S4 E4 - Oathkeeper aka “Justice? Nailed it!”

Did anybody else start singing “Kill the Masters, Kill the Masters” to the tune of “Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit” by Elmer Fudd while watching the start of this episode? Was that just me? ‘Cause the philosophy of Grey Worm has turned into an Ear Worm and I can’t ... stop ... singing ... it.

“Kill the masters, kill the masters” … I’m going to unnerve my boss soon. He’s already freaked out by the Tyrion and Daenerys pop vinyl dolls on my desk, the sigil badges pinned to my cubicle wall and the amputated hand I keep in my desk drawer. At this rate, I’m going to get a reputation for being slightly too obsessed with Game of Thrones.

Regardless, “Kill the Masters” was a running theme throughout episode four.

Reminder: spoilers will be included below, so only read on if you’ve seen the episode. We’re discovering the storyline through the TV series (reading the books after each has finished), so no dropping important future plot points in the comments, or we’ll turn your babies into Ol’ Blue Eyes. As a special treat this week, if anybody leaves a comment saying “Just read the books, idiots”, showing that they obviously don’t read this disclaimer, feel free to leave a reply saying you love them. It’ll confuse them, because they won’t have read this disclaimer.

Props to my friend Cam who coined that title after seeing Daenerys Targaryen's revenge on the masters of Meereen, which features a crucifixion scene far more gruesome than the Passion of the Christ.

The day that ended with revolt in Meereen began with Grey Worm being schooled in proper use of the common tongue by Missandei, which was touching, but not nearly as sexy as it sounds. The pair shared stories of their origins, which in both cases involved being taken from their homes and sold off to be someone else’s chattel.

Grey Worm’s steely resolve to never be a slave again, summed up by the mantra “Kill the Masters” was terrifyingly beautiful to behold. This is a man reborn, a man who wants all others to experience the blessing of freedom, a William Wallace with much better hair (gee, where did this Mel Gibson bugbear come from?).

Grey Worm and a crack squad of undercover Unsullied sneaked into the slaves’ camp to convince them to rise up and rebel. “Bollocks,” cried the unbelievers, scarred by previous failed attempts. Then the Unsullied threw down a small mountain of weaponry, and all of a sudden, it was on.

I think the producers might have been scrimping for special effects money this episode, as the whole revolt in Meereen boiled down to one dude getting Julius Caesared in a convenient alleyway, and a dodgy CGI Targaryen banner draped over the city’s patron statue in victory. The giant snake in Anaconda was more convincing than that flag.

Daenerys, though, got a parade worthy of a Will-and-Kate Royal Visit. Happy fans lining the city walls, smiling children, gifts of broken shackles, chanting. I kept waiting for a 24-hour TV news crew to wander into shot and deliver inane commentary on the Breaker of Chains’ outfit.

“Well Cheryl, she did wear this Diane Von Furstenberg blue silk tunic dress over grey LK Bennett trousers with those Stuart Weitzman knee-high boots yesterday, and the day before that, and basically every day for months, so in terms of cost-to-wear ratio, she’s an example to us all.”

Daenerys wants no part of Ser Barristan’s suggestion of showing mercy to Meereen’s top brass, having 163 of them nailed as payback for all the children they crucified and displayed as markers along the road to warn Daenerys off.

Meanwhile our own Kate Middleton, aka Margaery Tyrell, discovered just how freaking cool her grandmother is, as Olenna confessed to having Joffrey bumped off.

The Queen of Thorns wasn’t going to let her beloved granddaughter marry “that beast”, citing her own experience of escaping a dodgy Targaryen marriage by giving Luther Tyrell a right seeing to the night before he was suppose to propose to her sister.

Now I have a similar attachment to my own grandmother, who coincidentally we call “Queen Pat” due to her relentless Britishness. But although she was in the WRNS during WW2, smoked hash in Beirut, climbed the Hindu Kush, gave birth in Iraq, and just recently ordered porn in our New York hotel room, she has never killed a man.

To my knowledge.

Sadly, Olenna seems determined to leave King’s Landing, to which I say, "NOOOOOOO don't leave - somebody please chain Diana Rigg to the set so we don't lose this wonderful character."

Margaery, now set to marry new king Tommen, embraced her Gran’s challenge to start moulding him into a good husband and a good ally, undermining the likely scenario that Cersei will try to poison her second son against her. She wants to get on top of the situation from the beginning.

That’s a rather unfortunate phrase, actually, as Margaery proceeded to bust into Tommen’s bedroom late at night, and we were a bit worried it was going to get all Mary-Kay LeTourneau, but then PHEW Margaery just wanted the pair to get to know each other and tell secrets and play with the cat and so forth. Mind you, the look on Tommen’s face, am I right? Now there was a lad who was going to have some rather interesting dreams that evening.

Up at The Wall, Jon Snow was chewed out by Acting Commander Ser Alliser Thorne for training his brothers on how to fight Wildlings. It’s a chance to introduce Locke, who has gone undercover on Roose Bolton’s orders to find the Winterfell heirs Bran and Rickon.

Locke is so obviously villainous that I just wanted to scream “He’s behind you! He’s behind you!” like a pantomime audience. But I suppose it’s harder to tell when you’re in the Night’s Watch, given how many rapists and murderers they seem to recruit. By comparison Locke probably just looks pretty handy with a sword (ohhhhh that’s a long-game pun right there).

Ser Alliser Thorne and Ser Janos Slynt are the new Basil and Sybil of the Crows command team; Thorne all bluster and self-importance, and Slynt all “Here’s why you suck”. Slynt points out that it’s possible Jon Snow could get picked as the permanent new commander of the Night’s Watch, even though he’s still young and broodingly handsome and needs more life experience such as a steamy fling with a devoted Game of Thrones recappespondent.

So Thorne agreed to let J-Sno go on his mission to kill the horrible mutinous Crows at Craster’s Keep, in the hope that he will get slaughtered. Charming.

Jon had to use his considerable oral skills to convince a group of his brothers to accompany him, but eventually they stood, “I’m Spartacus!”-style, and volunteered their services. Locke, having overheard Jon and Sam Tarly talking about Bran going beyond The Wall, pledged to make his vows so he could become a full Brother and go along. Ughh, that’s not going to end well.

Speaking of which, life at Craster’s Keep is about as miserable as you can get. The dead wildling’s daughter-wives are no more than objects for the horrible mutinous Crows, who live their days befuddled by boredom and drink, broken only by brutal acts of rape and the odd pig’s trotter. Here are men who did kill their masters, but what has it really gotten them?

Karl Tanner, their leader, used Commander Mormont’s skull as a cup and railed about his supposed legendary status as a fighter, but all his profane self-promotion can’t hide his epic cowardice, for when a woman comes in with a baby boy - Craster’s last child - Karl hands it off to his deputy Rast to deliver to the White Walkers.

The other women eerily chant “Gift for the gods, gift for the gods”, which reminded reminded me of the line “Dead by dawn, dead by dawn!” from Evil Dead II. If only Bruce Campbell and his chainsaw hand could have appeared to slice up all the horrible mutinous Crows, it could have prevented the next disaster.

For out in the woods, Bran Stark and his Scooby gang (Jojen, Meera and Hodor) hear the cries of the abandoned baby from their campsite. Bran wargs into Summer, but just as he comes across his brother direwolf Ghost, he is caught in a trap. The Scooby gang go in pursuit, but Bran’s hope in finding friends is dashed when they’re all captured, too.

Bran is forced into revealing his identity when Karl threatens Meera’s life and Jojen falls into an epileptic fit. Meanwhile out on the ice, the mounted White Walker takes the baby boy to a sacrificial altar, where he is zombified by some sort of White Walker chieftain. This raises a number of questions about whether the baby will stay a baby, or somehow grow-up as a blue-eyed zombie, but I just can’t go into them right now because we haven’t yet got to the most important stuff in this episode.

We need to talk about Jaime Lannister.

Last week, the Kingslayer was an undisputed villain. I still think his rape of Cersei was despicable, but this week he did a 180, jumping right back into his redemptive narrative.

He finally goes to see Tyrion, and jokes with him about how much better conditions his younger brother has while in custody. He acknowledges Tyrion’s jibe about Joffrey being his son, but implores him with a simple “Don’t” to not press the issue (I still find it remarkable Jaime is the complete opposite of Cersei when it comes to parental affection). Most importantly, he accepts Tyrion’s pleas of innocence in Joffrey’s murder.

Summoned by Cersei - “You sent for me, Your Grace?” - he declares his faith in Tyrion, and stands by his oath to Catelyn Stark to return her daughters, two things that really make his sister see red.

And then, after declaring there was still space in his Who’s Who of the Kingsguard biography, he gives Brienne his new Valyrian steel sword, a super schmick suit of armour, and a mission to go and find Sansa and keep her safe.

Brienne agreed, citing her loyalty to Catelyn - and to Jaime. It was hands down one of the loveliest interactions in the show so far. The look on Brienne’s face as she left King’s Landing damn near broke my heart, and the whole thing left me feeling conflicted.

Brienne doesn’t know about Cersei, and her lack of any positive relationships with men due to her superior fighting skill and general awesomeness have left her somewhat naive on the romance front. Jaime isn’t interested in Brienne romantically, and I’d hate for him to reject her.

But something about their bond is solid and sweet and even though he’s done terrible things, Jaime seems dedicated to putting some things right, and I just can’t hate him any more.

It’s still too early to tell for sure, but it will be interesting to follow Jaime’s development to see if the decision to change a consensual sex scene in the books to a rape scene in the TV show was a wise one.

Yay! Best Moments

Jaime presenting Podrick to Brienne as her squire was just The Best. Go back and look at the goofy smile on Pod’s face. It was just gorgeous.

Zing! Best Lines

In the same scene, Bronn presented Pod with Tyrion’s axe from the Battle of Blackwater. Stunned, Pod was speechless, prompting Bronn to exclaim

“What are you waiting for, a kiss?”

Also points to Tyrion and Jaime for the following exchange:

Tyrion: As for Cersei, she’s probably working on a way to avoid a trial altogether by having me killed.

Jaime: Well now that you mention it, she did ask ...

Ewww, gross

Once again, it’s Littlefinger all the way. Forget seasickness, his creepy arrogance was enough to make anyone nauseous. After admitting to Sansa that he had abandoned his old masters, the Lannisters, for new friends (a reference to “growing strong” confirming it as the Tyrells just before Olenna showed up onscreen), she asked him what he wanted. His eyes committed a gross violation of Sansa’s privacy and I’m honestly surprised his hand didn’t leave a trail of greasy slime over her dress when he touched her.

Boo, sucks

I really, really, really, really, really hated seeing Hodor abused by the horrible mutinous Crows. I wanted to tear their hands off then poke out their eyes with their own grubby fingers.