GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 3 REVIEW: OATHBREAKER

     

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In tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones, we welcome Jon Snow back to the land of living và watch Bran dip into the past, in the aptly named “Oathbreaker.” The episode catalogs an assortment of broken promises, cast-aside vows, và old lies that will shape the characters’ paths in season 6.

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Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A tuy vậy of Ice và Fire series. The post and the comments section will contain spoilers from the novels! Because no, we are not all Unsullied now. If you haven’t read the books yet, please kiểm tra out our non-book-reader recap. Thanks!

“Oathbreaker” starts off by bringing us right khổng lồ where we want khổng lồ be- with a shaken Jon Snow understanding quickly that he’s come back to life after being murdered by his own men. Wide-eyed Davos watches him rise and you know the Onion Knight has found a new god lớn serve. (Seven save the lot of us who were very distracted by someone’s nudity in this scene.) Melisandre pops in, looking healthier và happier than ever, & intriguingly refers to lớn Jon as the Prince Who Was Promised. Luckily, Davos doesn’t give Jon time lớn dwell, pushing him back out into the world, và I have to say that if I’m ever brought back from the dead by a red priestess, I want someone as blunt và practical as Davos Seaworth supporting me. No wonder Stannis kept him around for so many years.

The people of Castle đen are in awe of Jon now (except for Tormund, who as usual bases his world view on cocks). “Are you sure that’s still you in there?” Dolorous Edd asks, & that is a damned good question. Though Jon is managing as well as one could expect, under the circumstances, no one can remain the same after that experience. He’s not a wight & he has his basic personality, but as another character has said, ‘only death can pay for life.’ What will the cost be for Jon Snow?

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We finally catch up with Sam and Gilly for the first time in season 6, as the pair journey (with baby Sam) on a storm-tossed ship. In between upchuckings (surprising no one, he’s no sailor), Sam is forced khổng lồ admit he isn’t bringing her to lớn the Citadel in Oldtown with him. They don’t allow women to remain there, so he’s dropping her off at his family’s trang chủ in Horn Hill.

Gilly reminds Sam of the promise he made that wherever she went, he’d go too. Now, they’ll be parted despite his words.

It was rather low of Sam khổng lồ take Gilly away from the Wall under false pretenses, actually. Though he had good intentions, making decisions about her future without considering her input & then lying to lớn her is wrong, và he knows it. She was sheltered from the outside world a great deal, living with Craster, but as Gilly becomes more independent, you have to lớn wonder if she’ll begin lớn resent Sam making decisions for her.

Whatever happens, I’m very much looking forward to lớn seeing this duo take on the Tarlys in the near future.

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I’m not even going to lớn pretend to lớn be cool about this, okay. It’s the Tower of Joy.

It’s the TOWER OF JOY.

Now, being a longtime reader of the A tuy vậy of Ice và Fire series, I made it a point to lớn not re-read the sections dealing with this scene before this season, so I wouldn’t be inclined khổng lồ nitpick. Và I have lớn say, I’m glad I did that. I don’t care about Ser Arthur Dayne (played here by Luke Roberts) dual-wielding swords instead of having one legendary sword. I don’t care that there are two Kingsguard instead of three. And heading into this scene, I suspected they would cut out before Ned went upstairs into the Tower so that’s not a disappointment for me. I know some people were hoping game of Thrones would confirm the R+L=J theory tonight but I think it’s too soon for that. I vị think this scene even being included is one more major clue; we’re a step closer to lớn confirming the theory a bit further down the road.

As for the scene itself, the show cleverly uses the framework of Bran & the Three-Eyed Raven witnessing the events at the Tower of Joy. Through their eyes, we see young Ned Stark (Robert Aramayo) ride in to lớn save his kidnapped teenage sister Lyanna who is being held in the tower. Ned and his five friends take on the two knights guarding the tower in a spectacular swordfight.

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Ser Arthur Dayne is a legend known throughout Westeros; Bran knows who he is instantly and has heard stories all his life of how Ned defeated Dayne during this fight. But as Bran sees, that’s not exactly how it played out. Toward the kết thúc of the battle, only two men are standing- Ned & Dayne, with the knight having killed many men on his own after his fellow Kingsguard was slain. Ned is clearly outclassed & Bran sees it, so how could his father have beaten him?

He didn’t, not really. With young Ned on the verge of defeat & death, injured Howland Reed rises khổng lồ stab Dayne in the back. It’s only then that Ned is able to cut him down. Not an honorable kill, but it’s the choice Ned makes while his sister is waiting up in the tower, her cries carrying from the window.

Bran calls for his father và for a moment, Ned seems to lớn hear Bran’s voice through the years, but then he turns away, and the Three-Eyed Raven pulls Bran from the vision.

And we all curse out that old man for again depriving us of the glory of these beautifully rendered flashbacks that leave us aching for more.

Bran does too, more or less, when he’s back in his body, but the Three-Eyed Raven is adamant that Bran must limit his time in the visions và he must continue to lớn learn.

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In Essos, the khalasar has arrived in Vaes Dothrak, delivering Daenerys lớn the Dosh Khaleen, the widows of many khals.

The khaleesi’s welcome isn’t quite as warm as she might hope since Dany didn’t turn up at Vaes Dothrak back she should have, right after Khal Drogo died. That’s the standard protocol for khals’ widows, but she violated it. As the head Dosh Khaleen lady explain, the khals are meeting soon & they’ll have lớn decide whether or not Daenerys will be staying with the Dosh Khaleen after all. So Dany’s Great Dothraki Road Trip may not be at an end after all.

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In Meereen, Varys is getting closer khổng lồ answering the question of who is behind the Sons of the Harpy attacks. He brings in for questioning the Meereenese woman we saw last season laying with white Rat of the Unsullied as he was murdered by the Sons. The woman (played by Meena Rayann) has a young son, và Varys seizes on this khổng lồ manipulate và frighten her into informing on the Sons of the Harpy.

Varys bring the info to lớn a meeting with Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei. Apparently, the masters of Astapor and Yunkai, with assistance from the slave city of Volantis, are responsible for funding the terrorists. After hashing it out, the council decides on Tyrion’s advice to send a message lớn the masters.

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In King’s Landing, Qyburn is binding Varys’ little birds closer khổng lồ him with sweets, but something tells me the little birds may still have loyalty to lớn their old master.

As the children enjoy their candy, Cersei pays a visit with Jaime and Ser Gregor (as she plainly calls him now) in tow, asking for information, and stating she plans to lớn use the Mountain in the trial by combat that’s khổng lồ come.

Afterward, Cersei stops by the Small Council to lớn find Kevan Lannister (the current Hand of the King) meeting with Olenna and Mace Tyrell & Grand Maester Pycelle. Pycelle puts his foot in his mouth royally when it comes to Ser Gregor, and I’m guessing the old maester is going khổng lồ get the Gregor-SMASH headspecial before the season is out.

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Kevan once again proves he is great at ditching meetings in style, & refuses to talk with Cersei present. He và his company depart, leaving Cersei và Jaime to stew in the slight.

Elsewhere in the city, Tommen is attempting to lớn assert himself with the Faith và not doing the best job. He approaches the High Sparrow at the sept about his mother, but the High Sparrow stills insists Cersei needs more atonement.

Tommen is way out of his league when dealing with the High Sparrow, that much is certain. The old man dances around him with gentle và subtle manipulations, understanding the king is a confused young boy in over his head. He defers taking ownership of any of his actions, claiming it’s not what he wants, its what the gods want, and Tommen buys it.

Arya’s kung-fu-training movie-montage takes us through her return khổng lồ the House of Black và White. The Waif is a harsh mentor, laying into Arya with the big stick as they fight, & the little stick for the trò chơi of Faces. Though still blind, Arya is more adept at fighting, & is becoming No One more and more, it seems. It also looks lượt thích the Waif is becoming resentful of her presence.

It’s not clear khổng lồ me why though. If her negativity were just a teaching technique, she’d be pleased when Arya succeeded in blocking her strike. But the Waif does not lượt thích Arya, & that story will undoubtedly come khổng lồ a head.

Now that Arya has made progress, Jaqen checks in with her once more. She denies her name and he invites her to drink from the pool. After she finally she does so, she opens her eyes and sees clearly, no longer blind. She’s reached a new cấp độ of Facelessness, & losing more of herself every day.

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At Winterfell, Ramsay has a visitor this week. The Umbers (last seen absolutely ages ago in season 1 since Greatjon Umber’s actor had a scheduling conflict for season 2 and never returned) are making a comeback in the form of Greatjon’s son Smalljon (Dean Jagger).

Smalljon is aware Ramsay killed his father, but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t even care about his own father, who the show has apparently decided to kill off-screen. (Unfortunate, since Clive Mantle was a wonderful Greatjon. Must’ve been one hell of a scheduling issue.) Either way, the formerly very loyal House Umber, the people who declared the Starks the King in the North, are now asking for the Boltons’ help in holding off the wildlings who are headed south thanks lớn Jon Snow.

Ramsay is wary, especially since Smalljon refuses to lớn kneel, but as Umber astutely observes, Roose Bolton once knelt và called Robb Stark king. Those gestures don’t mean a thing. Smalljon has something better- he has a gift, and it’s exactly what people were afraid it would be, based on “Oathbreaker”‘s previews.

Lovely to lớn see Osha và Rickon again! I just wish the circumstances were better.

And we know Rickon would never be taken easily, not with Shaggydog protecting him. His direwolf would never let this happen. Which is why it was almost not a surprise khổng lồ see Umber produce the direwolf’s severed head as proof of Rickon Stark’s identity.

Be worried for Rickon và Osha. Be very worried.

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At the Wall, with the resurrection of Jon Snow, the fate of his murderers is sealed.

Bowen Marsh, Othell Yarwyck, Ser Alliser Thorne and the boy Olly are set lớn die by hanging.

Jon accepts their final words. Marsh and Yarwyck are frightened và insipid. True lớn his character, Thorne stands his ground; as far as he’s concerned he may have betrayed Jon but he didn’t betray the Night’s Watch, & he’d make that choice again. For all that Thorne is a murderer and a hard, unlikeable man, he tried to lớn obey his vows in his way.

“You’ll be fighting their battles forever,” he tells Jon, và I have to lớn wonder if that’s an accidental prophecy on Thorne’s part.

His eyes defiant, Olly doesn’t speak a word when Jon comes lớn him. Jon looks as though his heart breaks once more, the way it did when Olly stabbed him. Was he hoping for an excuse to lớn cut the boy down from there, or at least an apology? He won’t get it.

Around the yard, it’s grim & silent. Melisandre watches from above- lượt thích always.

Jon Snow swings his sword, cutting the rope tied to lớn the gallows. With his action, the men drop và dangle from their ropes, faces purpling, dead.

His last task accomplished, Jon sheathes his sword and tells Edd khổng lồ burn the bodies. Passing his cloak to lớn Edd, he also gives him Castle Black.

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Jon is done. He did his best, and died for it. But with his murder, his obligations were fulfilled and finished and he’s no oathbreaker.