“My watch has ended.” *drops mic*
If you’re still hyperventilating over Jon’s resurrection in the last episode, don’t worry. So is everyone, including Jon himself who seems to channel Rakhee in the early goings. Anyways, this week isn’t one of those episodes with improbable and stunning twists but is one of those breather episodes built around characters and conversations we were so fond of in Season 2 and 3.
Don’t get me wrong. A lot happens this week. Most of it quietly exciting, some of it underwhelming and one fist-thumping fan service. But again, it largely sets up the pieces on the chess board for the wars to come. So, without further ado, let’s move on,
1. Jon Snow: I was never a huge fan of the Bastard of Winterfell to begin with. This changed with Jon being made Lord Commander and the beheading of Ser Janos that followed (And the military strategy meetings he has with Stannis in the books).
We were all thrilled by his resurrection but, I am more excited by is the implications of it. As I suspected last week, death did indeed release Jon Snow from his vow to the Night’s Watch. A noble, dignified and honorable Jon on a path that is both intriguing and speculative is cause for excitement. Will he join forces with wherever Sansa is heading? Will Davos and Melisandre join him as well?
Oh, and more confirmation of Jon being the Azor Ahai from Melisandre (Sry Stannis).
2. R + L = J: I said last week that this week was ‘the’ episode. And to be honest, I was surprised to see the Tower of Joy flashback so early in the episode, and in the season for that matter. I suspected last week that HBO may fall short of going full-on with R + L = J, and I was right. HBO teased us and brought us back to reality as soon as a young Ned Stark ran up the stairs of the tower.
However, no Lyanna did not invalidate the theory in any way. In fact, it can be argued that the non-appearance of Dawn, Ser Arthur Dayne’s ancestral sword crosses off the name of the only other strong contender for Jon’s parentage.
It’s a small Easter egg but, in light of the Lyanna flashbacks coming at the speed of light, pretty sure the theory will soon pan out.
3. Shishu Rozgar Yojana: I always appreciated Lord Voldemort for going after Harry at the end of the school year. At least, he cared about Harry’s education, the meme went. The same goes for the two spymasters on each end of the world, Lord Varys and Lord Qyburn. It’s heartening to see both of them working towards the part-time employment of young children who do not have parents to feed them.
4. Arya Stark: Compared to the recent run of ‘mehs’ the storyline in Braavos seemed to elicit, Arya’s story this week finds a decent, even compelling momentum through a montage interspersed with her assassin training and what seemed to be a Catholic confession. Now that she has her sight back, maybe the God of Death will be kind to her and us and give her something kickass to do.
5. Ser Piggy: Samwell Tarly was the true winner of Season 5. Ser Piggy survived last season, made a girlfriend, had his ass protected by an irresponsible dire wolf and now, is for all intents and purposes, the father of Gilly’s kid too. That’s a win in my book.
6. Cleganebowl: Ser Gregor Clegane is as imposing and as dangerous as ever (Just ask Maester Pycelle who if I’m not wrong, might still be shitting himself). His brother, the Hound finds mention in Arya’s confession, her ambivalence towards him finally coming to the fore. Now, a few of you might know what I mean by Cleganebowl, many of you may not. Either way, in light of Cersei’s trial by combat to come, I’d say we are on course.
1. Brutus & Casca: A cold, brutal hanging for the traitors who stabbed their Lord Commander. Seems legit. Shame Ghost didn’t feed on you both (However, didn’t six people stab Lord Snow? Didn’t the other two hang?)
2. Ser Arthur Dayne: The best swordsman Westeros has ever seen, Dayne was involved in one of the greatest stories of combat known in Westeros. And yet, the show chose to depict him dual-wielding without his legendary blade in a fight scene which was inadequately edited, so much so that you never really get a scale of his ability even in a melee where he has to fight off four others (Maybe the Director shouldn’t have used the Wide lens so much). This should have upped the swordfight between Ned and Jaime back in Season 1 but, it didn’t. Shame.
3. Rickon Stark: What’s worse than being cut from the show for two seasons and being our least favorite Stark? Having your dire wolf Shaggydog killed and falling into the hands of a certain Ramsey Bolton. Tough luck, bro.
4. Tyrion and The God of Tits & Wine: I love Tyrion. He’s my 3rd favorite book character (And my 2nd favorite Lannister) and yet, Season 6 seems to be using him more as a filler and comic relief than a substantial mover of chess pieces. Please don’t do that, HBO. I loved his awkwardness this week in the company of people who didn’t drink but, this is Tyrion for R’hollor’s sake. Please find him some drinking buddies urgently.
Missing in Action: Littlefinger (Who’s back next episode), Sansa and her party, Dorne (Thank the Gods) and Pyke (Kingsmoot, please!)
Best one-liner this week: “Though I do appreciate these things can get confusing in your family.” – Lady Olenna.
Stannis Watch: No word on him but, he isn’t Azor Ahai. Bummer.
That’s all today. Here’s the preview for next week. Hodor.
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