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“Game of Thrones” Premiere Recap: Jon Snow’s Dead & He’s Not the Only One

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Faye Marsay as the Waif and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark; Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO(NEW YORK) —  The season-six premiere of Game of Thrones made one thing pretty clear: Jon Snow is really and truly dead — at least for now.  Caution: spoilers ahead…

Castle Black
The episode opened with Ser Davos spotting Jon’s lifeless corpse in the snow in the courtyard of Castle Black.  As you may recall, he’d been stabbed repeatedly by a mob led by Ser Alliser Thorne, who disagreed with his decision to let the Wildings into Castle Black.  Davos and Jon’s friends carry his body into a room, and then bring Jon’s direwolf Ghost in, and start plotting revenge.

Thorne offers Davos safe passage to the South, and amnesty to Jon’s friends, if they’ll all lay down their arms, but they decide to fight.  Davos suggests Melisandre, the Red Woman, can help them with her magic.  We then see Melisandre in her room. She takes off her clothes and stands naked in front of a mirror.  Then, she takes off her necklace — its red jewel glows briefly, and we see her in her true form: with her “glamour” dropped away, she’s really an old, ugly woman.

King’s Landing and Dorne
Jamie Lannister returns from Dorne with the dead body of his niece/daughter, Myrcella, who’d been poisoned by Ellaria Sand in revenge for the Lannisters ordering Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane to kill her lover Oberon.  Myrcella’s mother, Cersei, is beside herself with grief, but Jamie, her twin brother and lover, vows that they’ll take revenge.  In Dorne, Ellaria kills Oberon’s brother, Prince Doran Martell, for being weak and doing nothing when Oberon was murdered.  She also has two of her daughters kill Trystane Martell, Doran’s son and Myrcella’s fiance.  Meanwhile, Queen Margaery Tyrell is still in prison, and the High Sparrow attempts to get her to confess her sins.  She insists she’s innocent.

Winterfell
After Theon Greyjoy and Sansa Stark escape Winterfell and the clutches of her psychotic husband Ramsay Bolton, they flee in terror from Ramsay’s men and his hounds.  Just as they are surrounded, Brienne and Pod show up and kill Ramsay’s men with some help from Theon.  Brienne, who once swore to Sansa’s late mother Catelyn Stark that she’d protect Catelyn’s daughters, vows loyalty to Sansa, placing her sword at her feet. Sansa accepts.

Mereen
Tyrion and Varys stroll through the streets of Mereen, wondering how they’re going to govern the city while Daario and Jorah Mormont are off searching for Daenerys.  Suddenly, people run screaming through the streets; someone has burned all the ships in the harbor.  Meanwhile, Jorah figures out that Daenerys has been taken prisoner by the Dothraki.  Daenerys plays dumb and doesn’t reveal herself to be a former khaleesi until Khal Moro, the head of the clan, announces his intention to sleep with her.  Since — who knew? — it’s forbidden to sleep with the widow of a khal, Moro backs off.  Dany requests an escort back to Mereen, but Moro’s wives tell her that all widowed khaleesi have to go to Vaes Dothrak, their main city, and live with the other widows.

Braavos
Arya, blinded by Jaqen H’ghar as punishment for killing Ser Mervyn Trant, is begging on the streets when the other young girl who serves in the House of Black and White shows up, throws her a stick and commands her to fight.  After soundly defeating her, the girl tells Arya that she’ll be back tomorrow.

Of note, this episode is the first one that goes beyond the story told in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice book series, on which Game of Thrones is based. The first five seasons were mostly drawn from the five books Martin has completed; he has yet to finish the sixth one in the series.

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