I know I’m late with this recap for Season 6 Episode 2 (busy week), but there was so much that happened I had to go back and address it. There will be plenty of spoilers below as well as speculation about what might happen in the future (I never read the books so I can’t spoil anything that’s happened there) so if you’re not caught up on Game of Thrones I would suggest you wait before reading on. For all other, enjoy. I’ll be sure to post my recap for episode 3 later this week.
The first episode this season was fairly uneventful, serving mainly as a point of reference to catch us up on where all the characters and events are following last season’s finale. Season 6 Episode 2 was the complete opposite. There were deaths, shifts in the balance of power, new directions with intriguing storylines, and one very huge resurrection. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to discuss the episode by splitting it up by subplot rather than chronologically.
Jon Snow and Castle Black
OK, by far the biggest thing to happen in Sunday’s episode (and the most talked about event on social media mere moments after the closing credits) is the resurrection of Jon Snow. It was something that most fans were anticipating happening, and most of the talk following his betrayal/murder in last year’s finale was how, not if, he would be back (speculation about whether he survived or could be brought back to life). Luckily for us it wasn’t dragged out and Jon Snow was resurrected in episode 2.
There’s a lot to talk about with this subplot. Firstly, there was the build-up to that moment. We got to see Davos and the members of the Knight’s Watch still loyal to Jon locked up in a room while Alliser Thorne and the rest of the Watch were breaking down the door to kill them all. Just then the Wildings (who Jon saved by allowing them to pass through the wall) returned to stop them. This moment wasn’t played up but it was fascinating to see the Wildings, who were supposed to be savages and enemies of the North, acting the most humane in this instance and coming to the aid of the Knight’s Watch.
Secondly, I’m beginning to really like the dynamic between Davos and Melisandra. This season Melisandra is different than she’s been throughout the series because instead of the confident character pulling the strings and holding steadfast to her faith, she’s beaten and deflated. Davos and Melisandra have always been on the same side even though they differed on how things should be done. On one site I saw them described as soldiers who have been through the wringer together, but clearly not friends. What’s interesting here is watching Davos try to give her a pep talk to convince her to bring Jon back from the dead with Melisandra being a total shell of herself. While watching my wife pointed out that she didn’t even look like the same person because of how she was broken, doubting her abilities and her relationship with the Lord of Light. It was true. And the episode concluded with her giving the most half-hearted resurrection spell possible and everyone walking out believing that all hope was lost for their Lord Commander. Only Ghost was there to witness Jon take his first gasp.
What does this mean for Jon Snow? There are a myriad of possibilities for where the writers could go with bringing him back. First, what are the mechanics of bringing him back? Does he still have major internal injuries or is he fully healed? Does that make him stronger than ever or is he brittle due to the toll this took on his body? The other application to this question is could others be brought back or is it only because it happened so soon after his passing and his body remained relatively in good shape? Secondly, what does this do to his mind? Jon doesn’t seem the type to be shaken by a traumatic event, but in this world does the act of bringing someone back have any affect on this person’s mind? Will this be the same Jon Snow we saw last season? What does this mean moving forward for the Knight’s Watch and the impending war against the White Walkers and Ramsay Bolton (more on that later)?
Tyrion and the Dragons
What is possibly the second biggest thing to happen this episode is with Tyrion in Mereen. With Daenerys missing and Mereen having come under attack Tyrion has a difficult task on his hands to keep control in the city (as well as get back the others Daenerys liberated after it is stated the masters regained control). His initial idea is to free the dragons. He states that dragons in captivity can’t live up to their true potential and also wants them as allies to him.
The reason I state that this is potentially the second biggest plot thread of the episode (which included two fairly big deaths and Jamie standing up to the High Sparrow) is that his solution was to walk into the dungeon and remove the dragon’s chains. To date, Daenerys is the only one to be able to get close to the dragons without being burnt to a crisp. Is the reason Tyrion was able to get so close because they realize he was freeing them or is it because he is in fact half Targaryen? It’s a major rumor floating around that Tyrion’s father is actually Aerys Targaryen and that’s the biggest reason Tywin despised him (and because him being a dwarf was a black mark against the honorable family). It gives more meaning to his final words when he tells Tyrion “You’re no son of mine.” If all this is true, that would make Tyrion Daenerys’ half brother and could mean he’s one of the three dragon riders foretold in prophecy. This is all a stretch based on little evidence, but it’s still cool to think about.
Bran Stark Returns
It’s been more than a season since we last saw Bran catch up to the Three-Eyed Raven and we finally get to see that his warg abilities are improving. When we see him again, he’s now witnessing Winterfell’s past (specifically watching his dad as a boy) along with the Three-Eyed Raven. There’s a few significant things to note with this sequence.
A- A young Hodor is in the vision; his name is Wylis and he speaks quite well. So what exactly happened to Hodor that now he can only say the word Hodor and isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed? My bet is that warging has something to do with it. Chances are that Bran somehow lobotomized Hodor, whether it was when he accidentally engaged in some warging activities at a young age or maybe even by trying too hard to speak with Hodor across time. Another popular rumor is that Hodor was a warg as well and warged into the horse Lyanna Stark is riding in order to remain close to her. The thought is that the horse was killed while he was connected to it and that left Hodor permanently damaged. Again, this is not based on any facts and totally just people speculating online.
B- Why are we following the storyline of a young Ned Stark? My guess/hope is that this will lead to us finding out who Ned had the affair with and who Jon Snow’s real mother is.
C- Now Bran doesn’t only control animals and Hodor, but can see back through time. I’m curious what the eventual limits to his powers will be and how they factor into the fight against the white walkers. Will he be able to control a white walker… or several? Will he be able to control other things like inanimate object, the weather, etc. in order to fight without the loss or use of humans? What other uses of his power do you foresee him utilizing? Bran’s clearly the wildcard here and I’m curious what the writers have in store for him.
Ramsay Bolton killed off Roose Bolton, his wife and newborn son. A show like this needs someone to despise and Ramsay has moved to the top of that listed ever since Joeffrey was poisoned a few seasons ago. Whether it is physical and psychological torture, rape, murder or just being downright slimy, Ramsay has become the person I am rooting for to die a gruesome death. By killing off his father and only threat to his throne, he secured his spot at Warden of the North.
However, unlike many of the others vying for power in this game of thrones Ramsay is doing so without the political puppeteer work behind the scenes. It is doubtful that many others will recognize him as King of the North or thrown much support behind House Bolton, which means he’ll either have to make nice to align himself some allies or he’ll have to kill any other threats to his throne (Sansa and Jon Snow, as well as Bran and Rickon if he ever discovers they’re alive).
Jamie vs. The High Sparrow
All last season I was left scratching my head about how the High Sparrow/The Faith Militant were as powerful as they was. I know that Tommen is a weak leader, but they took both his mother and wife and he, with a full army at his disposal in King’s Landing, was powerless to do anything against them. While Cersei and Jamie don’t care a lick for Margaery Tyrell, my guess is that their hatred for the High Sparrow will end up being what gets her freed.
In episode 2 we saw a very interesting face off between Jamie and the High Sparrow where he threatened his life and would’ve killed him if it had not been for The Faith Militant surrounding them. In the exchange Jamie calls out The High Sparrow for not imprisoning all those who are sinful and in need of atonement, but targeting those that satisfy a political agenda. I’m curious to see where things go from here. Cersei’s pep talk to Tommen (who finally went to see her following her release from the High Sparrow) might finally light a fire under him to go save his wife and it appears as though Cersei and Jamie are back on the same page and looking to reek havoc against all those who oppose them. Some form of fight between the Lannisters and The faith Militant is on the horizon.
Change of Power in Pyke
The short of it is that Balon Greyjoy is killed by his brother Euron Greyjoy. This means that the Iron Islands are now up for grabs and they might actual factor into the events moving forward. Prior to her father’s passing, Yara got into a debate with him about not attacking and trying to keep land territories when their obvious strength is the sea. She now has a passing chance to take over the throne herself and change her people’s fortunes (lots of women could end up being in power by the close of this season). Furthermore, Theon/Reek is on his way back home (I’m assuming he means Pyke when he said he was heading home, although I’m secretly hoping it’s actually Winterfell and he can pretend to be Reek longer before getting revenge against Ramsay).
Like I said, lots to discuss in this episode. I will try to get episode 3 out much quicker. What do you think about what transpired and where each storyline could be heading? What will Jon Snow do now that he has returned from the dead following a mutiny? Will Tyrion be able to retain order in Mereen now that he has dragons by his side? What else will Bran discover in his visits to the past? Chime in below with your thoughts.