‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 4, Episode 4 Recap: Oathkeeper

Above: Game Of Thrones' Jorah Mormont, Barristan Selmy and Daenerys Targaryen (Photo: HBO)
Above: Game Of Thrones' Jorah Mormont, Barristan Selmy and Daenerys Targaryen (Photo: HBO)

Every Monday, our resident Game of Thrones fanatic E. Spencer Kyte will recap the previous night’s episode. Here’s his take on Season 4, Episode 4—Oathkeeper.

Warning: what follows is a review and analysis of what happened on Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones. If you haven’t watched it and don’t want to encounter spoilers, I suggest you go read something else on this site. Consider yourself warned.

Sunday’s episode was a little easier for your friendly neighborhood reviewologist, as Episode 4 didn’t contain as many storylines as a standard episode of Game of Thrones.

By the way, I just invented the word reviewologist (at least I think I did)—kind of a fitting title for someone in my role, especially when talking about lords, ladies and Lannisters.

With that out of the way, let’s press rewind on last night’s episode, “Oathkeeper,” and continue trying to forecast what’s going to happen next in The Realm.

Justice is Served

We stared in Meereen, where Grey Worm leads an insurgent team into the city where he makes an impassioned speech to the slaves, who are huddled up and hiding. He speaks of how the slaves outnumber the masters 3-1, rallying his “brothers” to rebel and “Kill the Masters.”

And that is exactly what they do.

After rounding up the surviving slavers, Dany gets vengeance for all the children that where nailed to road signs leading the way to the city by doing the same to the slave masters, telling Ser Barristan that she’ll “answer injustice with justice.”

Portrait of a Conflicted Man

After another round of “Learn to fight with your left hand” with Bronn, Jaime finally goes to see Tyrion, remarking that his jail setup is much better than what he endured while a prisoner of The Starks. As is typical of scenes involving everyone’s favourite imp, the wit and banter is top shelf, as Tyrion jabs at Jaime when he calls Joffrey “Cersei’s son” before the two exchange quality questions:

Tyrion: Are you really asking did I kill your son?
Jaime: You really asking if I’d kill my brother?

Following his visit with Tyrion, Jaime goes to see Cersei, who is still drowning her sorrows in wine and convinced their brother murdered Joffrey. She asks Jaime if he would hunt down Sansa Stark and kill her to avenge their son’s death, and when he doesn’t answer to the affirmative, Cersei coldly dismisses him.

This leads Jaime to enlist Breanne to find and protect Sansa, presenting her with the Valryian steel sword his father, Lord Tywin, gave him earlier in the season. He also gives her a suit of armor and sets her up with Podrick, Tyrion’s former squire, to ride shotgun on her latest mission.

Breanne, misty-eyed about being entrusted with another mission from Jaime, names the sword “Oathkeeper” and rides off to do her duties.

Joffrey’s Killer Revealed

On the boat bound for who knows where, Littlefinger informs Sansa that he was partially responsible for Joffrey’s death, telling her that one of the jewels on the necklace she was given by Ser Dontos was actually the poison that killed him.

He’s working with a new partner, however, as killing the king certainly puts him out of business with the Lannisters. But who is Littlefinger scheming with now? (Note: they’re actually going to The Vale to see Sansa’s aunt, Littlefinger’s wife, Lyssa Arryn)

In the very next scene, we learn that it is Lady Olenna Tyrell that is working with Littlefinger, eager to see her granddaughter, the twice-widowed Margaery, marry someone powerful, but not sociopathic. To this end, she instructs the “ready to marry whoever” Margaery to pay a late night visit to the king-to-be, Tommen.

And she does, creeping into his room late at night. It’s both charming and a little icky, as Margaery gets all coy and “can I come visit you again another night?” with the boy-king Tommen, who has no understanding of what is going on around him. Poor boy; he won’t know what hit him whenever it hits him… and it’s bound to hit him at some point.

Treachery at Castle Black

As we learned earlier in the season, a couple of the higher ups at Castle Black aren’t big Jon Snow fans—they think he’s a traitor at best and a threat to their power at worst, and concoct a plan to allow him to return to Crastor’s Keep to face the mutineers, hoping they do away with him.

But they won’t assign men to join him, so Jon has to make a plea for volunteers. One of the men that agrees to go with him is Locke, Roose Bolton’s henchman and the guy that hacked off Jaime’s sword hand, who was sent to the North to check out the situation. We know he’s trouble, but no one else does as of yet, so this situation needs to be monitored.

Speaking of the Mutineers

Nothing spells creepy like drinking out of the skull of your former boss while you squat in the hovel of another dude you killed, telling your mates to have their way with the many wives/daughters of the former man of the house.

Leading all this is Karl, who instructs another mutineer (Rast) to feed Jon Snow’s captive direwolf and drop the last of Crastor’s sons off in the forest as an offering to the White Walkers.

Not far away, Bran and his travelling companions can hear the baby crying, which prompts a warg session where Bran sees Jon’s direwolf, Summer, held in a cage. They approach, but only Meera senses these aren’t your everyday run of the mill, here to lend a hand members of the Knight’s Watch, and before they can bolt, they’re captured.

Karl interrogates them a little, Jojen has one of his seizures, and Bran discloses who he is, which brings a creepy smile to Karl’s creepy face. Clearly, he knows having Ned Stark’s boy around is a solid bargaining chip.

White Walker Sighting and Then Some

Sunday’s episode closed with a wordless scene featuring the return of the White Walkers, as one of the feared undead from beyond The Wall snatched up the infant offering and rode is undead horse back to the what is best described as the White Walker Fortress of Solitude.

There, he placed the baby on an ice altar, where a less back-from-the-dead, more this-guy-is-clearly-in-charge White Walker picked him up and turned his eyes that icy blue with the tooth of a single gnarly fingernail.

Hopefully, this is the start of more White Walker appearances. They’ve long been a background threat that are whispered about, but as the story keeps going, we need to see more of them (and what they’re capable of) in order for the threat to feel real.

My Thoughts

These last two episodes have been a “pick your side” situation for Jaime Lannister and fans of the show.

Last week’s incestuous rape scene with Cersei was jarring, but he’s heroic this week in seeking to protect Sansa and entrusting Breanne with the responsibility. He seems to be siding with “doing what is right” rather than following his sister’s lead, and that makes me lean towards being on Team Jaime.

The Littlefinger-Tyrell team-up is interesting, as Lady Olenna is clearly making moves and Margaery apparently has no qualms about marrying as many people as it takes to move up in the world. Additionally, for all the fawning we all do over Dany, how’s about a little love for King’s Landing’s scheming vixen every once in a while?

Bran and Jon Snow are obviously going to cross paths shortly, and hopefully this leads to bigger and better for both. I’m very curious about the journey Bran is on with The Reeds and any further developments in this story would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, I have to give a little love to Bronn, Tyrion’s former hired hitman, played by Jerome Flynn. He doesn’t have a major role, but he always brings the goods, dropping some of the best lines in the series and hitting Jaime in the face with his own golden hand on Sunday. The mark of a great character (and actor) is if they can make themselves memorable in a short amount of screen time, and Bronn does that every week he’s on camera.

Until next week…

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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