SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED ON THE GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 FINALE! This article is full of spoilers, so I’d stop reading right the flip now if you haven’t caught up.
Geez louise, where to begin?! Let’s start by saying that Season 6 has provided some of the most satisfying stories since the show started. They came hard and fast and we’re still on the edge of our seats, slack-jacked and thinking, “DID THAT JUST HAPPEN???” Season 6 is the year of the reckoning. All the shit most of our female characters had to endure are able to fight back and come out on top. How does that Beyoncé song go? “Who run da world? Girls.”
So what did happen last night? Let’s see…
Cersei took out the High Sparrow, the Faith Militant, the entire Tyrell line of succession after Lady Olenna (poor Margery), and anyone else in attendance for her trial. For starters. She also had Qyburn and his little birds take out Maestor Pycell and cousin Lancel. In one fell swoop, Cersei took out everyone she deemed a threat. The sequence of events played like a finely tuned instrument. Practically perfect in every way.
There’s just one snag: Tommen. The Mountain kept the boy king from going to the Sept. He watched from afar what his mother had set into motion. Alone and devastated, Tommen took his own life by jumping out of the window. With literally no one else in line to take the Iron Throne, Cersei becomes the ruling Queen of Westeros.
What next? All Cersei has ever done was to try to forge a path for her children and protect them at all costs. They were her life, essentially. Her acting the part of a fierce mother is what kept her human. But now Tommen, her last child, is dead. She may be queen on the Iron Throne, but there’s no telling what her ambitions are now.
Oh. And the Shame Septa? She’s chained to a table in a dungeon getting tortured by Franken-Mountain.
Up in the Winterfell, Sansa and Jon have a heart to heart. They agree that there can be no more secrets between them, that one has to have faith in the other if their family and home is to continue surviving. In this conversation, Jon is more than willing to hand over the reigns to Sansa as the Lady of Winterfell. She was the one who saved them all in the Battle of the Bastards by including the Knights of the Veil. She deserves the title more than he does.
In the Godswood, Sansa meets with Littlefinger. It’s here that Baelish declares his true intentions: to claim the Iron Throne for himself with Sansa as his queen (shiver). Could Littlefinger be any more creepy? Sansa rejects his advances and starts to leave, but not before catching one little ear worm from that conniving conniver: What makes her think Jon will let her rule Winterfell? Uh, the conversation she just had before she met with you. Ass. But then…
Towards the end of the episode, bad-ass Lady Mormont delivers a rousing speech and declares Jon the King of the North. The rest of the Bannerman follow suit. Well all know what happened with the last Stark man was declared “King of the North.” It did not end well for anyone. Watching this scene, and seeing Littlefinger’s knowing glances at Sansa, I fear for our old boy Snow (and the Starks in general…again).
However, these are different times…and now we know Jon’s true identity.
Bran takes another look into the past. His vision brings him back to the Tower of Joy where young Ned Stark finds his sister Lyanna in a pool of her own blood. She’d just given birth to her son and is dying from blood loss. Before she passes, she makes Ned promise to protect her newborn child. “If Robert finds out he’ll [kill him] — I know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned.”
There’s one other little interesting tidbit that further elaborates Jon’s origin. It’s not stated outright that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen is definitely the father (or that he and Lyanna even eloped), but we’re 99.9% sure at this point that he is. To further that claim, Lyanna whispers to Ned his real name. You don’t exactly hear it, nor do the closed captions impart what she’s saying. I had to turn the volume all the way up and put in my earbuds to catch just a piece of what she actually says, and it sounds a lot like Aerys. As in the third of his name [Prince] Aerys Targaryen.
Bran is slowly but surely getting a bigger picture of what the hell is going on in the world, and (maybe) what needs to be done next. He may not understand it right now, but I have high hopes that he will.
If Jon is the one who is promised, according to Melisandre, I’m interested to know just what his role will be when the time finally comes to face the Night King. He has ancient blood of the First Men in him, as well as the fabled Dragon Blood unique to the Targaryens. However, he hasn’t displayed any sort of magical ability like Dany or Bran have. I wonder what more is in store for him.
Speaking of Targaryens, Dany is finally on her way to Westeros. She has the ships, she has her army, and she has her dragons who now seem to be listening to her better than ever. Before she leaves, however, she must get her ducks in a row with Meereen and all the other kingdoms she set free. First, she puts Daario Naharis in charge of keeping the peace while the people elect new leaders. In other words, Daario must stay behind.
Second, she makes Tyrion Lannister her new Hand of the Queen. This is actually the first moment in the season that Dany trusts Tyrion fully. He’s proven himself to be a loyal ally when he could have just as easily left many times in her absence. Plus, she needs him now more than ever. Dany needs Tyrion’s experience not only as someone who was already Hand of the King, but as someone who has lived in Westeros all her life. He knows the Seven Kingdoms and all the major houses better than she does. His insider knowledge is crucial in her path to claiming the Iron Throne for herself.
Dany has shown a lot of growth over the years. There’s a viciousness about her that no one could ever have seen from Season One Dany. But this trait is characteristic of any Targeryen, especially with Dragon Blood coursing through her veins. It doesn’t necessarily mean that she’ll go mad like her father. As long as she keeps the right people by her side to keep her in check, she’ll continue being an unstoppable force.
While we’re on the subject of being unstoppable forces, you’ll notice that House Martell and House Tyrell have joined forces to get revenge on the Lannisters. That singular hate is what drives them to team up with Dany. If you look closely, you’ll notice their ships cruising alongside the Targeryens and Greyjoys.
Cersei is gonna get wrecked…
The crown has very little allies left. Her family has single-handedly pissed off most of the Seven Kingdoms, except the Freys who still technically rule the Riverlands. But as House Frey has already demonstrated, they don’t have the ability to even quash a small rebellion let alone aid in a war against the rest of the southern half of Westeros.
Then there’s this whole thing about Walder Frey dying.
Arya Stark makes a surprise appearance at the Twins. Using everything she’s learned from the Faceless Men, she is able to get up close to Walder Frey and slit his throat. But now before tricking him into eating his own sons. Now we have two major houses snuffed out.
Arya finally coming back to Westeros is a momentous occasion. Now she can start exacting her revenge on the people who severely wronged her and her family. I’m most interested in what will happen to this character more than anyone else. The once plucky Arya Stark has been set upon a dark path. Darker than most of the other characters. Her story has never been about redemption, or protecting one’s family, or even justice. She is all about bloody revenge. Killing the Freys reminded us that Arya is forever changed in possibly the worst way possible. She took pleasure in killing the Tickler, she took pleasure in killing Ser Ilyn, and she takes pleasure in killing Walder. One has to wonder how her siblings will see her after learning what she has become.
All the pieces are finally taking their places on the board. I can almost guarantee you that the Season 7 will open with Dany’s forces rollin up to King’s Landing and just cutting through the Lannisters like a heated knife through butter on a hot day.
Then Jon will finally know the truth of his birth, team up with Dany, and kick some White Walker ass.
Westeros will be forever changed after all of this. Landscapes will probably change, the Wall will likely sport a huge gaping hole somewhere, and lands will be redistributed after many of the major houses fall. The status quo is about to get turned upside down and shaken as if a crazed nanny, who should not be trusted around infants, took hold of the entire world.
Who are you rooting for to come out on top in the end?