And now his watch has ended. RIP, Shaggydog.
In "Game of Thrones" Season 6, Episode 3, "Oathbreaker," Jon Snow quit the post he took an oath to keep for life, saying his watch as Lord Commander had ended. Because Jon Snow is dead. So who is he now? It's a loaded question. It's a very important question. And it's a question that only just started to be addressed in this big bad tease of an episode.
Jon kept the job just long enough to see the people who stabbed him to death be hanged to death, with little hope of being resurrected. (Pause for an unpopular opinion: Olly was a traitor for helping to kill Jon, but the wildlings killed his entire family and it's understandable that he felt betrayed by Jon supporting them. Olly, I get you. Everyone else can go ahead and get mad.)
— Razor (@House_Razor) May 9, 2016
Is Jon Azor Ahai, as Melisandre now hopes/suspects? SPOILER AND SPECULATION-loving book readers thought maybe this would FINALLY be the week where R + L = J was confirmed, but instead it was just teased with a first flashback to the Tower of Joy, where younger Ned Stark, Howland Reed, and friends went to rescue Lyanna Stark. Bran Stark shouted for his father, and it was heard through time. Now that is power. But the confirmation hasn't come yet. So Jon Snow still knows nothing, and the audience can still confirm nothing. (But we know. We know.)
Jon Snow quit his post just in time for Rickon Stark and Osha to reappear for the first time since Season 3. Here's how they looked the last time we saw them:
Here's a dark look at them now:
— ZIPERATIVO (@ZIPERATIVO) May 9, 2016
They -- and poor sweet Shaggydog -- were victims of oathbreakers this week as well, with the Umbers selling out the youngest Stark to (of all the damn people) Ramsay Bolton. So here we go again. In a way, Jon is partly to blame, since Umber was ticked about Jon letting the wildlings go south of The Wall into Umber lands. But hey, now that Jon has time on his hands, maybe he can swing down to Winterfell, connect with his half-sister (OR IS SHE) Sansa Stark and they can save the day. #SnowBowl
— Ned Stark (@Eddard_Stark_) May 9, 2016
Other stuff happened this week, but -- sorry -- nothing terribly important. Gilly and Sam made their first appearance, and Arya Stark is no longer blind, which is good. But that storyline is dragging so much it doesn't really feel like a win, especially when we really just want Arya to jump in on this Winterfell fight in Westeros. Tip: Your real family needs you. You are not No One. And neither is Jon "Snow"...
By the way, fans shouldn't let this Azor Ahai stuff put Daenerys Targaryen in a corner. Dany is still the full-blooded Targaryen who has proven, by fire, that she is a true dragon. She also turned dragon eggs into real dragons; conquered kingdoms; stole an army; freed slaves; and did NOT get herself killed even once, despite many attempts. She should be riding Drogon, the largest dragon, across The Wall when it's time for Dany, Jon, and (Tyrion?) to fulfill the destiny of "A Song of Ice and Fire."
— Melissa Raymond (@raymondreports) May 9, 2016
Read on for a recap of Episode 3:
THE MAP: Why did the map show Pyke this week? There were no stories in the Iron Islands.
Davos was the one who asked Melisandre to try and revive Jon Snow, so out of everyone he should be least shocked that it worked. Poor Shireen, though, that no one tried to revive her. Jon is naked as he awakes, which has to be slightly awkward, although if you're back from the dead you probably don't return with much insecurity. Davos asks Jon what he remembers. "They stabbed me. Olly." Put a knife in his heart. "I shouldn't be here." Melisandre wants to know where he went and what he saw after death. "Nothing. There was nothing at all." Well, that's a downer. Mel said the Lord of Light brought him back for a reason. Stannis was not the prince who was promised, but someone has to be.
OK, but does it have to be Jon, does it have to be a dude at all, or could it be Daenerys Targaryen? Has Mel even heard of the dragon queen, 'cause you'd think she'd be all over those signs. Davos thinks it's completely f --king mad that Jon was dead and now he's back. But now he's here and he has to fight for as long as he can. Jon says he doesn't know how. He tried and failed. Davos: "Good. Now go fail again." But no! Don't die again, 'cause you don't want to be the new Beric Dondarrion. Jon walks through the wildlings, who apparently think Jon is some kind of god. Jesus walks. Jon says he's not a god and Tormund drops a classic line: "I know. I saw your pecker. What kind of god would have a pecker that small?" BURN. Edd hugs Jon, says his eyes are still brown, so he's still in there. He's not a White Walker or anything, so that's a start.
At the end of the episode, we return to watch the hangings of the four men who killed Jon. He asks each one for final words. Alliser Thorne is still salty to "Lord Snow," but Olly says nothing. Jon wields the sword himself, to cut the rope that hangs them all at the same time.
Then he takes off his cape. He gives it to Edd. "Wear it. Burn it. Whatever you want. You have Castle Black. My watch has ended." Drop that mic! He walks out.
— Paulina (@MissPauleena) May 9, 2016
SAM + GILLY
We finally check in on Sam and Gilly, who are sailing to Oldtown. As you might expect, Sam is not a great sailor and gets seasick in the storm. Sam upchucks, and Gilly says she's excited to see Oldtown. Sam reminds her that The Citadel doesn't allow women, or babies, and there's no one there to help bend the rules. Sam says he's going to take her to his family home in Horn Hill. So we're going to meet the Tarlys! His mom and sister are nice, which is a pretty strong hint that his father and brother are going to be pains in the butt. Gilly isn't happy about this, but oh well.
We see a group riding to a tower. There are men in Targaryen armor. Is this Ser Arthur Dayne? Yes. The Sword of the Morning. It's the Tower of Joy flashback, with Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven watching younger Ned, and Meera's father Howland Reed. Team Robert vs. Team Rhaegar. Rhaegar is already dead at this point; the prince asked Dayne to stay there and protect Lyanna. Dayne: "And now it begins." Stark: "No, now it ends." Sadly for us, it only does just begin. We get to see the cool battle, Dayne taking on several fighters with two swords. Bran says Dayne is better than his father, but he knows his father beat him 'cause he's heard the story a thousand times. But we see that Stark was going to die when Howland Reed stabbed Dayne in the back to save Ned, then Ned chopped off Dayne's head. We hear a scream from the tower. Bran wants to follow, even though the Raven says it's time to go, for now. Bran calls "Father!" and Ned turns. He heard? What powers does Ned have, too? The Raven doesn't want Bran to spend too long in the past. "Stay too long where you don't belong and you'll never return." Have you seen the fan theory about Hodor, that he was a warg who stayed too long in a horse? It's crazy, but sounds reasonable, too. You may have seen the Meera theory, too. Was hoping for that to be settled today, but nope. Just a tease. Bran and the Raven argue. Before Bran leaves, he must learn -- everything.
DANY + THE DOTHRAKI
Dany + The Dothraki sounds like a great band name. Just throwing that out there. She is taken to Vaes Dothrak and stripped. People are forever stripping poor Dany. They give her new clothes. They are unimpressed with her story, since they knew it. The lead crone of the dosh khaleen, widow of a great khal herself, tells Dany she was supposed to join them after Drogo died. Apparently Dany is going to be judged by the group to determine whether she gets to stay there. Please just move on from this quickly, it's not terribly exciting.
Varys fans himself at the foot of the throne, and talks to a woman he summoned. This is the woman who worked with the Sons of the Harpy to have Unsullied killed. She thinks she's there to be tortured. His job is to find the right answers, not the wrong ones, which he does by making people happy. This woman is Valla? He knows who she is and what she's done. Varys does his spider work, trying to win her over/threaten her onto his side. She has a son and he's using that against her. "Children are blameless. I have never hurt them." Hmmm. She did conspire to kill the queen's soldiers, and she knows the punishment for that crime. She says either Varys will kill her or the Sons of the Harpy will. Varys offers a third option: A ship leaving tomorrow for Pentos. She needs to decide now. A new life for her and her son, or... Well played, Varys.
Separately, we see Tyrion sit with Missandei and Grey Worm, who are just passing the time while Varys does his work. Watching witty Tyrion try to have a conversation with dry Grey Worm and earnest Missandei is kind of hilarious. But so much of this episode is feeling like filler. Varys eventually returns, and learns the masters of Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis are funding the Sons of the Harpy. Missandei says the masters speak only one language, and if they want the masters to hear them they have to speak it back to them. Tyrion wants to have a conversation, sending a message to the masters.
Qyburn is so dang creepy, it's painful to see him with children. They used to work as Varys's "little birds" and he gave them sweets. So now Qyburn is taking them on as his little birds. He wants their whispers. Ser Robert Strong, being called Ser Gregor still, comes down and scares the children. Cersei and Jaime are down there, too, and Jaime wants Qyburn to tell Ser Gregor (not Robert Strong?) to march down and face the Faith. Cersei wants little birds in Dorne, Highgarden, the North, everywhere. She wants to know where everyone who hates the Lannisters might be, and the answer is probably EVERYWHERE.
Meanwhile, at the Small Council meeting, Pycelle is still going on about how much he hates Qyburn, as if he's a hero. Pycelle wants "the beast" destroyed, too, and on that note, the beast (Gregor) and his friends show up. Olenna Tyrell is back (yaasss) reminding Cersei that Margaery is the queen, not Cersei. But basically Cersei, Jaime, and the new Ser Gregor crash the meeting, which is led by Kevan Lannister, the new Hand.
Oh, and here's Tommen doing something. Crown on his head, he visits the High Sparrow and asks when his mother can see her daughter's final resting place. Cersei hasn't fully atoned yet? She has to stand trial so they can learn the full extent of her sins. But Jaime gets a free pass? Pycelle? Everyone but Cersei? Tommen stands up to the High Sparrow, with his army behind him, but then he sends them away. DO something, Tommen. The High Sparrow talks about mothers, on Mother's Day, and says when Cersei speaks of Tommen her mother's love shines, and it's pure, because it doesn't come from this world. Cersei did her walk of atonement to get back to Tommen. High Sparrow claims the gods want Cersei to stand trial. Convenient. He gets Tommen to sit with him for a conversation. Tyrion would be a good match for this guy, but Tommen is not.
Arya is back in the House of Black and White, still answering questions like "Who are you?" and who was she before she came here. Who was Arya Stark. She had one sister. And four brothers. Wrong answer. Three brothers. Three bros and a half bro, Jon. The waif wants to know about The Hound. "Also dead." Arya gets her butt kicked. "Arya Stark left him to die. He was on her list." But she had taken him off her list. She did and did not want him to die. "She sounds confused." "Yes, she was." Arya and the Hound were the best GoT buddies. The waif gets the full list. Cersei. Gregor Clegane. Walder Frey. ADD RAMSAY. Is Arya sure she's not forgetting someone. We see Arya start to get better at fighting, and call herself "a girl." Jaqen H'ghar says, if a girl tells him her name, she can get her eyes back. Arya says she has no name. He dips a cup into the water and gives it to Arya. If she is truly No One, she has nothing to fear. Arya gets her sight back. Maisie doesn't have to wear those contacts anymore! But she needs to be someone.
The Umbers are a famously loyal house, to the Starks, Ramsay and Karstark note to the visiting Umber. This is all about sons betraying their fathers. Lord Umber said Jon Snow led an army of wildlings past the wall. They are farther north than the other families, so when the wildings cross the wall, they have to fight them first. (Kind of like Olly.) Ramsay tells the new Lord Umber that if he pledges loyalty to Ramsay he'll help them. Umber refuses to kneel and do the tradition. So how can Ramsay trust him? "I've got a gift for you." He brings out two people -- Osha and RICKON! Rickon Stark. But how could they know it's Rickon. Ramsay asks it too. NOOOOOOO. Not Shaggydog! What direwolves are even alive now? Ghost and Nymeria, and Summer. Where is Nymeria?
Episode 4, which airs May 15, is called "Book of the Stranger," and has this synopsis: "Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) strikes a deal. Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) undertake a difficult task. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey) try to improve their situation." The trailer shows Sansa, Brienne, Theon, Yara, Cersei, Tyrion, Dany, and Jorah knowing where they'd have taken Dany. Don't drag this out like Qarth all over again.
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