[SPOILER ALERT] After an entire year of claiming his character was in fact dead, and an entire year’s worth of spoilers proving otherwise, the very ending of episode two of season six of Game of Thrones revealed (to absolutely no one’s surprise) that Jon Snow has been resurrected by Melisandre, the Red Witch. Sure the internet is abuzz that everyone’s favorite dreamy yet otherwise kind of pointless member of House Stark is rejoining the Game of Thrones and the war against the Whitewalkers, but since everyone knew it was happening (like Glenn surviving a herd of walkers) it wasn’t nearly the biggest revelation in the episode.
The biggest revelation of the episode may be in the visions of Bran Stark, who we haven’t seen in an entire season. We’re reintroduced to Bran being trained to have visions by the three-eyed raven in his cave.
While there we see the very beginnings of the relationships that led to the Game of Thrones and for the first time see the portrayal of one of the main characters in the conflict, Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister. It is a flashback of Lyanna, Ned, and Brandon as children play fighting in Winterfell.
This is monumental because it is the courtship between Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen that leads to Robert’s Rebellion and sets off the entire Game of Thrones story arc that began with the fall of the Targaryens from the Iron Throne. Not only that, but many book readers hold a theory that Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna and Rhaegar (R+L=J), and that Ned promised her on her deathbed from a complicated birth, that he would care for Jon as his own. Ned being the most respectable and honest in all of Westeros found it fit to besmirch his own honor and let the world believe Jon was his own son born out of wedlock with a prostitute.
Back to Bran’s vision, we also found out that Hodor has a name! His name is Wyllis and his vocabulary was slightly more varied, though Hodor still said Hodor.
Second biggest scene, the death of the Warden of the North. The series has become less and less a friendly place for readers of the books since last season killed off the very much alive characters Mance Rayder, Shireen Baratheon, and Stannis Baratheon.
To add to that list, Roose Bolton, the traitor who planned the infamous Red Wedding with Waldor Frey, was killed by his own bastard son Ramsey Snow. Just as Bolton received news of receiving his first blood heir since the death of his son at the hands of Ramsay, Ramsay decided to take the title of Lord Bolton as his own.
But that’s not where this cold-blooded murderer’s streak ends, he has to make sure he is the only heir. He calls for Walda Frey, who bore Roose’s son, only to have her and the newborn mauled to death by his hounds as he said, “I prefer being an only child.” I’m glad they didn’t add mauled baby sounds because the sound of Walda being mauled was horrid enough.
But wait, that wasn’t the only notable death of the night. Just as Theon told Sansa that he was going home, we tune into his father Balon Greyjoy in the Iron Islands.
There he argues with Theon’s sister Yara over a bullheaded attempt to invade the mainland. In the book series his death is much more veiled, and happens a lot earlier.
But here his brother Euron, who was formerly in exile, returns to toss him off the bridge to their castle on a stormy, windy night with no witnesses. This leaves the throne to the Iron Islands up for dispute, with Yara an unlikely candidate.
Why does this matter? The books of course. The promise of obtaining dragons to rule Westeros proves strong enough for a successor to be chosen at kingsmoot, which will lead the forces of the Iron Islands to Mireen.
Speaking of Mireen and dragons, Tyrion is now befriending Daenerys’s dragons whom she inadvertently left alone after being whisked away from Mireen by Drogon. I mean, who ever thinks you’ll never see your chained up dragons again?
After realizing the dragons were starving because they haven’t been fed by her absent mother Daenerys, Tyrion set to get friendly with the dragons by freeing them of their chains. Sure they are CGI dragons, but the tension among them was still palpable. Acting!
But of course after everything settles, the only thing people will want to talk about is the puppy-eyed Jon Snow living again. Melisandre’s powers are still viable and the wildling army will rejoin their resuscitated ambassador of the Night’s Watch in his new mission which.. we don’t know yet, because the series is officially past the books’ storylines.
That is except in the Iron Islands, so book readers can still hold it over show watchers when Yara doesn’t get the throne and when Euron sets his sights on Mireen.