Game of Thrones, Season 6 Finale – The Winds of Winter

In the season finale of Game of Thrones, the ladies of the Seven Kingdoms got in formation and they fucking slayed.

I can’t even begin to unpack the amount of girl power, no fuck that, WOMEN power that was the season finale.  There was so much, I’m going to need a minute to get my thoughts in order.

First, let me say this before I go any further:  Bella Ramsey a.k.a. Lady Lyanna Mormont MUST become a series regular.  This young girl has been in three episodes and slayed each and every time.  And this episode was no different.  But I’ll get to that later.  Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

1_2bMMs6MHqAMz65iWHY343QEven before the “previously on Game of Thrones” popped up on our television screens, we were reminded about the greatest battle we’ve seen on this show:  the Battle of the Bastards.  We saw Jon facing House Bolton’s cavalry like a boss, his army coming to his aid, the Knights of the Vale arriving just in time, Ramsay’s bloody face, and finally, the House Stark banner unfurling once again at Winterfell.  That last scene put a huge smile on my face and I’m sure all of you had smiles on your faces, as well.  After the opening credits and theme music (which I always listen to in its entirety no matter how many times I’ve heard it), the day of Cersei Lannister’s and Loras Tyrell’s trials is here.  The only music viewers hear is a piano playing a lonely (and beautiful) tune.  Cersei, King Tommen and Queen Margaery are being dressed by their attendants, all looking very pensive, especially young Tommen.  He is caught between the two women he loves most and, unlike his brother Joffrey, has no idea how to handle anything.  In the Sept of Baelor, everyone arrived for the trial, which began with Loras.  The Knight of Flowers, formerly a proud and cocky fellow, was broken.  The Faith had beaten him, literally and figuratively, but it and the High Sparrow weren’t done with him just yet.  Loras confessed to all of his crimes and asked that he serve the Faith for the rest of his days.  That meant no title, real estate, fancy clothes, hot men or sword fights.  Ever.  Never again.  Whatever.  To seal the deal, one of the Faith’s soldiers carved the religious symbol into his forehead while the crowd watched, including his father and sister.  Once that nasty business was done, it was time for Cersei to stand trial.  But she ain’t Loras.

While the Queen Mother looked out at the Sept of Baelor from her balcony dressed in one of the baddest outfits I’ve seen on this show, her plan was taking shape.  But before her plan could be put into play, Cersei made sure that her son remained in his quarters.  She sent the Mountain to Tommen’s room to make sure he stayed where he was.  And since the King is supremely weak, he did just that (although if the Mountain put his hand on my shoulder, I’d stay put too).  The first part of her plan was the assassination of Grand Maester Pycelle, who she’s wanted to get rid of for the longest time.  Lucky for him he got laid before he died a painful, awful death.  And at the hands of children, no less!  The next part was even more devious.  Cersei had one of her little birds lure her cousin Lancel into the catacombs under the Sept.  Once he was there, the little bird stabbed him in just the right place to ensure he wouldn’t be able to walk.  As Lancel struggled, we saw a bit of bright green to his right.  Remember that rumor that Cersei asked Maester Qyburn about a couple of episodes back?  Turns out it was true.  So very, very true.  And the rumor was that years ago, the Mad King had thousands of barrels of wildfire stored under King’s Landing.  And Cersei was going to use them.

As the crowd waited on Cersei to arrive, Queen Margaery’s spidey senses started to tingle.  She knew her monster-in-law was up to something and told the High Sparrow just that.  But hubris has befallen many great men, and the High Sparrow was no different.  What could a woman such as Cersei Lannister do to him?  Plenty!  Queen Margaery had enough of waiting to die, so she grabbed her brother and headed for the door.  But the Faith would not allow anyone to leave because technically the trial was still ongoing.  But as the people started panicking more and more, the High Sparrow started to look scared himself.

Lancel, realizing what his cousin had planned, tried to get to the candles that were sitting atop a small puddle of wildfire, ready to blow that place to wherever the gods reside.  If you remember the episode of the battle at Blackwater Bay, wildfire is unbelievably flammable and all it would take is a tiny flame to ignite it.  Unfortunately for Lancel, he wasn’t fast enough.  When the wildfire ignited, it literally blew him to nothing.  As the other barrels ignited, the wildfire spread its green death all through the Sept, blowing it and its inhabitants to nothing but memories.  As the Sept exploded and tumbled to the ground, Cersei breathed a sigh of relief, smiled and took a sip of her wine, while her son stood stunned, realizing with mounting horror that his wife was dead and his mother was the cause of said death.  But Cersei wasn’t done yet.  There was one more thing that needed to be done.

In a room somewhere within the Keep, Septa Unella was unconscious.  Cersei poured her wine on the Septa’s face (come on, not the wine!) which woke her.  “Confess” Cersei said.  Then she took a pitcher of wine (come on!) and poured it over the Septa’s face, practically choking her.  “Confess,” she said again.  Cersei had the Septa strapped to the table and told her that she should confess that she beat, starved and humiliated Cersei not because she wanted her to atone, but because it felt good to have that kind of power over someone.  And then Cersei confessed what made her feel good:  wine (me too), fucking her brother, lying about fucking her brother, and lastly, knowing she caused the deaths of everyone in the Sept.  She then reminded Septa Unella that her face would be the last one she saw before she died, and the Septa said good, that she was ready to meet the gods.  Hold on there!  Cersei didn’t say you were dying today!  “You’re not going to die for quite a while.  Ser Gregor.”  The Mountain walked in and any bravado the Septa had was wiped clean, especially when he took off his helmet.  Ser Gregor Clegane is nothing but the walking dead and is only there to serve Cersei.  And Cersei wanted Septa Unella to feel nothing but pain.  “Your gods have forsaken you.  This is your god now.”  Clegane walked over to the Septa and Cersei left, all the while saying “shame” over and over again as the Septa began to scream.

While all of this was going on, King Tommen was still staring out at the ruined Sept.  One of his attendants said he was “very sorry” for his loss, but Tommen heard nothing.  After his attendant left, Tommen took off his crown, walked away from the window for a few moments, then came back, climbed up onto the sill, and then took a swan dive to the landing below.  So endeth the reign of King Tommen, First of His Name.

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And so Cersei said goodbye to the last of her children.  She could never have foreseen her plan being the reason for Tommen’s death, but at this point, what else was there to do?  The Queen Mother did what was necessary:  she had herself crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.  I mean, who’s going to stop her?  She just blew up the Sept of Baelor, the Queen and the High Sparrow!  So go ahead, be my guest and tell her she can’t be Queen.  I dare you!

Sam, Gilly and Little Sam finally arrived at the Citadel, which was sending out white ravens by the thousands.  Sam checked in and was greeted by a stuffy guy who seemed hellbent on just being a jerk.  But Sam is at the Citadel and about to begin his studies to become a Maester.  He could give a shit about that snippy attitude.  He explained that Lord Commander Mormont and Maester Aemon were both dead and that Jon Snow is the new boss and commanded Sam travel to the Citadel.   Snippy Guy tells Sam he’ll have to talk to someone about the “irregularities” but that he can use the library for now.  When Gilly makes a move to join them, Snippy Guy turns to her and says, “No women or children!”  Umm, ok.  Sam, too excited about seeing the library, just kind of brushes her off but not in a bad way.  When he arrives in the main space of the library, Sam’s face says it all.  There are books upon books upon books.  That face Sam made is the same one I make every time I walk into a library or Strand Books in New York City.  Pure, unadulterated awe.

In the North, Jon is surveying his old home, telling Melisandre of the feasts he remembered at Winterfell and of how he sat far away from his family each time.  Melisandre said that he was lucky to have a family and feasts, which gave him some pause.  Just then, Ser Davos comes in and tosses the burnt ruin of the stag he carved for Princess Shireen her way.  Oh.  That.  “Tell him what you did!”  Ser Davos was not playing with her, he wanted her to confess (confess, confess) and she did.  Davos was heartsick over his friend and demanded to know why she did it.  Stannis’ forces were weak, the Lord of Light told me to do it, blah blah blah.  Sorry lady, but you ain’t gettin’ out of this one.  Davos, the poor man, told her that Shireen was “good” and that she “killed her!”  “So did her father.  So did her mother,” is how Melisandre countered that argument and she was right.  Stannis allowed his own flesh and blood to be burned alive to win a damn crown that he lost anyway in the end.  Davos requested Jon’s permission to have Melisandre executed but for some reason, Jon showed her mercy.  I mean, she did bring him back from the dead, and now he’s standing in Winterfell again.  So there’s that.  Jon told Melisandre that she should ride South and never return or he’ll have her hanged for being a murderer.  The Red Woman was about to make like a tree but Davos stopped her in her tracks.  The Onion Knight told her if she ever came back that way, he’d kill her himself.  And here’s the funny part about that scene:  Melisandre looked at Davos like, “Bitch please, I’m a thousand years old!  I’ve been dead.”  I have to say I did laugh at that part even though technically it wasn’t meant to be funny.

At the Godswood, Sansa was sitting at the same tree where her father prayed on many occasions.  Littlefinger, hovering as always, listened to her as she lamented about how stupid she had been in not realizing what a great family she already had.  But Lord Baelish reminded her that she was just a girl who didn’t know any better.  Now she knows what she wants.  “What do you want?” she asked.  The same thing he’s always wanted.  He wants the Iron Throne and he wants Sansa.  He believes the North should rally behind her and not her brother Jon.  But she stops him in his tracks.  Littlefinger has done many things to help her (escaped the Lannisters), but he’s also done things that have harmed her in so many ways (Ramsay Bolton).  Can she ever trust him?

1_SPRsMNysC3aIRLLLtqZFzwElsewhere in the North, Bran, Meera and Uncle Benjen are close to Castle Black, which is where Benjen must leave his nephew.  Being undead, he can’t walk through the gates, as the ice is covered in ancient spells to prevent such things from happening.  After he leaves, Bran finds an old Godswood tree and prepares for more visions.  Meera asks if he’s ready and Bran says he has no choice.  He is the Three-Eyed Raven now and, prepared or not, he must go on.  Bran touches the tree and reveals a truth we’ve all been waiting on.

 

Bran’s vision takes him back to the Tower of Joy, where a young Eddard Stark had just battled with Ser Arthur Dayne.  Since the Three-Eyed Raven was no longer alive, he wasn’t around to keep Bran from following his father.  Once inside, we see a very bloody Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister and Bran’s aunt.  Lyanna is dying, that is clear, but Ned wasn’t sure why.  Turns out, Lyanna had given birth to a son.  His true name we do not know as of yet, but that son is none other than Jon Snow!  No, Ned is not the father of young Snow (insert loud audience applause here) which becomes gospel when the baby boy on-screen with the furrowed brow pans out to the current Jon Snow.  Jon is a Targaryen!  There’s still some speculation as to whether he was conceived by Rhaegar or the Mad King, but the general consensus is that Jon is Rhaegar’s son.  So now what?

1_numSSvtYs_VKxAtZ-83zjAAt the Twins, the Freys are celebrating their “victory” over the Blackfish and House Tully.  Walder Frey bragged about the win, even though he did nothing to earn it.  Jaime listened to the old man with mounting boredom and basically said if the Lannisters have to come to House Frey’s aid every time they lose a castle, what good are they?  That shut Walder’s pie hole good and fast.  Later, Bronn is ticked about all of the action Jaime gets just for being a “rich prick.”  The ladies are definitely staring at the Kingslayer, especially one particular handmaiden.  But Jaime only has eyes for Cersei, which is romantic and gross at the same time.  The next day, Walder is wondering where his two bumbling sons are but is distracted when he notices the same handmaiden who was smiling at Jaime and slaps her on the ass for good measure.  The handmaiden tells him that his sons are already here, to which he tells her to find them.  Then she reiterates that her sons are already there.  On the table.  In the pie she’s serving to him.  Walder pulls the pie crust off and sees a toe inside.  “They weren’t easy to carve.  Especially Black Walder,” she says.  He turns a frightened face to the handmaiden and she proceeds to pull off her own!  It’s Arya!  She’s back in Westeros!  I’m sorry, I’m getting a bit giddy about this.  Let me take a breath.  Okay I’m good.  Arya looks at the old man and says, “My name is Arya Stark.  I want you to know that.  The last thing you’re going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.”  And then she cuts that old fuck’s neck and holds him until he gasps his very last breath.  And she is indeed smiling.

In Dorne, the Sand Snakes have taken over.  Ellaria and her three daughters are meeting with Lady Olenna Tyrell, who has suffered a devastating blow with the deaths of her family members.  But she’s skeptical about working with Prince Doran’s killer.  When Ellaria’s daughter Obara tries to put in her two cents, Lady Olenna shuts her down and the other two daughters, as well.  “Let the grown women speak.”  Exactly!  Sit down, little girls and hush!  Ellaria reminds Lady Olenna that the Lannisters have declared war on House Tyrell with the deaths of Margaery, Loras and Mace.  They should join forces to fight them.  And in case she needed any more convincing, in walks Lord Varys to make the case for Dany with three words:  “Fire and blood.”  So not only would the Mother of Dragons have her three dragons, House Greyjoy’s ships, the ships she took from the Masters, her Dothraki horde and the Unsullied, Dany would also have the fleets of Dorne and House Tyrell.  I’m getting chills just thinking about this possible alliance.

Speaking of the Mother of Dragons, Dany has a dilemma.  She’s almost ready to sail to Westeros to take the Iron Throne, but there’s something she needs to do.  You can’t conquer a kingdom when you’re worrying about what your boyfriend is doing.  So Dany had to say farewell to her hot man Daario (he’ll definitely be missed) but she can’t worry about such things.  Daario said he would be her lover if that’s all she wanted cuz she’s the best woman he’s ever had in every way (insert Drake song here).  How do you follow Daenerys Targaryen?  Basically, you don’t.  I feel sorry for the women who come after her!  Especially with the fact that Dany felt absolutely nothing when she broke up with her man.  She was like, “Yeah, this was nice.  Thanks for the sex and the adoration and your fighting skills.  ‘Preciate it.  Bye, Felix.”  Daario took it like a man and said goodbye to his love.

Afterwards, Dany spoke with Tyrion, who was the one who advised her to drop Daario.  “You’re in the great game now,” and she definitely is.  For his loyalty and sage advice, Dany named Tyrion Hand of the Queen and gave him the official pin.  Tyrion was moved beyond words and did the only thing he could do:  kneel to his Queen.  Again, chills.

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Back at Winterfell, the Northern houses are arguing over whether they should fight for House Stark.  Jon is a bastard (no he ain’t!) and Sansa is a girl (screw you!).  How exactly are they supposed to fight for House Stark when a real Stark (read male who isn’t a bastard) isn’t around to lead them?  And that’s when Lady Lyanna Mormont, a mere girl of ten years old, shut them all down.  She pointed out that none of those old farts answered the call when House Stark needed them most.  The only King she knows is the King in the North and that’s Jon Snow, who cares if he’s a bastard.  He’s her king.  Lyanna Mormont for President!!

Anywho, Lyanna’s speech shamed all of the men there and, one by one, they all declared Jon Snow the King in the North.  All except Lord Baelish, who gave Sansa a weird look.  Will Littlefinger take the Knights of the Vale and abandon House Stark?

And the last scene of the episode saw Daenerys Targaryen on a ship heading to Westeros.  With her were her Dothraki horde, the Unsullied captained by Grey Worm, House Greyjoy, House Tyrell and Dorne.  Dany’s fleet filled the horizon.  Imagine what it will look like to the people of King’s Landing?  To Cersei?  To Westeros?

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Stay tuned.

And now our watch has ended.  I have to say, Season 6 was outstanding and I’m looking forward to Seasons 7 and 8.  Here’s hoping George R. R. Martin releases Book 6 of the series so we have something to keep us occupied until 2017.  Until then, by the old gods and the new, have a great Summer and see you next year.  Thanks so much for reading!

Season 7 of Game of Thrones will return in 2017 on HBO.

Photos courtesy of HBO.

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