Subtitle: the one with Tinker Bell
This week’s previously on goes back not only to Bran in season four but to Robb and Catelyn in season two. Also the Greyjoys! Buckle up y’all, there’s a storm coming.
For the past year Bran has been hanging in a cave under a tree surrounded by snow on every side with his Jedi Master the Three Eyed Raven, Tinker Bell, Hodor, and poor Meera who is not Force sensitive (her brother was, RIP Jojen Reed) and seriously bored. Bran gets to wander into the past and learn Hodor’s name (Willis!) and history (he could talk way back when). Meera gets to stare at snow and be shamed by Tink who claims Bran needs her, or will once they finally get to leave. Meera is clearly rethinking her life choices.
As are all the members of the Night’s Watch once Edd , Tormund, and the wildlings show up to take Castle Black back in the name of Jon Snow. Thorne and Olly are the only ones willing to even try against the giant. Jon’s killers are rounded up and imprisoned because that’s what he would have wanted (or at least that’s what I decided the reason is). Tormund prepares to burn the bodies so no one turns into an ice zombie.
In King’s Landing this one actor is really pleased to get a speaking part on Game of Thrones as Guy Who Monologues About Showing His Penis to Cersei Lannister Before Her Mountain Man Smashes His Skull Into A Wall. And then there is a funeral for Myrcella which Cersei is not allowed to attend because the Hyenas (Sparrows) are still in power. Jaime has returned from his sad sojourn in Dorne with his bravado back and he throws his own sins in the High Sparrow’s face. He has in fact sinned rather more overtly than his sister but she is the one imprisoned and shamed and that’s not right. Jaime Lannister feminist?
It doesn’t work — the High Sparrow’s army of hyenas appear out of the shadows and surround him in a scene that is seriously straight out of The Lion King — but I’m interested where it’s going? In any case Ride or Die Lannisters are the best Lannisters.
Meanwhile Tommen is proving to be the worst Lannister — aka a basically good person with no bravado who just wants everyone to get along and live happily ever after in a world of kittens and flowers instead of lost wives and dead sisters and murderous mothers (he thinks Cersei had Trystane killed and I can’t decide if it’s funnier that she didn’t actually or that Jaime says “she’d never do that” with a straight face). Poor baby admits this first to Jaime who tells him it’s okay, everybody sometimes fails to stop their kingdom from being taken over by religious zealots who lock up their loved ones, and then to Cersei, who he asks to help make him strong, like her (the person he thinks murdered his dead sister’s boyfriend). Cersei’s eyes convey her heartbreak that her son is a kind soul she must destroy. Though just before Tommen arrived she seemed ready to hurl her Lannister lion necklace out the window so Cersei is also in an interesting place.
In Mereen, the dragons are on a hunger strike due to Daenerys’s absence. So Tryrion decides to visit. He’s wanted a dragon since his was a boy and knows all the stories and histories about them.
#Feels. The dragons either appreciate his knowledge, or his pluck, or his secret Targaryen blood? But in any case they don’t eat him or burn him and he succeeds in unchaining them. They’re friends now! I look forward to more dragon riding.
In Braavos, the Waif is still hitting Arya with a stick. The she disappears/turns into Not Jaq’uen who offers her a bed, food, and finally her sight returned in exchange for her name. Arya answers correctly — “A girl has no name.” — and is welcomed back into the fold. I am bored to death of this plot.
In Winterfell, Roose is still mad about Sansa’s escape but Ramsay has a new plan to attack Castle Black and kill Jon Snow to . . . prove to Sansa that he’s absolutely certainly the worst person she knows? Roose thinks that plan is as nonsensical as I do in that it will piss off the rest of the Houses in the North, but Ramsay only cares about the Houses that are currently represented in the room aka Karstark who is still mad that Robb beheaded his dad four seasons ago (no idea how much time has passed in series) and thus totes on board with the Kill Jon Snow plan. LOL that killing Jon Snow is a plot point when his death is all we’ve been talking about for ten months.
A servant appears with the news that Walda’s had her baby. Even though Roose literally just called him a mad dog, he still tells Ramsay not to worry, he’ll always be his first born son. But Ramsay actually is a mad dog and he stabs his father, wipes the blood off his knife, and tells the servant to spread the news that Lord Bolton was poisoned by their enemies.
Okay. First of all, Karstark’s entire character arc (quote unquote) is Being Mad at Starks for Killing My Dad but Ramsay just flat out murdered his own father in cold blood in front of him and Karstark legit looks turned on by it????? Second, why are we spreading this ridiculous lie about poison when he’s obviously been stabbed? Like what does Roose being poisoned get them? I want to understand the motivation but I guess I have to accept that Ramsay is just a sociopath? Since his next step is to feed poor Walda and her son to the dogs.
In the woods outside Winterfell Sansa and Brienne are catching up — Arya is alive! Bran and Rickon are alive! We’re on our way to Jon! Stark family reunion ho! The whole thing is making Theon twitchy and he decides to opt out. Sansa has already forgiven him, promises to protect him, and when she realizes he means to leave she immediately embraces him. Sansa is either a better person than even Tommen or she doesn’t want to lose the only family type person she’s got just as they’re planning to round up the crew. Both, most likely.
Theon says he would have died to get her safely to Jon but clearly Brienne is a better choice (truth) so he’s going to take a horse and ride home. This is only the second episode and we are losing and moving characters left and right!
Speaking of, in the Iron Islands Balon has somehow outlived all the other kings involved in the War of Kings but lost all the holdings he’d taken while it went on. He is at once the victor and the loser. He’s also still salty about his daughter deciding to go after her brother instead of fighting the war but she is (rightly) convinced she’s the most awesome/only sensible person in this family and refuses to care. He warns her to be nicer or he’ll find another heir and then he walks out onto a bridge and dies.
He’s actually thrown off the bridge by his brother. So that’s two more kin-slayings, which after last week’s two, brings our total to four in only two episodes. This season is definitely on a mission to shed excess characters and plots. While Balon’s death actually introduces a whole bunch of new people who will fight over who should rule the Iron Islands (Asha, duh), Theon just said he’s on his way so I have a sinking suspicion I know how that will go. . . Though there is the outside possibility that when Theon said “Home” he meant Winterfell and his redemption arc is to culminate in killing Ramsay and returning the North to the Stark family. But would they reintroduce the Greyjoys just to misdirect the audience? Imagine if Asha took the Salt Throne, Sansa became Queen in the North. . . Dany’s power is precarious but I have to believe she’ll get back and Ellaria just took over Dorne. . .
Finally, back to Castle Black. Melisandre is moping because her God lied to her but Davos has no time for it. He wants her to use her magic powers to bring Jon Snow back to life. Why Davos cares is beyond me. Yes, Jon Snow was an actually decent person and leader who Stannis liked but Davos has always hated Melisandre’s magic and I don’t know why he doesn’t just go home now? But he doesn’t, he gives Melisandre a stirring pep talk and she gets off her butt and brings Jon Snow back to life.
And yes, of course I’m happy Jon Snow is alive, mostly because I want Sansa and Brienne’s Stark Family Reunion to happen for reals (plus it makes narrative sense and also now we can stop talking about it), but, again, I do not understand the motivation at all. Edd asking, or Tormund, or Melisandre doing it on her own, or I don’t know Ghost appearing in her room would make more sense to me?
Oh well. Bad news for Ramsay and his big plan. Jon Snow is unkillable.
Winning: Ramsay Bolton, Euron Greyjoy, Jon Snow
Dead: Roose Bolton, Walda Bolton, Baby Boy Bolton, Balon Greyjoy