4.28.2014

Game of Thrones S4E4 "Oathkeeper" [Thirteen Things]



SPOILERS AHEAD

1)      It’s nice to see an episode start in Essos instead of end there, which was starting to become predictable. It was also smart to show everyone the “slave stories” of Grey Worm and Missandei as a reminder of everything Daenaerys has found herself fighting against on her march. Also? Nathalie Emmanuel. *Swoon*

2)      Grey Worm is up in there like he’s the CIA engineering a coup! The Targaryen Sigil atop the Meereen Harpy is a powerful image that nicely foreshadows, via a cinematic tool called “The Great Wish,” what Daenerys wants to do across the Narrow Sea in Westeros.

3)      Bronn’s scene with Jaime is fun and all, because both of these guys are super witty, but its most important purpose was actually reminding everyone that Trial by Combat is a go-to move for Tyrion, and an acceptable play under Westerosi Law.

4)      Tyrion and Jaime’s scene is one of the best in the episode, a very well written back and forth as the brothers exchange volleys that let everyone know where their heads are at and where their loyalties lie. “Are you really asking if I killed your son?” “Are you really asking if I’d kill my brother?” These guys have an actual relationship that borders on healthy at times. Shocking.

5)      Finally, Littlefinger basically cops to the assassination plot and all but names the Tyrells as co-conspirators. In the process, his interplay with Sansa is incredible, wherein he manages to be as creepy as only he can be, tries to mentor Sansa in the game, implicates her unknowing involvement, and is a little impressed by her read on things all in one fell swoop. It’s also a big clue for the show-only audience that Littlefinger is the catalyst for a great many things in Westeros. I’m guessing we’ll see The Eyrie in next week’s opening credits sequence?

6)      Only Olenna Tyrell can tell you to your face that she killed your husband with a smile, and have it go down like berries and sweet cream. It was also nice of her to fondle Margaery’s necklace just to drive the point home. I guess she’ll hightail it back to Highgarden before the trial gets under way, no point in lingering at the scene of the crime.

7)      Hey, how far is the Dreadfort from The Wall? It seems like Locke got their really fast, but ultimately I like his book-deviating presence. It’s an interesting reversal, the first time Jon went North of The Wall he was placed undercover with Mance Rayder, now the second major time he goes North, he’ll have someone undercover in his own party, and will maybe unwittingly lead Locke right to Bran, for a House Bolton sanctioned two-fer against two surviving heirs of Winterfell.

8)      “Our. Little. Secret.”

9)      It’s always interesting to watch how Game of Thrones will integrate the title of the episode into the proceedings. The overt naming of “Oathkeeper” was perhaps a little on the nose, but the acting from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendolyn Christie was superb. They both carry so much emotion in their eyes, essentially coming as close to sharing a warm embrace as two people can without actually touching. I do think it would have been nice of Brienne to say “Goodbye, Jaime” and actually use his name after he says “Goodbye, Brienne,” since this would have been a nice callback to their bathtub scene.

10)   Brienne and Podrick are my new Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

11)   There’s a case to be made that the best acted scenes in this episode could belong to Jaime, Littlefinger, or Olenna Tyrell, but with Jaime just having way more screen time and lovely exchanges with multiple people, Bronn, Cersei, Tyrion, and Brienne, he steals the show with his effort to make up is own mind about things and figure out his new direction in life, what his legacy will be post-rape, post-maiming, post-disowned by daddy, and maybe even post-Kingsguard.

12)   The Skull of Jeor Mormont might as well be the The Conch from Lord of The Flies.

13)   Oh, that last scene is effing disturbing! It’s more Whedon than Tolkien, meaning it has the understated spine-shivering chill of those floating dudes from “Hush” than the over-the-top imposition of, say, The Witch King of Angmar. It’s our first look at the mysterious power in the North, the ice to the fire of the dragons. I kept wondering if the White Walker was going to burst out with a rendition of “Let It Go.”

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