Previously on Game of Thrones: Bran got to check out his family history, thanks to the Three-Eyed Raven, Arya was taken back to the House of Black and White, Dany was taken prisoner by the Dothraki, and Jon Snow was brought back to life.
The newly resurrected Jon Snow sits up as a shocked Davos watches and Ghost gives him a: ‘took you long enough!’ look. Jon gasps for air and shakes, looking terrified, and lurches off the table he was on. Davos catches him and asks him what he remembers. Jon remembers being stabbed to death, which must make this super freaky for him. He even remembers Olly dealing the death blow. He knows he should be dead. Davos explains that Melisandre brought him back. She steps forward and asks him what the afterlife was like. Nonexistent, apparently. She insists that the Lord brought him back for a reason. She thinks he’s the Prince that was Promised, now Stannis is out of the picture.
Davos asks for a moment with Jon, then tells him it’s completely understandable that he’s really confused right now. Jon says he did what he thought was right and was murdered for it and now he’s back and he wants to know why. Davos has no idea, but he urges Jon to go on fighting and clear up as much of this mess as he can. Jon thinks that’s what he was doing, and he failed. ‘Good,’ says Davos. ‘Now go fail again.’
Jon gets dressed and is taken out to address the Wildlings and the men of the Watch. He walks amongst them, and they mostly drop back, except for Tormund, who says the Wildlings think Jon is some sort of a god, since he came back from the dead. Jon says he’s no god and Tormund agrees, joking that no god would have a dick that small. They embrace. Ahh, male friendship. Jon goes and greets some of his other friends.
Sam and Gillie are aboard a ship that’s being tossed by a storm. Gillie doesn’t mind, but Sam’s clearly suffering from the mal de mer. He tries really hard to hold it together, but ultimately fails and starts throwing up. She gives him some water and tells him they’ll be at Oldtown soon. Sam breaks the news that she won’t be able to stay at the Citadel with him, and he’s not comfortable with the idea of her staying at Oldtown by herself, so he’s taking her to his family home. He says his father’s kind of a dick, but his mother and sisters are ok. She reminds him that they said they’d stick together. He just wants her and Little Sam to be safe. She knows and acknowledges that Sam’s been the only person who’s ever worried about them. She also, very sweetly, refers to Sam as the father of her son. Awww! Sam has just enough time to be touched before he starts vomiting again.
The Three-Eyed Raven takes Bran back to the day his father arrived at the Tower of Joy to liberate his sister, Lyanna. Two thumbs up on the casting of young Ned, by the way–Robert Aramayo does actually look like he could grow up to look like Sean Bean someday. Ned rides up to the tower along with Howland Reed, Meera’s father, and several other men, Only two Kingsguard are protecting the tower, but one of them is Ser Arthur Dayne, the finest swordsman of his day, if not beyond. Dayne and his companion meet with Ned and his and exchange some chat about the battle at the Trident, which basically put Robert on the throne. They prepare to fight.
The fighting is fierce, but these two Kingsguard really know what the’re doing. Ned kills one, leaving Dayne to fight four men himself. He kills all but Ned and Howland, though I believe Howland is wounded. Dayne and Ned face off alone and Bran wonders how his father ever managed to win this, because Dayne was clearly the superior fighter. Sounds like Ned’s told this particular story to his kids many times, with embellishments, because when Ned’s disarmed, Dayne’s killed by Howland stabbing him in the back. Bran is horrified.
There’s the sound of a woman screaming in the tower, and Ned runs that way. Bran goes to follow him, calling after him. Ned stops and turns, then goes up to the tower.
The Raven returns Bran to the here and now. Bran begs to go back but Raven says they’re done for the day, because if they stay too long, they’ll get trapped in the past. Bran’s fine with that, since his present life kind of sucks, but Raven says he won’t be stuck there with him forever. Before he leaves, however, he has a lot to learn.
Dany is taken to Vaes Dothrak and delivered to the other widowed khaleesi. Dany tells the woman in charge that they’re making a big mistake. The woman reminds her that she was supposed to come to them when Drogo died, as they all had to come here when their husbands died. Dany’s not special. And since she went out into the world instead of coming to Vaes Dothrak, Dany’s in big trouble and it’ll be up to the rest of the Dothraki to decide her fate.
Vala, that prostitute who was getting the Unsullied killed at the hands of the Sons of the Harpy, is brought to Varys, who does what he does best: gets some answers. She’s defiant, until he mentions her son. He’s not threatening the kid, because killing innocent children is not what he does, but he does point out that her crimes are executable offenses, and if she’s dead, what’ll become of her boy? He offers her a pretty sweet deal: get on a ship to Pentos with her kid and the bag of silver Varys is offering up in return for some information.
Tyrion waits for news from Varys and tries desperately to get Grey Worm and Missy to talk to him. They don’t seem to quite understand the notion of conversing with him. Tyrion suggests playing a game, but he mostly knows drinking games and they don’t drink.
At last, Varys appears with the news that he knows who funds the Sons: the wealthy men of the other slave cities. Wow, that really narrows down their list of enemies, doesn’t it? Grey Worm suggests they just reconquer those cities, but Tyrion points out that Meereen will descend into complete chaos if the Unsullied march off. They’re going to try some different routes, through Varys’s little birds.
Speaking of Little Birds, it looks like Qyburn’s taken over the child-spy network in King’s Landing. Like Varys, he plies the kids with sweets and asks them to return the favour with information.
The door opens and Zombie Mountain, who’s being openly referred to as Ser Gregor, comes in along with Jaime and Cersei. The kids are sent away. Jaime suggests they just send Gregor to the High Sept to crush the High Sparrow. Cersei points out that Sparrow’s surrounded by his faithful, and even Gregor can’t take all of them on. They have to wait for a trial by combat. She then turns to Qyburn and tells him to make sure there are little birds in every major city in the Seven Kingdoms.
Time to crash a meeting of the Small Council! Cersei, Jaime and Gregor interrupt an anti-Qyburn tirade from Pycelle and Cersei wonders what Oleanna’s doing there. Oleanna explains that she was invited, to help deal with several issues, including her granddaughter’s imprisonment. Kevan Lannister tries to send the interlopers away but they sit down and ask what they plan to do about the Sand Snakes. Kevan realises he can’t make them leave, so he and the rest of the Small Council will leave instead. Damn, Kevan! Though I do applaud your boldness.
Tommen goes to see the Sparrow and asks for permission for his mother to see Myrcella’s final resting place. Sparrow says that won’t be possible until she’s stood trial. Tommen tries to assert himself, which works as well as you would expect. Sparrow tells Tommen that he really admires the love Cersei clearly has for her children and admits he rather envies the young man that, because Sparrow never had that. He explains that he doesn’t want to put Cersei through a trial, the gods do, and one must simply accept that. Tommen’s pretty much like, ‘oh, ok.’
Arya’s training/whuppings continue. Intercut with scenes of her fighting with that girl are sessions between the two of them, in which the other girl asks about Arya Stark’s family and the Hound. Arya mentions her Death List and, after she goes down the names, the other girl notes it’s a pretty short list. Arya does not explain that it’s only short because about half the original people on it are now dead.
Arya finally gets better at fighting, so Jaqen offers her her sight back if she tells him her name. She tells him she has no name. He invites her to come drink out of the death well, reassuring her that, if she truly has no name, she will be just fine. Arya hesitates, then drinks…and gets her sight back.
A member of the Umber house arrives at Winterfell to throw some attitude around and make it clear he doesn’t believe Roose was poisoned. He needs help, though, because Wildlings are coming down from the north and there are too many of them for him to fight alone. He points out that it won’t take them too long to get down to Winterfell, so better to defeat them further north, before they can ravage the countryside. Ramsay orders him to pledge his loyalty to the Boltons, but Umber will kneel to no man. Instead, he’s going to give Ramsay a present: Osha and Rickon Stark. Aww, man! I’d actually kind of forgotten about these two, actually. To prove this is, in fact, Rickon, Umber also produces the head of the boy’s direwolf. Not another dead direwolf! There are hardly any left now! For some reason, that makes me sadder than a lot of the human deaths on this show.
Ramsay’s face practically splits in half with a grin and he welcomes Rickon home.
At Castle Black, Jon is fetched to oversee the executions of the traitors who murdered him. Yes, that does include Olly. Jon mounts the gibbet, where they’re all waiting with nooses around their necks, and invites them to say any last words. One guy babbles that Jon shouldn’t be alive. Another asks him to write to his mother and tell her he died fighting the Wildlings. Thorne says that Jon brought an army of Wildlings into their lands and that wasn’t ok. If he had to do it again, he would. He warns Jon that he’ll be fighting their battles forever. Jon moves on to Olly, who just glares down at him, the very picture of pre-adolescent rage. Jon draws his sword and cuts the rope holding the trapdoor. The men and boy drop and, after much jerking around, die.
Jon stares at Olly for a bit, then sheathes his sword. Grenn says they should burn the bodies. Jon tells him that’ll be his job now, because he’s in charge of Castle Black. Jon’s done here. He served until his death, as the oath said, and now his watch is ended.