Game of Thrones Season 6 Review

  • Series Title: Game of Thrones
  • Season: 6
  • Episodes: 10
  • Discs: 4
  • Network:  HBO
  • Cast: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Caster-Waldau, John Bradley, Aidan Gillen, Gwendoline Christie, Jerome Flynn, Julian Glover, Jonathan Pryce, Diana Rigg
  • Format: Widescreen, Color, Blu-Ray, NTSC

Season 5 of Game of Thrones really was The Season Terrible Things happen to all the women. Season 6? The women get their revenge. Revenge has always been a strong theme and a strong motivator in Game of Thrones, but in Season 6 watching many of our favorite women get their sweet revenge is fun. Very fun.

Arya Stark is now a blind beggar on the streets of Bravos. The unnamed girl from the Facemen Men Assassins shows up to attack her, day after day, even through she is blind. She bests the girl once, and returns to the House of Black and White where her sight is restored. But still she cannot kill the actress, and thus she is in trouble. She makes plans to leave Bravos and is stabbed by the Nameless girl. With no one to help her, she turns to the actress who she refused to kill on orders. The actress takes her in and heals her, but the Nameless Girl arrives and kills the actress. Arya runs, but also leads the girl into a cave. She recovers her sword, Needle, and then cuts the only candle that brings light to the cave. We do not see or hear the fight, but we do see that Arya has placed the girl’s face in the hall of faces. She tells her Nameless Assasin friend that she is in no uncertain terms not No One but Arya Stark of Winterfell and she is going home. Arya also kills Walder Frey’s boys, feeds them to Walder Frey in a pie, and then kills him. This after Frey had shown himself to be quite nasty to the Blackfish of the Tullys and to Jaime Lannister.

The season opens with Sansa and Theon alive and running through the woods around Winterfell. They are set upon by Bolton men and rescued by Brienne of Tarth and Podrick. Brienne offers Sansa her service, and this time Sansa accepts. With oaths sworn, Theon decides to leave for the Iron Islands and Sansa, Podrick and Brienne head north. They reach Castle Black and Sansa convinces Jon Snow they need to take back Winterfell. Jon raises an army of Wildlings and men loyal to House Stark – but it doesn’t seem to be enough. The army arrives at a plain before Winterfell, near where Stannis was defeated. Despite Jon’s discussion of strategy with Ser Davos Seaworth, the Red Lady priestess, Sansa, and the new leader of the Wildings – the next day on the battlefield, Jon is provoked in to a massive mistake by the psychopath, Ramsay Snow Bolton. However, just as all seems lost, the Knights of the Vale, led by Petyr Littlefinger Baelish, arrive and the battle is won for House Stark. The Bolton banners fall at Winterfell, the Stark banners are raised, and Sansa and Jon seem to be co-ruling as the lead family of the North. All the Northern families pledge loyalty to the Starks (except some, like the Freys who have already pledged to House Lannister – we have seen what that got them eventually).

It should be noted that not only did Ramsay treat Sansa truly horribly, but he murdered his father, in front of an witness, and ordered that it be said he was, “poisoned by our enemies”. Ramsay also feds his step-mother and baby brother to his dogs. Not only is Ramsay’s army defeated by the Stark troops and the Army of the Vale, and not only is Ramsay humiliated by Jon Snow in single combat, but Sansa – in just about the most just and fitting way possible, destroys Ramsay by feeding him to his own dogs.

Cersei, humilated in the previous season by the High Sparrow, is sent to house arrest in the Red Keep. Margaery, after nearly a year (or more) in the cells of the Sept of Baylor, confesses her sins, but protects her brother. The Lannisters and Tyrells unite an army to attack the Sept and prevent Margery from undergoing the same humiliation as Cersei. But Tommen arrives at the Sept, having made a deal with the High Sparrow. Margaery is released, having simply given lip service to her repentance. She precedes to have the King’s ear, and has him banish trial by combat, which means Cersei will suffer an actual trial by seven septons. Margaery has Loras confess his crimes, being assured he’ll get a deal (he will lose his title and lands, but gain his life, albeit in exile. No doubt Margaery had plans to rescue him from his exile eventually.) But after Loras confesses, and the High Sparrow assures him he will have his deal – everyone notices that Cersei isn’t there. Margaery realises something is horribly wrong. But the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow refuse to let her or anyone else out. Cersai has her “Little Birds” blow up the Sept with wildfire. Tommen commits suicide in sorrow for Margaery. Cersai in the last scene of the season – takes the Iron Throne, becoming Queen Cersai, First of Her Name.

Daenerys, is captured by the Dothraki, and taken to the compound that is home to the widows of Khals. She rallies the women, and when the Khals convene to decide her fate, insulting and sexually humiliating her in the process, she grabs the burning braziers in the hut of the khal leaders. Grabbing the burning hot metal in her bare hands, she thrusts them down – and the hut burns. Daenerys emerges unburnt and unharmed from the hut. After this display, the Dothraki follow her. As the trek back to Meereen is long, Daenerys goes ahead, alone, and returns astride her dragon, Drogon. She gives the pep talk of her life, and gets a huge khalasar of fighting troops who agree to cross the Great Salt Sea on Wooden Horses and fight for her. Later, just as the slavers return to attack Meereen, Daenerys defeats the slavers in a display of Dragon Power.

Yara of the Ironborn discovers her uncle killed her father. Theon returns, but declares himself loyal to Yara and supports her claim. Yara makes a claim for the Salt Throne with Theon’s support. She has support but Euron, her uncle, blocks her claim. She, Theon, and as many loyal men they can gather leave and make their way to Essos. In a brilliant piece of diplomacy, Yara and Daenerys make an alliance – Yara will provide the ships and sailors, Daenerys will provide the army. Daenerys will place Yara on the Salt Throne and guarantee the Iron Islands independence. Yara will stop the pirating, raiding, and looting of mainland Westros.

Daenerys names Tyrion Lannister her Hand of the Queen. Tyrion had become a trusted advisor over the last year and a half. Daenerys, Tyrion, Varys – who had gone on a secret mission but returns, Missandei (her translator and aide), and Grey Worm stand on a ship, under the Fire and Blood dragon banner and head for Westros. Yara and Theon join them, under the banner of the Drowned God for the Iron Born.

Varys’ mission was to meet with Ellaria Sand of Dorne and Olenna of House Tyrell to arrange an alliance. We don’t hear the results of his arrangement, but he survived to return to Daenerys and get on a ship that is part of the invasion fleet.

Even Princess Shireen sees some justice, as Ser Davos finds the stag toy he made for her in the remains of a pyre, challenges the Red Woman priestess, and has her banished from Winterfell.

And young Lady Mormont of Bear Island, who committed 62 men to Jon and Sansa’s forces, is the first to declare loyalty to House Stark and is a bit of a badass as well.

So the women, at this point are winning – and an alliance between Daenerys, Yara, Dorne, Tyrell and House Stark would be awesome (and would soundly defeat the Lannisters). Cersei has, at long last, obtained the Iron Throne for herself, but she has possibly made a few enemies along the way (the sept was quite full when it was blown-up).

But the families are losing out and disappearing. House Baratheon is gone: Robert, Renly, Stannis are all dead – as is Stannis’ wife and child. The three “Baratheon’ children (actually the product of the Cersei/Jaime relationship) – Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are all dead. As far as we know, only Jaime and Cersei are left. The Starks aren’t doing that much better. Only Jon, Sansa, and Arya remain. Bran is alive, but the Three-Eyed Raven. Rickon is dead, killed by Ramsay. The Boltons are all dead as well. Arya kills Walder Frey and his boys.

The Land of Westros may well be experiencing the Year of the Woman – if all goes well.

My Review of Season 5 of Game of Thrones.

My Review of Season 4 of Game of Thrones.

I was unable to watch season 7 when it aired on HBO, but I have the Blu-Ray box set so a review will be coming soon.

 

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Game of Thrones Season 4 Review (Spoilers)

  • Game of Thrones
  • Season 4
  • Episodes: 10
  • Discs:  5
  • Network:  HBO
  • Cast: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Caster-Waldau, Iain Glen, Aidan Gillen, Gwendoline Christie
  • Format: Widescreen, Color, DVD, NTSC

Game of Thrones is a series I actually found on DVD – I have never really seen the worth of paying for extra “movie” cable/satellite stations like HBO, Showtime, etc. My cousin had recommended the show to me, as had a few friends. But what convinced me to give the show a try was I happened to be on Twitter on a Sunday night and my feed filled up with all sorts of tweets about Game of Thrones. And this was from people like Marc Guggenheim the executive producer of CW’s Arrow, and Elijah Wood. Now, I know it’s common for television networks to require actors to keep up a Twitter feed for their show as part of the advertising and customer relations of the show. USA Network did that, and CW does that, and it’s fairly common. I’m sure there’s even specific requirements in the actor’s contract for Twitter and other Social Media activity while the show airs new episodes.

But Marc Guggenheim has no connection with Game of Thrones – he’s a producer on his own show. Likewise, Elijah Wood isn’t in Game of Thrones. And the tweets were of the “Can you believe what just happened?” variety. So, I figured, that if other television producers were, excuse the expression, “going all fanboy” about the show – it might just be good. And I’d seen a lot of media buzz about the show too, plus it was already winning Emmys, so I just figured – OK, I’ll give it a try.

I bought Season 1 on DVD and started watching it, by about halfway through – I ordered Season 2. Two episodes in to watching the second Season – I was ready to order Season 3. I checked on-line, and went, “February!!!” (I watched the show last Summer.)

Needless to say when  February rolled around I finally ordered and received it. And I was still hooked, so I ordered HBO – just to watch Game of Thrones.

So, yes, I’ve seen Season 4 before. And I do really love this series. It looks fantastic – very much like a movie. And the writing is excellent. There’s a lot of character growth, surprising moments, shocks, etc.

Spoilers below this point

Two episodes in – Joffrey is finally killed. Hazzah! The psychopathic king is gone. I expected, “Who killed Joffrey?” to be the season’s theme – but within a few episodes, we learned Littlefinger planned it – getting the poison, putting it into a necklace, getting someone to wear the necklace, etc. and Margery’s mother, Olenna Tyrell, also arranged for Joffrey’s death – and may have even been the one to put the poison in the king’s cup.

Of course, no one else in King’s Landing realizes this. Cersei and Tywin immediately blame Tyrion for King Joffrey’s death and have him arrested. Tyrion discovers those he thought his friends – aren’t, as he is betrayed over and over again. The few he thinks he can trust and whom he wants to protect he sends off. Eventually though, someone – somewhat unexpected, does help Tyrion – and Tyrion gets some revenge as well for the events of the season.

Meanwhile, Littlefinger gets Sansa to the Eyrie. There, Lysa finally gets Petyr to marry her. We also discover that it was Lysa, not the Lannisters, who arranged for the death of Jon Arryn (Remember him? – the former Hand of the King, who’s death starts Ned Stark on his journey to King’s Landing, where he dies – and the War of the Five Kings begins.) Anyway, Lysa is directly responsible for pretty much every death so far. And all of this because she was jealous of Cat, her sister, and hated her – and she pined for Littlefinger, and wanted to marry him not Jon Arryn. Lysa’s jealousy erupts and she attacks Sansa. Littlefinger then kills her – to protect Sansa, and no doubt as part of his own power games. In turn, Sansa lies before a tribunal to protect Littlefinger.

Arya and the Hound get to the Eyrie, but after Lysa has died – so they leave without ever going inside. Arya also runs into Brienne but doesn’t believe the woman she doesn’t know took a vow to protect Cat – which failed.  Brienne and the Hound fight – the Hound dies. The last shot of the season is Arya on a boat – going somewhere.

Jon, well, OK – let’s me perfectly honest, here. I always get bored when Game of Thrones goes to Castle Black or North of The Wall, or shows anything of the Wildlings. It’s the one storyline on the show I just can’t get in to and I really don’t care.  There’s been way too much build-up and teasing and not nearly enough actual story. After all, we’ve been told, “Winter is Coming” since the very beginning of Season 1. Episode 9 takes place entirely at the Battle for the Wall.

Dani makes it to Meereen, frees the slaves, then discovers ruling a country, especially ruling it fairly, is harder than conquering it.

I absolutely love Daenarys – and I always wish to see more of her. There were two things, possibly three, that happened in Season Four that I really hope are reversed for Season 5.

  1. One of the former slaves comes to Dani and asks for permission to sell himself back to his master so he can be a teacher again. Dani grants this on a “one year contract only”. Why didn’t she just suggest that the Master PAY his former slave? Obviously the man was skilled – his skills deserve compensation.
  2. Daenarys is told that her advisor, Ser Jorah Mormont, had – when they first met , four years ago, been selling information about her to the Baratheons and Lannisters. However, she never even gives him a chance to defend himself, then she exiles him. Now, fortunately, she didn’t kill him outright, but still, I liked Ser Jorah – and he was probably her best adviser. And, as he tried to point out, that the information came to light at this point, four years later, was suspicious at least. I mean, I realize that Dani thought she couldn’t trust him, but come on…
  3. The Dragons. Last we see, Daenarys chains and locked up her dragons. I was unsure if this meant they’d die as well. I mean, seriously – was there air in that cave? Does she plan on feeding them? Giving them water? The dragons bleating for their Mom was so sad.

I really hope Daenarys’ dragons aren’t dead. I want to see her riding astride one and taking over Westros! Likewise, I hope that Ser Jorah comes back. I’d love it if Dani discovers one of her other advisers set him up.

And then there’s the Starks. OK, the living Starks are driving me nuts! Arya finally, finally, after three seasons of wandering around gets to the Eyrie, and she doesn’t even go inside – thus she totally misses Sansa. And she rejects Brienne – and I thought Arya and Brienne would be a great combination – they’d make for a great alliance. Jon Snow and Bran Stark also keep missing each other. I mean, seriously, how many times is one of them going to be in a building and the other one outside, and they never connect? And then there’s poor Rickon Stark – Bran sends Osha, Rickon, and Rickon’s direwolf, Shaggy Dog, off to “find a strong hold”, or whatever – and we never see him again. (Sort of like Arya’s direwolf from the first season.) I actually think it’s a bit of a plot hole to leave Rickon’s fate dangling for so long!

But yes – it goes without saying. Season 4 of Game of Thrones is awesome. I think it’s more awesome on first viewing, but I still enjoyed it a lot and I can definitely recommend the series. It’s not a show for young children though.