One of the greatest things about Game of Thrones is that it can simultaneously make you feel joy and anger, it can bring you to the highest of heights with one character only to fall back down to your lowest with another, and ‘Oathbreaker’ is no exception.
Season 6 has gone out of its’ way to keep us shocked and surprised, to lull us into a false sense of security and to tease us just a little bit. This episode saw a return of yet another character that we have not sense for seasons, the death of another beloved characters and our heroes stuck in some difficult places.
Let’s get into ‘Oathbreaker’:
Jon and the Wall. Is he the Oathbreaker?
Waking up from a long nap is tough enough, but waking up from being dead seems to even worse for Jon Snow. His resurrection seems to convince Melisandre that he is the prince that is promised. The wildlings such as Tormund and Jon’s friends like Edd, seem glad to see that Jon is back in the land of the living, even though they don’t really understand how it came to be. Also I would like to note that Jon, Tormund and Edd are my ultimate GoT brot3.
The side of Castle Black that were not so lucky was Alliser Thorne and his minions who were the culprits who killed Jon Snow in the first place. Until his dying breath, Thorne says he felt that what he was doing was for the best for the Watch, and we see Jon cutting the rope that Thorne, Olly and the other fools were hanging from, and I’ve never been happier to see a child on Game of Thrones die. This was Jon’s last act as a Black Brother before he gave his Lord Commander coat to Edd and mutters that his ‘watch has ended’.
So who was the true Oathbreaker? Was it Thorne and Olly and co, who killed their Lord Commander? Or was it Jon Snow who walked out of his post? Arguments can be made for and against both parties. Thorne felt that he was doing what was best for the Watch, he kept his oath to the Night’s Watch but broke his oath to the Lord Commander who he believed to be corrupt. Then there is Jon, who swore allegiance to the Night’s Watch until death, but he technically already died, so any ties he previously had to the Black Brothers died when they stabbed him in the back.
Which brings me to my next question, where is Jon Snow going to go now? He has no other home. If he intends to fight against the Boltons at Winterfell, he will need some time to prepare, to raise an army etc. I’m hoping he stays at Castle Black long enough for Sansa and Brienne to arrive (if we get another Stark near miss, I will cry) and I’m assuming he will get a letter from Ramsay Bolton demanding the return of Sansa (and Theon?) in exchange for Rickon Stark. If that isn’t a reason to fight them, what is?
Bran and the Tower of Joy
Talking about Stark siblings and near misses, this week’s Bran’s visions took to an interesting place, where book readers in particular have been waiting for years – to the Tower of Joy. Bran watches as his father, a young Ned Stark and Howland Reed fight against the greatest swordsman ever, Sir Arthur Dayne and the other Kingsguard members. Bran is disturbed to note that his father did not kill Dayne in single combat like he thought but Howland Reed murdered him from behind while he was fighting Ned. Is this perhaps another breaking of an oath? The lies that Ned told about that day?
However just as a woman screams from the tower, Ned runs towards it and when Bran calls after him, he seems to hear something, perhaps a faint whisper in the wind, or maybe it’s like when a kid shouts ‘dad’ in the middle of a grocery store about 10 men always turn around, but regardless before Bran can follow his father up into the tower, the Three-Eyed Raven tells him he’s seen enough and brings him back. This proved to frustrate both the viewers and Bran, who wanted to see more.
The use of flashbacks this season has been done so well, especially to explain a lot of the more complicated thoughts and memories in the books. I look forward to more flashbacks as we travel with Bran through the weirwoods of Westeros.
The Return of Rickon
In a short scene as we caught up with the new Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North (it leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth), Ramsey Bolton. Both Lord Umber and Lord Karstark, former bannermen of the Starks, have pledged allegiance to Ramsey, Umbers only after Roose Bolton was dead for what he did at the Red Wedding.
As a gift to Ramsey, Lord Umber gives him Osha, Rickon and the head of Shaggydog. We haven’t seen Rickon in years, and he has fully grown up, it’s almost difficult to recognize him (it is the small actor) but what does the appearance of a Stark heir mean for Ramsey. It could be a bargaining chip for Jon who was never close to Sansa, it could be rallying point for the North. But wouldn’t many prefer to see Rickon in Winterfell rather than Ramsey. The best option for Ramsey would be to kill him and kill any claim to the lordship that Rickon has, but it seems pointless to bring him back to kill him so soon. Perhaps Rickon has a specialized role to play with regards to the Umbers in order to infiltrate Ramsey’s rule. But then why kill Shaggydogg? We need a protection cage for the direwolves now.
Catching up with the other characters:
- Sam and Gilly are on a boat on their way to Oldtown still, but Sam says he’s going to stop over at his ancestral home of Horn Hill so that his family can take care of Gilly and baby Sam, which seems interesting.
- Daenerys is now stuck in Vaes Dothrak with the other widows, she is extremely upset and is currently trying to send messages to Drogon with her mind to get her the hell out of that place.
- Varys manages to find out that the wealthy lords of the other Slaver Bay cities were financing the activities of the Sons of the Harpy in Meereen because they want Daenerys out.
- Tyrion tries strangely to play a drinking game with the sober Grey Worm and Missandei.
- Qyburn has invested in Varys’ little birds, and Cersei and Jaime start to plot to get back at their enemies. Cersei seems to be considering a trial by combat.
- Tommen and the High Sparrow seem to be bonding, so I wonder what that would mean for Cersei?
- Arya gets her sight back and her murder list seems to be hectically chopped to just three names – Gregor Clegane, Cersei Lannister and Walder Frey.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO on Sundays at 9pm E.T