Warning: This is not spoiler free!
Season 6 of Game of Thrones has been highly anticipated for ages, but has it lived up to the hype? Did they deliver?
As a side note, this season deviates completely from the books because, well, there are no books. Avid readers of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire will have no insider knowledge. Brace yourselves because you probably won’t be able to Netflix and chill to this season.
Breaking news: Jon Snow is still dead.
The episode picks up right where we left off nine months ago. As the camera slowly pans towards Jon in blood-stained snow, his eyes like frost and his skin ashen and stiff… it’s safe to say he’s dead.
I didn’t want to believe it until Ser Davos finds his body after hearing Ghost howling, and Jon’s loyalists proceed to carry the body inside. Even our favourite candidate for resurrecting our beloved Jon, the Red Woman, stood there, astonished and unable to do anything. ‘I saw him in the flames fighting at Winterfell,’ she said.
Davos hits it home with, ‘I can’t speak for the flames. But he’s gone.’ Right in the feels, Davos.
While Jon’s stone cold state may change (like a few storylines from season 5), for now he is a solid 10/10 dead.
This episode has a lack of story density in the other subplots. The Night’s Watch was the most fleshed out storyline whereas the rest of the episode consisted of rapid cuts from scene to scene, subplot to subplot. After revealing Jon’s fate, it was hectic viewing from there.
We get two minutes to let Cersei mourn the death of Myrcella (brilliant acting by Lena Headey) and have Jaime vow to avenge their family.
We only get a glimpse of Queen Margaery in her cell, being told to confess by Septa Unella as she asks about Loras. Her concern for her brother is admirable even as she stews away in that dark cell.
There’s only a few minutes of screen time in Meereen, where Tyrion and Lord Varys are having difficulties managing the people as they rise against Daenerys. The Sons of the Harpy are growing and so is lack of trust in their queen. There’s also a tasteful baby-eating joke.
We are given a few minutes to say hello to our favourite masochist, Ramsay Bolton. His battle to take the North has been thwarted by Sansa escaping with Theon. And as he seems to mourn the death of his lover, Myranda, I almost felt sorry for him until, when asked whether she is to be buried or burned he says, ‘She is good meat. Feed her to the hounds.’ Ummm, what?
I did like how Sansa
and Theon’s escape was given a bit more time to breathe. Theon’s courage and determination to get Sansa away from Ramsey hinted at the old Theon we knew from season 1 before shit went down. And when it seems like they’ve been captured by Ramsey’s men, Brienne, like the badass woman she is, comes in with her sword swinging and fulfills her debt to Catelyn Stark. Sansa has been hardened by her experiences from last season and it made me cheer to see her take control and power when she accepted Brienne’s vow to be her sword and shield. Yaaasss!
In Dorne, it’s a bloodbath. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes stage a coup and kill Prince Doran. ‘Weak mean will never rule Dorne again,’ Ellaria says as we watch Doran bleed out on the stones of his palace. They don’t spare his son, Trystane, a clean death either. Classic Game of Thrones style.
Now you’re probably wondering what has happened to Arya. Last we saw her, she was blind and freaking out. Well, she’s still in Bravvos, begging on the streets. The Waif shows up with two wooden sticks and forces her to fight. Seems to be a part of her training to be a Faceless Man. It’s all rather like Daredevil – she has to learn to fight without her eyes. Before the Waif leaves she says, ‘See you tomorrow’. That had to be the most chilling line in the entire episode.
Over in Essos, Dany hasn’t been on fire as of late. How can she be the Mother of Dragons if they just abandon her like that? She is now the slave of Khal Moro and his Dothraki are simple classy. However, after she reveals she is the widow of Khal Drogo, she is released from being a slave but is informed she must spend the rest of her days at the temple of Vaes Dothrak where the other widows are. It is known.
And finally, the episode ends with the Lady Melisandre’s (or the Red Woman) shocking revelation: she’s a really, really, really old Lady. Damn, I was not expecting that. As Ser Davos states to Jon’s loyalists, ‘You haven’t seen her do what I’ve seen her do’, he clearly hasn’t seen the toll of both Stannis and Jon’s deaths have done to her. Whether her beauty and youth is contained in her intricate choker or the vial of clear liquid we see on her table, it’s not revealed. Weak and feeble, she shuffles to her bed, defeated, and the episode leaves us questioning what on earth just happened.
But that’s Game of Thrones for you.
Some fun things to think about:
- Where are Bran and Rickon Stark? Come on, guys. They were gone in season 5 and we don’t get a small snippet of them in the premiere? Whaaat?
- The Lord of Light seems to have also infiltrated Meereen as Tyrion stumbles
upon a preacher and a listening crowd. Oh, and someone decided to burn all the boats.
- Where are the White Walkers? Hmmmmm.
- Did anyone else want to stab Ser Alliser Thorne for so proudly admitting he killed Jon Snow? What an ass.
Stay tuned for more Game of Thrones recaps!