The sixth season of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES is something to get excited about. We have finally surpassed the novels and are exploring uncharted territory. Not to mention, we can stop hearing early novel adopters tell us how different and better everything is in the books. Gross. Maybe I’ll looks behind your back whilst you read the next novel (assuming it comes out) and whisper “Umm, that’s not how it happened in the show.” Sweet sweet revenge. I learned it from watching YOU Game of Thrones!
The premiere episode of season 6 basically served as a check-in with all the characters left and it set up the chess board for what’s to come in the remaining 9 episodes this season. That said, we were still treated to some memorable and heartfelt scenes as well as a huge reveal for Mrs. Meslisandre. We’ll get to that in a minute. There was a lot to juggle this time around and there is a lot of skepticism going around now that we has surpassed the novels timeline, but I can safely say this episode delivered and has me thirsting for more already! SO mission accomplished!
Let’s start with the big dead elephant in the room that is Jon Snow. Last we saw him he was being gutted by the top dawgs at Castle Black because they didn’t like how he rebelled against his code and let those damn Wildlings through the gates! Blasphemy! And NO, he didn’t just crawl under a dumpster ala Glenn, he’s pretty fucking dead still. But of course magic is abound, White Walkers are close, and that damn Dire Wolf is up to something I just know it. So he will likely be back in the very near future, but just how he will come back and in what form remains to be seen. Let the speculation begin. Me? I place my money on bad ass White Walker. We also see Davos and pals reluctantly team up with Meslisandre since they pretty much have to if they want to survive the night in Castle Black. Things really went sour quick in there.
And it looks like old Theon and Sansa survived that huge ass jump. But they soon get hunted down only to be saved by Brienne who is one loyal ass bodyguard. She got a chance to redeem her misdeeds from last season and finally got the “meat and mead” pledge she always wished for. It was a heartfelt moment and it made me realize how much I care about Brienne even though she took out my favorite character, The Hound. Damn you!
Throughout the episode we get a few shorter check-ins with some key players just so we know they will be getting their due at some point this season. Arya’s now become a blind beggar and is constantly being traumatized by a lady from the House of Black and White which seems to be some sort of twisted trial. Cersei is all cleaned up and reunites with Jamie only to have to suffer the loss of her daughter Myrcella. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes of Dorne take control and kill Doran Martell for his weakness. Tyron and Varys walk the streets bantering as they discuss their next move in the absence of Daenerys. And Jonah and Daario continue their search for Daenerys has we see Jorah admit his love for her, find her purposefully dropped ring, and discover that his poisonous wound is getting worse by the day. Which leads us to Daenerys herself who is once again captured by the Dothraki with her dragons nowhere in sight to save her.
All of these storylines are intriguing and show promise so far. Now I’m ready to sit with some of these characters for more than a few scenes and really get into the story. The herd has been thinned a bit this season which hopefully means there will be more focus and a less watered down feeling at the end of the day. Oh, I almost forgot! The most powerful scene in this episode by far was the reveal that Meslisandre is not the young and vibrant woman we thought she was. But rather, when she takes off her enchanted necklace, she reverts to a decrepit old hag who looks like she could be thousands of years old. Damn! It was a perfect way to end this premiere episode and really did give rise to a lot of speculation and water cooler talk.
Premiere episodes are hard. Sure this felt more like we were just checking in on the crew, but dammit it was fun, intriguing, and full of a number of great scenes. Brienne’s vow and Meslisandre’s transformation were worth the price of admission alone and were quite effective! The stage has been set for a promising new season in uncharted waters. I’m excited to see what HBO has up their sleeve for this season and next Sunday can’t come soon enough.
Final Score: 9 out of 10