Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Quick Thoughts on “The Red Woman”

I thought the season premiere of Game of Thrones was everything we could have asked for, and more. It touched most of the key story lines, had some hugely exciting moments (go Brienne and Pod!), and a jaw dropping twist at the end. I don’t have time to cover everything that happened, but here are three quick thoughts. Note, *SPOILERS* abound!

Yep, he's dead – but he's coming back! 

Jon Snow Will Return 

I’m fairly certain we’ve not seen the last of Jon Snow. First, there is no reason the show is going to such lengths to have his body preserved unless something is supposed to happen to it – something like resurrection. Second, in the flames, Melisandre saw Jon fighting at Winterfell. Now perhaps she’s mistaken, but I doubt it. We know she has powers, and by the end of the episode it’s revealed she may be an ancient being, perhaps hundreds of years old. We also know that red priests can raise the dead, and I wouldn’t put this past her – especially since it looks like her own magic has allowed her to defy death for centuries. Third, even Davos notes that the Red Woman may be the only way they survive in Castle Black. Yet this might also mean that she’s Jon’s only hope too. After all, why else would Davos go through such effort to preserve Jon’s corpse? 

Also, I would not rule out Ghost playing some role in Jon’s survival. Maybe it was telling that when the episode opened the first sound heard was Ghost howling. Then we see him trying furiously to escape his pen. Perhaps this is because Jon’s consciousness “warged” into Ghost as John lay dying and he was trying to save his body. The novels certainly set up this possibility, and Bran has proven to have this power on the show, so it’s possible Jon has the “skin changers” gift. But that said, the few scenes with Ghost in “The Red Woman” were too ambiguous to draw any firm conclusions.

Farewell Princes of Dorne.

I Didn’t See That Coup Coming

We knew the Sand Snakes were defiant, even to the point to goading the Lannisters into war with Dorne, but I didn't see them killing Prince Doran in episode one. I’m truly curious to see if George R.R. Martin goes there in the books. I could definitely see it happening, but the show has altered the Dorne plot substantially, even to the point of eliminating one of the book’s key characters, Doran’s daughter Arianne. Only The Winds of Winter will tell, whenever Winter arrives.

I'd prefer she keep her necklace on.

I Loved The Twist At The End

I also did not foresee the episode’s shocking end. That scene where Melisandre revealed her beauty to be a glamor concealing a far more ancient form was brilliant. I must say that if there were clues to her ancientness in the show or the books, I overlooked them. Overall, it was a perfect way to end the season premiere, and I believe that revealing Melisandre to be an ancient sorceress promises a big role for her ahead.

And I’m pretty sure it has to do with Jon Snow.

* Images courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes.


Bill said...

Your analysis of the major shocking killings was right on, Joe. I am also really curious where the Daenarys story is going. I expect that Martin's next book, if it ever comes out, will not follow the series storylines.

Joseph Finley said...

Bill - I agree with you about the next book. In fact, that's the topic of my newest post.