“I can’t speak for the flames, but he’s gone,” Ser Davos Seaworth said to Melisandre in the beginning of the “Game of Thrones” season six premier. Seaworth finds Jon Snow where we left him at the end of the season five finale, dead and showing not even a glimmer of life. The question all off-season was whether or not the bastard of Winterfell and Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch would make a return. So far, Snow’s fans have been disappointed. I know there are a lot of angsty viewers out there, but I think patience, especially during a season premiere, is crucial. If they start to string us along too much with the shows return, then I’ll get impatient, but as of right now I don’t expect him to return –if he does return at all- until later in the season.
There are so many plots to this show that George R.R. Martin, author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, could arguably be called a miracle worker. Actively following the show’s epic storyline requires dedication from viewers, which is a testament to its brilliance. Numerous subplots make it difficult to really lay the groundwork for a season. However, this first episode of season six, entitled “The Red Woman,” after the fire priestess Melisandre, had a decent mixture of excitement and table setting that has become a signature aspect of “Game of Thrones” premieres.
Most exciting was seeing Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy finally escape from a character whom I personally believe has long overstayed his usefulness: Ramsay Bolton. I like his father, Roose Bolton much more! Brienne of Tarth discovers a newfound purpose in season six when she saves Stark, redeeming herself after the tragic death of Lady Catelyn Stark at the “Red Wedding,” in season three. The joining together of Brienne and her faithful squire, Podrick Payne, with Stark and Greyjoy was a particularly hopeful scene. Brienne, Payne, Greyjoy and Stark (plus half the show) are out for revenge. I’m looking forward to it.
Dorne continues to be the bane of my existence. I liked the Sand Snakes, the bastard daughters of Prince Oberyn Martell, in the books because their actions somewhat made sense, even if the plot lines in Dorne were twisting and turning to a perceivable nowhere. Here though, we find terrible writing, equally terrible acting and questionable motives. What exactly do the Sand Snakes want? Did they kill Princess Myrcella Lannister, Prince Trystane Martell and his father, Prince Doran Martell, all to avenge their own father who was brutally killed by Ser Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane during a trial by combat (demanded by none other than Tyrion ‘The Imp’ Lannister) in season four? I know there’s a master plan coming, but I’d rather skip everything about the Dornish Sand Snakes and move on to the plan. For now, I’ll have to tolerate the unbearably cheesy dialogue.
Daenerys Targaryen, the “Mother of Dragons,” is also among the lonely “Game of Thrones” band. Since season four, she has either been attempting to rule Meereen, one of several cities she conquered on Slavers’ Bay, or dreaming of Westeros, a land she has been a stranger to since her birth upon the ship carrying her to safety during the rebellion led by the late King Robert Baratheon, earning her the nickname of Daenerys “Stormborn.” During season five’s finale, one of Targaryen’s three dragons, the black-scaled Drogon, finally returned after an extensive absence, to rescue Targaryen in the midst of an attack by the “Sons of the Harpy,” an underground insurgency group fighting her rule. Now a prisoner of the Dothraki horse lords, Targaryen is farther from obtaining the Iron Throne than ever.
I am confident that all will be resolved, but without the guidance of Martin’s books, as the next novel in the series, “The Winds of Winter,” has yet to reach publication, it’s looking like show creators D. B. Weiss and David Benioff are still trying to find their way.
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a show defined by its plot twists. While Melisandre turning out to be a centuries-old woman when her powers are unused surprised me, it does make complete sense, considering her adamant insistence that things are not always as they seem. The odds that she will be the one to raise Snow from the dead are getting higher. With this type of power, “The Red Woman” should be able to do the trick and deliver to us Azor Ahai, a legendary figure in the faith of R’hllor, the Lord of Light.
Though I’ve made many criticisms here, I would like to clarify that this is my favorite television show ever. While “The Wire,” takes a close second, “Game of Thrones,” undoubtedly takes first place in my heart. Tremendous characters, wild plot twists and stunning action sequences hold “Game of Thrones” together. We have a lot to look forward to this season, especially with Snow, Bran Stark and the three-eyed raven, the possibility of a Clegane Bowl, Tyrion Lannister and Varys (the best power duo ever) ruling Meereen, Cersei Lannister out for revenge and possibly much more.