Voyeur Recap: Game of Thrones, “The Red Woman”

Introducing a new feature on TLP – the Voyeur Recap – a guide for staying conversant with friends, family, and colleagues who are really into a show that you do not have the time and/or desire to watch. The first and so far only series to be included in this feature is HBO’s Game of Thrones.

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Objects on screen may be older than they appear.

What is Game of ThronesBased on a series of novels by George (J)RR (Tolkien wannabe) Martin, Game of Thrones is a TV series version of A Song of Ice and Fire, which is basically just a medieval fantasy type setting for a zombie apocalypse story. Martin, who has apparently never met an editor, fell in love with the backstory for his zombie war to the point that it has filled five huge books and five seasons of a TV show while only barely getting to the zombie stuff.

What is a Voyeur Recap? I have never read the books and only watched season 1 of Game of Thrones (GoT), which I banished from my memory with the help of meditation and some EMDR. However, a lot of my favorite people are really into this show and so is the internet. I enjoy reading about GoT to stay conversant with its fans and also to laugh at them every time another horrific development in the show reminds them that they’re obsessed with something that is mostly terrible. I have decided to post weekly recaps so that you, the reader, can share in my cruel, voyeuristic joy.

Which episode just aired? Last night’s episode was the premiere of season six, “The Red Woman,” with the titular character being the woman in the image above, Melisandre. She is a very fancy witch who prefers burning children over boiling frog’s eyes to make the magic happen.

What happened in the episode (and what should I say about it)?

  • Melisandre provided the episode’s obligatory nudity, but with a twist that apparently she is 543 years old and for the first time they showed her looking that way. Fans of the show are shocked by this development because… …well, because every fantasy trope that appears in the show somehow shocks them despite being entirely predictable. I think it is because they’re more focused on the less-ordinary-for-fantasy gruesome death and rape that the show mostly traffics in so the normal spells and amulets shit always seems like a big deal.

    What to say about it if you want to sound above it all:
    “Well I am just glad that television shows are starting to show naked people of all ages. It is an important step for society.”

    What to say if you want to impress the GoT fans in your life:
    Option 1 – “Do you really think it was because she took the necklace off? We have seen her naked without it before, after all.”

    Option 2 – “I bet she is going to trade her life to bring back Jon Snow.”

  • Dorne is a kingdom in the show (and the books) that almost no fans like or care about. In this episode there was a coup in Dorne lead, I guess, by some snakes. Or people that call themselves snakes? Sand Snakes, that’s it. Deep Space Nine fans will be sad to learn that Dorne’s ruler, an ageing Dr. Julian Bashir, was killed in the uprising. Although DS9 fans will certainly not be surprised to learn that his death came at the hands of a woman he spoke inappropriately to.

    What to say about it if you want to sound above it all:
    “At least in the TV show they know how to deal with a patriarchy.”

    What to say if you want to impress the GoT fans in your life:
    “I never cared about Dorne in the books and still don’t in the show.”

  • Tyrion Lannister, who is mathematically the show’s main character, is stuck in a city called Meereen with a useful guy named Varys, but without a much more useful lady named Daenerys. This city is on a different continent than most of the action in GoT and all the ships that might have taken Tyrion back across the sea have been burned, or something, so he is stuck.

    What to say about it:
    “So I guess Tyrion, and his storyline, aren’t going anywhere for a while.”

  • The aforementioned Daenerys Targaryen, former ruler of Meereen, is now a prisoner of the Dothraki. Just like she was at the beginning of season 1.

    What to say about it if you want to get a laugh:
    “So basically Dany is starting over, minus a brother, amirite?”

    What to say if you want to say the exact same thing, but sound above it all:
    “It will be interesting to see how she handles this same situation after all of her growth and learning, but without the brother or boyfriend that helped her the first time around.”

  • Captain Phasma, aka Brienne of Tarth, killed a bunch of dudes. The dudes were some of the universally despised Boltons who folks are always glad to see die and Phasma is really good for all that. Phasma also finally met back up with Sansa Stark, whom she long ago vowed to protect and has been journeying and fighting for years to find. Hilariously, Sansa did not even remember the vow. Sadly, this is probably because Sansa has been unimaginably traumatized by the events of the story.

    What to say about it if you want to sound above it all:
    Don’t. Sansa has been raped a lot and horrifically abused in countless ways; there really isn’t anything to say about it if you want to be above anything. Seriously, her storyline is a big reason why I have never started watching the show again. WTF is wrong with people why does anyone want this kind of crap beamed into their brains? But I digress.

    What to say about it if you’re a heartless troll:
    “TFW you finally find someone after years of struggle to keep your promise and they don’t even remember the promise lololololol 💩”

  • Arya Stark is a blind assassin and I don’t know that much happened to her in this episode but my money is on her turning into a medieval Daredevil/Elektra hybrid. Or dying soon, because that happens a lot.
  • Jon Snow is still dead.

Any one liners or notable quotes? Yeah, you will probably hear some Thronesbro say to another in the office, “You’re a dirty bitch, you know that?” If you’re a woman, I say go ahead and file a complaint with HR or go GoT on him and stab the guy in the head with a pen (assuming no spear is handy). If you’re a man, I say lecture him about inappropriate use of the word “bitch” and/or the head stabbing thing.

[Achtung! Please note that these suggestions are made in jest and I do not condone or encourage any physical or emotional violence of any kind. Violence is wrong and never an acceptable reaction to offensive language. Also, you might accidentally inspire some guy in your office to become Michael RR Scott and then we would have to deal with a Game of Cubicles and that would be truly horrifying.]

Further Reading:

Vox’s winners and losers episode recap

Slate’s pretending like it is some kind of cultural milestone that the show is now ahead of the books (OMG! OMG! OMG!)

io9 story all about Captain Phasma Brienne of Tarth being the shows hero (Spoiler: believing this makes it likely Brienne will die soon, and pointlessly.)

Screenrant’s review, which is always hilariously overworded. (Hey, we know are own.)

Questions?

If you have any questions about the show that you would like to be answered by someone who doesn’t watch it and has never read the books, use the links below to contact TLP.

Tell TLP what you think of this episode!  Send an email, comment on Facebook, or tweet on Twitter. There is also Tumblr and the comment field below, if you’re into that kind of thing. 

 

 

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