We’re still reeling from last night’s explosive season six finale of Game of Thrones. There are only two seasons remaining, and “The Winds of Winter” masterfully set the course for the series’ end in one of Game of Thrones’ finest episodes ever.
Yes, even coming off the epic “Battle of the Bastards,” last night’s episode shined. We had huge, shocking ends to simmering storylines. We had gruesome deaths. We had allegiances and alliances form that will reshape Westeros. It’s not only notable for all the satisfying plot developments, though. Last night also featured some of the greatest performances we’ve seen (particularly from Lena Headey’s Cersei), and the music expertly sustained tension throughout the super-sized episode’s brilliant first 25 minutes.
I can hardly contain myself from discussing SPOILERS, so, if you’ve already seen last night’s Game of Thrones, let’s dish.
Meanwhile, At The Twins …
Walder Frey is having one of those disgusting dinner parties he’s so famous for. So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways!
Jaime is less amused with Frey celebrating how the Lannisters bailed out the Frey’s once again. He has no problem reminding Walder that they are not the same, they are not two wild and crazy king-slaying guys. The Freys need the Lannisters, not the other way around.
While they’re both still measuring their manhoods (and, as in my fantasies, Jaime is winning — by a lot), a young servant girl is taking special notice of Jaime. She’s pretty, but she’s kind of a butter face, as in, “but her face is not actually her face, it’s probably someone else’s face.”
Later, when the party’s over, Old Walder is sitting alone eating a meat pie in the big empty hall. The servant girl comes back around for refills, and Walder wonders where his sons are at. They’re already here, the servant replies. Hmm … ok.
Assuming they’re just busying themselves elsewhere on the grounds, (perhaps trimming their lady-garden, as Walder suggests in much less delicate terms), Walder again asks why they aren’t here, in this room, specifically. And, again, the servant assures Walder that they are in fact here, right here. Weird, right?
That’s when it becomes clear that the call is coming from inside the pies or whatever! That’s right, the sons have been killed, thrown into a Magic Bullet, pureed and baked into the pie Walder is currently eating. Walder peels back the flaky crust to reveal a definite piece of person. That’s disgusting! And worse, it’s not even paleo!
Before Walder can even process the fact he just ate his own flesh and blood (and carbs!), the servant girl rips off her face to reveal — surprise! — it’s Arya! She must’ve taken an Acela bullet train straight from Braavos to Riverrun, but here she is! With that, she let’s Walder know her true identity and rubs it in his gross, old face that the last thing he’ll ever see is a Stark smiling down on him dying before slashing his throat.
Meanwhile, In King’s Landing …
Cue up your Law and Order doink-doink sound, because it’s time for the trials of Ser Loras and Cersei. We see all the major players in King’s Landing getting ready in probably the most ominous dressing montage in history. The High Sparrow, his little Sparrows and the Tyrells are all in the Septum for the trial, while Cersei is just chilling in the Red Keep. King Tommen gets all dressed up with nowhere to go, as the Mountain keeps him in his room. Uh-oh.
In the Septum, Ser Loras confesses to being a beautiful, Renly-loving homosexual and then pledges his life to the Seven Gods, renouncing his title, swearing off worldly desires, deactivating his Grindr account, etc. The Sparrows carve his seven-pointed star prison tattoo into his forehead, and it seems like he’s finally free from that torturous prison.
Now, onto Cersei. Cersei? Is there a Cersei in the house? No? The High Sparrow sends his men out to fetch the Queen Mother, but they get a little distracted along the way. One of Varys’ little birds lures Lancel under the Septum and then surprises him with a little stabby-stabby, dropping Lancel to the ground. If only that’s as bad it got for dear cousin Lancel.
No, no. Turns out he’s in a room just full of wildfire. Barrels and barrels of the stuff. At the other end of the room, candles are burning down in a pool of the green stuff. Uh-oh, indeed.
Elsewhere in King’s Landing, Grand Maester Pycelle finishes up a little howdy-do with a prostitute and is called to the king by another of Varys’ birds. Pycelle hustles along, but the bird leads him not to Tommen, but to Qyburn, and another flock of little birds come a stabby-stabbying.
Folks in the Septum are getting restless, especially Margaery. Easily one of the cleverest people in King’s Landing, she realizes that, wait a minute, Cersei’s not here, Tommen’s not here, something is wrong, very wrong. She breaks her charade for the High Sparrow to beg him to delay the trial and get everyone the hell out of there, you big dummy! Unfortunately, the High Sparrow isn’t ready to admit defeat, so he has his men keep everyone inside.
That’s about when the wildfire explodes, incinerating Lancel, the Sparrows, Margaery, Loras, Daddy Tyrell, Uncle Kevan, a bunch of spectators and townspeople in the streets. Cersei watches the Septum burn with a wicked grin. But she’s only begun to seek her revenger.
She’s got Septa Unella tied up to a table. You remember her? She’s the one that beat and starved Cersei and then rang the bell and shouted “Shame!” during Cersei’s humiliating walk of atonement. The tables are turned now, as Cersei waterboards her using red wine. Cersei is in full villainess mode, telling Unella how it feels good to punish her, it feels good to kill her enemies, it feels good to bone Jaime (we bet), and even confessing it all to Unella sort of feels good, too. Unella is ready for Cersei to kill her, but the Queen has something far worse in mind. Here’s the Zombie Mountain, and we don’t even want to imagine what he’ll do to Unella now.
Tommen, a king we all knew was not long for this world, learns of the Septum explosion and the death of his wife. He cooly takes off his crown, walks over to the window and leaps to his own death. Did not see that coming! It’s a tragically beautiful callback to the first season when Jaime pushed Bran out of the window and a fitting consequence to Cersei’s scheme.
She can barely even muster any more tears for her dead children, telling them to burn Tommen’s body. Then, she takes her seat on the Iron Throne just in time for Jaime to return and witness the ascension of the Mad Queen. The two share glances, and something comes across Jaime’s face. Was it disappointment? Confusion? Lust? Or was it the realization that, oh sh*t, I have to kill this one too, don’t I?
Meanwhile, In Winterfell …
Siblings are getting along much better, and with a lot less incest. Winter is officially here. Jon and Sansa agree they need to trust each other more, but that trust is going to be tested a lot sooner than either of them think.
Little Sansa has a little chat with Littlefinger. All this time it seems we thought Littlefinger knew a lot of secrets, but it turns out he just knows a lot about The Secret. He’s been doing some visioning, manifesting what he wants, picturing himself on the Iron Throne with Sansa by his side. Sansa wisely shuts him down, and let’s Baelish know that she’s well aware that no matter where he says his allegiances lie, he’s out for himself. Too true. He leaves her with one last little poisonous thought: It should be her running Winterfell, not her bastard brother.
Jon does seem to have a lot on his plate already. Presently he needs to mediate a little tiff between two of his key advisors, Davos and Melisandre. Davos demands the Red Witch confess to what she did to the Princess Shireen, which she does. Davos wants her dead, but Jon sort of owes her a solid for bringing him back to life, so he banishes her from the North and promises to hang her if she comes back. Davos says he’ll kill her himself if she returns. (Boys, boys, this won’t be an issue. Arya’s going to get to her before either of you will.)
Later, the Starks rally together all the houses of the North for a big old conference. It seems folks still aren’t 100 percent on board with unifying under the Stark banner, until little Lyanna Mormont gives an impassioned speech that simultaneously shames the houses that didn’t fight the Battle of the Bastards while making the case for Jon Snow to be the new King of the North. Everyone agrees! Yay, Jon Snow!
Amidst all the cheering, Littlefinger shoots Sansa a really hard to read look, which she returns, and, I don’t know you guys, but I smell trouble.
Meanwhile, North of the Wall …
Benjen drops off his passengers, Meera and Bran, just outside the Wall. He’s like, this is your stop, please rate me five stars on Uber, I cannot take you any further. Dead men like him can’t cross the wall because, like the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave, it’s got a spell on it so all the zombies go ‘splodey when they try to cross the threshold.
Uncle Coldhands goes galloping away while Bran logs on to world wide weirwoods for one of his flashback journeys. We’re back at the Tower of Joy, and this time we’re going inside.
Finally, everyone’s suspicions were confirmed. I think. Ned finds his sister Lyanna in bed bleeding out. She tells him “if Robert finds out, he’ll kill him, you know he will” then she whispers something, then she tells him “Promise me, Ned … “ Then someone hands Ned a baby, and the screen fades from the baby’s brown eyes to an adult Jon Snow.
So, here’s the thing: It’s long been speculated that Jon Snow is not Ned’s bastard, but actually the son of Lyanna and PRESUMABLY Rhaegar Targaryen. Rhaegar, it is believed, kidnapped and raped Lyanna, and WE THINK got her pregnant with Jon Snow. If this is all accurate, Jon Snow would be half-Stark, half-Targaryen. He would also be Daenerys’ nephew, and he would have a pretty decent claim for the Iron Throne. (Or whatever’s left of it after Cersei’s done with it.)
Meanwhile, In Oldtown …
Sam, Gilly and baby Sam arrive at Maester University’s registrar’s office to get Sam all enrolled. Of course, their registration system needs a bit of a reboot. Their records still show that the Night’s Watch already has a maester, and Jon Snow isn’t the Lord Commander, Jeor Mormont is. Ho boy, do we have some catching up to do!
While the clerk goes to check in with his supervisor, Sam gets his run of the grand library. What a marvelous place to read up on dragonglass or sing a song or how there must be more than this provincial life!
Meanwhile, In Dorne …
I know what you’re thinking: Ugh, Dorne? I know, I know, Dorne is usually the worst. Turns out all Dorne needed was a little Lady Olenna to spice things up. Still the mourning the loss of her entire family, the Queen of Thorns has no time for the Sand Snakes’ hissing. “You look like an angry little boy, don’t tell me what I need,” she snaps at one of them, before going down the line, reading each Snake like she’s competing in her own RuPaul’s Drag Race mini-challenge.
Ellaria’s got a better prize than a one-of-a-kind trip courtesy of Al and Chuck travel, though. She offers Olenna a chance to get vengeance on Cersei for barbecuing her whole family. Out comes Varys, and suddenly it’s clear his recruitment drive has picked up sufficient steam.
Meanwhile, In Meereen …
Dany sits Daario down and explains, it’s not you, it’s me, and it’s time we break-up. I’ll keep the dragons, you keep Slaver’s Bay, which, by the way, we’re calling Bay of Dragons now, much more “on-brand.” Here’s the thing, Daario, you cute and all, but Dany might have to marry some basic Westeros bro to lock down this whole ruling the Seven Kingdoms thing.
That bit of personal business aside, Dany sits down with Tyrion. He’s not great for post-break-up talks. There are no pints of Ben & Jerry’s, no Julia Roberts movies, not even a bottle of tequila. What he can offer though is a very heartfelt declaration that
he don’t know much, but he knows he loves you he doesn’t believe in much, but he believes in her. She believes in him too. That’s why she fashioned him this Hand of the King/Queen brooch. Hooray! I loved Tyrion when he was in this role for Joffrey, so imagine how badass he’ll be now!
The season ends with a bit of a preview of all that badassery in action. It’s Dany’s fleet heading to Westeros. We’ve got the Dothraki, the Unsullied, the DRAGONS, and ships from the Iron Islands, Highgarden and Dorne. There hasn’t been a female foursome as exciting as Dany, Yara, Ellaria and Olenna since Christina Aguilera, Mya, Lil’ Kim and P!nk did “Lady Marmalade.” (Yes, that is my second P!nk reference.)
Of course, Dany’s fleet will likely need to overcome Euron’s army before they make it to King’s Landing. Then she’ll need to conquer Cersei’s queendom, if Cersei doesn’t burn Westeros to the ground first. But then what? Will she fight for Jon Snow’s territory in the North? Or is that the possible marriage the show hinted at? Will Sansa have reclaimed Winterfell for herself by the time Dany makes it that far north? Plus, we’ve got Brienne, the Hound, Arya and maybe even still the Blackfish running around Riverrun. And let’s not forget about the icy army of undead.
Tell us your theories and thoughts on last night’s episode in the comments.