After perhaps the most hard hitting finale in Game of Thrones yet, Season 6 has just ended with the ‘Winds of Winter’ being felt across Westeros. The pieces on the board for the great game have been moving slowly to this point for six seasons and this finale certainly not only set the playing field for the next season. Secrets were finally revealed, shocks were had, so it is a good time to pause and soak in everything we have seen with help from the behind the scenes videos taking a look at the finale from the cast, crew and creators. May Season 7 arrive before another white raven!
This finale for me is quite simply the closest to perfect a final episode has been in Game of Thrones. All the story threads and character arcs all came together just as the final show stopping number of a West End musical. From the moment the sound of the bells first chimed in the opening moments to the incredible mind blowing big moments that changed the entire scope of Westeros and the ‘Great Game’ as Tyrion called it. To see Cersi Lanister take the Iron Throne for herself as Queen following a season where everything was taken away from her bit by bit was simply Shakespearean. We finally learned the truth behind who was the mother of Jon Snow and it was revealed to be what many fans of the novels and the TV show has speculated, that he is not the son of Ned Stark but actually his nephew, and that Jon is really the son of Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister and Rhaegar Targaryen, the older brother of Daenarys.
That alone is a staggeringly huge reveal, something not declared in the books and only hinted at in the TV show. But this is only known right now to the audience and to Bran, who finally taking his role as The Three Eyed Raven, completed his look back through time to when Ned was young. For Jon, well he started Season 6 dead, and ended the season being declared King of the North by the houses allied to House Stark as Sansa, clearly smarting from her lack of acknowledgement by the houses for her part in defeating the Boltons, casts a look to Littlefinger that perhaps shows rumblings for season 7.
With Bran accepting his role, Jon’s parentage revealed and ascension to as King of the North as Sansa looks more to be leaning towards Littlefinger’s influence, this finale was not yet finished with the Stark family. Arya Stark has not been seen since she fled wounded from temple of the Many Faced God. To see the arrogance of Walder Frey again celebrating a victory not earned by himself was perhaps a sign of things to come, he was top of Arya’s death list and as Maisie says in her above video, the only one a returning but out of touch with the lay of the land Arya, would be in a place she knew he would be. This shows perhaps the darkest side to Arya we have seen yet, a fully empowered assassin thanks to her training this season and is now on her mission. Will Season 7 see the Stark children reunite is possible the most enduring thing from this finale.
Daenarys has finally set sail for Westeros with her navy fleet of ships full of Doothraki, Unsullied and her three dragons. It has indeed been building since the very pilot episode and to see the season ending with her at the head of her ship and armies was a statement for fans and for Westeros. Season 6 was the first full season to not be based on the novels as George R.R Martin has yet to complete his sixth novel in the series and with so much happening in the TV show, I am curious to see how that now follows this.
It will be a painful wait for season 7, but then I know it will be worth it.