Game of Thrones: The Red Woman Recap *SPOILERS*
This is your final warning, this post contains a complete, and spoiler-filled recap of the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Past this here point, here be spoilers. If this is what you seek, enjoy!
The hour long season premiere starts with the winds howling over Jon Snow’s dead body, only to be replaced with the grief-filled howls of his direwolf.
Nearby, Sir Davos hears the commotion and rushes to Jon’s side, finding him lifeless in the courtyard with a sign over his body reading, “TRAITOR.”
They get Jon’s body inside, and Edd knows Thorne is behind Jon’s untimely murder. Davos questions whether or not anyone is trustworthy, and if Jon’s wolf can be controlled. As they prepare to leave, they are interrupted by Melisandre.
She looks over Jon’s body with sadness, it’s rare to see real emotion from her and she speaks about when she saw him in the flames fighting in Winterfell, a prophecy that at this point will not be coming true.
In the meantime, the true traitor addresses the men and admits to killing Jon. He attempts to cover for his crime by using his loyalty as a shield and telling the men Jon was planning to dismantle the night’s watch. He claims to have committed the crime to prevent further escalation.
Davos and the others strategize what to do next. He sends Edd to approach the wildlings for help in fighting the traitors in Castle Black.
We cut to Ramsey Snow, the psychopath, reminiscing over the dead body of Miranda. He vows to make those who hurt her pay while in the same breath ordering her body to be fed to the hounds. Roose congratulates Ramsey on his victory over Stannis but only long enough to tear Ramsey down once more. He orders Ramsey to find Sansa as soon as possible under the threat of being disowned.
Dogs chase Sansa and Theon through the woods. Sansa is having trouble keeping up, and they cross a freezing river to throw off the hounds. The water is frigid, and they soon face hypothermia after. However, they find a hiding place at the root of an old tree. Theon comforts Sansa but the hounds catch up. Reek goes to lure the dogs away but intends to send Sansa north to Castle Black, unaware of Jon’s death.
Theon faces down Ramsey’s men, saying Sansa died in the ramparts. His ruse fails, and the men find Sansa but they are interrupted by Brienne of Tarth, who has trouble fighting off the men but ultimately succeeds in killing them all. Pod however, bites off more than he can chew and is saved by Theon (who appears to be gaining strength). Sansa is safe once more.
Brienne pledges her services to Sansa, and this time Sansa accepts. It’s about time these two teamed up. You can already feel the tide turning in their favor.
Speaking of tides, the boat from Dorne has arrived. Cersei runs to greet her daughter, only to find Jamie rowing in on a boat with her body. She is griefstruck. In the following conversation with Jaime, she tells him of the witch who told her all her children would die shrouded in gold. Jaime refuses to believe in prophecy and swears to take back everything and more.
Still held in a cell, Margaery asks to see her brother. The order remains, she must confess. She attempts to demand to see her brother. When Septa Unella refuses and makes a threatening movement towards Margaery, Margaery cowers in expectation of a beating. However, Unella is interrupted by the High Sparrow.
The High Sparrow attempts to comfort Margaery and promises to prevent any further “beatings” so to speak. Margaery again asks about Loris, but the cult leader came to see her about another matter altogether. He tells her her husband misses her, and encourages her to confess once more. While she refuses to confess, Margaery admits that she’s not without sin. The leader says she’s “started down the path, but still has many miles to go,” and leaves her to continue contemplating in her cell.
Ellaria Sand, who murdered Myrcella, helps Prince Doran walk the palace garden. Her daughter, Tyene trails behind them. Doran reminisces on Oberyn, reminiscing being a common theme for this episode. However, the relatively happy discussion is interrupted by a maester who brings the news of Myrcella’s death. Tyene instantly snaps into action, killing Doran’s guard while Ellaria kills Doran herself.
Ellaria stands over Doran vowing a weak man would never rule over Dorne again, and sealing the fate of Doran’s son (formerly Myrcella’s betrothed) Trystayne. Trystayne is brutally murdered by Obara in what I think is the most dishonorable way possible, given the choice of combat then being stabbed when his back was turned on the non-combatant. I’m really starting to hate the “Sands,” as if I didn’t dislike them already.
Tyrion speaks with the Spider as they walk through the streets. He tries to speak Valyrian but is still fairly terrible at it. They find that Daenerys is not as popular as she thought. Her people feel abandoned, and revolt is at hand. The Spider attempts to find the man who ordered the attack in the pits. A fire breaks out in the city, and it’s found all the ships have been burned to a crisp.
Daario and Jorah continue looking for Daenerys. In their friendly conversation about Jorah’s frustrations and Dany’s future reign we see greyscale has progressed, although not terribly quickly (meaning we’ll be seeing a lot of Jorah probably). They find the signs of the horde that has taken Dany hostage, and in the midst of the trail, they find one trace of her, a pearl ring left in the grass.
That horde turns out to be Dothraki who have no idea who Dany used to be. They’ve marched her far into the desert, and whip her when she cannot keep up. They speak in Dothraki, but Dany does not let on that she can understand them. They speak savagely about how they are going to rape her, and let slip the name of their Khal. Dany keeps silent, knowing that speaking now would only get her killed. When they stop for water, they take Dany to the Khal.
The Khal’s wife has no kindness for Dany, but the Khal takes an interest in her. When he goes to rip off her clothes, she makes it known who she is.
Only to be laughed at, and told she will be raped that night anyway. Her name means nothing to them. Still she stands up to the Khal who does not care at all until she mentions who her husband was.
Can we take a moment to talk about how irritating this scene is? Dany is and has always been a force to be reckoned with in the series, but here she was worthless without her former, dead husband. For all the empowerment Game of Thrones has given its female characters, it’s always two steps forward and three steps back. Don’t get me wrong, I get the whole point is to make Dany powerless, and give her a dose of much needed humility, but this could have been done way, way better.
Anyway, carrying on.
Dothraki rules state that no one lies with the widow of a Khal, and by that turn, no one is going to rape Dany. As a matter of fact, the Khal is almost instantly regretful of the disrespect he put Dany through when she mentions she is a Khaleesi. He immediately cuts her bonds free and Dany demands to be taken back to Meereen with the reward of 1,000 horses for returning her.
But he refuses, and his wife takes great pleasure in telling her she will be taken to Vaes Dothrak to live out her days with the rest of the Khal widows.
We now come upon a blind Arya begging for money. She now has a heightened sense of hearing. Her fellow assassin trainee shows up and fights her. Naturally she gets her ass handed to her, only to be told it will happen again tomorrow. She has no choice but to adapt to her new circumstances, and learn to fight regardless.
At Castle Black, archers stand watch while Thorn attmpts to root out the last of Jon’s loyal friends. He offers amnesty to brothers who throw down their arms, and freedom to Davos. He wants surrender, or there will be blood. Davos gives a political, noncommitted response.
He believes Melisandre can help them escape, but not all is well in the world of the Lord of Light.
Melisandre seems to be questioning her faith. She has been wrong twice now, first with Stannis and now with Jon. Staring at her youthful body, for the first time she removes her red jeweled necklace, revealing she’s actually a very, very old woman.
She turns away from the mirror and lays in bed (in what I presume is to allow the years to catch up with and kill her).
The episode ends here.
A solid introduction to the new season lets us know how everyone was doing, except for (and notably so) Bran. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see what he’s been up to next week.
Jon is still dead, but we don’t know how long that might last, if his body is not ash yet I have hope he might return. Who knows, Davos might even run into the resurrecting priest and true follower of the Lord of Light.