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GAME OF THRONES Recap: Oathbreakin’ Is Easy

Hello, fair citizens of the Realm! It’s that time of year again—the most wonderful of them all—Game of Thrones season. And, in addition to winter: spoilers are coming! As this is a recap, it goes over everything in crazy detail, so proceed at your own risk and don’t say we didn’t warn you in the comments below.

Ooh I see you there, Game of Thrones, bein’ all coy and tease-y and naughty and cute. Trying to show us what we want to see only to snatch it away from us in the blink of a second; give us a taste of what’s to come and then laugh in our faces; throw us a line of dialogue so seemingly foreshadow-y it’s kinda ridiculous. We see what you did here and we’re not going to lie—we totally hated it. But only because we’re a wildly impatient monster that just kinda/sorta wants to get to it already—the very set-up heavy episode was actually a delight to watch, and it was nice to see some old familiar faces in there while everyone kept on doing what they shouldn’t. And we mean everyone.

Let’s start out with the stories from across the Narrow Sea. Over in Braavos, there was admittedly one person that ain’t misbehavin’ and by that of course we mean li’l Arya. Because A Girl is no longer Arya and spent 97% of her screen time stick fighting in what was—we do declare!—a Game of Thrones first: a training montage!!! (So ’80s of them). It seems the Artist Formally Known as Arya is now a full-fledged face-swapping murderperson (neat)! Most of her time was spent getting the beatdown from the wraith as she learned to be so disassociated from her own life that she only tells the exact truth without getting confused. Because the confusion lies in the spirit within her mistaking her human body and existence as the truest form of herself. (Spooky, right?) We even got a callback to her little list.

But A Girl is no longer blind, now that she’s consumed some of the water from the well in the middle of that room and WAIT A SECOND ARE THOSE WEIRWOOD TREE FACES ON THE WALL? Because that’s what it looked like to me and ~oh man it’s all connected.~


Speaking of connections, Our second leaving lady, Dany, now has to pay for what she’s done. No, not leaving all of Slaver’s Bay to rot in riots and disenchantment over their mhysa of dragons—though we found out they’re all funding the Sons of the Harpy so they’re not exactly pleased with her, either—this time it’s about disrespecting the Dothraki traditions. The Dosh Khaleen showed up in “Oathbreaker,” and with them they brought their own issues with Dany; they were pissed she didn’t come a-runnin’ to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen as soon as Khal Drogo died. No, instead she went out into the world, conquering things—something that’s forbidden. So now all the Dothraki are coming down to Vaes Dothrak in order to decide whether or not Dany lives or dies.

Who wants to place bets that they’re going to come around to Dany and her dragons (thanks for that, we’re sure, Drogon) as the Stallion Who Mounts the World and ride on to Westeros at the end of the season?

Over in Dany’s other problem—Meereen—Tyrion and Varys tried their best to gain intel and solve the problem that is the Sons of the Harpy. With the help of Vala, the woman who’s baby Tyrion totally doesn’t want to eat, Varys figured out that the bigwig people in Astapor Yunkai, and Volantis are all funding the Sons of the Harpy to get Dany and her dragons gone. It was nice to see Varys back in political action with his scheming, tricky ways—it’s been, what, seasons?

Tyrion, however, tried other means rather unsuccessfully. Charming conversationalist Grey Worm and his charismatic chatterbox of a girlfriend Missandei, were of no help to Tyrion other than to provide him a launch pad for his pithy jabs and one-liners. “You know a great man once said, ‘The true history of the world is the history of conversations.'” “Who said this?” “Me, just now.”


And if you thought good ol’ reliable Samwell Tarly (which: HI SAM! HI GILLY! Missed you guyssss!) wouldn’t break an oath, think again! Not, not because of the sex last season; we’re talking about his promise to Gilly that wherever she went, he would go, too. But that’s not going to be the case for poor Gilly, who was looking so forward to getting to Oldtown (hilarious, considering how NOT happy bookGilly is about heading to Oldtown because reasons (oh god so many reasons)), but will end up at Horn Hill instead. This, obviously, makes us VERY happy because we’re finally going to meet the rest of House Tarly. So many new faces!

…But also old ones, too. (And looking older, even!) By that we mean we’re, of course, talkin’ about RICKON STARK AND TONKS OSHA, TOO! We were so worried he was going to be all teeny, tiny cannibal boy over on Skagos but as it turned out? He was hanging with the Umbers all along! (TWIST!)


That said we’re none-too-pleased that Lord Umber brought a very older looking (puberty is crazy) Rickon and Shaggydog’s head (his HEAD! YOU MONSTER) to Winterfell as a gift for Ramsay—since we all know what he likes to do with gifts. Osha, girl, you were supposed to protect him! And Lord Umber, you were supposed to protect/ally with the Starks: you should’ve known better than to bring him to that Bolton monster.

Elsewhere in the Realm, we saw the truly delightfully cutting return of Lady Olenna, one of our favorite HBICs on this show. Accompanied by her outrageously flatulent son, Mace Tyrell, and seated to the right hand of Uncle Kevan Lannister, Cersei and Jaime were given THE BUSINESS. About The Mountain, about her role in the kingdom, and about how those roles work. She was nothing if not compassionate though, admitting that,”I understand how these things can get…confusing in your family.” (OLENNA BURN FOR THE WIN.)


Not winning, though? Tommen, who’s clearly getting himself pulled into whatever that pesky High Sparrow’s cookin’, eh? He tried so hard to be a big king boy (aww shucks), but it just wasn’t working out for him. See, widdle biddle Tommyboy was mad because his momaunt can’t see Myrcella’s final resting place because she still has to stand trial in front of seven septons for judgement. Any actual king would’ve gotten what he wanted, but with a quick bit of the talk of The Mother and a wee “It’s not what I want; it’s what the gods want” from Sparrow Magnificus and suddenly Tommen was on board with towing that religious zealot party line.

OK, now let’s talk about Castle Black.

The biggest Oathbreaker of the night, though? Not Jon Snow—though you’d think it with that literal ‘sashay away!’ of his at the end of the episode. No, no, it was the show itself and, by extension, The Three-Eyed Raven (Max Von Sydow), who ever-so-slightly teased us with the beginning of the Tower of Joy (THE TOWER OF JOY OH MY GODDD AHHHH!) mystery/sequence/answer fans of the books have been clamoring after for literal decades. But did we find out the answer? Does R+L=J? Could it be another theory of ours, R+L=J+M? For more, maybe-spoilers below:

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Admittedly, pretty annoyed that all we had was a tease as to that logic, but it was badass to see Ser Arthur Dayne in action. Because Ser Arthur Dayne AIN’T NOTHIN’ TO FUCK WITH, Y’ALL. Those two broadswords, man. Oh and Howland Reed (Meera and Jojen’s dad) being there was nice, too—especially helpful to our above theory.

The moment also gave us some primo Von Sydow ominou—like, “Stay somewhere where you don’t belong and you won’t come back” (which felt like a real nod to what could happen to Jon Snow, aka he could stay not-dead forever), and “You won’t be here forever—you won’t be an old man in a tree—but before you leave you must learn … everything.” Which: what? Bran will leave? But where will he go? Is becoming part of the tree an optional part of this job because if so, what are you even doing then, Raven? Ugh, that’s just so Raven, isn’t it?

Mystery for another day!


Now we can finally talk about Jon Snow (I know, I really made you wait for it, didn’t I?) The Lord Commander is back in Black and terrifying the Wildlings and Night’s Watch brothers alike with his whole Jesus Walks look. And walk he did—right out of Castle Black to who-knows-where: Winterfell, perhaps? We’ll have to wait and see.

Of course we’d be remiss if that were where we left it. There’s still the matter of Ghost, his whimpering, and a lot of what was said after Jon Snow came back to life. Ser Davos was terrified; Melisandre couldn’t believe it; Jon Snow was a heaving, gasping mess of disbelief. “They stabbed me. Ollie … He put a knife in my heart! I shouldn’t be here.” But you are now, boy. We think Ser Davos said it best: “You were dead and now you’re not. It’s completely fucking mad, seems to me; I can only imagine how it seems to you.” “I did what I thought was right and I got murdered for it. Why?” “I don’t know, maybe we’ll never know.”

Something tells us that for all this knower of nothing doesn’t know—he has to fail again in order to succeed. Which meant: hanging his betrayers, handing lead of the Night’s Watch over to Dolorous Edd, and getting the fuck outta there, ‘cuz, as he put it, “My Watch has ended.” Which: he’s NOT wrong! Homebody did die and that is the stipulation in the Night’s Watch contract.

Oh and shout-out to the best tie-in to Jon Snow’s whole entire goddamn life with that exchange between him and Melisandre: “After you died where did you go, what did you see?” “Nothing … there was nothing at all.” Maybe Jon Snow is the ultimate knower of the nothing—as in what comes for us in death, and why he’ll end up (as Night’s King) in the fight to keep the dead alive(ish). Maybe he’s the Prince Who Was Promised but like, for the dead people. (I don’t know, you guys—I’m trying here, give me a break guys. I’ve had all of 5 seconds to process this episode before I had to start writing about it. Also, I have to be honest, as much as I want him to be the Night’s King, I could also see them going fullhero route with this one, too.) Still, it’d be silly not to see how ominous and foreshadow-y Alliser Thorne’s line was at the end there: “But you, Lord Snow, you’ll be fighting their battles forever.”



Other Thoughts:

  • Castle Black had jokes tonight, y’all. “What god would have a pecker that small?” “That’s funny—you sure that’s still you in there?” “You shouldn’t be alive! It’s not right.” “Neither was killing me.”
  • “Men can be fickle, but birds I always trust.” – Varys (OH YEAH VARYS? Is that why you—Book Spoiler—cut out their dang tongues to keep ’em quiet?!)
  • No one steal my Meet the Tarlys sketch idea that’s based on Meet the Parents, OK? (“I have nipples, Sam; could you milk me?”)
  • Someone needs to put Qyburn in his place; I don’t trust him with the Little Birds.
  • Man this big War of the North is going to be inteeeeeeeeeeense, ain’t it?
  • Also: DID SANSA MANAGE TO SOMEHOW MISS JON SNOW LEAVING WINTERFELL? Is that what that preview was telling us GOOD GOD IN SEVEN these Stark kids
  • There was something so false about the High Sparrow’s whole “the Gods work through us, it’s not about us at all” speech—though to be honest, I can’t paint my personal opinions on this particular religion of the Realm with so simple a brush. (It’s a longer conversation on Twitter for another day!)

What did you think of tonight’s episodes and all our oathbreakers? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: HBO

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor, co-host of Fangirling, and resident Khaleesi of House Nerdist. Find her on Twitter (@alicialutes).

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