“Game of Thrones” Season Six Success
By ROBERT FLAKS
The latest season of Game of Thrones on HBO was the best yet. Here are my thoughts on each episode of this stellar season.
Episode 1: “Red Woman”
The good: Tension at The Wall was palpable, Melisandre losing faith added depth to her character, and Sansa’s reunion with Brienne and Pod was bittersweet as it also signaled Theon’s redemption.
The bad: Arya’s story still feels like the training montage in a “by the numbers” boxing movie. Also, Dorne continues to be the worst written, acted, and directed storyline in the whole show.
The ugly: Melisandre’s mirror scene; which is as character-revealing as it can get.
Episode 2: “Home”
The good: Tyrion and Varys attempting to rule is a nice throwback to Season Two. Jamie threatening the High Sparrow reminded us how dangerous he can be. Bran’s visions with the three-eyed raven are used to great effect to reveal the backstory that the show has yet to touch upon.
The bad: Arya’s daily beatings are as uninteresting as they are repetitive. The iron island scene is a lazy ret-con, killing one of “Game of Thrones” most capable warriors in a completely anti-climactic way.
The crazy: Melisandre’s magic and her desperate plea to bring Jon back to life works. As soon as the wolf wakes up, we see that ending the episode on a jump cut of Jon gasping for air was a brilliant idea.
Episode 3: “OathBreaker”
The good: John executing the mutineers was the result of four seasons of buildup. Davos being the surrogate father figure was a very touching scene. The flashback with the Tower of Joy had excellent choreography and was a great sword-fighting scene.
The bad: Rickon being given to Ramsay without explanation or context seemed rushed.
The frustrating: The episode teased fans with the Tower of Joy scene by having the Three-Eyed Raven end the vision, which all happened before Bran could run up to the tower and possibly confirm a huge theory about a certain someone’s true parentage.
Episode 4: “Book of the Stranger”
The good: Sansa’s reunion with Jon is excellent, but we were left wanting more of their conversation. Arya’s storyline finally got some development with her eyesight being returned.
The bad: Dany’s storyline continues to feel contrived, with Dany giving another tired speech about taking over the world. Tyrion’s deal with the slavers only seemed to be there to upset Missandei and Grey Worm.
The topical: Euron’s discussions of how the Iron Born don’t win anymore and how no one is better at sailing than him had a very Trump-like feel to them.
Episode 5: “The Door”
The good: We finally learn the meaning behind Hodor’s name and Bran is now the most powerful character in the entire show. The Army of the Dead looked impressive as well. Sansa berating Littlefinger was cathartic and shows how far she’s come as a character.
The bad: The red priest in Mereen’s knowledge of Vary’s childhood caught him and the viewers off guard.
The world view changing: We finally learn what created the White Walkers and why the dragon glass can kill these people.
Episode 6: “Blood of My Blood”
The good: Coldhands is introduced and revealed to be Benjen Stark. Arya warns the actress about the murder plot, proving she isn’t a true faceless assassin. Tommen sentencing Jamie to the river-lands sets up one of the best character arcs.
The bad: Deanery’s speeches continue to be monotonous.
The awkward: Sam’s reunion with his unloving father is as uncomfortable as it is insulting. We feel angry for Sam and rightfully so.
Episode 7: “The Broken Man”
The good: Jamie taking charge of the siege and dabbling in negotiations is a lot of fun to watch. Lyanna Mormont’s performance stole the show and Sandor Clegane being revealed alive was fantastic.
The bad: The second you saw the peaceful village, you knew it would get destroyed by the end of the episode.
The ugly: Arya getting tenderized by repeated torso stabbings was gruesome.
Episode 8: “No One”
The good: Once again, Jamie’s scene with Edmure showed us the great depth of his character. Sandor Clegane killing the men and reuniting with the Brotherhood was a nice touch. Plus, Riverrun looks fantastic in the episode. Fianlly, the Terminator-style chase with Arya was very well done.
The bad: I would have liked to have seen the fight with the waif on screen. Deanery’s flying in to save the day was about the closest to a deus ex machina that the show has come to.
The symbolic: Sandor urinating in the river was a subtle way for the writers to tell the “Game of Thrones” readers that Lady Stoneheart probably won’t happen in the show.
Episode 9: “Battle of the Bastards”
The good: Absolutely mind-numbing production values and cinematography. It’s clear where all the budget went this season.
The bad: For the love of god Rickon don’t run in a straight line, use Serpentine!
The ugly: Ramsay’s face after Jon was done with it.
Episode 10: “The Winds of Winter”
The good: Cersei destroys the Sept of Baelor and everyone in it, thus getting rid of all of her enemies in one fell swoop. The scene was beautifully shot and scored. Davos tear-jerking speech about what Melisandre did to Shireen was one of the better scenes of the whole season. Sansa rejecting Littlefinger again cements her as a strong female characters.
The bad: Jon is in fact the son of Lyanna Stark and Rheagar Targaryen, meaning that he never was a bastard. Ned raised him as one because it was Lyanna’s dying wish.
The hype: King in the North, Jon is finally given Winterfell.
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