Mania Grade: A-
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- Episode: OATHKEEPER (Season 4 Episode 4)
- Starring: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Natalie Dormer
- Written By: Bryan Cogman
- Directed By: Michelle MacLaren
- Network: HBO
- Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
GAME OF THRONES: OATHKEEPER Review
The game continues
By Jarrett Kruse
April 28, 2014
GAME OF THRONES: OATHKEEPER Review
The game continues in episode four with an episode that sets a lot of exposition for the middle chunk of the season. As the story progresses I continue to be amazed at the scope of the narrative and how each week can be so packed with details and competing storylines. Each one more compelling than the last making me wish that the each episode was two hours instead of one. It truly is a geek’s paradise in Westeros and it is no wonder that GOT has infiltrated the mainstream zeitgeist. While I flirted with giving this episode a “B+”, after going through all of my notes it is safe to say that even at that grade it would still be the best episode of TV I watched this week.
Picking up where we left off last week, Daenerys and her army are at the gates of Mereen after launching shackles into the city to sway their slaves into joining her massive army. Led by Grey Worm, the Unsullied infiltrate the bowels of the city to recruit the cities serfs to their cause. I was a little confused as to how they were able to negotiate getting into the city so easily but I am willing to chalk up to dramatic license. Dany is keen on abolishing slavery everywhere she goes and even furnishes the slaves of Mereen with weapons to rise up against their masters. When a revolt ensues, Dany exacts justice 163 Mereenese by crucifying them just like they did the children on they did on the way to the city. Despite a suggestion from Barriston Selmy to show compassion, Dany chooses to show strength in an eye for an eye stance. This babe is ready for war. The arc of her character from the first season is really quite remarkable. Looks like the mother of dragons has King’s Landing in her sights next.
After Sansa was whisked away to Littlefinger’s waiting boat last week, we catch up with them below deck. The maiden Stark is concerned but Littlefinger does his best to put her mind at ease but he deftly admits that he wants everything he can get his hands on. And for a minute it looked like he was going to put the moves on Sansa. Littlefinger is truly the entrepreneur of the game and is in it for himself. He intends to marry Sansa’s aunt Lady Arryn at the Eyrie. The pimp of all pimps all but admits that he is responsible for King Joffrey’s death but just who was he in cahoots with? Cut to Lady Olenna and Margaery walking through the gardens of King’s Landing where the picture becomes clearer. That is to say that Lady Olenna is one of Littlefinger’s “new friends” that helped orchestrate the poisoning of Joff. Or should I say the assassination. Lady Olenna is one sharp lady and parts knowledge to her granddaughter that she (Margaery) is even better than she was—at manipulation that is. Margaery then makes her move on king to be Tommen by sneaking into his bedroom and toying with the prepubescent as he tries to sleep. She gets his promise that he doesn’t share her visit or future visits with Queen Regent Cersei. This redhead is good…
Also in King’s Landing, Jaime is still learning how to wield his sword with his bad hand while training with Bronn. The conversation turns to Tyrion rotting in the dungeons and Bronn suggesting that Jaime visit him. What follows is a “jailhouse” visit that proves to Jaime that Tyrion is clearly innocent. When he brings this to Cersei she won’t hear of it and becomes increasingly angry about the failure to save Joffrey. She also wants Sansa deader than disco. Jaime seemed much more human in what follows as he gives Brienne his Valyrian steel sword and a sweet suit of armor to find and save Sansa Stark. She names the sword Oathkeeper and with Podrick in tow, she leaves King’s Landing and you could genuinely see the love between Brienne and Jaime. Could Jaime be turning full circle into a Lannister antihero?
At Craster’s Keep, the repugnant Karl is holding court with his cronies drinking and whoring with non-consensual women it appears. As one baby is making noise and bothering the men, it is taken out into the frozen woods where it is left as a gift to the White Walkers. As the baby wails, Bran and company follow the noise but are captured by Karl and his men. At the Wall, Jon Snow rallies some men to track and kill Karl and his men. It seemed that Ser Alliser was doing anything he could to get rid of Snow. After all, Jon is destined for bigger things. At least I think he is. We end with a very scary but truly awesome White Walker holding the baby offering on his zombie horse and another Walker turning the infant’s eyes into a steely blue. Awesomeness alert!
While nothing truly outrageous or trend worthy went on this week, this is still a solid entry for the GOT. I think that die hard fans and casual viewers (if there are any) will see this as a more cerebral episode; like a chess piece waiting to strike. The production sets the bar so damn high that is really hard to grade it anything less than the “A” range. Next week: the midway point of Season 4. Its going too fast!