Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2: “Homeward Bound” review (SPOILER WARNING!)

It’s a good thing this episode didn’t “go to the dogs!”

Well, this week’s installment of Game of Thrones featured the introduction of Euron Greyjoy, the deaths of Roose Bolton, Fat Walda and baby Bolton and…the resurrection of Jon Snow (dun dun dun!). I mean, at this point, we all knew it was coming but I must admit I was surprised that they brought him back to life so quickly. Anyway, let’s start from the beginning, ’tis a very good place to start.

The episode begins with the re-introduction of Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven; although I never really found Bran’s storyline as interesting as others, the use of Weirwood flashbacks to get an insight into the past had me intrigued from the outset. Seeing young Ned, Benjen and Lyanna made the events of the coming years seem even stranger; in less than ten years, Lyanna would inadvertently tear the Seven Kingdoms apart with her relationship (come on, she wasn’t taken against her will, the evidence of her being a badass makes that theory very obscure) with Rhaegar Targaryen. Bran’s reaction to this scene also added another layer of emotion, seeing his father, aunt and uncle while they were still young and carefree instead of being AWOL somewhere in beyond the Wall, dying in childbirth or being beheaded (still painful seasons later).

King’s Landing

“I don’t think they mind. They’ve spilt more than all of us combined.”
Jaime Lannister

We then proceeded to King’s Landing and the beginnings of ZombieMountain’s reign of terror (the way he smashed that man’s head, I got Oberyn flashbacks *shudder*). If war was ever destined to occur between the Faith Militant and the Lannisters, the time has come. Jaime squared up to the High Sparrow and Tommen asked Cersei to advise him to proceed (never a good move; the murderous look in Cersei’s eyes when he finally asked secured this idea). King’s Landing always seems to have the most interesting storylines, in my opinion, and this season promises to deliver the same caliber of storylines (I am waiting on tenterhooks for ‘I chose violence’).

Meereen

“That’s what I do. I drink and I know things…”
Tyrion Lannister

Then to Meeren and one of my favourite parts of the episode. Tyrion befriending the dragons. So unbelievably epic. The way that the dragons acknowledged that Tyrion was not a threat -”don’t eat the help”-and then the way that Viserion moved his neck to allow Tyrion to remove his collar…ah, it was such an epic moment! Even though the dragons allowed him to interact with them, I do not think it is because he is a secret Targaryen (however much I subscribe to that theory) but more because they know he will not harm them as they ‘know who their friends are’. So, that now means that the dragons are no longer chained up. Does this mean that we are going to have jailbreak dragons? Are they going to be reunited with Daenerys? Will they fly and incinerate the newly reclaimed slaver cities of Yunkai and Astapor? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Braavos

“A girl has no name…”
Arya Stark

In Braavos, Arya continues to her life as a beggar, getting the fluff beaten out of her by The Waif (No idea what her actual name is, she was credited as the Waif so that is what I shall call her). Arya’s resolve when she is offered her sight back and shelter by Jaqen H’ghar, continuing to say ‘a girl has no name’ ensures that she is taken back to the House of Black and White to continue her training; whether or not she will get her sight back in the foreseeable future is uncertain but I am quite excited to see Arya to continuing her training as a blind Faceless Man.

Winterfell

“I prefer being an only child…”
Ramsay Bolton

Now, this was the most disturbing part of the episode. I must admit, I did not think it would turn out the way it did and I am not sure if it was the best move. Ramsay stabs Roose, after the announcement of the birth of Fat Walda’s son. Personally, I have always found Roose to be the more interesting character; he is aware of how to play the game of thrones, taking risks to seize power. He was evil but logical; Ramsay is a sandwich short of a picnic. He seems comically evil at this point which makes him seem boring; he acts for the sake of being evil to shock. After murdering his father, he then feeds his step-mother and newborn half-brother to his dogs; I sat watching it, mouth open, hoping that Ramsay would have a change of heart and change his mind but no. No, he did not change his mind; the only consolation is that they did not show the brutal act but Ramsay’s reaction, similar to the way that they only showed Theon’s reaction to Sansa’s rape. The only thing I can hope is that Ramsay is slaughtered by Jon Snow during the upcoming Battle of Winterfell, before the conclusion of season 6.

The Iron Islands

“I am the first storm, and the last…”

A book moment we have been waiting for, for ages. The wobbly bridge. R.I.P the fifth of the five kings, Balon Greyjoy. On the upside, we were introduced to the Crow’s Eye a.k.a Euron Greyjoy (on a sidenote, why does Euron have both eyes? One of his main character appearance traits is his single eye. Just a minor nitpick). The portrayal of Euron, as slightly mental was perfect to the character and, having read the books, I am so excited for what the character will do next…if they stay true to the books. The ways things are going, I’m half expecting any interesting characters to die.

Castle Black

“Please…”
Melissandre

It happened! It happened! It happened! They brought Jon Snow back from the grave…world’s worst kept secret. We knew from the outset that he was not going to be removed from the story while his parentage seems central to the plot and his role remains at the centre of the upcoming War for the Dawn. So, Melissandre brings him back which I think everyone expected; why would they have her located at Castle Black if they would not use her to resurrect Jon? The only issue I have is that it seemed quick. We may have waited 10 months to find out his fate but, the fact that Melissandre resurrected him so quickly, while having a crisis of faith and not being confident in her abilities, made it feel too quick. Surely, this attempt should have failed and then a later attempt should have been successful (potentially involving some form of fire…maybe). The fact that the writers’ tried to ‘fake out’, trying to convince the audience that the ritual had not worked- well, I say ritual, it looked more like spa treatments- and then had Jon gasp…I was not convinced. Ghost’s reaction, for one, was way to calm for if Jon was actually dead and he woke up a few seconds before Jon did.

I am interested to see what becomes of Jon now, especially as Beric Dondarrion said to Arya that every time he came back, he felt something was missing. Are we destined to see the emergence of Jon Starkgaryen? Will he become even more morose than he was before? Will I finally become interested in the Night’s Watch storyline? I am very excited to find out.

Final verdict:

It’s fair to say, I loved this episode. It intrigued me and excited me for the rest of the season and, best of all, the Sand Snakes were nowhere to be seen! I’m not sure about some of the choices that were made (namely the death of Roose Bolton) but I am so excited to see where the plot goes next and, come on, who is not completely psyched for next week’s Tower of Joy flashback which may finally confirm R+L=J?

Rating: 9/10