Game of Thrones Review by John Keegan

Game of Thrones 6.10: The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones 6.10: The Winds of Winter

Written By:
David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Directed By:
Miguel Sapochnik

In seasons past, the final episode would be a chance to reflect on the major happenings of the penultimate installment and set things in motion for the future.  While that was still true in some respects, the shifting tone of the series towards more and more resolution meant that huge events still took place.  This was easily one of the most momentous episodes of the series as a result.  The third and final act is well underway.

 


 

King’s Landing: It’s been evident for ages that the High Sparrow and his Faith Militant would need to be eliminated sooner or later, and all those hints about wildfire below King’s Landing pointed to the events at the start of the finale.  There’s a certain amount of irony in Cersei’s gambit.  After all, Jamie felt justified in killing the Mad King for wanting to do what Cersei just did.  So will he continue to support Cersei in the future, or is this finally a reason for him to make the final turn towards redemption?

 

Even with Queen Cersei on the throne at the moment, it can be said that her plan has effectively led to the final nail in the coffins of a few Houses.  Tommen was technically declared a Baratheon king, but now that he’s dead, that House is effectively gone.  A huge chunk of House Tyrell went up in flames.  The Lannisters are down to Jamie and Cersei, and with Kevan Lannister gone, one can argue that Casterly Rock is looking awfully exposed these days.

 


 

The Lannisters are not the Targaryens, so the idea that Jamie could be Cersei’s consort and produce her an heir seems highly unlikely, especially when there is very little chance that the Lannister queen will have time to even think about such things.  The impression is that the center of Westeros is now exposed and weak, despite someone like Cersei solidifying her power.  She has always been the primary antagonist, after all.

 

The King in the North: After so much time hinting at something that was increasingly obvious, we finally have most of the story about Jon Snow’s parentage.  Does it matter that we didn’t hear Lyanna’s whisper about being in love with Rhaegar Targaryen and running away with him instead of being kidnapped?  Not really.  Jon’s true parentage means that he is a Stark, and more to the point of future plot progression, he’s also a Targaryen.  He’s fire and ice in one package.  As speculated, Ned took Jon as his own son to protect him from those running around killing Targaryens.

                                                                                                                                       


 

What wasn’t obvious was the notion that Jon would be declared King in the North.  It makes a certain amount of sense, and drives a conflict between himself and Littlefinger with Sansa in the middle, but at this point in the narrative, Sansa was the one best positioned to unify the North.  And she didn’t really say very much in support of Jon when Lady Mormont threw down the gauntlet and shamed the other Houses into backing him. 

 

Would Sansa ally with Littlefinger against Jon?  I doubt it.  Instead, I think she’ll string Petyr along for a while, making him believe that she’s on his side, until the time is right to gut him like a fish and take control of the Houses he currently influences.  But with Sansa being Littlefinger’s acolyte, she’s gotten very good about playing that same game, and it’s likely she’ll ensure her own interests are served before all is said and done.

 


 

Arya Stark: Another development that wasn’t hard to predict, though the manner of her vengeance was rather spectacular.  Walder Frey has been on Arya’s list for a while, and as soon as that waitress hit the screen during the dinner scene, it was clear who she really was.  Feeding him his own family members before slitting his throat, after listening to him crow about being so in charge, was perfect.

 

It’s worth noting that Arya is assumed dead, or at least nowhere to be found.  That may not last forever, but for the moment, it gives her a tremendous advantage on top of the abilities of the Faceless Men.  While Walder Frey was awfully pompous and unable to consider the possibility that someone could sneak past his defenses, others will not be so vulnerable.  Even so, Arya is a weapon and a potent one at that.  And since Littlefinger is on her list, I could see her resolving that problem if he starts causing too much strife in Winterfell.

 


 

The larger implication is that all the major threats to the Starks in the North, besides the White Walkers, are out of the picture.  The Boltons are done, The Freys are done, and the Greyjoys have allied with Dany on the condition they stop raiding altogether.  Essentially everything north of King’s Landing is open season for Jon Snow, King in the North.  Queen Cersei effectively rules the midlands, perhaps reaching down into Baratheon territory, if she can still claim that as hers by marriage to Robert.

 

Daenerys: Having taken control of a huge chunk of Essos between the Dothraki and the cities around the Bay of the Queen, Dany has set sail for Westeros with a huge fleet and army.  Oh, and as predicted, Varys secured Dorne for the Targaryens.  House Tyrell is a bonus, but it’s worth noting that Houses Tyrell and Martell are essentially done.  Essentially, the south of Westeros is aligned with Dany.  If she and Jon could possibly get on the same page, they’ve got Cersei surrounded.

 


 

Meanwhile, it makes sense that Tyrion would finally be named the Hand of the Queen, something that has been a long time coming.  And if he is indeed secretly the “third Targaryen”, then he could very well be instrumental in handling the diplomacy between Jon and Dany.  That it would be Tyrion finding his true family is perhaps a bonus, especially if the only Lannister that ever treated him well (Jamie) chose to join their side against Cersei.  It’s all coming together exactly when it needed to do so.


Our Grade:
A+
The Good:
  • Launching out of the previous episode, this finale changes everything
  • This completes what has been a very pro-woman season for the series
The Bad:
  • It’s gonna be a very long wait for Season 7

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Game of Thrones by - 6/28/2016 1:13 PM308 views

Your Responses

Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
CONCURRING OPINION

Grade: A+
One of the best season finales in a long time. Even without a huge battle as the centerpiece, it really blows most penultimate episodes of the series out of the water. Can't wait to see what happens next!

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