He’s alive! Jon Snow is alive!
I just wish we hadn't seen it coming. In Episode two of season six, Game of Thrones delivered the worst kept secret since Sean Bean died as Ned Stark. I’m just glad it happened early on rather than being dragged on through the series like the knowing truth that Grandma has made you a sweater for Christmas.
Other than getting that massive shock out of the way, episode two was all about reacquainting with characters that season five deemed unworthy. Welcome back, Bran, Hodor and the Iron Islands.
With the raft of familiar faces returning, I found the episode really refreshing. Life at The Wall, Kings Landing and Winterfell have started to become as dull and dreary as the backdrops themselves and the re-introduction of old faces will give the series a timely boost.
I firmly believe that Bran’s story is being massively undersold and he’s going to turn out to be one of, if not the biggest player in the battle against the White Walkers. We didn't learn too much about his story in this episode but as the series progresses, I think we’re only going to get drip fed information about his training at the hands of the Westerosi version of Obi Wan.
As for The Iron Islands, the story in the books has been bubbling nicely and with the introduction of a new, menacing character (Euron Grejoy), it looks like keeping to the literature, at least to where it’s been paused. That can only be a good thing and I’m expecting ructions to start happening on Pyke.
Looking back to more familiar territory, Cersei is still in her ‘broken woman’ routine and that’s not making her or Jaime’s story any more interesting than it was last week. Sansa and Brienne don’t seem to have moved at all and Ramsay Bolton is doing nothing to dispel his title as most loathed character since Game of Thrones launched on our screens.
Across The Narrow Sea, Tyrion still rules in Daenerys’ stead and his humour is probably the only light touch to season six so far. His bonding with the dragons was really intriguing though, especially if you buy into a prominent fan theory that he’s actually half Targaryen. It’s a theory, not a spoiler.
We all love a compliment sandwich so let’s end on a high note. Aside from the casting of Max von Sydow and Ian McShane, the biggest success of this season and last, is Jonathan Pryce as The High Sparrow. In everything he does Pryce brings a charm, a swagger and menace and he’s the perfect for both that character and Game of Thrones in general. I mean, let’s be honest, not many people have got the drop on Cersei Lannister.
To close, as an episode, it won’t be remembered as one of the best. But, as predicted last week, season six is starting to bubble away nicely and when the less interesting story arcs start to pick up again, I think we’ll be in for a cracker.