Previously on Game of Thrones: Bran went north of the Wall to train with the three-eyed raven, which is now a man. Arya lost her sight and was kicked out of the House of Black and White; Thorne promised amnesty to Davos and Jon’s remaining loyal friends, though they all know that’s total BS; and Tyrion tried to figure out what the hell to do with Meereen.
Bran’s in his training, and has somehow been sent back to Winterfell to watch his dad and uncle Benjen play fighting as children. Their sister, Lyanna, rides into the courtyard. Bran’s delighted to see her, since he’s only ever known her as a statue. She dismounts and calls for Wylis, whom Bran recognises as a young Hodor. And he talks! Lyanna urges Wylis to do some practice fighting with Benjen, giving him a tip before he gets started, but then Nan comes out and hustles Wylis away and back to the stables where he belongs. The Raven tells Bran it’s time to go and recalls him to reality.
Bran complains about having been woken, because he was happy, but the raven warns him that it’s beautiful beneath the sea, but if you stay too long you can drown.
Bran looks up and sees Hodor and tells him he saw him when he was young, asking what happened to him. Hodor just sadly says, ‘Hodor.’ I kind of feel like I don’t want to know the answer to that question, because it’ll just make me incredibly sad.
Bran has Hodor carry him outside, where Meera’s sitting, being restless and doubting that any of this is worthwhile. Bran tells her about his most recent vision, and she doesn’t seem too happy to hear he’s enjoying family reunions when there’s a war to be fought. Bran has Hodor take him back inside. One of the…wood sprite creatures? who lives there tells Meera that Bran needs her, because he won’t stay here forever and when he leaves, she’ll be pretty vital to his survival.
At Castle Black, it’s time for Davos and the others to give themselves up or die trying. Thorne tries to convince them he’ll even set the direwolf free, and that nobody needs to die. Davos begs to differ, and he and the others arm themselves. Thorne nods and tells one of his men to break down the door. The guy gets started, hammering away at the thick wood (I wonder how he managed to get the short straw, because surely he knows he’s going to be the first to go, right?) but just as he gets through, a giant bursts through the castle gates, followed by Tormund and a huge band of wildlings. The reinforcements are here! The Night’s Watch men basically all just give up right then and there. Thorne and the other assassins, including Ollie, are thrown into the cells.
Tormund goes to see Jon and seems really sad. He quietly notes that it took a lot of knives to bring Jon down, then goes to send some men to collect wood for a pyre.
In King’s Landing, some guy is regaling his fellow tavern-goers with the charming story of how he flashed Cersei during her walk of shame last season. But when the guy goes to take a leak, her zombie knight, the former Mountain, comes up behind him and smashes his head against the wall. Score one for Cersei, I guess?
Zombie Mountain returns to the Red Keep in time to fall into step behind Cersei as she prepares to attend Myrcella’s funeral. Her way is blocked, however, by a contingent of very nervous looking Kingsguard, who tell her that they’re under orders from the king to keep her there. The poor man in charge clearly expects Zombie Mountain to rip his head clean off, but Cersei just returns to her room, so everyone gets to live another day.
Jaime and Tommen are standing over Myrcella’s body at the sept. Jaime asks Tommen why he wouldn’t let his mother come that day and Tommen explains that he was told she wouldn’t be allowed into the sept, and anyway, he fears her being arrested again. Jaime brings up the fact that Tommen hasn’t been to see his mother since she was released and reminds the kid that she endured what she did for him. Tommen snaps that he’s aware of that, but he’s terribly ashamed of himself because he’s failed to protect his wife and mother. What kind of king does that make him?
High Sparrow comes in and Tommen demands to see Margaery. Sparrow tells him that he’ll have to wait until she confesses. Tommen folds and leaves. Jaime, barely restraining his rage, asks why he hasn’t been targeted by the Sparrows, considering his many sins in life. Yeah, the Sparrows really do have a terrible double standard here. Violenc is cool, but sex is not. He puts a hand to his sword and Sparrow calmly asks if he’d really spill blood in a holy place. Jaime shrugs that the gods won’t mind, being pretty bloodied up themselves. Sparrow urges him to go ahead and do it, then, as several of his followers, armed to the teeth, begin pouring into the sept and surround the two men. Sparrow tells Jaime that, although he might take a few of them out, they don’t mind, since they’re all poor and alone, but together, they’re awfully powerful.
Tommen finally goes to see his mother and apologises for keeping her there. He admits he was afraid of losing her again. Cersei, unable to look at him, claims to understand and coolly says she’s glad to see him. Tommen apologises as well for not having come sooner, and at last his mother turns to him. He continues that he should have had all the Sparrows executed. His mother raised him to be strong, and he wasn’t, but he wants to be. He asks her to help him to be strong and she agrees, embracing him.
Meereen. Tyrion pours himself a drink and gets down to business with Varys, Grey Worm and Missy. Nobody knows who burned the whole fleet—amazingly, nobody saw anything. Also, all of Slaver’s Bay has now returned to the slavers. Tyrion asks after the two remaining dragons and hears they haven’t been eating. He muses that they do poorly in captivity—it’s what drove them to extinction. He decides they’ll need to be unchained or risk wasting away. Let’s not forget, though, that they were chained up in the first place because they were immolating children, so maybe you should take that into consideration, Tyrion.
He does not, and heads down to the dungeon to unchain the dragons. They growl and gnash their teeth at him, so Tyrion tells them that he’s there to help. ‘Don’t eat the help,’ he adds. I wonder which house’s motto that is. He soothes them by telling a story about how, when he was a boy, he begged to be given a dragon for his birthday, only to hear they’d been extinct for a century. He unchains the two dragons, and they do not eat him, so I guess they’re buds now. Tyrion hurries back up the stairs, to where Varys is waiting, and tells Varys to punch him in the face the next time he has a crazy idea like that.
The girl from the HoBaW returns for another round with Arya. As they fight (well, as Arya once again gets her ass handed to her) the girl keeps asking what Arya’s name is. Arya repeats again and again that she has no name, but the girl refuses to believe her. The girl then disappears and Arya slashes helplessly at the air. Her stick is caught by Jaqen, who promises her food, shelter, and her sight if Arya says her name. Not being stupid, Arya says three times that ‘a girl has no name’. Test passed!
Roose Bolton receives news via one of the Karstarks that the men who were sent to fetch Sansa back have been found dead. Ramsay promises to send more men out, and then suggests going to attack Castle Black to take out Jon Snow and really end the Stark line. Roose warns him that killing the Lord Commander of the Watch would unite every Northern house against them. Ramsay shrugs that they don’t need every house in the North, the ones they have securely on their side are more than enough. Roose thinks for a moment, then warns his son that he’ll get himself killed someday, acting this way.
A maester comes in and reports that Walda has, indeed, given birth to a healthy son. Ramsay embraces and congratulates his father. Roose tells Ramsay that he’ll always be the firstborn. Ramsay thanks him for that, and then stabs his father to death. Wow, they’re starting the killings early this season. Roose quickly expires and Ramsay tells the maester, who looks a bit freaked out, as well he might, to send ravens telling the northern houses that Roose was poisoned by his enemies. The maester hesitates, trying to gather himself, but obeys, clearly terrified. Ramsay also tells the man to send for Walda and the baby. Geez, didn’t she just give birth?
Ramsay meets poor Walda outside. She brings the baby and shows him off to his big brother, who asks to hold him. She hesitates momentarily, but then hands the infant over. Ramsay cradles him, then hands him back to his mother and leads Walda into the kennels. She seems to be under the impression that Roose sent for them. In the kennels, she obviously starts to clue into the fact that something’s not right here. The dogs bark frantically. Ramsay begins opening the kennel doors, and then tells Walda that Roose is dead. She’s a bit smarter than she’s seemed in the past and definitely knows what that means, for both herself and her son. Still, she begs to be allowed to go back to the Riverlands and never bother him. Ramsay’s not playing, though, and sets the dogs on her. Thankfully, they do not show this bit, we just hear her screaming in terror.
Out in the woods, Sansa gets caught up on the whereabouts of Arya, at least, as far as Brienne knows. Brienne doesn’t know much, aside from the fact that Arya looked healthy and was with a man she didn’t want to leave. Brienne gently asks what happened to Sansa at Winterfell, like she really needs to ask. Sansa will only say that she should have accepted Brienne’s help earlier.
Sansa goes to check on Theon, who’s worried about what’ll happen to him once they get to Castle Black. He knows Jon will kill him immediately, and he’d deserve it. He decides he wants to go home, to the Iron Islands. He cries and says he would have died to get her to the Wall, but Podrick and Brienne will take care of her now. Sansa embraces him tightly and he rather pathetically asks if he can take one of the horses. Aww, Theon! Of course you can! I know he’s done some really, really awful things, but I just want to hug him pretty much every time I see him.
The Iron Islands. A storm is raging, and Yara is telling her father that they’ve lost Deepwood Motte, their last stronghold on the mainland. She urges her father to abandon this notion of getting a toehold on the mainland, because all it’s doing is costing them men. And the last time they pissed off the northern lords, they paid dearly for it. Her father tells her to shut up, or risk being disinherited.
He stomps outside to a very rickety rope bridge waaaaay up high above the rocks, which seems like a terrible place to be in a storm. He sees a figure at the other end of the bridge and orders it to move aside. The figure reveals itself as his brother, Euron, back from an extended time overseas. It is not, shall we say, a warm reunion. Especially when Euron throws his brother right off that bridge. Farewell, Balon! And thanks, show, for cutting back on people whose names I need to remember!
Balon is buried at sea. Yara promises to find whoever did this and feed them to the sharks. It seems she wants that to be the first act of her reign, but her uncle Aeron reminds her that she’s not in charge of anything unless the kingsmoot deems it so. He doubtfully suggests she may be the first woman to rule the ironborn. Or maybe not. I kind of want this season to end with women just taking over left and right. Sand Snakes down in Dorne, Yara in Pyke, Missy in Meereen. They certainly can’t do any worse than the men.
Davos goes to see Melisandre, who’s all young again, so I guess the old lady look is just her pyjamas now. She’s sitting by the fire, staring sadly at the flames. Davos asks if there’s any way she can bring Jon back. She reluctantly admits that it can be done, though she’s never done it herself, and it tends to leave a lasting impression. Not a good one, of course. She doesn’t think she could manage it, because she’s lost her faith. She tells Davos he was right; that the Lord of Light never spoke to her, not really. Davos doesn’t really care about that; he’s not asking the Lord of Light for help, he’s asking her.
She agrees to try, going to the room where Jon’s laid out and sponging the blood off his body before murmuring some incantations and putting a few locks of his hair into a brazier. She pours water over his hair, speaking in Valyrian, then spreads her hands over his chest and says what are, presumably, some magical words. Nothing happens, so she tries again. And again. And again. No deal. She looks over at Davos with a face that says, ‘this isn’t happening. I’m sorry.’ One by one, they all leave, Davos remaining behind for just a few moments, looking down at the body. Then he, too, goes. A moment later, Ghost rouses himself, and then Jon’s eyes fly open and he begins to gasp.