Season 6 of Game of Thrones has been a wild ride since the very first episode. Now that we have finally broken out of book territory, we are getting fresh new stories for our favorite characters (that are still standing). With the season sadly coming to a close, it's time to recap the various stories thus far.
Warning: I will be recapping the entirety of the first 9 episodes of Season 6. If you are not caught up with the show and you don't want things spoiled for you, click away now!
Jon Snow: Lord of Winterfell
Not even death can keep the mighty Jon Snow at bay. After being resurrected by Melisandre early in the season, Jon was reunited with his half-sister Sansa Stark and got to work recruiting an army once he learned that Ramsay had Jon's half-brother Rickon as a hostage. Jon and his army of Wildlings and Mormonts defeated Ramsay after suffering many casualties, and went on to claim Winterfell as his home once more.
Finale Predictions: Winterfell is now under control of Jon and Sansa, but things are a little more complicated than that. Jon is technically a bastard, so he's not a legitimate Stark. And Sansa became a Bolton after her marriage to Ramsay, so neither of the two have the most legitimate claims of lordship. Perhaps we'll see some rivalry for Winterfell in the finale.
We also still have the big question mark of Jon's heritage. The R+L=J theory still has book readers going crazy with excitement, but the show still hasn't confirmed or denied the theory yet. With a peek at the Tower of Joy near the beginning of the season, it could be time to finally have that question answered.
Sansa Stark: A Stark Reborn
After Sansa and Theon escaped from Ramsay's clutches, they had the good fortune to be saved by Brienne and Podrick. Sansa went on to be reunited with Jon but shortly after confronted Littlefinger, who practically sold her to Ramsay last season. As Jon was raising an army, Sansa realized that they could use Littlefinger's support, and requested his aid for battle. Littlefinger came in to save the day, and Sansa got to watch Ramsay get ripped apart by his own hounds.
Finale Predictions: After all of Sansa's hardships, she is finally in a nice place. She's back at her home, she's with her long-lost brother, and her psychotic husband is now dog chow. However, she has one more person to deal with: Littlefinger. Sansa now has the most legitimate claim to Winterfell, which means that it's very likely that Littlefinger is going to try and marry her, thus giving him control of the North and the Vale. In this upcoming final episode we might get to see what Sansa thinks about having a third husband.
Daenerys Targaryen: Khaleesi Queen
Dany may have had a hard time in Meereen, but she sure wasn't happy to be abducted by the Dothraki. They took her to Vaes Dothrak to stay with the rest of the Dosh Khaleen. She used her captivity as an opportunity to burn the Khals and take the Dothraki army as her own. Luckily, she returned to Meereen just in time to save it from the Masters of Essos. Shortly after, she met Theon and Yara Greyjoy, who gifted her ships so that she could finally travel to Westeros.
Finale Predictions: Even though Dany now has ships, Euron Greyjoy is still on his way. Once she deals with him, we might finally see her board her newly-acquired ships and sail over to Westeros to rule with her dragons, Dothraki hoard, and legion of Unsullied.
Arya Stark: A Girl with a Name
After going blind and retreating to live on the streets of Braavos, Arya was forced to fight the Waif with a stick until Jaqen finally gave her a second chance to prove herself to be an assassin. With her eyes back, Arya was sent to kill an actress, but she couldn't bring herself to kill an innocent person. She escaped and retrieved Needle before the Waif ambushed her. Despite suffering numerous wounds, Arya killed the Waif and informed Jaqen that she's going home.
Finale Predictions: Arya's story has come to a neat little close in Episode 8, but there are still a few more scenes we could see of her. Perhaps Jaqen has one more word of wisdom for her. Perhaps she just gets on a ship and sails back home. Either way, we'll probably see more of her in the finale, but not much.
Cersei Lannister: Violent Vengeance
Cersei suffered plenty of humiliation at the end of Season 5, so when Season 6 rolled around, she was ready for revenge. With the recently zombified Mountain on her side and a newly-established alliance with the Tyrells, she plotted to survive her trial with a trial by combat. Unfortunately, Tommen sided with the High Sparrow and banned that from happening, taking away all hope of Cersei succeeding her trial.
Finale Predictions: This is where it all ends for Cersei. It's time for her trial, and she's just about out of options. However, Qyburn found something out for Cersei that just might work in her favor. All theories are pointing to the Mad King's wildfire underneath King's Landing. It's likely that she will let the wildfire loose to destroy the High Sparrow and his entire following. However, that may spell the end for King Tommen's rule a well.
Jaime Lannister: Return to War
At the start of the season, Jaime found his daughter Myrcella dying in his arms. Now his plan was to do whatever possible to save his last son, Tommen. He planned to kill the High Sparrow, but when Tommen allied with the religious fanatic, Jaime had no choice but follow Tommen's orders and ride to the Frey's aid in battle. He then proceeded to help defeat the Blackfish and lead the Frey's and Lannisters to victory against the Tullys.
Finale Predictions: Jaime is now in the company of Walder Frey, which could point to several options for him. Either he is just going to sit and talk for a while about the political Frey-Lannister ties, or he is going to take some part in the death of Walder. Brienne just might be in that area, so maybe Jaime can take one more step towards morality and help kill one of the mot despicable characters in the seven kingdoms.
Tyrion Lannister: Amateur Politician
Tyrion has been in much worse situations than the one we found him in at the start of Season 6. When Dany left, Tyrion was left in charge of Meereen alongside Grey Worm and Missandei. After the attacks by the Sons of the Harpy, Tyrion successfully — albeit controversially — used his wisdom to negotiate with the Masters of Essos. Unfortunately the Masters didn't honor their arrangement, and Tyrion was forced to watch Meereen under siege until Dany showed up to save the day.
Finale Predictions: Now that Dany is finally ready to head to Westeros, Tyrion has two options. He could stay behind and continue to run Meereen, or he could accompany Dany and return to the world that drove him out. Considering the show only has a couple of seasons left, it would be nice to see Tyrion back in Westeros, so let's hope he decides to get on the ships with Daenerys.
Bran Stark: Three-Eyed Apprentice
After a long absence, Bran came back with the Three-Eyed Raven in the middle of teaching him how to control his ability to look back in time. At the beginning of the season, he got to look back on the history of his father and his heroic acts.
He didn't get far, because when the Night's King and his White Walkers showed up they killed the Raven, Bran's direwolf Summer, Hodor, and just about everyone else close to Bran. Bran was able to escape with Meera, but they would have both died if Benjen Stark hadn't showed up to save them at the last moment.
Finale Predictions: The Three-Eyed Raven was killed before Bran was able to absorb all the information, so it's very likely that Bran is going to be on the lookout for a new tree to learn some more. With the Night's King on the move, he'll need answers now more than ever.
Sandor Clegane: Blood-Hungry Hound
Most people thought he was dead, but a few of us pleaded for the Hound to come back. He certainly did — and with a whole new outlook on life. As we know, Westeros is not a place for pacifism. So when Sandor Clegane saw a peaceful settlement get slaughtered, he turned to his old ways and set out for blood, running into the Brotherhood Without Banners along the way.
Finale Predictions: We probably won't see too much of Sandor in the finale, but considering he didn't have much of a story arc in this season, he may have a quick scene to set up his character in Season 7. Maybe he has some more interactions with the Brotherhood, or maybe he has an uneasy reunion with Brienne. Whatever it is, I don't suspect that it'll be that impactful compared to the other stories that are going on at the moment.
Theon Greyjoy: Reek No More
Theon gave up his title of Reek when he helped Sansa escape, but he couldn't face the terrible decisions he made, so when he and Sansa were rescued he returned to the Iron Islands. Once there, he found out that his uncle Euron killed his father and overruled his sister Yara's claim to the throne. He and Yara took what ships they could and sailed to Meereen, where they allied themselves with Daenerys.
Finale Predictions: As I said with Dany, it's time for the Greyjoys to sail back to Westeros. Euron has got to be right behind them, so after they deal with their treacherous and traitorous uncle, they have a dragon queen to fight for.
Brienne of Tarth: Oathkeeper
After quite a few failed oaths, Brienne finally succeeded in protecting Sansa. Not only did Brienne save her, she pledged herself in service of the Stark girl. She was sent on Sansa's behalf to recruit the Blackfish, but after the Blackfish was defeated by Jaime, Brienne escaped with Podrick.
Finale Predictions: Logically, Brienne could have been heading back to Sansa, though with Jaime and Walder currently meeting, it would definitely be a fulfilling moment in the show for Brienne to show up and kill Walder and reunite once again with Jaime.
Samwell Tarly: Home Sweet Home
As Sam is on his way to become a Maester, he stops off at his home to find safe shelter for Gilly and Little Sam. Unfortunately, his cruel father is not the biggest fan of Wildlings, and once he learns where Gilly came from, he turns meaner than ever. Even though Sam's father permitted Gilly to stay, Sam wouldn't have any of it, and fled Horn Hill after stealing the Tarly's legendary sword.
Finale Predictions: We certainly have bigger concerns going on in Westeros than Sam's journey to the Citadel, but it wouldn't be too out of the box to see Sam and Gilly arriving at the Citadel for a quick five-minute scene to set up their story for Season 7.
Margaery Tyrell: The Captive Queen
A lot of twists and turns have been going on in King's Landing, but Margaery still gets her time to shine. From what it looks like, Margaery gave into the High Sparrow's influence and is now raising her flag for team Faith. However, in a brief conversation with her grandmother Olenna, she slipped her a small piece of parchment with a flower, teasing that she wasn't as brainwashed as she was pretending to be.
Finale Predictions: With all the conflict in King's Landing coming to one big finale, it might be time for Margaery to play her hand and flip on the Sparrow. She may not live through these trying events, but at least she'll be able to cement her legacy as a powerful and cunning character.
Dorne: A Land Forgotten
Sadly, the Dorne storyline wasn't the most exciting or eventful storyline last season, but the first episode of this season looked a lot more promising. The Sand Snakes pulled a big political move and rebelled against the Martells, killing both Prince Doran and Trystane. Unfortunately, that brief scene in the first episode is all we've seen of Dorne lately.
Finale Predictions: I honestly don't expect for Dorne to resurface in the finale, but there is still hope. Varys left Meereen to go attend to other matters, so perhaps we'll see him in Dorne negotiating with the current leaders there. It's a bit of a long shot, but it's simply not likely that we'll see Dorne again soon.
So many stories are currently on their way to a close, yet so many still have yet to begin. Hopefully with the upcoming season 6 finale, we'll get a big payoff to one of the best seasons of Game of Thrones that we've seen so far.
Here's the promo trailer for "The Winds of Winter", the finale to season 6 of Game of Thrones: