Jon Sow is back! Yes, that happened last week, but we are still breathing our collective sigh of relief from the end of last week. This week we get to see if the new and improved Jon Snow will be the same person as the previous, or if we are going to meet a totally new person. We also got to see Danny’s new home (hopefully not for long). A few more people we haven’t seen in a while (even a guest star all the way from Season one). While this week’s episode of Game of Thrones was bundled, it helped set up even more for what we will see this season.
Warning: This article contains spoilers from the “Game of Thrones” Season 6 episode “Oathbreaker.”
Bran Stark is continuing his “vision quest.” This time, while delving into the past, he gets to see his father Ned Stark. Instead of seeing Sean Bean, Ned Stark is played by much more youthful actor Sebastian Croft. During this vision, Ned is trying to find his sister. This appears to be after his friend Robert Baratheon has taken the throne from Aerys Targaryen, “The Mad King.” As Ned and his group square against soldiers in service to the Targaryens, a well-choreographed fight ensues. Usually during the show, the high-impact battles are saved for the grand Lord of The Rings styled battles, but this episode saw a very exquisite battle between the two groups. Targaryen swordsman Arthur Dayne is the only one left on his side and single-handedly takes down all the North swordsmen except Ned Stark. Bran is marveling because he had heard this story many times, but they were told from his father’s “honorable” perspective. Turns out Ned was bested and would have died at Dayne’s hand, if Dayne wasn’t stabbed in the back by one of Ned’s soldiers thought dead.
As Ned raced towards the tower in search of his sister, the Tree Eyed Raven called for Bran to return from the vision before he got further sucked into the vision. Bran wanted to follow and then called out to his father. For a moment, young Ned stopped and turned around, as if he had actually heard his son, but could see nothing. Does this mean that it’s not actually a vision, and Bran is actually traveling into the past? The Three-Eyed Raven forcefully pulls him out before any more damage could be done. Bran being frustrated with the Raven doesn’t want to remain a cripple in the tree, the Raven assures him that he will not remain here forever.
Ramsey continues to be everyone’s favorite character to hate. He really is Joffrey 2.0. Since he killed his father, he is now Warden of the North, and enjoying that role. Ramsey has the Karstark’s in his corner, and now a new alliance with House Umber. Knowing that Jon Snow has invited Wildlings through The Wall, House Umber knows that they are the first line of defense and would be attached by Wildlings, they offer to form an alliance with Ramsey. To make matters worse, they deliver a present to Ramsey: Osha and Rickon Stark. To prove the boy was, in fact, Rickon, they murdered his personal direwolf and also delivered its head to Ramsey. Poor little Rickon. Who knows what terrible things await him now that he is in Ramsey’s (and the Karstark who likes little boys) clutches.
Over in Kings Landing, for the first time, we actually get to see who these “birds” that are used throughout the series. It turns out they are beggar children, who get food for exchanging information. For the longest, it seemed like they were a network of seasoned spies… nope, just kids who’ll tell a secret for food.
Cersei is on a quest to get back her power. After she overplayed her hand with dealing with Queen Margaery which got both the Queen and her imprisoned by the Faith. After Cersei did her walk of shame and was released, she’s now free to plot and scheme even more. She, Jamie, and the zombie formerly known as The Mountain interrupts a Small Council meeting with the purpose of once again getting involved with politics. However, they are not having any of it, and pretty much leave them alone where they’ll probably conduct their own business.
The more interesting storyline was between King Tommen and the High Sparrow. He goes to meet with him to demand the release of his wife, but Tommen is no Joffrey. Slowly but surely the High Sparrow actually gets Tommen to sit down and have a conversation with his. We shouldn’t be surprised if Tommen isn’t drinking the Kool-Aid and will join their cause soon enough.
Varys and Tyrion continue to hold down Meereen in Daenerys’ absence. The first thing they need to do is stop the Sons of the Harpy, who have been causing trouble for everyone. Varys, ever the “Spymaster” was able to determine that Valla was involved in their insurrection, but she can be reasoned with. Instead of torturing her, Varys knows what will make her happy. He knows about her son and instead of threatening her and his lives, he offers her a ticket out of town, plus a whole lot of silver if she’ll rat on her group.
While Varys is carrying out his interrogation, we are treated to the Tyrion show. This week’s special guests are Missandei and Grey Worm. They were not that eager to engage in conversation with him, which made their conversation comically awkward. Thankfully Varys was able to come back with some answers. Sons of the Harpy are a well-funded insurgency group who are backed by the slave masters of Yunkai and Astapor. Now that Tyrion and Varys have a bad guy, they have to figure out how to respond. Missandei and Tyrion put together a plan to confront them.
Over in Bravos Daredevil… whoops, Arya is continuing to train with the Faceless. She continues to learn to fight without the gift of sight, and continues to declare herself as “No One.” Her list is a topic of discussion where she tells Stick… whoops, Waif the reasoning for her list. As she denounces Arya Stark as well as her quest for vengeance related to her list, Jaqen gives Arya back her sight. It seems as though her training is complete. She’s gone through the deprogramming, humbling, and is now ready to join the Faceless Men.
We get our first appearance this season of Sam and Gilly. Sam can’t handle riding on the rough seas and we are treated to a few moments of him barfing. Gilly recounts her more illiterate days where she thought that “Sea” and “C” were the same things. It’s not going to be all roses for the two of them and baby Sam. Sam will have to go train with the maesters, but Gilly will not be allowed to be with him. Up on the wall, Jon Snow had pull to let it slide, but not where they were going. Sam will have her hide out with his family, what can possibly go wrong?
In Dothraki-town Daenerys Targaryen is continuing to get humbled. Up until now she’s been able to get her way based on her name and het Dragons. In the Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak, her name doesn’t mean as much as she thought it would, and without her dragons, she cannot use force.
As she comes to her new home, she is informed by the other Khal widows that she had abandoned tradition by not immediately going to Vaes Dothrak. There will need to be some sort of punishment for violating tradition that will be decided by the other widows. This looks like this season will be a long and hard one for Daenerys.
Jon Snow is alive and a little bit different!
The episode actually began pretty much after Jon Snow’s rebirth. Davos is the first person to see him alive, and his face was pretty much the same as everyone’s who watched last week’s episode. The next person to see him alive was Melisandre, which helps reaffirm her faith, which prior to this was pretty much shattered. When asked what he remembers, Snow recalls his death, but after that: nothing. So is there no afterlife on Game of Thrones, or was he “mostly dead.” Melisandre now views Jon Snow as the Prince That Was Promised instead of Stannis Baratheon. So perhaps Jon Snow will become the Lord of Light’s emissary? Does this mean he has to convert the same way Stannis did?
As Jon walks out, members of the Knights Watch and Wildlings are in awe at his resurrection. Everyone is thinking that Jon Snow is some sort of God. Tormund has the best line of the night, “What kind of God would have a pecker that small?”
Jon oversees the execution of the traitors who killed him last season. Each is given the chance to say one last word. Each of them has their say, except young Olly who simply stares at Jon with even more rage. There is a moment where it doesn’t appear as though Jon is going to go through with the sentence and hang them, but then he pulls out his sword Longclaw and cuts the rope to ensure their hanging. Jon then resigns as Lord Commander and gives the title to his good friend Edd. The episode ends with Jon saying that his watch has ended.
Since he’s come back Jon snow as killed his betrayers and resigned from his post. These are two things that the previous Jon Snow might have not done. Old Jon Snow was more bound by honor. He might have even forgiven those who betrayed him, after all, he forgave the Wildlings. Resigning as Lord Commander is also a bold move. Those who are “deserters” from the Nights Watch are sentenced to death. But perhaps since Jon Snow died, he’s fulfilled his oath and is free to live a normal life.
While a good episode, it felt very jammed. Most episodes of Game of Thrones tend to split the characters/storylines from week to week. One week we’ll follow Daenerys, and the next week we’ll follow the Lannisters. This gives each scene some breathing room to develop the story even further. While it did that a little, we could have waited a week for some of the storylines to be more developed and complete.
Next week looks interesting. Looks like Theon Greyjoy will finally head home and have to deal with a whole bunch of drama with his sister. Looks like we’ll also get to see Littlefinger (who’s been missing for the first three episodes) as well. Take a look at next week.