Monday, May 9, 2016

Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker

by Melissa Parkin

It's the gasp heard around the world. Jon Snow has risen from the dead. The Wildlings have invaded Castle Black. Dany is now a captive of the Dosh Khaleen. And Ramsay is the new Lord Bolton. Following last week’s eventful and climactic episode, we’re now greeted with the treat of watching an hour’s worth of everyone standing around and talking…a lot.


Bran peers into the past where he witnesses the legendary Tower of Joy tale firsthand. As legend says, Ned Stark stormed the spire to retrieve his kidnapped sister from Rhaeger Targaryen, only to find her dying. Upon arriving, Bran immediately recognizes his father as he and his men approach the tower. Fighting the sentinels stationed out front, Ned’s men fall, leaving only him to fight a particularly skilled guard. Ned is unable to best the man. Meera’s wounded father, Howland Reed, manages to stab the guard in the back, leaving Ned to finish him off. He runs to the tower upon hearing a woman cry from up above.

Bran yells out to his father, and Ned stops dead in his tracks. He turns around, seeing no one in sight, before continuing up the stairs. Bran tries to follow him, and that’s when the Three-Eyed Raven forces him out of the vision. Back at the tree, Bran furiously demands to return, wanting to know what happens next. The Raven refuses, insisting his teachings are what’s really important. I think the fans would disagree with you there, Raven.

Meanwhile, Daenerys is taken to the Dosh Khaleen. Stripped completely naked, she is informed by the leader of the crones that she’s nothing special, as all other widows there believed once they would conquer the world with their Khals as well. The fact that Dany didn’t immediately come to them following Drogo’s death also leaves her fate of staying with the women up in the air.

In King’s Landing, King Tommen goes to the High Sparrow, demanding he allow his mother the privilege to see Myrcella. The High Sparrow refuses, declaring that she still needs to stand trial before receiving full atonement. On the other end of town, Qyburn bribes local children with sweets. So, he's basically that creepy guy that all the kids are told not to visit while Trick-or-Treating. 

Sadly, the youngsters gleefully accept his offer, but flee from the premises once Jaimie, Cersei, and the Mountain pay Qyburn a visit. Cersei demands he have ears everywhere, using the children as his little birds. The trio later invades the Small Counsel, but their attempts to bully their way into the meeting backfires as the members refuse to entertain their harassment by exiting the room.

Arya takes a beating from the Waif as she resumes her training. Every time she lies, she’s struck, forcing her to speak the truth. Amid telling the Waif of the names on her death list, Arya confesses to her feelings concerning the Hound. Though he was initially on said list, she faced conflicted emotions when he did in fact die. Despite being blind, Arya manages to best the Waif with Jaquen in attendance. Impressed by her fervor, the Faceless Man restores Arya’s vision.

The House of Umber petitions Ramsay Bolton to join forces. To every viewer’s delight, Lord Umber doesn’t pull any punches with Ramsay, calling him outright for the murder of his father. After addressing all the elephants in the room, the two make an alliance. With the knowledge that Jon Snow allowed the Wildlings to cross the Wall into the south, it’s clear they must work together if they wish to keep the true Northerners at bay. As a token of appreciation, Umber delivers Osha and youngest Stark boy, Rickon, along with the head of his Dire Wolf as proof.

“Welcome home, Lord Stark,” declares Ramsay wickedly.

Up at the Wall, Davos gawks openly as Jon awakens. Snow sits up, touching the knife wounds across his chest and abdomen. “Olly put a knife in my heart,” he utters in a panic. “I shouldn’t be here.” Melisandre comes to visit him, begging to know what he saw after dying. “Nothing,” he replies. Jon manages to collect himself and faces the rest of his men. As consequence for their betrayal, Jon’s murderers do the Tyburn Jig as they’re hanged in front of the Night’s Watch. Edd asks if the bodies should be burned, in which Jon takes off his cloak and hands it to his friend, naming him the new Lord Commander. “You have Castle Black. My watch has ended.”

And he walks out.

GOT knows how to end a show, but let’s be honest, the episode was pretty much filler and teases. Remember when Daenerys was the kickass Mother of Dragons armed with scaly fire breathers, an entire fleet, and a loyal militia? Yep, the good old days. For the past two seasons, we’ve been patiently waiting for her to finally sail to Westeros and fight the good fight. And yet, here we are, watching her now sit in a dank retirement home for widows.

Even worse, the writers dragged Tyrion into this boredom. Despite having Dany’s ships destroyed and the looming threat of the Harpy, everyone in Meereen sits idly by—doing nothing. Oh, the excitement…  


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