I have read the Game of Thrones books, even if sometimes it seems like I haven't read the Game of Thrones books, but this was the first episode where I felt sort of lost. There was quite a lot of switching things up from the novels during this hour, and also a lot of focus on nameless and/or forgotten characters (also a lot of focus on Bran and Dany, whose story lines always made my eyes glaze over). Throughout the whole Bran part, I kept wondering if I had remembered his story wrong. I didn't remember him winding up at Craster's Keep. I didn't remember Jon and company deciding to go after the mutineers. But, apparently, I am not crazy, and this stuff is all new. Win one for me.
So, let's check in with our friends and their oath taking and keeping and making and breaking.
Jaime: This episode does not help to better clarify the whole Cersei-rape situation. The Jaime of this episode is the Jaime we know and love from the books, the Jaime that would never push his sister into corpse-adjacent fornication. Jaime is having a bit of a midlife crisis (hence the haircut, right?). As Lord Commander of the King's Guard, he's got the Book of Brothers just staring him in the face at all times. His page is light on details, at least it's light on positive details. It basically tells the tale of how he got the name "Kingslayer," and he's sick of begin the Kingslayer.
He makes his first step toward redemption after sparring with Bronn, who continues to be delightful. Bronn asks Jaime if he's visited Tyrion down in the dungeons yet, and Jaime's all, "I haven't gotten around to it." Then Bronn tells him the story of how, when faced with needing a champion to fight for him at the Eyrie, Tyrion was all set to wait for Jaime (whom he knew would ride through hell and high water to avenge his little brother), but Crazy Lysa wanted the duel to happen that day. So Tyrion was stuck with Bronn.
Jaime went to Tyrion and the two of them bonded over what a nut job Cersei is. Tyrion asks Jaime to free him, but Jaime balks. He's the head of the King's Guard, and he's already known as an oath breaker. He's sick of being that guy.
Jaime is called to Cersei's room, where she asks him to up the security for Tommen. And then she asks Jaime to go out and find Sansa, to bring her back so that she can pay for her role in killing Joffrey. Cersei asks Jaime what means more to him -- avenging his son's death or keeping a stupid promise (to return Sansa and Arya safely) to a dead woman (Catelyn Stark). Jaime chooses honor, and sends Brienne (along with Podrick Payne, who needs to get the hell out of Dodge) out to find Sansa and keep her safe.
Before letting Brienne go, he gives her the sword forged from Ned Stark's sword. She names it "Oathkeeper," and we all know what the Hound would have to say about that. I choose to believe Jaime gives her the sword, not because of feelings of inadequacy, but as a way of distancing him from all the damage his family has caused Westeros. At this point, Jaime, not to mention Tyrion, are Lannisters in name only.
Grey Worm: Apparently they're trying to stir up some shippy shipper feelings about Grey Worm the Wangless and Dany's lady-in-waiting, Missandei. I don't know. She's teaching him a new language. They're talking about their slave pasts. It's your standard rom-com setup.
Besides Love Potential, Grey Worm is also helping free the slaves of Meereen and killing all the masters. He's sworn an oath to Daenerys and he's going to keep it. This whole situation, in the show and in the books, always reads icky to me. Yes, Grey Worm is "free," technically, but is he really? If he went to Dany and said he and Missandei were going to peace out and open up a bed-and-breakfast in Astapor, would she be okay with that? Would she just tell him good luck and send him on his way? I don't know. Would she be fine with the slaves of Meereen choosing to leave the city or stick around and not help Dany's cause? Again, not sure. All of this and the fact that she chose vengeance over mercy in dealing with the slave masters of Meereen just reeks of "new boss, same as the old boss" to me.
She needs a little adversity coming her way, is what I'm saying. She needs someone to call her on her shit, and apparently Barristan Selmy is not that guy.
Jon Snow: Now we're starting to get to the Jon Snow who became so interesting in A Dance with Dragons. I've always found him incredibly boring. He's the boy scout of Game of Thrones. He's the Captain America. Yawn. But now that his perceptive has been so shaken, now that he's seen the world from all sides -- from inside Winterfell to Castle Black to beyond the Wall -- he has the potential to be the best leader of all. And he's starting to show some of those leadership skills to his brothers of the Night's Watch. He's training recruits (illegally, of course), he's giving sound advice to Sam, and he's pissing off the brass. He is giving the men of the decimated Watch someone to believe in, and it's pretty great to see.
Now Jon is about to take a bunch of guys over the Wall to Craster's Keep, in which a group of mutinous black brothers is now squatting (and drinking wine out of Jeor Mormont's skull...and feeding the remains of the former Lord Commander to Jon Snow's direwolf, Ghost). Will he and his buddies ever actually get there? Will they show up before Bran and friends eventually escape? Who knows. It would be kind of cool to see a Bran/Jon scene, though.
Bran: Speaking of Brandon Stark, he's been warging all over town. Every day he's warging. Except now he, Jojen, Meera, and Hodor have been captured and are stuck at Craster's Keep with all of those disgusting assholes. Based on what happens in the books, I think we can assume they all get saved, but how? Cold Hands? Jon? Summer and Ghost?
- For beating up Hodor alone, all of those bastards at Craster's Keep need to die, and die HARD.
- Also, they were mean to Ghost. Poor puppy!
- One could say that I am excited to see their eventual bloody demise.
- I guess we need to talk about that CGI baby. I often like to pretend that the White Walkers and whatever else is beyond the Wall doesn't exist. I'm going to assume that Craster's baby boys grow up to be big White Walkers? How did they get that young girl we saw in the pilot episode, then? Who's donating baby girls to the cause? Is there a Bizarro Craster hiding somewhere north of the Wall?
- The Unsullied army going after that one slave master in the streets was, I think, an homage to The Walking Dead's zombie horde attacks.
- Oh, yeah. Littlefinger and Sansa. He's just the sweetest, isn't he? He's headed to the Vale to marry Lysa, Sansa's aunt. He couldn't trust the Lannisters, so he opted to make friends he could trust, whose motivations were clear to him. Friends like...
- Olenna Tyrell, who admitted to poisoning Joffrey. Now she's scurrying back to Hightower before anyone catches wind. And she's ordering her granddaughter, Margaery, to seduce the Boy King.
- Tommen. He's about to grow up real quick.
What did you think of the episode?
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