Before I begin to address last night’s episode it’s worth noting that I am currently on page 279 in “A Clash of Kings”.
Now onto Episode 2 of Season 6
Last night’s episode opened with a character that we haven’t seen in over a season, Bran Stark. It’s worth addressing the elephant in the room, Bran Stark is supposed to be a still be a little boy but the actor that plays him, Isaac Hempstead Wright is seventeen years old and is quite tall and has officially crossed the line into young man since we last saw him at the end of season 4. That’s not Isaac’s fault but it is a little jarring. In the opening sequence of last night’s episode Bran is traveling back in time to Winterfell thanks to the help of the Three Eyed Raven.
They have traveled back to a time before Bran was born when his father, Ned, and his uncle Benjen were play fighting with wooden swords.
It was very emotional to see a long dead character like Ned. What was most amazing about this scene back in the Winterfell of past is we got to see a character that we hadn’t met before, Lyanna Stark. When she rode up on a horse I was so excited!
I knew who she was before anyone said her name. Although I am nowhere near being done with the second book, let alone all the books, I know that Lyanna has a potential huge significance to the story that the show has only hinted at. Bran stated to the Three Eyed Raven, “Father never talked of her.” For anybody who knows the theory involving Lyanna it’s clear why Ned never spoke of her sister after her death and it’s much more than just the pain of losing a sibling. Another amazing thing about this scene was that Bran saw Hodor as a young man, except back in the time when his father was a boy Hodor wasn’t Hodor he was Wylis and he could talk. This scene was so heartbreaking because it symbolized a moment in time before all the Starks had suffered and lost so much. When Bran emerges from his vision his is understandably upset that he couldn’t stay a little bit longer. His reality is quite a bit bleaker than what he has just seen in the past. Bran has Hodor take him outside of the cave where Meera sits. He talks to her but she seems lost and since she isn’t able to know what or understand what Bran sees in his visions it seems she feels like everything is a waste. Without her brother things must seem completely hopeless. Meera is unmoved by Brans words but after Bran has Hodor take him back into the cave one of the Children of the Forrest tells her that, “Brandon Stark needs you” and she seems to realize that although she may not know what her importance is she will be able to help with whatever Bran’s journey is.
From Bran far north of the Wall the episode moved to Castle Black and the Wall where the fallout of Jon’s assassination is still being felt. Allister informs Davos and those who have remained loyal to Jon that it is time to surrender. When Davos and the other men refuse to let them in they begin to break down the door to drag them out and presumably kill them. Right as it seems that Davos and the others may be doomed a group of wildings including the giant, Wun Wun break into Castle Black.
The wildings owe their lives to Jon and they want justice for his death. I have never been so excited to see wildings before. I loved it when one of the traitors of the Night’s Watch shoots Wun Wun and in response Wun Wun simply grabs him and throws him against a wall. That was all the traitors needed to lay down their swords. Allister and the others are put into cells, although I have to admit I wouldn’t have minded if that awful Olly had been killed.
Down in King’s Landing a commoner is making fun of Cersei’s walk of shame. Moments later the commoner stumbles drunken into an alley where the resurrected Mountain Zombie simply bashes his head into a wall killing him instantly.
Cersei may be temporarily defeated but with the Mountain Zombie in her corner people better be careful not to count her out. The Mountain Zombie checks in on Cersei to take her to Myrecella’s funeral. They are stopped by the King’s Guard who informs her that King Tommen wants her to stay in the Red Keep for her own safety. This is understandable but it also makes sense why Cersei would be upset. In a sign of respect for her son Cersei does not have Mountain Zombie unleash on the King’s Guard. Inside the Sept King Tommen and Jamie stand by Myrecella’s body.
Tommen tells his father/uncle (he still does not know the truth) that he had Cersei stay at the Red Keep not just for her own protection but because the High Sparrow would have let her into the Sept. There is a huge and what I think very important split in the way that Tommen speaks of his mother. He suspects that she had Prince Trystane killed but he also has guilt for not protecting her (and his wife Margery as well). I found this disparity in how Tommen views his mom very important. Are his eyes open enough to see her for who she really is or is he still blinded by the fact the she is his mother? Although she wasn’t responsible for Prince Trystane’s death I can understand why Tommen might suspect that she was. Of course, since Jamie is there to put any doubts in Tommen’s head at ease there is little chance for a true breakthrough on Tommen’s part right now. When the High Sparrow comes into the sept where Myrecella’s body is being kept Tommen is denied the chance to see his wife. Instead Jamie convinces the young king to go see his mother. Once Jamie and the High Sparrow are alone they have a bit of a verbal showdown. Jamie indirectly threatens to kill the High Sparrow but when several members of the Faith Militant come into the room he backs off knowing that while he may kill the High Sparrow he will probably go down in the process, remember he is missing a hand after all. Going back to Cersei we see her looking out on all of King’s Landing when Tommen comes into see her. The scene with mother and son was ominous for both of them.
Cersei is broken right now. Meanwhile Tommen is a weak leader and he knows it. When a King says that he wants to be strong you know he is doomed.
Moving all the way East to the other Lannister sibling in Meereen we find out that Dany’s fleet is completely burned. We also find out that in Dany’s absence a lot of her hard work is being undone because outside of Merreen all of Slaver’s Bay has returned to the hands of the slavers. Dany’s greatest strength is her dragons but with Drogon missing in action (again) and Viserion and Rhaegal chained up there is nothing to make an impression. Not to mention that Viserion and Rhaegal aren’t eating. Tyrion makes an interesting comment about how when the Targaryen’s conquered Westeros they did it with their dragons but then they locked them up soon they shrunk in size. If they are chained up they are going to starve. So Tyrion decides to unchain them. He and Varys go to the cave where Dany locked them up. Although Varys goes with Tyrion it is up to Tyrion to do the scary work of unchaining the dragons all on his own since Varys waits up at the entrance to the cave a safe distance away from the dragons. In a very intense scene Tyrion talks to one of the dragons about how he wanted a dragon when he was a little boy. It is actually would have been quite sweet scene if it hadn’t been so scary.
Once Tyrion unchains one he has to unchain the other. Thankfully, the other dragon has figured out what he is doing and turns his neck to make it easier for Tyrion to release him. With both dragons unchained Tyrion is relieved and a bit shaken up. As he and Varys exit the cave he says, “Next time I have an idea like that punch me in the face.”
Staying in Essos we move over to Arya in Bravos. Still living as a beggar girl Arya is tempted by Wait to say her name. When Arya says she is no one Waif says, “I don’t believe that. You don’t believe that.” As Arya thrashes about wildly with her stick hoping to hit Waif one can’t wonder if Arya really does believe that she is nobody and if it really is best for her if she does. As she swings her stick down it is caught by Jaqen H’ghar who also tries to temp Arya into saying her name by offering her various things but each time he tries to she replies, “A girl has no name.”
Finally, Jaqen H’ghar tells her to follow him and that she is no longer a beggar.
In Winterfell Ramsay still has to deal with the fact that Sansa and Theon escaped. The men he sent to find them but where killed by Brienne and Pod have been discovered. Ramsay and Roose plot what to do now. They believe (correctly) that Sansa and Theon may be headed to Castle Black so that Sansa can be with her brother and Ramsay thinks that storming the Castle and killing Jon is the way to go. Roose makes the correct assessment that killing the Lord Commander of the Night’s watch would be a mistake. But then things take a real turn. Roose learns that his new wife, Walda Frey, has given birth to a baby…a boy. Of course, that means that Roose has a new legitimate heir and that is a giant threat for Ramsay who spent the majority of his life as a bastard. A clearly nervous Ramsay approaches his father saying that he looks forward to meeting his new brother but it turns out the embrace is only a ploy. Once he is close to his father Ramsay kills his father and in the blink of an eye becomes Lord Bolton.
He then sends for his father’s now widow and new son. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Ramsay is going to kill them too but I couldn’t have imagined the awful way that Ramsay would do it. After holding his new half-brother briefly he lures his stepmother into the area where the hungry hounds are being kept. Realizing what is going to happen Walda pleads for her life but it is no use. Ramsay gives the signal and the hounds descend on the poor woman and tear her and her new baby to shreds.
If there was any doubt that Ramsay is worse than Joffrey is was erased by that one action.
The episode then moved to Sansa, Theon, Brienne and Pod in the forest headed for Castle Black. As Brienne and Sansa talk Brienne recalls that she saw Arya with a man (the hound). In a touching moment Brienne says, “She wasn’t dressed as a lady.” To which Sansa replies, “No, she wouldn’t be.” I absolutely loved this moment because instead of condemning her sister for not being a lady as she once would have Sansa can appreciate her little sister for the scrappy fighter she has always been.
Then Sansa and Theon reach a crossroads in their relationship. Theon is so broken and guilty over his previous actions that he can’t bear the thought of going to Castle Black to face Jon. Sansa reminds him that if he takes the black all of his past sins will be forgiven but Theon doesn’t want to be forgiven. He says, “I can never make amends to your family for the things I’ve done.” This is quite a sad scene. Despite his awful actions in betraying the Stark family Theon has paid the price tenfold but not in his eyes.
When Sansa asks him where he will go he replies home…Which leads the show back to the Iron Islands for the first time in over a season.
Balon Greyjoy is arguing with Yara. He makes the correct statement that the events of Season 2 were known was the war of the give Kings and the other four are dead. But then again if you’re the last one standing it doesn’t mean you win as witnessed by the fact that they can’t old any significant piece of territory on the mainland. And if you’re the last one standing it may only be a matter of time, as it is for Balon, that you die too. As he leaves his meeting with Yara he is met by his brother Euron who was presumed dead. After a brief exchange on a suspension bridge Balon becomes the last of the five kings from the war of the five kings to die as his brother throws him over the suspension bridge.
In the aftermath of his Balon’s death Yara learns that despite the fact she is her father’s only remaining child, as far as they know Theon is still Reek and is essentially dead, she may not get to rule.
I have no doubt a new power struggle between Yara and Euron will emerge quite soon.
Moving back to Castle Black we find Melisandre still quite broken after last week’s big reveal. She just sits staring at a fire.
When Davos comes to visit her he proposes she might be able to bring Jon back from the dead. With her confidence and belief both virtually gone Melisandre says that are some with this power but everything that she believed is a lie. She now believes that the lord never spoke to her and that she has never had the gift to bring somebody back to life. It’s amazing to think that Davos is the one who has more belief in Melisandre’s ability than she does but he also knows it’s the only hope. He convinces her to give it a try. After undressing Jon she cleans his body and then throws bits of his hair and beard into a fire. Speaking Valyrian Melisandre begins to try to bring Jon back to life.
Once her hands are on his body she pauses and then begins to speak faster. Then she switches to the common tongue and says “Please” in a moment of desperation. It’s clear that she needs this to work. As they wait Ghost sleeps in the corner but Jon remains dead. Everybody leaves except Davos who waits, hoping but finally he gives up too. It is only when Davos is gone that Ghost wakes up and the moment that has been ten months in the making happens…Jon wakes up!
I found Jon’s resurrection predictable but not anticlimactic. It was clear that he was going to come back and that Melisandre was the one that was going to bring him back. It was also clear that since Jon is a Stark he can warg and the he has been inside of Ghost since he died. Since everybody knew that Jon was going to come back the real question is what happens now?
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Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.