Death, death, and yes, more death. That’s the beloved running joke when it comes to Game of Thrones and, as series six opened, the show’s writers were certainly keen to make sure it stayed that way.
As the winds of winter swirled at The Wall, Ghost howled, Davos scowled and we were reminded that Jon Snow is still dead. Totally and utterly dead. Deader than a Stark at a Red Wedding dead.
And just in case we didn’t get the message, Alliser Thorne popped up to speak the words, “Jon Snow is dead”.
Not even Melisandre, who’d previously been casting the glad eye over the High Commander, could argue with the fact that he was now a corpse.
It’s official you guys.
I mean, why else would they figure out how to get Ghost into every single scene possible?
Meanwhile in Winterfell, someone else was still dead too: Ramsay Bolton’s bit on the side, Myranda, who fell to her death in the series five finale.
“She was 11 when I first saw her, the Kennel Master’s daughter,” Ramsay lamented as he gazed at her still body. “She smelled of dog.”
For a second, we thought young Master Bolton was finally thawing, but after promising his lethal weapon of a sadistic lost love that her “pain will be paid for, a thousand times over,” he opted to have her body fed to the dogs.
And by the time he was done dealing with the daddy who always viewed him as a disappointment (and who confirmed that Stannis was dead too, by the by), Ramsay reconfirmed what we’d always known: the Bolton boy is basically dead inside.
In the frozen forest land of the living, however, Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy were fighting to stay alive in a Game of Thrones-themed Release The Hounds special. Just when it seemed as though we’d be adding them to the death list (courtesy of Ramsay’s reconnaissance team), in rode Brienne and Pod to send the baddies to meet their maker instead.
With the death quota for that strand of the tale sufficiently fulfilled (for now), Brienne and Sansa were free to stop playing hard to get, finally striking up the happy alliance the knight had been crawling on her hands and knees to forge.
Happiness wasn’t on the cards for Sansa’s old friend Cersei, though. Oh no. For there was ANOTHER corpse to deal with at King’s Landing. Myrcella Lannister was still dead too, and her mummy and daddy kicked off the series by promising to avenge her murder.
PLOT SETTING ALERT!
With all those series five fatalities now set in stone, all eyes turned to Dorne’s heavenly water gardens, where we’d surely make a fresh start? Something fresh was on the cards all right. Fresh blood.
Ellaria Sand ran dear old Price Doran through with a dagger, leaving him to die in a Jon Snow-esque pool of blood before her darling Sand Snake daughters dispatched his son, Trystane. A spear through the head? Yeah, that’ll do it.
Confident that’d we’d finally had our fill of grief and gore, the Game of Thrones gods finally saw fit to offer up some comic relief. Varys and Tyrion (aka No-Winky and The Brain) wandered through Mereen reminiscing about their queen. The duo kept us busy just long enough for someone to set fire to an entire fleet of ships, making sure they “won’t be sailing to Westeros any time soon”.
We’ll tell you who else won’t be heading for the Iron Throne any time soon – poor old Mammy of Dragons, Daenerys. That’s not surprising given the fact that Daario Naharis and Ser Jorah Mormont are too busy starring in a low budget road-trip bromance movie set in the Seven Kingdoms.
The boys were so busy discussing who loved Daeny more that they almost failed to spot her bracelet in the grass. Luckily Ser Jorah picked it up and gave it a good old avenging fist clench with his non-cracked arm.
Oh yes, he’s still basically dying – lest we forget, there’s a fading mortality quota to fill here.
And as for the Queen of Mereen? Well, she probably wished she was dead by the time her ‘Do you know who I am?’ protest with Khal Moro backfired. Sure, he appreciated that she’d lost her husband and deserved respect, but taking inspiration from Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary he opted to paraphrase Hamlet: “Get thee to a nunnery, widowed Khaleesi.”
With Daeny’s path for the series set (as IF she’s getting as far as a Dothraki nunnery before Drogon flies to her rescue and filets a few of the horny yo-mamma-joke-making horsemen) it was time to catch up with everyone’s favourite little warrior, Arya.
The now nameless and sightless Stark was struggling to survive on the streets when she came face to face with an old frenemy. Believe it or not, The Waif’s not dead, and she’s not done with Arya’s hellish initiation into the House of Black and White either.
Back in the north Alliser Thorne (who’s sure to find himself on Arya’s kill list when she finds out what’s happened to her ‘brother’) had Ghost feeling particularly vicious and backed Davos Seaworth into a corner. Facing certain death at the hands of the Night Watch’s most murderous, Davos placed his hopes with the Red Woman.
“What’s one redhead going to do against forty armed men?” asked one of the lads. Something very dramatic, we’re guessing.
Especially given the fact that when she whipped off her necklace, she seemed closer to death than a Stark who’d been sent a message to save the date.
If there’s one thing we’re sure of it’s this: season six is most definitely dark, and set to be full of terrors.
Game of Thrones series six continues on Sky Atlantic on Monday nights at 9pm