by Matthew Thompson
Game of Thrones got off to a tepid start with last week’s premiere episode, “The Red Woman,” but its second outing “Home” was very good and has me excited for what comes next. I thought after this more eventful episode I would check in with the season so far.
We’ll start with where the latest episode ends: Jon’s resurrection. I never doubted for a moment that Jon would come back. That fact along with how long I’ve been waiting for this moment having finished A Dance with Dragons years ago (that book left off with the same cliffhanger as last season) made his resurrection feel a bit perfunctory to me. That doesn’t mean I was any less happy to see it happen. I wasn’t sure how long the show would wait before bringing him back and I’m glad to see they did it so quickly. For the Northern plotlines to really get going, Jon needs to be back in the mix. Hell, maybe for the whole story to start moving towards its endgame, Jon needs to be back in the mix. So that is a big plus. I do think getting here felt a little sloppy. I’m not exactly sure why it makes sense for Davos to push so hard to bring him back. It feels like a convenient way to get us here that, but not one they properly set up for his character.
Now that Jon is back, it makes me more excited than ever to see where things go next. Will Jon be changed in some way because of the resurrection? If others brought back from the dead in this series are any indication, the answer is yes, but how? I would guess his death – however brief – would end his commitment to the Night’s Watch too. That is how the vows go. Plus… you know… his brothers stabbed him, so he might not be itching to stick around. Perhaps he will ride South to take Winterfell with a wildling army and the few brothers that had his back. How will the other pieces in the North fit into this puzzle? Will Ramsay – now in power at Winterfell – be coming for him first? He briefly suggested that plan before offing his dear old dad. How will Sansa figure in? Perhaps her arrival at the Wall, will spur Jon South. Maybe she helps in uniting the Northern houses for their cause against Ramsay and company. And of course, Jon won’t be forgetting the more ominous presence that lies to their North though I assume that confrontation will be left for the final season or so. There are a lot of questions now that he is back and I am dying to find out the answers.
Elsewhere in Westeros, sudden deaths abound. The Sand Snakes killed off Doran, Trystane and Areo Hotah, purging a sizable portion of the characters involved in last season’s much maligned Dornish plots. It was done in haphazard fashion – which feels right at home in that storyline – and seemed to signal the writers taking a mulligan on the whole thing. As I alluded to above, Ramsay took out Roose as well as Walda and her newborn son. Roose’s exit deserved a bit more time dedicated to it in my opinion. I’m not a huge fan of Ramsay as the show’s main villain at the moment either. He’s kind of like Joffrey without the fun. I loved to hate Joffrey. I just hate Ramsay. And then there is old Balon Greyjoy finally kicking the bucket after Melisandre’s magic leeches hinted at it so long ago. This represents one of the few storylines this season where I know where things are headed, but it also seems readily apparent that they had originally intended to cut this bit out from the show altogether, so I’m curious how they will work it back in.
With hasty resurrections and deaths moving things along in the west, I can’t help but wonder what Daenerys’ part in all this will be. Her move towards Westeros has been anything but swift. In the premiere, she talked her way out of being a slave into being sent to Vaes Dothrak to hang out with the crones. A positive step for her after being taken prisoner, but still a lateral one for her overall trajectory. Somehow I see her coming out of this situation in control of a Khalasar and dragons headed for Westeros by season’s end. Or maybe I just desperately want that. It is becoming increasing difficult to get her there the more this storyline dawdles about.
A few more things:
- Bran’s flashback vision thing was really neat. The Hodor sighting was unexpected. I’m really excited to see more flashbacks especially since it seems we’ll be seeing the ones I’ve always hoped they’d do on the show.
- I love Arya and her storyline in Braavos has been well done for the most part, but I can’t say I enjoy it as much as her material in the first four seasons.
- A couple of smaller scenes I really liked from this past episode: the Theon/Sansa goodbye scene (surprised how good that was) and the Jaime/Sparrow scene (I’m hoping they can get Jaime’s character back on track after the last couple of seasons).
- I figured the Dothraki would know who Dany was or at least figure it out a bit quicker.
- Had to decide not to do weekly reviews for the show this year. I’ve loved doing them the past few years, but I usually only have time for one post a week these days and want to be able to cover more than just Game of Thrones over the next couple months. I hope to check in with the show in some fashion with some of the bigger moments though.
After a bumpy Season 5, I didn’t find my anticipation levels for this new season of Game of Thrones quite as high as usual. But now that I’m watching, I find myself caught up in it once again. And with the books stalled out, I’m really happy to finally start seeing where some of these story threads go next. While the first episode left me wanting, the second was strong and perhaps more importantly has me excited for where the show heads next.
What have you thought of Season 6 of Game of Thrones thus far? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!