(WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS for the first episode of 'Game of Thrones' Season 6, as well as potential — albeit speculative — ones for next week's episode. Proceed with whatever level of caution the fires of R'hllor advise is wise.)
So. Game of Thrones. Not only has everybody's favorite nudity and stabbing-filled fantasy show returned to our screens, but it's done so with a vengeance. Season 6 kicked off this weekend with something of a cast-spanning catch-up session, checking in with the vast majority of our surviving cast members, and setting up their plotlines for the coming season. It also, however, left quite a few plot threads dangling, as is its usual way. As such, here are...
5 Burning Questions Raised By This Sunday's Episode That We Need Game Of Thrones To Answer Next Week
5. Where Are Sansa And Brienne Going To Go Now?
After all, while it's great that two of the show's most badass female characters have finally teamed up, they're still trapped in the middle of the North, and about to be pursued by the living embodiment of rampant cruelty that is Ramsay Bolton. With the South not likely to offer all that much safety either, where are our heroes going to head next? To the Wall? Across the Narrow Sea? To a friendly nobleman of some kind? Or does Brienne have something more cunning in mind? The Eyrie might not be quite as secure as Littlefinger thinks.
Meanwhile, on the subject of badass female leads...
4. Is Daenerys Actually Going To Need Rescuing?
Now sure, being captured by a Dothraki horde and threatened with forced retirement isn't exactly an ideal basis from which to further her plans for the invasion of Westeros, but underestimating Daenerys Stormborn tends to lead to people ending up dead. Are Jorah and Daario even going to need to mount a rescue, or is their khaleesi going to pull something out of the bag all on her own? A small, portable Dothraki army, perhaps?
3. What's Next For Dorne?
After all, the wholesale slaughter of the royal family by the concubine of the king's brother doesn't tend to lend itself to political stability. Does Ellaria have a bigger plan in play — perhaps one involving King's Landing, or Daenerys — or is she simply out for revenge, and willing to take Dorne down with her? And, for that matter, how is she going to deal with whatever Cersei sends by way of vengeance?
Next, the question that's been burning up the internet for the last few days...
2. What's The Deal With Melisandre?
And more specifically, just what does she have planned? Was the revelation that the Red Woman is in fact hundreds of years old simply a symptom of her (presumably temporarily) giving up her plans for Westeros, or is there a bigger game afoot? After all, there's always the chance that she was simply removing her magical disguise in order to conserve her strength for a more strenuous feat ahead.
Speaking of which...
1. Just What Is Going To Happen With Jon Snow?
Is he — as has long been insisted by the show's production staff — dead, gone, and about to be buried? Will we see the Night's Watch smash their way into the room and cut him into tiny pieces, thus ending our hopes of one day seeing Jon Stark? Well, probably not — the question is likely to be something more like: How is he going to be resurrected? Will we see Melisandre play a role, or is there another route to resurrection in Westeros that we haven't yet heard about?
Hopefully next week's episode will bring answers — or at least a hint of them. But in the meantime...