Game Of Thrones S6Ep1 The Red Woman Review
Finally Game Of Thrones is back for a new season. I am starting to think there was no life before this show aired. The first episode of season 6, The Red Woman, is not show’s best, but when it is good it is very good. Read my overview/reap/review to decide for yourself if you should watch this show. Though you will never convince me you aren’t already.
The episode begins right were it ended. Ser Daavos finds the body of Jon in the courtyard. With a few of Jon’s loyalist he take sit inside. Alistair Thorne meanwhile rallies the rest of the watch around him as Edd leaves to ask the Wildlings for help. Thorne delivers an ultimatum to Ser Daavos and the others, but it is Melisandre who grabs the audience when she starts to contemplate her mistakes. In the last scene of the episode she undresses in front of a mirror and undoes the magic that has kept her youthful. The now aged Melisandre slips into bed, her future role on the show uncertain. To me the Melisandre reveal seemed justified. For too long questions surrounding her have remainder unanswered. What are her exact intentions. How powerful is she? With her failure to see Jon Snow as the true Azor Ahai there should be consequences.
Ramsay has smashed Stannis’s army, but his body was not revealed which could lead to many annoying fan reactions. Back at Winterfell Roose berates Ramsay for letting Sansa escape. Ramsay vows to capture her and Roose reminds him he has to succeed or else he will no longer be heir to Winterfell. Roose continue that by having Ramsay marry Sansa he committed to treason. A Lannister army marching north is thus not out of the question. Meanwhile Sansa and Theon make their escape across the frozen lands of the North. Ultimately they are cornered by Bolton men before they are rescued by Brienne and Podrick. Podrick swears her loyalty Sansa, though I am unsure where the story goes from here as at one stage both Brienne and Pod will be in the Riverlands. Yet I am relieved Sansa is safe, for now.
Cersei is the unwelcome recipient of Myrcella’s body. In a powerful scene with Jaime she tells her of the prophecy made by the witch in her youth. Jaime tells her it won’t be fulfilled and convinces her they will have revenge on all that have taken from them. Meanwhile The High Sparrow has a brief talk with Margaery who doe snot admit to any wrong doing though does state she is not completely pure. Meanwhile, in another pointless death Game of Thrones style Trystane is cornered by Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Nymeria (Jessica Henwick). After they declare their intent to kill him, Trystane tries to fight Nymeria, but is killed by a spear to the back of the head by Obara.
I mentioned that few Game Of Thrones season premieres have been fantastic. Yet, events in Dorne are the result of just dreadful writing. After Trystane’s death in King’s Landing the last thing this show needed was the death of Prince Doran and his aide Areo Hotah. Two great characters from the books were snuffed out for no reward to the audience. Season 5 had barely managed to introduce them, but both seem interesting and were played by Alexander Siddig and DeObia Oparei with skill. Dorne is over as a storyline. The only thing left is for Ellaria, her sandsnakes and the Dornish army to march north and fight House Lannister. Anything else would just be a let down.
In Meereen Tyrion and Varys walk the streets unguarded. Thesy contemplate how to control a city besieged by unknown assassins. Tyrion reminisces how the attack in the fighting pit was organized and Varys vows his littlebirds will find the leaders of the Sons Of The Harpy. After watching a service of a red priest they are confronted with the burning of the Meerenese fleet at anchor in the harbor. The time spent in Meereen but this season has only just started.
Little time is spent in Braavos. Presumably Lord Tyrell is sailing back to King’s Landing. Meanwhile we see a blinded Arya begging in the streets. The Waif (Faye Marsay) arrives and challenges her to a fight with wooden polearms. Arya fails miserably due to her blindness, and the Waif promises that she will return tomorrow. Following Arya around has never been my favorite storyline. I can only hope this season will focus more on Jaqen H’ghar and the Faceless assassins.
North of Meereen Ser Jorah and Daario still search for Dany. Jorah has kept his illness from Daario, but at least they found out where Dany landed with her dragon. Meanwhile a captured Dany has to deal with the scorn of the Dothraki riders. Not until she is presented to Khal Moro does she reveal she speak their language. The Khal’s wives are keen for her to be killed, but Moro ignores them. When Dany reveals she is Khal Drogo’s widow Moro tells her she has to live out her live in the temple at Vaes Dothrak. So far, there is little to suggest that Dany is any closer to Westeros and the Iron Throne.
No season premiere on this show has ever been great. If you consider that there is a need to progress each storyline there is only a limited screen time for each. However, this episode ‘The Red Woman’ does some things really well and others just terribly. Events in the North are exciting, but Dorne is just a disaster. It doesn’t create a new dynamic the show needed. The pointless assassination makes it feel as if there will never be a resolution to this show. I am still excited by this episode, but only because I am interested in how Jon Snow will resurrected, the fate of Melisandre and events in King’s Landing. Show runners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss will need to work on the remaining storylines to keep them interesting.