‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6, Episode 3 Recap: “Oathbreaker”

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Not much actually happens in this week’s episode, as different factions align themselves and prepare for the inevitable conflict forthcoming. In the North, with the wildlings ranging south of the Wall and Ramsay Snow sitting at Winterfell as the Warden of the North, the old rules have less sway, and we soon see the episode’s title, “Oathbreaker,” take on literal meaning.

The Karstarks have already broken their oath to the Starks, a direct result of Robb executing the head of the house after he murdered two Lannister boys as revenge (they were the children of Kevan Lannister, who now sits on Tommen’s small council as Hand of the King). Now that the wildlings are south of the wall, the Umbers have followed suit. If you remember in season 1, the head of the house, Greatjon Umber, openly questioned Robb’s ability to lead when first called his father’s banners in the wake of his execution. (He quickly demurred after Robb’s wolf Grey Wind attacked him and bit his finger off.) In present-day Winterfell, Smalljon (his son), refuses to follow the old customs, neither kneeling nor swearing fealty to Ramsay. But he brings a present: Rickon Stark, his wildling attendant, Asha, and the head of Shaggy Dog, Rickon’s direwolf.

Before he crossed under the Wall, Bran sent Rickon away with Asha to the House of Umber — as one of the Stark’s oldest bannermen, it was his best chance at refuge. Who knows what lies in store for Rickon at the hands of Ramsay.

Meanwhile, the newly resurrected Jon Snow has a lot on his mind. He’s taken after his father, Ned Stark, in many ways, making hard decisions for the greater good, and suffering greatly for it. His final act as Lord Commander is to execute the leaders of the mutiny, including Olly. But he’s realized something — now that he’s dead, his watch is ended. And he’s not obligated to put up with any of this shit anymore. Jon Snow is out, with Castle Black in his rearview. Where is he going? And with whom?

Samwell Tarly is already on the road — or more accurately, at sea, with Gilly and her baby. He’s got no idea that Jon has died and been resurrected. His only concern is to get Gilly and baby to safety, and to get to Oldtown to study to be a maester. His plan for Gilly is to leave her with his family, which means we might just meet his mean old dad.

Further north, Bran is still in training, and his latest flashback is to the crucial scene at the foot of the Tower of Joy, the castle in Dorne where Lyanna Stark was believed to be held. As the story goes, Ned Stark and Howland Reed went to rescue her, defeating Ser Arthur Dayne, the “Sword of the Morning” in the process. But the truth is different from the history. In actuality, Dayne is a head above all of them as a swordsman, and cuts everyone down. He’s about to take down Ned, but Howland Reed stabs him in the back, and then Ned is able to strike a finishing blow. When the three-eyed raven tells Bran he needs to learn “everything,” it’s clear that his perspective of past, present, and future will be crucial to the rest of the story.

In King’s landing, Cersei and Jamie try to attend the small council meeting, but find themselves shutout by their uncle Kevan. In the wake of Cersei’s disastrous spell as Queen Regent, the Lannisters’ alliance with the Tyrells crumbled, and in her attempt to manipulate the High Sparrow to eliminating her Maergery problem, they added a new enemy in the Faith Militant. So it’s understandable that the rest of the clan wants no part of her involvement on the council, but with Ser Robert Strong at her side, people can’t really push her around. Qyburn was ejected from the council along with Cersei, but he still controls the “little birds” as her personal Master of Whispers.

The makeshift government ruling in place of Danaerys in Meereen has found the prostitute that sold out the Unsullied to the Sons of the Harpy last season; rather than kill and torture her, Varys uses his palpable skill at whispering to convince her to reveal the identity of her masters. When they discover that its the newly returned to power masters of Yunkai and Astapoor, they’re no closer to quelling the Sons of the Harpy, but at least they know who they’re fighting. If only Danaerys could breath some fire, yet…

…she’s at the Dothraki tent city, meeting the rest of the former Khaleesi, the Dosh Khaleen. According to tradition, as a former Khaleesi, she should remain there for the rest of her life — but since she didn’t return after the death of her Khal, it might not be that simple. There’s a meeting of the Khals coming, and it’s there that they plan to decide her fate. But u just KNOW her babies are gonna come home and save her…right?

And finally, our faceless girl in Braavos finally seems to be making progress; she no longer needs her eyes to see. She’s still studying under the Waif and Jaqen H’ghar, and gets a little bit of a training montage, demonstrating her ability to use her nose, touch, hands and ears. With a final test of her will, her eyesight is returned. But is a girl truly No One?