Game of Thrones SE06EP10 Winds of Winter (Retrospective)


Well. That was a pretty explosive ending to a pretty explosive season. The wage bill for Season 7 is going to be way lighter so expect a lot more of Ghost now they’ve freed the budget up for him. In a display of rumours and fan theories coming to fruition and Cersei showing how far she is willing to go to win, this episode was probably my favourite yet. Now I know I say that every week but I mean it this time, it’s going to take a lot to top this.

It was a super long episode this week, thank the seven, so there is a lot to cover so I think I’ll break it down by location. What is going on in Westeros and beyond?

Mereen: Daenarys (Emilia Clarke) is now on her way to Westeros after bestowing Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) with a hand of the Queen clasp that sent him all humble and teary eyed. Believe it or not Tyrion was actually lost for words. It was nice to see his character finally feeling like he had a cause and a place in the world. Daario (Michiel Huisman), Dany’s lover, was instructed by his queen to stay and govern Mereen. It was by no means the task he wanted but they both knew his relation to Dany would be harmful once she tried to take back the Seven Kingdoms, as she said, she needs allies and allies are bound in marriage. With her ships and her allies, Dany set sail and begins her long delayed and awaited invasion of Westeros, let’s just hope it goes as well as we think. The scale of her armada and the three dragons circling overhead certainly seems enough of a force to be reckoned with.

Winterfell: The white bird from the Citadel has come which signals that winter has begun, way to call it Starks! In this episode a long discussed fan theory is confirmed, an awesome truth even though the character is still unaware of the revelation and what that means for himself and the other characters in the cast. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is actually not Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) bastard at all but the son of Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Now my Targayen family tree and the line of succession is a little rusty but as Jon is the trueborn son of Rhagar and Lyanna, that makes Jon a prince and in fact it makes him the heir to the Targaryen Iron Throne. Not only does that make him the newly proclaimed King in the North but that makes him King of the Big Boy chair too! Damn! I have to admit, I let out a few whoops when this tasty morsel was revealed. I can only imagine this will cause some sort of friction with Dany. She has a family member alive now (a nephew), hooray, but now she has a legitimate obstacle of succession. Let’s hope she’s not her father’s daughter. Due to the Targaryen family always marrying inward, Jon Snow will either be seen as a hot romantic prospect or competition. So the pair will probably end up kissing or killing each other in the near future. This bit of information vindicates Ned Stark who went through so much trouble domestically for bringing back Jon who his wife always thought he’d fathered in an extramarital affair, but no! He took all the punishment when all he was doing was protecting his nephew from being beaten to death by Robert, his best friend.  Oh Ned, you really were a saint!

Sansa (Sophie Turner) turns down Petyr (Aiden Gillen) despite him coming to the aid of Jon at the Battle of the Bastards. He steps in it by calling Jon a motherless bastard which once upon a time Sansa may have said herself. But now the half-siblings (or cousins now) are closer than ever and are just about ready to take back the North together. Little Finger seethed during the King in the North proclamation and you can just see him doing something else to hinder the Starks once more in response to his spurned love. Please get a hobby Petyr that doesn’t involve one obsession or another.

The fury of Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) is awakened as he confronts Melisandre (Carice van Houten) in front of Jon for burning Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram) alive at the stake. Ser Davos wants her executed but Jon exiles her despite how useful she may prove against the army of darkness and the fact she brought him back from the dead. This suffices for Davos but he swears to kill Melisandre himself if she ever ventures North again. Friendship annulled.

Oldtown: With all the cool revelations and confirmation of long held theories, what did Sam get to do? Walk into a lobby, get greeted by a rude clerk and then gawk at a huge library. He still thinks Jon is the Lord Commander of the Nights Watch. Oh Sam, you pulled the short straw this time out.

The Twins: Expert Wedding Planner in training Walder Frey (David Bradley) gloated about his house and his prowess but that did not impress the golden handed wonder, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster Waldau), who gave the gross old man a tongue lashing for loosing Riverrun to the Tully rebels and for generally never fighting any of his own battles. He has a point. My disgust and contempt for the old man was still as strong as ever but who saw the twist coming? A cute server kept making eyes at Jaime and was then alone with Walder Frey serving him pie. It had a familiar aroma, probably because she’d served him up his own sons. WHAT?! Off comes the girl’s face like a mask and BOOM, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is back in the Seven Kingdoms with a vengeance, adding credence to the fan theory that the faceless priest was always training her to come back and avenge her family. She slits Walder Frey’s throat and removes another name from her almost forgotten list. The North remembers and it’s not just a Lannister that pays his debts.

King’s Landing: With all this going on you’d have thought that was it, but wait, there’s more! Cersei (Lena Headey) has always been an antagonist in Game of Thrones but she has always done her deeds from a twisted place of protecting her family. Not so in this episode, she wanted sweet good ol’ fashioned vengeance. And she got it. In a BIG way. Answering the question I had from the books of “why does she need a stockpile of Wild Fire?” We sure did find out. Not turning up to her own trial I initially thought she was going to force the Sparrow’s (Johnathan Pryce) army to fight through the Red Keep to take her. She had a much, much better plan than that. She lit the barrels under the Sept of Baelor alight killing hundreds of people, including some pretty important cast members, in an almost atomic fiery green explosion that evaporated the High Sparrow, his followers, Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), Sir Loras (Finn Jones), Mace Tyrell, her cousin Lancel and many others. The Tyrell family now lies in tatters with only Lady Olenna left standing, and she’s an older woman. Tommen (Dean Charles Chapman), distraught at the loss of his new favourite faith and his wife, resigns from being King by taking an express elevator from his room window to the ground floor. Lena Headey’s acting in this is tremendous as she quietly accepts her son’s fate and ascends to the Iron Throne as Queen in her own right, something she has always wanted. The loss of her last child does not affect her as much as the other’s visually did as I think she realises it is better for her own goals this way. Now she can rule as SHE wishes. It’s a scary and exciting time! Cersei is one of my favourite villains and in this episode she is a real badass, just look at her attire this time out. The High Sparrow had begun to get on my nerves and so too his faith militant, seeing the floor dissolve from under him with the fantastic orchestral accompaniment was a brilliant piece of writing and directing!

With the Tyrell family all but dead, Olenna (Dianna Rigg) and her armies have sided with the Dornish Sand Snakes who have in turn sided with Daenarys. Looks like the Mother of Dragons has won half the realm without having yet set foot on the soil.

Where does that leave us? Heartbroken that we have to wait another year to see how this all pans out. It was a lot to set up for later on but next season is going to be just as thrilling, I can feel it. What the hell am I going to do when this comes to an end?! There’ll be a lot less for you to read that is for sure. What did you think of this episode and this season? Tweet your thoughts @CelebrityCutout.