Game of Thrones 6x10: The Winds of Winter
Queen Cersei of the House Lannister
The words place an order to the world, recognizing belief in a higher power and obedience to mortal laws under a unified government prevent the world from descending into chaos. In one day, Cersei has managed to collapse both pillars.
The world of Game of Thrones is littered with all manners of Gods and religions, and this season managed to tackled all of the major ones in ways that questioned their very essence.
Within King’s Landing, the long held Faith of the Seven had always been heavily intertwined with the crown. As we can see from the vast landscape shots of the capital in this episode, the Red Keep and the Great Sept of Baelor were the two tallest buildings in all of King’s Landing, by far. In this way, the two visually seem as if they are two pillars that touch the sky, separating the men from the Gods. Prior to the rise of the Faith Militant, the High Septum of King’s Landing had never been portrayed as a particularly powerful person, yet the sept remained the location for all weddings and funerals. To see it fall to ashes and ruin, physically represents the destruction of the pillar of faith.
In a more symbolic manner, we also see the fall of the crown, which is actually just the king jumping out of a window. Watching Tommen’s body turn a full 90° to the ground represents the idea of a sturdy pillar crumbling.
Now that both the pillars are gone, there is nothing left to prevent the world from descending into chaos, AKA Cersei’s reign. One could argue that the crown has not actually collapsed, as there is still a ruler. But, this assumption would be wrong. For one, what Cersei is wearing is more likely tiara, than a crown. Secondly, the idea of the crown crumbling is mostly symbolic, and in the instance of Cersei, shows that a person who had no right to the crown, actually obtained it by being the rightful heir. Within the backstory, there is the tale of Aegon the Unlikely, a Targaryen who was the fourth son of a fourth son, never destined to sit on the throne through lineage rules until he did. And in this case, Cersei has almost usurped that unlikeliness. Ahead of her following the death of Robert Baratheon were: all her children, Robert’s Bastards, Stannis and Renly.
Last bit about Cersei, that last time we saw her sitting on the throne was at the Battle of the Blackwater, when she was just about to swallow poison along with Tommen, a moment showing her ultimate devotion to him.
Speaking of devotion, Daenerys appears to have too much of it. Thanks to Varys, she has managed to have an allegiance to both the Tyrells and the Dornish, plus the few Iron Islanders Theon and Yara brought over. Though, she does manage to lose a small chunk of her army, when she turns down Daario Naheris, and asks him to stay with the second sons to rule Meereen. It is here where Daario says what we have all been thinking for years, 'Who cares about Meereen?' No one, that's why we're never going to see you again, bud. Daenyrs has learned that she must seek to marry someone of a strong Westerosi house in order to seal an alliance. She's better off not being named Daenerys Naharis, anyway.
So, who will she marry? Aegon the conquerer had sister wives, maybe she'll get the hots for her own relatives, AKA nephew Jon. Yaranerys/Danara ship-ping has grown strong this season, though the Iron Born are such a minor alliance to hold as all they will beu seful for are their ships. Tyrion was Daenerys some Yara-level eye contact this episode, though all he has to offer her is his council, no armies. Although, he does have a strapping older brother, who, should Daenerys win the war against Cersei, would want to establish a bond between the Targaryens and the Lannisters lest they be wiped clean from the Earth. Maybe she'll return to her roots, Old Valyria, and fins Jorra there fully stoned, and learn to love him. Or perhaps, she will wed no one. After all, weddings don't have the best wrap in the Seven Kingdoms.
After three long seasons, we finally get to see the comeuppance of Walder Frey for his murder of Robb, Catelyn and Talisa Stark. And revenge is a dish best served cold. In true Shakespearian style a la Titus Andronicus, Arya butchers Walder's sons and feeds them to him in a pie. In this one scene, she manages to demonstrate 1) She has mastered the art of swapping faces 2) Holds little remorse for those she murders 3) She learned how to cook a pie somehow
Okay, well, maybe the last one has some work arounds. Of all the reveals in this episode, I found this one the most surprising, as it highlighted many flaws in the Game of Thrones plotting.
For one, Arya's presence at the Twins after being in Braavos just two episodes ago was unforeseen. This season more than any other has been blurring the lines of travel time and how much time each episode covers. I mean, Varys appears in both Dorne and Mereen within the same episode!
Secondly, her murder of Walder Frey was not as fulfilling, as we don't get to see any of her planning, and it is as if the show just wanted to shove in an extra bad guy death to make us happy.
Thirdly, it swapped out showing us an interesting story, one which Arya sorely lacked this seaon. Imagine watching Arya plot out this murder, watching her don her first face, sneak into the Twins, murder Walder's sons, visit Hot Pie for some cooking lessons, and then kill Walder. We missed all that, which would have been almost a Westeros heist movie. Less shock value, far much more substance. Like eating an actual pie, and not one made of your children. Oh well, hopefully this means the showrunners have big, INTERESTING plans for her next season. Maybe Arya will solve world hunger by baking all fifty million Frey children into pies.
Jon and Sansa
GRR Martin would only allow Benioff and Weiss to make the show if they could guess who Jon's mother is. By revealing this, they let us know many years ago that R+L=J had been confirmed. I can't imagine this surprised anyone. Even Bran had to be yawning at that point.
So, Jon is finally legitimized by Lyanna...Mormont. The Lady of Bear Ssland totally undercuts the reveal by simply claiming Jon a Stark and gathering everyone else to bend the knee and proclaim him King of the North. But, when Lyanna says that the North is aligned to the king whose name is Stark, we see the grin stretch across Sansa's face. It appeared she had been hoping to be named the lord of Winterfell.
This puts her in a tough place, as now she has competing claims against Jon that she may not act on by herself, but you can be damn sure Little Finger will push her. Jon even states that they must stay united and avoid infighting in order to combat the White Walkers, so what better sense of tension than some infighting?
For some reason, despite being named "The Winds of Winter" this show lacked any White Walkers. Perhaps this was to play up this sibling rivalry that will begin to build.
Additionally, Jon has perhaps created another rival in sending away, Melisandre telling her to ride south. And who could she possibly run into. Maybe the Brotherhood without Banners who at this very moment are riding North. Melisandre and Thoros of Myr have a lot of catching up to do/
It is difficult not to see Samwell Tarly as the most insignificant main character this season, as his journey to the Citadel to become a maester seems so asinine on the grand scale of things. Why do we follow him on his journey and not go off and follow Jorrah's search for the cure? Perhaps Sam is the one saving grace of the series, and his studies of the past will reveal a way to defeat the White Walkers, showing the value of knowledge in a world of fire and blood.
I'd like the series to end with an elderly Sam, scribbling into a book. We zoom in to see him write the last line of A Song of Ice and Fire, and he closes the book and places it on a shelf in the library. He scratches at his bears, and sets his black cap on the desk beside him.
-Fun watching how different the play in Bravos depicts Cersei at the death of her son to what actually happened in this episode
-Does zombie mountain have a zombie penis which he'll use to presumably torture Septa Unella?
-Can Daenerys add "The Bae of Dragons" to her long list of titles?
-The Jaime-Cersei-Brienne-Tormund love square next season will be the highlight of my life