Game of Thrones Episode 6.3 “Oathbreaker”
Directed by Dan Sackheim
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Starring Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Carice van Houten, Alfie Allen, Natalie Dormer HBO
Air date: May 8, 2016
WARNING: Spoilers for HBO’s Game Of Thrones….
Last week’s Season 6 episode of Game Of Thrones started out slow, but ended so insanely awesome with the resurrection of Jon Snow! This is something that has not happened in the books, which means that the TV show is off on its own storyline now. We also saw Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna, on screen for the first time in a vision shown to Bran, which included a look at a young Hodor back when he could speak coherently.
This week’s installment, 6.3 “Oathbreaker,” brings with it a lot of hope that fans will finally get some answers about the past. In another one of Bran’s visions of the past, we see the battle at the Tower Of Joy, where a young Ned Stark goes to rescue his sister Lyanna. There’s also lots of Jon Snow and the aftermath of his returning to life, including what he experienced in the afterlife, as well as the fate of the traitors who murdered him. Cersei and Jaime plot their revenge; King Tommen is still whining; and Daenarys is on her way to the Khal Widow retirement home, which is not as relaxing as it sounds. Meanwhile, in Meereen, Tyrion, Varys, and the rest of Dany’s crew plan their next move; there’s new surprises in Winterfell with Ramsay Bolton and his bannermen; Arya returns to the House of Black and White; and Sam reveals a new future for Gilly and the baby.
Here’s the full recap:
“Oathbreaker,” opens with Jon Snow’s breathing back into existence, as Ser Davos looks on. The newly no-longer-dead Jon Snow is clearly confused as to what happened, since he does recall being stabbed several times by a group of his fellow brothers in black and dying. “I shouldn’t be there,” he says, and Davos reveals that the red priestess Melisandre brought him back. She’s eager to hear what he experienced after death. “Nothing,” he says, which is fitting for the man who in life was famous for knowing “nothing.” The priestess feels taht there must be a reason the the Lord of Light brought him back, mentioning that Stannis wasn’t the prince that was promised, but someone has to be. When she leaves, Jon asks Davos “why” he’s back, Davos says he doesn’t know and they may never know, but he must go on anyhow. Jon laments that he did what he thought was right and yet was murdered for it, and that he “failed,” to which Davos says, “Good, now go fail again.” Obviously, a failing Jon Snow is still better that so many others. It’s time for Jon to right the wrongs.
Outside Castle Black, the resurrected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch appears at the balcony to see his Brothers, as well as the Wildlings who came to his aid. They are all shocked to see him, yet no one opposes his return. It’s obvious they are happy to have him back, but is he still the same? His close friend Dolorous Edd wonders this, but Jon doesn’t know. “Hold off on burning my body for now,” he jokes to Edd, who is clearly relieved to have his friend back. Wildling leader Tormund is also glad to see the Lord Commander, joking that while everyone thinks Jon is a god, he saw his “pecker,” and “what kind of god would have a pecker so small?” At a time like this, it’s nice to break the tension with some penis humor. I was so relieved to see that the people at The Wall didn’t react to Jon Snow the way Connor MacLeod’s clan did in Highlander.
Later in the episode, Jon faces his killers, who are now awaiting death at the gallows. Head conspirator Ser Alliser Thorne has no regrets for his part – he feels the Wildlings shouldn’t have been brought there. “I fought, I lost. Now I rest. But you, Lord Snow, you’ll be fighting their battles forever.” Last, Jon looks over at young Olly, the boy who he mentored, and all his sees is seething hatred on the boy’s face. With a stroke of his sword, Lord Snow cuts the rope, hanging the men who betrayed him. Edd tells Jon to burn their bodies. “No, you should,” Jon says, handing over his black cloak. “Wear it, burn it, do whatever you want, you have Castle Black. My watch is ended.”
And now my watch is ended!!! PEACE OUT, NIGHT’S WATCH!
Jon Snow’s death released him from his vows of the Night’s Watch, which is until death. Since he did die, he is now free of his vows. Stannis had previously offered to release Jon from his vows and legitimize him so he could rule Winterfell as Jon Stark, and while that was his heart’s desire, Jon Snow is an honorable man and could not bring himself to abandon the Night’s Watch. But now he is free. He walks off, and we know it means he’s going to go right many wrongs.
Along with the aforementioned scenes with Jon Snow, “Oathbreaker” contained another very interesting and pertinent sequence shown as another one of Bran Stark’s visions from the Three-Eyed Raven. Last week, Bran was shown his Aunt Lyanna as teenager; now, we see her brother Ned Stark coming to her rescue her so many years ago at the Tower Of Joy in Dorne where Rhaegar Targaryen had been holding her captive — it was Lyanna’s abduction that sparked “Robert’s Rebellion” which overthrew the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen. At this time, the war is at an end with the Mad King and Rhaegar now both dead, but their men are still guarding the tower as ordered. Ned and his men fight two soldiers, including the far superior swordsman Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. Bran is shocked to see that his father – who had told him his version of events many, many times — is about to be beaten when his injured companions stabs Dayne in the back. Ned uses this opportunity to strike the final blow, killing his opponent. This is an aspect of the story Ned had left out in the retelling, which comes as a shock to Bran, as his father was known to be very honorable.
Once Dayne is dispatched, Ned hears a woman’s screams from inside the tower and goes to run up the steps. This is when the Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran they must leave, but the young man doesn’t want to go – he wants to see what happened next. AND SO DO WE ALL!!!!!!!!!!!! But are we going to? No, no we’re not. Instead, Bran calls to his father, and young Ned stops and looks around, before continuing up the steps, and Bran is pulled out of the vision. Why show us more when the showrunners can just torture us?
This sequence was yet another clue in the mystery of Jon Snow, as a popular theory is that he is really the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna — who were possibly actually in love and ran off together because she was pregnant and hiding in the tower. Ned had previously said that when he had found his sister, she was lying in a pool of blood and that he had made her a promise. And, it’s known that after this war, Ned came home with a son – Jon Snow – who he claimed was his bastard, even though he was already married. If this show doesn’t go along with this theory, I’m pretty sure there will be a riot. With all the deaths and tortures and disappointments that fans have had to deal with on this show, the one thing everyone is looking forward to is Jon Snow being Rhaegar and Lyanna’s love child, which makes him both a Stark and a Targaryen.
After these two major developments, the rest of the episode is like, what, no, show us more! But there are actually a lot of new developments and revelations, too:
– When Bran and the Three-Eye Raven return to the present, the Stark boy is frustrated. He wants to know more and is growing tired of being in the cave. The Raven warns that lingering too long in a vision could trap him there permanently, but Bran doesn’t seem to care. He’s crippled and far from home, and doesn’t want to end up like the Raven — an old man grown into a tree for a thousand years. The Three-Eye Raven assures Bran that he won’t have to be there forever, but that before he leaves, he has to learn “everything.” Damn, how long is that going to take???
– Tyrion, who I love so much, who previously was the man who “drinks and knows things,” is now relegated to painful small talk with Missandei and Grey Worm as they wait for news from Varys, who is questioning Vala, a conspirator for the Sons of the Harpy who oppose Daenarys Targaryen’s rule. Turns out, the Harpies are backed by the masters of Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis. Time to send them a message in their preferred language, according to Missandei.
– We learn that Varys’ famed network of spies that he calls his “little birds” are children. And now Qyborn, the disgraced Maester who brought the Mountain back to life, is using them as spies for Cersei, who of course wants to crush, kill, destroy, etc., all of her enemies, damnit!
– Cersei, Jaime, and the Mountain crash the King’s small council meeting, and get pwned when the members up and leave. Their Uncle Kevan, who is now the Hand of the King, tells them “You can’t make us stay, unless you’re going to have that thing murder us all,” referring to FrankenMountain.
– King Tommen goes to see the High Sparrow. The boy king is still whining about how the High Sparrow’s Faith Militant imprisoned his mother and his wife, the latter of whom is still in captivity. The religious leader goes on to use his charisma to let the king see his side. Meanwhile, Tommen, can you please just send your men out to slaughter all these assholes? Thanks.
– Ramsay Bolton, having betrayed and murdered his father Roose (and his stepmother Walda Frey and her newborn son, his half-brother), is the new Warden of the North. Lord Umber, one of his bannerman who previously refused to back Roose, is now at Winterfell asking Lord Ramsay for help against the Wildlings, who are encroaching too far South for his taste. He’s a tough guy, so he won’t kneel or vow to Ramsay, but he will bring the Lord a gift: Osha the wildling and young Rickon Stark. Since the youngest Stark child had been presumed death (at the hands of Theon Greyjob), Ramsay wants proof of the boy’s identity — and he gets it when Umber provides the head of Rickon’s direwolf, Shaggy Dog. With a far too happy smile, Ramsay says to Rickon, “Welcome home, Lord Stark.” The character of Rickon was not part of Season 5 and his whereabouts were unknown by anyone after his escape with Osha from the Theon-occupied Winterfell in Season 4. Theon had boasted that he killed Bran and Rickon, but he recently revealed to their sister Sansa Stark that he actually didn’t kill the boys. Now, Rickon is as tall as Osha! But, he’s also now at the mercy of Ramsay Bolton, who has NO MERCY. Oh man, this is horrible.
– After being captured by the Dothraki, Daenarys is brought to the city of Vaes Dothrak, where all the widows of Khals live out their lives, as is custom. Since Daenarys broke tradition, she must go before the Dosh khaleen, who will decide her fate. They warn her that allowing her to remain there will be the least of her punishments.
– Arya Stark, previously a blind beggar in Braavos after disobeying the rules at the House of Black and White, is back at the temple with the Waif, who is continuing her training. We see a montage of them practicing combat – with Arya getting her ass kicked – and doing one of their question/answer sessions where Arya is hit every time she doesn’t answer correctly – or perfectly. We also see Arya standing over various powders, trying to determine what they are by their smell since she is still blind. At the end of the montage, we see she can finally fight back and block blows; she can figure out the powders; and answer the questions correctly. This is when her original mentor Jaqen H’ghar brings Arya to the temple’s fountain. Arya had seen ailing people die in an assisted suicide type of way after drinking the water, so she is cautious when Jaqen hands her a cup. “If a girl is truly no one, she has nothing to fear,” Jaqen tells her when she hesitates to drink. She then drinks and opens her yes and can see again!!! “Who are you?” he asks. “No one,” she replies with determination. She’s well on her way now to becoming one of the Faceless Men!!!
– It’s been a while since we’ve seen Sam, Gilly, and baby Sam. Here, we see them on a ship in a storm at night, and Sam is not handling his seasickness too well. When last we saw them, Jon Snow had sent them off to the Citadel, where Sam could study to become a Maester and then return to Castle Black to advise him. Sam reveals to Gilly that there’s no place for her and the baby at the Citadel, so he plans to first bring her to his family at Horn Hill so they can take care of her. His father’s a real prick, but his mother and sister are nice at least. It’s obvious that he plans to claim baby Sam as his own son, and it’s clear that Gilly is on board with that, because although she is not happy about being separated from Sam, she trusts his judgment. He expected more of a fight from her, and thinks it would have been better for her to get mad and storm off. “I’d never do that to the father of my son,” she tells him. I love them!!! Oh, and there’s lots of vomit in this scene, too.
See, a lot went down in this episode, but damn was it really frustrating NOT to get to see what happened next at the Tower of Joy.