The Day has finally arrived.
The Day when book readers no longer have the smug superiority of knowing what happens.
The Day where we officially have no basis to say whether the book or show is better.
The Day where we have to address all the problems GRRM created in book five.
For the record, I’ve read all of GRRM’s books, so watching this episode felt very strange to me. It’s kind of exhilarating not knowing what happens, and I look forward to some real suspense this season.
On the other hand, well. We’ll get to that.
Let’s start with the things I liked:
- The Stark girls continue to be a highlight. I’m so glad we’ve finally gotten to blind Arya, and I hope the Faceless Man plotline speeds up. And yay, Sansa is finally away from Ramsay and maybe can actually become her own woman now, you know, with more agency and less rape. I was so glad to see her reunite with Brienne and accept Brienne’s service.
- Tyrion in Meereen with Varys is wonderful. Just wonderful. I could do an entire show of this. I love seeing Tyrion back in charge, and having Varys there with him is a great change from the books that allows the two of them to play off each other.
- Seeing Dany back among the Dothraki is also a wonderful change of pace. She was a much better Khaleesi than a Queen of Meereen, and seeing her shock the Khal and his wives with her knowledge of Dothraki and her position was a highlight of the episode – as was seeing her shock and anger when they told her she was going to Vaes Dothrak (as we all guessed).
- I’m a fan of the Jorah/Daario buddy cop show, even if they found Dany’s ring way too easily.
And now the not-so-great:
- Dorne. WHAT THE HELL. Dorne was bad enough last season, with all the characters turned into caricatures of their book-selves and the death of Myrcella. My desire to shoot the Sand Snakes hasn’t changed, which is unfortunate because I really liked them in the books. And it was PAINFUL to watch Doran and Areo Hotah die. The two of them are wonderful and nuanced in the books, and their undignified deaths in the show were just the shit icing on a shitty Dornish cake.
- Get Jaime away from Cersei already. Jaime’s arc was the main reason I liked Feast for Crows – I loved that he had finally realized what a horrible person he had been and what a horrible person his sister still was. I really want Show!Jaime to get with the program here.
- My soul cries for lack of Petyr Baelish. I simply MUST know what shenanigans he’s up to.
And in the category of things I don’t know how to react to – that last scene. On the one hand, it was a nice reveal that Melisandre is not as she appears and that she has more power than one might guess. On the other hand…I did NOT need to see that. A shoulders-up reveal would have been fine. Really. I promise.
Overall though, this was a solid start to the season.
- IS JON SNOW DEAD FOR REALSIES AND FOREVER AGHGHGHGHGH?
- Seriously though, where is Baelish?
- What was Drogon doing while Dany was captured?
- How are they going to reintroduce characters that have been off the show for over a season?
- BUT IS JON DEAD BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW DAMMIT