Game of Thrones S6 E2 Recap: He’s BAAAAAAAACK!

(Photo Courtesy of Zap2It)

Three “television enthusiasts,” the dynamic brother-sister duo of Marci and Rusty Buehler and Zac Hirschbeck, watch Game of Thrones each Sunday night and exchange their thoughts on the show’s happenings.

Marci: This week’s GoT episode has everything—Dragons, Giants, Resurrections from the dead, Murders, Flashbacks and a couple of really satisfying smashes of humans against stone walls.

I’ll let you guys get more into the return of Mr. Snow – my biggest question from the episode is – who the heck was that character from the musical CATS that was hanging around Bran’s magic tree? I know we’ve all wondered how the masses who adore GoT without being true fantasy nerds will take to Bran’s mystical storyline, and as one self-admitted non-fantasy nerd, I kinda liked it this week! The flashback to Winterfell of old was fun for me, like looking back on older, simpler, happier times with Ned Stark and his siblings. And I loved seeing the younger version of Hodor! I’m dreading the impending flashback where we see what turned Hodor from chubby little stable boy to quasi-brain dead dude who can only say his own name… But overall, it was surprisingly nice to see Bran again and I’m eager to follow his storyline forward. Also, I think the introduction of flashbacks sets us up to possibly discover who Jon Snow’s parents are – which I think Zac has on his bucket list, so that would be kewl.

I also am eager to see more of Wun Wun the giant – when he barrowed through the doors at Castle Black I was feeling such joy that I thought I could not get any happier…that is, until Wun Wun picked up the archer dude who had just fired an arrow at him and smashed him against the wall. What fun! I hope we see more of Wun Wun in the episodes to come, or maybe we even give him his own spinoff series. Better Call Wun Wun? That’s got Emmy’s written all over it.

And speaking of smashing people into things – we saw the Mountain back in action this week, killing some drunken fool who spoke ill of his girl Cersei. I fully support this type of creative scene transition – smashing of human body to smashing of human body – and I hope that it continues to happen every week.

We also saw Tommen go to his Mommy’s chambers and apologize, at the request of his Uncle/Dad. I know the Lannisters have been down and out lately, but I think Cersei is on the up and up, and I’m excited to see what happens next! I also hope the Mountain smashes a bunch more heads.

There are so many more juicy details to talk about from this week, but I will let you boys have at it. What’d you think of this week’s episode? Was the resurrection to your liking? Were you as surprised as I was at Ramsey’s newest victims? And how about TYRION? What a brave little man.

 

Rusty: The actor playing Wun Wun is building up some serious Emmy cred! I like how an arrow to his shoulder is about as effective as a bee sting. Giants are tough!

I enjoyed Bran’s flashbacks as well. The treatment of the flashbacks are pretty theatrical, where Bran and his new old man tree pal can look in and comment on the action, but aren’t necessarily seen by anyone, and it totally worked for me. I’ve read a lot of fan theories regarding where these flashbacks are headed (just Google ‘R+L = J’ and prepare yourself to fall into a nerdy wormhole), and I’m looking forward to see how everything plays out now through Bran’s lens. He’s gotta leave that tree eventually though, right? The surviving female twin is already getting some major FOMO, on account of, I dunno, chilling in a tree for a year with a teenager who’s basically tripping balls all the time and a guy with a VERY limited vocabulary.

For a split second I thought that Bran was going to Warg into Jon’s direwolf in the last scene when Jon was resurrected. No dice, but the Direwolf woke up because he knew what was coming! I guess in addition to thunderstorms and earthquakes, if you see a dog get freaked out for no particular reason it could be because someone is getting resurrected nearby. When it comes to resurrections, it seems like Jon got a better deal than The Mountain, who we still haven’t seen without his helmet. I’m curious to see if that dichotomy will come into play – what does it mean to come back from the dead, especially since the Night’s King is leading an army of reanimated people? Does Jon’s return come with any consequences? I also found myself a little wary of how much Melisandre was snipping off of Jon’s perfectly tousled hair. Girl, did you really need to trim that much for the fire? Jon’s got a standing biweekly appointment at The Salon at the Wall (ask for Trevor!) and I’m not sure how this touch-up is going to affect his routine.

Speaking of routines, it’s nice to see that Ramsey is not straying from his full-crazy psychotic sadism that we’ve all grown to love over the last few years. This one was pretty brutal. Classic only child behavior, right?? Personally, I think Roose would have gotten Ramsey if Ramsey hadn’t gotten to Roose first. They’re both cut from the same cloth, and in the world of Game of Thrones, it ultimately matters if you have a legitimate kid. Plus, didn’t the Lannisters kill a bunch of potential bastard children in an earlier season? This is a THING, apparently. You can’t really cop to being a baby daddy in Westeros. It sounds like Ramsey is ready to attack the wall soon, if I understood him correctly. Bold prediction: Ramsey and his allies face the wall, and Ramsey LOSES! And DIES! Season finale.

Zac, I need your help now… What the heck is going on in the Iron Islands? Who was that dude on the bridge? Was he the King’s brother, and just magically young? I was a little confused.

 

Zac: Rusty, I’ll start by attempting to answer your question first. That dude on the bridge is Euron Greyjoy! And the only reason I know that is because his name was frequently a topic of conversation during the “offseason” chatter leading up to this season. From my understanding, Euron was a fairly popular character in the books, but he was yet to be featured on the show. However, that obviously changes now.

According to this article from the fine folks at POPSUGAR, Euron is the younger brother of the King that he just disposed of. He also is a pirate and his nickname is “Crow’s Eye.” How fun! From my standpoint, Euron will hopefully inject some life into the Iron Islands. Up until this point, the show has been dreary each time we check in with ironborn folk. While Euron’s arrival didn’t end well for the standing King, and it likely won’t bode well for Yara (Theon’s sister), it may up the entertainment value from a viewing standpoint.

Aside from that, I really enjoyed this week’s episode. I completely agree with you both that Bran’s reintroduction to the show was great. While I shared both of your doubts as to how the showrunners would handle the fantasy aspect of Bran’s storyline, the use of flashbacks makes me genuinely invested in seeing him each week. I mentioned last week how eager I was for a Ned Stark flashback, and we got a taste of that this week. Rusty, the introduction of Lyanna to the show certainly suggests that we might be headed toward “R+L=J,” which makes me an excited fan.

In King’s Landing it seems likely that we’re heading for a bloody conflict between The Sparrows and the Lannister family. I think it’s likely a testament to the quality of the acting and the writing on the show, but am I alone in feeling a little sympathetic toward Cersei? For the better part of the series, she has been one of the more villainous characters each week. However, following her tour-de-shame and the majority of her loved ones being murdered, I’m kind of rooting for the Queen Mother to regain her footing over the religious uprising. And while I’ll never forgive The Mountain for squishing Prince Oberyn (R.I.P.), there was a small sliver of satisfaction in seeing the reincarnated beast defend the honor of Cersei. Do you both feel similarly? Or am I failing to properly remember the many atrocities the Lannister family has committed in the first five seasons?

This likely won’t come as much of a surprise to either of you, but my favorite moments of the episode all came at the Wall. I greatly enjoyed the returns of Wun Wun, Tormund Giantsbane and their wildling brethren, especially since it came at the expense of Alliser Thorne and his fellow traitors. Then, after a fair amount of encouraging coaxing from Ser Davos, Melisandre resurrected the fallen Lord Commander. The show really couldn’t have pieced together Snow’s return any better in my eyes. After everyone (EXCEPT FOR GHOST) had given up hope, Westeros’ favorite bastard (Eat Shit Ramsay!) awoke from his lengthy slumber.

With Kit Harrington back in the fray, I have so many questions moving forward. Will he still be Jon Snow? How will both his friends and foes receive him upon his return? Will there be significant side-effects from his prolonged spell, well, being dead? Will he discover the true identities of his parents? Will he reunite with any of his Stark siblings? Who will he go to war with next?

Ultimately, I think Jon Snow (Stark? Targaryen?) will be a central and heroic figure throughout the remainder of the series. After getting a taste for his abilities against the White Walkers, I have to imagine we’ll revisit that moment at some point with the Army of the Frozen fast approaching.

I’ve rambled long enough, so let me turn things back over to you Marci. We haven’t really discussed Tyrion’s new friendships yet. Do you think there is something more than just bravery to The Imp’s ability in communicating with Rhaegal and Viserion? I mean we haven’t seen anyone other than Daenerys have that sort of relationship with our favorite fire-breathing pets…

And what are you guys hoping to see in Episode #3?

 

Marci: I’m surprised it’s taken us so long in our recap to talk about Tyrion and his little pep talk with the dragons this week. I was quite impressed with his dragon whispering skills. After I’m done bringing “Better Call Wun Wun” to the small screen, I intend to start an Animal Planet show starring Tyrion called “The Dragon Whisperer,” where he visits the castles and estates of people who own unruly dragons and teach them how to better manage their dragon wrath. I think it has some real potential.

Zac, as far as your inquiry about if Tyrion has some sort of more intense bond with the dragons, are you insinuating that perhaps Tyrion has some Targaryen blood in him? That would be an interesting premise. Are there fan theories about that? If that’s true, AND R+L=J, it seems pretty much everyone all over Westeros has very active sex lives. Good for them!

Either way, the scene was exciting and once again showed Peter Dinklage at his best, holding our attention in the most captivating way. It’s even more impressive to think of him filming this scene, essentially standing in an empty cave pretending there are two terrifying dragons in front of him. IT’S THE MAGIC OF HOLLYWOOD, BABY!

Also, I think that the words Tyrion tells Varys as he’s leaving the cave should be extended to all my close friends anytime I get a crazy idea – “Next time I have an idea like that—punch me in the face.” So guys, please just start punching me in the face, ASAP.

My question is – why didn’t the dragons immediately fly away once they were unshackled?! Do they like their little cave? Where will they go next? I’m hoping next week we see them flying over to where Dany is and saying “What up, Mom!?” And she’ll be all like “I TOLD YOU TO STAY IN YOUR ROOM, BOYZ!” Then they will light everyone on fire and fly Dany away. Kids, Am I Right?!

What’d you guys think of Arya’s dumb story line this week? Looking forward to anything in particular next week?

 

Rusty: My interest in Arya’s story has waned over the last year. She needs to get out of the House of Black and White, stat! Unfortunately, since Arya’s still blind I doubt that’s gonna happen. But, I hope they wrap up her quest to become a badass Faceless Person and somehow become relevant to any of the other stories!

Arya’s time ate into all potential scenes with Dany and the Dothraki. I’m interested in seeing where that is headed. Part of me hopes the two freed dragons will just punch in Dany’s coordinates on Google Maps and fly over to rescue her. Now all three dragons are on the loose…When do you think we’ll see them next? While it was thrilling last season to have Drogon rescue Dany in Meereen, I feel like the writers blew their narrative wad, prohibiting the them to pull a similar surprise attack/rescue any time soon. We’ll see what happens there. However, it was pretty telling of Tyrion to drop that dragons may be smarter than humans. I’m hoping for some aerial synchro routines in episode 8!

 

Zac: I too am tired of Arya’s storyline. If you would’ve told me two or three seasons ago that I’d be more interested in Bran’s storyline than Arya’s at this point, I likely would’ve laughed in your face. The return of Jaqen H’ghar was so enticing too!

Marci, I did indeed hint at the possibility of Tyrion being part-Targaryen. I’m not sure if that is indeed internet conjecture, but I’m certain that it’s likely just wishful thinking on my part. HOW COOL WOULD IT BE TO SEE TYRION FLYING A DRAGON?!? AND WHAT IF HE’S FLYING THAT DRAGON ALONGSIDE JON SNOW AND DANY WHO ARE ALSO FLYING DRAGONS?!?!?!

A guy can nerd out and dream.

Until next week!

 

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