'Game of Thrones' season 6 premiere recap: 'The Red Woman'
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Last season on Game of Thrones, we were left with such an indelible image to haunt us for about a year. Jon Snow was splayed out on the ground of Castle Black, after a mutiny by his own brothers in the Night's Watch caused his blood to freely flow and taint the white snow.
As has been the case for several times in this grand but ruthless piece of television, the scene quickly cut to the credits, but the season 5 finale left some more loose ends that kept everyone talking. (READ: 'Game of Thrones': 5 big questions for season 6)
While winter comes with a great sinister threat, the fates of characters such as Daenerys Targaryen, Sansa Stark, Cersei Lannister and more are rendered uncertain by an abrupt end to the last season.
Watch the season 5 recap below:
Now, the wait is over. The first episode of Game of Thrones' new season has wasted no time to pick up from the cliffhangers.
The premiere is conspicuously titled "The Red Woman," in what seems to be a reference to the red priestess Melisandre. Its official synopsis reads, as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter: "Jon Snow is dead. Daenerys meets a strong man. Cersei sees her daughter again."
It's time to put a rest to the speculations, and just see what went on in Game of Thrones' return to our screens on Monday, April 25 (Sunday, April 24 in the US).
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We shall approach this recap by location:
In last season's finale, Jon himself described their ill-fated mission in Hardhome, north of the Wall, to Samwell Tarly: "The first Lord Commander in history to sacrifice the lives of sworn brothers to save the lives of Wildlings."
At the conclusion of last season's finale, Jon's own brothers in the Night's Watch repeatedly stabbed him – their Lord Commander – declaring: "For the Watch." Led by First Ranger Alliser Thorne, they deemed him a traitor.
The episode starts right where we left off at Castle Black – the camera descends on Jon Snow's bloodied corpse, as his direwolf Ghost howls. Ser Davos Seaworth discovers his body, and takes him into a shed, where he and other loyal brothers lock themselves in and stand vigil over his body.
There, Melisandre sees the dead Jon Snow, but she doesn't carry out what everyone thinks she would do. "I saw him in the flames, fighting at Winterfell," she says of her prophetic vision, now seemingly squashed – adding more to her low spirits after failing Stannis Baratheon.
Alliser confesses his "murder" of the Lord Commander to the brothers of the Night's Watch. "We've committed treason – all of us. Jon Snow was my Lord Commander," he says. "I had no love for him – that was no secret. But I never once disobeyed an order. Loyalty is the foundation on which the Night's Watch is built, and the Watch means everything to me" he continues.
"Lord Commander Snow did what he thought was right – I have no doubt about that. And what he thought was right would've been the end of us. He thrust a terrible choice upon us, and we made it."
House Bolton, currently in power at Winterfell, scored an overwhelming victory against Stannis Baratheon's forces last season. As that happens, Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy (aka Reek) leapt for their lives from a high wall as they escaped the sadistic Ramsay Bolton.
We see them running across the woods and crossing an icy river – fleeing from Winterfell for their lives. A few Bolton bannermen and their hounds find them in the middle of their high-speed escape.
But suddenly, Brienne of Tarth with her squire Podrick Payne comes to save the day. This is Sansa's long-awaited rescue, just as the erstwhile Kingsguard of Renly Baratheon has sworn to her mother, Catelyn. She kneels before Sansa to swear her loyalty and offer her services once again. She kneels before Sansa to swear her loyalty and offer her services once again.
Meanwhile, Ramsay briefly mourns his lover, Myranda, who was thrown to her death by Theon as they made their big escape.
"Without Sansa, you won't be able to produce an heir, and without an heir…" Roose Bolton tells Ramsay of the consequences of Sansa's escape.
Cersei Lannister endured walking through the streets of King's Landing – naked – from the Great Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep in her walk of atonement.
The overzealous Faith Militant and the High Sparrow had forced her to confess to very grave sins – at the very least, she admits her adultery against her then husband, Ser Robert Baratheon. She did this, as she wanted to just see her son, King Tommen.
Now, she finds out that her daughter with Jaime, Myrcella has been poisoned. Totally in despair and inconsolable, she imagines how her daughter rots away as a corpse. She also desponds that a prophecy told to her as a young child has come true.
However, Jaime assures Cersei, "We're the only ones who matter and everything they've taken from us we're going to take back and more."
Margaery Tyrell, who was arrested by the Faith Militant too, is forced to confess by Septa Unella. She demands to see her brother, Loras.
Ellaria Sand has been hell-bent on avenging the death of her lover, Oberyn Martell, who was slain in by the bare hands of Ser Gregor Clegane, aka the Mountain in season 4 – head blown up like a watermelon and all.
But Oberyn's brother, Doran, the ruling Prince of Dorne and Lord of Sunspear, denied Ellaria and her lover's bastard daughters – the so-called Sand Snakes – of epic vengeance through war against the Lannisters. Naturally, they rebelled, which turned their relationship with Doran even more icy – at one point, the Sand Snakes were even imprisoned.
Last season, Ellaria was forced to swear her fealty to Doran and end their rebellion – lest she be put to death.
Ellaria and Doran talk about Oberyn, and just as that happens, a message arrives to inform the Lord of Sunspear that Myrcella has died.
Tyene Sand quickly brings down Areo Hotah, the captain of the Martell guard, and Ellaria quickly stabs Doran in cold blood.
"Oberyn Martell, butchered, and you did nothing. You're not a Dornish man. You're not our prince," Ellaria tells Doran as he chokes on his blood. "Weak men will never rule again."
Trystane, who was previously happily betrothed to Myrcella, gets swiftly skewered through the head by Obara Sand.
After Drogon swept Daenerys away and flew up north, we found her surrounded by a massive khalasar whose seemed anything but welcoming and hospitable, especially for the Khaleesi and widow of Khal Drogo.
In the aftermath of this, Tyrion Lannister and Varys discuss the volatile situation in Meereen after Daenerys Targaryen had escaped the uprising of the insurgent Sons of the Harpy at the fighting pits.
"Fear has brought Meereen to a standstill. Wherever you are, wherever you go, someone in this city wants to murder you," Tyrion says. "We can't fight an enemy we don't know."
They see that swathes of the city are up in flames. "We won't be sailing to Westeros any time soon," says Tyrion.
Meanwhile, Daario Naharis and Ser Jorah Mormont search for Daenerys in the middle of the Dothraki sea. They discover what just happened to her as Jorah picks up a ring that Dany had deliberately dropped as a trail.
The scene shifts to a sandy path on the way to the great Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak. While the bloodriders are riding on their mighty steeds, Daenerys is on foot, whipped like a slave as a pair of warriors discuss how they'd want to have their way with her.
Upon arriving at the city, she meets Khal Moro (Joseph Naufahu). Daenerys stands her ground and proclaims her title in "You are nobody, the millionth of your name," he tells her. "Queen of Nothing."
"I was wife to Khal Drogo, son of Khal Bharbo," Dany reveals in Dothraki, and they lay their hands off her. "It is forbidden to lie with a Khal's widow," Khal Moro replies just as he frees her. Dany tries to bargain that she be taken back to Meereen in exchange for a thousand horses for Moro's khalasar.
"When a Khal dies, there is only one place for her Khaleesi," Khal Moro replies – at the temple in Vaes Dothrak with the Dosh Khaleen, the widows of other Khals.
Arya Stark had to pay a heavy debt for taking revenge into her own hands. As she is in the service of the House and Black and White, Arya was punished by Jaqen H'ghar and rendered blind.
We see the once feisty and brave young Stark taking begging for alms and taking a horrible beating from Jaqen in the guise of the waif.
The Wall, part 2
Alliser demands Davos to surrender with Jon's corpse in exchange for the latter's freedom.
"We don't need to make it easy for them," Davos tells the loyal brothers, adding that Melisandre might help them against 40-ish men.
We last saw Melisandre marching into Castle Black on horseback – but it was anything but a majestic entrance. The red priestess was despondent, fresh off the shattering defeat of Stannis Baratheon at the hands of the Boltons.
This time, we get an even bigger shocker from the red priestess of the Lord of Light. The once voluptuous woman disrobes and removes her necklace to reveal a shriveled, frail figure of an aged woman. By its sorcery, she appears much younger than what she really is: hundreds of years old.
The episode ends, and Jon Snow is still dead.
What are your thoughts about the season 6 premiere? Let us know in the comments! – Rappler.com