Game of Thrones season 6 finale recap - Arya and Walder Frey

Arya’ Vengeance

Deep down, we all knew they were bringing Walder Frey back for a reason. The storyline about his men losing control of Riverrun was perfectly decent television, but his scenes only reminded of us a few key facts: he’s one of the most despicable people on this show (which is saying something) and he helped pull the strings at the Red Wedding, sealing a pact with House Lannister and killing Robb and Catelyn Stark. And when Jaime Lannister gave him a good dressing down at their victory banquet for re-taking Riverrun, that seemed like the end of it. Walter Frey deserves more than a dressing down from the Kingslayer, but hey, sometimes you have to take the table scraps you are tossed.

Then it happens. A mysterious woman brings Walder a pie made from pieces of his two now-dead sons. That mysterious woman turns out to by Arya Stark, back in Westeros and using the abilities she learned from the House of Black and White to finally take down everyone who has harmed her family. She makes sure Walder knows exactly who she is before she cuts his throat, and she very much enjoys the kill. Arya reclaimed her name and her mission, but she’s as ruthless and icy as the coming winter. This is not the Arya Stark we once knew (it should be reiterated that she murdered two men and fed them to their father), but it’s hard to ignore that Walder played a vital role in creating the monster that slashed his throat. Every Stark death meant another piece of a Arya’s soul crumbling into dust. Men like Walder Frey broke Arya Stark, but she learned how to reassemble herself as a weapon of absolute vengeance.

Game of Thrones season 6 finale recap - Melisandre and Jon

Littlefinger’s Goals Come Into Focus

We’ve known for a long, long time that Petyr Baelish will only settle for one thing: complete control. And Sansa has known for long enough that her savior and betrayer will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. No alliance is unbreakable. No back is un-stabbable. Jon Snow may be surprisingly understanding that she didn’t inform him about a potential ally in the Vale, but he’s blinded by the victory. He doesn’t know what Sansa knows about their powerful new friend.

And then Littlefinger spilled his guts to Sansa. He’s blunt about the endgame. He sees himself on the Iron Throne and he sees her ruling alongside him. Of course, we understand what’s unspoken here. If he can’t have Catelyn Stark, he’ll just have to settle for her daughter…and all of the Seven Kingdoms, just to teach everyone a lesson.

Of course, Sansa turns down his advances. Maybe, once upon a time, she would have considered it. But season six has tracked the new Lady of Winterfell as she transformed from a victim into a leader in control of her own destiny. She realizes what Sansa of season four, who willingly embraced a partnership with Littlefinger, could not know: this charming smooth talker, with his grand plans and big promises, is an abuser and an emotional manipulator. Sansa rebuffing him, albeit with more politeness than he deserves, is a genuine act of courage. The fact that she doesn’t want to lead, but knows that she must, already makes her a more competent and able leader than the man who is more than content to burn Westeros down so he can rule the ashes. Only those who understand sacrifice are fit to lead and Littlefinger has never willingly given up a damn thing.

Game of Thrones season 6 finale recap - Olenna Tyrell in Dorne

A Tyrell Lady in Dornish Court

What happens when you drop Game of Thrones‘ most delightful character into the middle of its all-time worst subplot? You get Lady Olenna Tyrell visiting the Dornish court, dressed entirely in black to mourn the death of her entire family. However, the fiery demises of her son, granddaughter and grandson haven’t dulled her wit and she treats the Sand Snakes with all of her usual venom. Watching Westeros’ wittiest woman brutally take down the three most irritating characters on Game of Thrones with a few cutting phrases is a fine apology from the show’s writers. If you must bring Dorne back into the fray, this is how you do it.

However, the scene exists for reasons beyond verbally slapping around a few annoying characters. Ellaria Sand, who took control of the kingdom after assassinating Doran Martell in the season premiere, sees in Olenna a potential ally, the leader of a great house who now has every reason to devote every fiber of her being to destroying the Lannister grip on King’s Landing. Revenge is the great uniter. This seems like a promising alliance before Varys steps out of the shadows and the bigger picture takes shape – House Tyrell and House Martell may very well be the first families to declare support for a certain invader with an infamous last name and a trio of fire breathing dragons. Could Cersei Lannister, even with full control of King’s Landing, repel a Targaryen/Tyrell/Martell alliance? The Queen’s swift and decisive victory may have wiped out all of her enemies in King’s Landing, but it has created something far more powerful in the south, something that will surely want to march on her gates in the very near future.

Game of Thrones season 6 finale recap - baby Jon Snow

Jon Snow’s True Parentage

After teasing us with it earlier this season, Game of Thrones finally went ahead and confirmed one of the most popular fan theories of all time. Yes, Jon Snow is not the bastard son of Ned Stark, but actually the son of Lyanna Stark and her abductor, Rhaegar Targaryen. As we hear a dying Lyanna explain to Ned her final moments, his identity must be protected – a vengeful Robert Baratheon would never allow a Targaryen child, even one who is half-Stark, to live. That means that the man everyone has been spitting on since the pilot, the man whose unlikely rise to a role of leadership in a reformed North, has the blood of two very different, very respected great houses floating through his veins.

The big problem here is that the only living person who knows the truth is Bran Stark and he only knows it because he can travel backwards in time through magical trees, which isn’t the kind of thing you tell people if you want to be taken seriously. How Bran will bring this information into the public eye, and how everyone will react to it, should prove fascinating. Now that we know this to be true after literally years of wondering, we can start pondering the actual fallout.

Let’s start with one question to consider: will Daenerys see her long-lost family member in the North as a potential ally…or a threat to her claim on the Iron Throne?

Continue Reading ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6 Finale Recap >>

Cool Posts From Around the Web: