The Red Woman

by Ed Blackadder

(Spoiler Warning) We had to wait for the better part of a year to find out if Jon Snow was going to be somehow revived, but sadly, Lord Commander Snow would remain dead. I was amazed to find myself feeling rather emotional when the camera panned in on the still form of Jon Snow. (I’m also pissed at the fact that my daughter bought me a Jon Snow figure two days before he was killed!) The men loyal to their old lord commander are now faced with the fact that they too are wanted dead by Ser Alliser Thorne. Needless to say, Thorne has now taken command of the Night’s Watch, and intends to wipe out what remains of Jon’s supporters. But with the help of Ser Davos, Melisandre and Ghost, they may yet stand a chance of wiping the sneer off Alliser Thorne’s face.

With the escape of Lady Sansa and the twitching Theon “Reek” Greyjoy, Ramsay Bolton’s rising star is starting to slip. Lord Bolton strongly hints to his insane son that if he doesn’t recover Sansa, and if the pregnant Lady Bolton produces a son and aire, Ramsay’s future won’t be as assured as it once was. In a move that will surprise no one, while standing over the body of Myranda, who we saw die in the season 5 finale, a servant asks Ramsay if her body should be buried or burned, the “grieving” Ramsay replies: “It’s perfectly good meat. Feed her to the dogs.”

With Ramsay’s men and his vicious dogs in hot pursuit, Sansa and Theon find themselves trapped. In a better-late-than-never show of chivalry, Theon tries to lead the trackers away from Sansa, but they find her anyway. Just when we think we’re about to see a captured Theon flayed alive for his treachery, Brienne finally gets to come to the rescue. And just like she did with Lady Catelyn Stark, Brienne swears an oath to protect Sansa, to which Sansa accepts.

Game of Thrones
Created by
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Release Date
24 April 2016
Ed’s Grade: A+

The ship from Dorne carrying the body of Princess Myrcella arrives at King’s Landing, at which time Cersei Lannister learns of her daughter’s fate. Now that her second child has died, Cersei accepts that Tommen is also going to die, as predicted by Maggy the Frog in last season’s premiere. Bonded in grief, Jaime promises Cersei “We’re going to take everything there is” in a show of defiance at their current run of bad luck. Going by the season 6 trailer, this will include battling it out with the High Sparrow using Cersei’s new undead toy. This promises to be interesting. Speaking of the High Sparrow, Queen Margaery is still lying in the dungeon, as the religious nuts try to pry a confession of guilt out of her. Perhaps Margaery will suit having her hair shaved off. Or maybe Cersei will rescue her.

Meereen looks desolate as Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys, the two who currently running the city, walk through the streets among the starving citizens. While the pair ponder on how best to proceed with the threat of the Harpy’s still looming, Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis follow the clues left by Dany. The biggest clue to Daenerys’ whereabouts arrives when they come across a recently abandoned Dothraki encampment. Which leads us neatly to the Dothraki horde that have captured Dany. Thanks to her unusual hair, Dany is to be presented to Khal Noro as a gift. But when Dany reveals to the khal that she’s the widow of Khal Drogo, Khal Noro reminds her of what happens to khalesi when their husband’s die, leaving us with another cliffhanger.

In Dorne, Ellaria Sand assassinates Prince Doran, and while Doran lies dying, Ellaria promises him that his son will never rule. Nymeria and Obera slither out from the Dornish ship back at King’s Landing, where they find and kill their cousin Trystane. The Sand Snakes are out for revenge, and where better to get it than the home of their enemy. I was annoyed that we didn’t get much action from the Dornish last season, however it looks like they’re about to make up for it this season.

In one of the remaining threads still active from the books, a blind and homeless Arya Stark begs in the street. As she sits meekly with her begging bowl, armed with two sticks the other apprentice from the House of Black and White wants to fight. Throwing one of the sticks at Arya, the girl proceeds to beat Arya up. It’s clear that Arya’s lessons have far from finished, and that she better learn how to defend herself quickly, or face more of the same until she can. For me, Arya’s training is one of the highlights of the show, and hopefully the training will help Arya get revenge for everything that happened to her family.

This episode’s title, The Red Woman, is named thus for the final scenes. Melisandre has a huge secret, that’s revealed after she gets undressed in front of a mirror. As she removes her fancy necklace, her beautiful face and body is replaced by that of an old, white-haired crone. What exactly this means for the plot is anyone’s guess right now.

The season 6 premiere was as good as I’d hoped for, with the cliffhangers from season 5 being addressed, only to be replaced with new ones.