This is the episode we have all been waiting for! Since 2011 when The Dance Of Dragons came out, both fans of the books and, recently, those of the the television series have been asking: what is Jon Snow's fate? And now, in this episode, "Home," we have the answer!
Before that, a lot of things happened. Plenty of shocks, twist, and turns that none of us had any idea would happen.
We start off North of the Wall in the caves of the children of the forest where Bran is undergoing training with the Three-eyed Raven. Within his vision, we see the courtyard of Winterfell. Ned and Benjen Stark, as boys, are training, playing with stick swords, when a girl arrives in horseback. It is the elusive Lyanna Stark, the unseen character who has been a catalyst for so much of what has happened in the series. She gets off her horse and banters with her brothers.
They beckon to a large boy called Wylis off to the side to help them train. Bran gasps -- it is Hodor, and he can actually speak other words!
Bran, of course, wants to see more, but the Three-eyed Raven pulls him out. Awakened, the young Stark boy protests to his mentor, but the aged sorcerer tells him that, if he shows him too much, he will drown.
Giving up on the argument, Bran turns Hodor, who has been watching them through their trance. "Saw you as a boy, you could talk, what happened?" he asks. But the former stable boy just answers with a simple "Hodor!" He decides to look for Meera, instead.
He finds her outside, and Hodor carries him to his erstwhile companion. She's sullen, probably still thinking of her dear brother, Jojen. Bran tries to comfort her and tells her that it is not safe outside. She dismisses his concern and says that it is boring to watch him close his eyes all day, wrapped up in his vision. He leaves her alone, but a child of the forest chides Meera. "He will not stay here forever, he will need you," she tells the young woman.
To the south in Castle Black, things are coming to a head. Ser Alliser is knocking on the door of Jon's friends, telling them to surrender. Those inside stand their ground, and Ser Davos draws his sword, the others following suit. Sensing no response, Ser Alliser orders the attack. A member of Night's Watch batters the door when, suddenly, they hear a strong thump in the main gate.
The Night's Watch re-aim their bows at the entrance to the Castle. Another thump, and the giant Wun Wun barges in, followed by the wildlings loyal to Jon Snow. They subdue the Night's Watch, and Ser Alliser and his cohorts are sent to the cells.
Tormund Giantsbane, who led the attack, goes up to see Jon Snow's body. He looks at Ser Davos and says that he and the wildlings will gather wood for the funeral pyre.
In King's Landing, Cersei prepares to leave for Myrcella's funeral accompanied by her giant-zombie Kingsguard. As she is about to leave, soldiers outside tells her that the king had left orders that she should not leave the Red Keep. She asks to speak to her son, but the Captain tells her that he already left. Cersei's face is ice, and her bodyguard fingers his sword. The men look nervous, but she decides to withdraw and go back to her chambers.
Meanwhile, Jaime and Tommen are in the Sept of Baelor in front of Myrcella's body. The uncle and nephew (or father and son) have a talk on why the young king chose not to have his and Myrcella's mother present. Tommen confesses that his mother is banned from the Sept, and he fears that she may be taken away from him again. He feels guilty about leaving his mother a prisoner and letting her do the walk of shame. Jaime consoles him and tells him to go see his mother and ask for forgiveness.
The High Sparrow walks in, and the two Lannisters eye him with disdain. "I want to see my wife," Tommen says, but the leader of the Faith Militant is unperturbed. He tells the king to patiently wait until Margaery confesses all her sins.
Jaime tells his nephew/son to go see his mother. Tommen obliges and leaves while Jamie speaks with the High Sparrow. He makes some veiled threats, but the old man is unafraid, and, as if on cue, armed members of the Faith Militant emerge from all side. Jaime tells the religious leader that his men won't reach him fast enough to save him, but the High Sparrow stands his ground and dares the nobleman to spill his blood. Seeing that Jamie is not moving, the High Sparrow leaves his own threat, saying that they are many and they have the power to bring down an empire, and walks out.
Back in the Red Keep, Tommen speaks to his mother. Cersei is still icy and appears distant to her remaining child. Tommen is adamant to seek recompense; he asks forgiveness for not protecting her. Cersei, despite all her flaws, really does love her children above all else, and she hugs her son with a fierceness that threatens to rain terror on anyone that would dare harm the last of her children.
In Mereen, things are getting worse. Tyrion is in a meeting with Missandei, Varys, and Greyworm. They discuss the problems besotting the city-state. It appears that, aside from Mereen, the slave masters have once again taken control of Slaver's Bay, and war is looming on the horizon. Tyrion argues that they still have the two dragons on their side, locked up within the pyramid in chains, b
ut it is pointed out that they are no longer eating since their mother, Queen Daenerys, has left. Tyrion shows his knowledge of history. He says that the Targaryens lost their dragons when they chained them up, and they became smaller with each generation until none were born. He asks Missandei if the dragons ever harmed her when she was in their presence. The handmaiden says no.
Tyrion gets an idea! Together with Varys, he goes down to the chambers beneath the pyramid. Tyrion approaches the dragons, hoping to befriend them. He is frightened, but he succeeds and is eventually able to remove their chains without being burned to a crisp. He walks out in a hurry and tells Varys. "Next time I have an idea like that, punch me in the face."
In Braavos, Arya is still undergoing some sort of weird magical-blind training. She is in the street where her former companion is, once again, forcing her to fight with staffs. She loses, of course, and her companion vanishes mid-fight. Jaqen appears and asks her some more weird training session questions. She appears to pass with the right answers -- "A girl has no name" -- and Jaqen takes her back for more senseless magical training, which we hope will show a purpose real soon.
In Winterfell, Lord Roose Bolton, once again, admonishes his son, Ramsay, and Lord Karstark for losing Sansa. Ramsay suggests that they attack Castle Black. He infers correctly that, since Jon Snow is there and he is the Lord Commander, that it's where the young Stark girl would flee.
Lord Roose berates his son, saying that attacking Castle Black would turn the North against them. A maester then walks in and announces that Lady Walda has given birth to a son. Lord Roose tells Ramsay that he will always be his first born. The former bastard hugs his father, offers his congratulations, then knifes him.
Lord Karstark is unmoved, and the maester is shocked. Ramsay instructs him to send out ravens to all the houses in the North, announcing the death of Lord Roose by poison from his enemies. He also instructs the maester to bring Lady Walda and the baby to him.
He meets both in the courtyard of Winterfell. Lady Walda asks Ramsay where Lord Bolton is; he only smiles and tells her that he will take them both to his father. He leads them to the kennels and slowly opens the gate of each hound, all while Lady Walda keeps asking where Lord Bolton is. He turns to her and, with a menace says, "I'm Lord Bolton now."
It dawns on Lady Walda the implications of what was said. She begs for her life and that of her child. Ramsay coldly tells her that he prefers to be an only child. He whistles, and the hounds move to rip both mother and child to shreds.
Somewhere in the North, Brienne is seen talking to Sansa about encountering her sister, Arya. She tells her that the younger Stark girl seems to have vanished and gone her own way. Brienne notes that she wasn't dressed like a lady. Sansa laughs, knowing full well how her sister is.
Sansa gets up to speak to Theon, who shows so much remorse for betraying his adoptive family. He tells her that he won't be going with her to Castle Black; instead, he plans on going home. Sansa hugs him, seeming to forgive all the wrong that he has done.
In the Iron Islands, Theon's homeland. Lord Balon Greyjoy is having an argument with Yara. He instructs her to take back the lands in the North that they have lost. Yara points out that they cannot hold land against a mainland army since they are seafarers, but Balon is adamant. He tells her to just obey and walks out.
As he is crossing one of the bridges that straddles the separate castles of Pyke, he encounters a lone figure on the other side. He recognizes it as his brother, Euron. The two seem to have a sordid history together; they get into an argument, which seems to be fairly common in this family these days, and it ends up with Balon falling off the bridge and dying.
A funeral is held the next day, where his body is floated out into the sea. Yara plans on taking over leadership, but she is told that she still needs to prove herself to the Ironborn in the Kingsmoot, which is sort of like a primary where a leader has to win over his people.
Back in Castle Black, Ser Davos goes to see Melisandre. He asks her directly if she know of any magic that could help Jon Snow. The Red Priestess says she knows of one, but she has never done it and she doubts her ability to succeed. Ser Davos convinces her, telling her that he is not asking her god or any other god -- just her.
Melisandre agrees to try.
She goes to Jon Snow's corpse, wipes the blood from his wound, cuts and washes his hair, and chants an incantation. Ser Davos and Tormund watch. There is no response. Jon does not move, and she seems to fail.
Defeated, she walks out, followed by everyone else in the room except for Ghost, who was peacefully sleeping near his master's lifeless body. The direwolf then stirs. He moves his head up, and Jon Snow suddenly awakens and gasps!
And, with that gasp, every fanboy and -girl screamed out to their TV screens "I knew it!"