The (really old) Red Woman

For whatever reason, I wasn’t as amped up for the season premier of HBO’s Game of Thrones as I had been in previous seasons. Possibly because I finally read through the book series, during a 9 month deployment, which it took nearly the entire time to get through them all. Perhaps due to the fact there is more of an unknown direction for this season and the future of the series without a new book by George Martin to guide the screen writers and audience. However, the first episode titled “The Red Woman”- referring to Melisandre, of course, did not disappoint me at all.

If you haven’t watched the first episode of Season 6 yet, then do not continue to read this entry. I definitely will kick out my own theories and thoughts, which refer to the book series and HBO series. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I would like you to read on and share your thoughts if you’re all caught up.

So ok, I won’t pretend there are not hundreds if not thousands of articles and blogs, including the new HBO GoT follow-on “After the Thrones” show to discuss everything and anything GoT. I’m not a professional critic, I wouldn’t even call myself an amateur critic. I am a fan of the show and the books and I relish in conversation about the entire world that revolves around these Stark’s, Lannister’s and Targaryen’s in addition to the lesser family’s (talking about you, Roose Bolton).  It’s just a damn good creation by Martin, David Benioff and D.B Weiss. I’m really hoping to all hope that this season, again without that creative guide from the Ice & Fire series, isn’t destroyed in the name of television ratings. After all, HBO will have its viewers for the series.

Ramsay Snow-Bolton-Jackass could flay the entire North, set fire to the entire South and as long as Daenerys and Tyrion are still breathing, millions of people will be fixated to the glow of their HBO delivered over multiple platforms. It’s not just a tv series, it’s HBO’s main stream right now helping them to evolve well past normal delivery formats. But let’s not get into that quite yet…or ever.

Last season, as we all chagrined Jon Snow being punctured like a voodoo doll by a scorned lover, we just didn’t know where things were headed. Once I closed the last book by Martin, I impatiently waited for that scene to happen. I partly hoped the writers would just sway off course here and leave it out all together. The popularity of Lord Snow had possibly surprised the shows creators past what Martin had expected in his own books. Snow, after all, was essentially just a bastard son of Ned Stark–motherless–and cast off to wear the black. Who cares about this guy? And in the show, they only dabble into his heroics and courage, albeit much more than they have with the Brandon Stark storyline which I believe is going to develop in this season. But, Martin killed off Snow, the series creators had to follow suit or lose the “nerd” population dedicated to the book series. Now we are left to wonder on our own and again impatiently await the fate of a now dead Jon Snow, speculating that Melisandre (who had taken great interest in Snow) is going to work her God of Light magic tricks to resurrect the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. I wonder if the Watch would have to take a vote again for a new commander or if a resurrected Snow would just get his old job back? If only Sam were around….hmmmm.

Whichever way they decide to take it, we all have to guess and write our own story until they do it for us now. They did, visually, finally reveal what was fairly known for the book readers:  the Red Woman had been deceiving all of those around her with that fancy charm around her neck. We did not know exactly how or what change could occur when she removed it, but it shouldn’t have come as that great of a surprise to see her transform into the old, wrinkly witch she truly is. In some regards, it’s rather convenient. She doesn’t have make up to scrub off or put on every day. What a time saver! If only she had a man in her life who would appreciate her for whom she truly is. (Lord Snow, you’re new duty is calling you.)

Melisandre, known to look “..into her flames..” to see visions of what’s to come or what has been, was obviously misguided or misled, depending on who’s asking, followed Stannis Baratheon all the way out to Castle Black fully believing the wrongfully-claimed-rightful heir to the throne would garner all the support he needed from the North in order to crush the South. Stannis, apparently dead (or is he?) had already failed miserably in one bold attack on King’s Landing at her behest, what else could possibly go wrong this go around? Well, it all went wrong and now this dark, deceptive woman is all alone questioning what she’s in her flames, if her God of Light has misled her causing her to mislead everyone around her. Now, she seems to be making decisions based on her own prerogative and feeling rather than the guidance of her really screwed up way of prayer. Let’s be clear here:  burning Stannis’ daughter was about as heinous an event that could ever take place and in fact, was the most heinous event in the books as well. This did not bring her any closer to the Onion Knight-Lord Davos. Now they seem to need one another after Snow’s peril and the storm that is coming from Lord Thorne (bastard!). If they’re going to get through it, if Snow is going to rise again possibly as a Walker or the new Night’s King it will take the Red Woman’s crazy spells and Lord Davos’ trust in her, and his protection, to make it happen. Let’s just hope Jon doesn’t awake on the super pissed off side.

Where are we headed? What do you think the next episode will bring? We definitely will see Bran. We definitely will see a changing of the guard(s) in Dorne. We definitely will see Dany find her way back to Meereen or maybe just a direct ride on the back of Drogon to barbecue King’s Landing (possibly with Tyrion flying wing half-man). I’d also like to see Jamie Lannister break away from his overbearing sister once and for all. Cersei has become quite a bore, yet we will get to see her ‘zombie-like’ The Mountain get jiggy with it soon, too.

A good season is in store. Post your thoughts below!


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