*Does contain epic plot spoilers*
After a wait that seemed to last as long as a Westeros winter, we finally got to see Episode 1 of Season 6 last night in the UK after the American Sunday premiere. Although it answered some questions that had been festering in the snow since last year, in typical Game of Thrones fashion the episode threw out a lot more drama and additional questions than answers.
Despite all the speculation behind Jon Snow (played by actor Kit Harington) and whether or not he would survive his wounds, his relevance to the plot was a driving factor for the characters but seemed secondary in the overall scheme of things. Him still being very much dead seemed like an anti-climax. This may be due to fan speculation as the show runners and actors have been pushing that he is in fact ‘dead’ this whole time but still. In my opinion, if he does come back at all, we will not know until the end of the season. Why would they spoil a neat little surprise by giving us the answer we crave in episode 1? If he doesn’t return it will be the greatest misdirection in all of writing history, with the former Lord Commander being suggested as a pivotal plot shaper from the start. Now George R. R. Martin isn’t shy at killing characters off but Jon always felt like he was destined for more, with the mystery behind his mother and all that still to play out. What concerns me is his body has not be burned which means he has the capacity to turn into a wight if he isn’t put on a pyre or brought back soon.
Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) locating Theon (Alfie Allen) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) was a satisfying little scene as she rescued them from Bolton huntsman. Unfortunately Theon survived the encounter but things happen for a reason I guess. Myrcella’s body was returned home to the Lannister stronghold of King’s Landing by her father and uncle Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) after being murdered by the Sand Snake sisters of Dorne. Cerscei (Lena Headey) put in a stellar performance once again as one of the most hated characters on TV and actually made the viewer feel empathy for her after her loss. The two surprise deaths were that of the Dornish Prince Doran and his son Trystane as the Sand Snakes ceased power, backed by the people of the province who saw the Prince and his son as weak. It will not be long until Dorne goes to war with the Lannisters after this episode.
The biggest surprise came from Melisandre (Carice van Houten) who was seen removing her ever present necklace, only for her to morph into an ancient woman of indeterminate age. We all knew she was a strange kind of witch but now we have the questions, how long has she been around and what limits do her powers have?
Overall I think the writing and acting were stellar, with the misdirection of Jon Snow’s importance feeling like an ever so slight let down. What did you think of the first episode? Tweet your thoughts @celebritycutout.