AND NOW HIS WATCH HAS ENDED
Sixth season begins where we left of, with the body of Jon Snow beneath the walls of Castle Black, in the pile of blood and first traces of the upcoming winter. The howling of cloistered Ghost (who is completely silent in the books, which is precisely the reason why he was given such a name in the first place) further emphasized already tense and heartbreaking scene. Scratching and constant howling piercing through the air served as a signal to Davos of something being terribly wrong thus making him the first person to discover Jon’s butchered body. In shock and desbelief, mirroring the audience from last year, it is as if Davos cannot quite comprehend what actually went down here. The boy who not only broke truce which saved the Free Folk from extinction but also faced White Walkers and lived to tell the story is now dead, lying in the pool of his own blood. Neither can we. With the help of few remaining brothers still loyal to their Lord Commander, we see Davos move the body to a safer location within this treacherous complex. Dolourus Edd joins them. As the only familiar face, he is tasked with releasing Ghost and bringing him to their new hideout (suspend our disbelief on this one we must). In short, this is how an interesting group of those willing to die (if need be) for the body of a boy they owe their lives to; among them three unknown members of the Night’s Watch, Davos, Melisandre, Edd and Ghost. A small group but carefully selected.
Across the yard we see Alliser Thorne, the chief orchestrator of the killing, in an attempt to win the rest of the Night’s Watch to his side. He gives them a speech in which he lays out the reasons for commiting treason: 1) Jon asked for it and 2) Thorne had no other choice because 3) Jon’s decisions were leading the Night’s Watch towards complete anihiliation. Whatever.
In the meantime, upon succesfull release of distraught Ghost, an oversized direwolf mourning the loss of his best friend and a soulmate of sorts, unharmed Edd goes south in a hope that Tormund will be empathetic to the new situation and their cause.
THE RETURN TO VAES DOTHRAK
Daenerys has come back where she started from thus finally making the full circle.
Watching this episode, and this scene in particular, one thing became clear – the apparent difference established between Dany and Tyrion. Provided that he found himself in the same, or similar situation, Tyrion would not shut up until, by the end of the episode, he established himself as the new Khal of this Dothraki horde. However, Daenerys is not Tyrion. Her tactic – to remain silent and hide her tricks, in this case the knolwedge of the Dothraki language, up until to the point where she absolutely has no other feasible choice – is diametrically opposed to his and her success depends soley on the circumstances under which the decision was made. This time, unlike that time, during the magical moment in third season when the revelation of her language skills allowed her not only to buy the “Unsullied” without any funds invested, but also the satisfaction of grilling Kraznis mo Nakloz on dragon fire, the same trick did not bear the same fruit. The revelation of her identity, as Drogo’s widow, maybe saved her from certain rape and even from potential death but it also brought her the Dosh Kaleen. How she, as Drogo’s widow, did not know that, or even worse, forgot about that, will remain an eternal mistery.
Anyways, Dosh Kaleen is a rulling group within the social hierarchy of Dothrakis, made from the widows of slaughtered Khals, who, in their capacities of seers, preside the Vaes Dothrak, the holy city to this people. Our first encounter with Dosh Kaleen happened during the first season in an episode titled “The Golden Crown”. This was the episode when Daenerys was tasked with eating a raw heart of a horse so the Dosh Kaleen would be able to fortell her future. On this occasion, after completing her task successfully, Daenerys, in addition to becoming the Dothraki favorite, also receieved an information that their son Rhaego (labeled as The Stallion Who Mounts The World) will be the great conqueror long prophecized in the history of this nation. However, faith had other plans when it pushed Daenerys into another direction, towards the path of loosing both her son and her husband, whose death condemed her to either joining this holly order or dying for refusing it. But, since this is Daenerys we are talking about, there is also a third, most plausabile option.
Drogon ex machina.
THE BLASPHEMY IN DORNE
If we ignore it, it might go away.
THE RED WOMAN
For many this new revelation was an absolute shock but for those who read the books, this scene served only as a confirmation that our theories, as it turns out, were right after all.
Not to get confused, we must emphasize that this scene, or better yet, the revelation you witnessed does not mean that Melisandre grew old before your eyes nor that the recent series of unfortunate events related to Stannis, princess Shireen and Jon took her youth and vitality, no. The truth should be rather simple.
Melisandre is over 200 years old. At least. Few decades here and there, no one knows for sure. If you have noticed, and George paid a lot of attention to this detail, Melisandre usually wears a necklace with a ruby, which glows bright from time to time. Many fans theorized how this ruby is in fact responsible for her youthful appearance. This is called glamouring. And as we know, she used it already, at least once. With Mance Rayder. We learned that at the time Mance was burned at stake, it wasnt actually Mance who died that day but rather Rattleshirt who was glamoured to appear to others as Mance. Real Mance is currently working undercover at Winterfell as Abel the Bard, on Staniss’ and Jon’s order. Anyways, with the aim of simplifying the complexities of this saga, the show went in different direction, completely ignoring this element of the story. Mance is dead. Rattleshirt is dead. Undercover, covert, secret tasks in Winterfell no longer exist, the Pink letter was never written, and the Northern lords loyal to the Boltons are not feasting on the pies made out of the meat of Walder Frey’s sons. All of the aspects of this storyline are ignored, all but Melisandre’s true age, looks and capability. With what goal? It is too early to say because we still don’t know in which direction will this story go and will it sink like Dorne, but chances are it will have something to do with the resurrection of Jon Snow. And maybe, just maybe, it could involve the power of Bran Stark and Bloodraven.
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
The best is saved for last.
If we ignore the fact that Sansa, the woman ready to jump from the walls of Winterfell to death at worst or crippling at best (something she witnessed early on in the saga through her brother Bran), in order to escape Ramsay, is afraid of cold water; if we ignore the fact that it was Theon, formerly known as Reek, the one who encouraged her to keep on moving; if we ignore the fact that Ramsay’s dogs misteriously vanished, in two consecutive shots, if we ignore all of this, it was a good scene. Perhaps even the best in the entire episode. Brienne finally saved Sansa from further abuse. Even Theon came to his senses and Podrick is slowly but surely turning into a proper squire. A reminder of the oath given to Catelyn Stark, coupled with the sword (made symbolically from Ned Stark’s “Ice”) she was given as a present by Jaime Lannister, who named it “Oathkeeper”, was truly a touching moment. And the fact that Sansa, due to the loss of her parents who were not able to teach her, needed Pod’s help during the acceptance speech to Brienne, was heartbreaking and bittersweet. All in all, at least for now, this was a happy ending of sorts, and a small victory. The North Remembers!
THE BEST OF THE EPISODE
-Sansa Stark’s outcome
-Everything about the Wall, Edd-centric jokes in particular
-And the mutton, let’s not forget about the mutton
-The Melisandre revelation
THE WORST OF THE EPISODE
-The continuity error regarding Melisandre’s youth necklace
-Everything Dorne related. I mean even if we suspend our disbelief to the point of no return, and if we completely swallow the bullshit and plotholes they are selling us, and even if we accept that Ellaria is potentially planning to pinn these killings to Lannisters (which would work so much better if Jaime simply stayed in Dorne and took all the blame), pulling them into the war that will further weaken if not completely destroy them, the fact that she used Doran and Trystane to do it, tells us that Oberyn is indubitably turning in his grave.
-The ring in the haystack. Not even Golum would manage this.
-Dany’s memory loss regarding the Dosh Kaleen
-De facto unawarenes of Daenerys Targaryen, as Drogo’s wife and widow, that got all Essos worked up. What an oversight on Khal Moro’s part.
-Cersei’s confession that she is a monster. If you know Cersei Lannister at all, then you know that this would never happen, not in a million years. Cersei is the embodiment of smug, cruel, selfish, narcissistic and vain woman, which makes this confrontation even more ridiculous and so out of her character.
-The total waste of Jaime Lannister. What a pointless trip south.
-The destruction of the Meereenes fleet so Euron Greyjoy would come in handy during the second part of the season.
-The fact that in two consecutive episodes we witnessed the destruction of two of the great Houses in Westeros – Baratheon and Martell – who are now completely extinct, and that no one cares….
Best quote: „I am not blind, nor deaf. I know you all believe me weak, frightened, feeble. Your father knew me better. Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him. I was the grass. Pleasant, complaisant, sweet-smelling, swaying with every breeze. Who fears to walk upon the grass? But it is the grass that hides the viper from his enemies and shelters him until he strikes.” Rest in peace House Martell
Best quote (from the episode): “Edd is our only chance. It’s a sad fucking statement that Dolorous Edd is our only chance.”
All in all, one thing is sure: within a single episode, the show has managed to pull off the unthinkable; it refuted itself by completely contradicting its own canon, established during the previous seasons. But, let us not loose hope yet…there are so many other plotlines that need to be destroyed and dumbed down. Cheers to that.
Text written by: Monika Ponjavić