Season 6, Episode 2
Aired: May 1, 2016
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
Writer: Dave Hill
“Home” – what a fitting title for this week’s episode. We saw characters returning home, being reunited with loved ones or accepting the new homes they have built for themselves. It was full of parents and children coming to terms with their relationships. One of these familial moments was sweet, one bittersweet and the rest were quite dark.
The one sweet moment was Tommen, Cersi’s one remaining child, reaching out to his mother and admitting he needs her help to rule. Of course, as with everything with the Lannisters, “sweet” is relative and you have to ignore a lot of bad things in the past in order to sympathize with Cersi and be touched by their love for one another. But with her at her lowest point in the entire series, it’s nice that (for now) she has her brother and her son at her side. I loved Jaime’s confrontation with the Sparrows in the sept as he looked to protect his family, only to realize he’s tangling with a force that would gladly die for their cause.
Our bittersweet familial moment came when Bran (hey, remember Bran?) was able to see his father and his aunt as children at Winterfell. (He also got to see Hodor back when he could say more than just “Hodor.”) Bran has had his body broken and has been separated from the rest of his family, so it is sweet that he got a sort-of reunion, even if his family members couldn’t see him watching them. The show once again teased big things in store for Bran, but it seems like in the short term he may be a conduit for the audience to fill in some important moments in the history of Westeros (like perhaps, a look into who Jon Snow’s mother is).
On the darker side of these familial scenes, we saw two lords killed by ambitious family members. Ramsey Bolton, upon hearing the news that his father had a new male heir, stabbed Roose and fed his wife and child to the dogs. Similarly, Euron Greyjoy tossed his brother Balon off of a rickety bridge in a clear power grab. Of the two, Ramsey seems, in the short term, to have done a better job securing his lordship, but moments before he stabbed his dad, they discussed just how tenuous their hold on Winterfell is and how easily they could lose support of the northern families. Even if he can keep it from getting out that he’s the one who killed his father, brother and stepmother, it’s unlikely he can hold control of the north in the long term being as crazy and impetuous as he is. Euron seems like he did a better job covering his tracks when killing his brother, but with Asha wanting the throne and Theon set to return home, he’ll have more heirs to compete with. (We also saw in the scene where Asha tried to claim the throne that there is some sort of ritual or contest to determine who will lead.)
And finally, while they aren’t related by blood, we did have a group of brothers reunited with their leader – the Night’s Watch. First, the wildlings showed up just in the nick of time (with their freakin’ giant) to save our heroes from the traitors. Then, Davos helped Melisandre get her groove back and convinced her to try to bring Jon Snow back from the dead, which we see in the last shot actually works. (Surprise, surprise.) I’m curious to see Jon Snow’s demeanor now that he’s back, especially after Melisandre ominously implied that the best thing to do for him would be to let him stay dead.
Still, Jon is a good position at the moment. Castle Black is his once again. He’s likely to be treated as a god when people learn of his return. And we know Sansa and Brienne are on their way for a long-overdue Stark family reunion. (Plus, those northerners who aren’t loyal to the Boltons are likely to back Sansa and reborn Jon in any moves they want to make.)
While this was another episode that seemed to be setting up things for the future, it was still pretty fun overall. The wildlings’ arrival was great and I laughed out loud when the traitors dropped their weapons after seeing the giant effortlessly crush one of their men. It was also sweet to see nice things continue to happen for the Starks, who have really had nothing but tragedy for most of this series.
And another thing …
- Speaking of good things happening for the Starks, I was glad they dropped the “Arya being beaten while blind” thing after two episodes. I’m ready for her to do something else.
- We had multiple head-crushing deaths this episode – both the wildling giant and the Zombie Mountain effortlessly killed men by smashing their heads against a wall.
- Was I the only one who thought it was weird to hear the guy talking about his and Jaime’s penises describe them using inches? Why would Westeros be using the American system of measurement?
- Everything involving Tyrion and the dragons was delightful.
Written by Joel Murphy. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org