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The Mandalorian: The Children Of The Watch Explained

Contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 2, episode 3 — "Chapter 11: The Heiress"

You would think that, at some point, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) would be able to go to a single planet without being roped into a life-or-death scenario. But this is not the way on The Mandalorian. Naturally, our titular hero gets himself into plenty of trouble in chapter 11 of the series, entitled "The Heiress." This time, Mando and the Child land on Trask to reunite the Frog Lady with her husband. Things quickly take a turn for the worse when Mando's abruptly captured while searching for other Mandalorians. While things look hopeless for a moment, Mando's soon saved by a squad of Mandalorians led by Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff). 

However, it's revealed that these Mandalorians are very different from the kind of Mandalorians we've learned about through the series so far.  For starters, the new group really doesn't waste any time taking off their helmets. If you've followed the series, then you understand that's a big no-no. Din Djarin considers revealing your true identity to be against "the way" of his people. That's when a bombshell gets dropped on Mando: He learns that not all Mandalorians are like him, and that he's belonged to a very specific sect of Mandalorians known as the Children of the Watch.

Din Djarin has been part of the Children of the Watch all this time

"Children of the Watch are a cult of religious zealots that broke away from Mandalorian society. Their goal was to reestablish the ancient way." This is the explanation Bo-Katan Kryze gives to Din Djarin on chapter 11 when she details his upbringing. Prior to this revelation, Bo-Katan tells Din that she was born on Mandalore, and that the armor she's wearing has been passed down through her family lineage for generations. She has more of a right to claim the Mandalorian title than Din, but he's the one questioning her commitment to the cause. 

All this time, Din was unknowingly a member of the Children of the Watch. This is a subset of Mandalorians who explicitly follow the Way of the Mandalore down to the letter. As we learn earlier in the series, this involves protecting fellow Mandalorians and keeping your helmet on at all times, and in the event you remove your helmet in front of another living creature, you are no longer allowed to wear it. It's easiest to think of the primary Mandalorian culture Bo-Katan Kryze is part of as a religion that has evolved and grown with the times to not be as strict. Meanwhile, the Children of the Watch are a lower sub-category of that religion that adheres to old, potentially outdated ideas. 

As The Mandalorian season 1 revealed, a group of Mandalorians known as the Fighting Corps rescued Din when he was young, saving him from a Separatist attack. According to the Star Wars subsection of wiki hosting site Fandom, the Fighting Corps are a part of the Children of the Watch, though members also wore the insignia of the Death Watch, a splinter organization that went against Mandalore's pacifist government.

"This is the way" has been a guiding principle for Din Djarin for most of his life. Now, everything he's ever known is thrown into question. Perhaps soon, we'll finally see him let go of that whole "never taking the helmet off" rule and see his face more often going forward.