Shane Ryan and Josh Jackson review Game of Thrones each week in a series of letters.
Glenn—I mean Jon Snow—is alive! I know this will come as a complete shock, but the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch has come back to life. We’ve seen followers of the Red God restore people from the dead, so even when Jon Snow was betrayed by his brothers a the end of last season, there was a sense that, as the Ironborn say, “what is dead may never die.”
But since we’ve moved past the Song of Ice and Fire novels, we couldn’t be sure that Kit Harrington still had a job until the end of the second episode, “Home.” We’ve lost plenty of main characters, and—in the TV show at least—the only Lazerus so far is Lord Beric Dondarion, who was raised from the dead by the drunk, impious Thoros of Myr.
In fact, even the usually confident Melisandre has little hope in her abilities to bring Jon back from the dead. There was always as much of a chance that if he was to come back, it would be like Coldhands in the books—undead like the army of White Walkers, but with intelligence and a conscience. Instead it’s the Red Woman’s work, in the end, that causes Jon to breathe life back into his body.
But there was plenty else happening in “Home,” the second episode of Season 6, which was epecially hard on familial relations. Balon Greyjoy, the last eponymous survivor in the War of the Five Kings, was murdered by his brother Euron.
Likewise, Roose Bolton is murdered by his psychopath of a son, Ramsay. It’s hard to feel to sad about either of these vain and ruthless men, particularly because Roose played a big part in the Red Wedding.
But the biggest moments that didn’t involve Snow’s resurrection were: 1. Finally getting to see Bran (all grown up) adjusting to life as a warg. 2. Tyrion befriending two bad-ass dragons! It makes total sense that Tyrion has always been fascinated by dragons, and watching him embrace both the wonder and the terror made the CGI scene feel very real. That’s what great acting will do.
Since the TV show is ahead of the books, I think I was expecting a slower pace, but nothing ever felt like it was dragging, even in the case of blind-beggar Arya, who may be getting her sight back soon enough—or at least that’s what Jaqen H’ghar hinted when testing a girl about her name.
After last week’s slower-paced set-up, this episode delivered. Beginning with a rare flashback, we got to see young Ned Stark, along with his big sister Lyanna, who may or may not be a big a part of where this story is heading in the grandest sense.
So what did you think, Shane? Has Ramsay made a tactical error with so much of the North under precarious rule? Would you be able to walk up to gigantic fire-breathing dragons in order to take off their collars and win their trust? And why do we have to wait until morning for your answer? America needs you to respond, Shane. So wake up early and let’s get letter #2 posted.
Check back in the morning for Shane’s response and the rest of Josh and Shane’s letters about the Game of Thrones episode “Home.”
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