Valar Morghulis, all men must die – but not all spoilers must be revealed, so be careful, this article contains information you might not be ready to read.
You were warned!
Fans were welcomed back to Westeros in true Game of Thrones style on Monday night. After 10 months of waiting, episode one ‘The Red Woman’ picked up almost exactly where season five left off, as a sweeping camera moved low over Castle Black until it found the lifeless body of Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
The shock, disbelief, and complete lack of colour on Ser Davos’ face (Liam Cunningham) when he discovered the Bastard of Winterfell lying in the snow mimicked what viewers everywhere felt.
He couldn’t be dead… could he?
We won’t believe it!
After months of conspiracy theories, all desperate to find a way in which Jon Snow might have survived multiple stabbings and getting left in sub zero conditions, fans finally had to face acceptance – Jon Snow is dead.
Really, who else is qualified to lead the campaign against the White Walkers?! Snow basically led the defence of the Wall from the Wildling attack, has killed several of the mysterious ice zombies, and became the youngest Lord Commander in the history of the Knight’s Watch.
One thing confusing some fans though, is why wasn’t Snow’s body burnt? Given how the White Walkers are able to raise the dead to form their own army, why was his body left lying on the table? Maybe we aren’t quite finished with Jon Snow after all.
At least things promise to get interesting at Castle Black from here on in, what with an obvious division among the ranks and a coo building beneath the wall.
Melisandre’s tone dropped significantly as she spent most of the episode questioning the visions she sees in the flames as the death of Snow saw yet another of her premonitions extinguished. It was the Red Woman herself (Carice van Houten) who left audiences with the biggest shock since the Red Wedding. Removing her clothes and jewellery layer by layer Melisandre transformed from a young, red-haired beauty, to a frail and unrecognisable old lady.
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) survived the jump off of the walls of Winterfell and were running for their lives from the malicious men and hounds of Ramsey Bolton. When the men caught up with the pair, the perfectly timed appearance of Lady Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) left her able to finally fulfil her promise to Catelyn Stark all those seasons ago.
There’s been a distinct tone of disappoint among fans though, who feel there should have been more answers given and less new questions raised. It was a busy episode, but overall it felt slow and uneventful. Perhaps it just felt slow because of the explosive end to season five.
Now that the television series has caught up with George RR Martin’s books, there’s no real way of knowing where the show will take its audience. The writers of the series have said they are working with Martin, and know which direction the books will be going, but all fans are truly in the dark now about what is yet to come.