There is just so much that happens here. Most of which is jaw drop worthy in both beautiful and horrible ways.
Main Plot (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Gilly and Sam
After much time, Gilly and Sam finally make it to the Citadel. Not much is really done here though. They learn that the books still have the old Lord Commander’s name in them and, from what it seems, while Sam’s paperwork from Lord Snow may let him into the great library, it won’t buy him respect. In fact, there is sort of a weird college comedy vibe going on. Except instead of it being the new girl met with disdain and eye rolling, it is an overly joyous guy, his girlfriend and the kid with his name who isn’t his.
Topic 2: King of the North! – Jon Snow & Sansa
With the fall of the Boltons mean Jon, why not necessarily by birth, but being the last male heir of Ned Stark that can be accounted for, is King of the North. An odd title for Jon since, let’s be honest, while a good swordsman, and decent at bringing people together, as a tactician he sucks. As he notes himself, Sansa more so won the north for the Starks than Jon did. Which, as you can imagine, will likely come at a price.
Little finger, being the creeper he is, seems all but ready to use the defeat of the Boltons as a launch pad for him claiming the Iron Throne, with Sansa as his queen. Thing is about that, while Sansa does technically owe Little finger, there is no interest in him, much less being married again. However, as Winterfell is lost, and the Lannisters just having to come to the north to aide the Freys, who knows what the future may hold for the Stark children.
Well, at least we know now they will have allies. Thanks to little Lyanna, who if she was older I would say should become Queen of the North, she is able to rally the men who abandoned Jon in his time of need. She speaks of her family’s loyalty when the house was down, how the other men were cowards despite their family’s being slain and tortured, and honestly if there were awards specifically for children, that young lady would win hands down. I mean, she is like a female version of Tyrion. She can steal a scene without a sword, and speak in such a way in which it elevates Game of Thrones from another HBO show about violence and sex, to something which attempts to be Shakespearean. Here is hoping the little tike gets to shine in the remaining seasons.
Topic 3: Your True Mother – Bran
Keeping on the topic of Jon Snow, it seems the R + L = J theory is true, at least it seems so. Bran once more ventures into the past and we watch as Ned sees his sweet sister die of childbirth. Yet, before she leaves this world, she has her brother promise to take care of her child. Also, she whispers a name into Ned’s ear. One which I’m sure a fan good at video editing will amplify the sound on. But, in the long run, what matters is we have more than likely seen Jon’s mother as she gave Ned her first born to protect and raise. Thus settling one theory.
Topic 4: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold – Arya and Walder Frey
Walder Frey is a bastard. Not by birth, but just in general. He has lived off his small role in the Red Wedding for so long, and gloats about it as if he did anything but let it happen in his castle. Heck, when he dines with Jamie, he dares compares the two of them. Says they are both Kingslayers! Yet, unlike some of the villains of this show, who in one way of another you can at least find some measly reason to feel bad for, even Ramsay and Joffrey, Walder Frey is an exception. It seems all the teasing his family has experienced is justified, and with the Freys being such a weak family that they can’t hold a castle, and their leader is like pretty much all the old men of Westeros, one so far beyond glory you question how their house still stands, it was only right for a girl to finish him off.
But it isn’t just any girl. It is the girl who barely missed her own opportunity to die at the Red Wedding. It is the girl who hasn’t experienced true joy in a long time, one which has suffered so much to come to this point. Yet, now here she is, with dagger in hand, and a throat to slit. Oh, but it isn’t Walder Frey who is the sole person to die. No, no, no. Somehow off-screen, like most of Arya’s most interesting moments as of late, she seemingly killed all of his children and baked them. As for what she did with her uncle Edmure that is unknown (he was placed back in chains after Riverrun was captured), but it certainly made for a good ending to Arya’s big arc. Here is hoping she hears of Winterfell being taken back and all us fans can share some tears as 3 of the 4 remaining Starks join together once more.
Topic 4: The End of My Sacrifice – Cersei
All of Cersei’s life she has beared the burden of being born a woman. She was sold off to a king, she had children who were either beyond her control or else were snatched from her bosom, and while given a voice, she was never allowed for it to have the same might as anyone. Hell, even at times Tyrion’s thoughts and ideas were taken more seriously. Well, no more.
It was noted that Cersei would do anything for her children, as Catelyn Stark did. However, look what happened to Catelyn by doing so. Her children drove her to make foolish decisions, setup her own death, and in the end her sacrifice was for nothing. Cersei wasn’t going down like that. Her son, her remaining child, set her up to die. She gave birth to him, protected him, tried to give him legitimacy, but he still decided to destroy trial by combat and end her. So, she had to take matters into her own hands.
In perhaps one of the biggest shocks in a while, she uses that goo, the goo that Tyrion used to save King’s Landing from Stannis, and she had it placed under the Great Sept of Baelor. But that isn’t the shock, we knew Cersei wasn’t going to confess to any of her sins, but what is shocking is that in the process of having Lancel and the High Septon killed, she also kills off Margaery, her brother Loras, and their father. Thus making it just her and Tommen. That is, until Tommen decides to commit suicide. Reason why? Who knows. His wife dying, faith being his doom, maybe thinking his mom would kill him next? Who knows? She did have the mountain keep him from going to the Great Sept, but who knows what was her next move for the son who essentially tried to doom her to reveal all she was keeping secret for almost her entire life.
Topic 5: All Men Must Die And The Women Will Rule – Cersei, Olenna, Daenerys, and Ellaria
With no male heirs left and the queen dead, so begins the reign of Cersei Lannister – Just as Jamie Lannister returns to King’s Landing. To say this moment was long coming would be an understatement for, as noted in Topic 4, this perhaps has been Cersei’s dream since the beginning. Thanks to the circumstances handed to her, she has found herself ruler of the 7 kingdoms. But, with Cersei never being one who was of the people, whether it be pretending or outright, there does remain questions about how her reign shall go? What Lady Olenna said still stands, she has very few friends and with those who support the Lannisters dwindling, especially in light of them overstretching their power, who knows what is to come?
Oh wait! That isn’t something we necessarily have to question. In Dorne we watch as Lady Olenna, Ellaria, her daughters, and Varys speak of the future. The Queens of Dorne and Lady Olenna want blood, they want revenge, but there is no talk of desiring the Iron Throne. After all, Lady Olenna is too old and definitely not the type who wishes to deal with such politics. She has to plan how may her house survive now, if it can. Then with those of Dorne, they don’t even want to visit that damn castle, so why in the hell would they plant themselves in the Iron Throne? So, that leaves Varys, a man always about the realm, presenting Daenerys, off-screen, as the woman they should support. After all, what better group to present this to then some of the fiercest women on the show. Well, maybe not the Dorne women who, as of now thankfully, were held back this entire season, but Lady Olenna gives them the cred they need. Also, she can provide Daenerys the money she needs.
But, as with Littlefinger, you have to wonder if there is a catch? Yara, when it comes to her supporting Daenerys, didn’t ask for the Iron Throne or for Theonn to marry Daenerys, yet there remains the need for a king. Not to rule, but in order to create a sense of stability which has alluded Daenerys since she began conquering cities. Which leads to the problem which is maintaining Slaver’s Bay, now to be Dragon’s Bay. Well, that is where Daario comes in. Though the idea upsets him, for he’d rather be a mistress than a peace keeper, he is to stay behind and keep the peace as it seems Daenerys gives up her rule to democracy. An odd decision since she could effectively be queen of Essos and Westeros, but I guess even Daenerys can keep her ambitions in check.
However, it is time. Time for a war between a fan favorite and the one fans love to hate. As for where everyone else will be? Well, who knows whether the north may care as the White Walkers begin their descent and the wall likely becomes torn down? Who knows whether Cersei, now without Tyrell money and relying on the “Lannisters pay their debts” slogan, may be able to maintain an army? Much less, with Littlefinger having aspirations for the throne, though I doubt it, maybe a man may return to the Iron Throne. Either way, women have come to be the power holders in the world of Game of Thrones and surrounding most of them are inept men who caused nothing but chaos. So, as Daenerys said, All Men Must Die. Question is though: Which Woman Will Rule?
Things To Note
Melissandei gets banished from the north, on Jon Snow’s command, after Ser Davos decides to push for execution for Melissandei’s part in Shireen’s death. Even though I would argue it was more Stannis’ fault than anyone else. But with Ser Davos having time on his hands now to think about this past, why wouldn’t he finally get back at the woman he has mostly hated since meeting her?
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Was there any specific reason Tommen committed suicide? Was it witnessing another loved one die? Was it because he couldn’t save another family member once more? Did he fear he would be next so he took himself out?
- What will Daenerys’ first move be? Take the Iron Throne or defeat White Walkers? Also, who would, or will, she marry? Jon Snow seems like the obvious choice, to bring the North back to the fold, but being that they are cousins, would that matter?
- What is Arya next move? Will she be going after Cersei next or will she head to Winterfell?
- Is it possible that maybe, just maybe, the next season will feature Lady Stoneheart? With Jon Snow being alive, Arya getting her revenge, it seems the main Stark’s are getting quite the comeback. So to let the mother live to see Cersei fall seems like the greatest gift.
- Can Dorne possibly become interesting again? While it is nice to see the ladies, I must admit that it seems the show rightly left them out and even this last episode showing seemed to diminish them. Lady Olenna basically silences all the girls and with that you feel reminded of why no one complains about them not being featured. Yet, at the same time, you sort of question how are these people related, or were the lover of, Oberyn Martell?
I didn’t lie, I was wrong.
— “ The Winds of Winter.” Game of Thrones
I have been a cynic for as long as I can remember. Everyone is always asking me to believe in things: Family, gods, kings, myself… It was often tempting until I saw what belief got people. So I said no thank you to belief and yet here I am. I believe in you.
— The Winds of Winter.” Game of Thrones