Game of Thrones, S6 Ep2 – Home

It’s only the second episode of the season and Game of Thrones has already given us a jam-packed chapter with shocking character deaths, (not so) surprise returns, supernatural visions, significant flashbacks, and more political maneuvering. So many things happened in this episode and there is so much to talk about, even without mentioning that ending, which finally ended the suspense about Jon Snow’s fate (more on that later.)

Bran Stark Three Eyed Raven Game of ThronesWe began with the momentous return of Bran Stark who, after sitting out last season, has had some serious training with the Three-Eyed Raven. He now has greater control of his warg powers and he is able to step into visions of the past. A touching moment was when he watched his father and uncle spar together as boys in the courtyard at Winterfell. There was also a glimpse of young Hodor, a farmboy named Willis who was able to say more words than just “Hodor.” Bran’s training is not yet complete, but hopefully he’ll have a better handle on his powers before another great war begins.

Far, far away, his sister Arya also continued her training as a blind beggar being tormented by the Waif. But she was beginning to hold her own and Jaqen H’ghar was finally going to give her a chance to be more than just a pauper.

There was an awesome moment when Brienne told Sansa that her sister was alive. The way Sansa smiled when she said that Arya would not be dressed like a lady was a breath of fresh air in a show full of grim realities. She also shared a touching moment with Theon, who decided to make his way home.

Speaking of the Iron Islands, we finally checked in on them again after they fell largely to the sidelines in past seasons. In a rainy night on a rickety bridge we were introduced to Euron Greyjoy, who promptly tossed his brother Balon into the depths, killing the last of the Five Kings from the war that was waged back in Season 2. Yara vows revenge but the priest of the Iron Islands mentions that there must first be a Kingsmoot to choose the next heir to the throne. Exciting times ahead in the Iron Islands, I’d say.

37A sad day for the Boltons, except for Ramsay – what a monster. It was a bloody mess but pretty expected of that psychopath at this point. He murdered his father upon hearing the news that a legitimate heir had been born. Then he went and set his vicious dogs upon his stepmother and her newborn babe. A particularly gruesome way to go, even for Game of Thrones. Poor Walda, she deserved better. All the female characters deserve better, to be honest.

In King’s Landing, Cersei had a heart to heart talk with her last remaining child, King Tommen, and you could see how determined she was to protect him. But she also knows the truth in the prophecy and that another loss was imminent. Meanwhile, Jaime got into a tense standoff with the High Sparrow. Things are gearing up for a showdown between the royals and the Faith Militant and King’s Landing will get bloody.

Game of Thrones, S6 Ep2 - HomeMeanwhile, another Lannister was having a very interesting time. Always the man with the plan, Tyrion got the idea of freeing and feeding Dany’s remaining two dragons. He figured that since the dragons showed no hostility towards Missandei, they would accord the same courtesy to him. There were some genuinely tense and hilariously awkward moments as he tried to coax the dragons out with lines like “I’m here to help. Don’t eat the help.” And “I’m a friend of your mother.” But the best part was when he told a story about wanting a dragon as a gift, even a little one. His gamble paid off and he wasn’t dragon bait at the end of this episode.

Then, we have the big one. Davos Seaworth approached Melisandre and asked her to try and work some of her magic into bringing Jon back to life. It’s strange to see Davos, of all people, being the one giving Melisandre some pep talk but it works. She gives Jon’s corpse a sponge bath and a haircut and recites some incantations while holding her hands over him. Nothing happens and everyone leaves the room in disappointment.

Game of Thrones, S6 Ep2 - HomeBut at the last minute, proving that the scene did not drag on for no reason, Jon Snow opens his eyes and he comes up for air as if he had been drowning. He’s back. After months of denial and obfuscation, the truth that everyone expected is out.

This wasn’t really a surprise considering how much everyone theorized and obsessed over Game of Thrones for months. Even the manner of his return was pretty much speculated over in detail. But what surprised me was how soon it happened in the season, as I was expecting them to keep us in the dark for a few more episodes.

But now that the “big” reveal is out of the way, it will be more interesting to see what this means for the rest of the show. I can’t wait to see people’s reactions to the resurrected Jon Snow, as well as to see how being dead had changed him. The board is already set for epic events in Game of Thrones and the pieces keep moving in intriguing directions.

Next week on Game of Thrones: people react to Jon Snow’s return, Arya’s training advances, we check in on Dany, and another flashback.