Everyone’s favorite brother-sister loving, skin flaying, backstabbing, dragon flying, dead walking, high adventure is back for season six! Come here every Monday morning for Pressure Life’s review and recap of HBO’s Game of Thrones season six! Make sure to let us know your favorite scenes in the comments section below!

Spoilers ahead

I take back everything nasty I said about Game of Thrones behind its back last season. As if in direct response to the storytelling issues that plagued season five, episode two, entitled, “Home”, continued season six’s shock and awe campaign. Anytime an episode has me squealing in delight, they’re doing something right.

We start off with the long-awaited return of Bran Stark, the crippled heir to Winterfell who is gifted with a second sight. He is north of the Wall, training with the mysterious Children of The Forest, specifically under the tutelage of the Three Eyed Raven, played by the incomparable Max Van Syndow. During a guided vision, we get a glimpse into Ned Stark’s childhood in Winterfell during peacetime. We even learn that, although always a bit dim, Hodor once talked in complete sentences and his name is actually Willis. So there’s that, I guess.

It’s too soon to judge the merits of Bran’s storyline now that he has entered into an apprenticeship, not unlike his sister Arya and her time with the Faceless Men. Given the time and stock that the show runners have given Bran’s character. I hope that it carries considerable weight going into the ultimate conclusion of the series.

Speaking of Arya, her stick fighting training is just brutal to watch. She has been stripped away of any sense of control, power, ego and self, necessary to move forward in her elite training. Having refused her birth name three times to the mysterious Jaqen Hagar, who serves as her personal Obi-Wan Kenobi, it seems her time as a blind pauper is at an end as she continues along his esoteric path.

At the Wall, the standoff continues between the handful loyal to Jon Snow and the rest of the Night’s Watch loyal to Alliser Thorne. Given the characters behind the door guarding Jon Snow’s body, I had little doubt that they would find a way out, but there could have been no better outcome than Dolorous Ed leading a cavalry of Wildlings and a freaking giant. (cue squeal)

Daavos has come a long way with his relationship with the Red Woman. It is not that he is a convert to her Red God, as much as he is a believer in results; more to the point, the results he has seen Melisandre perform. After a brief pep-talk, he convinces her to attempt and resurrect Jon Snow. I’m a little surprised there was no debate among his friends given what we know of White Walkers, but this season sees little use in applying the brake. I have no problem with this new full speed ahead approach.

They sold the ceremony for as long as they could, making it seems as though Jon Snow’s death really was irreversible. The Jesus iconography down to the white linen over his waist was not lost on me, but it’s far from the first time the character’s employed a messiah complex. Once the camera panned out of the room they actually had me tricked, only for the episode to end on three dramatic gasps of air by none of other than the newly resurrected Jon Snow. Whether he is the same man he once was remains to be seen.

If you’re traveling south from the Wall, you’d do best to avoid Winterfell. All the more so now that Ramsey is calling the shots. It was only a matter of time until a maniac like Ramsey killed his father, Roose Bolton, and took control for himself. Lady Walda and your newborn babe, sorry, but you never had a chance. Pro-tip: never follow Ramsey Bolton into the dog kennels.

Outside of the walls of Winterfell, Sansa and Brienne try to keep warm while Theon and Podrick struggle making a fire. Alfie Allen continues to astound me at the range he wrings out of the tortured character of Theon. The hug Sansa embraces him with was incredibly rewarding to anyone who has stayed with the series since the beginning. While I would enjoy seeing Theon stay at Sansa’s side, his return to the Iron Islands will open a new chapter in the series to explore.

It’s been a while since we’ve visited the salt-sprayed cliffs of the Iron Islands. King Balon and much of the Ironborn have been largely uninteresting and bland throughout the series but the introduction of Balon’s roguish brother (who made his introduction by tossing Balon to his death over a bridge) promises to offer a new injection of excitement when he inevitably butts heads with Balon’s daughter, Yara (recast for this season), for the right to rule upon the Salt Throne. A contention that will only grow more muddied once Theon returns as Balon’s eldest living heir.

Can we all take a minute to marvel and how much the High Sparrow resembles a Westerosi Bernie Sanders? Down the disheveled white hair and stump speech, “Every one of us is poor, powerless, and yet together we can overthrow an empire.” I’ll leave the Cersei/Hillary comparison to someone else.

Jamie Lannister had the right of it when he remarked on how bold a man the High Sparrow must be. The Faith Militant is playing a dangerous game locking up royalty all willy-nilly. The Lannisters always pay their debts and the zombie-Mountain that follows Cersei around will be all too eager to follow through. It is a curious juxtaposition we see with King Tommen against that of his older brother, the former King Joffrey. While Joffrey was far too cruel too lead, Tommen is far too soft. I’m sure Cersei won’t exploit that weakness to her advantage… right.

Across the sea, things are not going well in Meereen without Queen Daenerys to keep the peace. Tyrion, Varys, Misande and Grey Worm are all that remain to lead the last remaining free state in the region. A considerable Hail Mary pass, Tyrion presses his luck in getting on the good side of the two remaining dragons they have locked up in a cellar somewhere. All things considered, seems like a good place to start. Tyrion will forever be known as the Dragon Whisperer after gaining their trust by telling them a story of his childhood before freeing them of their chains. Ironic, considering Daenerys is considered the “breaker of chains”. You know we have to see that half-man on the back of a dragon by the end of the season.

This season is offering a tantalizing tableau of things to come that has only increased now that it has broken ahead of the pace from the books. It may be sacrilege to say, but George R. R. Martin may have his work cut out matching up to the events unfolding in the series.

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  • Adam Dodd

    Content Strategist, novelist and prolific roustabout who drinks entirely too much coffee. You can find him on Twitter @therealadamdodd

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