Winter has finally come! Last week we were left with Jon Snow vs Ramsey Bolton and all of its great epicness. On this week’s season finale of Game of Thrones we not only got to see the aftermath of that glorious battle, but we also got a whole lot moving in the rest of the seven kingdoms. Pretty much every story going on moved forward and either reached some sort of conclusion or helped set up something cool for next season. Everything from Cersei’s trial, to multiple deaths, to finally confirming a long-running fan theory, this week’s Game of Thrones did not disappoint.
Warning: This article contains spoilers from the “Game of Thrones” Season 6 episode “The Winds of Winter.”
Much of tonight’s action took place in King’s Landing, and boy was it explosive… literally. Tonight the trials of Cersei and Loras Tyrell happened. Both have spent most of the season either in captivity or under house arrest while waiting for their trials for their sexual behaviors.
The first trial was Loras’ where he freely admitted his guilt of homosexuality and his lying of it. To avoid the punishment, he relinquished his name, title, family rights, and becomes a member of the militant Faith. This move seems to come as a shock to everyone except his sister Margaery to no doubt coached him into doing it to avoid a harsher punishment. Upon accepting him as a member of the Faith, the High Sparrow orders his branding as other members of the Faith carve their symbol into his forehead, much to Margaery’s dismay.
Meanwhile, Cersei remains in her room, refusing to attend her own trial. She has also ordered The Mountain-monster to keep her son Tommen remain in his room as well. Margaery is the first to realize that there’s a problem. It wouldn’t be much of a problem if just Cersei didn’t attend, but with King Tommen not there either, this causes her Spider-Sense to go off and she knows there’s some kind of a trap. Margaery warns The High Sparrow that there is some sort of a trap afoot, but his pride gets the best of him and he decided to proceed with the trial even without Cersei there. However, Cersei’s plan of action begins. Qyburn’s little birds (child spies) did their best Children of the Corn impression and murdered Grand Maester Pycelle. Faith convert Lancel followed one of the children where he also was stabbed, but not before discovering a wildfire cache. With everyone in the main hall, the wildfire goes off incinerating The High Sparrow, the Faith, all the Tyrells including Queen Margaery, and even a few of the Lannisters in attendance. Cersei finally got her vengeance against them all!
However, not everything goes as she planned. Tommen deeply loved Margaery and her death causes him to commit suicide by jumping out the window in his room. While this does affect Cersei, she rather coldly orders his body burned. Cersei on her quest of vengeance gets Septa Unella where she finally makes her “confessions” as only Cersei can. Afterward, she had The Mountain-monster come in and reveal himself to her with just the look of his rotting face to torture her with. Now Westeros is without a leader, a role that Cersei gladly accepts. Now she has everything she ever wanted, rule over the kingdom.
In the Riverlands, the Freys are celebrating their victory over House Tully, a victory they won only due to Jamie Lannister’s help. Jamie, increasingly annoyed by Walder Frey challenges his “manhood” since he really hasn’t been in a battle, a claim that Walder Frey knows and doesn’t even run from. We do get to see Bronn share a few moments with Jamie discussing just how much of a ladies man he really is when a few servant girls take a notice of Jamie, one in particular.
Later on, Walder Frey is in his hall by himself where one of the previous servant girls serves him some pier. Frey was wondering just where his other sons were while creepily smacking the girl’s behind. The girl then goes to tell him that his sons were in fact right there with him. We then turn to the pie and discover that his sons are providing the meat for the pie. The girl then takes her face off… revealing herself as Arya Stark!! She gets her vengeance for the Red Wedding and slices his throat. She has started back up her list, which is probably why she was smiling at Jamie Lannister, he better watch out.
Jamie arrives with his army back to Kings Landing in the aftermath of the wildfire. At first, he thinks that they are under attack, but when he finally arrives sees his sister reclaiming the throne and the two share a glance at each other.
After so many weeks, we finally get back to Dorne!! Turns out Olenna Tyrell has made it to Dorne and is meeting with Ellaria Sand and her Sand Snakes. In her typical Olenna fashion, she scolds the younger ones and deals directly with Ellaria. They create an alliance with the sole purpose of eliminating the Lannisters for the deaths of their loved ones. Varys also shows up to work out an alliance as well and promises “fire and blood.” With him on their side, they will also have Daenerys Targaryen soon enough.
In the way North, uncle Benjin AKA “Cold Hands” finished escorting Bran Stark and Meera as far as he can take them. He reveals to them that The Wall isn’t made just of ice, but magic which prevents the Dead from crossing. Since he is technically dead, he leaves them at one of the Weirwood trees. Bran decides to use his Three-Eyed-Raven powers and once again venture into the past with his powers. This time, he goes back to the Tower of Joy and sees what his father Ned Stark was doing over there.
Turns out Ned goes to the top of the tower where he finds his sister Lyanna. As Ned comes into a midwife room his sister has just given birth and is not in good shape as a result. His sister with her dying breath makes Ned promise something related to her child. And who is the child? Jon Snow! Jon Snow is a Targaryen-Stark!
Speaking of Jon Snow, he and Sansa are back in Winterfell after defeating Ramsey Bolton. The first piece of business is Davos confronting Melisandre about young Shireen’s death. Davos explains to Jon Snow that she convinced Stannis to burn his own daughter in service of the Lord of Light. In the aftermath, Jon decides to banish Melisandre and if she returns to the North she will be executed. Davos makes good on that warning, telling her he will personally kill her if she returns. Melisandre agrees and rises south.
Sansa and Jon make peace with the fact that she lied to Jon about Littlefinger and his aid for the last week’s battle. She tells him that although he is a Snow, he’s a Stark to her. Littlefinger tries to share a tender moment with Sansa where he tells her of his true goals which we have all known for the past six seasons: he wants to sit on the Iron Throne, but he wants Sansa on his side as his queen. Sansa, however, rejects his advances.
Later on in the hall, all the northern houses meet and discuss going forward with Sansa and Jon. During the meeting, they once again state their objections to the Wildlings coming south and allying with Jon Snow. Young Lyanna Mormont reminds the other great houses that when House Stark needed them, they all were cowards. The houses decided that no more will they be in fear. Although Jon is a bastard, he’s their bastard and they declare him King of the North.
Across the water, Daenerys has to make a tough decision. She meets with her lover Daario where she orders that he will remain behind in Meereen as she will go across the sea to Westeros to reclaim the throne. He and his mercenary group will remain behind to ensure the peace there until the land can elect their own leadership. She explains to him that she will require alliances that will probably be maintained through marriage and they will have to part ways. Daario accepts this, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
It’s clear that the decision came from Tyrion, as he tries to console Daenerys afterward. To the shock of even Tyrion, she explains that she’s growing cold because she just wanted to get it over with. However, Daenerys then tells Tyrion that his place is by her side and she rewards his loyalty by naming him Hand of the Queen, a title that humbles him as he bows to his queen.
The episode ends with a very epic presentation of her army as they set sail for Westeros. She has the Unsullied, the Greyjoys, the Dothraki, and her dragons. Not to mention the alliances Varys is setting up with the Tyrells and Dorne. Gods help whoever tries to get in her way!
As awesome as last week’s episode of Game of Thrones was, it was almost expected that this episode would be somewhat of a letdown as most of the Game of Thrones season finales are. However, they kept the momentum and moved it forward. Not only did tonight complete a lot of storylines, but it helps set up many things for next season.
It’s quite clear that the Starks are back! That family has endured a great deal of crap throughout the entire series, but now it looks like they are getting on their proper footing. The Red Wedding has been avenged on many fronts thanks to the efforts of Jon, Sansa, and Arya. The only problem is now that we know Jon is not a true-born Stark, how will this affect his newfound position of leadership should the secret ever get out? By the way, how awesome is little Lady Mormont? She is one tough cookie!
Now that we know the wall is held up by magic, how will the White Walkers and the army of the dead get through in order to wreak havoc for the upcoming war? Speaking of which, wasn’t Bran touched by the Night’s King? Does that mean he cannot get through either? Will he use his Three-Eyed-Raven powers to remove the magic so he can get through and jumpstart the war?
How are Arya and Varys able to travel so fast? How big is this sea?!?
Sam finally made it to Oldtown and was in heaven at the size of the library. Hopefully, he will not abandon Gilly and the Baby since they cannot technically be there.
Besides the North, everywhere else is being ruled by women. The show this season has done wonders to make up for all its rapey past seasons. We have Cersei, Daenerys, Yara Greyjoy, Ella Sand, and the Olenna Tyrell. Next season will be almost all girl fight for power and leadership of the kingdom, such a welcome change for the show.
It’s gonna be a long wait until next season!!