Monday, April 28, 2014

Game of Thrones: Season 4 Episode 4 - Oathkeeper

Hello fellow Westerosians and welcome back for another helping of Game of Thrones!  After last week and now this week, it appears that season 4 is going to test the book fans' patience and willingness for change the most.  I'm going to go ahead and say that this episode probably was the most different from the books since the beginning of the series.  That said, I can probably still see where most of it is going to merge up with the books.  But, there were some magical elements (one in particular) introduced that was theorized but NEVER revealed in George R. R. Martin's novels.  We're at an interesting crossroads with the show starting to plan a future where there are no books to pave the way.  Yet, they do have knowledge from GRRM on how story arcs end.  So, we have to question things like, "Well, was this scene GRRM approved or is this a TV only creation?"   Questions like these may not really have answers until the final books are released.  Of course, it certainly makes things more interesting for all who are watching!  Anyway, things are getting a little crazy on the homefront this week so my recap will likely be short.  But, we'll have plenty to discuss in the comments.

Same spoiler disclaimers as always.  I have read the books, several commenters have too.  If something has already been revealed on the show, I'll describe the differences/similarities with no spoiler warning.  If there is anything that hasn't been revealed yet,  I will distinguish within the recap and in comments (and I urge everyone else to do the same!)

Here we go!

EW Articles:

Discussion Points
  • Grey Worm and Missendei have a "common tongue" language lesson (I think), which is all a way to get Grey Worm to be able to teach the slaves of Mereen to "Kill the Masters"!  Long story short, the convincing worked.  I really don't remember how Mereen was taken in the books.  I know part of it was Strong Belwas (Daario last week) taking on the city's greatest warrior.  But, I also remember people sneaking into a city and taking it.  I could be mixing it up with Yunkai though.  Either way, the concept is the same.  Dany has conquered 3 slave cities.  Her retribution for the crucified slaves was pretty cruel, but it shows how much she doesn't tolerate slavery and cruelty to slaves.  I have to note that after the whole controversy with the season finale last year it was a bit comical to see their "correction" to this cities' salvation.   I'm about to make comments about skin tone and mean no racial offense.  But, people took offense to a white woman being praised by a bunch of freed slaves whose skin tone was fairly dark at the end of last season.  But the Mereen crowd that cried Mhysa?  You couldn't find lighter skin people if you tried!  But, I guess it kind of works.  If you watch these episodes back to back maybe those who have an inkling to cry "controversy!" will back pedal a bit.  So, Dany has a city and she has a fine view at the top of the pyramid.  Book fans dread what comes next, but the TV show has proven that it might not be the same.  
  • I think I can sum up some plots in one bullet to say that the Joffrey Murder was solved last night!  I had dropped enough small clues to keep an eye on along the way without spoiling, but I can finally say that Lady Olenna poisoned Joffrey under a conspiracy with Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.  He forged an alliance with the Tyrells due to his lack of rewarding trust with his Lannister alliance.  His whole speech about being unpredictable seems torn right from the books, explaining that he has no political motivations except that he wants everything.  In other words, he's one dude we probably should never trust, right!?  He told Ned Stark the same thing in season 1!   Anyway, how was Joffrey poisoned?  Didn't I tell you to keep an eye on that necklace!?  In the book it was a hairnet given to Sansa from Ser Dontos.  The necklace made more sense for TV.  Now, if you kept the purple wedding on your DVRs, go back and watch Lady Olenna's conversation with Sansa at the wedding.  She grazes Sansa's hair and seems to grab her necklace.  The next shot of Sansa shows a missing jewel from her necklace.  And then of course the whole win goblet roulette happens afterwards with a brief stop in front of/near Lady Olenna.  All the clues were there if you knew what to look for! 
  • So what next for Sansa?  She heads to the Vale to witness the wedding of Littlefinger and Lisa Tully.  Hey wait, isn't Arya heading there with The Hound?  Hmmm  This stuff is following the books I will say that.  
  • Jaime had some fun conversations during the episode as well.  The sword training with Bronn continued to be rewarding.  He then went to talk to Tyrion which was awesome.  He also believes that Tyrion did not kill his son, which he pretty much tries to pretend is NOT his son.  And then, we had the much anticipated meeting of Jaime and Cersei after the alleged (implied by fans but maybe not by the TV crew) rape.  Somehow I feel like we'll be going back and discussing the impacts on Jaime's arc for awhile, even though I would like to pretend we don't have to!  Cersei was cold to Jaime and referred to him as a Gold Cloak and definitely not his lover.  She still wants Tyrion dead and now she wants Jaime to find Sansa and kill her.  She also wants more guards outside of Tommen's room to keep Margaery away.  
  • Though, Jaime made a pretty noble decision.  He went against his family and kept the oath that he made to Brienne.  He gave Brienne 3 gifts for them both to keep their oaths and rescue Sansa.  His Valayrian steel sword forged from the remains of Ned Stark's ICE.  A new suit of armor.  And PODRICK!   We are getting into A Feast For Crows territory here with Brienne's arc.  She found Podrick along the way during her search for Sansa.  Here, they depart King's Landing together.  But, the chemistry between Brienne and Jaime's newly forged respectful friendship was undeniable.  Rape or no rape, this marks a key turning point for Jaime.  Jaime has not always done the noble thing and his oath towards honor shouldn't be a straight line (I'm borrowing from James's recap here).  But, his decision to choose Brienne over Cersei and his family (Tywin gave him that sword before he disowned him) should not be ignored.  Great scene.  
  • Speaking of Margaery and Tommen, they had a little bedtime scene.  Before more guards could be put outside Tommen's door, Margaery went to see him (on Olenna's advice.  She gave some speech about her old romantic encounters which was pretty disturbing and hysterical.).   She's getting her claws into Tommen, but it was a pretty sweet scene at the same time.  She needs to build up a trust with Tommen before Cersei can turn him against her.  This definitely was in the books as well.  Maybe not this scene (as Tommen and Margaery are not POV characters) but the concept is certainly at play in the books.  We might be creeping into A Feast for Crows with this storyline as well.  After the Purple Wedding, it sometimes is tough to remember what storylines happened in which book.  But, there are some key moments in A Storm for Swords that they certainly are saving for later this season.  And boy, I can't wait for them! 
  • Then we have the Night's Watch/Bran/Craster's Keep stuff.  And this is 100% Made for TV.  And for the first time, I'm asking myself if this was worth it.  There are key Night's Watch moments in A Storm of Swords that it would seem that they are stalling to get to.  I get it.  By the end of season 3, we had already seen "MOST" of Jon Snow's story arc in the 3rd book.  So, I knew they'd have to do something in season 4 to stall.  It would appear they were setting a lot of this stalling tactic up last season with the introduction to the leader of the mutineers at Craster's Keep.  I couldn't even tell you his name, except that the guy was on Torchwood.  Also, this Locke character that chopped of Jaime's hand is now joining the Night's Watch as he's on a secret mission to find Bran and Rickon Stark.  Totally made up for TV.  Locke is a made up character too as some other goon took of Jaime's hand.  
  • Lots of stuff at play here.  Certainly Jon Snow building a reputation for himself is important in the books and the show, so this arc will have its positive points.  The adversity he faces against Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt is also in the books.  But, everyone going to Craster's Keep?  Totally new.  And we can discuss it all in the comments.  But the highlights.  More rape, Bran and crew, Summer and Ghost are captured at the Keep.  Jon recruited people to go to Craster's keep to put an end to the mutineers.  The last Craster boy was born and given to the White Walkers.  
  • And this is where we get to a moment that has not been revealed in the books.  We get a glimpse of the White Walkers' fortress (?) and we see what happens to these baby boys.  They are pretty much turned into White Walkers!  Not the zombie wights that the dead people turn into (I don't think).  But this could be how the White Walkers themselves are being created.  I just have to wonder how much of this is sanctioned by the original author himself.  I'm sure he'd steer them differently if they veered off the path too much!  But, it certainly was interesting! 
It's going to be interesting to see how fans react to this one.  Besides my dumbfounded look I gave the TV at the end, I enjoyed the episode for the most part.  But, it certainly was our biggest dive into the magical elements of the Song of Ice and Fire.  I'm running short on time so I'm going to cut this off.   Just a fair warning, my family is about to increase from 3 to 4 tomorrow morning!  So, my blogging is probably going to be limited for the forseeable future.  I certainly will keep making Game of Thrones posts, but not sure how much I will include in the recap!  We'll play it by ear.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Anonymous said...

Good luck in the morning with the new arrival!!!!!

1. Here I am copying and pasting a post from io9:

...I get the distinct impression that last week's controversial scene between Cersei and Jaime was just poorly directed. The director Alex Graves stated it was supposed to have been a power struggle between the two characters which ended in a consensual outcome, but clearly it didn't come across that way. I really think it was a failure to communicate the nuance he was going for because the behavior of the characters this week simply does not match what we saw on screen last episode....

That is what I said would happen and did. I would take exception to the above only in that the last things said by Cersie/Jaime was her saying it was wrong. So, it was so weird(actually unbelievable) to see them in last nights episode seem as though nothing big had happened. Which is what I predicted--that it's almost comical. It's like the rape never happened because it didn't to the show runners. Even if it wasn't rape, their meeting in this ep, didn't come across as real after such an event between two people. It won't matter much anyway if they progress as predicted. I posted the above in large part because many have said it would not be an issue this week, when it still is for a lot of fans I have seen on blogs.

2. Yea, the ending was definitely a wow/what? moment! It's like they're exposing a big time secret jewel. The conversion was a big time reveal as was the leader? doing it. I don't even know what to call him--"king whitewalker/whitewalker sorcerer?" A melisandre opposite?? This has to add pressure to GRRM to get his books done. If nothing else he has to know this takes away key things we want from the book world. So much that can be said on this.

3. The stuff with Stannis and Jon is kind of slow to progress. The spy after Bran probably will not have a huge impact overall but will add a lot of drama??? I even forgot he was a spy--lol Loved the stuff on them electing their new leader and how popular Jon is becoming. They seemed surprised at how many volunteered to go with him.

4. I'm kind of surprised they revealed everything about the why and how of Joffrey's murder.

5. Tommen did not like his dead brothers bedroom. But did smile after Margery left--that girl is smart. Kind of teased us when she leaned in to kiss him, then went to the forehead--lol. He's older for a reason--lol.

6. I was thinking last night that the show really is diverging from the books in the big story arcs now. Which makes a prediction of future eps by book readers not really a spoiler. It kind of causes a blurr between a true spoiler and predictions of future events based on where the TV show is. I don't want to spoil anything but there are so many things that could be said about what one thinks about future eps in a fun way.


Mike V. said...

Thanks Richard!!

1.) I agree, it seems like it never happened. She certainly was colder to him but she was already being cold and distant to him. I'll go with the poorly directed aspect. I still wonder if D&D will ever address it. For me? It's not an issue. I've moved on. lol

2.) I have no idea who King Walker is or what to call him! Maybe a Mellisandre opposite. Though, she's never brought people back from the dead like the former Red Priest with Beric did (drawing a blank on his name). Certainly adds pressure for GRRM...not sure if that'll change his pace though. lol

3.) Yep, obviously we know where all of this is going with Jon and I'm sure TV fans could piece it together too...but still unsure about this subplot tangent. I'm sure it'll be fine!

4.) Yeah, the pace was pretty quick. I thought it would be later too. But, there are more reveals to come about other things if they stick to the book!

5.) We shall see! They certainly didn't go there in the books (we don't think) because he was much younger. But she was definitely getting on his good side to avoid Cersei manipulation.

6.) It's true with the big arcs. Though, for most of it, it's easy to see where these stories will ultimately go to reconcile into big Storm of Swords plots. But that White Walker thing is totally a bold thing to put in the show without it having happened in the books yet. But yes, speculation could get a little crazier now!

mj said...

Wow - thought they'd drag out the whodunnit. Didn't think of Littlefinger at the time since he had supposedly left for the Vale. You'd think she would have had Joffrey kille b4 the marriage to save Margaery fr having 2 dead husbands!

Tyrion and jamie need more screen time together. Walker baby creeped me out.

Anonymous said...

BTW, for those wanting to rewind and see when the necklace bobble is taken, look carefully at the collar area of Sansa's left shoulder lapel. It took me about 5 times to see it and encouragement from Mike. I knew it was there(or not--lol), I just couldn't see it.

HIbbard doesn't seem to be a book lover. He doesn't get why people were so upset at the Jaimee/Cersei stuff and yet won't be upset over the Craster's Keep rapey scenes.

I will accept his agreement--LOL-- to one of my takes on last weeks bad scene--not well done and NO consequences which you would expect.

One thing this ep did was set the stage for movement of action increasingly away from KL. So many are leaving. But, we still have a big time trial to look forward too--lol.

Any bets if Margery and Tommen consummate by the end of the series?--I say this because she's been married 2X and hasn't consummated--lol,


Mike V. said...

MJ - I think it was more the way it had to be done to keep the Tyrell name out of it and blame it on someone like Tyrion.

Richard - I don't get the vibe that James doesn't like the books. In fact, I'm pretty certain from reading all of his recaps that he loves the books. I think he is just more in my mindset that Jaime, though on a more righteous path since meeting Brienne, is not an unflawed character automatically. And he was pushed to his limit in that scene. Though, we agree that the scene probably was just directed poorly, or the script was missing some key words that would've helped the situation a bit.

One thing James did comment on the last page of his recap was his fear for the final chapters of this epic dealing with the world vs. the White Walkers. He hopes it doesn't just wipe away all of the political/warring gaming that has gone on the whole time. I would think GRRM wouldn't do that, but we'll see especially if he doesn't want to "pull a LOST" in the end as he has been quoted saying. (I still loved LOST's end and will defend it always!)

Margaery and Tommen by the end of the "SERIES"?? Well, that could be possible. lol Any further speculation would have to go into "BOOK SPOILER" discussion! lol

******BOOK DISCUSSION*********

As far as we know Tommen is still King by the end of Season 5. But, we pretty much know he won't stay there. So, we'll have to see if Margaery will go after the NEXT king to be queen. lol (whether that be AT or someone else) GRRM has hinted that there could be more than one person sitting on the throne before the end. Not sure if that means Tommen will bite it or just be taken out of power. lol

mj said...

Read comments bef your write up - good luck tomorrow!

Mike V. said...

Thank you!!

Mike V. said...

Loving these book vs tv articles still. And this is definitely a good ep to have it! They're white walker comments are hysterical. Spoilers obviously!

Anonymous said...

Book Stuff****************************************************************

Oh yea, we should see CH at Craster's Keep.

I wonder if by season's end Cersei will move?

The title to the last ep is out and it is directed by Alex. In truth I thought the directing of the PW could have been better, btw. What do you think that title could be referencing? Do you think CH will be introd the last ep when Craster's Keep is dealt with? That would be a wild ep to have both LS and CH introd in a finale.


Anonymous said...

Serious Spoiler that HBO GO had about the new white walker************************************************So, many have already seen, but HBO took it down!


Anonymous said...

New book on GoT history by GRRM and another. Dangerous Women. Why not finish 6?


Mike V. said...

Richard I think Dangerous Women came out in December. He didn't write anything he edited the book. He has always said he does his best work when he has a lot of coals in the fire or whatever the expression is. Lol I actually just recently bought his compilations with the Dunk and Egg stories. There are rumors hbo may adapt that eventually. I started reading the hedge knight but it's going slowly. He said the 4th dunk and egg won't come out until after winds of winter.

I couldn't resist and read the link you posted. Interesting stuff! I'll be honest that name must've slipped my mind through the 5000 pages I read! Lol

Without getting into spoilers I certainly think CH will be revealed by the end of season. And probably at the keep in this revised storyline makes sense.

Still didn't look up episode title for finale but I'll check it out. Not sure about the move you refer to but I'm guessing that drama will be season 5 lol.

Anonymous said...

More on last weeks rape scene, Jaime/Cersei new interviews


Mike V. said...

Why producers ignore internet chatter.