Hello friends and welcome back to our Game of Thrones season 6 coverage. Wow, this episode was fantastic. While charting into unknown territory, this season is also exploring stories I wasn't sure would ever be covered on the show but have been theorized to be vital to the book saga. We'll get into it all below.
Brief warning on spoilers as always. I have read the 5 books in the Song of Ice and Fire (and anxiously awaiting the 6th). While the show has technically passed the books in the timeline there still are some plots that are being adapted from the books in one form or another. So, I will only address these plots up to the point they have been covered on the show. In those cases I may discuss differences from book to show. In comments I ask that any time you want to get into Book Discussion to precede the comment with a "BOOK SPOILER/DISCUSSION" warning.
And with that let's dive in!
The episode kicked off with the Jon, Davos, Melissandre, the Night's Watch and the wildlings learning of Jon Snow's resurrection.
- All the discussions speculated throughout the week were in the first few minutes of the episode. Jon remembered his death, thought he should not be here and explained what happened after death. NOTHING, there's absolutely nothing. This is exactly what Beric Dondarrion said after the 4 or 5 times he was brought back.
- Melisandre referred to a book prophecy about The Prince That Was Promised (TPTWP). This might be the first time in the show that it was mentioned. Basically it's the prophecy of a savior whose arrival would be announced by a bleeding star (Remember the comet in season 2?) and would bring with him a song (The Song of Ice and Fire). Mel thought this Prince was Stannis, but acknowledged she was wrong. There's also a prophecy of Azor Ahai being reborn to lead the people through the long night. Mel uses these terms interchangeably through the book, but there have been theories that they are 2 different people.
- Davos gave Jon some sound advice for being alive again. Doesn't matter why he's back, you fight for as long as you can and clean up S##T. Jon responded with not knowing how to do it. He failed. Davos told him to go fail again. Who doesn't love a good Davos motivational speech?
- Jon's reunions with Edd and Tormund were classic. Tormund referring to seeing his pecker and Edd asking if it's really him when he told a joke. And the joke just happened to be another reference to burning bodies. (So no, the show didn't forget about it)
- A sweet exchange of plot and character information between Sam and Gilly here. They're still headed to Oldtown which Gilly has been told is the most beautiful city in Westeros. Sam informed Gilly that there is no place for women and children in the citadel. Cue Gilly arguing that Sam would never leave her again. Sam decided that he will take Gilly and Little Sam to the Tarly residence in Horn Hill. He has faith that his mother and sister will take good care of them, though wasn't too sure about his father. (I'm not exactly sure but it has been speculated maybe confirmed that Ian McShane is playing Randyll Tarly.
- Gilly indicated that she trusts Sam and referred to him as the father of his child. Nice detail with Sam being seasick on the voyage as well.
- First off, I always pictured Ned a bit older than he was in this scene. But that's probably because I'm so used to associating Sean Bean with the part. But, the guy they got played it well.
- Apparently, Ned had told Bran and the other Stark kids that he defeated Arthur Dayne at the Tower of Joy. But, the events were a little more complicated. Howland Reed actually stabbed Dayne in the back when Ned was left defenseless. Then Ned delivered the final blow. We all know stabbing someone in the back is looked down upon in Westeros. Jaime has never lived it down, even Ned Stark berated him about it. But Howland was saving his friend and Ned was desperate to find his sister. But, why cover up the story? Why lie? Ned is an honorable man, but something went down at this tower that he has never quite been honest about. Obviously, I know the theory and I've danced around it in recaps and discussions for 5 years. So, it's probably no secret. But I'll withhold the info for now!
- Other key events that happened before Bran woke up, the 3 eyed raven warned him again of dwelling too long in the past. Bran also called for his father and Ned looked around as if he heard Bran. In the books they refer to the trees whispering. I don't think we really discussed this, but it's the weirwood trees that give Bran and the Raven these powers to explore the past, present and future of Westeros. The roots of a tree are like Westeros's Information Super Highway and Bran has the power to tap into it. But, he can technically interact as well. Thankfully, the Raven did go the LOST route and tell Bran that he can't change the past. Whatever happened did indeed happen.
- The 3 eyed raven gives a little more detail about himself. How he's 1000 years old and is part of the weirwood tree with roots growing into him. He did tell Bran that he needs to learn everything and that he will not stay in that tree forever.
- I have hopes that they may revisit other plots in the past before returning to the Tower of Joy. There was a certain tournament endlessly referred to in the books that I'm hoping they touch upon as well. Any further details would give too much away!
- Dany was at this location in season 1, but on a lower budget version of the town. We didn't see the 2 great horses at the entrance to the city or an overhead shot of the many many tents and the temple of the Dosh Kaleen.
- Dany put on her Dothraki garbs and tried to argue about who she is giving her million titles as again as proof she is a destined person of awesomeness. Another Khal's widow (Khal Savo was the Khal's name) talked her down into her place. She basically told Dany that she'd be lucky if she even gets to stay in the temple where she should've come when Drogo died. All of the Khals have returned to the city for some election of when they'll decide what city they're going to sack next. (Any bets on Meereen?) That is convenient that the entire Dothraki population is in one place giving Dany an opportunity to raise a HUGE army. But how will she recruit them? Well, she is the mother of dragons, but we'll see what happens. This is way past book plot so I really have no idea.
- Varys was working his magic with his new little birds (which we have confirmed now are a vast network of children that he bribes with sweets). He found the woman whore that was helping the Sons of the Harpy. She was stuck in that she'd be killed if she helped Varys or the Harpees. So Varys offered her a one way ticket to Pentos with her son Dom. It would seem Varys plans to break up this organization one piece at a time.
- Tyrion had an awkward council meeting with Missendei and Grey Worm while waiting for Varys. He tried to have conversations with them to get to know them and even tried to play his favorite drinking game he invented. ("I NEVER") It was comical stuff.
- Varys finally shows up and lets everyone know what he has learned. The masters of Astapor and Yunkai and the slave owners in Volantis have banded together to fund the Sons of the Harpy in Meereen. Missendei, who speaks 19 languages, says all of the masters speak one language and they must speak it back to them. Whatever the message is Varys was going to get his little birds to pass it on.
- We find Qyburn recruiting Varys' old little birds with sweets only to be interrupted by Jaime, Cersei and Ser Gregor (Fine, they're not going to call him Robert Strong. Personally, I wouldn't want to either.)
- They talked about Gregor for a little bit with Jaime doing is typical mocking. He wants the High Sparrow taken out, but that's a little more complicated than sending the Mountain in. Cersei wants birds in Dorne, Highgarden and The North. If anyone is laughing at her, she wants to know who they are, where they are...basically, wants them taken out and wants the message sent out that no one forgets who she is!
- We then visit the small council where Kevan Lannister resides as Hand of the King. Lady Olenna Tyrell sits on the council who had offered to help when her daughter the Queen was taken into custody. Pycelle and Mace Tyrell are present too.
- Long story short, none of them want Jamie, Cersei or Qyburn meddling in their affairs. Jaime has every right to be there as the Lord Commander of the King's Guard (Edited, thanks Richard!). But, Kevan basically up and left with his posse to avoid talking to the lot of them.
- And then we have Tommen face off against the High Sparrow. Did anyone think Tommen was going to win that argument? Instead, the sparrow tries to reason with him giving him a lesson in leadership that sounds an awful lot like what his grandfather Tywin tried to teach him. Surround yourself with good advisers. They also spoke to great mothers for long enough that we have to assume it was Game of Thrones wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day.
- Arya (um I mean no one) continued her training. She spoke about who she used to be. Arya Stark and her family. She was corrected when she referred to Jon Snow as her brother. She changed it to half brother. She mentioned that the Hound was no longer on her list when she left him for dead. (Note: We never actually saw him die. You know TV rules. It's still left ambiguous in the books too. If his brother survived death, it's possible he did too leaving room for a Clegane Bowl one of these days.)
- We see Arya continuously improving her fighting and other senses while blind. We find out her list consists of Cersei, The Mountain and Walder Frey. (It's nice that Frey is back on the list. I don't think she mentioned him last year. I still maintain there is unfinished business with the Freys so it seems like the show hasn't forgotten either.)
- Arya continued to claim that she is no one and apparently she passed the tests. Jaqen tests her one more time with drinking from the fountain that has killed others. When she drank it her eyesight returned but she was reborn as NO ONE.
- I mentioned last week that I don't think Arya will ever truly forget who she is/was. If we recall, she could not part with Needle last season or in the books. She hid it. She has to finish her list as Arya Stark. Has to.
- The Umbers have arrived! We got our answer to why the Umbers are siding with Ramsay Bolton. Greatjon Umber has died. (He was strongly on Robb Stark's Side)
- The Umbers need help from Ramsay to take care of the growing number of Wildlings coming south, led by Jon Snow (supposedly). Greatjon's son refuses to kneel or follow any traditions Ramsay throws at him. But he does offer a gift.
- If we recall, Bran sent Osha and Rickon to the Umber family in season 3. At that time they were strong allies of the Stark family. But, people die and things change. And now Rickon Stark is a captive of Ramsay Bolton. WHAT!?!?!
- This is totally not in the book, but it aligns with a book story they may revisit. Just a little out of order. If you recall, I mentioned in the book that Ramsay NEVER had a Stark in Winterfell. He pretended that he had Arya Stark but it was rumored to be Sansa's best friend Jeyne Poole. He married her, raped her and tried to deliver an heir to the North. Theon escaped with this girl, not Arya or Sansa. But before all of that, he also sent some fun letters up north to mess with Jon Snow. Things happened as a result. Things that have already happened in the show. But, maybe they're still going to revisit. And now with them having Rickon Stark and Ramsay having a reason to attack the wildlings, it seems like things are brewing for an old fashion throw down!
- Alliser Thorne, Ollie, Bowen Marsh and the others that killed Jon Snow had ropes around their necks and were sentenced to death for treason. Jon is heartbroken that Ollie stabbed him in the heart. Jon asked the men for any last words. Alliser gives his usual speech about what Jon Snow did and said that he would do it again if he had to. He also mentioned that Jon will be fighting the wildling's battle forever. Ollie just stared all angry and stuff. You think these guys would still be a little more surprised that Jon was standing there at all.
- Jon swung the sword and hung them all. RIP traitors!!
- Edd mentioned they should burn the bodies. Jon took off his Lord Commander coat and handed it to Edd and said that he should. He told him to wear it, burn it whatever he wants. Castle Black is his.
- Heartbreakingly, Jon walks away from the Night's Watch and says, "My Watch is ended". The episode is called Oathbreaker, but technically he is breaking no oath. Jon Snow died. His watch ended at that moment. The Night's Watch betrayed and murdered him. They were his family. Why would he want to stay? Jon has bigger things he is destined for and most book fans have theorized that this will happen in the books as well.
- Interview with Thorne Actor - http://www.ew.com/article/2016/05/08/game-thrones-oathbreaker-death-execution
- Interview with Kit - http://www.ew.com/article/2016/05/08/game-thrones-kit-harington-oathbreaker
- Recap - http://www.ew.com/recap/game-of-thrones-oathbreaker