Game of Thrones – season 6, episode 2

Jon Snow lives

This week’s Game of Thrones was like an old spiritual hymn and you can sing along if you like …

Jon’s not dead, he is alive
Jon’s not dead, he is alive
Jon’s not dead, he is alive
I feel him all over me.

We’re such idiots. If Bobby Ewing can walk out of the shower and unwrite a year’s worth of Dallas storylines, why would we ever consider that Jon Snow would spend any more than a couple of episodes in his lifeless state on a table top?

Ramsay Bolton

Episode 2 of this new series of GoT is low on intrigue and scheming – with the notable exception of Ramsay Bolton (the bastard son of Roose Bolton) who does not react well at all to news of the legitimate birth of a younger brother. Never one for peekish over reaction, Ramsay drives a dagger into the heart of his father and informs him he ‘would prefer to be an only child’ before feeding Walda, his stepmother, and his newborn sibling to the hounds. There’s an old saying that goes something like this: ‘what goes around, comes around.’ Take note Lord Bolton, you’re a very naughty boy!

So what else of note happened this week? Well, there was a bit of a kerfuffle at Castle Black where the Wildings stormed the gates just in time to save Davos Seaworth and the men of the Night’s Watch still loyal to the alive/dead/somewhere in between, Lord Commander.

WunWun

The standoff as Aliser Thorne and his mutineers prepared to meet them in arms is brief; resolved quickly enough by Wun Wun (the giant freed by Jon Snow in the last series) who dashes the brains of the first aggressor against the ramparts of the fortress. The mutineers’ appetite for combat recedes immediately and they are more than happy to take up their new lodgings in the dungeons.

Meanwhile, Cersei Lannister is still in the Red Keep, without influence, prevented from seeing her daughter Myrcella’s body and detained against her will – for her own safety, of course, by the new protector of moral orthodoxy at King’s Landing, the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce). With the young King, Tommen,  tucked in his pocket, the ever-so-humble mouthpiece of the Faith Militant is evolving into an interesting character. Having removed Queen Cersei, he is quick to show Jaime Lannister the new lay of the land  – one in which those who challenge the authority of the Order will be dealt with severely.

King's Guard

Cersei’s 7-foot-tall bodyguard gets a nice couple of cameos, facing down a detachment of the King’s Guard and righting a wrong done by a boastful drunk – who you may remember for waving his tallywhacker at the Queen during her naked walk of shame. Like Wun Wun earlier in the episode, swift violent resolution trumps a clever line any day of the week.

Having said that, with the ‘Mother of Dragons’, Daenerys, gone – her dragons pine and starve themselves in the catacombs beneath Meereen, which leads  Tyrion Lannister to reason that they need to be freed in order to find the Queen and return order to the kingdom. Unfortunately, the last visitor who presented himself before Viserion and Rhaegal was scorched and then eaten. With Varys for company, the half-man descends into the dark chambers under the city and not only manages to avoid being barbecued; he gains the trust of the beasts and set them free. “Next time I have an idea like that,” he says walking back to the city. “Punch me in the face.”

I think the same should apply to the show’s writers: “The next time we come up with a story line like that one, punch us in the face.”

Indeed.

Game of Thrones is broadcast on Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic

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