The final season is upon us. In my continued determination to rewatch A Show from episode 1 - 67, I am now at the point where I can recap Season 6. WhiteStumbler provided the optimal format, so I will continue in his tradition. Get a grog of ale. This is a long one with lots of locations.
General Thoughts: Overall, season 6 provided a lot of fan service after all the unexpected killings, torture and rape of some of our favorite characters. Aside from a few notable deaths, and a few gut wrenchers, it was one of the more enjoyable seasons to watch.
We will never know if the High Sparrow was a “pious holy man, or rank fraud.”
Lots of stupid, frustrating scenes. Summer committing dog suicide by jumping into knives comes to mind. Pycelle murdered by 6 children with daggers. Why? Lots of stabbing in general this season come to think of it.
Also, the Hound lives! Tries to live a simple life with some religious folks who ended up killed by some rogue brotherhood without banners men. The Hound tracks them down and kills them.
At The Wall: Season 5 ended with the brutal murder of Jon Snow by his fellow brothers of the night's watch. Notably Ollie and Thorne. His body is discovered by Ser Davos and quickly assembles a team of half a dozen loyalists including Edd. Desperate for help, Davos sends Edd off to find Tormund and the wildling gang to avenge his murder. Davos, in desperation, asks Melissandre if she knows of any spells or witchcraft that could bring him back. We get the reveal that Melissandre is an old, old witch that appears young when wearing her magic bejeweled necklace. This confirms that some god out there has some power. We presume the Lord of Light. Could be anyone really.
Inspired by the brotherhood encounter with the resurrected Thoros of Mir, Meli tries her hardest to bring Jon back and succeeds! Everyone is aghast, including Meli. She declares Jon Snow her new, one-true king. While many of the night's watch and wildlings view Jon as some sort of god, Tormund isn't convinced since a god wouldn't have "a pecker that small."
As Jon's last act, he hangs all the men who murdered him. Thorne admits that given the chance, he'd do the same thing over. Ollie just glares and says nothing. Jon passes off his cloak and sword to Edd and declares that his watch is ended. He stays just long enough for Sansa and Brienne to show up and have the long awaited Stark Sibling reunion we've been waiting 5 seasons for. After getting a threatening letter from Ramsay, Sansa convinces Jon to assemble an army and take back Winterfell. Jon passes of Lord Commander to Edd (guess no election this time?) and we don't see the wall again until... See "North of the Wall" section.
At Kings Landing: Cersei hears word that a boat is in the harbor. "Mycella" she says with a sigh of relief. Jamie brings Cersei a coffined Mycella with a golden shroud over the top. Just like the prophecy. Jamie swears to Cersei that they will get their revenge. Because Cersei is awaiting trial, she is not allowed to attend Mycella's funeral. Jamie threatens the High Sparrow to no avail and tells Tommen to visit his mother. Tommen goes to Cersei and apologizes for not saving her from being imprisoned or her walk of atonement. In a bit of foreshadowing, Tommen says that he should have protected Maergary and his mother. That Cersei would have pulled down the roof of the Sept on all of them if roles were reversed.
Tommen tries and fails to out maneuver the High Sparrow. Jamie and Cersei try to force their way back into political favor on the small council. She warns the council and Lady Olenna that Maergary will soon make her walk of atonement. They devise a plan to let the Tyrell army into KL to rescue her and slaughter the sparrows. This plot ultimately fails because Maergary saved herself by bringing Tommen into the “Light of the Seven.” The High Sparrow now has a hold on the crown.
The High Sparrow makes it clear to Maergary that Olenna is next on his hit list. Maergary gives her grandmother a secret rose note while telling her to go home and save herself. Olenna obliges and gets out of dodge. Jamie is removed from the King’s Guard and told to lead the troops to recapture Riverrun.
Tommen, under the council of the HS of course, decides to outlaw the barbarak practice of trial by combat. That was Cersei’s ace in the hole since she has the Mountain. Qyburn confirms to her that the “rumors are true” and then some.
Loras’s trial goes through its paces. He confesses to all the sins. He renounces his titles, house, and connections to join the faith militant and get the mark cut into his head. Now, it’s Cersei’s turn. Where is she? Not here. She’s still at the red keep. The Mountainstein is keeping Tommen in his room. The Sept is blown up in Wildfire. RIP Maergary, Loras, Kevan Lannister, Lancel, HS, Father Tyrell, and hundreds of other people. Tommen, upon receiving word that all the previous people were dead, including his beloved wife, kills himself by falling out of the window of the high tower.
With Tommen’s death, Cersei assumes the throne because… reasons? I guess there’s no one around to say yes or no anymore. Jamie arrives home to see her crowned. No one looks especially happy about any of this.
In Dorne: After making peace as sloppily as possible, to no one's surprise Elaria killed prince Doran early in the season as soon as he receives word that Mycella was poisoned. Trystane, meanwhile, is living on the boat he rode to KL on (why?) which was boarded by two of the Sand Snake girls. He's killed by a spear through the head. Good knowing ya, I guess. We don't see them again (yay!) until the very end of the season when a mourning Lady Olenna and Varys make a deal with Elaria to fight for Dany's claim. Mainly because they both desperately want to kill Lannisters.
In Meereen: When we left our eastern compadres, Tyrion, Varys, Messandi, and Grey Worm were left in charge of the city. Tyrion goes to unclip the dragons, but kept them in the catacombs. The ships in the harbor were burned by the Sons of the Harpy and financed by masters of Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis. Can’t have a free city doing well. Bad for the slavery business. Tyrion brings in the masters of Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis to strike a deal for peace. They are given 7-years to rid the cities of slaves. Tyrion employs the sermoning Red Women a la Melissandre to speak in favor of the dragon queen. Varys leaves to barter an alliance with Dorne. Peace almost works for a brief moment. Until the city is attacked by the slave cities.
Daario and Jorah are on the hunt to find Dany. They find her ring and that leads them to the Dothraki sacred city that holds Dany. Specifically, widows of Khals are meant to stay in Vars Dothrak. She of course did not, so needs to be reviewed to see if she’ll be accepted, killed, or something else. She calls the Khal and his men “small” in mind and ambition. Says she should rule. They laugh in her face and threaten to rape her. So she burns the whole hut down. Another naked fire lady montage which always works to gain her new followers. She should employ the tactic more often.
Jorah reveals his greyscale. Everyone in this world seems to know what greyscale is. Even Gilly. Must not be a regionally affected disease. Dany commands Jorah to leave and find a cure, because she wants to rule Westeros with Jorah at her side. She gathers up her Dothraki and Drogon and head home.
Dany arrives during the siege on the city. The groups meet. Dany asks them to surrender, which seems ridiculous since by all objective accounts they are losing. Dany unleashes Drogon with excite the other two into breaking free from the catacombs they were kept in. They lay waste to one particular ship. Dothraki kill all the Sons of the Harpy on the beach. Tyrion says thank you, our queen does love ships, implying that they will steal the armada. They say as punishment, one of the masters must die to send a message. While the one shoved to the front was kneeling, begging for his life, Grey Worm quickly slashed the throats of the two standing behind him. Very clever.
Now, Dany has ships. Alliances with Yara/Theon, Dorne, Tyrells are fixed. She leaves Daario behind and claimed she felt nothing when she cast him aside. Cold-hearted dragon lady! She’s officially on ships headed to Westeros. Huzzah!
In the North: Sansa and Theon are on the run. Ramsay has an "almost" sweet moment while he mourned Miranda's death. The almost is because he offers her as meat for the hounds in lieu of a proper burial. Ramsay sends his best men and hounds after Sansa and Theon. Here's a big, gaping plot hole. He sent 4 men with 2-3 dogs. Really? That's it? That's not enough, but without the lack of men after them, Brienne and Pod wouldn't have overtaken them. But they did and Brienne once again swore to protect Sansa to fulfill her oath to Catelyn. Theon asks Sansa if he can return to the Iron Islands. Sansa complies after thanking him for saving her life. From there, Sansa, Brienne and Pod meet up with Jon Snow at the Wall before deciding to assemble an army and march on Winterfell.
Meanwhile, Ramsay's father, Roose, chastises Ramsay for using Sansa as one of his playthings. Roose's wife gives birth to a son. Ramsay, upon hearing the news, immediately stabs his father and sends for his stepmother and baby brother. In a horrific act that still stings to watch, he feeds them both to his hounds. With no more father or rivals, Ramsay declares himself Lord of Winterfell. All houses are beckoned to pledge their allegiance to Ramsay. The Umbers decided to kick it up a notch. They say bowing means nothing. Vows mean nothing. Instead, they brought Rickon and Osha as a present. Poor ShaggyDog's head was on display as proof of Stark-hood. Umber says this is because Jon Snow let wildlings south of the wall. Also, Ramsay kills Osha while eating an apple.
Littlefinger meets in the Vale and manipulates Robin into moving forces against the Boltons to avenge Sansa. Sansa and LF have a secret rendezvous with Brienne on guard. Sansa confronts LF on his knowledge of Ramsay’s proclivity for violence. She refuses his apology and refuses his troops… at least initially.
The hunt for houses to support the fight included many failures. Only smaller houses were showing their loyalty. We get introduced to the lovely Lyanna Mormont. Davos once again proves his worth by wrapping her into the fold.
With the few troops they have, Snow/Sansa/Davos/Tormund meet Ramsay to discuss the upcoming Battle of the Bastards! The battle starts by playing shoot the Stark. ZigZag you dumb Rickon dolt. ZIGZAG!! Ramsay arrows him through the heart just before the reunion with Jon. Whomp whomp. Jon charges in anger and quickly the whole group gets surrounded. When all seemed lost, Jon almost suffocates to death under all the bodies, then the Knights of the Vale arrive to save the day! Sansa keeps this from Jon for… reasons? While storming Winterfell, Wun Wun is shot with enough arrows to kill him, but not before breaking down the door. Jon beats the crap out of Ramsay’s face. The Bolton banners drop and for the first time since Season 2, Stark banners fly once again at Winterfell. Later, Sansa kills Ramsay by releasing his own starving hounds on him. Poetic justice.
This episode is so well made. Even knowing how it turns out, it’s shot and flowed so perfectly. One of the best episodes of the series.
They quickly disposed of all the piles of fallen soldiers with time? Magic? Hard work from the surviving men? Who knows. LF approaches Sansa with a “lovely picture.” Him on the throne with Sansa at his side. When she stops his advances and walks away, he throws out a suggestion that she should rule the north, not a bastard. Insinuating that he doesn’t have the name, but the people will give it to him because man > woman in GoT world. Lo and behold, that’s what happens. Jon is declared King of the North. Sansa and LF exchange knowing glances.
In Braavos: Arya is still blind and begging in the streets. A Girl decides to humiliate and beat her more by smacking her multiple times in the face with a stick. I guess this is considered training in the free city of Braavos. For almost half the season, we see her full on blind-training montage. First in the streets until she manages to get off one hit to A Girl. Then J'aqen Hagar brings her back to the house of black and white for more blind-training. We're treated to several minutes of A Girl knocking Arya down, hits to the face, gut punches, you name it. Very tedious to watch. She declared herself “No-one” even with the promise of returning her eyesight if she admitted to being Arya Stark. This seemed sufficiently tortured for the gods, and they gave her eyesight back.
She’s been tasked with killing another on the list, an actress named Lady Crane. After meeting her and growing fond of her, Arya refuses to kill her and is banished from the faceless men. She goes into hiding. J’aqen tells A Girl that she can kill Arya. A Girl and Arya have a few chase scenes around Braavos with lots of stabbing (and still running?) before Arya lures A Girl back into her hiding lair. Arya wicks out the lights makes the room dark. Now, this previously blind girl has the upper hand and successfully kills A Girl. She brings her face back to the house of black and white. J’aqen declares her no one. She declares herself Arya Stark, and she’s going home.
North of the Wall: Bran! Oh, how we've missed you. He was completely absent from Season 5. He is training to become the the three eyed raven. We see his visions. Vision #1) Brandon, Ned, Lyanna, and Benjen as children. We see Hodor as a lad named Willis. And he can talk! A middle-aged Nann scolded Willis for trying to play knight with the Stark children. Said he's a stable boy and to let him be. Vision #2) We see mid-war Ned with Howland Reed meet at the tower where Rhaegar was keeping his sister. Then,l the greatest swordsman who ever lived (who’s name escapes me) was stabbed in the back by Howland. We hear Lyanna scream. Bran calls out to his father who seems to hear him. Vision #3) Next we see the birth of White Walkers. Created by the Children of the Forest as a defense against man. A human man gets dragonstone ceremonially shoved into his chest by the CotF.
Meera is bored of sitting around and watching two guys zoned out and attached to a tree. Can't blame her. Hodor is terrible for conversation and eating nothing but moss would certainly make me irate.
Bran decides that he doesn’t like getting his visions interrupted by the three-eyed raven. He ventures off on his own, and stupidly gets grabbed by the Night King. Somehow, this means their cave sanctuary is no longer protected. They hurry to pack up and leave…. Oh but wait… how about another mission where they’re incapacitated in a trance holding a tree. Sounds like a grand idea! Hodor is freaking out. Meera is screaming for Bran to wake up and warg into Hodor to save them all. Bran wargs Hodor while he’s in his trance and looking at Willis. This causes Willis/Hodor’s mind to seizure and turns a nice, but simple stableboy into “Hold the Door” Hodor. Also, Summer just jumps into a bunch of dagger-holding skeletons for… reasons?
While fleeing, Bran and Meera are rescued by a half-dead Benjen Stark. Horray! He gives them safe passage to the wall and bids them adieu. Bran hunkers down and checks out one more vision. It’s the vision! The one we waited for! Confirming that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna.
In Iron Islands: Here we go again with the Iron Islands. Yes, they’re back! And mildly interesting! Yara is exhausted with Balon’s insistence on this siege of the Westerosi mainlands. Balon encounters his brother Euron on the rickety bridge of death. Surprise, Euron’s decided to kill Balon and take the Iron Islands for himself. After Balon’s death and sweet funeral, Theon makes it home. Yara yells at him. For not going with her when he had the chance and for coming back after the death of their father. She presumed he was there to take the throne from her. He insists that, no, he wants Yara as their leader. He said as much during the King’s Moot. Yara had majority support until Euron showed up. His grand vision included building ships and sailing to Meeren to give Dany his “big cock” and had in marriage. The idiot Iron born love this idea and chose Euron to hold the crown. Yara and Theon flee to join Dany first with about 100 ships.
In East/Central Westeros: Sam and Gilly travel south. First by boat, then by cart. Sam stops at the Tarly household to hopefully have a place for Gilly to stay while he’s learning to be a maester. His mom and sister are very friendly and lovely. His father was as awful as Sam described him. Making comments about his weight and disposition. Of course no one believed Sam killed a WW or a Thenn. In the process, Gilly gives away that she’s a wildling. This sends Lord Tarly into a full on tizzy. He points to the foreshadowing sword of the Tarly house, Heartsbane. One of the few Valyrian steel swords left. In a sweep of courage, Sam takes Gilly and little Sam in the dead of night along with the sword. They end in the Citadel where Sam gets his Belle library scene from Beauty and the Beast.
In the Riverlands: The Blackfish took back Riverrun from the Freys. The Freys are terrible at everything, so Jamie was sent to go reclaim the castle. Brienne was sent to get the Blackfish to meet up with Sansa. He decides against it and chooses to stay in the castle. With some failed parleys and a few direct threats of launching an alive baby over the walls, Edmure relents and walks into the Riverrun and commands the city to stand down and let the Lannister army in. Walder celebrates the win, while Jamie corrects him saying the Lannisters won because of Walder’s inability to hold a single castle. “Why do we need you?” Arya heads over and feeds Walder his sons before slitting his throat.