Instant reaction post: “Game of Thrones” S6, Ep10 ‘The Winds of Winter’

Dany and Tyrion bond in 'The Winds of Winter'
Dany and Tyrion bond in ‘The Winds of Winter’

We have finally reached the end, and boy, what a finale!

The day of the trial arrives, and culminates in an explosive ending. Cersei got rid of all her enemies in one fell swoop in a power play that took me by surprise, though knowing her, I shouldn’t have been. I expected the wildfire rumours to be true — so it was the future Bran saw in his vision, not the past! — but I did not think that Cersei’s plan would be so cunning! Frankly, I thought she would just burn the city to the ground.

The High Sparrow in flames in 'The Winds of Winter'
The High Sparrow in flames in ‘The Winds of Winter’

The suspense was heightened by that deceptively light yet emotional music, which felt like a departure from what we have heard before for the scene we thought it was setting up, but it all made sense later. (The show likes its melancholy violins, but I think this is the first time we’ve heard the piano and organ.) It was just AMAZING: beautifully shot and edited to keep you on the edge in the moments leading up to its climax. I never liked Margaery, but when she started suspecting something was amiss, I was rooting for her to survive because I admired that she had such wits to play the game. Unfortunately, she was impeded by the High Sparrow’s pride and arrogance in thinking that he had the upper hand over Cersei, and so she lost as well, and all her efforts to keep her family safe were for nothing. House Tyrell’s future is no more.

Margaery and Loras in their last moments in 'The Winds of Winter'
Margaery and Loras in their last moments in ‘The Winds of Winter’

In addition, despite Cersei’s efforts to keep her son safe by having the Mountain prevent him from going to the Sept, her callous actions drove Tommen to kill himself, proving the witch’s prophecy that all her children will die young right in the end. I imagine that he was so done being a weak king with no agency of his own, constantly manipulated by the people surrounding him, and knowing that his people, including his beloved wife, died by the hand of his own mother. Cersei barely shows any feeling though, and we see her ascending the Iron Throne stoically while Jaime looks on grimly.

Why did Qyburn get the children to lure Grand Maester Pycelle to his lair? Would he not have attended the trial and been bombed to death like the rest? Those murdering children are so creepy!

The Sept of Baelor explodes in a blaze of wildfire in 'The Winds of Winter'
The Sept of Baelor explodes in a blaze of wildfire in ‘The Winds of Winter’

What did the Mountain do to Septa Unella? I thought we would finally see what had been done to his face and I was a little afraid of that, but turns out they didn’t even show it to us. The irony too: last season finale, Cersei was getting humiliated through the streets with Septa Unella castigating her; this year, Cersei is the one taking her revenge and calling “Shame! Shame! Shame!” How the tables have turned!

On to Winterfell. Jon is telling Melisandre about his childhood when Ser Davos stomps in and forces her to confess to killing Shireen. Honestly, with how he was glaring at her in the last episode, I thought he would take matters into his own hands to kill her, but he was honourable enough to bring it up before Jon. By right, Jon should have executed her, but he decided to banish her instead. I guess his debt to her for bringing him back to life was too much for him to kill her.

Ser Davos in 'The Winds of Winter'
Ser Davos in ‘The Winds of Winter’

Sansa meets Jon on the ramparts and apologises for not telling him about the Knights of the Vale. Jon forgives her but tells her that they have to trust each other. All seems dandy between brother and sister, but then Littlefinger comes to her with a proposition that she seems to be considering. I hope she remembers her own advice that “only a fool would trust Littlefinger”. He sure has a weird way of showing his love. I still see no reason why he had to sell Sansa to the Boltons in order to make his “pretty picture” a reality.

Also, winter is here? Then what was all that snow and cold weather in the North about?

Fierce little lady Lyanna Mormont shines again with her harsh speech to the Northern lords, and they are roused into proclaiming Jon the King of the North — an exact parallel to when they were proclaiming Robb the King of the North in the season 1 finale. :'( Let’s hope Jon survives it much better than Robb.

Jon being crowned King of the North in 'The Winds of Winter'
Jon being crowned King of the North in ‘The Winds of Winter’

Also, Uncle Benjen leaves Bran and Meera at the Wall, close to a weirwood tree which allows Bran to warg into the past and continue where he left off with Ned at the bottom of the Tower of Joy. So finally, R(haegar) + L(yanna) = J(on) is confirmed. Now we know Ned pretended that Jon was his bastard son all along because Lyanna made him promise, in order to protect her baby from the wrath of Robert Baratheon. And Ned never told anyone, because Ned Stark keeps his promises.

Ned and Lyanna in 'The Winds of Winter'
Ned and Lyanna in ‘The Winds of Winter’

The Red Wedding is finally fully avenged, taking the plotline of baking some Freys into pies and feeding it to Walder Frey straight from the books and giving it to an Arya in disguise, who reveals herself before killing Walder Frey the same way her mother was killed. Her calm little smirk was disturbing though.

Finally, Dany sails for Westeros, after being stuck three freaking seasons in Meereen in a subplot that kept going in circles — but not before saying goodbye to Daario Naharis, whom I never cared much for, and naming Tyrion her advisor and Hand of the Queen. With her thousand ships to challenge Cersei’s rule, next season is set to be more epic than ever. 😀 (When did Varys come back though? He was at Dorne only a short while ago!)

Dany finally sets sail for Westeros in 'The Winds of Winter'
Dany finally sets sail for Westeros!

Now that the herd has been hugely thinned out, let me make my prediction for the end of the series. Dany will rule the Seven Kingdoms, but she will band together with the Northerners to fight the White Walkers first. After they’ve been defeated, she will leave the North to the Starks and to Jon, who will finally learn of his heritage from Bran, but has no interest in ruling anybody so he’ll give Dany the throne. Jon will either remain in Winterfell or go somewhere else and forge a new life of his own, perhaps with Arya, his favourite sister. The Lannisters will be defeated after a protracted battle and Cersei and Jaime will either die together, or Cersei will die and Jaime will be left to go back to Casterly Rock.