One more Sunday, and one more episode of Game of Thrones. “Oathkeeper” is a prime example of GoT”s ability to tell several stories at once, and not add confusion, even with a large ensemble cast. “Oathkeeper” begins the same place that “Breaker of Chains” left off. The Mother of Dragons is continuing her quest to free all of the slaves in the Seven Kingdoms. By this point, she really has seem to found the winning formula. In no time, Meereen belongs to her army, which is swelling in size. It’s a sequence that feels a lot like the last season of Spartacus, but without the Romans. Well, karma is a bitch, and her name is Daenerys Targaryen. The graphic scene at in the season opener has really come back to screw the Meereen people when her army nails them all to planks. The woman who once had the gentle heart now firmly “answers injustice with justice.” It’s great character development and I can’t see why she won’t keep progressing as a serious threat to the throne. I’m also really liking the rise of Grey Worm. He’s struggling to find what is left of his humanity, but has enough depth to make viewers root for him. I couldn’t help but cheer when I saw Khaleesi raise the Targaryen banner over the city walls.
Back at King’s Landing, Tyrion is still in deep doo-doo. Dismissing both Podrick and Shae, as well as not being allowed visitation from Bronn, he has only one true ally in the realm – Sir Rapes-a-Lot, Jamie Lannister. Jamie is often criticized for coming to the defense of his pitiful brother, and pretty much started the war with Ned Stark when he thought he had taken Tyrion captive. However, being guilted into killing Tyrion by his crazy sister/lover has really driven a wedge in the relationship. That’s where the much-appreciated harsh honesty of Bronn comes in handy. Bronn validates Jamie’s instinct that Tyrion could not have murdered Joffrey. This is when I went nuts. Tyrion is no fool; he knows that Joffrey (and presumably Tommen) is Jamie’s child. Now that I think of it, Tywin might know, too. When discussing what makes a good king with Tommen, he referred to Robert Baratheon by name and not “your father.” Tyrion also understands that Cersei will not rest until both he and Sansa are dead. She’s totally losing it and I think we’re getting a glimpse of the Mad Queen in the making. Also, there’s big money out there for the person who creates a Kingslayer Bros. t-shirt.
Further validating that the awkward scene with Cersei was unnecessary, it looks like Jamie has really turned over a new leaf with his life. Or maybe, the relationship between he and Brienne has helped him see through the manipulation of his family. After Cersei’s order to track Sansa down and murder her leaves a bitter taste in Jamie’s mouth, he does perhaps the only noble thing he’s done in the entire series thus far. He gives the Valyrian steel sword forged from Robb Stark’s broadsword to Brienne as a reminder of the bond they made to return the Stark daughters to safety. Brienne also receives a squire for her trip – a familiar one at that! In a genuine show of appreciation, Brienne tells Jamie that she has decided to name the sword “Oathkeeper.”
The Night’s Watch doesn’t get a lot of the love it should, because the events that take place in the North continue to be some of the most important in the series. As Jon Snow prepares to march to the mutineers and kill them before the wildling army gets to them first, the commanding officers are conspiring to get him killed, and there is a spy among them. Oh, and let’s not forget the freaking giant ice zombies. Life is not looking good for a crow. I mean, these mutineers are drinking wine out of the skulls of the men they killed. Meanwhile, we get to see the fate of all the sons that Craster was sacrificing to the White Walkers. This show was crazy enough without the prominent fantasy aspect, so how will have the White Walkers affect the dynamic of the show?
Who won the game of thrones this episode?
My first instinct is to high five Tommen. Not only was his evil brother taken out of the picture, leaving Ser Pounce free from threats, but also making him the runner up with a legitimate mentor in Tywin. But the crown isn’t the only thing Tommen inherited from Joffrey; Margaery Tyrell has already promised herself to the young heir. Aside from having to pretend you miss your monster of a brother, this has been the best week for young Tommen. Unfortunately for him, though, he’s just a cog in the wheel.
The real winner here is Olenna Tyrell, who we learn is the real mastermind behind the Purple Wedding. She and Littlefinger both are moving pieces around the board when nobody even knows it’s their turn. When Olenna confesses her involvement to Margaery, she more or less pimps out her daughter to seize the attention of young Tommen. Of course, it takes a very opportunistic Margaery to pull it off, but you can see that Olenna is definitely pulling the strings. I love Olenna’s character because what she does, she does for the good of her house. She may have made a mistake by aligning herself with Littlefinger, a known conniver, but she looks to be the perfect match for his wit: noble enough to do the right thing, but smart enough to know when to abandon honor in exchange for survival. The best part of all of this is that nobody has suspected she or Littlefinger of this scheme.
So where do we go from here? It looks like Arya and Sansa are actually on track to get to the same place – Catelyn’s crazy sister with the boob juice. Meanwhile, Bran Stark has just made himself known to be alive in the very place Jon Snow marches to (and in the face of a wildling invasion. Will these be good Sark reunions or does this spell doom for the family of the North? Are Podrick and Brienne the new Westeros tag-team to watch? Can Dany take King’s Landing with the legion she’s amassed? Will Tommen end up chewed up and spit out by Cersei and Tyrion, or will he get himself some Margaery? Hopefully we’ll get some answers in next week’s episode, “First of His Name.”
All media credited to HBO