Let’s talk about the most important thing from this week’s episode: Bran. Only joking, of course we’re not talking about Bran. You want to know about Jon Snow, right? After his omg-its-so-shocking-but-not-really resurrection, Oathbreaker picks up where last week's show left off, as we see the Lord Commander sit up, find some clothes, and proceed to freak everyone out with his zombie/god-like return. If you thought Game of Thrones was going to struggle to top that massive plot point you were wrong, because no sooner has he executed his murderers than he’s walking out the door proclaiming his watch has ended.
This is welcome news as far as I’m concerned. It’s about time Jon Snow left Castle Black and really entered the Game of Thrones. Question is, where is he going to go? Probably Winterfell. At least, that’s what Ramsay is worried about. When Lord Umber turns up to deposit Rickon (see below) he’s worried Jon Snow will the lead the Wildlings in taking the North and he’s got good reason. With Jon leaving Castle Black there’s no need for the Wildlings to stay, so why wouldn’t they follow him? But that’s for another episode. For now, the bastard is feeling pretty glum for someone who’s had a second chance at life. Well, it must be pretty disconcerting, walking around with seven stab wounds in your chest and then watching your former squire turn all blue and bloated by your hand. Here’s hoping next week will see Jon Snow in a chirpier, happier place… but probably not.
In other news, we’re starting to find out a bit more about his potential parentage as Bran ‘the plot device’ Stark has another one of his super useful flashback visions that shows what happened at the Tower of Joy. Dad Eddard (not played by Sean Bean here) basically rocks up and wins a fight with Ser Arthur Dayne in a less nobler way than he’d been letting on, just in time to hear a scream come from the Tower. It would have been nice to see a bit more of this sequence, but given that it’s probably going to be the big reveal of the season (*cough* that Jon Snow is really the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar *cough*). I can see why Game of Thrones is dragging it out. Tune in next week for another ‘Bran explains’ sequence.
Elsewhere, another direwolf bites the dust as Rickon is handed over to the mad, bad Ramsay Bolton by the traitorous Umbers. Nothing much happens here; Game of Thrones is literally just reintroducing the character (let’s hope he’s more interesting the Bran), but given that Jon has left Castle Black and is potentially on his way to Winterfell this is an important development. Jon, along with pretty much everyone else, still thinks Rickon is dead so when he finds out the truth, his little brother will probably play the role of hostage in the Jon vs Ramsay battle. Here’s hoping Rickon lives long enough to be reunited with his half-brother and isn’t killed moments before they see each other again. Although, in true Stark-style, we know which one is more likely.
In other Stark news, Arya has regained her sight. YAAAAAAAAY! Oh wait, we saw that coming a mile off. She was never going to stay blind for long, and it seems just as she’s getting the hang of the whole fighting while blind thing, the faceless Men return her eyes. Yeah, that makes sense. This episode sees her truly become no-one and now she’s a servant of the Faceless Men, it’s time for her storyline to kick up a gear.
One interesting thing that does come out of Arya’s role in this episode is the mention of the Hound. During her training/interrogation montage, she’s asked about her former travelling companion and very conveniently makes a point of his being dead. OR IS HE?!? If you’ve read the Cleganebowl theory you know it points to a showdown between brothers the Hound and the Mountain, and this little tease does look like it’s foreshadowing these events. It’s almost like Game of Thrones plans these things...
The Mountain is currently at a bit of a loose end given that Cersei doesn’t want anyone’s head smashed like a melon just now, but that doesn’t mean she’s not planning her revenge on the High Sparrow. In this episode, she reveals she plans to choose trial by combat and who can blame her? The Mountain already did away with Oberyn Martell and that was before he was a killing zombie machine. Meanwhile, she’s losing grip on her power in King’s Landing with her Uncle Kevan cutting her out of very important and official looking meetings, as well as becoming all chummy with the Tyrells.
In the warm place, Daenerys has been deposited at Va'es Dothrak to live with the other Khaleesi widows, but discovers she’s still in danger. Of course, she can’t just live out the rest of her days chatting with the other Dosh Khaleen. She dared to be “out in the world” after the death of her husband, so her fate will be decided by the Khalasars. Where the hell are Daario and Jorah and what is taking them so long? Tyrion and Varys are holding down the fort in Mereen and have even managed to discover who is financing the Sons of the Harpy, but there’s not much they can do without their Queen. Plus, it’s getting a bit boring.
All in all, Game of Thrones continues its great season 6 run with Oathbreaker, but if it wasn’t for Jon Snow leaving the Watch and Arya getting her sight back, you’d feel like not much really happened. It’s true that all shows have at least a couple of episodes like this - with so many plots sometimes you just need to continue the stories you’ve got - but Oathbreaker skillfully manages to sidestep mediocrity, hopefully setting things up for a kickass episode 4.