Well, seven hells. It has been 10 months since Jon Snow died in the "Game of Thrones" Season 5 finale, but our watch has not ended. Thanks to "The Red Woman" -- the title of the surprising, but not completely satisfying Season 6 premiere -- it has only just begun. As of now, the late Lord Commander is still a Weekend at Bernie's corpse being protected by his friends. (Bless you, Ser Davos.) But the episode ended with Melisandre stripping (again), poised for some kind of action. However, is that action ending her own life? Or does she do that little necklace removal ritual every night before bed?

We learned a lot more about The Red Woman this hour. As it happens, she's not quite as hot as she seems. And she's older than she looks. (Maybe it's Maybelline?)

Laugh if you want, but that is a damn handy necklace to have once you reach a certain age. (Point to ponder: If Mel had to do a walk of shame, would it be better for her to do it with the necklace on, or scare away the people by taking it off?)

Also, whether you wanted to or not, we returned to Dorne. And despite all of that sunshine, their days were dark and full of terrors. Ellaria Sand and her Sand Snakes continued their blood war, killing the following friends/relatives:

• Prince Doran Martell

• Trystane Martell

• Areo Hotah

So much for the good people of Dorne. Clearly, the Sand Snakes want war. And Cersei and Jaime Lannister will be happy to oblige, after the death of Myrcella.

The episode focused much of the action around the leading ladies (Melisandre, Dany, Brienne, Arya, Sansa, Margaery, Cersei, the Sand Snakes, even dead Myranda and Myrcella), which is refreshing and fitting for an episode with "Woman" right in the title. However, "The Red Woman" didn't actually start until 9:05 p.m. and ended a couple of minutes early. So we were stiffed. And we have no idea what's next for the stiff called Jon Snow. How will the aged Melisandre -- and Ghost, and Davos, and friends -- be able to revive Snow and get out? Will the wildlings arrive to help? And where will they go from there?

Read on for a recap of Episode 1:

THE MAP: This week's locations, courtesy of the intro map, are King's Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, Braavos, Meereen, and Dorne.


Ser Davos gets the MVP credit this week, and if/when Jon Snow ever gets himself undead he should make sure to buy the Onion Knight a drink.

The episode starts at Castle Black, around dawn, to the sound of howling. Poor Ghost can't get to his papa. We see Jon Snow on the ground, alone now, since his killers (damn you, Olly!) have left him. Ser Davos is the first to spot Jon on the ground. He rallies Jon's friends, 'cause he still has some, and they help get Jon inside. They shut Jon's eyes, because he is DEFINITIVELY DEAD. They know Alliser Thorne is behind this. Davos asks if "the wolf knows you," since they need all the help they can get on their side. Cue Melisandre at the door. She's Team Jon. And now she's confused, 'cause she saw Jon in the flames, fighting in Winterfell. (The battle ahead this season, Snowbowl!) Sometimes Mel does see the right stuff in the flames, but she doesn't always interpret it correctly.

Meanwhile, Alliser Thorne talks to the rest of the Night's Watch and admits he, and his posse, committed treason by killing Jon Snow. Oathbreakers and King-ish-slayers, all. And yet Alliser promotes himself as never disobeying an order from his Lord Commander. He claims he is loyal -- interesting interpretation -- and says Jon Snow was going to ruin the watch by working with the wildlings. You can understand why Olly hates the wildlings, that much makes sense after his whole family was killed, but it doesn't justify killing Jon.

At the end of the episode, the final scene is Team Alliser (Team Arsehole, if you like) banging on the door of Team Davos/Jon, demanding surrender "or this ends with blood." Davos gets cute and quippy and says they'll have an answer later. "In my learned opinion, we open that door..." "...they'll slaughter us all." They don't like their odds, until Davos brings up The Red Woman. She has powers.

We see Melisandre look at her reflection. She takes off her robe (first boobs of the season, probably not the last) and looks sad. She removes her ruby necklace and we see a much older woman. (Second boobs = take that, anyone who was titillated by first boobs!) She is ancient without that red power. (Shades of Storm of the Century, for anyone who watched that Stephen King TV miniseries. Plus The Shining.) Then she just gets into bed. Is she trying to kill herself or is this her normal thing? We need you to revive Jon, girl: Get out of bed and WERK.


Ramsay apparently loved, or at least deeply cared about, Myranda and we hear him mourn her. He vows revenge on her killers, promises a lot of pain. But he loves hurting people, so that doesn't mean much. And who really cares about Ramsay's feelings, or Myranda?

Roose compliments his son on the victory against Stannis, but plays some mind games, too: "Do you feel like a victor?" Trick question! He rebelled against the crown for Ramsay's marriage to Sansa Stark. "A reckoning will come. We need the North to face it. The entire North." They need Sansa for that, and they lost her, thanks to Ramsay's games. Ramsay sent his hounds after them. Without an heir... Roose lets it trail off. But he also references his wife Walda (Team Walda!) Frey Bolton being pregnant and possibly carrying a boy. To replace Ramsay.


Speaking of the hounds chasing Theon and Sansa... we see them running in the woods. Theon has to help Sansa cross a frozen river in the snow. It is high time Sansa started saving herself. Sophie Turner said this is Sansa's best season yet, but as of the premiere she is still working with Theon and letting him lead her. They take shelter under a tree. As a native of Winterfell, she should be pretty used to the cold, but Theon holds her and pats her back as they hide ... not even too well. They can hear the dogs coming. Theon volunteers to go out and distract them. Sansa says she'll never make it without him. (UGH. PLEASE. COME ON.) But Theon tells her to go to Castle Black, since Jon is Lord Commander there. Old intel, but not the worst plan. He tries to help, but Ramsay's men find Sansa anyway. So it's a good thing...

Pod and Brienne show up! Yes, Brienne finally gets to stop waiting for that candle in the tower and actually helps Sansa (and Theon), fighting off Ramsay's men. Theon takes a sword and stabs a guy in the back, saving Pod. So Theon gets his warrior on this week. Not so much Sansa yet, though. Brienne kneels to Sansa and offers her service again. Sansa, for some reason, turns to Theon first and waits for his nod before telling Brienne she will always have a place by her hearth and (with prodding from Pod) meat and mead at her table, and the rest of the oath, by the old gods and the new.


Poor Cersei. She's still Cersei, but you have to feel for a mother who lost a(nother) child. And this wasn't an evil child, unlike Joffrey. Jaime was supposed to bring back Myrcella and he did, but ... she's dead. Cersei remembers the prophecy from Maggy the witch who told her that her children's crowns, and shrouds, would be gold. Tommen, you're next!

Cersei asks Jaime if he remembers the first time he saw a dead body. It was their mother. We hear the story of their mother's body bloating and changing with death. She can't imagine locking Myrcella in a crypt and her beautiful face changing. "She was good. From her first breath she was so sweet. I don't know where she came from. She was nothing like me. No meanness, no jealousy, just good. ... I thought if I could make something so pure ... I'm not a monster." Jaime says to "f--k prophecy, f--k fate, f--k everyone who isn't us." They're going to take it all.

Meanwhile, Queen Margaery is still in the dungeon, asking to see for her brother Loras. She's denied by a septa, then the High Sparrow comes in for a chat. Tommen misses her daily. Only confession can purge sin, but she says she has nothing to confess. Does she think she's perfect?


Ellaria helps Doran walk to his chair, and the prince says his brother Oberyn truly lived while he -- Doran -- stayed in Dorne and tried his best to keep his people alive. Ellaria and Doran play nice until Doran gets the word that Myrcella is dead. Then the knives come out and Ellaria and her daughter kill Areo Hotah and Prince Doran. Ellaria berates Doran as he dies. Doran asks about his son, Tyrstane. "Your son is weak, just like you, and weak men will never rule Dorne again." Cue a scene with the other Sand Snakes visiting Trystane on a ship. Which one does he want to kill him? He picks one (Tyene) and the other (Obara) kills him from behind. "You're a greedy bitch, you know that?" Welcome back to Dorne, everyone. It's war.


Tyrion and Varys walk the streets, chit-chatting and trying to help people. Varys is a little better at it than Tyrion. There's writing on the wall, next to "Kill the masters," saying "Mhysa is a master." Fear has taken over Meereen, and Daenerys Targaryen is not as popular as she used to be. There are preachers in the street. Bells chiming. Smoke. Someone set fire to the ships. Tyrion says they won't be sailing to Westeros. Guess you'll have to fly there on the three dragons!


We see the buddy cop detective work of Daario and Jorah, searching for Dany in the wild, and talking about how they both like Dany and want to see what the world will look like when she is done conquering it. But we see Jorah's advanced greyscale. How long does he really have? They eventually realize a Dorthraki horde was there and -- how convenient -- in all of that space, Jorah happens to stumble on the jewelry Dany dropped in the Season 5 finale. "They have her."

On that note, we see the expanse of the Dorthraki horde in the desert, and Dany being whipped (DON'T YOU TOUCH HER!) as she walks. They laugh at her and talk smack about her in Dothraki. Misogynists in every language, all around the world, even fake worlds. They call her an idiot and say she doesn't have to be smart to get f--ked in the ass. She's back to Season 1.

Fire and blood is coming for you guys, though. You don't mess with the Mother of Dragons.

She's taken to Khal Moro. The women, his wives, say blue-eyed women are witches. It is known. The guys want to see her naked for the first time because it's one of the top five things in life. (Did they make a listicle about it?) Dany tries to drag them, though, and says they can't touch her. She reads off her titles. But they laugh again and say she is now a slave of Khal Moro now and will bear his child. But she has had her own prophecy and knows she will bear no child.

However, Dany places her ace card: She was the wife of Khal Drogo. He didn't know. It is forbidden to lay with a khal's widow. No one will touch her. She wants to go back to Meereen, but when a khal dies, the khaleesi is meant to go to Vaes Dothrak to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen to live with the crones, the widows of dead khals. So ... that's a no on an escort to Meereen.


Arya is left to beg on the streets of Braavos. She's blind so we hear things as she does. The "c-nt" from the House of Black and White shows up and taunts her, then picks a fight. The other girl basically kicks Arya's butt, since Arya hasn't learned how to fight blind. Yet. "See you tomorrow," the other girl says. Sad how others on the street just watch and don't even try to help. Poor Arya. If only she could just go home, and connect with her sister and not-so-dead brothers.


Episode 2 is called "Home," and it looks like there's some good stuff ahead. Brienne tells Sansa about Arya, so Sansa at least knows her sister is alive, too, in addition to Bran and Rickon. Shame about Jon, though, at least for now.

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