How do you follow up an episode like “Home,” where arguably one of your show’s most popular and potentially one of the most important characters is brought back to life? Do you follow the Homeland playbook and try to top it, which is then a recipe for disaster as you run out of gas around episode five? No, no you don’t. Thankfully, Game of Thrones wisely went the other direction, choosing instead to take a breath and reassess the board, moving things just enough to maintain forward momentum.
Game of Thrones is smart.
Homeland was not.
It’s not the only difference between the two, but it’s probably the biggest.
I appreciate what Game of Thrones did in “Oathbreaker.” I could see how it could be a bummer for some people, either because of the cock-tease that was this week’s installment of Bran’s Vision Quest or because there wasn’t a clear-cut Oh, shit moment. But dude, it’s only the third episode of the season and Game of Thrones is all about spreading those dragon wings and only taking off for flight when they are good and ready. They’re not ready and aren’t going to be peer pressured into taking off prematurely. Because again, this isn’t Homeland.
But this is Game of Thrones’ Plot Line Power Rankings, so let’s get cracking on rankings for this week.
Giddy Up America’s Game of Thrones’ Power Rankings: Week Three
The Night (‘s watch) is Dark and Full of Assholes And Now Jon Snow Has Zero Eff’s to Give
Count me as someone who was relived that Jon didn’t come back to life as some kind of zombie, or brain-washed or missing parts of his memory. I really hate when characters suffer from amnesia or go through some kind of drastic change in personality. So it was pretty dope that not only did he come back, but his first words were essentially “those fuckers stabbed me.” Yeah, he remembers. Because the North remembers and Jonnie Snowflake is the North.
How would you react if your friend was murdered, you held vigil next to him for a day or so and then one afternoon you were out strolling the grounds and you look up and what the what, he’s back. I’d probably shit my pants. No joke. So I applaud the people of Castle Black handling things slightly better than I would. It’s like they’re getting use to crazy shit happening, which is probably for the best seeing as how “crazy shit” is starting to become more and more prominent in the show. It’s almost as if the show is being split in two, with one side largely untouched by “crazy shit” and one side being driven by it. It’ll be interesting to see if the two shows are eventually brought together or continue to live side by side.
Moving forward, I have some questions:
- Jon is leaving the Watch, which is completely understandable. Unlike John McCain who seems wholly unable to turn his back on those who have wronged him, Jon seems to gladly be walking away from this band of ass clowns. My question though, is where is he going?
- Is he joining the Wildlings?
- Is he headed to Winterfell?
- Is he headed to Cabo with Melisandre?
- Does he even know?
- What the hell is this dude’s name?
Either way, seems like it’s Acting-Lord Commander now. Or Interim Lord Commander. Whatever it is, he better get with his Union rep fast. Or his Agent. Everyone knows the bosses will ride out that “interim” tag as long as possible to avoid upping someone’s salary.
Lastly, can we at least hope Jon doesn’t get too far from Castle Black before Sansa shows up? Would it kill this show to at least unite two of the Stark children? How many times do they have to come so freakin’ close without actually meeting up? It’s getting a little ridiculous, Game of Thrones.
2. Keeping Up with the Lannisters
Are Jaime and Cersei dangerous right now? Or pathetic? Or are they dangerous because they might be viewed as pathetic? Does it even matter because Ser Robert Strong could care less for semantics? They have spies now, but not the respect and attention of the small council, so I guess it’s not all bad. But how do you pick which enemy to fight first when fighting a two-sided war? Cersei obviously wants the High Sparrow dead, but she also wants those vicious vixens in Dorne dead. Decisions, decisions. And it doesn’t look like Tommen is much help. That dude could be convinced that down is up and left is right if someone’s tone was nurturing enough. Grow a pair, Tom Tom. You’re the freakin’ King. For now at least.
Hey, it’s Bran! And Holy Shit is He Tall Now! Branventures Through History
Based on the previews for “Oathbreaker,” it seemed like the whole R+L=J theory was finally going to be proven and people were very excited. We were all so fired up that we forgot we were watching Game of Thrones. I can’t believe we thought for a second that the alleged story of Jon’s birth was going to be sussed out in one episode. If it had, then that would have been too Homeland-ish, trying to one-up last week’s episode. So they’re going to draw that out. Sure, why not. I’m kind of okay with it, if only because I’m still not totally on board with any Bran-related plot lines at this point. I need to see more before I’m open to buy Bran stock.
I will say that what we did see definitely opens the door to the idea that maybe, just maybe, Ol’ Honest Ned Stark wasn’t as honest as he was made out to be. You know, because according to legend, Ned killed Ser Dayne. That differs some from what Bran saw. Could the Raven be inching Bran closer to the realization of Jon’s parentage by first softening the blow of his Dad’s unknown penchant for embellishments?
4. Uh, Ramsey? We Need to Talk. You’re Scaring the Children
Are we getting set up for a Ramsey/Jon showdown? It kind of seems that way. Are we also getting set up for another excruciating season featuring Ramsey torturing someone? God I hope not. Rickon came back, which is cool. But he came back as Ramsey’s prisoner, which is not cool. And really Rickon and Osha, you guys have been on the lam for almost two seasons now and you couldn’t find a suitable place to hide that entire time? I’d expect more from Osha. It’s like that line from The Wire, where dudes on the east side run to the west side to lie low, not realizing they’re still in Baltimore.
Now Rickon and Osha are one bad mood away from being strung up and flayed. Wonderful. Because we all can’t wait to see that again.
So let’s focus on the positives: Ramsey and a handful of northern bannerman headed north to face off with Jon Snow and the Wildlings- because after thinking about it, Jon is totally going to become leader of the Wildlings, or co-leader with Tormund. Wait, do you think when they face off somehow the White Walkers are going to show up again? Or something will happen that allows Ramsey to die and the north to rally around Jon & Sansa? I’m getting ahead of myself here. It happens.
5. The Leftovers (specifically Danys’ leftovers)
Tyrion and Varys have decided that in order to beat the Sons of the Harpy, they need to find the ones pulling the strings. And guess who is? All the assholes who had their slaves taken from them by Danys. Wow. Crazy. Should be noted though that I kind of just assumed that from the get-go. I didn’t even have to threaten the life of a hooker and her son to figure it out either.
6. Damn, Danys
Well come on Daenerys, obviously you can’t join Club Dothraki without having to go through a credit check first.
7. A Girl Must Get Her Act Together
So…is Arya the Punisher now?
8. The One About Sam and Gilly Being Adorable
Uh…? Cool, I guess.