Game Of Thrones: 4.04 - Oathkeeper
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Spoilers, spoilers, everywhere. Don’t read on if you don’t want spoilers.
It’s hard to think that we’re almost halfway through the fourth season of Game Of Thrones already, it seems like lots has happened but the story hasn’t really moved forward that much.
Danaerys Tragaren has been one of the more acceptable characters in the show, freeing slaves in their droves and generally seeming to do the right thing. The sheer number of people the show is now trying to service with story inevitably means that some are getting short shrift, and our Mother of Dragons is one of those. Her appearances are fleeting and have been verging on the repetitive with a lack of character development for most of her supporting team. This week gave us a little more time with Greyworm, who seems really quite sensitive for a neutered ex-slave warrior, and Danaerys herself showed a ruthless streak (“I will answer injustice with justice”) in crucifying the 163 Meereen masters. You feel there’s a lot more to come from Danys and her ever expanding army of freed slaves.
Moving onto less savoury moments now, and the showrunners seem to have forgotten the “rape” of Cersei last week. "Rape" is in " " as you may have read numerous articles on this since the episode aired, some comment pieces, and some interviews with the George R.R. Martin, the writers, and the director. It’s all a bit of a mess to be honest, the scene was completely botched as what was clearly rape on the TV screen was apparently not supposed to be as written, acted, or directed (director Alex Graves has said “Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.”). Certainly Cersei herself seems to have forgotten (or not seen it as rape) as she was only slightly frosty with him. And because of that we’re back to loveable Jaime Lannister this week with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau turning on the charm again in scenes with Brienne, he gives her his Valyrian sword and a specially made suit of armour, and Tyrion where their easy going relationship and banter manages to lighten the mood despite the talk of murder, incest, and heads on spikes. Despite the title of this week's episode Oathkeeper being all about Jaime and his oath to protect the Stark girls it remains to be seen if we, the viewers, can get past the cock up from episode three and get back to viewing Jaime as one of the good guys, if a slightly shades of grey good guy. He was though, involved in the best passages of dialogue in the episode, including:
Jaime: “You talk to my brother this way?”
Bronn: “All the time. He got used to it.”
Back in King’s Landing, and on a boat, the ‘who killed Joffrey’ conspiracy is ended, it was he of the god awful accent – seriously, what’s happened to Aiden Gillen’s accent since he went away last season? – and House Tyrell in some unholy bond. Littlefinger is becoming an intriguing character again and his scenes with Sansa Stark are key, and well played by both. They’re quiet exposition heavy scenes but their may be no-one better for Sansa to learn the game of thrones from than Peytr Baelish.
Finally Castle Black and Craster’s Keep were heavy players this week. Loyal lieutenant of Roose Bolton and de-hander of the Kingslayer, Locke, has joined the Nights Watch. Keeping close to Jon Snow to find little Lord Bran Stark. The show is doing a good job of building Jon Snow, his confidence and authority has grown immeasurably since his deep cover experience with the Wildlings. For the first time in his life he’s the expert and all but the stand-in Lord Commander can see his worth. Now he’s being sent to Craster’s Keep to get rid of the mutineers, the only ones that can sell out Castle Black .Sounds easy right? Well not if the mental, degrading, horror scenes of the Keep. And now they’re got Brandon Stark hostage, not sure of that whole story line, he seems like a McGuffin, but let’s give it a chance.
Finally the big reveal was how the White Walkers keep growing their numbers, they take human babies and turn them. Nicely summing up the theme of the episode in one succinct scene, that of the essence of family. But more than that it was great to see an extended sequence with the unknown danger from beyond The Wall. How much more will be teased before they fully get in on the action only book readers might know.