Our sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones begins with a slow drone shot leading us to the abandoned corpse of Lord Commander Snowbastard on his deathbed of blood slush. Ghost is howling balls in the stables, and Davos is first on the scene.
Those loyal enough not to have joined the stab party include Dolorous Edd, who is on the edge of tears, and like five other dudes. That’s the circle of trust. As Jon’s body is borne away, Davos contemplates the blood angel left behind. This has been a truly shitty trip for Davos.
And here’s fucking Mel. Mel looks pretty shit up about things, apparently because the flames showed her Jon fighting at Winterfell. Mel may have to face the notion that her talents do not include prophecy.
Meanwhile, Ser Assholer Thorne’s holding an all-staff to announce the re-branding of Treason 2.0. His mission statement is going down a bit sideways, even with the rest of the Stab Crew. The only person who doesn’t look conflicted is Oly, who is here because his family got eaten by Thenns.
Back in the room with Davos and the Last Good Crows, Ghost is licking his master’s bloody fingers and Dolorous Edd is going to go looking for allies. Good luck, Edd.
Down at Winterfell, Barry the Bastard is getting a bit sentimental about how much he’s going to avenge his sidekick, Miss Dogfood. And his asshole dad is running the usual mind games, but he’s essentially right. Barry’s a genius at fucking people over when he has overwhelming advantage and the element of surprise, but he’s not so hot with big picture stuff.
Meanwhile, the ruined remains of Theon are dragging Sansa to what passes for safety. Or at least he’s helping her freeze to death rather than be devoured alive and screaming. Not that they have a lot of better options, and if you watch Mythbusters you know that pretty much nothing throws a good hound off a scent.
Theon has the advantage of not giving a fuck what happens to him, so he’s happy to throw himself between Sansa and whatever trash Barry has sent after them. It’s a futile gesture, but it buys Brienne and Pod time to make a quality entrance.
Barry’s Trash Squad only underestimates Brienne for as long as it takes for her to cut one of them out of the saddle, then they are all business. It’s a nasty fight, and Pod’s looking pretty well fucked until what’s left of Theon remembers how to hold a sword.
Sansa’s too exhausted, frozen, and traumatized to remember all the niceties of swearing someone to service, but luckily Pod is there to be C3PO. In the end, Brienne has all she has ever asked the world for: a mission, and the hope of redemption.
Meanwhile at King’s Landing, Cersei’s got a kicky mod hairdo and bad news arriving by boat. Myrcella’s death hits her so hard she can’t even take it out on Jaime. Jaime, for his part, has had a long boat trip to consider his options and has clearly decided that everyone is going to have to pay.
Across town in Scarhead Gitmo, Marge is being subjected to scripture readings and good cop/bad cop routines.
And down south in sunny Dorne, the Smokin’ Hot Bastards are staging a coup. Having learned the lessons of their previous fuckups, they are keeping it simple and sticking to backstabbing (or frontstabbing, when there’s a wheelchair in the way). Poor Trystane never even got to finish painting his dad’s eye cookies.
Striding with Tyrion! How I’ve missed this, whatever criticisms Varys may have. Tyrion is off his game here, with his crap Valyrian and insincere charity. He’s also the least inconspicuous figure imaginable, which makes this whole fact-finding tour a bit of a folly. It does afford him a ringside seat for the burning of the harbor, though.
Further inland, Jorah and Daario are following the trail of smouldering carcasses and bonding over Jorah’s haplessness. That greyscale is starting to look like cool body art.
Dany is back to standing mute while surrounded by louts who talk like comments sections, which is a big step back. She breaks out her Dothraki language skills in time to talk her way out of being raped and talk her way into some kind of Golden Girls spinoff. The way the decapitation sisters are smirking, Vaes Dothrak ain’t Miami.
Arya is still blind, and still being hazed by Ginger Bitchface from Project Mayhem.
Back north at Castle Black, crossbows are still the official symbol of dishonor and betrayal. Ser Squarehead has just dropped by to touch base and discuss severance packages and there’s no reason to be concerned. Davos has spent his life dealing with gutless middle managers and knows whose packages are going to get severed. Edd is still out of pocket, and I hope there’s a chamber pot in that room.
Davos may not like Mel, but he knows she’s dangerous, and for once he’d like to see her fuck over someone he doesn’t love.
For our final scene, we get to see Mel strip herself of all artifice and glamor, and take a long, hard look at what remains. Whatever she’s gearing up for, it’s going to be memorable.