'Game of Thrones' S6 E03: Jon Snow's paternity has been all but established
“Daenerys meets her future; Bran meets the past; Tommen confronts the High Sparrow; Arya trains to be No One; Varys finds an answer; Ramsay gets a gift.”
Season six of Game of Thrones has stayed true to the tradition of having nail-biting, cliffhanger endings for each of its episodes. While episodes one and two have had plenty to offer fans in terms of new storylines, new character arcs and new developments, episode three wasn’t far behind either. [SPOILERS AHEAD!] Perhaps it lacked the shock value of episode two — Ramsay only had an animal murdered in this one, certainly no women and children — it did provide some valuable insight into Jon Snow’s origins.
Last week, our analysis of episode two focused on how the two “new” Targaryens would be unveiled in the episodes to come. Tyrion, with his brush with Daenerys’ dragons, seemed to lend credence to long-held (and hinted at) theories that Aerys Targaryen was his sire, rather than Tywin Lannister. While Tyrion’s origins haven’t been explored any further in episode three, Jon’s have. And it seems the R+L=J hypothesis will definitely see its conclusion rather quickly.
Setting this up was the “Tower of Joy” flashback which dominated most discussions about episode three. Bran, flexing his powers to look into the past, went right back to the showdown between his father (Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark), his friend Howland Reed and some knights for House Targaryen. Viewers were treated to the clash between these well-matched foes, but not taken into the Tower of Joy itself where one might have (presumably) seen Ned’s sister Lyanna give birth to the baby who would grow up to be Jon. Since it was Rhaegar Targaryen who abducted her and took her to the tower, the conclusion about Jon’s paternity seems evident.
If there were hints about Jon’s past, then there are also clues about his future. The episode was titled “Oathbreaker” and most fans have inferred that the oath-breaker in question is Jon. Technically, Jon swore to serve in the Night’s Watch, to hold no property or tile or take any family etc until his death. Well, Melisandre may have brought him back to life now, but this is a new life for Lord Snow — and his “death” releases him from his vow. So he is perfectly at liberty now, to leave the Wall, and fulfill his destiny to its South — first, at Winterfell, and then, perhaps, at King’s Landing. He’s already showing us that the Jon who has returned is different from the Jon we knew — he is more pragmatic, as his readiness to carry out the sentence on Olly shows, at the same time, the action had a curious circularity to Ned Stark in the very first episode of GoT, beheading the deserter from the Night’s Watch. And then there is that very definitive statement he makes — “And now my watch has ended” — which leaves not much doubt about his intentions.
The preview of episode four has shown us that the focus will shift to other characters — Lord Peytr Baelish, Theon on the Iron Islands, Sansa and Brienne, Dany and the dosh khaleen and Tyrion and Varys in Mereen. But for now, we have enough to mull over when it comes to the origins and future of Jon Snow.
Watch the preview for episode four here: