Culture Articles

Winter is here

Girls of Thrones is our weekly look at the women of Westeros. Read on for our feminised take on the Season Six finale, The Winds of Winter


Below this line lie spoilers. You decide what happens next.

There was a calm eeriness that seeped through the opening scenes of Episode Ten, setting the tone for the rest of the episode to unfold and finish this season off.

And it started with Cersei, awaiting trial for her misdeeds while what seemed like the whole of King’s Landing crowded into the Sept of Baelor, ready to watch. Minutes passed. And that’s when, of course, she brought down the axe. Wildfire spread, engulfing everyone within the city’s walls who’d wronged her. Bye to the High Sparrow, farewell to Queen Margaery – who, we think, got short shrift. She had the makings of an excellent schemer.

Well, what did we expect? This is a woman who has been forced into an arranged marriage, buried two children, sent naked and shamed down the streets of her city, and all as a pawn for other people. This was her game now, and she’d play it however she pleased. “It felt good to watch them burn,” she told the ill-fated Septa Unulla. But then she had to burn her last child, too. Because King Tommen had simply had enough, and jumped out of the window. So a leather-clad Cersei took the throne, having destroyed the only thing that kept her humanised since day one.

Over at Winterfell, Sansa had recovered from watching her husband killed by his own dogs (we don’t reckon she was ever that bothered, to be honest), and got straight into the business-end of taking back the North. She and Jon are seemingly united, and Littlefinger, for all his professions of love or lust or whatever it is, felt pushed out of power. But then again, Sansa’s motives have become murkier as the season has gone on. She may side with him yet. Still, it was little Lyanna Mormont who stole Winterfell, rousing house after house to pledge their support to the White Wolf. We hope to see a lot more of her next season.

Three cheers, because Daenerys has finally left Meereen (and with it, Daario). She chose politics over love, but when she made Tyrion Hand of the Queen we saw a kind of tenderness in her that’s been missing for a long time. “Everything you’ve always wanted, since you were old enough to want anything, is yours for the taking,” he tells her. And off to King’s Landing she goes, to take it. And by her side? Yara, of course. But also a furious Olenna Tyrell, who has just lost her son and grandchildren in Explosion Cersei, and is now allied with Dorne’s Ellaria Sand, who is totally down with revenge.

Finally, up pops Arya Stark at The Twins, who isn’t just ‘a girl’ anymore. She’s a fully-fledged faceless assassin, making Frey pie and serving it to Lord Walder before slitting his throat. Patient as we are, it’s a relief she’s finally started crossing names off that list.

In the world of Game of Thrones, a white raven means a new season. And that’s exactly what we’ve got. A throne taken by brutality and murder. A Queen who has lost her last shred of humanity. And a small handful of women who will cross seas, fight wars and betray anyone to get theirs.

Winter might be here, but it’s the girls who are set to ride it out.

Subscribe modal