Game of Thrones Review: The Red Woman

The moment has finally arrived. After a whopping 10(!) months waiting everyone’s favourite show is finally here! Game of Thrones is back! It was a very long wait so I’m extremely happy that I get to watch the fabulous opening sequence for 10 weeks straight. But, with that much excitement comes expectation. So, was the season premiere worth the wait? Well, yes and no. Yes because I am a major fan of A Song of Ice and Fire so I will be happy with anything you throw at me in that regard. I could watch 50 minutes of Jon Snow lying on the table at Caste Black and still be happy. So it was absolutely worth the wait if you ask me. So, why the no? Well, The Red Woman suffered from something that all season premieres since Winter Is Coming suffer from. There are too many characters to touch base with. Therefore scenes feel rushed and it feels like some scenes are just in there to remind us of this or that character instead of that it actually adds to the episode. But, that being said, it was a very decent episode nonetheless and if you hadn’t realized it by now, I am very happy GoT is back!

 

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What happened

Arya is still blind and she is begging for money on the streets of Braavos. The Waif visits her and forces her to duel with a stick. Arya doesn’t stand a chance because of her blindness and is beaten. Theon and Sansa cross an icy river to escape the Bolton men and hounds pursuing them. They are captured anyway but Brienne and Pod show up killing all the Bolton men with the help of Theon. Sansa finally accepts Brienne’s service. Jaime arrives in King’s Landing with Myrcella’s dead body. Cersei mentions the prophecy and Jaime vows to take everything they lost back and more. In Dorne Doran and Areo are killed by Ellaria and Tyene because Dorne will never be ruled by weak men again as they say. The guards stand by and do nothing. At the same time Trystane is killed by Obara and Nym.

 

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In Mereen Tyrion and Jorah are still chasing Dany. They find out she has been taken by a Dothraki horde. Dany is brought to Khal Moro. Initially he threatens to rape her but when she tells him that she is the widow of Khal Drogo he treats her with more respect. He refuses to bring her back to Mereen instead taking her to Vaes Dothrak to join the Dosh Khaleen as all Dothraki widows of Khals must. At the wall Davos, Edd and a few others notice Ghost howling and when they come out they find Jon’s dead body. They take him inside. In the meantime Alliser explains why they killed Jon and leads his men towards Davos and the others. Alliser offers Davos and Melisandre safe passage but they do not trust him. They get till nightfall to make a decision. Edd leaves to get help from the wildlings. A distraught and defeated Melisandre retreats to a bedroom, takes off her clothes and necklace and we see that she is truly centuries old.

 

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What I liked

All the scenes at the wall were great. It was good to see Ghost because we haven’t seen enough of the direwolves throughout the series. Liam Cunningham always delivers and it’s a pleasure to see him steal every scene that he is in. I felt for the supporters of Jon and they are in a dire situation. The way Alliser Thorn took control was well done as well. And that final scene with Melisandre of course! Lord Jesus! She’s old. It was a very interesting reveal and it was beautifully captured.

 

Arya’s scene was cool as well. It was short and sweet. Maybe it didn’t necessarily need to be in the episode but it was nice to see nonetheless. Theon and Sansa’s escape was also a big plus of the episode. Finally things are looking properly cold in the North. It was touching to see Theon protecting and hugging Sansa and see him counselling Sansa when it came to Brienne. Speaking of Brienne, I was so happy when she finally got what she wanted. It was a well-deserved victory. Lena Heady’s acting was great in the scenes in King’s Landing. Her response wasn’t very plausible but the actress is not to blame for that.

 

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What I didn’t like

Dorne, Dorne and Dorne. The Dorne story arc was already sloppy and unconvincing and it didn’t get any better this season. There is so much to dislike about the portrayal of the most southern part of Westeros. Areo was defeated way too easily and it was baffling that the guards stood by and did nothing and it’s hard to believe that everyone in Dorne hates Doran. I also don’t understand Ellaria’s motivations. The Sand Snakes aren’t much better. That stupid line about one of them being a greedy bitch. Ugh. It was not good. Not good at all. And the faith militant storyline in KL is also getting boring. Something needs to happen there because I am getting tired of Septa Unella. I also don’t like the idea of Dany being back to square one. She will never truly be back at square one because of her dragons but I hope that her current predicament doesn’t last very long.

 

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What I’m looking forward to

Seeing the characters we didn’t get to see yet namely: Bran, Meera, The Greyjoys and returning characters like Edmund, Rickon and the Blackfish. Dany getting back into a position of power and Jaime clashing with the Faith Militant. But more than anything I am looking forward to see how things develop in the North and at the wall.

 

Conclusion

The Red Woman was a decent episode with many highs and a few lows. Dorne is really bad and the north is really good. The showrunners are saying that this is truly the best season they have ever made. Now if I remember it correctly they have been saying things like that since season 2 but for it to be actually true the season needs to get significantly better beginning with episode 2.

 

3.5/5

 

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Notes from the ravens

  • I think there might not be a single person who like what they did with Dorne. And for good reason! I hope they are cutting their losses and that we won’t see much of it again in the rest of the season
  • I feel bad for Arya. The Waif is being pretty mean to her! But in the end it will only make Arya stronger! #teamstark
  • I have been a fan of Ramin Djawadi for a long time and he keeps delivering. Excellent work from the composer
  • In a way Thorne has a point about what Jon was doing. The hatred for the wildlings runs deep. He is still a murdering-ass-douchebag though…
  • I’m not a fan of Cersei. But when she takes her revenge on Septa Unella I am going to enjoy it dearly!

 

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