Game of Thrones, the most popular show on TV is back. Now smug book readers like myself are experiencing fresh as the show finds its own path as it has officially overtaken the books.
This is a strong opening episode and no hint of any fumbling from the show runners. Be warned watch the episode first SPOILERS ahead.
The episode title was a clear hint at the frequently sexualised Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) and the fact she is a crone is the episodes well crafted finale. They are holding back on her possible revival of Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) that many have predicted, but we now know she is a witch with a rich and long background.
Along with Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Brienne (Gewndoline Christie) this series points towards the women of Westeros becoming just boobs. Brienne finally rescues Sansa in an intense fight with help from the loyal Podrick and the redeeming Theon (Alfie Allen). You can’t help but cheer after what these characters have been through in the previous seasons.
The women outside Westeroes aren’t having as much luck as blind Arya (Maisie Williams)is subjected to more lessons from the faceless assassins. And Daenerys (Emilia Clarke)is introduced to her Dothraki host that doesn’t bring the widow good news. It’s so good that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is there to advance and make the Daenerys plot a bit less meandering.
Now to the women of Dorne that make their move for power after assassinating the innocent Myrcella. The never fully realised prince is another casualty of along with his axe wielding protector. The sand snakes finally are seen to be as brutal as their reputation suggested.
The chess pieces at the wall are put into place as Ser Alliser takes control. Those loyal to the deceased Lord commander including his Direwolf are confined to one room awaiting Wildling reinforcements and a possible resurrection.
As always the action is brutal and the murders gory and bloody. The pacing is better than previous season openers and plenty more intrigue is added before giving the audience want they really want….Jon Snow!