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Brienne of Tarth -- the Oathkeeper
Remember when I said that last week was kind of a slow episode, after the action and rapid pace plotting of the first couple of episodes of Season 4? Well, you might think that this week is another space filler. We don’t get any vast clashing armies. We don’t have any sudden change in the state of the Seven Kingdoms.

Yet we are not downhearted, because we learn some Very Important Things this week, and the drama, though on a smaller scale, is just as painful.

Yes, Tyrion is still in jail for Joffrey’s murder—but now we know who really did it. Yes, the Night’s Watch is still dithering away as the noose draws tighter—but Jon Snow is allowed to at least take some action. Yes, Daenerys is still busy marching between dusty cities—but hey, we manage to liberate one without a dragon in sight. Yes, Jaime forced himself on his sister last week but he… well, that one I’ll save for later.

Come on in.

This week is about something as simple as keeping your word. And breaking it.

Dany’s massive army (sans dragons… where are those damn lizards anyway?) stands at the gates of Meereen, but rather than mount a frontal assault on the city, the good guys sneak in, arm the city’s slaves, and it falls apart from the inside. It’s not exactly a bloodless coup, but Dany captures the city intact, with essentially no losses among her forces and apparently few among the rebelling slaves.

She’s getting quite good at this general stuff, though the neatness of her victory is somewhat spoiled by the One True Queen’s insistence that the former slave owners get some crucifixion payback. It’s tempting to see this as Dany becoming the most bloodthirsty of the bunch after all that tiresome marching, but really, she just doesn’t like slavers. She's keeping her word to both sides of the slave trade.

Nice as the celebrations are, the slave city shuffle is definitely losing something in the repetition. Look out there, Dany. Water! Ships! Isn’t it really time to move this party to Westeros?

Back in the Red Keep, Tyrion is still in jail for the murder of Joffrey, but as we learn this week, he’s one of the few actually not involved in the snot king’s death. Littlefinger, who is possibly trying to impress Sansa but really just doing a very good job of creeping her out, explains that the necklace she was wearing at the wedding feast was composed of poison crystals. I guess it’s a really good thing Sansa never licked her fingers after toying with the necklace, or we could be down yet another Stark. For a guy who thinks he’s cleverer than the rest, Littlefinger engages in monologuing that would make Megamind blush, explaining that Ser Dontos was his pawn, that he wants to rule the world (possibly the universe) and that he had some "new friends" involved in killing the king. We now scan quickly to ....

Lady Olenna, who is not a lot more subtle than Littlefinger in explaining her role in the king’s death. A quick review of the tape reveals that, yup, the Queen of Thorns was involved in some some sympathetic pawing in Sansa’s neck region shortly before Joffrey takes a dive. It’s a pretty blunt admission for the usually subtle head of the Tyrell clan. Paired with recounting her tales of screwing her way to the top, it makes Olenna seem a little more crude than expected. There’s also a painful turn of phrase when Olenna, having just finished explaining how she ascended to the top of the Tyrell family by literally making the heir bowlegged, "compliments" her granddaughter by telling her that she’s even better. At what? Seducing her way to the top? Well ....

Maybe she is, because it’s not too long before we see Good (maybe) Queen (possibly) Margaery making her way through the secret spaces of the Red Keep to slip into young King Tommen’s bedchambers. To her credit, the queen doesn’t immediately try to induce bowlegitude in the very, very young king. After all, this is a kid who is still talking about a kitten he’s nicknamed "Ser Pounce." But Margaery definitely sets her hooks, inducing Tommen to share a secret with her and building a relationship with him that’s away from the manipulations of his family. Good work, Margaery.  And hey… who showed you all those secret passages?

Up at the wall, Jon Snow and his friend Sam are both getting the short end of the stick. No one believes Sam when he tells them how he killed a White Walker, and with few exceptions, the idiots now in charge of the Night’s Watch following Lord Mormont’s death seem to be more worried about making Jon Snow eat dirt than they are about the hundred thousand man-woman-thing Wildling army about to be on their doorstep.

When Jon finally gets permission to go off to fight the traitors who killed Mormont, it’s more because the Night’s Watch leadership wants to put him in a place where many pointy ends are turned his way. Still, they can’t be happy that Jon makes such a ringing call for volunteers, or that he gets so many. Though at least one of the fresh volunteers is too good-natured, too skilled and too convenient-by-half. Keep an eye on that man, Jon.

Meanwhile the mutineers manage to paint themselves as double evil with a side of evil sauce, drinking from a cup made of Lord Mormon’s skill, abusing Craster’s already abused girls, taunting caged animals and leaving children out in the snow to die. Women, children, animals? Check, check, check. Oh, and when these ex-crows capture Bran and party, they engage in a round of Hodor-baiting. That’s worthy of a painful death right there. Ride fast, Jon Snow.

And then there’s Jaime. At the start of last week, Jaime Lannister had very nearly become a sympathetic character—quite an accomplishment for someone who starts out the series with the attempted murder of a child and whose most celebrated trait is betrayal. Or possibly incest. In any case, that building sympathy doesn’t last, because Jaime forces his sister/lover to have sex right beside the discolored corpse of their dead son. You might argue that it wasn’t rape (you’d have to argue hard), but you can’t argue that it’s not ugly and just plain damn disgusting.

While viewers might not be able to get past what Jaime did with Cersei in the previous episode, Cersei seems to be over it. She dresses her brother down, talks to him as if he's a servant, and generally gets back to treating him the same way everyone’s been treating him lately—like mud. Most importantly, Cersei, never a stickler for the finer points of honor, insists that Jaime break the oath he made to the dead Caitlin Stark. Not only should Jaime not protect Sansa, Cersei wants him to go out, find the girl and kill her.

Instead of immediately marching off to follow his sister’s orders, Jaime goes off to meet with Brienne. Surprisingly, Jaime loads the big woman down with gifts, presenting her with a new suit of armor, and giving her one of the two Valyrian steel swords forged from Ned Stark’s old two-handed blade (bet Tywin wouldn’t have let Jaime keep the sword if he’d known it was going to the Maid of Tarth). Best of all, Jaime matches Brienne with Tyrion’s former squire, Podrick Payne, which in one stroke saves Podrick from the schemers at the capitol and provides Brienne a trusty companion.

Brienne looks damn fine in her armor. Triple fierce, and somehow more chivalrous than any other knight we've seen. She rechristens the sword she’s been gifted as "Oathkeeper." The name alone is at such odds with Jaime’s nickname, which commemorates the moment when he broke a sacred vow, that it fairly aches with counterpoint.

It’s hard to reconcile this generous Jaime with the one who forced himself on Cersei, or the one who hurled Bran from a window, or the one who did any of the dozens of petty, despicable things that Jaime has done. But I can try.

Since the moment they met, Brienne has been Jaime’s conscience—a giant-sized Jimminy Cricket. In providing her with gifts and sending her away, Jaime isn’t really doing a good deed, so much as he is admitting that good deeds are beyond him.

Brienne is noble. Is loyal. Is still somewhat innocent. Is truly admirable. Brienne is what Jaime wishes he could be.

By sending her down the road, he’s waving goodbye to the last spark of his own hope for a better future, admitting to himself that those blank pages in the great book of the King’s Guard are never going to be filled with the valiant deeds of Jaime Lannister.  He’s admitting to himself that he is as bad as Cersei, as bad as his father. He’s the Kingslayer. The oath breaker.

At the end of the episode, we get our most prolonged look at a White Walker, as one of the ice zombies comes to collect the child left outside Craster’s Keep and takes it to a kind of ice-henge where a touch turns the infant into another blue-eyed wight. It’s a chilling moment, but perhaps not as sad as seeing Brienne ride away.

Even a character you know you should hate can still break your heart.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And.. best of all.. (38+ / 0-)

    Bronn creep-smacked Jaime to the ground.. with his own hand.

    Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. - George Orwell

    by Wayward Son on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:08:24 PM PDT

  •  Gah, I wish I could watch this series. (9+ / 0-)

    I have read all the books (so far) and some of what you write doesn't ring true to my interpretation of what George wrote...but it's all very similar. This is The Series That Got Away, as far as I'm concerned.

    Thanks for the summary.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:11:52 PM PDT

    •  Durn Showrunners (9+ / 0-)

      GRRM commented in some interview years back that he rejected some offers to take GOT to movie or TV because people take your work and change it too much.  Then he said these showrunners seemed like they'd be faithful to his work.

      This show?  Started off IMO pretty faithful to the books then every year they change more and more, removing themes, changing characters, pandering to their actors.  Removed the entire nobility criticisms, removed the subtle attacks on slavery as an institution and turned it into a bad guy good guy story; changed Pod Payne went from the shy kid who can fight into a comic relief act, constantly add gratuitous sex, etc.  

      Some of the changes I get--they edit out some characters, have budget limits, etc.  But I'm sort of mad at some of the changes because I see no reason at all for them other than showrunner'ssome execsome actors' ego.  

      Since I don't think GRRM will finish these books before he goes, guess I'll never find out how the story really ends.  Bummers.

      “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers (Of course this also applies to me.)

      by MugWumpBlues on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:27:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He really never said that (18+ / 0-)

        George said it was impossible to make it into a movie, not that he worried about people changing things.  He thought it would be possible to do it at HBO, but he knew things would have to change - he got his start in television, and knows how it works.

        And I really wish people would stop saying he'll die before he finishes - he's only 4 years older than I am, you people are creeping me out!  And at any rate, he's given the HBO showrunners a roadmap to the end of the story.

        I think most of the changes have as much to do with budget as anything - they simply can't afford all the actors and effects they'd need to recreate the books more completely.  And when a character is cut, that has repercussions down the line in the plot.

        I"m finding it fascinating myself.

        •  Cuts, cuts and cuts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Youffraita, ER Doc

          Its a matter of opinion of course.  It's like the scene with Cersei and Jaime last episode.  The book has Cersei using her beauty and sex to manipulate people, especially her brother,  and they totally changed that.  

          Seemed clear to me that in the books she decided to cut him off from sex once he started refusing to do whatever she wanted, that whole theme is now out after how the show played it.   Jaime arrives in the book shortly after his son is poisoned--why change that?  

          There's also GRRM's themes of how the better fighters thrive and in the books, because the Lannisters want people they can control,  most of the Kingsguard is now old slow and cowardly --that's out.

          They made Rob's wife a furriner rather than someone from some old now ruined house--out.   That ties into the theme of culture's which judging people by their ancestors rather on their merits.  I still can't figure out why they made that change.  

          They cut out the lines about the slave empires have ransacked their lands, cut down all the trees, and turned forests into deserts.  To me, that's a one or two line additur which we should have seen as Dany marches her armies through deserts, that's out.

          They made Barristan the Bold the squeamish advisor, for reasons I do not get.  So they've left in Mormont but changed his storyline (the guy who plays Mormont is great but he doesn't have the look of some Northman who lived in an island forest).

          Just keeps adding up.  I understand they need to make changes but too much IMO.  Why make Cersei sympathetic?  The books got a classic spoiled beautiful rich kid who thinks they should get whatever they want and usually do.  

          Take heart!  GRRM is now taking 6-8 years to write each book and he needs 2-3 books to finish.  Quite a few years, that.

          “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers (Of course this also applies to me.)

          by MugWumpBlues on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:13:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well then don't watch it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's always tricky to watch books you love made into another medium - I could not STAND what Peter Jackson did to Tolkien, the movies are an abomination to me, but I know most people love them, even people who love the books as much as I do.  It's simply a matter of opinion, and if it's not to your taste, don't watch it.

            And GRRM is at least half way through WoW, the 6th one, at this point, I believe - I do think he can get that one out next year.  Yes, he might need two more instead of one more to finish, but if you will pardon my apostasy, the books could use some of the pruning you're objecting to in the tv series.  I hope Martin will consider that and maybe get them done before the show catches up and passes him.

            •  Well, I can't speak to the TV series, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Puddytat, ER Doc, northsylvania

              as noted above, but I don't see how you could "prune" the novels, I really don't. Martin is building a world, he's describing a whole continent-worth of political rivalries, he's trying to portray all this shit (the Hundred Years Wars, eom) and that takes some verbiage. The miracle is that he can do all this in fewer pages than A La Recherche du Temps Perdu.

              English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

              by Youffraita on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 09:10:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I feel the same way. Much of this episode was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        completely fabricated, only following the book's story arcs in the most flimsy way.

        And the last 20 minutes of last night's episode were devoted to the mutineers at Craster's Keep and the White Walkers - events which were never in the third book, and did nothing to advance the story line. It appears the showrunners intend to have Jon Snow and Brandon Stark meet up at the Keep. Can't even imagine where they are going with that.

        The first two years were reasonably faithful both to the story, characters and dialog. The last two seasons have deviated more and more from the books, and disappointingly so. The writers now create new scenes and dialog, cut out many important events, and since they are simply not as talented as GRRM, the quality of the series has declined dramatically.

        Anyway, that's my rant. I won't be wasting any more time on the TV version.

        •  Um (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          For better or worse the whole point is that they're taking the series away from the books, and GRRM is integral to that, he's a script consultant etc ... I think they like the idea of, um, surprising people who watch with a smug defended "I've read the books" attitude

      •  Are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You are exaggerating, or worse projecting your hurt feelings on this TV show. First of all, GRRM picked D&D because they wouldn't short change the story not because he didn't want them to change things. They are adding and enhancing certain elements as befitting a different medium. How can you watch the TV series and think any of what you are saying? A simple bad guy/good guy story, really?

  •  WTF Where is the Spoilers alert?!??! (0+ / 0-)

    Please don't put anything about a TV show's plot above the fold without a "spoiler alert"!

    It sucks that, as I scanned down the page for other news, I noticed something that spoiled one of the plot twists.  I'm now pissed and sad. :(

    From now on, PLEASE put anything that could be seen as a spoiler below the fold and a huge SPOILER ALERT before it. It is just common internet courtesy.

  •  So happy to see this, (8+ / 0-)

    Why don't they make Lady Olenna King?

    /s The Dep't of Getting Things Done

  •  ASDF (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx, Dallasdoc, SuWho, runfastandwin, ER Doc

    Was hoping to see more of Arya and The Hound this week.

    Would also like to know the progress Theon's (aka "Reek") sister is making in finding him.

  •  DO YOU MIND?!? (0+ / 0-)

    some of us are still in season three.

    bah. At least put the spoilers below the bloody, disemboweled entrails.


    •  Hello?!?!? (3+ / 0-)

      If you're still in Season 3, why are you even reading anything in popular media about the show? If you're in catch-up mode, you avoid any mention of it in print - that's just fundamental. I got turned on to it in the second season and avoided this articles like the plaque until I got caught up.

      •  It's front and center on the FP (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Sumner

        I didn't read the article, just jumped to the comments.

        I figure it's like the superbowl.  It's hard to keep a secret for long.  

        Mostly I wanted to jump in to talk about the orange curlicue as something suitably GoT.  I couldn't figure out how to work the gratuitous nudity angle.   ;)

      •  This. (3+ / 0-)
        If you're still in Season 3, why are you even reading anything in popular media about the show? If you're in catch-up mode, you avoid any mention of it in print - that's just fundamental.
        Additionally, the very first paragraph of this diary pretty much screams "STOP READING NOW BECAUSE I"M TAKING ABOUT SEASON 4 EPISODE 4!"

        Above the fold or not, if you keep reading after that first paragraph without skipping over - that isn't the diarists fault.

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:12:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just checking in for the requisite (15+ / 0-)

    "Why is this on the front page" post.

    I wondered if they would cast Brienne right and I think Gwendoline Christie is perfect.

    She captures Brienne's honor, sadness and  fierceness so well.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:27:54 PM PDT

  •  By the by, (8+ / 0-)

    I'm thankful Bronn/Brawn interjected himself into the Lannister family dysfunction; he gave Jaimie a much-needed smack upside the head. He's been moping about 'cause he's a hero in search of a mission, suddenly he realizes defeating his family is the mission.

    Is that why he regifted his Valerian sword to a commoner---something that would drive Tywin BONKERS. spoilers pls.........

  •  Few things make me jump up in outrage in GOT (7+ / 0-)

    Knowing enough about the story to know some of the outrageous things were coming, so I've mostly not reacted so much to the earlier evils.

    But the mutineers hurting Hodor made me jump and gesture at the screen. I was a little disappointed the white walkers didn't just come in and waste them by the end of the episode. Not sure why that gets me riled up more than anything else.

  •  The series has added quite a bit to the books (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dclawyer06, yawnimawke, SuWho, Dordogne, ER Doc

    The series is still in primarily book 3 "Storm of Swords", and has added quite a lot of subplots to the story, as well as changing details, and enlarging several characters, but has followed the  general outline of the 'saga'. Several of the storylines are different from the books, so it's not entirely like the novels.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:45:41 PM PDT

  •  This just in!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, Vita Brevis, Dirk McQuigley

    Breaking news on GoT - Joeffrey Baratheon is still dead.

    Geez, talk about burying the lede. Come ON, people!!!!

  •  Nobody Remarked On Littlefinger Missing Wedding (7+ / 0-)

    Someone should have mentioned that.

    Anyway, Margaery Tyrell is supposed to be about 19 and she has been widowed by two kings already?  Jeeze, you'd think she'd have enough coin to retire.  But now she has her sights on the youngest Lannister, who has aged about 8 years since last season.  I liked the scene where she snuck in to see him, and by the end he was like "Thank you, God!!!"

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:54:46 PM PDT

  •  having read the books i was surprised by how off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    this episode was. lots of stuff going on here that didn't happen in the book. I can see how they can wrap it back to what George has going on, i was just surprised by what they did. And cersei (in the book), well, she's not a victim which surprised me by how it was portrayed last week. And she is much harsher to jamie as well. This is an aspect that i'm interested in seeing how the screenplay/teleplay writers are going to square with jamie's character especially due to the backlash from last week.

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:58:00 PM PDT

  •  The director says (5+ / 0-)

    last week's Jaime/Cirsei scene was not supposed to be rape.

    Which I guess makes the Red Wedding an assisted suicide, or something.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:58:02 PM PDT

    •  Apparently In The Book She Was The Aggressor (3+ / 0-)

      I've heard that in the book Cersei was like "Here, fuck me at our sons funeral then go kill Tyrion."

      Cersei is much more sick and evil in that light.

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:35:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's kind of odd (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, TKO333

        that two scenes that were portrayed as consensual in the books - Jaime/Cersei and Danaerys with the barbarian husband - were changed into these rapey scenes for TV.

        I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

        by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:37:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's some sense to this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          geordie, ER Doc

          For Danerys with Khal Drogo, in the book she's supposed to be at most 14; the show runners thought, with some justification, that consent just wasn't dramatically probable for someone who's just been sold off like a slave.

          While George Martin isn't responsible for the nasty scene last week, he does point out that in the book version, Jaime arrives in King's Landing only after Joffrey dies; it's the first time Cersei has seen him since after Ned Stark was arrested.  So screwing in front of the ex-king (as in:  "ex-parrot") makes some sense for the characters.

          But as George likes to put it, there's a "butterfly wing effect" here, since by the time of the wedding, Jaime's been back for weeks, and Cersei's been holding him off the whole time.  So he goes into the sept with different motivations than he does in the book, and so does Cersei.

          I'm not defending how D&D chose to write that scene, but it would need to be different than the book.

          Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

          by mbayrob on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:09:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Martin's thing about very young girls (0+ / 0-)

            is a whole other area of creepiness.  Anyway, I'm not arguing against ever portraying rape, but treat it as such: don't have the victim decide afterward that she wanted it after all, or treat it like it was just an unimportant little oopsie for the perpetrator.

            I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

            by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 09:12:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh come on (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fox Ringo, TKO333

              The books are set roughly in a period similar to Europe's Middle Ages, a time when girls routinely married in their teens, and well born women were promised in arranged marriages before they could walk.

              •  The Middle Ages kinda *were* creepy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and certainly, "childhood" as we like to think of it is a modern thing -- Victorian times and forward.  In pre-modern Europe, children were expected to be more like "mini-adults", and were exposed to things we would not allow today.  The phrase "Think of the Children"?  Well, these people didn't.

                I'm not going to psychoanalyze George Martin, though.  Although, remember: he did make his choice of subject matter :-)

                Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

                by mbayrob on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:40:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  It reflects the Medieval mores (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              There is a reason why Jews considered 13 the age of maturity when a boy gets  Bar Mitzvahed. People didn't live as long, perhaps only to 30 or 40. That's why Sansa was supposed to be wed to Joffrey when she has her first menses. Rape too was tool of war like the deserters at Craster's Keep, the men at the tavern that Arya and the Hound encounter, and the Dothraki Khallisar.

              These images are supposed to jar our brain much like 12 years a slave did.

      •  no that is not how it is in the books (0+ / 0-)

        As I am so tired of arguing about last week's scene, I'm not going to go into it, but you heard wrong.

    •  I Thought It Was Clearly Rape (0+ / 0-)

      But I was surprised by a female friend's reaction.

      Since it was so controversial, I asked her what she thought about the scene? And she seemed surprised that I called it "rape." Her interpretation of it was that on some level Cersei wanted to have sex, and that Cersei's sobbing and resistance was grief for Joffrey and the situation (which is similar to how the scene plays in the book).

      However, I think the way the scene plays is clearly a rape, but apparently there are people out there that don't see it that way.

      •  I am one of them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I thought Cersei was playing Jaime, and her protests were about the location, not the act itself.  But I can see the other side - I just saw it differently and it didn't bother me when I watched it.

        Bothered me a lot less than the rape scene at Craster's, which I thought was gratuitous, and Dany's crucifixions of the slavers, which was in character, but oh man that was not pleasant to watch.

      •  Lena Heady's take on it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Here is an interview with the actress about that scene - she says, in part, that "I came from this place of grieving and aneed to feel connected and alive.  This is the only other person she has ever trusted and she's shunned Jaime and he's never stopped loving her.  In that moment she's embracing and rejecting of him in the same breath.."  This captures a lot of what I thought was going on - it's not as simple as "a rape", there's a lot more going on between these two.

  •  I was tired last night...dozed through the middle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    of the show, so thanks for the fill I don't feel the need to watch it on DVR.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:02:13 PM PDT

    •  May want to anyway (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geordie, delphine, ER Doc

      A lot of us thought this was one of the best episodes of what's shaped up to be the best season so far.

      The show, it appears, is starting to get into things that either George Martin has only hinted at, or that George has discussed with show runners Dave and Dan, but is material from after A Dance With Dragons.

      If you're Sullied (i.e., a book reader), there were surprises to be had this time.

      Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

      by mbayrob on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:01:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So far has anyone ever boned Margaery Tyrell? (6+ / 0-)

    Let's see, her first husband was gay, gay, gay.  Husband #2 dies at the wedding and would have  rather tortured people than had sex.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:37:23 PM PDT

  •  I don't think Jaime is "giving up" his honour. (7+ / 0-)

    He's not despairing of this oath - he's trying to fulfill all of his oaths. He's still the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, sworn to protect the King, after all. He can't just go haring off on a personal errand. Remember - the whole "multiple contradicting oaths" angle was a big part of why he gave up on honour nineteen years earlier.

    This time, when multiple oaths contradict, he's trying to fulfill them all. Stay at King's Landing to keep his oath to guard the King, try to be a better knight while he's at it to fulfill that oath whilst at the same time doing his best to help Brienne fulfill a third oath.

    I think it's character development, not despair, that's prompting this - instead of breaking one oath to keep another, he's now looking for ways to keep them all, if only by proxy.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:41:16 PM PDT

  •  Did anyone notice (10+ / 0-)

    ... the huge clue Littlefinger gave Sansa about who his partner-in-crime was? Just as the scene switched to Olenna and Margery, he says to "make a new friendship grow strong." And of course "Growing Strong" is the Tyrell family motto.

  •  Jaime and Oathkeeper (5+ / 0-)

    I think you have this backwards.  Typically, when the writers name an episode, they're making the title mean a little more than obvious.  S04-04 is no exception here.  There are probably 4 "solemn oaths" you can get out of this episode:

    1. Brienne of Tarth keeps her promise to Catelyn Stark.
    2. Jaime also keeps his promise to her, to the extent he can, by refusing Cerse, and by sending Brienne on her way.
    3. Craster's old promise to the Others is kept by Karl, by giving Craster's last son as a sacrifice.
    4. Danerys' promise to the slaves and the slavers, as you correctly point out.

    (3) is probably the most surprising; not all solemn promises are worth keeping, but then, Karl isn't much of a moralist either.

    As Sandor Cleggan, of all people said -- quoting The Wire even -- "Everybody's gotta have a code".  Jaime is not a nice guy.  But he has a code, even if no one believes it.  Yeah, he'll kill his cousin or rape his sister, but he actually does take his promises seriously.

    Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

    by mbayrob on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:55:28 PM PDT

  •  Knights and Squires (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, geordie, ER Doc

    The best squire since Egg and the truest knight since Ser Duncan the Tall are off on new adventures.

  •  Granny Tyrell. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geordie, ER Doc, mythatsme

    Far more bad ass and ruthless than I originally expected.

    And here I expected that it was going to end up being the Red Viper that offed Joffrey.

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:14:45 PM PDT

  •  The Dragons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fox Ringo, ER Doc

    I know it's not exactly crucial, but I do really find the whole dragons thing annoying and somewhat insulting to the intelligence of the viewers.

    I know they are trying to save money on cgi, etc, but at least acknowledge that the dragons still, you know... exist. Come up with some sort of reason they aren't shown at all if suddenly the mother of dragons is suddenly going to have latchkey kids.

  •  Um, Glenn Beck isn't in GOT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's Mormont, not "Lord Mormon." =/

  •  Great episode! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

    by chuckvw on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:27:58 PM PDT

  •  I read the books (4+ / 0-)

    And I'm not sure where all the whining is coming from.

    First, Martin is involved so no one is fucking with his work without his buy in.

    Second, the books are fifty bazillion pages long. Some things have to change just to create a cohesive story that keeps moving.

    Plus some of the straight up changes have addressed issues I had with the books.

    And (spoiler!!!!! SPOILER)

    Did I mention spoiler?
    man I hope there are no circuses in the near future.

    Some things just ain't right.

    •  Werd. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, kcc, geordie


      I realize I'll likely incite more flaming, but Martin is an incredibly overly long winded author. There really isn't any justifiable reason the amount of story he's told so far needed to take up that many pages.

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sven Boogie, northsylvania

      Someone above took issue with my suggestion that the books could use some pruning, on the grounds that he's creating a world, but there are some long dry stretches in there - so I also have little problem with the pruning and most of the changes the show is making.

      Of course, if we lose stuff I really love, I'll probably sing a different tune - and I still want to see what they're going to do next week, as I cannot see how any version of the overall  plot could work with a meeting between Jon and Bran at this point.  But I'll wait and see what they do.

      •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, lonemorriscodem

        Next time someone takes issue with the idea, here's some fun facts:

        The current total for the song of ice and fire series, to date, is:

        4273 pages.

        That's with two books still forthcoming, and if they follow the overall trend, they'll be as long or longer than previous ones.

        For comparison (rough numbers):

        The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy:

        1100-1300 pages (depending on the edition, etc)

        The bible:

        1600-2000 pages

        Entire harry potter series:

        ~4200 pages.

        •  What about (0+ / 0-)

          Wheel of time?  I liked the series but I hate to admit I skipped an entire book and all I apparently missed was a lot of weevils in the food.

          But that has to beat GOT in terms of pages.

          •  ~12,000 pages (0+ / 0-)

            Jordan had plans for several additional prequels and off-main-arc outrigger novels as well.

            I like GRRM better but I've read both (although not the Sanderson completion novels, yet).

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:46:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Nice review! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    I disagree with your take on Lady Olenna. Forgive me if I interpreted you incorrectly.

    How would a woman (at least a highborn one) gain and wield power in Westeros without using sex, at least part of the time? Women who show prowess in martial skills and strength are mocked or shunned by almost all (Brienne). Women with intelligence and cunning are generally ignored or patronized by the men in power (Cersei).

    26 ~ AZ-01 ~ that flagstaff dude on SSP

    by Fox Ringo on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:51:50 PM PDT

  •  I do have a couple of issues with the episode (0+ / 0-)

    While generally I liked the episode and I think they're doing a great job with the books, I hope they have not painted themselves into a corner with some of the plot changes.  Time will tell.

    I also had a couple of specific problems with it - first, why was the crew at Craster's keeping Ghost caged up?  Why didn't they just kill him?  I couldn't really figure that out.  Second, I would have thought the moment that Sam told Jon he had seen Bran at the Wall was worthy of a big reveal - but instead it apparently happened off camera, unless I'm completely spacing on when it did happen in a previous episode?  I thought that was way too casual.

    I know a lot of book readers hated the last scene with the White Walkers, but I'm assuming that Martin reveals it in the 6th book, and even though he can play around with the time frame, the show really can't.  If they have one last baby for a sacrifice, Craster's last son, they pretty much had to go ahead and show it now.  But I don't know if that's the rationale or not.  Either way, I am not much bothered.  Either George gets the books out before the show reaches certain plot points, or he doesn't - I feel for him, though, the pressure now to keep up must be enormous.

    •  Only thing that I found annoying (0+ / 0-)

      was that Brann, having been given a fat lip, was miraculously whole and dewey fresh the next time the camera went his way. That speaks of sloppy direction, something I hope this series doesn't take up as a habit.

      "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

      by northsylvania on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:27:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the summary. (0+ / 0-)

    I only got to see the middle/end because Comcast went dark on me! I will watch the whole episode on demand,but it looks like I didn't miss too much.

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