Game of Thrones Episode 6.2 “The Red Woman”
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Written by Dave Hill
Starring Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Carice van Houten, Alfie Allen, Natalie Dormer, Jonathan Pryce HBO
Air date: May 1, 2016
WARNING: Spoilers for HBO’s Game Of Thrones….
Last week’s Season 6 premiere of Game Of Thrones was packed with returning characters and the tying up of loose ends. After waiting a year, there was a lot of satisfaction in the storyline; therefore, I didn’t expect much to happen in the follow-up episode, 6.2 “Home.” And for the most part, even though there were some nice new tidbits and a few semi-shocking events, the episode for the most part was slow.
But, with a show like Game Of Thrones (just like with AMC’s The Walking Dead, a slow episode means that something is doing to go down in the last few minutes. And oh boy, did it!
“Home” begins with young Bran Stark, who was absent from all of Season 5. He’s still at the tree-cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, now played by Max von Sydow, who warns that “war is coming.” Meera seems to be less than thrilled to still be there instead of getting out in the world to “do something” about it, but one of the snow faeries (one of the Children of the Forest) tells her “Brandon Stark needs you.” Bran, meanwhile, is under some kind of Harry Potter/Dumbledore apprenticeship where he gets glimpses into the past, but he wants more. In the vision he’s shown now, he sees his father Ned Stark as a little boy at Winterfell learning to spar with his older brother Benjen. He also sees his Aunt Lyanna, who appears a young teenager, as well as a young Hodor, who’s true name is actually Wylis. But yes, Hodor speaks! He’s shown conversing with Lyanna, and when she and Benjen want him to help Ned spar, Old Nan (here just “Nan”) stops them, saying Wylis will never learn to fight because he’s “just” a stable boy. This is when Bran comes out of the vision, disappointed that he won’t be shown more.
Over at Castle Black, we were left wondering what would happen to Ser Davos and the Brothers in Black who remained loyal to Jon Snow, who, yes, is still dead. Ser Alliser Thorne, leader of the conspirators who killed Lord Commander Snow, is outside the door with this men promising no repercussions, but Davos is smarter than that. Davos and his few men get ready to fight when a loud thud is heard from outside. It’s the Wildlings! They’ve come to fight for Jon Snow, who gave them refuge from the coming White Walkers. The giant breaks down the gate, but the Wildlings are not there to kill anyone. At Dolorous Edd’s command, they instead put the conspirators into the cells. Wildling leader Tormund goes to see Jon Snow’s corpse, and says his people will build a funeral pyre for him. Hey, not so fast….
Anyhow, back at Kings Landing, a braggart in the streets talks about how Queen Cersei wanted his dick. Yes, that’s what his story was about. When he goes to take a piss on a wall, the reanimated Mountain — in full armor — smashes him, then goes back to his Queen. He’s apparently her personal bodyguard, but even he can’t get her through the Kingsguard to see her son, King Tommen, or to the Sept to go to her daughter Myrcella’s funeral. (Actually, I’m sure the Mountain could have slaughtered them all, but Cersei is currently practicing restraint.)
Over at Myrcella’s funeral, King Tommen and his uncle (father) Jaime Lannister are paying their respects. The boy king laments at how he was not able to protect his mother and his wife Margaery, who were seized by the Faith Militant (who, let’s remember, were put into power by mommy Cersei just so she could have her daughter-in-law imprisoned). The King feels like an embarrassing failure, but Jaime lets him know he can turn things around. Just then, the High Sparrow enters and Jaime begins to tell him what’s what. The High Sparrow says that “we are weak and vain creatures who live only by the mother’s mercy.” Jaime starts some tough talk, but the religious leader seems to be unfazed by Jaime’s threats — probably because here comes his Sparrows with weapons! He makes his point at the end by telling Jaime that they are “all weak and powerless, but together we can overthrow an empire.” Wow, the Lannisters thought they had problems before!
King Tommen then finally goes to see his mother. He apologizes to Cersei for failing her and for not coming to see her sooner. He admits that he is weak and was afraid to lose her. He needs her help to become strong. And she’s just the person who can help.
Across the sea over in Meereen, Tyrion and Varys still have to figure out what to do now that Daenerys is not there to rule (as she had been abducted by Dothraki, but they don’t know this yet). Their fleet was burned, and Astapor and Yunkai were retaken by the Slavers, as was all of Slavers Bay, and Daenerys’s two dragons in captivity have ceased eating since their mother was taken. This is when Tyrion proposes the idea of unchaining the dragons, which is what he then goes off to do! He then visits the dragons, and miraculously, he is able to free them, and one dragon even offers his neck to the dwarf. Now that’s trust. As the imp turns to leave, he tells Varys, “Next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face.”
On the same side of the world in Braavos, Arya Stark is still a blind beggar in the streets. As promised, the Waif returns and fights her with a staff, while repeated asking her her name. “No one,” Ayra answers each time, while getting hit. Eventually, Arya is left alone and is swinging her staff wildly when a hand grabs it, and we hear Jaqen H’ghar’s voice. He tempts her by saying that if she says her name, he will feed her, shelter her, and even return to her her sight, but each time, she replies “A girl has no name.” With this, he tells her to come — she’s no longer a beggar. She will return with him!
Oh what a relief! Time to crush that good feeling by heading over to Winterfell, where Lord Roose Bolton still rules and his sadist son Ramsay is still trying to wage war, pressing his father to have Jon Snow killed, since he is Stark blood. Roose, while reprehensible, balks at the idea of murdering the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch — he still has some of that old school respect for sacred things. Roose warns his wild son that if he insists on earning a mad dog reputation, he’ll treated like one, taken out back and slaughtered like a pig. Just then, word comes that Roose’s wife Lady Walda has given birth to their baby — a son. Roose reassures Ramsay that he still considers the former bastard his firstborn son. Ramsay is glad to hear that, and says it means a great deal to him… just as he stabs his father to death!
Now that dear old dad is out of the way — with word being sent that he was poisoned by their enemies — it’s time for sicko Ramsay to take care of his stepmom and his newborn baby brother. In classic Ramsay fashion, he brings his last two family members down to the kennels where he unleashes the rabid dogs to tear Lady Walda and baby to shreds, telling his stepmother, “I prefer being an only child.” Oh, please, when Ramsay gets his, let it be slow and excruciating!
Out in the snow-covered forest is Ramsay’s runaway bride, Sansa Stark, making her way to Castle Black with Theon Greyjoy and their saviors Brienne and Podric. Brienne reveals that she had found her sister Arya a while back, but lost her. Sansa laments that she didn’t go with Brienne the first time, but Brienne says it was a hard choice to make and that they all “had to make difficult choices.” Meanwhile, Theon tells Sansa he has to leave her. She doesn’t want to let him go; she had planned to protect him from retribution and have him take the Black, but he doesn’t want to be forgiven. He doesn’t feel he deserves it. He plans to go back “home” — perhaps he needs to seek his own revenge.
Back at Theon’s island home, his father Balon Greyjoy commands his daughter Yara to ready for more battle against the mainland, but she feels that they have no chance of winning. Balon is belligerent about it, going so far as to threaten to make a new heir. He storms off, and onto a very unsteady foot bridge during a storm. There, he comes face to face with his long-lost brother, who he presumed dead on “some foreign land.” The brother retorts with their words, “What is dead may never die,” but Balon doesn’t repeat it though it is customary to do so. Balon refers to their Drowned God, and his brother responds, “I am the Drowned God.” When Balon says the rumor was that his sibling lost his senses at sea, the brother says, “I am the storm,” before slashing Balon and tossing him off the high bridge to his death. Yara and their people then give Balon a funeral at sea, where the woman swears to seek revenge upon her father’s killer. It’s clear they do not know who did this to their King. Yara believes she’s to be the new leader of the Iron Islands, as her father expected, but it turns out it’s not that simple. She must fight for the position, and if she gets it, she will be the first woman in history to rule there. Good luck to her, as we see what happens when someone tries to move up the ladder.
And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Melisandre at Castle Black. What is her purpose? She must be there for a good reason. Last week, we saw that the red-gemmed necklace she always wears is a source of power that keeps her looking young and beautiful instead of as the old crone she really is. Ser Davos, now out of harm’s way, makes his way to the Red Woman, talking to her about the Lord Commander. She says, “You mean the former Lord Commander?,” which is the perfect opening for Davos to ask, “Does he have to be?” YES YES YES!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately, Melisandre has lost her faith in the Lord of Light and is despondent and cold. Davos, though, reminds her that he’s seen her survive poisoning and that she has performed other miracles, so why not resurrect Jon Snow? She says she has seen this done, but never tried it herself.
Well, there’s a first time for everything!
With a few witnesses, including Ser Davos, Tormund, and the direwolf Ghost, Melisandre washes Jon Snow’s body, which shows seven stab wounds. She speaks in Valyrian the words for resurrection. Exasperated, she realizes that her magic does not work. Jon Snow remains dead. One by one, everyone leaves the room, until only the sleeping direwolf remains. But then, the red-eyed direwolf awakens and lets out a small whimper. And that’s when Jon Snow, the bastard of Winterfell and Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, who knows nothing, and was until that second no more, opened his eyes and gasped as he came back to life.
Is this the best ever!??!?!?!?!?!??!?!
Yes yes yes, it is!!!!!!!
And, that’s really all you need to know. Go about your life now. All is right with the world.
See you next week, when Jon fucking Snow returns and hopefully kicks everyone’s ass and takes on all the world.