Game of Thrones Recap - Season 6, Episode 2: "Home"

I've written several "Binge Guides" for Game of Thrones, and here is an excerpt from the new book, the recap of the first episode of season six. The Binge Guide for Season 6 is available now on Amazon Kindle. For more information on my GoT Binge Guides, go here.

Episode 2: "Home"

Episode Number: S06E02
Original Air Date: May 1, 2016
Time: 54 minutes

Opening Credits

The animated map during the credits shows several important locations: King’s Landing, Pyke, Winterfell, the Wall; across the Narrow Sea, Braavos and Meereen. 
Notes: Pyke last appeared in the opening credits animation in S02E10.

Under the Weirwood

Inside the cave under the weirwood tree, Bran Stark and the Three-Eyed Raven use their supernatural sight to visit the past. They are at Winterfell watching a young Ned Stark train in sword fighting with his younger brother, Benjen. They watch from a balcony as the two boys practice with wooden swords. Lyanna Stark, Ned and Benjen’s sister, arrives on horseback and is helped by a young stable boy, Wylis, who Bran recognizes as a young Hodor. Lyanna recruits Wylis to spar with Benjen and gives him some advice, and Bran is surprised that the young Hodor seems normal, conversing as a regular person would instead of only saying the world “Hodor” over and over. Benjen and Wylis prepare to spar when Nan intercedes and sends Wylis off to work.
The Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran it’s time to return to the present and warns Bran about lingering too long in the visions. Bran talks to Hodor, asking him what happened that made him unable to speak normally, but all he can say is “Hodor.” Outside the cave, Bran tells Meera Reed that’s it’s not safe to be outside. He says the Three-Eyed Raven has told him a war is coming. Leaf, a Child of the Forest, tells Meera to be patient—at some point Bran will leave the cave and will need her help.
Notes: This is the first time we’ve seen Bran Stark, Hodor, Jojen Reed or the old man, known as the Three-Eyed Raven, since S04E10. The Stark boys mention that the young Hodor has “giant’s blood.” The Three-Eyed  Raven is played by veteran actor Max Von Sydow, best known for his roles in such films as The Exorcist, Dune and Never Say Never Again. The role of the Three-Eyed Raven was previously played by actor Struan Rodger, who only appeared in one episode, “The Children” (S04E10). Old Nan was Bran’s governess and told him stories of the long winter and the White Walkers, who rode their “dead horses” and drove packs of pale spiders as “big as hounds,” in S01E03. 

At the Wall

Alliser Thorne and his followers in Castle Black prepare to move on the few men who sided with Jon Snow, who lays dead on a table in his chambers. Thorne speaks through the door to Ser Davos Seaworth, telling him and the others to surrender. Davos doesn’t trust Thorne, who orders the door beaten down. As they knock a hole in the door, another knock sounds—the Wildlings attack Castle Black. Tormund and Dolorous Edd burst in, following Wun Wun the giant, and the men of the Night’s Watch, knowing they are outnumbered, drops their weapons. Edd orders Thorne and the other conspirators who killed Jon Snow locked up. Tormund is saddened to see Jon dead and offers to build a fire to burn the body. 
Later, Davos visits Melisandre, the Red Woman, and asks her to attempt to revive Jon Snow. She doubts it can be done, but he reminds her of the poison that should have killed her and the shadow demon she birthed. She washes Jon’s body as the others watch, then begins the ritual. She cuts pieces of his hair and throws them into the fire while she speaks Valyrian words.
Notes: Melisandre drank poison that should have killed her and was saved by her necklace in the first episode she appeared in, S02E01. She birthed a shadow demon in S02E04 that went on to kill King Renly Baratheon.

In King’s Landing

Reanimated Kingsguard The Mountain kills a peasant in King’s Landing by dashing his head against a stone wall. In the Red Keep, Cersei Lannister leaves to visit the Sept of Baelor and her daughter’s funeral, but are blocked by a group of Lannister guards. On the king’s orders, she is to stay in the castle. After a tense confrontation, Cersei decides to remain in the Red Keep—for now. In the Sept, King Tommen and Jaime Lannister look at the body of Princess Myrcella. Jaime wonders why Cersei has been kept away, and Tommen says the Faith Militant forbade it. Jaime tells the High Sparrow he’s a bold man for refusing the King, threatening him—but the High Sparrow is unconcerned. More of the Faith appear, holding weapons. “They should be closer if they mean to save you,” Jaime says, but the High Sparrow shakes his head. “With enough of us, we can overthrow an empire.”
In the Red Keep, Tommen speaks to Cersei and apologizes for keeping her safe. Tommen is afraid, worried for Queen Margaery and angry for not standing up to the High Sparrow.  
Notes: The massive guard is Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, or what’s left of him—he was fatally poisoned in the “trial by combat” with Prince Oberyn Martell in S04E08, and Qyburn asked to care for him afterward. He used unsanctioned arts to reanimate the man and add him to Cersei’s guard. This is the first time we really see the High Sparrow threatened—and the first time we see he has created an small army of his own. He also makes it very clear he’s working to overthrow the king and seize control.
Quotes: Jaime Lannister: “You imprisoned and humiliated my sister.”  High Sparrow: “Your sister sought the gods' mercy and atoned for her sin.”  Jaime: “What about my sins? I broke a sacred oath and stabbed my king in the back. I killed my own cousin. When the gods judged my brother guilty, I helped him escape their justice. What atonement do I deserve?”  High Sparrow: “You would spill blood in this holy place?”  Jaime: “Oh, the gods won't mind. They've spilled more blood than the rest of us combined.”

In Slaver’s Bay

Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys discuss the situation in Meereen with Gray Worm and Missandei.  The fleet has been burned and Astapor and Yunkai have both been re-taken by the slavers, leaving only Meereen as a free city. 
Tyrion says the dragons need to be free to range and fly or they will waste away. He and Varys go to feed the dragons, still chained under the pyramid. Tyrion nervously befriends the dragons—and unchains them.
Quotes: Tyrion: “That’s what I do: I drink and I know things.”

In Braavos

In Braavos, Arya Stark is blind and spars with the Waif, who bests her and asks her her name. Jaqen offers her a warm bed, and food, and her sight back if she will simply say her name, but Arya refuses. “A girl has no name.” Jaqen asks her to follow.
Notes: According to IMDB, “In order to play Arya Stark as blind, actress Maisie Williams wears large 16 millimeter contacts that she cannot see through.”

In Winterfell

Roose Bolton and his son Ramsey discuss Sansa Stark and her escape from the castle. Guards have found the bodies of those Ramsey sent after her, and they all agree Sansa had help getting away. Ramsey suggests attacking Castle Black and killing Jon Snow to secure the Bolton’s claim on Winterfell, but Roose is dubious. 
The maester enters: Lady Walda has given birth, and it’s a boy. Ramsey stabs and kills Roose, then tells the maester to send out ravens: Roose Bolton has been poisoned by his enemies. To cement his claim, Ramsey leads Lady Walda, carrying the baby, to the kennels and locks them inside, where the dogs set upon them. 
Nearby, Theon Greyjoy is gathering wood while Brienne of Tarth talks to Sansa Stark. Brienne is one of the few people in Westeros that knows Arya Stark is alive, and tells Sansa as much—that Arya was in the company of a man when she saw them last. Theon says they should keep moving—they are making their way to Castle Black. But he’s decided to return home.
Quotes: Maester Wolkan: “My lords. Lady Walda has given birth. A boy. Red-cheeked and healthy.”  Harald Karstark: “My congratulations, Lord Bolton.”  Ramsay Bolton: “Congratulations, Father. I look forward to meeting my new brother.”  Roose Bolton: “You'll always be my firstborn.”  Ramsay: “Thank you for saying that. It means a great deal to me. (Kills Roose). Maester Wolkan, send ravens to all the northern houses. Roose Bolton is dead. Poisoned by our enemies. How did he die?”  Wolkan: “Poisoned by his enemies.”  Harald: “You're talking to your lord. Use respect.”  Wolkan: “Forgive me, my lord.”  Ramsay Bolton: "Send for Lady Walda and the baby.”

In Pyke

In the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy discusses his losses with his daughter Yara. She’s angry they’ve lost Deepwood Motte, their last hold on the mainland. He chastises her for trying to rescue Theon, but she’s unimpressed—his “kingdom” is gone. He reminds her that in the recent “War of the Five Kings,” he is the only one remaining. He walks outside to another castle, along a rickety wooden bridge, and is met by a figure—his brother Euron. He has come for the Salt Throne—and throws Balon over the side to his death. 
Balon’s body is given to the sea, and Yara declares she will have the throne, but is reminded by her uncle Aeron that she must be chosen at the Kingsmoot. If she won, she’d be the first female to lead the Ironborn.
Notes: This is the first time we’ve seen Balon Greyjoy, Yara Greyjoy, the castle of Pyke or the Iron Islands since Balon Greyjoy got a certain package from Ramsey Snow in S03E10. This is the first time we’ve seen Yara Greyjoy since she attempted to rescue Theon from the Dreadfort in S04E06. Also, of the three men named by Stannis during the blood ritual in S03E08, Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon are dead. If the magic works, Balon Greyjoy will follow next…and he soon does.
Quotes: Yara Greyjoy: “I won't apologize for trying to rescue Theon.”  Balon Greyjoy: “Then where is he?”  Yara: “Where is your kingdom? We took those castles because the Northerners marched off to war. That war is over. The last time we provoked them too far, I watched from that window as they breached our walls and knocked down our towers! I lost two brothers that day!”  Balon: “And I lost three sons! The ‘War of the Five Kings’, they call it, well, the other four are dead! When you rule the Iron Islands, you can wage all the peace you want, but for now, shut your mouth and obey, or I will make another heir who will!”

At the Wall

Davos visits Melisandre, the Red Woman, and asks her to attempt to revive Jon Snow. She doubts it can be done, but he reminds her of the poison that should have killed her and the shadow demon she birthed. She washes Jon’s body as the others watch, then begins the ritual. She cuts pieces of his hair and throws them into the fire while she speaks Valyrian words. She tries over and over again, but nothing happens. Disappointed, they all leave—and Jon wakes, gasping for air.
Notes: Melisandre drank poison that should have killed her and was saved by her necklace in the first episode she appeared in, S02E01. She birthed a shadow demon in S02E04 that went on to kill King Renly Baratheon.



Jon awakes, and everything is better with the world. I love how Ghost sits up a second before, as if noticing that Jon’s “spirit” or whatever has returned to his body. And the slow body washing scene, with everyone watching, reminded me of last year’s lengthly body washing scenes in the House of Black and White.  Thank goodness the wildlings showed up just in time, or there wouldn’t have been a body left to try and reanimate. I enjoyed Melisandre this episode—although she is evil, her lack of confidence in her own abilities was new, as was watching the actual ceremony  used to revive the dead. 
The confrontation between Jaime and the High Sparrow has been coming for a while now, and it’s very interesting to see what happens when the High Sparrow is threatened with bold and violent action—he invites it, making it clear to Jaime that he’s ready to die for the cause. The High Sparrow is unconcerned for his own mortality, even welcoming it. And when more of the Faith appear, holding weapons and surrounding Jaime, it’s clear that the High Sparrow has conquest in mind. It’s no accident that he’s managed to seize both members of the Tyrell family and weakened the Lannisters. And with King Tommen too afraid to attack, the High Sparrow is taking control of the city.
Even though we all knew it was coming, watching Ramsey finally seize power was cold and brutal, especially the drawn out scene where he feeds his “mother” and “brother” to the dogs. I couldn’t help but yell at Wanda for letting herself get locked in the kennels, but then again she thought Roose was still alive and kicking. 

Episode Notes: 
The title of the episode refers to Theon’s need to return to the Iron Islands and his home at Pyke. Daenerys, Jorah and Daario do not appear in this episode, and neither do Samwell and Gilly.

Nudity and Violence: 

Game of Thrones Wiki, several pages. (accessed February 20, 2017)
HBO Game of Thrones Episode Synopsis. (accessed February 20, 2017)
IMDB. (accessed February 20, 2017)