The Game of Thrones Season 6 finale is finally here! Will Cersei go head-to-head with the High Sparrow? Will we see more of Bran’s visions, and will Daenerys and her dragons finally reach King’s Landing? We answer these questions and more in our top five Game of Thrones plays of the week for the finale, Episode 10: Winds of Winter.
The Mad Queen
While Loras is fine with having his forehead carved like a pumpkin, Cersei has other ideas. She intentionally skips her trial with the High Sparrow, and then we see a creepy Children of the Corn-style montage while Cersei stares out the window at King’s Landing. Maergery, realizing something is wrong, tries to warn everyone waiting for Cersei to arrive. Unfortunately, the High Sparrow’s cronies block the exits right as Wildfire explodes through the Sept, killing everyone inside as well as the surrounding area. Tommen (realizing his mother lost her marbles), jumps to his death! With no one left to get in her way, Cersei stands before a horrified brother Jaime while she reclaims the Iron Throne.
Yes, Cersei. Keep the throne warm for when Daenerys destroys King’s Landing with her dragons.
Why is there so much wildfire at King’s Landing? King Aerys II (otherwise known as the Mad King), hid a bunch of the stuff beneath the city and planned to blow it sky high. Jaime Lannister kills Aerys before this happens, which is why people refer to Jaime as the Kingslayer.
Heading South for the Winter
Now that Sir Davos found the wooden stag he made for Princess Shireen in a pile of ashes, he chooses to take care of a little unfinished business with Melisandre. With Jon Snow awkwardly caught in the middle, Davos orders Melisandre to confess her crimes. The witch admits to burning the little girl alive with help the help of Stannis and her mother. Davos points out that she didn’t exactly help anyone, as Stannis lost, then pleads with Jon to do something. Melisandre reminds Jon that he’ll need her for the war against the Whitewalkers, which convinces him to leave her alive. He sends her South, and warns her to never return to Winterfell.
The episode title, Winds of Winter, is a direct reference to George R. R. Martin’s forthcoming novel in the ongoing A Song of Ice and Fire series.
The North Remembers
Bran says goodbye to Uncle Benjen, who plops him down by a weirwood tree. With no Three Eyed Raven to prevent him from returning to the vision of his father, Bran wargs back to find out what awaited his dad at the top of the Tower of Joy. Fans, meanwhile, rejoiced that the popular R + L = J fan theory is now official Game of Thrones canon, as we see young Ned Stark beside his dying sister. After hearing, “promise me Ned,” a young Jon Snow appears in Ned’s arms. This revelation could be a problem for Jon, who just became King of the North at Winterfell.
What will the North do if they find out Jon isn’t Ned’s kid, but the son of Mad King, Rhaegar Targaryen?
What does R + L = J stand for, anyway? Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon. Broken down even further, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (the Mad King’s son) and Lyanna Stark (Ned Stark’s sister) are Jon Snow’s parents.
Arya Sends Her Regards
The Freys love throwing parties, be it feasts to celebrate the death of the Blackfish, or murderous Red Weddings. Jaime insults host Walder Frey and leaves, reminding him that the Lannisters do all of his hard work for him. After the party winds down, a servant drops off some food for Walder. Little does he know, the servant is faceless woman, Arya Stark!
She kills and then bakes Walder’s sons into a pie, Sweeney Todd-style, then removes her disguise to cross another name off her list of people who need to die. She slits Walder’s throat and smiles as he bleeds to death. Good riddance!
Bay of Dragons
Daenerys' ships are finally built, decked out with Targaryen flags. After Dany tells mistress Daario he must stay in Meereen, she has a little chat with Tyrion before sailing off to Westeros. As a way to thank him for his advice, Dany dubs him the new “hand of the Queen.” Close to tears, Tyrion kneels and accepts his new position.
Meanwhile, Varys allies with both Dorne and the Tyrells, since Lady Olenna still has a bone to pick with Cersei, who murdered her grandchildren. Cersei would be wise to vacate the throne before Dany burns the place down.
Game of Thrones Season 7
In the novels, Cersei receives a prophecy from a fortuneteller. The prophecy states that she will have three children, and each of them will die. After the death of her kids, a Valonqar (Valyrian for “little brother”) will murder her. Does this prophecy mean one of Cersei’s brothers (Jaime or Tyrion) will kill her next season? Unfortunately, we’ll need to wait a year to find out.