That went pretty well!
Jon’s resurrection could have been an enormous flop, but it’s handled beautifully. Everything about his arc in this episode feels earned: his confusion at the beginning, his decision to hang all those who “killed” him, and the proclamation that he’s leaving the Night’s Watch. Kit Harrington conveys so much with so little dialogue, and the devastation on his face during that harrowing hanging sequence is incredible. It’s especially gut-wrenching since it features the brutal death of little Olly, who was the final person to stab Jon in the finale. It’s a brand new journey for Snow, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Say hello to the triumvirate of evil. Is there a more amusing sight in the world than Cersei, Jaime and Ser Clegane strutting around the palace like a pack of mean girls? After enduring so much last season, it’s so satisfying to see Cersei regain her power, and I loved watching her bully the small council. Here’s hoping she has Clegane murder them all (excluding Olenna who remains as witty as ever).
This week in time-travel adventures, Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven got to watch one kickass fight scene as a young Ned Stark fought for his life and barely survived while trying to rescue Lyanna Stark from a tower. We didn’t get much more here, besides the revelation that the Raven had been a thousand (!!) of years for Bran making him some sort of chosen one. It’s a slow burn, but one that’s undoubtedly engrossing.
Oathbreaker is also notable for featuring the return of Rickon Stark and his Wildling companion Osha. The two haven’t been seen since the traumatic Rains of Castamere, and that makes for a shocking little development. Now that they’re in Ramsay’s captivity, the season has gained a genuine sense of urgency.
Bits & Beheadings
– So what did Jon see in the afterlife? “Nothing”. If you think about it, he really does “know nothing” now since he’s seen it. Wow.
– Fantastic scene with Jon walking out alive as everyone watches in awe. Then there’s a heartwarming moment with Tormund hugging Jon, followed by Edd.
– Honestly I’m starting to understand Gilly’s frustrations. Sam keeps telling her he won’t leave her, and yet plans otherwise. Here’s hoping Sam’s parents are a hoot!
– Ser Arthur Dayne is such a badass; he wields those dual swords like they’re nothing.
– The man who saves Ned is none other than Howland Reed, Meera’s father. It really is a family affair!
– So many bits of comedy this week with everyone being terrified of Clegan. First there’s Jaime, then “Varys’ little birds” and finally Pycelle. I laughed. Loud.
– There’s a powerful moment with Bran shouting out to his father in the past and his dad almost hearing him. Can he affect the timelines?
– Dany finally joins the Khal widows this week and they strip her of course. Why do people love stripping Dany?
– In even more awesome continuity, Varys struck a deal with Vala, the woman who tricked the Unsullied soldiers last season and got them slaughtered.
– I would pay to watch a sitcom starring Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm. Tyrion attempting to play a drinking game with them was an absolute hoot on every level.
– Varys’ little birds are now Qyburn’s. Uh oh.
– More proof of the Septon’s powerful manipulative abilities: Tommen arrives and tries to be aggressive with him, and the Septon plays the fatherly role and converts him to his side. I especially loved the whole “my knees hurt” bit. What a snake!
– RIP poor direwolf Shaggydog.
– The Waif training Arya has gotten repetitive, but it at least produced a cheerworthy moment as Arya finally got in a ton of blows and was rewarded with her eyesight (after drinking from the poisonous well). Yay!
– The fact that Jon and Olly say no words to each other before the hanging. Wow.
– The image of a dead hanging Olly is terrifying.
– So is Edd the new Lord Commander now?
Kings & Quips
Jon: I failed.
Davos: Good. Now go fail again.
Jon: I’m not a god.
Tormund: I know that. I saw your pecker. What kind of god would have a pecker that small?
Gilly: Did I ever tell you I used to think the sea was called the see because it was nothing but water as far as the eye could see?
Tyrion (to Missandei): You speak 19 languages. You must occasionally use some of them to talk about things.
Ramsay: When my father became Warden of the North, your house refused to pledge their banners.
Smalljon: Your father was a cunt.
Ramsay: My beloved father, the Warden–
Smalljon: Your father was a cunt and that’s why you killed him. I might have done the same to my father if he hadn’t have done me the favor of dying on his own.
Tyrion: A wise man once said the true history of the world is the history of great conversations in elegant rooms.
Grey Worm: Who said this?
Tyrion: Me. Just now.
Olenna: (to Cersei) You are not the queen because you’re not married to the king. I do appreciate these things can get a bit confusing in your family.
Jon: If you have any last words, now is the time.
Ser Alliser: You shouldn’t be alive. It’s not right.
Jon: Neither was killing me.
Without any weak subplots in sight, this is a clever and action-packed hour.