(WARNING: The following contains MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS for Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 3. If you're not yet all caught up, then proceed with caution and all that.)
In the wake of last week's huge final reveal — to mention nothing of the episode's broader implications — we could have been forgiven for thinking that the latest episode of Game of Thrones' sixth season would bring things down a notch and give us time to settle into the new, shocking reality in which our television watching is taking place. That, though, isn't really Game of Thrones' style, which is probably why we just saw a whole lot of stuff go down, even in a relatively plot-light episode. Because the night is dark and full of terrors (and easy to miss details), here are...
7 Things You Might Have Missed In Game Of Thrones Season 6, Episode 3
7. You Saw Nothing, Jon Snow
Jon Snow's revelation that he saw nothing in between dying and being resurrected might have simply been a neat redeployment of the central theme of Ygritte's classic old maxim — "You know nothing, Jon Snow" — but in the context of Game of Thrones' increasingly religious conflict-centric narrative, it might just be a whole lot more.
Many fans have theorized that Jon is set to become Westeros's leading representative of R'hllor, with his apparent resurrection by the Red God leading him to convert — and to attempt to convert others. It seems that theory might not yet have too much to go on, however, with Jon still having quite a long way to go to become Melisandre's long-dreamed-of Azor Ahai — "the prince that was promised." What's more, Davos's suggestion to "now go fail again" could well be taken as a hint that Jon could take a more personal — and quixotic — path through Season 6.
6. Brown-Eyed Curl
While Dolorous Edd might now be the last of Jon's original gang still standing in Castle Black, he's clearly lost little of his sense of humor. His cute dig at Jon — "Your eyes are still brown. Is that still you in there?" — though seems less a gag, and more a nod of the head from the show's writers to a particularly popular piece of fan thinking, back when Jon died last year.
That theory? That Jon's eyes changed color in the immediate moments of his death, thus signaling — something. There was some disagreement over exactly what it meant — and indeed over whether it was simply a trick of the light — which, it seems, has now been firmly rebuffed by the show itself.
5. Half A Tower Of Joy
Watching a young Ned Stark win his most legendary battle by bringing the right friend with him was fantastic and all — and a nice highlighting of the central importance of having someone watching your back in Westeros, as Robb learned far too late — but the two key moments at the Tower of Joy weren't actually all that Ned-centric.
Firstly, there's the fact that it was made pretty clear we'll be seeing what happens next in a future episode — something that fans of a certain letter-based theory will be looking forward to. Even more intriguingly, though, the episode hints that Bran could be able to interact with the past he's visiting more than we thought. Is Game of Thrones contemplating throwing a time-travel-themed science-fiction element in among all the dragons and zombies? After all, it's tough to ignore a line like "stay too long where you don't belong and you won't ever return."
Speaking of which...
4. That One Line Just Summed Up The Whole Plot Of Game Of Thrones
After all, a long succession of heroes and villains have seemingly met their comeuppance as a result of overstaying their welcome in a place they don't belong. With the show having a seemingly never-ending line of usurpers, interlopers and displaced persons — almost all of whom seem to get killed — it might well emerge that Westeros is simply completely unforgiving of those who stay where they don't belong for too long.
Jon Snow stayed north of the Wall for too long, and was never trusted for it; Ned and Robb Stark both stayed south for too long, and lost their lives; and almost every other deceased character you care to think of can be seen to have overstayed their welcome where they don't belong, dating all the way back to Robert Baratheon. A bad omen for Ramsey Bolton, perhaps?
3. A Surprisingly Liberal Varys
Varys might not be the most obvious choice to be the voice of Westeros's left wing — what, with him being an ardently royalist big-government-supporting one-man NSA who tends to keep people in boxes for decades for crossing him — but that didn't stop him dropping some fairly Bernie Sanders-friendly politics in this week's episode.
That being said, it's still worth noting that his argument against torture did seem more pragmatic than it was ideological:
"It does provide answers, but they're usually the wrong ones."
But even so, on a political map of Westeros, you'd imagine that Varys and Tyrion would be the ones feeling the Bern. Suggestions of who would be voting for Donald Trump on a postcard to the usual address.
2. Arya Stark: Killing Machine
For a show that has long tended to develop its characters in a strictly chronological fashion, Game of Thrones sure did just drop a full-on montage sequence on us with Arya's training — turning Arya into a magical ninja assassin in the same time it took Jaime and Cersei to get abandoned in a meeting room.
That being said, there are a couple of key implications to that training. For one thing, it positions Arya to actually be able to live up to her promise to kill those who harmed her friends and family — the episode was called "Oathbreaker," after all. For another, it acts as a neat mirror to her training with Syrio Forel back in Season 1 — and as a counterpoint to its relative lack of success. This, it seems, is a very different Arya Stark. Or perhaps the Assassin Formerly Known as Arya Stark.
1. One Watch Ends While Another Begins?
With Jon's departure from Castle Black seemingly marking the end of his association with the Night's Watch, we might not be seeing too much of the Wall for the rest of Season 6 — unless Dolorous Edd somehow persuades a certain directionless Onion Knight to take an implausible vow — but that's likely to be absolutely fine with anyone who's been hoping to see Jon Snow make his way back into the world.
After all, his rebirth doesn't change the fact that — as he reminded his brothers — his watch is now ended. Could we finally be seeing the rise of Jon Stark? And if so, what does that mean for Ramsey, Winterfell — and now Rickon?
We'll likely find out in a week or two's time — but in the meantime...