Wow. What a jam-packed episode to say the least.
And, shit, Jon Snow is back, you guys! It remains to be seen whether he’s changed in any significant way, but the fact that they’ve decided to resurrect him so early in the season can only mean there are major things planned for him this year. I admit, I was a little worried his corpse, or Schrodinger’s Snow, was going to be the shiny carrot dangling in front of us, the audience donkeys, but that’s obviously not the case here. Hooray for forward momentum!
As expected, it was Melisandre who brought him back via her freaky witch mojo. Actually, it was Ser Davos (love that guy) who gave her a sweet pep talk and convinced her to give resurrection the old college try. It was also quite nice to see her use her powers in a way that wasn’t maiming or murdering other people. But it’s been established that for such an exertion of mystical power, there must be a price. Who’s gonna pay that price? I’ll be a little disappointed if the answer is nobody, that’s for sure.
The episode, simply titled “Home” was a mostly hideous examination of the concept. To wit, Ramsay Bolton knifing his father Roose, and releasing his ravenous hounds on Roose’s wife and their newborn son, thereby making Ramsay the new Lord of Winterfell. It’s been roughly two episodes since Ramsay has committed some ghastly atrocity, so killing a pleading mother and her baby is about right on schedule for this eternally loathsome creature. Shanking Roose, you can’t really blame him for, since it was clear that Roose was going to have Ramsay put down the minute his legitimate & not-bastard boy was born. Nonetheless, I’m going to miss that guy – he had that air of impressive dignity, much like Tywin Lannister, who I also miss.
The Lannister’s in King’s Landing didn’t have much in the way of story momentum, but they are united as a family now. King Tomnen apologises to his mother for allowing her to be nakedly paraded through King’s Landing by the fanatical Sparrows, and also promises to be a “stronger” (ahem, violent) king. Heck, even Jamie treats Tomnen a bit more like his son now. There’s a tense standoff between the High Sparrow and a furious Jamie Lannister that just barely results in Jamie not cutting him down, but a violent conflict is inevitable – it always ends in a fight.
We had a return to Theon’s home, the Iron Islands, featuring Theon’s sister Yara and his cantankerous father, King Balon Greyjoy. Their attempt to seize the North way back in season 2 has finally been declared a failure, the last of the Iron Islanders having been flayed by the Boltons. Balon, being a strategist of the Zapp Brannigan sort, has the bright idea of continuing to send wave after wave of his own ineffectual men until they have some foothold in the North.
Everybody is punished for their stupidity in Game of Thrones, so it’s barely a minute later when Balon’s brother materialises and tosses Balon off his rickety bridge. The Iron Islanders are back in the Game now. What their plans are remains to be seen, but you can bet it will involve reaving, thieving, and sea-faring.
We get a nice glimpse of home through the eyes of Bran, who was last seen meeting the three eyed raven man and was entirely absent through season 5. He’s on some sort of vision quest here, and he sees into the past – a generation ago when Ned Stark, and his siblings Lyanna and Benjen, were together, little, and happy.
I suspect we’re in for some more Ned Stark flashbacks that will flesh out some details and answer certain mysteries (like the mystery of Jon Snow’s parentage. It just became pertinent again now that he’s breathing).
And now that we’re in the realm of setting things up – Tyrion Lannister and those two dragons. He unchains those big, beautiful beasts that have been locked up since the end of season 4. His reasoning being that if they’re locked up for too long, they’ll wither and be useless to the Mother of Dragons. He tells them a story while he’s gingerly unchaining them – he was a child and he begged his father for a pet dragon for his birthday, and how he cried himself to sleep when he was told they were extinct. There’s some set-up here, I think, for Tyrion forming a bond with these creatures. The dragons obviously feel some measure of affection for Tyron, as they didn’t immediately barbecue him with their scalding breath and feast on him. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But I’ll be one of many sad fans if I don’t get to see Tyrion riding a dragon by the end of the series.
This was another great, perfectly paced episode. There’s not much more I can add except bring on episode 3.