Game of Thrones "Home" Review: The Worst-Kept Secret

Game of Thrones S06E02: "Home"


"Home" sounds like a warm title for an episode of television that might conjure up feelings of family and love, but if this episode was about anything, it was about killing your relatives to move up in the world for your own selfish greed. Just another Sunday for HBO's fantasy drama, which was a marked improvement over the re-establishing of "The Red Woman." 

It also answered one of the show's pressing questions that many spent the off-season ruminating over: What happens when you talk shit about Cersei Lannister? Oh also, Jon Snow's fate was finally revealed and it was every bit as predictable and glorious as you'd think. 

We've got a lot to cover, so do NOT shoot an arrow at that giant and let's discuss what happened in "Home."


"Hodor Talks" – Bran Stark, blowing minds

It's been over almost two years in real time and who knows how long in show time since we last saw Bran Stark and his storyline, which basically amounted to four seasons of walking in search of a bird and astral projection into dogs. But things got crazy in the Season 4 finale with wights bursting through the ground, hippie tree kids throwing fireballs, and an old man who grew into the inside of a tree and claimed to be the three-eyed raven. It all sounds like the ramblings of a man on a peyote vision quest, but much of Game of Thrones has become that in the best way possible. 

The concept of magic—which pounds us over the head in lesser fantasy shows and movies because that's all they got—has trickled out slowly in Game of Thrones to the point where we're still curious about it six seasons in and the characters are still apprehensive about dabbling in it or don't know enough about it to make it wholly useful. But at this point in time, the importance of magic is becoming more and more clear as part of the show's endgame. It's no mistake that no one has a solid Copperfieldian handle on these dark arts, because once that happens, the show will be over. The idea of sorcery is the real treat here, not the actual sorcery itself, and it makes the magic so much more fascinating and taboo. And this is good! That's the way it should be done. Magic is literally magic, so the less we know about it, the more magical it is. Does that make sense? I hope it does or I have failed my job.

I say this because imagine if Bran had been in Season 5; it would just be another season of him bumbling around with rabbits and hats, never-ending handkerchiefs, and Meera getting sawed in half while the magic was delayed to get closer to the series finale. Instead, Isaac Hempstead-Wright's dad took over the role of his son in Season 6 and portrayed Bran as a young man-child still in wonder over his fledgling powers. And part of that involved having visions of young Ned Stark punishing young Benjen Stark for having a ridiculous mop of hair on his noggin. 

How cool was that? Flashbacks aren't something Game of Thrones employs often (we saw young Cersei talk to a witch once, but that's about it), but magic-transporting back to the olden days when being a Stark didn't 1,000,000-percent suck was pretty rad and a fantastic way to dig into the show's intricate backstory without resorting to one of storytelling's worn-out methods. And I know a lot of people will be talking about the Jon Snow thing that happened at the end of the episode, but for me the greatest revelation was that Hodor's real name was Willis. Willis! And teen Hodor could talk like a fully-brained person! Keep your resurrected underwear models, wrinkly topless witches, and numerous counts of patricide, this was the biggest moment of Game of Thrones EVER. 

Bran also saw a young lass named Lyanna Stark, Ned's sis, and this was probably the first introduction to her for a lot of Game of Thrones viewers. You know those parts of Game of Thrones when some old person mumbled about the history of Westeros and you checked your Snapchat for sexy pics until the action came back? Those old people may have been talking about the abduction of Lyanna Stark by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, son of the Mad King, Aerys Targaryen, which sparked Robert's Rebellion (as in Robert Baratheon) and ousted Aerys from the Iron Throne and put Robert on the pointy chair. It's also why Dany is way south and thinks she should actually be the queen of Westeros but instead is on the run for her life. In short, Lyanna's a totally important character and for nerdy book readers this was like the best thing ever.

Lyanna is also a big part of another thing the internet is constantly trying to ruin for everyone, which is that [potential spoilers ahead concerning a major character's backstory] Lyanna is actually the baby mama of Jon Snow, and Rhaegar is the daddy. It's the whole "R + L = J" thing that you may have seen on Tumblr or wherever insane people convene online these days. Remember that Ned was awfully cagey about Jon's origins and instead made up the story that Ned shagged some hussy, but come on, Ned would never. Ned was the only good person in this world. If Lyanna is Jon Snow's mom, and at this point it's just a formality until we see it unfold on TV, it would mean Jon is half Stark and half Targaryen, giving him a real claim to the Iron Throne. Thanks, mouthy internetters! 

Oh, Meera was also there and she was moping. A tree kiddo named Leaf told her to make herself useful and help out Bran, but Meera was like, "BOOOOOOOORING." Classic Meera. 


"What's your name?" – The Waif

I get the feeling that we'll be checking in with Arya for about 45 seconds each episode as she trains to be a Faceless Ninja, and that's okay. It's always a pleasure to see Maisie Williams' face even when it's constantly having this done to it:

Arya's pretty much pot committed at this point, what with all the blindness and fractured orbital sockets, so she continued to take her licks and say the right thing when prompted. 

"What's you name?" they'd say. "No one," she'd say. I mean, getting the crap kicked out her in a dirty alley is the most exciting part of her miserable existence now. It's her only chance of escape from this hell hole. She may as well play the game.

Just as Arya was swinging wildly at nothing, Jaqen showed up and promised her that he would give her housing, some grub, and cure her blindness if she would just say her name, but each time Arya said, "A girl has no name" and that was good enough for Jaqen. He invited her back to his crib for some more rhetorical questions and, time permitting, ninja training. At least I hope so. Tick tock, Braavos! 

Next: Cersei's new lapdog and something's fishy

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Jun 30, 2016
This certainly proves you can only trust your dog.
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Satisfying episode. I'd thankfully avoided 99% of the internet that was hellbent on spoiling the fate of Jon Snow, so the ending was more exciting for me than I think it was for some (though yes, bringing him back WAS more predictable from a narrative standpoint).

I love Ser Davos and want him around forever. Any scene with him, Arya, Brienne, or Wun-Wun are ones that bring a smile to my face.

Lastly, did it bother anyone else to no end that Tommen's crown didn't appear to FIT HIS HEAD? Maybe it's a visual metaphor, maybe not, but either way it bugged the hell outta me every time I looked at him.
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May 07, 2016
Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3 : Oathbreaker
Join for more TV awesomeness ::? http://bit.ly/1SF3BzE
Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2 : Home
Join for more TV awesomeness ::? http://bit.ly/1SF3DaJ
Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1 : The Red Woman
Join for more TV awesomeness ::? http://bit.ly/1SF3Bji
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May 06, 2016
Kit Harington on what it was like being dead
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May 06, 2016
Thanks Tim, great review with some good laughs. I just don't know anymore what I like better: the actual show, or your breakdown of it afterwards. Keep up the good work, mate!
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May 06, 2016
Tyrion with the dragons was my prefered scene ever in GoT.
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May 05, 2016
The Greyjoy's House motto is "We Do Not Sow", not "what is dead will never die" - that's the amen of their belief.
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May 05, 2016
The thing I keep coming back to is if Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar & Lynna that makes Daenerys his aunt. The Targaryens are dragon riders. We've already seen Dany do her thing with Drogan. In theory, that would make Jon a dragon rider as well (plus he has the power to warg). That makes two dragon riders BUT we have three dragons!
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May 05, 2016
Im not ssure about it but wtv happened with lyanna is what made Hodor snap. And Jon Snow could be Lyanna son. U can be into something. Not sure about the father. I think in this case it makes Jon Snow the true hair to the North`s throne.
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May 05, 2016
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May 04, 2016
My cuteness will get you all killed, sorry!
Hilarious!!!
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May 04, 2016
Welcome back Jon Snow!!!!!!
The flashbacks were pretty cool!
I liked the drunk dude's story but he had an unfortunate end. Poor guy couldn't piss in peace.
Those eye rocks crack me up everytime.
Arya needs Stick!!
I laughed when Euron pushed Balon off the bridge.
Ramsay that twisted bastard! hope he dies in an excruciating way.
"If I lost my cock i'd drink all the time."
"He makes dwarf jokes I make unic jokes."
"I drink and I know things."
"Next time I have an idea like that punch me in the face."
"I'm friends with your mother."
Damn! I was scared for Tyrion when he was talking to the dragons.

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May 04, 2016
Don't eat the help.
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May 04, 2016
That was Joshua Jackson? I had no idea. Didn't recognize him in that dark rainy scene. Neat. I love that guy and can't wait to see him play crazy king.
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May 04, 2016
It wasn't Joschua jackson...he just looks a bit like him. A Danish actor called Pilou Asbæk.
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May 05, 2016
Well now I feel less blind, but less excited, heh
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May 05, 2016
ahaha i tought it was just my eyes but everyone had problems in watching that guy face completly...
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May 04, 2016
Just one scene with Bran was far more interesting than the vast majority of the stuff involving Sand Snakes or Daenerys (especially from the past season). And that flashback was an icing on the cake. Why can't we have more of the good things?

For a while there I thought they would subvert the expectations and end the final scene with a drawn out tease, letting Jon Snow calmly rest there with his eyes closed as the credits roll, still firmly dead. Perhaps have him rise up later on, as the funeral pyre is lit and Melisandre desperately pleads with the Lord of Light.
The way the Red Witch muttered these resurrection words as she went about her rituals didn't contain even a shred of convinction or noticeable power, but I guess her Lord was just feeling generous.

In any case, fine, they brought Jon Snow back. Glad I didn't give much of a damn about all the misdirection or outright lies the people involved in the show were spouting over all these preceding months, but I also find it disgusting that it's still deemed to be acceptable conduct. Sometimes complete silence is best.
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May 04, 2016
My favourite bits in the episodes were:-

- Seeing Lyanna appear because that hopefully means that they will finally reveal what happened to her.
- Realising that Hordor could speak and that his name is actually Willis. Awww, bless!
- Seeing Wun Wun crash the gate. I was like "Woohoo!!!"
- The men of the Night's Watch didn't even bother to fight after seeing Wun Wun bash that guy. Everyone was like "Fuck that!" Hahaha!
- Tyrion and the Dragons. Love them, so seeing them together and reacting to each other was pretty awesome!
- Seeing Lord Bolton get what he deserved. It did not surprise me in the least when his bastard son shoved his knife in, but I was hoping that he would suffer a more horrible death.

Looking forward to next week!! :D
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May 04, 2016
- One more thing ,How Zombie Mountain knew about the idiot who was bad mouthing Cercei when he's following her like her shadow all the time ? Does he have magical powers or something ?
- This show should be renamed to "A Million Ways To Die In The Westroes" we've seen numerous methods of death so far and still more to come.
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May 07, 2016
I'm guessing the "story teller" had been telling the story around town for quite a while weeks/months (not sure how much time has passed since last season ) and word got back to Cersei and she sent zombie mountain to hunt him down :) Just like that tavern singer Joffrey "rewarded" a few seasons back.
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May 05, 2016
i think its a big city and it must be thousands of guys like these mocking cerseii. This guy just happened to be in the Zombie Mountain path at that time. Yes, zombies also take a walk once in a while xd
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May 03, 2016
If R + L = J
what if R = Robert Baretheon instead of Rhaegar? , Mellisandre keeps seeing Baretheon men in the flames
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May 04, 2016
Maybe, but unlikely. After all, the whole thing got started because Lyanna ran away with Rhaegar instead of marrying Robert.
Perhaps Melisandre was actually seeing Gendry her flames? He's the closest thing to a Baratheon still alive.
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May 03, 2016
- Imagine the ultimate team Wun-Wun ,Zombie Mountain ,and White-eyed Hodor (Bran controlling Hodor) together they could defeat an army
- "Roose's murder just sorta happened with little to no build up or warning " What are you talking about ? It was obvious since last season with Roose keeps rubbing his wife pregnancy and his soon to come heir in Ramsay's face every time he's not happy with his actions ,What did the idiot expect from a certified sociopath like Ramsay ? I hope Ramsay's death to be the most agonizing and horrible death in this show
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May 03, 2016
Nice start, just add some dragons, a direwolf led army of dogs, a few score Unsullied, a reasonably sized Dothraki horde, some pissed off Dornish galls .... damn it's gonna be a spectacular final battle royale.
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May 03, 2016
Danish Joshua Jackson = AWESOME - he really does look like him (as does Clayne Crawford)
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May 03, 2016
Your screen door is not designed to keep you out. To experience the thrill you're talking about, you have to crash through someone else's.
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May 03, 2016
Sorry guys but I hate to break it to you. All those stab wounds on Jon Snow are still open. The Twist: Jon Snow bleeds out for the second time while laying on the table. lol he's just going to die again next week.
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May 03, 2016
Was Ramsay killing Roose much of a surprise? I won't say I predicted it, but it has seemed at least fairly probable ever since Roose made him his son.
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May 03, 2016
Unintentionally, the author has provided the perfect example of mind control/inverted reality/political correctness/hypocrisy. Last year Sansa gets raped and there are hundreds of articles written on the subject with some even claiming to abandon the show over something FICTIONAL. But when a mother and her barely 20 minute old baby are fed to the dogs, we get an Alpo joke and virtually no "faux outrage". That's PC regressive mind control garbage for you. Picking and choosing when to give a crap or express empathy as long as it fits into a particular political narrative/agenda. It's so illogical and hypocritical it cracks me up to the core.

I love the way you talk about the High Sparrows too. Yeah they aren't very entertaining, but they have done about 1% as much damage/carnage as all the other families (especially the Lannisters), but you want to see them get their comeuppance.

That's the problem with regressives. They are so inconsistent and hypocritical and half the time are supporting the side they think is fighting something else. Useful idiots....
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May 03, 2016
WOW, chill out! I can see you've had a really crappy day..!
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May 03, 2016
lol apparently Kit Harington (Jon Snow) apologized for the episode after some fan backlash
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May 03, 2016
I saw the headline yesterday. He didn't need to apologize. Jon was dead.
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May 03, 2016

"Truly great villains deserve truly great deaths..."

Well, not for this show.

Reminder: Tywin Lannister died on the shitter, killed off by his dwarf son.

Not for this show. Valar Morghulis.
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May 03, 2016
Dear Lord Baby Jesus, Please let Ramsay march on Castle Black and get mauled by Ghost.
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May 03, 2016
I'm kind of partial to Theon getting to kill Ramsay. No one deserves to kill him more.
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May 03, 2016
Except for maybe Sansa.
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May 03, 2016
lol why? cause he boned her? As if that even remotely compares to the shit he did to Theon. Not even close.
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May 03, 2016
Raped, not boned. Very big distinction there. And she was innocent still had her maidenhood. There was nothing innocent about Theon/Reek, he just met someone that was worse than he was.
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May 03, 2016
For me, seeing Lyanna was the best thing since Hardhome last season.
I really hope we get more Branvision off her this season, as shes pretty awesome in the books (For those off us that paid attention to the details)

Also i do know whats next for Jon.
Martin put way to much effort in his prophecies in the books, which gives you a general idea for those that read them.
Maybe a good thing though they weren't added into the show.

And yes, his ressurection is part off said prophecies, hence why Jon coming back has been the worst kept secret for years.

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May 03, 2016
What is really been bothering me lately is where the hell is Rickon Stark ???? They acting now as if he doesn't exist anymore is he gonna pop up this season and play a part.
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May 03, 2016
What is dead MAY never die.

MAY.

Anyway, excellent episode. Yay Jaqen! 8D
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May 04, 2016
..And with strange aeons even death may die.
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May 03, 2016
-Zombie mountain, Wun Wun and the dragons are always awesome
-I can't wait for everyone to see jon is back!!
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May 05, 2016
Hold on your horses. U dont even know if he`ss really back... GOT is always full of surprises. Watch the wolf teeth in the end of the episode. I think it wasn`t quite Jon Snow who returned..
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May 06, 2016
In the promo they show him walking outside so...
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May 05, 2016
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May 03, 2016
I think this would have made a great season 5 finale episode. Can't wait for next week !
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May 03, 2016
On one hand, I can't believe they picked the most obvious route. On the other, maybe it's time things finally happen the way we expect :))
Jon back certainly has great effect on the plot. Can't wait to see him reunited with Sansa!

On another subject, are they actually making another Space Jam???
http://buzzaddictz.com/2016/05/03/welcome-jam-space-jam/
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May 03, 2016
They should have ressurected Jon in the first episode, just get it out of the way and make it the first episode's closing moments. Davos could have rushed the body inside and implored Melissandre to work her mojo as he did in this episode, but whilst the threat of The Night's Watch was bashing on the wall wanting to kill the rest and burn the body. That would have added a bit of dramatic tension to bringing him back, having almost a countdown clock, making Melissandre's doubts more meaningful, as this is make or break for her. As well as the opening of Jon's eyes more impactful. Instead, they went for the route that not only insulted our intelligence but made me laugh. It was almost an afterthought to the episode. Like, oh, and by the way, tada, Jon is back!
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May 05, 2016
i think the end of the first episode is fucking awesome xd
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May 07, 2016
Yeah, but more important than giving the return of Jon some tension and excitement? Nah. They could have done that reveal of Melissandre anytime.
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May 03, 2016
I like your idea, the tension would have been great.

Though we would have missed that corny moment where the wildling leader snorted in derision at Melissandre and her magic like he got overcharged and stormed out the door. :-)
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May 04, 2016
Could have included that within everything else, with him standing guard over his body as Melissandre works her magic, before getting frustrated and stormy out as though, "You mean I missed a fight....for this!"
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May 03, 2016
"I am Lord Bolton!"
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May 03, 2016
Why is noone talking about the soon-to-happen meeting of Sansa and Jon? How epic is that gonna be when they together plan to take back Winterfell?
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May 04, 2016
I am but I worry on the way to Castle Black someone who's not yet aware of Jon's resurrection will give Sansa the old news of his demise....
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May 03, 2016
Knowing the way these writer's tend to go, Sansa will probably get to get diverted on the way to Castle Black, being informed that Jon is dead, and be gang-raped by a horde of thenns. I prefer your way, but no longer trust these writers.
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May 03, 2016
I kind of took Cersei pulling loose threads off of her dress to just be a bit of a subtle "she used to have all the best of everything, now her dress is falling apart and she's too depressed to care enough to have her servant whipped like she normally would." Although she cheered up a lot when Tommen came to visit. Who knows? Maybe beginning of next episode the Zombie Mountain will visit the seamstress.

Also, if Joffrey's mother or wife ended up in a dungeon, it would only be because he put them there for torture purposes. No way he would let anyone else take them though.
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May 03, 2016


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May 03, 2016
I don't think Reek is going to the Iron Islands, he said home, which to me means Winterfel. I'm betting he's going to shank the Bastard in his nutsack over and over again. That works for me as karmic justice.
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May 07, 2016
Iron islands makes sense as now there's a new vacancy on the throne and he is the last surviving son .
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May 03, 2016
I enjoyed this episode and I'm glad they didn't take too long to resurrect Jon however I was expecting and hopping really hard that he would come back like a Phoenix after they burned him as part of his funeral they'd set the wood on fire his body engulfed in fire and then boom up pops Jon like a daisy and dusts off the ash and flames, but ow well he's back that hair is back the face is back that body is back (which is more toned than I remember) Jon is back yay. Ramsey is an ass hat and needs to die a horrible long painful death, death by 500 cuts will do here's hoping.
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May 03, 2016
 What was Cersei playing with on her sleeve? Does she have to sew her own clothes now? Is it a weapon for later? Am I looking too far into something?

She was pulling out a thread, I saw it as a sign that she herself is unraveling.

Im super excited for the "not-flashbacks". It will be interesting to see Brans reaction to all the things Maester Luewen tried to teach him but he didnt want to learn at the time.
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May 03, 2016
I like the Greyjoys. Now that Euron has showed up, they'll be more interesting.

Oh, and their family motto is "We do not sow." "What is dead will never die" is a Drowned God thing.
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May 03, 2016
My kingdom for some Pantene made my day.
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May 03, 2016
funny!
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May 03, 2016
You know that the show went off book and can't rely on GRRM's source material anymore, when Tyrion suddenly makes just penis jokes to Varis (something he has never done before in 5 seasons), Dothraki talk like fratboys, and the one arc that is completely off book (Dorne) is simply awful.

Otherwise great episode.
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May 03, 2016
At this point Margery improsonment makes zero sense. Tyrells are pretty much keeping kingdom afloat and keeping capital fed. And what do they do when not one but both of their children (one of which is actual queen!) get imprisoned by upstart religious fundies? Nothing. They don't cut food supplies, they don't send troops to the city, they don't start rounding up said upstart religious fundies.

Whole "many poor can overthrow few rich" is laughable. When one
side has what passes for professional army in westeros and other side has people armed ith cudgels and staves it's not hard to guess which side is going to win (but if you can't guess look up history of peasant rebellions in Europe in 15-17 centuries). I appreciate whole "we are 99%" sentiment and "Occupy King's Landing" but some reality check is in order. Not to mention this aren't actually peasant rebels but urban poor, which means limited geographical reach as well.

And I think Montgomery Burns should take note ho you release the hounds and what needs to happen when you do. ;)
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May 03, 2016
With this episode, I've had enough hound releasing for a while.
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May 02, 2016
you mean that wasn't Pacey?
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May 02, 2016
I'll be honest - watching an episode of GoT is up there for me....reading the reviews (complete with jokes, etc) that you write is next in line. Keep 'em coming! :)
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May 03, 2016
Particularly enjoyed the pass the popcorn jibe.
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May 02, 2016
I'd rather watch what's going on with the Greyjoy's then anything to do with Dorne or Meereen
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May 02, 2016
Nice write up. Enjoyed the read.
So you think the lord of light will bring him back in a mentally healthy condition??
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May 03, 2016
I don't think that resurrection had anything to do with the Lord of Light at all. Mellisandre's ritual was obviously quite different to Thoros of Myr's.
That was all Mellisandre.
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May 05, 2016
and i think she`s just get a bit older than in the first episode HAHHAHA
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May 03, 2016
Well I don't remember exactly what Thoros of myr did but I do know that Mellisandre practiced or at least claimed she practiced for the lord of light.
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May 03, 2016
Thoros put Beric through their traditional death ritual which I imagine is what Melissandre was doing. The difference seems to be Thoros gave Beric the last kiss, which has something to do with filling their mouth with fire and breathing it into the deceased. Which for me would have been a lot better if Melisandre had done that. But the writers had to make her mopey.
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May 04, 2016
@justtimthen

He told Melissandre that he did the ritual, but we didn't see the ritual and that is what the ritual consists of. But no we didn't see all of that on the show.
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May 04, 2016
Ah I see. I just don't remember it at all i was too busy being in awe of the hound. Are you sure that was in the TV version?
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May 02, 2016
ps I say, how do we know "home" is Iron Islands? And THeon isn't after sweet revenge in going to his REAL home.
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May 06, 2016
I wondered what he meant by that too--Iron Islands (where he would be regarded as even more useless without his penis than he was before with his 'civilized' ways) or back to the only place he feels fit for anymore after years of abuse? I'd like to see him kill Ramsay. I'd like to see anyone kill Ramsay. And I'd prefer sooner than bloodier, though he certainly deserves torture.
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May 05, 2016
Hes going back home to get a prosthetic penis
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May 03, 2016
That would be kinda awesome if he secretly went back to Winterfell and started sabotaging things for Ramsey. Kind of fits in with a storyline in the books, too.
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May 03, 2016
back to Winterfell you mean

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May 02, 2016
I was disappointed for the anticlimaxic deaths of Bolton and Balon (who was doomed since Melissandre did her spell years ago, with Robert's bastard) but I liked the rest of the episode. Specially because no Dorne. And I loved Tyrion.
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May 02, 2016
LOLing as per sual.... my ONE beefcake patty is: Roose was not that evil. Yeah he betrayed a House, and it was bloody, but he's NOT little-bastard-of-horrors Ramsey. He's not even Stannis (hi, sure I'll burn my daughter alive). He's much more stable. Roose dying like that was perrffff. Sly, front-stabbing, getting it, just as he gave it.
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May 03, 2016
I was kind of expecting it the other way round, Roose killing Ramsay because a) he's a mad dog, b) he has a new heir and doesn't need him so much, and c) i kind of thought Roose was smart enough to realise that Ramsay would kill him if he didn't kill Ramsay first - plus the whole "you will always be my first born" line sounded like he was going to. But i like this plot twist, it has so much more potential for widespread mayhem than Roose playing proud daddy to a bouncing baby boy.
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May 03, 2016
Yeah I believe Roose was going to kill him he was just waiting to see what his next heir would be and being it was a boy that pushed the timetable up for Ramsey to strike 1st because his entitlement wouldn't hold wait because at the end of the day he was a bastard and was just given his name.
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May 03, 2016
I think Roose was going to kill him, it's just that Ramsay struck first.
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May 02, 2016
All that build up and The Mountain never ripped the loudmouth's cock off? Nearly as bad as Jon Snow's procedural style last second turnabout.
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