Editor’s Note: “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode listed. If you have not watched the episode written about, you have been warned. But as Matt has not read the books (as of yet), you do not have to worry about future spoilers.
The Eye of Newb (Return of the Newb)
Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 4: Oathkeeper
“The Kingslayer Brothers. Do you like it? I like it.”- Tyrion Lannister
So-o, Dear Readers, yer man here, one Faithful Newb, enters this evening’s viewing steeped in hope. Hopefully there will be no more forcible rape of siblings beneath stained glass. Hopefully there will be less Tarley and more Baelish, as well. Lastly, and over all, I sincerely hope that some of the lovely plates arrayed around the table in last week’s episode might, just might, bear consumable fruit this week. Oh, and less Tarley. Not being redundant, merely emphatic.
Least the plate-harvesting (again, hopefully) commence… off we go!
- Fire! We begin with fire. Somewhere, Beavis is cackling. And right and now, Grey Worm is haltingly learning a new language under the kind but insistent tutelage of Dany’s handmaiden. No, that’s not a metaphor. He also appears to have huge righteous indignation and manslaughter issues – woe to the Masters.
- Speaking of the lovely Dany, she arrives for a quick QC check and ominously declares it to be time. Time for what?
- Time for nocturnal subterfuge and insurgency-feeding is what! Well played, Danaerys. Very well played. Arm the slaves of Meereen, avoid losses and build buy-in for a fetching, blonde new ruler. Most importantly, create acres of shared culpability for revolt and murder. You’re getting very good at this game, young lady.
- Bummer of an evening to be a Master of Meereen, though. Kinda of a dove-in-the-wedding-pie feeling, if you catch my drift.
- Yet again, our lovely Dany is worhsipped as a liberator, and by my count she hasn’t been forced into nudity to gain an advantage or prove a point once this season. That’s progress, even for a wandering queen.
- Whoa. Public crucifixion for the Masters, eh? We’re going old school. Nice. A lingering question, for the Newb anyway, is whether this is the first flare-up of the condition known as Baratheon’s Disease… great warrior, legendary liberator, skilled leader and atrociously inept ruler. In any case, Plate Number One is down.
- We slip away across the Narrow Sea to the One-Handed Wonder and Bronn sparring on the schtupp-me balcony once more. Jaime seems to be improving, but still unable to spot the golden knockout punch coming. Heh.
- A bit of steel sparring begets a bit of verbal sparring and births one major hanging question… will Jaime indeed fight for his imprisoned little brother against the wishes of his Lover-Sister? No joy on Plate Number Two… only more questions.
- Off to the dungeons and Jaime actually visiting Tyrion. That’s a good start. Maybe Plate Number Two was just delayed? Oooooh… so the incestuous nature of the deceased King Junior Sadist is now out in the open, at least among one generation of the Lannisters. Line of the night to Tyrion.
- Dear God, Jaime, we’re all somebody important. We’re all gentle snowflakes. Are you really this thick? The Imp may be a (sob) dead man without your help. Don’t let pesky things like your title and treason stand in the way.
- And we close with a very quizzical insight from Tyrion about Sansa not being a killer – yet. Foreshadowing? Perhaps, but Plate Number Two remains stubbornly set.
- I guess we’ll find out about Sansa, as we shoot back waterward to that selfsame Poor, Poor, Pitiful One aboard Baelish’s ship. Sad, dear thing – shuffled from one captivity to another. At least Littlefinger’s plan does promise her greater safety than within a thousand yards in any direction of Cersei.
- Aha!! Littlefinger admits his role in killing Joffrey! My suspicions were totally wrong. I pegged Dame Tyrell for that deed. Something about that wedding speech was just too heavy-handed. Alas, Plate Number Three is down, but down the wrong tube. I choked a bit on that one.
- Nice line from Baelish – almost the line of the Night, Friends: “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects.” I suspect he has that embroidered on something dear to his heart. Perhaps the corpse of the first small animal he killed.
- Damn! And there it is. The Tyrell connection. Baelish may have killed Joffrey, but he did so for his new reasonable and predictable ‘friends’. My suspicions were well-founded anyway, if errant.
- Yes!! Sorry – the scene is the Ladies Tyrell chatting in the garden at King’s Landing. The ‘Yes!!’ is because I WAS right about Dame Tyrell! She did kill Joffrey, and in his inimitable way, Baelish enabled the crime. And it only took 4 or 5 viewings of his death to figure it out.
- Got lost in my triumph there, Friends, the other key reveal in the senior Tyrell’s prattling is that she was an OG – Original Gold-digger – and she’s trained her daughter to be even better at it than she was. These two are hell on wheels when it comes to poor, unsuspecting royals. In short, her newly de-Queened daughter has a new way forward to the throne – straight through sweet little Tommen. That boy won’t know what hit him.
- Of, course, per my prior rantings, this means I have to give big hugs to Dame Tyrell and Littlefinger. And then check my back for daggers, and move on. Plate Number Three well and truly down, and oh, so satisfying. Gonna need my stretchy viewing pants in a minute here.
- A hard cut follows… back north to Castle Black and more swordplay. Sno-Tep is in his element, training men to fight honorably and effectively against duel-wielding savages. At least there’s minimal guttural dialogue.
- Wait a minute. That rat-faced dude over there is Bolton’s Pet Rat, the one sent ot find and eliminate Bran, Rickon and possibly Sno-Tep himself. Not good.
- It is nice to see that despite the shifting fates in Westeros, some things are constant. Thorne still sports a hard-on for our beloved cardboard cutout. Jon has grown a bit more mature, at least, as evidenced by his non-pouty stepping away from this challenge.
- As he does so, Thorne and his right-hand man plot and scheme, convincing each other that maybe Karl and the rest of the Craster Corral Mutineers might solve the Jon Snow problem for them.
- Eeesh. It’s all 31 flavors of slimy and awful to watch Locke, Bolton’s Pet Rat, sidle up Jon like a buddy. It makes me want to yell at the TV and I don’t even like that Nedly Bastard.
- Cut away to Cersei and her ever-present glass of Bordeaux… and her Brother-Lover-Rapist (?). The referential titles are getting all swimmy and disorienting now.
- These two Lannister sibs sure are all formal and testy tonight, and for once I can’t quite bring myself to blame Cersei. (Gah! That last sub-clause seared my soul to utter, if I’m honest.)
- Yeah, that’s better. Calling Sansa a “murdering little bitch” melts away any and all inklings of sympathy I may or may not admit to having felt for the former Queen Regent. She sure has turned her legendary chilliness on her Sibling-With-Benefits-Perpetrator. (Nah, that title’s even worse.)
- Switch to Tommen’s darkened bedchamber and the younger of the Tyrell OGs sneaking in to ply him with sweet nothings. Or just talk. In a caring and sincere way. So, that was much less sickening than it could have been – and in the end, Tommen is completely smitten. Yet another Plate is set.
- We cut away to Jaime and Brienne considering that infernal book with such a short entry about the Kingslayer we saw earlier in the season. Brienne brings so much honor and gravitas to just about any scene she’s end. Listen to the Newb, right? I think I may the smitten one. Whatever, I’m all in for this scene already.
- Wow. Just wow. Gifting Brienne not only his Valyrian blade but a completely awesome new set of plate armor is a great start to redemption and a bigger entry in the book, in my view. So is following both up with a quest to find and defend Poor, Poor, Pitiful Sansa – in direct contravention of the earlier order dispensed by his Familial-Snugglebunny. (Pah! Blech! Spit that one out and throw it away, Friends. The term ‘snuggle’ should, never, ever be associated with Cersei.)
- Whaaat? One final gift, and a perfect one, at that. Pod and Breinne will ride out together, thereby keeping Pod safe on the quest to keep Sansa safe. Not to mention the image of supreme Loyalty and devout Honor riding side-by-side. The final gift, courtesy of the Imp, puts a fine point on it all.
- And that backwards glance confirms that, on some level, Brienne does love Jaime. It’s a damn shame that his sister corrupted him first.
- Ergh. Away to… The Tarley. Damn you, Producers. Damn you.
- And courtesy of the Tarley and his amplified bewilderment, Locke now knows where Bran and Rickon might be – which leads him, of course, to pop up as a volunteer when Sno-Tep is oh, so generously given leave to mount a sortie to the Craster Corral. Yet another Plate set for future consumption.
- Off to a skull, and Newman! Sorry, no, I meant Karl! Oh, no he didn’t. That prick just quaffed from Lord Mormont’s dead skull. And he’s authorized the mass rape of Craster’s remaining daughters, as well? Needs. To. Die. In a pool of his own intestines.
- The daughters herald the arrival and anticipated dispatch of Craster’s last son. I have come to see that babies, in particular, have it extremely rough in this here patch of Westeros. Poor little dude.
- Karl’s harangued henchman wanders out to abandon the bawling infant and feed the caged direwolf – I think it’s Sno-Tep’s wolf… Winter, maybe? Don’t tease the huge canine death machine, you idiot! No, wait – do. Tease him until he rips your damn throat out. Or perhaps the Walkers will get you first, given the rapidly freezing puddle and the cawing.
- Cut to Bran, Hodor and the rest of the ‘Lil Rascals gathered around yet another fire. Lotta fires in this episode, I’m noticing. Winter is coming, I suppose.
- Uh-oh. That same baby’s cries reach the ‘Lil Rascals lair. They are clearly very close to Casa de Craster. This random and troubling stimulus lead Bran to feed his addiction and warg straight into Summer for a quick peek. And lead the direwolf directly into a trap , but not before she spies Ghost in a cage. Yep, these kids are danger close to Karl and Mutineers (M, u, t… T? A drink with jam and bread… i, n, e… ‘E is a right bastard that one…e, r, s… S? Hmm, can’t quite make that work. Worth a try, tho.)
- Bran, oh, Bran. Why must you be damn Nedly? You’ve led your whole merry bad into a trap. Hodor is being stabbed like a dancing bear, and Karl is alternately fondling and slapping children. Not at all cool.
- Of course, suffering from an advanced case of Nedliness, Bran reveals his identity to save his traveling companions. And the main course is now well and truly set. I wonder what accident might befall Karl when Sno-Tep gets here. No I don’t. Broadsword through the throat is my first guess. The question is, after that’s done, will the dense and largely unperceptive cardboard cutout realize that his semi-sibling is still in mortal danger from the Pet Rat?
- But that’s for later. For now, we sweep away to the snowy plains, a gruesomely undead mare, and our little lost babe-in-the-literal-woods. He’s now wrapped in the crackly arms of a Walker (the White variety, not the flesh-frenzied zombie kind… but you knew that already).
- Wait, wait, wait just a freakin’ minute. What is this place? Where’s the ghost of Jor-El? Why is Darth Maul’s uglier – and much paler – brother touching infants inappropriately and making their brown eyes blue? I thought only Crystal Gale was capable of such dark witchcraft. Basically, W. T. F.?!?
- I am so confused and rattled at this point, I have no choice but to hang for next week. Thus, I remain your Faithful – and slightly fetal after that last bit – Newb.