By Jack Rea
The wait is finally over. Winter has come! (In April of all months…)
Everyone will be pleased to hear that the action picks up mere seconds on from the end of season 5. A lovely tracking shot of the Wall, pan down to Jon Snow, yep he’s still dead… moving on. Part of me wondered whether the show’s writers would play a devilish trick and open the season with something like the Greyjoys on the Iron Islands just to wind people up, or maybe even a full Bran episode to compensate his sorely missed appearance all of last season. Well it turns out we still don’t get any Bran (Less All-Bran, more No-Bran) as the show bursts back onto our screens by taking every plotline from the end of last season, progressing it slightly and then swiftly moving on.
The end result? A riveting near-hour of television, but Game of Thrones has now become the biggest tease to watch. The problem is there’s just too much exciting stuff going on, which shouldn’t be a problem but it sort of ends up being one. Characters are given extremely limited screen-time always leaving you wanting more. The biggest example in this opening episode is going to be Jon Snow of course. Is he still dead? Yes is the definite answer provided, but there’s hints that there’s more to come. Us Jon Snow optimists aren’t going to give up just yet.
Elsewhere in Westeros, other Martells meet grisly ends in quick succession. Everybody’s unlucky in the world of Game of Thrones, but with Oberyn gone as well, the Martell family is approaching Stark levels of bad fortune. Speaking of which, Sansa and Reek are rescued by a badass Brienne, with Sansa finally accepting the help she should’ve taken advantage of the last time they met. Cersei finds out about Myrcella’s death, setting up what I imagine to be one of her crazed revenge plots. Arya is still blind, but now she’s being abused too. With Jorah and Daario hot on her tail, Daeneyrs is having little luck with the Dothraki, who agree not to rape her but instead send her to an enforced nunnery for widows. Meanwhile Tyrion and Varys are left to fend for themselves in an increasingly chaotic Mereen.
All of these plot strands (perhaps with the exclusion of poor blind Arya) set up a lot of excitement to come. We’ll just have to get back into the Game of Thrones way of having it drip-fed to us bit by bit.
And those who thought The Red Woman of the title meant a Melisandre resurrection, think again. It turns out that without her necklace she looks a bit like Gollum. I mean how is that supposed to help Jon Snow?
Jack is a third year English student and self-proclaimed Whovian who also enjoys film and live music. You can read his blog here.