Game of Thrones, Season 6, Ep 2 “Home”

Intro: I’m watching Game of Thrones for the first time. I don’t know anything about it more recent than this episode.

I’ve now sourced a set of DVDs for both season 6 and 7, so I’m ready to continue with the episode commentaries!

North of The Wall: We open with Bran and the Three-eyed Raven sitting amongst the roots of the underground cave where they are sheltering from the snow, with eyes glazed over, apparently in a trance. The scene changes, to Winterfell, and Bran is standing on a balcony, watching some kids practising swordplay with wooden weapons and shields. It could be a scene from Bran’s own life, just before he was crippled, practising with other boys of the town – and at first that’s exactly what I think it is.

But no, someone calls the boys Ned and Benjen. We’re seeing a young Eddard Stark and his brother Benjen, in a flashback to before Bran was even born. A slightly older girl rides up on a horse, named Lyanna (the girl is named Lyanna, not the horse – I didn’t catch the horse’s name). It’s not clear, but this seems to be an older sister of the other two – I don’t recall ever hearing about a sister of Eddard Stark before. So maybe this is the first time we’ve really heard of her? She says something about heading off to the Eyrie. I’m just trying to integrate this into what I can remember… I’m guessing Lyanna was sent to marry a noble over at The Eyrie as part of an alliance. We know Lysa was there, Catelyn Stark’s sister (so Eddard’s sister-in-law). Hmmm… and Lyanna and Lysa would be roughly the same age. So what happened to Lyanna? I’m guessing we’re going to find out some more about her later.

Also joining the scene is a large stable boy, who the boys encourage to start fighting. They call him Wylis, but Bran instantly recognises him as a young Hodor. Wylis speaks, being reluctant to join the noble boys in sparring, but they say that with his size he’d be a great fighter. Wylis’s mother appears and ushers him back to the stables, saying there’s no way she’ll let her son learn how to fight. Bran is astonished that Hodor used to be able to speak properly.

The Raven tells Bran it’s time to leave the vision, but Bran wants to stay. The Raven grabs Bran and pulls him back to reality. Bran wakes up and protests, but the Raven says that too much time spent in a vision will lead to “drowning”. Bran looks at Hodor and tells hi he saw him when he was younger, and he could speak. “What happened, Hodor?” Bran asks, but Hodor merely replies, “Hodor.” This exchange makes me think that Hodor is perhaps the name of the thing that so shocked him that it removed his ability to say anything else. Also, I think we’re going to learn more about Hodor’s background in the future. At least I hope so, because before it was just a low level thing that you didn’t think about, but now it’s become a tantalising mystery. Setting it up like this and then failing to deliver more information would be terrible story-telling.

Outside in the snow, Meera Reed stares into the distance. She is sullen and fed up. The dryad-like figure talks to her. Meera questions what they are doing here, how pointless it all is. Dryad tells her that soon Bran will need her help. Hodor carries Bran out and he speaks briefly with Meera before going back into the cave. Meera returns to her watch.

Well it’s good to see something about Bran again, after so long. And it looks like his story is about to ramp up again. We’ve added three mysteries to be expounded upon in the future: Lyanna, Wylis, and what he’s going to do that Meera will be needed to assist with. Let’s hope we get to them soon, rather than not seeing Bran for another season.

Braavos: Blind Arya sits begging on the street, when the girl from the House of Black and White appears again with her staff and starts belting Arya. Arya fights back, a little more competently this time, but still gets knocked down. Arya gets up and whirls her staff in a blind fury, but the girl is gone. As Arya spins, a hand grabs her shoulder, and Jaqen speaks. He says if she tells him her name, he will give her food. Arya says she has no name. Jaqen says if she tells him her name, he will give her shelter. Arya says she has no name. He says if she tells him her name, he will restore her sight. Arya hesitates for just a second, but affirms she has no name. Jaqen smiles, and tells her she no longer needs to beg on the street, and to follow him. She reaches for the meagre coins she has collected, but Jaqen tells her she won’t need them, and they walk off.

Hmm. Was Jaqen’s offer to restore Arya’s sight just a test, or does he have that power? I suppose either way Arya will finally get more training. I hope this happens quickly – I want to see her actually do something rather than just twiddle her thumbs until the rest of the storylines are ready. But this is an exciting new development and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

Meereen: Daenerys is still missing, and her dragons are starting to pine for the fjords. Tyrion and Varys learn from Missandei that the dragons are not eating. Tyrion tells a story about dragons needing to roam over hundreds of miles of countryside, and how when the Targaryen kings of old started chaining them up, they wasted away and became small lap-dog-like creatures. He resolves to free them, and approaches warily with Varys into the dungeon where they are chained. He says they can sense good intentions, and manages to nervously approach near enough to unshackle the chains around their necks. As he leaves, he asks Varys to dissuade of him any future brilliant plans he may have involving dragons. The dragons don’t immediately flee captivity, but presumably they will do so, either off-screen, or soon.

No word on Daenerys this episode. Oh, we also learn that with her gone, the old Masters of Astapor and Yunkai have retaken those cities, making them slave cities once more. And despite questioning, “nobody saw” anything suspicious when her fleet caught fire. It seems all of Daenerys’s work is unravelling without her. Hopefully they’ll find her again soon.

King’s Landing: A drunk guy in the slums is boasting to his mates about how when Queen Cersei did her naked Walk of Shame, he exposed himself to her, and she was astonished by the sight. His mates laugh appropriately. But when the drunk guy goes to find a wall to relieve himself, the hulking figure of the Frankensteined Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane appears and introduces the drunk’s head to the wall in a concussive spray of blood.

Clegane rejons Cersei in the Red Keep, where she is lamenting that she can’t go visit Myrcella’s body, lying in state in the Great Sept. She tries to leave, but a squad of guards tell her that King Tommen has ordered her kept safe in the Keep. Clegane make a subtle move at them, and the squad of guards look extremely worried, even though there are a dozen or so of them. Cersei orders Clegane to stand down, and returns to her chamber, to the obvious relief of the guards.

In the Sept, Jaime and Tommen stand by Myrcella’s body. Tommen laments that Prince Trystane’s killers have not been found yet. He also laments that he didn’t do anything to free Cersei and Margaery from their captivity. Jaime urges him to go talk to Cersei, but he is afraid. Jaime convinces him to go, and Tommen leaves. The High Sparrow then appears and Jaime says some snide remarks about him causing problems, and how things would be better if Sparrow was eliminated. Sparrow calmly says, “Oh so you’re going to kill me, are you?” as dozens of his followers, armed with weapons, appear around the edges of the Sept. He even points out that they wouldn’t be quick enough to save him if Jaime attacked, but isn’t it funny how the common people, when they band together, can achieve so much… even overthrow an empire? Jaime considers killing Sparrow here and now, but turns and walks away, leaving Sparrow to gloat evilly over his power.

Tommen visits Cersei and begs her forgiveness for not acting to free her, and for now trying to keep her safe by not letting her see Myrcella. He says he needs to be stronger – he wanted to tear down the Sept and free Cersei and Margaery, but he was too afraid. He asks Cersei to help teach him how to be strong. She takes him in her arms and promises that she will.

Hrmm. All interesting stuff. Clegane is clearly a Mountain to be Reckoned With, and Cersei has a huge amount of muscle at her disposal. And if Tommen is now begging her for help, no doubt she’ll start flexing some of it. Her and Jaime and Tommen all have good reasons to want to eliminate the High Sparrow and his cult. Could be a battle royale coming up soon. And Margaery is still prisoner… what will happen to her?

Iron Islands: We haven’t been here for a while. Yara Greyjoy defends herself against her grumpy father’s attitude. Balon blames her for running off on a frivolous mission to rescue her brother Theon, and thus losing Moat Cailin, the last of their possessions on the mainland. Balon wants to continue waging unrelenting war on the mainlanders, but Yara sees sense in standing their ground on the islands, where they are unassailable. Balon says when she’s the ruler she can wage peace as much as she likes, but as long as he’s the King, she’ll do as he says.

This turns out to be a nice bit of foreshadowing, as Balon leaves to cross a rope bridge to another tower, during a harsh storm. He’s a little unsteady on his old feet, but confidently strides onto the slippery, swinging bridge. At first I think he’s simply going to slip off, but then a cloaked figure appears from the other side of the bridge. Balon yells at him to get out of the way, but the figure does not yield. He removes his hood, revealing himself to be Balon’s long lost brother (a new character, I didn’t catch the name), which astonishes Balon. Balon’s brother is younger and more sure on his feet, and flings Balon over the edge, to his doom on the wave-wracked rocks below.

Later, Balon is pushed out to sea on a raft, to be claimed by the sea god. Yara starts planning what she will do now that she’s in charge, but the priest reminds her that she doesn’t automatically inherit the throne. There will be a meeting of nobles to decide who will be the next ruler. It may be her, the first woman to rule in a thousand years or something like that, or… maybe not. Yara doesn’t look happy.

So… this long-lost brother has reappeared, murdered Balon, and then vanished again. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that he’ll reveal himself during the meeting and claim to be the obviously valid heir. You can bet Yara won’t be happy about that. Especialy if she uncovers clues that he killed Balon in the first place. I wonder where this guy has been for so long, and why return now? So many mysteries.

Winterfell: Roose is upset about Sansa’s escape. Ramsay reckons she’s headed to Castle Black, the only place where she has living relatives – Jon Snow. Obviously word of Snow’s death hasn’t reached Winterfell yet. Ramsay suggests he takes a force of men north to attack Castle Black, which he says will be easy as it isn’t defended against the south, and kill Jon. Roose pooh-poohs this idea, saying it would unite everyone in the North against the Boltons. Ramsay counters that they have the Karstarks and Freys and some other family, and together they have more men than the rest of the North combined.

We don’t see a resolution of this argument, as a Maester enters with news that Walda has delivered a baby… a boy. A legitimate heir for Roose. Roose hastily reassures Ramsay that he is his number one son. But Ramsay isn’t convinced, and suddenly pulls a knife and stabs his father in the chest, killing him in front of Lord Karstark and the shocked Maester. Karstark doesn’t blink. Ramsay orders the Maester to send a message to their allies, saying Lord Bolton has been poisoned by their enemies. He then asks the Maester how Roose died as he cleans his dagger, and the Maester blinks nervously and repeats that he was poisoned and scurries away. Ramsay goes to visit Walda and the baby. He escorts them to the kennels, where he says Roose is waiting. Walda realises too late what is happening, as Ramsay looses the hounds on her and the short-lived heir.

Ouch. I didn’t see that coming. Roose was a much cleverer commander, but Ramsay has psychotic chaos on his side. Nothing will hold back any of his deranged plans from now on. We can only wait to see if that will bring about his undoing, or if he’ll get lucky for long enough to cause serious damage in the North.

Winterfell to Castle Black: Sansa, Brienne, Podrick, and Theon make camp in the snow. Brienne tells Sansa that she saw Arya some time ago, accompanied by Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, but she refused to go with Brienne (like Sansa herself did not long ago). So Sansa now has news that two brothers and a sister who she’d thought dead are all still alive. Brienne says Arya wasn’t dressed like a lady, and Sansa says, no, she wouldn’t be.

Theon is nervous, saying they shouldn’t build a fire. (But Podrick does anyway, taking a painfully long to watch time to light it.) He doesn’t want to go to Castle Black, thinking Jon will kill him. He decides he wants to leave, asking Sansa for permission, which she grants. He also asks for a horse. She asks where he’ll go, and he replies, “Home”.

Home would be the Iron Islands. Now that will be interesting, given what’s just happened there.

Castle Black: Ser Alliser approaches the still locked door behind which Davos and the men loyal to Jon are barricaded. Alliser orders the door broken down, as Davos and the men draw swords to prepare for the fight. A man starts chopping the door down, but just as he is about to break through, there is a series of loud thuds from the front gate of the castle. The gate crashes open, and the giant in the wildling party enters in front of Tormund and hundreds of wildlings. They have come on the message of the loyalists who Davos sent to get them. Alliser’s men are reluctant to fight what is an obviously superior force. But one man fires an arrow , hitting the giant, who grabs him and smashes him against a wall. Seeing this, Alliser’s men lay down their weapons, and the loyalists emerge and arrest Alliser and some of the other men.

Later, Davos visits Melisandre. He asks if she can attempt to revive Jon, using her magic gift from the Lord of Light. She is reluctant, however, after the failure of her foresight, seeing a great victory for Stannis when in truth he was defeated and killed. Davos urges her, and finally she relents. She washes Jon’s body and performs a ritual over it, with Davos, Tormund, and some others looking on. Nothing happens, and they all leave, disheartened. Ghost alone lies faithfully on the floor beside Jon’s body. Suddenly Ghost looks up. And Jon shudders back to life!

Wow. I thought that Jon’s stabbing was too sudden and awful and shocking, and thought maybe over the season break that he could cling on to life somehow, only to see him actually dead. But now he’s back? I wonder if he’ll be good as new, or if there’ll be some major change in him, or if the resurrection somehow won’t take properly and he’ll die for good soon. It’ll be interesting to see. And this is also a big boost for Melisandre, who might regain confidence in her magical powers again. Oh, and yay, maybe Sansa will actually find safety when she arrives. That’d be a change!

2 Responses to “Game of Thrones, Season 6, Ep 2 “Home””

  1. Javier says:

    You can recall from your notes (I’m guessing you have wrote about it, but if not, then you can remember the scene where Robert goes with Ned to Winterfell’s crypts and there Robert tells Ned about he misses this girl whose statue he admires). Just because this is context, and it was mentioned on earlier chapters of the TV show, I don’t consider this to be spoiler eh? Lyanna was the girl that Robert Baratheon, the king in westeros when the story began, was engaged to. Robert was meant to marry Lyanna, so Robert would have been Ned’s brother in law. It didn’t happen because, according to Robert, Lyanna was kidnapped by Raegar Targaryen, Daenerys’ older brother, such event began the war where Robert defeater Raegar, Jaime Lannister killed the king Aerys the mad king (Daenerys’ father) and basically all the story of GoT gets its context…

    Lyanna is also recalled because she was very little ‘lady-like’, riding horses and loving to fight. Just as Arya. In fact Arya is sometimes called like a new Lyanna by Ned (at least on the books, I don’t remember if on the TV show that happens).

  2. Lauri T. says:

    Yay, more recaps! So yeah, Lyanna definitely has been mentioned before, but most of the mentions would have been in scenes involving Ned and Robert, neither of whom survives the first season. In fact, the only mention of her I can remember for certain is the crypt scene in the very first episode, and you probably didn’t consider that particularly important at the time – not important enough to write about anyway.

    As for Jon, I also thought that he was too important a character even by GoT standards to be killed off like that. Unlike you, though, I fully expected that he would die and then be promptly brought back by Melisandre, recalling that we had already seen servants of the Lord of Light pull off some freaky stuff, including resurrection. I wondered at the time if the showrunners deliberately didn’t have that happen in the season premiere just to mess with everyone who was expecting it.

    Also: Max von friggin’ Sydow as the Three-eyed Raven! How awesome is that?

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