If season 5 was intense, season 6 was just epic. There’s no way one single blog post can cover everything I might want to say about two incredible seasons worth of television. I’m not even sure I have enough within me to cover so many different character arcs. It’s why I’m in utter admiration of George R.R. Martin for creating such a world, and for David Benioff and Daniel Weiss for turning it into epic television and crafting that marvelous season 6 (which takes the series past the books).
So, without further ado…
Season 5 was the season of lows. Lows for our protagonists, our villains, and half of the characters in between. Jon Snow died. Sansa was married off to Ramsay Bolton and raped. Cersei endured her walk of shame. Arya went blind. Danaerys was taken by the Dothraki after an attack by the Sons of the Harpy. The list goes on. I’m not even sure all of this came in season 5 because I’m quite drained after back to back seasons and I can’t remember it all. But goodness, what a depressing season it was.
And if season 5 was the season of lows, then season 6 was the season where some people turned their fortunes around. Jon Snow is now King of the North (by the way, R+L=J). Cersei is Queen (although she did lose all her children as prophesied). Arya took her revenge on Walder Frey. Danaerys is now sailing across the Narrow Sea with a massive army to claim the Iron Throne.
I could go on and on about individual characters, their challenges and obstacles, their changes and growth as people and characters, their arcs, and so on. There’s just so many people to talk about. And that’s what I love: the sheer complexity of characters and how they interact to mold and shape the world around them.
And I love how every character is special, individual and three-dimensional, even the secondary characters. I love Brienne and her unflinching loyalty. I love Varys, for his dedication to Westeros and his incredible ability. I love Lyanna Mormont, for her strength despite her precocious age. I love Tyrion (as most do), for his wit, his charm, his intelligence, and even his self-loathing. The list goes on and on.
Season 6 also added some incredible, epic cinematography to garnish the amazing cast of characters. I’m, of course, talking about the Battle of the Bastards. I have watched many films, and while I can’t claim to have watched them all, many people agree that Saving Private Ryan‘s opening D-Day landing sequence was one of the best pieces of cinema depicting war ever.
I wouldn’t say Battle of the Bastards topped Saving Private Ryan‘s opening sequence. But it’s right up there. From the bird’s eye view, we narrow it down to Jon’s perspective where he fights and fights, with no end to the enemies, with threats coming from out of nowhere. We see the struggle of men, screaming, snarling, bleeding. We see blood and tears and guts, and the true horrors of war. What an incredible 30 minutes of television.
Finally, a word about women. Game of Thrones has always been praised for its depiction of powerful women doing what they can do in the male-dominated society of GoT. Then they got slaughtered for season 5, where all the most important female characters were met with some terrible obstacles and challenges. Season 6 put paid to that and gave these women more than just their dignity back, but also put into their hands incredible power.
Now, Jon is the only king left. Cersei is queen at King’s Landing; the Tyrells and Martells no longer have their male heirs, and are allied with Danaerys. It is a triumph for women, and long may that continue.
Game of Thrones is nearing its end. Most of the pieces on the board are now in place. The final episodes can’t come any sooner.