An all-female ‘Game of Thrones’ roundtable: More Jon Snow nudity, please

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Every week, the ladies of will join together to discuss the most recent episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This week, political reporter Katie McDonough and culture reporters Tahirah Hairston and Kelsey McKinney tackle the third episode of season six, “Oathbreaker.”


In this week’s episode (SPOILERS): Jon Snow breaks his oath at the Wall. Bran visits the Tower of Joy where Lyanna Stark is trapped. Arya gets to see again. Daenerys is maybe trapped forever in the land of Khal widows, and Tyrion still wants a drinking buddy. 

Jon Snow is officially not dead

Kelsey: I found last night’s episode very boring. I think it might be because Game of Thrones has hung its hat so consistently on these incredibly surprising/off-putting/brutal events. We are never with individual characters long enough to really understand why they behave the way they behave, so their actions feel like nothing.


Tahirah: Game of Thrones is always a little boring until the last three episodes of the season. I just watch because I know drama is coming.

Katie: But a lot happened in this episode in terms of plot!

Tahirah: Let's talk about when Jon Snow woke up: He’s taking this very well.

Katie: I know! I wake up in the morning and need like 20 minutes to readjust to the world. Jon Snow is dead and then alive again and he's like, "Hand me my fur coat, let's go."

Tahirah: My favorite part was when he said, "I shouldn’t be here." I was like, JON, WE KNOW. Everyone in the room knows.

Katie: Olly :(

Tahirah: Game of Thrones does not like children. The only person’s face they zoomed in on after hanging the men who betrayed Jon Snow was…Olly.


Kelsey: This show is always trying to make me feel something about murdered children, but guess what? I don’t. Olly was a mean child! He deserved to die!

Katie: Kelsey is our group's Melisandre.

Tahirah: Basically. She’s all for killing the kids and we’re like: give them another chance. I do agree Olly deserved it, but he was also, like, 12 and impressionable.


Katie: Yes. The death penalty for someone who is just getting pubes is doubly cruel and inhumane.

Kelsey: To be clear, I do not advocate FOR killing kids. It just no longer has any shock value for me, and I think—based on the many, many shots of Olly—that’s why Game of Thrones keeps doing it! I expect this kind of behavior from this show, is what I’m saying. No one is safe in Westeros!


Katie: So Jon Snow, alive, puts on the Lord Commander Elton John coat long enough to oversee the executions. Then he peaces out!

Elton John in a Jon Snow's coat
This image was lost some time after publication.Elton John… or should we say Elton Jon Snow?

Kelsey: Wait, but here’s a question: Can you just LEAVE the Night’s Watch? I thought you literally had to die to leave. Does Jon’s two-day death count?

Tahirah: Technically, you can’t. But Jon Snow just came back from the dead, so I think his situation is different.


Never leave your house

Katie: Jon Snow's exit raises another issue: Sansa is on her way to the Wall! This show is exceptionally good at sending characters to places that will disappoint them.


Kelsey: I think Jon and Sansa might run into each other, though! Because where else is Jon going to go but Winterfell?

Katie: The lesson here is to never go anywhere in Westeros. Just stay in your house.


Kelsey: That’s really the lesson everywhere, though. Just. Stay. Home.

Katie: Speaking of being stuck: Lyanna Stark inside the Tower of Joy! It seems like the show is on the verge of revealing Jon Snow's true parents, or at least the true parents I have been led to believe exist by multiple Reddit threads. She is screaming! Maybe because she was, like me, bored by the sword fight between Ned Stark's gang and the members of the King's Guard and wanted things to get on already. Or maybe because she was giving birth to a little baby Jon Snow.


Tahirah: Also, wasn’t Lyanna Stark in love with one of the men who were supposedly her captors?

Katie: Yes, Rhaegar Targaryen! We haven't met him yet. He wasn't in the ~boring~ fight, but had two of his men standing guard at the Tower of Joy because of its Lyanna Stark precious cargo.


Tahirah: Gotcha. I was like what is happening. I’m going to agree, then, that she was screaming because she was having a baby. Also, poor Bran was so sad to learn his dad lied to him about winning that fight.

Katie: Yes! Poor Bran. This episode is actually taking us through Bran's journey, too. His entire world is shaped by the perspective of his father. Ned is the hero, but we see in Bran's flashback that 1. Ned isn't quite as heroic as he may have presented himself and 2. His stories about his sister may have been lies! And so far we have kind of the same bias. We think the Starks are what's up. It looks like some of that's going to fall apart this season.


Tahirah: Right, because I’m still hurt about Ned Stark dying. The beginning of the show made him seem like a standup guy, but maybe he wasn’t. I also would like to know what Bran has to learn before he can leave this treehouse.

Katie: Loved how treehouse man was like: "You think I like being stuck in a tree forever?" Treehouse real talk.


Kelsey: I am interested to see at what point Bran will “know everything.” Will it be (again) ONLY about Jon Snow?

Katie: I don't know, maybe it's because I have terrible taste, but I liked this episode! I like how it's disrupting the narrative about the Targaryens and the Starks as it's been playing out until this point.


Kelsey: I thought this episode was good! It just felt like a LOT of setup to me.

Katie: Agree. But if you think about the show as a weird puzzle with all of these characters setting up into something big and potentially surprising, the process is kind of enjoyable! But also I love whatever TV is put in front of me, so that is a possible explanation.


Tahirah: I actually liked this episode, but I’m always impatient with Game of Thrones when I know they are building a story. I want to know what it’s for…NOW. Game of Thrones is the missed connections of TV. I’m always frustrated and I have very low expectations of anything good happening. But let’s talk about Arya.

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Kelsey: Arya’s plotline is the biggest setup of all time. She has been doing the same boring stuff to become “the girl with no name” for so long that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be excited to see her on screen.

Tahirah: I also don’t think she believes that she’s “the girl with no name” for real. I just think she wants to see again and survive. She still has so much passion about who she “was."


Katie: And now I am walking back what I said about enjoying setup to say that I am bored as hell by Arya's plotline.

Kelsey: I liked that so subtle unsubtle line that used Arya to remind us all that Jon isn’t a Stark again. “How many brothers do you have?” Arya: "Four… no, three."


Tahirah: Yes, I noticed that! And a half-brother. Lol.

Hotties of the Week

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Kelsey: This reminds me that I wanted to comment on how we got to see Jon Snow’s hot bod when he rose from the dead.

Tahirah: Omg, HIS BACK.

Kelsey: And his lil’ butt!

Tahirah: I was like hiiiiiii Jon’s back, take me out on a date

Kelsey: After all this commentary and backlash about how women are shown nude on the show, I was like, FINALLY, A HOT DUDE. But then I was mad that we didn’t get full-frontal on Kit Harrington. (Kit, if you are reading this, please fix that in the future.)


Tahirah: I was very into that part. I actually rewound it. Don’t judge me.

Kelsey: I hope there is a GIF of him sitting up.

Katie: Oh shit, I loved when Thormund Giantsbane Marco Rubio'd Jon Snow and told him he had a tiny dick. [Ed. note: Marco Rubio suggested back in February that Donald Trump had a tiny dick.]


Tahirah: I loved when Jon and Thormund hugged, too. Can someone write a fanfic about them? I’d quit the real GOT and just read that. And you know what other hottie came back this week? Grey Worm. I was like: Hi, missed you!

Kelsey: YES. WELCOME BACK, SIR. But also, why were he and Missandei being so boring? Did I forget something?


Tahirah: They didn’t want to play a game, they didn’t want to drink. But maybe they are warming up to Tyrion—I mean, their kingdom did just get overthrown. Why should they just trust him? They are a very serious couple.

Kelsey: Seriously… hot.

Tahirah: A hot-serious couple.

Katie: I loved when Missandei and Grey Worm were like, you can't sit with us to Tyrion. They told him they only talk about patrolling the city when they're alone, but you know they are talking about more than that!

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Tahirah: I always forget how much I love Varys' negotiations and manipulations. He’s so good at it. He and Tyrion make a great team. But to be serious about it: Does Tyrion deserve the Iron Throne? I feel like he’s the only character at this point that’s proactive and not reactive. Definitely still Team Khaleesi, though.


Kelsey: Yeah. I agree with you on Tyrion. He is definitely a fan favorite and the series creators seem to be encouraging that, but I don’t think he wants to rule. I think Tyrion will be Khaleesi’s champion as she (eventually) ascends the ranks.

Tahirah: I agree. He’s a great advisor because he’s honest and never holds back and is usually drunk. Also: Missandei speaks 19 languages?!  She is amazing and I want more of her on screen this season.


Katie: I want to put it out there that I love Tyrion with a beard. Lookin' good, Tyrion. Also: Should we add a ranking to our recaps? Who sits on the Iron Throne of Hotness for every episode?

Kelsey: I nominate Jon Snow to this week’s Iron Throne of Hotness.

Katie: Agree. Extra brooding. Yes, please.

Tahirah: Same. Thank you, Game of Thrones, for showing us Jon’s back. Can we please see it again next week?

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