(NEW YORK) — (SPOILERS AHEAD) He’s aliiiive! If you were one of the fervent fans who refused to believe Jon Snow was dead for good, congratulations — you were right. In a gasp-worthy moment in the final minutes of this week’s episode, Jon was brought back to life thanks to a bit of Melisandre’s magic.
But let’s back up, shall we?
We pick up at Castle Black with Ser Davos and Jon’s friends still holed up with Jon’s body. Just as Ser Alliser Thorne and his mob begin to break down the door, the wildings — with the help of a giant — charge through the gates of Castle Black and win a swift surrender from Thorne and his men.
Later, Ser Davos confronts Melisandre — back in her younger form — and asks the question that’s been on fans’ minds for months: Does she know a way to bring back Jon Snow from the dead? Melisandre hesitates at first, still deep in the throes of her crisis of confidence. But she eventually agrees to try. After cleaning Jon’s wounds, she lays hands on him while speaking incantations in a foreign tongue. When nothing happens, everyone leaves the room — dejected.
But just when we think all hope is lost, Jon’s direwolf, Ghost, stirs and the camera cuts to Jon, who suddenly opens his eyes and gasps for breath.
While Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane does Cersei Lannister’s bidding around town, Cersei’s daughter Myrcella is being laid to rest in The Red Keep. Cersei is barred from attending the funeral by her son, King Tommen. Tommen confides to Jamie Lannister that he feels guilty for not being able to protect his mother. At Jamie’s urging, Tommen goes to see Cersei and apologizes. He asks his mother for help to be strong, and she agrees.
After the escape of Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy, Ramsay Bolton is out for blood. Turns out, it’s the blood of his own father, Roose Bolton. He stabs his father in cold blood, after learning his father’s mistress has just given birth to a son — another potential heir. He then summons the mistress and the baby, and ruthlessly sics his dogs on them.
Meanwhile, in the woods outside Winterfell, Brienne tells Sansa that her sister Arya is alive. Theon decides he will not be going with them to Castle Black. Instead, he says he’s heading back “home” to the Iron Islands.
Theon’s home turns out to be in just as much turmoil as every other kingdom. His father, Lord Balon Greyjoy, is thrown off a rickety bridge by his formerly exiled younger brother, Euron Greyjoy. The new ruler of the Iron Islands is now in question.
Tyrion Lannister: Dragon whisperer? After learning that Daenarys’ dragons have not been eating, Tyrion decides to pay the fire-breathing creatures a visit and unchain them. After a tense first encounter, the dragons allow Tyrion to remove their shackles.
Arya is still blind and begging on the streets. The young girl from the House of Black and White returns and fights Arya again, but then suddenly Jaqen H’ghar appears and tests Arya by repeatedly asking her name. Each time, she responds “a girl has no name.” She seemingly passes his test and Jaqen informs her that she is not a beggar anymore.
Cave of the Three-Eyed Raven
Bran Stark is back! After a season-five absence, we catch up with Bran in a cave with the Three-Eyed Raven. He’s seeing visions of the past, including his father, Ned Stark, as a young boy at Winterfell. He also sees a young Hodor, and it’s revealed that Hodor could once speak and his real name is Willis.
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