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[Warning: this story contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones season six premiere.]
Night gathers, and so their watch draws perilously close to an end. In the first episode of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season, Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and other loyal members of the Night’s Watch find themselves surrounded by main mutineer Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale), who aims to crush the Jon Snow (Kit Harington) supporters and reclaim the fallen Lord Commander’s corpse.
It looks bleak for Davos and his men, but they have a plan of their own in action: Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton), the cynical soldier who fled Castle Black in order to gain Wildling support against Thorne’s group. He’s one of few chances Davos Seaworth’s allies have against Thorne — and, to paraphrase one of the men, it’s a sad state of affairs if Dolorous Edd is their only chance.
With that said, perhaps Edd deserves the faith of his fellow sworn brothers. Photos from season six episode two, called “Home,” include Edd back at Castle Black, standing tall and looking grim in the moonlight. Did he return with Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and his fellow Free Folk in tow? There’s no sign of the Wildlings in the current batch of photos, but even if Edd returns empty-handed, his presence guarantees accelerated action in the conflict between Thorne’s mutineers and the Snow supporters.
The episode’s synopsis backs that claim, reading in part: “At Castle Black, the Night’s Watch stands behind Thorne.” But it says nothing about Wildling support for Edd and his dead friend Jon Snow.
Looking beyond the Wall, quite literally, yields another interesting reveal: Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick), not seen since the season four finale, “The Children.” Much attention has been paid to the return of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) this season, and the new powers he’s gained in his time away from the show. His companion Meera, however, has gone with hardly any mention, despite her turbulent final appearance, witnessing the horrific death of her brother Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) at the hands of skeletal monsters. Based on her unsmiling visage, sitting quietly in the snow, it appears she’s still nursing some emotional wounds, if not physical ones.
As for Bran, he makes his long-awaited comeback in the upcoming episode as well, pictured standing in the courtyard at Winterfell — a sign that the young warg’s abilities to interact with his unique visions have sharpened since last he appeared on Thrones.
Finally, another set of comeback characters are revealed in the form of Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) and her father, Balon (Patrick Malahide), who all but entirely abandoned Theon (Alfie Allen) following his capture at the hands of House Bolton. The Greyjoys are primed for a resurgence this season with the arrival of Theon’s uncle Euron Crow’s Eye (Pilou Asbaek), and the salty story looks ready to set sail starting here in “Home.”
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