One of the biggest problems with Game of Thrones has always been its shackled approach to its source material. While the series has diverged from the books at points, it was never quite ready to shift around the narrative for the sake of better television. This was especially clear in earlier seasons which stuck to about one book per year. But with “Oathbreaker,” the showrunners have demonstrated that Season 6 is the harbinger for a freer, more appropriate use of these characters in the context of television storytelling.
This episode wasn’t filled to the brim with buzzworthy moments (as opposed to last week, which had a healthy dose). Instead each storyline pushes the ball forward in a meaningful way, keeping us from feeling like we’re sitting quietly in the doldrums waiting for The Big Moment of the season to happen.
Arya’s (Maisie Williams) already moved through the House of Black and White, the Lannisters are forcing their way into confrontation with the Faith Militant, Ramsay has Rikkon Stark (Art Parkinson) hostage and Jon (Kit Harington) has abandoned the Wall. No matter where you look this week, everyone had something to do – no wandering, no confusion. And for J and me, that made for a fantastically tight episode.
As always, you can subscribe to our podcast feed (including all episodes of “Stark Contrast”) using iTunes or by copying this link into your RSS reader. Alternatively, you can check out the episode online or download it here. Happy listening!
Tune in next week for our discussion of Season 6 Episode 4, “Book of the Stranger.” Valar morghulis.