It is time for a reality check regarding the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season six episode two.
Following the latest episode of Game of Thrones, some reviewers have been a little too quick to praise it as the finest hour of the show since Hardhome or The Rains of Castamere, but such a comparison is wrong on so many levels.
Yes, the second episode of season six had some vital moments – not least the resurrection of Jon Snow – but there was no shock in that reveal.
There was excitement in abundance but let’s face it, everyone knew Jon would return because the show does not and would not work without him.
The character is vital and when each new knife punctured his chest in the season five finale fans knew it was a blip rather than a conclusion.
We also knew how Jon would return as the signs had been there ever since Beric Dondarrion stood (almost) unscathed in front of Melisandre way back in season three.
So yes, I cheered as much as the next person when Jon gasped his way back to life, but it was mainly out of relief that the showrunners were not dragging it out any longer than they had to.
Similarly the two major deaths in the latest episode came as no surprise.
Even for those who have not read George R. R. Martin’s books, Balon Greyjoy’s death would have come as no surprise to viewers wondering why he thought arguing with his considerably younger brother on a rope bridge during a storm was a good idea.
Then there was Ramsey Bolton adding patricide and matricide (by marriage) to his list of achievements. But his father Roose knew what a nut job he was and taunting him about his new heir long before the child’s birth gave the bastard son far too long to plot his next move.
Compare that with the superb twists and turns of The Red Wedding or the sheer brilliance of the battle at Hardhome and you are left with an episode that will be remembered for a two expected deaths and one obvious return, so please spare me the comparisons to two of the show’s greatest ever hours.