Please beware full spoilers ahead!
Well season 6 is finally here and those of you who are wanting some much needed answers to the questions we have all had this past year will be very disappointed. Yes maybe it was naive to think the secret of Jon Snow’s fate would be revealed in the first episode of the season but television’s worst kept secret is still holding on for dear life and just like Jon we still know nothing.
Thankfully the episode still lived up to the hype and allowed us to check in with all of our beloved(and not so loved) characters along the way. We start at Castle Black right after Jon has been butchered by the most hated men in all of television and Sir Davos sees his body lying in the snow. Sir Davos gathers Jon’s few remaining allies and locks himself in a small room while Tollett goes to find allies that also owe Jon their life. Who those allies are is open for debate but it’s a good shout that they will be the ones to bring Jon back.
After the drama at Castle black we see the aftermath of Stannis Baratheon’s failed assault against Winterfell with Ramsay Bolton having a very uncomfortable conversation with his father having lost Sansa during the fight. This was one of my favorite scenes last night for two reasons.
First was the reaction Ramsay has to Myranda’s death, retelling the first time they met shows a surprisingly human side to Ramsay we haven’t seen before and opens a terrifying line of thought. If Ramsay plays the games he does for fun just what will Ramsay do to someone who has hurt a person he genuinely cares for? The second is Roose Bolton’s passive aggressive conversation telling him in no uncertain terms that if Sansa is not found then Ramsay’s may as well be a Snow once again.
Linking to the Boltons we have Theon and Sansa on the run from Winterfell having survived their suicide jump. We see Sansa and Theon battling not only Bolton soldiers and dogs but the elements as well and just as they are about to be captured my favorite knight gallops in and tears apart those pursuing her. I am of course speaking of Brienne of Tarth and good ole Podric, after abandoning her post to kill Stannis Brienne finds Sansa and Pledges herself to to her as she did her mother. I really enjoy seeing both Sophie Turner and Gwendoline Christie’s performances and I can’t wait to see how their arcs play out this season together.
Perhaps my least favorite catch up was with Tyrion and Varys in Mereen. The aftermath of the arena attack and Dany flying off on Drogons back has left the city divided with a red priest preaching to the poor and the Sons of Harpy burning Mereens entire navy there wasn’t much for two to talk about or do. The fact a young woman mistakes Tyrion’s act of kindness for asking to eat her baby was the highlight i’m afraid.
Daenerys however is in real trouble being at the mercy of a new Khal and a horde of Dothraki. While I enjoyed seeing Dany rule over the past couple of seasons it’s good to see her at a disadvantage and using her own wit to survive. Seeing her keep quiet while a couple of guys talk about her thinking she doesn’t understand then her putting down a Khal is particularly satisfying. Though the revelation about being taken to a temple to die so she can be with Khal Drogo again seems strange, especially since she tried by sitting in his burning pyre to die with him, i’d have mentioned that to be honest.
Then we have Aria, poor Aria begging on the streets of Braavos after being blinded by the faceless men. This was a short but brilliant catch up. Aria’s struggle last season to give herself to the faceless men or keep hold of her origins was a joy to watch not to mention being tragic, blinded for exacting your revenge is not cool. There may be some repentance for Aria though. Her nemesis came to beat the living crap out of her with a stick, leaving with “i’ll see you tomorrow then”. I’d love to see Aria become some sort of Daredevil like ninja and earn her way back into the faceless men over the coming episodes.
Now this is where the episode actually gets very good. Even though catching up with all these characters was great, it didn’t really do much to advance the plot in a huge way. We knew Dany was with a Dothraki horde, we knew Aria was blind and we knew Sansa was on the run and the small plot points advanced wasnt enough to justify a year’s waiting to me.
That’s until we get to Dorne and the aftermath of the Sand snakes assassination of Myrcella Lannister. Jamie vows to restore the Lannisters to former power after consoling Cersei, credit to Lena Headleys acting because however much I hate Cersei she made me feel sorry for her seeing the body of her daughter row slowly towards king’s landing. Then just as he is told of the assassination the Sand snakes kill Doran Martell, his huge axe wielding bodyguard and his son in typical Game of Thrones gruesome fashion.
This is something I’ve been waiting for in the series, a tipping point for when Dany finally gets to Westeros, will she now go through Dorne and ally herself with the Sand snakes? I really hope so. I want a Dornish, Stark and Targaryen Alliance to finally win the Game of Thrones, which considering the next two series will be shorter that could happen sooner than I thought.
Last but definitely not least was back at Castle Black. We see a very depressed looking Melisandre doing her trademark strip in front of a mirror but as she takes of her collar the ruby inside begins to glow and we come back to an old, withered and staunch lady who has been hiding behind the red woman’s guise. Has Melisandre been hiding more than we thought all this time? Just what does this mean for Jon’s fate? The episode’s biggest reveal gave us so many more questions that need answers!
The season started slow in my opinion and let’s be fair they always have. Yes i’m disappointed we still do not know Jon’s fate and that almost all characters were given very short catch up scenes but they were well done and teased us just a bit more for another week. The big reveal blew us out the water and I’m going back through the series to see if there were ever any hints at Melisandre’s true form .
Good start to the most anticipated season ever!