The season finale delivered major revelations…spoilers follow.
The North has a new King, King’s Landing has a new Queen, Arya’s back, Dany’s on her way and R+J does = J. But does J = Jon?
The Queen of the Andals
She went big. As predicted in our episode 8 review, Cersei went full Targaryen on the Sept of Baelor and set a light to the building using the Mad King’s wildfire stash incinerating everyone inside including the High Sparrow and his minions, Margaery, Loras and Mace Tyrell and a number of extras.
The opening scenes of this episode were simply stunning and the score was fantastic. It built and built to the moment the wildfire ignited perfectly. Cersei’s satisfied/ smug sip of wine was short-lived however as Tommen, in his grief, threw himself out of the window in, what we found to be a truly shocking scene. Looks like that prophecy is coming true. According to which, Cersei’s little brother will be the one to kill her. Will be it Jaime or Tyrion, then? My money’s on Jaime, he didn’t look best pleased when he walked in on her coronation. She got over Tommen’s death awfully quickly considering how upset she was when Joffrey died. Then again she’s just got everything she ever wanted by being crowned Queen of the Andals. Her victory over the Tyrells and the Faith Militant feels like it’ll be short-lived however, she’s pretty much isolated herself in King’s Landing and driven the Tyrells into the hands of Dany. I’m not sure how long they can withstand a dragon attack.
The King in the North
So, we’ve got a new King in the North and his name is not Stark, nor is he the son of Ned. We finally got the reveal that Jon Snow, or Jaehaerys Targaryen (predicted Targaryen name) is not, in truth, the bastard son of Ned Stark but is the child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. We’ve known this for a while now, but it’s nice to have official confirmation. The question is, how does this affect Jon? Is this confirmation that he is the ‘Fire and Ice’ (Targaryen and Stark) in the title of the the book series? (A song of Ice and Fire) Or is he Azor Ahai? or are they the same thing? One thing’s for sure though, he’s going to be important in the series going forward. One thing I am disappointed about, regarding Jon’s story, is that he’s not really changed since dying. There was no explanation as to why he was brought back. There was no fallout from his death.
Aside from revelations surrounding Jon’s birth and death, he also became the new King in the North as the Stark bannermen ignored Sansa’s obviously more legitimate claim. The way the scene echoed Robb’s crowning seasons ago was a nice touch of nostalgia, back when we thought nothing bad would happen to the Young Wolf. I’m guessing this is the beginning of Jon’s union of the North to fight the Night King and his army of white walkers.
Sansa’s story potentially takes a strange turn this episode. For some reason, she really doesn’t trust Jon, probably because of all that’s happened to her, she doesn’t trust anyone. Littlefinger reveals his dream of becoming the King of the Seven Kingdoms with Sansa by his side only to be rejected by her. But she gives him an odd look when the northmen proclaim Jon to be their new king. I’m not sure where she’s going to go next. Does she want the north? Does she want the Iron Throne? Who’s to say. Not me.
Arya Stark of Winterfell
In a scene I really didn’t see coming, Arya has infiltrated the Frey stronghold and murdered and cooked Walder Frey’s children into pies. She lets Walder live just long enough for him to learn her name before slitting his throat, as Catelyn’s throat was cut all those years ago. I’m hoping she teams up with the Brotherhood without Banners again and helps to bring peace to the Riverlands. Perhaps she’ll be carrying out the Lady Stoneheart role as it looks like we’re not getting her in the TV show.
The Three Eyed Raven
Benjen/ Coldhands cannot pass beyond the wall because of magic and therefore leaves Bran and Meera on the boundary near a weirwood tree where Bran learns of Jon’s true parentage. This scene raises an interesting question – how will the white walkers pass beyond the wall? Does the fact that the Night King has touched Bran, thus allowing him entry into the cave of the Three Eyed Raven, mean that he can pass through the magic of the wall, if Bran has also passed through? Just a thought. Anyway, we’re pretty excited to see what Bran gets up to next season. How is he going to tell everyone of Jon’s lineage? And what will that mean? Will Jon claim the Iron Throne in order to unite the Kingdoms against the white walkers?
The Dragon Queen
Dany makes Tyrion hand of the Queen in a touching scene where Tyrion confesses that Dany is the only person he’s ever believed in. It’s so satisfying to see him finally get some recognition and some appreciation after years of abuse and rejection. It’s a formidable partnership. As she’s preparing to head ‘home’, Dany decides to sever ties with Daario and the Second Sons. Awkward way to end a holiday romance. She claims that she might need to be ‘available’ for possible suitors in the Seven Kingdoms in order to forge alliances.
Our final shot is of her, Varys and Tyrion aboard her fleet of Unsullied, Greyjoys, Tyrells and Martells with dragons flying overhead. Finally.
AWESOME. A great episode to end a season which took a while to get going, but really delivered the goods when it did. Topping episode 9 was always going to be tough but a number of exciting twists and revelations ensured this was the strongest episode of the season.
A little note – we’re recording our first ever podcast on the 3rd July and we’ll be discussing all things season 6 and looking forward to season 7 and beyond. So keep an eye out for that if you’re interested.