“The Red Woman” – Game of Thrones Instant Reactions
Well, I guess we now know why this Game of Thrones episode was titled “The Red Woman.” Apparently, this is because the only major development we unearthed in this episode was the fact that Melisandre is actually an old hag and not a young seductress. Wow. Just wow. First, let me establish that I understand the value in season premieres such as these. With the premiere of Season 6 this past Sunday (I write this literally minutes following the end credits), the producers of the show touched on almost every plot line to remind us of where our characters are and what will happen to them next. Again, I understand this, as it sets the stage for the story to be told in the upcoming season. However, no one watching on Sunday was unaware of where these people were, and all of us only wanted answers. I had to wait almost a year pondering the fate of Jon Snow and I don’t even get a mention of resurrection?! Listen, I know that the writers of the show are going for the slow burn here; building slowly to the almost guaranteed return of Snow and revelation of “bigger picture” points so that the moment is that much bigger. Right now, however, I can’t help but feel a little jilted. I thought the episode was great, don’t get me wrong, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed.
Each week, I plan to give you guys my instant reactions to each episode of Game of Thrones, and also touch on some of the biggest developments that occur each week. So, after almost a year, let’s get into it.
At The Wall
We spent a good portion of our time at The Wall in this episode, opening and closing at this location. This was all for good reason, of course, as we all wanted to see what was going on with Jon Snow. Although nothing major happened there, aside from the confirmation that Davos and a select few of the Night’s Watch were going to protect his 100% dead body, we did get some seeds planted for a potential conflict. Clearly Davos and Thorne will clash soon, but we were also teased of Wildling intervention. Plus, we got the reveal that Melisandre isn’t what she’s appeared to be. Instead of the young woman, she’s actually an old and decrepit lady. Placing emphasis on her to close your show establishes that she will have some importance this season, laying credence to the various Jon Snow theories. For us Jon Snow truthers, this is good news, even if we covered no ground in his likely ressurection.
An Oath Fulfilled
The only other major development of the episode focused on Brienne and Sansa. I have to say, watching Theon protect and comfort Sansa during their escape through the snow was touching. We’ve come a long way in the story of Theon’s redemption, and to see him travel closer to the end of this road is very satisfying. Speaking of satisfying, Brienne finally fulfilling her oath to Catlyn, saving Sansa and pledging her loyalty to her, is a great moment for viewers. Needless to say, the Starks haven’t had a victory in quite some time, and this was a great way to give it to them. Seeing Brienne, Pod, and Theon all doing work on Bolton soldiers is fantastic and encouraging for what will happen with these characters moving forward.
Fallout From the Death of Myrcella
In King’s Landing, Cersei was dealt another blow with the realization that her daughter is now dead as well. In a moment of weakness where she believed that the prophecy she was told as a child was coming true, Jaime recommitted to his sister. While this is unwelcome for viewers, it makes sense moving forward to have Jaime struggle with his relationship with Cersei, especially once she starts doing some questionable things. In Dorne, the Sand Snakes made a serious play for power, murdering the King and his son. It’s clear that they have the support of the people, and their warrior mentality will spell bad things for Cersei and the Lannisters in King’s Landing. Seeing strong female characters like these take the reigns is a cool direction for Dorne, and they are certainly a force to be reckoned with.
- Now a prisoner of the Dothraki, Dany revealed that she is the widow of Khal Drogo. While this prevented her from being raped, she will now be carted off to Vaes Dothrak. Luckily for her, Detectives Jorah and Daario are on the case! Honestly, all of us are just waiting for Drogon to show up.
- In Winterfell, Ramsay is starting to see his potential inheritance slip through his fingers after losing Sansa. It’ll be interesting to see how the Boltons respond to all of this, as they usually play from a position of power.
- Is there anything better than the banter between Tyrion and Varys (I think that might be one of the five best things in the world that the Khal had mentioned)? With the Harpies destroying the ships in Meereen, it’ll be interesting to see what effect that has on things like trade and transportation. Things just got harder for our new government officials.
- Ok, so this definitely has to be rock bottom for Arya, right? Things are rough for our assassin-in-training, but it seems like her other senses are getting heightened. When she eventually gets her sight back, I wouldn’t want to be on her hit list.
Kyle Kirby covers TV for MFST. You can follow him on Twitter @couch_qb.