Have you ever started at a new job and were promised that you would be adequately trained for the position, only to find out that your supervisor is either completely incompetent, or goes AWOL and routinely leaves you to your own devices? Or worse, the position doesn’t resemble at all the one you thought you signed up for when you first took the job? That’s what last night’s Game of Thrones episode, “Home,” felt like—an office that spans two continents, with some employees being led blindly (literally) through the halls while others just walk into whatever meetings are being held and start running them, hoping that they are saying or doing the right thing.
With the writers now traversing territory that goes beyond the books, it is becoming clearer each week that Game of Thrones will eventually become what it has always been destined to be—a workplace drama that sets us up for Silicon Valley at 10 pm EST/9 pm CST.
Like last week, Arya continues to be the pint-sized queen of the cobblestone, when the Waif once again approaches her to spar in the street. Arya, knowing that this is her life now, dives right into the fight with much more aggression, but still gets served a Braavosi beatdown. The Waif then vanishes while Arya frustratingly piñata swings at no one, only to have her fighting stick meet the hand of Jaqen H’ghar. He encourages her to say her name so that she can receive shelter, food, and the return of her eyesight, but she thrice declines. Pleased, H’ghar tells Arya that she is a beggar no more, tells her to follow him, and continues wearing Nick Kroll’s face because they are the goddamn same person.
Beyond the Wall
Look guys, it’s Bran! Say, “Hi, Bran!” [“Hi, Bran!”] Whatcha been up to these past couple of years, bud? Oh yeah? Just docking real nice into a weirwood tree and learning how to see into a past that precedes you by many a decade? That’s cool. Tell the Three-Eyed Raven what’s up, and ask him why on earth Hodor’s name used to be Wylis. We’ll be outside the cave hanging with Leaf and telling Meera weird ominous shit that deserves more than just two minutes of screen time.
In the North
Elsewhere in the North, Brienne is telling Sansa about the last time she saw Arya, while Podrick and Theon are attempting to build a fire amidst the falling snow. Then out of nowhere Theon has a freakout about not being able to protect Sansa any longer both out of guilt from being kind of an awful person as well as fulfilling this all of a sudden EXTREMELY important duty to return home. It’s been a long time since Theon even last mentioned the Iron Islands, let alone be seen on them. I wonder if something is going on there? I guess time will tell.
And apparently that time is now! In a series of scenes that don’t feel rushed at all [eyeroll emojis], Balon and Yara Greyjoy get into an argument about the resourcing of their men, i.e. their invasion of Deepwood Motte failing because the armies that should have been defending their hold in the North were used in rescuing Theon instead. Balon insists on fighting, Yara opposes it and negs Ironborn successes in the North altogether, and they part ways, with Balon telling his daughter that maybe when she becomes ruler she can do whatever she wants. Yet he says it like he won’t live to see another day, which is ridiculous because not even this show can be that convenient.
Later that night, Balon encounters his younger brother Euron out of nowhere, who tells the elder Greyjoy that he is too old to rule anymore. He then throws Balon off of a bridge to his death. Uh, ok?
The next day Yara swears on the Salt Throne that she will feed the person who killed her father to sharks. Her uncle,
Lee Corso Aeron, says “not so fast, my friend!” and informs her that Kingsmoot will determine the next ruler. Which is something that hasn’t happened in forever since Greyjoys have long ruled the Iron Islands via lineal descent. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In the next installment of the Tyrion-Varys buddy comedy Meereen Streets, our only favorite Lannister requests to unchain Daenerys’ two remaining dragons in order to squelch the concerns of the rest of the group—namely Missandei and Grey Worm—about them not eating. Tyrion gains the trust of Rhaegal and Viserion by petting them while telling them a story about how he wanted a dragon when he was a boy, and further melting our hearts (while we are simultaneously messing our pants) by explaining that it could have even been a little dragon, just like him. After that story even Rhaegal and Viserion, who are fucking DRAGONS, are like “awwww ok little man” and allow him to remove their shackles. Tyrion then requests of Varys, “If I ever have an idea like that again, please punch me in the face.” I say it every time, but MAN is it nice to laugh again.
In King’s Landing
Some drunk fool, acting very much in a way that made me think, “me af,” boasts aloud in a tavern about the nasty ass things he was 100% not saying to Cersei during her public shaming in the previous season’s finale. Later, the Mountain (are we calling him Ser Robert Strong now? I’m unsure of this) finds the drunkard pissing on a wall outside and bashes his head to bits. But not before the dude gets a little pee on the Mountain’s armor! Seriously I was waiting to hear water hit metal, and when it did, I lost it. So good.
Cersei tries to visit the sept for Myrcella’s funeral, but is commanded to remain in the Red Keep per King’s orders. In the sept, Tommen and Jaime talk about Cersei’s role in the deaths of Myrcella and Tyrstane, and Jaime convinces Tommen to visit Cersei in the Keep and apologize for not helping her during her trial. After Tommen leaves, the High Sparrow appears. Jaime asks why Cersei is being punished for her sins, but not he, despite being a kingslayer and also a killer of his own cousin. Out of a restrained rage Jaime threatens to kill the High Sparrow, and just then many other sparrows appear ready to fight. The High Sparrow explains that sure a lot of them could die and that’s fine, but they as a cohesive belief are strong enough to overthrow any empire. None of this was really that funny, so I rewound to watch the pee scene again. Heh.
Roose Bolton learns of his men being killed in their pursuit of Sansa and figures that she has assistance during her escape. Meanwhile Ramsay suggests that in the meantime they raid Castle Black. Even Roose is like, “Kill the Lord Commander?? That’s a terrible idea, and I don’t even WORK there!” Shortly after, news arrives of the birth of Roose’s son. Ramsay congratulates his father and then stabs him to death, but not before hearing the words, “You will always be my first born.” And because Ramsay is just a team of maggots piled up on top of each other in the shape of a human, he leads Walda and his newborn half-brother down into the chambers for them to be eaten alive by the hounds, thus solidifying his sole claim to House Bolton. I hate this.
At the Wall
Right as Ser Alliser Thorne orders the door keeping him from Ser Davos to be knocked down, Edd returns with Tormund “King of Best Names” Giantsbane, Wun Wun the giant, and a whole slew of wildlings JUST in time to mutineer the mutineers. Davos has Thorne and that piece of shit Olly thrown into Wall jail, then later asks Melisandre for her help in resurrecting Jon Snow. She claims that she has witnessed a revival of this sort, but knows that she can’t do it, as the Lord of Light hath forsaken her to the point of shattering her faith. Davos tells her to sack up and try it since he’s seen her do crazy shit before. Melisandre’s then like “aight.”
She approaches Jon Snow’s lifeless body and washes it clean, clearly exposing the severity of his fatal wounds. They are gross. She then cuts off some of his hair and high school-quality beard and burns it. Our imaginations race to find what could be a worse smell, but come up empty. The Red Woman then offers up some prayers/chants in High Valyrian before resorting to a simple “please” as nothing seems to work. Defeated, they all leave the room, but they should have stayed a bit longer! Because after a few beats, Ghost arises from a slumber, looks up at his master, and Jon Snow opens his eyes and gasps for air.
[takes deep breath]
OH MY GOD YOU GUYS JON SNOW IS BACK AND OK MAYBE HE ISN’T “ALL THE WAY” BACK BUT STILL KIT HARRINGTON IS BACK AND THAT IS GOOD NEWS FOR EVERYONE, LIKE OK NOW IT SORT OF MAKES SENSE WHEN PEOPLE SAW HIM FILMING BUT WITH SHORT HAIR, LIKE MELISANDRE WAS CUTTING HIS HAIR SO MAYBE IT GOES ALL THE WAY SHORT AGAIN? ALSO DID MELISANDRE’S MAGIC THING WORK, OR WAS IT LIKE A WARG-INTO-GHOST THING AND SHE JUST BROUGHT HIS LIFE BACK INTO HIS OWN BODY? OR DID SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY HAPPEN OFF SCREEN THAT SUPER COINCIDES WITH JON SNOW’S RESURRECTION? I DON’T KNOW BUT THIS IS CRAZY EXCITING AND I’M GONNA GO RUN AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD BANGING POTS AND PANS LIKE IT’S MIDNIGHT OF Y2K WHERE ARE THE FIREWORKS OH LORD I HOPE I DON’T END UP IN JAIL.