What a bloody finale. It doesn’t come as a huge surprise because Game of Thrones is a show that has proved time and again that it has the power to rip out your heart, stomp all over it and yet entertain you enough during this time that you just can’t wait for the next episode. Sadly, we will have to wait a year to find out where things really stand. Perhaps, George R.R. Martin would have completed the sixth book in the series, ‘The Winds of Winter’ by then. But, until that happens or the next season begins, we are left to mourn, stew and weep over the bloodshed.
Let’s take a look at how the Game of Thrones season finale, Mother’s Mercy, broke down.
The Boltons vs. Stannis Baratheon
Things seemed to be looking up for the One True King, but he wasn’t much happy about it. Most probably, he wasn’t happy about what he had to do in order to mobilize his forces. That could explain why he shrugged off Melisandre’s embrace. Turns out, it wasn’t just Stannis who was feeling guilty. Apparently, Lady Selyse, who has been a horrifying mother so far, wasn’t able to handle the grief and hanged herself. Likewise, half of Stannis’s men took off with horses and supplies after witnessing Shireen’s sacrifice. Nonetheless, Stannis marches on to Winterfell and orders a siege at sunrise.
However, there isn’t any need because it is a massacre as the Bolton forces just consume them. Stannis remains standing, albeit bloody, and defeats two Bolton soldiers although one gets him in the leg. It doesn’t look good for Stannis already and then Brienne shows up. She says how a shadow with his face murdered her beloved Renly and the last Baratheon tells her to go ahead and do it. Well, she does because it looks like Stannis is dead. Meanwhile, Ramsay is on the battlefield doing some cleanup when he quips that his wife may be lonely.
Jon Snow vs. the Night’s Watch
Sam and Jon finally get the chance to talk about the events at Hardhome and Jon shares how he shattered a White Walker with his Valyrian steel sword, Longclaw. There are other pressing matters, too. Jon asks his friend how it feels to be pals with the most hated man at Castle Black. Sam comforts him and mentions that he wants to take Gilly and her little one to the Citadel where he can learn to be a maester. Jon initially refuses, but relents and off goes Sam. Later, Ser Davos shows up to ask for military support, but Jon declines. Before they can continue the argument, a forlorn-looking Melisandre enters through the gate.
She doesn’t answer either Jon’s or Davos’s query about Stannis and Shireen and her silence is the answer. Even later, Olly comes rushing in to Jon saying that a wildling knows the whereabouts of First Ranger Benjen Stark and the Lord Commander walks into a trap. He is cornered by Ser Alliser and a couple of others. Staring with Alliser Thorne, they stab him one by one and say ‘For the Watch’. The last blade is actually the worst as Olly is the one who wields the knife. Good thing Melisandre is close as the Red Clerics can resurrect the dead. Jon Snow is dead, but resurrection is a possibility, right?
Sansa Stark vs. Ramsay Bolton
It was a key that Sansa hid last week, which she uses for climbing to the tower for lighting the candle. Meanwhile, Podrick spots Stannis’s army and rushes to find Brienne, who leaver her post before she can see Sansa’s signal for help. The lady Stark is off to find whoever it was she signaled when she is waylaid by Ramsay’s mistress holding a bow and arrow, and Reek. Myranda is thrown over the balcony by Reek before she can do any damage. Then they are off; Theon and Sansa leaping off the Winterfell wall, which is bound to have broken some bones. Ramsay is back and they will not be able to run far without help.
Arya Stark vs. Meryn Trant
The Kingsguard is getting his fun with the young girls he asked for, but to his misfortune, one of the girls is our Arya Stark with a different face. The little assassin stabs out his eyes and gives him a few stabs in the chest before telling him her identity and for the crime he is being punished; Syrio Fortel’s murder. Then she goes on to slit his throat and walks away satisfied. She may be pleased with herself, but people at the House of Black and White aren’t. Jaqen drinks poison and dies claiming that only death can pay for life. But, when she is crying over him, the Waif turns out to be Jaqen. She pulls of Jaqen’s face from the dead body, one after the other until she sees herself. Then? She goes blind. Upside; Arya’s list is one name shorter, but downside is that she is in a bad spot now.
Jaime Lannister vs. Dorne
Prince Doran, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are there to say farewell to Myrcella, Trystane, Jaime and Bronn. Our Ser Bronn gets a special farewell from the youngest Sand Snake who almost killed him and flirted with him. On the ship, Myrcella and Jaime have a heart-to-heart in which the former reveals that she is aware of her parentage and accepts Jaime as her father. Only, she starts bleeding and it becomes clear that Ellaria’s kiss was poisonous as she suffers from the same symptoms back on the docks, but takes the antidote. A raging Jaime is going to be tough to deal with for Dorne.
Daenerys Targaryen vs. Meereen
Daario, Jorah and Tyrion are totally bummed out and are moping on the throne steps after Dany’s departure. Daario is already tired of Tyrion’s talking, but Missandei and Grey Worm crash their pity party. After some bickering, they decide they want to go to save Dany and Drogon. However, Daario highlights Tyrion’s lack of skill in fighting and his expertise in ruling, choosing to leave him behind with Grey Worm and Missandei as faces of the government. Tyrion reunites with Varys and the Spider’s timings couldn’t be better or it could, maybe. Nevertheless, he is still going to be useful to Tyrion who has to run a city on the verge of Civil War.
During this time, Dany and Drogon are apparently hanging out north of the city. The queen looks a bit roughed up and the dragon clearly wants to rest after his fight with Sons of the Harpy. He is banged up and tired, meaning he doesn’t want to fly so he just shrugs her off him. Dany hears horses when she goes searching for food and before you know it, she is surrounded by a Khalasar. The scores of Dothraki could really be dangerous so her dragon better wake up soon. Plus side, if the Mother of Dragons convinces the Khalasar to be on her side, the Masters of Meereen are going to be in a world of trouble.
Cersei Lannister vs. the High Sparrow
Our queen mother has had enough and confesses to the High Sparrow. Confesses what exactly? Well, she admits that she slept with now-a-sparrow, but once-a-squire Lancel Lannister. The High Sparrow brings up the matter of incest, but she denies it. In response, he tells Cersei that there will be a trial, but she can go to the Red Keep after an atonement. She is first scrubbed and then her golden Lannister locks are shorn. Blood oozes from her scalp as her hair tumble to the dungeon floor.
Cersei is marched out of the sept by the Silent Sisters where the High Sparrows introduces here to the ‘good people’ of King’s Landing. Then her smock is taken off and she is literally naked. The walk to the Red Keep is long and a taunt of ‘shame’ greets her with every step she takes. But, Cersei tries to stay strong and tall as thousands leer at her and throw insults, excrement and even spit. Alas! Even the hardest woman in Westeros cannot endure this for long as Cersei’s stony visage begins to crack and her feet start bleeding.
Finally, she approaches the doors of the Red Keep as the notes of Rains of Castamere start playing. Qyburn rushes to her with a cloak as her uncle and Maester Pycelle look on. Qyburn, after expressing his happiness at seeing the Queen, goes on to introduce her to the newest member of the Kingsguard, Qyburn’s version of Frankenstein’s monster or he could also be a monster version of the Mountain. The knight has taken a vow silence until he has destroyed our Queen’s enemies. Right now, there is no question that the High Sparrow has come out on top in this battle, but let’s not forget that Cersei isn’t the one to forgive and forget, though we have to wait until next season to see what happens.