Davos discovers Jon’s body and protects it with Jon’s remaining loyal men. Alliser gives Davos until nightfall to surrender leaving his only option of trust toward Melisandre who is seen alone in her room. As she removes her clothes and decorative necklace, she is seen reverted into an old crone, tired who enters her bed to slumber. Meanwhile, Jaime returns to King’s landing where Cersei is distraught to learn of her daughter’s death. In Dorne, Ellaria and her daughters murder Doran Martell and his son. In Meereen, Tyrion and Varys survey the city and discuss identifying who is controlling the Sons of the Haarpi as they discover all the ships in the harbor are being burned. Jorah and Daario find Daenerys’s trail that leads them toward a Dothraki horde. Daenerys is brought before Khol Moro who, once informed of her status as the wife of deceased Khal Drogo, tells her she will be taken to the place where the wives of dead Khal’s go. Arya Stark, still blind is begging in the streets and confronted by the young maiden to a duel with staffs. Though Arya is defeated easily, the woman declares to return again in the morning. Near Winterfell, Sansa and Theon are caught by Bolton’s guards but are saved by Podrick and Brienne who swear their allegiance to Lady Stark.
And here we are, one episode in to a world that all book readers now must sail blind as Lady Arya herself. It’s been extremely difficult to invest in every seen when the burning question still unanswered burrows through and through and that of course is whether Jon Snow will remain dead and how long until Melisandre inevitably brings him back? If the routine follows suit, then we’ll be guided through multiple viewpoints that bring us to the 9th episode where a great battle will lay the groundwork for the 7th season’s main story arc. It’s too early to guess on such a battle but there are early clues such as Dorne’s new leadership in Ellaria and the Bolton’s who wish to remain in charge of the north. With the white-walkers growing closer one can expect a massive clash with the undead, but without Jon Snow leading the charge against them, Alliser and the wall are simply put; screwed. Some interesting notes to dive into, but suffice it to say, it was a strong opening rightfully painting the picture of Jon’s supposed doom and then focusing briefly on each main character as each premiere is designed to do. Nothing too shocking or out of the ordinary save for Melisandre’s true visage of an old lady which could mean a lot of things, most notably a possible foretelling that she’s at the end of her lifecycle or that she may be putting an end to it herself.
As always, the shots, locations, and visual colorizations are incredibly diverse and thick with different cultures, weather, and storylines that prioritize by which scenes involve violence and which are merely pauses in one’s plight. One of the more amazing directions this series has been able to contend with is how much information and subtle hints they can produce within just a few minutes each episode. Every segment treats it like they’re the principle plot of the show and then through those layers we begin to understand the unfolding arc that threatens to destroy all the lands. Unfortunately it still feels like we’re eons away from that threat, but I do believe the skies will be growing colder further south starting this season.
One thing that I think is taken very much into consideration is how the exposition plays out and in this premiere everything flowed nearly perfectly with catching us up since last season with the exception of Ellaria dutifully explaining to Doran why she’s killing him. At no point did I think the scene was borrowing too much having to explain what who and why things were happening and to move things along as the fans want to see, that’s capital.
What always gets stunted is the progression of certain arcs that maybe one finds more interesting than another. What I don’t want to see happen is Davos stuck in a room with dead Jon Snow over half the season just to finally bring us to the point he gets resurrected. If it takes that long, then there’s something wrong here. The beats are essentially fine for now, but everything has to move forward and unfortunately it has to move fast. Jorah and Darrior searching for Daenerys might be the least plot fulfilling unless this place she’s going to really blows us away on expectations. Right now, Tyrion and Varys have a chance to really turn things around in Meereen, but it also has the highest potential to the most boring if they don’t interact with characters of note. Paired up, they’re amazing, but with only each other to play off of, they’ll sink relatively fast.
When Brienne and Podrick saved Sansa and Theon. The sense of urgency was almost palpable as Sansa was on the verge of being taken back to Bolton and I’ll say that my eyes were rolling in the back of my head with the cringe that we’d be subjected to more Ramsey awfulness toward his wife. Luckily that wasn’t the case and we have a quartet that could be one of the biggest highlights of this season. It was an impressive show of sword play as you can try for in the cold and laced in armor and for what it’s worth, it was a proud moment knowing how far Brienne as come and how Sansa is now holding her service in her hand. I think a lot of good can be done here and hopefully Theon doesn’t screw it up.
As loyal and able and pinnacle Brienne was with saving Sansa I think Davos gets the MVP tonight. You’d expect his nature to be drawn toward the “better” side of things as he has a great sense of decency and sensible morals. It’s when he realized that Melisandre was an available ally that really started shifting his desperation into untold avenues. With how he’s acted around her it’s amazing he even considered her an ally and neither of them even have a clue as to the resurrection power that’s needed to bring Jon back, which of course they’re toying us with for the time being. Davos isn’t giving Alliser the time of day but knows when he’s backed into the preverbal wall. Always count on him being one of the most resourceful people on this show.
Davos lingered on the spot where Jon died just long enough to warrant a clue that maybe there’s something for us to see or maybe for Melisandre to see. She needs to understand just who Jon is for her to really sink her power into him. And considering that state of mind she was in at the end of the episode I can imagine they were playing on the idea that she’s suicidal, having shown us that vial that could have been anything but it’s one thought of many.
For Jorah, I think he believes this will be his final act in rescuing Dany and returning her to Meereen as the greyscale is beginning to grow on his arm. It won’t kill him per-say but it will change him dramatically and considering his sullen view of things he probably thinks its a fitting end to his quest. Still, if Daario sees it I wouldn’t be surprised if he chops Jorah’s arm off just to keep it from spreading to him.
Surprisingly, we haven’t seen or heard one peep on a book character who so far has been trying to make an impact in Dance With Dragons and that’s Victarion Greyjoy who has been on a quest to find and kidnap Dany for the Iron Islands. Although I can see how that would get in the way of this plot where Dany is nowhere near Meereen. Still, it’s one of many supplimental characters they have decided not to incorporate into the series and that also includes people like Lady Stoneheart and of course Dany’s ‘cousin’ Aegon who survived. In any case, I can’t imagine many more new characters to show up and make a huge impact at this late in the series. But if they’re going to do it, they better do it now.
With Cersei’s attention drawn toward the death of her daughter and possible a revenge scheme in the works against Dorne, I can imagine the siblings driving their hate toward the sand sisters, but at the same time they have to contend with the Septa and all the “sinning” still waged against them, I do believe there will be yet another trial by combat soon and against the zombie-mountain. Should a certain hound return to battle him? This show never does what we expected it to.
One noticeably absent sibling on this season was Bran, who has yet to make an appearance since the end of season 4, and if book five gave us anything is that Bran is going to be a major player very soon. Hopefully we’ll see him rise by next week otherwise they’re saving him for a surreal rainy day.
8 out of 10. Fantastic as always with the visuals and the setups which promise a deluge of compelling storylines with the most interesting being Sansa’s new team and Davos shielding Jon’s followers from certain punishment of death. While Dany’s new trek into the Dothraki culture, what surrounds her and ultimately that country are among the least that I want to know about if I had to write the plots on a list of greatest to worst. They’re all interesting in their own right, but every plot that doesn’t deal with the threat of the white-walkers is an attempt to make us forget that they exist and will destroy mankind if they don’t join up. Imagine if Jaime and Cersei woke up and finally pointed their anger and ability toward the threat that matters. But sadly, we’re not there yet. Jon is still dead and no amount of fan outcry will bring him back any faster than the writer’s want. We’ll get him back, as soon as Melisandre realizes what needs to be done. Season six finally joins us all on the same page. No more division between the book fans and the show fans, we’re all one happy family now never knowing who’s going to die next. And it’s anyone’s game now. Thanks for reading.
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