Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere: the 8 Most Shocking Moments
04/24/2016 AT 10:00 PM EDT
Welcome back to Westeros!
When we last visited in the season 5 finale: Theon (Alfie Allen) made the surprising move to help Sansa (Sophie Turner) escape from Winterfell and her abusive husband Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), the Red Woman (Carice van Houten) realized she put her faith in the wrong man, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) slayed Stannis (Stephen Dillane), Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) was rescued by her dragon Drogon, only to be left for capture by the Dothraki, the Sand Snakes of Dorne killed Cersei and Jamie Lannister's daughter Myrcella, Arya (Maisie Willians) is blind, Cersei (Lena Hedey) completed the most epic walk of shame, and Lord Commander Jon Snow (Kit Harington) met a brutal, mutinous end after brokering peace with the Wildlings.
Now, after an action-packed, bloody and surprising season 6 premiere, here are the eight biggest moments:
Jon Snow is dead
The episode opens with a long panning shot of Snow's now-frozen body and one of the more haunting things about it is the relentless, mournful howls in the background from Snow's Direwolf Ghost. Sir Davos (Liam Cunningham) suddenly becomes the rock and the hard place between those at the Wall who side with murderous Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale), those who want justice for Snow and Snow's cold body. "I didn't know Lord Commander Snow very long, but I have to believe he wouldn't have wanted his friends to die for nothing," Davos says to his new friends. The group decides to send an emissary to talk to the Wildlings about assisting in their defense of Snow's remains (and also their own lives) and we're left to wait and see how this confrontation will unfold.
Brienne is a Badass, Sansa Forges a New Alliance
When Theon and Sansa's heroic efforts to escape from the Boltons end with them cornered by Bolton stooges and their scary hounds, Brienne of Tarth swoops in at exactly the right moment to slay all the baddies with her powerful sword. Podrick (Daniel Portman) helps too. After the battle (this moment received the most enthusiastic applause during the Los Angeles premiere on April 10), Brienne kneels before Sansa and humbly asks to serve her once again. "I will shield your back and keep your counsel and give my life for yours if need be," she says. "I swear it by the old gods and new." Sansa, shivering, realizes she must of course align with the woman who just saved her life and stumbles, sweetly, over her acceptance of Brienne. "I vow that you shall always have a place by my hearth, and meat and Meade at my table," she says. "And I pledge to ask no service of you that might bring you dishonor. I swear it by the old gods and the new."
Cersei and Jamie still have major issues
Because it's Cersei and Jamie, of course they have a conversation about their mother's dead body, over their daughter's dead body. "Do you remember the first time you saw a dead body?" Cersei asks Jamie. "Mother's," he replies. Cersei proceeds to describe how she watched her mother's body go through various states of decay before transitioning into tears over her daughter's life being cut short and that she should have given that "witch's" prophecy more attention. "Everything she said came true," she says to Jaimie. "This prophecy is fate." "F--- prophecy," he replies. "F--- fate, f--- anyone who isn't us. Everything they've taken from us we have to take back and more." Riiiight. Par for the Lannister course, this.
The s--- hits the fan in Dorne
In a nutshell, Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) has not begun to get over the brutal death of her lover Oberyn (Pedro Pascal). She can't believe Oberyn's brother and current ruler Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig) has done nothing about it and as such, she and Oberyn's daughters Nymeria (Jessica Hendwick), Obara (Keisha Castle-Hughes) take matters in Dorne into their own hands. If you thought their poisoning of Marcella was brutal, their bloody slaying of Martell and his son/Myrcella's former love, Trystane Martell (Toby Sebastian) was shocking. Not to mention their cold last words to their victims before it all went down: "Your son is weak, just like you," Ellaria says coldly to a dying Doran. "Weak men will never rule Dorne again." "We're not here to feed you, we're here to kill you," Obara says to Tristane. "You want her to do it, or me?" asks Nymeria. Like we said, bru-tal.
Two sets of odd couples are protecting Daenerys' honor
In Meereen we have the brains, Tyrion and Varys, roaming about the city, exchanging witty barbs ("You walk like a rich person.") and trying to find out who ordered the Sons of Harpy attack that ultimately led to Dany's disappearance at the end of last season. While they don't find any answers this episode, we do get to hear Tyrion butcher some Valyrian ("You said you wanted to eat her baby"), but their adventure ends with a commotion at the harbor: all the ships have been set on fire. "We won't be sailing to Westeros anytime soon," Tyrion observes, wryly.
Meanwhile on the trail to find Dany, we have the brawn, Daario and Jorah Mormont (Michiel Huisman and Iain Glen), getting along surprisingly well despite their conflicting interests in the Mother of Dragons. "Isn't it frustrating, wanting someone that doesn't want you back?" Daario says to Jorah. "Of course it is," he replies. Their adventure ends in Jorah finding the ring Dany dropped on the ground when she was surrounded by Dothraki warriors. "The have her," he says. Which brings us to…
Dany has to swallow her pride
How far our Khaleesi has fallen. The first time we see her in this episode she is walking in chains and being dragged behind a horse. When she is brought before the new Khal Moro (Joseph Naufahu) and his wives, the native Dothraki receive her as if she's a piece of meat or the Khal's latest prize. Moro brags about what he plans to do with her and can't wait to see her naked. When it looks as though he plans to undress her right there, Dany finally hits back at them, revealing that she not only speaks fluent Dothraki but that she is a Khaleesi. What does that get her? Protection from unwanted sexual advances for one, but also she will apparently be permanently placed among the widows of other Khal, away from the tribe.
Blind Arya isn't a great fighter
Newly blind Arya has been left to beg in the streets. We find her alone, hungry and totally disoriented. She is forced into a fight she can't possibly win by her "friend" from the House of Black and White, the Waif. "Stand and fight, blind girl," says the Waif. "I can't see," Arya says. "That's your problem, not mine," the Waif replies, before beating a flailing, confused Arya with her long stick. "See you tomorrow," the Waif says/warns. Looks like it's going to be a rough road for Arya for awhile.
The Red Woman reveals a major secret
As Sir Davos and the other Snow loyalists prepare to face Thorne and the other mutineers, we're reminded that we haven't seen much of the Red Woman, Mellisandre, in this episode. "What's one redhead going to do against 40-odd men?" Davos is asked. "You haven't seen her do what I've seen her do," he replies, cut to a very melancholy Melisandre standing alone in her chambers. She looks in the mirror, defeated, and very slowly removes her necklace to reveal a much much older, wrinkly, fragile, sad woman. Melisandre casts the necklace aside, accepts being in her true form once again and slowly crawls into bed. The episode fades to black.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on HBO.