After killing off its arguably most major character at the end of last season, you might have thought that Game of Thrones would devote the season 6 premiere to mourning his loss.
Pffft. Nope. This is Westeros; ain't nobody got time for that.
Not one to rest on its laurels, Game of Thrones followed up the shocking season 5 assassination of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) with yet another bloody power grab on Sunday, April 24, kicking off its new season with the surprise elimination of still more cast members, and setting all kinds of major plotlines in motion. Read on for our recap.
"Weak Men Will Never Rule Dorne Again"
If you thought that Ellaria Sand's (Indira Varma) little princess-poisoning episode last season was just a one-off murder, think again: Turns out, Ellaria and her daughters had a couple more names on their kill list. RIP, Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig) and Areo Hotah (DeObia Oparei) — and buh-bye Trystane (Toby Sebastian). With a little poison and a whole lot of stabbing, Dorne is now officially a matriarchy of vipers … and it's kind of awesome, to be honest.
Reek, Reek, He's So On Feek
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) survived their desperate jump from the wall of Winterfell, only to find themselves hunted by Ramsay Bolton's (Iwan Rheon) hounds from hell. Theon nobly tried to sacrifice himself so that Sansa could escape — but it didn't work, which is why it's so lucky that they just happened to flee into the same forest where Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman) were waiting with swords at the ready. And with that, Sansa finally realized that Brienne is the hero she both needs AND deserves, and we can finally get those Team Briensa T-shirts printed up.
More Bad News for Cersei
After getting medical attention and a much-needed bath, Cersei (Lena Heady) was reunited with her brother/lover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) — and was devastated by the news of her daughter's death. But Cersei and Jaime handled this death much better (and with 100 percent less ghastly in-front-of-the-corpse sex) than the last one, renewing their mutual allegiance and vowing vengeance … which puts the Lannister twins right back where we like them, together on a quest for power and blood.
Dany Name-Drops Khal Drogo
After a forced march to the camp of her Dothraki captors, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) surprised everyone when she revealed herself as the widow of the late, great Khal Drogo (RIP, hottest horse lord ever). Unfortunately, name-dropping Drogo earned Dany respect but not her freedom. And while Daario (Michiel Huisman) and Jorah (Iain Glen) are diligently tracking her, Jorah's gray scale is getting worse. Will they find and rescue her before he fully petrifies?!
And Yes, Jon Snow Is Still dead
Thanks to various sightings of actor Kit Harington on the set this past year, we kinda know that Jon Snow is bound to return before the season is out. But for the duration of this episode, he remained really most sincerely dead — to the horror of Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and the few remaining loyal men of the Night's Watch. Jon's brothers were ready to die avenging their fallen leader, but Davos had a better idea: rally the wildlings to their cause, and perhaps get Melisandre (Carice van Houten) to work a little magic in their favor.
Which brings us to the second-biggest shocker of the episode, and a game changer for the series: Melisandre might be a useful ally against Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale), but not before she has a nap and a nice glass of prune juice. Because when she removes her elaborate (and apparently enchanted) necklace in the privacy of her room, it turns out that she's, like, 700 years old.
Tell Us: Did the premiere get season 6 off to a promising start?
Game of Thrones airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
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