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A Retrospective, Part I: Looking Back at the Players in Game of Thrones Season 6

Published on June 29th, 2016 | Updated on June 29th, 2016 | By FanFest

Now that ‘Game of Thrones’ has added season 6 into the maester’s book, I think it would be a good time to reflect on all that has gone down in the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. There were so many little hints and giant revelations that it is hard to even begin to theorize what could happen for last two seasons without giving the season another watch through.

However, before I start back down the road to Westeros, let’s take a quick look at how these key players rode out the season and what they may have learned through the trials and tribulations they faced throughout the last ten episodes. As always… beware! The forthcoming post is dark and full of spoilers…

Let’s kick this off with, Jon Snow.

 

Jon Snow: at first a Bastard, now the King of the North

GOT Jon Snow
Photo Courtesy of HBO

It is hard to believe that it was a year ago we were left with that image of Jon Snow lying on the ground as his blood stained the snow of Castle Black. For ten long months, speculations and theories plagued the internet with the hows, whens and whys surrounding his resurrection. Finally, April comes around and with it, the answers to all the questions about Jon Snow’s fate.

I was firmly planted in the ‘Jon Snow’s dead’ camp and was quickly proven wrong as he took a gasp of air at the end of the first episode of season 6 after the Red Woman did her thing. Once we had that pesky mess out of the way, I had a hard time seeing where all this was going to lead. How would the Commander of the Night’s Watch handle the treachery of his brothers? Swiftly and without mercy, apparently. Afterwards, he hands his big ‘ol coat to his friend and walks away with one of the best lines of the season, ‘My watch has ended’.

Jon Snow, the Commander of the Night’s Watch, had to die. It was the only way he would be able to walk away from the Crowes without a bounty on his head. He needed to be free of the Night’s Watch so he could go and reclaim the North in the name of the Starks. He needed to be a free man again in order to put Ramsay Bolton in his place, and reunite the North under the Direwolf sigil in preparation of the great war to come. The war that really matters… against the Night King.

We can’t move on from the White Wolf without mentioning the fact that we now know just how important he will be in the remainder of the series. You don’t just get one of the biggest family reveals without it being essential to the overarching story of the entire series. Jon Snow, the White Wolf, King of the North and quite possibly the true air to the Iron Throne, long may you reign!

 

Daenerys Targaryen: a Queen under siege, now a Ruler with multiple armies

GOT Dany
Photo courtesy of HBO

Personally, I was most concerned on how we would find Daenerys when the season started, seeing that she was left in a rather sticky predicament after the end of season 5. A Dragon Queen, without her dragons and stuck in a world she thought she had left behind. Let’s face it, she didn’t exactly have control over her situation in Meereen with the Masters. The best possible thing that could have happened to her, did. Dany got her groove back by having to prove that she is the Mother of Dragons, the unburnt and all the other titles that are spoken with it.

Once Daenerys was faced with the possibility of being sent to the Dothraki nursing home for retired Khalesses, she once again showed the people who she was, and why she was the breaker of chains. In one of the best speeches of her short reign, she was able to take down the current sitting Khal, and turn the Dothraki into her own people again, willing to go against their nature and travel across the water to fight for their new Queen. If that didn’t prove her true bad-assness, then her return to Meereen and action against the Masters should have.

Let’s not forget the fact that thanks to the arrival of the Masters and then the rogue Iron Born, she now has ships. Plus new allegiances with two of the oldest families in the the seven kingdoms – the Tyrells and Martells. I don’t think King’s Landing has enough wildfire to deal with what is coming its way.

 

Tyrion Lannister: before a man marked for death, now the Hand of the Queen

gottyrion-01
Photo courtesy of HBO

I was worried for Tyrion and his place within Dany’s entourage. I didn’t know how he would fair with Dany MIA and left to deal with the diplomacy of a city that was on the brink of civil war. I’ve long since thought that there was much more to Tyrion than his ability to just drink and know things, and he proved that beyond a doubt the moment he released the other two dragons of their shackles. It was as if their reaction to his presence was confirmation that he was finally where he belonged.

When Daenerys returned to the great pyramid and took back the city, I still feared she might be harsh on Tyrion for the moves he made in her absence. Instead, she listened to his council and rewarded him with the honor of being Hand of the Queen. If that doesn’t go down as one of the sweetest scenes in the show’s history, I don’t know what will. Tyrion finally has a ruler he can back and believe in, without question. Finally, someone who values what he has to offer and doesn’t look down (no pun intended) on him for being a Lannister or a dwarf. Tyrion has always been a forced to be reckon with, and now he’s got a Queen, three dragons and several armies to back him up.

I can’t wait to see his dear sister’s face when he returns to King’s Landing with all that intow behind him.

 

Cersei Lannister: an embarrassed matriarch, now the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms

Photo Courtesy of HBO
Photo Courtesy of HBO

Just when I think that the world had finally delivered karmic justice to the Queen Mother, she somehow finds a way to circumvent it and continue on without skipping a beat. She may have made her walk of shame at the end of the last season, but that little move did nothing more than empower her to rain hellfire down on those that wronged her.

For most of the season, we watched as she continued to try and manipulate the people around her in order to get her way. Every avenue she took, became blocked by those who just wanted to see her fail or by those she had wronged in the past. Even with ‘Franken-Mountain’ there to guard and protect her, Cersei looked downright defeated when her only living child turned against her and towards the people that imprisoned her in the first place. Tommen clearly chose his wife over his mother, and for that Cersei would not stand.

So, what do you do when there isn’t enough people to help you out of your predicament? Apparently, take a page out of the Mad King’s book and burn them all. The ‘Game of Thrones’ season 6 finale opened with a sequence that was one part heartbreaking and another part exhilarating. Watching everyone prepare for what we assume is going to be Cersei’s lowest hour only for it to end with her smiling, drinking wine and looking on as the Septon burned to the ground in flashes of green flames. Killing many pesky birds with one explosive emerald stone, she watched the people who wronged her, perish in grand fashion. But, once again, her actions came back around to bite her when Tommen decided that a life without Margaery, was no life at all and took his own life.

With the prophecy coming true, that she would outlive all of her children, can we assume the latter part of that prophecy will also come true? Will Cersei lose her life before the show comes to a conclusion? My best guess? Yes, yes she will. Just between you and me, I think Jaime will be the one to ultimately do it. Speaking of Jaime…

 

Jaime Lannister: a man with plans to protect his family, now a man without his children

Photo Courtesy of HBO
Photo Courtesy of HBO

I’ve haven’t felt this conflicted over a character like this since I first met Walter White many years ago. I am constantly walking a tightrope sized line of love and hate with the Kingslayer. What I have come to realize is, that it all depends on with whom he is sharing scenes and stories. Whenever he is with Cersei, I want to take a bath because of how gross I feel watching them together. On the flip side, when I see Jaime interact with Brienne, I can’t help but feel there is an actual human being with a soul somewhere within him. This season didn’t help me in coming to a firm decision either, especially after I got to see Jaime and Brienne together again, albeit briefly, before the Lannisters took back Riverrun from the Tully’s.

Jaime has made no bones about his love for his twin sister. He said as much to Edmure Tully when trying to convince him to help regain Riverrun from the Blackfish. He would do anything to get back to her, including kill Edmure’s own little son, if it meant he could end the farce of a fight and get back to King’s Landing. Yet, when he did finally return, he didn’t look exactly pleased to see Cersei ascending the throne. It can only be one of two reasons for the reaction he had: seeing her sit on the Iron throne was confirmation that their last child together was dead, or, he’s afraid of what she has done in his absence for these events to be taking place. The twin lovers may have reinforced their ‘it’s us against the world’ mentality early on this season, but I feel by the time we are in Westeros again, their bond may burn away faster that the High Sparrow did.

 

Arya and Sansa Stark: sisters on the run with no home, now both women on the warpath

Photos Courtesy of HBO
Photos Courtesy of HBO

I group these two together because they both, in their own ways, came into their true ‘Starkness’ this season. Both Arya and Sansa have a hard road before them since the death of their father, and later their mother. Each have handled their situations in the best ways they knew how and ended up in dire circumstances because of it. However, both of their journeys had a remarkable and might I add, satisfying, conclusion when season six came to a close.

Arya went to the house of black and white with great expectations, only to have them dashed when she was left blind and homeless in the streets. Her will and faith tested, time and time again. Arya was trying to be no one, because that’s what she had to be. After refusing to kill a woman just because they told her too, she nearly lost her life to a Terminator-like assassin. She was crafty enough to have used what she learned to escape her predicament and come to realize that she couldn’t be anyone, but Arya Stark of Winterfell.

Sansa’s journey was different in scenery and people. but the same in faith, will, and transformation. Going from one dangerous situation to another, then ultimately being given to a madman for reasons she didn’t understand, Sansa had been stripped of who she was for years. It took a short but horrific marriage to Ramsay Bolton for her to stand up and say, no more. Sansa made the choice to be brave, and run from her hellish life. Once she found refuge with Jon, she also realized that she couldn’t be anyone but Sansa Stark of Winterfell.

Arya took away a lot from her time with the Many Faced God, most notably a very unique set of skills that then helped her cross another name from her list, Walder Frey. Sansa learned that even a pig like Ramsay Bolton couldn’t break her, and that she would do what was necessary to regain control of her family and their home. Then, in a very, very satisfying way, she ended her marriage to Ramsay Bolton by way of his own dogs.

My only question about the Ladies of House Stark is, what will happen when these two women come face to face? Will all be forgiven?

 

 

There are a lot of questions as we close out this season, but I think the writers did a great job of giving us closure to these character’s stories. I admit, several episodes were slow moving and felt padded with filler that won’t turn out to mean anything considering how much time is left for the series. I like to think though, that some of those smaller, quieter moments will be of utmost importance as we wind down to the end game. (Looking your way Samwell Tarly).

Stay tuned for Part II of our Westeros Retrospective, and what we think is to come in the last handful of episodes as they play out over seasons 7 and 8.

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