This week saw a strong episode featuring two (fairly) major deaths, and two Stark(ish) returns – sound good?
The episode begins with the return of Bran Stark after his season-long hiatus, who, now with the Three-eyed Raven, is shown Winterfell from when his father, Ned, was a boy. In the vision, we are shown Eddard fighting younger brother Benjen, and older sister Lyanna Stark arriving on horseback. This is the first time Lyanna has been portrayed on screen, with our only image of her thus far being her sculpture by her tomb in Winterfell. This appearance may well lead to more rumours about her, including a possible connection with Jon Snow. The Three-eyed Raven also shows us a younger Hodor, whose real name is Wyllis, still able to speak. The vision is cut short, and the Three-eyed Raven (is there no way to shorten his name down?!) announces, “It is beautiful beneath the sea, but if you stay too long you will drown.” Rather poetic, I know.
Heading back to Snow, who’s still being protected by all-round babe Ser Davos, and we find Alliser who, with the help of some wildlings and a rather handy giant, manages to imprison the Night’s Watch. During the struggle, one of the Night’s Watch seems to think it’s a great idea to send an arrow into the back of said giant, and is proved wrong when he’s picked up and whacked mercilessly against a wall. To the cheers of my flatmates, Olly is also imprisoned, and I don’t know why, but I felt most betrayed by him in ‘Snowgate’. (Really? Ed.)
“There’s a new Lord Bolton in town”
We go from a shot of dead Snow to warm and sunny King’s Landing, where we are treated to a dirty story about some guy exposing himself to Queen Cersei during the whole ‘Shame’ debacle last season. Off for a piss, the man’s head is then crushed against a wall by the Mountain (perhaps his modus operandi post-Oberyn). Even with this indication of her regaining power, she is still denied an invite to her daughter Myrcella’s funeral by her son (and King) Tommen. There’s a whole showdown with Jaime and the High Sparrow, in which he finally explains the creepy eye stones, and then threatens that the masses hold the power. Viva la revolución! (not really, not a big fan of the Faith Militant). Anyway, this scene leads to Tommen pleading with his mother to make him strong – maybe he’ll be more interesting after some heart-hardening training with Cersei.
In Mereen, there’s more Tyrion/Varys banter, but still no sign of Daenerys (no sign this week at all, actually). Not only has Slavers Bay been returned to the slavers, but now the dragons won’t eat. So, Tyrion decides he’ll become friends with the dragons, and take their chains off, which will definitely help with their abstaining from dinner (he’s read a bunch of books about dragons, duh.)
To Arya – or no name girl, perhaps? After she is, once again, attacked by the Waif, Jaqen H’ghar returns (definitely one of my favourite characters), and he tries to tempt her to use her name. Even after offering her with a place to stay with food, Arya passes the test. He then offers to give her eyes back, but Arya refuses once more, which means she passes with flying colours and is taken off the streets by H’ghar, left to beg no more.
Death No. 1 – On receiving the news of Lord Bolton’s new, legitimate son, Ramsay goes to congratulate his father, only for his knife to somehow slip and stab his father to death. Shocked, though God knows why I still am, Ramsay then kills his father’s wife and new-born heir by unleashing his hounds on them. There’s a new Lord Bolton in town.
There’s a nice catch up between Sansa and Brienne, in which Sansa discovers Arya is alive. Theon reveals he is not going with Sansa to the Wall, but instead is going Home. Which leads us to…
Death No. 2 – Back on the Iron Islands, Balon and Yara Greyjoy bicker about foreign policy with Balon claiming he still has control as King – but for how much longer? In a beautifully cinematic scene, Balon is confronted by a shadowy figure on a bridge, during a storm. This figure turns out to be Euron, Balon’s long-exiled younger brother, assumed dead. No love lost there. Like any older brother, Balon enjoys teasing Euron, and accuses him of mocking the Drowned Gods. Euron’s response is to claim that he is a Drowned God… bit of a Kanye moment. Following this he reproaches Balon for being too old, suggesting he should let another rule – he means him. When Balon attacks him for losing his senses during a storm, Euron, ever-fond of the dramatic touch, replies “I am the storm, brother.” Clearly this is one touch of flair too much for Balon, who then leaps for Euron, blade in hand, but is pushed over the edge. (The answer was not much longer.)
“Euron’s response is to claim that he is a Drowned God… bit of a Kanye moment”
His funeral service sees his body being pushed out to sea, which was rather quickly questioned by a flatmate when the tide brings his body back to shore. Anyway, the state of the Iron Islands is left in the balance, since there is not a system of hereditary rule, but instead a ‘Kingsmoot’, in which Captains put their names forward. With Theon due to re-join his sister, will he put his own name forward? Or will we perhaps see the first female Iron Island King (Queen?) being chosen?
Okay, back to the Wall and Snow, and to cut a long-awaited story short, Melisandre does some voodoo and Jon Snow doesn’t come back to life. But then Ghost, his direwolf, wakes up and Jon is back to life. While it’s left uncertain as to what brought him back (probably the magic), the symbolism of the direwolf is still important. Especially as some of the rumours surrounding his resurrection were Ghost-related. Now we wait to see if being dead does something to a man.
- Next week is called ‘Oathbreaker’ – could be Jaime, but my money’s on Jon Snow’s return and (hopefully) decision to leave the Night’s Watch
- He’ll probably leave before Sansa gets there too…
- Maybe Arya will get her eyes back?
- High Sparrow: “You would spill blood in this holy place?” Jaime: “The God’s won’t mind, they spill more blood than the rest of us combined.
- Tyrion: “If I lost my cock, I’d drink all the time”
- Euron: “I am the storm”
- Tyrion: “That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.”
- Three-eyed Raven: “It is beautiful beneath the sea, but if you stay too long you will drown.”
Images: HBO 2016