Game of Thrones is back!!!! It’s been nine months since our hearts were broken when young Olly thrust his dagger into Jon Snow’s gut “for the watch” along with the other members of The Nights Watch facilitating one of the most ultimate betrayals on the show (and we have had many betrayals over the years). Daenerys “Khaleesi” Targaryen escaped from the attack from the Sons of The Harpy with favorite dragon Drogo, only to be surrounded by a new group of Dothraki. Sansa and Reek went all “Bonny and Clyde” to escape Ramsey Bolton’s clutches. Speaking of Ramsey, he pretty much slaughtered all of Stannis army, while Brienne of Tarth seemingly got revenge for Renly’s death a few seasons ago and killed Stannis herself. Jamie Lannister had to get his niece/daughter from the land of Dorne, as it was not safe, only to discover she had been poisoned in revenge for fan-favorite Oberyn Martell’s death. Arya Stark was left blinded by the Faceless Men after breaking the rules and killing the wrong person. Cersei Lannister’s plan of shaming queen Margaery backfired as the both of them were in the clutches of the High Sparrow and his religious group. While the Queen and her brother remained in custody, Cersei was able to be freed after making the walk of atonement and all the “shame” that went along with it. Is anything missing? Needless to say, Game of Thrones has a lot of moving pieces! There’s a lot that fans have to look forward to with the beginning of this season. Many storylines ended on such drastic cliffhangers, that fans have been clamoring for this new season to start.
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS
In the North, we picked up right where the season ended. Jon Snow is seemingly dead. A coup d’état has taken place that ended with Jon Snow’s death. Davos, who remained behind at The Wall when Stannis went to fight the Bolton family, discovered Jon Snows body and the word “traitor” on a sign near his lifeless body. This essentially leads to a potential civil war brewing with members of the Night’s Watch. You will either be team Jon Snow or Team Alliser Thorne. It’s quite clear that Alliser Thorne has convinced many who might have been angry that he murdered Jon Snow, he gives his rationale and convinces many that he is right. However, many of Jon’s friends surround his body, along with his direwolf Ghost and are prepared to fight to the death. Davos, ever the strategist, advises Jon’s closest friend that The Wildlings would help in the battle out of loyalty to Jon Snow. After all, Jon is responsible for their safety and surviving from the White Walkers that are on their way, the least they could do is fight in Jon’s name as a way of saying thanks. Plus, Team Jon Snow also has Melisandre the Red Witch on their side. Towards the end of the episode, we learn a shocking new fact about her, and boy is it a shocker! Turns out underneath the necklace, and whatever magic she has, Melisandre is a very old woman. Her before-and-after moment was very interesting.
Elsewhere in the North, Theon Greyjoy (Reek) and Sansa Stark are trying to run away from Ramsay Bolton’s clutches. The sadistic former bastard has been on their trail since they killed his compatriot and escaped Winterfell. How they survived that jump more than 2 stories up without any broken bones, who knows? It seems as though Theon has broken Ramsay’s brainwashing and he’s Reek no more. He helped Sansa run and even helped her cross through that freezing river. When they could go no further, they hid in a tree until Theon decided to sacrifice himself for her so she could escape North. After all, news of Jon Snow’s death hasn’t reached them yet, so he thinks she’ll find safety with The Nights Watch. Ramsay’s guards find Theon and then find Sansa. Just as they are about to capture the two, guess who comes to save the day… Brienne of Tarth!!! Just in the nick of time, she and her squire Podrick come in and slaughter Ramsay’s guards. Upon ensuring that Sansa is safe, Brienne pledges her loyalty to Sansa.
At King’s Landing, nothing but sorrow greets Cersei Lannister. When she first sees the ship come from Dorne, she has a little bit of a smile, but it immediately turns into a frown as she discovers her daughter’s body. She and her brother are reunited, but they have lost their daughter in the process. Cersei points out that she received a prophecy when she was younger that she would outlive all her children. With Joffrey and Myrcella now dead, this prophecy is seemingly coming true. Tommen better watch out! The two of them will now bond together with the hope that their enemies will suffer and die for what has happened to their daughter. Queen Margaery and her brother are still in custody of the Sparrows. All they want from her is a confession, but all she wants his her brother. Will she give them what she wants?
In Dorne, another coup d’état commences. In the aftermath of poisoning Myrcella, Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes have enacted a measure of revenge against the Lannisters. Now they need a change in leadership. Upon Prince Doran Martell finding out about Myrcella’s death, he is greeted by a stab to the chest by Ellaria who informs him of his weakness. The point is further driven home because none of his guards did anything to stop his murder. The only guard that would have interfered is also dispatched before he learns what is happening. Myrcella then has The Sand Snakes kill his son Trystane. Young Trystane is promised a duel with one of them, only to be stabbed in the back by the other as he readies himself for a swordfight. Doran was the only one who could have prevented a war with the Lannisters, so it looks like there will be a Dorne/Kings Landing Battle in the future.
Poor Arya now is living the life of a blind beggar over in Braavos. Having killed the wrong person towards the end of last season, she was punished with the loss of sight. She soon meets one of the other people who was at the temple of The Faceless Men who then gives her a stick. The person then proceeds to beat up on Arya, who really can’t fight back. Her attacker then says she will see her the next day. Does this mean this is a part of her training and Arya will gain some Jedi/Daredevil type of fighting?
In Meereen, Tyrion Lannister and Varys are now pretty much the defacto rulers of this country. With Daenerys gone and Jorah and Daario off looking for her, they are in charge of Meereen. The two are political masters, and see ruling this land in Daenerys absence as a great challenge. They have to manage the Sons of the Harpy (who just burnt down the entire fleet and any chance of escape), those faithful to Daenerys, and those who have lost faith in her and want to do things in their own way. Needless to say, it will be a challenge for the two of them to combat.
Over in Dothraki country, Daenerys is now a captive of a Dothraki Horde. As she is held prisoner, she is reminded of all the things her former lover Khal Drogo did before she met him and helped change his worldview. Some of the Dothraki people make racial jokes at her expense, none the wiser of who she once was. When she meets the new Khal, she informs him of who she is and her many titles, for which he doesn’t care. It is only after she mentions she is the widow of Khal Drogo, does he then warm up to her, release her bonds, and make the promise that no harm will come to her. She requests a horse so she can travel back to Meereen, to which he informs her that the widow of a Khal is required to spend the rest of her life in the Dothraki capital Vaes Dothrak. Even though she’s technically free, she’s still very much not where she wants to be.
This was a pretty good season premiere. The writers are trying to establish what this season’s stories will be and where they possibly can go. A few observations:
Jon Snow did not come back from the death as many fans had hoped. Hopefully, he does. They shouldn’t have titled an episode The Red Witch if we don’t get to see her use some of her powers, especially the one where it can bring people back from the dead. If we do get Jon Snow back, hopefully, it will not drag on for more than 2 episodes. We’d be getting into Walking Dead “is Glenn dead” territory if that’s the case. It will be interesting to see the Wildlings come back and fight in Jon Snow honor. There will be some who are split, just like they are on The Nights Watch as well.
Why did the High Sparrow let Cersei free and not Queen Margaery? Of all people they would let loose, they shouldn’t have let Cersei run free and not Margaery. Give her a “shame” walk and then it’ll be ok. After all, she previously had the common people praising her. They wouldn’t treat her the same as Cersei, in fact, they probably would have covered her and forgiven her. Tommen will need to grow a spine soon. He has let his mother allow the High Sparrow to gain too much power, and only he can reign them in.
While many may think it was foolish for The Sands to take over Dorne and entice The Lannisters, it’s actually not a bad idea. The Lannister army has been fighting since the second season. They have fought each Baratheon army, the Stark Army, etc. Meanwhile, the armies of Dorne have remained neutral during the War of the Five Kings and are at full strength. If the Lannisters come for them, they are more than ready for a fight.
It was great that the new Khal didn’t care who Daenerys was. Throughout the series, she has really relied on her name to gain many of her success. It’s as though she is beginning to believe her own legend when she is in fact just one person. As she recited all her titles, he simply laughed at her. It was only when she spoke to her in regards to Dothraki culture did he gain respect for her.
Why doesn’t Jorah cut his hand off Walking Dead-style to stop the spread of the grayscale? If he continues to ignore it, eventually it will be a problem for everyone around him. It would really suck if he made it all the way to Daenerys, but now was infecting everyone with his disease.
Next week looks like it will be a blast with the return of Bran Stark who has been missing for a while year: