Jon Snow is back in the least interesting twist of the week.
It is rare on television,to see a grandiose moment overshadowing by what was generally a tremendous hour of television. We knew Jon Snow was coming back to life, but the way it was handled was plodding and predictable. Luckily the rest of “Home” was a gruesome, eventful delight.
“Home” began with a throwback not just in the timeline, but in pacing. The scene was slow, but economical with its time. Glimpses of Leyana and a young Hodor, or should I say Wyllis, fleshed out the world in a way Game of Thrones has left by the wayside in recent years. With so much simply happening, it’s difficult to squeeze these kind of scenes in without losing the already invested audience, but it was a reminder that there are still questions left unanswered. And for as much as Bran wanted to stay in the past, so did we.
The episode moved from one thread to another, but did so with more focus than “The Red Woman.” If the lack of well-constructed 60 minute crescendos is inevitable, then I will gladly take Sunday’s specific ebb and flow. In “Home” scenes were built up from the innocuous and by their conclusions were utterly enrapturing. Jaime’s confrontation with the High Sparrow may go unmentioned by most, but it set the tone for the rest of the episode as it transitioned King’s Landing politics to Lannister secrets to the near violent tension that brought the whole thing full circle.
The ordering of events felt important again. The connective tissue between the two major deaths of the show was a small scene with Theon, but there was a sense of movement that allowed this to work. Speaking of the deaths, now wasn’t that a sight to behold?
We all know the pure homicidal insanity eating away at Ramsay’s brain, destroying the Boltons from the inside, but it finally came to fruition. The patricide of Roose came abruptly in the most glorious fashion, undoing the seeds sown in Winterfell. Especially after the brutal murder his newborn brother, it will be interesting to see where Ramsey turns his attention next. Will he go north to seek an undead Jon Snow? Perhaps he will cross paths with Reek after not too long. Who knows what the new Lord Bolton has in store.
House Bolton and House Greyjoy are intrinsically linked. The downfall of both heads of household this week was no coincidence. The houses keep to their own politics, Balon and Roose both being nasty schemers. Ramsey is a man, if you can call him that, of action. And then there is the mysterious assassin, a Greyjoy, who appears to be Euron — a new character to the show who has was introduced in A Feast For Crows during what fans call the Ironborn arc. They both live in the shadow of House Stark and are trying to reclaim the former glory of Winterfell.
All these successes are what made the Wall scenes, seemingly the canon A story, so disappointing. The first wall scene was a testosterone filled mess. The Jon Snow reveal played out exactly the way half the fan theories 13 months ago predicted. So here we were, the final ten minutes of an otherwise excellent outing for Thrones and it felt like we were drawing out the inevitable. Up to the final shot of Jon’s eyes opening, it all felt so rote, predictable to a tee.
The most unpredictable and strangest scene would have to be Tyrion’s dragon speaking. It’s easy to forget how great Peter Dinklage’s performance is on a weekly basis, especially given the simplification of his character by the writers with lines like “I drink and know things.” But seeing him in a scene opposite those CGI dragons make you think about how much he puts in. Plus, it helped to substantiate a certain fan theory.
For all it’s payoffs, the best part of Sunday’s Thrones was how well those pay offs were set up. If “Home” taught us anything, it is a reminder that Game of Thrones was once a slow show, and that it was better that way.
Most Shocking Moment: Ramsay’s murder spree takes the cake, but Theon’s vulnerable moment with Sansa made me feel something
Biggest Groan: We knew it was coming, just wish it had been less
Most Important Deaths: Roose Bolton, Balon Greyjoy
Jon Snow Update: Gasping for air.