Game of Thrones season 6 premiere: first impressions and new footage!


The Game of Thrones red carpet premiere was a big success last night (livestreaming issues aside), with the stars of the show turning up to watch the first episode of season 6. The cast chatted up the new season with the press, giving us some juicy soundbites to pore over today. We’re also hearing people’s first impressions of the new season, since critics’ advance screeners were not given out this year.

First up: a report from Reuters, along with presenting cast members’ opinions on whether or not Jon Snow is dead (groundbreaking question), contains brand new season 6 footage showing Daenerys among the Dothraki. We last saw her in season 5 being surrounded by the khalasar. The footage starts about the 1:04 mark of the video.

Critics have also begun sharing their spoiler-free impressions of the first episode of season 6. James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly shared his thoughts and a few details about the premiere.

Hibberd says that “‘The Red Woman’ hits the ground at full sprint,” and that after season 5’s finale of cliffhangers, “this intense new hour picks up right where each left off.” He says that the first episode has scenes that will be “genuinely shocking,” even for fans that do a lot of speculating (not that we’re ever guilty of that, cough). Not every major character is in the premiere though. We can expect to spend “a lot of time” at Castle Black.

He also reports that what we’ve seen in the two trailers was largely from the first episode (and presumably the second, based on what he saw). Fans have suspected this for a while, since HBO is being very careful this year, and the trailers seemed to place every character right after the season 5 finale’s events.

EW quotes David Benioff speaking at the premiere:

“This season was a beast to make,” Benioff told the audience. “We shot 680 hours of dailies, which translates to 3.7 million feet of film. We shot in five different countries – Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, and Canada. We employed 900 crewmembers in Belfast; 400 in Spain. We issued 140 script revisions. We two shot units a day for 22 weeks straight, three units a day for 10 weeks straight, four units for two weeks straight. And none of that would be possible without the greatest producing team on the planet.”

There’s more to the report, so visit Entertainment Weekly

The LA Times‘ Yvonne Villarreal similarly holds back on spoilers, but says, “I noted two instances of full-out cheering, one gasp-worthy moment and about three occasions that incited laughter.”

The LA Times also reports that at the afterparty, “guests could get henna tattoos, get a reading from a ‘three-eyed raven soothsayer,’ or get tote bags made with their favorite ‘Game of Thrones’ insignia.” Guests could pose in the Hall of Faces photo booth or play on the new “Game of Thrones” pinball machines.

Legendary actress Faye Dunaway attended the premiere, and spoke with Vanity Fair about the show. “My cup of tea currently is Gwendoline Christie’s Brienne,” she told us. “Isn’t she great? A strong warrior, and she is going to have a bigger part in Season 6. And I love Emilia’s Daenerys Targaryen too.” Dunaway is apparently a big fan of the show, telling VF, “I take notes on the direction and the performances and just try to learn from the work. I look up the characters online too to find out more than I already know.”

Maisie Williams has some interesting comments in Vanity Fair as well about her character Arya this year. “This is really the first time we’ve seen her as an underdog. Lots of people think she is their favorite character, and now we are going to see if people stick by her. Everybody can like the little girl who tells grown men what to do because that is funny. But now we are going to see her at a really low point.”

USA Today pried a few intriguing tidbits from the cast last night. Jonathan Pryce says that this season, “You’ll find out a lot more about the High Sparrow, his background, what motivates him, why he’s become the man he is and why he’s on this mission. It was all new to me.”

Jacob Anderson says of his character, “This season, Grey Worm has to learn the intricacies of politics and it’s a different kind of leadership, other than fighting,” Anderson says. “There is a lot of tension in Meereen. The place is a mess. There’s a lot to clean up and, at the moment, they don’t have a queen.”

We also heard from one of the show’s newest cast members, Joe Naufahu who is playing Khal Moro. Naufahu tells USA Today that his character is “tough. He’s loyal. He strictly adheres to Dothraki traditions and culture. And he doesn’t speak a word of English.”

Fittingly for an actor playing a Dothraki warrior, Naufahu knows how to ride horses and speaks well of the animals. “It’s always fun and when you have horses on set, it just lifts the reality of the show. They’re such beautiful animals.”

Screenwriter (and friend of Benioff and Weiss) Craig Mazin tweeted his own brief impression of the premiere:

Only 13 days left until the official HBO premiere of Game of Thrones season 6! Can you stand the wait?

41 responses

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    1. It all sounds pretty good to me. I’ve not allowed myself to get too excited because it has been a long wait this year, but I’m well and truly stroked now. Can’t wait!!

      Get Hype!

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    2. That’s not the Khal who wronged her name in that Targaryen Teaser. I can’t wait until we see him. As I’ve read somewhere that tent looks very flammable Lol

      I thought they’d use more CGI to make Vaes Dothrak look bigger but I think they mostly did that in that entrance with the huge stallions.

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    3. Looking forward to seeing it in a few weeks

      Good to hear the critics seem positive about it, as there was speculation a few weeks back that the first impressions being formulated without the teasers to scrutinise would be rather “negative”

      Interesting most of the trailer footage is from the first few episodes. Perhaps the battle scenes are an exception. That burning man could quite feasibly be a post victory over Stannis event

      The other possibility is that as soon as Sansa goes AWOL the Boltons head very quickly to Castle Black and clash with the Wildlings on the way but I think this is unlikely and the battle footage is from later in the season

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    4. First glances….WOW.

      Brienne and Pod at Riverrun.

      Walder Frey (at a wedding?)

      Sansa in a dress with Stark emblem

      Davos referring to the long night (in the same Castle chamber that Sansa was in on the previous trailers)!

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    5. What can be in the last scene ? Is Melisandre a faceless man or is everyone ? Or a faceless man comes and takes Jon’s look ?

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    6. That new trailer. Seven hells!

      Sansa wearing a dress/armor with the Stark sigil!

      The Night’s King on the march!

      And Walder Frey! For a second I wondered if that shot of him was old footage from the Red Wedding, but no … it looks new!

      I’m going to need to watch this frame-by-frame. That’s half the day gone. 🙂

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    7. By the way, I know we are all really hyped by the new trailer, but regarding this particular WOTW submission, I am extremely excited about learning more about the High Sparrow. This season seems to be shaping up very well, with a mix of all the elements I love about Game of Thrones.

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    8. The band that were at the premier will probably be at a wedding.

      So lets hope for Red Wedding 2.0.

      The band is Of monsters and men

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    9. I’m really intrigued about the twists we would all find unexpected. After all the forum activities, the only twist I feel I would not see coming is Ned Stark coming back to life (not as the flashback).

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    10. teunteulai,

      Sounds like something insane. Faceless Man becoming Jon? No, I don’t see it; he would have to somehow fake a resurrection too. But what else could it be? Someone else hinted that the last scene “sets the stage for more sorcery in the next episode”.

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    11. aabe,

      That would be crazy!!! Surely too crazy….maybe it will be his wife, though ;).

      Thirteen days, six hours, eleven minutes to go.

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    12. Apollo,

      Could you work out who is attacking Pod? Could it be Bronn? That might work, if Bronn accompanies Jamie to the Riverlands. Or could it be one of the Brotherhood without Banners / Outlaws? (Lady Stoneheart?!?).

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    13. What we know : The last scene involves Melisandre, and is genuinely shocking and unexpected and “lurid”. It “sets the stage” for some kind of sorcery to come later.

      We also have that photo of Melisandre undressing with an unhappy expression on her face.

      I don’t think Melisandre sacrifices herself, or is killed, because there are photos of her riding out of Castle Black (in daylight).

      The word “lurid” is often associated with sexual shocks, although not necessarily.

      What could Game of Thrones possibly do, to genuinely shock people, at this stage?

      Seems like bestiality or necrophilia would do the trick.

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    14. Just a thought but could Tyrion entering the dragons den be the same as when Trystane from the books entered the dragons lair and got roasted? Please let it not be so?

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    15. So this scene is maybe from episode 2 which is titled as Home ..similar to The GIft

      So i guess this big Hut is where Dosh khaleens are kept and You can See the Huts of dothrakis behind this one ..

      i wonder whether we will see mother of mountains and the lake ..
      where the dosh khaleen will bow down to daenerys as per the HOTU vision

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    16. Bob Warren,

      I totally agree with you.
      Maybe a Mel+Jon+Ghost threesome, she gets “pregnant” and some episodes later pops out some sort of being that materializes with dad’s good looks and wit, and mom’s magic…

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    17. There’s something I’m very curious about Hodor/Wyllis.

      Was young Hodor traumatized for turning into how he became, or was it caused by him warging into his future self and never returning to his original host?

      I really hope for the latter because it would really make it sadder if Wyllis died in his older body and that only the remnants of his conscious and what he remembers stays in the host during that seizure moment.

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