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Game of Thrones Season 6: The Red Wedding Has Officially Been Topped [Review]

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Game of Thrones is an adaptation of the epic dark fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire from writer George R.R. Martin and showrunners  David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The series airs exclusively on HBO and stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke. Season 7 debuts 2017.

Set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos Game of Thrones weaves several plot lines with a broad ensemble cast. The first narrative arc follows a civil war among several noble houses for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the attempts of the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed ruling dynasty to reclaim the throne; the third chronicles the rising threat of the impending winter and the legendary creatures and fierce peoples of the North.

Major Spoilers for Season 5 (obviously) Ahead

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Game of Thrones has wrapped what has to be their finest season yet in a fiery curtain call of death for several major characters. This would be the moment of truth for several novel fans who have been waiting and wanting to know if Jon Snow truly did die at the hands of the Night’s Watch, as season five ended with his dead body, so too did George R.R. Martin’s fifth novel when it came out six years ago. Season six not only answered that lingering question, but many more that have yet to be revealed in the Song of Ice and Fire book series in which the show is adapted from. Martin took too long to write the books, so the TV series is marching full force ahead towards an inevitable end instead. I’d be more pissed off as a novel fan, but when the show is so damn good it’s hard to get angry at a work of genius.

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Jon Snow is resurrected by the red witch Melisandre and winds up trying to build an army to fight the Boltons who are crazier than ever (Looking at you Ramsay). The penultimate episode of season six is indeed the big fight and man oh man is it ever worth the build-up…. HBO spent an insane amount of money and they pulled off what has to be the largest spectacle of action and effects that any TV series has ever been graced with. There’s a moment where Jon Snow is caught in the middle of the Cavalry impact that is so breath-taking, so jarring and violent, so unbelievable that I actually went back to watch this episode a second time right away so that I could see it all unfold one more time.

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Horses collide, heads fly, a giant tears people in half and bodies are stacked so high it looks like soldiers are fighting on top of hills… Director Miguel Sapochnik (he did the amazing Hardhome episode in season five) is officially my favorite Game of Thrones filmmaker. The tracking shot of Snow fighting through a flurry of death during that initial impact of opposing Stark, Wildling and Bolton forces is magical chaos and I’ve never seen anything like that before.

Without giving anything away, season 6 has the highest body count of any of the prior seasons… Way higher — way, way , way higher. Supporting and major characters die left and right and they die hard. I lost count of how many people went out this year, but it has to be close to 20? No it’s more than that even, It’s nuts. The finale was damn near close to being a series closer with the killcount being as high as it was. Another shocker is how many familiar faces that we haven’t seen in quite some time wind up returning to the fold. Fan favorites, those we may have forgotten entirely and more – all come back and they all have their moments to shine.

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For a season with as much exposition as there was, these episodes didn’t feel like they were stalling nearly as much as they did in season five early on. There is no corny Dorne storyline here, unless you count the bizarre scenes with Tyrion trying to crack jokes with the Unsullied while Dany is trying to survive the angry Khals and make her way back to the throne. Speaking of Daenerys – as much as I’ve been annoyed by here in past seasons, her scenes this year were so powerful and so much fun (those Dragon action scenes near the end – best of the bunch yet), that I couldn’t help but cheer for her one more time.

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The King’s Landing storyline was especially captivating this season with Cersei plotting her vengeance with the help of her massive and frightening bodyguard – Gregor Clegane, aka the Mountain, aka Franken-Mountain, aka walking death incarnate. The High Sparrow has embedded himself into a mighty leadership role in King’s Landing and he’s really putting the gears to everyone else this year, but Cersei is having none of that shit. As much as we all love to hate Cersei Lannister, she’s a boss this season – you have to give her props for the lengths she goes to in order to get her revenge… My god… You have no idea… Bloody brilliant.

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Arya becomes a fantastic little serial killer in season six and she has one of the most satisfying moments of the season near the end… Wait for it – you won’t see it coming but when you do, you’ll want to high-five her through your TV set. New alliances are formed, old ones die and revelations are revealed once and for all, putting to rest several fan theories in regards to characters’ pasts and more. Bran Stark’s visions as he travels through time with the help of the 3-Eyed Raven are astonishing. The Tower of Joy sword fight and subsequent reveal in the finale are remarkable. Plus — the fifth episode entitled ‘The Door’ will go down as one of the finest in series history. How Martin wrote and meticulously planned that inevitable reveal (which we have yet to actually read yet), is one of the most spectacular and moving moments yet for the franchise…

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Game of Thrones went all out for season six. The Red Wedding has officially been topped – yes – they topped the Red Wedding and they did so in a MASSIVE way. I’m still reeling from the finale and The Battle of The Bastards… Hell I’m still feeling the hangover from episode five over here. Season six is the best yet and without a doubt some of the finest television ever produced. Ever.

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