Now that’s more like it.
No Dorne, no Dany, just rain, darkness, and foreboding. This is an episode that went pretty quickly compared to last week. So many things happened and so many pieces moved.
The episodes title says it all. Home. This is an episode about where we came from and what home represents, either a real place or the people you hold most dear. Some don’t have homes, and that makes them more dangerous than anyone.
Whilst last week was about reactive decisions, people making choices based on other things happening. This week, people are choosing their own paths, setting up strands of story and repositioning themselves to an advantage.
Such as Tyrion, choosing to risk his life to feed a pair of dragons, he’s no longer just sitting about and waiting but rather taking action whilst Daenerys isn’t there.
The murder of Balon Greyjoy by his lost brother sets up a long-forgotten story from the books and brings the Iron Islands back into the picture for the first time in over a season. It’s part of the episodes look into the past, which includes Bran looking backward to the happy childhoods of his father and siblings, including a more talkative and younger Hodor.
Tyrion muses on his childhood whilst confronting (and de-chaining) the other two dragons, releasing the very children that Dany herself chained up. Tommen wants to be mothered by Cersei again, who herself is being bodyguarded by a Frankenstein monster version of the mountain, a deformed remnant of her former power.
The high sparrow threatens any thought Jamie has of rebelling, Arya is still no-one and Theon tells Sansa that he plans to return to the Iron Islands whilst Sansa and Brienne discuss Arya and the move towards Jon. Of all the stories, I would be most sad if we didn’t get a few more episodes of these four adventuring together.
I expect their journey together is only a part of a larger one but for the moment, it’s nice to see these people gain a purpose by staying in each others company. I want them to reconnect with Jon at Castle Black, kill Ramsey Bolton and take back Winterfell. Is that too much to ask?
Ramsey kills his father Roose in the first genuinely shocking moment of the season and proceeds to set the dogs on his step-mother and new baby brother. His ruthlessness and flouting of morality make him the shows wildcard, a man who doesn’t go by the rules of men and for whom, home has a different meaning.
He certainly shows no love or allegiance to family and that makes him the scariest villain yet. At least Joffrey loved his mother.
Then we have the incidents at Castle Black, as the wildlings arrive to put an end to the reign of Thorne and Melisandre attempts to revive Jon Snow. Only she has no faith in herself, but by the murder of Balon Greyjoy, we realize she may not have lost it just yet.
Which is confirmed in the last couple of seconds of the episode when, just after everyone gives up on Jon’s resurrection and leaves, his eyes shoot open. Thank god that didn’t take another few episodes to happen.
So where do we go now? A new power needs to be established in Pyke, Tyrion may have won the favor of a couple of dragons and Jon is surely about to bring vengeance to everyone in the North who has wronged him and his sister, if he’s not dead inside that is.