If you were confused how Varys got from Dorne to Daenerys’s ship so quickly, you might want to note the peachy Martell and green Tyrell sails flapping in the breeze alongside the black Targaryen and yellow Greyjoy ones. At this point, Daenerys has either already swung by Dorne to pick up Varys, the Tyrells, and Martell fleets, or everyone met her somewhere in the middle of the crossing. Suffice it to say, they seem to be aimed straight for the capital. Earlier in the episode, Daario said, “The Lannisters will have nowhere to run when you hit King’s Landing,” so that may be exactly where she’s headed.
I’m very curious how the show intends to make this look like anything resembling a fair fight. Daenerys has so many allies ;;;;hhhkjjand three dragons. What chance do the crippled and singed Lannisters have?
While Missandei and Grey Worm and Varys and (ugh) the Sand Snakes and Olenna and the Dothraki will all presumably have a role to play in the Dragon Queen’s Cabinet, it’s important to recognize her most trusted adviser: Tyrion Lannister, hand of the Queen. In King’s Landing, the broach of the hand is Lannister gold. Here? It’s Targaryen silver and we expect Tyrion to dispense plenty of wisdom while wearing it. The last time Peter Dinklage was at the true height of his comedic and dramatic powers was back in Season 2 when he was wheeling and dealing as Joffrey’s hand in King’s Landing. It will be great to see him back in that mode and in a position to have his revenge on Cersei.
One last mention of Dany’s enviable squad. Lady Olenna is, as far as we know, the last living member of House Tyrell. She better be wearing thick, thick plot armor under those mourning clothes because we obviously need her to keep the Sand Snakes on a short leash. So with all due respect to queens Cersei and Daenerys, it’s this queen I’m most invested in keeping around.
Presumably Sam and Gilly spent the entire season traveling to Oldtown (hey! some travel time that actually makes sense!) so that Sam could discover some incredible info about how to protect the realm from White Walkers buried deep somewhere in that massive Citadel library. Hopefully Gilly will have more to do than just stand around and awkwardly shift that heavy baby on her hip. (Watch the episode again and take a drink every time poor Hannah Murray struggles to keep “little” Sam in her arms.) Still, there’s plenty of opportunity for some lighter moments here next year. John Bradley was very charming with his few minutes of screen time in this episode.
Hopefully, Arya’s first order of business after she wipes the Frey arterial blood off her neck and chin, will be to free her uncle Edmure from the dungeons. When she was in her serving-girl guise, Arya was eyeballing Walder pretty hard as he explained to Jaime where he was holding Edmure. But, presumably, Arya won’t linger long at the Twins. She may have killed Walder and his two most prominent sons, but the dude had a LOT of family. And while they may not be too sad to see Walder go, Frey pride might require some kind of retribution.
So expect Arya to hit the road quickly. But according to David Benioff, Arya’s vengeance is a “worrisome narrative.” Watching Arya’s smiling face standing over Walder Frey’s dead body, Benioff said, “If you love Arya you have to be worried about where she goes from there.” There are some theories that Arya will take on the role of Lady Stoneheart, a mysterious figure of vengeance in the books. If so, Arya may soon join forces with the Brotherhood Without Banners, Lady Stoneheart’s gang in the novels. That means Arya could soon meet up with the Hound again. Expect her to start crossing even more names off her list.
And Melisandre may very well be next on Arya’s list. Remember that Arya has reason to hate her because, back in Season 3, the Red Woman took Gendry away. (For that matter, Arya may have reason to hate the Brotherhood as well. At one point, Mel, the Hound, Beric, and Thoros were all on her infamous kill list.) But as for Melisandre, as she heads south from Winterfell, she seems destined to collide with the little Stark assassin. Back in Season 3, she told Arya, “I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes . . . eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.” Well that first part—an allusion to Arya’s training as a Faceless Man—came true. So we’ll probably see these two come head-to-head next year.
If we’re going to invoke Lady Stoneheart, then we have to talk about Brienne and Pod. (Still rowing!) In the books, Stoneheart mistakes Brienne for a Lannister traitor and strings both her and her squire up. This plot may be entirely abandoned but, then again, Brienne, Pod, Melisandre, the Hound, the Brotherhood, and Arya are all kicking around the Riverlands at this point. Hey, just add Jorah and Gendry and you have a party. Given how the widespread plots are quickly becoming condensed (or do I need to remind you of Dany’s squad?), I would be very surprised if all of these characters didn’t join up (with fatal results or not) early on in Season 7.
Of course, we all hope Brienne makes it out of the Riverlands alive so she can be re-united with Tormund and his burning, wistful stares. But if she were to find him again up North, she might encounter an even more awkward dynamic. Tormund, you’ll notice, was one of the only people in that Winterfell scene not to be shouting “King in the North.” He’s not a kneeler, you see. And while he might love and respect Jon, he also took the occasion to stuff his mouth with bread (you can see it just over Davos’s shoulder) instead of declare that loyalty out loud. Davos, however, seems like he’ll continue to be a solid right-hand man to Jon (and Sansa if she lets him) and could find a brand new buddy in Lyanna Mormont.
I know I already talked about Jaime in the context of Cersei up top, but it’s also pretty important at this point to consider Jaime as his own man. In one of Coster-Waldau’s best scenes in years, Jaime squared off against Walder Frey, who tried to claim that they were the same—both Kingslayers. The dismay, self-loathing, and heartbreak that flickered across Jaime’s face here all indicated that the show might be getting serious about tackling the layered book version of Jaime. It’s a version we’ve not really seen in the series since Season 4. At this point in the books, Jaime is done with Cersei and trying to find his own way in the world. I hope we see that for show Jaime as well.
Guys, glory be, we may be done with Essos forever. No more Meereen, Braavos, Volantis, Dragon’s Bay, or Daario. (Sorry, buddy.)
So are we ready for Season 7 or what?