You know the expression, “Go out with a bang, not a whimper?” Game of Thrones has ended season 6 with a bang, several of them. And the only whimpering here are the sounds of our self-pity. After all, we have to wait ten more months until season 7.
That’s a lot of whimpering.
Here’s how season 6 of Game of Thrones ended in the episode “The Winds of Winter.” As usual, if you don’t want spoilers, stop reading right here. We tried to warn you.
THE DEATH OF THE TYRELLS
Margaery watched in horror as her brother Loras renounced his claim to House Tyrell and took holy orders. But she was also canny enough to realize that Cersei had not attended her own judgment by the Faith. “[Cersei] does not intend to suffer the consequences. We all need to leave.” But the Faith prevented her and the large assembly at the Sept of Baelor from leaving.
Sadly, Margaery was right. Cersei set off the barrels of wildfire that Aegon the Mad had left behind. The High Sparrow, the Tyrells, the high officials of the Faith, and even Lancel Lannister—all destroyed in a flash of green.
[Great advice. Pity she couldn’t take it herself.]
THE DEATH OF KING TOMMEN
Tommen had readied himself for the trial against his mother, but his way was barred by Ser Robert Strong, a.k.a. Ser Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. George R.R. Martin’s version of Frankenstein’s Monster. When he realized what his mother had done, Tommen removes his crown and wordlessly throws himself out of the window of the Red Keep.
It was a quick and perfect tragedy.
[Not long enough.]
SHAME SEPTA GETS A LITTLE TOO MUCH COMEUPPANCE
Remember Cersei’s Walk of Shame at the end of season 5? Cersei hasn’t. Which is why she managed to grab the septa who helped mentally torture her and parade her through the streets of King’s Landing. (I call her the Shame Septa.)
Cersei has her tied down and pours wine on her face. Then after sharing a few unkind words (“You didn’t do it because you cared about my atonement. You ddi it because it felt good. I understand… I killed my husband because it felt good to be rid of him.”), she leaves the Shame Septa in the not-so-tender care of the undead Robert Strong.
[If Robert Strong is Frankenstein, does that mean Shame Septa will be the Bride of Frankenstein?]
SER DAVOS CONFRONTS MELISANDRE
And he does it in front of Jon Snow, showing them the stag he found in the ashes of a pyre, a stag that he had carved for poor young Shireen—proof that Shireen was burned at the stake. Melisandre does not deny it.
Davos wants Melisandre killed for her crimes. Melisandre, in her defense, says Shireen’s parents agreed to the conflagration. Also, “The army of the dead will be upon us soon, and you know I can help you win that war.” Jon neither executes nor pardons her. Instead, he banishes her south and tells her to never return. When last we see Melisandre, she’s leaving Winterfell.
[So that’s the kind of help you’re offering?! Kthxbye.]
OLENNA TYRELL ALLIES WITH DORNE
Olenna Tyrell, in mourning for the extinction of her house, has traveled to Dorne to meet with Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters, the Sand Snakes. Olenna once again shows the world why she’s called “the Queen of Thorns” when talking to the Sand Snakes: “Do shut up, dear… Let the grown women speak.”
[I don’t like these jewels, either.]
Olenna asks why she should ally with Ellaria. She tells her, “It’s not survival I offer. It’s your hearts desire. Vengeance. Justice…”
And with that, Varys the Spider appears and finishes Ellaria’s sentence: “Fire and blood.” The words of House Targaryen.
ARYA STARK MAKES A SURPRISE APPEARANCE
Walder Frey is alone in the dining hall when an unknown servant serves him a meat pie. He wonders where his sons are. The serving girl says, “Here,” and after a moment of confusion, Walder looks to the pie. “They weren’t easy to carve,” the servant girl says casually, “especially Black Walder.”
The servant girl removes her face, revealing Arya Stark. She tells Walder, “I want you to know that the last thing you’re ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.” She slits his throat and holds him as he bleeds out. Revenge achievement unlocked.
[She’s been practicing at this for a while now.]
JON SNOW IS DECLARED KING OF THE NORTH
Jon Snows tells the assembled Northmen that, even though they didn’t fight with him against Ramsay Bolton, their battle has just begun. “The true enemy won’t wait our the storm. He brings the storm.”
This is when the awesome Lady Mormont shames the assembly for not joining Jon in his fight. In her little-girl voice, she says, “He’s my king until his last day.”
[And what she says, goes.]
One by one, the Northerners declare him King of the North. Everyone cheers for him. Everyone except Petyr Baelish. (See “Other Stand-Out Moments,” below.)
BRAN STARK LEARNS THE TRUTH ABOUT JON SNOW
At a heart tree north of the Wall, Bran visits the past and sees what readers have been dying to know about since George R.R. Martin’s first novel in his Song of Ice and Fire series. Lyanna Stark, dying in a bed, covered in blood, whispering the words, “Promise me, Ned,” to her brother.
And finally, we learn the truth: It was a promise to keep her son safe. And that son is Jon Snow.
Jon isn’t Ned’s bastard son, he’s his nephew. He’s the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. And that makes him a contender for the Iron Throne.
[You know nothing, Jon Snow. And we know everything.]
Question: Does that mean he can control dragons?
DANY DUMPS DAARIO AND HEADS TO WESTEROS
Daenerys Targaryen has a kingdom to rule, and that means Daario needs to stay behind in Meereen. After all, it’s tricky to find a suitable marriage with a lover in tow.
Daario susses out that this was Tyrion’s idea. And speaking of Tyrion, Dany makes him the official Hand of the Queen.
When last we see Daenerys, she’s on the deck of one of her hundred ships, flanked by three dragons. Heading toward Westeros. Everything she’s ever wanted since she was old enough to want anything. It’s finally within her grasp.
[This is what ruling looks like: It looks fabulous.]
And thus ends season 6 of Game of Thrones.
Other stand-out moments
– Petyr Baelish declares his intentions. Littlefinger has always been a puzzle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a weasel. But finally, after approaching Sansa in the godswood, he tells her what he really wants–to sit on the Iron Throne, with Sansa by his side. She doesn’t reject him outright so much as shrugs and walks away. Burn.
– Benjen Stark leaves Bran and Meera near the Wall, telling them that he can’t go beyond it, what with the spells woven into the foundation that keep out the dead (and the semi-dead, like him). But he plans to fight the good fight as long as he can. `
– Maester Pycelle is killed by street urchins. Specifically, street urchins led by Qyburn, the “little birds” that he appropriated after Varys fled the city. Qyburn apologizes for having him killed: “Before we can usher in the new, the old must be put to rest.”
– Sam Tarly and Gilly finally reach the Citadel, where Sam is led to the library, to meet the archmaester. The look of delight on his face as he sees the thousands and thousands of books waiting to be read was a delight for us, too.
– Jon and Sansa agree that Sansa should be the one to rule House Stark. Their agreement doesn’t last long, as every Northerner declares Jon their king.
– Jaime Lannister and Bronn are feted by House Frey, who have rewritten history. Instead of Roose Bolton’s fateful words, “The Lannisters send their regards,” Walder Frey tells it as “The Lannisters and the Freys send their regards.” Jaime calls him on his B.S. and reminds him that no one fears the Freys—only the Lannisters.
– While he’s at it, Jaime introduces Bronn to his two female companions for the evening. (“Maybe I’m not in the mood,” says Bronn. But dude…of course you are.)
– Cersei is crowned queen. That might be unbelievable to some, but to me, I saw that coming years ago.
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Featured Image Credit: HBO.