It feels like it’s been ages (well, a year technically) since season 6 of Game Of Thrones wrapped up at the end of last summer, and like crack fiends with a serious addiction, we’ve been itching for new action!
Now that they day is finally upon us, this Sunday, we will have the opportunity to begin the next season of the HBO series that has captured our attention for 6 years. So to prepare, let’s recap the most pivotal moments from last season because honestly, a little cram sesh never hurt nobody.
1. Jon Snow lives (Episode 602 “Home”)
Melisandre, priestess from Asshai further proved her and the Lord of Light’s power summoning Lord Snow back from the darkness. He is resurrected in true Lazarus fashion in the second episode, with a sharp and raspy gasp of air. Paler than the snow from his hometown. Rather than start a life with a newfound vigor and lust for living, however, Jon’s resurrection was more melancholy than ever. Devastated and enraged that his actions as Lord Commander got him stabbed in the back (pun intended) and killed, he takes revenge on the mutineers that turned-coat on him. The good news? By technicality, he was able to end his tenure with the Night’s Watch. Not a bad trade-off, if you ask me.
2. Stark Reunion ( Episode 604 “Book of the Stranger”)
The Stark family diaspora has been a cornerstone of Game of Thrones, ever since series’ second episode sent the family far and wide from eachother. Season six began the arduous process of bringing those pieces back together, beginning with the tearful reunion between Jon Snow and Sansa Stark, never particularly close with one another as adolescents, but suddenly partners in crime in the face of so much trauma and tragedy.
3. Children of the Children ( Episode 605 “The Door”)
I’m sure you, like everyone else who’s watched this wonderful series has wondered “where the hell do the White Walkers come from?” Well, season 6 did us one better and answered that question for us. The Children of the Forest (tiny humanoid creatures that lived in Westeros before the arrival of the first men) turned humans into ice monsters thousands of years ago, in a last ditch effort to stop the new invaders from destroying their homeland. The reveal adds new shades of gray both to the Children and the Walkers themselves, demonstration that few people in Game of Thrones can be defined under simple terms.
4. Hold the Door (Episode 605 “The Door”)
Officially the saddest and most perturbing moments in the series, we find out how the lovable giant Hodor earned his name. Thanks to Bran (A.K.A Captain F-UP) the present-day bodies are in a cave being attacked by an army of wights. Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven explored his ability to travel back in time and witness events of the past — and influence those events as well. The most prominent example marked the season’s turning point, as Bran unintenionally created a feedback loop connecting Hodor’s past self with his present self, effectively naming and killing the one-worded giant in the process. It was a grim and cold ending to one of the warmest-hearted heroes on the show and an omen that Thrones is firmly moving toward its end game.
5. Battle of the Bastards (Episode 609 “Battle of the Bastards”)
The most important if not best battle in the history of the show earned it’s stripes royally. In a fight scene that rivaled the famous Blackwater bay massacre, this epic beyond-proportions military production pulled out all the stops. Back at Winterfell, you as a fan were probably at the edge of your seat in the uncertainty of the fate of Jon Snow and his comrades. I felt that our favorite hero, Jon Snow was mince meat. Toast. If it wasn’t the stampede of Stallions you figure he’s going to get trampled by, then it was most certainly the infinite volley of arrows he was showered with. However, thanks to Sansa (and a little help from Little Finger and the Knights of the Vale) our now hardened and sardonic Stark, the whole of the Stark cavalry makes it out alive.
Jon (and co.) busts down Winterfell’s ancient gates and proceeds to pummel Ramsay in a way we never thought we’d see from our brooding and melancholy hero. After-which the most beautiful sight is seen: the Stark banner, finally falling from Winterfell’s walls. Sweet retribution, 6 years in the making. I know I wasn’t the only one to do the ugly cry.
Down side? Rickon kicks the bucket as does Wun Wun, the loyal giant. Can’t have it all I guess.
6. Ramsay’s Demise (Episode 609 “Battle of the Bastards”)
This. The scene that made everyone question: “Am I really a dog person?” You give them a place to sleep, maybe feed them a prisoner every few weeks, and the one time you’re tied up and bleeding to death, they chew your face off. But, on a serious note, this episode featured what may be the most cathartic death in Game of Thrones history. Calling someone “the worst” is cliché, but for Ramsay Bolton, it’s safe to make a one time exception. This was a murder three years coming, and I reckon that there was nothing the show could have done to him that would make us sympathize with his end. The gruesome death made up for all the twisted, gratuitous, and manipulative scenes of forced nonconsensual sex, torture and maiming that the show deployed to make us loathe him to begin with. Even better was that his fate was administered by none other than his used and abused wife, Lady Stark herself. A true player in the Game of thrones now, Sansa followed the rules to a T.
She won, he died
7. BURN THEM ALL! (Episode 610 “Winds of Winter”)
The opening sequence of the Season 6 finale felt like its own cinematic even. The music composed by Ramin Djawadi (an understudy to the great Hans Zimmner) was unlike any score the show had featured, and it set the pace for what would be one of the most ruinous and catastrophic moments in “GoT” history.
Using the wildfire stored under the city left by the Mad King, Cersei annihilates the Great Sept of Baelor, with Margaery, Loras, the High Sparrow and half of King’s Landing inside. As she overlooks her deadly handiwork, she knows her and Qyburn’s revenge is complete. But what she doesn’t realize is her son Tommen is absolutely devastated by the explosion, and decides to make the term “Kings Landing” quite literal. He takes his own life by falling from the palace tower.
This leaves no monarch in King’s Landing, leaving Cersei to be named Queen. (And from the look on his face, Jaime her lover/brother didn’t cosign.)
8. Arya’s Revenge (Episode 610 “Winds of Winter”)
Revenge is a dish best served hot (with a nice crust topping). Such was our discovery when Arya put her training at the House of Black and White to exceptional use, feeding Walder Frey his butchered sons as a pie-based treats, then taking her time slashing his throat like his minions did her mother.
“My name is Arya Stark,” she whispers while grasping him in a formidable head-lock. “The last thing you are ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.” And just like that, Walder’s perfidy at the Red Wedding was avenged.
The scene was perfect in its gruesomeness and just as satisfying. Arya’s storyline is at last back, influencing the plot in a meaningful way.
9. R+L=J Confirmed (Episode 610 “Winds of Winter”)
The mystery that’s been haunting book readers as well as show watchers for years was finally revealed. Jon Snow’s true parentage is finally confirmed as Bran watches his father, Eddard Stark, find his aunt Lyanna in the Tower of Joy after she has given birth to his cousin/half-brother, Jon.
Lyanna—weak, bloody and with her life slipping away from her, implores Ned to swear to take care of her baby, since Jon is in fact her son with Rhaegar Targaryen the crown prince of Westeros (at the time). This is why Ned lies to Catelyn, claiming Jon is his bastard son ― to protect Jon from his enemies. One enemy in particular, Ned’s closest friend and Lynna’s betrothed, Robert Baratheon. One can’t help but feel a surge of sadness but overwhelming respect for Ned, putting his family first to protect them even at the cost of his honor.
10. Dany sails back to Westeros to claim her birthright. (Episode 610 “Winds of Winter”)
After burning them all in Slavers Bay, promptly renamed the Bay of Dragons, Dany is FINALLY returning to Westeros to take back the Iron Throne. With her advisor, closest confidant and newly named ‘Hand of the Queen’, Tyrion at her side she leaves Mereen in the care of her friend-zoned ex-lover, Daario Naharis.
Accompanying her come a lot of people who have their own agenda’s against the Lannisters, who now hold the power: the Iron Born Greyjoys, the Dornish Martells, the Highgarden Tyrells, Master of whispers, Varys, Grey Worm, Missandei and Tyrion Lannister himself. (Did I forget to mention Dragons?)
This should be an epic season filled with murder, intrigue, and war at sub-arctic temperatures.
Winter is here.
Be sure to check out the trailer for this season above!