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26th Apr 2016

Game of Thrones Review, S6, Ep 1: We need to talk about Melisandre

Lady in red...

Paul Moore

Jon Who?

As always, SPOILER ALERT! Here are some of our favourite moments from this week’s highly anticipated season opener, ‘The Red Woman’.

Melisandre Spoiler

Master of Quotes – Best Line

He’s dead. Dead, dead, dead.

Yep, Jon’s still dead, but it’s fitting that the corpse of the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch is currently spread out on a table in Castle Black, because like every single episode that opens a new GoT season, ‘The Red Woman’ felt like it was doing its very best to give the key players their time to speak at the table.

The potential resurrection of Jon was the question that everyone wanted answered, but the final scene left us wondering about something else entirely. More about that later.

What do we know? Ramsay Bolton’s already unhinged mind could be about to take an even darker turn after discovering all of the following: Sansa has escaped with Theon, his lover Myranda is dead, and any legitimate claim that he has to rule The North depends on his ability to have a child with his estranged wife. Lucky for us that he’s a level-headed type of guy!


Grief and death were the predominant themes throughout the episode as the female characters took centre stage. Cersei and Jamie mourned Myrcella’s death, Daenerys refused to be intimidated by Khal Jhaqo, and Arya’s training is taking on a very Daredevil-meets-Star Wars vibe.

This being said, who got the best line?

Ser Allsier Thorne’s mutinous speech to the Night’s Watch was oddly convincing, Varys and Tyrion continue to exchange verbal barbs like no other characters can, and Davos’ reminder that “there’s more people than us that owe their lives to Jon Snow” has probably set in motion a memorable set-piece for the next episode.

Still though, this week’s accolade goes too…

The North Remembers – Best Scene

Kudos to writers David Benioff and DB Weiss because it seems like they’ve been listening to some of the criticism regarding their treatment of Dorne in the last season.

Thank the gods, both old and new, that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes have thrown a spanner – and numerous daggers – into the works by murdering Doran Martell, Trystane, and their bodyguards. It’s still the weakest plot in the show but at least it’s moving forwards.

We’re opting for Brienne of Tarth’s heroic defence of Sansa and Theon – along with her subsequent knighting – because it was one of those rare things: a victory for the Starks.

We’re already getting a sense that Sansa is no longer going to be the victim – it’s time for the eldest surviving heir of Winterfell to stand up and take back what’s hers.

Theon also seems like he’s beginning to escape the torment of his Reek persona after sacrificing his own safety to protect Sansa, and intervening in the fight to slay one of the Bolton soldiers.


Valar Morghulis – Best Death

Sub-category: Death count – A garrison of Bolton men that met the wrong end of Brienne/Pod/Theon’s swords. It wasn’t a good day for the men of House Dorne also: poor Trystane Martell getting a fairly gruesome spear through the eye.

Mother of Dragons – Best Beast Scene

We weren’t treated to any dragons this week, but Brienne did somehow manage to take down a horse-mounted soldier.

Sticks and Stones and Swords – Best Insult

“Your son is weak just like you and weak men will never rule Dorne again.”


You Know Nothing – The WTF Moment

There’s only one thing to talk about. In the books, it has been alluded that Melisandre is centuries old, but this is the first time that we’ve had a look at her true self. We’ve had glimpses of her powers before – the shadow demon that killed Renly and her lust for kings blood – but can that red necklace be used for other purposes.

It’s worth noting that she also mentioned her vision of “Jon Snow involved in a great battle at Winterfell”, but as we know, she was wrong about Stannis before.

Various theories have been circulating online, and here’s one of the more interesting ones about the necklace. Cast your mind back to Season 2 and a scene with Maester Cressen (Stannis’ advisor at Dragonstone). Cressen drinks poison and immediately hands the cup over to Melisandre in an effort to trick her into doing the same, sacrificing his life for the perceived greater good.

The Red Priestess drinks the poison, but it has zero effect on her, apart from causing her necklace to glow. Does this prove that she’s immortal and can this power somehow be used for something else, resurrection perhaps?


In A Dance With Dragons, Melisandre tells Jon Snow that the Lord of Light has given her the power to create illusions “Call it what you will. Glamor, seeming, illusion. R’hllor is Lord of Light, Jon Snow, and it is given to his servants to weave with it, as others weave with thread.” Melisandre’s magic is linked to her necklace and book readers know that every act of magic takes something out of her.

Is this frail, fragile and ancient appearance the norm, or is she now observing herself through the mirror because something is different? She did run her hand over Jon Snow’s corpse after all.

Stealing The Throne – This Week’s Best Character

After being tortured, castrated, and subjected to a litany of heinous acts, it was nice to see Theon rally and protect his stepsister when she needed it the most.


The swords are already drawn for next week though because it’s very likely that we’re going to have a triple threat match at Castle Black.

Ser Davos and Jon’s allies vs Ser Allsier Thorne’s Night’s Watch cronies vs House Bolton.

This trailer promises blood. What are the chances of some magic?