Game of Thrones: “Oathkeeper”

Jaime is basically the star of this season.

Jaime is basically the star of this season.

Dany’s army is getting bigger than ever, the kingdom’s moving past Joff, and Cersei’s becoming as much of a drunk as her late husband in “Oathkeeper.”

(Unfortunately no Oberyn, Tywin, Arya, or the Hound.)

Kill the masters (a.k.a. LEAN IN)

Oh man, I was worried when this episode opened on a Grey Worm–Missandei language lesson that we were going to get some weird coupling (which would be weird with a eunuch, but love conquers all, right?). Luckily, the scene was just set up for us to get a (wee) bit of Missandei’s background (she was captured when she was five years old from her home island of Naath). Grey Worm, the good Unsullied that he is, insists that he had no past before becoming an Unsullied, which Missandei insists is not true, especially if he desires to return home. He doesn’t want to return home, though, only “kill the masters.”

In the darkness, the Unsullied breach the walls (sewers?) of Meereen and enter the slaves’ quarters (or something) where the younger guys are excited about the prospect of being freed by Dany while the older ones responsibly point out that they could wind up becoming like the dead kids who were hammered to the sign posts. Grey Worm then shows up, announces that a single day of freedom is better than a lifetime in chains, and throws down a bunch of weapons so the Meereenese can take their freedom since nobody’s going to hand it to them. (Apparently, slaves outnumber masters 3:1.)

After seeing the newly armed slaves overtake their masters, Dany is holding the littlest ones’ hands while everybody yells, “Mhysa!” (or “Mother,” in case you forgot) while holding up their broken chains. Dany plans to avenge the lives of the 163 children who were killed, but when Ser Barristan privately advises her to maybe answer injustice with mercy, Dany declares, “I will answer injustice with justice!”

Frankly, after seeing that promo for months, I thought the scene was going to be a little more…I don’t know…ARGH! [like a pirate, not frustration] but I guess seeing a bunch of guys literally being crucified was upsetting, even if they were slavers. Anyhow, after all this, Dany is alone and looking at her latest bounty atop the Great Pyramid, with a giant flag bearing the sigil of House Targaryen flying in the background.

(Where did she get that anyway? Did Dany find a Betsy Ross in one of these conquered cities?)

Jaime and Tyrion are cute together

While Jaime is practicing fighting with Bronn, the sellsword tells him that Tyrion initially named Jaime and not Bronn as his champion in his trial by combat in the Vale. The two brothers haven’t had many scenes together until this season, so it’s nice to see them together bonding over their kingslaying reputations. Oh yeah, and we learn that Cersei is offering knighthood to whoever finds Sansa, though Tyrion insists, “Sansa’s not a killer. Not yet anyway.”

According to a drunk Cersei, though, Sansa is a “murderous little bitch,” and she demands to know why Lady Catelyn set Jaime free in the first place. Then she rails into her brother for being a decent human being to their other brother. (Evidently, Cersei doesn’t seem too affected by getting raped.) Jaime admits that he promised to bring back the Stark girls, and Cersei’s all, “I want four men at Tommen’s door day and night. That will be all, Lord Commander.” I guess rape or not, these two are done.

Later, after Brienne reads aloud from the Book of the Brothers, Jaime comments that he still has more time for noble deeds worthy of the Kingsguard (possibly fulfilling his promise to Lady Catelyn?), and presents Brienne with his Valyrian-steel sword (which she names “Oathkeeper” to protect Sansa with her father’s original Ice), a new armor thing specifically made for her, and Pod Payne (since he’s in danger in King’s Landing anyway, and Bronn gives him Tyrion’s ax from Blackwater).

As Brienne leaves with Pod to go find Sansa, she turns back to look at Jaime, who was already watching the two leave. What is up with this? Is this turning into a love story? Brienne doesn’t love Jaime. HER HEART BELONGS TO RENLY, dammit! Stop pushing this Breime (Jaienne?) thing on us, please!

Petyr admits he killed Joffrey, with help from the Tyrells

Still on Littlefinger’s ship, Sansa finally asks him where he’s taking her. He says that he’s going to marry her aunt Lysa Arryn and that they’re headed to the Eyrie. Despite his protests that he’s been in the Vale for weeks, Sansa tells him, “I know it was you” who killed Joffrey, and Petyr is his usual gross self and sort of blames Sansa for wearing the necklace that contained the poison.

Sansa wonders why Littlefinger would do this to the Lannisters, who made him Lord of Harrenhal (a big deal, since he’s not highborn, and the only way he could marry Lysa), and he gives this big speech about the usefulness of confusing your enemies. Sansa sees through it, but he drops a hint about how he has new friends, who (unlike Joff) are predictable and reasonable.

Even though Littlefinger is creepy as ever, I am psyched that we are going to see more of crazy ol’ Lysa (confirmed by previews). She is paranoid and loony and I LOVE IT.

(Also, it’s kind of sweet how Tyrion and Sansa both believe that the other could not have killed Joffrey, even though both had every reason to do it. The onscreen marriage seems a bit more tender and comfortable [Sansa sarcastically sharing, “We have a new queen” with Tyrion; the two trying to leave the wedding early together, pre-poisoning; etc.] but I actually prefer that a lot.)

SER POUNCE LIVES…I mean, Margaery and Tommen

Haha, I love the little wink from the showrunners with Lady Olenna remarking, “If I have to take one more leisurely stroll…” I mean, she is always in this garden!

Anyhow, Margaery is despondent that her beloved grandmother is departing King’s Landing, “leaving me alone with these people,” though Lady Olenna doesn’t seem as concerned, now that Joff (“You don’t think I’d let you marry that beast, do you?”) is gone. She counsels Margaery on the importance of gaining Tommen’s trust before Cersei turns him against her even before their wedding, while sharing how she managed to seduce her husband, Luthor, before he proposed to her sister.

Of course the most important thing to glean from tonight’s episode is that Ser Pounce—one of three kittens that Book Margaery presented eight-year-old Book Tommen—survived the dreaded source-to-screen adaptation. (Unfortunately, this is probably not the case for Lady Whiskers and Boots, but beggars can’t be choosers.) I guess this was also another opportunity to demonstrate Joff’s cruelty (he told Tommen that he’d skin Ser Pounce and mix his innards into his food) and also have Margaery kind-of-chastely start moving in on Tommen by encouraging him to keep secrets from Cersei. Sigh. She only kissed him on the forehead, thank the gods.

Jon, Sam, and finally some Bran Stark

First of all, I thought that little kid Olly (the best archer in his hamlet) was Guymon, the kid whose parents got eaten by the Thenns, but I think he’s a whole new character. I can’t tell these kids apart!

Anyway, Ser Alliser continues being a dick to Jon, who meets a new guy Locke, who is one of the few Night’s Watch guys who stand up à la Dead Poets Society to volunteer to go to Craster’s Keep with Jon (despite still being a recruit). It’s touching, though.

But yeah, Craster’s Keep needs some order. The remaining guys are viciously raping Craster’s daughter-wives, and freakin’ Karl is drinking wine from the skull of Jeor Mormont. SO NOT COOL, OMG. (Also, would a skull have gotten to that skull state that quickly? Ew.) Whatever, you know Karl’s obviously going to get his comeuppance (like most bad minor characters, unlike bad major characters) so I guess I’m not too worried right now, but for now, he’s being awful and making Rast sacrifice the last of Craster’s sons.

Unfortunately, Bran & Co. stumble upon Craster’s Keep and Meera quickly realizes that they have to get the hell out of there before they’re captured. Oops. Karl easily senses that he’s got some highborn hostages—though they refuse to say who they are…I mean, Bran’s believed to be dead—but once Bran sees his friends in danger, he finally admits, “I’m Brandon Stark of Winterfell!” whom Rast identifies as Jon Snow’s brother.

Those fuckers. They chained up a terrified Hodor, too, and poked him with spears. Hopefully those White Walkers, who turned that baby into a wight, have extra-evil plans for the bad guys.

Discussion questions!

  • Still no dragons? (Maybe they used up the CGI budget in that one lamb-eating scene.)
  • So this already got discussed in “Mhysa,” but is anybody else tiring of watching a blond Dany “save” all these slaves of color? It somehow seems more problematic onscreen than on the page.
  • Anyone else amused at seeing written English as the Common Tongue? I noticed it last week too when Shireen commented on Davos pronouncing the K in knight.
  • Not really a question, but I just love Ser Barristan. I love how respectfully he voices his opinion about showing mercy to the Meereenese, and I love that slight disappointment on his face as Dany refuses his counsel.
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