This post contains spoilers for Season 6, Episode 2 of Game of Thrones titled “Home.” If you’re not caught up, now is the time to leave.
It’s finally happened. The moment fans have been waiting for. It’s almost been a year since season 5 ended, when we witnessed one of the biggest deaths on the show. With the endless cycle of “For the Watch” in our ears, we watched as our favourite bastard was repeatedly stabbed in the chest by his own men, a fate he coincidentally shared with his older brother, Robb Stark. As Jon Snow lay in a pool of his own blood, many swore that he would be back, that his story was not yet over, that those curly locks and washboard abs still needed more screen-time. Those people were right.
But more on that later.
North of the Wall
We finally return to the story of Bran Stark, who, along with his trusty sidekicks Hodor and Meera, had been missing in season 5. It’s assumed that during this period Bran was mastering his powers under the Three Eyed Raven (also called Bloodraven). Now an apt Greenseer, Bran is using his visions to flashback to happier times at Winterfell. We see a young Ned Stark, training with his brother Benjen in the courtyard of Winterfell, under the guidance of what seems to be a young Rodrik Cassel. As the young Stark’s spar, Ned tells his younger brother to keep his shield up, “or I’ll ring your head like a bell”. It’s a bittersweet callback to a few seasons ago, where Jon repeats those same words to Olly while they spar. A few moments later a girl on a horse rides in, who is revealed to be Lyanna Stark, Ned’s young sister. As Bran surveys the scene he chances upon a familiar face. It’s Hodor! Or should we call him Wylis? That’s right, Hodor actually has a name, and he could talk! I wonder what made him stop. Luckily Bran is there to ask Hodor the same question once he leaves the vision, but the only reply he gets is “Hodor”. Bran is upset that he was forced to leave the vision, but Bloodraven warns him that if he spends too much time there he might “drown”. Bran said he wasn’t drowning, he washome.
Alliser Thorne and the remaining men of the Night’s Watch are preparing to break in to the room where Jon’s body still lays. As Ser Davos and a few loyal men get ready to fight, the Wildlings along with Wun-Wun the giant break through the gates. After the giant slams a man against the castle wall, the Watch surrenders and Alliser and his men are locked away. I think this scene ended a little too quickly, I was expecting the Watch to put on some sort of a fight, but it seemed like Alliser and Olly were the only ones interested in putting up any sort of resistance.
Over in Flea Bottom there is a man mocking Cersei Lannister in front of his friends. As he goes into an alleyway to take a piss, the Mountain walks up behind him, grabbing the mans head and slamming it against a wall, killing him instantly. This was probably one of the funniest scenes in the episode, because the man ends up pissing on the Mountains boots, and the way he gets his head smashed is just so casual. Once Clegane arrives to the Red Keep, he escorts Cersei to her daughter’s funeral. On the way there, they are stopped by Lannister guards, who tell her the King has commanded that she stay inside the castle. There is a tense moment, where it seems the Mountain will take on the guards, but Cersei backs down and retreats back to her room. I loved the relief on the guards face, I think they knew they’d probably lose the fight.
Tommen and Jaime are the only ones present in the Sept for Myrcella’s funeral. Tommen confesses to Jaime that he is ashamed of himself, and feels weak because he wasn’t able to help his mother or Margaery. Jaime advises him to go speak with Cersei, which is nice to see, Jaime is finally taking some responsibility and acting like a father. As he leaves Jaime confronts the High Sparrow. Jaime threatens him, but the Sparrow reminds Jaime that they are the many, as several of the Faith Militants surround them. He warns Jaime that “together, we can overthrow an empire“.
Tommen arrives to the Keep and apologises to Cersei for keeping her locked up, and not being strong enough to protect her from the Faith. He goes a little Joffrey, saying that he’ll execute all of them, but in the end he just pleads for Cersei to help him be strong. It was a sweet moment between mother and son, something Cersei had been missing.
It seems without Daenerys and the constant fear of her dragons, Slavers Bay has been returned to the way it was, with Astapor and Yunkai both retaken by the Masters. With everything going to hell, Tyrion decides that the remaining dragons,Rhaegal andViserion, should be let out of captivity. Claiming that dragons are intelligent creatures, some smarter than men, Tyrion hopes that they will know he is a friend. As he enters the cavern, the two dragons near him. He is cautious and begins talking to them, telling them he is a friend of their mother. He says he’s here to help them, and that they shouldn’t “eat the help”. As he unchains the dragons, he tells them about how he always wanted one as a child. You can see the awe and the passion Tyrion has for these creatures. He doesn’t see them as killing machines or symbols of power, he is genuinely mystified by them and wants to learn everything about them. As he leaves the vault after unchaining them, he tells Varys “next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face”.
Arya seems to have finally completed one of her tests. As she continues with her regular beating sessions with the Waif, Jaqen interrupts today and tells her that if she says her name, she’ll get a roof to sleep under, food to eat, and get her eyesight back. Each time, Arya responds with “a girl has no name”. This seems to please Jaqen, as he tells her to come back with him to the House of Black and White, presumably to start the next part of her training.
After failing to recapture Theon and Sansa, Roose, Ramsay and the new Lord Karstark figure that she must be heading North to Castle Black, to find Jon. Ramsay proposes that they should march on the Watch themselves, and kill Jon Snow, but Roose shoots down the idea, saying it would unite all the Northern Houses against them if they killed a Lord Commander. He tells Ramsay that,”if you acquire a reputation as a mad dog, you’ll be treated as a mad dog”. They are interrupted by the Maester, who announces that Lady Walda has given birth to a boy. You can see the various emotions that Ramsay is going through, but he does his best to control them. He hugs Roose and congratulates him, prompting Roose to say “you’ll always be my firstborn”, in an attempt to calm the panic he is sure Ramsay may be feeling. That doesn’t satisfy Ramsay though, and he pulls out a blade and stabs it through his fathers heart, who seems to be in too much shock to even say anything. As the body falls into the floor, Ramsay tells the Maester to spread word of his fathers death, claiming he has been “poisoned by our enemies”. The betrayal of Ramsay is very similar to the way Roose betrayed Robb Stark, both killed with a dagger to the heart at the hands of a Bolton.
Ramsay deals with his step mother and brother soon after, taking them to the kennels where he pronounces himself the new Lord Bolton, before letting his hounds kill them.
North of Winterfell
Theon and Sansa are still making their way towards Castle Black, accompanied by Brienne and Podrick. Brienne tells Sansa about how she found Arya with a man, who we know to be the Hound. She tells her that Arya escaped and she couldn’t find her, but that she looked well. Theon is worried that the Bolton’s might still find them, but Sansa says they’ll be safe once they reach the Wall, with Jon protecting them. This causes Theon to confess all his crimes, about killing the farmer boys, beheading Rodrik Cassel, betraying Robb. He says Jon will never forgive him, and now that Sansa has Brienne and Pod to protect her, he’ll leave and go “home”. I feel Theon has found his redemption, and earned forgiveness for his past crimes. Let’s hope he can go back to the Iron Islands and make amends with his father…
Most of the Greyjoys have been absent since season 3, but now we return to the Iron Islands. Word has reached Balon that the last keep held by the Ironborn in the North, Deepwood Motte, has been retaken by House Glover, and all their men have been killed. Yara tells him that their invasion has failed, and that they should stick to wars which they can fight, on the sea. Balon ignores her, reminding her that he is King and says the invasion will continue as long as he wants it to. As he walks outside to cross one of the many bridges connecting the island, his path is blocked by his younger brother Euron, who has finally returned home. Euron mocks the Drowned Gods and Balon, calling himself a god. He tells Balon he is too old, and it is time for another to lead the Ironborn. Balon, sensing his treachery, pulls out a dagger and cuts his brother on the face, but by then Euron already has a hold of Balon, and throws him over the bridge.
At the funeral, Yara swears by the Salt Throne to find the killer. Her uncle Aeron tells her the throne is not hers to swear upon, and that there will be a Kingsmoot first where the Ironborn will decide who is to lead them next.
With Alliser out of the way, Davos is intent on trying to bring Jon back to life. He goes to Melisandre and convinces her to try and perform a resurrection, even if she doesn’t believe she can do it. They stand in a room, Davos, Tormund and Edd, as Melisandre stands over Jon’s body, with Ghost sleeping next to him. She cleans his wounds, before cutting some of his hair and placing it in a fire. As she goes through with the ritual, she recites some words, probably some sort of spell, over and over again. Each time she seems to lose more faith in herself, before finally stopping all together. Tormund, clearly angered with the result, is the first to leave, soon followed by the others. We see an overhead shot of Jon’s body lying on the table, before Ghost gets up and move towards his master. Suddenly, Jon’s eyes open and he begins gasping for air. HE’S BACK!
This episode was incredible, so many twists and revelations, definitely a step up from last weeks episode. Personally I didn’t expect Jon to get resurrected until at least episode 3 or 4. With so much of the season still ahead, it will be interesting to see where his motives lie. After the death of Roose, it seems likely that we’ll get a Battle of the Bastards outside Winterfell, though that will probably take place during later in the season. So how did you like this episode? Did you expect Jon to come back? Comment below and let us know.
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