I’ve never been so simultaneously excited for the continuation of a series, only to start remembering why I began to loathe it. “Game of Thrones” is immortal in the brilliance of its first four seasons, but has slowly developed into this rambling, frequently inconsistent showcase of absurdity and triteness.
“The Red Woman,” the show’s premiere episode of its sixth season, did little to fix the flaws of its fifth season, offered up more questions than answers and was simply a bore to watch.
After a compelling beginning (and ending) involving a conflict between remnants of Stannis Baratheon’s army, Davos Seaworth, Alliser Thorne, Melisandre and the rest of the Night’s Watch, the story arcs degrade in their quality.
Cersei and Jamie Lannister in King’s Landing just mourn over their daughter’s death, while the former bemoans her fate as a wicked person. Meanwhile, Arya Stark continues her increasingly tedious path to becoming an assassin, Tyrion Lannister and Varys the Spider engage in some verbal banter and the disgraced queen Daenerys Targaryen has to find a way to escape her Dothraki captors after revealing herself to be the widow of a former khal.
Sansa Stark’s story is a bit interesting, with her and Theon Greyjoy meeting up with Brienne and Podrick after escaping the comically evil Ramsay Snow, but other than that, there’s not much to be invested in.
Oh - and the whole Sand Snakes thing. Please, show writers: nobody cares about the Sand Snakes taking over Dorne. It would be more bearable if the acting and screenplay even attempted to give them and Ellaria Sand some kind of memorable traits outside of them just being attractive, young, seductive assassins.
The corny choreography in their fighting, as shown through their quick assassination of the clueless Doran Martell (whose character the show completely changes the fate of, for very little rationale), doesn’t exactly give them any kind of humanity either.
Maybe I’d be more forgiving had I not read the original novels, but even then, it’s not like the original work was flawless. In addition to having to deal with George R.R. Martin’s often clunky and meandering James Joyce-on-tranquilizers esque prose for several pages, there were also introductions for characters that seemingly had potential, before they were killed off or disappeared.
But for all the talk about the show giving a more streamlined and modern update on the events from the original series, there are also a hell of a bunch of missed storylines that make the book’s overabundance of plot points seem relatively focused.
Did we ever, for example, get an update on how the Greyjoys are faring? Or how about Bran Stark, whom we haven’t seen in basically a whole season’s worth of watching and might play one of the most crucial roles leading to the series’ ending?
The whole series has gone from believable fantasy to a farce defined by its “dragons, boobs and jargon-laden dialogue” approach to episodic storytelling. It’s frustrating that for such a critically acclaimed story with so much potential, it has started to lose its plot.
Then again, I’ll definitely be watching again next week. This is, after all, an introductory episode to set everything in motion. Let’s see how things go on May 1.