Welcome back, nerds.
After a long 10 months of endless speculation, book readers losing their smug upper hand, and keeping up with poor, beleaguered Kit Harington’s haircuts and flight itineraries, Game of Thrones is back and has already killed off several characters in its first hour of Season 6, the entirety of which is is the adaptation equivalent of “going north of the Wall.” The action of this episode could best be summed up as “bleeding and scheming” (which would incidentally make an excellent tagline for the entire show), but we still got some big reveals and at least one solid bitch-slapping fight scene that made it all worth it.
Well, let’s get down to it. God, I missed this show.
Pluses, or, Ladies Are Doin’ It For Themselves
-IT’S BRIENNE, BITCH. Man, I have never been SO happy to see that Amazon woman in my entire life. (Also, I still love Pod. #PodrickForKing.) Watching her murderball Ramsay’s hunting party was almost satisfying enough to erase unpleasant memories of last year’s Sansa brutalizations. (I SAID ALMOST.) Also, the fight choreography in that scene was pretty gorgeous. Basically, snaps all around. Plus 10,000 points.
-Speaking of Sansa, can we just take a moment to sit back and appreciate that she is finally out of Ramsay’s rapey clutches and looking forward? Especially after last season, during which her scenes became borderline unwatchable? Plus 2,000 points.
-I wasn’t crying during that Sansa-Brienne oath scene, YOU WERE CRYING. NO POINTS, JUST SAYING.
-Also, that thing with Theon/Reek trying to sacrifice himself and dragging her across that river?!? No. Stop. All the sob emojis. No, I’m still not crying. My house is just filled with onions. Plus 1,000 points.
-I binge-watched Season 5 yesterday because I guess I hate myself (Christ, did I forget how brutal that whole season was or what?!) and spent most of the day feeling irritated by the very-wasted Dorne plotline, especially as it pertained to the super-boring Sand Snakes. So I’m sure you can imagine that I was pretty surprised by how pumped I was about their opening chess moves this season. Like, did you really just stab that baby Prince through the face?? Did you also kill the boring old Prince so that I never have to hear the word “gout” on this show again?? Did Dorne just become a motherfucking matriarchy?!?! Plus 5,000 points for smashing the patriarchy.
-Speaking of boring characters being interesting all of a sudden, when did Davos get so fun??! I loved him in this episode, which was a weird feeling for me, because I associate him so closely with Stannis and spend all of his screen time waiting for him to leave. Looking forward to liking you now that Stannis is very dead, Onion Knight. Plus 3,000 points.
-So much cryptic shit happening with Jon Snow’s body, also. Why did Davos stare at that bloodstain for so long? Why didn’t Melisandre go, “yup, he’s super dead” but just stare at him forever? Why is Ghost so cute when he’s sad? No points because this particular mystery will get very irritating very quickly.
-Also, no points for this either, but just an observation: I don’t believe anyone who wasn’t obviously decapitated on this show is actually dead until I see those weird little stone-eyes they put on everyone’s body. So there. TENUOUS PROOF THAT JON SNOW IS ALIVE.
-Good! Daario Naharis is still super hot and sassy. Plus 500 points.
-So, two things re: Dany’s sticky situation. One, YAS QUEEN. Way to be like, “nope, you’re not gonna rape me because I birthed dragons from a fire and smothered my last Khal husband and I am a badass bitch,” because I am not here for helpless Dany anymore. Good for you, girl. Two, why is this khalasar so hilarious?! From the jokes about pink people being “afraid of the sun” to Khal Moro’s bodyguards going full Abbott & Costello, I felt like I was watching a season of Last Comic Standing set in a vaguely menacing desert, and I wasn’t mad about it. Plus 8,000 points.
-“Fuck everyone who isn’t us” is def the new Lannister family motto, except if they’re taking it literally, because we know they like to keep it in the bloodline. Plus 700 points.
-I know I’ve made a lot of jokes about how I already miss being smug about the books, but if I’m being honest, watching this show without knowing what’s going to happen already is 100% more fun — so that being said, this Melisandre mystery is good. Now that we know she’s actually the bathtub lady from The Shining (and probably a distant cousin of Moira from American Horror Story), there are so many fun questions to ask now. How does her magic really work? Does she give some sort of essence to people to bring them back to life and maybe she ages really fast? Does the necklace contain ALL of her power, or just some of it? How old is she really, like on a scale of Saint West to the Nicolas Flamel right before he stopped taking the Elixir of Life? YAY! QUESTIONS! Also, yes, thank you for asking – I’m very proud of the hilarious picture I made about her, which you can see above. Plus 4,000 points for ~*~exciting mysteries~*~
-The majority of the kills in this episode were done by women. Plus 1,000 points for feminism.
Total: 35,200 points / 1 still dead Jon Snow
Minuses, or, Now I’m Just Nitpicking
-My only real complaint is that not a lot happened in this episode – like, did we need a scene of Tyrion and Varys strolling around complaining about a lack of progress? Minus 1,000 points.
-The Sand Snakes, as characters, are still dull as fuck, even with all their regiciding, so… deal with that, k? Minus 800 points.
-Though I’m glad to see Dany holding her own, yes, there is a part of me that is BEYOND irritated that she’s heading all the way back to Vaes Dothrak, because it just feels like such an annoying retread (kind of like playing a video game where you always re-spawn super far away from where you actually need to be, Ocarina of Time). I’m hoping she’ll get out of it, but, still. Minus 500 points for repeating yourself, show.
-Jorah seems to take an awful lot of time out of his day to stare at his greyscale arm. Even weirder, nobody else ever seems to notice this. Minus 300 points.
-Sometimes I do hate this show, and today, I hate this show for making me feel bad for Ramsay for even ONE second, and I hate it even more for having him feed his ex-girlfriend’s body to his hounds. Come on, show. Why you gotta do me like that?! Minus 1,000 points.
-Guys, Jon Snow still isn’t standing up and we’re 1 hour into the season, so just minus 500 points right off the bat.
Total: 4,100 points / 1 greyscale arm
I actually thought this was one of the stronger premiere episodes to date, and guys, I can’t wait for the rest of this season. I didn’t even have TIME to mention Margaery and Arya because there was so much to discuss. That’s it. Just… is it next Sunday yet? See you then, queens of nothing.