“Game of Thrones” has returned and it has brought winter with it. The sixth season of the HBO series premiered Sunday night. Like the last season, this season goes past what’s in the book and is said to feature plot lines from the unreleased sixth book, “The Winds of Winter.”
“Game of Thrones” is a fantasy series known for its use of political plot lines, loads and loads of characters, graphic nudity and the “anyone can die” nature of the narrative. The series takes place in the fantasy world of Westeros. There are three main plot lines: The civil war being fought throughout Westeros, the invasion of supernatural creatures called White Walkers from the North being fought off by a ragtag group called the Night’s Watch and the journey of the exiled Queen Daenerys fighting to get back to her father’s homeland of Westeros.
There are several thousand subplots in the show that do interconnect in some clever ways, but they always threaten to crush the series under their weight; and in the series six premiere it nearly does.
This was not an episode so much as it was a collection of introductory scenes. Look “Game of Thrones,” we understand you want to show the audience what their favorite characters are up to, but as a result, very few scenes develop the plot. It’s mostly just showing the audience where the chess pieces are before they move throughout the season. Normally this is needed in the season premiere to help show what is in store, but when the entire episode is nothing but this, it gets dull.
The only three stories that get any actual development is the Theon and Sansa stuff which was the highlight of the episode. The Wall deals with the fall out of the fifth season finale. This was one of two plot lines that has more than one scene. The reveal at the end was neat.
Then there’s Dorne. Even back in the books, the Dorne plot line was controversial. Dorne is the southernmost part of Westeros, although it was teased, it wasn’t until the fourth book, “A Feast for Crows,” that the audience actually saw it. And it did it by introducing a bunch of new characters and sub-plots with very little connection to the rest of the series in an already-full saga.
When theyadapted this plot line for the show in the last season, the producers decided the condense the story by cutting characters and combining others. They added Jamie Lannister to the mix to try to get the audience more invested. The result was a pointless incoherent mess of a sub-plot that still had very little to do with anything.
This episode still assures the audience, that yes, Dorne is pointless and awful, with two of the worst scenes in the entire series. They’re campy and clash horribly with everything else happening. Could the White Walkers build a boat and sail to Dorne and kill everyone in it so we never have to talk about them again please? A couple great scenes can’t make up for a lack of focus. Here’s hoping the rest of the season is better than this.