Kill the boy, and let the dragon man be born. Jon Snow returned in "Game of Thrones" Season 6, Episode 2, "Home." As many of us expected, after Melisandre showed up at The Wall in the Season 5 finale, Mel was involved in reviving him. She doesn't know it worked yet, though, and neither does anyone else. Except Ghost.


Yep, it's aliiiiiiiiiive. Jon's not quite as much of a Frankenstein's monster as Cersei's Mountain pet Robert Strong, but he's also maybe not quite a god. Then again... Azor Ahai?

Speaking of kill the boy, and being stabbed to death, Ramsay Bolton was in classic Ramsay form this week, stabbing his father Roose Bolton to death (he should've added "for the Watch" or "the Starks send their regards") and setting his dogs on both Walda Frey Bolton (we were rooting for you, girl!) and her newborn son.

Walda: "Please. Ramsay. He's your brother."
Ramsay: "I prefer being an only child."


Way harsh, Tai.

Also dead as of this episode: Balon Greyjoy, who was killed by his brother, newcomer Euron, in a return to the Iron Islands storyline. Also, it's a bad idea to walk on a rickety bridge in a storm, even if your scary bro doesn't randomly show up to kill you.

But what is dead may never die, if your name is Jon Snow, anyway. Or Daenerys Targaryen.

Bran Stark also returned in this jam-packed episode, to continue his training with the Three-Eyed Raven, now played by the we're-not-worthy legend Max von Sydow. We've been expecting a Ned Stark/Targaryen flashback this season, and that was teased in the Episode 3 promo, most likely shown via another Bran flashback.

*SPOILERS/SPECULATION ALERT*

This is the culmination/confirmation of the secret handshake hardcore "A Song of Ice and Fire" book fans have used with each other for a long time now, symbolized by R + L = J, with the takeaway being that Jon Snow is (probably) not the love child of the truly honorable Ned Stark and some woman he met during Robert Baratheon's rebellion; Jon is the love child of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned's sister, Lyanna Stark. ("Promise me, Ned.")
He's a dragon, baby. Yas, Hodor! That's why we had that Lyanna Stark scene this week.

"Home" was a thriller, with stellar developments on nearly every front, including Tyrion Lannister acting as Dragon Whisperer. So if the dragon has three heads, are they Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow/Stark/Targaryen, and Tyrion? Or maybe even Meera Reed?


Read on for a recap of the excellent Episode 2:

THE MAP: Tonight, the intro map shows us King's Landing, Pyke (Iron Islands), Winterfell, The Wall, Braavos, Meereen.


NORTH OF THE WALL
The first sound is cawing of a bird, as the Three-Eyed Raven and Bran appear to be in warg mode. Bran gets to stand, at least when he's having visions, and watches his own father and his uncle Benjen as children. Awwww. Can we please have a prequel series after "Game of Thrones"? LYANNA! Lyanna Stark comes in riding on a horse. Bran says his father never talked about Lyanna. HODOR! We see young Hodor, back when he was talking. He was there in Winterfell with Nan. Oh, sweet summer child. Bran has aged so much. He wants to stay in the past, but the Three-Eyed Raven brings him back. "You finally show me something I care about, then you drag me away." The raven thinks he was drowning, but Bran says he was home. And there's our episode title. Bran tells Hodor he saw him as a boy, when he could talk. What happened? Hodor. Hodor happened. Hodor takes Bran outside, where Meera is. It's not safe anywhere, she says. Bran tells her Hodor's real name is Willis (or Wyllis), and that there's a war coming. Meera seems upset. About her bro, or more than that, since it's been a while? What does she do all day while he's warg training? There's another child of the forest who tells Meera that Bran needs her. He won't be here forever, and out there, he'll need her. This is why some fans think there may be more to Meera. Why else is she here?


THE WALL
When we first revisit this storyline, it's just in time for a showdown. Team Davos/Jon vs. Team Alliser/Watch. Davos takes out his sword, and prepares to fight Alliser behind the door. Ghost growls, he's ready for a fight, as Alliser's men bang down the door. But there's a noise. Edd connected with the wildlings and they bust down the door. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! This is the benefit of having wildlings on your side, especially when they have a giant. Wun-Wun basically Hulks out, and the Night's Watch surrenders. Alliser gets saucy, though, and Olly puts up one last fight. Again, his hatred for wildlings is most understandable. Tormund prepares a fire to burn Jon Snow. They can try, anyway. Where is Melisandre as this goes on?

Toward the end of the episode, we see Melisandre (young again) with Davos. He asks if there's any magic that can help bring Jon back. There are some with this power, she says. How? She recalls the story of Thoros and Beric Dondarrion (from Season 3). Davos pushes for it. But she believes she was wrong about all of it. The Lord of Light -- she misread the flames. So Davos says f--k 'em, all the gods. He's asking the woman who showed him that miracles exist to try to save Jon. Has she ever tried? So she tries. She cuts his hair and puts it into the flames. That beautiful curly hair! She touches his wounds and says some words. It's like magic CPR but nothing seems to happen. She prays. "Please." Nothing. Pro tip: TRY FIRE. Burn the king. Add magic. Mel looks at Davos, sadly. They believe it did not work. But wait for it, kids. Don't you cry, Ghost. No one move. Steady on. HE'S BAAAAAACK! In the last second, he draws breath. Jon is alive.

So do you forgive Melisandre for pushing Stannis to burn Shireen? This doesn't quite make up for it. Poor Shireen deserved better.


KING'S LANDING
Some guy on the street tells a saucy story about Cersei, so enter Robert Strong (aka the Mountain reborn via Qyburn) to kick some arse. Apparently Tommen ordered the guards to keep Cersei where she is (for her own protection, supposedly) so she can't go to Myrcella's funeral. Whose idea was it really then? Ser Pounce? We see Tommen and Jaime look at Myrcella's dead body. Does Tommen blame Cersei? Tommen knows he's weak. When the Faith Militant took Cersei and Margaery, what did he do? "The king is supposed to be the protector of the realm." He couldn't protect his wife or his mother. What good is he? Fair question. The High Sparrow comes in, and someone should just kill him right there. Jaime? You've killed more and less than this guy. Jaime gets sassy with the Sparrow, asking about his own sins. Kingslayer and more. "What atonement do I deserve?" Fair point. Maybe the High Sparrow just doesn't want to see Jaime naked. They are very selective about who they "shame." There's no real answer, though, other than for the Faith Militant to show up when Jaime makes a move. The Faith Militant still seem to be in charge.

Tommen visits his mother in her new version of a cell, in the Red Keep. Tommen apologizes for keeping her there. "I didn't want to lose you again." Cersei says she's glad to see Tommen but her back is to him for part of the talk. Tommen knows he should've executed all of them before letting them do that to her "as you would have for me. You raised me to be strong. And I wasn't. But I want to be. Help me." Oh, are you playing right into what she wants. Then again, she knows the prophecy about all of her children dying. Why not try to keep this one safe?


MEEREEN
Tyrion has a mini council meeting with Varys, Missandei, and Grey Worm. Varys says, outside of Meereen, the whole of Slaver's Bay has returned to the slavers. Missandei says the two other dragons haven't touched any food since Dany left. (SAD FACE) Tyrion says dragons do not do well in captivity. (In the book, he is very knowledgeable about dragons, so it's good to see that's still the case here.) He shares some history about the dragons of Westeros. "They must be unchained or they'll waste away." He says dragons are intelligent, with affection for their friends. "I am their friend." Uh oh. As Varys asks, "do they know that?" So Tyrion makes a plan to give them their supper. Any book readers worried about a Quentyn Martell situation? He descends into the dungeon, and the two dragons approach. What's the plan here, T? The poor dragons can barely get any fire out, though. They are dying. TEARS. Tyrion tells them he is friends with their mother. Dany never should've locked up these two. They never even did anything. "I'm here to help. Don't eat the help." He tells the dragons a story about wanting a dragon for his nameday. It didn't have to be a big dragon, "it could be little, like me." He keeps talking as he approaches Viserion and Rhaegal, to free them. He was right about dragons being smart. The second one angles the lock toward Tyrion, knowing what it means.

Tyrion tells Varys, on his way out: "Next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face." But it was a good idea! Is Tyrion the third head of the dragon, if there is an eventual flight to Westeros to fight the White Walkers?


ARYA IN BRAAVOS
And we're back to blind Arya fighting that waif girl from the House of Black and White. Then Jaqen H'ghar shows up. Who are you? If a girl says her name, she can sleep in a bed and have food and have her eyes back. "A girl has no name." She's committing to this. Would she, if she knew about Sansa, Bran, and (maybe) Rickon? Blind Arya follows Jaqen, since what she said seemed to pass the test. "A girl is not a beggar anymore."


WINTERFELL
Roose is pissed at Ramsay for losing Sansa and company, but since he has icewater in his veins, he never raises his voice. Ramsay believes Sansa will go north to Castle Black. With a small force, they could head to the Wall and kill Jon Snow. Roose is appalled by that idea (TOO LATE) and says they'd unite the North against them. Hopefully that's true. Ramsay says they wouldn't need everyone in the North. There are some houses on their side, like the Karstarks. Roose tears him a new one for his attitude, in his own way, saying if Ramsay acts like a mad dog he'll be treated like a mad dog. BREAKING NEWS: Walda Frey Bolton gave birth to a boy. Ramsay, you have competition. "You'll always be my first born," Roose says, which is not the same as "you are my heir." On that note, STABBED! Ramsay would fit right in on the Night's Watch.

Ramsay tells the maester to send word to all the houses that Roose is dead, poisoned by their enemies. So now it's Lord Ramsay Bolton. "Send for Lady Bolton and the baby." Sounds like they are next in line to be killed. Kill him first, Walda! But no. Ramsay takes Walda and the baby into a cell. Like Reek. Walda begs him. She'll go back to the Riverlands. Please. "He's your brother." "I prefer being an only child." COLD! He has his dogs attack them. Ooh, that's brutal. The mad dog attacks.


TEAM SANSA
Brienne tells Sansa about seeing Arya. Sansa regrets not just going with Brienne when she had the chance. Truth. Theon says they shouldn't be lighting fires, it's not safe. Sansa says they'll be safe at Castle Black. So Ramsay was right about where they are headed. Theon is worried about what happens when he tells the truth, about Winterfell, the Miller boys, etc. She says he can take the black and he'll be forgiven, but he doesn't want to be forgiven. She hugs him. He's not coming with them. He's going home, to the Iron Islands. That's kind of taking the easy way out, though, no? He should face Jon and the others and accept punishment.


IRON ISLANDS
Meanwhile, in the Iron Islands, Yara talks to her father Balon about attacking land. She won't apologize for trying to save Theon. Balon tells her to shut her mouth and obey, since he still rules the Iron Islands. Maybe he'll make another heir. But no! Because he walks across a weak bridge in a storm and dies. Not quite as he did in the book, since -- first -- he comes across his brother Euron. This is a surprise reunion, at night, in the rain, on a rickety bridge. Euron/Crow's Eye had been gone a long time. But what is dead may never die. "I don't mock the drowned god. I am the drowned god." He's also the storm. The first storm and the last. "You're in my way." They fight, and Balon ends up in the sea.

Balon is dead. What is dead may never die, but in this case he is dead, and now there's another power struggle coming for who will rule Pyke and the Iron Islands. Yara says she's going to find out who did this to her father. The other brother, priest Aeron, says she is not yet the ruler, she has not been chosen by the kingsmoot, despite that being her father's wishes. Perhaps she'll be the first woman to rule the Ironborn and perhaps not. Would anyone choose Theon?


NEXT
Episode 3, "Oathbreaker," was written by showrunners David Benioff & D. B. Weiss and the synopsis is "Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) meets her future. Bran meets the past. Tommen confronts the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce). Arya (Maisie Williams) trains to be No One. Varys (Conleth Hill) finds an answer. Ramsay gets a gift." That "Bran meets the past" note gives off strong Tower of Joy flashback/Jon Snow heritage vibes and that is young-ish Ned Stark in the promo. But, if so, will Meera be part of that storyline, too? No? Not every theory has to pan out, just checking.


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George R.R. Martin's best-selling book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" is brought to the screen as HBO sinks its considerable storytelling teeth into the medieval fantasy... Read More