So, holy wildfire, ladies and gents. We had one serious doozy of a finale to Game Of Thrones season six! Typically, this show’s custom has been to make episode nine the big one, with finales cooling things off a bit before the long, barren gap between seasons. Not so this time around.
Be warned: much like Winter, SPOILERS are coming.
Just to recap, here’s a little bit about what went down in the season six finale…
In King’s Landing, Cersei neglected to show up at her own trial at the Sept of Baelor, prompting Margaery to recognize that everyone gathered in said Sept was in danger. But too late, Margaery!. Cersei and Qyburn’s “little birds” were already running around the underground (casually murdering Grand Maester Pycelle and Lancel Lannister) and setting up the biggest (well, only) wildfire explosion since the Battle of the Blackwater. Ka-freaking-BOOM, High Sparrow. The whole Sept went up in flames, killing the High Sparrow, Loras and Margaery Tyrell, and a host of others. Oh, and Cersei had the foresight to get Tommen out first, but when he saw the explosion he super casually jumped out a window and killed himself. No more king.
Elsewhere, a bunch of political stuff went down. In the North, Jon Snow banished Melisandre and was hailed the new “King In The North” by his bannermen. Meanwhile, Littlefinger confessed his ambition to Sansa (he wants the Iron Throne, and Sansa by his side, which totally isn’t creepy). And farther to the North, Bran’s visions seemed to confirm the R+L=J theory that the Internet figured out about 45 years ago. Thanks, Internet! (Basically, it looks like Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen are Jon Snow’s true parents.)
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys told Daario Naharis he’d have to stay behind and rule Meereen, and then named Tyrion her Hand of the Queen. She took off across the sea with Yara, Theon Greyjoy and her army (and, um, dragons), mysteriously accompanied by Varys about five minutes after Varys was in Dorne laying the groundwork for an alliance. Evidently, Lord Varys knows how to teleport or something.
The finale also showed us Samwell Tarly finally reaching the Citadel, where he’ll train to be a Maester. That’s probably important, but it wasn’t particularly exciting on screen. The other big thing that happened in the episode was that Arya showed up at The Twins to murder the shit out of Walder Frey after feeding him his own sons. It wasn’t quite the Red Wedding in terms of theatrics, but it was a fittingly brutal end for Frey.
So where does this leave us for season seven? Really, who knows? But it definitely looks like things are starting to contract toward a final showdown at King’s Landing, so let’s set the stage.
The first thing that’s startlingly apparent heading into the Game Of Thrones offseason is that Cersei Lannister is in huuuuuuuge trouble. Heading into this season there were actually official betting odds on which character would die first, and the High Sparrow was high on the list just because he was Cersei’s enemy. Well, he did meet his doom, but if there were similar odds for season seven Cersei would have to be near the top of the list. She just murdered hundreds of people, blew up an ancient Sept, crowned herself Queen, and she has no allies whatsoever! Think about it: Walder Frey died, the Dornish and what’s left of the Tyrells despise her, Daenerys and the Greyjoys are crossing the sea to take her throne, and the Starks and Arryns are united and strong once more. Who’s left for Cersei? Even Jaime seemed to turn on h
er judging by the pained look he threw her way as she took the throne.
Another major plot point ahead is what’s to become of Samwell. Sure, his arrival at the Citadel was a little cheesy (it’s basically a library that makes it look like Hogwarts and Rivendell had a baby), but they’ve dragged this storyline on too long for it not to have purpose. Samwell has a Valyrian steel sword, a nice big brain, and a thorough understanding of the dangers posed by the White Walkers. One look ahead at season seven theorized that Sam might just figure out how to stop the White Walkers, and he does seem to be in position to do so. That’s good, because if an unstoppable death wave of ice soldiers sweeps through and kills everyone in the series finale it’ll be a little anticlimactic…
And finally, next season will finally give us the answer to whether or not R+L=J. Wait, what? You mean the season six finale already did that? No it didn’t! The episode all but confirmed that Jon Snow is in fact Lyanna Stark’s daughter. That covers the L and the J. But we don’t know if there’s an R. The episode intentionally made it impossible to tell what a dying Lyanna was saying, and as a result we don’t know for certain who Jon’s father is. Could it be Rhaegar Targaryen? Sure. Could it also just be Robert Baratheon, to whom Lyanna was engaged? Absolutely. Even the guy who plays Bran Stark admitted that “we’re pretty clueless” regarding Jon’s parentage even after this long-awaited scene. Plus, remember how “the seed is strong” with Robert Baratheon, such that all his bastards have dark coloring (and all Targaryens have white-blonde hair)? Yeah…you do the math. Keep theorizing, Thrones fans
Now, prepare thyselves. We’re in for a long cold winter (er, summer, fall and winter) before Game Of Thrones returns. It was a hell of a finale, but now there are about 10 months of speculation ahead. This is only the beginning.