Opening at Castle Black again, and Jon is dressed as a Stark(!) with a new hairdo (not a fan of the Man Bun but he makes it work) packing up to leave the Wall. Edd does not look pleased and reminds him of the White Walker threat. He tells Jon he pledged his life to the Night’s Watch, and Jon said he gave it. They are interrupted by a horn blast, and as the gates open we see Brienne, Pod, and Sansa. Is it just me, or does Tormund look infatuated with Brienne? I could definitely get on board with Brimund.
Sansa sees Jon, Jon sees Sansa, and the Stark reunion we’ve all been hoping for is upon us. After some awkward staring, the Hug that was Promised happens (oh the feels!). As we all dry our eyes, we cut to Sansa looking refreshed and warm, and reminiscing with Jon. It appears they have done their catching up, and Sansa apologizes for how awful she was to Jon growing up. He forgives her, and she asks where he will go. He says they will go together, and she wants to go home. Jon is reluctant – he is tired of fighting and killing. He fought and lost. Sansa isn’t putting up with his self pity as she tells him she will take back Winterfell herself if she must.
Davos and Melisandre discuss their plans, and Melisandre says she will do as Jon Snow commands, stating he is the Prince that was Promised (why doesn’t Davos ever ask how that’s possible, with Jon being a bastard?). Anyway, Davos says he thought it was Stannis and asks her what happened. Melisandre is vague, and then Brienne walks up. The tension is palpable as she brings up Renly’s murder (which she hasn’t forgotten or forgiven – look out Mel). Brienne says Stannis confessed to his part in it, and that she executed him. She walks off, and Melisandre does the same (presumably to avoid Davos questioning her about Shireen again – that conversation will not go well).
Over to the Vale, and poor Sweetrobin hasn’t gotten any better at archery (or fighting in general I would assume). He is excited when Littlefinger arrives and brings him a gyrfalcon as a gift. Littlefinger’s jet pack must have broken down because it’s taken forever for him to return from King’s Landing. I mean, Robin has grown 2 feet! Yohn Royce interrogates him about Sansa’s “abduction” and marriage to Ramsay, and Littlefinger lies through his teeth as per usual. He deflects the blame onto Royce for allowing his travel plans to get out, and quietly threatens him using Robin’s love for throwing people out of the Moon Door. Royce gets the hint and acquiesces. Littlefinger convinces Robin to send Vale soldiers to help Sansa, with Royce leading them.
Back in Meereen, Tyrion discusses making peace with the slave masters with Missandei and Grey Worm, who think it’s a bad idea because the slavers are treacherous. Tyrion puts his foot in his mouth talking about his experience as a slave, and Missandei puts him in his place. During the negotiation with the slaver emissaries, the slavers want Daenerys to leave and slavery to return, while Tyrion says they don’t need slaves to make money. He proposes a seven year transition to a free society, which is a decent compromise but likely won’t make either side happy. Missandei and Grey Worm don’t agree, but feign support for now.
Jorah and Daario are still on Daenerys’ trail, and get in a pissing contest over who would be best for her. They make an uneasy peace as saving Daenerys is their first priority. They prepare to sneak into Vaes Dothrak, and Jorah makes Daario leave his weapons (which aren’t allowed in the sacred city). Daario finally glimpses Jorah’s greyscale, and Jorah assures him it didn’t touch him (yeah thanks Jorah). I’d keep my distance if I were you, Daario.
They sneak into the city and are spotted by two Dothraki. Jorah tries passing themselves off as merchants who lost their way, but the Dothraki aren’t buying it. Daario quickly dispatches one, while Jorah struggles with the other. No worries, Daario smuggled in his favorite knife and stabs Jorah’s opponent from behind (backstabbing seems to be a common theme this season).
Inside the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, the head priestess tells Daenerys that their lives have meaning and that the khals depend on them for their wisdom. This seems a better fate than being a khal’s wife to some, as Dany is introduced to a young widow who was stolen by an abusive khal after her village was burned to the ground. Dany excuses herself for a bathroom break, and the young widow accompanies her. Jorah and Daario ambush them and hold a knife to the widow’s throat. Daenerys tells them they will never be able to escape without being caught and convinces them not to hurt the young woman. Dany has another idea and enlists her new friend for help.
In King’s Landing, Margaery is still imprisoned. Prune faced Septa Unella escorts her to a meeting with the High Sparrow, who tells her she is a sinner whose priorities are all wrong. He tells her he used to desire power and wealth, but that after a night of drinking and whoring he realized how wrong he was. He then allows her to see her brother Loras, who appears to have completely broken down during his captivity. Margaery tells him to stay strong, that he is the future of their house, but it appears she will have to be strong for him.
In the Red Keep, Cersei walks in on Pycelle advising Tommen about the High Sparrow. Cersei kicks him out, and proceeds to manipulate Tommen into telling her the High Sparrow’s plan for Margaery. Later, she and Jaime meet with Olenna and Kevan and surprisingly agree that Margaery should not be forced to make a walk of atonement. They will put aside their differences long enough to bring the Tyrell army to King’s Landing and bring the sparrows down. Something tells me that Cersei will come to regret this decision.
Theon is on a ship headed home, although he doesn’t look particularly happy about it. He reunites with Yara, and it is decidedly less heartwarming than Sansa/Jon. Yara resents him for not coming with her during her rescue attempt, which resulted in the deaths of some of her men. Theon tells her he is sorry, that he was broken. Yara says she came to rescue him because she knew exactly how broken he was. She then questions his return, accusing him of trying to steal the throne from her. Theon corrects her, saying she deserves the throne and he wants to help.
In Winterfell, Osha is brought to Ramsay, and we all know this won’t end well (does anything ever end well when he is involved?). She lies about her allegiance to the Starks and attempts to seduce him in an effort to grab a knife and kill him. Of course, Ramsay is wise to her tricks and kills her first (like we didn’t see that coming). Thank you Theon for making sure Ramsay knew all about her. Ugh, someone please kill this guy soon.
Back to Castle Black, and an awkward dinner in which Tormund makes eyes at a very uncomfortable looking Brienne. Okay, I am really shipping these two. A messenger brings in a letter (Pink Letter!), and Jon apprehensively opens it after seeing the Bolton seal. Jon reads it aloud, learning that Ramsay now has Rickon. He grows uncomfortable and can’t continue, but Sansa takes it and finishes – she knows firsthand how vile Ramsay is and won’t shy away from it. They discuss the Bolton troops, and Tormund admits there aren’t enough wildlings to take them on. Sansa tells Jon they have to unite the Northern houses and bring the North back under Stark control or they will never be safe.
We return to Vaes Dothrak and the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, and the khals request that Daenerys be brought before them. They proceed to take turns insulting her and discussing her fate. They have been offered 10,000 horses by the Yunkai slavers to turn her over. Dany speaks up, wanting to weigh in, but is told she has no say in what happens to her. She proceeds to talk about Drogo and his plan to take her back to Westeros and conquer the Seven Kingdoms for her. She tells them they are not fit to lead the Dothraki, but she is. The khals tell her they will take turns raping her and they will never serve her, and Dany tells them they won’t serve, they will die. She overturns the braziers setting them – and the entire temple – ablaze.
In a scene taking us back to the finale of season one, Daenerys walks out of the inferno – naked but unburnt. The Dothraki, along with Jorah and Daario, bow down before her. Who needs dragons anyway? Daenerys is powerful in her own right.
This was a powerful, well done episode, and I can’t wait to see what next week has in store! What did you think?