***This review contains spoilers for tonight’s episode***
Before we start I have one warning; Arya doesn’t feature in this episode. Let’s all have a moment of silence for her absence. But we shall see her soon. Episode 4 ‘Oathkeeper’ opens somewhat quietly considering the previous episodes with Daenerys’ trusty handmaiden teaching the head of the unsullied Grey Worm to speak the common tongue. That’s English to you and me. A somewhat shockingly innocent scene considering we don’t have anyone tearing off clothes we see the two previous slaves talk about their homelands.
And cleverly we’re reminded of Daenerys’ quest to rid each city she encounters of slavery and in so gain an army to march/sail on Westeros. The drama soon mounts when Grey worm and a few other unsullied dress up as slaves and sneak into the city. A speech worthy of an army general and soon the slaves are empowered and sack the city. And all with a message in blood on the wall! Although it does remind me of the blood message from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. But sadly no Harry in sight.
However, we start to see a darker side to our beloved Khaleesi. Having already seen her witness child slaves nailed to posts she has the surviving masters given the same fate, 163 of them to be exact. Ignoring the wise advice for mercy from her advisers. Does Daenerys really have the to be queen?
Swiftly moving on to the other side of the world. To the wall! Jon Snow has changed and is now determined to protect the wall and begins to train the men to fight. Wildling style! Though his sunny brand of leadership is soon overpowered by the acting commander and he is ordered back to his squire-ly duties. Though soon a new plot is afoot when the commander sends Jon out in order to kill the mutineers who have taken over Caster’s home and killed Jeor Mormant. Caster’s the one who offers his sons as meat for the Whitewalkers by the way.
Of course our brave Jon sets out with a group of volunteers all with weasel Locke following closely and keeping his eye on Snow. Am I the only one who will be terribly angry if they kill Snow off as they have with other favourites? Staying near to Castle Black Karl at Caster’s keep has elevated himself to a new level by drinking out of Jeor’s skull. In true Game of Thrones style Karl continues the rape and torment of Caster’s wives and also of the sacrifice of Caster’s souls to the ‘gods’.
Though it seems we may be in for a reunion as past the wall little Bran Stark and co. are near Caster’s, though are soon caught by Karl and perhaps cold pose an issue for Jon if he’s going to try to invade and end the mutineers small rule without endangering Bran. And let’s not forget of course Ghost in captivity. Boo.
On to a warmer climate. Cersei doesn’t once let Jaime come near her in this episode, and it’s clear she doesn’t plan on letting her former lover close to her again. There is a breach of trust between the two of them, and his defense of Tyrion as being innocent of Joffrey’s murder doesn’t win him any points with his sister. When she tasks him to find and kill Sansa and he instead turns to Brienne to go protect her. It seems we’re seeing more of the honourable Jamie Lannister. Though why it took Bronn to knock him on his bottom first to force him to go visit his brother I’ll never understand. How can you not love Tyrion?!
As for the other relationship in Jaime’s life, all of the scenes between him and Brienne are truly heartbreaking. If Cersei represents the bad in Jaime, then Brienne is everything that is good. In “Oathkeeper” Jaime proves his love for Brienne (or at least his strong admiration) in the best way he knows how. He gives her a new suit of armour, gifts her his Valyrian steel sword, gives her Pod as her squire, and sends her away from King’s Landing to find and save Sansa. Keeping both his and Brienne’s oath to the late great Catelyn Stark. To which Brienne provides the episode’s title by naming her sword ‘Oathkeerper’ cue a little tear. It’s a sad farewell, but proof that there really is good in Jaime. As well as his belief in his brother’s innocence.
The mystery of Joffrey’s death is finally revealed too. Littlefinger allied himself with Lady Olenna, who poisoned Joffrey at his wedding using the necklace gifted to Sansa through a poison from a missing crystal and wine. Margaery, unaware of the plot, is quickly willing to follow her grandmother’s lead and win over Tommen before Cersei can poison him to her. Diana Rigg gives another amazing performance as Olenna in this episode as she explains how she slept with her sister’s betrothed to take him as her own because she was bored with her own husband. She is no villain, just smart, and it’s fantastic she is raising Margaery to be the same. The Tyrell’s really are proving to be one of the most interesting families in Westeros.
To finish off I would just like to express my complete gratitude that Sansa out on the high sea finally grows a backbone! She inherently doesn’t trust Littlefinger, especially after he lays down his plan to marry her aunt. Does anybody else remember the Veil has a very large army and a crazy breast feeding boy-lord and mother? Here’s looking forward to the next episode. But again, let’s all pray that Jon Snow and our beloved Tyrion do not die! Even if his father’s wishes it.
Game of Thrones is aired on Sky Atlantic, on Monday nights at 9.00pm.