Sunday, April 24, 2016 had finally arrived and the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 6, “The Red Woman,” was on. The opening credits started and the theme song played. Never had I been so excited to hear music to a TV show. I felt like I had waited an eternity for the return of Game of Thrones.
“The Red Woman” was supposed to answer some of the fans’ burning questions from Season 5. Viewers were left wondering whether Jon Snow had really died when Season 5 ended. He was brutally murdered by his own “brothers,” fellow men of the Night’s Watch, in a secret coup. Also left hanging, was the Arya Stark storyline, which last known to audiences was that she was training in some weird cult (serving The Many-Faced God) and living under harsh conditions.
Last season’s finale racked up 8.11 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. This was the show’s largest audience at the time. The televised Season 6 premiere received an estimated 7.9 million views, and an EW tally came up to 10.7 million (counting the on-air premiere, two repeat episodes, and streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now).
I almost didn’t want to watch the new season because the suspense was too much waiting for who was next to die. The character you usually love, or at least, don’t particularly dislike, dies. It almost feels like the “bad guy” rarely dies. George R.R. Martin should hold a tournament for who will be the last character standing. (If someone could make an NCAA-style bracket, that would be great!) WrongHands made a Game of Thrones Character Arc Generator, and it pretty much sums up all the possible deaths. Even after Cersei’s walk of shame from last season, I didn’t start to pity her in the newest episode and I prayed for her death.
Not for one second did I enjoy watching Cersei cry in the latest episode, talking to her brother/lover, Jaime Lannister. It was the most uncomfortable, brief, “genuine” moment in recent Hollywood history that I had to watch, and only slightly less awkward than Johnny Depp and Amber Heard apologizing to Australia.
My favorite lines from this episode were:
“She was 11 the first time I saw her, the candle-master’s daughter. She smelled of dog.”
“You’re a greedy bitch. You know that?”
The biggest shocker, in standard Game of Thrones style, came at the very end. The closing scene with Melisandre was, at first, confusing. Then as each second passed, I was denying what I was seeing. After screaming “What?” in disbelief repeatedly, I sat questioning Melisandre’s being; her reason to live. I pondered her crazy risk-taking and previously ill-made moves. I guess it all made sense now and this was my favorite part of the episode.
According to a Twitter poll, viewers enjoyed the scene involving Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy, but it was really her saviors who stole the scene. If anything, it was what she did after that big fight that earned her any respect. It was a glimmer of hope that the Starks would reclaim their kingdom, and possibly the most coveted Iron Throne.
Did you have a favorite scene, favorite quote or simply have anything to add? I’d love to hear it! Please comment below.