Bran continues to learn more about his heritage, this time with his father in a sword fight, which seemingly he won through unfair means – that is, Ned’s friend stab his enemy in the back. This is something that I have never understood, if I am in a fight to the death I don’t think anything is particularly unfair…Anyway, the Three eyed Raven pulled Bran from the vision before he was ready, again, and Bran complained..again.
I have to admit that the Arya story is getting a little annoying, it seems that we are doing the same thing over and over. However, I was proven wrong this time around, just as the scene started to drag out, there was a resolution – Arya now has her eyesight back and it looks like she is going to, hopefully, start to play a bit of a bigger role in the series rather than being hit by a stick.
Back in Cerseiland things are starting to move forward. Cersei has decided that no-one dare speak ill of her, and has sent spies out to track down these people to have them killed. Now, I have spoken previously about the diagnosis of Borderline for Cersei and I feel that this even further confirms this diagnosis. She is unable to deal with the emotion and shame of what happened to her at the hands of the High Sparrow and rather than move on, she has decided that she will project her anger towards those who slighted her, even if this means that she will put herself and her family at greater risk. The interactions between the Queen of Thorns and Cersei are brilliant – with the Tyrell matriarch reminding Cersei that she is not the Queen, although she thinks that she is.
It also looks as though House Bolton is starting to get things in order with getting a bit of an army behind them, the interaction between the bannerman from House Umber and Ramsay was a great one, seemingly 2 psychopaths who want to get their way no matter what bouncing off one another to meet their needs. The big problem for the ‘good’ guys here is that Rickon Stark has been captured by House Umber and his direwolf killed, needless to say this will play a big part in the interactions between Jon Snow and Ramsay over the next few episodes.
In addition to all of this, there was also more politics with Varys and Tyrion trying to get the lowdown on the Harpies as scene which was just a bit boring – the interaction between Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm fell flat, which is rare in Tyrion-led dialogue. Then there was Daenerys being forced to accept her fate with the widows of Dothraki war chiefs which, again, was a nothing scene. Not to mention the cliche ‘sick man on a ship’ scene that was Sam and Gilly’s escape to his homeland, a scene which seemed like a bit of filler.
But the biggest story this week is that of Jon Snow. After finally getting over his shock of being woken from the dead and confirming that there is indeed nothing on the other side, Jon made the relatively easy decision of executing the traitors. Alliser was defiant and stuck to his beliefs, which is what we would expect. There was no malice or attempts to manipulate, Alliser was somewhat narcissistic in his views throughout his time and it is no surprise to find that he committed to his beliefs even in facing death. Alliser was calm in his demeanour and recognition that there are more troubles in store for Jon, despite what he thinks. On the other hand we had Olly – the killer of Jon’s lover, his murderer, and the boy who died. Olly was obviously still harbouring his hate towards Jon over the fact that he allowed his parent’s killers into Castle Black and allied with them. It is also interesting to note that Jon (or the Watch) decided on the short drop, strangulation type hanging rather than the long drop broken neck hanging for the betrayers.
The main Oathbreaker of this episode was Jon Snow as he declared that his watch is ended as he handed over his stole, does this mean he is out altogether and will go and be a lumberjack in Canada after losing his lover and family? I think Ramsay would have something to say about that. But then there were other oathbreakers – like House Umber, Ned Stark not fighting fairly, Sam tricking Gilly into where they were going and the list really goes on.
Overall, the episode was good, not great. There were a few pieces of building that weren’t great, but signal bigger things – like the Harpies, but then there were others which just went nowhere, like the Sam storyline.