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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Game of Thrones (2011) - Season 6 Surprises

The eagerly awaited Game of Thrones Season 6 has uncovered several open questions from the last season. There are a few surprises here and there.

Wake Up Jon Snow!!

Season 5 finale saw Jon Snow lying dead on the snow, bleeding away after his Night Watch enemies prove their treachery by shooting and stabbing him through the heart. The big question was, if the Red Priestess Melisandre would be able to revive him?

It was not a co-incidence that she happened to arrive at the Wall nights before Jon Snow's murder and she was the devout worshipper of the Lord of Light, a God known to have revived people back from the dead. It took 3 whole episodes but George R.R. Martin did not disappoint us this time. 

Jon Snow was too important a character, and potentially one of the three Dragon successors, to remain dead. Luckily, he does not wake up a White Walker. As speculated, Melisandre performs her magic tricks and manages to resurrect Jon Snow, albeit after much coaxing and encouragement from her most unlikely companion Sir Davos.

Welcome back Jon Snow!!

Melisandre's secret is also revealed as we come to know, she is not the pretty young witch in her thirties. She is an old wrinkled woman, probably in her nineties or more, who keeps her true appearance disguised by wearing an enchanted neck bracelet.

Melissandre, the Red Priestess. At least she knows something.
With the help of the Wildlings, Sir Davos and Jon Snow's other allies captured the Night Watch traitors and executed them. Of course, after all the treachery, Jon Snow no longer wanted to remain the Lord Commander of the Night Watch. Can't blame him - who wants to waste their days in the freezing cold, only to be betrayed by your own men.

Sansa The Tortured and Her Rescuers

Sansa Stark is literally the most tortured character in the Game of Thrones. She faces terrible misery and torture over several seasons - first at the hands of the Lannisters and then her husband Ramsay Bolton, the psychopath.

Sansa and Ramsay's wedding - So you thought Lannisters were the monsters? Meet Ramsay Bolton.

When Ramsay goes out to fight Stannis and his army, Sansa and Theon flee the castle prison of Ramsay Bolton by jumping to their freedom, but not before killing Ramsay's lover-cum-hound keeper's daughter Miranda. Pursued viciously by Ramsay's guards and hounds, Sansa and Theon goes a long way before getting caught again.

Hello, I am Ramsay, the psychopath - I love skinning people, sometimes I also feed them to the hounds.

Fortunately for both, Lady Brienne and his knight boy comes to their rescue and slaughters Ramsay's soldiers. This is also the first time that Brienne is actually successful in keeping someone safe after her multiple failed attempts at playing bodyguard - remember Renly, Catelyn Stark and Jamie Lannister? She pledges her allegiance to Sansa Stark and they travel to The Wall to join Jon Snow.

Good going Brienne, we have lot of hope pinned on you, especially now that zombie Gregor Clegane is awake. I could never forgive the Mountain after the way he ruthlessly killed Prince Oberyn of Dorne, the only character brave enough to face the monster and stand up for the wrongly accused death-row prisoner Tyrion Lannister.

Meanwhile, Theon goes back to the Iron Islands to join his sister Yara. Their father Balon Greyjoy got killed by their recently retuned pirate uncle who now plans to take over the Iron Islands. So now we have a new pirate villain in the Pyke, not a sub-plot I am hugely interested in.

Arya The Nameless Girl

Back to Bravos, Arya is surviving her days as a blind beggar, living out her punishment for killing the wrong person out of thirst for revenge. After many trials and tribulations, Arya is able to develop her combat skills in spite of her blindness. Jaqen H'ghar, the faceless man, is pleased with her progress and restores her eye-sight. Now we just wait out the days while Arya trains herself into becoming a deadly assassin.

The Fate of the Remaining Starks - Bran and Rickon

These two Stark boys were completely absent in Season 5 and I almost forgot about them. They reappear in Season 6, where Bran time-travels with the Old Man in the tree aka the Blood Raven, and witnesses real events from his father Ned Stark's past. Bran is learning how to see the past and will probably go on to see the future.

Brandon and the Blood Raven time-travelling together

In the meantime, Rickon and his Wildling protector Osha are caught by Ramsay's men. Osha had a lot of potential, in fact I even hoped she might kill Ramsay. But then let's not forget, this is Game of Thrones. When has that mildly likeable not-so-important character survived the series?

Petyr Baelish is Back

Littlefinger, the charming devil is back in the Vale and his first task at hand is to subtly manipulate Robin, his nephew and Lord of Vale, to send an army to The Wall to counter Ramsay Bolton's army. His primary concern is that Ramsay will leave no stones unturned to get back Sansa Stark, his tortured bride who can bear him the heir to Winterfell. My respect for Littlefinger is reinstated. Vale's army countering the Bolton army will be a significant move in the chess game.

Sansa Stark
For those of you who hated Petyr Baelish for forcing Sansa into a doomed marriage with Ramsay, this move should convince you that Littlefinger had no idea what an animal Ramsay was, or the extent of misery he was pushing Sansa into. He was trying to gain a stable ally in the Boltons while helping Sansa make the best of her situation. Much as I would like to see Petyr Baelish push Ramsay through the moon-door, Ramsay definitely deserves a lot worse than that.

Petyr Baelish, you simply don't trust Ramsay Bolton, especially when he says he will never hurt someone.

Daenarys - Captive or Queen?

Daenarys Targaryen, the widow of Khal Drogo, rode off on her dragon and landed in the Dothraki land, only to be captured by another Dothraki tribe. Jorah and Daario, her two loyalists and lovers were hot in her trail until they stumbled upon the Dothraki village where she was being held captive. They encountered her when she was taking a night walk. She of course had a much better plan than to be rescued by her loser lovers.

You are too small to lead the Dothrakis, so I will. You will not serve me, you will die.

The next thing we know, she goes into trial inside the Dothraki chambers and burns down the house, emerging out of the flames naked. If you are tired of seeing naked Daenerys walking out of the flames, join the club. This one-time favourite character of mine is becoming more boring and tedious every day. The only hope is that now she will lead the entire Dothraki clan and march to Meereen.

Meereen Diplomacy

While Daenarys continues her trademark walk of flame, the two most efficient diplotmats in Game of Thrones, Tyrion and Varys, have joined hands in their effort to save Meereen from the Sons of the Harpy assassins. They negotiate conditions with the Astapor and Yunkai lords to stop funding the assassin group in return for greater rewards. Not the most interesting sub-plot in Season 6, but you can watch it solely in anticipation of how their diplomatic move will affect the larger game.

Varys, Tyrion and Missandei in meeting with the Astapor and Yunkai lords.

Back in King's Landing

Cersei is still reeling from her walk of shame, as she and Jamie reunites. It is not a happy reunion because they have just lost their second child, Mycella, poisoned by the sand snakes while departing from Dorne. The twins and lovers Cersei and Jamie vow to take revenge for every injustice, to take back everything and more. In spite of the twisted nature of their relationship, you will find yourself rooting for this couple, more now than ever.

Jaime and Cersei - twins and lovers

Margaery Tyrell, the queen is still held captive by the High Sparrow and his men, while Tommen, the most useless king in the history of Game of Thrones stands helplessly watching, too scared to take any action. He has probably forgotten about the huge army of Kings Guards at his disposal.

If you are looking forward to Cersei's revenge plan, it is nearly in motion, as she and Jamie approaches the Tyrell matriarch Olenna Tyrell to work out a rescue plan for Margaery and her brother Loras. Of course, we know that Cersei really doesn't care for her daughter-in-law or the shameful fate that awaits her, she is only interested in destroying the Sparrow fanatics. The High Sparrow is full of shit and he totally deserves whatever is coming to him.

Another event I am looking forward to is Margaery's revenge on Cersei. Margaery is a strong-willed and shrewd woman. She knows that it is the queen mother who subjected her and Loras to their current fate, and it would be fun to watch the two spiteful conniving women pitted against each other more aggressively than ever before.

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