Now this feels more like Game of Thrones. The second episode, Home, brings punch and progression as we delve into the sixth season.
Bran returns for the first time since season four. We join him as the Three-Eyed Raven shows him the Winterfell the previous generation of the Starks knew. Bran watches Ned and Brandon Stark fight, catches a glimpse of Lyanna and even finds out that Hodor was once known as Wylis. Meanwhile, Meera is possibly more frustrated by the mystery of whole ordeal than Bran is. This scene was an enticing beginning to Bran’s storyline. It also brought back that sense of magic to the Game of Thrones universe, which was nice.
Next, we see the Wildlings storm Castle Black and imprison the traitorous brothers of the Night’s Watch. It’s not much of a battle given how few brothers remain – a fact that most of Westeros seems to be relying on. Did Ser Alliser seriously think that he could kill Jon Snow with no repercussions from the hundreds of people that Jon had literally just saved? I’m glad Alliser did it because we got to see Tormund Giantsbane and Wun Wun again. Good.
Now we reach King’s Landing – the longest section of this episode. Cersei’s personal body guard, the undead Gregor Clegane, ensures that those who talk shit, get hit. He represents some semblance of the power Cersei once had. Having said that, I am not sure why Cersei would send her one loyal servant to monitor the streets of King’s Landing to punish those who disrespect her. Ser Gregor would literally have to kill every commoner in the land. Then, Cersei is barred from Myrcella’s funeral, which Tommen and Jaime attend. Jaime threatens the High Sparrow but realises how fucked the Lannisters really are. Tommen welcomes back Cersei into his arms and for once I am excited to see how she abuses his power. Maybe not all hope is lost in King’s Landing.
In Meereen, Tyrion manages to release the two remaining dragons. This really reminded me that, at present, Tyrion is the beating heart of this show. Although, I must admit, I am not a big fan of his writing so far. He and Varys may respect each other, but I am afraid the banter will become a gimmick. I don’t like that Tyrion is becoming the ‘comic relief’ (if such a thing exists in Game Of Thrones). Relying on characters to dish out laughs is lazy. Comedy or light-heartedness can come from any situation, something the show used to do well. In any case, like many other aspects of this episode, seeing the (very realistic) dragons again was a great reminder that there might be a little hope this season. No one likes to see doom and gloom every week.
Moving onto Braavos, Arya once again meets with the Waif. After a thorough bashing, the Waif changes into Jaqen H’ghar. He quizzes Arya – sorry I mean, a girl – until he is satisfied that she is No One. I wonder if a man is a gullible as he seems, or if something else is at work here? Arya is presumably taken back to the House of Black and White. I hope there are less beatings in store for her there.
The Boltons of Winterfell plot to capture Sansa until, joy of joys, Fat Walda gives birth to Roose’s son. Once again, Ramsay proves how fucking terrifying he is by killing Roose and then feeding Walda and her son to the dogs. Iwan Rheon deserves recognition for his portrayal of Ramsay. He nails it every time. I felt that Roose’s stabbing was a little inconsistent with Ramsay’s character, but then again Ramsay is crazy. Now that Roose is no longer around to keep Ramsay in line, I look forward to seeing the shit that is about to go down. The Winterfell plot is not slowing down.
Sansa is safe (for now) with Brienne and the rest of the gang as they head to Castle Black to see their saviour, Jon Snow. Except, of course, he is dead. And no one in the North, from the Boltons to the remaining Starks, know that he is dead. I will be sending a bill to HBO for the hospital visits required for blunt trauma sustained to my head. Theon leaves for the Iron Islands and hopefully will get some much needed R&R. Speaking of the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy has been killed by his exiled brother, Euron. Yara is shocked to find that she is not necessarily heir to the throne.
Finally, we return to Castle Black, to watch Melissandre attempt to resurrect Jon Snow, something I now realise the whole episode was leading up to. Before we reach that, it should be noted that Melissandre basically admits that the Lord of Light is bullshit and that He does not speak to her. However, she is still magic, which to me, is way better than having some god. Despite her broken spirits, Melissandre performs spell after spell. It is all very suspenseful until, shock-horror, at the very last second, after everyone has given up hope, Jon Snow’s body gasps to life. He is lucky that his body is perfectly preserved – had it been anywhere else and Jon Snow’s half rotting corpse would be running Castle Black. Coming up after the break, was this for fan service, shock-value or plot progression?
Home, while still not the quality of earlier episodes, is a step in the right direction. The dialogue still feels shallow but the plot is beginning to nudge our poor characters out of the hole they find themselves in. On paper, this episode had many exciting plot points, but I still didn’t feel that Game of Thrones anxiety that I usually do.
Tally for the episode:
- Number of characters relying on Jon Snow to be alive: arguably 5
- Number of characters let down: 0
- Wun Wun smash count: 1
- Number of girls named Arya Stark: 0
- How long I was waiting for Ramsay to say, “I am Lord Bolton.”: approximately 3 minutes
Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 2, Home – 7/10