Last night was the season six premiere of Game of Thrones, entitled "The Red Woman." If you haven't seen the episode yet, turn back now — spoilers abound.
This season, I'm going to try to write up some quick thoughts about each episode the day after it airs. I won't get too deep into full-on recaps (you can find those all over the internet, and you've probably already read a few today if you're into that sort of thing) and will instead focus on what I consider to be each episode's best moments. This can be as many or as few as I want, and will likely vary every episode — today, it's four. I'll also toss in some additional observations that don't fit into the "best moments" category, which you can find at the bottom of the post. Onward!
4. Melisandre’s Reveal
Let’s start where the episode ends, which reveals Melisandre looking into a mirror, disrobing, taking off the pendant around her neck, and turning into an ancient old woman. There have been fan theories about Melisandre’s age for some time, and Carice Van Houten herself said in a 2012 interview that her character was “way over 100 years” old, and now that’s been confirmed. My question is: are we simply getting a glimpse of a nightly ritual here, or is this an act of giving up for the Red Priestess? After all, she misinterpreted her visions about Stannis Baratheon being the savior of humanity, and she thinks she’s misinterpreted seeing Jon Snow fighting the Bolton army at Winterfell (something I personally think is still going to happen after he’s resurrected this season), so she’s in a pretty dark place right now. (She also burned a child alive last season, so that’s gotta be weighing pretty heavily on her.) I wouldn’t be super surprised if she ended up dying in her sleep as an old woman, leaving one of the other Red Priests or Priestesses (Thoros of Myr, maybe?) with the task of (hopefully) resurrecting Jon. The more likely option, though, seems to be that this is just how she sleeps every night.
3. Davos’s Siege
Ever the tactician, Ser Davos holes up with Jon Snow’s body, Ghost (poor, sad Ghost), and the few remaining loyal Night’s Watch members at Castle Black and stalls for time as Dolorous Edd goes out to secure the backing of the Wildlings. I especially enjoyed his banter with Alliser Thorne through the door about how he and the guys will consider Thorne’s offer and get back to him by nightfall.
2. Khal Mono’s List
After a captured Dany is threatened with rape by the new Dothraki horde, I loved the moment of levity that occurred during her meeting with Khal Mono. He rhetorically asks members of his khalasar if there’s anything better in life than seeing a woman naked for the first time, and they proceed to list off a number of things they actually do consider better; a deadpan Mono has to update his statement to include “seeing a woman naked for the first time” as one of the five best things in life instead of his number one choice. This may be one of the funniest lines in the show’s history.
1. Badass Brienne
After spending most of last season watching for a flame in a window, Brienne of Tarth is finally back on the battlefield. The scene in which she and Pod save Sansa and Theon from Ramsay Bolton’s hunters was terrific (“A bloody woman!” one guy screamed before getting absolutely owned), and Brienne pledging her life to Sansa was a great moment that hopefully indicates these two will be wrecking some sh*t together this season.
At the end of last season, didn’t we see Trystane on the same boat Jaime and Myrcella were on heading from Dorne to King’s Landing? I’m pretty sure we did, so I’m baffled as to how the Sand Snakes showed up there to kill him. And if we were meant to understand that he wasn’t on the boat, are we to believe that in between the events of the season five finale and the season six premiere, Jaime sailed back to the Dornish coast and just dropped off a key political figure that the Lannisters could use to their advantage? Trystane looked like he didn’t even know Myrcella was dead! And killing Doran? Ugh, Ellaria Sand is the worst. The whole Dorne plot line on this show has been a disaster from the start.
Was it just me, or did that speech that Jaime gave to Cersei about how they have to stick together and the two of them are the only thing that matter in the world sound awfully familiar? I don’t have time to look it up right now, but it seems like he said something very similar to her right after Joffrey’s death.
It looked like Theon was done for when the Bolton soldiers caught up to him, and I was wondering if his final act was going to be sacrificing himself so Sansa could get away. But it appears that he still has a role to play in this story yet. I know we’re going to see a lot of Greyjoys in action this season, and I’m interested to see how Theon factors into the rest of the show now that he’s (at least temporarily) escaped from Ramsay’s clutches.
Is Margaery smart enough to wiggle her way out of the Sparrows’ prison? I’ve always considered her a political equal to Cersei, and I’m wondering if she has her own scheme brewing or if she’s really as helpless as she seems right now.
If Melisandre takes off that pendant and becomes an old woman, why didn’t it happen when she was bathing in front of Stannis’ wife Selyse back in Season 4? Hmm…
What did you think about the season six premiere?