(Series 6, ep. 1) Game of Thrones is back, and there’s much rejoicing throughout the land – at least that segment of the land which (a) has access to Sky Atlantic and (b) gives two hoots.
If you give two hoots and haven’t seen it yet, don’t read on, because it’ll ruin it for you (SPOILERS AHEAD!!!)
So… the big question on several lips has been is Jon Snow dead, as in really, really life-pronounced-extinct-at-the-scene deceased? Every indication currently is that he is. He looks quite blue – as anyone lying in that snow from the end of one series to the start of the next has a right to do, although the blood is still wet on him. Ser Davos and some Jon Snow faithful are holed up in a small room while Ser Alliser Thorne and his cronies rampage about outside. Ser Davos’s big plan is to use the scary weapon known as The Red Woman, but when we last saw her she’d taken off her special necklace and reverted to what could be supposed to be her true form – and she looks very old indeed. Has she given up on the witchiness? We’ll have to see.
Big “Hurrah!” moment of the episode for me came when Brienne of Tarth and Pod rescued Sansa and Theon from a handful of Bolton henchmen, and this time Sansa accepted Brienne’s pledge to guard her and keep her safe. She’s going to have her work cut out, as Roose Bolton has informed Ramsay that without Sansa and an heir, the Bolton kingdom might just be about to pass him by. Ramsay doesn’t like being passed by.
Meanwhile, Jaime Lannister brought the body of his daughter home to King’s Landing, and poor Cersei’s face when she realised Myrcella was dead was tragic to behold. She’s quite had the stuffing knocked out of her, what with that and the bad haircut, but Jaime wisely chose to ignore the haircut and pledged that they will soon have revenge and get back everything that was theirs – and more.
Little brother Tyrion had a quiet episode, wandering around with Varys to see how the poor folk are coping without Daenerys. She, meanwhile, got to practice her rusty Dothraki skills in order to avert being pawed by the Khal who has taken her prisoner. The good news is that the widow of a Khal is off limits to other men, so she won’t have to worry about being pawed or worse. The bad news is that she’s apparently headed for some kind of commune in Vaes Dothrak, where widows of Khals live out their days making horse-themed souvenirs for tourists (or similar). Daenerys keeps looking at the sky in hopes that her lazy dragon will decide to come and get her. She actually has more hope of being rescued by Ser Jorah and Daario Naharis, who are hot on the trail. They’d be even hotter if Jorah didn’t have to keep pausing every few metres to roll up his sleeve and check on the progress of his nasty disease.
Arya is still blind, but is having impromptu fighting lessons from a girl with a big stick. These don’t look as much fun as her sword fighting lessons with Syrio Forel, but we know that Arya is an apt pupil and will get the hang of it soon enough. She might get a few whacks in herself next time.
And Ellaria Sand and her crew of scary female assassins have seized the initiative in Dorne.