Major spoilers for Seasons 1-5 in this article. Be warned!
I think we can all agree that Seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones was of high quality, as it saw the show win numerous well deserved awards at the Emmy's and the Golden Globes.
This success was down to a mixture of humor, action and unpredictability (unless you'd read the books of course), yet like many fans of the show I felt a little unimpressed by Season 5, as while humor remained through mostly in Tyrion's scenes, the decision to send Sansa down a helpless dark path after ending Season 4 on the high expectation she was to become a key player was seen as a key diversion from the books that ultimately ended with controversy, with the media blasting the producers for featuring a scene of sexual assault.
Many viewers will be tuning in to Game of Thrones in April, with the show aiming to put Season 5 past them as the blip in an otherwise flawless series, here are a few suggestions on what Season 6 must include if it is to be a success.
1. Jon Snow Must Become Darker!
Spoilers for the end of Season 5!
Ignoring the will he, won't he, between the marketing team at HBO and the whole Internet let's just acknowledge that Jon Snow is coming back. This leaves room for the character to develop more, as Jon lived by the morale code that was the display of his father Ned Stark's honor, which had bound in Seasons 1-5 to being good.
This presented Jon as a reliable protagonist who would always do the right thing, but should all that be left on the bloody snow of Castle Black, then perhaps Jon could begin to slip between the lines of good and bad, something seen with Jaime Lannister, which will help to transform Jon into a more complex character. Darker Jon would likely be able to make decisive decisions, such as possibly waging war over some houses and individuals who have attacked his family in the past, in a lust for revenge that goes beyond giving Olly what he deserves.
2. Less Flickering Scenes, More Depth!
Season 5 had promised us quite a lot, especially when it was confirmed that we were to see Dorne for the first time as new and old characters were left to pick up the pieces post-Mountain vs. Viper.
However, all we got was squabbles and lack of character building that left me wondering if I would have been bothered if Jaime and Bronn should kill all the Martells and Sands in one battle. The Sands however did offer potential going forward, as the scene with Bronn being poisoned in the prison cell and flirting with Tyene Sand served little but did tell us that they had a sense of humor and could charm as women, traits that would be interesting to see if pitted against Cersei or Margaery in Season 6.
Yet Doran Martell and his personal bodyguard, Areo Hotah offered nothing to the story and seemed tedious and tame from the ideas of Dorne we were introduced to with Oberyn Martell, as they seemed to have no master plan to conquer Westeros or even support a challenger to the throne.
This may be the case for the coming seasons, as Season 5 could have just been their small scale introduction, but they are clearly in dire need for interaction with Cersei, Olenna Tyrell (the Queen of Thorns) or even Tyrion and Varys from Dany's court as you feel some screen time with these characters plotting moves in Dorne will drag the Kingdom into the scenes worthy of screen time.
3. More Awe!
For me, if I cast my mind back to the Red Wedding of Season 3, all I can remember is the wretched sound of multiple stab wounds and the howling screams of Catelyn Stark. When I think of the big events of Season 5, I can remember Selyse Baratheon, who started to begin to care for her daughter seconds before her child was to be burnt, by which time it was already too late. If only her motherly love had kicked in when it was being decided to burn King Stannis's only heir.
However Season 5 also brought us Arya hacking a man to death in such a fashion even Kick-Ass would have struggled to get that approved for audiences, yet the hardcore gore that makes a GOT episode great was not deployed enough in Season 5. This was shown by the quick nature of John's death scene, which I personally had ruined for me and felt it was one last hurray to George R.R. Martin's books before Season 6 sets along a path different to that of the books that will probably arrive at a similar destination, with hopefully no spoilers!
Hopefully the show producers will take note that the awe factor should be deployed throughout the season, with the big shock still coming in episode 9 or 10, but with more intense violence in episodes 1-8, that can often, at times, focus too much on political and diplomatic matters with no action that makes the Senate in the Star Wars prequels seem exciting.
4 . Daenerys Needs to Achieve Something!
The transformation of Daenerys from the young Princess who was being moved like a chess piece by her brother Viserys and sold to Karl Drogo, into the warrior Queen that stormed Slaver's Bay with her freed Unsullied army, has led to her to be a fan favorite alongside the witty and intelligent Tyrion. Yet between Seasons 4 and 5 it's hard to actually think of what Dany has achieved in terms of her end goal of ruling Westeros, besides attempting to become a good ruler of Meereen to some dismal results.
She locked up her two remaining dragons, while Drogon just had enough and left, while the nobles of her slave liberated cities were not happy with the change of tradition and in Meereen formed the 'Sons of the Harpy' to do something about it. They attacked the Unsullied and succeeded in killing Ser Barristan Selmy, meaning there was a space open on the bench for renegade duo Tyrion and Jorah.
Yet it seems with Drogon's return and rescue, Dany appears in similar danger with an unknown Dothraki army, but should she somehow become the leader of this new 'khalasar', she could incorporate them with her armies of the Unsullied and the Second Sons and return to Meereen, having achieved the final piece of leadership she needed with Tyrion and Varys having dealt with the 'Sons of the Harpy' once and for all leaving her ready to launch her attack on Westeros, hopefully at the end of Season 6, but most likely in Season 7.
Let's hope Season 6 is the best yet...
Take a look at the Jon-centric teaser for Season 6 of 'Game of Thrones':