Game of Thrones makes great on ideas an initial raised in Season 1, and it is a glorious nightmare come behold.

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As the reunion that’s probably been the many anticipated this side of Jon and Arya, the Arya and Sansa step is deliberately muted and also dispiriting. Meeting the the crypts of Winterfell, and also before the faint visage that Ned stark (or at the very least a meager translate of it), the minute recalls the many recent chance Arya previously laid eyes on her sister: the day Ned shed his head. This time, Sansa sees her sister first and regardless of going in because that a warmth hug, the sequence has actually as much warmth as the gloomy shadows that await all Starks in ~ the finish of things. Down there, Sansa jokingly replies come Arya’s query: execute I have actually to contact you Lady Stark? however Arya one of two people ignores the humor of the response or can no longer recognize it. Sansa hugs her sister, yet at the very least at first, Arya is together despondent to her older sister as she was to hot Pie.

Earlier in the episode, Arya looked around Winterfell and also seemed to struggle recognizing her childhood memory or anything else in the location as belonging to her. She appeared as eliminated from this residence as she remained in the Twins. Aye, I’d even wager come say the only place she has looked comfortable in throughout recent seasons has been among the deals with of the dead in the house of Black and White. When standing next to Sansa, neither sister have the right to comment on an ext than the poor craftsmanship that Ned’s statue and skirt discussing exactly how they both survived the many years that have separated them.

Intriguingly, each Stark reunion has been much less heartfelt 보다 the last. Conversely, Jon and Sansa’s embrace in the snows of Castle black aimed come elicit tears that relief for the characters and also mayhaps a reviewer or 2 (sniff), Sansa’s happiness at see Bran to be met v awkwardness and also creepy distance. Now, Arya and also Sansa barely recognize each various other as long lost siblings. For while every siblings grow apart to a degree with adulthood, there is a staggering distance here that’s only partially linked by a mutual desire to have been the one to put Joffrey Baratheon in the ground.

On the face, the is a strong selection by Benioff and Weiss, and also evocative of martin too. Once viewers ultimately get what they’ve want from almost the beginning—a Stark family reunion—it comes no as a party however as a funeral. Two acquaintances collection in the dark come pay their respects come a mutual loved one. Still, there is something absent in either the direction or composing of this scene. Among my only two critiques that this completely impressive hour is the while also the sisters Stark are most likely quietly underwhelmed by your surprising distance, we do not in reality feel their disappointment.

There is not enough surprise or disappointment by either, just a queer acceptance of their estrangement, and also the truth that the various other is alive. Personally, I’d have actually much preferred the sadness we felt was shared in a much more cathartic way by the siblings—if even in personal on both your counts.

And yet, the writers space really trying to develop to something past simply a “big scene.”


Indeed, ns think much more than focusing on the bittersweet awkwardness that Stark kids regrouped, it is actually the dawning currently of their unfamiliarity yet important kinship that the display really savors. The second hug in the crypt to be the very first acknowledgement through Arya that she is home, and also Game that Thrones is prepared to take full advantage of it once she meets Bran stark by the love Tree.

Completing his journey toward faintly dick-ish superhero sage, Bran has had actually a wheelchair created him by Winterfell’s brand-new maester. Exactly how fitting that is that as both that his sisters go ~ above careers together X-Men heroines that Bran Stark take away one action closer to coming to be Charles Xavier himself. In ~ the tree, the reunion in between Bran and also Arya goes an ext smoothly for the simple fact that Bran is even more damaged—at the very least on an interpersonal level—than Arya. Their tricks and an individual losses space so an excellent that they instantly would appear to bond in their melancholy.

How grim a present Game the Thrones is when Sansa, the one who has been repetitively beaten, tortured, creeped ~ above by her “uncle,” and also much worse, has come out as the many well-adjusted the Cat’s living children. Contrasted to Bran and also Arya, she’s also an optimist… and she just fed her last husband come his very own starving dogs, and also then suppressed a tiny laugh around it!

This ironic distance is emphasize by the truth that Bran proves come Arya his visions space not simply insanities since he knew about her an option of Winterfell end Cersei, and similarly about her list. Earlier, Sansa thought Arya was just joking around having a kill list, but nearly like a concerned parent that heard the her child has joined a “gang,” Sansa beginning to present concern. What sort of gang? I suspect this unspoken unfamiliarity—as both sister quizzically have small interest in hear what the other has been law these past several years—will be a source of good drama and angst.


It’s also heavily hinted about when the three Stark brothers reemerge in the Winterfell courtyard. This is where Benioff and also Weiss’ interests important lie. Not just in the pain between the siblings, however in how their contrasts will begin spinning brand-new conflicts and also wheels in ~ wheels. See all three grown youngsters standing in the snow, happy come be with each other (if Bran is even qualified of together a emotion these days) but anxious around the unsatisfactory nature of stays lived apart, is quite a juxtaposition with the three fresh and also eager faces that greeted Robert Baratheon, along with their departed brothers and parents.

But together they remain, and the potential is already being scratched together they cross that yard in a vision as breathtaking as any type of dragon. The last time Arya and Brienne that Tarth met, the “lady knight” took down the Hound, not that this won Arya over. Podrick do the efforts to offer Brienne the “W” of pass Arya home, but Brienne is best to note that she really doesn’t deserve the credit transaction on this one.

However, she does deserve credit transaction of now being a possibly an excellent role design for Arya. The an initial one she’ll have had because Yoren also met the Many-Faced God of death in season 2. Their friendly duel is the perfect sort of pan service, together Arya has finally mastered Syrio’s Water Dance, and also is able to vanquish the Hound’s bane, if even in play. And also tantalizingly, both Sansa and also Petyr Baelish watch on.

Sansa is tough to check out in this moment. She is clearly troubled by learning that she sister’s death list is not one of pure fancy. Arya moves choose a Braavosi warrior that have the right to kill favor the best of them. Is Sansa saddened to view that life has actually pushed her sister into the role of murderer? Maybe also a tiny jealous since Sansa has grown into a politician if Arya can fight her very own battles? Or merely just shocked at see the chipper little girl only truly laugh at the thrill of stop a dagger in ~ a friend’s throat?

More than most likely she’s deflated that she and also Arya can’t affix while small sis is having actually a round with Brienne and weapons of death below.

It’s a thread the will likely be pulled one method or the various other by the guy standing alongside Sansa: Petyr Baelish. Petyr’s challenge isn’t hard to read. The sees something that hasn’t known before: A stark girl who deserve to kill and looks prefer she’d be dazzling to do so. What walk that average for his machinations? i doubt also he knows in that exact moment. Nevertheless, a brand-new chess piece has actually been inserted on his board, one that presents an chance for Baelish to make brand-new power moves.

We quiet don’t know if Littlefinger establish Arya as the tiny girl he saw serving as Tywin Lannister’s cup-bearer many, numerous moons ago. One of two people way, she’s currently a potential tool—just as she provides his Valyrian dagger to defeat Brienne. That nods to her out of faux-respect, yet she already knows what sort of schemer a male who division bread v Tywin is. She also implicitly disapproved the Sansa maintaining the lord Protector of the Vale approximately when she heard he remained in Winterfell.


Arya might have a point, as we likewise saw Littlefinger try to wine and dine Bran. He also gave the young lad a BS sob story about how much he wishes he can have given his life for Catelyn Stark, and how he’s currently committed to protecting she children. Bran likely deserve to see through all the smoke being blown up his immovable legs, nor does he treatment one means or the other. When he spits Littlefinger’s “chaos is a ladder” spiel back at him, that unsettles Baelish sufficient to reason him to take it his leave, yet Littlefinger it s okay what he desires in the step nonetheless.

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He departs by calling Bran “Lord Stark,” and Bran reveals the isn’t lord Stark. That’s every Littlefinger wanted—confirmation the the cripple doesn’t recognize who owned the knife that almost slayed him (which i forgot is still a secret in the show, unequal the books). No one does Brandon Stark take into consideration himself a political player. Therefore he’s one less Stark Littlefinger will now need to kill if his plans about marrying Sansa and becoming king are to ever pertained to fruition.