My Game of Thrones Review: Best Episode Ever.
After watching last night’s episode, I really had to take a minute and think about all of the episodes of Game of Thrones to see where this one ranked. After thinking about it, I honestly can’t think of an episode that was better than Winds of Winter. Episodes such as “Rains of Cashmere” and “Hardhome” come close, but not enough to surpass what I watched last night. Winds of Winter reminded me a lot of episodes from seasons 1-3. There were brief moments of triumph that were immediately overshadowed by loss and regret which is when Game of Thrones is at its best.
We absolutely have to start with all that went down in King’s Landing. The first 17 minutes of Winds of Winter was some of the most captivating television I’ve ever seen. From the start of the trial leading to the fiery explosion, the intensity grew with each passing minute and it was nothing short of incredible. The music chosen for that 5-minute sequence was perfect as it helped build the tension and make you understand how hopeless Margaery was in her final moments. For all of the sympathy that most people, including myself, had for Cersei throughout this season, that all went up along with the church. She killed the Sparrows, but she also killed the Queen and her family in the process. Margaery and her family being killed for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time make what Cersei did that much more horrible. I’m not surprised that she went back on her pact with Olenna, but it still infuriates me that Margaery had to die because the High Sparrow was too arrogant to see what Cersei was planning.
Tommen committing suicide was shocking but under the circumstances, I can understand why he made that choice. He’s very young and Margaery meant everything to him and to see her go up in flames was probably too much for him to bear. Despite me hating Cersei once again, I’m glad she got revenge on the nun who “shamed” her throughout season 5. Her speech was very powerful in the way she owned up to every bad thing she’s done while justifying it all by saying that it’s fun. I’m very interested to know how Cersei and specifically Jaime will deal with their son’s death. Cersei seemed like she got over it fairly quickly, but I can only imagine how Jaime is going to feel about all of this. Also, Cersei is now the Queen so everyone is pretty much f***** right?
The Stark children also had their time in the spotlight during the finale. Having Bran’s scene somewhat confirm the R + L = J theory had to be a highlight for many people last night. Even though we don’t technically know who the father is, the writers made it abundantly clear who it most likely is. I’m really glad we got to see Arya one last time this season and in such a glorious fashion. The last time we saw her kind of left of a bad taste in my mouth with the way her final battle with the Waif wasn’t shown on screen. However, this episode more than made up for that by having Arya do what she does best, which is killing people off her list. Feeding someone their relatives is a very barbaric thing to do and it’s something that I couldn’t see Arya doing a couple of seasons ago. That scene as a whole was a great way to show how Arya has evolved into not just an assassin, but a cold & relentless one as well.
The growth of Jon and Sansa was also highlighted during Winds of Winter. Jon sending Melisandre away for killing Shireen and Sansa understanding that she shouldn’t ever trust Littlefinger showed how these two characters have matured over the past couple of seasons. I also appreciated Sansa admitting she should’ve told Jon about her alliance with Littlefinger and them both agreeing that they need to start trusting each other. Now that Jon Snow is the King of the North, as he told her, the Starks will have more enemies than ever and if the two of them can’t trust each other, their house will fall once again.
I want to wrap up this review with talking about Daenerys. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with her character for the better part of the last 4 seasons. One minute she’s amazing, and then the next minute she’s aggravating. However, this episode may have helped me see her in a new light. Watching her break-up with Daario was more emotional than I thought it would be. He clearly loved her and it seemed she felt the same way which is why it’s so sad that they probably won’t meet again. But, what made me look at her differently was that she left behind a man she cared about and felt nothing afterwards.
Her goal of becoming the Queen of Westeros is slowly making her less sympathetic and more ruthless which I actually like. I don’t want Daenerys to lose her humanity or reject finding love forever but in order to be the Queen that Westeros needs, she has to learn how to make tough decisions and not let her heart interfere.
Progression and maturity were the overlaying themes of Winds of Winter. Arya Stark’s brutal revenge, Jon Snow’s new role, and Daenerys’ road to Westeros all did an amazing job of not only showing where these characters are going in the final two seasons of the series but also how far they all have come.