What an outstanding episode.
I never thought we’d get confirmation so soon over the identity of Joffrey’s killer, but Oathkeeper gave us quite the revelation: it was a joint effort between Littlefinger and Lady Olenna. The plot itself is pretty brilliant: Littlefinger got Ser Dantos to give Sansa a necklace, Olenna removed one of the crystals during the wedding (it was quick moment, watch this) and then dropped the poison in Joffrey’s drink. The reason? She wanted to save Margaery from that “beast”. It’s a chilling and beautifully played reveal, and just like that, a funny side character suddenly turned into one of the game’s powerful and potent players. Terrific!
Now can we take a moment and appreciate the awesome dynamic between Jaime and Brienne? I absolutely loved watching the Kingslayer gift Brienne with his Valyrian Steel sword (which she named Oathkeeper). And the fact that he asks her to use it to protect Sansa (after his love Cersei specifically asked for her death) is even more compelling. Their relationship conveys so much with only a few looks, and it’s just so satisfying witnessing that development (and forbidden love).
Elsewhere, Daenerys completed her transformation into ruthless dictator (well, kind of) by nailing the masters to crosses just like they did with their slaves. It’s all quite terrifying to see Dany act so vicious, but it’s also gratifying isn’t it? And that’s the beauty of her character’s development; you’re rooting for her, and yet you’re equally unsettled at the same time.
As for Craster’s Keep, well I think we can safely declare Karl as the show’s most heinous villain at the moment. The fact that he and his men are raping Craster’s wives is beyond disturbing, and it’s made all the more horrifying when Bran and his crew get captured after trying to save Ghost. Since Thrones has shown no mercy when it comes to killing off pivotal characters, it lends this development quite a bit of urgency and dread. Excellent!
And then there’s that final sequence. We haven’t really spent much time with the White Walkers thus far, so it was pretty darn fascinating to witness the Walker ride with Caster’s last child and offer it up to the Night King. And what does his highness do? One little touch to the cheek and the baby’s eyes turn ice-blue (it’s a gorgeous visual). I guess that’s another way to build your army!
Bits & Beheadings
– Great little moment between Grey Worm and Missandei as they discuss how she was taken as a child from her burning village. More screen-time with these two please!
– Stunning zoom out of Dany on top of the pyramid. Truly majestic!
– Loved Olenna urging Margaery to sink her claws into Tommen quickly.
– Bronn using Jaime’s “own hand” to knock him out made me laugh. I also loved the continuity touch with Bronn making Jaime feel bad by telling him that Tyrion originally asked for him as his champion back when he was captive in the Eyrie.
– Gem of a scene with Jaime visiting Tyrion (and barely acknowledging that Joffrey is his son). Through everything else, there’s definitely a sense of brotherhood and loyalty here.
– So why did Littlefinger kill Joffrey? Because he was unpredictable. Simple enough reason for ya?
– Locke isn’t such a bad guy is he? You’d almost forget he sliced off Jaime’s hand and wanted to rape Brienne as he’s so nice to Jon.
– Interesting that Cersei doesn’t even mention the “rape” at the hands of Jaime. I guess the writers really never meant it that way.
– How seductively awesome is Margaery visiting Tommen at night and (almost) kissing him. She’s beyond cunning.
– Ser Pounce is an epic name for a cat.
– In addition to the sword, Jaime gifts Brienne with Knight’s armour, and Podrick of all people! This should be hilarious!
– The fact that Podrick calls Brienne “sir”.
– Even more continuity: Sam told Jon about seeing Bran beyond the Wall.
– So Alliser agrees to send Jon (and his volunteers) to Craster’s Keep because he’s hoping he’ll get killed and not become Lord Commander. Clever clever.
– Extremely twisted: Karl drinking wine from Mormont’s skull.
– Terrific POV shot from the baby looking up at the Walker. Wow.
Kings & Quips
Barristan: Sometimes it is better to answer injustice with mercy.
Daenerys: I will answer injustice with justice.
Bronn: (to Jaime) I’ll bet that thrust through the Mad King’s back was pretty as a picture. You want to fight pretty or you want to win?
Tyrion: (to Jaime) The Kingslayer brothers. You like it?
Tyrion: Are you really asking if I killed your son?
Jaime: Are you really asking if I’d kill my own brother?
Littlefinger: A man with no motive is a man no one suspects. Always keep your foes confused. If they don’t know who you are or what you want, they can’t know what you plan to do next.
Sansa: I don’t believe you. If they catch you, they’ll put your head on a spike just like my father’s. You’d risk that just to confuse them? Littlefinger: So many men, they risk so little. They spend their lives avoiding danger. And then they die. I’d risk everything to get what I want.
Sansa: And what do you want?
Olenna: (to Margaery) There’s nothing more tedious than a trial. Except perhaps these gardens. If I have to take one more leisurely stroll through these gardens, I’ll fling myself from the cliffs.
Olenna: (to Margaery) I was to be given to some Targaryen or other. Marrying a Targaryen was all the rage back then. But the moment I saw my intended, with his twitchy little ferret’s face and ludicrous silver hair, I knew he wouldn’t do. So the evening before Luthor was to propose to my sister, I got lost on my way back from my embroidery lesson and happened upon his chamber. (laughs) How absent-minded of me. The following morning, Luthor never made it down the stairs to propose to my sister ’cause the boy couldn’t bloody walk. And once he could, the only thing he wanted was what I’d given him the night before. I was good. I was very, very good. You are even better.
Bronn: (to Podrick) What are you waiting for, a kiss?
After last week’s letdown, this was a brilliant and engrossing hour of Game of Thrones.