What. Just. Happened. The season 5 finale of ‘Game of Thrones’ was unbelievably shocking. So many lives hang in the balance, and one fan favorite’s fate looks grim.
The Game of Thrones finale did not disappoint. The June 14 episode was one of the best hours of television ever. Stannis finally made his way to Winterfell, Cersei took her Walk of Shame, Arya killed one of her sworn enemies, and many characters may have met a grisly fate. That final scene? Yeah, we’re still trying to cope.
Winter was finally melting away, which meant it was the right moment for Stannis to head to Winterfell. Melisandre assured him that he was about to get everything he’s ever wanted. One thing he couldn’t get back, however, was his daughter. Or his men. After sacrificing his daughter in hopes of getting closer to the Iron Throne, half of Stannis’ men deserted him. Sounds like karma!
And the day just got worse for Stannis. Unable to bear the pain of her daughter’s death, Selyse hanged herself. Despite all that had just happened, Stannis marched onward to Winterfell. While Stannis made his way there, Sansa was on her way out. This was her moment. Rather simultaneously, Podrick noticed Stannis’ army getting closer to Winterfell. He ran and told Brienne. Before Sansa could send her signal for help, Brienne left to go after Stannis. POOR SANSA!
As much as Stannis hoped he would easily seize Winterfell, the Bolton army met him halfway. Sansa watched the battle begin from a Winterfell tower and bolted. Stannis was left seriously injured from the battle, but still mustered up the strength to slay two enemies. As he rested, Brienne came upon him and told him she had arrived to avenge Renly’s death. She still believed that he murdered Renly with black magic and was finally going to serve him justice.
“I, Brienne of Tarth, sentence you to die,” she said. In that moment, Stannis didn’t put up a fight. He appeared at peace with his fate. “Go on, do your duty,” he replied. And with that, Brienne appeared to take Stannis’ life. Stannis deserved to die. Sorry, not sorry.
‘Game Of Thrones’: ‘You Know Who I Am’
Jon Snow attempted to detail the horror at Hardhome to Sam. He felt enormously guilty for what had happened and believed he was the most hated man in Castle Black. Sam used this vulnerable moment to ask to be sent away with Gilly and little Sam. He felt as if he was no use to anyone, not knowing that Jon really needed him by his side. However, Sam knew that if he stayed in Castle Black, he would die. Jon gave him the OK to leave, and Sam promised to come back. Tears welled up in Jon’s eyes as he said farewell to Sam. (Be right back, SOBBING!)
Unfortunately, Ramsay was still alive after the Bolton/Baratheon battle. He was killing everyone in sight. This was playtime for him. As Sansa tried to escape on her own after the battle, she came face-to-face with Myranda and Theon. Before Myranda could kill Sansa Katniss-style, Theon pushed her over the side of the wall. Reek was gone! Theon took her hand and ran. In a bold move, they jumped from the wall of Winterfell together.
Okay, so are they dead, too? They can’t be! If so, this episode will be the bloodiest in Game of Thrones history. For now, I’m just going to choose to believe that they landed on a cloud of snow.
Over in Braavos, Meryn Trant was wreaking havoc. He was brutally whipping a trio of girls, but there was one girl who wouldn’t break. That’s because it was actually Arya. She took her chance and stabbed him in the eyes and everywhere else. She revealed that he was the “first person” on her list of people to kill. She wanted him to acknowledge who she was. “You know who I am. I’m Arya Stark,” she said.
When she asked who he was, she replied for him, “No one. You’re nothing.” She slit his throat right then and there. When Arya returned to the House of Black and White, Jaqen told her that she’d taken the wrong life. “That man’s life wasn’t yours to take,” he said. She had now stolen from the Many Faced God, and she owed him a debt.
“Only death can pay for life,” Jaqen muttered, before drinking poison. WHAT? Suddenly, his face took over the other apprentice’s. “Faces are for no one. You are still someone,” Jaqen continued. Then, out of nowhere, Arya couldn’t see! Is blindness her punishment for killing Meryn Trant? Geez.
‘Game Of Thrones’: A Kiss Of Death
Myrcella, Jaime, Bronn and Trystane were finally leaving Dorne and heading to King’s Landing. They all said their goodbyes to Doran, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes. But Ellaria made sure to leave Myrcella with a parting gift. The boat set sail, and Myrcella and Jaime had one epic heart-to-heart. She revealed that she’s known all along that Jaime was really her father.
“I’m glad you are my father,” she sweetly said. She hugged him, and the look on his face was magical. It was like he felt real love for the first time in his life. Suddenly, her nose started bleeding. ELLARIA, YOU ARE ONE BAD BITCH. She used the same poison that one of the Sand Snakes used on Bronn! Before she could seemingly meet the same fate as Myrcella, Ellaria drank the cure.
Over in Meereen, Tyrion, Jorah and Daario were trying to figure out how to find Daenerys. Tyrion was up and ready to go, but Daario and Jorah weren’t too excited to have him tag along. Everyone pretty much agreed that Tyrion should stay in Meereen and help Grey Worm (!) rule in Dany’s absence. Dany’s two suitors headed off into the sunset, and Tyrion thought he was truly alone until Varys showed up!
Dany was off somewhere in the distance. Drogon was still injured from the attack. She wanted to go home, but he refused to get up. She wandered aimlessly in search of food and was met by a group of unknown people. Who are they?! Daario and Jorah better come quick.
‘Game Of Thrones’: Mother’s Mercy & The Ultimate Betrayal
“I have sinned,” Cersei cried to the High Sparrow. “I want to be clean again. I want absolution.” Cersei had turned over a new leaf and had learned that denial was going to get her nowhere. “Once I’ve confessed, will I be free?” she asked.
The High Sparrow asked her to name the man she’d had an illicit tryst with. She named Lancel. The High Sparrow also asked if there were other men. In a selfless moment, Cersei protected Jaime and denied she had anymore lovers. She also denied that her children were anyone but King Robert’s. She blamed Stannis for the rumors.
Cersei begged for mother’s mercy. The High Sparrow agreed to allow her to return to the Red Keep. She was free to go — after her atonement. Cersei was willing to do whatever it took to get back home. She was stripped naked, wiped clean and her long, flowing, Lannister blonde hair was cut away from her body. She stood before the people of King’s Landing and began her walk.
Her steps were followed with a woman constantly chanting “shame.” People hurled vicious insults at her and threw things at her body, marring her skin. She fell to her knees, her feet bloodied and blistered. Her eyes were constantly on the Red Keep. She made it to the doors and broke down. She was carried away inside by the reanimated version of The Mountain, who was now basically the Westeros version of Bane.
Things were just as terrible over in Castle Black. Melisandre showed up and revealed Stannis’ defeat and Shireen’s fate. Davos was devastated. Jon Snow pondered the recent developments and then Olly ran to him with news about Benjen Stark — he was alive (maybe)!
Jon Snow ran outside. What he found, well, he wasn’t expecting it. Alliser brutally stabbed him. His reason? “For the Watch,” he said. All the men of the Night’s Watch began stabbing him. Over. And over. And over. He collapsed to his knees and met eyes with Olly. Jon’s eyes begged Olly not to do what he was about to do. Olly stabbed Jon, and they all left him there to die. And, yes, Jon really did die. Rest in peace, sweet Jon Snow.
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— Avery Thompson