Originally published on Trevor Trove on July 20, 2017
With Game of Thrones returning this last weekend, I spent some time watching last season in order to get caught up. I knew some of the big moments already, thanks to having a Twitter account in this day and age but spoilers don’t really bother me so I still enjoyed a ton of moments from the season. Here are ten of my favorites (in no particular order):
- Battle of the Bastards – the war between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton was everything I could have wanted. I found myself thinking how elements of it reminded me of the Battle of Helm’s Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. And that was before Littlefinger showed up with the cavalry. The final parts where Jon and Sansa got their revenge (in a series that has given them so many terrible moments) were great.
- Arya Stark Reborn – After another season denying her past and true motives to join the Faceless Men, her arc this season was great. Starting out as a blind pauper punished for killing someone she wasn’t meant to, she had to slowly be brought back in. Sent to assassinate an actress performing a play based on the fall of Joffrey, she was reminded of her father and the thirst for vengeance buried within. When she refused to kill the actress, the Waif tried to kill Arya but Arya succesfully won the battle, reclaimed her name, and returned to Westeros for her vengeance upon Walder Frey.
- Hold the Door – A somber moment for poor Hodor as the tragic truth about his name and life were revealed. Essentially created through a time loop with Bran visiting the past while the White Walkers tried to overtake them in the present, poor Wylis was forever changed and sent mad by the voices in his head telling him to hold the door and he seizured repeating the phrase until it (and he) became Hodor, the man who would carry Bran beyond the wall and defend him until his dying breath.
- The Mad Queen – In King’s Landing, this season was about the growing war between Cersei and the High Sparrow and his religious zealots. She finished what The Mad King had threatened all those years earlier, using the stores of Wildfire hidden under the Sept to blow it, and so many of her enemies, to hell. She lost her son Tommen, who she so desperately tried to protect, when he took his own life in the aftermath but she now sits on the Iron Throne with nothing left to lose.
- Daenerys Claims the Dothraki – Dany spent the first half of the season tying up some old Dothraki business. Apparently, as the widow of Khal Drogo, she should have headed off to join the other widows of fallen Khal’s after his death. No that the other Khal’s have found her, they essentially hold her prisoner to this fate until Jorah and Daario arrive to help her escape. But rather than flee the city empty handed, she decides to burn all of the other Khal’s, walk out of the burning hut, and claim the Dothraki horde into her army.
- Daenerys Sends Jorah Away – Shortly thereafter, Jorah reveals his Greyscale condition and, in one of the small but heartfelt moments, we get to see how much Dany fears losing him, ordering him to find the cure so that he may stand beside her when the time comes for her to reclaim the Iron Throne. It’s unlikely she will ever love him in the way he desires, but she does love him.
- Daenerys Retakes Mereen – After Tyrion tried his best to handle the growing tensions in Mereen through political means, it took Dany’s ruthless return and a few dragons to shut the Masters up (presumably once and for all). There was some great action and badass moments here for pretty much all involved and served to put a nice button on Dany’s time in Essos.
- Daenerys Heads West – Because the Greyjoys have brought Dany a fleet so she can finally bring her armies West and set up the series’ end game. After six long seasons, Dany finally departs for Westeros.
- People Not Being Dead – Jon Snow came back to us, The Hound survived his battle with Brienne, and even Benjen returned for the first time since early that first season. If utilized too much, the false death can drastically lower the stakes as we might think it possible that anyone can come back but these were some excellent uses. Jon’s lineage (see next point) is too important to the story’s end game to be discarded so deftly so it would seem the Lord of Light is not yet finished with him. The Hound was nursed back to health and reunited with the Brothers Without Banners, leaving the possibility open for the Battle of the Cleganes. And Benjen Stark, caught somewhere between the living and the dead, returned to briefly aid Bran and tie up that loose thread from near the beginning of the series.
- Bran’s Vision of Baby Jon – Bran’s vision to the past at the end of the season confirms the long-standing fan theory that Jon Snow is in fact the bastard of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark: a child of Fire and Ice. How this will play out in the show’s end game remains to be seen. I imagine it’ll be pretty hard to convince anybody of this heritage since basically everyone involved is dead. But I’m excited to see what becomes of the new “King of the North.”