In a slightly scaled back episode, the aptly named Oathkeeper focuses largely on King’s Landing and particularly Jaime Lannister. After Jaime’s practice duel with Bronn, the sellsword sits down and schools Jaime in a different way, revealing that Tyrion named Jaime his champion at The Eyrie and that he is in need of help once again. When Jaime meets with his brother they manage to have a civil, yet melancholy conversation about Tyrion’s prospects (which are few). Some of the type of acting and writing the show is known for create some fantastic dialogue between the “Kingslayer Brothers” demonstrating at least some honour.
In an additional act of distinction Jaime decides to donate his new sword to Brienne and honour his promise to Lady Stark, also gifting her a new a new set of armor and Pod to serve as her squire. These gifts along with her new mission to rescue Sansa nearly bring Brienne to tears; she’s more a knight now than most other knights in the seven kingdoms.
Sansa is already in the process of being rescued, though Littlefinger is neither a knight nor ideal hero. We are given new insight into the regicide as Sansa tries to engage Baelish on the subject. We learn that the faux necklace was actually carrying the poison that killed Joffrey and while neither Baelish nor Dontos administered it, one of Littlefinger’s “new friends” must have. The scene blends nicely with its successor; new friends who have an interest in “growing strong” is heard as we close in one Olenna and Margaery in the gardens, also discussing the kings demise. Margaery is completely oblivious of her grandmother’s scheme this time; she is shocked when Olenna all but confesses to the murder. So we now have the who, the what and the why… and if you go back and watch the murder sequence you may catch the how.
In the north Jon laments not being able to speak to Bran, knowing the dangers north of the Wall he searches for a way to find his younger brother without abandoning his sworn brothers. Jon knows they couldn’t have gotten far and the only shelter with any supplies they could have reached would be Craster’s keep, where the mutineers are holed up. Hoping to kill the traitors, and find Bran in the process. Jon volunteers to go to Craster’s keep and Thorne is content to let him, hoping to rid himself of Jon and the mutineers at once, however, Thorne will not assign any rangers to the mission, volunteers only. Jon delivers a rousing speech reminding the watch not only of the danger their former brothers pose should Mance get to them first, but also of their betrayal and what justice dictates. Jon’s popularity among his brothers pays off as one by one the volunteers stand to join him, starting with Grenn and Edd (who just got back from being held captive at Craster’s), and ending with Locke (who got to the wall real quick).
As Jon predicted, Bran and company decide to investigate Craster’s hoping to free Ghost. They are captured pretty much right away and brought to the mutineer leader Karl. Already established as a bad dude, Karl beats and threatens the group until Bran reveals his identity and value as a hostage. While everything happening in the north right now is a big departure from the books these characters need some movement at this point and I like the way things are headed. Any time we get converging storylines is exciting, and I look forward to seeing how things play out between Jon, Locke, Bran and the mutineers, as excited as I am to see the books unfold on screen the new content is usually pretty refreshing too.
The final scene, however, was not so refreshing and just felt unneeded and sloppy. Craster’s last son is taken by a White Walker for a ridiculously slow horsey ride to an altar made of ice in some mountains. The baby is then approached by a figure clad in black, with some similar figures standing behind it, I think I counted 13. Turns out it’s… a different White Walker dun-dun-duhhh. It is significant that he is capable of turning the baby into what we assume will be a White Walker and not just a Wight, but nothing is really clear at this point. It is exciting to see this guy who maybe isn’t a White Walker but something else entirely, he had weird horns, no hair and robes or maybe leather rather than armor. I read something online that was either a spoiler or a mistake, but I won't repeat it here because I respect the spoiler rules. We already know that people killed by White Walkers are brought back as Wights, so maybe the Walkers only have a portion of their creator’s power? Not really sure, but this is all new to me. As much as what happens to the babies is implied in the books nothing is ever explicitly said and whoever, or whatever, this enemy is is unfamiliar to me too.
Overall whenever we have a slower episode like this it only makes me look forward to the next one more as they can’t do boring back-to-back, I guess this show really can do no wrong for me. I didn’t touch on everything; Daenerys took Meereen in such an anticlimactic fashion that completely negates and bad-assery from last week, Cersei’s alcoholism and psychosis are deepening and she still hates Tyrion and Sansa, and Sam regrets leaving Gilly in Mole’s town because it makes no sense. The most prominent character this week was Jaime and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau does a great job with Jaime’s continuing confliction and budding honour. I am excited to see the converging storylines so early as Arya, the Hound, Sansa and Littlefinger are all headed to the Eyrie, and Jon, Bran and the rest are heading to Craster’s. It might be too much to hope for but we could see a couple Stark reunions soon... or it could go the other way.