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jon snow season 6 trailer deadFew lucky people got to see the first episode of Game of Thrones season 6 last Sunday and though they were strictly asked not to reveal any information, few media outlets have provided some insights about the upcoming premiere on April 24.

“Unlike some years, when Thrones started with a somewhat slower-paced episode that re-established all the various storylines, ‘The Red Woman’ hits the ground at full sprint,” writes James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly. “This is partly due to the strength of last year’s finale, which included Dany’s capture by the Dothraki, Cersei’s Walk of Shame, Arya being blinded, Jon Snow’s death, and Sansa and Theon fleeing Winterfell. To some extent, all the climactic beats last year felt like cliffhangers, so this intense new hour picks up right where each left off.”

He adds:

“Once again, not every main character shows up in the first episode, and a couple of series regulars are held back (presumably until the second episode). But don’t worry, the premiere spends a lot of time at Castle Black. There are some scenes that are genuinely shocking. As in: Even hardcore fans full of speculation about the new season won’t see some twists coming.”

Hibbard also revealed that most of the footage from the two trailers is from the first two episodes of season 6:

“You know those two season 6 trailers that got you so excited? A surprising amount of that footage is either from this first episode or from scenes that will seemingly happen in the next. In other words: There is so much more from this season’s storylines that hasn’t even been hinted in any of the released footage.”

Josh Wigler of Hollywood Reporter writes:

“Suffice it to say, numerous moments throughout the episode elicited gasps of shock, unexpected (and uncomfortable) laughter, and long moments of stunned silence. A teaser that played after the episode previewed the weeks ahead, and based on what was shown, it looks like season six will be a chilling one indeed.”

And finally, here’s Jane Mulkerrins from Telegraph:

“Following on directly from the final scene of season five, season six opens back at the exact same snowy spot where the last tragic, bloody episode ended. And it’s a melancholy, mournful curtain-up, dark in both visuals and tone, suffused with sorrow, grief and loss. Heavy on violence and brutality, but lighter than many episodes on sex and nudity, the opener is the expected epic scenes of armies on the march, along with defiant declarations to avenge the dead.”

She adds:

“‘The Red Woman’ of the episode’s title, the mystical Melisandre – who was left at Castle Black along with Jon Snow’s corpse as season five closed – in no way dominates the action, but by the hour’s end, with a luridly surprising twist, sets the scene for some powerful sorcery to come. Other prominent female characters forging alliances make for a pleasingly feminist flavour to the events. The biggest cheer from the audience was reserved for the dramatic appearance of Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), finally fulfilling a long-held ambition and making her loyal presence felt.”

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