10 Thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 6 – The Second Half
Game of Thrones Season 6 has finally wrapped up and what a ride it was. There were a ton of memorable moments this season and the writers did a great job of throwing in twists and turns at ever level. A month or so ago we talked about the first half of Season 6, so if you want to check out that recap first, you can go there. We also recapped the epic finale yesterday, because so much happened in that episode. But it’s time to dive into the rest of Season 6 and see what happened in Westeros and the Free Cities.
10 Thoughts on Game of Thrones Season 6 – The Second Half
1. There is apparently a Bullet Train in Westeros.
Throughout the season, we’ve seen characters move fairly rapidly around the Kingdoms. Most notably was Littlefinger leaving the Vale of Arryn and meeting Sansa in the North, somehow in a fairly short amount of time. Even more mysterious is Theon and Yara leaving the Iron Islands, stopping at a brothel in Volantis, and then ending up in Meereen shortly after the Battle of Slaver’s Bay. And mind you the Iron Islands are on the opposite side of Westeros from the free cities. Granted the show doesn’t specify if all the stories are running concurrently or not, but there seems to be quite a bit of plot travel magic happening here.
2. Benjen Stark is back!
Last seen in the first season of Game of Thrones, Benjen Stark, Ned’s brother, disappeared while ranging North of the wall. We were even teased that he had returned last season, only to find out it was a trick for Jon to get stabbed by his brothers. But BenJen stark returned this season, just in time to rescue Bran and Meera from the white walkers. I’m curious to find out where he’s been all this time. Unfortunately, the season wraps up with him dropping off the pair near the wall. Apparently he can no longer enter his homeland.
3. Robert was the Last Good King of Westeros
To be honest, I’m not even sure if he was a good King, but he can’t have been much worse than his “offspring”. I always knew Joffery was an evil and sadistic bastard and never expected much from him as king. But while ole King Joff may have been mean, at least he wasn’t a complete moron. King Tommen appears to be more easily manipulated that Sir Pounce the cat. From his mother, to his wife, to the Faith, everyone is tugging at this boy’s strings. He finished up his days serving as a puppet to the High Sparrow, King Tommen basically sentenced his mother to death when he outlawed trial by combat. Unfortunately for the losing team, Cersi got the last laugh. Check out our Finale recap for more thoughts on Queen Cersi.
4. Margery got out-maneuvered
Speaking of Tommen’s wife, I was glad to see her out of the prison cells. Natalie Dormer was great in her role as Margery and she played the game in King’s Landing as good as any of the players. Unfortunately for her, she hitched her horses to the wrong wagon. She thought she had the upper hand by allying with the High Sparrow. Yet her machinations came to a screeching halt when the Sept of Balor was blown up by Cersi. I actually feel bad for Margery, she always seemed attached to doomed men. First Renly, then Joff, and finally Tommen. I’m definitely sad to see Margery go. I think she had the chops to remain a serious player in the city.
5. Arya’s storyline finally moves!
In our recap of the first half of the season, we lamented about how Arya’s storyline has been stuck in slow motion. If Littlefinger and the Greyjoys were taking the bullet train around Westeros, Arya was riding a broken wagon. But hey, in the last few episodes, we got some solid action for her. Ayra decided she is, in fact, someone and would not to be thug of the many-faced god. When she failed to kill the actress, the Waif was sent to kill her. Despite doing her best terminator impression, the Waif failed to do the job and ended up with her face on the wall. Arya declared to Jaqen H’ghar that she is not No One, but Arya Stark of Winterfell. Even better, on her way back to Winterfell, she stopped in at The Twins and took care of Walder Frey and his sons. Seeing that crotchety old man get what was coming to him brought joy to my heart. Arya is now a force to be reckoned with.
6. You can’t keep a good hound down.
When we last saw Sandor Clegane, AKA The Hound, he had lost his fight to Brienne of Tharth and was left for dead. I had assumed that he perished, but apparently he was saved by a Septon (played by the brilliant Ian McShane of Deadwood fame). The Hound has retired from his killing ways and was helping out this small group build their church. Unfortunately, some rogues from the Brotherhood without Banners decided to kill the entire group, sending The Hound out on a quest for revenge. After getting his vengeance, he appears to have joined up with the Brotherhood, I’m guessing for lack of better options. I’m glad to see Sandor back though. He’s highly entertaining to watch, such as when he stripped off the boots of the still dying man he killed.
7. RIP The Blackfish
The Blackfish never got a ton of screen time in the show, but when he was there, he had a commanding presence. That’s also why his death was so disappointing. Instead of leaving the fallen castle, thank you stupid Edmure Tully, he decides to stay and get himself killed. I was really hoping he’d leave with Brienne and Pod to go help Sansa’s army. But alas, we didn’t even get a death scene from him. He died off camera to some Lannister foot soldiers. A wasted death and character in my opinion.
8. One of the best battle scenes on television…ever.
The Battle of the Bastards…wow. I could spend the entire article talking about this clash between Jon Snow’s army and Ramsay Bolton. It was intense, cinematic, and kept me glued to my seat the entire time. I loved the tracking shot of Jon in the middle of the battle. Not since the D-Day scene of Saving Private Ryan has there been that intense of a battle scene.
And when the Stark army was trapped in the shield wall/phalanx maneuver, we all thought Ramsay was going to win. Fortunately for the Starks, they were saved by the arrival of the army from the Vale of Arryn, much to the surprise of actually no one. From a page straight out of Lord of the Rings, the forces from the Vale arrived just as things looked hopeless for the good guys. Not that I’m complaining, Ramsay certainly needed to go.
And let’s not forget that this was all made possible by Jon falling right into Ramsay’s trap. Even after Sansa warned him not to play Ramsay’s game, he still charged forward to try and save a doomed Rickon. Doing so pretty much destroyed his battle plan before the first arrow was even fired. Jon may be a great person, but he was a crappy commander that day.
9. The Transformation of the Starks
The surviving Starks have changed a lot from season 1. We can ignore Rickon, even though he was in a few episodes. He pretty much existed this season to trap Jon’s army. But for the rest, it’s amazing how their characters have grown.
Arya is now a deadly assassin who has undergone a grueling training. Where she is going now is anyone’s guess. But I assume she’s heading back to Winterfell now that she crossed the Freys off her list. Her sister Sansa has grown from a love struck girl to a deadly woman that knows how to play the political game. Sansa has survived two horrible marriages, a brutal wedding night, and constant betrayal. I would not want to go up against her.
Then we have Bran. He is a bit of a conundrum. While he has definitely grown in his Warg powers, I’m not sure how much he has really matured. He is clearly not ready yet to be the three-eyed raven, but hopefully he can grow up quickly. I’m guessing that Westeros will need him.
And finally Jon Snow. He has been to the other side of death and back, and it has clearly changed him. Jon looks like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and I think that battle took a lot out of him. But hopefully being back in Winterfell with his siblings can rejuvenate his spirits. Time will tell on this one.
10. One hell of a finale.
The Season 6 finale was one of the best episodes of Game of Thrones that I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s saying something. There was just so much that happened in that episode that we had to break it out into its own article. You can check out our 10 Thoughts on the Game of Thrones finale here, but suffice to say, it was awesome. The body count rivaled that of the Battle of the Bastards and let me tell you, Cersi is one crazy sociopath. But you gotta respect someone that can play the game that well. That finale had so many great moments, that I am going to be counting down the days until the Season 7 premiere. Hurry up and get here!