Monday, April 28, 2014

Game of Thrones Reviews: "Oathkeeper"

Kit Harrington, looking confused as usual.
Daenerys finally seizes the city of Meereen and vows to meet injustice with justice. Meanwhile, Jaime continues to struggle with his loyalties and tasks Brienne to find and protect Sansa Stark. In the North, Jon rallies together a number of volunteers for his assault on the mutineers who currently hold Craster's Keep while Bran, Jojen, Meera, and Hodor find themselves in serious trouble.

"Oathkeeper", like most of the episodes we've seen so far this season, spends most of its time setting up for things to come in the hopefully near future. However, this is easily one of the tightest episodes of this season so far due to the running theme of loyalty and justice that seems to be present throughout the different segments. The episode moves at a brisk pace that moves the story elements forward while keeping the viewer enthralled. 

The acting continues to be as solid as ever. While everyone does an excellent job, I was particularly impressed with Gwendoline Christie and Natalie Dormer's performances as Margaery Tyrell and Brienne of Tarth. Like many of the actors and actresses on Game of Thrones, Christie and Dormer embody their characters perfectly. Dormer knows how to capture the elements that make us like Margaery, but also question her ultimate motives and wonder what she's really up to. While she is only on screen for two short scenes, Christie easily makes the most out of that small amount of time by capturing Brienne's nobility and continues to have excellent chemistry with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

However, "Oathkeeper" falters due to the long shadow cast by the controversy surrounding last week's "Breaker of Chains". Many viewers, myself included, wondered if Game of Thrones would actually show the repercussions of Jaime's rape of Cersei last episode. While their scene this episode shows tension between the two, it feels like the same tension that's been presence since "Two Swords". While I liked the rest of Jaime's scenes this episode, his actions in "Breaker of Chains" continued to rear their ugly heads and prevented me from fully enjoying them. Based on Graves' comments about the rape scene, I feel like I will have to pretend that scene didn't happen. 

Although the episode is somewhat weakened by the extremely problematic elements from the previous one, "Oathkeeper is still a solid episode that possesses a brisk pace and keeps the audience entertained. While it isn't as strong as "The Lion and the Rose", its easily one of the best episodes this season. Hopefully, the remaining six are at least this good.