Saturday 1 October 2016

Game of Thrones episode three 'The Oathbreaker' - 7 things we learned

Ed Thomas

Published 09/05/2016 | 11:44

Daaenerys in Dothraki hell - Game of Thrones
Daaenerys in Dothraki hell - Game of Thrones

***WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 EPISODE THREE***

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It was the calm after the storm on Game of Thrones as we came to terms with the resurrection of Jon Snow and Ramsay's sadistic seizure of power at Winterfell.

But would the Night's Watch accept a Lord Commander freshly returned from the grave – and, given that he'd been stabbed in the back by his own men, did Jon even still want the job? Here is what we learned from "Oathbreaker".

Jon is back…and kind of bummed about it

Look, nobody said death and resurrection were a hoot. But Snow was strikingly underwhelmed – and also striking naked – as Melisandre's juju did its 'er magic and he sat awake on the table, once again among the living.

In fact, you get the impression that for the Bastard of Winterfell rebirth was just one more reason to be grumpy. He looked unhappy as Ser Davos and the Red Witch gathered close to prod and gawp and his expression did not waver as, in a moving final scene, he announced he was quitting the Night's Watch. What will it take to make this man venture a smile?

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They're back killing children…

Okay, perhaps traitor Olly is technically an adolescent and he at least received a dignified execution rather than being fed to the dogs (which we believe is now referred to as "doing a Ramsay").

Yet it was shocking to see the brutalised urchin sent so matter of factly to his death, particularly given that his motives for betraying his Lord Commander had been understandable.

The Wildlings killed his family only for Snow to forge an alliance with the Ice Barbarians. Thus Olly was acting from the purest motives. Surely Snow, by way of marking an unlikely return, could have shown a little mercy? Is it telling that his last act as head of the Night's Watch was arguably needlessly cruel?

Tyrion is really hitting the bottle

Stuck in Meerreen, Tyrion was on his fourth carafe by early afternoon. Game of Thrones has given the Lannister imp nothing to do since shuffling him almost literally to the ends of the earth and now he was forced into stilted small-talk with the no-fun double act of Grey Worm and Missandei.

Meanwhile Varys was strong-arming a local insurgent into coughing up juicy info regarding the Sons of the Harpy. This was presumably intended to be an intensely terrifying scene, as Varys turned the screws by threatening the woman's boy. But we weren't feeling it as it was clear Tyrion's sidekick was not actually capable of anything nasty.

For the first time this year, there was a sense that Game of Thrones was pulling its punches. After last week's dog-on-baby controversy, we never thought we'd say this: but the show could do with being a little crueler.

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There was not enough Ramsay this episode

Kudos to Ramsay for overshadowing the surprise/not surprising return of Jon Snow last week by presenting his newborn brother as impromptu treat to some peckish Rottweilers.

In the process he confirmed that he was both dangerously unhinged and would probably do well at Krufts should freeform sociopathy ever become an event.

In fact, so emphatically has Ramsay placed himself at the heart of the action, his relatively meagre screen-time through episode three week was jolting.

Maybe this says something unfortunate about Game of Thrones's deepening reliance on shocking and awful as dramatic device – but the fact is the show always feels livelier when he's around and on the brink of doing something unspeakable.

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Now we know what happened to the last Stark child…

Rickon has for the past several seasons been the Stark That Got Away. Well no more. He is now back at Winterfell and in the clutches of Ramsay.

He was presented to Westeros's most eligible psychopath by the Umbers, yet another of the houses previously loyal to the Starks but now all happy to climb aboard the Bolton bandwagon. So much for "the North remembers".

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Daenerys is trapped in Dothraki hell

Another episode, another scene in which Daenerys has a blazing row in conversational Dothraki. She has been delivered to the temple of widows at Vaes Dothrak and is to stand trial for disobeying tribal laws stretching back centuries.

We are to understand the Mother of Dragons is indeed in the mother of all predicaments. But Daenerys's storyline doesn't convince - especially as we know Drogon is out there and will return to mama eventually.

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Cersei and Jaime are planning an Evil Twin takeover.

With the reanimated Ser Gregor at their side, the kissin' siblings are on a mission to rid King's Landing of their enemies. They have decided to start with the Small Council, where they appeared to stage a coup by rocking up invited to the conference room. But had they really taken over?

Kevan Lannister wasn't having it and stormed off, accompanied by the Queen of Thorns, Grand Maester Pycelle and Mace Tyrell.

Does this mean Jaime and Cersei are in de facto command? Or were Small Council in fact concluding their meeting at a Starbucks around the corner? This was not made clear – a rare example of muddied storytelling in a generally lean and efficient episode.

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