Can Jon Be Saved?
Finally, Game of Thrones is back for Season 6. At the beginning of the season’s first episode, many characters – Stannis, Sansa & Theon, Myrcella, Jon Snow — had unknown fates. Daenerys was in the wind and Arya was left vulnerable in Braavos.
Jon Snow is definitely dead. Can Melisandre bring him back?
When last season ended, Jon’s men – including Night’s Watch leaders like Alliser Thorne — had stabbed him in a Caesar-esque, “Et tu, Brute?” moment. They left Jon bleeding out on the snow with a traitor sign marking the spot where he fell.
When Season 6 begins, Davos found Jon’s corpse bloodless and pale on the snow. He gathers Jon’s loyal brethren to help retrieve his body from beneath the Traitor sign, and secrets it away in room upstairs. When they place Jon’s body on the table and one shuts his eyes, it is clear: Jon is dead.
Later, Alliser Thorne summons the Night’s Watch to discuss who will replace Jon as Lord Commander. When one man demands to know who killed Jon, Thorne readily admits he did and names his accomplices. While Thorne professes his loyalty to the Watch, he justifies stabbing his commander because admitting the Wildlings would have been the end of them.
Meanwhile Davos and Jon’s friends hole up with Jon’s corpse and Ghost. It’s clear that Ser Alliser and his allies mean to trick them into surrendering and then butcher them. The only chance they have is to ally with the Wildlings.
Melisandre is back at the Wall, clearly devastated and shaken that the flames may have lied to her. She looks to be at her lowest point ever.
Defeated, Melisandre disrobes and gazes at her body in the glass as she begins to get ready for bed. When she removes the red amulet from her neck, there’s a surprise: Melisandre is an old woman, a crone. She only appears young because of a glamor her red amulet casts over her. She is several centuries old, according to George RR Martin.
It’s never been perfectly clear what Melisandre’s magic can do. Sure, she can birth shadow assassins. But, the snow melting after Shireen’s sacrifice could have been a coincidence. Drinking poison (in the books) is impressive, but it is not a power that can change anything but your own destiny. Melisandre claims to see visions in the flames, but are these visions real or just the delusions of mad woman?
The real question is whether Melisandre can bring Jon back. Some of R’hllor’s priests can resurrect the dead. Back in Season 3, Thoros of Myr brings back Beric after the Hound slays him during the Hound’s trial by combat.
Melisandre, however, has never had this gift. In fact, she is disgusted that a drunkard wayward priest like Thoros should possess it. Why him and not her?
Melisandre is at her lowest point ever. She realizes she may have misread the flames. For her to restore life into Jon would require her to dig deep within herself and muster skill – and possibly faith in R’hllor and herself – that she has never had before.
Everything hinges on Melisandre. Will she restore life into Jon’s body? Can she even do it?
Ramsay is devastated by Myranda’s Death
Last season, when Ramsay’s sneak attack defeated Stannis during his siege on Winterfell, Sansa and Theon attempted to escape — only to be stopped at arrow point by Myranda, Ramsay’s callous lover.
When Myranda threatens to cut up Sansa’s lady parts, this is too much for Theon. Before she can react, he shoves the kennel master’s daughter from the parapet, where she tumbles to her death easily fifty feet below.
The fall definitely killed Myranda.
When Season 6 opens, we find Ramsay tearfully gazing at her battered corpse. Can sociopath’s cry? He vows to her: “Your pain will be paid for a thousand times over. I wish you could be here to watch.”
Ramsay tells his servants that he met Myranda in his teens and she was only eleven. She was completely fearless. Myranda wasn’t scared of Ramsay because, as the kennel master’s daughter, she knew the dogs could do so much worse. There was nothing she wouldn’t do, Ramsay says with a smile
Yet, Ramsay has a unique way of looking at the world — not to mention a great affection for his weapons with fur. When his servant asks whether he wants to bury or burn Myranda, Ramsay replies, “Buried, burned,” he shrugs. “This is good meat. Feed it to the hounds.”
Later on, as Ramsay and Roose stroll down the corridor, Roose is thrilled about Ramsay’s victory against Stannis — and also Stannis’ death. Yet he warns Ramsay that, despite his son’s clever military strategies, they will not be enough to go against the Lannister armies. The Boltons need the North to back them, which the North won’t do without Sansa.
Roose chastises Ramsay for “playing his games” with Theon and Sansa, implying this is why Sansa fled.
And, he knows exactly how to maneuver his son. Roose always digs his fingers into the once-bastard’s deepest wound: his fear of being abandoned by his father.
To goad Ramsay into get Sansa back, Roose implies that if Ramsay doesn’t get Sansa, he will replace him as heir to Winterfell with Walda’s baby, assuming it is a boy.
Sansa and Theon’s Flight
Sansa and Theon flee through the woods, chased by hounds. Theon knows all too well what the hounds do. He witnessed Tansy’s fatal mauling after Myranda and Ramsay’s hunt.
The duo wade through an icy river to throw the hounds off their scent. Now wet and freezing in the frosty winter air, they try to shelter under a tree root when Ramsay’s men find them. Once again, Theon’s bravery and self-sacrifice are beginning to emerge. He literally throws himself to the dogs.
When Theon hears Ramsay’s men, he tells her to stay hidden. He will let himself be caught so she has time to flee.
It’s a futile sacrifice though. Moments later the men find Sansa. And, we know how terrible Ramsay’s punishment will be for both of them. They killed Myranda!
When all seems lost, Brienne races out of the woods on her horse. Pod’s fighting lessons have paid off because between Brienne and Pod they eliminate Ramsay’s men. Finally, Brienne gets to protect the one she is charged with protecting!
Lady Sansa’s First Oath of Fealty: Brienne swears to serve Sansa
When Brienne saves Sansa, she finally gets the opportunity to fulfill her vow to Catelyn Stark. After Brienne and Pod dispatch Ramsay’s men, she lays her sword at Sansa’s feet and asks Sansa to take her into her service.
Sansa replies, “I vow that you shall always have a place by my hearth… and meat and mead at my table. And, I pledge to ask no service of you that might bring you dishonor. I swear it by the old gods and the new. Arise.” Sansa can’t remember all of the words, and she needs a little help from Pod. But, she gets the job done.
When Brienne rises to her feet, her face is glowing with tears (or maybe it’s sweat). Finally, she has protected somebody and can be in her service. Brienne’s failure to protect the ones she loved haunts her: offering to protect Sansa makes her feel worthy again.
As for Sansa, swearing a fealty vow is quite a grown-up thing. Between her terrible marriage and this request, she is truly becoming an adult, if not the only known representative of her house.
In this moment, Sansa seems so much like Elizabeth of York. Once Elizabeth’s father died and her brothers vanished, she was no longer part of a ruling family. From 1483 until she married Henry VII, she didn’t have a strong male protector. She was vulnerable and even somewhat untethered and unsafe. Elizabeth was the eldest child and heir to her father, but if she could survive in a world in which her family no longer had a man on the throne.
A Dornish ship sails into the harbor and Cersei is thrilled. “Myrcella!” She runs down to meet her daughter only to see Jaime arrive on a golden barge with a blanketed body on a bier.
Cersei knows instantly it is Myrcella. She is beyond devastated.
Later she tells Jaime how she can’t bear imagining locking Myrcella in a crypt. Cersei feels she must suffer with her sweet daughter.
Cersei sees Myrcella as the only sign there could possibly be any goodness in her.
“From her first breath, she was so sweet. I don’t know where she came from. She was nothing like me. No meanness, no jealousy. Just good. I thought if I could make something so good, so pure, maybe I’m not so monstrous.”
Jaime blames himself for not protecting Myrcella. But, Cersei tells him that Myrcella’s death couldn’t be stopped; it was preordained, prophesied. The witch’s prophecies have come home to her.
Jaime vows to take everything back that has been taken from them. And, with that the twins appear reunited again in their isolated little world, loving and protecting only themselves.
Septa Unella Torments Margaery
Margaery crouches in a corner of a stone cell in the Great Sept. Her brown hair is matted. Septa Unella reads tales of the seven hells to Margaery and urges her to confess her sins. When Margaery demands to see her brother, Unella tartly replies: “Sinners don’t make demands; they make confessions.” Unella moves to strike Margaery, but then the High Sparrow walks in and dismisses her.
In a classic good cop/bad cop maneuver, the High Sparrow comes in to treat Margaery kindly and urges her to confess so she can be back with her husband.
For all the High Sparrow’s ostensible kindness, Margaery’s inquiries about her brother’s welfare go unanswered.
A Coup in Dorne
With Myrcella poisoned and dead, it is only a matter of time before Prince Doran learns of her murder. He’s already warned his late brother Oberyn’s paramour, Ellaria Sand, not to harm Myrcella: “we don’t hurt little girls in Dorne.”
But, Doran is too forgiving. He should never have Ellaria to make so many threats, and moves even, without checking them. And, in this episode, he will pay for his leniency with his life.
After taking the air around the verdant water gardens on Ellaria’s arm, Doran returns to his wheel chair. Areo Hotah stands guard beside Tyene Sand, Ellaria’s eldest daughter.
Doran receives a raven: Myrcella is dead. Before Doran can say another word, Tyene whips a dagger out of her leg holster and strikes Aero’s back. Ellaria plucks a tiny dagger out of her wrist amulet and plunges it into Doran’s heart.
Not content to let Doran die in peace, the sand snake’s mother venomously tells Doran he is weak and despised by his own people. Ellaria sneers that he never avenged his sister’s rape and his brother’s slaughter. Doran is not worthy to be a Dornish man, let alone a prince.
As Doran lies on the ground, blood pouring from his chest, he begs Ellaria to let his son Trystane live. She shakes her head no: “Your son is weak… And, weak men will never rule Dorne again.”
Although Jaime disembarked from the ship, Trystane remains in his cabin. He is dabbing black paint on the pupil of the funeral stones that will cover Myrcella’s eyes as she lies in state.
Obara and Nymeria Sand enter his chamber and announce they are about to kill him. They let him choose which one of them he will fight. Trystane picks Nymeria. But, before he can even swing his sword, Obara – who stands behind him — impales him in the head with her spear.
Disgusted that Obara ruined her fun, Nymeria says to her sister: “You’re a greedy bitch, you know that.”
Tyrion and Varys Struggle to Rule
Tyrion and Varys walk the deserted streets in merchants’ garb, trying to blend in. Tyrion persuaded Varys to set feet to the ground and learn what’s wrong with Meereen. (“We are never going to fix this city from the top of an 800 foot pyramid.”) Varys isn’t so sure. He looks uncomfortable if not scared to be out.
People in Meereen are scared after the Sons of the Harpy’s attack at the fighting pit. Public order is starting to erode as word gets out that the slave’s protector, Daenerys, fled from danger on the back of her dragon.
Meanwhile, Varys and Tyrion — the remaining leadership — are in danger. It is clear the Sons of the Harpy will try to oust them from power.
But Tyrion and Varys can’t fight an enemy they can’t see or find. Nobody is on the streets of Meereen — and nobody knows who orchestrated the Sons of the Harpy’s attack.
Varys’ little birds are looking for the culprit who organized the Sons of the Harpy’s attack. Bells start to chime: the harbor is on fire.
Until Varys and Tyrion catch the Harpy’s leader, Meereen remains dangerously unsafe.
Daenerys is a Slave Once Again
When we first met Daenerys in Season 1, she was essentially sold into slavery with her unwanted arranged marriage to Khal Drogo. (Her brother manufactured the union so he could get an army to conquer Westeros and seize the Iron Throne.)
On the “sea of grass,” Jorah and Daario Naharis are bonding and hot on Daenerys’ heels. Jorah even finds the ring she tossed on the ground. Jorah sees Daenerys’ breadcrumb for exactly what it is: a message that the Dothraki have Daenerys.
Meanwhile, Daenerys walks on foot beside the Dothraki. It’s very undignified for a former Khaleesi. When she stumbles to keep up, one of the Dothraki whips her from his horse.
The Dothraki take Dany to their leader, Khal Moro, to ask his permission to rape her.
The Khal intends to rape Dany as well, even though his jealous wives hiss their disgust. Daenerys refuses to lie with him and lists her regal titles. The Khal doesn’t care. His wives urge decapitation.
Then Dany drops the bombshell: she is Khal Drogo’s widow.
Khal Moro’s disrespect evaporates. It is forbidden to life with another Khal’s widow.
But, this is no reprieve. Daenerys merely goes from one form of imprisonment to another. Dothraki widows must live out their days in the Vaes Dothrak, the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, with the other widowed khaleesis.
Arya: the Blind Beggar Gets Beaten
At the end of the last season, Jaqen H’ghar/the Waif blinded Arya after she disobeyed him by killing Meryn Trant instead of the Thin Man at the docks. It’s pretty clear to the Faceless Men that Arya has not forgotten she is Arya Stark.
Now, we find Arya blind, sitting on the steps and begging for coins. This blind little beggar girl is invisible to everyone though. Unlike when Arya was the clam-selling Lanna, nobody talks to blind Arya.
The Waif (Faye Marsey) arrives and attacks Arya with a fighting staff. Arya can’t see so she can’t fight back. When the Waif finally stops her assault, it’s clear that the Waif will be back the next day to beat Arya into becoming “faceless.”