A long — way, way too long — time has passed since the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones aired last year and, if you are like most people, you could definitely use some help kick-starting your memory about last season's main events to make you ready for what's to come. Season 6 was a great season for Game of Thrones, with top of the charts episodes that broke the show's own records in terms of viewership, and with a pretty explosive finale (to say the least!).
In an universe such as the one George R. R. Martin's created, with so many side stories and characters, it's a tough task to come up with only five pivotal moments within a season, but these following events have made the absolute most impact in terms of story, and have caused some mini heart-attacks in the process.
From bringing characters back from the dead, raising armies and wiping up a whole sept, here are the top 5 moments of Game of Thrones Season 6.
[Just in case you're not caught up with Season 6 yet, you should know there will be spoilers ahead]
'I Saw Nothing'
The hype around Jon Snow's fate was humongous, and Season 6 proved to be his season. Apart from the Game of Thrones hiatus — when actor Kit Harinton had to lie to everyone about being dead — and one single episode, Jon Snow was very much alive throughout the whole season (thank you very much!). After being stabbed multiple times by his fellow Watchers, Jon's body was retrieved by the Onion Knight, Ser Davos, and Jon's few friends in the Night's Watch.
As many had predicted, Melisandre did us all the favor of bringing Jon back to life, with the help of the Lord of life, of course. To Melisandre's dismay, Jon didn't have any recollection of his time on 'the other side,' as he claimed he "saw nothing, just blackness." It took Jon a while to get his bearings and, once he did, he put an end to the mutiny party that took his life, by hanging his killers and leaving his post as the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Apparently, his watch ended for him when he died, and he entrusted Ed to keep the Wall up and guarded as Jon himself left the Wall behind him.
The changing of the seasons was a huge deal in the Season 6 of Game of Thrones. The long promised winter finally came and it was signaled throughout the episodes, in both the weather itself — there's a whole bunch of snow now — and in the changes some characters have faced. Sam made his way to Old Town to become a maester, Arya eventually became no one after almost biting the dust a couple times, Sansa's defeated her nemesis Ramsay Bolton and fed him to his dogs, and Bran finally earned his Raven status when the Three-Eyed Raven died.
More literally, with the arrival of the winter, the White Walkers came ever closer to the Wall, and their plans to cross it are almost complete. The Citadel sent out white ravens to let everyone know about the season change, but it failed to warn the Westerosi people of who the real threat actually is. The winter will be as long as it takes for the men to overcome the Night King — who, by the way, got a background story this season — and his army of wights. With barely three Valyrian Steel swords left in the realm, Sam better figure out how to make dragonglass or dragon steel pretty fast, if anyone is to have a fighting chance against the Walkers.
King in the North, a.k.a. Jon Snow
The bastard of Winterfell earned a mother and a father in Game of Thrones Season 6. Via Bran's Tower of Joy flashbacks, we were all made privy to the 20-year-old secret of who Jon's parents actually were. As millions had anticipated, Ned's sister, Lyanna Stark, and Raegar Targaryen are Jon's real parents — and Jon isn't even his real name! Of course, since we last saw Bran north of the Wall, we're the only ones who know that Jon might not even be a bastard at all. But savoring that revelation has made the finale all the sweeter for all of us!
Regardless of his background, Jon legitimized himself when, after defeating the Bolton army in the "Battle of the Bastards," he was proclaimed King in the North by the other houses' lords in Winterfell. As King, he no longer has to worry about whether or not he is a bastard, which entitles him command over Winterfell and ward of the North. With his sister Sansa at his side — who enlisted Littlefinger's help with the Knights of the Vale — and Arya back on Westeros and on her way North, Jon now has an army and all the support he needs to fight the Night King.
'Burn Them All'
Those words, which kept being repeated over and over by the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, came to life when Cersei used wildfire to eliminate all her sworn enemies at once. As the High Septon, Queen Margaery, Kevan Lannister and many others gathered in the High Sept of Baelor to witness Cersei and Loras Tyrell's trial by the faith, Cersei calmly contemplated from the Red Keep, as the wildfire consumed them all. Her son, King Tommen, ended up jumping out of a window in the Red Keep — distraught as he was by the death of his Queen Margaery — and thus fulfilled Maggy the Frog's prophecy.
In turn, an unabashed Cersei made herself Queen of Westeros as her brother Jaime, recently returned from the Riverlands, watched from the throne room gallery. Suffice to say that Jaime has been dubbed the Kingslayer for killing the Mad King, when all the king did was threaten to "burn them all." What he will do to Cersei, now that she realized that threat, remains to be seen. But, judging from the look he gave her at the throne and how unloved she is by her people, I'm guessing her reign will be a short-lived one.
Fire and Blood
Season 6 also saw Daenerys fulfill her series long goal of sailing to Westeros, and what an ending sequence that was for the entire season. After six years of fighting slavery, watching her dragons grow and biding her time, Dany finally emerged as the Queen she was always meant to be. With Tyrion as her Hand of the Queen, Varys the Spider making connections for her and the Ironborn, the Dothraki and the Unsullied armies at her back, Daenerys sailed to her future with her three dragons now almost fully grown and deeply obedient.
In a season where most of the leadership positions were taken over by women, Daenery's arrival in Westeros will be a magnified game-changer in many ways. She'll definitely oppose — and most likely fight — Cersei's claim to the Iron Throne, her alliance with Yara Greyjoy will make sure Euron's grip on the Iron Islands is an unsteady one, and her dragons might play a huge part in aiding Jon Snow in the war against the Night King.
With Season 7 merely weeks away, Game of Thrones will begin its final two seasons, which will be much shorter. There will only be seven episodes this season and a further six in Season 8, so, much of the story should be getting closure pretty soon. Considering Game of Thrones' track record of deaths per episode, it'd be no wonder if only the key players for the War of the Dawn that is to come remain for the show's final season. This means that this may very well be the last dying breath for many loved — and others not so much — characters. Are you ready for the final chapters?
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on July 16th, on HBO.
What are you most excited to see in this Season 7? Sound off your predictions in the comments below!