Two things have happened in my life since the season five finale of “Game of Thrones” that have allowed me to have a better understanding of the GOT universe. The first thing is that I have begun reading the books. I am not a fast reader and most of the time I don’t have a lot of leisure time to read but I’m getting there. I began reading “A Game of Thrones” last July and completed it around Christmas time. I am now reading “A Clash of Kings” and I am on page 261. My plan is for each week when I blog about season six I open the blog with where I am in “A Clash of Kings”. Reading the books has helped me feel much more familiar with the characters and feel more knowledgeable about the backgrounds stories of Westeros. I know I still have a long, long way but one page at a time I’m becoming more of a book reader. The other thing that has allowed me to feel more comfortable about the world of Ice and Fire is that my husband purchased the Game of Thrones version of Risk. Playing this game a bunch of times has really made me much more familiar and comfortable with the geographic layout of Westeros and Essos.
As the credits began to run on last night’s season premiere I felt very nervous. So many of my favorite characters basically ended with a big question mark hanging over their heads at the end of season five; since I know nobody is safe on this show it often seems like a matter of when will somebody big will die rather than will somebody big die. During the opening credits I noticed two things. The first is that Kit Harrington is still featured in the opening credits which seems to support the belief that he will be resurrected from the dead sooner rather than later.
The other thing I noticed was that Sophie Turner now gets a billing by herself rather than share the screen with Maisie Williams and Conleth Hill. I found this very interesting because it seems to indicate that Sansa will have a more important role to play in season 6.
Naturally, the first scene of Season 6 was at the wall with Jon Snow lying dead outside with Ghost howling in distress. Ghost’s howling brings Davos outside to see what is going on where he finds Jon lying dead. After they bring Jon’s body inside everybody is distraught, including Melisandre.
I feel like this episode was the first episode in which we have gotten a real look into who Melisandre is. After the defeat of Stannis against the Bolton’s she was already in bad shape and Jon’s death seems to have her questioning things even more. She seems utter confused by Jon’s death saying “I saw him in the flames, fighting at Winterfell”. It seems Melisandre can’t begin to comprehend Jon’s death and she certainly isn’t the only one.
The men of the Night’s Watch are divided into two; those who are upset that Jon was killed and those who were responsible for killing him. This makes sense because Jon was elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch by just one vote. Allister Thorne admits to everybody that he and several other people were responsible for Jon’s death. He gives a speech about how Jon needed to die for letting the Wildlings in. A few moments later Davos and those upset about Jon’s death think about what their next move needs to be. Davos hints that they may need to enlist the help of the Wildlings since Jon saved their lives too.
Down in Winterfell Ramsay stands over Myranda’s body. He waxes elegant about how much he loved her.
Yet, when he is asked if she should be buried or burned he shows who he really is. Instead of honoring Myranda who he just claimed he loved he orders her body be fed to the hounds because it is “good meat”. Not that I ever doubted that Ramsay is a monster but that further confirmed what everybody knew. It is during this sequence at Winterfell that we learn that Stannis is officially dead, like anybody really doubted that Brienne killed him at the end of season 5 anyway. Roose is very upset with Ramsay for letting Sansa escape. He stresses to Ramsay how important it is that they recapture her. Roose reminds Ramsay that without Sansa they will never really be able to win over the people of the North and also without Sansa there can be no heir. Ramsay promises to track Sansa down and bring her back to Winterfell.
Speaking of Sansa, the next thing we see is Sansa and Theon running through a snowy forest. I say Theon because I feel like that his actions at the end of Season 5 pointed to the reemergence of Theon and the banishment of Reek. Together they are running as fast as they can away from the Boltons. In order to try to have the hounds that are chasing them lose their scent they cross a very cold river. After they cross Theon holds Sansa and helps her try to warm up. As they hear they hounds still close on their heels Theon tells Sansa that she must go north to find Jon who is now the new Lord Commander of the NIght’s Watch. Obviously, the news of Jon’s death has not yet reached Winterfell. Then Theon gives himself up to try to help Sansa escape. It seems they are doomed when the hounds find Sansa anyway. Then there is hope after all. Brienne and Pod come riding up on their horses. I literally yelled “Oh, my god!” in excitement. Brienne and Pod battle and kill off the men who were tracking Sansa and Theon down. Then comes a moment that has been a long time coming; Brienne offers her services and protection to Sansa. And finally Sansa accepts.
It was a very emotional moment. For Brienne it seems she has begun to fulfill her duty and potential. After avenging Renly by killing Stannis at the end of Season 5 she is now keeping her word to Catelyn by serving and protecting (at least) one of her daughters. I also found this moment very powerful for Sansa. As she said the words that let Brienne know she was accepting her services and protection she seemed like a true Lady who is beginning to embrace her power.
Moving from North to South the next stop was King’s Landing. Cersei sits in a chair touching her still very short hair.
When a ship arrives she smiles believing she’ll be reunited with her brother/lover and her daughter/niece Myrcella. But, of course, that’s not what happens. As Cersei waits by the water she sees that Jamie has moved to a small boat and that instead of Myrcella on the boat with Jamie it is Myrcella’s dead body. A short time later Cersei recalls how she felt when their mother died. She tells Jamie that Murcella was good and that the fact that Myrecella was so good and pure made her believe maybe she wasn’t a monster. It was a sad scene, not so much for Cersei but for Myrcella, a character we barely got to know. Cersei recalls the witch’s prophecy we learned about at the beginning of Season 5. With two of her three children now dead it makes sense that she would believe that the prophecy will come true and that it’s only a matter of time before she loses Tommen too. What I found so interesting about the scene between Cersei and Jamie is that Cersei seemed utterly defeated and it was Jamie who was the one vowing revenge on those that have wronged them.
Also at King’s Landing we see my favorite character Septa Unella. With Cersei back at the Red Keep she has turned her attention to Queen Margery.
As Septa Unella reads scripture she tries to get Margery to confess. When Margery doesn’t confess Septa Unella hits her with her bible. I know I shouldn’t like Septa Unella but I just love her. Whether she is torturing a character I hate, like Cersei, or a character I really like, such as Margery, she just does her job full throttle. The High Sparrow comes in and he tries a much softer approach to try to get Margery to confess. With Jonathan Pryce added to the main cast of characters I’m sure we are going to see much more of the High Sparrow this season. I just hope Septa Unella doesn’t get killed too soon, although I’m pretty sure Cersei and Jamie are going to unleash the Zombie Mountain on her.
The show moved south to Dorne.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Dorne story line in season 5 but whenever a scene takes place at the Water Gardens of Dorne I’m reminded of when my husband and I visited the filming location last year on our tip to Spain, check out my blog entry on that day of our trip. Anyway, Ellaria is talking with Prince Doran. When he receives word that the Princess Myrecella has died she uses that moment to kill him. She invokes his inability to do anything after Elia and Oberyn were killed. The show then quickly cuts to the boat off the coast of King’s Landing and the two of Sand Snakes kill Prince Trystane. Since I am only on the second book I am not that familiar with what happens in the Dorne story line in the books but my husband did tell me the show has taken things in a completely different direction. Whatever is to come with the Dorne storyline it is clear there is no alliance between the Lannisters and the Martell’s anymore.
Moving East to Mereen Tyrion is trying to get the lay of the land now that he has been left in charge while Daario and Jorah look for Dany. Tyrion and Varys are walking around. It really seems that there is a big question mark hanging over what will happen in Mereen until Dany comes back. She has an army of unsullied waiting to serve her but who is commanding the Sons of the Harpy? We still don’t know who was in charge of the attack at the fighting pits and then there is the question of what will happen with the freed slaves. Will they remain loyal to Dany while she’s away? We may not have the answers to those questions yet but one thing we do know is that Mereen is a little bit in chaos at witnessed by the entire Harbor being in flames.
We next check in with Jorah and Daario as they search for Dany. The first clue they find is the remains of a charred ram, they correctly assess that the ram was killed by Drogon. They know that they are where Dany was but they still don’t know where she is. A poignant moment comes when Daario says “I hope I grow old. I want to see what the world looks like she’s (Dany) done conquering it.” Jorah replies “Me too” before looking down at his arm; his Greyscale is spreading and it’s clear time is running or for Jorah whether they find Dany or not.
As for Dany, we see first see her shackled and walking with the band of Dorthraki that picked her up at the end of Season 5. The fact that Dany is once again with Dorthraki serves as a chance for her story line to come full circle. As she walks she looks up to the sky, perhaps she is hoping for Drogon to come rescue her once again but he is nowhere to be seen. When she meets Khal Moro it’s clear that the Dany of season 6 who has been picked up this band of Dorthraki is not the meek girl we first met in season 1.
Speaking in Dorthraki she tells them who she is and not to touch her. Khal Moro and the other Dorthraki mock her until she tells them that she is Khal Drogo’s widow. This truth both saves her from rape and death but it again puts her future into question. She demands that Khal Moro have some of his men take her back to Mereen but instead it seems as though they believe her fate is to go to Vaes Dorthrak and live out the rest of her life with the other widows. I do wonder if Dany being sent to city full of women will actually be a good thing in the end, or maybe that’s just the feminist in me.
In Bravos Arya is dealing with the fallout of losing her eyesight.
Having endured so much over the years she is reduced to sitting on the street waiting for random people to give her money. When Waif confronts her they battle with sticks. Maybe it’s Arya’s fate to become a great nameless assassin but right now she seems more lost than ever as is demonstrated by Waif kicking her ass.
The episode ended where it began, at the wall. Allister Throne knocks on the door where Davos and those who remain loyal to Jon are hiding out. They demand that they surrender. Davos and the men who are loyal to Jon know that Thorne and the rest will probably kill them and they are at a loss of what to do. Davos points out that, “There’s always the Red Woman” and that the others haven’t seen her do what he has…Then came the big moment of the episode. Melisandre is disrobing and as she looks at herself nude in the mirror you think it’s just another chance for “Game of Thrones” to have more female nudity but moments after she removes her ruby necklace we are all thrown for a loop.
We see who Melisandre really is…she’s an old woman not the sex pot magical femme fatale we’ve been lead to believe since season 2.
Clearly her ruby necklace has some kind of power to make her appear young. What that means for the future of her, Jon Snow and the entire show is yet to be known but it was a great way to leave all of us looking forward to episode 2.
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