Game of Thrones Recap: The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones Recap: The Winds of Winter

This episode was fan. freaking. tastic.

Everything, from the music to the editing, I loved it all. I’m in the tank for this episode.

Let’s discuss.

King’s Landing: There had been a lot of foreshadowing over the past few weeks about the wildfyre. Bran saw it in one of his visions. Qyburn  sent his child army out to find out about a thing for Cersei. It was fairly obvious that wildfyre was going play a part in the finale. But the way it was handled, the way the whole sequence was handled, was genius-level stuff. So tense. So gorgeous. So terrifying.

It’s the day of Cersei and Loras’s trial. Loras is in the sept and ready to pledge fealty to the High Sparrow. His minions carve a seven-pointed star onto his forehead, even thought the High Sparrow had promised Margaery that Loras wouldn’t be harmed. That was the first thing that felt off about the whole situation.

But then, while Loras is kneeling in the sept, we’re also seeing Cersei (presumably) preparing for her trial, and Tommen preparing to see his mother’s punishment handed down. But that’s not what’s happening. Cersei is not in the sept. She is late for her trial, and only Margaery sees this for what it is—a power play. Cersei is plotting something, and everyone needs to get the hell out of the sept. No one listens to her.

Lancel runs off to see what’s what, and he’s lured into an underground tunnel by one of Qyburn’s Qyds. And Grand Maester Pycell is also lured away from a brothel. Qyburn has his child army kill Pycell, while Lancel is stabbed and left for dead. He starts to realize that there’s all this glowing green stuff around him. And then he sees the flames. And then it’s too late. The whole sept is engulfed in flames.

Dead: High Sparrow, Lancel, Loras, Mace Tyrell, and Margaery. Among others.

Cersei is pleased. She has the Shame Septa chained up in a dungeon, and she’s ready to let the Mountain torture her for a LONG TIME. Everything’s coming up Cersei. (Except for the fact that her son is dead of a broken heart and mortal injuries to his body after he jumped out a window. But I think she had to have predicted something like this happening, and I’m guessing she’d made her peace with hit. Tommen had already chosen Margaery over her. Plus the prophecy. He was always going to die before her anyway, so. She'd already lost two kids, what was one more? And now she’s queen. Alone on the Iron Throne.)

But there’s the other part of the prophecy, that after her kids are dead, her brother will kill her. Methinks Jaime is not going to be too keen about Cersei basically driving their last remaining child to suicide. Will the kingslayer make it a two-for and become a queenslayer as well?

The Twins: Let’s hop back and visit where Jaime had spent most of the episode—at dinner with Walder Frey. Jaime busts Walder’s balls a bit about how he’s a shitty lord and the Lannisters are always saving Frey ass. Jaime keeps making eye contact with a cute serving wench, and for a minute I thought he might forget about Cersei and actually hook up someone (Save it for Brienne, Jaime!), but that’s not what happens. We were only meant to notice this girl because she was (!) Arya (!) in a faceless woman mask and she kills Walder Frey after she makes him eat his own sons! Genius. Love it. So much better than all that Waif garbage.

Oldtown: Sam’s there. So are books. Lots of them. And Chekov’s valyrian steel sword. And winter is coming. (Also, the maester/receptionist was so funny and great.)

Dorne: These fuckers again. But it’s okay this time because Lady Olenna Tyrell is there and she’s reading EVERYONE. Her son, his daughter, and his son are dead. Her family tree has been obliterated, and she’s all out of fucks. The Sand Snakes and (surprise-ish!) Varys are ready to offer her revenge, in the way of her helping to bankroll (I’m guessing) Daenerys’s pursuit of the throne. (Because what other power does Lady Tyrell have right now except money?)

Meereen: Positive developments all around. We are leaving Meereen FOREVER, and we’re leaving Daario behind, and Dany basically can’t care less. It’s a beautiful thing. She’s made Tyrion her official hand of the queen (because he’s done such a good job handling Meereen while she was off with the Dothraki? Really? Whatever. I’ll allow it. Political Tyrion is the best Tyrion. I'm sure he'll be better next season when he's back on his own turf.)

She’s ready to head off to the seven kingdoms to…be queen, sure, but also to MEET MEN. Seriously. That sounds like a larger concern of hers than it should be. Especially when Yara Greyjoy is on that boat RIGHT OVER THERE.

Winterfell: Stark banners ahoy! I love seeing the direwolf back on Winterfell in the opening credits.

Sansa apologizes to Jon, and he forgives her really too easily, but whatever. They need to be friends, not foes. They have enough foes.

Davos FINALLY confronts Melisandre about what happened with Shireen’s death, and Mel is sent away. What do we think? Forever? Will we see her in the North again? Will she hook up with someone new? Will Littlefinger head her off and get her to work for him? (Will he find Catelyn’s bones in the riverlands and have Mel resurrect her so he can make skeleton Lady Stoneheart his queen?) And are we cool with our one Lord of Light person leaving because Beric Dondarian (and the Hound) are on their way north to fight the white walkers (and marry Sansa)?

Speaking of Littlefinger, he wants to marry Sansa, but we knew that already. She recoils when he tries to kiss her, which may have been a huge mistake? Was she wrong to cross Littlefinger, or will this just make him try harder? He said everything he does is in service of making Sansa his queen, so what’s his next move? Killing Jon? Trying (again) to convince Sansa she’s the real monarch of the North?

Because, yes, Jon is king. Lyanna Mormont got to play the role of resident badass again, and shamed all the Stark bannermen into fighting for Jon. So he’s the White Wolf. He seems cool with it. Sansa seems cool with it, at first, but then she looks at Littlefinger, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to read Sansa. Either this is terrible character development or brilliant character development. It's a fine line.

Jon, though, do we call him Jon Snow or Jon…something else? Because he’s not Ned Stark’s bastard, it was revealed (finally, OFFICIALLY), he’s Lyanna Stark’s (Ned’s sister, in case you’d forgotten) bastard. And his father is…wow, they didn’t say on the show, so I won’t say it here. But Jon is certainly not Robert Baratheon’s kid, which is who Lyanna appeared to be protecting Jon from when she told Ned to keep her secret. (Which is rich when you think about it. Robert had about thirteen million bastards.)

I’m sad the season is over. I had many problems with many things over the course of the ten episodes, but the show went out with a bang. I can’t wait to see what happens next year (or read what happens if GRRM somehow manages to publish The Winds of Winter before next spring).

What did you think of the episode?

I wrote a book! It's YA novel, THE SOUND OF US. You can find the details right here! Kirkus calls it "a winning story about a teenage voice student that hits all the right notes."

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