Game of Thrones: Home Recap *SPOILERS*
Editors note: While I did not do a live watch of this, as I have with other series in the past, I’m still going to leave my live reactions in because this episode feels like the third episode of seasons past (looking at you Purple Wedding). Also, spoiler warning, reading this will spoil the episode for you. You have been warned!
We begin with Bran, who was completely absent from the last season, in the middle of a training session with the Three-Eyed Raven (for the sake of my sanity, I am shortening this to TER). They are passively watching as the past unfolds in Winterfell. In this case, they are watching a childhood Ned Stark as he trains a young Benjen (future Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch).
As Bran watches, he observes how happy his family used to be, and even gets a glimpse of his aunt Lyanna (the center of the revolt against the Targaryen regime). More importantly, we see Hodor before he became Hodore, and it turns out he wasn’t always simple-minded. The TER tells Bran it’s time to leave, and despite Bran’s protests, pulls him from the past and back into reality.
When Bran wakes, he finds himself being watched by a child of the forest. He is angry for being pulled away from his home, only to be told in no uncertain terms that dwelling in the past too long is harmful. After a few minutes of telling Hordor that he’s learned Hodor’s name is Wylis and that he can speak, Bran inquires after Meera.
Meera, for those who might not remember her from last season, is the sister of the warg who helped lead Bran to the TER. He was killed just as they got to safety, and it appears Meera is still in deep mourning. As Bran tells her of his visions, Meera announces she’s more interested in doing real fighting rather than preparing for the real fight. Bran departs, and the child of the forest speaks up telling Meera that Bran needs her now and for when the war comes. Meera stares pensively into the surroundings as we fade to Castle Black.
The time Thorne has given Davos and the remaining loyal Night Watchmen is up. Outside, those loyal to Thorne have their swords at the ready and crossbows aimed at the door that separates Davos and the men from outright murder. Jon lays dead and cold as Thorne makes empty promises of allowing the men to continue their watch, and Davos to go free. He even offers to send Jon’s direwolf over the wall (Pfft. Like he actually would, the coward). Davos grabs Jon’s sword and readies for a fight.
The door being broken down is interrupted by the arrival of a giant, Tormund Giantsbane, and the rest of the wildling army. The small cadre of loyal men to Thorne barely bother trying to fight them off, although one (idiot) makes the mistake of shooting a crossbow bolt into the giant’s shoulder.
Once overtaken, Thorne tries (unsuccessfully) to justify his actions to Edd, who is quite the badass now, and Olly even tries attacking Tormund only to be efficiently disarmed and imprisoned with the others. Tormund pays his respects to Jon before saying he and the other wildlings would gather would for a pyre. If Jon’s body is burned, that’s the end of the idea he’ll be coming back.
Back in King’s Landing, the dude who exposed himself to Cercei while she was doing her walk of shame through the city is telling the heroic tale of being a complete douchebag (I mean I hate Cercei but what happened to her was atrocious). Let’s just say when he went to break the seal, he did not meet a very kind fate.
It seems Zombie Mountain is being used to silence a few loud mouths. As he reports back to Cercei and begins to escort her, they are stopped by Tommen’s men. Tommen has forbid Cercei to leave the Red Keep, even to attend Myrcella’s funeral. Although Cercei could fight her way out, she chooses to return to the keep.
Jaime is standing with Tommen at Myrcella’s side. Tommen seems beside himself with grief and anger. When Jaime asks why Tommen seems to be so angry with Cercei, he finds Tommen beside himself with shame. He is wracked with guilt at the inability to keep any member of his family safe, nor his wife. As Jaime advises Tommen, they are interrupted by the High Sparrow.
Jaime sends Tommen from the room and confronts the High Sparrow. Jaime questions why he isn’t held to the same accountability as Cercei was and in the process threatens the Sparrow. This is when we really learn the depth of his fanaticism. In their conversation the Sparrow plainly says he doesn’t care how many lives he has to throw at the Lannisters or anyone else for that matter. He doesn’t care for his life, nor the lives of the poor and nameless who make up his army.
Tommen finally speaks with Cercei and explains how ashamed he felt in his inability to protect either her or Margaery. Cercei appears cold and barely responds to Tommen up until he begs for her help. As she agrees we can literally feel the power shifting away from Tommen.
In Mereen, Varys, Tyrion, Greyworm, and Missandei meet to discuss the state of Daenerys’ kingdom. Things are not good,most of the kingdom has fallen back to the slaver’s. Greyworm says they’re trying to find out who burned the Naval fleet, and Tyrion asks about the health of the two dragons locked beneath the city.
After being told the dragons are not eating, Tyrion tells the tale of how the attempted domestication of dragons in the past is the reasons why the species died out. He also believes that dragons are incredibly intelligent and can tell friend from for and for some reason decides he should be the one to undo the collars on Dany’s dragons. So, down he goes into the depths and somehow he manages to release Dany’s dragons without being eaten alive. Although, the act made him realize he was acting pretty rashly. After removing the collar he says to Varys:
Next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face.
Back in the streets we come back to a very badly beaten Arya approached yet again by her fellow trainee. This time around she fairs only marginally better but when she still cannot hone her senses she loses her temper and begins flailing about in a rage only to be stopped by Jaquen H’ger.
H’ger asks Arya for her name, increasingly offering her comfort in exchange. He even offers her sight in return, but Arya knowing this is a test refuses to give her name. H’ger walks away and bids Arya to follow him. When she reaches for her begging bowl, he stops her saying, “A girl is no longer a beggar.” It seems her punishment is at an end.
Roose Bolton is getting the news that Ramsay’s attempt to recapture Sansa has failed. He, Ramsay, and the current Lord Karstark (the family who Rob Stark punished by beheading the lord of) all devise a plan to possibly retrieve her from Castle Black. When it comes to light that Jon Snow would be considered a Stark despite his bastard status, Ramsay proposes taking men to Castle Black, capturing Sansa, and dispatching with Jon.
Roose tells Ramsay that would be foolish and only serve to unite all of the North against the Bolton’s. Ramsay counters that they don’t need all of the North houses by the Bolton’s side, just the houses with the largest army’s. Roose is quick to remind Ramsay that mad dogs are often put down as mad dogs when they are interrupted by the Maester who announces the birth of Roose’s son.
This spells disaster for Ramsay’s claim as head of the family (remind me why Ramsay hasn’t just killed Roose and Walda just to cement his future?) Ramsay is stoic while congratulating his father, only to be reassured that he is considered the first born.
And then he stabs Roose and kills him. Holy crap.
Ramsay acts quickly to secure his dominance over the men in the room. He tells the Maester to send out ravens saying Roose has been poisoned by Bolton enemies. As the Maester agrees, Lord Karstark reminds the Maester to use honorifics when addressing the new Lord Bolton (basically telling us where his loyalty lies). Ramsay then demands to have Walda and the baby brought to him.
In what I could say is the most tense scene ever, Walda meets with Ramsay and hands him the baby when he asks to hold him. When she asks about the whereabouts of Lord Bolton (Roose) Ramsay leads her to the dog pens. It becomes achingly apparent he’s going to feed her and the child to the hungry dogs, no matter how much Walda protests. He is the mad dog his father warned him not to become (and dear god are we reminded he’s a lot like Aegon Targaryen here).
In the forest, Brienne tells Sansa about the last time she saw Arya. Sansa takes comfort in knowing her sister was in relatively good health the last time she was seen. Brienne asks Sansa about what happened to her in Winterfell, but Sansa is reluctant to give any detail. She merely says she should have gone with Brienne when given the chance.
Sansa goes to talk to Theon, and finds that Theon has no interest in going with Sansa to Castle Black. While he would have protected her every step of the way if they had not encountered Brienne, he is well aware only hatred and possibly death at the hands of Jon Snow awaits him. He asks to take a horse so he may return home to the Iron Islands.
Speaking of, back on the Iron Islands we come upon Balon Greyjoy getting the report that the ironborn have lost their last stronghold on the mainland. Yara and her father then engage in a bitter argument about whether or not his war on the mainland is worth the ironborn lost. Balon angrily reminds Yara that if she doesn’t shut up and take orders he would make an heir who would.
Not that he would get the chance, while crossing a very rickety bridge Balon encounters his younger brother Euron, who was long thought dead. After exchanging a few words, Euron throws Balon over the edge of the bridge, killing him. At the funeral ceremony we find out Yara has to be voted in as the new head of the house, and may no inherit despite her long-running loyalty. It’s fairly obvious who her competition will be but the return of Theon may change everything.
Melisandre is alive! In my last recap, I thought maybe she had killed herself by allowing herself to age, but apparently not! Davos enters Melisandre’s room to find her in a pretty deep depression. Davos, who had seen the Lord of Light’s magic at work asks if there is a spell that can bring Jon back from the dead. While Melisandre says it’s possible, she fully believes it’s not possible for her to complete. Davos, not so delicately says damn the religion that led Melisandre astray. He had seen her do magic, real magic, and he believed she had the power in her to do anything she put her mind to.
Holy shit she’s going to try.
Melisandre goes to Jon and cleans his wounds. As she bathes his body, she trims his hair and burns it in the fire nearby. Chanting in Valyrian, she puts her hands on his body.
The incantation doesn’t work.
Sadly, she exits the room, after an angry Tormund. Davos lingers in hopes of some delay but inevitably leaves as well. After the door closes, Ghost, Jon’s direwolf stirs.
Then Jon wakes up.