April 26, 2014

Tonight’s episode is one that usually occurs early in a TV series— around episode 3, 4, or 5. It doesn’t hold much action, but the events help propel the story onward. Episode four is called 'Oathkeeper,' derived from the name that Brienne gave her new valyrian steel sword. Remember, in Westeros, a good sword deserves a good name, and there are plenty of oaths that are taken in Westeros. Much of what a man does is bound by that oath… How they treat it is another thing entirely.

At Castle Black, the crows all swear an oath of binding to the Night's Watch. For example, they cannot marry, have a family, nor own property, and desertion is punishable by death. A bunch of crows mutinied at Caster's Keep, murdering Jeor Mormont in the process, thus breaking their oath.

The only oath that Littlefinger (Lord Baelish) swears by is "Always keep your fools confused. If they don't know who you are, what you want, they can't know what you plan to do next." His oath conveniently allows him to get everything that he wants.

One of the most enticing story lines of last season was the relationship formed between Jaime and Brienne. She's now fallen in love with him and the best scene in this episode was between the two. Jaime gifted her a custom made set of armor and the valyrian steel sword that was given to him by his father. Jaime pledged an oath to Catelyn Stark in their bargain that her daughters would be returned to her when he made it back to King's Landing. He wants to make good on that promise, especially since she was murdered at the Red Wedding and Cersie is longing for Sansa's head to be put on a spike. Brienne also promised Lady Stark to return her children to her so she choose the name "Oathkeeper," in honor of that pledge. She also makes a new pledge to Jaimie to honor his wishes as well before she leaves. I believe Jaimie gave up the great sword to her because he feels he owes her his life. I imagine not having his right hand made it easier for him to give it up, but I do believe he would have surrendered the sword to her anyway. The war of the five kings has impacted many people in different ways.

He's also trying to do what he can for his bother Tyrion, who is stuck in the dungeon awaiting his trial.

Daenerys Targaryen has made an oath to all the slaves of Meereen that they will be free if they join her. So far she's been able to keep that promise to all those that have followed her. The Meereen slaves believe in her words and revolt against their Masters, which now has put Dany in charge of the city. Unfortunately, there were no dragons to be seen anywhere.

We also learned that Olenna was one of those that plotted to have King Joffrey murdered. She told Maergery she was never going to let that monster hurt her like he hurt everything he touched. It makes one think that Tywin is behind it as well, since he knew Joffrey was too cruel to rule. He does hate Tyrion also for killing his wife during childbirth, so as the saying goes: he killed two birds with one stone. And is there anyone more seductive than Margaery? She snuck into Tommen's bedchamber to get a jump on making him her King before Cersie sink the hooks into the boy. I was glad it didn't veer off into creepy sex-land. Natalie Dormer is terrific in this part and the expanded role the series is giving her is working out well for all of us. (Be sure to check her out in "Elementary" to see just how versatile she is.)

And then of course, we finally get to see a little more of the White Walkers.

Here's a rough play by play:

Missandei is teaching Grey Worm the language of Westeros, who's learning quite well. Grey Worm leads a small group into Meereen at night to bring slaves weapons and to convince them to revolt.

“Kill The Masters.”

A master sees that painted on the walls of the city as a band of slaves corners him. The next day, slaves come out of Meereen in force cheering for Dany, throwing their shackles down and crying out to "Mhysa." She crucifies one hundred and sixty three Masters for the crime of murdering the same amount of children and paving the road to the city with their bodies as a warning to her. That's what justice looks like. The city is now ruled by the Dragon Queen.

Jaimie is training Bronn and Jaimie asks him if he thinks Tyrion killed Joffrey. Bronn says no because murder isn't his style.

"You want to know for sure, why don't you ask him? You haven't been to see him?"

Bronn tells him a story about Tryion's loyalty towards Jaime and asks him if he'll fight for his brother now.

Jaimie finally visits Tyrion in prison and asks him if he killed Joffrey.

The Kingslayer Brothers, do you like it?

Jaimie wishes he could help him, but there's nothing he can do. He tells Tyrion that Cersie still wants Sansa's head and is offering a Knighthood for it. Tyrion doesn't believe she is a capable of being a killer; not yet anyway.

On a ship, Littlefinger tells Sansa that he's taking her to the The Eyrie where he's going to marry her aunt Lysa. He then admits that he had Joffrey killed with a stone from Sir Dontos's necklace that she was wearing. She doesn't understand why he did it, because the Lannisters gave him everything.

A man with no motive is a man no one suspects. Always keep your fools confused. If they don't know who you are, what you want, they can't know what you plan to do next.

He tells her that his new friends are predictable and reasonable people who wanted Joffrey dead.

Olenna and Margaery are talking about her arrangement with Tommen and Olenna tells her how when she was young she tricked Luther, her grandfather, into marrying her instead of her sister. She shuck into his bedchamber and sexed him up. As they continue to talk, she tells her she knows that Tyrion is innocent of the crime and then admits to being part of the plan to poison Joffrey.You don't think I would let you marry that beast, do you?

Jon Snow is giving the crows lessons on how to fight the wildlings. He is befriended by Locke, a Ranger in the crows. Alliser Thorne, who's now the acting commander intervenes the training session to belittle Snow because of jealousy. Another tells Alliser that he should rethink his attitude toward Jon and his Craster's Keep plan because he's well liked and and may one day be taking orders from him.

Cersie calls in Jaimie and she asks him why Catelyn Stark let him go. He told her he swore an oath to return her daughters to her. She asks if he'd find Sansa for her and bring back her head, but he doesn't respond. She knows he went to see Tyrion and he pleads for him.

He didn't do it, Cersie.

You've always pitied him. Poor little brother, abused by the world, despised by his father and sister.

She dismisses him.

Margaery pays a visit to Tommen's bedchamber late at night. She has to get to Tommen before Cersie has a chance to poison him against her.

efore we decide to spend the rest of our lives together, we ought to get to know one another, don't you think? Yes.

Ser Pounce, his cat, jumps on the bed and he tells her that Joffrey swore he would kill his cat. She says that's cruel and that he doesn't seem like cruel person. She then asks if she can visit him again because husbands and wives keep their own special secrets. His eyes open wide and he says yes.

Jaimie gives Brienne his valyrian steel sword and tells her to protect Ned Stark's children with it.

You swore an oath to return the Stark girls to their mother. Lady Stark's dead. Arya's probably dead, but there's a chance to find Sansa and get her somewhere safe.

He also had special armor made for her and she's so overwhelmed by his gifts that she vows to get Lady Sansa for Catelyn and for Jaime. He also has one more present for her: Podrick Payne as her squire. She's getting ready to leave and Bronn hands the squire Tyrion's battle axe from Blackwater as a gift. Jaimie tells Brienne that the best swords have names so she names it, "Oathkeeper."

Good-bye Brienne.

Samwell now regrets sending Gilly away, but Jon agrees with his decision. Then he wonders how fast Bran can travel past the Wall being pulled in a sledge by a simpleton. (Hodor) They are looking at a map and Jon wonders if Bran could have ended up at Craster's place. Snow is called in to see Thorne and he sanctions Snow to go to Craster's Keep and get the mutineers, but he won't force the others to go with him. Jon speaks to the men to try and get them to help him, and enough of them volunteer to do the job.

Karl Tanner is drinking wine from Lord Mormont's skull back at Craster's Keep while the rest of the men rape and beat the Craster's women. One old woman comes in with a baby. She tells tanner that they offer up the babies to the White walkers as a sacrifice. All the other woman start chanting:

Gift for the Gods.

Tanner forces Rast to take the baby outside and leave it for the walkers. It's cold and snowing heavily and he finally leaves it in the snow, crying. He then passes by Jon's direwolf, Ghost, that is locked in a cage. As he taunts it, birds start buzzing over his head and ice starts cracking under his feet.

In the distance, Bran hears a baby crying and goes into a warg-trance to figure out what's happening. He enters Summer's mind, and sends him out to see what's happening. Summer sees Ghost in a cage and as he approaches, he gets caught in a trap which snaps Bran out of the trance. Soon after, Bran, Hodor, Jojeen and Meera make their way to the Keep and spy on the men of the Night's Watch at Caster's place. They realize they aren't part of Castle Black anymore when suddenly they are captured.

Hodor is chained up and being tormented by Rast, who stabs him in the leg. Tanner has the other three inside and he starts interrogating them to find out why a little lord is north of the Wall. Jojeen then has a seizure and when Tanner is about to cut Meera's throat, Bran tells him that he's a Stark. Tanner realizes he's Jon Snow's brother.

And I thought this was going to be another boring day.

In the distance we see a figure riding in the windy, snowy night. The camera closes in, and we see the baby in the hands of a White Walker. It takes the infant to an ice-made altar surrounded by pillars and places it down. There's a group of Walkers circling the altar, but their visages are blurred. Another Walker walks up to the altar, picks up the baby, touches its cheek with a dead, cold finger and turns the baby into a White Walker.

Episode Grade: B

*Will Cersie be able to undermine Margaery to Tommen?

*Tywin clearly wants these two families joined because of the wealth the Tyrell's bring to the table.

* Does Tyrion have a chance in hell to survive the murder trial?

* What are Littlefinger's plans at The Eyre for Sansa?

* When are the White Walkers going to attack something?

*The White Walkers and the baby scene never happened in the books, so we're off to uncharted territory now.

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