Uh well, this is it. This is where it all ends. No more the air of superiority. No more lying to my friends, assuring them that everything is going to be ok. “What? No, don't be ridiculous of course they don’t die” with a facade of a smile hiding my devilish know-it-all grin. I’ll miss that. No more getting frustrated with missed characters from the books or changed story lines. No more. This is it. I’m a peasant like the rest of you. Ugh, what’s the point in reading if I don't feel better than everyone else? I guess I’ll keep watching anyway.
With this article being a week late I’ve been able to gauge how a lot of people felt about this episode and really, it wasn’t much. That is a pretty fair assessment but like most season premieres nothing ever really happens in episode one. It has to create the structure and context of the narrative going forward. It’s always going to be a bit boring especially since we do not know why any of it is important until way later, foreshadowing is almost a trope at this point in GoT books and shows. It’s also the same reason why it’s so enjoyable to re-watch or re-read. Here are some of the positives and negatives I did take away from episode one.
Brienne riding through with Podrick Payne to save the day was fucking awesome and gave me a huge sigh of relief. This is a deviation from the books that I am pretty happy with since up until this point, in both book and show, Sansa and Brienne’s story lines have been pretty stale. Nothing ever really happens especially with Sansa and I often found myself thinking that her scenes or chapters felt like a chore. Often seeing a glimmer of character development only to be seen scenes later again being mentally or physically tortured and victimised. This at least progresses the story line of two characters in an interesting way and I’m all for it. The only thing I’m not buying? Pod having learned to swing a sword and take down trained knights in what seems like less than a few weeks training. It was only a few episodes ago Brienne agreed to train him. You may have a large game Tri-Pod Payne but srsly plz.
My only real complaint with this episode was the Sand Snakes in Dorne. It makes total sense that they would have to kill Doran Martell. They had just disobeyed him again so of course he has to die and it appears he had lost the faith of the people of Dorne hence why the other guards don’t bother to stop the Sand Snakes. My issue is just how fucking boring the whole Dorne storyline is. I haven’t cared about what's happening in Dorne at all in the show, which is a shame since Doran Martell in the books seems like a pretty interesting character and a player in the GoT. Either way, it appears they just really want another war with the Lannister’s which I’m sure will go well for everyone involved.
The most exciting part of this episode is Melisandre’s age revealed. No one really knew this was coming and I wasn’t sure if she was going to sleep and die at the end or just wanting to see her true reflection. It at least illustrated her lost faith in her religion which could complicate things if she’s the only one that can resurrect Jon. This might be another way they can drag out Jon Snow’s resurrection because we all know it’s happening just a matter of when/how.
Like I said this episode was like most other season premieres and had to set up the rest of the season so you can be forgiven if you thought it wasn’t that great.
Ok so let’s just get the obvious out of the way. It finally fucking happened and fans have been waiting years to find out how/when Jon Snow comes back. He was too vital ever not to, and if you buy into the R+L=J theory, which at this point is essentially fact and we will probably find out next episode at “The Tower of Joy”. It was dope. It mirrored the resurrection of Beric Dondarrion by Thoros of Myr where Thoros explained to Mel "I knelt beside his cold body and said the words, because I believed in them," he tells Melisandre in season three. "He was my friend, and he was dead, and they were the only words I knew. And for the first time in my life, the Lord replied. Beric's eyes opened, and I knew the truth: our god is the one true god."
This was awesome and turned my nipples into diamond cutters, but really what is important is what Jon is going to be like now that he is back? Is he the same Jon Snow? is he bound to the Night’s Watch since he technically died thus absolving his lifelong commitment to them? Can he march on the South? Is he Azor Ahai reborn? I thought they were going to drag out Jon’s resurrection way longer than episode two so I’m excited to see what happens next, and the Tower of Joy preview for next week's episode is more than arousing.
This wasn’t the only significant event this week though so what else was interesting to see? We got to see Wun Wun throw a guy against a wall and Olly became incarcerated. I’ve never had so much pleasure in seeing the misfortune of a small child. Fuck Olly. We know that Bran can see real events of the past which will be the set up for the Tower of Joy next week and that Hodor use to be able to speak. I feel like they wouldn’t have shown this without it being significant so hopefully it will have something to play going forward. It would be a fairly innocuous red herring to play around and surely the reveal has to change something.
The Faith Militant appeared to have more of a political agenda in trying to “topple and empire” which leads questions to ask again who is the High Sparrow and what do they really want? Seems to me that if the Lannisters are going to fight another war against the Faith and Dorne, then they will probably need the help of Highgarden or the Eyrie which Littlefinger still holds.
I was pretty disappointed in how Ramsey killed Roose Bolton as although it was foreshadowed last week, he just seemed like a character that should be able to see something like that coming. Maybe I expected more of a man that seems to be a supreme manipulator but it did seem a bit quick for such a large player in the GoT.
Tyrion and the Dragons was awesome and relieving since he didn’t get burned to a crisp like another overzealous book only character Quentyn Martel. The most important takeaway here is that the Dragon’s are more intelligent than we first thought and are not just hyper dangerous lap dogs.
The Kingsmoot should be exciting and sets up a nice leeway into hopefully Yara taking the place of book character Victarion GreyJoy in the books who eventually sets sail for Daenarys Targaryen. We know last week that all of their Ships in Mereen have been burnt and the Iron Islands have the largest fleet in the seven kingdoms so it would make sense. I can’t see how Theon comes to play into this since we are just about fully passed the books at this point so it would really just be all conjecture rather than an educated guess. My guess would be Euron becomes king like in the books, but after a while everyone realises he’s a bit of a dick so they eventually go with Theon.
Hopefully next week this will be more timely and if you would like to discuss this with me more in depth then feel free to write in! The series is moving fairly quickly now and doesn’t have the shackles of the book holding it back now, so for better or for worse, it will be interesting to watch for everyone from here on out.
Real life Bond villain Eddie Goldsmith has a passion for photography, movies, basketball and speaking in third person. Like most other sleep deprived 20-somethings Eddie's managed to find a balance between calm and collected to being one coffee cup away from never sleeping again. Writer, Editor, Generous Lover, Photographer and part time funny man I'm always looking to try my hand at something new.