Wednesday, May 11, 2016

“My Watch Has Ended”

Without much time to blog this week, I wanted to offer a few quick thoughts on “Oathbreaker,” the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Note, *SPOILERS* to follow.

I think we know what Jon plans to do.
While “Oathbreaker” was basically set-up for the rest of Season 6, my favorite part – and the point of the title, I think – was when Jon handed his Lord Commander cloak to Dolorous Edd and announced “My watch has ended.” For anyone who has read the books, I think we all know what’s going to happen next.

Last season, the show omitted a key event leading up to Jon’s death, and I think “Oathbreaker” served as a course correction to realign the story to the novels. In A Dance With Dragons, Jon actually breaks his oath to the Night’s Watch moments before his murder. He had received a raven bearing a message from Ramsay Bolton, who calls himself the “Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.” Among other things, Ramsay announces Stanis defeat and threatens to cut out Jon’s heart and eat it if Ramsay’s “bride” – whom Jon believes to be his sister Arya – is not returned to him. Jon is so disturbed by this letter he decides to march on Winterfell and asks members of the Night’s Watch to join him.

This didn’t quite happen in the show, although there may have been a hint of it. In last season’s finale, right before Ollie arrives to lure Jon to his death, John is reading a note from a raven. Maybe that note was Ramsay’s, but the show never told. Now, however, Jon has decided to break his oath and end his watch. We’ll have to wait until Sunday’s episode to find out what happens next, but I suspect that Jon, Tormund, and a host of Wildlings will soon be heading for Winterfell. And it’s about time Ramsay got what’s coming to him.

Will Jon save the realm like young Ned?
A few other thoughts. First, did Jon really break his oath? A member of the Night’s Watch serves until death. Jon died before he was resurrected. Oath fulfilled, perhaps.

Also, was it just me, or did we see Jon effectively transform into Ned Stark, Lord of the North? By taking it on himself to swing the sword that killed the traitors, Jon was doing just what Ned taught his sons to do in the very first scene of Game of Thrones. Now, Jon might be playing the role Ned once did when he helped save the realm from the mad king.

Lastly, as soon as young Ned gets into the Tower of Joy in one of Bran’s flashbacks, I believe we may finally learn who Jon’s parents really are. I won’t spoil that with a prediction, but I’m looking forward to it!

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes


Bill said...

I really like the past events that Bran is shown and don't recall anything similar in the books.

I'm sure you're right about where Jon is going.

Are you as confused as I by the Daenerys storyline? And is Tyrion the new "Father of Dragons?"

Joseph Finley said...

I think the Bran plot line has gotten ahead of the books, but who knows if Martin will go down that road in "the Winds of Winter." As for Tyrion, I think that was another course correction back to the books. Remember, in "A Dance With Dragons," those two dragons get accidentally released by that Dornish prince who gets barbecued while trying to impress Daenerys.

She does get captured by that Kahl at the end of "A Dance With Dragons," so I suppose her plot line could be unfolding according to Martin's plans.

Bill said...

Thanks. I read the books so long ago I have trouble remembering exactly where they went.

Bill said...

After watching the latest episode I am no longer confused about where Daenerys' storyline is heading. Love to hear your take on that.

Joseph Finley said...

Bill, thanks for the comment. I really wonder if about whether this is what Martin had planned. Clearly, Daenerys was adrift in "A Dance With Dragons," making bad decision after bad decision. At some point she needed to find herself again, and maybe this is how it was supposed to happen. I would have thought the dragons would play a bigger role. But maybe they will before the season ends. I've read where a decade or so ago, Martin said that Daenerys was not immune to fire. Either he changed his mind, or the writers changed it for him.