Previously on Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards”
This was a beautifully directed episode. The opening alone was unlike anything we’ve seen before on Game of Thrones: It was wonderfully paced with haunting piano chords that lulled us into moments that weren’t just episodes in the making, but seasons. If last week’s penultimate episode was satisfying with Daenerys squashing the Great Masters of Slavers Bay and Ramsay Bolton finally getting his comeuppance, this finale almost left you feeling like it was more than you deserved. It’s still Game of Thrones so I doubt things will be all Dornish wine and lemon cakes from here on out, but I am savoring these victories and looking forward to season seven.
Queen Petty, First of Her Name
As Cersei is accessorized by her handmaiden, the sept fills with spectators for her and Loras’ trials. Tommen prepares to leave his quarters, but is stopped by The Mountain with a forceful hand on his shoulder. Whatever Cersei has planned, she at least has the decency to spare her only living child.
Loras confesses his sins, renounces his title and family name, and agrees to serve The Seven for the remainder of his days. A brutal new forehead carving seals the deal.
Cersei is late, so the High Sparrow sends Lancel to fetch her, and he seeks reinforcements, because The Mountain. But he’s distracted by one of
Varys’ Qyburn’s little birds, who leads him to and through the catacombs under the sept. A stab to the back puts Lancel out of play, but still he crawls past barrels of wildfire towards a glowing light ahead.
Meanwhile, Maester Pycelle (fresh from refusing to pay a prostitute for her services) is lured into a trap by another little bird where he finds Qyburn awaits. Qyburn delivers a false apology for what’s about to happen and then Pycelle is murdered by other little birds.
Just what did Qyburn put in those candied plums? At least the old pervert went down swinging.
In the sept, Margaery is aware something isn’t right. She warns the High Sparrow that they should probably all skidaddle, but his holy arrogance refuses to see reason. He has his sparrows bar everyone from leaving. At this point, the music has swelled with frantic violins.
By the time Lancel makes it to the dying candles sitting in a puddles of wildfire, it’s too late. The explosion takes him first.
The sept shakes. The High Sparrow and Margaery only have a few seconds to realize their fates before it takes them, and everyone else in the sept, as well.
Cersei watches from her balcony, sipping
the blood of her enemies wine. She smiles.
Tommen stares at the ruins in shock. When he’s alone, he removes his crown and jumps out of the window.
In case you weren’t keeping a body count this season:
- Doran Martell
- Areo Hotah
- Trystane Martell
- Roose Bolton
- Fat Walda Frey-Bolton
- Baby Bolton
- Ramsay Bolton
- Balon Greyjoy
- Grand Maester Pycelle
- The High Sparrow
- Kevan Lannister
- Mace Tyrell
- Loras Tyrell
- Margaery Tyrell-Lannister
- Lancel Lannister
- Some poor guy who got obliterated by the sept bell
- Anyone unlucky enough to live in the blast radius
- That one guy talking shit where The Mountain could hear
- That one Sparrow who should have checked himself, but lost his head
- Alliser Throne
- Random Night’s Watch traitors
- Mansplaining Dothrakis
- That one Dothraki Daario pulverized
- The Great Masters
- Slaves manning the Great Masters’ ships
- Sons of the Harpy
- Meereenese people just tryna get by
- Wun Wun
- Smalljon Umber
- Many soldiers in the Battle of the Bastards
- Tommen Baratheon
- Rickon Stark
- The Three-Eyed Raven
- Black Walder Frey
- Lothar Frey
- Walder Frey
- The Waif
- Lady Crane
Cersei wineboards Septa Unella because someone has to live to suffer. Cersei offers her up to be The Mountain’s plaything and chants, “Shame” as she leaves him to his games.
Cersei views Tommen’s body and orders Qyburn to burn his body and bury the ashes at the site of the explosion so he can be with his grandfather, brother, and sister. Cersei with no children or damns left to give is a very scary thought.
Jaime returns to Kings Landing just in time to see Cersei anointed Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. This is not going to end well… for Cersei. My money’s on Jaime having to put down another mad ruler.
Walder Frey toasts his recent success in his great hall, and also boasts of his new alliance with the Lannisters as Bronn and Jaime look on. After Jaime offers up his castoffs (serving girls making eyes at him) to Bronn, Jaime sets Walder straight: Everything he has now is thanks to the Lannisters, no one fears the Freys, and how intimidating can they really be if the Lannisters need to come and literally fight their battles? Welp.
Oh, remember how Edmure was promised to live out his days with his wife and son? Nah. Walder put his ass back in his cell.
Alone, Walder digs into a meat pie and slaps his serving girl on the ass – the same serving girl who’d been making serious eyes at Jaime earlier. She’s new, but pretty so he doesn’t mind. He barks for his sons, Black Walder and Lothar. The serving girl informs him that they’re already there, in the pie he’s been eating. A peek at a finger under the crust confirms she’s not lying.
She removes her mask, declares she’s Arya Stark and that her smiling face will be the last he sees. Then she slits his throat like an adorable little psychopath.
Sam Arrives at Hogwarts
Really. That’s all that happened. Sam arrived at the Citadel and until his credentials (and Jon’s) can be verified, he’s given access to a big-ass library. Gilly and baby Sam have to wait in the lobby.
The King in the North
Jon is in the Winterfell Great Hall with Melisandre when Davos comes for his pound of flesh. He makes Melisandre admit that she burned Shireen at the stake, but she reminds them that Stannis endorsed it as did his wife. Davos has no time for that and asks for her to be executed. Jon shows mercy and sends her south with the promise that she’ll be hanged if she returns to the north. Davos cosigns that he’ll do the deed himself.
This feels so useless. Stannis’ practice of burning people at the stake and using other blood magic was widely known. If you believe in her god and accept her readings of the flames when it suits your purpose (resurrect Jon), it seems rather hypocritical to take a Well, I Never! attitude now.
Still, Melisandre goes. That’s fine. She has a date with Arya anyway.
Jon tells Sansa the main suite that was once her parents is now hers. She apologizes for keeping secrets, and he warns that they need to trust each other. She reveals the arrival of a white raven from the Citadel. Winter is here. Finalfuckingly.
Littlefinger approaches Sansa at the Weirwood tree. She point blank asks what he wants and he finally admits he wants The Iron Throne… and her. Sansa is all, “Good luck with that.” Before she walks away, he plants another seed of doubt in her mind about Jon leading her house when he’s only a bastard.
In the Great Hall, the Northern houses meet to eat some crow, and I don’t mean brothers in black. Some don’t want to fight with wildlings, and some want to run home and wait out winter. Lady Mormont makes it rain a ton of bitchass receipts and properly shames them to get in formation.
Jon is declared King in the North. Sansa looks pleased, until she locks eyes with Littlefinger.
Uncle Benjen prepares to leave Bran and Meera at the wall, because he can’t go any further. He’s dead and the magic of the wall keeps him out. He’ll be fighting the good fight beyond the wall and leaving them without a horse, which is pretty fucked up. At least he left them at a Weirwood tree so Bran could touch it and finish his Tower of Joy vision. So, for that, we thank you, Uncle Benjen!
Just as we’ve all suspected since reading book one, Ned Stark found his sister Lyanna dying after she’d just given birth to a baby boy. Rhaegar Targaryen’s son. She makes her brother promise to keep her son a secret so Robert Baratheon won’t kill him. Ned cradles the baby he’d name Jon Snow and promises.
Queen of Shade
In Dorne, Lady Olenna meets with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes, who offer up an alliance. Well, Ellaria does. Whenever the Sand Snakes try to speak, Olenna is all:
However, Olenna has no desire to survive now that her entire family is gone. She is down for some sweet, sweet vengeance, though. Good thing Varys is there with news of where she can find some and it rhymes with Baenerys Pargaryen.
Ashes to ashes; dust to sidedicks.
Daenerys is ready to leave the city of Meereen to handle its own affairs and vote for their own leaders. She wants Daario and the Second Sons to stay behind and oversee it. He refuses at first because Daario is whipped with a capital W and a capital hipped. Daenerys remains firm and they say their goodbyes; he sure that he’ll never find another woman like her (he right) and she just ready to get the hell up out of there. Oh, Dany. We’ve all been ready.
Later, she confesses to Tyrion that she let go of a man who truly loves her, yet she felt nothing. She does have a bit of fear for what’s coming next, which Tyrion says is a good thing. He expresses his faith in her and she returns the same by making him Hand of the Queen. Then someone started cutting onions in my bedroom. Rude!
Daenerys and her army finally set sail for Westeros. If you weren’t keeping count: She has ships from the Great Masters, 100 ships from the Iron Fleet (plus Theon, Yara, and other Ironborn), Tyrion, Grey Worm and about 9,000 Unsullied, Missandei with the Good Hair, a horde of Dothraki (no word yet on what they did with those horses), Varys (who hit that fast travel like he’s playing Skyrim), and…
THREE MOTHERFUCKING DRAGONS.
Cersei won’t know what hit her.