Game of Thrones recap: Blue is the Coldest Color

The White Walkers return in a swords-and-sorcery packed hour that would make Tolkien proud (except for maybe that one scene).
Ep. 04 | Aired Apr 27, 2014

STRONG AS OATH: Brienne holds down the ground with her mighty moral compass on 'Game of Thrones'

So Margaery sits there, flattering Tommen with big eyes and dropping promises of their intimate secret life together. He starts gawking at her like she's the best babysitter ever. Frankly, given that he was almost certainly tormented by Joffrey all his life, it's a wonder Tommen is so normal. His conversation with Margaery is suddenly interrupted when even more pussy jumps on his bed -- Tommen's cat. We learn this fellow is named -- and this is just too fantastic -- Ser Pounce. Within a month, I'm betting there will be at least a dozen kittens out there named Ser Pounce.

She convinces Tommen that her little nighttime tuck-in visits will be their little secret. She wisely emphasizes this. Can you imagine Cersei's 100-megaton nuclear reaction if she found out "that slut" Margaery, whom she red-hot hated as Joffrey's betrothed, is now visiting little Tommen's bedchamber at night? Neither can I -- which is why I really hope we get to see that.

Margaery closes her encounter by moving to kiss him on the lips ... then gives him a peck on the forehead instead. Psych, Tommen! Welcome to being played. So smooth; so creepy. Yet it's all tempered by the fact that Margaery is basically a decent person, and probably would be a good queen for not-too-bright Tommen. Certainly she's better than anybody his mother might choose for him. But that's Thrones for you, where once again our opinion of a character's morality shades our reaction to their sins. If her visit was even a sin? Discuss.

Elsewhere: Jaime gives his Valyrian steel sword and a wicked set of black custom armor to Brienne. He says he had to guess her size ("She's just really f--king tall," you imagine him saying). He gives her a mission to find Sansa and return her to her crazy Aunt Lysa, whose effort to sit out the War of Five Kings now looks to make her the host of refugee central.

This is a huge pivot point for Jaime. He chose Brienne over Cersei (who wants him to kill Sansa) and his father (who gave him the sword). He may not be able to free his brother, but he can do this. Brienne is overwhelmed, and looks quite badass in that armor. He also gives her a squire, Podrick, since he's in danger from those who want to pressure Tyion's friend to testify against him.

Brienne gives her sword a name, Oathkeeper, which is also the name of the episode. Jaime seems to understand this name doesn't just reference Brienne's mission, but also honors him and his decision. It's the opposite of what everybody says about Jaime as the Kingslayer. Brienne says she will find Sansa for Lady Catelyn -- and for Jaime. It's a heavy moment between them. They're so bursting with suppressed emotion, they look like they're about to have a mutual respect-gasm.

This sequence might be the most Tolkien-esque, high-fantasy moment we've ever had on the show: The underdog is given a sword with special power, armor, a squire (who gets an ax), and a mission to save a damsel in distress. Jaime tells Brienne goodbye, and we get the distinct impression that he believes strongly he'll never see her again. It's hard to find bad performances in Thrones, but in this episode it's hard to find a better one than Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's.

NEXT: How do you like Jaime now?

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