Here we go with episode 2 of season 6; simply titled Home.
From the opening credits we can gather that unlike the previous episode, this episode was not written by the nefarious show creators; Weiss & Benioff. I will refrain from further comments on this, but fans should take note.
After everyone’s favorite intro, we arrive at our first scene of the episode.
It’s been a whole season since we left Bran Stark, Hodor, the 3 Eyed Raven and Meera Reed back in that cave beyond the wall. Memories of Jojen Reed flash by and brief moments that remind us of Bran’s abilities. He’s a Warg and a Greenseer, which is what he seems to be doing right now.
Ah Winterfell, but what’s this? So many people about, and two young boys front and center playing at swords. Is that Bran and Rickon? No it couldn’t be. On the balcony, watching over them we have The 3 eyed raven and, the ever growing Bran (Lookin taller every episode) This is a metaphysical vision of the past that Bran is having. Look closely and you might see Rodrick Casell the master at arms ,from a time before Theon chopped his head off. Splendid.
The older boy is referred to as Ned, which gives us a pretty darn good idea who the younger boy is. A young girl on a horse comes riding up to them, perhaps flaunting her confidence. Bran recognizes them: his father Ned, Uncle Benjen and Aunt Lyanna from when they were but children. Lyanna comments on Benjen not having anyone to spar with once Ned leaves for the Eyrie. (For those of you that don’t know, Ned was fostered by Jon Arryn of the Vale.)
Ah but who is that large boy standing behind Bran? Why he’s just a kindly stable boy, by the name of Wylis. A stable boy rumored to have giant’s blood no less. He should make a good challenge for the young, perhaps brash? Benjen Stark. Bran makes note that this boy Wylis bears a striking resemblance to Hodor and that he most likely is the very same Hodor we know and love. From this scene we learn that Hodor wasn’t always mentally handicapped, and that his Mom (Most likely Old Nan) was probably overprotective / paranoid for his safety as she whisks him away from the swordplay. Boys will be boys however and, my gut feeling tells me just like how Bran didn’t allow his mother’s warnings to prevent him from climbing, Wylis will pick up the sword again, which takes him one step closer to becoming Hodor.
This eliminates the popular fan speculation that Hodor’s real name; Walder, suggests that he is from house Frey. I’m very curious how it came to be that not Ned, nor Benjen, nor anyone else that grew up with Wylis/ Hodor would forget his actual name. Furthermore what was the incident that caused poor Wylis to decline into his current state? If this scene is any indication, I’m betting that Benjen if not Benjen and Lyanna both were involved. I don’t feel the need or desire to predict exactly how it happened and I’m pretty sure we will find out before the season is through. Until then the mystery of what is a Hodor, remains ever vigilant.
That was an interesting line from the 3 eyed raven about being under water for too long. Now I have this itching curiosity to know what exactly happens when you remain within a vision for too long, that is if we haven’t already learned as much from Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”.
We also need to ask ourselves why exactly did the 3 eyed raven make Bran leave the vision at that moment, was something about to happen, perhaps something he doesn’t want Bran to know?
Outside the cave, Meera seems anxious and who could blame her, as they are all aware of the war that is coming. Sitting nearby is one of the “children of the forest”, who tells Meera that Bran won’t be in the cave forever, as Meera stares into the horizon, this all leads me to believe that they are going to travel even further North, perhaps to the heart of winter itself, or where the white walkers make home.
Say what you will about Dolorous Edd, but the man makes good on his word. The Wildlings have arrived and are packing heat in the form of a Giant (could the giant be Wun Wun?). They easily over come Alliser Thorne’s forces. Lovely scene with the giant slapping a man against the side of a wall and discarding him. Bravo!
Ed and Alliser take turns saying “I know you are but what am I?”
Instead of asking someone to fetch him a block , Ed chooses imprisonment over execution for Alliser and his traitorous, betraying group of back stabbing ( and front stabbing) traitors. Well that settles that.
So they go into a room and see that Jon is very much still dead (surprise!).
Tormund suggests having a roast (not the kind they show on Comedy Central) for ol’ Jonny.
Surrounded by Sparrows
In King’s Landing there’s a charming scene of a man describing Cersei’s walk of shame.
What to say about the darling civilians of King’s Landing? They love a good skin show, and raunchy jokes all around. “She took a real good look at me cock.” Yah, I bet she did.
So the guy goes to have a wiz on the side of a wall because…where better right? And apparently public urination is also frowned upon in KL because so Franken Gregor shows up to burst his bubble so to speak. I suppose Gregor was just making the rounds and happen upon this unfortunate chap and then didn’t exactly enjoy the golden shower. There’s nothing like a subtle scene like this to remind us the viewer that Greg is not one to piss off or piss on rather.
More mellow drama following Myrcella’s death. The sparrows are really pushing their weight around. Have to wonder how many of them Jaime or maybe even Greg could take out. Oh the arrogance of the religious never ceases to amaze me. I think it’s high time for Jaime to declare “Of course you know this means war.”
So after all the plotting & scheming Cersei did last season, she finally has what she wanted; a closer bond to her son, with Margaery out of the picture, but good things never last.
The Trouble with Dragons
In Mereen, Tyrion and crew are facing a rather unique problem. “What to do with Dragons that won’t eat?” Sounds like a Dr. Suess book. Tyrion seems to do his best thinking when he’s had a drink or 4 or 7, and setting the Dragons free just happens to be his latest inspiration. Hmm, I seem to recall a certain book character having the same ambition, and well things didn’t work out so well.
We learn that if dragon’s don’t hunt, they get weak, and they certainly don’t want that happening, after all most of Daenerys reputation is that of being the Dragon queen, the mother of dragons, and now a dragon rider to boot, what a good are all those things if your dragons shrivel down to the size of cats? Mother of lizards just doesn’t have the same appeal.
Anyway, Tyrion’s affection towards Dragons, adds yet another layer of charisma to his whimsical personality. Good thing he didn’t end up burnt to a crisp.
A thought about the Dragons; regarding Tyrion’s comment on Dragon intelligence, what is the chance that the Dragons themselves purposed to stop eating, so that their owners would have no choice but to set them free?
Food for my Hounds
Winterfell: present day. A baby is born unto Roose and Walda, and much to Ramsay’s apparent dismay, happens to be a male. Oh dear me. This won’t bode well. So you probably knew this was coming. Ramsay is not going to suddenly have a change of heart or any heart at all for that matter. Ramsay has had enough of his father’s idle threats and decides to pin the tail on the donkey if you will. As for Walda and the babe, I’m afraid its dinner time in the kennels again. Wow those dogs are getting an awfully lot of protein.
Now that, house Umber, house Manderly, and house Karstark have sworn their fealty to House Bolton, the north and everything in it can truly be his as he firmly takes his place as this season’s biggest villain. All hail Darth Ramsay, Lord of Winterfell and warden of the north. So add infanticide, and patricide, to the long, very long, ever so long, list of Ramsay’s unspeakable crimes. If ever there was an epitome of a bastard; say no more. Anyway, watching this scene it becomes quite clear who Ramsay’s next target is, good thing he happens to be dead right, right???
It’s interesting to see how far Ramsay has risen from being bastard born. Compared to other bastards, the sand snakes, Gendry, Jon Snow, and Tyrion? After all he said it best, “All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes.” And with Tywin himself proclaiming in his final words: “You’re no son of mine.”
Meanwhile Arya…still taking a beating. Gotta admire her commitment. NEXT
Speaking of Arya, that’s exactly what Brienne and Sansa are doing. So now Sansa not only knows that Theon, Bran, Rickon, and she suspects Jon are all still alive, her little sister is as well. Things are certainly looking up for Sansa, as she has had arguably the worst of it, although Theon…ya, hard to top that. Brienne sums it up with the understatement of the year “We’ve all had to make tough choices.” Well except Pod, he has to make very few choices. Speaking of choices Theon is about to make a rather huge one. He decides not to go to the wall, his logic being that he doesn’t deserve redemption.
Instead he wants to return home, to his bitter, old, hateful, father, and their pillaging, pirating way of life. Or perhaps he just wants to live there in solitude before taking his own life? Never the less things on the Iron Islands are about to get a whole lot more interesting, and Theon’s presence might just make an underlined difference.
Ironborn and Iron bred and when I die I'll be Iron Dead
Balon Greyjoy, is quick to remind his daughter that he is the last surviving king of the war of the 5 kings . However this does not hold water, as Yara points out that his ambition will only lead to their demise. Balon, being the insanely stubborn tyrant that he is, blames her for their failures and threatens his daughter, and storms off. It is clear that Yara is exasperated with this way of life and has begun thinking of how she would run things if only she were to rule. As fate would have it she just may have her chance much sooner than expected. Euron Greyjoy inexplicably confronts his older brother, Balon on a shaky bridge high up on the mountain. After they argue over sanity, Euron shows no recompense, declaring himself the storm and the Drowned God; he removes his brother from his path sending him crashing to his death. “What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.” Or so the saying goes.
Resurrection seems to be a key theme this episode if not this season. We have Franken Gergor, the wights, Bran and Rickon who were thought to be dead, and last but not least Jon Snow.
Do you believe in Magik?
Ser Davos approached the lady Melisandre in desperation, hoping, wishing for a miracle, but as it turned out the red woman was all out of miracles. Her faith depleted, her motivation gone. But Davos… Davos wanted to believe in her and in Jon. He somehow convinces her, as Mel spoke the prayer and laid hands upon Jon’s lifeless body in her best attempt to raise him from the dead, perhaps it was Davos, his very faith that gave Jon the breath of life once more.
This was a powerful scene that had me on the edge of my seat. He Lives!
This was the big one. The one George R.R. Martin is kicking himself that he didn’t get to publish first. Wow, Jon really is back. We the fans have waited so long held and held and held out faith despite all the naysayers and show producers swearing that he’s dead. Jon’s return is a major major turning point of the story, perhaps even the climax. The resurrection of Jon carries with it the idea that he might very well be the prophesied Azor Ahai or Prince who was promised; in short the savior of the realm. The ramifications of this event will definitely shape the ending. I have to say I had serious doubts that Mel would be involved but I liked the way the scene played out. Great atmosphere, mood and tone.
As for the other scenes, there was a lot of murder / betrayal even for this show. All that death and yet somehow Olly survived?
I feel like they should have saved some of that content for another episode. Also the ep featured the long awaited debut of a very important character in that of Euron Greyjoy, which was a pleasant surprise. Does this solve the mystery for fans of the novels, of who really killed Balon Greyjoy? Not necessarily but it certainly lends credence.
How fitting was it that Roose was killed the same way he stabbed & betrayed Robb? Nice touch. The Dragon scene was remarkable. Great cinematography as usual. Peter Dinklage is always a treat. Still too heavy on the mellow drama in King’s Landing, really just wish they would get on with the Lannister / Tyrell feud.
No Sam, Dany, Jorah, or Ellaria. That’s fine, next episode will almost certainly have Sam. Now that the major event has transpired we have plenty of time to explore other places. Can’t wait to see more of the reach; Oldtown, Highgarden & hopefully so much more. The Tyrell plot really needs to pick up fast.
I’m going to nit pick on the Arya scene as, it really didn’t give us much, and basically just interrupted the flow of the episode. Truly disappointing as Arya’s arc ended with a bang last season. I really hope they give us more than just these tiny bits & pieces at a time.
And finally the Ironborn plot has returned. There is a lot of potential there, with the possibility of Theon actually being in the Kingsmoot this time. Keep your fingers crossed but don’t hold your breath.
This was a strong episode. Much better writing than last time courtesy of one Dave Hill.
I’m still reeling from the Jon Snow return. King in the North! Heir to the Throne!
Until next time.