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The Road So Far—What Has Been Happening in Westeros, and What Could Be Coming: A Game of Thrones Season 6 Review

After the Game of Thrones’ fifth season ended with a cliffhanger, when Lord Commander Jon Snow met his demise in the hands of the traitorous brothers of the Night’s Watch, viewers near and far eagerly awaited if the bastard on the Wall was gone for good or if he was going to rise again. Dozens of theories were mulled over and revised and again thought about, and speculations, both sensible and outlandish, circulated on just about every fan site and discussion board across the Internet. Jon Snow’s fate was a carefully guarded secret, and months of the audience’s outcry and demands for answers were met with only deafening silence.

Game of Thrones S6

It was no wonder then that when the sixth season of the epic fantasy saga kicked off, the fans waited and watched with baited breaths.

And boy, were their questions finally answered.

The season premiere brought the audience back to places on both sides of the Narrow Sea, weaving the story’s thread as expertly as the show always did.

Game of Thrones S6

In Castle Black, there was Ser Davos’s shock when he saw the Lord Commander’s blood-soaked body lying on the snow, and there’s the horror and rage in Dolorous Edd’s face when he discovered what had been done to his friend. It was fascinating to note how truly loyal he was, and it reminded the viewers that Edd was the only one remaining of Jon’s friends from season 1, for both Pyp and Grenn were dead. And Sam, well, he was on a ship with Gilly and her babe on their way to Hornhill, where House Tarly resided, before making his way to Oldtown so that he could learn and be a master of the Citadel.

Cersei Lannister remained as hateful and ruthless as ever, this time even more so when she was confronted with Myrcella’s death. Jaime reverted to being the support to his sister’s schemes—and this time more willingly, more aware of the risks and the repercussions and even more driven because of it, for he was raw and was in pain after the last moments he shared with his daughter, and he was thirsting for revenge.

Game of Thrones S6

And in Dorne? Everything was falling apart. Ellaria finally snapped, too tired of Prince Doran’s seeming indifference to Elia’s death during Robert’s Rebellion and to Oberyn’s against the Mountain. She realized waiting was pointless, and the time to make their move and strike down the enemies—the Lannisters, in particular, with their tenuous hold on the crown—was now. With help from Oberyn’s bastard daughters, the Sand Snakes, Ellaria managed to seize control of Sunspear, killing off Doran and his heir, Trystane.

In Essos, Daenerys was taken to Khal Mago, who recognized her as Khal Drogo’s widow. As such, it was determined that she was to be brought to Dosh Khaleen, where all the khals’ widows were. Jorah and Daario came upon the fields where she was taken and surmised what could have happened.

Game of Thrones S6

Arya, still in Braavos and still blind, was struggling with her impairment, trying and failing to fight against A Girl’s attacks.

But the real action was back in the North, really, and so was the audience’s full attention in the second episode.

Sansa barely escaped Ramsay Bolton’s clutches with Theon, and they would have been captured again were it not for Brienne’s arrival. She swung down the enemies in a few strikes, and Podrick even held his own (to be fair, he wasn’t an experienced knight). Upon seeing Sansa, Brienne explained herself—the journey she had, her pledge to Lady Catelyn Stark, the promise she wanted to fulfill, and even how she saw Arya Stark once, who also rejected her help—and she put her sword down, head bowed, waiting for Sansa to finally welcome her into her service. And it was heartbreakingly sweet, for Brienne only ever desired to serve and to honor her word, and now, finally, after everything she had been through (and yes, Pod too!), she finally got to do so.

Up in the Wall, with Thorne heading the Watch’s traitors, Daavos, some loyal brothers, and Ghost were trapped in the room with Snow’s cooling body. But Daavos, in a stroke of genius, gently brought up the fact that really, Jon Snow’s influence was not limited to just the Watch—and it pulled through, for into Castle Black surged a massive crowd of wildlings, led by Tormund Giantsbane, as a show of respect and gratefulness to the Lord Commander who saved them from the Walkers. In the face of the wildlings’ steady ferocity and of a real, living giant who could snap them in half with a hand, the traitors laid down their arms, and Thorne was put to the dungeon.

And before they finally decided to burn Jon’s corpse, Daavos had another brilliant idea. Not a fan of the priestess, who was actually and secretly an old (really, she’s old) woman, he nevertheless sought out her help, hoping against hope that she had it in her to resurrect a dead man as she did before.

She tried, although she was weary and hesitant. However, there seemed to be no effect, and the Stark bastard remained still and unmoving.

But just before the screen faded to black, Ghost’s ears, as he was on the floor by the hearth, perked up, and he turned to his master.

Game of Thrones S6

And Jon Snow opened his dark eyes with a gasp.

The third episode saw Jon Snow coming to terms with his death and resurrection, and he faced the brothers who turned their backs on him and those who stood by him. Tormund sure did care about him in his own way, and Edd’s devotion shone through.

He made another decision that ate at him inside as he executed his traitors, among them Thorne and the boy Jon took as his ward, Olly. And after swinging down the blade to cut off the ropes that would hang them, Jon took off his cloak and renounced his oath.

A bit farther south, near Winterfell, Sansa and Theon parted ways. Sansa had Brienne of Tarth’s allegiance for herself and Podrick’s company, so Theon knew she was as safe as she could be. He bid her go to Castle Black and seek out her half-brother, knowing Jon would not turn her away, while Theon himself would return to the Iron Islands, where another power struggle was brewing.

Game of Thrones S6

The next episode saw one of the most heartwarming scenes in the show ever, for it showed the much-awaited reunion of two Starks; Sansa arrived at Castle Black, and there was Jon, and the hug they shared was honestly one that would have brought the most hardened viewers to their knees. With their reunion came catching up, of course, and there was Jon’s statement that he would not leave Sansa’s side.

They received a letter from Winterfell, signed by Ramsay Bolton, telling them that Rickon Stark lived. And though he was hesitant at first, Jon finally relented to Sansa’s plan to take back what was rightfully theirs.

In the preview for the sixth season’s fifth episode, which was titled “The Door,” Sansa, Jon, Brienne, and Podrick were at the Vale, and Sansa would be confronting Petyr Baelish, demanding to know how much he knew about Ramsay Bolton before pushing her into marriage. This exchange could very well have drastic effects on Littlefinger’s plans on taking over Winterfell via the Vale (as he could manipulate the Vale’s little lord to his satisfaction as seen in previous episodes).

Arya Stark remained an apprentice at the House of Black and White, and Bran’s skills in warging, getting stronger (evidenced in his earlier trips to the past, seeing Winterfell during his father’s childhood, seeing Lyanna Stark alive and strong, seeing the fight against the Sword of the Morning in the Tower of Joy), was further explored—he would be encountering the Night’s King, would be returning to Winterfell, and would be discovering more about the Children of the Forest.

Tyrion and Varys would be forming a tentative alliance with another Red Priestess, Kinvara, who could provide them much-needed assistance in their fight against the Sons of the Harpy.

But what could these mean?

Would Littlefinger’s plan derail, or would he, as always, find ways to adapt? He had always changed his song the way a mockingbird did, always singing different tunes to ensnare different preys. He might be calling the banners of House Arryn to march into Winterfell, and he might offer help to the Stark children. But no matter what he ended up doing, Littlefinger would always be on Littlefinger’s side.

Would Bran’s vision with the Night’s King reveal what the Walkers wanted in the first place? He could at last learn what they actually were and what their purpose was. In the legend, a man of the Night’s Watch and a wildling king fought together to defeat the Night’s King; would this prove true? There were similar tales from the Five Forts of Yiti in the east; would these prove connected, seeing as myths had it that Westeros used to be connected to the east before the Children of the Forest blew up the bridges? Maybe Bran would even learn of the pact between the First Men and the Children of the Forest, which signaled the end of the Dawn Age and the beginning of the Age of Heroes.

Would Arya get her first kill as a member of the Faceless Men? Jaqen seemed intent on training her, as one would sharpen a particularly lovely blade, and Arya appeared to be a fast learner too. Would he give her a name for the Many-Faced God, and would she get the mummer’s cut she got in the books?

Would Tyrion’s gamble with the masters pay off, and would Missandei and Grey Worm’s resentment prove misplaced? Maybe Tyrion was considering the help of a servant of the Lord of Light because of the people’s inherent belief in some higher power. The Red Priestess’s help would be valuable, especially if it got the miserable people of Meereen to put their trust on the Dragon Queen again. And should the Red Priestess prove reliable and trustworthy, she might even be a bridge to a fan-favorite theory. The Targaryen heroes from both Westeros and Essos would have Red Priestesses advising them, and Jon Snow’s Targaryen blood might be further verified.

With a story of this scale, a multitude of plot points are indeed possible. But would we get to see the ones we want, or would we be victims to twists that will have us begging for more?

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