The Red Woman

‘Game of Thrones’ S6E1 Recap: “The Red Woman”

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The Red Woman




A bleak, desolate pan over of Castle Black + Ghost’s mournful howls in the background + a near silent courtyard, populated only by the body of slain Jon Snow = one of the best openings we’ve ever seen in Game of Thrones.

Before the second episode drops tomorrow, let’s recap an episode full of exposition, the return of our favorite characters, and enough awkward granny anatomy to take you into the next decade.

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The Wall 

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Sir Knuckles and The Knights of the Corpse Table

I have to give credit where credit is due:  I love the fact that the good people from the Joffrey of Podcasts referred to Sir Davos as Sir Knuckles (they also called Podrick “Biggus Dickus,” a nod to the Monty Python legacy).  If you’re finished listening to our podcast analysis of this episode, I highly recommend listening to theirs as well.

Enough about podcasts, though…let’s talk about how Jon Snow came back to li–oh, wait.  Nope, no that didn’t happen…yet.  But he technically did move…about 100 feet into an empty room.  Jon’s now comfortably lounging on a table thanks to Sir Davos and Jon’s remaining friends.  They barricade themselves in the room shown above for the entire episode, because Sir Alliser isn’t exactly down with anyone supportive of the former High Commander.

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Knock, knock. Who’s there? Winter (or so we’ve been warned).

They receive a visit from Melisandre, who seems really down in the dumps.  She’s lost Stannis, her faith is shaken, and her fiery crystal ball was incorrect: she had a vision of Jon fighting at Winterfell, but, as Sir Davos/Captain Obvious points out, Jon’s quite dead.

Alliser comes a-knockin’, and he delivers an ultimatum:  open the door, or the Night’s Watch will attack.  He’s already explained to his men why he had to kill Jon (George R.R. Martin told him to), and they seem to understand.  Or maybe George R. R. Martin talked to them, too, and told them to comply or die.  Olly seems fully on board with Alliser, looking very hardened by the recent events at The Wall.

While Sir Davos makes plans to convince the Wildlings to fight, Melisandre goes to her room to play some angsty Backstreet Boys songs.  She de-robes (she does this a lot), seemingly getting ready for bed, and HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THAT:

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Pictured: this is what happens when you a.) read in the dark, b.) don’t eat your carrots, and c.) don’t clap when fairies are dying.

It turns out that Melisandre has been shopping at some very magical Silpada parties, because upon removing her necklace, she transforms into an old, decrepit woman, reminiscent of Gollum:

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Both caused by a jewelry obsession. Look out, Green Lantern.

 

Winterfell

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Don’t you do it.  Don’t you dare muster an ounce of sympathy for Ramsay Bolton.  Yes, his lady-love is lying dead in front of him, loser of a head-to-head fight with gravity.  You almost feel for the guy, as he describes his first encounter with Myranda and how she was unafraid of him…and then he tells the maester of the castle to use her corpse as meat for the dogs.  Ah…there’s the Ramsay we all know and love!

His bad day turns even worse when his father, Roose, tells him that his wife is carrying another Baby Bolton, most likely a male heir.  I’m going theorize that Ramsay will come to blows with his father over this news at some point during the season.

Meanwhile, Sansa and Reek/Theon have survived their leap from the castle, and are high-tailing it out of Winterfell.  Unfortunately, Ramsay has sent a pack of men and hounds to track them down, and the search party is too fast for them.  Reek/But Now More-or-Less Theon attempts to sacrifice himself to allow Sansa time to escape, but he’s apparently not read a single word of Negotiating for Dummies.  Ramsay’s men quickly find Sansa, which is then followed by the most heroic moment of the episode with the arrival of Brienne and Podrick.

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Brienne & Pod make short work of Ramsay’s men (where did the dogs go?).  In a scene set-up since last season, we finally get to see Brienne pledge allegiance to Sansa in a very epic prom-posal of sorts.  This harkens back to when Brienne bent her knee for Sansa’s mother, Catelyn, in Season 2, Episode 5:

King’s Landing

Oh, the shit has hit the fan, and the fan is spinning out of control, and there is shit on the furniture, and Cersei is PISSED.

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Growing out a pixie cut is the WORST.

As with Ramsay, you almost feel a twinge of sympathy for Cersei as she buoyantly awaits the arrival of Jaime and Myrcella from Dorne.  She’s nearly giddy (as giddy as Cersei could be) standing on the banks of King’s Landing, watching Jaime’s Gondola of Misery pull into the harbor:

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He didn’t bring her back a “I visited Dorne and all I got was this stupid t-shirt” souvenir.

Myrcella’s dead, Cersei’s got an awkward bowl cut, and Jaime is just having the #worstdayever.  The siblings try to console each other, and we’re reminded of how they did that the last time one of their children died:

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What part of the grief cycle is this?

The duo seems to be reunited over this tragedy, and Jaime gives us an interesting look into the Lannisters’ path for the rest of the season when he says:

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Great Sept of Baylor 

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Margery’s still in prison.  So is Loras. Shame Nun keeps shaming, and the High Sparrow is still the amazing Jonathan Pryce. Enough said.

Dorne

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Queen Sassy Shasay is once again back in action.  Prince Doran receives word that Princess Myrcella has died, and before he even has time to process the news, Ellaria and Tyene murder him and Areo Hotah.  None of his castle guards intervene, leaving Ellaria to proclaim that Dorne will never be governed by weak men again.

Oh, and across the sea, Obara and Nymeria Sand murder Trystane, a la spike through the head.  Thought you should know.
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Meereen

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Everyone loves Meereen-land, except those blasted Sons of the Harpy.  As the Odd Couple, Tyrion and Varys, walk the streets of a very deserted Meereen, they reflect on the current state of affairs and the absence of Daenerys.  There is a brief comical bit concerning Tyrion’s rough understanding of the Valyrian language, but the laughs are cut short:  the harbor of Meereen is burning.

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Dothraki Sea

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Sir Friendzone and Captain Bro-seph continue their search for Daenerys, as Jorah’s Snake Eczema continues to worsen.  He is able to find Daenerys’ ring amidst a crop circle of Dothraki horse prints, confirming that they are on the right track.

Far ahead, Daenerys is the Dothraki captive of Khal Moro, who initially has plans to rape her.  Daenerys tries to use her 3,487 names to impress him, but the Khal is not amused.

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He, rather politely, explains that he plans to rape her, but surprisingly relents when he learns that she is Khal Drogo’s widow.  Apparently, Khal widows are off-limits in the Dothraki tradition, and Daenerys is saved for another episode.  However, she is told that, as a widow, she must live out her days in Vaes Dothrak, a secret village.

Braavos

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Arya, still blind, finds a new dueling partner in The Waif, who assaults her with a stick and claims that he will return the following day to continue her training.  No sightings of Jaqen, but then again, Arya is blind, so….

What do you think, Game of Thrones fans? Did you like the first episode of Season 6?  Were you hoping for more resolution on Jon Snow’s fate?  Leave your thoughts and theories in the comments below!