NOTE: Spoilers

If there's one thing both viewers and readers of the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire series should now realise, it's that the on-screen series can deviate from the story played out on paper with great success and without tarnishing the plot that came before it.

"I recognise him" I thought for a split second before realising that the Night's Watch was being infiltrated by the Man-At-Arms Locke, sworn to House Bolton, who chopped off Jaime Lannister's hand. He's there to put an end to any remaining Stark threat, and Jon Snow is clearly in his sights as he earns the trust of the bastard-born and vows to join him on his journey to Craster's Keep.

Credit: Sky Atlantic

It's a journey that's sanctioned by current Acting Lord Commander Alliser Thorne, who tells Jon he will be allowed to go on his journey to capture or kill those who took part in the mutiny at Craster's Keep, but he'll have to rally up volunteers to join him.

Just one episode was to bridge the gap between Joffrey's poisoning and the reveal of who killed him. As Sansa questions her new captor/helper (depending on how you want to look at it), Littlefinger informs her that they're headed to The Eyrie where he will marry her Aunt Lysa, and that whilst he had a hand in the King's death as she suspects, so did she. The necklace she was wearing was missing a stone before it was tossed overboard, and in that stone was the poison that brought Joff's reign to an end.

Cut to Lady Olenna taking another walk with Margaery Tyrell before she hints at (and reveals to the audience) that she would never have let her marry such an awful boy. The Queen of Thorns has played the game of thrones well, and she's now set to return to Highgarden leaving Tyrion behind, likely to be charged as Joffrey's killer.

I'll be sad to see Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna go if she truly does return to Highgarden. She constantly manages to steal the show but hopefully if she does depart, it'll mean we get some scenes of her in the regional capital of The Reach. 

Olenna plants the seed in her granddaughter's head that she must use now as the time to prove she would be a fantastic wife for the new King in waiting, Tommen. This encourages her to visit him at night, where she begins to groom the young boy before Cersei has the chance to poison his mind against her.

"When we marry I become yours, forever." she whispers before landing a kiss on his forehead. As much as she's one of the more loveable characters, Margaery comes across as a little sinister and predatory in this scene.

Finally visited by Jaime after the Kingslayer has a brief chat with Bronn, Tyrion and his brother once again prove just how much love they have for one another.

Credit: Sky Atlantic

Cersei later calls on her brother and lover to visit her, scolding him for not protecting Joffrey, demanding Tommen have more people guarding him and berating him at every given opportunity. She hates Tyrion so much - I think she realises that he isn't guilty herself - but she will do anything, just like her father Tywin, to secure his death and that of Sansa Stark.

Jaime then sends Brienne on a mission and hands her the Valyrian sword he was gifted by his father, as well as a brand new set of armour that he had made especially for her. He wants her to find Sansa and ensure she's kept safe, and he has a companion for her - Tyrion's squire Podrick. As the two trot off into the distance, Jaime looks pained to say his goodbyes to the woman who's brought the best out of him, and when he asks for Brienne to name her sword, she replies 'Oathkeeper'.

Credit: Sky Atlantic
Credit: Sky Atlantic

Again, the Daenerys story isn't doing much for me at the moment. I understand her need to rule but is she slowly becoming an unlikeable and dare I say it - unbearable character? She's unwilling to listen to reason, threw away Ser Barristan's words of wisdoms as quickly as she would Daario's life - and just where are her dragons as of late?

Credit: Sky Atlantic

That being said, the city of Meereen is a beautiful one and the set is simply fantastic. As the slaves stood up to the masters in their first successful revolt, it was nice to see the good guys coming out on top for once in the GoT universe.

At Craster's Keep, those who betrayed the Night's Watch are running wild, raping Craster's daughter wives and drinking as much wine as they can get their hands on.

Karl seems to be at the head of the group and it's clear that those around him wouldn't dare oppose him or go up against him.

Credit: Sky Atlantic

As the final Craster child is born, the women inform Karl and his followers that this boy will be an offering to 'the Gods' - who he knows are the White Walkers.

Bran, Hodor and the Reeds then stumble upon the Keep after hearing the baby crying outside, and when Bran shifts into Summer's body he realises his brother's wolf Ghost has been captured just before Summer herself falls into a trap.

Heading to the shelter, the four aren't sure what action to take but are swiftly captured by the men who now hold the area, brought inside and presented to Karl who wastes no time in threatening their lives and demands to know who they are.

Credit: Sky Atlantic

Jojen begins to convulse and as his sister pleads to help him, Bran reveals his identity before it's too late.

Outside, the baby's screams have stopped. He's been scooped up by one of the Walkers and is being taken across the Frozen Sea, before we get a glimpse of something we've not yet seen on the show.

The Walker places the newborn onto an icy altar, and the shadows of Walkers are shown - could this be where they call their Keep? A new face of blue touches the child lightly just under his eye, and the baby's eyes change to match those of the Walkers we've seen.

Whilst there is no sign of the brilliant Arya/Hound duo this episode, no Stannis and none of the charismatic Prince Oberyn, it was another strong offering from a series that continues to impress.

Game of Thrones continues next Monday at 9pm on Sky Atlantic and Sky Atlantic HD.

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