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'Game of Thrones' Recap: Season 4 'Oathkeeper'

By Chris Baggiano,

Infant sacrifices to the White Walkers aside, “Oathkeeper” answered the question of whodunit? (not that the show really cared that much about it) and gave Bran something intangible to do. And the fallout from the much ado about the Lannister rape scene was … nothing. But seriously, white walker infants?!

Despite the fact that the TV show didn’t play the mystery behind Joffrey’s death up at all, it took an episode and a half to find out the truth. It was Margaery’s grandma Olenna, who did not want Margaery to marry such an evil person. She was helped by Littlefinger who supplied Olenna with some sort of crystalized poison that was on the necklace that Dontos gave Sansa in the garden. And yet, Tyrion is still accused.

The reason the TV show didn’t make much hay regarding the mystery is most likely because the reader already knew who killed Joffrey before it happened. It was clear that the show didn’t want there to be much focus on the mystery but it does seem like a lost opportunity to have a little fun. Although, when your show is already chock full of plot you probably don’t need to be using any of the precious show time up by trumping up a fake mystery.

Once Olenna revealed that she killed Joffrey to Margaery, Olenna quickly sets Margaery on the path to woo the new king, Tommen. Luckily, Game of Thrones didn’t go the typical route and have the rather sexual Margaery pluck the young teenaged Tommen’s virginity and, instead, has her having a secret midnight rendezvous, which both teases and gives Tommen a little something of his own.

Cersei will not be too pleased with Margaery trying to win Tommen’s favor, just as she is not happy about Sansa’s escape. In the only scene where Jaime and Cersei talk the rape is not mentioned and, in fact, seemed to have little to no effect on either of the characters. Perhaps Cersei was a bit skittish but she acted ever the same as she always did as she coyly ordered Jaime to go find Sansa and bring her to justice.

Jaime sends Brienne and Pod to go find Sansa and gives Brienne the sword that Tywin had just given to Jaime. Jaime’s intentions are unclear at this point as he tells Brienne she swore an oath to protect Sansa, which seemed sincere, but it also came after the talk he had with Cersei so who really knows. At least we will be getting some more odd couple journeys through Westeros with Brienne and Pod and Brienne's freshly named sword, Oathkeeper.

Get used to the exchange between Littlefinger and Sansa because this will not be the last time he teaches her through quizzing her. Littlefinger wraps the whole assassination up with a nice bow while also letting Sansa, and the audience, know that they are headed to The Eyrie because he plans to marry Lysa, Catelyn’s sister. For those of you who don’t remember Lysa here’s a little refresher.

Now that Littlefinger has been raised socially to Harrenhal he can marry Lysa without it being unseemly. And just in case anyone is counting, The Eyrie is a huge step up from Harrenhal.

In what became the shortest revolt in the history of revolts, Dany had Grey Worm sneak into Meereen and give the slaves weapons to kill their masters. One bloodless scene later Dany ascended to the top of the pyramid of Meereen to rule over her new, free subjects. And in case anyone thought Dany was too nice, she had all the living slave masters nailed to signposts that pointed towards the pyramid, the same way the masters had done to the kids as mileposts towards Meereen.

It’s actually funny to think about but Dany’s storyline actually has the most things happen but the audience barely sees any of it. Sure, we get to see the occasional dragon burn a city or a guy kill another guy but, for the most part, all of the exciting action happens in between scenes. We get the sense of what Dany has done but much of the grandeur of her accomplishments has been lost because of how little we actually get to see her army take over cities.

And while Dany is presiding over a slave revolt and standing in front of her new banner, Bran actually gets something to do in “Oathkeeper." After checking in with the mutineers at Craster’s Keep – now with wine chalices made from a skull and orders to “Fuck them ‘til their dead” – one mutineer is sent to offer the white walkers another male infant. Bran and company hear the baby crying so Bran wargs into Summer to see what exactly is going on. Just as Bran sees Ghost, Jon’s dire wolf trapped in a cage, Summer falls into a trap, which causes the group to go spy on Craster’s to find out what’s happening. Unfortunately Bran and company are caught by the mutineers and after Jojen begins to seize Bran finally blurts out who he is in hopes of saving Meera and Jojen from further torment.

Help might be on the way, however, as Jon is allowed to form a group to take care of the mutineers before Mance finds them and tries to squeeze out any information the mutineers have about Castle Black. One of the men who volunteered to go with Jon is none other than Locke, Roose Bolton’s right hand man, who has come to infiltrate the Night’s Watch in hopes of finding either Bran or Rickon. Clearly, Locke has lucked into something here.

There are so many questions surrounding the white walkers and “Oathkeeper” only gave us more. There’s a council of white walker leaders? And all they have to do is touch someone’s cheek to make them a white walker? And for some reason they love doing this to male infants? I wouldn’t expect any answers soon but it sure didn’t look too hopeful for anyone north of The Wall.

 
 

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