******This review will contain major spoilers******
“Game of Thrones” season 6 is a game changer in television for many reasons. But before we get into the great game, lets start at the beginning. Last season saw one of the most shocking moments that rocked the small screen when fan favorite Jon Snow was brutally murdered by the men of the Night’s Watch. In the jaw dropping moment, the internet went ablaze and people began speculating. It was one of the most talked about topics on social media and fans of the show were gripping for answers. Season 5 ended with death, and season 6 began with birth. Jon Snow was brought back to life, mysteriously by the red headed witch Melisandre and her fabled Lord of Light. This raised a lot of questions, primarily the fact of who Jon Snow really is in this series and why he is so important.
A huge part of this season was what I am calling the series’ big reveal. After being missing for two seasons, Bran Stark finally comes back as he is in training with the Three Eyed Raven played wonderfully by Max Von Sydow. The Bran storyline was one of the best and the most devastating. The Three Eyed Raven dies at the hands of the Night King, and Hodor sacrifices himself to save his friends. “Hold the Door” was the biggest trending meme so far this year and if you have seen the season, you know what I’m talking about.
Skipping around a bit, we saw Arya in training which proved quite cumbersome, and it dragged on a little too long, but in the end, Arya becomes no one which makes her a faceless assassin under the guise of a Stark. Theon and Yara lose their father to their crazed uncle, before taking the Iron Born fleet to Dany in Mereen. Going to Mereen, Dany is captured by the Khalisar, before walking out of a burning hut, showing that she is a true queen and conqueror. We also see in an epic battle sequence, Dany and her dragons taking out the Masters of Mereen, while getting ready to Finally sail to Westeros. The conclusion of the Mereen storyline was justly satisfying and I almost shed a tear when she named Tyrion Lannister the Hand of the Queen.
Of course the greatest moment of the show came in episode 9 entitled “Battle of the Bastards,” which showed one of the greatest and tense choreographed battle sequences ever seen on screen. Jon and Sansa finally took the North back and planted their Dire Wolf sigil in Winterfell. That battle sequence was “Braveheart” level awesomeness which was very reminiscent of the American Civil War, with bodies stacked ten feet high and so much carnage and blood that it made it impossible to fight. And Ramsay Bolton’s death was greatly satisfying, especially by Sansa’s hand as she fed him to his own dogs. That was the most riveting episode that I have ever witnessed on television and it might be the only one ever, it was spectacular.
And of course the season finale, “The Winds of Winter” is the beginning of the end. Winter has finally come for our characters and very dark days lie ahead. Cersei takes out half of the court by wildfire, including Margery, Sir Lawrence, the High Sparrow and many more. In true “Godfather” passion, the opening scene of the episode was tremendous storytelling, and it slowly built to its greatly satisfying conclusion. Not only did Cersei exact her revenge but she also appointed herself the Queen of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. I never felt sympathy for her and I especially don’t now. King Tommen jumped to his death while Cersie accepts that all her children are now dead. Cersei’s time is ticking and with Dany soon to arrive at King’s Landing, it’s going to be an epic showdown. “When you play the game of thrones you win, or you die.” And death is coming along with the White Walkers.
Arya’s long and nasty stint of training finally paid off with her taking revenge of Walder Frey, after she feeds him his sons in a pie before sending her regards to him in the afterlife. Arya, the faceless assassin strikes in a glorifying way that’s also slightly psychotic and concerning at the same time. But the big moment this entire season and show, is the Tower of Joy. The Tower of Joy was teased at the beginning of the season when Bran was warging with the Three Eyed Raven. We see Ned Stark as a young boy during Robert’s Rebellion. Ned is looking for his abducted sister, and when he finds her, she is dying from childbirth and yes, you guessed it! Lyanna’s child was Jon Snow, which means that Jon isn’t a bastard after all. It’s pretty obvious that Jon’s father was Rhaegar, Dany’s older brother which would make perfect sense in the show’s history. Jon Snow is part Stark and also part Targaryen, which would make him Dany’s nephew and blood relative. This was the biggest “oh shit” moment in the series and I cannot wait to see how the rest of this revelation comes to light and how it will serve into the final act of the “Game of Thrones” story.
In all, “Game of Thrones” season 6 was probably the best season in regards to master storytelling and drama. The battle sequences truly delivered some amazing moments in television history and the set up for the finale could not have been more perfect. We saw a lot of deaths this season and a lot of horrible truths come to light, but we also were satisfied with these truths. I’m still scratching my head as to why and how there are only 13 episodes left of the series. I feel like they could keep going but if they have a plan then I trust them to stick to it. This was a fantastic season and was satisfying as a fan and hardcore lover of the book series. Now we only have to wait a year to find out what goes down in Westeros. And whatever it is, I suspect it will be cold and cruel.