Warning: Spoiler alert! For people who have yet to watch the first episode of Game of Throne’s new season: what are you waiting for-- watch it now! Those who need a quick recap of the past 5 seasons can find one here.
After a year-long wait which left all of us hardcore fans as aged as Melisandre’s true form, Everybody’s guilty indulgence, Game of Thrones, has returned! We finally have something to look forward to every week again. I’ll admit I hopped on the GoT train extremely late; I only started watching it a couple of weeks ago because I decided I simply had to be in the loop of all the hype. Who is Jon Snow? Why is everyone so upset that he’s dead? Once I started watching it, it took me 6 whole days to complete all 5 seasons and boy, was I hooked.
Most of you were probably like me, religiously avoiding the Internet and all forms of communication that could possibly have any kind of spoilers before watching the episode. Indeed, I was handsomely rewarded for my conscientiousness with the table-setting first episode. We checked in with several of our main characters from all over the world: Jon Snow was still dead as ever with his allies in the Night’s Watch plotting their revenge against Ser Alliser the traitor; our favorite incestuous twins vowing to reclaim everything that was taken from them; Sansa and Theon’s growing squad; Danaerys being captured by another Khal.
What really got me by surprise was Melisandre revealing her true form when she was alone in her room at night. We always knew that the woman in red had some form of magical powers, and we’ve also bore testimony to how accurate some of her visions were. But this new revelation could signal good things to come for Jon Snow; there must be a reason why the writers placed her in the Night’s Watch camp just as Jon died right? At least I’m not alone in my belief Melisandre will be the true hero after all. If there’s one thing the Internet can rally around, it’s the stubborn belief that Jon Snow will be resurrected, no matter how many times and how blatantly the HBO producers and Ser Alliser put it: “Jon Snow is dead”.
Some of my friends ask me why I still watch Game of Thrones despite the extreme gore, which sometimes borders on being gratuitous. To me, the new episode of Season 6 embodies everything I love about the show: the concept of loyalty and honor. Loyalty is certainly a recurring theme in the episode, where previous foes and allies are brought together in extraordinary circumstances, pledging loyalty to a certain cause. In a world (whether in Westeros or in real life) fraught with violence and uncertainty, loyalty forges bonds stronger than Valyrian steel. It may not always be in service of an honorable cause, but knowing you have someone on your side makes the fight that much easier.
Season 6 is off to a good start. Once again, the whole world awaits with bated breath to find out the fate of Jon Snow, because that’s what everyone truly cares about.
(As of 3 May: JON SNOW IS BACK!! HE HAS HEARD OUR COLLECTIVE PRAYERS!)