Another season of Game of Thrones is back! Here’s what we thought of the Season 6 premiere, “The Red Woman:”
Davos stepping up to the plate: Davos’ loyalty to Stannis has been admirable, but now that Papa Stannis is dead (we assume), it’s time for Davos to find a new cause to believe in. Hopefully he can rally behind one that doesn’t involve burning little girls at the stake. It’s not exactly clear why he’s choosing to guard Jon Snow’s corpse with his life, but the fact that Davos isn’t just cleaning his hands of the whole situation is reason enough to cheer for him.
That’s So Ramsay: It’s no secret that everybody hates Ramsay, but Iwan Rheon is SO charismatic and his performance is just SO good that it’s hard to take anything he does with without making excuses for him. “He’s a bastard.” “He wasn’t hugged enough as a child.” “The meat IS fresh. He has a point!” When Ramsay finally gets his, it’ll be a long time coming. Until then, though, let’s at least admit he’s a bad guy we can enjoy watching.
Finally hope for Sansa: Sansa hasn’t been able to go two episodes without running into Fuckedtown. When Theon helped her escape in the Season 5 finale, we were only given a momentary breather. It was so relieving to see her finally given a break. She even cutely mispronounces the swearing in of Brienne that has her looking even more like the late Lady Catelyn. Even more important, Sansa is going to learn from Brienne that her sister is alive! Or was, recently. Oh, and big ups to Big Dick Podrick for leveling up as a fighter. He held his own for most of the fight!
The coup: Damn, the Sand Snakes aren’t messing around. The surprise mutiny was not foreshadowed, and although the show spent the least time on it, was by far the biggest thing that happened in the episode.
Revenge of the saggy boobs: So fellas, did the finale of Season 5 have too many floppy wieners for you? No worries – there are two perfectly floppy old lady boobs you can gawk at. With the new revelation that Melisandre may be hundreds and hundreds of years old, it begs us to ask so many questions about what this religion is really all about, the meaning behind the necklace, and where she stands now that she’s eaten some humble pie after Stannis’ annihilation at the hands of the Boltons.
Finale, Shminale: There is a HUGE gap in events between the Season 5 finale. What happened at the arena in Meereen? Did the Harpies just, like, go home? Why did the mutineering Crows leave Jon Snow’s body? If they were trying to show off the whole “traitor” thing, why run and hide after the deed was done? How does word of Myrcella travel so quickly? I didn’t see any ravens on that boat. How did Sansa and Theon walk away from the seemingly suicidal jump without so much as hobbling? It was especially odd since there was practically no time difference between seasons; things just… happened.
Punks of the Night’s Watch: It’s not a secret that a majority of the Night’s Watch are a bunch of wusses. The mutiny at Castle Black was only led by a few men, and all it took to convince the rest of the order that maybe murdering Jon Snow wasn’t such a bad idea was a half-assed speech by Alliser Thorne. “Never disobeyed an order” my balls. I’m pretty sure not murdering your leader is one of the most clear unspoken orders you could have. Oh, I’m sorry, boss. You mean I wasn’t supposed to shit in the planters at work? There was no rule against it.
Not a lot actually happened: These episodes are vital to the progression of the story. There was so much left open at the end of Season 5, and the only way to try to keep everything moving is to give every section 5-10 minutes of screen time. There was some major progression in Dorne, but it’s likely Game of Thrones won’t even revisit Dorne until the situation there marinates. Point being, when the episode can be summed up in a few bullet points instead of the “oh you’ve just gotta see it” that fans of Game of Thrones have become accustomed to, it could have been better.
Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things (Odds and Ends)
Stabbing, it’ll put some hair on your chest: This is why you need to kill off child actors before the season finale. Now HBO has to awkwardly show Ollie undergo instant puberty after stabbing Jon Snow. Nothing earns your place amongst men like stabbing a defenseless man after he’s already been stuck a dozen times. You know how old Olly is now? Old enough to get murdered.
National Lannister’s Family Vacation: Pretty hilarious how Jaime is just riding back with Myrcella’s casket with the windows open, advertising it to the world. Wait… did that ship just happen to be stocked with a sarcophagus already? Just in case?
Where are the adults??: With Tywin dead on the Lannister side, it will fall upon Cersei’s uncle Kevan to be the voice of reason in King’s Landing. If he’s a smart guy, he’ll go the fck back to Casterly Rock and stay out of the flurry of poo that is about to consume the realm. That’s not even mentioning how much fire is in Cersei’s eyes right now. Also, show me the petition to have the Lannister House words to be “Fck everybody who isn’t us.” Meanwhile, anybody in Dorne that was “meh” on declaring war on the crown has also been slain. And it seems that Ramsay is all about setting swords to Castle Black to bring back Sansa. Where are all the rational adults??
Modern day relevance: The Lord of The Light and the Red Priestesses are a great parallel to the spread of modern day Christianity. The aggressive recruitment in a land where religion has not really been a means of segregation, but we see it forming in the free cities as the citizens of Meereen try desperately to grab onto some hope in Dany’s absence.
A whole new Khal game: While it was underwhelming to see this new Khalasar be so goofy and, well… bro-ish, it was really interesting to see that Danaerys has found herself once again in the hands of a Dothraki group. She’s not the same meek girl she was before, though, and now she has a giant dragon nearby. Instead of being used to warm the Khal’s bed, she’ll be playing shuffleboard with all the other widows at whatever the Dothraki version of Club Med is. Yeah, right.
Hodor Hodors (Best Quotes)
“If you were planning to see tomorrow, you picked the wrong room”
“You’re a greedy bitch, you know that?”
“You ever fucked a girl with white pussy hairs?”
Who won the Game of Thrones this episode?
“The Red Woman” seemed like another prime example of “Who lost the Game of Thrones least” this episode. Things are going fairly poorly for our chums at The Wall, King’s Landing, Braavos, and Meereen. At the moment, though, it’s clear that the successful coup of Dorne has earned the Sand Snakes and Ellaria first place in this episode. They have poised themselves to take the reigns of Sunspear after it was revealed how much the people of Dorne loathed Doran for his perceived cowardice. That being said, they are way better at killing people than they are at leading – a parallel that Ellaria brought up right before she slew Doran, so their victory may be short lived.
Hush Comics gives “The Red Woman” a B- for bringing back one of the best shows in television, and continuing to surprise us. The characters have continued to diverge on their paths and keep fans on our toes. However, not a whole lot happened and instead we’re left with several bullet point updates of what could have been a couple very fleshed out conversations, especially with the coup in Dorne and the Varys/Tyrion exploration of Meereen.
All media belong to HBO, and are credited to Helen Sloan and Macall B. Polay