The Winds of Winter
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik
The day of Cersei’s and Loras’s trial has arrived, and the main players dress for the event: Cersei in a dress embellished with armor, Margaery in modest garb. The High Sparrow pulls on his simple robe, and Lancel escorts Loras from his cell. Pycelle dismisses a prostitute without paying her, and is stopped on his way to the Sept by a child. Frowning, the Grand Maester follows the small messenger. Tommen, still in his chambers, takes a moment to gather himself, but finds his path blocked by the Mountain.
A crowd gathers in the Sept. Kevan Lannister and Mace Tyrell look on as the High Sparrow addresses Loras. The Tyrell heir responds with a prepared statement: Guilty of his crimes, he renounces his lordship, and devotes his life to the Seven. Margaery holds her father back as Lancel carves a star into Loras’s forehead. Unsurprised that Cersei is not yet present, the High Sparrow sends Lancel to fetch her. Cersei, still at the Red Keep, pours herself a glass of wine.
Pycelle is led to Qyburn’s laboratory. The Master of Whispers tells the elderly man, “Sometimes before we can usher in the new, the old must be put to rest.” Knives in hand, his Little Birds stab Pycelle to death.
Outside the Sept, Lancel spots a boy scurrying through a door at the base of the building. Suspicious, Lancel follows the child’s torchlight down a passageway. In darkness, Lancel calls out, but collapses when the boy paralyzes him with a dagger to the spine. Lancel drags himself towards a faint, green glow, and discovers the cache of wildfire and a trio of candles slowly burning down to their wicks.
Margaery, sensing Cersei has outplayed them, tries to convince the High Sparrow to evacuate the Sept. She grabs her brother, but is stopped by the Faith Militant. In the tunnels, Lancel is unable to stop the wildfire from igniting. The explosion incinerates the Sept, and everyone inside. Watching from her chambers, Cersei smiles with satisfaction and toasts the destruction of her enemies.
The Sept destroyed, the Mountain leaves a stunned Tommen’s room. Later a messenger informs him of his beloved wife’s death. Alone, the king removes his crown, steps to the window, and drops himself off the ledge.
In the Red Keep dungeons, Cersei douses Unella’s face with wine, and confesses to murdering the Sparrows, among other crimes. The septa declares herself ready to die, but Cersei has other plans; Ser Gregor steps forward, removing his helmet. Unella screams as Cersei closes the cell door.
Cersei, standing over Tommen’s body, directs Qyburn to lay her son to rest with Tywin, Myrcella and Joffrey: “Burn him, and bury his ashes where the Sept once stood.”
At the Twins, Frey and Lannister soldiers celebrate their success at Riverrun. Bronn is irritated when a pretty servant girl takes note of Jaime, but is consoled by two others. Walder Frey takes Bronn’s seat, overly pleased with his victory. The Kingslayer knocks him back down, noting that it’s the Lannisters who are feared in the Riverlands. “If we have to ride north and take them back … every time you lose them,” he asks Ser Walder, “Why do we need you?”
In the days after the celebration, Walder dines alone and asks for his sons. The pretty servant girl explains the two are present, and gestures to Walder’s pie where he spots a finger. Removing her face, Arya identifies herself and tells Walder it will be the last thing he sees. She slits his throat in the same way her mother’s was.
Samwell, Gilly and the baby arrive at the Citadel. Despite the functionary’s annoyance he was not informed of Jeor Mormont and Maester Aemon’s passings, he allows Sam inside for a meeting with the Archmaester. Allowed to wait in the library, Sam is awestruck by its enormous collection of books. A dream come true.
Jon Snow and Melisandre stand in Winterfell’s Great Hall when Ser Davos enters with Shireen’s charred wooden stag. The Red Woman reluctantly admits to the burning. Davos requests leave to execute the priestess, but Jon exiles her instead. Melisandre argues they will need her in the fight to come, but accepts the verdict and leaves.
Jon tells Sansa he has had the lord’s chambers prepared for her, crediting her with winning the battle. They agree only a fool would trust Littlefinger, but they have to at least trust each other. Sansa informs Jon a white raven has arrived from the Citadel: Winter is here.
Littlefinger approaches Sansa by the godswood tree and tells her every action he takes is motivated by the possibility of a future together ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa gently rejects him and goes to leave, but not before Littlefinger reminds her she is the trueborn Stark.
In mourning garb, Olenna Tyrell sits with Ellaria and the Sand Snakes in the Water Gardens of Dorne. “Cersei stole the future from me … It’s not survival that I’m after now,” she says. Understanding, Ellaria offers a different solution, and Varys enters the room, promising “fire and blood.”
Daenerys Targaryen tells Daario Naharis that he and the Second Sons will stay in Meereen to maintain peace. Daario urges her to reconsider, “I don’t want a crown. I want you,” but the decision has been made. She tells him directions will be left regarding the welfare of the newly renamed Bay of Dragons, and they bid each other farewell.
Attempting to console the stoic queen, Tyrion comments everything she has wanted is now hers for the taking. “For what it’s worth,” he tells her, “I believe in you.” Returning the compliment, Daenerys, attaches a pin to his lapel: “Tyrion Lannister, I name you Hand of the Queen.”
Benjen explains that ancient spells are carved into the Wall’s foundations and he cannot pass, but will continue to fight for the living on this side of the Wall. Bran bids his uncle goodbye, and drags himself to the nearby weirwood tree. Placing his hands on its bark, his eyes roll back.
He returns to the Tower of Joy. Following Ned inside, they find Lyanna Stark, bloody and sweat-covered in bed. Ned tries to comfort his sister, who is in obvious pain.
Pulling him close, Lyanna whispers in his ear, telling him to “promise me.” A baby is placed into Ned’s arms. He looks down at the infant’s familiar brown eyes.
Jon’s eyes, in fact. Jon and Sansa sit at the high table in the Winterfell Great Hall while Lyanna Mormont shames the Northern lords who did not answer the Stark call. “I don’t care if he’s a bastard,” the fierce young lady says, “He’s my king, from this day until his last.” Wyman Manderly declares Jon the “White Wolf” and pronounces him “King of the North.” The others join in. Jon and Sansa exchange smiles, but hers fades as Jon turns away. She glances at Littlefinger.
Jaime and Bronn return to King’s Landing to find the Sept in ruins. Racing to the Red Keep, Jaime enters the throne room and watches as Qyburn crowns Cersei, “Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.”
Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal fly over a massive armada made up of Tyrell, Martell, and Greyjoy ships, bearing a hundred thousand Dothraki and Unsullied inside them. On the lead ship, Daenerys and her supporters finally sail for Westeros.