Spoilers for all of Game of Thrones follow.
After last week where I looked at the constant disappointment that is season five, this week I’m moving on to season six of Game of Thrones and, you guessed it, why it’s the best season.
The Winds of Winter / Pycelle’s Death
This is a double entry as, while Pycelle dies during the plot that sees Cersei seated on the Iron Throne, he is a character I have loathed since season one. Stabbed to death by the ‘little birds’, impoverished children who previously worked as spies for Lord Varys who are now in the employ of Qyburn, watching the old fraud splutter to death on his own blood is a scene which never gets tired.
The rest of the opening of The Winds of Winter, with the slowly building musical score and its explosive finale at the Sept of Baelor, was masterfully constructed and a true example of how Game of Thrones became the global phenomenon it was, for a time..
Tommen’s suicide and Cersei’s coronation brings the hardship the latter has endured over the previous two seasons to an end, and with a masterful stroke she eradicates almost all of her enemies. Naturally though, and as Tyrion said in season two, ‘every time we deal with an enemy we create two more’, her troubles are a long way from over, which brings me to my next point.
Daenerys Crossing The Narrow Sea
The closing shot of the season, in which not a single word of dialogue is spoken, shows the Mother of Dragons crossing the Narrow Sea with her vast armada that stretches to the horizon. Thousands of ships packed with soldiers, three large dragons flying overhead, and the support of representatives from several great Westerosi houses gives a strong impression that she will be met with little resistance upon reaching Westeros.
For many jaded Game of Thrones fans who choose to believe the final two seasons never happened, this is a perfect scene for the show to ‘end’ on, as of course, how could Daenerys possibly lose after six seasons of character development and a massive army at her back? A tale for another time, I think..
The Battle of the Bastards
The original Battle for Winterfell and a scene far larger and grander than I think any of us expected from a television show, the Battle of the Bastards was just as atmospheric and bloody as we wanted and provided a fitting end to series psychopath Ramsay Bolton. Tricking Jon into breaking his own formation by executing Jon’s younger brother Rickon, Ramsay forces his opponent into a full charge uphill towards his force which outnumbers them five to one.
The chaos that follows more than speaks for itself, and the battle is arguably the best of any from Game of Thrones (an opinion open to debate in the comments).
Killing The Masters (Again)
A double entry for Daenerys this week, following her triumphant return to Meereen after spending the bulk of the season trying to return after fleeing on Drogon last season, culminating in the eradication of all slave owners in Slavers Bay. Flying on dragon-back over the armada she would eventually claim as her own whilst her three dragons incinerate the slavers navy, while her Dothraki slay the Masters army on land. This is another scene made all the more powerful by the musical score and is a seriously strong contender for Daenerys’ greatest in the entire show.
Renaming Slavers Bay to the Bay of Dragons, and leaving her loyal army of Second Son mercenaries to keep the peace after she leaves, Daenerys turns her eyes towards Westeros and the Iron Throne.
The War of the Five Kings Play
I loved the play Arya watches in Braavos which mocks the war the Seven Kingdoms has been suffering through since the death of King Robert Baratheon. Casting a comedic tone over the whole war, with wacky over the top actors playing the stern and stoic characters we’ve been watching for six seasons, the acting troupe make fart jokes and portray several important Westerosi Lords as the fools the people of Essos view them as.
The two episodes they appear in feature none other than Richard E Grant, one of my favourite actors playing one of my favourite characters, Tywin Lannister. While the play does lean heavily in support of the Lannisters, just like I do, it’s a funny and comparably light version of the events that have unfolded, and even manages to make Cersei Lannister relatable and deserving of our sympathy.
I would re-watch the entirety of Game of Thrones with this acting troupe making jokes about it, and I’m confident you would too.
Bonus Entry: Hold the Door
If you know, you know.
That’ll do it for this week. Let me know in the comments if season six is your favourite of Game of Thrones and I’ll be back next week after I’ve watched season seven. Thanks for reading!