Game of Thrones S06 E10 “The Winds of Winter” Review

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“The Winds of Winter”

Warning the following is dark and full of spoilers

Wow, what an episode; I don’t even know where to start. There is just so much to unpack. This was the most rewarding episode I think Game of Thrones has had, in my opinion.  I was cheering after every scene! I am so pumped for next season and I only have about 42 weeks left until then. That’s not that long right? RIGHT? Who am I kidding, that is forever away; all we have are our feelings to deal with until then. If you are anything like me, you have a lot of feelings following this finale. But where to start? I guess the beginning is as good a place as any.

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Let’s talk about the trial—or lack thereof—that took place at the beginning. So we see Cersei and Tommen getting ready for the event but they never actually make it there. Loras confesses to all of his “crimes” and swears his allegiance to the High Sparrow. Margaery—realizing something is wrong since Cersei is missing her own trial—tries to get herself and Loras out. I’m sitting there like, “please don’t, Game of Thrones, please don’t, not Margaery.” The whole building goes up in a Wildfire blaze of glory, killing Margaery, Loras, their father, the entire Faith Militant and everyone else in that building and the neighboring block. Cersei did it y’all, she actually burned them all! A theory of mine—as well as others—was actually correct. Even though my girl Margaery was sacrificed for this to occur, I clapped and cheered when the green lights flashed.

Now she kept her last son from going to the trial to save him from dying. The one saving grace of Cersei is that she loves her children, so of course her plan involved keeping Tommen alive. However, she did not take into account the fact that Tommen is a very impressionable young boy. These people, the Faith Militant, were his only friends really, not to mention his wife was in there, and now they are all dead; he watched them all die as he sat back in his room helpless and useless. He stared out his window, took off his crown and walked out of frame; I never thought he would actually jump, I jokingly said it out loud and next thing I know he actually jumps out of the window. Now that I think about it though, what else was he going to do? He really was the most useless King and without the Faith or his wife what does he really have to make him feel his worth? The prophecy came true: all three of Cersei’s children were now dead. She has nothing good in her life left, well except for maybe her sweet sweet vengeance against Septa Unella.

Cersei threw everything back at Unella, pouring wine all over her telling her to confess. She said this speech about everything that made her feel good because she understood why Unella did the things she did: it felt good. The Mountain came in for some good ol’ torture because Cersei isn’t about mercy. She walks out of the room yelling “Shame!” over and over as we hear Unella’s screams. Dang Cersei! She took down that woman with so much elegance and poise—the Cersei way. It was glorious to watch and made me proud to be a Lannister myself.

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All Hail Queen Cersei—of course since she killed everyone, her son is dead and Gendry is still paddling somewhere, she is now crowned Queen—may she actually not rule for too long because Jaime is back to hopefully fulfill the rest of the prophecy and kill her. Jaime shows back up and the the smoke hasn’t even fully settled. The look he gave Cersei as she was being crowned was priceless, as if he was saying, “take a chill pill woman, I was only gone like a week and you managed to kill everyone!” He is so going to kill her next season, I’m calling it right now! The obvious choice would be to have Tyrion kill her, but the more interesting choice would be Jaime: we’ll see which they choose. I mean, they showed us that flashback of Jaime killing the Mad King in order stop him from killing all of King’s Landing with fire, which is basically what Cersei did. So this is more motivation for him to kill her. Just saying.

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Up in the North it’s finally actually Winter! A white raven arrived with a letter from Sam—who is in the Citadel’s giant library right now being Belle from Beauty and the Beast—which apparently signifies that winter is here; something we’ve been waiting for for six seasons now. Jon even jokingly said that his father was always saying, “Winter is Coming”. Jon and Sansa shared a sweet brother-sister moment saying, “we have to trust each other” as he kisses her forehead. I never would have guessed—before this season—that these two would be the Starks to reunite but man does it work and get stuff done. I just hope Sansa can keep Littlefinger at bay since now he revealed his gross plan of sitting in the Iron Throne with her as his wife. He even tried to kiss her, gross! Sansa isn’t having any of that—for now—we’ll see if she can keep that up with how manipulative he can be. I can’t wait for him to die.

Jon is still kind of hurt about the fact that he wasn’t truly a Stark growing up, telling Melisandre that his family used to sit at this long table while he sat far away. Melisandre set him straight though and told him to count his blessings because he had it better than most. I mean he really did; if you had to be a part of any family—pre events of the series of course—even partially, the Starks are as good as they come. Ser Davos barged in and broke up this sweet moment with his anger over Shireen’s death, and rightly so. Melisandre was forced to tell Jon what she had done. Man, was Ser Davos heartbreaking in this scene; Shireen was like a daughter to him and he truly loved her. For a guy who doesn’t have much in his life, she was everything to him. Jon banished Melisandre from the North; I really wonder what she is going to do now. We have to wait a very long time to find out.

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One of the biggest reveals this episode was the confirmation of the most talked about fan theory of all of Game of Thrones: that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Bran took us on a vision quest—after saying goodbye to Uncle Benjen who just left paralyzed Bran in the snow and took his horse with him—back to the Tower of Joy and we followed Ned Stark to Lyanna’s bedside to reveal baby Jon. That baby had some weird forehead wrinkles for a baby though, I guess it was supposed to be Jon’s signature brooding look he’s had I guess his entire life now. It feels really weird to have this theory confirmed: I feel kind of lost now– like now what? I guess it’s now really time for Jon and Dany to get together and be the Song of Ice and Fire on the backs of the dragons! If she doesn’t end up with Yara, I wouldn’t mind Dany loving Jon Snow. I know he is her nephew but this is what Targaryen’s do, they inbreed. It will be kind of gross, but it’s Jon Snow and Dany. It would be a waste of pretty for them not to be together.

Jon and Sansa hold a meeting of the families in the North and nothing seems to be getting accomplished until Lyanna Mormont stands up and calls everyone out on their crap for not supporting the Starks like the Mormonts did. I can’t say enough how much I love Lyanna Mormont; she’s little, but she’s fierce and a force to be reckoned with. She doesn’t care that Jon is a bastard, she only cares that he has—for all they know—Ned Stark’s blood running through him; as far as she is concerned he is a Stark and is the King of the North. After feeling like crap and realizing she’s right, the Lord’s take out their swords and chant, “KING OF THE NORTH!” Jon is now the King of the North, the White Wolf and it gives me flashbacks of my man Robb Stark, the Young Wolf, and brings tears to my eyes. This was an amazing moment for Jon, who probably never thought he would have any status in life; he is now making his late father and brother proud. I didn’t think I would ever move on from Robb’s death because I didn’t think anyone could be like him, or could follow in his footsteps, but this really helped with the healing, three years later. Jon is the King of the North and that is a beautiful statement that has been a long time in the making.

We briefly had some time with Walder Frey and co. While Jaime was still in the Riverlands, Walder Frey holds a feast in celebration for the take over at Riverrun. “The Frey’s and the Lannister’s send their regards”, he proclaimed: ugh the Red Wedding flashbacks will never cease, will they? Anyways, later on Frey is served some food and eats some of it asking if his sons have returned. The lady who served him his food kept saying, “they are here” over and over until the wheels started turning in my head. They are already here, like literally– they are here in his food! Walder Frey was eating his own sons!!! YES! The lady servant then awesomely takes off her face and it’s none other than the badass Arya Stark herself and slits his throat. She took faces with her: that was the purpose for all her training. She is going to use faces to knock names off her list. She got her Red Wedding revenge; Walder Frey got his just desserts and it was oh so sweet. Yes Arya yes! Of course she got to Westeros really fast; the creators realized that no one cares about travel so they completely took it out and I continue to be surprised. I don’t care anymore; Arya is back in Westeros and ready for a fight! This scene was the closure I needed to finally put the Red Wedding behind me– it’s time to move on.

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We saw the Dorne ladies again whom I couldn’t care less about. However, the scene wasn’t about them. It was about Olenna Tyrell and the sass we all know and love. These ladies really needed someone to come over and tell them, hey you aren’t all that, so simmer down. The writers even stopped caring about them, I think: they were in the first episode this season and then never seen until this week. They obviously knew we didn’t care about them at all because we never had time to. “Obara … you look like an angry little boy, don’t tell me what I need,” was the best sass I think we’ve gotten from Grandma Tyrell. Anyways, so she was there because the ladies want to team up with her to take down Cersei once and for all. Remember when Varys mysteriously left Tyrion to go get more ships? Well, he was going to Dorne and there he was: ready and waiting. Game of Thrones really loves tying everything together, connecting all it’s pieces.

Alright, now let’s talk about Dany. She’s finally ready to sail to Westeros. Thank heavens she is actually done talking about it. She had to break up with Daario though: he has no purpose in her plan of Westeros domination. Although I will miss his beautiful self, she does have a point: she has to have a level head and have her eye on the prize; she can’t have any distractions. Her and Tyrion have a lovely conversation about their fears. It’s one thing to talk about taking over Westeros for six seasons and it’s another to actually do it, so she’s understandably scared. Tyrion isn’t the best at the whole pep talk thing, though. Dany finally officially makes him the hand to the Queen and I hope it’s not his death sentence. There’s a third dragon still available for riding and I want Tyrion to have it, so he can’t die!

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The very last sequence of the finale was the most satisfying. It was a shot of Dany’s entire fleet sailing off to Westeros, six seasons in the making. So much has happened to lead up to this, and here we are, finally witnessing some action. The last shot is Dany, Tyrion, Missandei and Varys (he got there quick) looking determined, standing on a ship ready to take anything on. She’s got a lot of ships, a lot of men, three dragons and a birthright: how could she not win?

I’m not sure what anyone else could do to stop her. I guess if Cersei has more Wildfire left (which she probably does since she didn’t set fire to the entire King’s Landing). Jon doesn’t want to be King of Westeros, he just wants help defeating the White Walkers, so he will only ever be an ally to Dany (if not more). So Dany pretty much has this in the bag: so I don’t know how they will drag this on for two more seasons, honestly. I love that we have two more seasons but I have no idea what’s going to happen. Maybe they will bring back travel and it will take her months to get to Westeros and they will drag things out again. I hope not, but seriously once she gets there it’s over.

So there it is, the finale of season six. I am just so happy right now; I can’t remember the last time a full episode of GoT made me feel this happy. This is how you end a season for sure. It wrapped everything up from the season and left us with an uplifting moment. This is by far my favorite season. I mean they went an entire season without one rape scene– that is really big for this show. Season six also was very empowering for women; they showed off their strong female characters and fully fleshed them out. Each female character had a purpose, and had their moment or moments to shine. It was so refreshing to see representation like this, and I hope they keep it up. I mean, I never thought in a million years I would love Sansa but now she is one of my favorite characters; Jon has the status he has because of her. So much happened this season and I still continue to be in awe of how everything comes together for the overall picture.

Last season we were left with a big question: is Jon Snow alive? This question was answered and then some. This season we are left with so much more to discuss and theorize about, and that will carry us until a literal year from now. I had a lot of theories and hopes throughout this season, some came true, some were just completely wrong, others were in ball park, but it was just fun to think about. Watching this show really is a group activity because almost everyone you know probably watches it so there can be endless discussion and debate and overall fun to be had. I’m really sad it’s over but Game of Thrones is one of those shows that never leaves you; before we know it, we’ll be back with these characters on our small screens.

P.S. Dany totally said she might marry no one and so I’m throwing a third lover into the mix the epitome of No One himself: Jaqen H’ghar. Think of that until next year! Also, Cersei’s dress was on point and I want it. That is all. Until next year, Thrones, until next year.

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