Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3 – ‘Oathbreaker’
Tower of Joy hints huge fan theory revelation is coming soon
Bran's time travelling is a gift from the Plot Reveal Gods, as young Ned and Howland Reed do battle with legendary Kingsguard Ser Arthur Dayne, but the less time we spend in the raven cave the better. It's a Stark children-heavy episode, as Jon and Arya begin second lives, and Rickon comes in from the wild. The List's resident Game of Thrones nerds Rebecca Monks and Scott Henderson tackle 'Oathbreaker'.
****SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 EPISODE 3 FOLLOW****
I'm going to start this with a confession: I screeched like an injured weasel when they cut away from Ned at the tower. It's excellent tension building from the writers, since it's now commonly believed that Ned is going to discover Lyanna holding little baby Jon when he ascends that staircase, (and let's face it, that baby will probably be looking forlorn and possibly wearing a black feather overcoat). The only reason viewers haven't started a change.org petition for Bran to be written out is because he is the vehicle to the past. Come on Bran, keep driving pal.
Speaking of surly Jon, he finally abandoned his watch. But really, what are they going to do as punishment, keep killing him until it sticks? My guess is that he's heading for Winterfell and will miss Sansa's arrival, because no Stark children will ever be reunited no matter how close they come to one another geographically. Now all I need is for Sam to abandon his screentime. Seriously, he was amusing for a while, even interesting at one point, but now I don't need to waste time watching him huey in a bucket.
The main thing I took away from this episode is that I never want to go to a party with Grey Worm and Missandei. Do you know how many people would love to play a drinking game with Tyrion? Honestly. (Side note: sad 'this is how he met Shey' memory).
Yeah, so, Tower of Joy part one was another gigantic tease basically. There really can be no doubt that Ned's sister is up there giving birth to Jon Snow, but given how long this reveal has been in the making, and how it could potentially be a huge anticlimax discovering that R+L=J, I can't help but start to think that maybe, just maybe, these is another twist to this. Maybe these theories about Meera Reed are true?
Ser Arthur Dayne was as amazing as I had always expected the Sword of the Morning to get, and young Ned was maybe a little, ahem, overconfident under the circumstances. What I don't understand though, is why they couldn't talk it out a bit more? Couldn't Ser Arthur take him aside and explain the situation? Like, 'so Ned, I've got good news and bad news. Good news is you're going to be an uncle, yay. Bad news, your pal Robert is going to want to kill your nephew, boo'. Side note to the whole scene, Howland Reed didn't get much characterisation? Thank goodness for Bran telling us who he was. The whole thing really reminded me of that YouTube video that cuts up Karate Kid to show that Daniel is really the troublemaker.
Why do you think the episode was called 'Oathbreaker'? Did I miss something?
Well, the Meera Reed theories (that she is Jon's twin sister) maybe have some merit since Reed was there with Ned that day. I personally don't believe it. What role could she play in the future if that's true? There is literally no point asking why Ned and the Sword of the Morning couldn't talk more. You could ask that about anyone in the series under any circumstance. Why didn't Ned and Robert have a big talk about how Ned didn't really want to be Hand of the King, other than to find out more about Jon Arryn's death? Why didn't Cersei and Jaime sit Tywin down for a big family chat about how they are incestuous lovers? Martin has created a world where action is driven by violence, not words. That point was driven home by Missandea when she said they had to speak the only language the Masters understood: brutality.
It was called 'Oathbreaker' because Jon broke his Night's Watch oath and quit. That close-up of Olly's dead face was a lot to take wasn't it? Wonder what the Olly-hating subreddit community thought of that?
WHERE IS BRONN?
Maybe Bronn is on a super secret mission to find himself some, er, 'bad pussy'? Swiftly moving on...
I mean, I guess the series isn't observing the widely-held school of thought that Jon's not held to his sacred Night's Watch oath seen as he died and all. Poor Dolorous Edd, Jon just walks out on him without so much as a goodbye – he's not getting relieved of his watch any time soon.
Back in King's Landing, it was nice to see the return of the Queen of Thorns, Lady Olenna, though I can really take or leave Uncle Kev who has suddenly decided to turn up for work again. Probably my favourite scene in KL though was Maester Qyburn with Varys' little birds. I hesitate to use the word 'grooming', but looks like they're going all Oliver Twist's Fagin with him.
Do we even need to talk about Dany this week or can we just boycott that storyline until we get more Drogon?
Yes, not at all surprised to discover the Little Birds were children. Also nice to see Varys' political scheming in play once more with his negotiations in Mereen.
Let's not talk about Dany until this Dothraki nonsense is over. Let's not talk about Arya until this training nonsense is over. Let's not talk about Bran unless Bran is not actually on screen and Ned is.
A surprising highlight for me this week was Rickon's return (he's all grown up, and looks pretty healthy considering he's been living in the wild for so long). Good child rearing skills Osha. Poor direwolf. It's important for me that Ramsay's tricks drove Theon and Sansa away, and Roose reminded him of that. I think he'd be reluctant to torture Rickon now, and will likely try to get him on side instead. No skin peeling for Ricky.
Next week I'd like to see what progress Sansa is making. In an ideal world she stumbles upon Bronn and Gendry and they all go to Pentos together to live happily ever after.
You forgot about Hot Pie …
Episode rating and final thoughts
Flashback even better than last week, good to see another Stark offspring emerge from the ether, but not enough Peter Dinklage. And definitely not enough Bronn.
Best episode of the season so far, everything at Castle Black was hauntingly strong. Tower of Tease was brilliant bit of swordplay action, I just wish the plot would drive forward a bit more.
Game of Thrones air Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic, and on demand elsewhere.