The following recap contains massive spoilers (DUH). Please don’t read ahead unless you are perfectly ok with that fact or have seen the episode.
This week’s Game of Thrones begins where we left Brandon Stark, with the Three-Eyed Raven. They are both in a meditative state, and looking back on Ned and Benjen Stark when they were young and learning to fight with swords. Lyanna rides in and greets Ned and Benjen. Bran also sees that Hodor was there back then, and was able to speak normally. Bran is enjoying seeing his family when they were all young and happy, but the Three-Eyed Raven tells him that it is time to go. After waking, Bran turns to Hodor and lets him know that he saw him as a boy, when he could talk and was named Wylis. Bran asks Hodor what happened to take his voice away, but Hodor is unable to tell him. Outside of the cave, Bran tells Meera Reed what he saw of Hodor. Meera is upset because she knows the war is coming, and wants to take more action than they have been taking. After Hodor takes Bran back inside the cave, a girl that is there tells Meera that Bran needs her. Meera doesn’t understand why, since all Bran does is have his visions, and afterwards nothing ever happens.
At Castle Black, the dissenters are trying to convince Ser Davos Seaworth to let them into the room where they are keeping Jon Snow’s body. They explain that they will set Jon’s dire wolf, Ghost, north of the Wall where it belongs. Davos and the others draw their swords and prepare for the dissenters to enter. However, as the dissenters are breaking down the door, the Wildlings begin an attack. Without Jon Snow to lead them bravely, the others drop their weapons in fear. The Wildlings take the dissenters to prison, as they had respect for Jon Snow, and see the dissenters as traitors.
Cersei Lannister is in her chamber when her new guard enters. He begins to escort her to Myrcella’s funeral, when the King’s Guard meets them. They explain to her that by King’s orders, she is not to leave the Red Keep.
Tommen Baratheon and Jamie Lannister are looking over Myrcella’s body and discussing why Tommen made the order to keep Cersei at the Red Keep. He knew that the militants would throw Cersei into a cell if she entered the Sept, but Jamie explains he will never allow that to happen again. Tommen confesses to feeling like a failure, since he hasn’t done anything to protect his own wife or mother. Jamie tries to comfort him by explaining that everyone fails sometimes, and that’s ok. The High Sparrow then enters, and Tommen asks to see his wife, Margaery. High Sparrow says that he must wait until Margaery confesses her sins. Jamie tells High Sparrow that he is a bold man, but he contradicts Jamie, and tells Jamie that he fears all the gods. Jamie begins to threaten High Sparrow, but the High Sparrow has brought his militants. High Sparrow then threatens Jamie in return, saying that his group can overthrow an empire.
Tommen goes to his mother in the Red Keep. He apologizes for keeping Cersei imprisoned. He explains that he was afraid that he would lose her again. He tells her that he knows now that he should have pulled down the Sept and had them all executed before he allowed the High Sparrow and his men torture his mother. He knows that he needs to be strong, but doesn’t know how. He asks Cersei to help him, and she agrees.
Varys, Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm are in Meereen speaking of the state of the kingdom. Tyrion suggests that they let the dragons loose. The dragons haven’t eaten since Danaerys left and are currently starving. Tyrion thinks that if they let them loose, that they will eat and thrive. First, though, he wants to show the dragons that he is their friend. Tyrion says that dragons are highly intelligent, and can remember their friends, and therefore should be able to be made allies even in Danaerys’s absence. Varys takes Tyrion into the cave where the dragons are being held. They have grown immensely since Danaerys trapped them. They seem hostile towards Tyrion, but he tries to explain to them that he is a friend of their mothers. Tyrion then tells them about when he was little and asked for a dragon for his name day. Everyone laughed at him, but he didn’t care. When he learned the dragons had died, he cried himself to sleep. As he is comforting the dragons, he sets them free. The dragons are clearly thankful, and do not harm Tyrion.
The Waif approaches Arya, who is still blind and begging in the streets. She asks Arya what her name is, and then proceeds to beat her with a large staff. Then Jaqen H’ghar approaches her and asks her what her name is. Each time he asks, she says she has no name. He promises Arya comforts every time he asks, if she will only say her name. Arya still replies with, “A girl has no name.” After seeing her resolve, Jaqen tells her to follow him, and that she is no longer a beggar.
Lord Karstark reports the events in the woods from last week’s episode to Roose Bolton. Ramsay Bolton says that he knows Sansa Stark is on her way to Castle Black to see her brother, Jon Snow. Ramsay feels that they should take a group of men to Castle Black in order to kill Jon Snow. Roose feels if they kill the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, they would loose the loyalty of most of the houses of the North. As they are speaking, Maester Wolkan enters to inform the group that Lady Walda has given birth to a boy. Ramsay congratulates his father, and Roose lets Ramsay know that he will always be firstborn. Ramsay thanks his father for saying that, and then stabs him. Ramsay then instructs Maester Wolkan to send ravens to all the houses informing them that their enemies have poisoned Roose Bolton. Ramsay also instructs Maester Wolkan to send for Lady Walda and the new baby. Walda approaches Ramsay with his new brother. She asks to see Lord Bolton, and Ramsay agrees to take her to him. Instead, Ramsay takes her to his dogs. He explains that he is now Lord Bolton, and he then commands his dogs to attack Lady Walda and her new baby.
In the woods, Brienne of Tarth is telling Sansa of her run in with Arya. Brienne then asks Sansa what happened at Winterfell. Sansa knows now that she should have gone with Brienne when she had the chance. Brienne comforts her and tells her that everyone has to make difficult choices, and that was a difficult choice for Sansa. Sansa then approaches Theon, who explains to her that he will not be joining on the way to The Wall. He has done too much against their family, and knows that Jon will kill him on site. Sansa tells him that if he takes the black, all of his sins will be forgiven, however, Theon does not want forgiveness. Sansa does not want to see him leave, and asks where he will go. Theon plans to return home.
At the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy is walking across one of the bridges, when he approached by his brother, Euron Greyjoy. After a brief argument as to who is more apt to rule, Euron throws Balon from the bridge.
Ser Davos approaches Melisandre and asks her if there is any way that she can resurrect Jon Snow. She explains that there are those who have the power to resurrect, but that she does not know how. She has lost all of her faith, but Davos explains that he’s not asking one of the god’s for help, but her. She then explains that she has never had the power he is asking her for, but Ser Davos then asks her if she ever tried. Melisandre agrees to try, and begins the ritual. She tries, but it is to no avail. Everyone leaves the room in disappointment. However, just as everyone has left, Jon Snow awakens.
This episode was difficult for me to watch. Bad things happening to babies or small children, and what Ramsay Bolton did to his nephew was a trigger for me. Generally, something like that happening in a show is enough for me to quit it. However, this is Game of Thrones, and it shouldn’t necessarily shock me that they went there. I’m also conflicted as to how I feel about how much the show is making me like Theon Greyjoy. However, it was great to see Arya get accepted again by A Man, and of course I’m happy to see the return of Jon Snow. I think we all knew that was coming, but just didn’t know how. All in all it was a good episode and I can’t wait to see if we truly have our Jon Snow back, or if he has come back as something else.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO and simultaneously streams on HBO GO on Sunday nights at 9PM ET.