Game of Thrones: The Red Woman
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen the latest episode, then bugger off, seriously, you should know better.
Unsurprisingly, the season six première was a pretty mixed bag, mostly serving as a brief round-up of the characters that we remotely care about, along with the ones we don’t.
The episode kicks off at Castle Black as the camera swoops down on former Lord Commander, Jon Snow, sprawled lifeless in the snow. He’s soon discovered by everyone’s favourite Geordie, Ser Davos, who is quick to take charge of the remaining members of the Night’s Watch loyal to Jon. It becomes pretty apparent from the offset that the gang hope to gain the support of the Wildlings in order to confront Thorne and the rest of the traitorous bunch. Olly, I’m looking at you, you little bastard. Ser Davos is rather protective over Jon’s corpse, which certainly points towards the possibility of resurrection later in the series, but we’ll come back to that.
Sansa and Theon are on the run, with the latter seeming to have fully recovered from his personality transplant. I let out an audible cheer as Brienne and Pod turned up, because they’re bloody awesome. Brienne’s pledge to Sansa was heart-warming and I half expected a running embrace to seal their new-found friendship. However, episode three, titled ‘Oathbreaker’ could spell problems for the group as it is surely a reference to Brienne’s sword, Oathkeeper.
In King’s Landing, Cersei learns of Myrcella’s death, which was pretty heartbreaking after the look of pure glee on her face as she saw the boat arrived from Dorne. I actually felt for the woman, which is a feeling I’m not all that comfortable with and has built up since her infamous walk of shame last season. This only continued to develop as she spoke with Jaime about having made something so pure and innocent, especially in comparison to the likes of her first born. Jaime’s ‘fuck everyone who isn’t us’ attitude towards the situation is more reminiscent of his character from season one, and whilst I’m hoping he doesn’t totally revert back to that, it’s about time he took charge. He’s set to advise Tommen in the next episode, so perhaps the cowardly King will finally grow some balls and rescue his poor wife from the High Sparrow.
The way the events in Dorne following Prince Doran’s discovery of Myrcella’s murder were played out didn’t sit too well with me. Ellaria and her Sand Snakes killed off the Martell line rather promptly and it didn’t seem to gel well with the rest of the episode. I get it Ellaria, I loved Oberyn as much as the next person, but the Sand Snakes just irritate the hell out of me and I can’t see her being much of a ruler for Dorne.
Daenerys appears to be on her way to live out her days as a Khal’s widow, which she’s not best pleased about. However, I rather enjoyed Khal Moro (he’s no Drogo, mind) and it was interesting to see Dany knocked down a peg or two following her usual speech, referred to as the ‘Queen of Nothing’. Daenerys has always been one of my favourite characters, but she needs to up her game a little and do something, rather than stream off her ever increasing list of titles. It will be interesting to finally see Vaes Dothrak if we eventually make it there and I’ve always been a fan of the Dothraki characters, which was only spurred on by meeting Jason Momoa at the weekend, swoon. Ahem, now, back to business.
Elsewhere, we had a rare moment of emotion from Ramsay regarding the death of Myranda, until he decided to feed her body to the dogs. I also spy trouble for the new Lady Bolton who is pregnant with Pappa Bolton’s child, which surely gives her a firm place on Ramsay’s list. Arya looks set for a course of blind combat training and Tyrion and Varys struggle to keep Meereen intact. Lord Friendzone and Daario are on the right path to Dany and we continue to be concerned about Jorah’s stoney fate. Also, where the hell is Drogon? In my opinion, they need to finally release poor Rhaegal and Viserion from that bloody cave and maybe they can fly to their Momma’s rescue as well.
Finally, we’re back to Castle Black and Melisandre’s ‘big reveal’. It looks like the Red Woman is having a crisis of faith, she seemed genuinely shocked and pained by Jon Snow’s recent demise, claiming that she ‘saw him in the flames’. After putting all of her faith into Stannis, she was already teetering on the edge, particularly after having poor Shireen burnt at the stake. This week’s title initially had fans hoping that the witch would revive Jon with fire magic, but this currently doesn’t seem very likely.
At the end of the episode we see Melisandre shed her clothes, which isn’t an uncommon event. However, after de-robing and removing her glowing necklace, we see her true form which isn’t quite as pretty. Seemingly centuries old, a rather tired and melancholy Melisandre stares at her reflection before climbing into bed. There are plenty of theories doing the rounds online, including whether the necklace is what protects her illusion. This has also caused a debate over whether a scene much earlier in the series was a mistake, as we see Melisandre completely starkers with no necklace and remaining in her more attractive form. However, as the only character in the room is Stannis’ rather mad and faith driven wife, it’s entirely possible that Selyse does see Melisandre’s true form. So perhaps the removal of the necklace is merely a metaphor. That, or someone’s cocked up.
So, what’s in store for Jon? My favourite theory is that when his body is burned, he’ll be reborn through fire. Either helped by Melisandre and her fire magic if she gets a grip, or maybe he’ll do a Dany and his *possibly* Targaryen blood will work wonders, but we won’t go into that right now. There are other theories that Melisandre will give her life for Jon’s and even that she may be of Targaryen descent herself, with her glowing white hair, but let’s is face it, she might just be that damn old. Regardless, I reckon we’re a good few episodes off any sort of major development in Jon’s, well, deadness.
Do not fear, I’ll be back next week with a round-up of episode two, ‘Home’ in which we’ll see the reappearance of Bran, who I can’t say I’ve missed. For now, I’ll leave you with this humorous video of a few members of the cast coming up with lyrics to the title theme music. Ignore Sophie Turner’s attempts at rapping, it’s all about the fabulous Gwendoline Christie’s interpretive dance because damn, I love me some Brienne.