Thoughts on Thrones – “The Red Woman”

Typically unsatisfying.

After waiting 316 days for another new Game of Thrones episode, I had forgotten that season premieres are typically unsatisfying.

There’s the obligatory check-in with most characters (no Bran of course) which only allows a few minutes with each. As a result the first episodes feel a bit stilted and don’t allow enough time for us to get invested with anyone in particular.

Starting off with everyone’s favourite dead traitor was an atypical move from the writers, who would normally let us stew over Jon’s fate for a few episodes. He’s still dead of course, as this episode is all about slowly moving pieces on a chessboard ready for later payoffs. I’m not sure what Davos is trying to accomplish – does he believe he can bring Jon back to life? What’s his endgame? I know what I hope the answer is, but I struggled to work out what his reasons were for holding a corpse hostage.

Glossing over the Boltons chatting in darkened rooms, the escape of Reek  Theon and Sansa was entertaining, if only to laugh at those who seriously suggested they died last season when they jumped off the walls at Winterfell. Brienne found time to stalk them both down after lopping off Stannis’ head.

Dorne provided most of the action this week, killing off two ‘characters’. The quick action earned some forgiveness after the long, drawn out affair of Season 5, but I groaned after realising that the Dornish will become just another group vying for the throne (or is it revenge, I’m not sure).

Always a pleasure to see Varys and Tyrion together with a cock-joke thrown in for good measure. I have to admit I was surprised to see a “Red Man” but was impressed with his snappy tunic/dress ensemble. I was not impressed to see Danny’s fleet on fire in Meereen – does that mean we will have to wait until next season to see Danny even think about heading to Westeros?

I don’t understand the capture of Danerys and what it means in a literary sense. What is the point of having her as a prisoner? My guess is that Jorah or Drogon (or both) will show up at some point and rescue her. Or she will escape/arrange her own way back to Meereen. It seems at this stage the show needs reasons to stop her heading to Westeros as the story itself is ‘not ready yet’. Perhaps this storyline will have a bigger payoff, but many people are ready to see her get into the big game.

And then lets not forget that brilliant final scene. The Red Woman turns out to be Incredibly Old and Not At All Red Woman. I don’t know if she pops the immortalising necklace back on if she needs to dash to the toilet or if she just does a short naked-alien dance across the hallway, but colour me interested.

Bring on episode 2, I’m already sad there are only 9 episodes left to go…

 

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