Last night at 9 pm EST Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1 premiered on HBO, and by morning, Kenyans all over the interwebs were already spoiling it. I’m joining that legion but with a spoiler alert, which is what civil humans do.
A few things that were left hanging from the close of Season 5 – is Jon Snow really dead? Will Daenerys be taken by this new horde of Dothraki? Will she rule them or will they enslave her? And what happens to Mereen? What fresh hell will Cersei release upon the world once she realizes that Myrcella has been killed in Dorne? And whatever shall become of Arya? Is Stannis really dead, seeing as we didn’t see him killed? And then, of course – Sansa??
So many questions.
The season’s opening – titled The Red Woman – was as tame as a GOT opening could be – considerably mild, which makes one even more nervous about what George R. R. Martin is bound to throw at us. As in the trailer, we see Jon Snow lying in the – no pun intended – snow, and the first person to find him is Ser Davos, the ex-smuggler turned knight. He still has the pool of blood around him. He really is dead, despite our hopes. We get a good look at Ghost, Jon’s direwolf, one of the last ones left, who seems tense, angry and protective – understandably so. One of the theories was that Jon is a Warg and inhabited Ghost’s body, but I doubt it. They carry him into a room and Melisandre makes a brief appearance there, making me think that there is a chance she can bring him back, perhaps? Much like the band of brothers’ leader was in a past season (the ones Arya ran away from The Hound to). I’m worrying about whether or not he will become a white walker, because of the poster on the official Game of Thrones Facebook page that says ‘Snow King’. Now, Jon Snow loyalists have gone to find the Wildlings, I think, so that they can – escape? Resurrect Jon Snow? Overthrow the usurper Lord Commander? We’ll see.
The boat coming in from Dorne with Myrcella’s body docks at King’s Landing and Cersei runs out to meet it. Before it stops moving, Cersei sees Jamie and knows her child is dead. She blames it on the witch’s prophecy, but we all know that after she is done mourning, Cersei is going to unleash potent revenge on anyone who has ever slighted her. She has nothing more to lose. Will the Lannister children be reunited, do you think, and can if Tyrion can ever forgive Cersei? And that’s also after the entire Martell line has been wiped out – Prince Doran and Trystane are both assassinated.
Speaking of Tyrion, he is still in Mereen with Verys, patrolling and kind of ruling the land that has been split after Khaleesi’s flight. It would appear that they don’t have a way to get back home as the Sons of Harpy have burnt all the ships leaving Mereen. To trap them, perhaps? – and neither does Khaleesi, who is presented before Khal Moro as a captive of war. When she reveals her true self, she is spared, but also informed that all Dothraki widows must be taken to Vaes Dothrak to mourn their dead Khals for all eternity. Now there’s something we kind of saw coming, because there was no way Khaleesi was going to be allowed to just go traipsing back home – I had thought they would keep her captive, if Khal Moro had had a tribal war or grudge with Khal Drogo, or traditions came into play. It could have gone either way. Let’s see if she will be rescued. Or killed – no one is safe on this show.
Arya is still blind, and Bran hasn’t yet made an appearance, but the trailers look promising regardless. I think Arya is going to once again overcome her circumstances and come out triumphant to wipe the smug face off The Waif – with the staff the Waif gave her. (or…you know…die.) Also – Melisandre is actually an old woman keeping her youth alive through enchantment – unsurprising. She is a witch, after all. But that would hint that there are things she cannot do, or that her power is waning, no? (when I say things I mean bring Jon Snow back to life) Sure, she’s been seen without the necklace, but like I said – waning powers. Maybe because of the Stannis failure? I mean, she did sacrifice a child in Season 5…
For me, the most emotional part of this episode for me, with the highest stakes, is when we see that Sansa and Theon (Reek) have gotten away from Ramsay Bolton. Finally. Even though Sansa still does not appear to have developed a spine, the entry of Brienne of Tarth as her sworn protector gives me a little bit of hope that the torture will end and she will find someone to protect her because Sansa is not able to do it herself, clearly.
There isn’t a lot that happened in Episode 1; it was more of a catch up session, as Episode 1s of this series tend to be. Nonetheless, a few things are immediately apparent: the power balance is shifting, considering Tywin Lannister’s death and an apparent elimination of Stark rule; if Sansa has truly managed to escape from Ramsey, then the Boltons no longer have any say in the North, but if she makes it to the Night’s Watch, will they kill her to hide their secret?; and, something is definitely going to happen with the dragons, but under who? My bet is on Tyrion. He drinks and knows things. Be warned: the show runners have already stated that this season will spoil the books, as Martin has not written them yet, but the show runners know how things are supposed to end, so for the first time in a long time, the book lovers and show watchers are on the same – hehe – page. What did you think of Episode 1?