The Season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian on Disney+ revisited the rule that Mandalorians can't remove their helmets, and it's expected to be key to the rest of the season.
While Mandalorians were nothing new to the Star Wars Universe when The Mandalorian debuted in 2019, Din Djarin's creed certainly was.
To date, Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin has only shown his face three times on-screen. The first was in front of IG-11, and the second and third were for the sake of Grogu.
While the first wasn't a violation of his code, the other two certainly were which is why Mando is now bound for Mandalore to atone for his transgressions.
Now that fans know Mando's Season 3 quest, the question is what exactly is his Mandalorian creed and why are Mandalorians not allowed to remove their helmets?
Why Can't Mandalorians Remove Their Helmets?
Episode 1 of The Mandalorian Season 3 began with a ritual led by The Armorer where a child received his own helmet to become a Mandalorian.
This ceremony is part of the Way of the Mandalore which is adhered to by a Mandorian sect called Children of the Watch.
Unlike Bo-Katan Kryze or Sabine Wren, who can remove their helmets, Children of the Watch adhered to a strict, religious sort of creed, calling it the Way.
They took care of foundlings, saved beskar for their helmets and armor, and reunited them with their own kind, much like what Mando was tasked to do with Grogu.
The Way requires Mandlorians to never remove their helmets and show their faces to another human being.
This is why Mando was able to show his face to the droid IG-11 in Season 1 but violated his oath by doing the same with Grogu in Season 2.
Any Mandalorians who violated this element of the Way, just like Mando did, were considered apostates and no longer Mandalorians. The only path to redemption was bathing in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore, and that's what Mando is setting out to do in Season 3.
However, at this point within the Star Wars timeline, the Empire had reportedly bombed Mandalore into ruin during the Great Purge.
It's likely that the Children of the Watch actually survived this Imperial act of genocide because they lived on the moon of Concordia, and their strict code of secrecy has allowed them to survive in the years since.
In past episodes of The Mandalorian and in the Season 3 premiere, the Armorer has alluded to the act of removing one's own helmet of their own free will being viewed as more severe than having it removed against their consent.
Meanwhile, other Mandalorians who don't belong to Children of the Watch, such as Bo-Katan, remove their helmets at will and view those who follow the Way as zealots and members of a cult.
Do Mandalorians Sleep & Shower With Their Helmets?
Although the Way of the Mandalore is relatively strict on its helmet policy, there is some leeway where warriors are permitted to remove their headgear.
One of these situations is when eating meals. As shown in "Chapter 4 - Sanctuary," Mandalorians are able to take off their helmet when in private to gain their daily nutrition.
Mandalorians take this to the next level when they're in a group together. "Chapter 20 - The Foundling" revealed that, instead of attempting to awkwardly slide food under their helmets to allow eating together, Mandalorians find their own eating spots where they can freely take off their helmets to gain sustenance.
The exception is the leader of the respective band of bounty hunters, who gets the honor of staying by the fireplace to keep warm while chowing down.
While it's not confirmed whether Mandalorians leave off their helmets when bathing and grooming themselves, it's likely that they do so. When Din Djarin removes his helmet, he is shown to have a well-kept mop of hair and a trim beard to boot, which would be impossible to maintain without removing his helmet at least a few times.
By this logic, it's likely that Mandalorians are also able to remove their helmets for sleep as well. Since Mando felt comfortable enough to unburden himself of his headgear when eating, there's a good chance that he is fine with leaving it off when he is isolated from others while taking a snooze.
Why Some Mandalorians Are Allowed To Remove Their Helmets
The Children of the Watch differ from Bo-Katan and other Mandalorians in terms of their goals.
Bo-Katan wants the Darksaber to restore Mandalore, while the Children of the Watch broke away from Mandalorian society to reestablish the ancient Way of the Mandalore.
While their future aims differ, they are equally rooted in their peoples' past which has a long history of reoccurring civil wars and conflicting views of pacifism and Mandalorian warrior culture.
In fact, it appears that the Children of the Watch are an offshoot of the Death Watch, a group that opposed Mandlore's new pacifist government led by Bo-Katan's sister, Duchess Satine Kryze.
Darth Maul eventually became the leader of Death Watch and the possessor of the Darksaber, leading Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls to abandon the splinter group.
Under Maul, Death Watch Mandalorians began to decorate their helmets with horns to resemble Maul's appearance. The Armorer is one of the Mandalorians who still sports this Maul-esque helmet.
Ahsoka Tano helped Bo-Katan capture Maul during the Siege of Mandalore, but the rise of the Empire only led to the Imperial occupation of the planet, followed by the Great Purge.
As a result, the Armorer actually referred to Bo-Katan as cursed, blaming her and Mandalore's misfortunes on her having received the Darksaber without winning it in combat.
Two Mandalorian Groups; One Mandalore
Both Mando and Bo-Katan are representations of Mandalorian history and their peoples' two conflicting points of view.
Now that Mandalore is Mando's main objective, no doubt more of the planet and Mandalorian history will be brought to light as Season 3 unfolds.
But it's also likely that mainstream Mandalorians and Mando's own Children of the Watch will clash at some point in the season, and Mando will have to come to terms with what he truly believes.
There's also the issue of the Darksaber and the power position its wielder holds.
Overall, it seems safe to say that Star Wars fans are about to learn even more about both sides of Mandalorian culture in The Mandalorian's third season, and potentially witness yet another semi-civil war on Mandalore.
New episodes of Season 3 of The Mandalorian stream on Wednesdays on Disney+.