflect the oath D&D made of keeping as close to the book as possible…….Jon knowing about Bran, Bran &Co being captured by the rogue Night Watch, Ghost in a cage… I’m really hoping all this changes can take us to a good place…

  • I really like where the series is going and how it is expanding on the narrative of the books but keeping the major storyline intact. I am pretty sure that the epilepsy has something to do with Jojen’s ability to see future events.

    The look on Tommen’s face after Margerey left was Priceless! That is one kid who will not mind getting his older brother’s hand-me-down.

  • The books never call them White Walkers, that was a name created for the show. In the books there is a distinct difference between The Others and the Wights that the show has yet to describe. Basically, the guy on the horse, the guy that Sam killed with the obsidian dagger, and the guy that Jon killed at Castle Black are all Wights (dead men raised by the Others)

  • @PittCatt

    Not quite. There is a big difference between wights and the Others (White Walkers), but what Sam killed was definitely an Other and not a wight. That was very clear in the book. Others ride undead horses and seem to be aware and intelligent (at least a little) where wights are basically zombies that are ordered by the Others. The guy John killed was a wight, but mostly what we have seen in the show are Others (White Walkers).

  • @PittCatt, the guy Jon killed was a wight, but the other two you mentioned were definitely White Walkers (= Others). The book is very clear on the difference, and although the wights haven’t come into play nearly as much as the WW’s in the show, I feel like the show has made the difference clear as well. When the army of wights comes out at the end of Season 2, you can clearly see the White Walkers on horseback ordering them to march.

    Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about this episode; I’m okay with D&D changing things up a bit, but I feel like so many people knowing about Bran being alive (especially Jon!!!) is going to ruin his story line. And they shouldn’t be talking about the possibility of Jon becoming Lord Commander; it doesn’t make sense, especially with so many people suspicious of his loyalties after hearing that he joined the Wildlings. This stuff with Karl and the mutineers at Craster’s is hoaky. I also didn’t like the taking of Meereen being relegated to a five-minute plot point, not to mention no explanation of how they smuggled Grey Worm into a city that’s locked up tight.

    When they change too much stuff, it leaves big, gaping plot holes, and I don’t like it. On the other hand, they stuff they do right is awesome. Baelish… Lady Olenna… Sansa… Brienne… and of course, Tyrion.

  • I really hope there’s a happy reunion between Snow and Bran, and that Ghost and Summer are freed, but I’m probably watching a different show. Last time there was a possible reunion, four Starks died (If you count the unborn baby), so I don’t know if Snow will manage to encounter Bran alive. I’m a Stark lover and I want the Starks to have a break. I just want Jon to meet his little bro at least once. Is that too much to ask?
    What I’m excited about is the little story between Margerey and the young king. There’s something really dark but still fascinating behind a woman who is so cunning and capable. Cersei is just evil, but she was never smart enough. She lost her own son because she never knew how to have a grip on him. She spoiled him instead of teaching him how to be a good man who loves and respects his mother. Margerey is a great PR person. She knows how to have the people love her, and she knows how to look good in every situation. She would make a great queen. I’m looking forward to seeing how she turns the little boy against his mother.

  • Well in the books, Sam kept his word to Bran and Jon Snow never knew his brother was beyond the wall. Let just say he becomes a non-character after finds his true meaning or whatever.
    That little group met up with no one after Sam gets them through the wall.
    I must say this was the very first episode I wasn’t at the edge of my seat. They really needed to add a little tension and intrigue. I know what’s coming next but this dragged.
    Also WW with baby? I wonder where they will go with that since NOTHING even similar happens in the books.

  • I’m going to posit a theory: At the end of the episode there was a line of white walkers and the center one came forward to touch the baby. I wonder if those were all Craster’s sons, and they were there to change their last brother into one of them? Maybe they all have horns and look more aware and intelligent than the white walker’s on horseback and wights. You know, because they are turned so early and then grow up as whatever the heck they are from infancy. Just a thought.

  • Personally I’m really livid about last night’s episode. “What happens to Craster’s male babies” is one of the big mysteries that us readers have been waiting for and it was totally ruined for us in the series.

    Not a fan of what they did. Not at all.

  • If they don’t introduce Daario Coldhands next episode, or have Locke become leader of The Others by killing Jacob at Craster’s keep I just don’t think I can watch anymore.

  • Hint – if you want the story line from the books, read the books and avoid the show. The show is not the books, it is based on the books. It has diverged several times and will keep diverging, perhaps even more as time goes on. There is nothing you can do about that. Either sit back and enjoy the ride, or stop watching the show, alternatively keep making yourself feel frustrated and upset. Those are the three options.

  • I gotta say, with so many readers (especially on here) being super fond of spoiling the show for the rest of us, it’s pretty awesome to see the tables get turned on them, and have the show spoil the books for a change. Karma, bitches!!

    I’m guessing there will be more of that in the future too, especially with Benioff and Weiss purportedly knowing a good deal of Martin’s end game at this point…

  • Personally I love the new or released content. I loved reading the books, but I am finding some of my favorite plot lines right now are the ones where I don’t know how they will end up.

    It is a joy of discover I am craving while I wait for a new book to eventually be released.

    As long as they don’t spoil everything I am happy with the idea of co-mingled spoilers.