Game of Thrones S610: ‘The Winds of Winter’ Recap

It’s D-day in King’s Landing, and the big players are getting ready for the trial of the century. The opening scenes are almost entirely silent, except for the ominous clanging of the Sept’s bell…which is clearly tolling for a truckload of people given it’s the finale and the death count in King’s Landing has been uncharacteristically subdued this year.

Cersei is decked out in a wicked new outfit from ASOS. It’s dress-military meets wicked stepmother meets androgynous Batman.

Tommen’s being dressed by an attendant but insists upon trying to tie his own shoelaces.

Margaery’s having her hair done, but you can tell she’s not allowed to use product anymore – it’s apparently on the Faith Militant’s Helpful List of Sinful Household Items. Even the High Sparrow is putting his good Sunday rags on. Everyone’s resplendent in their finery.

New music from Ramin Djawadi kicks in as the doors to the Sept of Baelor open and the people of the court arrive. It’s sparse and haunting and becomes more and more unsettling as these scenes play out; your subconscious discomfort turns to conscious dread (or morbid anticipation) as you realise it’s winding up to something.

Broken Loras shudders in his cell, waiting for his haircut at Stylz by Sparrowz.

People continue filtering into the Sept. The High Sparrow arrives looking pious and pleased with himself.

Post-coital Pycelle puts on his chains and glances in the mirror; yup, totally nailing the pedo-priest chic. He exits his chambers but is stopped by one of Qyburn’s little birds, who whispers something in his ear. Just don’t sit on his lap, kid.

Loras is led into the Sept. He confesses to all charges and asks to become a servant of the seven. Okay, Loras – but you gotta get the gang’s tattoo. The sparrows carve a seven-pointed star into his forehead.

Cersei’s chambers, and she’s ready to go. Or is she? Elsewhere, Tommen finally rises from his chair only to find Frankenmountain guarding the door. Sorry, Tommen…playgroup’s cancelled today.

Loras drips his forehead all over the Sept floor. Margaery is pissed at the High Sparrow for mutilating him. The High Sparrow reminds her that Loras will be free to go once Cersei’s trial is over. Margaery, hyper-aware of Cersei’s cunning, is starting to smell a rat; where is the Queen Mother? The High Sparrow sends Lancel to fetch her.

Cersei pours herself a leisurely glass of wine as if she has all the time in the world.

Lancel exits the Sept and spots one of Qyburn’s little birds looking sketchy. The kid darts off and Lancel follows him into the tunnels beneath the city.

Grand Maester Pycelle is led into Qyburns chamber, where Qyburn is waiting for him. Together they’re like Creepy & Creepier. Pycelle pompously asks where the king is, and Qyburn apologises in advance for what is about to happen. A little bird appears with a dagger and creepy child-singing (is there any other kind?) joins the haunting piano melody.

Lancel continues chasing his little bird down dark corridors.

More little birds appear in Qyburn’s chamber. Someone left the child-lock off the sharps drawer; they’re all wielding knives and looking at Pycelle like he’s a giant sugared plum. Qyburn leaks a spoiler to Pycelle: you’re totes going to die in here, pedo-bear. Soz.

The children fall upon Pycelle. He spray-vomits his own blood as they stab him senseless. It looks like they’re killing the world’s dodgiest Santa.

Chaotic cello kicks in: Cersei’s hour cometh.

Lancel searches the tunnels beneath the Sept, seemingly oblivious to the countless drums of highly-fucking-flammable liquid surrounding him. I hope those robes aren’t polyester, Lancel. Actually, I hope they are. The little kid stabs him and he collapses to the ground. Now we hear added organ music, and you know nothing good can accompany that.

 Margaery’s spidey sense is in overdrive now. Oh, Margaery. You’re shrewd and clever and I’ll miss you.

Lancel spots flames burning up ahead. Alas, he’s unable to walk – getting stabbed in Kings Landing actually has consequences – so he drags himself forward Terminator-2-style to investigate.

Margaery’s instincts are skyrocketing into the red zone. RUN! Waaaaaah you’re the only person left in King’s Landing that I like.

Lancel drags himself towards the flames, glancing at the barrels that line the walls either side of him. They’re leaking wildfire. Hurry, fundamentalist himbo!

Margaery finally follows her gut and tells the High Sparrow there’s something wrong. He tries to fob her off, so Margaery walks him through the logic of just how completely fucked they are: Cersei knows that blowing off her own trial will likely result in her head permanently departing her shoulders, but has chosen to stay away anyhow. Conclusion: it’s time to haul arse out of there.

Lancel gets close enough to see what’s ahead: candles burning down towards pools of wildfire. The penny drops and he rushes to put out the flames before the radioactive Mountain Dew ignites.

Margaery tries to evacuate everyone, but the Faith Militant bar the doors.

Lancel: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…ah fuck.

There’s a stampede in the Sept as the crowd makes for the exits. The High Sparrow is starting to look unsure of himself; could Cersei really be a step ahead this time? Margaery looks back, her eyes imploring him to let them go.

Too late.

The wildfire ignites. Lancel’s eyes Hulk out before he’s obliterated by a green firestorm. It rips through the tunnels towards the Sept. Inside the Sept, the crowd hears a monstrous rumble. Everyone looks down at the floor, which shakes beneath their feet. A split second later the green inferno erupts from below, consuming everyone and everything in its path. Goodbye, Margaery. You were awesome to the end.

The Sept explodes. From her vantage point in the Red Keep, Cersei admires her handiwork and sips her wine. She likes to pair her mass-killings with a robust Cabernet Sauvignon, peppery on the nose with herbaceous undertones.

But there’s one more debt to repay. Cersei pours wine in Septa Unella’s face and urges her to confess. Septa Unella informs her that she’s ready to die. Cersei smirks at that idea, and introduces her to Frankenmountain instead. Septa Unella screams and Cersei gets the last word; it’s shame…shame…shame.

Tommen gazes at the burning remnants of the Sept. His attendant tells him he’s very sorry and leaves the room. Having lost his beloved Margaery and her vagina, and facing the very real prospect of his narcissistic smother-mother murdering all his possible future girlfriends, Tommen removes his crown and throws himself out the window.

The Twins. Walder frey is holding a feast in his hall to celebrate the Frey/Lannister alliance. Menulog does not recommend eating here.

An attractive serving girl gives Jaime the eye, and Bronn bitches about being average-looking wingman. Jaime sets him up with two willing wenches, and Walder Frey sits himself down for some quality time with the Kingslayer. No one plays lewd, creepy uncle like David Bradley… just seeing him onscreen makes me want to put more clothes on.

Walder boasts about his victories over his enemies and implies that he and Jaime are kingslayer peas in a pod. Jaime is appalled at the comparison and questions why the Lannisters even need the Freys when they have to ride North to help every time they lose a castle.

Back in King’s Landing, dead Tommen is wearing his prophesied golden shroud. Have you seen the King’s Landing memes? Way too soon, but I do love a good pun.

Cersei stares at Tommens dead body, then orders Qyburn to burn it and bury his ashes where the Sept once stood so he can be with his grandfather and siblings. And with that, Cersei has no further use for her single redemptive feature: love for her children and maternal desire to protect them. Her journey to the dark side is complete. Where to from here?

Sam, Gilly and Little Sam arrive in Oldtown, where they see a cloud of white ravens flying from the Citadel. Winter is here.

Inside the Citadel Sam braves some frosty, sexist customer service before being allowed to enter Sam-heaven: a vast library. It’s cool but I hope they have liability insurance…those shelves and ladders are a fucking hazard.

One of the Citadel’s white ravens makes it’s way to Winterfell, where Jon is bitching to Melisandre about how he was never allowed to sit up the front during the gluttonous feasts his wealthy family held in their spacious castle. Melisandre: Try being a slave, fuckhead.

Ser Davos enters and throws Melisandre the charred remains of Princess Shireen’s stag carving. Melisandre fumbles it and looks aghast. Ser Davos, close to tears, demands she tell Jon what she did.

Melisandre confesses to burning Shireen at the stake, but says they had to; the army was trapped and the horses were dying – it was the only way. Ser Davos – understandable – loses his shit. Liam Cunningham is fucking incredible in this scene. “I loved that girl. Like she was my own. She was good, she was kind, and you killed her”. It’s gutting.

Ser Davos asks Jon if he can kill her now, please. Jon sends her South instead, but says he’ll hang her if she ever returns.

Jon watches Melisandre’s departure from the battlements of Winterfell. Sansa joins him. They to and fro about who should sleep in the Lord’s chamber: you take it…no YOU take it… no, YOU. It’s very different to how my brother and I used to converse growing up: *Punch* Stop hitting yourself…. *Punch* No, YOU stop hitting yourself…*Punch* No, YOU stop hitting yourself…

Sansa apologises for being cagey about the Knights of the Vale, but offers no explanation about it. Jon asks if she trusts Lord Baelish, and Sansa replies that only a fool would trust Littlefinger. Only a fool listens to his slimey word-poison too, Sansa.

Jon says they need to trust each other, and kisses her on the forehead. Aw. Sansa tells him that a white raven arrived form the Citadel; winter is here.

Ah, fuck. Dorne.

No, wait…Olenna Tyrell is here to save the day! She verbally spays the Sand Snakes. Fingers crossed not one of them utters another word ever, ever again.

The grown women speak. Ellaria proposes an alliance between the Tyrells and Dorne in order to survive. Olenna – dressed in her mourning blacks – no longer cares about survival now her family has been wiped out and House Tyrell is all but dead. Ellaria offers vengeance instead, and rings a bell. Varys appears and dramatically announces: FIRE AND BLOOD. REDRUUUUUUUUUM! Awesome, but answering to a bell is totally undignified, dude.

Meereen…FOR THE LAST TIME EVER, WHOOOOP! Daenerys informs Daario that he’s not invited to the Westeros Party. He’s going to stay here and take care of the people of Meereen. Daario echos my sentiments of the past several years: fuck the people of Meereen.

Dany cuts to the chase: when she gets to Westeros, she’ll need to be single so she’s free to marry her nephew Jon Snow (Oh, come on – it’s totally going to be Jon. Who else is left in terms of eligible highborn bachelors? She’s not going to marry Jaime, everyone else is dead, and Targaryens prefer to marry Targaryens. Ice and FIRE! Ice and FIRE!)

Sorry. Got carried away. Sadface Daario tells Dany he was always in this for her – he loves her and he knows he makes her happy. Dany: No, really…you’re not coming. Sorry, dude. Welcome to the friend-zone you gave Jorah so much shit about.

Tyrion waits in the throne room. He consoles Dany with the fact that sailing for Westeros IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING. I know, Tyrion. We’re leaving Meereen. My mental bags have been packed for 2 years, so let’s motor.

Dinklage revels in the only decent writing he’s had to work with all year in this scene: “Are you afraid? Good. You’re in the great game now, and the great game is terrifying”.  He tells Daenerys that, despite all his past cynicism, he believes in her. She rewards his devotion by giving him a Hand pin and naming him Hand of the Queen. His overwhelmed reaction is Dinklage at his emotional best – finally someone sees and judges Tyrion for his merits rather than his stature, which makes Daenerys the polar opposite of his father.

Back at the Twins, Walder Frey is dining alone in his hall. Mmmm…can I smell delicious impending vengeance?

Attractive serving girl arrives with pie. Walder bitches about his sons being late for dinner. Attractive serving girl says they’re already here, my lord. HERE. IN THE PIE, CREEPO. Walder lifts the pastry and finds a finger. It’s an Australian service station pie!

Attractive serving girl reveals herself as Arya Stark and gleefully cuts Walder’s throat. Gruesome revenge served cold and encased in pastry: 10/10.

Winterfell heart tree, where Littlefinger sidles up to Sansa, leaving a trail of slime behind him. He shares his deepest desire with Sansa: him sitting on the Iron Throne with her by his side. Oh…great. As far as propositions go that’s about as enticing as accompanying your husband to the dirt track to watch while he does race laps in a V8 Commodore for 4 hours.

Littlefinger dives in for a pash, which Sansa gracefully dodges. He then tells her she’s the future of House Stark, not Jon. PUT DOWN THE SNAKE, SANSA.

Further North, Uncle Benjen drops off Bran and Meera – he can’t go beyond the Wall because of the spells woven into the ice. His face is extra-peely this week. He pulls Bran off the horse and dumps him under a tree. KTHXBYE.

Bran taps into the Weirwood, and we’re back at the Tower of Joy. FINALLY.

Young Ned mounts the stairs to the Tower and finds his sister Lyanna lying in what looks like a horrific crime scene. Nope, just childbirth. Lyanna knows she’s dying and makes Ned promise to protect her newborn son. Seriously, there’s blood fucking everywhere. Did Jon explode from her stomach Alien-style?

Ned cradles the baby, and we get a close up of his baby browns, which are hilariously rolling in different directions. R + L = J? Please wait a moment while we confirm your equation.

CONFIRMED! Cut to Rhaegar and Lyanna’s son Jon Snow Targaryen, all grown up and about to be crowned the King in the North.

Lord Royce, the wildlings and the great Northern Lords have gathered at Winterfell to argue amongst themselves.  Lyanna Mormont takes charge: YOU ALL REFUSED THE CALL, BITCHES. But House Mormont remembers, and knows no king but the King in the North – whose name is Stark. Lyanna proclaims Jon her king, from this day forward until his last day.

The other Lords follow suit, drawing their swords and chanting: THE KING IN THE NORTH, THE KING IN THE NORTH, THE KING IN THE NORTH. I’m slightly uneasy given that the last time I heard this I was watching Grey Wind’s head bob about on Robb Stark’s shoulders, but yay Jon!

Jon looks down at Sansa. She smiles. Jon rises from his chair and inhales the sweet incense of manifest destiny. Sansa keeps smiling until she notices Littlefinger giving her too-bad eyes. Shut up, Littlefinger.

Jaime arrives back in King’s Landing just in time for Cersei’s coronation. The Rains of Castamere plays as she enters the throne room. Jaime watches on in horror as she mounts the stairs to the Iron Throne. Qyburn places a crown upon her head, and I swear they’ve based the design on a Lion King promotional poster.

Qyburn proclaims her Queen Cersei, First of Her Name, Mad Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and Donald Trump of the Realm. Kill her, Jaime. And soon…there’s plenty of wildfire still lying around.

Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys’ fleet finally sets sail for Westeros. Her dragons fly overhead, the Dothraki look seasick, and at the head of the armada, Dany stands with Tyrion, Missandei and Varys by her side. Hang on…Varys? Is he a fucking Time Lord?

Next week: Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing. Monday nights are now as barren and cold as the Land of Always Winter. I suggest bingeing on wine and hotdogs.







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