This season of Game Of Thrones is turning out to be an interesting one. Epsiode 2, Home, was jammed pack with action, suspense, and information. I actually gasped out loud an embarrassing amount of times while I was watching, now that the show has gone past the books in many of the plot-lines I am constantly being surprised where they take the story!
Let’s dive into it. Be warned that this recap will discuss everything that has happened thus far in the show. If you are not caught up, there will be spoilers!
Beyond The Wall
We start off this episode in the three-eyed raven’s cave along with Bran, Meera, Hodor, and one of the Children of the Forest (Leaf). We join Bran and the raven at Winterfell, but not the Winterfell that Bran knew. At first, I thought we were seeing into Bran’s past, but we were actually looking at Ned’s. We saw Brandon and Ned training and were introduced to Lyanna Stark as she rode in on horseback. After an entrance like that, I can definitely see why Ned compared Arya to his sister: she seemed fearless.
Besides being slightly taken aback at the obvious casting changes for Leaf and the three-eyed raven, I was really excited to see this gang again; the last we saw them they had just arrived at the cave, and had just lost Jojen to some wights.
Bran’s trip into the past seemed mostly to be an introduction to what he will explore this season, but one important piece of information we learned is that Hodor has not always been Hodor! His original name is Willas, and in the vision he was speaking! The Hodor that we know and love is regarded as a simpleton, but it appears that that has not always been the case. I am super curious to know what happened to caused Hodor to loose his ability to speak, and I am equally curious to find out if “hodor” means something more.
Moving down south to The Wall, the sun has fallen and Alliser Thorne arrives to let Davos and friends know their time is up. Davos grabs Jon’s sword, and everyone prepares to fight. Right before the door to their room is busted down, Ed arrives with the Wildlings. It turns out Wun Wun can knock down a door a lot faster than the men of the Night’s Watch can, and after one poor fool gets smashed by the giant and Olly makes a desperate attack on Tormund and Ed, all of the traitors are taken down to the cells.
Next, we move way down south to Kings Landing, where the commoners are reminiscing Cersei’s walk of shame. What seems to be a typical GoT tavern scene takes an unexpected turn (and earns the first gasp of the episode from me) when The Mountain shows up and smashes the head of a drunken blabbermouth against a wall like a watermelon.
It seems that The Mountain is Cersei’s new personal guard, although Cersei is certainly not lacking in the security department. Tommen has forbidden that she leave the Red Keep, even for Myrcella’s funeral, out of fear that the Sparrows will seize her again. You have to admit, keeping the woman who had to walk through the city naked to escape the Great Sept as far away from the Great Sept as possible for a while is probably a wise move.
Inside the Sept, Tommen and Jamie are keeping watch over Myrcella’s body. After urging his son to go and apologize to his mother, Jamie has a verbal showdown with the High Sparrow. I have to say, I really dislike the High Sparrow. That character scares the crap out of me. And when the Faith Millitent showed up? Terrifying! Needless to say, I’m glad that Tommen and Cersei reconciled. Hopefully we will start to see the Lannisters begin to fight back against the Sparrows in the next episode.
Our first stop across the Narrow Sea is Mereen, where Grey Worm, Missandei, Varys, and Tyrion are meeting to discuss the dire straights their city is in. We learn that not only is the fleet burned to a crisp, but that the other two cities Dany has freed are back under the control of the masters, and that the dragons are refusing to eat. I love Tyrion as a character, and this episode reminded me why with one sentence: “That’s what I do, I drink and I know things”. Not only is this entirely true, it is also an entirely achievable life goal!
Tyrion decides to go down and pay Rhaegal and Viserion a visit. Part of me was expecting Tyrion to get roasted, but another part of me was curious if he would be revealed as the “secret Targaryon” that many book-readers suspect he is. In the end, all he does is talk to the dragons, take off their chains, and run away.
There are two important things to note here: One, the dragons can definitely tell friend from foe; Two, Tyrion apparently asked for a dragon when he was little (like how I asked for a pony), and that is just adorable.
Next we briefly visit Bravos. Arya has not gotten better at blind stick fighting since we last saw her, but her insistence that she is “no one” impresses Jaqen H’ghar enough that he implores her to follow him. Arya is still blind, but apparently a beggar no more.
Next we journey back up north to Winterfell, and things really start to get crazy. We join Ramsey Bolton as he tries to convince Roose to march north to The Wall to kill Jon Snow. Roose, wisely, says that this is a terrible idea, and makes the remark that those who act like mad dogs will be treated as such. It’s important to note here that Ramsey is supported by a Karstark. You might remember that Robb cut off Richard Karstark’s head back in Season 2 and the remaining Karstarks are decidedly NOT supporters of House Stark.
After learning that Lady Walda has given birth to a son, Ramsey embraces his father and then stabs him to death. I did NOT see this coming and was COMPLETELY shocked. This spells bad news for The North. While Roose was ruthless he was also smart. Ramsey is reckless and bloodthirsty, and nothing good can come from having him in charge.
What came next left a bad taste in my mouth. There is a long scene that ends in poor Walda and her newborn son getting eaten by Ramsey’s hounds. I am so tired of seeing these drawn out scenes that show Ramsey being a horrible person and torturing people. We get it, he’s awful. We don’t need to see an example in every single episode to remember.
Next, we briefly check in on Sansa and her new posse who are still in the middle of the woods for some reason. I thought they would have ridden until they got to The Wall, but apparently they decided to stop and chat. Brienne lets Sansa know about her run-in with Arya, and Theon lets Sansa know that he is leaving to go back home to the Iron Islands. Sansa and Theon’s goodbye was quite sad; he is completely overrun with guilt and she is saying goodbye to the closest person to her family that she’s seen in years. I’m sad to see Theon leave, not only because it was a heartbreaking farewell but also because I want as many friendly faces around Sansa as possible until the show ends.
The Iron Islands
Next we go to another location that we haven’t seen in a while, the Iron Islands. We are reintroduced to Balon and Yara Greyjoy, who are arguing over the fact that their invasion of Westeros is going badly. Balon points out that in the “War of the Five Kings” he is the only king left alive, while Yara remarks that they have never successfully held a military campaign on land. Balon leaves, and begins to cross the most dangerous bridge I have ever seen. His path is blocked by a creepy hooded guy who turns out to be his brother, Euron Greyjoy. They argue, and Euron throws Balon over the edge of the bridge onto the rocks below. Next we see Balon’s funeral, where another one of his brothers, Aeron, reminds Yara that she is not automatically the next ruler of the Iron Islands and that she should prepare for a kingsmoot.
This is one scene where I was very glad that I had read the books. The show has not spent much time explaining the Greyjoys’ history or letting us get to know the characters, and I think I would have been very confused if I didn’t have the book knowledge going in. That being said, I am very excited for the kingsmoot, and I am rooting for Yara to be the first woman ever to rule the Iron Islands.
We ended this episode at The Wall for the worst kept secret in HBO history: Jon’s resurrection. As a last hope, Davos goes to Mellissandra and asks her to try to revive Jon. As he said, he’s not asking the Lord of Light, he’s asking the woman who showed him the impossible. She tries and it seems like she has failed. Everyone leaves the room, and nothing happens until Ghost looks up and Jon wakes right before the credit roll.
I thought that Jon would be brought back a little further into the season, but I’m totally okay with being wrong. I am super curious what specifically it was that brought Jon back. We all know that the Lord of Light has that power, but I think there may be some Old Magic in play as well since Ghost and Jon share a special bond. You may remember back in Season 2 Beric remarking that every time Thoros brought him back (and I am super surprised that we did not see it in the “previously on” segment) he lost a little bit of himself and his memories. I’m wondering if that is what the show runners meant when they said that “Jon Snow is dead”. Maybe this new Jon doesn’t remember his past life.
I will say that once Jon was out on the table being cleaned up, I knew that he was going to be brought back. I wasn’t sure when it would happen during the scene, and the music certainly kept me on edge the entire time, but once everything began I know where it was going.