Spoiler Alert: the following is a partial glance at some of the book-plots and some of the film-plots.
Anyway, Roose’s death was a neat parallel to that of Tywin Lannister, who was also incredibly cunning, and also killed by his son.
A more ironic parallel is that Ramsay killed his father with a dagger through the heart – in the same way which his father killed his own liege-lord, Robb Stark. Should we expect Roose Bolton to die by the hands of his son in the Winds of Winter? Time will tell, although Roose’s sanguine statement to Theon in A Dance with Dragons was that if Walda gives birth to any heirs he expects Ramsay to ‘kill them all, of course. That’s for the best. I will not live long enough to see new sons to manhood, and boy lords are the bane of any House.’ As long as he shared that valuable piece of information with his son, he has some chance of surviving book-wise, I suppose….
I can only assume the ‘Home’, the title of the episode, refers to Theon Greyjoy’s home, the Iron Islands. Finally the TV show has at least partially caught up up with a long neglected part of the books: the Iron Islands and the Greyjoys.
Yara Greyjoy, Theon’s sister (known as Asha to book-readers) tries to convince her royal father of the necessity of making peace. Balon Greyjoy stomps out of the palace in a rage, onto the precarious bridge below. All the book-readers were convinced he would die at this point. But what they didn’t know is how.
Instead of falling to his death of his own accord, Balon Greyjoy was pushed down by his brother Euron.
The question is: why?
I assume the film-makers wanted a clear way for us to understand the resentment between Yara (Asha) and her uncle. They also want us to know that Euron is a bad man.
This portrayal is not entirely out of line with the books, as the priest Aeron Damphair does believe that Euron summoned the Storm-God to push Balon Greyjoy to his death. A simple push makes the ill sentiment between the two brothers far less complex.
We are still waiting for the arrival of Victarion, another brother of Balon’s. Will he appear in the films at all? Time-wise, it seems unlikely. In in the books he was sent by Euron to claim Daenerys and her dragons before she and Drogo had left Mereen. Victarion and his crew arrive as Daenerys is missing, presumed dead. Will Euron and Victarion be synthesized into one character? Is it only Euron who is needed as a possible contestant into the Iron Throne and a candidate for Daenerys’s hand?
At least we had the lovely scene with Tyrion and the dragons, which was, I assume, slightly more terrifying to book-readers who were aware of the fiery fate of the last person who tried to get them out of their prison. Poor Quentyn Martell wasn’t very fireproof. Tyrion’s interaction with the dragons does make them seem more intelligent and controllable than they are book-wise.
And as for the sensational news, which I have been deliberately avoiding so far: Jon Snow has returned to the living – exactly as the Azor Azhai group has long supposed he would.
Intriguingly, the title of the next episode of the series is ‘Oathbreaker’. Are they simply teasing us with thoughts of Brienne’s sword, named ‘Oathkeeper’? Or is it a direct reference to Jaime Lannister, who gave her the weapon and is famous for not keeping his oaths? Or possibly both? Will the newly-alive Jon Snow break his oath of loyaly to the Nightwatch and ride against Ramsay Bolton in the direction of Winterfell? Can’t wait to find out…