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Women rule 'Game of Thrones' season 6 premiere (pictures)

Just look to the ladies. With the season 6 kickoff, HBO's hit show sets the stage for more women to kick butt and rise to power. Plus, other premiere highlights.

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Caitlin Petrakovitz, Leslie Katz
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1 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Still not looking good

The premiere of "Game of Thrones" season 6 finally hit Sunday, and there wasn't much room for fun reveals or even excitement. Despite fans' fervent hopes, Jon Snow is still dead. Very dead. Honestly, what did you expect?

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2 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

To the rescue!

Look who rides in to save the day just as Ramsay Bolton's henchmen close in on the fugitive Sansa Stark. Brienne "It's a bloody woman" of Tarth! She's kicking butt and taking names, because what else is a knight to do?

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3 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

'Reek, Reek rhymes with freak'

Theon wields a sword at just the right moment. It's probably safe to say he's got his balls back. At the very least he's "remembering" who he was, and his shame may guide him to be a better man -- unlike Cersei's shame, which will probably burn a country.

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4 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Cersei's heartbreak

Barely out of her post-walk-of-shame bath, Cersei gets good news -- a ship is headed in from Dorne, presumably with her daughter, Myrcella, aboard. But then she sees it, and has the horrifying realization that Maggy the Frog was right all along -- that girl is cursed.

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5 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Death in Dorne

Speaking of death and Dorne, the idyllic-looking city sees a somewhat-sort-of-not-at-all-really-surprise bloody coup. "When was the last time you left this palace? You don't know your own people, their disgust for you," Ellaria Sand sneers as she sends a sword into Prince Doran Martell's chest. And promises to do the same to his heir. Because why leave anyone alive when you can wreck a lineage?

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6 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Dany tells them who she is

What's a khalessi without a khal? Our favorite queen is about to be relegated to forgotten, mythical status and sent to live out her days branded a khal's widow, nothing more. We're pretty sure she won't stay at the Widows Inn for long though.

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7 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Arya the fighter

Nobody talks to a blind girl, as Arya learns. No, instead, the Waif just beats her. Sure, she seems cruel now, but how great is it going to be when Arya rises up and goes all Daredevil on that annoying girl?!

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8 of 8 HBO screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Melisandre

Turns out, that red woman isn't quite as red as she is...white? Without her fiery necklace, Melisandre is actually way way older than she appears. Either that, or her skincare regimen suddenly stopped working.

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