Game of Thrones Season 6 Review
Overall Season Rating 4 / 5
The Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter Rating 5 / 5
To be honest, the only two episodes that need to be talked about here are the final two “The Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter”. Both of these episodes are up there with the best episodes ever on Thrones. Up there with Red Wedding, Purple Wedding, The Mountain and the Viper and Hardhome. Both of the final two episodes of season six will be talked about by fans, critics and reddit theorists for a long time yet, and the way season seven is set up is just a scintillating prospect.
The first eight episodes of season six have been steady (by Thrones standards), except for a couple of stories like Jon Snow’s resurrection and of course “HOLD THE DOOR!” But aside from them, there were episodes which appeared no more than filler and dragged out episodes with next-to-nothing actually happening. What was the purpose of the Hound’s storyline other than to show he lives? His storyline added nothing to the grand scheme of things. Are we to wait till next season to see any reason for his inclusion this season? Brienne and Pod spent most of their time travelling to and from places and people, yet largely did nothing. Will they be rowing anywhere nice next season, or will it be more messenger work? Even the re-introduction of Uncle Benjen’s character when saving Bran, was mishandled greatly. One minute he is given a shadowy and secretive introduction, the next he is gone! Any point in him being there? The writers seem to be treading water with a lot of storylines in anticipation to the final two episodes, but many fans will forgive them for that!
It is clear that the last two episodes have saved the season, and made Thrones still a heavyweight programme that is still capable of shocking and mesmerising the viewers, even after 60 episodes. The battle between the Stark and Bolton will go down in Thrones history as an episode where everybody’s jaw hit the floor. And no wonder really, when the battle episode cost $10m to make, 25 days to film and the scene where Jon punches Ramsay in the face took 10 hours to film (Kit Harrington only connected with 2 punches!). Daenerys’ return to Meereen with her dragons to kill the Masters and the Sons of the Harpy was gripping and goosebump stuff!
Which leads me on to an aspect which has become apparent this season. Women rule the world! Daenerys’ manourveres to take the Iron Throne, Sansa’s role in escaping Ramsay and to ultimately defeat him, House Mormont ruler, Margery manipulating Tommen, the women of Dorne killing their King and backing Danaerys, and of course Cersei. She had an incredible role to play in The Winds of Winter, the plot to blow up the Sept with the High Sparrow, his followers and Margery with it, which ultimately wrestled control of the Seven Kingdoms back to her and Tommen, before Tommen, who had been manipulated by Joffrey, Tywin, Cersei, Margery and the High Sparrow finally made the first and last sole decision in his life…to take his own. Now Cersei sits on the Iron Throne, with everyone pretty pissed off with her, including Jaime judging by his reaction to her coronation. Another woman who has made this season a season of her mastering deadly skills is Arya, who is now embarking on her crusade to rid everyone from her list, one of which was Master Fray. However, despite the Shakespearean-Titus element of feeding him his own children in a meat pie and slitting his throat, the scene felt rushed and did not have the impact which they may have hoped for. Anyway, the female protagonists of this fantasy drama have well and turned up this season and Cersei, Arya and Sansa will undoubtedly play key roles in season seven.
I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed the final two episodes, with both episodes when the black end credits rolled down all I could see was my open eyes and mouth reflecting back at me from my laptop screen. The rip-roaring entertainment was fantastic, the spectacle of every location was spectacular and the acting from every single actor was on point. Game of Thrones has shown it has staying power and will attract even more viewers when they hear of the madness and brilliance of the final two episodes!
* Side note: The Citadel is a wondrous place, and for someone who wants to work in publishing, the scene with Sam and the library was GOALS!