The newest episode of "Game of Thrones" included a reveal about a lead character as fans and critics wait to see if the sixth season of the HBO fantasy drama will address concerns from critics about the previous set of episodes.
(Spoilers for the newest episode of "Thrones" follow....)
In the Season 6 première, one important moment revealed that Melisandre (Carice van Houten), a priestess in the religion of the Lord of Light, is much older than viewers likely previously assumed. When Melisandre removed her necklace, she became an elderly woman.
Melisandre was until recently the companion of king wannabe Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), but Melisandre came to Castle Black, which is controlled by the military group the Night's Watch, after Stannis's forces struggled in their fight against the Bolton family.
Meanwhile, the premiere also included Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Theon (Alfie Allen) having escaped the Boltons and meeting female knight Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) as well as Cersei (Lena Headey), mother of current king Tommen, finding out that her daughter Myrcella was killed in Dorne.
In addition, the prince of Dorne is killed by Ellaria (Indira Varma), who was angry at him for refusing to act after the prince's brother and her love interest, Oberyn, was killed.
The hugely popular drama, which has become HBO's most-viewed of all time, returns following a season for which the program won the best drama Emmy, the first time "Thrones" took the honor and the first time a fantasy show has done so.
However, critics had some complaints about the previous season. Following "Thrones" winning the best drama Emmy, Sarah Hughes of The Guardian wrote, "This wasn't the season that deserved the garlands of praise.... [A] show needs consistency, and that's exactly what season five frequently lacked.... Compared with previous seasons, five was baggier than one and three...."
Alex Garofolo of the International Business Times agreed, writing of the fifth season of "Thrones," "The backloaded season forced viewers to endure a rather drawn-out seven-episode buildup first.... [T]his was the HBO series' weakest season yet."
One aspect of the show that proved unpopular was the plotline that took place in Dorne. At the time, Matt Fowler of IGN wrote that the story "felt rushed and lacked proper stakes."
But the developments in the current episode won over Jeremy Egner of The New York Times. "There was more excitement there in three minutes than there was in all of Season 5," Mr. Egner wrote of the newest Dorne scenes.
Since this story seems to be continuing this season, viewers will no doubt be curious to see if the events taking place there will be improved as the sixth season continues.