Since I first started watching "Game of Thrones" and reading much of the lore behind the novels, I've been hyped for the opportunity to see the "Tower of Joy" sequence play out on television. After years of waiting, my hype, and the hype of millions of fans waiting for the same event, came to a head in Season 6, Episode 3.
"Game of Thrones" was given the tough task of following up a big episode last week, and using the Tower of Joy to take a step forward in the show was the perfect play. It was the one show event fans have been talking about that would distract them from "so, what does Jon do from here?" even if that was only a few moments.
From this point on, prepare for spoilers from up to Season 6, Episode 3 of "Game of Thrones."
- Melisandre's face after realizing she resurrected Jon Snow is going to be a meme for the rest of 2016.
- Tormund Giantsbane aka the king of jokes.
- The Small Council meetings have slowly become like a high school lunch room. "You can't sit here." "Oh yeah I can." "You think so? Well we're moving!"
- You know that awkward moment when you're talking about someone, then they walk into the room? That moment gets much more awkward when that person is as giant as The Mountain.
- So Sam's going home, which is... confusing? I get Sam's point to keep Gilly safe, but Jon sent him to Oldtown for a reason - to learn how to stop the white walkers. A little side trip to Horn Hill (Sam's home) isn't going to make things any easier.
- While Dany isn't in the safest position she's ever been in, being a part of the Dosh Khaleen could actually be a good thing for her. With a meeting of the khals set for next week's episode, and Dany being a topic of conversation, she's got the perfect opportunity to raise an army from those blood riders. We're still not close to an answer on how, or when, she'll return to Westeros.
- I love that "Game of Thrones" decided to keep the same characters for Osha and Rickon - especially given how the show has replaced younger characters once they get older (like Myrcella and Tommen). The show has done a great job recasting characters, including Daario Naharis and The Mountain (twice!), but to allow a character who has been off-screen to age as much as Rickon's actor has in that time frame is fantastic.
- While I love seeing Rickon, Osha and Shaggy Dog, it's not good news for those characters, especially Shaggy Dog (#RIPShaggyDog). Killing Rickon would be the end of a potential threat for Ramsey's reign in Winterfell, and I'm sure the good guys could use some extra Ramsey-hating motivation, so if you love Rickon, you better appreciate his final episodes while they last.
- Not sure what to make of the preview for next week's "Game of Thrones," with Littlefinger back in play and saying Sansa is missing. Littlefinger has a habit of appearing at just the right time for him to take another step up the chaos latter, but what does the next rung hold for him? His chat with Robin in the preview could spark the Vale getting involved in the Northern plot.
Tower of Joy
Fans of both the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels and the "Game of Thrones" TV show have waited years for the famous Tower of Joy scene and the show delivered on the extremely high expectations.
For those who haven't studied the "Game of Thrones" lore, the Tower of Joy event occurs after Robert Baratheon defeated the Targaryen empire. Ned Stark and several soldiers face off against Ser Arthur Dayne and another kingsguard brother with hopes of freeing Lyanna Stark, Ned's sister, who was allegedly kidnapped by the Targaryens.
Everything with this scene was perfect. "Game of Thrones" has taken deserved knocks on their fight choreography, especially in the Dorne storyline, but this fight was one of the best in the show.
The fight, above all else, seemed real. Where many shows falter in uneven fights is by having the fighters taking their shots at the smaller of the two sides one by one. In this case, "Game of Thrones" made a four-on-one fight seem believable by having all four fighters attacking Dayne at the same time.
Beyond the fight choreography, "Game of Thrones" nailed the casting selections for both a young Ned Stark and Dayne, not an easy task with someone as identifiable as Sean Bean (who played Ned in Season 1) and with a unique look like Dayne.
While fans weren't treated to the ultimate payoff (confirming R+L=J), "Game of Thrones" supplied more than enough ammo to help theory truthers make their case, all the while providing a great bit of "Game of Thrones" history.
Jon Snow Watch - Episode 3
So now that Jon's alive, and fans have gotten their revenge by seeing the traitors get hanged for their crimes (FINALLY that little brat Ollie gets his), what's the next step?
At the end of Episode 3, Jon tells Edd that Edd has control of the Night's Watch, and Jon's "watch has ended."
Jon is definitely a changed man after his brush with death, but how changed is he?
Back in Season 5, Stannis tried to legitimize Jon, but Jon refused, choosing the more honorable decision and staying with the Night's Watch. Like Ned Stark before him, Jon's honor got him killed, and he knows it.
"I tried to do the right thing, and I failed," Jon told Davos in this episode.
With Jon now fully back from the dead and out of the Night's Watch, he's set to take on a more personal goal - become the Lord of Winterfell.
Anthony J. Machcinski reacts to "Game of Thrones" every week for FlipSidePA.com. Follow along with him on Twitter during every episode at @ChinskiTweets.