SPOILERS: Game of Thrones recap
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD: Do not read unless you have watched the latest Game of Thrones episode. Available on SoHo and Neon.co.nz.
While not reaching the dramatic heights of last week's episode, Game of Thrones' third episode from season six did provide from food for thought.
We had some welcome returns, including the hilarious Olenna Tyrell, Arya's eyes and Rickon Stark all grown up, although he's not in such a good place. So let's crack into it, starting at the Wall.
Unfortunately, once again, there was no time to see kiwi actors Joe Naufahu and Keisha Castle-Hughes. Hopefully, they'll be back next week.
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"MY WATCH HAS ENDED"
Everyone at Castle Black seems a bit surprised to see Jon walking and talking. It's as if he rose from the dead or something. The wildings think he's a god, but Tormund Giantsbane, channelling Donald Trump, says there's no way that's possible because he has a small penis.
Jon, for his part, seems a bit overwhelmed by it all, and demands to know why he's back. No-one knows. Being stabbed multiple times doesn't seem to have affected him in any way, as many of us thought it would, and it looks like he's going to pick up from where he left off.
That would be way too predictable. After executing those who killed him, including one especially angry-looking Olly, he hands his cloak to Edd, tells him Castle Black is his, and walks off.
So where is he going? My bet is over the wall once again, to somehow try and stop the horde of White Walkers which will soon envelop all of Westeros? That's be the noble thing to do. And Jon Snow is nothing if not noble.
In Winterfell, new warden of the north and definite psychopath Ramsay Bolton is hearing out another Northern clan, the Umbers. Smalljon Umber, father of Greatjon Umber, thinks Jon Snow (they're not particularly imaginative with names in the North) will wreak havoc with his Wildling army and wants Bolton troops to murder them all. It seems unlikely, but Northerners are a paranoid bunch.
The problem is, Smalljon won't pledge allegiance to Ramsay, which seems fair, but he has a gift. It's only bloody Rickon Stark, who had apparently been living peacefully with the Umbers until his point. And now he's set to become Ramsay's latest plaything. Rickon had been easily the most unimportant Stark, by a long way, but this development could see his stocks rise in the narrative.
Despite ALL the death in this show, only the eldest Stark child is dead. They're all potential heirs to the north and maybe more, though none are in position to claim any thrones right now. But one day? Surely. We're all dreaming of the day when Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon and Jon are in the same room.
"I WAS WAITING FOR YOU"
Speaking of Stark children, there were significant goings-on for in both Bran and Arya's storyline. Bran has another nostalgic trip, this time seeing his father fight the men who have Lyanna Stark held captive in in the ironcially-named Tower of Joy.
After Ned dispatches the captors through less-than-noble means, we hear a scream. Is it a woman's or a baby's? If it is a baby's, it could well be a young Jon Snow (yes, him again.) No this is not more incest. Well it might be. But far more likely/excitingly, it could well be confirmation of R+L=J. If you don't know what that equation means, google it now to become a true Game of Thrones nerd. It's a huge development for the future if it's true. One which will change the fortunes of everyone in Westeros. In about five years time, knowing the way Game of Thrones drags things out.
Actor playing young Ned Stark resembles Sean Bean to degree where it may be best fictional familial resemblance since Niles & Frasier. #GoT— Mike O'Connor (@mmoaks14) May 9, 2016
In the here and now, Arya's training is complete. Unfortuantley, she won't be a dare-devil type warrior because Jaqen H'Ghar gives her eyes back. She is now officially 'no-one'. Which is a much less cool name than Arya. In fact, it's a terrible name. Come on guys, we have names like Daenarys Stormborn and Daario Naharis in this show, surely you can come up with something a bit more fantastical.
"IT'S THE BEST YOU CAN HOPE FOR, NOW"
Across the Narrow Sea now. Daenarys is taken to Vaes Dothrak and is under the command of a matron like woman. She also used to be the wife of a high Khal, so they surely have plenty to talk about. The Mother of Dragons has other things on her mind though, mainly escaping. However, her only hope is the plucky duo of lover Daario Naharis and #friendzoned Jorah Mormont finding her. Hopefully this Khaleesi retirement home has a small security budget.
In Meereen, Tyrion is trying to get Missandei and Grey Worm to join him in a drink. It doesn't work. Things get awkward. Varys' breaks the tension by informing them his little birds (who all turn out to be street children) have found out the vigilante groups are being backed by the other three big Essos cities. Which makes them a much bigger threat. They then have a "conversation" about what to do. Grey Worm wants to fight, Tyrion seems up for a bit of diplomacy. In the end a message is sent to the cities rulers, but we'll to wait to see what it says.
Finally, in Kings Landing, it's all about influence. The High Sparrow is influencing King Tommen about the importance of the Gods on his decision-making, and by holy extension, himself. Olenna is trying to influence the small council, now headed by Tywin's brother, to do more to free Margaery and Loras. Jaime and Cercei interrupt, and their influence comes in the form of a giant frankenstein monster.
Unfortunately for them, the small council decide to leave the room, rather than be in their company. One of them says, "not unless you're going to have that thing murder us all." Be careful what you wish for. Cercei and Jaime look seriously ticked off now.
The pressure is building. Blood will almost certainly spilled next week.