We always knew that Game of Thrones season 6 was going off-book. For the first time since the show aired, no one had any real clue as to what could happen, and that was slightly terrifying.
But now that the finale’s over — and what a helluva finale it was! — it’s now safe to say that Season 6 might just be the best season of GoT, and the finale might’ve been the best GoT episode ever. There was just so. much. stuff. happening! AND ALL IN ONE EPISODE!
So let’s relive 10 of the most shocking, satisfying and mind blowing moments from the finale. If you haven’t watched it yet, run away like the White Walkers are after you, because SPOILERS ARE COMING.
1Maester Pycelle getting stabbed to death
Right at the start of the episode, we had all of Varys’ little birds stabbing Maester Pycelle to death, presumably by order of either Qyburn or Cersei. Not that Pycelle was a beloved character at all, but having him killed so early should’ve been our first indication that shit was about to go down in King’s Landing.
But I can’t help but think: who’s going to pay that poor prostitute? She’s lost one night’s earnings at least!
2BLOWING UP THE SEPT OF BAELOR
We all knew this was coming. The GoT writers had been putting in lots of foreshadowing about the Mad King’s store of wildfire buried underneath the streets of King’s Landing.
We first saw how flammable wildfire could be in the Battle of the Blackwater, when Stannis’ ships were set on fire, ensuring a win for the Lannisters. But I never expected a scene of this magnitude, and for so many named characters to die all at one go.
So it’s RIP to the High Sparrow, Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Lancel Lannister and Kevan Lannister.
3Tommen Baratheon’s death
Before the wildfire explosion could even sink in properly, we were given another shock in the form of Tommen Baratheon falling to his death. Tommen, this wasn’t the kind of King’s Landing we were talking about.
But poor, poor Tommen. His short time as king must’ve been confusing as hell, and being torn between his wife, his mother and his own desire to be a worthy king must’ve been incredibly stressful.
I can’t help but see this as some sort of cosmic karmic payback for Jaime Lannister, though. Remember, he was the one who pushed Bran Stark off a tower all the way back in the very first episode of the show. And just like the witch predicted, all of Cersei’s children died before her.
4Olenna Tyrell joins forces with House Martell
The Dornish subplot has been the weakest link in an otherwise excellent season (did they really have to kill Prince Doran?) and I was glad that the focus was more on the North. So it was a little bit of a shock to see Ellaria and the Sand Snakes teaming up with Olenna Tyrell.
Olenna is the last remaining member of House Tyrell. The house is likely to die with her, something which she is all too aware of. But then Ellaria rings a bell, we see Varys for the first time since he left Mereen, and suddenly everything starts falling into place. Ellaria wasn’t just suggesting that Olenna join them in their quest for revenge, she was telling Olenna to join them along with Daenerys Targaryen herself.
5The Hand of the Queen
Am I the only one who teared up at this scene? Because I found it incredibly and utterly moving.
Tyrion Lannister was previously the Hand of King Joffrey Baratheon (long may he rot), but that was back when no one else wanted a cursed and thankless position. So it was very satisfying to see not only Daenerys acknowledge that his counsel has helped her, but also having Tyrion the cynic proclaiming his faith in her.
This must’ve been the most satisfying death of all. Not only did Arya Stark finally get rid of the revolting Walder Frey and his sons (I fully appreciate her going full-on Titus Andronicus here), but she also single-handedly avenged the deaths of Robb Stark and Catelyn Tully at the Red Wedding.
It’s also worth pointing out that the perpetrators of the Red Wedding were offed in a manner that mirrored their victims, with Tywin getting shot by an arrow (Robb), Roose Bolton stabbed in the belly by Ramsay (also Robb), and now Walder Frey having his throat cut (Catelyn).
7R + L = J CONFIRMED
But if Walder Frey’s death was satisfying, it couldn’t match the satisfaction of many a fan when the mystery of Jon Snow’s parentage was finally revealed. Somewhat. Okay, there’s still some mystery there, but since it’s been literally 20 years in the making, we’ll take it.
Casual viewers of the show may have been a bit lost, but Bran’s Tower of Joy flashback was basically the confirmation of a long-held fan theory: that Lyanna Stark, sister of Ned, eloped with Rhaegar Targaryen (son of the Mad King Aerys and big brother of Daenerys) and had a baby together. Unfortunately, the birth leaves Lyanna weak and dying from a massive loss of blood, and her last request was to have Ned raise the baby.
But this was taken a step further. We didn’t get full confirmation that the father was Rhaegar, but Lyanna does say something about Robert Baratheon wanting to kill someone when he finds out about the baby. During the rebellion, Robert Baratheon was hellbent on wiping out every last Targaryen, so it’s not too big of a leap to infer that the baby has Targaryen blood. So at this point it’s still safe to say that the R+J=L theory IS CONFIRMED.
And while this season may prove to be very different from the books once The Winds of Winter is published, one thing fans can be sure of is that Lyanna is indeed Jon Snow’s mother. George R. R. Martin famously asked the creators of the show who Jon Snow’s mother was, and it was only when the creators gave him the right answer that he agreed to let them move ahead with the show.
8The White Wolf
It’s been three seasons and I’m still not over Robb Stark’s death, okay. I miss having a King in the North. But now, fresh from his victory in the Battle of the Bastards, the houses of the North finally recognised Jon Snow as the new King in the North.
And it’s mostly thanks to the badass Lyanna Mormont, the 10-year-old head of House Mormont who has stolen every single scene she’s been in this season. It’s worth reproducing her stirring speech here in full, and not only because she systematically shames every major northern house for not answering the call when their king was in need.
“Your son was butchered at the Red Wedding, Lord Manderly, but you refused the call. You swore allegiance to House Stark, Lord Glover, but in their hour of greatest need, you refused the call. And you, Lord Cerwyn, your father was skinned alive by Ramsay Bolton. Still you refused the call. But House Mormont remembers. The North remembers. We know no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark. I don’t care if he’s a bastard. Ned Stark’s blood runs through his veins. He’s my king from this day until his last day.”
Blowing up the Sept of Baelor was sheer strategic genius, because it meant Cersei could get rid of everyone who stood in her way in one fell swoop. And after Tommen falls to his death, there really is nothing holding her back from
turning into Darth Vader taking the Iron Throne. With Cersei on the throne, surely we’re in for some great stuff in the episodes to come.
Jaime Lannister arrives in King’s Landing to see his sister crowned, but the look on his face speaks volumes. Jaime’s redemption arc has been going full steam ahead for the last season or two, and we already know that he killed the Mad King because he was willing to burn down all of King’s Landing with wildfire. Which his sister (and lover) just did.
Maybe we’ll need to change his name to Queenslayer soon.
10DAENERYS TARGARYEN SAILING TOWARDS WESTEROS AT LAST
It might’ve taken 60 very long episodes, but finally, FINALLY, Daenerys is sailing across the Narrow Sea and towards Westeros.
And that parting scene is a magnificent one. Flanked by an army of ships bearing the Targaryen, Greyjoy, Martell and Tyrell sigils, it’s not hard to see that Cersei is going to have her work cut out for her next season.
In the meantime, it’s gonna be a looooong 10 months before the next season airs. Which will be agonising. But hey, you can always binge watch the series from the very beginning again.