After a year of hiatus, Game of Thrones kicks back in full gear with its premier episode filled with grief, vengeance, eerie sorcery, religious zealots and the promise of dragons. Season 6 is in full throttle and we’re ready for another ride. Here’s my take…
Dead in the snow
There’s no doubt that when season 5 ended last year, the lingering question in everyone’s minds is “Is Jon Snow really dead?” It’s interesting that Benioff and Weiss chose to address that head-on with the very first moments of the episode focusing in on a lifeless Jon Snow complete with dead eyes and blood pooled around him. Ghost is howling away like crazy too. Oh, Ghost… 😦
Loyalists to the Lord Commander, including Edd and Ser Davos Seaworth, attempt to protect his body. It soon becomes clear that the Onion Knight harbors some hope that the Red Woman might revive him with her voodoo magic. Do what you can, Ser Davos (though at this point, I think the show will have a dead “Snow” until the 9th or 10th episode).
Brienne is now #TeamSansa
Brienne’s sense of timing has improved, finally, and has come to the aid of Winterfell fugitives Sansa and Reek/Theon. Yep, they’ve escaped unscathed (sort of 😀 ) from jumping off the walls of Winterfell but are now on the run from Ramsay’s hounds and hunters. I really like how Reek’s redemption has come full circle with his selfless act of protecting Sansa, even at the cost of his own life. You’ve gone a long way, Reek. Btw, hello Podrick!
Brienne’s oath of fealty to Sansa was a teary eyed moment because we know how much her promise means to her and she’s relieved that she’ll finally be able to protect Cat’s daughter. Surprisingly, I don’t feel bad that they deviated from the books on this one. I think Benioff and Weiss decided wisely in letting Brienne come to Sansa’s aid instead of having Brienne die and suffer an unfair death.
Doran Martell, we never knew ye
Ever since season 5 incorporated the Martell storyline, there have been massive dislike of the Sandsnakes and their characterization. And sorry, I must agree with them. In the books, they were fierce, badass, organized, and clever.
It seems the show wants a more matriarchal plotline from the Dornish side of things by frontlining Ellaria and her Sandsnakes. Killing off Doran Martell was a “meh” because we’ve spent very little time with the Prince of Dorne, so its hard to mourn his death. The show wasted a really good actor in Alexander Siddig though. And I do want to mourn the worst line in TV history. “You are one greedy bitch, you know”. Like, SRSLY???!?
Dothrakis in the house
It’s been a while since we’ve seen these nomadic horselords and I’m damn glad to see them. Khal Jaqo is a welcome sight because he could potentially remind Dany of her roots and how far she’s come. She married a Dothraki horselord to invade Westeros and, ugh, where is she now? Also, she might be reminded that nothing good comes out of rescuing slaves. Mirri maz Dur, anyone?
More importantly, part of Dany’s journey is “to go forward, you must go back”, that is according to Quaithe. Oh remember Quaithe? She was that weird girl from season 2 who had prophesied some really vague shit for the Mother of Dragons. I guess Benioff and Weiss just opted to forget her and her prophecies ever existed.
A blind girl
I can almost hear myself cheering, “Feel the force, Arya. Let it flow through you.” Season 5 closed the Braavos storyline with a dead Meryn Trant and a newly blinded Arya as “punishment” of her killing for her own revenge. As badass as it was, killing without the permission of the Many Faced God is apparently a no-no in the House of Black and White.
Arya’s training to become a Faceless man has only just begun. But as her journey unfolds, I’m wondering if the show will ever incorporate her “warg” abilities. So far, the only Stark they’ve shown to have that proclivity is Bran Stark. Benioff and Weiss opted to not show Robb, Jon, and Arya as wargs; I’m still undecided whether that’s a good thing or not.
That’s some damn choker
It’s really interesting that much of the dangling storylines from season 5 were picked up immediately in this first episode of season 6, but that the BIGGEST surprise wasn’t really implied up until we were gaping at our TV screens in awed horror.
Melisandre’s powers, as it turns out, isn’t just limited to birthing shadow babies or burning sacrificial children alive. Using an enchanted choker of some sort, the stunning woman I’ve had a crush on for years turned into an old crone. Oh, and she’s having some self esteem issues what with her unsuccessful attempts to aid in Stannis Baratheon’s victory.
Guess we’ll just have to wait until Melisandre picks up the pace and decides the world is ready for another Berrick Dondarrion aka HURRAY JON SNOW IS ALIVE.
How excited are you that Game of Thrones is back? What storylines are you most looking forward to? Does the episode meet your expectations of a season premier episode? Let me know in the comments! 🙂