Another year, another season of Game of Thrones is in the books! I know I’m six years late to the game, but considering that I binged through four and a half seasons a year ago to catch up, I feel like I owe it to you guys to give my commentary on this past season. Here are my Season End Awards for Game of Thrones!
MVP: Daenerys Targaryen
Runners Up: Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister
The final two episodes concluded this season-long chess game with three major power players. Jon Snow was resurrected, reclaimed Winterfell in the name of the Starks, and has been proclaimed the King of the North. His arc, epic as it was, was predictable. Cersei Lannister is sitting atop the Iron Throne. She’s always taken pride in ruling the Seven Kingdoms as a player-coach, through her marriage and her motherhood. Now, with her spouse and her churren dead AF, she’s the Queen.
However, Daenerys Targaryen’s ridiculously complicated journey toward the Iron Throne is finally taking shape. No more detours to Mereen. No more random marriages. She’s made the ultimate Girl Power Alliance with Yara and Theon Greyjoy, the Sand Snakes of Dorne, and the deposed Lady Olenna. Add her vast Dothraki army, the gully Unsullied, Tyrion’s knowledge of King’s Landing, and three fully grown dragons at her command…. that’s one unstoppable mofo! Dany has never been more confident. All of her long-winded titles that she claims finally carry weight as she sails across the Narrow Sea.
Best Villain: Ramsay Bolton
Honorable Mention: Cersei Lannister, The Night’s King
Cersei will likely win this award next season, unless The Night’s King finally does something other than come-at-me-bro-ing everyone that he sees. This season was all about Ramsay Bolton. He killed his father, his mother-in-law, and his infant brother in ONE EPISODE! All to take over his House. He also killed a Stark, a Wildling, and a Direwolf. His toying with Rickon before the Battle was A+ dickery. He was universally hated by everyone, even his allies. The best part is that he met his end in the most satisfying way possible. It wasn’t some BS mystery poison copout. It was violent, brutal, and deserving.
Rest in Hell, you piece of shit!
Best Episode: Battle of the Bastards (S06E09)
Honorable Mention: The Winds of Winter (s06E10), Book of the Stranger (S06E04)
“The Winds of Winter” was a great season finale. The first half hour was incredible, from the score to the explosion. Game of Thrones always sets up the next villain after the previous one falls, and Cersei is clearly that next villain. “Book of the Stranger” was cool if not for the final scene of Danaerys emerging from the fire. This episode also set in motion the events that would lead up to my winner:
Every moment in this episode is tense, edge-of-your-seat action. It finally made me care about Mereen. Grey Worm finally got to be great, even if it was just for a moment. There’s no denying an episode with the massive budget that it had. Jon Snow swinging swords like a bawse, Tormond going full Rick Grimes during the battle, Wun Wun’s last stand, and the aforementioned death of Ramsay, made this episode one of the best of the entire series.
Most Improved: Sansa Stark
Honorable Mention: Arya Stark
Season Six reduced the roles of key characters (Jaime, Tyrion), while maintaining the status quo for others (Jon, Dany, Cersei). There wasn’t much growth given to anyone except for Arya and Sansa Stark. While Arya graduating from Assassin’s Creed Tech is great, it was also expected. She may end up as the Bawse of Bawses, but she’s now a rookie in the assassin game.
Sansa Stark went from a spoiled, stupid idiot pawn, to the third most powerful woman on the show. After five years of playing with a shitty spades hand with no books, she finally got dealt a couple of aces and a big joker. Her journey to get back to Winterfell was cunning and brave, and she received the most satisfying payoff in the season.
Best Kill: Walder Frey eats his just desserts
Honorable Mention: Sansa lets the dogs out, Grey Worm Double Kill
Grey Worm’s buy one, get one free was just a simple reminder of his gangsta. He’s not Secretary of Defense for nothing, fam. Sansa going full Baha Man was great. However, Arya Stark used every lesson from her days at Assassin’s A&T, and added a little Eric Cartman flavor to it. Ramsay was the worst villain on record, but just mentioning “The Red Wedding” sends shivers down spines. Everyone remembers where they were and how they felt during that. Arya finally getting retribution for that was awesome.
Savage of the Year: Lady Olenna
Honorable Mention: Lady Mormont, The Waif
Lady Mormont is the daughter that I hope to raise one day; Sharp, contrite, and lacking any fucks for anyone’s bullshit. The Waif and her T-1000 chase of Arya through Braavos, as well as how she gave her that Donatello work early in the season was beast.
Lady Olenna Tyrell was the ultimate savage. She crushed Cersei every chance that she had, even while they were on the same team! She told the young Sand Snakes to shut the fuck up while grown folks is talking, after her entire family was incinerated. She’s the old, rich bat that wears her chinchilla fur coat on the train to the Upper East Side, clutching her entitlement and being disgusted at the world around her. I hope she never dies… (I may have just marked her for death)
Stupid Idiot of the Year: Bran Stark
Honorable Mention: Tommen Baratheon, Rickon Stark
Rickon was bound to die at the Battle, whether he ran serpentine or not. Ramsay is a skilled archer. The least that Rickon could have done was make it hard for Ramsey. He went out like Ricky from Boyz N The Hood. Rickon…. Ricky…. hmm…..
Tommen isn’t necessarily a Stupid Idiot. He’s just suffering from an acute case of Bitchassness. He was a naive pawn in the Cersei/High Sparrow/Margaery chess game.
Bran Stark and his irresponsible warging ass doomed his teacher, his magic treehouse, his bodyguard, and quite possibly the entire world! Everything that he does throughout the series has been reckless, and almost every action has resulted in massive shock waves in the Game of Thrones universe.
OMG Moment: Hold The Door
Honorable Mention: R+L=J Confirmed, The Hound is Alive
Jon Snow being a Stark and a Targaryen was more of an eventual reveal. The clues were woven throughout the series. The Hound being alive was a fun reveal, and he immediately reclaimed his bawse status with his ax rampage. Hold The Door is tragic. Hodor is so beloved, and his end/beginning (time is really confusing in this series) hits hard in the feels. I didn’t hold any doors for anyone for a week.
This season made a point to establish one major plot device: Women Run this Shit. The first episode with Dorne being overtaken by the Sand Snake Women established the course of the season. Daenerys took control the ultra macho Dothraki Hordes, Cersei took control of King’s Landing, and sitting on the Iron Throne, Yara Greyjoy looks to take control of the Iron Islands, Sansa Stark orchestrated the coup to reclaim Winterfell for the Starks, and Arya Stark emerged as a badass, cold-blooded assassin. Throw in Lady Olenna and Lady Mormont’s savagery, and even the tragic realization of Margaery being the only one to figure out that the High Sparrow was played, and this season of Game of Thrones was chock-full of Girl Power. It’s a far cry from seasons past which featured a long rape scene, a literal nude body shaming scene, and plenty of HBO taxes being paid by actresses and their bewbs. There wasn’t a single sex scene in this season, and the nudity was at a minimum. The only time where it was even relevant to the story was Daenerys emerging from the flames after she killed a bunch of macho Dothraki generals who objectified her. A narrative was told without relying on typical HBO practices. Well done.
Overall, this was a very satisfying season. I feel like I’ve been given a full narrative, with a lot of questions answered. We have three main characters established who are in play for the Iron Throne, but as this show has taught us, no one is safe. We still have the White Walkers slowly making their way south, and I feel that regardless of who’s sitting on the Iron Throne, it would be their responsibility to deal with them. Until next year: