It is a new dawn on Game of Thrones, but for most of the episode, a spirit of mounting dread and mourning keeps a strong grip on everyone as the repercussions of last season’s events are seen in the season six premiere. As Roose Bolton says eloquently at one point, “A reckoning will come,” and so it shall. We begin with the Wall and the show doesn’t waste much time in striking the point home and answering the question everyone has been asking for the last year; Jon Snow is dead as we see the cold and bloody mess in Castle Black’s courtyard.
He has only a few friends remaining, which includes Ghost, his faithful direwolf, who begin mourning him instantly. With Stannis dead, Ser Davos is adrift and uncertain of his own future. For now, he is standing behind the dead Lord Commander. Nonetheless, there were some really strange signs from the beginning. First off, the puddle formed by Jon’s blood looked like a dragon to some. Ser Davos studied it too because it looked like a pattern of some sort. Then there is Melisandre. When she visits the body, she proclaims wistfully that she had seen Jon fighting at Winterfell in the flames. So, we have our fingers crossed. She is known to work wonders.
For now, the former Stark stronghold is under the Bolton’s control and currently Ramsay is in mourning for Myranda, his dead mistress. He had known her since she was 11 and smelled of dogs. He promises her corpse that he will inflict pain on others in return for what she has suffered and then he orders her meat to be fed to his hounds. Things are not looking up for him either as his position has become rather tenuous. His abused and battered wife, Sansa Stark is gone. His stepmother is carrying a son, which means Roose Bolton could have another heir.
With Sansa gone, how will Ramsay produce an heir and keep the North united for whatever is coming their way? In the meanwhile, Theon and Sansa are running for their lives as Ramsay’s bloodthirsty hounds are hot on their trails. It seems as if Winter has already arrived in the North and only seems to be getting worse. Theon and Sansa don’t make it very far and Ramsay’s henchman and hounds are able to catch up to them pretty quickly. However, just as things are looking bad for both of them, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne come riding to the rescue.
Fans finally get a moment of catharsis they have been wanting to see for a long while; Theon finally picks up a sword and strikes down his enemy. This time, Sansa accepts Brienne’s offer of protection gladly and makes a vow in return of not dishonoring her in any way. We move onto the South where Cersei Lannister is still recovering from the horrible events that happened to her in the previous season. She is temporarily cheered up to hear that her daughter Myrcella has arrived from Dorne and she rushes to see her.
But, her happiness is short-lived as she watches her brother-lover accompany Myrcella’s corpse. The reunion of the siblings becomes cause for reflection on the family’s long history with death and the horror of watching the body of a loved one rot. Cersei seems to have gotten fatalistic and believes this was all prophesized, but Jaime refuses to believe it and attempts to rally her towards vengeance. Elsewhere, Margaery Tyrell is still stewing in her cell. The Queen is constantly pestered by the Septas to confess and the High Sparrow tells her that she has a long way to go after she refuses to confess once again. But, we can see her thinking; the wheels are turning in her head.
In Dorne, Prince Doran is killed by Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes and his highest lieutenants are taken out quite efficiently. Ellaria believes Doran and Trystane to be weak and doesn’t want Dorne to be ruled by the likes of them; they drive the point home when they kill Trystane ruthlessly. At this point, it seems that war between the Lannisters and the Dornish plotters is inevitable. Off in Meereen, Varys and Tyrion are out in the city to take stock of what is happening. Tyrion mistakenly threatens to eat the baby of a poor woman; in reality, he is trying to give her money to feed her baby.
They also overhear a red priest deliver a sermon about the Lord of Light and how Daenerys Targaryen was sent to drive away the darkness. Tyrion and Varys also discuss the Sons of the Harpy, but soon they are pulled to a terrible sight; the dragon queen’s fleet of ships that would have taken her to Westeros to claim her throne is burning in the bay, which means she will have to wait to claim her birthright. Dany’s whereabouts are still unclear. She was last seen surrounded by Dothraki warriors, but her faithful assistants, Daario and Jorah are on her trail. They find a clue indicating that she has been taken by the Dothraki.
We pick up with Dany being treated like a slave, whipped and prodded and is taken to the new bigshot Khal Moro. She is paraded before him, but this time she is defiant and bitter, a fallen queen rather than an offering. She reveals her titles when the Dothraki ruler grabs her and he scoffs her off. Only when she tells him she is Drogo’s wife does he let her go and promises her that she will be kept safe. The only problem? Wives of dead Khals are taken to the Dothraki Capital, Vaes Dothrak, which means she won’t be taken to Meereen.
Arya is blind in Braavos and this is part of her training to become a Faceless Man. The waif shows up again to beat her with a stick and Arya will have to learn how to fight without her eyes if she wants to become a ruthless fighter. Still, she is faring better than Jon Snow, whose corpse has become hot property as the Night’s Watch is after it, but Jon’s buddies and Ser Davos are not so keen to let them have it. They are negotiating from behind a locked door and Ser Alliser Thorne promises him freedom with Melisandre if he lets them take Jon’s body.
Davos doesn’t believe it for a minute, but he doesn’t have the numbers to fight them. But, he is hoping that Melisandre and her magical powers can help them. Elsewhere, we find something about Melisandre before a mirror; the red woman’s true self is revealed and she is a wrinkled and warped crone and it is her necklace that keeps her beautiful and young. Maybe, it can bring back Jon Snow? Looks like we will have to wait to find out his fate.