The first two episodes of the season were full of dramatic plot twists; in this episode we took a small step back from the action for a little bit. Appropriately titled “Oathbreaker,” it deals with many characters breaking vows or promises. Everything is still very fast-paced, as the episodes this season move very quickly, but there was a lot more dialogue this week as everyone comes to grips with what happened in last week’s episode.
If you’re not caught up yet with the show then watch out, spoilers ahead!
Thank gosh we started back with Jon Snow! What happens after Jon comes back this season is a lot more important than how he comes back, and we join him immediately after he wakes up. He is, understandably, freaking out. Turns out Jon remembers who stabbed him, knows that he was dead, and knows that he should still be dead. Melisandre is more concerned about what Jon saw after he died, and unfortunately, according to Jon there was nothing at all. When Jon finally makes his first public appearance, everyone is obviously stunned. According to Tormund, the Windings regard Jon as a sort of deity, and it seems like the other men of the Nights Watch agree.
Davos swearing was pretty hilarious, and the pep talk that he gave Jon wasn’t half bad. Davos is a good adviser for Jon since he is also a man who tries to do what he thinks is right instead of what is easy. “Good, now go fail again” is a lot like a Westeros version of “You miss 100% of the shots you never take”. I am concerned about Jon’s physical state, though; he was moving awfully stiffly and it seemed like he flinched whenever someone hit where he was stabbed.
Can I also take this opportunity to say that Kit Harrington is RIPPED! Because hot damn.
Next we went to check in on Sam and Gilly for the first time this season! They are on a boat, presumably on the way to Oldtown so that Sam can become a maester. Besides being a bit smug about finding her sea legs, Gilly is quite proud of her new literacy, and chats away while Sam is often and violently sick into a bucket. It was great to see Gilly happy for a change, although that happiness was short-lived as Sam informs her that she wouldn’t be allowed to follow him to the citadel. Turns out Sam is taking her to his old home in Horn Hill. Gilly is not pleased, but the relationship between the two is as strong as ever and she refers to Sam and the father of her son.
I am curious to see what happens in Horn Hill. Sam’s mother and sisters may have been lovely to him, but I’m not so sure they’ll be as nice to a Wilding.
Beyond The Wall
Next up is another flashback via Bran’s visions. Instead of Winterfell, this time Bran is viewing the Tower Of Joy! Book readers will know why I am so excited about this, but as the inhabitant of the tower hasn’t been clearly revealed yet in the show, I won’t reveal it here. Ned and friends confront two Targaryan soldiers in front of the Tower, and they fight to gain entrance to it. Howland Reede, Meera’s father, is among the men with Ned and ends up saving his life by stabbing The Sword of The Morning in the back. As Ned runs into the tower, Bran calls after his father, who turns around in response, but after seeing nothing, continues inside.
I’m sure something will come up later on about the backstabbing. Ned’s one primary character trait was that he was an honorable man, and how the fight ended went directly against older Ned’s moral code. Having Bran and raven explaining everything in this scene made for some clunky dialogue, but if I had not read the books I think I would have been very confused if someone hadn’t been explaining what was happening and who everyone was.
The raven once again snaps them out of the vision before Bran is ready and once they are back under the tree, he and Bran fight. It seems that Bran will not become the next three eyed raven, or at the very least he will not become “a man in a tree”. I am extremely curious about what is to become of Bran.
Dany and the Khal arrive in Vaes Dothrak, and she is escorted to the dosh khaleen. There, the women there strip her, give her new drab clothes to wear, and basically tell her how her new life will work. These women are not impressed by Dany’s claims of glory. According to them, they were all once wives of the Great Khal and they were all going to rule by his side; now all of their khals are dead and they are dosh khaleen. Also apparently Dany’s safety is not guaranteed. Because she did not immediately go to join them and went out into the world instead, her fate is to be decided by the warlords.
In Meereen, the whore Valla, who we saw last season help the Sons of the Harpy kill the Unsullied and the Second Sons, is brought in front of Varys. This was an interesting conversation to watch; Vary is a dangerous verbal opponent and Valla was not prepared. Varys reveals that he knows about her son and offers her a spot for them both on a ship (so I guess that the Sons of the Harpy didn’t burn all of them) to Pentos. Meanwhile in the next room, Tyrion is having a very awkward conversation with Missandei and Grey Worm, which was truly a delight to watch. I mean, he tries to start a drinking game! It is actually the same drinking game he was playing when he first met Shae, and it really isn’t that good of a game if you’re not drinking.
We finally find out who has been funding and supporting the Sons of The Harpy. The influential people of three different cities are all supporting the fight against Dany’s reign. By the end of this scene, it appears that the rag-tag rulers of Meereen are going to take on the masters of Astapor and Yunkai, as well as the free city of Volantis. Honestly, I am eager for Dany to finally get to Westeros. While the idea of a war in Essos is interesting, I would rather that her people find a way for her to cross the narrow sea.
In Kings Landing we join Qyburn as he talks to a group of small children, revealed to by Vary’s former Little Birds. Qyburn is bribing them with sweets and medical attention to build his own spy network, and is joined by Sir Gregor, Jamie, and Cersei to talk strategy. Apparently their plan is to have Sir Gregor be Cersei’s champion in a trail by combat while Qyburn sends his little birds beyond the city into Dorne and beyond. The Lannisters are coming with a vengeance and they move from Qyburn’s office to crash the small council meeting. I was happy to see The Queen of Thorns there by invitation, but sadly we don’t get to see much of her wit in this episode. It appears that the small council has absolutely had it with Jamie and Cersei’s antics and Kevan Lannister abruptly ends the small council meeting.
In the Great Sept, Tommen confronts the High Sparrow. Poor Tommen is so confused and unprepared to take on the Sparrow. He is incredibly awkward, and the face he made when he motioned for his guards to back away was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. The High Sparrow offers Tommen his council on behalf of the Seven, and obviously he does a good job convincing Tommen that he is in the right. Tommen is very easily swayed, and if he is going to be influenced by the Sparrow, then he may end up having to go against his own mother.
Back across the sea in Bravos, Arya is once again getting the snot beat out of her while insisting that she is no one. She does get a pretty neat training montage, where the Waife questions her about Arya’s family, the Hound, and her list, Jaqen H’ghar watches her measure mystery powders into bottles, and Arya gets steadily better at stick-fighting. By the end of the sequence she has apparently passed some sort of test. Jaqen offers her a drink from the pool and instead of dying she regains her sight.
We actually learned a lot about Arya in this episode. Hearing her talk about her family that she hasn’t seen in so long was very interesting. She sounded very detached from her former life, even hearing her recite her list was not the same. We also gained some insight to her feelings about The Hound. Arya did take him off her list, but is confused as to if she still wants to kill him. Arya seems to be loosing her identity more and more, and we may actually see her become a Faceless Man sometime soon.
We head back north for the final few scenes of the episode, stopping off first at Winterfell where Ramsey is talking to Lord Umber. The Umbers are seeking help against the Wildings that Jon has let through The Wall. Instead of kneeling before Ramsey and swearing his loyalty, Lord Umber offers him Osha, Rickon, and the head of Rickon’s Direwolf.
I’m so happy that she show didn’t recast Rickon, but I got so angry when I saw that Shaggy Dog was dead. Taking a Direwolf away from a Stark is a terrible thing to do because of the bond the children have with them. Right now the only Starks who still have their direwolves with them are Bran and Jon.
We end “Oathbreaker” back at The Wall again! If beginning and ending the episodes with whatever is going on with Jon and/or at The Wall is going to be a theme, then I am one hundred percent on board.
What I was not on board with was the execution that was taking place. Jon is hanging everyone who stabbed him, including Olly! I really do not like hanging scenes, and watched through my fingers for most of this scene. I mean, did we really need to see the close up of Olly’s dead face? After the traitors are dead, Jon gives Ed his cloak, informs him that he has Castle Black, and walks away saying “My Watch has ended”.
It was quite a dramatic exit. I honestly was expecting Jon to stick around as Lord Commander a bit longer but his decision to walk away is completely understandable. Jon He constantly worked really hard to do what he thought was right, and he got murdered for his trouble. Now he’s back, and everyone expects him to carry on as a hero? No thank you. Ed is definitely a good choice to be Lord Commander. He knows about the White Walkers and is allies with the Free Folk. The Night’s Watch would obviously be better off with Jon there, but with Ed in charge they’re going to be as okay as they can be with the White Walkers on the way.