Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Game of Thrones 6.03: "Oathbreaker"

“Good. Now go fail again.”

This particular episode of “Game of Thrones” felt like a lot of set-up for what is to come later in the season. As per usual, we checked in briefly on most of the ongoing plots. There were a couple good reveals in this one, but no major watercooler moment. I think of all the plots, I’m most interested in what is happening with Jon Snow right now. By the end of the episode, he has resigned from the Night’s Watch, and there is presumably going to be a confrontation with Ramsay. I’d love to see Winterfell back in Stark hands sooner rather than later. The fall of Winterfell was one of the saddest occurrences of the series thus far to me. I just keep remembering back to the pilot when all the Stark kids were happily goofing off in the yard, before all of these tragedies. I’m also somewhat interested in Dany’s story. Things are looking rather grim for her at the moment, but I have no doubt she’ll triumph. She’s the Mother of Dragons, after all!

Since I found him the most interesting, let’s get to what’s going on with Jon last. Let’s start with his best friend, Sam, who is on a boat with Gilly and her son (also Sam). If you recall, Sam is planning to go to the Citadel to become a Maester. Gilly is enjoying the journey, but Sam looks like he might be sick. Sam is forced to admit that he’s not taking Gilly with him to the Citadel, because women aren’t allowed there. He’s taking her and little Sam to his family, and he plans to tell him that Gilly is his mistress and little Sam is his bastard. Gilly isn’t thrilled at first, but eventually, she agrees.

Far in the North, we get another very interesting flashback courtesy of Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven. A young (but not quite as young as in the last flashback) Ned and some companions approach a large stone tower guarded by some of the Mad King’s Kingsguard. Involved in the battle are Ser Arthur Dane, who Ned looks up to even if he’s fighting for the other side, and Howland Reed, who is Jojen and Meera’s father. Ned fights Ser Arthur, but the fight doesn’t go down as Bran expected. Ned is actually almost defeated by Ser Arthur when Howland stabs Ser Arthur in the back. The Three-Eyed Raven tries to pull Bran out of this memory, but Bran doesn’t want to go. He calls out to his father, and this makes Ned pause for a minute. This development is unexpected, since Bran had been told he couldn’t affect the environment in his visions.

Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys is brought to the Dosh Khaleen. They put her in traditional garments and tell her that the Khals will be gathering to, among other things, discuss her fate. She lived outside of the Dosh Khaleen for some time after being widowed and that is forbidden. Being allowed to remain Dosh Khaleen is the best outcome she can hope for. In Meereen, the prostitute who aided the Sons of the Harpy in the big massacre last season is brought before Varys. In exchange for information, Varys offers silver and safe passage to Pentos. Meanwhile, Tyrion tries to entertain Missandrai and Grey Worm with a drinking game, and naturally, that doesn’t go too well. Varys interrupts to say that he has learned that the slavers of Astapor and Yunkai are funding the Sons of the Harpy. Tyrion tells Varys to send them a message. Finally, Arya continues her regular fights with the Waif at the House of Black and White in Braavos. The Waif keeps asking Arya questions about her past, especially about her list of names and what happened to the Hound. Arya is able to block the Waif some of the time now, though. Jaqen asks Arya her name again, and he has her drink from the poisoned water. Arya continues to insist she is No One, and when she drinks the water, her sight is restored.

There’s a decent amount of action happening in King’s Landing in this episode. Qyburn uses candy to convert Varys’ former “little birds” into his own informants. Which is super creepy, by the way. Aren’t kids taught not to take candy from strangers? Cersei interrupts, however, and she lets Qyburn know that she intends to request Trial by Combat for her trial. She asks Qyburn to use the little birds to uncover anyone who speaks ill of the Lannisters. Meanwhile, with the Mountain as a bodyguard, Jaime and Cersei try to participate in the Small Council. The Small Council is far from thrilled about this, though. Kevan, a Lannister himself who is Hand of the King, is especially hostile, as is Lady Oleana Tyrell. When Cersei says that the Council can’t make them leave, Kevan says the Council themselves can leave, and they all follow Kevan out of the room. Finally, Tommen pays a visit to the High Sparrow to ask that Cersei be allowed into the Sept to see Myrcella’s resting place. The High Sparrow refuses, though, saying that he wants to help bring out the good in Cersei.

Let’s wrap this up by talking about the major happenings going down in the North. Jon, resurrected, goes out to see his remaining brothers of the Night’s Watch. When Melissandre asks him what he saw while dead, he replies “nothing,” which could have some interesting implications for the future of the story. Anyway, the remaining brothers all seem to revere Jon as a God, which is not something Jon wants at all. He’s still very human, and he has been through something crazy that could take him a very, very long time to process. Tormund and Edd embrace him, though, and he becomes a little more comfortable. Meanwhile, at Winterfell, Ramsay takes a meeting with Smalljon Umber and Harald Karstark. Smalljon asks for help dealing with the Wildlings that have been allowed on this side of the Wall. He refuses to kneel before Ramsay (which is what Ramsay really wants), but he has a surprise. He offers up Rickon and Osha, with Shaggydog’s head as proof that the boy is Rickon. Why must all the dire wolves die on this show! At Castle Black, Jon executes Ser Allister and his other attackers by cutting the hanging rope with his own sword in true Stark fashion. He then hands his cloak over to Edd, saying that Edd now has command of Castle Black because his “watch has ended.”

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