Vengeance, vengeance and more vengeance. So many wonderfully unexpected things happened during the extended 69 minute finale of Game of Thrones. “The Winds of Winter” blew last week’s “Battle of the Bastards” out of the water!
*** Stop right here if you have not seen Sunday’s episode. YOU REALLY DON’T WANT THIS EPIC HOUR (and 9 minutes) OF TELEVISION TO BE SPOILED***
The episode opens up with contrasting shots of The High Sparrow (who represents the people) and King Tommen (who represents the high born) getting ready for Cersei and Loras’s trial. Loras Tyrell, stripped of his luscious curls and fine clothing kneels before The High Sparrow and renounces his title, land and everything else his high born status comes with and becomes a Scepter of The Seven. He is then marked and promises to never marry or bear children. Coincidentally little children played a large role in the 25 minute opening scene.
The “Little Birds” lured Grand Maester Pycelle to his death, brutally stabbing him. While this was happening another Little Bird was being chased down by Lancel Lannister. This proved to be a poor choice on his part. He consequently was stabbed in the kidney by said bird and then crawled a few feet to discover the diabolical plan Cersei had for The High Sparrow and everyone else at the trial; death by explosion. That’s right. Cersei blew up King’s Landing while she and Tommen remained in the Red Keep. If only The High Sparrow had listened to Margaery, he and his little sparrows, septums and scepters would all still be alive. Cersei’s wrath doesn’t stop there. She kidnaps Septa Unella and water boards her with wine. Cersei then takes the torment up a notch from what she received at the hands of the Septa and unleashes The Mountain upon her. Lord knows what that man-beast will do to her. She exits the room chanting “shame, shame, shame”.
Closing out the opening sequence was a shocking death. King Tommen removes his crown and jumps out the window to his death. Cersei asks for his body to be burned and his ashes spread where his grandfather, brother and sister remain. Cersei then succeeds The Iron Throne as Jamie watches from afar. A hint of disgust, possibly, in his eye?
House Frey also suffered some devastating blows. Walder Frey and his sons were executed curtesy of Arya Stark. The recent Many Faced Man graduate played the part of a young maiden serving Walder his dinner. When he asked the young woman where his sons are, she tells them right here, pointing at the food he is eating. A closer look reveals the finger of one of Walder’s sons. Arya then removes her mask and slits the throat of Walder in the same fashion her mother’s throat was slit during The Red Wedding. Thus making sure the last face he saw was of a Stark.
The Red Wedding was avenged! Hopefully Arya will find her dear Uncle Edmure and release him from his cell.
On a happier note, Samwell, Gilly and baby reach the Citadel and we all catch a glimpse of the library all other libraries dream of being.
In The North a white raven arrived from the Citadel. Winter is finally here. Sir Davos finally caught on about Shireen. Melisandre got banished and was told to ride south by Jon Snow. He also said that if she ever returns she will be hanged for murder. Even more exciting news came from The North in this episode. Lady Mormont being the tough little nugget she is calls out members of The North who failed to back Jon Snow during “The Battle of the Bastards”. After making the old men in the room realize their mistakes she names Jon Snow king of The North and the rest follow suite. However, this wasn’t the most exciting news for our new Warden of The North.
The biggest fan theory in Game of Thrones history has been confirmed! Well at least half confirmed. The Three-Eyed Raven himself, Bran Stark, took us back to the Tower of Joy and showed us Ned Stark discovering his sister Lyanna Stark in a pool of her own blood. She then whispers in his ear and asks him to promise to keep her baby safe. That baby being Jon Snow. So now, finally R+L = J (or, at the very least, x+L = J). Props to the director on the beautiful transition from baby Snow to adult Snow.
She also said the baby’s real name and possibly the biological father’s name which of course was inaudible.
Other members of House Stark also made appearances in this epic finale. Once again Sansa turns down Little Finger and Uncle Benjen leaves Bran and Meera near the wall. We learn that because Benjen is technically half dead he cannot pass through the wall as it is protected by magic; nothing undead can pass through.
Leaving the cold, we head to the more tropical weather of Dorne. Remember that place from one of the first episodes way back in April? Yea it’s still intact after all the carnage and it had two special guests; Lord Varys and Lady Olenna Tyrell. After some shade throwing, Lady Tyrell decides to align with Lord Varys who represents Daenerys and Ellaria Martell to take down Cersei once and for all.
Speaking of Dany and crew, Dany names Tyrion hand of the queen and sets sail to Westeros leaving Daairo behind to take care of Mereen. Varys rejoined the gang just as the episode (and season) closes out with a glorious birds-eye shot of Yara and Theon’s ships and Dany’s dragons.
Let the countdown to next season commence!
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