Game of Thrones: Pre-Finale Recap, Spoilers, Theories (Updates Coming)

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AngelPolacco

Title Image: Screenshot from Youtube

Game of Thrones watchers beware: the web is dark and full of spoilers. You’ve been warned. If you continue reading you’ll be held accountable for the show being ruined for yourself. Turn back while you still have time. For those who are FULLY up-to-date with everything, you may proceed. Let’s recap the ninth episode of the series, “Battle of the Bastards,” and predict what’s to come in the next episode “Winds of Winter” and season seven.

*Finale update is here! Read below!*

 

*SPOILER ALERT - You still have time to turn back, you’ve been warned.*

*SPOILERS*
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Episode Nine: Battle of the Bastards

This episode solely focused on the North and Meereen.

Meereen:

The start of episode nine showed a huge win for Daenerys Targaryen, the first of her name, *titles, titles*. I mean, after an entire season of her being missing in action in Meereen, her return was long overdue. And what a spectacular return it was! Not only did she swoop in on Drogon’s back and literally light it up, she brought in her Dothraki army as reinforcements, regained control of Meereen, and even managed to acquire ships through brokering a deal with the Greyjoys, namely Yara and Theon. Interesting alliance. I thought Theon would support the Starks in regaining control of Winterfell, but this was equally satisfying. I was initially getting tired of her storyline with the duration it takes to accomplish anything, but this was a good payoff. One small step for Daenerys, one giant leap for the GoT fandom.

Image source: HBO

The North:

We know that the evil loathsome Ramsay Bolton has Rickon Stark captive at Winterfell from his “pink letter” to Jon Snow (episode four, “Book of the Stranger”). Ramsay basically taunts Jon into waging an all-out war against him. We also know that Jon won over the allegiance of the wildlings as well as a few other northern houses, but still not enough manpower to match Ramsay’s forces. 

Can we also take a moment to salute the little Lady Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island? I personally would place her on the Iron Throne just because she's a little sass queen. Absolutely love her character! She's got way more brawn than White Walkers and dragons combined.

Image source: Winteriscoming.net

Before any action occurs we see Davos Seaworth make a little discovery while out on a stroll near the Stark camp. He finds the remains of a pyre and a miniature hand-carved stag. The pyre was where Stannis burned his daughter Shireen alive at Melisandre’s behest, and the stag was a small symbol of just how much Davos cared for Shireen. What does this bode for Davos and Melisandre’s relationship? The heat is definitely on.

During the battle strategizing, we see Sansa step up to Jon and offer her own input on how to effectively deal with her not-so-lovely husband, Ramsay. She even told Jon that Rickon wouldn’t make it. But Jon doesn’t heed her advice and instead tells her that he has enough experience as a member of the Night’s Watch and as someone who’s ventured beyond the wall to know what to expect in battle. Boy, was he wrong.

Before the battle commences we see the Stark forces on one side, and the Bolton forces on the other side. The Stark forces had a strategy to lure the Bolton forces into trenches that they had dug earlier, minimizing the loss of men for the Starks. That turned out to be a massive failure as Ramsay ended up drawing the Stark forces towards him. Oh Rickon, why couldn’t you have run in zigzag formation? Ramsay ruthlessly shoots an arrow into the youngest Stark sibling, toying with him the whole time, as soon as he’s within Jon’s reach. At this point, Jon abandons all strategic plans of action and charges headfirst at Ramsay’s forces, of course the Stark forces also follow suit, buying into Ramsay’s ruse of drawing them out.

Image source: Movie Pilot

The battle that then ensues is ep-ic. Possibly one of the best sequences produced by the series. Full of action and phenomenal cinematography. Of course when things were looking a bit sour for the Stark forces, and they’re literally enclosed and encircled by the Boltons, *trumpets blare* cuing the Knights of the Vale to the rescue.

To sum it all up, Wun-Wun, the Big Friendly Wildling Giant, is taken down after multiple lacerations and arrows to his body, the final blow being dealt by the ever-despicable Ramsay. Wun-Wun, you won-won our hearts. Jon finally loses his chill and beats the living daylights out of Ramsay (awh yiss), but stops when he sees his sister watching. Why he stops pummeling Ramsay is left for the viewers to muse on. Could be that Jon felt as if he went too far, being as honorable as he is, or could be that he wanted his sister to exact her own vengeance on him.

Image source: Youtube

Well, the latter was ever so satisfying, especially considering how vile Ramsay was in the show. What a marvelous death. Eaten alive by his very own beloved hounds, just as Sansa orchestrated and very much relished. Payback for all the tormenting she underwent at his hands. #TheNorthRemembers #TheNorthIsReminded

Stark 1 - 0 Bolton. Who else got emotional when the Stark banners were back? I literally cried.
 

What are your predictions for the latest episode, “Winds of Winter”? 

I predicted that all the storylines have to be wrapped up somehow. It is the longest episode released in GoT history - an hour and seven minutes. A lot of fill-in-the-blank action required.

Hopefully some theories and speculations will be confirmed:

-Does R+L really =J? This was heavily teased throughout the season, particularly so in Bran's flashback at the Tower of Joy. We really need this answered stat.

-Will Cersei blow King's Landing to oblivion? She has been awfully quiet during the duration of this season, very un-Cersei-like. Again, the use of wildfire was teased this season in Bran's flashbacks.

-Is Cleganebowl actually happening? It still hasn't fully been shot down, maybe Cersei unleashes the Frankenmountain upon the faith militants? Probably unlikely since Tommen banned trial by combat.

-Will Maggy the Frog's prophecy come true for Cersei? Most of it has already, she married the King, mothered three golden-haired children, Joffrey and Myrcella were killed, and there are younger, more beautiful women who want the throne (aka Margaery and Daenerys).

-Will Lady Stoneheart make an appearance? *Book readers will know who she is* The way Brienne's storyline is heading it really seems likely that LSH will show.

-Do the White Walkers bring down the Wall? I mean the episode is titled "Winds of Winter."

-Is Arya going to make it back home in time? Seriously, a girl's storyline must amount to something, right?

-Does Daenerys finally leave Meereen? (SHE HAS TO!)


Episode Ten: Winds of Winter

This episode ties up all the loose ends and paves the way to season seven. R'hllor take the wheel, more updates are coming.

Wow. 

That’s all I have to say for the Game of Thrones finale. A very well-deserved 10/10 rating, packed with action and an amazing wrap up to the season. 

King’s Landing: 

Delving into the episode, remember how I wondered why Cersei was being so quiet and so un-Cersei-like throughout the season? Well. 

Before things got particularly bloody, the opening death to the episode was Maester Pycelle’s, good riddance. He was stabbed to death by Varys’ little birds, who are now under the employ of Maester Qyburn, Cersei’s new right hand man. But in a very Aerys-Targaryen-like-fashion, Cersei orchestrated and burned the Sept of Baelor during her and Loras’ trial, which, forget about being fashionably late, she fashionably unattended. Victims of the Sept burning, which utilized the ever uncontrollable wildfire, include the High Sparrow, his “little sparrows,” her uncle Kevan Lannister, her cousin Lancel, the only capable heir producing members of the Tyrell family, and a bunch of other Lords and Ladies. Sort of saw it coming, but it was still shocking all the same. The introductory score as the first ten minutes of events unraveled needs to be lauded. Beautiful composition by Ramin Djawadi. Really complemented the buildup of the sequence and dramatized Cersei’s vengeance magnificently. 

Image source: Gameofthronesnotofficial (IG)

As much as Cersei loves her children, Tommen killing himself after realizing Margaery Tyrell was killed at the Sept, was not exactly anticipated by her. Of course I knew he had to die somehow, I actually thought the Frankenmountain would end him, but that didn’t happen. Cersei prevented Tommen from being present at the Sept during the trial where Loras had literally just switched sides and had his head carved in support of the faith - what horrid timing given the fact he was blown to bits moments later. 

Cersei’s offhanded treatment of her son’s death showed that she reached a point of complete coldness. Now that all her children are dead, there’s nothing really driving her to be rational or compassionate anymore. Cersei also really kept true to her promise to Septa Unella who tormented her the whole of season five and during her walk of atonement. She had her tortured by the Frankenmountain, which was kept offscreen thankfully. But the “Shame! Shame! Shame!” was such a sweet little addition to Cersei’s payback. 

We see her at the end of the episode, coronated as the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and everyone watching her in fear. Damn. I see this as a win for female empowerment, but also as a huge L for the citizens of Westeros. Will she be the new “Mad Queen”? Her parts of the episode were very, very reminiscent of the Mad King Aerys, which makes me wonder if she’s following the same path. And in that case, will Jaime also add Queenslayer to his title collection? Again this may or may not be confirming the Maggy the Frog prophecy, but I feel like Jaime will be Cersei’s end.

Image source: Winteriscoming.net

The Twins:

So to quickly sum up and get to the most redeeming part of this storyline, Jaime and the Lannister forces are at the Twins wining and dining with Walder Frey and his men. As if the memory of the Red Wedding isn’t traumatic enough, I personally don’t think the wound in my heart will ever heal, Walder Frey had to bring it up again almost as a reminder to viewers that we still hate his creepy guts. Jaime also dished out his own wrath and put Walder Frey in his place by reminding him that without the Lannisters, the Freys are nothing, pat on the back for Jaime. We notice a girl watching Jaime in admiration and a hilarious exchange between Jaime and Bronn about Jaime basically being too good-looking.

Cut scene to where Walder Frey is in his hall alone with the same girl who was watching Jaime. She serves him a pie while he accosts her and asks where his sons are. The girl tells Walder “they’re here my lord” and pushes the pie towards him. He lifts up the top layer and sees a finger, starts to gag, as the girl says, “they weren’t easy to carve, especially Black Walder.” Frey looks at her in bewilderment as she pulls off her face and *cue drumroll* reveals herself to be none other than Arya freakin’ Stark. *The crowd goes wild, namely me.* Before she slits his throat, she drops this bomb line: “My name is Arya Stark. I want you know that. The last thing you’re ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.” #THENORTHREMEMBERS #PARTTWO #VengeanceIsHere

Image source: Screenrant.com

Oldtown:

Nothing special really happens at Oldtown, apart from Sam being so much closer to becoming a Maester than he ever was in the show. Also they showed a gorgeous library, where Sam literally loses his mind at the sight of the number of books available. He’s definitely about to get his geek on.


Dorne: 

Olenna Tyrell is fuming at the fact that Cersei is now queen and looks to ally with the Sands in order to thwart her. Guest appearance of the day is when Ellaria Sand introduces Olenna to Varys. He pitches that they all join forces with Daenerys in order to take down Cersei. They did not reject the offer. 

North of the Wall:

We see Bran, Meera and Benjen Stark congregate north of the wall. Benjen tells Bran that he won’t be joining them as the wall won’t allow him to pass (since he’s kind of a walker himself) due to there being magic that stops White Walkers and the undead from getting through. Benjen then foretells about the Great War to come and how he’ll eventually have to play a part in that, and leaves Bran and Meera near a heart tree. Bran tells Meera that he’s the three-eyed raven now and proceeds by touching the tree (much to my delight). 

We see the continuation of the flashback Bran had earlier of the Tower of Joy. Young Ned is racing up to the tower and when he gets to the chamber at the top he finds his sister Lyanna covered in blood. The siblings both share a heartfelt moment, but clearly Lyanna is dying. She whispers some very important words to her brother, "His name is... If Robert finds out he'll kill him, you know he will. You have to protect him. Promise me Ned..." The newborn baby is placed in Ned's arms, zooms into the baby's face...

...Transition shot to an adult Jon Snow. 

Does R+L=J? Because I sure think so! Lyanna is definitely Jon's mother, which confirms that Ned was never dishonorable to Catelyn. Pity she never found that out. Super excited to see how this storyline plays out. 

Gif source: Giphy.com


Winterfell: 

 -Jon and Sansa talk about Littlefinger. Sansa does not trust him, yet plans to use him to her advantage. Jon tells her that they should trust each other now that the number of their enemies has multiplied.

-Winter is definitely here, courtesy of a white raven sent from the Citadel in Oldtown. Jon smiles and says, "Well, father always promised didn't he?"

-Sansa and Littlefinger have a conversation in the Godswood about Littlefinger's plans to sit on the Iron Throne with Sansa at his side. He tries to raise doubts about Jon in her mind and leans in for a kiss. Sansa politely friendzones him. Wonder how this will play out in the next season.

-Lyanna Mormont calls out every Northern Lord while at Winterfell, reminding them that they truly serve the Starks. In a wholehearted speech, she pledges her allegiance to Jon Snow who she declares to be the King in the North (literally cried at this point). The rest of the Lords follow suit, despite Jon being a bastard he is the best leader for the North. While everyone is cheering we see Sansa look at Littlefinger, her smile dropping at the sight of him. Could she be heeding his words, or simply be wary of him for Jon's sake? Whatever the case, this was a beautiful and emotional moment. Finally some headway for the Starks. 


Meereen: 

-Daenerys makes Tyrion her official Hand of the Queen. It was a heartfelt gesture and shows that they're true to each other in terms of support.

-Daenerys rallies her forces, her Dothraki army the Unsullied, her new allies upon whose ships they're traveling on (the Greyjoys), and her three dragons, and makes her way to Westeros at long bloody well last. It was quite an impressive closing shot to the episode. There must've been hundreds of ships on that water. And with three dragons as well as Daenerys' new allies in Dorne and Highgarden, the fight is definitely coming to King's Landing.

Image source: Moviepilot.com


What do you guys think will happen in season seven? If you know make sure to mention "Spoilers" in your comments!