Can “Game of Thrones” recapture its former glory? The first episode of Season 6 seems to tell us it can.
My history with the show actually started with the books, which I started reading when they first came out on the recommendation of a friend. He told me that I’d “throw the book across the room once I finished it.” Fans know that a certain character who seemed to be the hero was killed at the end of book one. There is still a dent in my wall, though I can’t do that now that I read on a Kindle.
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When the show premiered, I was thrilled that it didn't temper the brutality of the books. Nothing was sugar-coated, and the women were as savage as the men. Despite suffering oppression in their society, they were as strong, if not stronger, than the men. Flawed and well-drawn, they weren’t paragons of virtue. The show showed us that as well.
Then the last two seasons happened, notably with the rapes that were not in the books. There was Cersei being abused by Jamie, and Sansa getting the same treatment from her husband, Ramsay Bolton. Please note that the latter storyline made sense, but the filming of the horror it caused Theon — but not Sansa — was so misguided that I was barely able to finish the fifth season. I’m not alone in that. Frankly, outside of that, the rest of the episodes were pretty freaking boring, unforgivable for a TV series.
It does, however, appear that the women reign this season. The scene where Brienne swears loyalty to Sansa brought me to tears. If this is truly the end of the long lead-up to Sansa gaining power, I may be able to hold on. If Cersei, monster that she is, is able to either cause destruction or take over, I’m in.
It’s not all about the women. If the action we saw in the first episode is what we’ll continue to see in Season 6, I’m back in. Season 5 just felt like a prelude. The last three episodes should have been the first three. Please tell me this great beginning was not a fluke. Tell me that the last scene in the premiere with the big reveal means there will be more to a certain character than disrobing all the time. Tell me I’m right and you’ll have me again, HBO.