Assorted reviews from the interweb of the season six opener for Game Of Thrones.
Game of Thrones is back, with a premiere full of shocks, bloody acts and creepy reveals – but no definite answer about the fate of Jon Snow.
Season six is the first time the TV series has moved ahead of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, so even dedicated readers have no idea what will happen. Reviewers say the first episode, The Red Woman, resolved some of the cliffhangers from the last series, but also has a few shocks in store, including one very creepy reveal involving a leading lady.
“The tension was incredible,” says Ed Power in the Daily Telegraph.
Season six opened with the camera swooping low over Castle Black and pausing on noble Jon Snow after his bloody run-in with the traitorous Night’s Watch.
“Alas, the Bastard of Winterfell (Kit Harington) was, for the time being at least, staying very dead indeed,” says Power. This was confirmed by “a haunting close-up of his waxy visage and the pool of scarlet arranged like a skewed halo”.
Short of spelling out: “He’s dead!” in huge flaming letters, the writers couldn’t have driven the point home harder, adds the critic, who asks whether this was “a sadistic riposte to fans” who have waited a year to see if their heart-throb will return or “a sleight-of-hand intended to make his eventual reappearance all the more dramatically satisfying”.
Christopher Hooton in The Independent writes: “The last season of Game of Thrones didn’t so much end on a cliff-hanger as a splat on the beach below. Jon Snow is unequivocally dead,” or so we’ve been repeatedly told over the past few months.
However, he adds, the sheer amount of screen time given to his body “suggested more than just a ‘funeral then we all move on with our lives’ narrative”.
With the “obligatory Jon Snow death check” out of the way, this episode was mostly about setting up the playing field for the rest of the season, continues the critic.
Indeed, it was “a sombre, sturdy opening”, says Matt Fowler on IGN. While “not a high watermark for the show”, the series’ opener resolved some cliff-hangers and included “a big creepy reveal regarding Melisandre right at the end”.
It also set up the pieces on the chessboard and managed to touch upon just about every character in the ensemble, says the journalist, a much easier task these days, “now that the herd is so thin”.
Yes, it was a “table-setting episode”, says Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter, as premieres are supposed to be. The episode did what it needed, putting this mammoth locomotive back on the track.
Being Game of Thrones, however, there were a few shockers, including some gory violence and nudity that is “more shocking in its narrative ramifications than its gratuity or titillation”. And while the answer to Snow’s wellbeing comes quickly, says Fienberg, “it needn’t necessarily be permanent, because what things are?”
Source: The Week