This week's episode shares its name with Brienne's new sword. Time suggests that by "giving his sword to someone who can use it better and telling Brienne that she at least should keep her own oath," Jaime "can outsource his honor." The A.V. Club writes that for both characters, this promise "is what propels them forward, the constant that gives their lives meaning, even when what drove that oath in the first place is robbed of what it once was." In an interview with HBO.com, writer Bryan Cogman speaks to Jaime's motive: "I don’t know if he thinks it’ll redeem anything, but at least he’s trying to be the writer of his own destiny."
Daenerys Targaryen decides the fate of an entire city this week. In behind-the-scenes commentary on the GOT Viewer's Guide, actress Emilia Clarke discusses Dany's decision to crucify the masters of Meereen: Dany "convinces herself that what she's doing is what any commander would do, but actually it's not what a good leader would do."
The Washington Post argues that "what binds men like Grey Worm to [Dany] so deeply is her impulse to crucify the men who enslaved the Unsullied and call retribution justice." Rolling Stone calls the Grey Worm and Missandei's memories of being enslaved "genuinely heartbreaking," adding that the scene "drives home the loathsomeness of the practice Dany's seeking to destroy, and the real emotional stakes for the people involved."
A real expert at emotional stakes? Margaery Tyrell. "Watching Margaery seduce her next husband-to-be by recognizing that a boy Tommen’s age wants the promise of sex in the future, but the reality of a kiss on the forehead in the present, is a testament to her psychological acumen," the Washington Post notes. Margaery takes after her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, who admits her role in Joffrey's murder, and heads back to Highgarden. "Sharp of tongue, swift of deed and satisfyingly aware that she spent all her time parading around the place gardens, she will be missed," laments the Guardian.
While the Queen of Thorns provided some answers, a larger issue looms over the episode: "Mommy, Daddy, where do White Walkers come from?" quips The Atlantic. Hit Fix comments on the Walkers: "They have powers, and also motives we don't understand, and they're capable of turning the dead back into living weapons, and turning an innocent baby into something far scarier and more tragic." In this week's Inside the Episode, D.B. Weiss confirms suspicions: "The White Walkers are obviously this threat that's looming over the whole world of the show whether or not anybody knows it, we know it."
What were your thoughts on the episode's final scene? Share your opinion in the comments below.
Icing on the Lemoncake
• This week introduced a new fan favorite: Ser Pounce. The A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff is clearly a fan: "Can I suggest a full season of adventures with Ser Pounce as he navigates the city, bringing mice to justice?"
Fans had bolder ideas: