The third episode of season six of Game of Thrones gives us yet more revelations. Spoilers be here.
We’ve already had a number of big reveals so far this season and episode three is no exception with the return of the forgotten Stark child. No not Bran, we got him last episode, the other one.
“You were dead and now you’re not. Seems completely fucking mad to me”
Jon Snow lives! Of course, we found that out last week. But he’s walking and talking and everything now. And everyone’s a bit surprised. Jon not the least. He’s horrified by the idea that he died and has somehow been dragged back from the afterlife. Melissandre’s reaction is understandable and she’s keen to know what Jon has been though. When Jon says there was nothing, she’s noticeably disappointed. But she still thinks he’s Azor Ahai. Understandably, I’d say, that guy was dead. But seriously, we’ve thought this for ages. Get with the program. Now is Jon about to become the centre of some religious movement? As Edd says to Jon “Are you sure it’s still you in there?”, I found myself asking the same question. Seems like same old Jon, but we’ll just have to wait and see I guess. I’m almost expecting a John Locke situation from Lost. A reincarnation of a body, but by a different being. I’ll come back to Jon at the end.
“If we’re not going to old town where are you taking me?”
Sam! Remember that guy! Like the one from Lord of the Rings but fatter, much less capable and much more annoying. Well, he’s on a boat with Gilly and her baby, also called Sam. Sam’s on the way to become a wizard, or something, at the Old Town Citadel, but on the way he’s dropping Gilly and mini me off at his parents house for safe keeping. There’s not much more to this scene than that really, but it’s nice to see Sam get some screen time. His training needs to get a move on though. His story is going at a snail’s pace at the moment. That’s a problem with a lot of the characters at the moment and I’ll revisit this throughout this article.
“Where’s my sister?”
The much anticipated ‘Tower of Joy’ flashback we’ve all been waiting for makes an appearance. Bran visits his father with the Three-Eyed Raven. We see young Ned for a second week running as he attempts to rescue his sister, who we also saw last week, from the Tower of Joy in the Red Mountains of Dorne. This story is deep in the lore of the book readers and the rumours go that Lyanna is found in the tower dying with a baby. Now that baby is thought to be Jon Snow and his father is expected to be Rhaegar Targaryen. The story goes that Ned claims Jon as his bastard to hide Jon’s identity as half a Targaryen, given that the now King Robert is determined to wipe every last one of them off the map. Juicy stuff. It’s annoying that they cut away from the scene before we get to see what Ned finds inside. But I’ll bet everything I own there’s a newborn baby in there.
However, we are given an interesting moment to mull us over for the time being before Bran is pulled away by his new mentor. Bran shouts ‘Father’ at Ned and Ned turns around, obviously reacting to a noise behind him. Did he hear Bran? Or was it the wind? Bran was told that he can’t affect the past, but can he? Is he time-travelling rather than just experiencing what’s already gone on? I’ve no idea, but it’s an interesting thought.
“My job is to find the right answers”
Back with Daenerys and she’s arrived at the widow temple or whatever this is. But she’s told she might not be able to stay there after all by the old lady who’s seemingly in charge. Her status really means nothing here. I’m not really finding this diversion particularly interesting to be honest. Just get her on her dragons and over the sea to Westeros please.
Varys is back and he’s gone a bit nasty again. I’d forgotten about this side of him. It’s nice to see it again. He not-so-subtly threatens a woman’s family in order to gain intel on the Son’s of the Harpy. He bribes her and it works. Meanwhile, Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei have an awkward social situation. Grey Worm really likes Patrol. That guy takes his job too seriously, he should definitely take a leaf out of Tyrion’s book. That guy could use a drink.
“I appreciate these things can get confusing in your family”
Next we get confirmation that Ser Robert Strong is indeed the Mountain reincarnated. For a show that is notorious for killing people off, there sure is a lot of people not staying dead. And jeez look at the small council, it’s so lifeless and uninteresting compared to what it used to be. No Varys, no Littlefinger, no Tyrion or Tywin. None of the clever scheming, trying to guess people’s motives. Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth? None of that anymore. Man that scene was dull. Mainly because the characters are. Who cares about any of them? It doesn’t even progress the story forward.
Cersei confronts them and again claims that she is the Queen when she clearly isn’t. Her sense of entitlement is becoming annoying. Her constantly trying to assert her power by being passive aggressive and snide is getting old. Do something about it or shut up! Olenna Tyrell brilliantly puts her in her place reminding her of this fact and making a quip about her inbred family. We need more of her please, she’s the only interesting character on this council.
Tommen is finally showing some backbone by standing up to the High Sparrow. Only to be taught a lesson about what the Gods want and how he knows what the Gods want so maybe it’s best that Tommen just pipes down. Which he duly does. It’s another uninteresting scene really. Nothing happens. King’s Landing is becoming the new Dorne. None of it really feels relevant anymore compared to the Wall or Bran or Daenerys and Tyrion, who are clearly the focal points of the show. It feels like the writers think that too and the other characters are given less interesting things to do as a result.
“If a girl is truly no-one she has nothing to fear”
Back to Arya and her training to become the Westerosi Daredevil. It looks like she’s succeeded as she’s gifted her sight back after a fair beating. Is she now truly no-one? Maybe in the eyes of the Many Faced God she is but what if she meets her family again? I’m not so sure she’ll still be ‘no-one’ then. Again this is a story-line that has been treading water for seemingly ages now. How many more times do we need to hear “a girl is no-one’ before her story progresses? Hopefully now she’s got her eyesight back it’ll get a bit more interesting.
“Your father was a cunt and that’s why you killed him”
Back to the dad-killer Ramsay who’s held up at Winterfell then. He’s visited by Jon ‘Smalljon’ Umber, whose father was on Robb Stark’s close council during the war of the five kings. Now, we’re not entirely sure where Greatjon is but as far as we’re aware the Umbers are loyal Stark followers. But here he is asking for Ramsay’s help fighting the Wildlings that Lord Commander Snow has allowed past the wall. In return, he’s got a gift for Lord Bolton.
“Welcome home Lord stark”
Yep his gift is non other than little Rickon Stark. Although, he’s not so little anymore. What do they feed these Stark boys? Osha’s still with him and so is the apparent head of his direwolf, Shaggydog, which has been severed from he body. Now, is this as simple as it seems? The Umber’s are diehard Stark supporters, it seems unlikely that they would turn Rickon over when as far as they are aware, he’s the rightful heir to Winterfell. Is this a trick? Is Rickon a trojan horse to take down Ramsay? Is Shaggydog still alive and part of this plan? Can Rickon warg into his direwolf yet? If so, he could be a powerful weapon. Of course, I could be ready way to much into this scene. But maybe not.
“You have castle black…My watch has ended”
Jon takes a leaf out of his dad’s book and decides that he has to be the one who hands out the punishment to Ser Alliser, Olly and company. It’s not often you get to punish the people who murdered you after all. It’s a brutal and harrowing scene. Jon clearly takes no enjoyment out of it. It’s an emotional moment for him. So much so that he decides it’s his final act as Lord Commander and he steps down giving the cloak to Edd. Where’s he off to? Winterfell? I’m guessing he’s off to warn everyone about what’s about to invade from the north. He’s clearly sick of all the political bullshit going on at the wall. Can’t see him getting any luck anywhere else though.
GOOD. A bit of a weird episode, this one. Some really interesting story lines that are pushing us forward to the end game and some which are left feeling very stagnant. I feel like there’s a bit too much going on and some of the characters are suffering as a result. Mainly the people at King’s landing, which was once the hub of the show. The best characters are all over the place, surely it can’t be long before they’re all reunited.