“Oathkeeper” signalled to fans that just because you’ve read George R Martin’s books – doesn’t mean the writers aren’t going to throw a few curly non-book plots in.
My fellow Game of Thrones bookworms would have been left scratching their heads in this week’s “Oathkeeper” episode. The last three episodes of Season 4 have been playing out chronologically in accordance to the books – but this week there’s been some jumping around and some story ’embellishments-‘ not that I’m complaining.
Let us start off with the House of Lannister. Jamie visited his imprisoned brother Tyrion after some gentle persuasion from Bronn – he left the cell believing his brother was innocent of regicide. This was of course to Cersei’s disgust who believes with every fibre of her being that Tyrion killed her beloved Joffrey. It was quite interesting watching their dialogue unfold as Jamie has always shown little to no love for his sons (Joffrey and Tommen) – and when his sister asked whether he would avenge his son’s death by chasing down Sansa Stark (going back on his faux oath to the late Catelyn Stark) he hesitated. He doesn’t really have any beef with the Stark’s but he doesn’t want to go back on his oath either, or inflame the family situation anymore – he’s torn.
So what to do? He recruits his mate Brienne (who quite frankly has a proven record of dedication when it comes to fulfilling promises) to go out and keep the Stark oath. He even gives her Ned’s sword as a parting gift and Pod, Tyrion’s squire – I suppose when you’re royalty outsourcing is a real option.
There was minimal focus on Daenerys in this episode – I felt that they were trying to suggest a romance between Missandei and Grey Worm in “Oathkeeper.” It seems that Daenerys’ plan to empower the enslaved to overthrow the highborn Meereenian worked – with a little help from trusty Grey Worm. The nailing of the citizens by the enslaved for a bit of a tit for tat was a nice touch.
My favourite dialogue and scene of the entire “Oathkeeper” episode would have to be between Olenna and Margaery Tyrell. I have really grown to love the House of Tyrell throughout season 3 & 4 and their very strategic ways of winning power, along with their sense of humor and realness. Olenna pretty much outright admits to her granddaughter that she played a hand in Joffrey’s death by stating:
“You don’t think I’d let you marry that beast, do you?”
That combined with the admittance of Littlefinger that Sansa Stark wore the necklace that contained the poison which killed King Joffrey – remember the scene where Olenna sent the girls out to bring back suitable necklaces? Damn, grandma! I liken the Tyrell’s to the mafia. Smile in your face and then sneakily bump you off in the family’s interest.
I also loved the sex talk between Lady Olenna and Margaery, where grandmother Olenna openly admits to using her sexual prowess to win her power. This conversation served to educate Margaery on how to groom and win the affections of her bethrothed, Tommen. Clearly, he is way too young to marry but the dialogue between the two involving Ser Pounce (his cat) was very sweet (albeit manipulative and agenda driven.)
Over to Craster’s Keep where the asshole Karl Tanner and Rast are raping Craster’s daughters and drinking from skulls. Charming. I’m hoping someone takes him out sooner rather than later. I certainly balked at the spewing of foul language. A Craster baby is bought in and offered by Rast to the White Walkers (according to tradition). I think the only positive thing that came from this plot was that Jon’s direwolf Ghost was still alive (albeit captured.)
Which brings us to Brandon Stark, Hodor and the Reed siblings who were hiding nearby. Did anyone else cry out when Hodor was pictured chained and being teased? Jojen Reed suffered a fit when interrogated by Karl (after being captured) and Bran revealed his identity.
“Oathkeeper” finishes with a scene depicting a White Walker carrying the sacrificed Craster baby via horseback to what looks like the icy version of Stonehenge. It’s been a long ass time since we’ve seen any reference to the White Walkers so their inclusion in this episode was a bit of a shock to me. The baby was placed on a sacrificial stone and was touched on the face by a White Walker leader’s fingernail which then led to the baby turning into a White Walker. What the hell? I guess they’re on a recruitment drive?
Overall, I think the episode really deviated from the books which may upset the hardcore book fans. It was a shock for me seeing the plot changes throughout and left me wondering – yeah…where exactly are they going with this? I wasn’t expecting such a clear admittance of involvement in Joffrey’s murder from Olenna and Littlefinger that’s for sure. I thought they’d play that out a lot longer throughout the season, keeping us guessing. I was definitely pleased that they didn’t keep playing out the suggestion that Brienne and Jamie had a romantic relationship (which isn’t depicted in the books) which I feel diminishes her character’s portrayal as a strong female who’s staunchly honorable.
What did you think of Game of Thrones episode 4 “Oathkeeper?”