Game of Thrones Recap Season 6 Episode 3: Oathbreaker
Jon initially struggles to adjust to the whole being-alive-again thing, but gets some help and encouragement from Davos. He steps out to greet the remaining brothers of the Night's Watch and Tormund's Wildlings.
Somewhere at Sea
Between sessions of seasickness-induced vomiting, Sam reveals to Gilly that he will be going to Oldtown to train as a Maester alone. Gilly and young Sam will be headed to his father's castle at Horn Hill for protection.
Tower of Joy
Warging into the past again, Bran and Bloodraven witness a young Ned Stark and his bannermen confronting members of the Kingsguard at a solitary tower. Bran recognizes Howland Reed with his father and one of the Kingsguard as Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning.
Lore: The Sword of the Morning
After a brief (but badass) exchange, the fighting commences. Eventually the numbers on both sides are thinned, until Arthur Dayne has Ned backpedaling rapidly. He disarms Ned and is ready to end the confrontation when a wounded Howland stabs him through the back of the neck, leaving Ned to strike the killing blow. Ned goes to investigate the tower after hearing a woman's scream.
Bran calls out to his father, who oddly seems able to hear him. Before he can follow Ned into the tower, Bran is pulled back to the present by Bloodraven who again warns him against warging for too long. Bran is unhappy and restless; Bloodraven tells him he won't be stuck at the tree forever.
Dany and her captors arrive at their destination, where she is presented to the Dosh Khaleen. One of the former Khaleesis tries to humble Dany, and informs her that all of the Khalasars are gathered in Vaes Dothrak to decide where to march. Dany will not be immediately joining the Dosh Khaleen; instead she must face trial for her actions after the passing of Khal Drogo.
Varys bribes the woman (Valla) seen leading Unsullied to their deaths brought to him for information. Rather than torturing or threatening her, Varys offers her and her son passage on a ship out of Meereen in exchange for information regarding the Sons of the Harpy.
Tyrion learns the driving force behind the Sons of the Harpy are the returned-to-power slavemasters in Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis. There is no immediate action they can take without compromising the safety of Meereen, but Tyrion seems to have an idea.
Qyburn secures the power of Varys's child informants with sweets, reaffirming that you should not take candy from strangers. Cersei will still be facing trial for her charges, but seems comfortable with Zombie Mountain as her champion. The mission of Qyburn's repurposed "little birds" is to get information on her enemies, small and large, all over Westeros. She seems determined to kill every last one of them.
Tommen's small council (Kevan Lannister, Mace Tyrell, and the Queen of Thorns) is meeting when Cersei, Jaime, and Zombie Mountain interrupt. The two groups seem entirely opposed to helping one another, and Tommen's small council leaves without sharing any productive conversation. Cersei advocates immediate action against the Sand Snakes and Dorne.
Tommen visits the High Sparrow to ask permission for Cersei to visit Myrcella's body. The High Sparrow denies the request, and pontificates on love and motherhood before condemning the acts taking place around the Iron Throne. The scene ends without any progress resolving Cersei or Margaery's fates.
Arya undergoes a brutal training montage, but shows marked improvement despite her blindness. In between arms training, she continues playing the game of faces and learning to lie. She seems to be embracing the anonymity of the Faceless Men, and Jaqen asks her to drink from the pool in the main room. After a slight hesitation, she does, and her sight is restored.
Ramsay meets with a representative from House Umber, who explains their need for an alliance, with the Wildling menace looming closer to their lands. Whoever is speaking for the Umbers (the Smalljon is dead and the Greatjon imprisoned) refuses to kneel, but reveals a valuable bargaining chip to secure the alliance instead: Osha and Rickon Stark. When asked for proof of Rickon's identity, the man presents a severed direwolf head, presumably Shaggydog's.
Back at The Wall, Jon hangs Aliser, Olly, and his other attackers. He presents Edd with his cloak, suggesting his resignation from the post of Lord Commander, and walks away saying "my watch has ended".
I was very entertained this week, but the episode may be more valuable for speculation than actual progress of events. For Jon, walking away from the Night's Watch and his vows is a huge gesture. Custom demands a deserter of the Night's Watch be executed, but Jon is exploiting the rarely-attempted die-and-come-back-to-life loophole to escape what is usually a lifelong appointment. We don't know what he plans to do next; he knows some of what is happening in the rest of the North, but his only military force is Tormund and the Wildlings. In order to march on Winterfell he'll need to gather more troops. If he decides to attack Winterfell, he may be gone when the Others enter the story again.
Of course, the most logical source of those troops appears to have delivered Jon's half-brother to their hated enemies in exchange for protection from said Wildlings. If that's the case, Jon will need support from other northern houses, all of which are located further south. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that the direwolf head was not in fact Shaggydog's and that the Umbers are playing at a different game. One important reason is the letter sent to Stannis, saying "the Umbers recognize one King in the North and his name is Stark." Would the Wildlings really present enough of a threat to the Umbers that they would join forces with the very house that betrayed the Starks and killed their Lord? Additionally, whoever was representing the Umbers seemed well aware of Ramsay's involvement in his father's death and refused to kneel or swear allegiance to Ramsay beyond a partnership. For an old house loyal to the old ways, this may be a way to work around breaking a sworn oath when they eventually act against the Boltons. Another complicating factor is Osha: if the Umbers are actually betraying the Starks, why leave Osha alive? She isn't a valuable trading chip, so it would be a lot simpler to just kill her and use Rickon as your leverage. Finally, we know direwolves are being seen south of the Wall again. Someone could have killed a wild direwolf and given it to the Umbers. I could certainly be wrong, and the next episode might open with Ramsay flaying Rickon, but it seems to me that SOMEthing else is going on here.
King's Landing appears to be headed for a magnificent collapse. Rather than a "simple" war between the Iron Throne and the Faith Militant, a three-faction conflict is developing. Tommen was listening raptly to the High Sparrow by the end of their exchange, and his Small Council refuses to work with Cersei and her supporters. It's possible Tommen's behavior was a ploy; after all, he was seen asking Cersei for help at the end of last episode. If not, we could end up with a Tyrell/Baratheon, Lannister, and Faith Militant showdown difficult for any one side to win in the long run. All of that without even involving Dorne!
We didn't learn much more about Dany's fate, but facing a trial could open up some additional possibilities. Perhaps Daario Bone Zone and Jorah Friend Zone will arrive in time to represent her in a trial by combat, though the Dothraki may not follow that Westerosi custom. Drogon could arrive as her champion and savior. Alternatively, this could be an opportunity for Dany to recruit another formidable force to her side. She could certainly use some mounted troops to complement her Unsullied and dragons, and there's a prophesy touched on in the books that could be relevant.
Lore: The Stallion who Mounts the World
In any case, hopefully she's out of Vaes Dothrak and making moves soon.
The Tower of Joy was fascinating to watch, though the entire scene depicted in the books was not shown. There may be more crucial information from this relatively small event to be revealed.
Arya's not blind anymore! It's difficult to say if she was struggling to remember the names on her list because she's being indoctrinated by the Faceless Men or if she's simply getting better at lying. I hope it's the latter, and that she'll continue training to obtain the skills she'll later use to exact righteous vengeance.
I am also very curious to see what Tyrion has planned. He can't commit his army to sending a message to the masters supporting the Sons of the Harpy, but he did free two dragons recently.
Dragonflame Burn of the Week
This one isn't so much of a burn, but I loved the dialogue in the book and the version in the show didn't disappoint.