Game of Thrones is back in action, but after season six’s first hour we’re probably even more confused than we were when we started. With shocks, deaths and surprising absences galore, there’s plenty we’re going to be asking ourselves over the next seven days. Starting with…
1. Is Jon Snow dead?
Currently yes, unless he’s the best corpse impressionist of all time. Still, we haven’t lost hope for his resurrection – Davos (Liam Cunningham) seems keen to enlist the services of a certain Red Priestess to help deal with the fallout.
2. Is Davos doomed?
Don’t count on it – the Onion Knight may be outnumbered and outgunned, but he has honour and a magical lady on his side to help him escape with Jon Snow’s body. Also, we’ve seen him in other places in the trailer, so…yeah. He’ll be fine.
3. What’s up with Melisandre?
The big shock of this week's episode saw the Red Priestess reveal that she’s actually a very old woman, kept looking young by a magic choker necklace. We’re currently not sure why she does this (maybe it’s just easier to make friends when you look like Carice van Houten), but we’re sure we’ll find out more about her (possibly sinister) reasons in future episodes.
As for the actress herself, she was perfectly happy to reveal her 'true' form. “I was really happy when I read that we were going to reveal that this year,” van Houten said in Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t think a lot of people will see that coming. It makes her immediately more vulnerable, but also more wise and even more mysterious. There’s also a vulnerability in her age.”
As for how it fits the story, van Houten says it only makes it bigger. “That’s why she was able to say, ‘This is just a small war, it’s all relative compared to the big war we're going to face,’” she says. “[Her age] makes everything even more meta."
And, you know, explains the title The Red Woman.
4. What the hell happened in Dorne?
Bye-bye then Prince Doran, we hardly knew ye. In another moment bound to enrage fans of George RR Martin’s source novels (where it seemed like the still-alive Doran was a powerful force in upcoming storylines), the ruler of the desert kingdom (Alexander Siddig) was attacked and killed alongside his bodyguard and heir.
Now Indira Varma’s Ellaria Sand seems to be in charge, and we’d be worried about the implications of that for Westeros if we weren’t too busy trying to come up with a colour-themed name for this latest bloody betrayal. The Yellow Teatime, perhaps? The Red Meeting?
5. Is Sansa finally safe?
God, we hope so. After Sophie Turner’s beleaguered Stark heiress and Theon (Alfie Allen) were tracked down by Bolton men we feared the worst, only to see our hopes raised by their rescue by Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Pod (Daniel Portman).
With that said, it seems like Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) has a lot to lose if Sansa slips away, so they might want to pick up a few reinforcements before taking him on again.
6. Who burnt the ships?
Back in Meereen, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and BFF Varys (Conleth Hill) found themselves faced with the burning remnants of the city’s fleet, cutting them off and seriously limiting their power.
Normally we’d assume this was the doing of disgruntled former slave masters the Sons of Harpy, but just before the fire was discovered, Varys had pointed out that the freed slaves were also quite unhappy with Daenerys and pals, so at the moment it’s anyone’s guess. Looks like Tyrion has his work cut out to keep the city calm, either way…
7. Is Arya being trained to be a Jedi?
"Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him... stretch out with your feelings."
Anyone else having flashbacks to this Star Wars line when the Waif (Faye Marsay) was beating up a blind Arya (Maisie Williams)? We’re betting the fiercest Stark will be kicking ass like a Skywalker by the series end, even if she can’t see.
8. Where was Bran?
Having been absent for a whole series, you might have expected Isaac Hempstead-Wright’s psychic Stark Bran to be completely in the thick of things this week, but as of yet he (and his potentially momentous Jon Snow-themed visions) have been kept out of the action.
9. When WILL Jon Snow come back?
The current theory buzzing around the internet is that he’ll be brought back to life by around the third episode, which is called “Oathbreaker” and could possibly refer to him leaving the Night’s Watch to help the Starks (as Jon has been rumoured to do this year).
Or, he could just be dead and we’re all fooling ourselves. But let's gloss over that part.