Spoilers for the season six, episode two of Game of Thrones are below.
In case you hadn’t figure it out by now, Game of Thrones doesn’t mess around. With just 10 episodes per season (and rumours of even fewer down the stretch), there is no time for meandering episodes where nothing much happens.
Everything you see is important – either right away or in the future – and you can’t miss a minute or else you’re missing something critical. This week’s episode, Home, just dives right in and doesn’t stop, so let’s do the same.
Inside the Tree
Welcome back, Bran! After not appearing at all last season, Sunday’s episode opens with much more grown up Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven warg’ing out, traveling back to Winterfell in the good old days when Nedd Stark was just a boy. Bran sees his dad, his uncle Benjen, his aunt Lyanna and a young Hodor, whose real name is Willis and young Willis could talk.
After coming back to reality, he speaks with Meera Reed, who sits outside the tree cave, staring out at the expansive white terrain that surrounds them. She’s frustrated by her current station in life, but the Child of the Forrest informs her that Bran needs her, so you know she’s not going anywhere any time soon.
Aliser Thorne and his men – you know, the sonsabitches that murdered Jon – are all set to bust in on Ser Davos and the boys protecting the body of the fallen Lord Commander when there is a knock behind them and the gates get busted open. One-One, Tormund, Edd and the Wildlings rush through and end things before they start, taking Thorne and his fellow mutineers prisoner.
There was a bit of an Avengers homage at this point as well – or at least that’s how it played to me – as One-One snatched up a brother of the Watch that shot him with an arrow and slammed him dead into the wall, much like The Hulk’s “puny god” moment with Loki. Good times.
Mountain Monster smashes a poor braggart’s head into a wall while he’s having a pee and Queen Cersei gets denied the opportunity to attend Myrcella’s funeral, as members of the King’s Guard refuse to allow her to leave the Red Keep on King Tommen’s decree.
Standing over Myrcella’s body, Tommen laments how he’s handled things with the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant, his wife and his mother and Jaime directs him to go talk to Cersei as the High Sparrow rolls in. It’s the conversation we’ve seen from the trailers, where “The Kingslayer” begins to unsheathe his sword, but what we didn’t see then and did see now is that he’s surrounded by members of the Faith Militant, all of whom are barring arms, so he thinks better of it, listens as the High Sparrow continues to yammer on about the religious group’s power.
Cersei is standoffish and cold when Tommen goes to visit and apologizes, but warms to him when he starts talking about how he should have taken action against the people that took his wife and his mother away. He asks Cersei to teach him how to be that vengeful, action-oriented person and she agrees as they embrace.
The Dany-less council in Mereen discusses all things Slavers Bay, with Varys noting that all the cities other than Mereen have returned to the hands of the slavers, prompting Tyrion to inquire about the two remaining dragons shackled in the catacombs. The way he sees it, the time has come to set them free and he’s going to be the one that does it.
We get a couple quality Tyrion lines in these two scenes, including the “That’s what I do – I drink and I know things” from the trailer, and he is shown having a rapport with Rhaegal and Viserion, whom he unchains so they can go eat and do dragon things again.
Blind Beggar No One (a.k.a. Arya Stark) gets attacked by The Waif again and handed another beating with a stick. As she flails about aimlessly, swinging at air, a hand catches her staff.
It’s Jaqen H’ghar and he’s got an offer: if a girl says her name, he’ll do a couple different things for her, including returning her sight, but Blind Beggar No One doesn’t bite. It was a test and she’s told to follow along, leaving her begging tray behind. She doesn’t need it; she’s not a beggar any more.
Roose and Ramsey Bolton try to plan their next move now that Sansa has gotten away, but their conversation is interrupted by news of Lady Walda giving birth to a baby boy. Ramsey congratulates his father with a hug, who tells him, “You’ll always be my first born.” Tickled to hear it, Ramsey stabs Roose in the gut and lets him fall dead to the floor.
There is a new Lord Bolton y’all and he’s an evil little bastard.
He tells the Maester to summon Lady Walda and the newborn too, whom he leads into the kennels and you instantly know where this is headed. Lady Walda catches on too late and Ramsey unleashes the hounds. This kid is all kinds of sadistic and may have just passed King Joffrey on the “Most Deserving to Die” rankings.
Out in the Woods
Brienne updates Sansa on Arya, which is nice, and Sansa admits she should have rolled with Brienne when she first had the chance after being asked, “What happened at Winterfell?”
Theon spooks upon hearing horses in the distance and tells Sansa that he’s going to go his own way and head back to the Iron Islands. It’s a nice moment for a character that has experienced more highs and lows than most in the series over the years.
Speaking of the Iron Islands, Yara gets in an argument with her father Balon over strategies and ideas, with Balon playing the “I’m the one in charge here!” card. Those things never work out well in shows like this and it doesn’t work out well for Balon here.
Out on a rope bridge between buildings, he chats with his brother, the crazy pirate Euron Greyjoy, who makes a strong debut by proclaiming himself “The Drowned God” and tossing old Balon off the bridge to his death. He gets sent out to see on a skiff as per customs and Yara pledges to find out who killed him on the way to ascending to the Salt Throne, which she we learn she isn’t guaranteed to inherit.
Back at Castle Black
Ser Davos approaches Melisandre for help with Jon, asking if she’s got any magic that can bring the slain Lord Commander back to life. “The Red Woman” is clearly rattled and doubting her skills, admitting to Davos that all her visions were trickery and that she’s never done such a thing.
After a quick pep talk from Davos, Melisandre decides to give it a try, washing down Jon’s dead body before collecting and burning some of the hair from his head and beard. She lays hands on him and recites a pray, over and over, with no response. She finishes her final prayer, ending with a “Please” but nothing happens. One by one, Tormund, Edd, Melisandre and Davos all clear out, leaving dead Jon on the slab where he’s been all year and Ghost resting on the ground by his side.
Ghost stirs. Jon gasps for breath. Roll Credits.
Talking Points & Takeaways
Jon’s back, baby! Everyone knew he wasn’t going to stay dead all season, but it’s great to have him back this early because now we can start moving forward with the rallying collective from Castle Black, who will no doubt clash with that evil bastard Ramsey Bolton.
Even though he didn’t draw his sword, the return of cocky, brash Jaime is a good thing. His line about the gods having spilled more blood than everyone else is great too.
Bran’s flashback is important, especially if you watched the “Next Week on Game of Thrones” preview that followed this week’s episode or got way into videos dissecting the trailers like someone writing this column may or may not have done. But you’ll learn more next week.
Tyrion releasing the dragons without any issue will have some conspiracy buffs talking for sure, as there are some out there that believe the “Little Lannister” is actually a Targaryen. I’m not sold on the idea, but seeing him have a way with dragons certainly piqued my interest.
Euron Greyjoy is going to be one of my favourite characters, I can already tell. I like nutjobs that refer to themselves as gods and storms and channel Captain Jack Sparrow.
No Dany this week, which sucks, but it also means no Sir Jorah of Friend Zone, which is a decent trade. Plus it means we should get plenty of Dany next week.
Is it next Sunday yet?