What a season! After the disappointment that was season 5, this season felt like a breath of fresh air. I don’t even know where to begin. Yes, there were some weak links but I’d say the good outweighed the bad.
Let’s just go over the not so good first. I must say until episode 8 I did not find Arya’s story all that interesting. We already spent a season of watching her getting beat by the waif and the beginning of the season was like deja vu. I felt like the only reason we even spent so long with the faceless men was to basically kick start Arya’s final journey as a Stark that’s finally ready to go home. Yes, she developed some new skills with the Faceless men but I was so happy to see her walk away and that final scene with Walder Frey was so cold and calculated and just what we needed to renew that energy in her plot line.
I also didn’t particularly care for the Kings Landing plot but in hindsight that build up and tension all led up to one of the top 3 moments of the season. All hail Mad Queen Cersei. Let’s just all take a moment to appreciate just how stunning that entire sequence was. The music, acting and camerawork was spot on. The whole atmosphere surrounding that scene was so tense and it just made that climax all the more powerful. I also loved the fact that they sprinkled some hints of the thing to come and the role of the Wildfire in the earlier episodes which only served to heighten the anticipation and the tension of the scene.
The wildfire also leads to a set up of the things to come in season 7. Jamie, who’s stand out moment came during the discussion he had with Edmure Tully, has been chained to Cersei from the beginning of the show. His devotion to her has been unwavering so far and yet as the seasons have progressed we’ve seen that he still has a moral compass. Season 7 will truly test his devotion to Cersei, especially now that she has nothing to lose as her kids, the one thing that humanized her, are all dead and gone. I can see her becoming more vindictive and manipulative, similar to the ways of the Mad King and this will put Jamie in a position to where he will have to chose between his love for her and his own moral compass.
This season also saw the return of Bran. After taking a season off, we return to Bran’s storyline with a renewed energy and I actually loved his moments, well most of them. We see him learning and developing his abilities under the guidance of the Three Eyed Raven. Naturally things aren’t as smooth sailing and a choice Bran makes proves to have some deadly and absolutely devastating consequences – Hold the Door. 😥
It is also through Bran that we learn some crucial information that will set in motion some big changes for a certain character. The flashbacks were also a surprising delight. I loved seeing the events that essentially defined a young Ned Stark’s life and reputation. I also enjoyed seeing the parallels between young Ned’s childhood and that of his children. The training scenes and even dialogue used provided a nice little throwback to the earlier seasons. Naturally my favourite flashback had to be the Tower of Joy. FINALLY, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has been confirmed. R + L = J. It was such a wonderful scene and it really did highlight just how much of a bond Ned and Lyanna had. His devotion to his sister was so heartwarming and it just made me appreciate his character a lot more.
Speaking of the J in the equation, he had a pretty eventful season as well. Let’s start from the beginning. We all knew that Jon wasn’t going to stay dead but there was always that semblance of doubt that crept up and had me thinking that was it. That he really was 100% gone. His rebirth was yet another sequence that was brilliantly shot. However, the moment that really hit me was the punishment for those that betrayed him, specifically that look of absolute hatred from Olly which was so heart-breaking considering Jon took him under his wing and nurtured him as best as he could. That betrayal cut deep.
With Jon’s watch at it’s end, this lead to another one of my top 3 moments; the one we’ve all been waiting for – The Stark Reunion. I’ll be the first to admit that I was an emotional wreck after that scene. We’ve been waiting for this moment for 6 seasons and it was everything I needed and so much more. I’ve always thought that the dynamic between Sansa and Jon would be an interesting one and I wished for them to be the first to reunite. They’ve both endured so much pain so to see these two character, who didn’t really have a great relationship before, come together and appreciate one another was stunning.
The reunion also set in motion the Stark’s road back home. The problem, Ramsey Bolton. I could write and entire post about how amazing the cinematography and construction of the Battle of the Bastards was, despite the fact that the outcome was ridiculously predictable. The structure of the battle and the way it depicted the chaos of the battlefield was chaotic and atmospheric. The moment Jon was basically being trampled by his own men made me feel so claustrophobic and uncomfortable – job well done. However, in the end there could only be one victor and I must say seeing the demise of a certain bastard was so sweet. He had it coming and the fact that Sansa had the final word made it all the more sweeter.
I think it’s safe to say that this season belonged to the women of Thrones but my MVP has to be Sansa Stark. She came into her own this season and I love how she’s gone from being a pawn in the game to a real player. She has been used and abused for far too long and now is the time for her to strike. Having been surrounded by those mass manipulators, Sansa has been in the prime position to witness how each one plays the game. More than that, they underestimated Sansa and it was their belief in her naivety that made her dangerous because they had no idea that she was observing and taking in all the moves they made.
I’ve already mentioned how interesting the dynamic between Jon and Sansa is and my reasons as to why they’d make a great team was highlighted in their confrontation before the battle. Jon is a great strategist, especially in the art of war but Sansa knows people and actually has some great political insights. I don’t believe they’re going to betray each other next season. Sure they’ll disagree and have some conflict because both these character have some trust issues, which is understandable considering everything they’ve had to endure. However, in spite of that they are family and they won’t forsake that bond easily. I think that Littlefinger is going to try and drive that wedge between this dynamic duo but again I think he’ll underestimate Sansa as she’ll be the one to play him. The King in the North scene drives home this idea. That scene was emotional as hell to witness and the parallels between Jon’s moment and Robb’s punched me in the feels. With regards to the look between Sansa and Littlefinger, I saw that as Sansa’s acknowledgement of the threat Littlefinger is to them, one which will certainly be highlighted in the next season.
With everything else that happened, I almost forgot about Daenerys. I must admit, I don’t think she’d make a great ruler and if it weren’t for Jorah and now Tyrion, she would have crashed and burned by now. I was actually quite disappointed in this plotline because again with the exception to the last 2 episodes, we really didn’t get much progression in her journey. Yes, she has dragons, yes fire doesn’t harm her but you need more than brute force and ruthless aggression to rule. I will say that I enjoyed the banter between Daenerys and Yara. Tyrion’s hand of the queen speech was epic but other than that the plot just fell a little bit flat for me. Despite my judgments though, the final scene of Dany on her ships was great and it does serve as a great catalyst for the next chapter in her journey and the perfect way to wrap up the season.
- Bow down to Lyanna Mormont. The sassiest 10 year old in Westeros.
- Is it bad that I basically forgot all about Sam and Gilly’s arc? I hope they have more to do next season.
- Tormund and Brienne – I ship it…that is until her reunion with Jamie which made me remember why I shipped them as well, so I’m torn.
- Margaery Tyrell deserved so much better and definitely had a lot more to offer. She will be missed.
- I can definitely see Euron Greyjoy teaming up with Cersei when news of Daenerys’ movement spreads.
- Welcome back Benjen Stark – I knew you weren’t dead. Same goes for the Hound.
- What exactly can we expect from the Brotherhood without Banners?
- Davos’ confronting Melisandre was everything I hoped for.
- ZIG ZAG. That’s all you had to do Rickon.
So there you have it. My lengthy Game of Thrones season review.
What did you think of season 6? What was your favourite moment?
What are your predictions for season 7?