By Anthony Vargas
In watching the final moments of last year’s “Games of Thrones,” Starr Lighty was outraged.
She wasn’t alone.
Fans of the breakout HBO series gasped as Jon Snow (Kit Harington), commander of the Night Watch and one of the most popular characters, was stabbed to death by his men after being labeled a traitor.
What followed was almost a year of, ‘Is he really dead?” speculation as fans and critics tried to parse the circumstances of his death and who was nearby at the time.
On Sunday they got their answer.
Jon Snow lives – well – at least breathes, or perhaps more correctly, gasped for air. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
“So, the writers must [have] heard us fans because he’s back in episode two and I couldn’t be happier,” said Lighty, a marketing major and the customer care coordinator of the William Paterson University Book Store.
George R.R. Martin, the author of the books on which the series is based, has never been shy about killing off popular and seemingly untouchable characters.
Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) the young, sadistic King of the Andals and ruler of the Seven Kingdoms died at his wedding when he drank from a poison-laced glass of wine. Catlyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), wife of Eddard who was beheaded at the end of season one, got slaughtered at the Red Wedding at the end of season 3.
No one is safe.
And yet, the outrage (And, dare one say, hope?) for some reprieve for Snow was palpable across the viewership following the end of last season.
“Game of Throne” episodes are nothing if not complicated so lest anyone think Snow’s was the only story line, there was the House of Dorne to catch up on and Melisandre’s admission that she was a fake to think about.
For Karol Sobolewski, a political science and philosophy major, the betrayal in the House of Dorne and the prince of Dorne’s assassination was the highlight of the show two episodes in.
“Let’s just say the house of Dorne is gone,” Sobolewski said. “Never turn your back on an opponent!”
Sobolewski looks forward to what Snow will do in future episodes.
“I just want him to go out with his dire wolf and kill some people,” Sobolewski said.
Other viewers didn’t think the season premiere had the same level of excitement as in the past (they will be tortured and executed at the conclusion of this article).
Communications student Daniel Maldonado said he still liked the shows premiere episode despite it not having the same excitement of previous premieres.
“As far as season premieres go I thought it was kind of tame, compared to what I’ve seen them do in the past,” said Daniel Maldonado, a communication major. “But I actually enjoyed it a lot. They set up what’s to come nicely, I thought anyway. It didn’t answer everything I wanted them to answer, but I assumed coming up those questions will be addressed.”
Kristina Sternesky, a communication major with a public relations concentration, believes that the premiere got off on the right foot while following all the story pieces left hanging last year.
“I think it’s good,” she said. “It picks up where last season left off and goes into every single character’s story to get you reinterested in the show after such a long hiatus.”
When asked what their favorite aspect of the show was, both said the final scene at the end of this season premier where viewers see what Melisandre really looks like (no spoiler alert here; you really have to watch). A priestess known for manipulating events behind the scenes with her power of light and prophecy, she exerted enormous influence over almost everyone she encouters.
“Oh, that last scene. I was confused [at first]. Then I was like, ‘OK, I want to see where this goes’,” said Maldonado.
“[It was] very powerful because it can go one of two ways,” Sternesky said. “Either it showing that Melisandre is giving up her power or she’s forced to look at the truth in the eye and by doing so she has to actually look her exact age.”
Finally, going forward, what Lightly wants to see is probably what a good part of the viewership is hoping for as well.
“I’m looking forward to Ramsay (Bolton) (played by actor Iwan Rheon) getting killed,” she said.
Why? You’ll simply have to catch up.
“Game of Thrones” is broadcast at 9 p.m. on Sundays on HBO.