Game of Thrones: “Home”

Bran returns, Tommen is sad, and more in this week's Game of Thrones episode...
Episode 2 has come, wintry vibes abound, and we see the return of a beloved character, after a year of anticipation, in one of the greatest narrative twists ever to grace our television screens… HODOR COULD TALK AND HIS NAME IS REALLY WILLIS.

Here is “Home,” the second episode of season 6 as it happened.

“You had me at Hodor.” –Bran Stark

 

Hodor-Grindcore“Whatcha talkin’ bout, Willis?” 

While this highly anticipated reveal was satisfying, the trauma that led to Hodor’s current state still piques our curiosity. It is unclear whether Benioff and Weiss will ever delve into those events, but with Bran’s newfound penchant for time tourism, there’s hope.  Anyway, what really matters is that the man is back, and our Northernmost Stark squad serves as an excellent narrative tool for investigating mysteries of the past, especially regarding a certain bastard’s lineage (I’m looking at you, Lyanna Stark).

“I regret everything.” – Crossbow Guy

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In Castle Black, just when all seemed lost for Davos and company, our heroes received some GIANT help from the wildlings, who proceeded to make short work of the Night’s Watch. This scene particularly highlighted the underlying cowardice of Alliser’s ideology and the apathy of the men who followed him. It’s clear the members who chose to side with the mutiny did so not out of any loyalty to Thorne, but out of laziness and fear.

This episode completed most of the set-up for the inevitable battle for Winterfell, and based on the prophecies we’ve heard (despite Melisandre ascribing them to the wrong man; RIP Stannis), it seems the future winner, despite his penchant for knowing nothing, is clear.

“I fought the law and the law won.” –Publicly Urinating Drunkard #1

If you enjoy watching people getting smashed into walls, this was definitely the episode for you. First, the poor crossbow guy pictured above, and then this hooligan:

hooliganThis guy fucks.

Ser Robert Strong, formerly known as The Mountain, is the new sheriff in town, and the fear he inspires is palpable to say the least.

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“It’s good to see you, I swear, my neck is just sore” – Cersei Lannister

These scenes, however, are really about Cersei. Her narrative, like many other characters in season 6, is about reclamation. After being dragged to her lowest low, Cersei is going to be a force to be reckoned with. But as we saw during the stand-off in the sept, so is the High Sparrow. He is initially framed to be a pious, yet naïve man of faith, but after revealing that he doesn’t go anywhere without rolling deep, it is clear he knows how to play the Game of Thrones just as well as anybody.

tommen

Tommen is also a little worried about his future. After letting his mother and wife be confined to a cell and then barring his mother from her daughter’s funeral, he is feeling a lack of love and confidence. Soon, however, amends are made, and Tommen puts on his best Joffrey face. Whether or not he will be able to maintain his tough guy routine remains unclear.

“Don’t meet your heroes.” – Tyrion Lannister

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 9.01.06 PMResting dragon face.

Down in Mereen, Tyrion “The Dragon Whisperer” Lannister channels his inner Cesar Millan in an act of stupidity/bravery. Daenerys’ dragons are so enamored with the tales of his youth they decide not to burn him to an Imp Flambé. Get ready for some airborne reptilian action in the near future. My official prediction, let it be recorded, is that Tyrion is going to ride one of these.

“Say your name, say your name, when no one is around you…”  – Jaqen H’ghar

454992-arya-stark-in-game-of-thrones-season-6-ep-2Pictured: Alex Rodriguez, 2016

It seems the faceless assassins of Bravos are still desperate to know Arya’s name. Apparently, they have no time for a friendly ice breaker activity or just to print name tags. Arya, however, has chosen to remain anonymous, and it seems like she will be able to move on to the next phase of her training.

“Who let the dogs out?  Who, who, who, who…” –Ramsey Snow

Continuing the theme of patience punishing still echoing from Doran’s death last episode, Roose Bolton was deftly dispatched by Ramsey “Mad Dog” Bolton. His first act as Lord of the North is to murder his mother-in-law and half-brother in the most Ramsey way possible. The Baha Men would be proud. It says something about Game of Thrones when it’s a relief that a mother and baby are only mauled by a pack of bloodthirsty hounds (when Ramsey held the baby I braced for the worst). But on the bright side, we’re one episode closer to Ramsey’s death.

“Yarr.” – Euron “Crows Eye” Greyjoy

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After a season of absence, we finally return to the Iron Islands to see Yara Greyjoy arguing with her stubborn ol’ king-dad, Balon. Not that anyone had a vested interest, but things aren’t looking too hot for the Iron Islands’ plans of world domination. True to Melisandre’s prediction a few seasons ago, Balon Greyjoy is pushed off a bridge by the dread-pirate Euron, his younger brother. Euron left years ago to sail the high seas and go on pirate adventures with a tongue-less crew, but he has now returned to claim the Isles for himself. The upcoming Kingsmoot will determine whether he or Yara get to reign.

“Guess who’s back, back again, Jon Snow’s back, tell a friend.”  – Jon Snow

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The wonders a fresh new cut can do. Even though she thought she had lost her mojo, beauty school dropout Melisandre was still able to deliver a pretty solid resurrection. It’s good to have Jon Snow back. It may have been only two hours of Thrones time, but for me, it felt like an eternity. Now that he’s returned, we no longer have to constantly keep track of Kit Harrington’s haircuts, salary, and whereabouts for peace of mind (but that doesn’t mean I won’t). This resurrection scene was one of the most suspenseful moments in modern television history. Millions of people must have been sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting in silence. What an ending.