Game of Thrones "Oathkeeper" Preview: Who Benefits Most from the Chaos in King's Landing?

By Tim Surette

Apr 26, 2014

Game of Thrones S04E04: "Oathkeeper"


Geez, Game of Thrones! We're a mere three-going-on-four episodes into the season and the Seven Kingdoms are already a chaotic mess. Joffrey is dead, a boy who's not even aware of the Birds and the Bees is king, and everyone and their grandmother is trying to figure out who killed Joffery. But "chaos is a ladder," according to one Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, and going into Sunday's new episode, "Oathkeeper," the questions is: Who will benefit most from the disorder that's befallen King's Landing? 

Let's run down the power players:

Tywin Lannister: Even though Joffrey is feeding the worms, Tywin's still in control of King's Landing and the Iron Throne. He just has to train a new puppet, young Tommen. It's a mild annoyance, but he could do pretty well with such a malleable placeholder king. I say he's in a better position than he was before (all he has to do is keep Tommen alive).

Cersei Lannister: The former queen/queen regent (haha, sucker) is watching her power fade. She was shoved aside after Robert's death, and now her eldest son Joffrey is dead and all she can do is watch her dad manipulate people and ignore her. The chaos is not serving her well.

Tyrion Lannister: As the prime suspect in Joffrey's murder and the eyes of the Lannisters, he's totally screwed, no two ways about it. Chaos effect = BAD. 

Margaery Tyrell (and House Tyrell): So, she's sort of queen? But not really? Her only way to guarantee ultimate power for Margaery would be for her to marry *gulp* Tommen. That's gross, but Game of Thrones has done plenty grosser. We may be celebrating Joffrey's death, but the Tyrells—who were so close to half-ownership of the Iron Throne—are bummed. 

Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish: Who knows what this old coot is up to, but it sounds like he's got something in the works. And with Sansa Stark in his clutches, he's got an in on the next rung of the chaos ladder. Chaos is good for pencil 'stache. 

Stannis Baratheon: A few weeks ago, the idea of this poor sap still having a shot at the Iron Throne was laughable—but Joffrey's murder was exactly the miracle/Lord of Light voodoo trick he needed. Davos has a plan to help him gather an army, and chaos could actually help his chances of success. Now if only Melisandre could summon some personality for the curmudgeon. 

Dany: Ummm, Dany doesn't even know what's going on in Westeros, because she's too busy playing chain breaker. Neutral. 

Who do YOU think will benefit most from Joffrey's death? Obviously we'll find out more in "Oathkeeper." Here's the official pre-air synopsis: 

Dany balances justice and mercy. Jaime tasks Brienne with his honor. Jon Snow secures volunteers while Bran, Jojen, Meera, and Hodor stumble on shelter. 

And here's the video preview: 


Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 4, "Oathkeeper," airs Sunday, April 27 at 9pm on HBO. I won't have any press screeners from here on out, but I'll post my review of the episode right here as soon as I get a chance to watch it and compile my thoughts. 


Please, no book spoilers in the comments!


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  • dxnlkiguert9o743t098 Apr 28, 2014

    HOMOoooR *stab*
    Best poofter stab ever!!

  • songokou77 Apr 28, 2014

    This was an amazing GoT episode. One of my favorites. A lot of great scenes and its was so awesome without having to resort to a lot to the WoW factor...although that last scene...

    This episode was so great, as a book fan, because it changed a lot and added some cool things...still...I though we had cold hands just there... :(

  • MintberryCrunch Apr 27, 2014

    Ok last call for TV show only people, who actually did the deed? And how? All the necessary information is contained within the last few episodes. Just remember there might be earlier moments that help in episode 2...that's as spoilerish as I will go.

    I am intrigued as to who or more importantly how you think it was done. However at least part of who was behind it should have been blindingly obvious after the last episode.

  • Kaili_K Apr 27, 2014

    Anyone who paid attention during the second episode knows who actually did the deed.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    I've got to agree. Joffrey managed to offend every single person on that table

    ...and, if she wasn't already offended by Renly, then Cersei found a way to offend Brienne anyway. The killer is probably one of them.

  • Kaili_K Apr 27, 2014

    I mean you could actually see who had the poison. This act was planned beforehand the ceremony.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    True, but I already read the book so I knew exactly where to look.

    Should I have come to the show unspoiled though, I'd have to admit they've done a pretty good job setting up the suspects too.

  • Kaili_K Apr 27, 2014

    If you have seen the episode 3 then you know what to pay close attention to... just a little hint

  • Kaili_K Apr 27, 2014

    It wasn't done by heat of the moment.

  • Kaili_K Apr 27, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • StephanosStav Apr 27, 2014

    Let's say Tommen dies who is the next to become the king? his little sister? ( I didn't read the books just asking to know what's goin on).

  • dxnlkiguert9o743t098 Apr 28, 2014

    Daenerys Stormborn, First of her name, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of chains is QUEEN, its just taking 5 useless fraking seasons to get there!!!!

  • _Fire_Ice Apr 28, 2014

    Haha yes, I love it. Though I have to admit even reading the books I am still unsure whether I trust her in Westeros and as a Queen of Westeros. I would prefer if she stayed where she is, freed all the slaves and ruled over that entire continent. She can leave Westeros to someone else. I just don't think she will ever be accepted by Westeros, and although she was born on Dragonstone she isn't REALLY a true Westorosi in the sense of culture. I also just don't trust the Targaryn madness, which I think she has a touch of.

  • _Fire_Ice Apr 27, 2014

    After Tommen than Marcella would be queen. After that things will get interesting.

  • Talesin23 Apr 27, 2014

    GoT uses the old inheritance rule where male inherit before females.
    Meaning with Joffreys death the order of inheritance would be.
    1. Tommen
    2. Myrcella
    3. Stannis
    4. Shireen

    After that it would be
    5. Daenerys since she is Stannis second cousin

    In Dorne however, both males and females has equal inheritance rights, and the oldest child would inherit first no matter the gender.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    Gendry would fit in their somewhere too, surely he'd have a better claim than Stannis' third cousin.

  • _Fire_Ice Apr 27, 2014

    Gendry is a bastard born, so he doesn't have a claim. At least in the books he doesn't even know he is Robert's bastard, though he might have put it together based on his interaction with another character in the 4th book.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    Not true. Bastards very much come into play. why do you think the Lannisters were so anxious to murder all of Robert's bastards? E.g. The Blackfyre Rebellion was fought around a succession dispute between a legitimate heir and a legitimised bastard.

  • MintberryCrunch Apr 27, 2014

    In Westeros in general no woman can inherit lands or titles, this includes a kingdom. Myrcella, (Tommen's sister) can not inherit the throne. I say in general because in Dorne they allow women to inherit and stand in lines of succession. However this would not apply to the Iron Throne or the seven kingdoms in total.

    If Tommen were to fall down dead, then the throne would pass to Stannis on all accounts, because Robert Baratheon would have no heirs (even the incest born Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella).

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    You're probably right MBC.

  • _Fire_Ice Apr 28, 2014

    I'm not saying bastards don't come into "play," look at Ramsey Snow/Bolton, they can be important in a lot of ways. I am specifically pointing out that while they may be acknowledged and possibly given a title like Ramsey eventually is, even Robert's bastard wouldn't be handed the Iron Throne, especially with so many people already clamouring for it with more legitimate claims. The title bastard can be a real limiting and shameful thing in this world, look at how Jon Snow is treated.
    Also I believe they have Joffery kill Robert's bastards in the show, in the book Cersie is the one to have them all killed. There are like 16 of them, but she doesn't get to kill all of them. Tyrion even puts a stop to it and gets back at a lot of the people involved in it. Even that though seemed more out of spite and to save her own ass, because she didn't want the rumour that Joffery and her kids weren't legitimate to be proven. She didn't want people to go look at Robert's bastards and see the truth of it. In the book they point out that all Robert's bastards look a lot like him and Cersie's kids look nothing like a Baratheon, that is how Jon Arryn and eventually Eddard Stark figured things out in the first place.
    Technically there is someone the show hasn't introduced yet who should be on the Iron Throne, but with out spoilers Stannis should be on the throne as he is the only real heir of Robert due to the fact Tommen and Marcella aren't Roberts biological children, and Westeros doesn't acknowledge a bastards right to inherit.
    As for the Blackfyre Rebellion, I'm pretty sure that was the one with Stannis attacking Kings Landing through the harbour and Tywin shows up. That had nothing to do with bastards, it was all about Stannis trying to assert he should be king, as Robert's heir. BUT that is only because he knew the truth about Joffery, Tommen, and Marcella being products of incest. At that point not many people believed that, it was brushed off as a slander. Thus it wasn't really a fight between an openly legitimate and illegitimate heir, to the rest of Westeros it was a fight between the heir of Robert (Joffery) and his uncle (Stannis).

  • ben45tpy Apr 28, 2014

    No the Blackfyre rebellion occurred many many years before the events of the books, even before Robert's Rebellion. It even occurred before the Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas.

    Killing all the bastards isn't really about covering up incest. That's a part of it but without reading the extensive histories that Jon Arryn and Ned did the hair colour of a couple of bastards means little. Plus the incest thing was already becoming known around Kings Landing at the time the deaths were ordered and by the time many of the deaths were being carried out Stannis' letters about this had been widely disseminated. So Cersei/Joffrey were not concealing the incest so mucn as removing people with a greater claim to the throne than Cersei's children.

    Another example of bastards being claimants to power in the books is [SPOILER] when Stannis offers Jon the North due to his Stark lineage [END SPOILER]

    At the current stage of the show the number of claimants has dwindled significantly so a person like Gendry who actually has Robert's blood would be a strong claimant if he were to come into the fray. Blood is VERY important to monarchists.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    I believe Myrcella would be the next in line (she's Tommen's older sister - middle child) as long as everyone ignores the whole incest thing.

  • _Fire_Ice Apr 29, 2014

    Ok I haven't read the novellas yet, and for some reason I am drawing a blank on this Blackfyre rebellion, what book was it and what was it about? But also in the books I thought I remembered Robert's bastards being killed pretty quickly after Robert died. And although the incest thing was being spread by Stannis it was my understanding that a lot of people just thought it was political slander, which Cersei also was doing regarding Shireen and Patchface and Stannis' wife. (Also sorry I keep replying on your other posts for some reason I can't reply to your reply). But I appreciate that I can actually discuss this with someone, I don't know anyone else who has read the books and the show is killing me with all the changes. Especially the rape scene and the most recent episode with Ghost and Summer. But back to bastards, maybe I interpreted it wrong and she was killing them out of fear of their claim. But I just don't see a bastard sitting the throne, mainly because none of the ones we've meet really have any backing or knowledge on how to rule. Except Jon, whom I am thinking/wishing his mother and father are certain characters, I'm sure you can figure out who I'm referring to. (Sorry trying not to give out spoilers). But point taken about the bastards, I'm sure it is possible if they would pick one and some major power got behind them, I just don't see it happening.

  • ben45tpy Apr 29, 2014

    I think I know what you mean about Jon. As to which books had the Blackfyre Rebellion, it's tricky when it's mostly alluded to in passing. It's covered best in the novellas, especially The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight. According to 'A Wiki of Ice and Fire' it's also mentioned in Davos and Tyrion chapters of aSoS and a Barristan chapter of aDwD.

  • _Fire_Ice May 01, 2014

    Ok I think I remember what the rebellion is, if it is the one I think Barristan talked about in aDwD.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    Myrcella is older than Tommen on the show, if she was next in line she would be Queen by now.

    Otherwise, this would be the Stannis vs Renly debacle all over again.

  • Brady120 Apr 27, 2014

    Myrcella is passed up because she is a female. In Dorne, however, women are not passed up and Myrcella would be the new Queen. But King's Landing rules apply and therefore Tommen is king.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    I can't reply to this without spoiling the books, sorry.

  • beeMikeB Apr 26, 2014

    * Tywin's not better off. Since becoming Hand of the King, when has Joffrey opposed Tywin? Tywin was actually running the kingdom. Joffrey was mostly having fun being King.

    - Tyrion is Tywin's only "intelligent" child. Cersei wanting Tyrion dead isn't good for Tywin. Jaime is not going to want Tyrion to die and now things are fraying between Cersei and Jaime.

    Tywin is clearly in a worse position. Tommen it seems will be a gullible, pliable, and weak King. For all the awfulness of Joffrey, Joffrey is the most responsible for securing the crown for the Lannister family. He killed all of Robert's bastard children -- that he knows of, his actions ultimately decimated the Stark family. And, really, why would any King not kill a very powerful Lord, one's own Hand of the King, who says to the King's Court -- and the world -- that that King is not the rightful King.

    * If Stannis fights against the Lannister family, that's simply more good news for Daenerys.

    Daenerys is who has most benefited from the War of the Five Kings. Instead of having to fight against a united Westeros and all the armies of Westeros, she will only have to fight against those still alive. Her conquest of the Seven Kingdoms will be much easier than Aegon's.

    - The White Walker threat - there are the Knight's Watch, the wildings, and the Seven Kingdoms. Dany has dragons and can simply easily burn all the white walkers.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    Joffrey and Tywin were frequently butting heads. Tywin was outraged that Joffrey killed Ned Stark. Tywin called Joffrey a bad king. The person responsible for killing Robert's bastards was almost certainly Cersei. How would Joffrey have known about them? He certainly also would not have known then (or perhaps ever) the importance of the bastards and that he was a child of incest. The more malleable the king the more powerful Tywin is as hand of the king. Saying Tywin is in a worse position is nonsense.

    As for dragons vs white walkers, who can say which creatures would have an advantage? White walkers are pretty powerful. I hope its a good contest.

  • tdm260 Apr 28, 2014

    Joffrey did know. He asked Cersei if the rumors about her and Jaime were true and what did Ned Stark mean when he said he wasn't the rightful king. Once he learned the truth, Joffrey decided to kill all of the children so that no one could contest his ruling through Robert's bastards. Cersei admitted to Tyrion later that it wasn't her decision, but Joffrey's to kill the children. That's when she admitted that her child had become a monster.

  • beeMikeB Apr 27, 2014

    * Tywin wasn't Hand of the King when Joffrey beheaded Eddard Stark.

    * Joffrey is responsible for killing the bastards of Robert. You need to re-watch whatever series that happened in.

    * Joffrey knew about the bastards because he's not an idiot. He knew Robert had a lot of sex with people who weren't Cersei. Joffrey also mostly murdered the bastards because of the "child of incest" rumors that Eddards Stark started.

    - So, you simply don't remember key parts of this series.

    * I detailed why Tywin is currently in a worse position. You don't even remember this series.

    * Dragons can fly. White Walkers die from fire. The White Walkers have zero advantage over the dragons.

    - Also, the White Walkers are kinda overestimated as a threat. Just make a bunch of wildfire and use it to to kill the White Walkers.

  • stanking Apr 27, 2014

    Yep, I'm with ben45tpy here. Joffrey was an ongoing disaster and a ticking time bomb. Much of the work Tywin and Tyrion had to do in King's Landing was cleaning up after Joffrey's crap. Tywin is trying to consolidate the Lannister hold on Westeros, all while Joffrey was determined to make everyone hate his regime. (Not a lot of people crying in King's Landing, you notice.) A puppet king like Tommen is much easier to manage or work around. And Tywin told Tommen outright that Joffrey wasn't a good king.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    Leave to Tywin to make a fundametal truth sound like a death threat.

    If, for some reason Tommen wasn't planning to be a good King before, he's certainly planning to be a good King now.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    I've double checked and you're right, Joffrey did order the the murders of the bastards in the show, I was confused because in the books it was Cersei. Your other points are still incorrect. Tywin was the the only official Hand of the King under Joffrey's reign, although Tyrion acted in his stead for a while. You can argue about whether Joffrey made any good decisions as King but that's irrelevant to Tywin's interests. You're suggesting that Tywin having a King following his every command without question puts him in a worse position than having a stronger willed King who defies him, that is nonsense.

  • ben45tpy Apr 29, 2014

    You're being wilfully ignorant about the Hands. Ned was arrested as soon as Joffrey became King and was never his Hand. And of course Tyrion acted in his father's stead, Tywin specifically ordered him to Act in the position in the Season 1 finale but I shouldn't have to tell you that. Did you actually think that Tyrion had the position outright? Why would he? Joffrey or the small council would never appoint him. And I suppose you didn't think it strange when Tyrion's reign as acting Hand ended as soon as Tywin arrived after the Battle of Blackwater. So now you are both wilfully ignorant and nonsensical.

  • beeMikeB Apr 29, 2014

    * Ned Stark was King Joffrey's Hand of the King, then Tyrion Lannister was, then Tywin Lannister was.

    * The question is whether Tywin is better off after Joffrey's death and the answer is he isn't. Tywin's power largely comes from his children and currently his children are a mess.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    Not with Osha by Rickon's side: if they left before Jon headed to Catle Black last season, they are already at the Umber's by now.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    But there's a big chance their plans went awry. I'll wait for confirmation from the show.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    He must have, he and Osha left the night before Jon headed to Castle Black and he has been there for a long time (so long his trial is finished, Janos Slyth already got there, and so did Gremm and Ed from Crasters).

    By all means, Rickon and Osha must be at the Umbers by now.

    Bolton has just sent Locke to the wrong place for them.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    Do we know if Rickon has made it to the Umber's yet? I don't remember.

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    It's important to keep our books separated from the show, if only because

    • Rickon wasn't safe at the Umbers with Osha at this point,
    • Loras wasn't engaged to marry Cersei at all,
    • Gilly never went to the town near Castle Black at this point,
    And these little small things change the whole political picture as we know it.

  • greenbud Apr 27, 2014

    i'm pretty sure good ol' Joffrey owned up to the murder of all Robert's bastards in the first or second season

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    Technically, he didn't.

    His mom admitted she couldn't control him and Tyrion figured out it was Joffrey, and not Cersei, who gave the order.

  • JenMo73 Apr 26, 2014

    The Tyrells, Tywin and Littlefinger are in a great position to gain more power. However the more power you gain the more you can lose.

  • Rndm Apr 26, 2014

    Promo video above around second 30, could that finally be Coldhands?

  • EsmeBuffay Apr 26, 2014

    Not likely, Coldhands doesn't have blue glowing eyes like other Wights or Others, his eyes are described as black in the books, I assume it's important to why he's not like other wights so I can't see them changing it. It could however be a part of how Bran meets Coldhands, their meeting's already happened in the books so how they meet in the show is still yet to be determined, he could come in and save them during an attack.

  • ionee24 Apr 26, 2014

    I'm thinking the Tyrells are in the exact same situation as before Joffrey's death, if Loras doesn't marry Cersei then Margaery is going to marry Tommen, which was the same as before: if Margaery didn't marry Joffrey, then Loras was going to marry Cersei.

    Tywin is in a more solid position now that Tommen is more controllable, but still has one son in jail and the other resfuses to keep on his legacy.

    Cersei is ruined, whether she marries or not. Papa Lannister calls the shots.

    So Stannis, Daenerys, Mance Rayder and the Greyjoys are the ones that improve their odds.

    If only because Tommen is younger and therefore more vulnerable than Joffrey right now.

  • MintberryCrunch Apr 27, 2014

    What do you mean by " if Loras doesn't marry Cersei then Margaery is going to marry Tommen, which was the same as before: if Margaery didn't marry Joffrey, then Loras was going to marry Cersei."?

    If Loras doesn't marry Cersei? Neither wants it but it's always been happening.
    If Margaery didn't marry Joffrey? But they did and were to be fully married.

  • ReeNee3120 Apr 26, 2014

    Im pointing the finger at Lord Baelish. He gets rids of Joffrey, probably for a price, and Tyrion gets excuted for it which frees up Sansa. This reeks of a well planned scheme by littlefinger.

  • ionee24 Apr 26, 2014

    A scheme in which he wins...Sansa? She comes with no land and no right to Casterly Rock without Tyrion's baby. She defeinitely has zero right to the thone.

    The North is in charge of Bolton and Ramsay, including Winterfell. And everything they don't control yet is in charge of the Greyjoys.

  • Rndm Apr 26, 2014

    With Robb dead, and Bran and Rickon presumed dead, she is the heiress to Winterfell. And most Northeners would gather behind a Stark banner.
    She is the Key to the North as Tywin called her. With Sansa her crazy aunt (his crazy wife), he has influence over two Kingdoms already (the Vale and the North). He himself is Lord of Harrenhal and Lord Paramount of the Riverlands (oh, did I mention Sansa's mother was a Tully?), that makes it three. Robert's rebellion just had one Kingdom more. His hand is far from weak, he is sitting on a very strong draw.

  • ionee24 Apr 26, 2014

    Not the Stark bannermen that died at The Red Wedding, certainly not the Stark bannermen that left Robb before that, and most certainly not the Stark bannermen that quit on him when he killed Karststark.

    The situation is even more grim that on the books, where Sansa indeed had a shot because Osha didn't take Rickon - and his direwolf - to the Umbers before the end of last season.

    If there's any bannermen still alive that's loyal to the Starks, they will rally behind Rickon (not Lady Lannister).

  • ionee24 Apr 27, 2014

    The Boltons and the Umber, Osha & Rickon left before Jon got back to Castle Black last season.

    By all means, they should be there by now.

  • ben45tpy Apr 27, 2014

    The Bolton's power comes from the assumption that all of Ned Stark's legitimate sons are dead. Blood lines are very important in Westeros. Until it is common knowledge that Bran and/or Rickon are still alive then at what point Osha took Rickon is irrelevant. Currently only the Bolton's know they may be alive. For the rest of the continent Bran and Rickon are presumed dead making Sansa the heir presumptive of the North. That makes her strategically important.

  • Rndm Apr 26, 2014

    Disagree. Northeners will think of it, as it was. A forced a marriage. I don't think any Umber would refer to her as Lady Lannister.

  • ionee24 Apr 26, 2014

    Once again, the only ones who know Sansa is still a maid are Sansa and Tyrion.

    The rest of the world only see Rickon Stark, the last male heir of House Stark and his trusted sevants vs Lady Lannister.

  • Rndm Apr 26, 2014

    Most Northeners lost family members at the Red Wedding. Do you think the Mormonts, the Manderlys, or the Umbers wouldn't pick up arms to retaliate on the Boltons and the Freys? Not to mention the Reeds, who are fiercely loyal to the Starks (Howland was more than a bannerman to Ned). And with Tyrion gone, Sansa still being a maiden, I couldn't see a reason for LF to dissolve that marriage.

  • ionee24 Apr 26, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • edge1710 Apr 26, 2014

    I recon it benefits does that do not have their power base in KL the most aka Stannis and the Greyjoy's. as long as there is a power vacuum in KL they can't deal with stuff outside KL.

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