How Bikini Kill Is Still Influencing Today's Punk Scene

Photo by Tammy Rae Carland

We talk to femmes in punk about the '90s band's legacy

Defying patriarchal power has always been a core ethic for punk rock, and this act is especially true for the marginalized identities existing within this space. As such, feminism has always been intertwined in the history of punk, even when women's legacy in the genre has been neglected or buried beneath the achievements of men. This male-dominated narrative inevitably repeated the offenses of the same hegemonic power it tried to oppose; but in 1991, Bikini Kill made a very explicit call to end this by fiercely advocating, "We want revolution, girl style, now!"

The riot grrrl movement that Bikini Kill championed in the '90s seemed to be a distant and forgotten phase in the timeline of punk, but when news hit in January that Bikini Kill was reuniting, the response from fans was massively overwhelming. The first round of reunion shows in New York and California sold out within seconds of going on sale. The hype has even been felt internationally, as a London show was added for fans on the other side of the globe.

This high demand transcends ticket sales and nostalgia—this exorbitant need for Bikini Kill is a demand for the band's ideology and a demand for a feminism that is critical for survival in the present political climate. The work that Kathleen Hanna and her predecessors urged decades ago wasn't completed then, and still isn't done in 2019. In truth, this work won't be over until marginalized communities—made up of femmes, LGBTQ, and people of color—hold equal grounding as the white cis-males who continue to dominate the punk scene.

There's no question that the riot grrrl movement in its original form is dead, but a new phase has built on it to replace it with an intersectional approach. Bikini Kill's impact isn't ephemeral and was never a novelty, because it lives through many of today's femmes in punk who specifically attribute Hanna as their introduction to feminism. Below are several active musicians from California's punk scene, who describe how Hanna and Bikini Kill informed their feminism and influenced their involvement in the contemporary punk community.

Concepcion Del Rio-Ramirez

Photo by Oscar Aranda

Concepcion says that as a teenager, all she wanted to be was a riot grrrl: "Bikini Kill gave me permission to write about the things that made me angry, to dress how I wanted, and to be loud." She manifests this doctrine every day in her Spanish punk band, Deseos Primitivos, who recently returned from a tour in Peru, released an EP called Existir, and were invited to perform with Rancid at their sold-out San Francisco show in November. Concepcion says her songs explore political issues like colonization and immigration, and she proudly describes Deseos Primitivos as "a feminist band."

"I'm actually very glad to be a part of a growing movement of femmes in bands, either fronted or members… As a teen and into my early 20s—when I was going to punk shows in the Bay Area—I rarely saw girls in bands," she said. "It felt so out of reach for me to make music and be taken seriously. As the punk scene continues to include more femmes, queers, and non-binary folks, I think it's important for males to take a backseat and let these other voices be heard."

Listen to Deseos Primitivos, here.

Drew Arriola Sands

Photo by Henry Zavala

Drew describes her youth as one full of pent-up aggression because of her queer identity, but she says that Bikini Kill's music helped alleviate a lot of that tension. "These women's voices spoke to my angst. I was granted permission at that early age to be feminine, to be disgusting, to be angry, to be sexual, and to be insane," she said. In 2014, Drew started Trap Girl in Los Angeles—around the same time that she came out as transgender. She says she drew inspiration from Bikini Kill to live out her truth musically.

"Coming out as transgender, a bunch of anger bloomed, and as a musician, I need to scream, I need to break stuff, I need to wear high heels, I need to be ultra-feminine, I need to be scary, I need to be ugly, I need to be unapologetically myself," she said, "I need to be over-the-top because I'm not gonna die, I'm not gonna kill myself, and I'm not gonna allow the world to do that to me, so I'm going to reclaim that, turn it into this great crazy band, and it just took off."

As Trap Girl works on their new record, Drew is keeping busy in a collective created by Alice Bag called Turn it Up, which aims to propel femme voices across all media. Drew is also currently organizing the third annual Transgress Fest, a music festival that celebrates trans people in bands.

Listen to Trap Girl, here.

Gina Marie Scardino

Photo by Oscar Aranda

Gina credits an unexpected source for her introduction to punk feminism: a summer retail job at Sanrio (the company that brought you Hello Kitty) during the '90s. She became friends with a coworker who linked her to riot grrrl, and the rest is history. Gina said she connected to Bikini Kill's music immediately, "It was super-raw to me. Fast and aggressive and totally unapologetic. It was brave and smart."

Their music ultimately helped spark her musical aspirations: "I started playing music as soon as I could. All throughout high school I just daydreamed about being in a band with other women. I even named my future/dream band, and doodled art for what I'd imagine our logo, shirts, stickers could be." Fast-forward to the present, and Gina has achieved and surpassed her adolescent dream by being in two post-punk bands. She drums and sings for Ötzi and is also the vocalist for Adrenochrome. And if that wasn't enough, Gina also runs Near Dark Records and co-organizes its accompanying Near Dark Festival.

Listen to Ötzi, here; and Adrenochrome, here.

Myriad Slits

Photo by ZB Images

At 22, Myriad found herself homeless and in a state of despair. She was couch-surfing at a friend's place when she came across this friend's Bikini Kill CD collection. She was immediately captivated by their sound: "I had never, ever heard a woman sing like that." But it wasn't just the sound that impacted Myriad—she was also moved by the topics Kathleen was singing about. "I hadn't wrapped my head around the blatant sexism and misogyny that I faced day-to-day since the day I was born," she said.

"When I was homeless, I found myself in a situation where I was taken advantage of, and I allowed it to happen because I was never really taught any language for standing up for myself," she said, "I honestly felt that whatever abuse I received, I deserved… Enter Kathleen Hanna screaming in my ear, 'We want revolution! Girl style now!' and it was a total head explosion. That album was the biggest fresh breath of air to me."

Bikini Kill's influence on Myriad came full circle—she's the vocalist of a post-punk/electro band called ModPods, which is also inspired by Kathleen's dance project, Le Tigre. She is also a backup vocalist for The Andrea Dangerfield Band, a country-punk hybrid that features Drew from Trap Girl.

Listen to ModPods, here.

Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries

Photo by Liz Cabrera

The five femmes from this eccentric punk/experimental/pop group (which Alice Bag produced recently) professed their love for Kathleen Hanna, as they described meeting her in a small cramped bathroom at one of their shows. They asked her for advice about dealing with the negativity that comes with being in a feminist band. "She was like, 'Who cares about those people, you're doing your thing. Just keep your eye on the prize, try to do what you know is best, and do what you wanna do for the community,'" drummer Audrey Johnson said.

The Fresno, California-based band has had to deal with a ton of blowback as a consequence of their progressive politics and ideals. "People have a lot to say back about it, and that is the part I struggle with," said backup vocalist, Victoria Crow.

"Fresno is super-conservative in general. The space itself has a lot of conservatives and really racist undertones. Going out and screaming, 'Fuck you and your neo-nazi friends' in a conservative town is gonna make it so that a bunch of really scared white men are going to lash out at you," bassist Vishinna Turner said.

Just as problematic for them are the men at punk shows, as lead vocalist Amber Fargano recalls a time when they used Hanna's "girls to the front" mantra to counter the men during one of their performances. "It was super white cis-male-dominated, and these femmes and queers were just being pummeled [and] pushed to the back of the crowd… So we kept yelling between every single song, 'Women and queers to the front,' and the guys literally left," she said.

And while critics are quick to point out that Hanna's message in the '90s was flawed because it largely catered to "white feminism," the band appreciates her mission to improve her feminism and make it more accessible. "I respect Kathleen Hanna a lot because she looks back on that time and recognizes the shortcomings… not seeing queer women or not seeing trans women or not seeing women of color enough, and she recognizes that, and I see her now moving forward in this time and present," said backup vocalist Staci McDowell.

Listen to Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries, here.


Dragonfire can't melt steel memes

I'm not quite ready to talk about the amount of time I wasted hoping Game of Thrones would live up to its drawn out hype with the series finale, but I am ready to dive into all the memery that came out of the disappointment. And I'm not alone: Maisie Williams—aka Arya Stark—summed up what we were all thinking in one single tweet: "just here for the memes."

After Daenerys had almost as lackluster a death as Cersei, dying with a quick stab wound, it was pretty clear that it would all be downhill. But hey, at least she's reunited with her BFFs Missandei and Jorah in the afterlife.

That opened up the question of who exactly would be king or queen of the seven kingdoms. Poor precious Samwell thinks we should try democracy, but it's not Game of Popular Vote, it's Game of Thrones.

Apparently, everyone at this point had totally forgotten about the fact that Jon Snow actually was a Targaryen, and the rightful heir to the throne. All the characters who, up until this point in the season, had been obsessed with this fact totally pretended it never happened, and never considered him for the new ruler because he... killed the mad queen.

So what do they do? Choose the one person who always said they never wanted throne and that he never even wanted anything: Bran Stark. Arya didn't save everyone's ass from the Night King to be disrespected like this!

And, with all his pre-existing knowledge and newfound power, Bran still just chilled in his chair. Arya is going into uncharted waters, no idea what danger lies ahead? Nah, don't share the information you have on it. Jon is sent off to the Watchers on the Wall just as his younger brother gains absolute power? Forget about pardoning him, Bran doesn't care.

And who would've guessed that Ser Brienne of Tarth would just go and become a blogger, writing anonymous glowing messages about the dude that screwed her over. I'm not a huge fan of the editorial decisions she made while finishing Jaime's story, but I am a fan of the memes made out of the scene.

And back to Jon Snow: All this potential, all this hype on his real name, and once he kills Dany he's shipped off to the Night's Watch like a sad, discarded puppy. There's not even a real reason for the Night's Watch anymore, so he's basically just being sent off to be out of sight, out of mind, for the rest of time.

But hey, at least they finally made right with Ghost. The goodest boy in all of the Seven... or, rather, Six Kingdoms deserved all the pats, and he finally got them when he was reunited with Jon in the North. It almost made me forget all the nonsense that happened throughout the rest of the episode... almost.

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

Our favorite collections from 2019's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia

It's hard not to love Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, an annual exhibition of some of the best in resort dressing, that has Sydney's various cityscapes and beaches serving as its backdrop. For five days, we hopped all over the Australian city to check out the Resort 2020 collections from some of Australia's most established designers and emerging newcomers through an assortment of runway shows, presentations, and parties. The result? An extravagant display of beach-ready fashion, elevated streetwear, and signature Australian style.

For those of you not familiar with the resort season—sometimes referred to as cruise or holiday—it's the in-between seasonal offerings of summer garb that typically hits stores in time for the winter months (you know, right about when we're ready to take those vacations we've been dreaming about). And while we're gearing up to head into summer over in America, these collections also serve as the perfect inspiration for warm-weather dressing—even if we won't be seeing them hit stores until much later this year.

From Aussie staples like Double Rainbouu and Alice McCall to emerging brands like P.E Nation, we rounded up the best Aussie collections we saw this week. Take a closer look at each of them, below.


Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia kicked off with a bang, the bang being Aje and its glorious Bloomscape collection. Whimsical pieces inspired by the native flora and natural landscape of Australia made their way down the runway, from billowing, sculptural dresses with hand-painted floral prints to rugged, masculine tailoring inspired by the soil, the trees, and the nation's rocky wonders.

Alice McCall

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

Alice McCall has been a longtime favorite in the U.S., known for its whimsical and quirky pieces that never skimp on sequins, feathers, and tulle. For Resort 2020, McCall was inspired by the treasures once found in her mother's "dress-up box" of the late '70s, creating her own take on vintage silhouettes but modernizing them and making them new. The result? Romantic, feminine, and glitzy pieces that are sure to turn heads.

Hansen and Gretel

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

Good news for anyone who's into the whole sea nymph thing: This trend is not going anywhere, anytime soon, according to label Hansen and Gretel. The Aussie brand's Resort 2020 collection, Venus, celebrated femininity and womanhood while nodding to this very trend with seashell knit crop tops, slinky slips, pastel summer knits, and plenty of shimmery pearlescent fabrics.

Lee Mathew

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

Lee Mathews Resort 2020 runway show was a special one: a celebration of the brand's 20th year. And, with that came a retrospective collection taking inspiration from the brand's archives over the past two decades. The collection presented the perfect mix of feminine and tomboyish pieces, mixed and matched and layered with extravagance. Ruffled, tulle skirts were paired with tailored shirting, while in-your-face prints such as polka dots, brush strokes, and bold stripes were used throughout, showing up on flowing silk dresses and structured, oversized shirting and separates.

Bondi Born

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

Resort 2020 saw Bondi Born, the ever-chic sustainable swimwear line based in Sydney, debut its first full resort capsule collection. The brand saw its sustainably produced fabrics take the form of knotted and bow-adorned swimwear, breezy seaside dresses and separates, and clean, simple eveningwear—all stunningly timeless, surpassing fashion trends and to be worn for seasons to come.

Double Rainbouu

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

In just a few short years, everybody's favorite Hawaiian shirt brand Double Rainbouu has grown beyond its playful shirting assortment with apparel, accessories, and more. For Resort 2020, design duo Mike Nolan and Toby Jones were inspired by the hippie travelers of the '60s and '70s, and a utopia where all creatures live together harmoniously. Set in Sydney's gorgeous Chinese Garden of Friendship, the brand's show featured model "tourists" who wore worldly prints, hippie tie-dyes, and plenty of linen alongside colorful zebra prints, sporty polos, chambray jumpsuits, and classic hoodies, making for a playfully diverse, yet wearable, collection.

P.E Nation

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

This season saw emerging Aussie label P.E. Nation present its first solo runway show, Physical Education, for Resort 2020. The brand took its signature spin on sporty '90s activewear and elevated it, incorporating bold, oversized silhouettes, denim, and all of the bold neons we covet. Bonus? The brand announced a killer new collab with Speedo, presenting its vintage-inspired swimwear at the very end of the show. Even bigger bonus? The brand's been upping its sustainability efforts, debuting its first-ever recycled active set, using recycled yarns and organic cotton. It will also be moving to biodegradable packaging by July.

Leo & Lin

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

One of our favorite collection this season came courtesy of Leo & Lin. Celebrating the designer's love of history, the romantic "Imperial" collection was a nod at both ancient Rome and the Victorian era, which saw sweeping, bulb-sleeved and high-necked floral dresses and suiting walking alongside flowing, draped Roman-inspired frocks. A modern flair was also sprinkled in, seen in the form of vinyl trench coats and fishnet fabrics.

Ten Pieces

Photos via Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia/Getty Images

One of the most buzzed about shows this season was Ten Pieces, the contemporary sportswear collection born from the collaboration between founders Maurice Terzini and Lucy Hinckfuss and designer Allan Marshall. For Resort 2020, Terzini was inspired by his time as a teen in Italy in the late '70s and the disco freak era. A bit punky, a bit hippie, and set in the drained pool of Sydney's iconic Icebergs Club with Bondi Beach as its backdrop, the collection's sporty streetwear pieces—unisex, and meant to be mixed, matched, and layered to its wearer's delight—felt more apt for the beach than a bustling city.

Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for ASCAP

"It makes my ears fucking steam out of my head"

Billie Eilish isn't taking Alabama's abortion ban lightly. Speaking to Variety, the singer said that she has "no words for the bitches in the fucking White House." She continued: "Honestly, I can't even look at my phone," because the news is always so distressing.

Eilish doesn't call out any legislators specifically, but she doesn't have to in order to get her point across, namely, that it's outrageous that people don't get to have control over their own bodies. "It's so unbelievable," Eilish said. "It makes me, like, red. It makes my ears fucking steam out of my head. Women should say, should do, and feel, and be exactly what they want."

"There should be nobody else telling them how to live their life, how to do shit…" she continued. "It just makes me so mad that if I start talking about it, I won't stop." Eilish did conclude though with this simple, powerful statement: "Men should not make women's choices—that's all I have to say."

If you want to help the people who will be affected by the restrictive abortion bans that the "bitches in the fucking White House" are doing nothing about, these organizations could use your help.

Asset 7

We talk to the pop star about her past, present, and future—and why she spoke out against R. Kelly

JoJo has been through it. Any casual music listener who lived through the 2000s knows what I'm talking about. The singer shot to instant stardom in 2004 with iconic hit "Leave (Get Out)" and released two albums, a self-titled debut and The High Road, which ended up being a fitting description of the journey she was forced to take.

Soon after, Blackground Records refrained from releasing JoJo's third album, resulting in a near decade-long period when she could only put out infrequent singles and mixtapes. She filed a lawsuit against the label in 2013, claiming that her contract was no longer valid under New York law, and when she was freed, her albums were taken off iTunes and streaming services, denying JoJo and her collaborators future earnings and disabling fans from accessing their beloved music. She was finally able to release her third album, Mad Love, in 2016, but there was still a huge part of her career that virtually disappeared—until she took matters into her own hands.

Late last year—on her 28th birthday, no less—JoJo surprised us by revealing that she re-recorded her first two albums and released them online for fans to enjoy once again. It was both the end of a chapter that needed to be closed long ago, and one of the most powerful moves by an artist in the music industry, especially a woman like JoJo who has dealt with a level of power struggles and politics we could only imagine. Below, she opens up about the process of this remarkable venture, her newfound freedom, and her next step.

How did you decide that re-recording these two albums was the right move?
My options were pretty limited. Since I had gotten out of that contract with Blackground, I just realized that I didn't want to reopen anything by trying to have any interaction with them. So I saw what my legal options were and that was to completely recreate these albums and basically cover myself.

How long did that process take? Take me through the process of basically putting everything back together.
My managers and I had been talking about it because we saw it in my comments on Twitter and Instagram a lot, and I just hate feeling helpless. When I saw that there was this demand from my fans of wanting to listen to the first two albums, we called my lawyer and saw what could be done legally from that perspective, and then we just started to brainstorm as to how we could recreate the tracks. I came to the conclusion that what my fans wanted was the nostalgia of the first two albums, of how they found it in 2004 and 2006, so we tried to keep it pretty true to that. The process took, I would say, nine months, from the first phone call to calling my musical directors and have them start the recreation of the tracks, sending them the YouTube link so they could refer back to the original songs, because that's what we had. I didn't have a physical copy of the first two albums.

Were there any songs that you were especially emotional about or ones you connected with when you revisited them?
I definitely got emotional re-cutting a lot of them, particularly "Keep On Keeping On," which I wrote when I was 12. That was one of the first songs that I ever recorded that I had written completely by myself. Just to go back and take in the lyrics that I had written then, it's just still a message that I need to hear. It was just emotional being like, Damn, my little 12-year-old self was an old soul. It was emotional redoing all of them for different reasons because I remembered those sessions so vividly. Especially with remaking "Leave (Get Out)," "Too Little, Too Late," and "Baby It's You," I was definitely freaking myself out with trying to stay true to them but also realizing that I'm a grown person now. I was intimidated by having to hit some of the notes that I hit when I was 12 and 14, like on "Too Little, Too Late," because I'm a different singer, your voice changes as you grow. That made me a little bit anxious [but] I just did it.

You recently spoke out about R. Kelly on Twitter and said you heard stories when you were younger and that people you worked with were also working with him. How did hearing this affect you at such a young age?
To be honest, the way that it was being spoken about in the studio normalized it. I'm looking back on it and realizing how perverse the stories that I was hearing were, about how he'd always have young girls around, how he'd be waiting outside of high schools or he'd be hanging out at the McDonald's. I didn't realize since I was so, so young how very much fucked up that is. He really was just in plain sight being a predator. I was such a huge fan of his. I mean his music is incredible, but at this point, there's just no fucking way to separate him from his crime, and it's just wild. It's just wild that he got away with it for so long, but I think we're in a new era of accountability and transparency and I just think it's definitely about time. But in my comment section, it was like, "Okay, so if you've heard these stories, then why didn't you come forward or say something?" I was a kid when I heard these stories, and I certainly didn't know what to do. I didn't even know how to follow that thought all the way through.

I wanted to talk about the new album you're currently working on. Is there a the direction you're going for?
I want to go back to what comes naturally to me which is R&B, but I think I could care less about genres. I just want to make dope music and release it, whether it's all in one album, one song at a time, however that may be. I'm being super choosy and making a bunch of songs and then narrowing it down from there. I've never been more excited about the music that I'm making. It feels really great, and I think a part of that has to do with closing that chapter of the first two albums, with anything that I did from that time of my career. Now I can move forward and just really be challenged and keep growing and breaking myself down and putting myself back together with the help of my collaborators. It's interesting.

Is your attitude about freedom influenced by the music climate and streaming today? The music world has changed so much since when you debuted.
I guess, but I think, for me, freedom is more of the mental and emotional state. I do think that artists have so many more choices now, whether to be independent, or to do a joint venture like I've done with Warner Bros, or sign to a major but on their terms. I think that there is a lot more flexibility and freedom for us, much of which we've demanded and some that the industry has just had to adapt to. But even when I got off of my former label and knew that I was able to move forward and release music, for many different reasons, I still didn't feel that freedom. I think I was in such a fighter mode that I still felt like I needed to fight things, whether it was myself or... mostly myself.

It's being really hateful toward myself and dealing with a lot of that. For me, this freedom that I'm feeling is just stepping into a new perspective of not recognizing things as obstacles but knocking on them as opportunities, and I think for those who are fortunate enough to be able to get some type of control over their mind, I'm trying to try to do that and to feel as free as possible. I'm excited.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

We made it

It's finally over. We had a great run—even if the eighth season felt more like a PowerPoint presentation of the show than an actual narrative. But perhaps the most frustrating thing about the show was that it left plenty of plot threads dangling. Still, some of the conclusions that the show left us with were shocking in their own right. Let's revisit.

Spoilers ahead...

Cersei actually being dead

I didn't want to believe it, but it's true. Cersei Lannister, the ruthless Queen that everyone sought to overthrow, is dead. Last week, she and her brother-lover Jaime held each other tight in the bowels of the Red Keep as rocks and bricks fell on top of them. I thought that Jaime would die, once again protecting Cersei, and that she would survive the collapse. This would have provided an opportunity for her to be personally killed by list-obsessed Arya Stark or a power hungry Daenerys Targaryen. But no, Cersei did not survive and I was shocked to see her dead face when it was uncovered by Tyrion.

Jon killing Daenerys

Cersei wasn't the only person whose death came under unexpected circumstances. Daenerys' long, epic journey came to an end at the hands of Jon (also known as Aegon Targaryen, and her nephew-lover). Despite following Daenerys all season, Jon was convinced that she had to go after a little pep talk from Tyrion. And so, what else would a Stark do, other than carrying out a death sentence himself? Jon did it with a blade through Dany's heart. At least it wasn't in her back.

Drogon killing the Iron Throne

If there is one character my heart absolutely breaks for, it's Drogon. Daenerys' death left the dragon motherless and brotherless. He took his grief out on the thing that drove her to the very end, the Iron Throne itself. Drogon melted it into boiling liquid metal before flying away with his mother's body.

Bran becoming King

Since the beginning of the show, viewers have made wagers on who would eventually take the Iron Throne for themselves. Through most of the series, Bran, who hasn't been able to walk since the first episode, was an extremely unlikely candidate. But alas, he was the King when the show ended, and he made a comment that seemed to suggest that he'd known this was his destiny. In other words, he let everyone battle it out while he sat and minded his business, knowing it was all for him to come out on top. A shady queen feels like a more fitting title.

Arya heading "West"

I get it, Arya has already been a free spirit and non-conformist. I also understand that she sent most of Game of Thrones motivated by revenge and with no more to be served, there was little left for her in Westeros. But to send her off exploring the world also felt... odd. Arya said goodbye to her siblings, setting her intentions on sailing to see what's "west of Westeros," so that she can find out what's there. It felt way too soon to assume that she wouldn't still be needed in her homeland, but Arya never was one to stick close to home.

Jon and Ghost reuniting

At the end of the fourth episode fans were furious when Jon Snow prepared to head South with Daenerys, bidding fond farewells to friends and fellow soldiers, but not bothering to pet his direwolf. The show runners said the reason for the impersonal sendoff was that interactions with the direwolves cost too much money to pull off and there wasn't enough budget. So we were all surprised to see Jon and Ghost reunite in the final episode when Jon was once against sent to Castle Black. It was a silver lining in an otherwise dreary episode.