Game of Thrones: Season 6/ Episode 1 “The Red Woman” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Episode Overview

Game of Thrones returns in all its brutally violent glory with one battle and betrayal after another.

Episode Rating:
Maintaining

Review Summary

One of the biggest shows around the world returns, and mostly just reminds us of the state of most of the characters after the events of last season. But with us being 6 seasons in can Game of Thrones still leave us in shock and awe? Can it, minus killing off main characters, still be intriguing? It is all rather hard to tell. But for those not yet desensitized to the brutal world of Westeros, perhaps your excitement may remain. However, for those who long for political games and meat, thick, juicy, and well done, who knows whether we may end up starving or eat like a gluttonous fool.

Main Plot (with Commentary)

Oh, where to begin, where to begin? Well, let us perhaps start in Dorne for truly that was the only shock in an episode which mostly just reminded us of everyone’s status. In Dorne we saw the Sand Snakes, alongside their mother, murder Trystane as well as Doran, thus likely leaving them in charge. Their reasoning for these assassinations? Well, the inaction of Doran. His sister and brother die and nothing is done for the sake of peace. Which, yes, politically and physically there maybe peace, but in the hearts of the people, the minds of the soldiers who lost their charismatic leader and inspiration, there is no peace. All they have is this festering feeling, one which grows into hopelessness for the loyalty of the heart faces off with the loyalty to the king. Though considering how the guards didn’t move as both Doran and Areo were murdered, it seems Ellaria and the Sand Snakes may not have much issue with their take over. However, you have to wonder how this decision will ultimately effect Dorne as they likely prepare for war with the Lannisters.

Moving on, Sansa and Theon remain on the run, much to the displeasure of Roose Bolton who with the Lannisters south, and soon to strike, he needs a united north to keep them at bay. However, without Sansa, much less a baby from the girl, how can he secure the north? Well, it seems he may not for while Bolton’s men do catch up to Sansa and Theon, Brienne murders them. Thus finally fulfilling her goal after 5 seasons. Yet with talks of them going to Castle Black to see Jon, it seems Sansa’s life of horrors is far from over.

Leading us to perhaps the biggest topic: The Fate of Jon Snow. Well, as of now his body is dead. Now, if you believe that Stark family members can transcend their body and go into their direwolf, then perhaps he is alive. Either way you slice it though, the former Lord Commander Alliser Thorne is now back in control, pretty much has a “Sorry, not sorry” attitude about Jon’s death, and is pretty much ready to kill all those still loyal to Jon. One of which is Ser Davos and perhaps Melissandre. Someone who has a rather odd scene which immediately made me think of Tale of Tales. Reason being, be it because another prediction failed, she wanted to die, or see herself as she is, she strips bare and reveals her true self. One which is an old, saggy, and ailing woman. Someone vulnerable and we are left with the image of her going to bed. Now, whether she awakens is what we’ll find out in the next episode, much less if she awakens as we have known her or in her true form.

Things To Note

  • Queen Margaery remains in prison as she refuses to confess and even claims she has nothing to confess.
  • Cersei learns of Myrcella’s death and weeps with brother Jamie who claims the Lannisters shall remain powerful, and likely this means the battle between the King and Dorne shall be soon. After all, Lannisters always pay their debts.
  • Tyrion seems to wish to be a man of the people and demystify the commoners about his, and essentially Daenerys’ place in their new social hierarchy. However, with the people burning Daenerys’ ships and the Sons of Harpy still trying to win back control, it seems he has his work cut out for him.
  • Daenerys is alive and well, and avoids potentially being raped thanks to dropping Khal Drogo’s name. However, while his name saves her from being a sex slave, unfortunately it doesn’t grant her freedom. All it does is give her a ticket to a place where widows are bound.
  • Arya is alive, blind, and now a beggar. One which that wicked girl from the house of Black and White beats as seemingly part of her new training. However, it is hard to tell if this is official training or the girl just getting her kicks.

Highlights

A Reminder of Mostly Everyone’s State: Being that the show has an abundance of characters all treated as leads, sometimes we find ourselves forced to go a few episodes without an update. Thankfully though, the first episode of season 6 gives us a status update on everyone and while for some, such as Margaery, we remain unsure where her story may go in the future, for nearly everyone else we can see and understand what their next move will be. Now, whether they walk forward to victory and a miserable defeat, only the future may tell.

On The Fence

Desensitization: Death and murder, alongside sex and rape, are to be expected from Game of Thrones to the point making a Trigger Warning only seems necessary when things truly have gone too far. With this, so comes the questioning of whether the show can shock anymore? I mean, the main way the show keeps you on your toes is wondering if your favorite character may die, but with supporting roles being murdered for hardly a reason or why, honestly it makes most deaths cheap. So even with Doran and Trystane being murdered, what is there to do but hunch? After all, the Sand Snakes were a disappointment last season so all they can do is try to improve. In general, though, there is a fear that as long as Game of Thrones relies more on shock value than story, it is always on the cusp of falling over the edge. So with no books to lean on, you have to wonder if the toes are now gripping to edge of a sharp rock.

Collected Quote(s)

You have started down the path, but you have many miles to go.

—           “The Red Woman” Game of Thrones

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