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'

Question: Coming after last week's controversial rapecest scene, how do you feel about Jaime? Last week, I disagreed with those who felt Jaime's actions were totally out of character. I suspect the producers would argue (they've been silent on this subject) that a convincing and interesting redemption story is not told in a straight line. And that would be quite logical. Yet after this week, I find myself leaning more towards those who felt the rape scene was ill considered, because there was no apparent follow-up or consequence to it. I can imagine all of Jaime's scenes this week -- including the one with Cersei -- playing the exact same way without last week's violence. And speaking of...

Craster's Keep: From that warm, uplifting, heroic scene, we go to a depiction of evil debauchery the likes of which we'd never see in The Shire. Brutality, drinking wine from a skull and, yes, more rape. The Night's Watch mutineers are cavorting like winter is never coming.

The wives/daughters of Craster have gone from being abused by one horrible old man to being abused even worse by a gang of young outlaws. This sequence bothered me far more than last week's Jaime/Cersei scene. The Lannister brother and sister are murderers with a twisted incestuous relationship. These battered, dead-eyed victims are disturbing. To make matters worse, they have to listen to their captor monologue about his glory days as a hired killer in King's Landing.

That guy's name is Karl, a name I double checked with HBO because it sounded so un-Thrones; we getting Ser Brian next? Outside, they have Jon Snow's direwolf Ghost in a cage, and I'm surprised they haven't eaten it yet. Or raped it. Or both.

Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds find Craster's house, then get captured by the mutineers. Karl torments them until Bran declares, "I'm Brandon Stark of Winterfell!" which is a relief. But what will the mutineers do with them? Will Jon Snow rescue Bran and be reunited with his brother? We have been set up for so many Stark family reunions fake-outs, are we being teased with another near miss?

The last of Craster's babies is born, and one of the mutineers puts it out in the snow to sacrifice it to the "gods." A White Walker scoops it up. You've wondered what happens to Craster's babies. Why do the White Walkers take them? Where do White Walkers come from? Thrones gives us answers when we least expect it.

NEXT: Why I wish White Walkers were not in this story

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