SPOILER ALERT for Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 10, “The Winds of Winter.”
The sixth season of Game of Thrones ended with a bang (quite literally). We find out what Cersei’s been planning all along, what’s next for Daenerys and a huge hint about Jon Snow’s past. Needless to say, we’re already counting down for Season 7. Until then, take a look back at the best moments of tonight’s season finale.
(Missed out on last week’s episode, “Battle of the Bastards?” Catch up with our recap.)
1) Loras Tyrell becomes a Sparrow. At the trial before the seven septons, Loras admits his sins, including having sexual relations with other men, but the High Septon shows mercy on him. Loras’s last wish is to dedicate his life to the Faith of the Seven, and it is granted to him. After he is marked on the forehead (in quite a bloody fashion), they move on to Cersei’s trial—but Cersei and Tommen aren’t there.
2) Cersei burns down King’s Landing. Cersei takes a note from The Mad King’s book and sets everything—and everyone—ablaze. As Loras’s trial proceeds, she stays in the Red Keep and makes the Mountain guard Tommen so he doesn’t leave his room. Her “little birds,” her child spies, lend a hand for the next part of her scheme. One child leads Grand Maester Pycelle to Qyburn’s laboratory, where the other children stab him to death on Qyburn’s command. Another leads Lancel Lannister, now a Sparrow, to the tunnels beneath the sept and stabs him before the entire stash of wildfire. Lancel tries to stop the barrels from exploding, but it’s too late. They burst, setting him and everyone in the sept above him—the rest of the Sparrows, Margaery Tyrell (read our exclusive interview with Natalie Dormer here), Loras Tyrell and Mace Tyrell—on fire. As the green fire spreads to the streets of King’s Landing, Cersei sips her wine and smiles.
3) Cersei “shames” Septa Unella. The Queen Mother doesn’t stop there. She also turns the tables on Septa Unella, the nun who yelled “Shame!” during her atonement walk and tortured her in prison. She has her strapped to a table, wakes her up by pouring wine on her face and lectures her about doing bad things “because it feels good.” Unella thinks she’s going to die now, but Cersei assures her she won’t. She then sends Ser Gregor Clegane into the chamber to torture her. Gregor removes his helmet before entering, but we can barely see what his face looks like. As Unella screams, Cersei closes the door on the them and yells out, “Shame,” bringing things full circle.
4) Tommen kills himself. Looking out at the burning city, Tommen removes his crown in defeat. He steps out of the shot for a second and then returns, heading straight for the window. He climbs on it and jumps off.
5) Jaime challenges Walder Frey. The Freys hold a feast with the Lannister army to celebrate their victory at Riverrun, but Jaime isn’t so cheerful. When Frey approaches him to talk about their win, Jaime asks him if he’s ever really fought a battle in his youth. Frey avoids the question, saying he emerged victorious in the end and even compares himself to Jaime, calling them both “Kingslayers” because Lannister killed Aerys and he killed Robb Stark. But Jaime asks another question: if the Lannisters always have to help out whenever the Freys lose possession of Riverrun, do the Lannisters even need them?
6) Sam Tarly, Gilly and Little Sam arrive at the Citadel. The trio finally arrives at their destination to help make Sam become a maester. It’ll take a while for him to reach official status, but in the meantime, he’s allowed access to gigantic library. He’s never looked happier.
7) Davos exposes Melisandre and Jon sends her south. Ser Davos storms into the Winterfell dining hall and throws Princess Shireen’s deer figurine at Melisandre, who is standing in there with Jon Snow. He forces her to admit what she did to Jon—that she burned Shireen at the stake to better the chances of Stannis’s army. “I was wrong,” she told them. She pleads with Jon to keep her around because she can help him win the war against the White Walkers, but he is appalled. He tells her to ride south and never come back, or else he’ll have her hanged. Davos promises that if she ever returns, he’ll execute her himself.
8) Winter is
coming here. Sansa informs Jon that a white raven arrived from the Citadel. “Winter is here,” she tells him. Jon replies with a laugh, “Father always promised, didn’t he?” (The Stark motto, “Winter is coming,” was a catchphrase of Ned Stark’s.) He also thanks her for saving the Stark army by calling the Arryn forces, and Sansa apologizes for not telling him about them earlier. They promise to have each other’s back now that a bigger war is ahead.
9) A Tyrell-Sand pact is made in Dorne. Ellaria Sand and the Sand snakes return for the first time since Episode 1. This time they are joined by Olenna Tyrell, Margaery’s grandmother, who wants to team up against the Lannisters. Cersei Lannister declared war on the Tyrells and on Dorne, so they might as well team up to get revenge, Ellaria says. The Dornish matriarch offers Tyrell vengeance and justice, and Lord Varys, who makes a surprise appearance, promises “fire and blood.” Is he going to get them to side with Daenerys?
10) Daenerys and Daario break up. Daario is eager to join Daenerys on her big sail to Westeros but she commands him to stay and rule to keep the peace in Meereen. He refuses, but she tells him she can’t bring him if she wants to go about conquering and making alliances, especially if those alliances require marriages. Daario is stubborn, though, and offers to be with her even while she marries noble men. Ultimately, they agree to go their separate ways.
Side note: Daenerys has renamed Slaver’s Bay to Bay of Dragons.
11) Daenerys makes Tyrion the Hand of the Queen. After her awkward breakup with Daario, Tyrion consoles her in the throne room—or at least he tries to. He tells her he believes in her, and she tells him she needs his council. She gives him a present—a hand-shaped pin, the same kind worn by the Hand of the King (we saw Ned Stark wearing this in Season 1 when he served Robert). She offers him the position of Hand of the Queen, and he dutifully bows.
12) Arya Stark kills Walder Frey. Just when you thought her storyline was over for the season, Arya returns, ending on a killer note. Walder Frey is alone eating cake in his banquet hall and asks a servant girl where his sons are. She tells him they’re already here and points to the cake. He lifts the top layer, finds guts inside and starts to gag. The servant girl teases that they were difficult to carve. She removes her mask, revealing that she’s Arya Stark and slits his throat.
13) Littlefinger wants Sansa to compete with Jon. Petyr Baelish finds Sansa in the woods outside Winterfell and tells her what he wants: to sit on the Iron Throne with her at his side. He leans in for the kiss, but Sansa rejects him, pushes him back and walks away. As she leaves, he tempts her, hinting that the people of the North will be more willing to support her as Queen, a real Stark, rather than Jon, a bastard born in the south.
14) Lyanna Stark IS Jon Snow’s mom. After Benjen Stark leaves Meera and Bran, Bran time travels again—he is the Three Eyed Raven now, after all. He returns to the Tower of Joy scene, but this time, he follows a young Ned Stark up to the tower. They find Lyanna Stark there, covered in blood and dying in her bed. Ned, in tears, holds her, and she whispers something in his ear. Bran tries to listen, but he doesn’t know what she’s saying. The end of her plead is discernible though: “You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned. Promise me,” she tells him. Then a baby cries from behind and a maid puts Lyanna’s infant into Ned’s arms. It’s Jon Snow.
It seems the R+L=J theory is true, but it’s still to be confirmed whether Rhegar Targaryen is Jon Snow’s biological father.
15) Jon Snow becomes King of the North. During a gathering of the Northern lords at Winterfell, Lady Lyanna Mormont stands up and pledges her allegiance to Jon as King in the North. Even though he might not have the Stark name, he has Stark blood running in his veins, she says. Lord Manderly follows, calling Jon the White Wolf, and Lord Glover pledges next. Soon the whole room of lords are raising their swords and shouting “King in the North!” hailing Jon. Meanwhile, Lord Baelish sneaks a look at Sansa.
16) Cersei is crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and Jaime is not happy. Jaime Lannister returns to King’s Landing after his dinner at the Freys and realizes that half the Sept of Baelor is up in smoke. He does not look happy. He arrives just in time to watch Cersei Lannister’s dark coronation and shoots her an angry look. Meanwhile, Cersei finally sits on the Iron Throne.
18) Daenerys, Tyrion, the Greyjoys and the Dothraki sail for Westeros. The final scene of Season 6 shows an enormous fleet of ships carrying Greyjoy and Targaryen flags sailing for Westeros. We see the dragons, the Dothraki and their horses, the Unsullied, Greyworm and Missandei, Theon and Yara Greyjoy, Tyrion and, of course, Khaleesi. She’s coming, and she’s ready to take what’s hers.
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US