Game of Thrones Returns: “The Red Woman”

Game of Thrones returns to HBO with its sixth season. Here is the first episode as it happened...

True to Neddard’s warning in season one, winter is coming to Westeros, but its approach has been slower than George R.R. Martin’s writing pace. Producers Benioff and Weiss, however, now sit in the narrative Iron Throne, which means this could escalate quickly:

“Trust me, I’m actually a really good guy.” – Alliser Thorne

Alliser Thorne was able to somehow win over the rest of the Night’s Watch with an INSPIRATIONAL SPEECH and also not fall for Ser Davos’ mutton-based wiles, so it seems for now that a full-faction war is about to erupt at Castle Black, pitting the Night’s Watch top brass against Jon Snow’s merry men, one secretly old lady, a dog, and some wildlings.

2A true poet

“…”  – Jon Snow

It was clear from the chilling opening shot of his “dead” body that Jon Snow has yet to recover from being Caesered.

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I’ve been dealing with a lot of self-loathing recently…

That being said, the abundance of screen time given to Jon Snow’s body, MIGHT, and that MEANS ALMOST DEFINITELY, signify his role in this show is not over.

Jon SnowIs this Jon Snow’s future?

“I really believe in man’s deep connection to his dogs.” – Ramsey Snow

Back at Winterfell, Ramsay is still being Ramsay, and we don’t really learn anything new. He’s still crazy, still has daddy issues, and is definitely a dog person.

More interesting and satisfying was Sansa’s escape from the walls of Winterfell; and after some partially cringe-worthy scenes of Reek trying to play hero, Brienne and her trusty squire PODRICK swoop in to do all the badassery themselves.

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Pictured: Cold Blooded Killer

It’s impressive how the show runners have been able to condense Martin’s often meandering storylines into something so succinct and satisfying. And the Sansa-Brienne power duo certainly has an exciting future, hopefully allowing Sansa to transition from pawn to player in this power struggle.

“All my children are dead.” – Cersei

It is no less gloomy in King’s Landing. Jaime bears news of Myrcella’s poisoning to Cersei, and the twins are clearly emotionally bankrupt. From now on, they claim, they are the only one’s that matter, clearly forgetting about their STILL LIVING KING SON.

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“I see how it is.” – Tommen, King of Westeros

We get a quick update on Queen Margaery, still wasting away in one of the High Sparrows cells. It is yet to been seen whether the sparrow’s good-septa, bad-septa routine will make her confess.

“This was a bad day to wear sandals” – Messenger

Once news of Myrcella’s death reaches Dorne, the Sand Snakes make quick work of Prince Doran, his son, captain of the guard Areo Hotah, and a messenger who tried to run off in sandals.

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Doran’s forgiving nature and act-later attitude spell a death sentence in GOT, so this is definitely is no surprise. These actions, of course, set Dorne onto a total warpath against Kings Landing, presumably with the mutinous ladies at the helm. In general, season 6 seems ripe with second chances for undeveloped characters. Only time will tell if their aggressive approach will pay off, and more importantly, how Dorne actually fits into the grander storyline (my guess is as Danaerys’ foothold in Westeros, once she decides to make an appearance).

“Here we go again.” – Tyrion Lannister

The scenes back in Mereen mostly function to display the catastrophe that the city has become. Clearly, Tyrion has inherited a mess of a country.6Yet, he mostly seems unfazed by the task ahead of him, language barrier aside. It’s great to see the return of competent Tyrion, and hopefully we can see similar results to his stint as hand of the king back in season 2.

“Look at the flicka da wrist.” – Ser Jorah Mormont

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Ser Jorah and Daario Naharis have some bro time out on the grass sea, and Jorah also has time to contemplate his inevitable transformation into The Thing.

Jorah, season 7
Jorah, season 7

Meanwhile, Khaleesi, kidnapped by a new Dothraki Horde, plays it cool, waiting to play her hand until they take her to their leader. Still in Queen mode, she drops some big words to the Khal, but is still being forced into a fate worse than death – a retirement home.

“#NOFILTER” – The Red Lady

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 12.30.57 PMBruh.

The final scene of the episode is downright strange, and a bit cryptic. On surface level, the red priestess is actually an old witch lady, but it’s not entirely clear whether this is just a part of her nightly routine (that Stannis somehow didn’t notice) or represents a greater loss of faith. A John Snow related miracle, however, might be just the medicine she needs to get her back on her feet. The episode was great overall.

Notably absent, but not necessarily missed: Bran Stark.