All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As you can tell, I’ve failed at keeping this episode/season specific. Onwards!
6.1 The Red Woman
I’m not sure if I remember Season 6 entirely that well but I remember not liking it too much until the last few episodes of the season, so this should be fun. Generally speaking, I think that Season 5 did a good job establishing new feuds or new characters post the massacre that was Season 4; and I recall Season 6 dropping the ball or straight up abandoning some of these. We’ll find out. I remember being let down particularly by the North, but we can get into that when the time comes.
Anyway, as the title suggests, the most revealing bits of this episode are about Mel- her abilities as a servant of the Red God, if it’s just one giant guessing game for her or if her prophecies are accurate, if the faith of the Red God is to be trusted at all, and so on and so on. Quick recap, last time we saw Mel, she had just murdered Shireen by burning her at the stake in the name of a Stannis victory, and then she abandoned Stannis when most of his men deserted him for supporting sacrificing Shireen. Mel went back to Castle Black for whatever reason, not speaking to anyone and refusing to acknowledge Davos or Jon.
The episode opens up on Castle Black, right where the Season 5 Finale left off- on Jon’s dead body. The mutineers have left his body outside and Ghost is howling something fierce to get to him. Davos is the first one who takes notice and finds Jon outside, while the rest of the Night’s Watch takes their sweet time finding their pants and shoes. For whatever reason, Mel is compelled to visit Davos and she’s crushed when she sees Jon’s body because she had a prophecy about him fighting at Winterfell. This plus Stannis are all signs that her visions in the flames are wrong.
Downstairs, Thorne admits to the rest of the Night’s Watch that they killed Jon and names his accomplices. In Thorne’s mind, he was protecting the Night’s Watch from Jon’s poor decisions- siding with Wildings, giving them lands and resources- things that would have turned around to destroy the Night’s Watch. I don’t think he’s entirely wrong. I understand how Jon’s protection of the Freefolk can come off as a poor decision when you’ve been led to believe that’s the enemy- especially if you weren’t one of the party who was privy to the White Walker information.
But hey, we’ve seen things from Jon’s side, so we’re allowed to side with Davos and Edd here. Davos advises Edd to arm up more men and hold Thorne accountable for his actions and Edd leaves to recruit Tormund and company.
Then, we get a glorious shot of the Bolton men guarding Winterfell. Ramsay has found Myranda’s body and just when we think he’s getting a little sentimental, he orders her body to be fed to his hounds because it’s fresh meat.
Meanwhile, Roosey Goosey holds Ramsay’s victory over his head- while it was helpful, burning Stannis’ resources and camps and all, it’s not going to do squat against the Lannister army. If Ramsay hadn’t acted so terribly towards Sansa and you know, motivated her to run away and all, Roose probably wouldn’t be in such a foul mood- had Sansa escaped maybe a day or two earlier, she could have ridden to Stannis and helped them pull a Trojan horse or led them to a tunnel or something. Or ridden to Castle Black and recruited Jon. Or written to the Lannisters and exposed pretty much everyone. Roose is aware; he probably just should have stepped in a little bit earlier. Regardless of how she’s left, it puts a huge hole in all of his plans for the future of House Bolton. If legitimate son Ramsay were to have a legitimate Stark son, people would be more like, “Oh yeah, that’s not so bad. They’re working together.” Without the Stark blood though, he can’t play the part of a legitimate Warden and it’s a good reason for some dissent among the Northern people.
“Kelly, just sto-” Let me hang onto the Boltons for approximately three nonconsecutive episodes and then we are done, I promise.
Roose lightly threatens Ramsay’s claim to the Bolton seat, implying that if he can’t produce a legitimate Stark heir, well, good thing he has another son on the way. A Stark heir would be ideal but, there is always another way.
On the lands of Winterfell, Theon and Sansa are getting as far away from the castle as possible- trekking through snow with a sprained ankle, crossing a freezing river to lose their scents. Theon’s all in helping Sansa now- if they were to get captured, it would most likely mean endless imprisonment and torture for them both. They rest for a few minutes, but it doesn’t take long for the hounds to find them again and Theon bravely goes out to lead the men the other way- but dude, they have hounds. They can clearly smell that Sansa is only a couple of yards away. BAD WRITING.
Anyway, Brienne and Pod show up just in time as Sansa is about to be recaptured and after a few minutes of disappointing fighting on Brienne’s part (I mean, really- she beat THE HOUND, you would think a few average-sized Bolton men are nothing for her), the Bolton men are dispatched.
Sansa turns and sees Pod and realizes he’s the one that’s been there for her all along- through her time in King’s Landing, and now he’s brought her a rescuer and a chance of protection. Pod realizes just how beautiful and strong Sansa is. They fall in love and move deep into the woods, where Theon raises rabbits and Brienne builds a fort around them- COME ON, D&D, THEY BELONG TOGETHER.
Sorry. I mean to say that Sansa and Brienne make eye contact and Brienne offers her services, laying her sword at Sansa’s feet and pledging her life to another Lady Stark. This time, Sansa accepts Brienne and it’s a scene that is highly reminiscent of Brienne’s pledge to Cat, yet with more meaning to it- Brienne is fulfilling a duty she has long sought and Sansa, after so much mistreatment and turmoil, has an ally that is honest and loyal. I’m crying, you’re crying, we’re all crying- we’ve just been waiting for these two wounded souls to hopefully heal together.
Down south, a shorn Cersei is excited at the arrival of Jaime’s ship until it dawns on her that Jaime is escorting what looks to be a corpse and Myrcella’s golden locks are nowhere to be seen. Lena Headey is one of the best actors on this show and she can transmit internal thoughts pretty perfectly here- her realization is slow and has such a natural air of denial to it. Extremely well done.
Apparently Cersei thinks about what corpses look like pretty frequently but she can’t imagine it happening to beautiful Myrcella- Myrcella was so angelic that she made Cersei believe that she was also capable of being a good person, or at least some sort of sign that Cersei deserved something good in her life. Cersei recalls the prophecy that was given to her by Maggi the Frog- that she would have three children with three heads of gold and she would watch them all die, outliving them all. This may be the moment that Cersei accepts the prophecy and that all of her children- including the still living, still breathing Tommen- are destined to die. Jaime promises her that nothing else matters except the two of them and that they will take back everything. It’s a familiar speech and something we’ve heard in earlier seasons- typically the empowering pep-talk one Lannister twin delivers to the other when they’re feeling quite low on themselves. Motivation!
In the dungeons, Margaery is hanging on by a thread and she demands to see her brother- but Septa Unella demands she confess first. The High Sparrow interrupts and shows Margaery some kindness- like a good cop-bad cop kind of thing, I get it. The High Sparrow is trying to get her to see the light and- well, you can practically see the wheels in Margaery’s head turning as he chants to her about piety and marriage-only sexual relations.
Over in Dorne, Ellaria kills Prince Doran while wearing a very un-Ellaria like dress after he receives notice of Myrcella’s death- but the ship wasn’t so far away! How is he just finding out about this now!? Anyway, apparently Doran’s guards have all defected to Doran’s side because they’re all still seething about peace with Lannisters some 20+ years after Elia’s death during Robert’s Rebellion. Ellaria states that Dorne will never be ruled by a weak man again- but then… who is going to run it… because she wasn’t anyone’s wife… and all of Oberyn’s kids are bastards… and… just what exactly was the plan here?
Trystane apparently wasn’t allowed onshore with the rest of Jaime’s ship and he’s busy painting the stones that are to go over Myrcella’s eyes- which is an incredibly sad thought once I realized what the stones were for. I’m sorry, dude. Somehow, the other two Sand Snakes (Nym and Obara) have sailed all the way to King’s Landing on the same ship without anyone knowing even though they were last seen on the same dock with Ellaria. The one I call Perpetual Frowny Face stabs Trystane through the face and- were they uh, planning on framing this on the Lannisters or were they just expecting to kill the leaders of Dorne and have absolutely no one in Dorne or Westeros oppose this..?
In Meereen, Tyrion explores the streets to gage how the people are feeling and what they think about Dany0 and some of them think she is just like a master. Tyrion suspects it’s the Sons of the Harpy, who apparently regrouped after straight up abandoning the arena, when he and Varys come across a Red Priest who is slandering Dany’s name to a bunch of former slaves. There are a couple of weird angles- through slats and window shades- that imply that someone (or multiple people) are spying on Tyrion, which would be so cool if that’s what actually happened. Instead, it’s just that Dany’s fleet has been set on fire so that she can’t just leave the city without the city dealing with her first.
Outside Meereen, Daario and Jorah find some of Drogon’s discarded snacks, the Dothraki horde crop circle, and Dany’s ring. Actually, Jorah finds this on his own since Daario is too busy rubbing it in his face that he’s the one who bedded Dany. And in case we forgot, Jorah makes a big deal about lifting up his sleeve to show that he’s getting worried about his spreading greyscale. Yup. Definitely a season premiere, this episode!
The Dothraki still don’t recognize Dany as Khal Drogo’s widow or like… the white-haired woman conquering all these major cities… so they speak some rude Dothraki in front of her, which makes Dany rage against men even more and the people and Dothraki traditions, which she apparently adores so much in other episodes. They discard of her in front of their khal, Khal Moro, and she declares who she is (again) and promises them a thousand horses if they bring her back to Meereen and WHERE WILL THE HORSES COME FROM? I’m curious. Moro doesn’t bite and he immediately sends Dany back to Vaes Dothrak when he realizes she is a widow of a Khal. It’s a Dothraki tradition that apparently nobody told Dany when she married Drogo or when he died- but she loves the Dothraki. Let’s not forget.
West of Meereen, in Braavos, blind Arya has left the House of Black and White and she’s begging in the streets. The Waif approaches her and whacks her with a staff, and Arya is expected to defend herself. Meanwhile, a bunch of people from Braavos are just watching this poor blind girl get the snot kicked out of her and don’t intervene. The Waif implies that she’s going to come back to visit Arya again- it’s another sequence of training.
Back in Castle Black, Alliser implores Davos to open the door and to grant him access to Jon’s body. He gives Davos ‘til nightfall to reply and Davos pretty much only has until nightfall before Jon’s body goes all blue-eyed. Davos thinks hard and suddenly has a thought that maybe Mel will be able to help him out somehow. I don’t think he knows the extent of her powers or that Thoros was able to bring back Beric, but if she can push out a smoke baby and pull some tricks with leeches, she might be able to do something useful, eh?
The end of the episode has Mel disrobing (her natural habitat is NUDE), including her hexagonal necklace- and this apparently removes all of her charm and magic, because Mel is actually a very, very old woman and not the Dutch hottie we’ve been checking out. Even before this, we can see that there is something broken in Mel and she’s lost all of the cockiness and glee she’s had in the previous seasons when demonstrating her powers. By the time she takes off her necklace, it looks as if she’s finally accepted her failure when sacrificing Shireen and- she’s just exhausted. Her life has been turned upside down, everything she thought she knew is perhaps proven false, and she needs a rebirth or cleanse of some kind.
And she’ll get it. The next episode up is: 6.2 Home!