Review: Premiere sets up sixth season of ‘Game of Thrones’
April 24 was an exciting day for all fans of the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones.” After nearly a year of awaiting the sixth season of the show, fans all over the world waited impatiently for the first episode to begin after Beyonce’s “Lemonade” video album. The suspense was enormous.
I may be projecting here, but most fans of the show like myself just wanted to know what happened to Jon Snow. After the dramatic turn that the season five finale took, I expected much more drama from this episode. Unfortunately, I was disappointed when that drama wasn’t really there.
Don’t get me wrong; it certainly was not a bad episode as TV shows go. I felt some moments of shock and awe throughout the episode. The only problem was that it felt anticlimactic after all those months of waiting. It felt more like a “where are they now” sequence than an actual full-fledged episode of the show. Although I was a bit disappointed with the episode, I do understand why it needed to be done. The audience needed to know what had happened to each of the characters since the end of season five. As a result, an episode like this is necessary in order for the real action to begin.
Another interesting aspect of the episode was that it spent a lot of time on its female leads.
Characters like Arya, Sansa, Cersei and Daenerys took up a good chunk of the episode’s time. It showed that while all of them were in extremely tough positions at the moment, they planned to get out of their situations. This was especially obvious with Sansa Stark who finally made meaningful contact with Brienne, the female knight who had earlier sworn to protect the Starks. The show’s creators also hinted at Arya’s probable rise out of the quagmire in which she finds herself, albeit much less obviously. These strong female leads form an integral aspect of the show, and it was certainly important that they be represented in the first episode.
In addition, the creators also took the time to explain an extremely important detail about the Red Woman, who seems to have magical powers and the ability to communicate with the “God of Light.”
The Red Woman is depicted as beautiful and seduces almost every man she comes across. Yet, she has a secret, which is revealed at the end of this episode. Her secret shows how much power she has. The focus on her in this episode, while simultaneously showing that the knights are guarding Jon Snow’s body, hints at a possible parallel between the two characters.
Perhaps I’m just speaking hopefully here, but the episode seems to foreshadow that the Red Woman’s power has the ability to do pretty much anything, including bringing Jon Snow back. We will find out later in the season.
Although the episode seemed to have all of this going for it, its one major flaw was that the show’s producer spent a great deal of time on characters about whom nobody cared at the moment.
For example, they spent about ten minutes on Cersei and Jaime Lannister, whose situation was interesting but not necessary for the first episode. Their story could have been introduced much later, which would have allowed the show to spend time on the more important characters like Daenerys or Arya during this episode.
Overall, this episode was not bad. It foreshadows a great deal of drama and excitement to come, and like most other fans I cannot wait to see the connection between Jon Snow and the Red Woman.
The episode seemed like a set-up for the rest of the season to give us the awesomeness we have been waiting for.