Fair or not, "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" are often lumped together in the same conversation. Both shows air on Sundays, attract huge crowds, and play to the inner-geek in all of us. They're both based on super-popular source material, too. "Walking Dead" tends to deviate from the comic books it's based on more often than not, while "Game of Thrones" is almost slavish in its adherence to the material in George R.R. Martin's decades-old novel series.
That was not the case on last night's "Game of Thrones." The episode, titled "Oathkeeper," took some major departures from the books — the Craster's Keep sequence, and Locke's infiltration into the Night's Watch, are two examples. And then there's the big one: The White Walker ending, which is by far and away the most we've ever seen from the bone-chilling killers beyond the Wall.
In other words, it was an extraordinarily exciting night for book readers and show-only viewers alike. Here are seven of the big questions we're still chewing on this morning.
Did Daenerys Go Too Far?
Sacking Meereen was one thing. Crucifying each and every single slave master? Maybe a little over the line. Is that infamous "Crazy Targaryen" gene rearing its head here? Or was Dany justified in punishing the slavers in such brutal fashion?
Should Littlefinger Stop Talking?
"A man with no motives is a man no one suspects. Always keep your foes confused. If they don't know who you are or what you want, they can't know what you plan to do next." Solid "Survivor" strategy, Littlefinger. Except one problem: You keep spilling all of the beans right in front of Sansa. Underestimating her could be the last mistake Littlefinger ever makes.
What Do We Make of Jaime?
He was the nicest guy in King's Landing this week — until you remember his sexual encounter with Cersei last week. Except, the show didn't seem at all interested in exploring the ramifications of what's easily one of "Game of Thrones'" most divisive scenes ever. How are we supposed to feel about Jaime now, when the writers aren't even acknowledging his brutal actions whatsoever?
Are You Surprised About Olenna?
There's your answer, sports fans. The Queen of Thorns was the one who partnered up with Littlefinger to take out Joffrey. It all happens onscreen, if you care to go back and take a look. The real shocker, though, is how naughty Olenna was once upon a time. Flashbacks, please!
Was That the Best Night of Tommen's Life?
Is There a Stark Reunion on the Horizon?
Jon Snow is on his way to Craster's Keep. Brandon Stark is there as a hostage. The two crossed paths once before, albeit unknowingly, when Jon fought alongside Bran-in-Summer against the wildlings. Are we about to get an actual, full-on reunion between the two half-brothers? Or will the dastardly Locke, the deadliest mole since Nina Myers, get in the way?
What The Hell With That Ending?
The White Walker, the baby, the White Walker King Thing anointing the baby — all of that craziness was brand-new — not for just the viewers of "Game of Thrones," but for the book readers as well. It was a brand-new scene that nobody's seen before, a clearer look at the menace in the great white north than has ever been offered up. Pretty wild and crazy stuff. We'll see how it develops.
What did you think of last night's "Game of Thrones" ending?