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That Red God is really something, isn’t he? Now that Game of Thrones has finally given us all exactly what we’ve been waiting for since the season five finale, perhaps the writers could check another item off our list and finally put an end to Ramsay? Because I’m so sick and tired of everything about him.
Was anyone surprised that he killed Roose the moment he found out he had a brother who could potentially challenge his position? And was anyone surprised to see him kill poor Walda and his half brother? I didn’t think so. I keep waiting for Ramsay to become something more than the sociopath the show has made him out to be, yet he just keeps committing atrocious acts without any checks. It’s not easy to craft a convincing sociopath, but it is certainly possible. Look at Patrick Bateman or Hannibal Lector. It can be done. However, what Game of Thrones has done is create a character who, time and again, does horrific things without a thought or care for how it reflects on him or those around him.
I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that he fed Walda and his brother to the dogs because that’s about as horrific of a death as you can get. And that’s the only thing we know about Ramsay: he savors inflicting pain and suffering on those around him. We don’t have much of an understanding as to why. One assumes his childhood wasn’t great, but we haven’t really seen where this rage and unchecked sadism stems from. While I would be perfectly happy to have Ramsay murdered next week and never think on him again, if the series is going to keep him around, we need to get some understanding of why he is the way he is. And simply chalking it up to Daddy Issues isn’t going to cut it.
As much as I disliked the Ramsay side of the episode, I loved the Sansa and Brienne scene. Sansa’s journey has been rocky (and the past season was filled with more pain and suffering than any character should be forced to endure), but it has been particularly lovely to see that despite the obstacles in her path, Sansa has matured into someone we never thought she could become: a true leader. Remember back to season one, how Sansa was selfish and focused only on herself? This new Sansa is someone who could lead the Stark bannermen in battle. She is someone the North could rally around in their time of need. And in Brienne, she has found a female confident she can trust- something she hasn’t had in years. It was heartening to see her finding out that Arya is alive, that she isn’t the last remaining Stark daughter in the world. Game of Thrones may spend a great deal of time crushing our hopes and dreams for characters we love, but I’m glad that after years of pain, Sansa is finally able to hope for a better future.
As for the rest of the episode’s stories, there wasn’t much to report on. Much like “The Red Woman,” “Home” spent most of its time continuing with season six’s exposition. Jon is back on the game board, and it looks like Melisandre has gotten her groove back- although I’m just as willing to give this win to Ser Davos, who has a second career in the making as a life coach should he survive to the end of the series. Arya is off of the streets and hopefully on her way to a solid season arc (I understand that blinding Arya was important from a book standpoint, but it really didn’t do all that much in the grand scheme of the series). Things remain super tense in King’s Landing, although the Zombie Mountain seems to be cracking skulls at the order of Cersei (or else he just doesn’t like people speaking ill of the Queen Mother). And Bran is able to see into the past.
I am, however, pretty interested in Tyrion’s encounter with the dragons. Now, there’s a theory rumbling around the internet that Tyrion is actually a Targaryen (give it a spin on the Google if you want to get into the ins and outs of it). Personally, I have no opinion one way or another- Tyrion remains a complex and interesting character regardless of his parentage. But letting Tyrion talk to and tame dragons seems to be lending some credence to that particular theory. From what I understand about dragons, only Targaryens have the power to tame and ride them. Now, Tyrion wasn’t hopping on Rhaegal for a spin around Meeren, but he managed to get closer to the dragons than anyone other than Dany has for some time. I’m intrigued to see if this develops into anything beyond Tyrion working to get Rhaegal and Viserion back to their fighting weight in anticipation of Dany returning to the city (which is all but certain to happen at some point in the future).
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the return of the Iron Islands to the game board. Remember way back when Melisandre predicted the deaths of the various kings? Looks like her prophecy finally came true, with the death of Balon at the hands of his brother Euron. I had been wondering when the show would catch us up on the happenings with the Iron Born (which, to be honest, was one of the dullest storylines in the books), but it looks like we’re getting the kingsmoot this season (for the non-book readers, I think the brief mention this episode gave you the gist). With Theon on his way back home, it will be interesting to see what the show has in store for the neglected story arc of Yara, Euron, and the Iron Born.
— Always lovely to see Tormund back on screen.
— In case it wasn’t particularly clear last week, HBO released the text of the note Doran Martell was reading before he was murdered. While you can read it all here, it was from Jaime and stated that he had sent Trystane back to Dorne to protect him from Cersei. Which also explains why Trystane was murdered in the stateroom of a ship by the Sand Snakes.
— That strange looking woman who tried to pull Meera out of her funk was one of the Children of the Forrest.