Monthly Archives: April 2016

Game of Thrones: The Red Woman Review

The world’s most popular (or at least most pirated) TV show is back.

Season 5 alienated quite a few people (TV fans and Book Readers alike) but wasn’t as bad as some people thought. I’d give all the episodes from that season 4/5 or more, and episode 8 Hardhome was a knockout hit (and possibly the best episode so far?). But overall it wasn’t as good as seasons 3 or 4 had been. Then again, season 5 was based off two of the weakest books in the series, A Feast for Crows and Dance of Dragons Part 1 (though neither were bad – just not as good than the others), so it was unsurprising. Regardless, season 6 had some questions to answer, and now the TV show has overtaken the books, we had no idea what the answers would be.

For some of them at least, we do now.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS!

Game of Thrones Premieres are normally among the weakest episodes in the season. This one was no different, but was nevertheless better than most of the other premiere episodes. It was mainly focused with tying up the cliffhangers from last season’s finale, and while it moved through these at a breathless pace, it felt like a lot of setup as well as payoff. The direction and music were as good as ever, so I’ll focus on the plot.

Much of the episode was devoted to Sansa and Theon’s escape from Winterfell and Brienne’s rescue of them (finally!) and events at Castle Black. Jon Snow IS dead. And we still don’t know if he’ll stay that way. Edd, Davos, Melisandre and a few loyal men of the watch all took Jon’s death badly, while Alliser Thorne and the other mutineers set about winning over the others. After freeing Ghost, Davos sends Edd to get help from Tormund and the Wildlings who owe Jon their lives and everything looks to be set for a major showdown between the two sides in the next episode.

The person most affected by Jon’s death was surprisingly Melisandre, as after her visions of Stannis’ victory and Jon at Winterfell both appear to have been false, she’s finally lost faith. This leads to the episode’s big revelation that Melisandre is actually CENTURIES old, keeping young in appearance thanks to that magical torque she always wears round her neck. (Anyone else find Melisandre’s true form REALLY unsettling? – aren’t we all glad Jon didn’t sleep with her now!!)

The highlight was probably Daenerys’ scenes as she faced off with a new Khal and his Dothraki, with the Dothraki banter and Daenerys’ putdowns earning a few smiles.

The first non-book shock came as events in Dorne finally kicked up a gear with the Sand Snakes and Ellaria making their move and assassinating Prince Doran, Areo Hotah and Trystane Martell (who hilariously got a spear through the back of his head – funniest death on the show since Arya killing Rorge in season 4?).

Everything else was just setup, whether Jaime and Cersei mourning Myrcella, Arya training with that bitch in Braavos, Tyrion talking with Varys, Margaery conversing with the High Sparrow or Jorah and Daario tracking Daenerys. None of it was bad – but hopefully the next episode will have a little less setup and a few more highlights.

Overall, it was a good episode but not a great episode, with an intriguing ending twist.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Next Time: Bran’s back, the Greyjoys are back, Jaime comes face to face with the High Sparrow and Ser Alliser and Ser Davos tense standoff continues…

 

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Game of Thrones Season 6 Predictions

It’s almost time. Here’s my predictions for season 6…

Warning: Spoilers for Seasons 1-5 and Season 6’s trailers – plus some speculation based on events in the books that haven’t happened yet…

  1. Sansa vs. Ramsay: My guess is that this season will see the Northern Lords (possibly along with Brienne, Davos and the Wildlings) rally round Sansa Stark and destroy House Bolton. The trailers show some serious shit going down, as well as Sansa looking badass and Ramsay in battle, so my guess is that Sansa’s going to take over Robb’s role as the new Stark in power – and maybe reunite with her brother Rickon as well? This is Thrones though so she could also get killed by Ramsay. One final thought – Joffrey was the shows worst (best?) villain and died in his 4th season – Ramsay has become Joffrey’s equal – and this is Ramsay’s 4th season!
  2. Cersei vs. everyone: After her walk of shame last season you can bet Cersei’s out for blood. More so after Myrcella’s death. With the High Sparrow, Tyrells and now Dorne in her crosshairs and the resurrected Mountain and a vengeful Jaime onside, chances are Cersei’s going to wreak some serious havoc. My money’s on the High Sparrow not surviving the season (along with Lancel and Loras or even Margaery getting caught in the crossfire?). Hell, the trailer shows Jaime riding through an army camp, so are the Sand Snakes about to get the war they wanted?
  3. Return of the Greyjoys: Euron “Crow’s Eye” Greyjoy, Theon’s uncle, is about to turn up (and get into some serious mischief involving his brother Balon and a bridge in a storm judging from the trailer). Theon’s sister Yara’s back as well (snogging the face off some random girl in the trailer) and it looks like the Greyjoys are ready for war. But who’s their target? The Boltons? The North? The Lannisters? Or are we following the books on a surprise visit to Meereen? Who knows, but hopefully Theon will survive. He’s suffered enough already.
  4. Daenerys finally sails for Westeros: After what looks to be major trouble with the Dothraki horde that captured her at the end of last season, my money’s on things in Meereen going tits up despite Tyrion’s efforts and an angry Dany finally sailing for Westeros sometime around the season finale. Guessing one of Jorah or Daario isn’t making it out of that rescue attempt alive either. And those dragons have gotten BIG – they’ll take some stopping now!
  5. White Walkers are Coming! The Night’s King (White Walker’s Master who had that epic staring contest with Jon after Hardhome) is coming. Judging by the amount of White Walker action in the trailer (not all of which can be Bran’s visions surely?) my guess is they’re about to break through the wall. Those Night’s Watch mutineers are fucked even if Jon Snow isn’t coming back.
  6. Jon Snow comes back: He has too. He’s far too important (ICE=Jon and FIRE=Daenerys) and why else spare Melisandre if not to bring him back? Not to mention R+L=J looks to be confirmed with shots of a certain tower, Targaryen soldiers and some ‘six companions’ shown in the trailers. That and if he doesn’t, we’ll all be royally pissed off!
  7. A lot of death: My guesses on characters that won’t survive this season? Ser Alliser and the Mutineers (between the walkers, Davos and Jon surely their numbers’ up?), Davos or Melisandre (now Stannis is gone I wouldn’t put money on both of them surviving the season), Ramsay and the Boltons (they just NEED to die!), Daario (surely someone in Essos must die before Dany finally leaves) Balon Greyjoy (long overdue) and finally Grand Maester Pycelle and Kevan Lannister (book readers know why…)
  8. Return appearances: My guess is a still-alive Hound is due back sometime soon. Maybe Syrio Forel or Benjen Stark too. Who knows – depending on where Brienne and Jaime’s storylines go (and the fact that the Freys and the Brotherhood are back) it might be time for a certain Lady with a Heart of Stone to make an appearance… fingers crossed eh book readers?

These could all be wrong. Who knows. But its going to be a fun 10 episodes finding out right?