As “Game of Thrones” returns, only two things are certain: book readers can no longer spoil anything for those who only watch the show, and winter is coming.
DB Weiss and David Benioff, showrunners of the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones,” are continuing the stories of George R. R. Martin’s characters without him. As the author attempts to finish the next installment of his book series, “A Song of Fire and Ice,” the show must go on for the award-winning HBO program.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the season premiere.
The series opener titled “The Red Woman” served as a refresher for watchers. Going from plotline to plotline, viewers were taken through Westeros, Dorne and Meereen to see where their favorite characters’ journeys continued. However, even with an hour to cover what’s happened since the season five series finale, not every character received screen-time.
One of the most anticipated storylines was that of the late Ned Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harrington). After a gory betrayal scene that ended season five, fans were left wondering about the his fate. For now, he’s still dead with Davos (Liam Cunningham) watching over his body at the Wall.
The hope that Snow could be brought back to life, however, is very real, because Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), also known as The Red Woman, is still at the Wall with Davos and Snow’s body. Davos even foreshadows a potential resurrection attempt, telling Snow’s allies, “You haven’t seen her do what I’ve seen her do.”
Back at King’s Landing, audiences are brought back into the incestuous lives of the Lannister family. With Cersei’s infamous “shame” scene preceding the season, fans now see a woman lacking the confidence she’s had in previous years.
Instead, Lena Headley, who was nominated for an Emmy for her previous work as Cersei, portrays the character in an almost sympathetic light to the audience. This is a woman who, despite all of her wrongdoings, has just recently lost two children. Whether or not Cersei will overcome her depressed state in exchange for revenge is yet to be seen.
Back in the North, Sansa (Sophie Turner) has finally escaped her captor Ramsey Snow with the help of Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). The two receive unexpected help from Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), who then pledges her undying loyalty to Lady Sansa. The scene is beautifully shot, including a battle scene for those audience members who may have been getting bored of all the dialogue at Castle Black and King’s Landing.
While Sansa and Theon have escaped their captors, Daenerys Targaryen remains with the Dothraki after her dragon Drogo abandoned her. The Queen of Dragons is sure to have one of the most entertaining plotlines for audiences as the season progresses.
While fans get extensive coverage of some characters, favorites including Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark barely get any screen time. Mainly, their short scenes serve simply to remind fans that they’re still a part of the universe.
Ultimately, even though the premiere leaves audiences wanting more, the sixth season opener did what it needed to do: it set the stage for episodes to come. Featuring a huge cast and one of the most expensive production budgets today, “The Red Woman,” although lacking character developments and intense action that fans have come to love, moves the material forward into one of the most anticipated seasons yet.