It wouldn't be a Game of Thrones recap without SPOILERS! Don't keep reading if you aren't caught up to Season 4, Episode 4 of the show.
Finally! The TV version of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy novels is teasing something not even the books have revealed yet. The revelation I'm referring to didn't happen until the very end of the episode, though, so let's go over "Oathkeeper."
One of the episode's brightest spots was the decision to tell the individual stories in a more streamlined order. Normally, an episode of Game of Thrones will be pretty scattered, shifting and returning to different story arcs several times throughout. "Oathkeeper" felt like more of a three-chapter book, in comparison, as it started in Essos with Dany, moved on to the events of King's Landing, and then finished strong north of the Wall.
Across the Narrow Sea
The beginning of the episode focused on Dany's anti-slavery campaign across Essos, picking up right where it left off last week in "Breaker of Chains."
We first see Missandei (played by Nathalie Emmanuel) teaching Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) how to speak the common tongue, while also discussing where they both come from.
Missandei was pretty open about her origins, but Grey Worm's Unsullied training kicks in as he declares that he's "only" Unsullied, and nothing else. It's great to see some marginal character development for one of the show's strongest warriors.
During the entire scene, I was wondering if this was a secret meeting between two former slaves who are crushing hard, but Dany walked in to reveal that she had orchestrated the Hooked on Phonics lesson. Dany is either a fierce 'shipper, or totally oblivious to slave-love (she should watch Spartacus).
The plot for Dany's takeover of Meereen was a lot shorter than the first few scenes alluded to. We saw some of the slaves deliberating over whether or not they were willing to risk their lives for freedom, and Grey Worm arrives undercover to change their minds and supply them with weapons. After a quick "Oh no my slaves are killing me" moment from the perspective of a master, we see Dany being greeted into the city, victorious.
I love how she's pretty much steamrolling over every city she comes across, but it just seems weird how quick the people of Essos are to underestimate the Mother of Dragons. I'm expecting that to change quite soon.
The only other development of note in Dany's arc this week is that she chose to crucify the masters of Meereen, rather than show mercy. This will undoubtedly spread her reputation even further as completely ruthless.
On the Way to Eyrie
We're briefly updated on Sansa's situation. Last episode, she was "rescued" by Lord Baelish (Littlefinger), and carried away on boat. This time, Baelish decided to be a little more forthcoming and revealed that he is taking Sansa to her Aunt Lysa in Eyrie, whom Little Finger intends to marry.
This, of course, means Sansa may have a reunion with Arya, who is also headed toward the Vale of Arryn, but we all know how rare it is to see a Stark reunion in this show.
Oh, and Baelish pretty much admits that he killed Joffrey, if not reluctantly. Sansa rightfully accuses him of the deed because he knew to rescue her, but he initially denies it. He does, however, reveal that the necklace Sansa received from Dontos (R.I.P.) is missing its stone. She then figures out the stone was used to poison Joffrey, which was, in fact, arranged by Baelish (congrats everyone who voted correctly in last week's poll!)
It turns out that having no clear motive to kill Joffrey is what makes Baelish seem innocent, but don't count on the truth being suppressed for long. So who helped Littlefinger carry out the assassination?
Ah, who else but Lady Olenna? She's on her way back to Highgarden, but not without some elderly advice to her granddaughter, Margaery. Olenna reveals that she could never have allowed Margaery to marry the cruel Joffrey, and millions of viewers nodded in agreement.
I was surprised by Olenna's blatant confession (you'd think she would just keep it on the DL, seeing as there's not good reason for Margaery to know about it), but that's not the only piece of advice she imparted to her unlucky wedding bride.
Margaery's next course of action will be to seduce Tommen, who is next line for the throne, before Cersei politicizes Margaery out of King's Landing (it's no secret that Cersei despises the Tyrell's, after all). And by golly, does Margaery lay on the seduction charms. We later see her sneaking into Tommen's chambers to slowly coax him into desiring her. She doesn't sleep with him, of course, but I'm not sure for which reason. He's a kid, obviously, but it could also be a psychological play at keeping Tommen interested.
Oh and way to survive the wrath of Joffrey Ser Pounce! Tommen explains that Joffrey intended to pull a Cartman by killing Ser Pounce and sneaking its innards into Tommen's dinner. Rude.
We hung out a lot with Jaime Lannister this week, who is possibly the most confusing character on television right now. Who else can shift our sympathies so easily? Last week, he was a incestuous rapist, but this week? Super cool bro. At least to some of us.
We first see Jaime improving his left-handed sword skills with Bronn, who brings up how weird it is for Jaime to avoid seeing his brother, Tyrion, in the dungeons. It's a reasonable complaint seeing as Jaime has always had a soft spot for him, save for that one time he got him to fake marry a whore and that time he framed him for the assassination of Brandon Stark. Other than that, though, he's been a solid bro.
(Correction: Jaime never framed his brother for attempting to kill Brandon. This admittedly went over my head when it was explained later on in Season 1 that Joffrey actually had Tyrion framed. Thanks for pointing that out guys!)
Bronn's guilt speech worked, however, and Jaime went to go visit Tyrion for a quick chat.
In a nutshell:
"Hey, did you kill my nephew?"
"No, I didn't kill your son."
Jaime definitely believes Tyrion didn't do it, and he even buys that Sansa is also innocent. He goes to talk some sense into Cersei, which is madness considering he raped her not too long ago.
Unsurprisingly, she is unwilling to listen to his counsel, so Jaime takes matters into his own hands by enlisting Brienne (his friend-zoned BFF) to go find Sansa before Cersei has her killed. He even gives Brienne his Valyrian-steel sword, which she promptly names "Oathkeeper" in reference to Jaime's oath to send the Stark daughters back home.
But Brienne isn't alone! Podrick Payne (world's best squire) joined her on the perilous quest, and he even received Tyrion's axe from the Battle of Blackwater.
For the first time in a while, we were treated some extended action in the North, starting with some Wildling Survival Guide training led by Jon Snow. He quickly meets Locke, who was sent by Ramsey Snow to finish off the remaining Stark brothers. You may also recall that Locke was actually the man who cut off Jaime's hand.
Locke fools Jon Snow into thinking he's just a normal recruit, which will no doubt come back to bite Jon later on. What I'm wondering is whether or not Locke realizes Jon is technically a Stark, since his mission is just to kill Brandon and Rickon.
We next see Sam and Jon fretting over the chaos at Castle Black. Sam is obviously distressed about the fact that he sent his girlfriend to a whorehouse (hindsight, right?) and Jon is considering what to do about the mutinous Crow's at Craster's Keep. Also, it's revealed that Sam did, in fact, tell Jon that Brandon is alive, which saves that plot hole from being exasperated.
Jon goes to recruit some Crows for a mission to enact justice on the murderous Crows at Craster's Keep, and Locke decides to join up (drama!) along with Gren and Edd. Thorne (who has it out for Jon) agrees to the mission, as he believes Jon won't survive the mission, thus solving his rising popularity among the Night's Watch.
So, what's been going on since the Evil-Crows took over Craster's Keep? About what you'd expect. Karl and Rast are in charge, ordering the men to abuse the women until they die (with Karl drinking wine out of a skull). It's a pretty depraved scene, but it makes sense when you consider the Night's Watch is made up of Westeros' Most Wanted.
Rast goes to offer up the last of Craster's children to the White Walkers at the behest of Karl, who is clearly running things. Nearby, Brandon's group hears the cries of the abandoned baby and discover Jon's direwolf is caged.
After attempting to sneak into the camp, they're captured and taken before Karl, with Hodor chained outside. Things are definitely looking bad for the group, especially now that Karl knows he has Brandon Stark in his possession, along with two other highborn.
I want to believe that Jon's group will arrive in the nick of time (I was waiting for them to swoop in at any moment), but the episode ends instead with a startling revelation surrounding the White Walkers.
Craster's last son is taken to some kind of Fortress of Solitude-looking location north of the Wall, and he is approached by a White Walker we haven't seen before (or read about in the books). He then touches the baby as its eyes begin to glow blue. What does this mean? Is the baby now a White Walker, or is something even more sinister going on? Cliffhangers!