The last episode for this season of Game of Thrones, titled ‘Winds of Winter’, exceeded my expectations, and made me emotional and quite frankly left me gasping for air, all throughout. Revenge, revelation, and the most brutal winnowing of the show’s cast since the Red Wedding, all collided into one of the best episodes yet of HBO’s fantasy drama. The sheer quantity of incredible moments have left me reeling. So much happened, so many died, and at least one fan theory was confirmed.
I still cannot think of the episode without feeling a sense of relief, justice and an overwhelming emotion that is purely for House Stark. As forecasted, the season has been incredible for Starks, and they rightfully deserve it after getting constantly ridiculed, abused and undermined.
The episode starts with Kings Landing, wherein the scheduled trials of Loras Tyrell and Cersei Lannister is to take place in the Sept. Things turned dicey when everyone is present in the Sept apart from Cersei and Tommen. This was a clear hint to what was to come, or rather to what will go up the flames. Cersei completes the fan theory of being the Mad Queen, and burns the Sept to ashes, killing not just one but all of her enemies. The Cersei we loved to hate is back and how. The cold brutality of her need to survive, her self-preservation, isn’t so much surprising as it is darkly admirable. The sheer enormity with which she carries of her plan is staggering and quite fearsome.
Surprising and unpredictable events take place in the Twins. Walder Frey is having an apparent bonding conversation with Jamie Lannister, who quickly disses him and aptly places the Lannisters as the House of Importance rather than the Freys. Walder Frey is enjoying his pie, unaware of the fact that his sons are the special recipe ingrained in it. A girl reveals her face, a girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and a girl has taken revenge for her brother and mother. She’s a Stark back for revenge and back for good.
At Winterfell, we see another bonding moment between Sansa and Jon, which soothes our heart and finally settles us into a comforting zone that the Stark have long since deserved. John is the White Wolf, the new King in the North. In the great hall of Winterfell, as the various Houses and knights and wildlings all argue over what to do, the wonderful Lady Mormont cuts through all the bickering and chastises the Lords Manderly and Glover for their shameful refusal to help Jon Snow. Then she tells the onlookers that she doesn’t care if he’s a bastard or not, he’s her King in the North. The moment is emotional and empowering on it’s own. Also, another of Bran’s vision confirms that Jon Snow is also the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targareyn. Finally, the finale confirmed the theory all fans were rooting for. R + L, indeed equals to J.
Changing the name from Slavers’ Bay to Dragon’s Bay, Daenerys has come a long way. Allying herself with the Greyjoys who promised her ships, in return of her support, the Mother of Dragons is in the Games, and as Tyrion Lannister says, the Games are terrifying. Sailing towards Westeros with the Unsullied, the Dothraki, the Hand of the Queen, and of course three majestic dragons, she is all set to claim the right to her throne.
With the help of Varys, who did some unexplainable time travelling, it seems that Daenerys will have more allies than she thought she could. Varys has collaborated with the Queen of Thorns and the Sand Snakes, for what seems to be a collaboration for nothing but revenge.
Lastly, we get a sequence of Cersei taking the Iron Throne for herself, having cleared away all her foes, she glances up and sees a newly returned Jaime staring down at her. It’s this moment, in this brief look between the two, that we see their love die. This is when Jaime will abandon her, and will start to become the good man that lives inside him unshackled from his wicked, ruthless sister.
Will Jamie be the little brother who will bring forth the demise of his beloved sister, hence completing the prophecy? Will he carry forth the legacy of being a Kings’ slayer, by slaying the Queen for all the right reasons?
The next season will have many face offs, the one with the Mad Queen and the Mother of Dragons, the battle of the Greyjoys, and the one with the White Walkers. Will we also witness Jon Snow trying to assert his right over the Iron Throne, since now he’s as certified a Targareyn as Dany is? Furthermore, will we finally see more of Bran and his visions, further fuelling the theory of him being the catalyst?
Many will fight, many will die, but only one will sit on the Iron Throne. And also, winter is here and the dead are certainly coming.