Winter Isn't Over Yet: Season 6 of Game of Thrones Has Arrived
Some people love the winter holiday season. Others like summer and the Fourth of July. Me? The best season of the year for me is when the moons align just right and give us new episodes of the blood-soaked havoc known as Game of Thrones—the best show on television! Thrones is known for its violence, its sex, its heartbreak, and, dare I say it, its epic-ness! I could not be more thrilled that it is back. However, there is so much that last season left us wondering about. A lot happened in a single episode, and quite frankly, there are so many details we don't know. I will break down what happened on last week's Sunday premiere and where that may leave us for the rest of the season. Who knows, maybe I'll even predict something? (In case it's not obvious, if you haven't seen the April 24 episode of Game of Thrones yet, spoilers follow!) First, let's revisit some of the many questions Season 5 left us at the end of its season finale. Is Jon Snow alive or dead? Did Stannis Baratheon die at the hands of Brienne of Tarth? Did Myrcella Baratheon die from being poisoned by the Sand Snakes? Did Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy escape their torture only to die after their steep jump? Arya Stark is blind? What will Cersei Lannister do after being broken by her horrible walk of shame? What will happen to Daenerys Targaryen, last seen surrounded by a horde of Dothraki after being flown to who knows where by one of her dragons? And what about Tyrion Lannister, Grey Worm, and Missandei, left to rule in Meereen while Daario Naharis and Jorah Mormont search for Daenarys? Now, back to Season 6. Normally, it's the last few episodes of each season that are the most devastating to the audience—Ned Stark's death, the Red Wedding, everything I just mentioned above. But this season's opener came out swinging. Not only did Sansa and Theon survive their leap to freedom, but they were reunited with Brienne, who's been unsuccessfully trying to fulfill the oath she swore to Sansa's mother to keep her and Arya safe. Sansa took Brienne up on her offer, and it may seem that flanked by the female knight, loyal squire Podrick Payne, and a now liberated but still sausage-free Theon that things may turn around for the first lady of the north. No sign of Stannis, so the writers would have us believe he is dead, but we have seen nothing to prove that. I predict that he may have survived his battle with Brienne and could get in the crew's way as they head to the Wall for Jon Snow's help. I also predict Theon will either show his cowardice or how much balls he still has left. Speaking of Jon Snow, as far as we can tell, he is dead, but I doubt there's a single person that believes it. Davos Seaworth seemed hellbent on saving Jon's life when he found him—could this be the beginning of an alliance if or when Jon is resurrected? And speaking of resurrection, how might that happen? Everyone figured that the Red Woman, Melisandre, would have the honors. However, the scarlet witch (not the Marvel heroine) seemed quite defeated when she saw Jon's corpse, saying that she had seen him in a vision fighting at Winterfell in flames. Then, to the audience's horror, she let her (magical) guard down and revealed her odd, ghoulish and elderly true self at the very end of the episode. I don't doubt that Melisandre has a role to continue playing, and it may involve bringing Jon Snow back. However, I think the secret to Jon's renewed life lies with his direwolf, Ghost. Jon's younger brother, Bran, can manipulate and even take over the bodies of animals (and Hodor)—perhaps Ghost can bring back his fallen owner. Or perhaps the White Walkers have their own plans for the bastard of the north? Maybe we'll know in an episode or two. In Dorne, those sexy but dangerous Sand Snakes and Ellaria Sand were not content with murdering Myrcella (who is definitely dead). They've now gone after and killed their ruler, Doran, and his son, Trystane, so that their revenge with the Lannisters can go forward. I predict these deadly serpents will find the action they seek and perhaps meet Cersei's mindless soldier, who might just be the body of Gregor Glegane, the Mountain: killer of the Sand Snakes' beloved father, Oberyn, and of course his sister, Elia, and her children before him. Elsewhere in the world, we learned Daenarys is as cunning as she is beautiful in the way she lets the Dothraki holding her hostage believe she is just stupid girl. To their astonishment, she's not only a ruler in her own right but the widow of a Khal. I predict, seeing how charismatic the Mother of Dragons is, that Daenarys will somehow assume command of this tribe of Dothraki as well, adding to ever-growing army, and be reunited with her subjects in Meereen. Perhaps a first real step toward a journey to Westeros may happen as well. We didn't see much of Arya, but we do know a little. She is still blind, but she doesn't seem like the type to quit. I suspect that with her vision gone, she will learn to use her other senses and thus become an even more unpredictable killer. I predict her training will continue and she will become more fluid in her technique and even kill a few people . . . perhaps someone else on her death list. Back in King's Landing, we didn't learn much about Margaery Tyrell, either, other than that she is still imprisoned. She was told if she confesses her sins, she can be judged. Margaery doesn't look like she will do such a thing, but perhaps there is a deal to be made in the upcoming trial of her mother-in-law, Cersei. That's all we know, I'm afraid. Nothing on Bran and Samwell in this episode, but I predict they will have huge roles in the coming episodes. It was a magnificent first episode, and I hope the rest of the season is as good. I'll revisit all of this after the finale to see whether any of my predictions came true . . . I know I'll be watching closely.
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