Episode 10: The Winds of Winter
Maester Jersey Explains: The Grand Finale
This might just be recency bias but for my money Game of Thrones just gave us the greatest season finale of any season, of any show, ever. The Winds of Winter gave us no less than five or six events that if only one of them had happened in a given episode we would have said that it was a great episode. Everything in this episode bordered on perfect. From the storylines, to the directing, to the music Thrones put it’s full power on display last night. It was a dizzying string of shock and revelation at the end of which the landscape of the show was totally (and in some instances literally) changed. Sixty-eight minutes of television has never gone by so fast and we all would have signed up for 168 minutes faster than you can say, “THEKINGINDANORF!”. With so much happening all at once it’s understandable that something huge might have slipped by you while you were still reacting to the last huge thing that happened. If you fall in to that category, fear not. Here are all the major happenings (and the ramifications of those happenings) that went down in The Winds of Winter.
-Mad Queen / Trial by (Wild) Fire
Well she done did it. Cersei officially went off the deep end and in doing so wiped out around half of the royal court and all of the religious fanatics that have been plaguing Kings Landing for the past two seasons. Included in the dead were all of the following: The High Sparrow, Margaery and Loras Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Mace Tyrell, Grand Maester Pycell, Lancel Lannister, all of the Faith Militant, a good number of random royal people, and eventually Tommen. Oh and also the Great Sept of Baelor, that building is dead as fuck. To pull off the greatest and most earth shaking (pun intended) mass murder since the Red Wedding, Cersei used the secret caches of wildfire left behind by the Mad King Aerys Targaryen (Dany’s dad). Before his death the Mad King had the city’s pyromancers create tons and tons of the green napalm like substance and hid it all throughout the catacombs of Kings Landing during the time of Robert’s Rebellion. Aerys’ plan was that if it looked like Robert was going to win and take Kings Landing he was going to detonate all the wildfire and burn the city to the ground. He also thought he would then be reborn from the ashes, they called him the Mad King for a reason people. Before that could happen Jaime stabbed him in the back and hunted down all the pyromancers, but the wildfire itself just sat there. Tyrion found and used some of it to defeat Stannis at the Battle of Blackwater but Cersei had Qyburn track the rest down via his Little Birds and used it as her ace in the hole in her battle against the High Sparrow. It’s important to note that Cersei essentially abandoned Tommen in the creation of this plan. She kept him from attending the trial but she knew what this would do to him. Her children were really the one thing that humanized Cersei and now that she’s out of kids there’s only one thing left in the world she cares about, power. All season people kept saying, “the crown and the faith are the two pillars of society,” well Cersei blew one of those pillars to kingdom come and took the crown for herself, now she has to find out if she can balance all of society on her bony shoulders.
-Arya’s Red Wedding Revenge/Frey Pies
A girl Arya Stark of Winterfell showed back up in Westeros and is in full “crossing off names” mode. If you are one of the people on her list you better go into hiding asap. The first to feel her wrath was that old fuck Walder Frey who betrayed her mother and brother at the Red Wedding. Awesome move by Benioff and Weiss incorporating “Frey Pies” into this scene as well. That’s a famous scene from the book in and of itself but it didn’t seem like we were going to get it in the show so it’s cool that they found a way to work it in. Arya’s gotta meet back up with the Hound and the Brotherhood next season right?
-R+L=J confirmed / The Prince That Was Promised
There it is folks. The biggest fan theory in all of Game of Thrones lore, R+L=J, was just confirmed and incredibly satisfying fashion. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get a little misty in the Jersey household when this went down. In case you are one of the 15 people that watch this show and don’t know about R+L=J please click on that link in the first sentence and allow your mind to be blown. Pretty much everyone had already decided R+L=J was a fact but finally seeing it confirmed still felt amazing. So what does this mean for Jon going forward? Well on one hand it means he’s actually a Targaryen, he’s Dany’s nephew, he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, he can probably ride dragons, he’s the embodiment of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, and oh, he’s literally The Prince That Was “Promised”. On the other hand it literally doesn’t mean anything until someone can prove what Bran saw in that vision. Ned and Lyanna are dead, so the only other people in the world that know what happened in the Tower of Joy are those two wet nurses and the other guy that survived the fight outside of the tower, Howland Reed. Who just so happens to be the father of Meera Reed who is traveling with Bran. Howland has never shown up in either the show or the book but it seems like he will have one, very important, role to play.
-The King in the North/The North Remembers Speech
Another big moment that book readers have been hoping would make its way into the show was Lord Manderly’s “The North Remembers” speech. Manderly was finally introduced last night but it was the 10 year old She-Bear, Lyanna Mormont, that delivered the famous line. Bravo to that little girl, she is an incredible actress and absolutely stole every scene she was in this season. The North now has a new king, is unified, and is in agreement that the White Walkers are their most pressing concern. We also saw Sansa spurn Littlefinger’s advances after he, for the first time, flat out said his only goal is to be the King of the Westeros. She then allowed the Northern lords to take Jon as their leader even though she has the better claim, officially solidifying her and Jon’s relationship. Have to think Littlefinger is going to try and do something about this but the North is going to be very on guard after what happened to their last king. Gotta think Littlefinger’s days are numbered. All hail the White Wolf, THEKINGINDANORF!
-Daenerys sails to Westeros
Oh my god she’s actually doing it. She’s actually going to Westeros. It’s taken 60 hours of TV but she’s finally doing the thing she’s been saying she wants to do since literally the first season of this show. Thanks to Vary’s (and Cersei’s idiocy) she will landed and immediately have the loyalty of Highgarden and Dorne to go along with a couple Greyjoys, her three dragons, 10,000 Unsullied, and 100,000 Dothraki. At some point she is going to have to face off with Euron but after that it’s full speed to Kings Landing. With the current state of the Iron Throne it should be a pretty easy victory for Daenerys and co. After that you have to think she will turn her attention (and her dragons) to the ice demons coming down from the North. Would make sense that she marry the newly crowned KINGINDANORF to unify the country now wouldn’t it? We did see her kick her sidepiece to the curb. Hmmmmm???
That’s our show folks. Thanks to everyone who read this for the last 10 weeks. It’s been a lot of fun to write it so I hope some of you found it helpful or enjoyable. 42 weeks till Season 7, now if you’d please excuse me. . . .
Coach’s Character Power Un-Rankings
The world is full of impossible questions. What came first, the chicken or the egg? If a tree falls in the middle of a forest, and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? If tomatoes are fruits does that mean ketchup is a smoothie? Well, we can go ahead and add another impossible questions to the list. Which character had the best episode on the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones? It’s got my mind in a pretzel. Clearly Cersei is a number 1 contender. She vanquished all of her enemies Tyrion Targaryen style. Speaking of Targaryens, after 6 long and awesome seasons, Dany Stormborn is finally heading to Westeros, something that we can all agree makes her a number 1 contender as well. Tyrion was named hand of the queen in an amazing exchange of dialogue. Hell, Varys learned how to teleport, why shouldn’t the episode be his? Not to mention Sansa check mated Littlefinger and got him to spill the beans on what he is actually after, a King in the North has been crowned, we’re told half of the story about Jon Snow’s heritage (and we can all assume the other half without a shadow of a doubt now) annnnd Arya is taking what she learned in Braavos/from Hot Pie to heart. Like I said, an impossible question to answer. So, for the finale, let’s look at the opposite side of the coin. Who lost this week?
No. 5 Daario Naharis
Not since Michael Scott vanquished Toby Flenderson from going to Beach Day have I seen such a heart ripped out on screen. “I’m so excited to be going to Westeros with you…oh, you changed your mind? That’s fine I’ll take Casterly Rock and then meet you at King’s…oh, you don’t want me to go at all anymore? Don’t cry Daario, you’ll look like Jorah.” I don’t know how you make the transition from Khaleesi in the sheets back to normal women, but if I were that Dany look-a-like we saw in the brothel earlier in the show, I would definitely start raising my prices.
No. 4 Littlefinger
This gigantic moment in the Game of Thrones sort of got lost in comparison to everything else literally blowing up, but we finally learned what Petyr Baelish’s end game is. He wants to sit on the Iron Throne with a Stark next to him. I imagine when he first painted the picture in his head, he had Catelyn in mind. Petyr is a make lemonade out of lemons guy, so when Cat got got at the red wedding, he shifted to Sansa. Creepy lemonade is still lemonade I suppose. Sansa denied him when he came hard in the Weirwoods, and yet he still held on to hope because let’s face it, the North would never rally around Ned Stark’s bastard…right? WRONG. Lyanna Mormont helps the Mormont story come full circle and place Jon Targarystark as the King of the North. The wheel that is the Game of Thrones finally got ahead of Littlefinger’s chaotic climb.
No. 3 Jaime Lannister
Jaime had a tough week, there’s no doubt about it. First, he had to have dinner with Walder Frey. That right there alone is enough to ruin a week. Besides Arya, he was the last person ever to dine with the insufferable asshole. But now, Jaime is in quite the quandary. His last son died, and it didn’t look like he made it back in time for the funeral. The real issue going forward is, the love of his life went and did exactly what he killed the Mad King for threatening to do. He earned the nickname Kingslayer and distrust of everyone in Westeros when he shoved his sword into the back of King Aerys, a move that we as viewers know was to protect the people of King’s Landing. Now, he has to wrestle with his whole life after that moment, and the love of his life pulling the same move in his absence. Maggy the Frog said that Cersei would die at the hand of her little brother…and we all assumed that was Tyrion. But, Jaime was born second out of the twins…and the Queenslayer has a nice ring to it.
No. 2 King Tommen, the First of His Name
By far the best reaction I saw on twitter last night was “I guess that’s why they call it King’s Landing.” Talk about a tough day at the office. It started with all the stress of having your brother-in-law and your mother having to go on trial for some pretty disturbing sins in the eyes of the Seven…and it ended with King Aerys Targaryan II coming back from the grave with the help of said mother and Qyburn (the name makes so much sense now) blowing up your wife, your Uncle and hand, your faith, your wife’s family, and half of King’s Landing’s Royalty. Still, after all that planning, Cersei didn’t think to have someone in the same room as Tommen after the events unfolded. The kid was on a leash 24/7 between his mother, his wife, and his spiritual advisor. The very second he got off the leash, he flopped right out of the Red Keep.
No. 1. The Tyrells/The Faith Militant
There has never been a more unlucky Queen in the history of Westeros. I’m sure of it. Margaery ties herself to Renley Baratheon, and he gets murdered by a Demon Stannis. Margaery ties herself to Joffrey, and he gets poisoned by her Grandmother/Littlefinger. Margaery ties herself to Tommen, she gets thrown into jail. Margaery ties herself to the Faith, and she gets blown sky high by her mother-in-law, even though she was technically one step ahead and knew that they had to get out of the Sept. Then, you have Mace Tyrell, the human punching bag of Westeros. The man was belittled and figuratively beaten. Mace didn’t inherit a single brain cell from his mother, and got nothing but Luthor Tyrell’s inability to literally see what is right in front of him. The last thing Mace got to see was his own son confessing to his sins, denouncing his name and his right, and then getting branded by the people who caused the whole scene. And last, but certainly not least, we have Loras Tyrell. The legendary knight’s last days on Earth, arguably the worst. He was stuck in a cell starved, beaten, and lonely. He then had to confess all of his sins and grovel to his captors in front of his entire family minus a grandmother, he got his head shanked, and just when he was out of the woodwork, the whole party gets set ablaze. Even prisoners on death row get a last meal.
You also have the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. They couldn’t possibly have a worse week because, they’re gone forever. You think anybody is ready to take up the place of the High Septon now? Probs not. Fact of the matter is, any religious figure that was enlightened in the eyes of the Seven was probably at that trial, and now they’re probably nothing more than ashes. If only Lancel had trained in Braavos like Arya, then he could have run around with ease to blow out those candles instead of crawling slower than Bran after he was pushed out the window.
Doc’s Death(s) Of The Week
“oh my fuck” “oh shit” “welp” “holy shit” “holy mother fucking shit” – blog:30 teams group text during GoT last night
This episode was perhaps the biggest game changer Episode out of the entire series. Sure other episodes might have had bigger shock and aw moments and greater cliff hangers but I don’t think anything compares to Winds of Winter.
We had a shift in power all over the map in one way or another. There is a new King in the North, Jon Snow, thanks to last week battle of the bastards and the death of Ramsey Bolton. You have Dany setting sail on her conquest of Westeros with all of her newly acquired allies and of course her bad ass dragons. (Will her dragons have to fly the whole way? Will they get to rest on the boats? Will they have a big fish fry on the way? I have So many questions about the dragons traveling!) And of course we have a new tyrant sitting upon the throne in King’s Landing.
Which brings us to the Death of the Week. Man oh man, even with the deathless week this season has brought the heat with the deaths week in and week out. Dare I say they saved the best for last? I mean if you are looking for the best bang for your buck this death of the week is for you. You just knew that bitch Cersi was going to have something up her sleeve and all signs pointed towards that something being wild fire.
The music behind the buildup to this scene was absolutely beautiful and was the first indication that something big was about to happen. Unfortunately for the Faith and the Tyrell’s they didn’t realize it until it was too late.
While it was great to see that little snake the high sparrow burn up from the floor up , I was also super bummed that little fox Margery Tyrell would never appear on our TV screens sans clothes ever again.
That is about at close to an atomic bomb as you are going to get in the Game of Thrones world and easily gets Doc’ Death of the Week. RIP Tyrells, fuck the high sparrow.