If the fan theories are correct and Jon Snow plays a key role in the ‘end game’ in a Game of Thrones, then episode three may contain enough hints to confirm those theories.
It’s long been suspected that Jon is not the bastard born of Ned Stark, but is actually the love child of his sister Lyanna and the Targaryen prince Rhaegar. It’s been theorised that would explain his hatred of the Targaryens. He was in love with Lyanna.
In the books, we hear a little of the Tower of Joy and it finally makes an appearance in this episode via another of Bran’s ‘dream walks’.
He watches as a young Ned Stark and his followers arrive at the Tower to retrieve Lyanna and are met by some of Rhaegar’s Kings Guard, who should have been with him at the Battle of the Trident.
There’s a fight and as Ned makes his way to the Tower were he’s heard a woman scream, the old man of the tree forces Bran back to the present.
“Stay too long where you don’t belong and you’ll never return”.
The mystery surrounding the Tower of Joy will have to wait for another week, but it’s interesting that Bran’s ability is being used to provide the ‘back story’ to things that are hinted at in the books.
Bran isn’t happy that he’s been brought back. He doesn’t want to be in the ‘here and now’, he doesn’t want to become like old man and be forever part of the Heart Tree.
“You won’t stay forever. You won’t become an old man in a tree. But before you go, you must learn”.
It’s clear from that exchange that these Dream walks of Bran’s could provide more clues to Jon’s true identity and perhaps answer the question ‘who is Jon’s mother’.
The Targaryen that is still living finds herself dragged along by Dothrakis to Vaes Dothrak where she is to spend the rest of her life at Dosh Klaheen, where the wives of dead Khals are sent.
By tradition, they’re supposed to be sent there straight away where as Daeny has been wandering around plotting to reclaim the Iron Throne. This doesn’t bode well for the Mother of Dragons. It suggests she may not be offered the same ‘protection’ of Dosh Khaleen.
Meantime in Meereen, Varys has managed to find out who was behind the uprising by the Sons of the Harpy. He doesn’t get those answers through torture, but by threatening a woman’s son and then offering an ‘escape’ if she spills beans and she does.
It turns out the slave masters of Yunkai, Astapor and Volantis are pulling the strings. These are the very cities Daenerys ‘conquered’ on her way to Meereen, but while the Dragon mother is away, the vanquished do play.
Speaking of dragons, what happened to the pair that Tyrion unchained last week? Why has there been no mention of his abilities as a ‘dragon whisperer”? Where are Daeny’s ‘children’?
Hmmm, I hope Benioff and Weiss haven’t already blown the SFX budget in episodes 1 & 2. We still have seven episodes to go!!!!
In Kings Landing, Cersei and Jaime are trying to assert their authority on the Small Council where their Uncle Kevin Lannister is serving as Hand to the King. Little is achieved other than to re-introduce Dame Dianna Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell. We shall be seeing more of her no doubt.
Her grandson-in-law, King Tommen is still making a lot of noise, but only the High Sparrow appears to be taking any notice. He’s a dangerous one with his smooth talking.
Cersei’s Walk of Atonement wasn’t HIS doing but the work of the Gods and he tells the boy king that
his mother’s love is a gift from those same Gods. They were even working through his pragmatist grandfather Tywin Lannister.
And here’s the sealer:
“A true leader avails himself of the wisest counsel he can and nobody is wiser than the Gods.
“There’s much good in all of us; the best we can do is help each other bring it out”.
Careful, Tommen. Before you know it you might be knocking on doors and handing out copies of the “Watchtower”.
Our Arya is a little closer to achieving her ambitions to become “No One”. She perfects her blind fighting with sticks and regains her sight by giving her identity as Arya Stark. She truly is “No One” and ready to assume her role as an assassin of the Gods.
With all these characters accounted for, who is the ‘Oathbreaker’ of the episode’s title?
Samwell Tarly makes an appearance with Gillie and her baby, Sam. He’s broken his vow as a Brother of the Night’s Watch by taking up with her and she won’t be left behind when he enters the Citadel to become a Maester.
She even calls him the father of her baby. He’s certainly an oath-breaker, but he’s not THE Oathbreaker.
That can only be Jon Snow, who’s newly risen from the dead. He remembers a little of what happened. He was stabbed in the heart by Ollie. He was dead. He shouldn’t be there.
“The Lord let you come back for a reason. Stannis was not the Prince who was promised, but someone has to be”.
Melisandre is certain he’s the promised one, the Prince.
All her visions can’t be wrong and she saw him in the flames at Winterfell. Could it be his destiny doesn’t involve the Night’s Watch?
The episode closes with Jon carrying out the executions of Ser Alliser Thorne and the other Brothers who betrayed him. Much as Ned Stark told his ‘sons’, if you pass judgement you must be the one to carry out the sentence.
As the bodies dangle in their nooses, Jon takes off the Lord Commander’s cloak and hands it to Edd.
“What do you want me to do with this”?
“Wear it, burn it, whatever you want. You have Castle Black. My watch is done”.
Technically, he’s not an oath-breaker, even though he’s walking away from the Night’s Watch. Their vow provides a loophole for someone like Jon and his exceptional circumstances.
The oath of the Night’s Watch, in part, goes like this:
“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crown and win no glory …..”
It shall not end until my death. Hmmm. That effectively frees Jon to serve some other purpose. Will it be revealed this season or next?
Oh, and there is just ONE OMG moment in episode 3. Yet again it involves the vile Ramsay Bolton. Lord Umber refuses to bend his knee or kiss his ring, but to prove his loyalty, he presents him with a ‘gift’.
Two figures are brought in with hoods over their heads. It’s Osha and Rickon. Noooooooo. She was supposed to keep him safe.
And to make things worse, the severed head of direwolf is thrown down on the table. It’s Rickon’s Shaggy Dog. Noooooo!!!!!!
So, is Umber the Oathbreaker? Is he still loyal to the Starks or has he really thrown his lot in with Ramsay The Despicable?
Next Monday has never seemed so far away.
Nikole Gunn has been a watcher of TV since the 70s. A writer of words since the 80s. A reader of the news since the 90s; mostly on Triple M, Nova and Gold.
Twitter - @NikoleGunn