The Game of Thrones guide to parenting – Season 6 Episode 3

This post may be full of spoilers (so stop reading if you haven’t watched it yet), but if you spent last night counting down the seconds until it was time to put the kids to bed so you could delve deep into Westeros, then this is the recap you need to read.

Even if you aren’t watching Game of Thrones for the parenting tips, you may be surprised just how much we can learn from this incredible HBO series. And last night’s episode was dark and full of awesome advice for parents so let’s recap, shall we?

Just what happened on the Game of Thrones season six, episode three, Oathbreaker?

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The Wall

All GoT fans know what episode three had in store – Zombie Jon Snow. And the opening scene didn’t disappoint. After all, what mum wouldn’t appreciate a nice shot of Jon’s bum? His abs may never be the same after his murder/resurrection, but it was comforting to see his other asset intact.

I am probably the biggest Jon Snow fan of them all, but let’s face it, he has made a few mistakes in the past. Heading to the Wall in the first place seemed a little silly and sleeping with a Wilding wasn’t his brightest move, but the poor boy is literally leading an army with zero guidance.

Jon Snow may know nothing, but is it because he didn’t have the parental lessons he required? While Ned was a great father figure before, well, before you know (I’m still not over that), Catelyn Stark pretty much hated him from the start and Jon still doesn’t know the truth (neither do we, but, let’s face it, we all know R+L=J.) Perhaps the lesson here is that all children need parental guidance to help lead them down the right path. 

Or perhaps we should just stick to blaming that little worm, Olly.

Back to the scene where Jon has covered up and is coming to terms with his fate and his failure. We are left with another lesson of the night, thanks to the wise Davos: No matter how many times you fail, you get up, and fail again.

Oh that, and it helps if you have a magic Red Witch in your corner.

On a Boat Somewhere

Speaking of magic, let’s talk about the ship scene with Sam, Gilly and not-so-little Sam, who appears to have found a magical aging potion. I swear little Sam was like three months old last time we saw him. Now he has a head full of hair and looks ready to start school.

Aging baby aside, we learn another important parenting tip from Sam and Gilly. Family sticks together, through (sea) sickness and in health. 

In the Past at the Tower of Joy

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The Tower of Joy scene (probably better named the Tower of Let Down) focuses on a flashback where Bran Stark (who clearly uses the same aging potion as little Sam) watches his father take down Arthur Dayne and supposedly reveal the biggest secret that we all know, but still want to watch unfold on television.

But wait! The tree-man decides it’s simply not time to know the truth, prompting Bran to ask the question we all want to know: “Why not? Why can’t I go into the tower?”

“Because the writers want to draw this scene out for at least six episodes, Bran,” the tree-man explains. Or at least, that’s what he should have said. This bring us to our next parenting lesson of the day: No matter how old you are, patience is everything. 

Elsewhere, which isn’t really important at this stage

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With Daenerys back with the Dothraki, we don’t really learn much from her scene or the ridiculousness that ensues between Tyrion, Grey Worm and Missandei but we do get to see Daenerys stripped naked again. So there’s that.

And in the land of Braavos, Arya gets her eyesight back after being struck by her look-alike with a stick 2000 times, at the behest of her mentor Jaqen H’ghar. We get the whole teach your kids a lesson thing, but the rest? Sorry, GoT, we’re sticking with that other rule of parenting – don’t hit your kids.


Next we come across the youngest Stark, who, let’s face it, no one would recognise if it wasn’t for his female companion because Rickon looks about 15 years older.

If you will recall, Rickon went to stay with the Umbers about 15 episodes ago and now has been brought back to Winterfell by one of the Umbers who really likes to swear. He also likes to kill direwolves and, once again, we say goodbye to another animal. RIP Shaggydog.

So what’s the parenting lesson here? Simple. Spend as much time with your children as you can. Because blink (or skip a season) and your little baby will suddenly turn into a gangly teenager. 

King’s Landing

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There are even more important parenting lessons to come from King’s Landing this episode where we meet Qyburn who has managed to bribe a tribe of children with, you guessed it, chocolate. See mums and dads, bribery works on kids. The end. 

We then get reacquainted with Cersei who is getting her spunk back after her atonement (give her some red wine and she’ll be back to her old self in no time). She’s teamed up with her brother and we are again reminded of the importance of family, even if the Tyrones are little babies who would rather walk away than have a conversation.

But perhaps the most important lesson of the night comes from the High Sparrow, who utters the classic line, “A mother’s love outshines it all.” Cersei may not be perfect (after all, she is the mother of Joffrey), but she sure loves her kids. And we have to respect her for it. Plus she rocks the mum pixie cut too.

Back to Castle Black

Episode three ends in the same way it begins – with Jon (and four hangings, which makes sense because the death tally for this episode was a little low) and his decision to leave Castle Black (and hopefully return to Winterfell and ruin Bolton’s life).

His watch has ended, but I can promise you he’ll be back.

And so will we.

Stay tuned for next week when we will count down more parenting lessons to learn from Game of Thrones.

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