This week's episode loses some steam after the first two great chapters this season.
As many of those of you who browse social media on Sunday nights know, season six of Game of Thrones (GOT) continues this week with the episode entitled “Oathbreaker”. Following the shocking conclusion of last week’s episode, the world of Westeros is reeling with the return of several characters and how they deal with their return. “Oathbreaker” is an episode that doesn’t continue the winning streak the show has been on.
“Oathbreaker” continues where we left off last week. This episode is an episode about maintaining forward momentum and asking questions. What do these visions mean? How does one cope with being betrayed by the very men you have led? How will the recently dead respond to being brought back to life? Characters in this episode are trying to move on and understand their place in the world. Oh and some violence and dick jokes put in for good measure. This show has everything.
|Beware my blinded and weary stick of doom.|
This episode is spent with many characters as the show usually is. We open with the resurrected Lord Commander addressing his men. Is he a God? What is death like? These ideas are teased, as the episode seems focused on telling every story it could. We also see more of Bran and his training with the Three-eyed- Raven and learn more about the history of the Starks. Seeing a young Ned Stark is very interesting and I am wondering how Bran’s story will tie into what is happening on the show. We are also brought up to speed on Daenerys, Sam, Arya, Varys, Tyrion, and the comically evil psychopath Ramsay.
If last week’s episode was a reminder of Game of Thrones at it’s best, this is a middling to lower quality episode of Game of Thrones. To be fair though, nothing could really top last week’s episode. Like many episodes of this show, juggling many characters becomes exhausting. I imagine it is exhausting for the viewers and the writers. The parts of the episode with the Lord Commander were interesting and allowed for some great lines of dialogue. Kit Harrington did a great job in this episode as a man who is struggling with returning from the dead. If it were just about Jon and Bran, the episode would have been a really great one.
Unfortunately, the other parts of this episode bring it down hard. Some of the dialogue in this episode is very on the nose. There are some comically bad scenes in this episode, including a scene involving a character soiling his pants (It would have been great if it was Jon) and an excruciatingly boring scene involving Daenerys. It’s a shame since I usually like Dany’s character but I am really not enjoying her current storyline. It brought this episode to a screeching halt. And in some cruel twist of fate, Game of Thrones decided to end this episode giving the audience narrative blue balls. I guess I spoke too soon last week. It’s a shame that this episode was brought down by some bad creative decisions this week especially following last week’s brilliant episode. Let’s just hope that next week’s episode is good.
-Liam S. O'Connor