Winter came and boy did it deliver.
Game of Thrones Season 6 finale “The Winds of Winter” pays off multiple storylines, has multiple twists and scenes of brutality and beauty. It is by far the best and most satisfying finale of the show so far.
But before I go any further I want to issue a Drogon-sized SPOILER WARNING as there is a LOT to be spoiled in this episode. Abandon all hope of not being spoiled ye who continue to read from here on.
Still here? Well let’s go. Here’s “The Winds of Winter” in six easy to chew slices:
#1 Cersei goes full Godfather
The show runners must be Godfather fans (and really, who isn’t) because that opening scene was pure Godfather. You had the somber music, shots with no dialogue and instead of a dramatic trial you have her wiping out her enemies with a Big Bang of wildfire – likely left over from the Battle of Blackwater – and some stabby children of the corn.
We all knew Cersei would get her revenge but who suspected she would blow up the Great Sept of Baelor killing hundreds including the Tyrells, the High Sparrow and all his minions. Then her torturing the nun and seeing The Mountain’s zombie face reveal was icing on the cake. And of course Tommen is going to kill himself – he lost his wife and his new religion in one big boom.
#2 Hey remember us?
In news of storylines we forgot about, we see Sam, Gilly and Little Sam finally make their way to the Citadel in Oldtown. We get some humour with the stone faced maester and the reveal of the library is impressive, but compared to the other storylines it is not much to write home to Jon about.
And then we are back at Dorne. I was telling a friend of mine that they seemed to have dropped this mostly unpopular storyline. But we do get to see Lady Olenna shutting the Sand Snakes up one by one and the alliance between the Tyrells and Dorne means the latter will finally do something of import. And then Varys, apparently using that popular GoT teleporter, surprisingly shows up, meaning a greater alliance with Dany. Good set up for next season.
#3 Love and Wrath at Winterfell
Ser Davos and Melisandre have their long awaited confrontation over her burning poor Shireen at the stake. She tries to play the old “the Lord of Light made me do it” but Davos calls her on her crap and asks Jon to execute her. As I predicted she escapes with her life but this also means no more resurrections for Jon, upping the stakes aplenty. I’m sure she will be back.
Then in a much warmer moment we have Jon and Sansa bonding, and in a “go Sansa” moment she rebuffs Littlefinger’s advances. This is not the girl he manipulated before but a strong woman who knows how to play the game. Really enjoyed Sansa this season. Littlefinger speaks about “burying the past” which has been a running theme this season and especially this episode.
#4 The Red Dinner
When I saw the Freys in the promo for this episode I predicted that Walder and his clan would finally pay for their treachery and get killed off.
What I did not expect was that it would have been Arya in disguise. Whatttt?!!! She also used that GoT teleporter to get there so quickly and serves up (pun intended) some sweet justice that would make Hannibal Lecter proud. She finally gets to cross off Walder Frey from her list and we will hopefully see her reunite with the other Starks next season.
#5 R+L=J + New King of the North
One of the biggest reveals comes via Bran. After we say goodbye to Uncle Coldhands and he reveals a bit about The Wall’s magic our new Three Eyed Raven completes his Tower of Joy flashback and confirms what legions of fans believed and hoped for: R+L=J. This means that the bastard Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys’ deceased elder brother, and Ned Stark’s sister Lyanna Stark. Okay, Lyanna does not come out and say that Rhaegar is her baby daddy but who else could it be?
Then we jump back to the North and it is confirmed that the Long Winter is here. And, after Lady Mormont throws more shade than an awning, we see some of the Northern lords swearing fealty to Jon as King of the North, though he is a most reluctant ruler. The look on Littlefinger’s face, who we find out harbors dreams of sitting on the Iron Throne himself, is priceless. But Sansa suspects that her unrequited lover will prove to be a problem. And I love Jon’s line about The Night’s King – “he brings the storm”. Good stuff.
#6 The Dread Queen and the Queen Of Dragons
Cersei, adorned in some dark and masculine clothing, ascends to the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Did not see that coming. She has definitely been set up as a major villain for the next seasons. And the look she shares with her stunned brother/lover Jaime is not exactly doting. Our Kingslayer may become a Queenslayer in the future.
Then in Meereen Dany gives poor lovesick Daario the Dear John treatment before sharing a sweet moment with the new Hand of the Queen, Tyrion. And then we have the scene fans have been waiting six seasons for – she finally sails off to Westeros with her army, her ships and her dragons. And wait, is that Varys? That teleporter worked overtime this episode.
I predicted the last scene would have been The Wall crashing down (they are probably saving that for the Season 7 finale) but Dany sailing off to Westeros is pretty great too. After so much payoffs and set ups this episode I really cannot wait for Season 7.
So have you seen the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale? What was your favorite part? Feel free to comment below.
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