It’s late in the week but here’s my thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3. The show has really picked up the pace this season after a relatively less-eventful season 5. Below is a spoiler-filled recap of what happened and my thoughts on where some of the plot threads might be heading. If you are not caught up to date on GoT I suggest you don’t continue reading. For anyone else, enjoy.
Jon Snow and Castle Black
With Tyrion and Daenerys still without much to do so far this season, Jon Snow has clearly been the main character. The season opened with the fallout after his death, episode 2 ended with his resurrection and he got the most to do in episode 3. Here we see Jon Snow as a changed man, hit hard by the fact that his own men killed him for doing what he thought was right. He appeared before his men and the wildling and hanged all those responsible for his death. Immediately following him performing the hanging (because as his daddy taught him, always carry out your own punishments), he handed his robe to Dolorous Edd and walked out saying his watch has ended.
What does this mean for Jon Snow moving forward and who will follow him out the door? My guess is that Melisandra and Dovos will now be at his side because there would be no reason for them to have brought him back from the dead unless they believed he was meant for special things. The rest of the Knight’s watch, however, swore and oath to remain at their post. Even though they are no longer fighting back wildlings they still have an important responsibility as the first line of defense against the inevitable white walker invasion.
So will Jon be heading to claim the throne in the North in order to unit all the northern territories in an effort to build up a massive army to combat the white walkers? Will Jon seek out supernatural help to figure out how to defeat an army that can simply come back to life after you kill them? Will Jon quit and pout for a while before receiving a well timed pep talk from Dovos or Samwell that he’s the only one who can lead the battle against the creatures? Will he turn a complete 180, abandoning those at the wall in search for his true parentage? No matter what happens, this year can be a big one for Jon Snow.
Ned Stark and the Tower of Joy
Bran Stark’s visions are getting more and more interesting. Here he’s watching the end of the rebellion where Aerys Targaryen has already been defeated and Ned Stark and his group of soldiers are attempting to rescue his sister, Lyanna, from a tower guarded by Ser Arthur Dayne (The Sword in the Morning). Dayne is considered the most skilled warrior and that’s depicted here by how he dual-wields two blades and single-handedly dispatches of all of Ned’s support in the best fight scene thus far in the series. It concluded not by Ned defeating Dayne, by Howland stabbing Dayne in the back.
While cool to watch, the most interesting thing happened after the battle as Ned approached the tower to see to his sister. Firstly, Bran calls out to Ned and Ned appears to hear him. The three-eyed raven informed him that he can’t change the past, but here is seems like he might be able to interact with past events through these visions. The possibilities are endless. Secondly, what will Ned find in the tower? (speculation but potential spoilers. If you don’t want something major to possibly be ruined skip ahead to the next paragraph) The wildly held belief is that Ned will find his sister giving birth to a son she conceived while taken captive by Rhaegar Targaryen. She won’t survive the ordeal and instead Ned takes the son as his own (being the honorable man he is) and doesn’t tell anyone of the boy’s true origin. If this is correct, that boy grows up to be Jon Snow and Jon would be half Targaryen. That has tons of implications including that he’s Daenerys’ nephew and could potentially be one of the dragon riders from the prophecies. Chances are we won’t see the play out for a couple more episodes since Game of Thrones likes a slow burn of the major plot lines.
Arya’s Training Montage
Here we’re treated to a training montage where Arya starts becoming Daredevil (you know, because she’s fighting blind). Thank goodness this got sped up and we weren’t left watching the blind, beggar Arya getting beat up every episode. Furthermore, during her montage she was being asked questions about her family and her “list” of those she wants to kill (technically she was asked questions about Arya since she was steadfast as a girl with no name). The one interesting thing that came out of this was how they seemed to focus on the Hound and questioning why he was taken off her kill list. There would be no need for the question if he already died, since the obvious answer is she can’t kill a dead man. We never actually saw the Hound die, he was seriously wounded following the fight with Brienne and Arya left him to die instead of putting him out of his misery.
::Potential Spoiler:: The online community believes that the Hound may still be alive and that following the events from earlier in the series he took up residence with monks. The theory is that Cersei will deploy her Frankenstein monster version of the Mountain in a trial by combat against the Faith Militant for “crimes against the crown” and that the Faith Militant will use the Hound to fight for them. Cersei and Jamie were already unable to convince the High Council (a shadow of its former self without Tywin, Tyrion, Varys or Littlefinger) to mobilize the army at King’s Landing on their behalf so this seems to be the most likely scenario. They are brothers (actual names Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane) who absolutely hate each other. This could make for an exciting battle of heavyweight fighters that the online community affectionately refers to as Cleganebowl. ::End Spoiler::
Oh yeah, and the scene ends with Arya knowingly drinking from the pool of water that was poisoned (“If a girl is truly no one, she has nothing to fear”) and regaining her sight. If would have been cool to see a blind assassin Arya (especially since nobody would expect her to be a threat), but at least this storyline moved forward this season. Now let’s start seeing her cross some names off that list.
Rickon Giftwrapped to Ramsay
Ramsay sucks and needs to die. It appears as though the rest of the northern kingdoms acknowledge this as don’t wish to align under him either. However there’s one guy from House Umber who wants Ramsay’s help in dealing with the wildlings that have appeared south of the wall and he offers a hefty price in return, Osha, Rickon Stark and the head of Rickon’s dead direwolf (Ghost better get something pretty awesome to do because there’s not many of these wolves left).
Possibilities Ramsay will likely torture Rickon to find out what happened to him and Bran that were thought to be dead (and because that’s what he does). All of this is setting up what could be a battle between forces lead by Jon Snow and Ramsay for rule in the north. I would prefer to see Theon/Reek get his revenge on Ramsay, but that doesn’t look like it will happen because previews of next week have shown him back in the Iron Isles. Rickon could also be used as bait to lure Jon Snow from the Wall (he doesn’t know he ended his watch as High Commander) because he sees Jon as his main threat. Another possibility is that Osha could deceive Ramsay and kill or injure him.
Varys in Mereen
Finally he’s been given something to do this season besides standing next to Tyrion while he talks. Varys has been one of the more interesting characters on the show because he’s been able to get into a position of influence without any semblance of military might. He knows things and has “little birds” who find out information for him (sidenote- we actually got a glimpse of these little birds in the episode, now working for the Lannisters). He understands the “game” of thrones better than anyone else, and while he likely will never make an attempt at the throne he’s a strong companion to anyone who is.
Here Varys is using his wits and a bag of money to find out who their adversaries are in Mereen. He brings in one of the Sons of the Harpy assassins and bribes her into telling him who the backers are for the attempt on Daenerys’ life. It turns out, unsurprisingly, that the nearby slavery cities where the masters recently retook control don’t like that Daenerys is freeing all the slaves and have it in for her. As Tyrion points out, they can’t simply take their army to reclaim each of those cities because they won’t have the forces required to fight each of them and it would leave Mereen unguarded. What is a man with two dragons to do?
Small note, we got to see how much a “fish out of water” Tyrion is in Mereen trying to make conversation with the woefully boring Missandei and Grey Worm. He’s the best part of this show, but they better start giving him more to do because his story hasn’t been captivating since season 4.
As usual, lots of stuff happened in this episode. While watching with my wife I made the comparison between this show and Walking Dead (another regular on our DVR) and how the Walking Dead has many “filler” episodes where it feels like not much is going on whereas Game of Thrones has so much going on that it’s easy to forget major subplots (I didn’t even address Tommen’s chat with the High Sparrow, or Samwell telling Tilly she’ll be staying with his evil father while he studies at the Citadel or Daenerys in the Dothraki home-of-widows-who-aren’t-allowed-to-do-anything). While I still love The Walking Dead and care about many of the characters, Game of Thrones sits head and shoulders above it as far as quality of writing.
What do you think? Where is Jon Snow going and what’s his plan moving forward? What’s next for Arya’s assassin training? How will Tyrion and Varys deal with the problems at Mereen with Daenerys gone? What else are we going to learn from Bran’s visions? Chime in with your thoughts below.