‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6, Episode 2: Jon Snow, Dragons and Ramsay’s Dogs

Bran Stark returns, things get tense at Winterfell and Castle Black.

Comments: 302

  1. Speaking of Gendry, I think that will be how this show ends for good in 2018 (or 2019?) with him still rowing as a gloomy alt rock version of "Don't Stop Believin'" plays. Fade to black...

    On a more serious note, does Jon Snow become a believer in the Lord of Light now?

  2. or perhaps "Last night I had the strangest dream..."

  3. Like Lost all over again - "Just kidding, they were all actually dead this whole time!"

  4. Maybe and maybe not, but I think his first move will be to go to bed with Melisandre.

  5. Do you think that the Red Woman might actually be the Old God known as the Crone?

  6. So I believe that every God mentioned in the show is depicted by a character.
    The Father = The High Sparrow
    The Mother = The Mother of Dragons(obviously)
    The Maiden = Sansa
    The Warrior = Jon Snow
    The Smith = Petyr Baelish or Tyrion Lannister
    The Crone = Melissadre
    The Stranger = Jaquen Hagar
    The Drown God = Euron Greyjoy
    The Old Gods = Bran Stark/ Three Eyed Raven
    The Many Faced God = Ayra Stark

  7. Could Gendry be The Smith?

  8. That's an appealing idea, and I think you are probably on the right track! I doubt the High Sparrow is a god because he is so weaselly, and Euron Greyjoy, I don't think so, despite his posturing. Of course, we know a little more about him because there is still an overlap there with the books. Not to mention, the traditional Old Testament God would be the worst neighbor ever in real life - I'd constantly be on the phone to 9-1-1 if that god lived next door. So, my standard for gods in GOT might be higher than is warranted by history and religion.

    Speaking of Euron, I believe his part is played by the spin doctor in Borgen, while the Borgen reporter, his lover and mother of his child, was so heroic in the last season's final episode, as a warrior, who opens her eyes as an undead. I hope we see her again this year. I love them both, in that show.

  9. Bran is able to see the past through memory of trees. That's how he was able to see his father, uncle, aunt, and Hodor when they were young. Hopefully when he witness the Tower of Joy encounter in next week's episode, he can linger long enough to confirm the baby is the soon to be former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch (his death frees him from his obligations right).

  10. Great point - especially about John Snow being freed from his vows. To the northern lords he is the closest thing they will find to to a male Stark heir and he has the apparent loyalty of a large wildling army. I don't see the Umbars and Manderleys supporting the Bolton bastard over a Start bastard. Having an heir without any Tully blood might even be a way to reconciliation with the Karstarks.

  11. So, Dragons are apparently extremely intelligent and bond with people. That explains why it rescued Danaerys. It doesn't explain why it dropped her off to die in the wilderness.

  12. I don't mean to nitpick, but the closed captioning shows that Hodor's name as a child was spelled "Wylis," not "Willis."

  13. What you talking about, Willis? ;-)

  14. Apologies to you as well, I guess I should start reading posts at the bottom.

  15. I think my CC showed "Wyllis."

  16. I eagerly await the moment when, frustrated with Hodor's lack of communication skills, Bran barks out "whatchu talkin' 'bout, Wylis?!"

  17. Never mind my post above, you beat me to it!

  18. All the "Likes" for you. Best comment.

  19. I enjoyed the humor of Tyrion's visit to the Dragons: "I know your Mother…..Don't eat the help!"

  20. I agree that the Hodor revelation was the most surprising part of this episode, followed closely by Ramsay killing his family. I had assumed that he would go after the infant if it was a boy, but hadn't guessed that he would kill his father also. I think most people had already figured out how Jon Snow would be resurrected. Not much surprise there, but glad they got it over with so that storyline can move on. At this point, I'm most intrigued by finding out why Hodor stopped speaking. That may not be what the show runners had intended.

  21. Poor Ramsay, he just lost his wife, his servant, and his only childhood friend; now his father, a guy who likes to flay people, is angry at him, and doesn't need him anymore. That's the kind of day that will make a guy like him feel extra stabby. And when Ramsay inevitably goes Ramsay, is it really his fault Roose is not wearing chainmail at all times when he's around Ramsay (btw, Tywin Lannister say hello)?

  22. What you talkin' bout, Wylis?

  23. I'm not a real analyst of the show - which is why I enjoy reading all these insights - so maybe I missed something obvious. But if Hodor's name is actually Wyllis, then what does "Hodor" mean? He had the ability to talk once and lost it in some likely traumatic experience, and now all he says is that one word. I couldn't help but wonder if it is going to be revealed as some kind of secret in plain sight. Perhaps someone else actually named Hodor is responsible for some treachery, or it's the name of a place where some such treachery took place...

    Or maybe I'm reaching...

  24. 2 episodes in and no sign of the biggest schemer of them all, Petyr Baelish? hmmm....

  25. Where is that pimp?

  26. I would like to see Wun Wun smash Baelish. Without Baelish the whole war would not have happened.

  27. Ha! I so called it last week that Ramsay would kill off his dad! I can't wait for that psychopath to meet his end!

    And I'm glad they didn't drag out Jon Snows return. I want to see what he does to the Nights Watch traitors who tried to kill him.

    I'd also love to see a reunion of Sansa and Jon. The Stark family have been split up for so long. The last time they were all together was in Ep 2 of Season 1.

  28. Well, if Ramsay tries a sneak attack at night on Castle Black, he'd be in for the surprise of his life. I hope he get smote by the giant.

  29. So, so tired of the Ramsey subplot. Yes, he's a psychopath; no, I do not need more evidence of this fact. His only function seems to be torture porn and I do not see enough of his importance in any of these plot lines to justify all of his screen time.

  30. Or Jon Snow. It has to be a Northerner!

  31. I thought it was fairly obvious that the hounds who slaughtered Walda and her baby were different dogs than those who tracked Sansa & Theon. The killer dogs had short, upright ears, possibly cropped ears. The tracking dogs were Bloodhounds with long, droopy ears.

    Pretty good episode; good to see Jon return.

  32. Yes, and it is reasonable that Theon might get confused as to which it was by only hearing barking sounds. Clearly they held off on the more vicious dogs because Ramsey still needs Sansa and an heir to cement his claim to the North, but in the fear of the moment it is not unreasonable to understand that Theon might think the worst of Ramsey.

  33. The hungry dogs were huge, some sort of Mastiff.

  34. The pacing seemed slow - this could be because the Bran story is so spacey. We missed an update on Danerys. Melisandre is not actually a fraud - we know that she created a shadow demon who killed Renly in front of Brienne, we know that she has shapeshifter qualities herself (old lady? not?) - what she said in this episode was that all her predictions for Stannis - huge victory in battle, taking the Iron Throne - were lies, but not that she was unaware of the lies. She does seem to be working on behalf of the true heir to the Iron throne, hence her work to rid the world of Renly and Stannis and Stannis' daughter. We can only wonder at what she will do the House of Lannister. Having revived Jon Snow - as we always knew she would - we can surmise that he is vital to her plan, but who is he really? As for Snow - there are parallels to Christianity, in that the persecuted leader put to death for doing good for many has now been resurrected. If the plot follows that parallel, then Snow cannot stay at the Wall - like the prophet, the resurrected are not accepted at home - he will have to leave the Wall. Home - the title of the episode - turned up a lot - destruction of family members at the Boltons' and the Greyjoys' just as Ramsay turns for home, the Lannisters' plots to save home from the Sparrows. Best line: Tyrion: "I drink and I know things."

  35. Lady Melisandre's eyes were a mist from the smoke of a distant fire.

  36. Totally disagree. Snow can and should stay at the Wall to fight off the White Walkers and their zombie army. I mean, who else would the Wildings and Watch accept as the leader of both?

  37. Also, couldn't he say his service at the wall is done. I thought it was to the death. Well, he died. So I think he can walk away from the wall without worrying about a broken promise.

    Also, does his resurrection leave him invulnerable to the ice king or more vulnerable.... hmmmmm

  38. I half-expected the Jon Snow reanimation - leaving him in full view for so long on a slab suggested that, in GOT, he was the gun in the Chekhov's Gun writing metaphor. Chekhov would approve Snow's reanimation as structurally necessary.

    Ramsay's killing Roose surprised me - but not what Ramsay did next to his step-mother or brother. That seemed inevitable after he murdered his father. It also looks like Ramsay's destined to meet his end at the Wall, since it appears he's predicting he will have only the Watch to defeat, not the Watch plus, oh, a hundred thousand Wildlings.

    Also, once Tyrion went down to visit the dragons, I knew he'd free them and survive. Dinlkage's centrality in the evolving story dictates that hee won't be meeting his end anytime soon.

    As for Jaime and Cersei and the Red Keep Lannisters, I predict the lot of them will be spending several episodes - to no successful end - rearranging their deck chairs on the Titanic/Iron Throne. I suspect all that feng shui in the Keep won't save them.

    Onward...!

  39. Actually I called Ghost the Chekhov gun over the mantelpiece while watching last night; as long as he is around something is going to continue the Jon Snow biz... the camera focus on the direwolf ("six hundred pounds of sin," more or less) during the runup to the gasping resurrection was a giveaway.

  40. The real giveaway was Kit Harrinton's name appearing prominently in the opening credits.

  41. If Beric Dondarrion's experiences of coming back from the deaths is any guide, Jon Snow will have long term memory losses. According to Ygritte's logic then, Jon Snow will come back knowing less than nothing?

  42. Mind. Blown.

  43. he was told over and over, Kill the boy. He is AA and will wield the true Lightbringer.

  44. Coffee. Spat.

  45. Can't wait for the Kingsmoot!

  46. But can you afford the Kingsmoot-Hawley tariffs?

  47. “That's what I do, I drink, and I know things...”

  48. Best line of the episode.

  49. Yet his wine - drinking from a clear glass as opposed to the usual pewter chalice - looked very light colored, almost like a Rose or worse Hi-C. I would have expected a richer variety of wine, like a Syrah, perhaps.

  50. Can't imagine anyone better than Peter Dinklage delivering a witty line like that.

  51. Well, the infant mortality rate on this show is shocking. But at least we know the dogs are doing well.
    Will Theon contend with his uncle for the throne or help his sister grab it? I vote for an open convention.
    Are the dragons the Predator drones of GOT?
    I'm waiting to see who gets to ride on one next. Hopefully someone of short stature.
    Will the young king get some backbone and rescue his queen? Am I the only one tired of his whining?
    The biggest question for me is does Jon Snow's revival make Elizabeth's death in The Blacklist reversible? Does Melisandra do outside work?
    Hodor knows the answers to all these questions.

  52. Game of Drones?

  53. I guess you didn't notice the flashback to Robb Stark killing Karstark in the opening montage, and someone (obviously a Karstark) telling Ramsay "I have a present for you" in the scenes for next week. That has got to be Theon, captured again, right? (Although I hope not, for his sake!!!)

  54. Oh, no, please, I don't want to see any more bad things happen to Theon, at least no physical things at the hands of Ramsey. It's too much.

  55. Tonight's episode just gave away the answers to some of the big questions out there around the JS and LSRT relationship and the real parentage of TL mystery as well. Now it's just a matter of unraveling those yarns. Ramsey Bolton's also got a world of hurt coming his way and it will be so satisfying when it comes.

  56. I thought this was an utterly mediocre episode...too much jumping around from one character to another just to keep the viewer updated with what is going on, without any emphasis to indicate which story lines are/are not important.

    One week after the Ellara and the Sand Snakes snakes kill both Myrcella Lannister AND Doran Martell, and they don't even appear in the episode? And no appearance by Danaerys and the Dothraki either? And who cares about what happens in the Iron Islands...they've been irrelevant the entire series, and will continue to be unless they are planning to form an alliance with Sansa Stark to take back the North. And what is the endgame with all the plot lines in Essos? And what is the endgame with Arya...to eventually assassinate Cersei? And why was so much screen time given to Stannis Baratheon...just as a plot device to get Melisandre and Ser Davos to Castle Black?

    There are just too many plot lines to juggle....the showrunners need to focus on those which are truly important....

  57. Agreed. But they had to tie up the loose ends. Now, let's move on to kicking some White Walker butt!

  58. If Arya Stark never does another thing, she killed that sadist and child molester, Meryn Trant, and thats enough for me.

  59. If they're showing a plot line, it's important.

  60. Ok, so everyone knows there was HUGE reveal tonight.

    But what about the Bolton heir! Did anyone see any of that coming?!

  61. I did not see Ramsey killing his father but I knew he would kill Walda and the baby once Roose was gone.

  62. Yes Derek, last week, when Roose threw the unborn Bolton in Ramsay's, and the emphasis on dogs in two separate scenes (Myranda and Sansa).

  63. I figured he'd kill the baby at some point which would probably require him killing his father, didn't think it would happen so soon.

  64. Several good laughs out loud this week Jeremy.

    Electrolytes.

    Value Meal.

    Now I'll move down and see what the complaints are.

  65. Maybe pet his wolf.

  66. Welcome back, Jon! Once you get your sea legs under you - or your Castle Black legs - first thing to do is pay a visit to the brig and smack that rank "bah-staad" who betrayed you upside the head. And then forgive him, naturally. The big fight against that White Walker general looms and we'll need all hands on deck.

  67. Have deadlines with reports, must complete university essay on time, millions of problems but priority is what will happen next in Game of Thrones. I hope it will be over one day!

  68. Re: Ramsay, I have the Stark credo in mind. I *really* want Sansa to be the one to swing the sword.

  69. Not Arya?

  70. do you think Sansa is pregnant? that would certainly thicken the plot!

  71. No, because Arya would be trained. There's a reason Henry VIII hired a highly trained French swordsman for Anne Boleyn. It will take Sansa many painful (for Ramsay) attempts to get the job done.

  72. 100% predictable. My wife and I predicted every plot turn with 100% accurate.

    When does The Walking Dead Start Again?

  73. A/k/a #ThePreciseMomentGOTJumpedTheShark

  74. So did I. Made it no less interesting for me. Different strokes...

  75. Because the Walking Dead has so many unpredictable plot turns?

  76. Well last night revealed more then meets the Eye.(perhaps more then the show runners intended)
    For one the parentage of John Snow, (think about it)The Red woman has shown many gifts the scene where Davos attempts to motivate her, reminding her about her "Miracles" she replies she was wrong about Stannis and his Victory, Well she was wrong but only with the wrong Baratheon!
    Bran Stark makes his long awaited (being kind) return Watching (J. Stewart in A wonderful Life, like) His Dad's childhood, which had his Auntie Stark make an Cameo, The same Stark girl who was Betrothed to (Robert?) Baratheon, so it seems that Jon Snow wasn't the bastard child of Ned Stark but the illegitimate child of his sister and Robert Baratheon, This would make The Red Woman's visions still factually correct and explain much.
    Jon Snow is the love Child of Stark Girl and Robert Baratheon
    blood heir to Winterfell or The Iron Throne.
    Brianne of Tar will be the hero to dispatch Ramsey whose hounds appetite might be finally sated
    Peter Dinklage will ride a dragon with the Mother Dragons to destroy the Red Keep
    This will all unfold over next 2 seasons
    Of course I could be wrong

  77. I agree that Jon is the son of Robert Baratheon and Liana Stark, as you mentioned. As you state, That helps explain the Red Woman's visions in the flames - she interpreted the wrong Baratheon. In an earlier season she studies Jon carefully - we are left to wonder if she suspects that he is a princely heir.

  78. No, Jon is the illegitimate son of Lyanna and the Targeryen Crown Prince Rhaegar.

  79. I have long thought that Jon is the child of Ned Stark's sister. But his father is not Robert Baratheon. The sister was not "kidnapped and raped" by a Targaryon (sp?) but ran off with one. I base this in part on Peter Baylish's smirk when Sansa recited the family official line. This would make Jon Dany's half brother. Ice and fire. Just a theory....

  80. Usually in the recaps before the opening credits, GoT will show clips of previous scenes that are background for the nights episode.

    Last night, they showed a reference to Robb Stark executing Lord Karstark & Lady Stark warning him the Karstarks won't forgive the killing of their lord. Yet I don't recall a Karstark on last nights episode. Did I miss it?

  81. You did. A Karstark was standing behind Ramsay when he offed his dad.

  82. Yes, you missed it: Ramsey's pal who was there when he stabbed Dad specifically said that he was a Karstark whose father had been beheaded by Robb Stark.

  83. Ramsay Bolton's co-conspirator, if you will. If you recall, he'd said something along the lines of the Starks losing his House's support (Karstark) after Robb beheaded his father. Regretfully, I don't know the chap's name.

  84. You you have to hope that, somehow, Ramsay will end up being a char-broiled morsel for the dragons.

  85. Tryion better be careful with his eunuch jokes. They don't seem to sit well with Gray Worm.

  86. The fact that Jon was revived so soon into the season surprised me, at least. There has to be a catch--what will it be?

  87. I think the catch was, The entire internet had probably seen at least one photo of Harrington not only spotted in the filming environments, but in a far more damning shot from an epic battle (which tinhats such as myself expect around Episode 8-9) -- my point, there was no point in dragging it out. It would have been infuriating. Did anyone REALLY think he was dead...? Good for D&D for getting on with it.

  88. I didn't think Roose would get offed so soon. The actor (Michael mcilhatton?) who played him has a terrific voice. Rich and smooth hiding the killer underneath. A lot like Tywin.

  89. Ya, I was hoping he'd stick around a bit longer. But Ramsey reacted to the situation. By the way his hands were shaking after, it was clear he wasn't expecting it would happen so soon either.

  90. What will happen when Ser Davos hears that the girl was burned ?

  91. Goooooooooood question.

  92. Melisandre will have to answer for that of course. There's sort of parallel between Melisandre and Theon: both did too many bad things, one recent good deed will not be enough to cancel those out in the eyes of most people. So she needs to go away as well.

    As for Ser Davos, he lost his son, Stannis, and Shireen because of Lord of Light, now with Jon resurrected and on his way to fulfill the ultimate prophecy, will Ser Davos come a believer?

  93. Yes! This has been puzzling as it seemed he sort of learned of Shereen's demise at the end of season 5 and he never trusted Mellisandre anyway. So why is he enlisting Mellisandre to revive Jon Snow? Why does he care anyway? This seemed to me a hole in the story line and I wonder if we're starting to see the writing fall off.

  94. Great scene with Tyrion approaching the dragons. Utterly terrifying well before Tyrion or we even set eyes on the beasts. Dinklage's talent with some masterful production had my knees shaking!

  95. A Lipton onion soup packet of reconstituted Jon Snow is better than no Jon Snow at all. I thank the Old Gods and The New!

  96. "Ramsay, please, he's your brother"
    "I prefer being an only child."

    An even better line than Tyrion's. Ouch!!!

  97. No mention of the religious Sparrows? The end is nigh for this Moral Majority.

  98. I gotta say it, Ramsay Bolton is a complete bore. Predictable and one dimensional, I can only attribute this character to lazy writing. It seems as if all the producers are trying to do is to conceive new acts of brutality. Is there nothing else they can offer us? The same sort of thing happened in Boardwalk Empire with the character Gyp Rosetti. Such a great actor (Bobby Cannavale) wasted (for the same reason - lazy writing). And now Iwan Rheon. A shame. There could be so much more.

    Someone please send these people a copy of Paradise Lost.

  99. There's much more depth to Ramsay than just being brutal. I'm surprised you don't see it.

  100. Yeah, he's actually a very complicated sadist. His relationship with his father alone was almost poignant.

  101. I've read some of the comments that Mr. Rheon and the producers have offered about this character's "depth." He is ambitious, he wants power, he can be reactionary and insecure. These are motives, yes, but not depth.

    Take Tyrion Lannister, for example. Where to begin? He is both the most vulnerable and influential character in the series. He falls in love with his prostitute lover, only to kill her in jealous rage, all the while saying, "I'm sorry..." He murders his father and then finds himself sincerely trying lead a kingdom - while drunk - that is dedicated to eradicating slavery.

    And even that is not doing justice to the character, there's so much more to describe.

    For me, the 'litmus test' for depth is variability in action, reaction and unpredictability. Ramsay Bolton has plenty of motives, but every time I see him on screen, I know exactly what's coming, and that's boring.

  102. What will Jon Snow's reaction be when he's told that he was brought back from the dead? Apart from him not being the same as Beric has previously mentioned happens when you're brought back, will this freak him out?

    Ramsay killing his Roose was not much of a surprise as we all knew this kid was evil and would not stand for a new heir being borne. Hopefully he'll head to the wall where he thinks there's a small army only to confront an army of Wildling.

    Will Lord Walder Frey care that one his daughters & grandchild was fed to the dogs, we'll see.

    I think Theon will be captured by Ramsay before he makes it to the Iron Islands and this is based on the preview of EP 3 - watch if carefully folks? If I was Yara, I wouldn't want to rule the Iron Islands as it seems like a dreadful place, Euron can have it.

    Jamie and Cersei seems to have lost their way in Kings Landing by letting a bunch of religious nuts take control, Tywin would not stand for that. Cersei needs to unleash her guardian on the high sparrow.

    Tyrion and the Dragons, what can I say but where is Drogon, the largest of the three?

  103. I thought Tyrion was going to suggest Missandei hang out with/free the dragons so while I found it implausible that he should make friends with two hungry fire-breathers, I was glad he didn't try to convince her to do it.

    So much head smashing this episode that I really expected Ramsay to dash the baby's brains out when he held him. How awful that Ramsay is able to hold the child and then sic the dogs on it. I knew it was coming, though, so covered the eyes/ears and had the boyfriend give me a squeeze when it was all over. Your recommendation for Ramsay's end is indeed a satisfying thought. This is the problem with the Ramsays of the world - they turn us into Ramsays imagining no death could possibly be painful enough for them.

  104. Isn't that fascinating? I'm a gentle Buddhisty sort, but I really want to see Theon go totally sadistic on Ramsey, in slo mo. Humans are awful.

  105. Why was it important to bring Jon Snow back from the dead? Other major characters have been killed off previously and not resurrected, why him? This character must be significant to the show more than anyone else.

  106. If you haven't read the fan theory of R + L= J, I suggest you go read it. You'll understand why they brought him back to life.

  107. There is also, as is mentioned in the review, the promise of a match up between Snow and the Whyte King. Last season, after the Whyte King raised all of the dead at Hard Home he kind of gave a little look to Snow as if to say "We'll meet again"

  108. I think his role also is important in that he also is the only leader who has any real inkling how bad the threat from the Whyte King is. The southern and eastern rulers certainly have no idea. It would take way too many episodes (and geographical transpositions) to fill them in.

  109. So we haven't seen Bran since two seasons ago and the producers fail to call this episode "RAISIN' BRAN"?

  110. Because ...nothing was Bran new?

  111. It would be fitting for Ramsay to meet his end at the hands of Theon. Looking forward to that scene.

  112. Not the same dogs as were searching for Sansa and Theon. The search dogs were bloodhounds. These were ... not.

  113. Cane Corso dogs for sure.

  114. Has Ramsay Snow surpassed Joffrey Baratheon in everyone's "I can't wait to see him die" comeuppance meter? Hopefully, his death will be a crueler one than Joffrey's.

  115. He's getting there quick. However there are differences. Ramsay has a rags to riches story if you want to call it that: a climbing of social status with violence as means to get there. Joffrey was nothing but a spoiled, psychotic, insecure boy who used violence for nothing but pleasure.

  116. I guess we can say one thing about Ramsey - he'll do the killing. He has no issue with that. Joeffrey was a coward. He made others do his bidding. Heck, at least Robert didn't hold back when he slapped Cersei. Instead, Joeffrey made his guards do it. Couldn't even behead Ned Stark himself (like Ned said, he who decides the punishment should be the one to carry it out by his own hands). He had to have Janos Slynt do all the beheading and cutting. And, he went running like a coward during the battle against Stannis.

    But yet, Ramsey is getting there as the most hated now. His death, if it ever comes, will be glorious! I'm not ashamed to say it, but when Joeffrey died, I stood up and cheered. The child was evil, pure evil. And I feel so bad for Tommen. He has been put into a situation he was not ready for, and he doesn't want to rule like Joeffrey. I have a feeling things will not work out for him at all, which is a shame as he definitely does not share the evil blood that Joeffrey had.

  117. Let's hope this one is satisfying for us viewers.

  118. So, after the "witch" episode some real magic: Hodor talks! And his real name is Wylis !!
    Go figure what "hodor" means, maybe in valyrian or go ask Sam (are you in King's Landing?).

    Melisandre's reviving of Jon Snow could be very different from that of Beric of Donderrion. First of all, he was dead for a minute, not a day, and second the ritual was shorter and not involving the hair's and beard's cut, probably what has grown during the "dead" day.
    How convenient for Lord Ramsay Bolton who's just longed to kill the ex-new, let's cut it, the "reborn" Lord Commander !
    Maybe Jon will have an edge against the white walkers, now. Whilst it doesn't make a difference for the night watchers, who sanely avoided a giant to confront with, i'm not so sure the magic-repellant wildlings would be so welcoming, but you know, it's better this than the white walkers.
    And they are the big miss of this episode, which figured Bran ( finally! ), Theon (why would he go home? Ah, his father is dead by the minute), Cersei ( back into Cersei mode ).
    For the disconnection: Tyrion asks Missandei how familiar she is with the dragons, then go in with Varys (!?!!?), without any food?
    I sort of expected Ramsay to name a dog Reese, what did Walda possibly wait for in there?
    Balon Greyjoy is dead, and his brother shows up with a fresh knife cut on his cheek (Hmmm.. maybe he'll say he likes wood-carving, like ser Davos?). Plus he cut his sailors's tongue to hide his insanity, but forget about writing?!

  119. Tyrian doesn't need food. He has charisma.

  120. It seems to me that people would fall off those spectacularly and insanely unsafe bridges on the Iron Islands all the time, especially during storms. But how did they ever recover Balon's body down in that maelstrom, or even know he fell? He should have been pulverized-on-rocks/submerged/eaten-by-sharks/drifted-off-to-who-knows-where.

  121. I wonder if perhaps the "no eating" thing with the dragons was a calculated response on their part, what with the collars which should be ever more choking, the larger they grow. And it has yet to be established, even with Tyrion's dragon knowledge, that dragons must eat a certain amount to remain alive; as River might have said, "Magic, sweetie."

  122. Did anyone else notice that Jon Snow had exactly 7 stab wounds? Foreshadow anyone?

  123. I get the number 7 (as in the 7 gods), but what is it foreshadowing?

  124. Seven kingdoms.

  125. Okay, I might be the only art history nerd here, but was anyone else reminded of Andrea Mantegna's Lamentation of Christ during the Jon Snow sequence? It was beautifully shot... almost like the Sopranos Last Supper.

  126. I didn't catch that one but there's a lot of luscious painterly cinematography in Thrones. It's really beautifully and artfully filmed.

  127. Exactly. Also Hans Holbein.

  128. Tyrion and Varys: More and more like R2D2 and C Threepio.

  129. What strikes me most about this new season is how grim and down everyone is in the 7 Kingdoms. Not one character has so much as a moment of happiness. Except perhaps sadistic pleasures for Ramsay? Is there an election going on or something- is the economy in recession?

  130. It *has* been a bit of a slog...*and* there was the moment of Sansa finally accepting Brienne's fealty. That was quite moving (if not joyous, under the circumstances).

  131. hope for Sansa though. With Brien rescuing her, and the touching moment between her and Theon/Reek, it seems her story is finally on it's way up.

    But with this show, and the books, you know how quickly the tide can turn. But yes, it's definitely a dark time for everyone.

    Ramsey needs to die, and something horrible. Never thought there would be a character I despised more the Joefrrey, but Ramsey is running a very close 2nd and just about ready to overtake Joeffrey. Let's hope Ramsey's death is just as satisfying as Joef's was (and hopefully very painful after what he did to Theon and his step-mom and half-brother).

  132. How about the conversation between the Khal and his two sidekicks about the most pleasing experiences?

    Straight out of Cheers.

  133. I was surprised that Roose didn't see it coming. He knew his kid was capable of this (who do you think taught him to betray?) and yet he allowed himself to get physically close to Ramsey right after the Maester announced the baby was a boy.

    Meanwhile, Gendry. Please. Gendry.

  134. It is out of character to be sure. I like the way they filmed it, how it made you wonder for a second or two who got stabbed. It would totally make sense for Roose to do that while saying "You will always be my first born."

  135. Honestly felt like that was the biggest surprise, that Roose hadn't stabbed him.

  136. On second thought - Roose wouldn't want to stab Ramsay because he wanted to use Ramsay's marriage to Sansa to unite the North.

  137. Any thoughts on what it means that no one was there to witness it? Will he show himself right away - or will there be a "Snow's body is missing" episode as he keeps his newly revived self hidden?

  138. "Do we think Jaime, Mountainstein and the King’s Guard would be enough to overthrow the Sparrows"

    Of course they will be. Let's frame this in another way. Let's put 5 NBA players against oh.. 15 guys off the street in a court and see who wins. The NBA guys of course. They train, they work, they fight. That's what they do. What do a bunch of priest wanna be have going for them? They haven't got a prayer

    Having said that, it doesn't seem like the same argument holds in the case of the Sons of Harpy against the Unsullied. Now that's a disaster for a bunch of men supposedly bred for nothing else but fighting. Except that the Sons of Harpy are, at least somewhat, made up of ex pit fighters and potentially for-hire killers. They seem to know how to handle themselves once they put on the mask, even though it doesn't make them fireproof.

  139. Not so good an analogy because if everyone plays at the same time each NBA player will be triple teamed and not very effective. Numbers win out there but not when you match up 5 fully armored knights with long swords and battle axes against 15 zealots with no protection except for the clothes on their backs. In that situation the 5 just bash and slash their way through the crowd until the Sparrows turn and flee for their lives. My one disappointment with GOT is that every time the Sparrows are confronted it is on their own turf with overwhelming numbers. I am waiting for the Lanister forces to send a hundred armed warriors and lay waste to those sparrows.

  140. Gotta keep Ramsey alive and well. While Joffrey was really just a whiny little boy with a crown, Ramsey is a card-carrying, dyed in the wool Bad Guy! I'm rooting for him to have a long arc on the show, with a truly fantastic end (Wun Wun, Dragon immolation, etc.).

  141. I vote for an initial pummeling by Wun-Wun and then Theon and Sansa on a dragon

  142. No no. Death by Theon. Yum.

  143. There are so many characters now who would like to kill Ramsay Bolton - Theon, Sansa, Jon Snow, the list is long. It would be interesting if the Red Woman, Melisandre, were to revive Ramsay after each killing so that another character could have a chance to kill him, something like the myth of Prometheus, dying daily... by the way, wasn't Lady Bolton, sacrificed to Ramsay's dogs, of high birth? Anyone recall who her family is, and will they also get in line to kill Ramsay to revenge her terrible death?

  144. I do not watch the show; my husband watches. I was reading while the character was being resurrected. The chanting sounded to me like an SNL skit conducted in a Slavic language. I guess you've got to enter into the fiction.

    He watches "Game of Thrones"; I watch "Selfridge's"; we both watch "Homeland." I am careful not to say anything too snotty about GOT, and he doesn't call me a soap opera freak. We agree that, while not realistic, "Homeland" is cool.

    Marriage is patience and diplomacy (a/k/a, knowing when not to say "You've got to be kidding me.")

  145. As I'm not married to your husband, and am inhabiting this particular comments section, I feel free to cry, "What? You're not watching Thrones?? Whatever is the MATTER with you???", followed by several extravagant face-palms.

  146. Haha, admittedly there are very occasional moments where I snap out of it and think, "God, this show is so nerdy and weird." But that's true with most nerdy things that I like. When you're really into the story it's SO GOOD!!!

  147. "The chanting sounded to me like an SNL skit conducted in a Slavic language."

    I see. You save your snotty comments for the recap.

  148. Seeing Tyrion make nice with the dragons reminds me of some rumors that he is not a Lannister but really a Targaryen, half brother to Daenerys. Targaryens and dragons have some sort of bond, which could explain their accepting reaction to Tyrion . And recall Tywin yelling, just before being shot by Tyrion, "you're no son of mine!" Hmmmmmn?

  149. That would also shed light on Tyrion, giving the history of the dragons to V., that the enclosuring of the dragons eventually reduced them to the size of housecats. In short, they became dwarves.....

  150. Not just him either. In the book both Jamie and Cersei are said to have very light hair. And they certainly carried on the Targaryen tradition when it comes to producing offsprings.

  151. The Lannisters have golden hair; not the silver white hair of the Targareans.

  152. Despite Sir Davos claiming he's not much of a fighter and apologizing for what the Watchman were about to see, I actually like to see him fight.

  153. I thought "Home" was definitely a top five episodes. Even though there was no surprise with the resurrection of Jon Snow, it was still pretty thrilling. Lots of dark humor in the episode as well eg. Ramsey stating that he's always wanted to be an only child. The Sansa/Brienne episodes continue to be surprisingly moving. Their acting is so well done. GOT made my Sunday night!

  154. Great recap, Jeremy. I look forward more to your analysis than the actual TV show.

  155. I can't go that far, but it really is an excellent review and recap. It's kind of nice that we're all equalized sort of, too, now that the show has to fly independently of the book.

  156. Thanks very much.

  157. I like how quickly things seem to be moving/changing this season. So glad they didn't drag out the Snow resurrection. (By the way, where is Sam?)

  158. Sam is on his way to the Citadel to become a Maester.

  159. Master Technical Institute

  160. Yeah, we haven't seen him or Gilly since Sam went off to learn to be a maestro. Though he'd be better off just wandering away into obscurity, wouldn't he? Who could stand seeing him or his little family come to a bad end?

  161. I think the show runners may have jumped the shark with Jon Snow's resurrection. Seemed like a cheap trip to me killing him off only to bring him back two episodes later. I felt let down when he jumped up.

  162. Where is Theon going? He said home. But where is home? He grew up in Winterfell. Is Reek dead? Maybe he is going back to kill Ramsay.

  163. I think Theon is heading back to Winterfell and Ramsay. He's a broken man.

  164. Theon Greyjoy was a ward of the Starks, raised in Winterfell - but that is not his home. Home is the Iron Islands, where he used to be the heir to Balon Greyjoy his father - the guy we just saw thrown off the bridge by his brother, the mad Euron (Theon's uncle). Theon betrayed House Stark when he took Winterfell by sword - and that turned out terribly for everyone. Sansa seems to have forgiven him, and he has saved her from Ramsay Bolton (for the moment?) - so Theon's journey home is to the Iron Islands, where a kingsmoot is about to select the new ruler - and his sister Yara (remember how she tried to save him from his life as Reek, and he refused?) is the leading candidate - if the first woman to have a solid chance at the leadership. But mad uncle Euron lurks... and we know he's a killer. So Theon is going home to a very messy place.

  165. Or he has a Ramsey-killing mission in his mind. He'd not go back to submit to him, he's largely de-Reeked.

  166. I think the Iron Islands will be important, but not for the land itself. Rather, they will have the Kingsmoot to pick the new king. No way Yara (the daughter) wins. They as much said so in this episode (no woman has ever ruled the Iron Islands). She is a captain and has access to many ships. Dany (once she returns) needs ships and Yara will need some new purpose. Seems like a match made by the 7 gods, or the drowned god, or the tree gods, or the lord of the light, or...

  167. Given how powerless, poorly treated women are in that world, it's pretty epic that with men busy killing each other off, we could soon see women running most of the Seven Kingdoms:

    - Sansa ruling the north
    - Yara ruling the Iron Islands
    - Ellaria Sand ruling Dorne
    - Olenna ruling House of Tyrell
    - Cersei ruling by proxy through Tomin
    - Dany returning as head of Targaryens and Dothraki empire

  168. Hey, thanks for blindsiding me with a spoiler from another show. Next time, please give fair warning that your recap will contain a Walking Dead spoiler, ok?

  169. It's not a spoiler if the show has already aired. If you fail to keep up with the series you have to risk finding out things everyone else already knows.

  170. other spoilers...
    Darth Vader is Luke's father!
    Pamela Ewing shot J.R!
    Leonardo DiCaprio dies in Titanic!

  171. We live in a different world where not everyone consumes the show at the same time in the same way. Dallas etc. is much older.

  172. Well, we were told that the series caught up with the books. Not so. The Iron Islands was discussed in book 4, the most boring of all the current 5 that exist today. Hopefully, the TV series doesn't spend TOO much time on the Kingsmoot. Book 4 was a chore to get through (i'm still reading it and it's been months since I started, but books 1 through 3 I read in about 3 months).

    I knew Balon was dead and when they showed the Iron Isles with the bridges between the towers, I had a feeling they were going to get to this stage of the story from book 4. As I said, let's hope they don't dwell on it too much as it is the most boring part, for me anyways, of the entire story so far.

    Still, last night's episode was great. Yes, the first two episodes are catching us up on the various story arcs, but I've been more satisfied with these two episodes than I was with a lot of season 5. This season appears to be shaping up into something magnificent. Can't wait!

  173. So Ramsey kills Roose and tells the maester to send out ravens and tell the other northmen that he was poisoned by his enemies then proceeds to let his dogs chow down on his step mother and baby half brother. Seems counterproductive try and convince your allies that Warden of the North was killed by his enemies, so I just offed his wife and new born son because, ??

    The writers are telegraphing Jon Snow's trajectory now that Mellisandre has her blood magic swagger back, her visions of Jon fighting at Winterfell seem to be correct. When Sansa gets to castle black, which she will and it will take all season to do, she'll tell him about Ramsey and the battle for Winterfell will begin. Next season..

    No surprise that The Pike lost it's King with Theon on his way there who has a birth right to the throne of the iron island. The show writers aren't being too covert about this plot line either. Without a son to take over for Balon that leaves a voting process in place until maybe steps in to put a wrench in the election.

    Where in the seven hells is Samuel Tarly?

  174. Tarpley has gone to the Old City to study to become a maester. It was in last season. His story continues in the books but it's hard to imagine him reappearing in the series.

  175. I disagree, Buffy. I think Sam will play an important role in the future. Remember, Sam was the one who discovered the properties of the dragon glass against the White Walkers. I think he'll learn how to defeat the White Walkers while he is studying at the Citadel.

  176. With Ramsay headed north and Jon (possibly) free from his oath, I'd love to see Ghost serve up a fitting demise for the villain among villains.

  177. I would rejoice if Ramsay was Ghost's chewtoy!

  178. Next week's episode is called oathbreaker--I figured it was Jamie but Jon maybe decides one lifetime for the Nightswatch satisfies his promise. What is dead can never die!

  179. How fitting it would be for Ramsay to be mauled by a canine- Ghost!

  180. Because of time constraints I yearn to to spend time with the characters that I have the most interest in and affection for. The season will quickly be over and most likely I will not know Bran's fate or Sensa's because I am stuck with a bajillion characters I don't love. Sigh...it's not my fantasy. The books are the same....a thousand pages without mentioning a Stark!!! I no longer read them. I watch loyally hoping to catch a glimpse of the ones I grew to love and now miss..I don't give a fig a Dorn or anyone there. That place Mereen? where the ships just burned....plot clutter. Let the dragons burn it down before they fly away and never mention it again.

  181. Wow that seems to be a Millennial way of looking at things - all on your terms. Why don't you write your own fan fiction then, if you don't want to be bothered by plot lines that you don't like. It's a pretty selfish way to approach an epic story. ("That Beowulf was great but I could do without Grendel.")

  182. Myranda Value Meal. Love it!

  183. Loved this episode. I'm surprised that no one immediately thought of using the dragons to find Dany. Her one "free" dragon sensed that she was in trouble, found her, and carried her to relative safety (considering the scene in the area was immediately horrid). If he could find her, surely the others can find her now?

  184. @ AllAtOnce — Presuming that the other two dragons •could• fly off and find Daenerys, that wouldn’t do much for the humans on the ground who are hoping to locate her. And as far as is known to her human friends who remain in Meereen, where those two dragons are confined, she is still with the third dragon, and could use it to return, if she wished.

    In other words, if one of the two dragons in Meereen were released to find her, there’s no reason, from the vantage of the people in Meereen, to believe that it would make Daenerys safer, or make it easier for her to get back to Meereen.

    — Brian

  185. Though I loathe Ramsay Bolton, I thought it fitting, after the Red Wedding, that he offed Roose by stabbing him in an embrace. "The Snows/Starks send their regards."

  186. I'm a bit concerned for Prince Tommen. I hope his advanced level of petulance isn't intended to emotionally alienate him so they can kill him off... With luck, his mother isn't actually as pissed at him as she looks...

  187. In a show where few things are certain, they have made very clear that the only people Cersei would never hurt are her beloved (and likely doomed) children. So I think Tommen is safe on that front, but given the prophecy, is likely to die some other way.

  188. I'm not a real analyst of the show - which is why I enjoy reading all these insights - so maybe I missed something obvious. But if Hodor's name is actually Wyllis, then what does "Hodor" mean? He had the ability to talk once and lost it in some likely traumatic experience, and now all he says is that one word. I couldn't help but wonder if it is going to be revealed as some kind of secret in plain sight. Perhaps someone else actually named Hodor is responsible for some treachery, or it's the name of a place where some such treachery took place...

    Or maybe I'm reaching...

  189. There's some speculation that it's taken from the variously spelled Hod, Norse god of winter and darkness and I think fire, very fitting for anticipated plot eventualities. Martin likes Norse mythology, so mebbe. If so then he might get to be really important, which would be nice.

  190. Maybe Hodor is the name of a horse in the stable?

  191. I think you're right. I think it has something to do with Lyanna, maybe he was brain damaged trying to protect her from Rhaegar somehow.

  192. I'm disappointed in the simplistic resurrection of Jon Snow. I was expecting him to be resurrected in the fire proving his Targaryen origins, in the same way the Dynaris emerged from the fire.

  193. Well, in all fairness I think the books refer to Ice and Fire, so... besides if they'd done it that way the Bannermen of the Wah Wah Wah would be crying about plot repetition.

  194. Where's Rickon?!

  195. I'm thinking Sansa shares the news that Bran and Rickon are alive when she gets to the Wall, and thus begins a search for them

  196. @ Andy — I believe we last saw Rickon in Season 3. Before the refugees from Winterfell reached the Wall, the group split up. Bran, his dire wolf Summer, Hodor, and Meera and Jojen Reed continued on to the Wall, and beyond, seeking the Three-eyed-raven, while Rickon, his dire wolf Shaggydog, and Osha headed to Last Hearth, the “seathouse” of the Umbers. (Except for the castles of the Night’s Watch, Last Hearth is the northernmost major castle of the Seven Kingdoms.)

    We haven’t seen, or heard of, Rickon, Shaggydog, or Osha since then. We don’t know if they made it to Last Hearth, or if the members of the Umber family presently holding Last Hearth remain loyal to the Starks. (Lord Greatjon Umber is, apparently, still held captive by Walder Frey at the Twins.)

    — Brian

  197. Isn't the theory that he "warged" into Ghost, so it wasn't really Melisandre's doing? Maybe she just gave him a jump start and a hair cut? The violence was interesting - so over the top that it was making fun of itself and making it funny - like the giant swinging the guy around by his leg and the franken-giant smashing that drunkard's head into a wall.

  198. Maybe what happened is that Melisandre healed his body, allowing the 'ghost' to return. Notice Ghost reaction was not so much excitement as being awakened (yes, I'm reading way too much into that).

  199. Who noticed noticed in the previews to next weeks show that Bran and the three eyes raven do some more time traveling. It appears we will be learning who Jon's real mother and father are. Fire and Ice

  200. Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Wyllis?

  201. Melisandre's attempts at resurrecting Jon Snow seemed pretty halfhearted and ineffective until Jon and the dire wolf were left alone. Was is really the red woman that brought Jon back, or could it have been Jon's magical warg powers?

  202. Ramsay Bolton: A new take on Hell's Kitchen.

  203. So what exactly was Balon doing on that ropey bridge? Seems unlikely that it was his regular version of climbing the wooden hill to bedfordshire. Every night he does a low-rent Philippe Petitte imitation? And even if so, why does Bro-back from-somewhere not wait in the warm (presumably, or at least dry) bedchamber, with or without dagger? That and issues like the missing hounds in the Sansa-Brienne plotline show a creaking vessel leaking at the seams. And the Big Snow Comeback Tour misses the point that nothing energizes a cause like a good martyr. And where in fact is Samwell Tarly? That's one baby that isn't going to the dogs.

  204. They don't explain it on the show, but in the books the Iron Islands are a series of very small rocky islands. Different parts of the castle are on different islands and all are connected by those bridges. Balon was walking back to another part of the castle when he ran into Euron.

  205. Balon dies in the second book, by falling from one of the rope bridges which connect the towers of his castle (they actually put the bridges in the opening credits when the camera pans toward Pyke). Another character simply reports his death - the reader is not "present" when it happens and Euron is not involved, although he is involved in the greater iron islands story line that the tv show appears to now be getting to. His death does fulfill mellisandre's leech promise to Stannis.

  206. (Part 1)

    @ Alex — It would make •perfect• sense for Balon to walk from one part of the castle to another, on such a rope bridge, even in dreadful weather. First, the bridge is the only way to go between those different towers of the castle at Pyke, each on a tall rock spire rising from the sea. Second, the self-image of of the Iron Islanders is that of seafarers to the core, people at home on the pitching decks of ships in the dirtiest weather. Balon, as any Ironborn, would think nothing of striding across a rope bridge that would terrify mainlanders, and in a gale, no less.

    Why would Euron Greyjoy not wait inside, you ask, to do in Balon in slightly less uncomfortable and hazardous surroundings? From Euron’s vantage, the virtue of murder on the bridge, compared to a knife in the bedchamber, is plausible deniability — the lack of witnesses to Balon’s fall from a dangerous path giving rise to some uncertainty even as to whether he was murdered, or simply fell in an accident (even though Yara seems sure her father was the victim of foul play).

    (cont’d)

  207. I wonder if in a few years, people will no longer say a show "jumped the shark". Rather, they might say a show "reanimated Jon Snow".

  208. I don't think it counts as "jumping the shark" when it is a planned plot device from the beginning. Also, it doesn't seem to me that Game of Thrones is in need of a ratings boost.

  209. I'm with Jeremy completely on the timing of the Jon Snow reveal. His reanimation (rebirth? resurrection?) was the perfect last-second shocker for a show that really loves its last-second shockers. But I had a feeling it was coming when I noticed Kit Harrington listed in the opening cast credits.

    I also like Jeremy's description of Roose Bolton as a "down-market Tywin Lannister." I was sorry to see him go, but one thing GOT is good at is creating new plot complications out of killing off the one guy who is holding everything together. Tywin's murder eliminated the one guy preventing Cercei's self-destructive antics, which led to the arrest of Margaery and Loras, and that is still playing out. And I was thinking the same thing, about Ramsey showing up at Castle Black with a battalion-size force thinking it was going to be a pushover and finding himself instead facing a few thousand wildings and a really grouchy giant. Worse yet, if he gets captured only to find out that Jon leaves his fate up to Sansa and Theon. Boy, won't that be fun.

    Can't end without commenting on the superb acting by Peter Dinklage. He deserves another Emmy just for his work in this episode. We've heard that line, "That's what I do, drink and know things," over and over again in the season 6 trailers, yet the trailer didn't ruin it. And you have to see the dragon scene as especially relevant. The dragons like Tyrion, which has to be important.

  210. Harington was listed in the credits last week as well and he remained quite dead through the whole thing.

  211. Down-market Tywin Lannisters are dying like flies, just now.

  212. One of the hallmarks of this show, so far, has been its ability to maintain an amazingly consistent pace. Over 5+ seasons, the production quality here has been astounding. But there's a lot that is yet to be resolved/explained/revealed and, I assume, not so many remaining episodes to resolve/explain/reveal that which must be learned. I hope this can be done without turning the final episodes into an exercise in cinematic fast-forwarding.

  213. I'm so glad I stopped watching this show last season. Seeing/hearing a baby being mauled by dogs would make me nauseous. That's why I stopped watching - the nauseating over-the-top violence. Of course it's going to be a violent show, it's the level of violence that's disturbing - and unnecessary.

  214. You not only don't have to watch the show, you don't have to read the recap and write a comment, letting everyone know you stopped watching GOT. But then, there's next week's recap! Will Joe read it, and be upset? The suspense is unbearable!

  215. I'm so glad too, Joe. There's more for me!

  216. Who let the dogs out?

  217. Love it!

  218. Has anyone else noticed a downturn in the quality of the writing? The dialogue in these first two episodes seems much more pedestrian than in past seasons. Worst line of the night was Tyrion, talking to the dragon: "I'm friends with your mother." Really? That just doesn't sound like Tyrion. Second prize goes to Davos, who simply asks Melisandre "Well, have you tried?" after she dismisses the possibility that she can revive others. It just doesn't sound like Game of Thrones.

    I'm also worried that the writers are giving up on a crucial aspect of the series, which is that women acquire power by playing the long game. Both Cersei and Melisandre came off as weak and defeated in this episode. I don't care about the gratuitous nudity and sex scenes as long as the female characters have claim to some form of power. But if this is the new direction, it's going to be seriously disappointing.

  219. High Sparrow chatting with Jamie Lannister sounded like he was running his elevator speech to the head of the Sanders campaign (....we the powerless in our multitudes can overthrow the empire... and so on....)

  220. Completely disagree. Tyrion said what he said wryly. It was absolutely in character. In addition, there was a significant amount of dialogue that was fantastic. How about Davos's talk with Mellisandre.

  221. Yikes. Well, what would you say to a dragon? "Hello, Spot."? Not unless he lives under the stairs. (Old timers may get that)

    Cersei was already plotting with regard to Tommen, she may be down but she's not out. Melisandre will find out about Jon and will have more power than ever, the story needs to unfold.

    I thought it was a great episode. Different strokes for different folks.

  222. I'm not sure that Melisandre has anything to do with Snow's sudden recovery, at least from a spiritual/magical perspective. I'm thinking along the lines of the potential benefits of induced hypothermia -- brought about in a non-technological way by the ambient temperature at the Wall. Think of Matt Damon's otherwise-fatal wound in "The Martian". Davis et alia just walked out of the warmer recovery room a bit too early......(?)

  223. Gee, what a way to ignore the role of women in GoT! I guess the huge blood loss from multiple stab wounds and ensuing shock (which kills too) suffered by Snow got left out of your calculations by mistake. Without those, yes, hypothermia might come into play - except that they stripped Snow and then put water on him, that does not reverse hypothermia, but makes it worse. Hypothermia is used in some types of surgery - cardiac, neurosurgery - but only under tightly monitored conditions with lots of technological back up. The "warmer" recovery room also is not correct - have you noticed that the other characters are in full furs and coats, and they are not sweating - not really warner, then. Snow was certainly dead, dead, dead - no signs of life, and bled out from multiple stab wounds and shock. Melisandre brought him back - and that's the way it was. Without her, he'd still be a corpse awaiting the pyre.

  224. Great to see Jon Snow alive and breathing! For those who thought he'd re-emerge from the fire, as a true Targaryen, are not entirely done with their theory. Who knows how the next episode will start... For all we know, Tormund, Melisandre, Edd and Davos all left to get firewood, or perharps torches, and set the chamber on fire to burn their presumed dead Lord Commander after giving up on the idea of reviving him. Perhaps Jon walks out with Ghost from the burning structure, picking up Longclaw on the way out from the fire, as everyone watching him in awe as he gets out unscathed and unburnt. It would be so typical of the GOT show to create that kind of suspense and make us think that he could die as soon as be woken up, just to scare the crap out of us.

    As for Bran's visions, they are such a breath of fresh air. There is so much mystery around Lyanna Stark, there had to be a way to go into that past. Bran will play a significant role in the upcoming war, and this storyline may be the catalyst that brings the entire continent of Westeros behind one leader, and face the evil that is haunting them from the Far North.

  225. @ Patrick — “For all we know, [those who attended Jon] all left to get firewood, or perhaps torches, and set the chamber on fire to burn their presumed dead Lord Commander . . . .”

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense: to burn a body, just set fire to the room in the castle it happens to be lying in (especially when we have seen, several times, that the garrison builds funeral pyres •away• from the wooden structures of Castle Black). If you ever join the Night’s Watch, let’s make sure you’re not assigned to the Builders — you know, the division of the Watch responsible for •maintaining• its castles and the Wall . . . .

    Well, I hope your comment was made tongue-in-cheek. If not, it signifies a degree of daftness that is probably beyond repair.

    — Brian

  226. where are sam and gilly?? We need a wise and sympathetic character (sam) to offset the villains. Davos is a gentleman, but sam needs to return to Castle Black with his educational skills as Maester and do some good. Hope Gilly's baby is growing and not still an infant as depicted over a whole season when there should have been growth. Hope horrible Thorne and Ollie get punished and suffer big time. Love Tyrion, so bold and brilliant, and he and Varys make the best team ever.

  227. Geez, it's only been a couple of days in GoT time since Sam and Gilly left Castle Black. hasn't it?

  228. Alice was right ...the Red Queen always wins....

  229. I was waiting for the Ghost of Christmas Past to tell Bran that "these are but the shadows of things that have been" when he visited the past Winterfell.

  230. That was no Ghost of Christmas Past, that was the great Max von Sydow, far better known for having played chess with Death.

  231. The dogs in the first episode were bloodhounds. Good for tracking fleeing rape victims, but not so good for tearing a captured rape victim apart. For that you need the Hound of the Baskervilles equivalent we saw this week.

  232. The Christ-like story line is hard to miss. Betrayed by one of his apostles and delivered into the hands of murderers, murdered as a traitor.... and all his disciples abandon him as Melisandre gives up her efforts. And then.... he is risen!

  233. Man...Wun-Wun pulling a Hulk/Loki rag-doll move on Ramsay is the best idea I've heard all DAY.

  234. My sentiments exactly!

  235. Just get Tyrion up to doing something interesting, please! Taming dragons would be nice.

  236. Thanks for the 'Walking Dead' spoiler.

  237. The Glen thing happened months ago, so it's really no longer a spoiler.

  238. Some watch on DVD etc. That's not enough time.

  239. Sorry, Jeremy, this just reads as sexism. The kind where the girlfriend always seems to go along to the guy dominated flick but her boyfriend bails on the female centric movies...some things never change:
    "The demise of Balon, Theon’s father and the king of the Ironborn, came via a new character: his brother Euron, who I’m guessing will be returning soon to claim the throne. Yara thinks she deserves it, however. I’m not going to get too worked up about this subplot until I see where it’s headed, but let’s hope that the Iron Islands aren’t this year’s Dorne."

    Yara has a fairly strong moral compass and manages to thrive as the unconventional strong female figure, sorry you are not worked up and/or have had your fill of them. Sorry you didn't like the girls in leather with the spears and whips.

  240. Hoping for the Ironborn to get behind Yara. #ImWithHer

  241. Let's throw down some women cards to lobby for parity of strong female leads for our daughters and sons to watch. I really like Jon Snow but also others like Brienne, and Yara (who receive much less screen time) and apprentice Arya.

    Someone Did a Massive Analysis of Male vs. Female Dialogue in Movies, and the Results Are Depressing
    http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/04/less-than-a-quarter-of-films-have-female...

  242. My circumspection had less to do with the personnel involved than with the fact that we haven't dealt much with the Iron Islands, and thus don't yet know how they're going to fit into the overall story. Or, more to the point, whether what happens there will be an interesting subplot or an underwhelming one, like Dorne was last year.

  243. A Song of Ice and Fire. Westeros and Essos will be ruled jointly by brother and sister, as some Egyptians did - by the siblings Daenerys and Jon.

  244. ...isn't there a third? After all, there are three dragons

  245. Jon is Daenarys nephew, not brother. He is the son of Daenerys's Brother.

  246. Let's not quibble, Fran. My point is, Fire and Ice will jointly rule as part of a family plan. Other good guys like Sansa, Arya, Yarra, et. al. will play important roles, with Arya becoming heir to the "throne" if the Faceless Men.

  247. "but let’s hope that the Iron Islands aren’t this year’s Dorne."

    Well, in the books, I was hoping Dorne was not the new Iron Islands...

  248. Jon lives. I fear the shark has been jumped.

  249. Then you understand neither the show, nor the novels.

  250. You know nothing Helen Codron :)

    This book series is a "Song of Fire and Ice" right? If we take that literally, ice is the inevitable winter, and the threat that comes with it, like the White Walkers. How do humans defend against that, with ingenuity and technology, like walls, and other tools, like fire (dragon's fire for White Walkers). There are 3 dragons, who will most likely be ridden by Targaryens. Jon is believed to be one of the three.

    In terms of jumping the shark, I think your reactions is a testament to uniqueness and achievement of GoT. Although it's a fantasy, vast majority of the book is grounded in reality (history, culture, politics, humanity). It is a pitiless feudal world were bad things happen to good and bad people alike. Every action has consequences. But with birth of Dany's dragons, magic is coming back into this world, and becoming a critical force in the story.

    In mythology heroes often had to go through drastic transformations. Dany went through fire to become the Mother of Dragons. John had to 'kill the boy, in order to become the man." I think we should be fine with magic so long as the book stays consistent within the rules it created.

    Next to the threat of White Walkers (global climate change), who gets to sit on the iron throne, and all the intricate political maneuverings become moot. So we should be prepared for that (and therefore dragons) to become the focal point of the story from this point on.

  251. Jaime Lannister on holiday, skinny dipping and sunning himself, is really the only plot twist that would make me more happy than I am with this series.

  252. I have a yearning bromance for The Hound. Otherwise I am very happy with the series so far as well. Hours between Sundays seem like days.

  253. How great is a show that can make you root for the redemption of the likes of Theon Greyjob and Jaime Lannister? Pretty sure that will never be the case with Ramsay- I'm not sure even the talented GoT writers can come up with an ending appropriate for this little psychopath. Happy to see Sansa back in the fold. The challenge, of course, is living in the moment (or the episode) and not obsessing about how this will all come together. Theories abound- I wonder which ones the writers' will up-end. And whether George R.R. Martin will EVER finish this thing. While I love what the show runners are doing, I've invested myself in reading all of the books- twice. Would be ironic if they are a disappointment coming after this ends.

  254. I'm undecided as to my preferred method of Ramsay demise. Any of the following would be satisfying: Ser Strong crushing his head and/or chest until it explodes; fried alive by one or more of the dragons; Wun Wun hurling him over the Wall; bleeding to death after Yara exacts specific revenge for Theon's suffering; or being sliced into tiny pieces by Brienne of Tarth.

  255. The most deserving death for him would be at the teeth and paws of Ghost.

  256. Or Ghost's new chew toy!

  257. "I'm undecided as to my preferred method of Ramsay demise"
    Ramsay will become Ted Cruz’s next vice-presidential running mate to soften Cruz’s image ….

  258. Since the Dire Wolves haven't had much work so far in the series, perhaps they could go after Ramsay and give him the same end he has inflicted on so many.

  259. Speaking of which, where is Arya's direwolf? The last time we saw Nymeria, was in Season One, when Arya shooed her away so that she wouldn't be killed for attacking Joffrey.

  260. Also the las t time seen in the book

  261. Ramsey will be Ghost's new chew toy is my prediction!

  262. What happened to Bronn? Didn't he leave Dorne with Jaime?

  263. It's a good question. Did anybody check the King's Landing brothels?

    But seriously, you'd think he could be paid or otherwise induced to participate in any Jaime-led effort against the Faith Militant.

  264. Wherever he is, I think Bronn still has Tyene Sand's last words to him on his mind. Somehow I don't see the writers letting that loose end remain loose, as it were.

    Alternately, Bronn and King Slayer hit it off fairly well but the only Lannister Bronn has ever been a true friend of is Tyrion and Jaime did tell Bronn the next time he saw his brother he would cut him in half for murdering their father.

    So here we have two reasons for us to find Bronn in future aligned against the present holders of the Iron Throne, not fighting for them.

  265. This continues to be the fastest hour (or so) on television.

  266. Hour? Where do you see an hour?

    This season the episodes are routinely around 50 min

  267. Congratulations, you just won the Captain Obvious award of the day!

  268. I look forward to Jon Snow dying again, hopefully. The last thing I want to watch on this show is a Christ-like approximation of Morrisey taking over. Sansa or Arya (preferably the latter, please) are really the people I hope win. Though Danerys would be fine too. So much more interesting than just another King coming in and ruling.

  269. No, he won't be Christ like. "Every time I come back, I'm a bit less..."

    He'll become Ser Stoneheart. Tyrion will be the King/Queen-maker, and Ser Stoneheart will just be one of the tools he uses to fight the White Walkers....

  270. Jeremy Egner summarizes the episodes of GoT but hasn't yet seemed to have grasped that there is a series of published books by George R. R. Martin that have the same title and characters.

  271. Of course, since Martin miss3: his deadline for book 6, the show is no2 moving into entirely new territory untrammeled by any req unrelenting to hew to the storyline from another media modality.

  272. Saw King Lear (for free) in Boston last summer. Yarra and Balon remind me of Cordelia and Lear - the mad king in the rain; the king who doesn't trust his most loyal child. But Euron is no Gloucester.

  273. The Sparrows have to go, mass the army and take them all out with their self-righteous thinking

  274. How exactly did the powerful Lannister army lose in the first place to the Sparrows? Was it an inside coup or collective amnesia or something?

  275. Cersei gave them power so they can overthrow the Tyrells for her, it backfired when they arrested her as well. Tommen being a teenager didn't know what to do, so she had to get herself out by confessing. Between recovering from her ordeal and death of Myrcella, she jusy hadn't got around to to the revenge part yet...

  276. Cersei used the Sparrows in a manipulative move to trap Margery, after Margery was seen to have influence over Tommen, the new king. Cersei raised the Sparrows to power - the Kingsguard had no say in stopping them.

  277. I'd be fine if the entire season stayed out of King's Landing. I'm very bored by that story line. They could just skip it all and show us a 30 second highlight reel instead.

    More Jon Snow. And more Sansa. Pretty please.

  278. And a girl who is no one.

  279. If I read the book, would I be less inclined to drift away? But, I really do want to watch those dragons get to work.

  280. Get to work they will, now that The Dragon Whisperer is in the house.

  281. Don't worry - Chekhov's Dragon mandates that a dragon introduced however innocuously will still be deployed by the end of the story.

  282. A waste of my time.

  283. @ hsc — And yet, here you are.

    — Brian

  284. Thank you for your insightful comments. For me, it's Yeah, Jon Snow lives. He has become such a popular character it had to happen. And his new life answered the question that left me dumbstruck at the end of book 5. Of course we will have to see what kind of Jon Snow will he be after being resurrected by Melisandre. She has been involved in some very ugly and offensive activities. Will he become her puppet?

    But this isn't the first case of the show keeping a favorite character alive. As I recall, Brienne died in the books. Yet her she is finally finding and saving Sansa.

    My next thought, as main characters die off so easily, is who's next? I think we will have Ramsey around for awhile, he's such a good villain. Sadly, I think Tommen will need to die to fulfill the prophesy that Cerci's 3 children will die. But he is the only legitimate Lanister heir,

    Loved Tyrion freeing the dragons. They clearly are friendly to him, and will help him find Dinaerys.

  285. Suzabella - a spoiler alert is necessary to respond to your post, so to those who have not read the books, please do not read this reply. That said - Brienne is not dead in the books, Podrick was hanged but Brienne escaped - she yelled something that stopped her being hung. As for resurrecting characters - the main resurrection in the books was Lady Catelyn, who comes back as Lady Stoneheart, the vengeful silent one. Regarding the witch's prophesy that Cersei will bury 3 children, "gold will be their crowns and gold their shrouds" - recall that she already lost a baby - the "beautiful boy" that she had with Robert Baratheon - then Joffrey and now Myrcella, so she has lost 3 "royal" children. Tommen is outside the scope of the prediction, so we really don't know what will happen to him. Technically, there is no legitimate Lannister heir, because Tommen is not a child of Baratheon, but of Jaime and Cerei, so he is not entitled to the throne at all - it should have passed to Stannis, as Robert's brother, but the lie that Tommen is a child of Robert continues - and it appears that the court knows the truth, as do the Sparrows, so we don't know how long Tommen can hold on to his corrupt position. With Stannis and Renly dead, and Shireen (Stannis' daughter) - it is not clear now who the Baratheon heir is - except that we read in the books (and it was hinted in the show) that a blacksmith may be an illegitimate son of Robert - Ned Stark sent him away, so where is he?

  286. Gendry is the only 'legitimate' remaining heir to the Iron Throne. He was a blacksmith or was working for one making and fixing armors when he was introduced in the show a few seasons back. Last we heard of him I think he was freed by Sir Davos as he couldn't let Melissandre sacrifice him.

  287. Actually, Lucky, it depends on how you read the prophecy. "Gold will be their crowns" could refer to their hair color. Cersei's first child and only child sired by Robert had black hair like Robert.

  288. Well, now it is clear to us that Jon Snow was just merely dead — and not really, most sincerely dead.

    — Brian

  289. Anybody notice The Bern has left the fight of Lady Hillary to lead the Sparrows?

  290. If indeed Game of Thrones is loosely based on the Wars of the Roses then I must say neither York nor Lancaster would have tolerated the Sparrows for one minute. Richard III would have known what to do and that right promptly: fire and sword for the lot of 'em - a solution I personally endorse. I consider the Sparrows worse and more dangerous than Ramsey Bolton. Ramsey merely wants power and the odd victim to play with. The Sparrows want to control everyone's minds and spirits. Ramsey is merely brutal. The Sparrows are insidious.

  291. Very satisfied with Jon's return--but I think it's may be more nebulous than you make it sound. Melisandre did leave the room--and isn't it possible that Jon's spirit had transmogrified into Ghost and then finally returned--sans Melisandre's efforts...? I'd almost be inclined to leave this unclear.

    The very fact that the excellent Danish actor Pilou Asbaek is playing Euron is enough of a reason to be interested in that plot.

    I think Ramsay has sealed his fate with his misdirected fratricide. He's in for a brutal death.

  292. Of course he wasn't dead. A close-up of his corpse was in 2 episodes. Live characters may not get that much exposure.
    Anyway what a pathetic spell to revive him. No fire and brimstone. Better spells in Harry Potter for much less of an outcome.

  293. Yeah the resurection spell was pretty unimpressive. Should have a least involved getting her kit off.

  294. What would be the best fate for Ramsay: A slowly cooked meal for the dragons !!

  295. Excellent review as always, thanks!

  296. I never read the book(s) that said I have had about enough of this show. I have watched now up to season 6 and can't remember from season to season who is who. Most of the characters (there are exceptions) either all look alike, have similar names, and there is a never ending casts of thousands on this show. Then as the season moves on and I am just beginning to recognize one character from the other and their story lines the season ends! Then 6 months later when I tune into the next new season I have the same phenomenon again. “Who is that person, what was his storyline last year?” You get the idea. The first few seasons weren’t quite as confounding in terms of remembering who’s who – but at this point I give up. It’s no longer fun to watch for me. And really that is the only reason I watch TV, for fun!

  297. Jon Snow is dead?

    "Wooo look who knows so much. It just happens that our friend here is only MOSTLY dead. And mostly dead means slightly alive."

    "If he were all dead, there's only one thing you can do.
    And what's that?
    Go through his pockets and look for loose change.

  298. Thank you for your comments, Jeremy. You've got me laughing, which is a problem with the show. It's playing for comedy and the drama has lost its punch. Here we are in the 6th season and I see no signs of the various subplots starting to wind themselves up toward a conclusion. The Greyjoys? Just seems like more endless subplots with no resolution in mind. If this show were going to run forever, great. But as it and my patience are wearing thin, I hope to see it start to move toward resolution before I lose all interest.

    There was a brief moment of fore-shadowing before Ramsay killed his father. The shot of Ramsay from behind showed the knife stashed in the small of his back. The hounds scene was completely unnecessary -- Ramsay's sadism is losing its punch. Of course, it was totally expected that he would kill the woman and his half brother. There was no need to draw it out.

  299. Oh, please.

  300. +1 for "Mountainstein".

  301. I will be glad when Ramsay is dead. It's just too gruesome, and that's saying something for GOT. I hope it's Theo that gets him.

  302. I predict it will be Brienne, under the grateful eye of Sansa, who will take down the little psychopath.