By the end of Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 4, “Oathkeeper,” we were left with the tantalizing possibility of a Stark child reunion. Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has just been captured by the mutineers at Craster’s Keep, while Jon (Kit Harington) is on his way there to slay those same mutineers. So, will we finally get a long-awaited Stark reunion in Episode 5?
Frankly, we have no idea. Episode 4, more than any other episode in the series to date, introduced so much new material that wasn’t in the books that book readers were even more confused than show watchers. All we can do is make our best guesses based on what happens in the A Song of Ice and Fire books.
Warning! The rest of this article contains spoilers from the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, click away now if you don’t want to know!
This episode strayed far from the source material on a number of occasions relating to what’s going on north of the Wall. First of all, Sam told Jon that he saw Bran at the Nightfort and sent them beyond the Wall. This event never occurs in the books; Sam keeps Bran’s secret and does not tell Jon that he’s alive. Also, Locke (based on the character Vargo Hoat in the books) does not go to the Wall to try and find Bran and Rickon in the books, largely because the Boltons never learn from Theon that the Stark kids are alive.
On top of that, the mutineers do not capture Ghost (or Summer) in the books, and they definitely don’t capture Bran and company and attack poor Hodor. And finally, Jon Snow does not lead a group of men to Craster’s to kill the mutineers in the book. So what does happen in the books, and why all the changes?
In the books, the mutineers at Craster’s Keep are all slain by Coldhands. Coldhands is a mysterious wight who can talk and is benevolent. He first rescues Sam and leads him to Bran, then he helps Bran get to the Three-Eyed Crow. The show seems to have cut Coldhands, or at least pushed his appearance back, leaving them to create filler for Bran’s story, since he’s almost exhausted his storyline from the books.
Meanwhile, as far as Jon Snow is concerned, the show is probably adding the Locke storyline and the trip to Craster’s to up the drama for show watchers. The possibility of Jon and Bran meeting up, as well as the potential danger Locke poses if that meeting occurs, definitely raises the stakes and makes things more interesting for the viewer.
That said, if we had to guess, we’d say that Bran and Jon still don’t meet up, with Bran escaping some time before Jon gets to him. Various Starks come this close to meeting but then miss each other throughout the books, so a near miss here would be keeping in the spirit of that. But we’ll just have to wait and see just like everybody else!
Do you think Jon and Bran will meet? Let us know in the comments below.