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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The wait is over: ‘Game of Thrones’ returned with answers in its season six premiere ‘The Red Woman’

    Still from season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

    “Game of Thrones” returned this Sunday with its season six premiere in true “Game of Thrones” fashion — meaning, there were plenty of brutal murders, cliffhangers and nudity, among other stepping stones laying out the rest of the season.

    The episode began with a return to the scene of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) frozen in a pile of his own blood. He is officially dead. With so much hype surrounding this, the premiere handled this with the simple announcement that ding dong, the lord commander is dead.

    There was an awfully suspicious emphasis on his direwolf, Ghost, throughout the entire episode, leaving fans with a prescient feeling regarding the importance of this wolf in future episodes.

    Read: Check out HBO’s comedy hit “Animals”

    Ser Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) wasted no time announcing he was among those that killed Jon, claiming it was for the betterment of the Night’s Watch. What’s the worst the Watch can do to punish murder and treason anyway — send him to a frozen castle where he is stripped of his name and all past commodities?

    The episode switched over to Dorne, with Prince Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig) providing wise counsel to the Sand Snakes. Do they heed his words for peace and patience?Of course not.

    Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) stabs him in the heart, claiming, “weak men will never rule Dorne again.” Talk about girl power. Of course, this will only lead to more tension between the Lannisters and Dorne. Who will win: the passionate Sand Snakes that seek revenge for the past, or a treacherous kingdom that is falling apart?

    Viewers learn the fate of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), as it is confirmed that a horde, not an army, of Dothraki took her captive. After a humorous argument where it is settled that seeing a naked woman for the first time is definitely  among the top-five most beautiful things to a Dothraki, Daenerys drops her clueless girl charade and reveals herself as the widow of Khal Drogo. This revelation doesn’t allow her to go free, as widows of any Khal must fulfill the rest of their days in Vaes Dothrak.

    It was interesting to see how her interaction with the Dothraki mirrored season one when she was first introduced to the savage culture. You can really see how Dany grew as a person, as she openly states who she is. She isn’t afraid of no horse lord — unlike the shy, compliant girl at the beginning of the series.

    And lastly, we have the reveal of the true Red Woman Melisandre (Carice van Houten), for whom the episode is named after. Instead of being the red-headed hottie we all have come to recognize, she’s actually an old saggy hag. Sorry, boys.

    Through this revelation scene, viewers learn the source of her power may not be from her own self, but from the glowing necklace she wears all the time. Could this mean that the fan theory of her bringing Jon Snow back from the dead is bunk?

    For once, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) was not the star actor of the episode. Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) showed a new horrific side to his monstrous character — vulnerability. Who knew that such a monster actually had a heart? 

    Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) shared his wit and humor as always in these dark, dark times. And Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), despite having a rather small role in the episode, exhibited permeable emotion in her performance when she realized her daughter was dead.

    One thing that did fall flat in the episode were the special effects. When Doran Martell died, it was so obvious the copious amounts of blood spewing out of his chest were fake. It just did not stop flowing. Arya’s (Maisie William’s) blindness is also conveyed in a weird way with obvious oversized white contacts.

    Another small factor that spoiled the quality of the show were the extras. At one point in Meereen, some rebels set the harbor ablaze as if it were an extreme version of the Boston Tea Party, and the bystanders were just jogging away as if out for a stroll.

    One surprising aspect of this episode was the amount of humor thrown around by characters other than Tyrion or Davos. The hardy Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and the rambunctious Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) shared a scene in which they slyly were sizing each other up as if on “The Bachelorette” competing for Dany’s rose. Even the Dothraki had dialogue that was something to laugh at, which was nice for viewers to see a nonaggressive side of them.

    “The Red Woman” plays out as many other first episodes of Game of Thrones have in the past — trying to settle huge cliffhangers while building up the stepping stones to crush all your hopes and dreams. The episode didn’t really have a lot of action in it, and was somewhat lackluster after all of the hype and tension it warranted over the past year. Hardly anyone mentioned the death of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), a major player last season. Bran Stark (Issac Hempstead Wright) has yet to make an appearance after a season hiatus, despite his position north of the Wall.

    I guess it’s not truly a “Game of Thrones” episode without disappointment and yearning to know more.

    Grade: B

    Follow Monica Kothe on Twitter.

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