Game of Thrones 6.02 - Home
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So, episode two Game of Thrones is upon us and what an excellent episode it is. It is called Home, quite an apt title given its profundity; home is where the heart is, it’s a place most strive for and for a high percentage of the characters in GoT it is where they are trying to get back to.
The episode begins with a Bran vision - Isaac Hempstead-Wright’s growth spurt is rather distracting and the only real indicator of an actual time lapse – he is keeping a watchful eye over his father Ned and uncle Benjen (remember him?) engaging in childish swordplay, it is good to see Winterfell in better days albeit some thirty years previous. We also get to see a teenage Hodor, going by his, presumably, first name Willis. The gentle giant and protector has a voice and is fairly articulate, which begs the question, what happened to rob him of his speech? When Bran, in training with The Three-Eyed Raven (personified by Max Von Sydow), is brought back, he tells present day Hodor who simply replies with a "Hodor". Hopefully, we will get to see more of his backstory later in this season.
Although we have followed many stories in Westeros, Jon Snow is the one character that connects with audiences the most. Again, his bloody, lifeless body adorns the table in Castle Black with people arguing over it. Alliser Thorne is outside with his men while Davos and those closest to Jon guard his body. It’s all about to kick off when a giant smashes through the gates; The Wildlings are here to save the day and chaos ensues.
Go down your local pub and after a few ales one of your party or maybe someone nearby will start bragging and telling tall tales. Kings Landing is no different, a man boasts of exposing himself to Cersei during her walk of shame. Later, he walks outside at the call of the wild, to urinate, and promptly gets his head smashed in by Cersei's own man mountain guard, Ser Robert Strong. Even if it is by proxy, don’t mess with Cersei.
Speaking of which, she is desperate to attend Myrcella's funeral but the faith militant refuse her entrance to her child’s body. Tommen confines her to the Red Keep believing his mother to be responsible for Prince Trystane’s death. His guilt keeps him away. His Uncle/Daddy Jaime pushes him to see her – he is, after all, the only child she has left. After he leaves the High Sparrow joins Jaime. It becomes a war of words between the two men as the Commander asks why he has yet to be forced to atone for his sins. This scene works well and the dialogue delivered excellently, especially Jonathan Pryce, who uses his languid body language and articulate tongue to portray the hypocritical character. Tommen finally sees his mother and asks for forgiveness, their reunion ends with the boy asking “help me”. To which the protective mother answers: “always.” It is telling for both characters motivation and will be interesting to see in upcoming episodes.
Blind, destitute and still recovering from her last altercation with the girl with the stick, Arya is once again begging on the streets of Braavos. The Waif turns up and attacks her again demanding to know her name, to which she does not answer. After a scuffle the girl vanishes and is replaced by Jaqen H'ghar and he too attempts to wear her down “what is your name?” Arya answers plainly “I have no name.” Even when he offers to restore her sight if she reveals her true name, despite a slight hesitation, Arya refuses and follows her guardian with the promise of food. She’s a tough cookie that Stark.
Brienne and Sansa talk about Arya as she describes her last meeting with her, Sansa is enraptured with every word her rescuer relays. The scene plays out well, almost coming across like a sisters discussing family; finally Brienne has fulfilled her mission (almost) It will be interesting to see what happens next, Sansa says little about her life with husband Ramsay Bolton.
Ah, Ramsay, who knew there could be worse than Joffrey? He really is a nasty piece of work. After finding out that his father has had another baby he immediately turns on him; his step mother and newborn brother are the next unwilling victims. Given the atrocities he performed on Theon, why are we surprised. Theon and Sansa part on good terms, he bids farewell as he makes his way home, alone.
Amid a rainstorm in Pyke, Yara and Balon Greyjoy argue about the Iron Islands and how they lost their grip on the North. Balon leaves and tries to cross a creaking rope bridge; a hooded figure appears and blocks his way. As he takes a step forward the man reveals himself - Euron Greyjoy (1864’s Great Dane Pilou Asbæk) younger brother of Balon. They argue and the scene ends when the elder falls to his death. The setting of this scene is great, it is well shot, very atmospheric with the rain, the darkness, and the sound of the creaking bridge. It is, as they say, a good death. With Theon on his way home, Yara determined to be the first woman in charge and now uncle Euron showing up, I think it’s safe to say there will a fight for the Iron Throne.
A Game of Thrones episode wouldn't be complete without a scene with Tyrion. After a discussion about Daenerys' dragons and their lack of eating, Tyrion decides to do something about it. He ventures down to the tombs with Varys, where Rhaegal and Viserion are being kept, chained to the wall. The scene plays out with Tyrion venturing forth into the darkness and the CGI dragons are really impressive with the first shot depicting a ball of fire in the creature’s mouth. Tyrion is obviously nervous and tells a story of how he asked his dad for a dragon to ride when he was a child "not a big one; a small one, like me" but Tywin (may he rest in peace) told him that dragons no longer existed. The dragons listen intently and sensing he not a threat allow Tyrion to pull the bolt and chain from their necks before returning to the darkness. The gutsiest Lannister picks up his torch and hurries up the stone steps, when he reaches the top, he turns to Varys "if I decide to do that again, punch me in the face".
An improvement on last week’s episode Home is rather good with respective journeys coming together, home could well be on the horizon. Although, she was the titular character last week, Melisandre is at odds with herself and her beliefs – Jon’s death means everything she was told and shown in the flames is false; she no longer believes in her power. Davos knows she is magical, has seen what she can do and asks her to try. She bathes the body, washing Snow’s deep wounds, and cuts his curls throwing them into the fire while reciting incantations. She places her hands on his torso and closes her eyes, “please.” When it doesn’t work, she and Davos leave the room, Ghost lays on the floor at his master’s feet. Something stirs the Dire-Wolf and it looks to the table, but the Red Woman’s spell didn’t work...it didn’t...did it?