Jon Snow is alive on Game of Thrones, but what will he do with his second chance at life? This week we find out and the answer is more common that you might think. Like any normal person who had a near-death (or in his case, actual-death) experience, he quits his job. YOLO! Or perhaps it should be YOLT!
Sadly, that’s just about the only thing that really happens in this week’s episode, “Oathbreaker.” Dany, Sam and all of the Lannisters are just sitting around talking. Bran has another vision that cuts off just when it starts to get interesting. And two characters who haven’t been seen in over two seasons suddenly return, and the show expects you to remember who they are. Oh, and Arya isn’t blind anymore.
The Return of Jon Snow
Jon Snow is alive and his friends couldn’t be happier. Melisandre is happy her vision will still come true and Davos urges him to keep fighting. But Jon doesn’t seem that certain about his future since he believes he did everything right and died for it.
The rest of the Night’s Watch welcomes him back, believing he’s a god. Thankfully, Jon gets his revenge on those traitors who stabbed him by hanging them, including the ringleader Alliser Thorne and that little twerp Olly, Jon’s young squire. This continues the season’s new trend of killing off as many minor male characters as is humanly possible (joining Doran and Trystane Martell, Areo Hotah, Roose Bolton and Balon Greyjoy).
However, that will be Jon Snow’s final act as Lord Commander. He hands his cloak to Eddison Tollett and walks away. “My watch is ended” Jon Snow says. Seeing as how the oath says that the watch “shall not end until my death,” he’s totally justified.
The Return of Ned Stark (in the Past)
Bran has another vision of his father’s past, this time in one of the final battles of Robert’s Rebellion. Ned Stark and friends find Arthur Dayne and a few other member of the Targaryen kingsguard who are protecting a tower. A fight ensues with Ned Stark surviving, but only because Meera Reed’s dad saved him.
Ned Stark hears a woman scream from inside the tower and goes to check. Bran wants to follow him, but the Three-Eyed Raven is being a total a-hole and stops the flashback before we get to the good part. We all know what’s in the tower and what it means: R+L=J.
The Three-Eyed Raven clearly represents the show’s writers, teasing us and drawing this crap out way too long by stalling. In fact, that’s how this whole episode feels. Very little happens. It feels like everyone is biding their time and waiting for big things to happen later in the season.
Nothing Else Happens in the Seven Kingdoms
To demonstrate how little story this episode had, I’ll summarize everything else in bullet points.
-Sam is taking Gilly and the baby to his family’s home before he goes to Oldtown by himself
-Dany is waiting for other khal widows to decide if she’s worthy enough to live in their weird retirement community
-Varys learns that the leaders of all the other cities Dany freed are funding the Sons of the Harpy
-Tyrion tries to make small talk with Missandei and Grey Worm and fails miserably
-Cersei, Jaime, Qyburn and the Mountain alienate everyone in the Small Council
-Grand Maester Pycelle lets out a nervous fart
-Tommen talks to the High Sparrow about goodness and mothers
-Arya gets her eyesight back
-Ramsey Bolton receives a gift in the form of Osha and Rickon Stark (plus the decapitated head of his direwolf, Shaggydog), two characters we literally haven’t seen since the Red Wedding episode in season 3
Sure, Arya can see nd Rick and Osha have returned, but other than that, it was a whole lot of nothing, just characters biding time until they reach their destinations. One day after Saturday Night Live savagely mocked the show for drawing out its stories, this episode is proof that SNL was 100 percent correct.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.
(Image courtesy of HBO)