SE Andres is a marketing graduate student, writer, feminist, environmentalist, and Thor impersonator.
Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth, Melisandre, Tormund Giantsbane, Dolorous Edd, Alliser Thorne, & Olly
Davos gapes incredulously at an alive and awake Jon Snow, yet naked with just a cloth draped over his groin. This is the guy who calls for more male nudity on the show, and no one is giving it to the audience. If they don’t do it before the series finale, there will be riots. At least, they give a good butt shot for everyone to enjoy. The rustling he makes, fumbling into Davos’ arms brings in Melisandre, who can’t believe that she actually revived him. She immediately questions him: where did he go when he died? The answer: it was a whole lot of nothing. He went nowhere and experienced nothing. This leads her to believe that rather than there being no afterlife that the Lord of Light kept him in some sort of limbo until Melisandre revived him. To her, Jon is the hero she should have placed her faith in first, rather than the dullard Stannis Baratheon. She should have been putting her power not in a king but in an actual hero. Davos has enough out of her muck mouth and kicks her out. Jon just woke up from being dead, and she’s spouting religion at him. Davos takes him to the basic level: he was dead but not anymore. In shock, Jon runs through his mind his murder, believing he did the right thing and got killed for it. Ignoring Melisandre’s preaching, Jon wonders why he’s back. Neither man knows, but Davos points out that it doesn’t matter. He just has to go on and do what must be done. A despondent Jon believes he failed at life. The Onion Knight brilliantly advises, “Now go fail again.” He helps Jon out into the courtyard. The Wildlings and Crows crowd together, staring at what they think is a god. Tormund Giantsbane doesn’t believe that, though, judging by the small size of his penis, having just seen it. Tormund hugs him, despite Jon having pain, and Jon doesn’t hug back, especially when he’s distracted by seeing his best and loyal friend Dolorous Edd. Jon takes the initiative to hug him, knowing it will hurt. But it will be the greatest comfort at the same time. Jon tells him to hold off on burning his body for now.
But now that Jon lives, those who killed him must die. Soon the hanging takes place of the men who conspired against Jon, including Olly and Alliser Thorne. Their deaths are so satisfying as they dangle there. Jon listens to all their last words, including Thorne saying that he’d do it all over again. In a way, Thorne curses Jon by saying that he is resting in death while Jon is eternally fighting. Olly makes to last words, just an icy stare of hatred. And pursed lips that look like the asshole he is. Jon hangs them, and looks at what he’s just done. He then gives Dolorous Edd his coat, giving him Castle Black, and takes his leave of the Wall, saying “My watch had ended.” I have so many questions here: Is he not cold anymore? Does the Red God’s fire burn within him? Is he just no longer cold because he’s still kind of dead? Does he just not care? Where is he going? What’s he going to do? I NEED TO KNOW!
Samwell Tarly & Gilly
On a ship, Gilly is excited to see a rainstorm, while Sam is horribly sick. Gilly explains a lesson in homonyms she learned from being able to read. Gilly, being from North of the Wall, is more accustomed to snow and had never seen the sea, let alone been on it. Gilly is super pumped to be going to Oldtown, which the captain describes as the most beautiful city is Westeros. Oh, Gilly, if you only knew… Oldtown is a junk town full of whores and thieves. Sam explains that Gilly and little Sam can’t stay in the Citadel with him. Rather, Sam is taking her to his home to live with his family at Horn Hill. Gilly can’t help but feel betrayed because Sam promised her that wherever he goes, she goes, too. He explains that he’s trying to keep her safe by becoming a master so that he can help protect Westeros. Gilly does understand, though, and refers to Sam as the father of her son for the first time, I think. This is a big deal.
Bran Stark & the Three-Eyed Raven
At the Tower of Joy in the Red Mountains of Dorne, Bran spies on his father, Howland Reed (Meera’s father), and five others advance with Ser Arthur Dayne and Ser Oswell Whent keeping guard at Rhaegar’s request while he was at war with Robert Baratheon at the Trident. Ned demands to know where his sister is, but Dayne dismisses the question and takes up his swords. Reed is sliced by Dayne but not immediately dead, while Whent kills one of Ned’s companions. Ned takes Reed’s place and is pushed over to Whent, whom Ned kills immediately. Dayne makes fighting five others a dance, and it’s oddly beautiful as he deftly makes minced meat of Ned Stark’s companions. It’s left to Stark and Dayne, and Stark puts up a valiant fight until his sword is knocked out of his hands. Just as he saw his own immediate demise before him, he saw Reed’s sword cut through Dayne’s neck from behind. Ned finished him off with a slash to the chest. It was not the story Bran knew. Bran wants to follow his father to see what’s in the tower, but the Three-Eyed Raven advises that it’s time to go. Bran calls after his father, who hears something but sees nothing as he looks around behind him. The Raven takes Bran out of the past before he drowns. The Raven assures Bran that he will not become what he is. He has his own destiny, but he must learn everything before he leaves.
Daenerys enters the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen, stared down by all the Khaleesi that came before and her. They strip her, like every Dothrak wants to do, and replace her old clothes with ones that look exactly like theirs. It’s symbolic of losing her individuality and her queenship of other realms. These people care nothing about who she is outside of the Dothraki. Dany must be judged for not coming there immediately after Khal Drogo died. They may choose to order her to stay with the Dosh Khaleen or something far worse.
Tyrion Lannister, Varys, Missandei, & Grey Worm
In Mereen, a fanning Varys admires the Unsuillied guards for wearing all that leather. He dismisses everyone after they bring in the whore that’s been working with the Sons of the Harpy. She wants to get this over and just have the Unsullied torture her already. That isn’t what Varys does, though. No, he knows that torture gets the wrong or false answers out of people. They may give you what you want to hear and not the truth. He already knows the truth, thanks to his little birds, down to her name (Valla) and her son’s name. She fears he threatens her son, but he vows to never do that. He gives her an ultimatum, leave with a big bag of silver to start a new life with her son, or stay and be killed for treason by either Dany’s council or by the Sons of the Harpy, leaving her child motherless. Valla brings up a point that touches on something controversial. Dany came here with her army and erase a culture and its history. Dany destroyed monuments and immediately halts fighting pits and slavery. That’s exactly what is happening when war leaders invade countries or cities. However, this is a culture built entirely on the backs of slaves and still was operating as such until recently. It’s a nice symbolic sentiment, but keeping those structures is also a great reminder of a shameful past, like we do with Auschwitz. It’s there as a reminder to never let that happen again. The placement of
While awaiting Varys, Grey Worm, Missandei, and Tyrion sit in awkward silence. Tyrion doesn’t like that, though, and tries to strike up casual conversation, which they don’t know how to do. He notes that Missandei speaks 19 languages and that these two spend an awful lot of time together and must talk about something. Grey Worm insists that it’s only patrol. Tyrion then suggests games. Grey Worm thinks they are for children, and Missandei explains that her master used to make her and the other female slaves play games. He insists that these are fun games: drinking games. But they don’t drink. This just isn’t going well for the gregarious Tyrion. Just as Tyrion couldn’t dig a deeper hole, Varys walks in to report that the Yunkai and Astapor masters are funding the Sons of the Harpy with help from those in Volantis. Tyrion wonders how they subdue this. Grey Worm suggests they slaughter them, but that would leave Mereen unprotected. And the woman who speaks 19 languages, Missandei, adds that the masters only speak one language, the one in which she’s most fluent: her mother tongue. They must speak that language back to them. She richly says, “It may be the last thing they ever hear.” Tyrion asks Varys is his birds can get a message to the masters of Yunkai and Astapor and those in Volantis. He’s thinking up a plan.
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Cersei, Jaime, the Mountain, Qyburn, Olenna and Mace Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, & Grand Maester Pycelle
Qyburn examines an injured child in his lab. He’s successfully made his abusive father disappear and is gaining the trust of his “little birds”, partly with candy. All the children stop eating candied plumbs when they see Cersei, Jaime, and the Zombie Mountain (introduced as Ser Gregor) come in. The little birds now are Cersei’s. Cersei tells Qyburn that she wants little birds in Dorne, in Highgarden, and in the North. Here in this dank lab are the four people who are the core of the Lannister fight against the world. Cersei plans on a trial by combat with the Mountain once again as her defender against the High Sparrow. Foremost to take down is the Faith Militant, then Dorne, then Highgarden, then the North, which is a pretty big generality. It’s amazing that no one knows what the hell is going on up there. And Cersei confirms just what she started to do last week: killing everyone who is planning on standing up against or speaking ill about her or her family. And the little birds are an integral part of that plan.
Grand Maester Pycelle complains to Lady Olenna Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, and Mace Tyrell about Qyburn being arrogant and dangerous and his abomination Gregor Clegane. He keeps talking, even as the others know that Cersei, Jaime, and Gregor enter the room, almost declaring that the “beast” should be destroyed before realizing everyone was looking elsewhere in the room. And he lets out a nervous fart or perhaps a shart, giving weight to the phrase, “Oh, shit.” Cersei’s first question is to inquire about why Olenna is present at the small council. She was asked to deal with problems, such as the Queen’s imprisonment. Cersei takes that as her own slights, but Olenna laughs that folly off and tells her she meant her granddaughter Queen Margaery because she is married to the King, not Cersei. “I do appreciate these things can get a bit confusing in your family,” Olenna boldly quips. Kevan adds that they shouldn’t be there, as they are not on the small council, either. Jaime argues that he has a right to be there. Pycelle explains that the only time a Lord Commander of the King’s Guard did have a position on the small council was under the Mad King. No matter: Jaime takes a seat and provides one to Cersei as well.
Cersei’s next question was to her uncle over whether he considered Myrcella’s murder a “troublesome issue.” Jaime expounds that the same women murdered House Martell and took over Dorne. All of them have much to discuss. Cersei orders them to get on with the meeting, since they can’t make them leave. Kevan gets up and says, “And you cannot make us stay,” much to Olenna’s satisfaction, unless they have “that thing” murder them. The placing of the camera as Kevan leaves is interesting, in that it portrays an enclosed space between two columns with the Mountain both in the foreground towering over the table and on the right side of the screen to create uneasiness, as it’s an unnatural placement for the eyeline. Rather, we see Kevan stand in defiance, and it breaks that discomfort. Pycelle is last to leave, shuffling out while cowering by the Mountain.
King Tommen & High Sparrow
King Tommen confronts the High Sparrow with a troop of soldiers behind him, demanding that Cersei be allowed to see the grave of Myrcella. The High Sparrow refuses until she fully atones in front of the seven septons. Tommen asks what his being King means to the Sparrow. He uses a phrase Cersei told him to respond to appeal to Tommen’s emotions. He explains that Cersei is with fault, though her mother’s love is pure. And that comes from the Seven’s Mother. There is good in her, but he advises Tommen to help bring it out. To do that, she must atone. Tommen now gives him a smile. Just when I thought he was beginning to grow into being a king and a Lannister, he is brought back down to the High Sparrow’s emotionally-drawn speech. I guess it’s just in his nature to not think for himself, being so young and malleable. Who will win him over ultimately: Jaime, Cersei, Margaery, or the High Sparrow?
Arya Stark, Waif, & Jaqen
In the Hall of Black and White, Waif continues to train blind Arya, complete with stick smacking. Arya is forced to truthfully tell about her previous life as Arya. Her training involves learning to fight blind and concocting poisons by smell. Like a Rocky montage, Arya successfully does it all, impressing Jaqen and Waif. Jaqen gives Arya her eyesight back, and finally we can go somewhere with her story! YES!
Ramsay Bolton, Smalljon Umber, Harald Karstark, Rickon Stark, & Osha
At Winterfell, Lord Smalljon Umber confronts Ramsay, who finds it odd that a family historically so faithful to the Starks would be coming in peace to Ramsay. Smalljon points out that Ramsay’s trusted friend Harald Karstark shares blood with them. In addition, Ramsay points out that Smalljon’s father did not bend the knee to his father when he became lord of Winterfell, to which Smalljon responded, “You’re father was a cunt.” He also makes it known that it’s obvious he killed his own father Roose, as well, and he’s have done the same to his own father if he didn’t die on his own. Ramsay a little too heavily asserts that his father was killed by an enemy. Uh-huh. Right.
So we get onto what Lord Umber’s really doing here, risking his skin and his life. Jon Snow let the Wildlings through the Wall and have taken refuge in the North, and the Umbers are farther north than anyone else. They have to fight the Wildlings first if they come down, which will happen the colder it gets. Umber suggests they all work together to defend the North against the Wildlings and Jon Snow. Ramsay demands he pledge to House Bolton to make it happen, but Umber less-than-courteously refuses to do so. Ramsay asks why he would trust a man who doesn’t honor tradition. Umber is quick to point out that Roose honored tradition and yet the Red Wedding happened, ignoring all traditions, after Roose bent the knee to Robb Stark. To show his loyalty, Umber presents a gift: Osha the Wildling and Rockon Stark, complete with the head of Shaggydog, Rickon’s direwolf. Umber manages to get in a pedophile jab at Karstark while revealing Rickon, too. This guy, despite giving up Osha and Rickon, might be my new favorite character. However, I suspect there is more at play here than meets the eye. Umber is far too smart with a house far too loyal to the Starks to not be playing against Ramsay in some way.
Compared to the brilliantly written episode last week, Oathbreaker was a bitter disappointment. The dialogue was less packed and pointed, and the time felt, well, wasted. When the season premiere was already a foundation episode, this one should not have been as well. While it serves as set up once more, it does provide a lot more rich action to follow. The Tower of Joy, the scene we’ve all been waiting for, both as book fans and as TV series fans, was truncated to have little credence as a scene or meaning in the whole series so far. The North continues to be the most intriguing and unnerving part of the show, and I’m curious each week to see what the next week brings. It’s strange that Dorne wasn’t in the episode. Even though it’s been terribly written so far, it would have added a much needed fast pace to the episode. It could have done without Tyrion’s awkward scene that dragged on for too long. The entire episode was very dark, which also lends to the somber and drawn-out tone. Sometimes it’s hard to watch an entire episode that dark. Despite all its flaws, this episode is still better than so many other TV shows, and it keeps me wanting more weekly.
Who is winning the Game of Thrones?
© 2016 SE Andres