Game of Thrones 602 recap and review
FULL SPOILERS. Last week’s episode, “The Red Woman,” left its big reveal for the final scene in a shocking moment inside Melisandre’s quarters where her true likeness was revealed to be that of an aged, haggard witch possibly centuries of years old. For the second week in a row, “Game of Thrones” kept its big reveal inside a room at Castle Black and Melisandre found herself in the thick of the surprise yet again.
BEYOND THE WALL: “Home” begins focusing on a character, Bran, we’ve not seen since the last episode in the fourth season, “The Children.” Since we last saw the paralyzed Stark son, he’s learned to travel through time via the weirwood tree network that clusters underneath Bloodraven’s giant weirwood. The opening scene features Bran and Bloodraven lingering at Winterfell when Ned, Lyanna, and Benjen were children. The moment is short-lived and Bloodraven drags them back to reality where we see Meera hanging out alone just outside the cave. She seemed on edge about Bran’s training until one of the Children of the Forest explains that Bran will need her help once his training with Bloodraven is completed. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this scene is when Bran realizes the moment Bloodraven brought them to is the day Hodor (or Willis in the show, not Walter like the books) came to Winterfell. Bran even sees his friend speak beyond simply blurting his name in this flashback, a surprise for all viewers and not just the characters who know him. What happened to Hodor? What a catch for “Game of Thrones” to book living legend in Max von Sydow (The Seventh Seal, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens)for such an important role. Unfortunately, D & D elected to not give Bloodraven his signature eye patch and the jury’s still out on that—it’s pretty essential for that character.
PYKE/ IRON ISLANDS: A couple more characters who haven’t surfaced in a long time appear in the forms of Balon and Yara Greyjoy. Balon doesn’t agree with Yara’s rescue attempt for Theon as they speak about the last Ironborn man at Deepwood Motte getting killed. When Balon storms outside to cross the bridge to get to the other side of the castle, his brother Euron Greyjoy meets him on the bridge and they speak just a little bit with heavy animosity before Euron throws Balon off the bridge. Just like Bloodraven, D & D decided to omit Euron’s eye patch, basically forfeiting his awesome nickname, “Crow’s Eye,” from the book series—appearing as if Victarion Greyjoy from the books has been shoehorned in with the show’s interpretation of his brother Euron. When Balon’s body washes ashore and Yara proclaims her father wanted her to inherit the Iron Islands, Aeron Damphair declares that all will be decided at the next King’s Moot. Where was this plotline last year? It’s already leaps and bounds ahead of the drawn-out drivel that happened over in Dorne.
THE NORTH/ WILDERNESS: Brienne explains to Sansa that she fell upon Arya a while back, but that Arya slipped away and hasn’t been located ever since that day. As Podrick continues to build a fire, Theon decides to leave after seeing that Sansa is more than safe in Brienne’s company. He supposes that he’ll leave for the Iron Islands now that he’s no longer under Ramsay’s rule. Brienne, Sansa, and Podrick will continue for Castle Black as nobody knows of the mutiny there yet. / WINTERFELL: Ramsay Bolton effectively ends the “Roose Bolton-is-an-immortal-skinwalking-vampire” theory when he shockingly plunged a dagger into his father following the birth announcement of Lady Walda’s son. After Ramsay kills Roose in front of his Karstark buddy, he calls Walda and her baby to the kennels where the malnourished hounds—all terrified of Ramsay—are released to eat Lady Bolton and her newborn. The cherry on top of the delusional sundae arrives when Ramsay asks the maester to send a raven to their allies announcing the Bolton’s enemies have poisoned Lord Roose.
MEEREEN: Tyrion and Varys speak a little which leads Tyrion to make a potentially rash decision. While not much dialogue happened, we enjoyed a suspenseful sequence of the runaway Lannister releasing the two dragons of Daenerys that were still locked up underground. Perhaps a few more dragons flying around will scare away the Sons of the Harpy? Tyrion noted that dragons are smart- kind to their friends and deadly to their enemies. He was just lucky to walk out alive with Varys.
KING’S LANDING: Cersei and Ser Robert Strong approach the Sept of Baelor to view Myrcella’s body but they are forbidden entrance due to King Tommen’s orders. Inside the Sept, Jaime convinces his son/ nephew to ask Cersei for forgiveness. When Tommen agrees, the High Sparrow reveals himself to Jaime for the first time and almost goads the golden handed man into slaying him. Is this Howland Reed? Jaime wants to know why he was never punished for all of his sins, but Cersei was regardless. When the Kingslayer shows the High Sparrow the hilt of his sword, the other brothers of the Faith Militant reveal themselves armed to the teeth. Who runs the realm for real?
BRAAVOS: Arya begs again and again meets the waif with her bo-staff. When she gets easily defeated in combat again, a man who looks like Jaqen offers to: first give her a roof, then food, and finally her sight if she will just tell him a girl’s name. Because Arya says a girl has no name to all three offers, he takes her off the street to begin the next leg of her training. Like Bran, Arya seems to have some intense training days ahead yet.
CASTLE BLACK: Two sequences took place at the wall this week. The earlier one depicted Davos picking up Longclaw alongside the brothers loyal to Jon as Thorne and his cronies tried to break down the door and kill them before word of the mutiny could get south. There have been mutinies at the wall for centuries, and now some of the mutineers will finally have their just desserts—not unlike the lowlifes Jon brought down at Craster’s Keep (instead of Coldhands) who betrayed Lord Commander Mormont. (It’s possible that Bloodraven himself was once a mutinied Lord Commander.) When it seems like Thorne and his men will succeed, Edd arrives with Tormund and his gang of Wildling badasses (giant in tow). When the mutineers see the giant splatter a man against the side of the castle, all bets steered directly for the Wildlings. The final scene of “Home” returned to the Wall where Davos asks Melisandre to use her magic to resurrect and restore Jon Snow’s dead body. She performs a ritual and nothing happens immediately after. One by one, the living file out of the room until only Ghost the direwolf and Jon remain. Ghost wakes up from a nap…and so then does Jon—taking his first gasp of air since death. Azor Ahai reborn? The Last Hero returned? The Prince who was promised? He’s one of these, right?
More shocking moments and suspenseful sequences equate to another memorable hour of television that only “Game of Thrones” delivers. How many series can drop a character for a few years, only to bring the characters back without missing a beat? Not many. The reveal of Melisandre’s age in “The Red Woman” and her power in “Home” have established a character certainly standing as a magical force to be reckoned with as the stakes only seem to grow in Westeros, Essos, and Beyond the Wall. Does her magic work in the true north?