If you’re among the 10 Game of Thrones fans who remained unspoiled for the series’ “Who killed Joffrey?” reveal, this week’s episode was eminently satisfying.
Even if you were sullied, there was plenty in which to revel. I’m talking about Daenerys taking Meereen like a boss, Brienne leaving on a surprise mission – with lovely parting gifts! – and Margaery laying the groundwork for Husband #3. Let’s get into what went on in “Oathkeeper.”
HOUSE TARGARYEN | We open on Missandei giving Grey Worm the saddest English lesson ever. When she asks him about his life before he became a soldier, he replies with a flat, “Always Unsullied. Before Unsullied, nothing.” Aww, little Worm! They’re interrupted by Daenerys and Barristan Selmy, who says, “It’s time.”
Next we see, Grey Worm and a bunch of Dany’s soldiers slaves infiltrate the city, where they address a gathering of very apprehensive Meereenese slaves. Other revolts have ended badly, the native laborers say, and they have no formal combat training. Ergo, they have no shot of winning. Grey Worm points out that there are three slaves for every master within the city walls; if you want freedom, he asserts, “You must take it.”
So they do. After a bloody coup, Daenerys walks through the city as the grateful free toss their collars at her feet and cry “Mhysa!” (Side note: There may be a saturation point for sunlit tracking shots of Emilia Clarke looking gorgeous and beaming as she basks in an entire population’s adulation, but we’re certainly not there yet.) The Mother of Dragons wants the masters to pay for their past violence, but Barristan cautions, “Sometimes, it is better to answer injustice with mercy.” The khaleesi’s retort: “I will answer injustice with justice.” Masters strung up on the mileposts it is, then!
HOUSE LANNISTER: KINGSLAYER BROTHERS EDITION | During a sword lesson, Bronn literally beats Jaime with his fake hand (heh), then guilts him into visting Tyrion in jail by saying that the younger Lannister wanted Jaime to fight for him back at the Eyrie in Season 1. “You gonna fight for him now?” the sellsword goads.
Cut to Tyrion’s cell, where Jaime tacitly confesses he’s Joffrey’s father (file under: Duh) and Tyrion outright confesses he did not kill the brat king. After Tyrion ascertains that Jaime is indeed not there to do Cersei’s bidding and kill him, he asks Jaime to free him. When Jaime declines, Tyrion snarks, “Sorry. I’d hate for you to do something inappropriate.” (Ha!)
Jaime later asserts Tyrion’s innocence to their boozing sister – “He didn’t do it, Cersei” – but she’s got another vendetta on her mind: She wants him to find Sansa “and bring me her head.” When he won’t comply, she turns even colder and demands that he keep four guards on Tommen at all times. “That will be all, Lord Commander,” she dismisses him.
HOUSE LANNISTER: GO WITH GOD EDITION | Jaime does end up sending a knight on a quest to find Tyrion’s missing wife, but not in the way that his sister hopes. He asks Brienne to find Sansa and bring her somewhere safe, to make good on his promise to Catelyn.
It’s an interesting moment for Jaime; regardless of how you read last week’s controversial scene between him and Cersei, it can’t be denied that he was far better man on the road (saving Brienne from rape, saving Brienne from a bear, confessing what really happened when he killed Aerys Targaryen) than he has been since returning to King’s Landing. Gwendoline Christie herself has said that Brienne wants Jaime to continue his journey away from his upbringing; by sending her away, no matter how pure the intent, is he setting himself up for the inevitable slide back into his old ways?
Before she leaves, Jaime gifts his former traveling traveling companion with his Valyrian sword (she names it “Oathkeeper”) a suit of armor made just for her, and Podrick as her squire. Jaime bids her goodbye, and though words fail the lady knight, her trembling chin speaks volumes before she and Pod turn and ride off on their mission.
HOUSE STARK | Tyrion’s request brings up a good question: Where is Sansa headed? On board Littlefinger’s ship, we learn that they’re bound for the Eyrie because he’s going to marry her aunt Lysa. Sansa has deduced that her captor savior was involved in killing Joffrey, but she wonders A) why he did it when the Lannisters have been relatively good to him and B) who helped him actually carry out the deed. “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects,” he says, all creepy-like, and shocks her by relating that the poison that killed Joff was contained in the necklace she wore that day. As for her latter query, Baelish says he has “new friends” who wanted the king killed. Who might those pals be?
HOUSE TYRELL | It was totally the Tyrells, guys! Olenna Tyrell, to be specific, who spends some time in the garden reliving her heyday while Margaery listens, rapt. Grandma Tyrell tells the story of how Margaery’s grandfather was originally betrothed to Olenna’s sister… until Olenna worked ye olde feminine wiles upon him. “I was good. I was very, very good,” she purrs proudly. Oh Grandma, behave!
But back to the even bigger reveal: Yes, Olenna Tyrell and Petyr Baelish worked together to murder Joffrey – a confession that makes Margaery’s eyes go even wider than normal. Remember when she fussed with Sansa’s necklace during the feast? That’s when the magic started to happen. “You don’t think that I’d let you marry that beast, do you?” the older woman asks nonchalantly. (Side note: If I weren’t already in love with the coolest woman in Westeros, that line would’ve pushed me right over the edge.)
Later, Marg takes her grandmother’s advice to heart and sneaks into Tommen’s room after dark. “Word has it that I’m to be your bride,” she whispers to Joffrey’s younger brother. (Word also has it that his chambermaids are going to have to change his sheets in the morning, if the stunned look on his face is any indication.) They have a little chat – interrupted by Ser Pounce the cat – before she kisses him on the head and reminds him that their evening visits should be “our little secret” from Cersei.
THE MEN OF THE WALL | Jon Snow still wants to go to Craster’s Keep and neutralize Karl, who would be able to tell Mance Rayder exactly how undefended the Wall really is. Alliser acquiesces – mainly because he hopes Jon will die during the excursion, thus clearing his own path to replace Lord Commander Mormont. When Jon asks for volunteers to accompany him, Alliser isn’t pleased to see a bunch of men step up – including new arrival Locke, aka the man Roose Bolton sent to get rid of the surviving members of Ned Stark’s family. Locke lies about who he really is, and he and Jon hit it off.
Meanwhile, at Craster’s, Karl sloppily sips wine out of Mormont’s skull. I should be more grossed out by this, but it happens at roughly the same moment that I realize that he’s played by the same actor who played Revenge‘s Trask, and I get distracted as I briefly relive how ridiculous that whole Initiative storyline was. Karl’s Night’s Watch brethren are behaving deplorably (AKA like the thieves, rapists and general criminals they used to be), and all of the chaos is only briefly interrupted when an older woman brings in Craster’s last child, a boy who was just born.
The rest of the daughter-wives start chanting “Give to the gods,” and after a lot of swearing and proclaiming, Karl orders the baby left out in the cold for the White Walkers. Its cries draw the attention of Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen, who come in nearer after Bran – warged out as Summer – gets caught in a trap but sees Jon’s wolf Ghost penned up near the house. The entire group gets captured, and Bran (maybe) buys them some time by revealing that he’s Jon’s brother and a Stark.
Wondering what happened to the infant? A White Walker carries it off on a thestral-y beast and brings the babe to some kind of White Walker leader, who touches the infant with its cold, dead hand… and the kid’s eyes turn icy blue. So that’s where White Walker babies come from!
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots