Another Sunday, another Game of Thrones. Big things poppin’.
We start off with Jon Snow, who is now the opposite of dead thanks to Melisandre. Recently resurrected, Jon tries to get his bearings as an amazed Ser Davos Seaworth looks on. It takes a while, but he begins to remember everything–being stabbed, and especially the betrayal of that punk ass kid Olly. The Red Lady comes in and can barely believe that it actually worked. She asks him what he saw after he died. He answers, “nothing…there was nothing at all.” She tells Jon he was chosen by R’hllor to come back. Stannis Baratheon, it turns out, wasn’t the chosen one she’d thought (sadly, that kind of info could have saved Shireen, but it didn’t). But someone has to be. Azor Ahai anyone?
Jon doesn’t know what to make of any of this. Ser Davos admits, it’s all pretty damn nuts. But he tries to convince Jon that nothing’s changed. He’s still the Lord Commander, and he has some commandin’ out there to do. He needs to take this second lease on life and make what he can of it. But a shaken Jon, ain’t so sure.
Ser Davos does manage to get him to dress in his Lord Commander digs and take him outside–where the men of the Night’s Watch look on in awe at a man who came back from the dead. One heckuva magic trick. Most part ways for him. But Tormund Giantsbane walks right up, makes a dick joke (because he’s Tormund Giantsbane, that’s why) and embraces the recently returned leader of Castle Black. When Jon catches sight of Dolorous Edd tho, he makes his way over and the two have a lil’ affectionate Bromance moment. Awww.
Somewhere on a ship being tossed about by a storm, our old friend Samwell Tarley is puking his guts out. For company he has Gilly and the baby, who are now both in his charge. Gilly is unbothered by sea sickness and spends some time telling Samwell about the difference between see and sea, see? She thinks they’re heading to the Citadel, the headquarters of the Order of Maesters in Oldtown. Samwell reveals however he’s sending her to stay with his family House Tarly in Horn Hill, while he’ll go on to learn with the maesters. Gilly ain’t having it tho’, and reminds him he promised wherever he goes, she goes too. Samwell protests he just wants to keep them safe. At this, Gilly relents, endearingly saying she’ll trust the “father of her son” to make the right call. A thankful Samwell, throws up again.
Out in the wilds, Brandon Stark is doing the vision-quest thing. This time he and the Three-Eyed Raven witness a young Ned Stark and his comrades (among them a young Howland Reed, father of Meera and Jojen Reed). Ned and his crew have come to rescue his sister Lyanna Stark from her kidnapper Rhaegar Targaryen. The keep she’s held in however is guarded by The Sword of the Morning, wielder of Dawn. And he’s all kinds of bad-assery. Almost single-handedly, he delivers a fatal beat down on Ned’s crew, until only the younger Stark is left. As Brandon watches, he realizes with surprise that The Sword of the Morning is actually better than his father. In fact, he disarms Ned who looks likely to die. Yet Brandon’s heard this story before, and knows that his father wins. Just when he’s trying to figure out how that could be, Howland Reed jumps up (thought dead by a wound) and stabs the Sword of the Morning in the back. Ned finishes him off. Because, a win’s, a win.
When Ned starts his way up the steps of the keep, the Three-Eyed Raven says its time to go. But Brandon wants to see more. He pulls away and calls out to young Ned, who actually stops and turns, as if he can hear the call–but sees no one there. Before Brandon can press on, he’s pulled from the vision. To his annoyance, the Three-Eyed Raven says he did so for his own good–that it’s dangerous to stay in any vision too long. And besides, the past is the past and can’t be rewritten. A frustrated Brandon says he’s tired of listening to some old dude sitting in a tree. The Three-Eyed Raven laughs, telling him he won’t be here forever. But before he leaves he must learn–everything.
In the warmer climes of Essos, Daenerys Stormborn has made it to the holy Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak. She’s taken immediately to the house of the Dosh Khaleen–the widows of ex-Khals. The elder woman who leads them wastes no time in having Dany stripped and fitted into the drab leathers common to Dothraki women. When she gives her name, the elder woman says she knows who Dany is–and don’t much care. None of her past titles matter. She’s the wife of a dead Khal and so belongs with them, the women who decide which cities will be sacked and what people will be sold into slavery by the many Dothraki clans. But because Dany didn’t come there willingly (as was her duty) she gonna have to prove she even has a place among them.
In nearby Meereen, Varys has one of the spies of the Sons of the Harpy brought to him–who you might remember from last season lured Unsullied to her bed and then had their throats slit. Varys, in his very Varys way, threatens (but doesn’t threaten) the woman into providing information on the insurgency. Meanwhile, Tyrion is having the most uncomfortable meeting with Grey Worm and Missandei. He’s relieved when Varys shows up, to inform them he has info on who’s backing the Sons of the Harpy–pretty much all the major slaving cities of Essos. Grey Worm wants to march on them immediately, as does Missandei–both of them well aware of the “language” spoken by the Good Masters,. Tyrion, however, suggests a more sly game–and asks if Varys can get any of his famed spying “birds” to carry messages to the leaders of the slaving cities. Varys replies, “Men can be fickle, but birds I always trust.”
Back in Westeros, in King’s Landing, the mad scientist Qyburn is having a creepy moment with kids. Turns out, they’re what’s left of Varys’s old network of “birds.” After he plies them with sweets (I know, creepy AF), they’re interrupted by the arrival of Jaime, Cersei and the zombified Mountain, Gregor Clegane. Cersei tells Qyburn she wants his network of “birds” spread out everywhere there are enemies to the Lannisters–from the streets of the city to Dorne. They then head over to the Small Council meeting, where Maester Pycelle is going on about his dislike of Qyburn and the abomination that is zombified Mountain. He hurriedly goes quiet when he catches sight of them entering the room. Also in attendance is Kevan Lannister, presiding over the Small Council, and the Queen of Thorns Olenna Tyrell–eternally throwing shade. Cersei and Jaime, though not invited, demand a place on the Small Council and take a seat. They demand they also take up the murder of Myrcella and whatever the hell is happening up in Dorne. But Kevan refuses to listen and stages a walkout. The other members of the Small Council join him. They give zombified Mountain a wide berth. Jaime and Cersei are left by themselves, shut out from the center of power, but likely scheming.
At the temple, the frustrated and angry child-King Tommen walks up on the High Sparrow (Bernie Sanders looking dude) and demands his mother be allowed to see Myrcella’s resting place. Things almost come to blows, but then the High Sparrow starts in on his super spiritual religious mumbo-jumbo and punk ass Tommen ain’t got nada else to say. Margaery, you gonna have to handle you rescue on yer own.
At another temple, across the sea, that houses the worship of the Many Faced God, a blind Arya Stark is still being beat up by the creepy girl. But while we see that, we also see her recounting her life. And it seems only by confronting who she was can she truly become a girl with “no name.” She’s finally able to hold her own in the staff fighting with creepy girl, who don’t look too happy bout it. A pleased Jaqen H’ghar’s (or the priest with his face) takes her to the well and draws a cup for her to drink. She’s hesitant, thinking it can be poison. But the priest says “If a girl is truly no one, she has nothing to fear.” A drink from the cup restores Arya’s missing sight. When she’s asked who she is by the priest, she responds truthfully this time–no one.
Back in Westeros, Ramsay Bolton is sitting high after shanking Daddy Bolton. Along with his new partner in crime, Harald Karstark, he tries to enlist the loyalty of a smug member of House Umber. He’s here to warn that Castle Black is taking in Wildlings under Jon Snow and wants an alliance to crush it. Ramsay offers him aid if he swears fealty. But dude says “nah.” Had enough of Kings of the North. Says Ramsay will help him because he comes bearing a gift–two captives with sacks over their head. When he takes them off, we see it’s Osha and Rickon Stark! When Ramsay asks for evidence this is actually Rickon, dude from House Umber pulls out the head of a black direwolf on a hook. Damn shame what they did to Shaggydog. A convinced Ramsay, turns with that fake-ass polite wicked smile and says “Welcome home, Rickon Stark.”
At Castle Black, Jon sits in his room, contemplating re-life. Someone comes in to tell him it’s time and he leaves, looking all Lord Commander-like and carrying his sword. Everyone’s gathered, Night’s Watch and Wildlings, for the hanging of the condemned–the four men who’d stabbed him to death. He walks to where they await execution and asks if they have any last words. The first one stammers, “You shouldn’t be alive. It’s not right.” Jon replies, “Neither was killing me.” The clapback is real.
Second dude, just wants someone to write his Moms and tell her he died fighting Wildlings. Professional hater Ser Allister Thorne is unrepentant. Accuses Jon of betraying the Night’s Watch by aiding Wildlings. Says if he had to it all over again, wouldn’t change a thing. “I fought. I lost. And now I rest,” he says. “But you, Lord Snow, you’ll be fighting their battles forever.” The cryptic remark leaves Jon a bit shaken. But he’s even more shook when he looks on the youngest on the hanging block–punk ass Olly. The kid says nothing, just fixing Jon with contempt.
When Jon pulls his sword again he’s hesitant. The crowd waits for what seems a while–then in one swing of resolve he cuts the rope, and the four bodies dance to the four winds. The image of Olly’s choked lifeless face is the one we see, and what we imagine Jon is fixed upon. Done, he turns and walks to Dolorous Edd, who tells him he should burn the bodies–cuz, they got that wight problem. But Jon retorts, Edd should burn them and hands over his Lord Commander’s cloak. “You have castle black,” he tells a stunned Edd as he relinquishes his title.
As he walks from the crowd his last words are, “My watch is ended.”
Till next time, in which Jon takes up a new life as a traveling preacher of R’hllor. “Hello, do you have time to hear a few words about the Lord of Light?”