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The Winds of Winter: What to Expect from the Season Six Finale of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’

With so many plotlines left to wrap up, it’s unlikely the final episode will address them all. Here’s what you can expect to see.

‘Game of Thrones’ Predictions

With so many plot-lines left to wrap up, it’s unlikely the final episode will address them all. Here’s what you can expect to see.

By Dominic DeAngio, The College of William and Mary

It’s the end of the season as we know it.

And I feel fine. Truly, this season of “Game of Thrones” has been incredible so far. Despite moving ahead of the books and plunging forward into uncharted waters, HBO’s award-winning TV show has been knocking it out of the park this year. As a book reader, I’ll be the first to admit they’ve made mistakes (cough cough Dorne cough cough), but for the most part, this season has reminded viewers why they fell in love with the show in the first place: dragons, backstabbing, and remarkable storytelling.

The Winds of Winter: What to Expect from the Season Six Finale of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’

After last episode’s climactic “Battle of the Bastards,” “Game of Thrones” wraps up its sixth season this Sunday night with an episode entitled “The Winds of Winter,” which is incidentally the title of the long-awaited next book in George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.

Judging from the preview for the episode, we can expect conclusions to a few different storylines and a final check-in with all the major characters before we start the long wait for next spring’s shortened season seven.

1. King’s Landing

The clash between the fanatical High Sparrow and villainous Cersei Lannister fueled much of the political maneuvering of the past two seasons, and it looks like Sunday’s episode may give us some resolution.

Cersei’s trial is sure to bring the conflict to a tipping point, as she can’t simply use her zombified Mountain-stein to win a highly-anticipated, yet now outlawed, trial by combat.The Winds of Winter: What to Expect from the Season Six Finale of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’

We last saw Cersei asking Maester Qyburn about a rumor she’d heard, hinting at a Plan B in case her trial goes south. A popular theory argues Cersei will utilize the vat of wildfire hidden beneath the city by the Mad King to exact her revenge, and since the existence of wildfire was brought up as recently as last episode by Tyrion Lannister, could we see the capital in flames this Sunday? Regardless of how it all shakes out, King’s Landing seems to be the focus of the finale and it’s safe to say we can expect something climactic.

2. Winterfell

Though last episode concluded Ramsay Bolton’s reign of terror in Winterfell, the finale will undoubtedly discuss the aftermath of the battle. As the preview shows, Winterfell is seemingly safe, but as Jon Snow tells Sansa Stark, they are “surrounded by enemies now.”

Petyr Baelish’s last-minute arrival at the Battle of the Bastards saved the day, but now that Sansa owes him her life, his presence could be a source of more conflict. Furthermore, Ser Davos Seaworth discovered the horrible truth of how Shireen Baratheon was burned at the stake last season at the request of the Red Priestess Melisandre.

Davos will surely want to avenge Shireen, but since Melisandre brought Jon back to life earlier this season, it may be difficult for Jon to allow for her execution. Either way, the North will certainly be another area of intrigue for Sunday’s finale.

3. Meereen

With the Battle of Meereen quickly resolved and Daenerys Targaryen firmly stamping out the threat of the masters, the Slaver’s Bay storyline seems nearly wrapped up. The arrival of the Greyjoys with a fleet of ships and a defensive pact should further Daenerys departure towards Westeros, though the threat of Euron Greyjoy’s own fleet may be cause for delay.

However, with a pacified Meereen and her fully grown dragons, new fleet, horde of Dothraki, and army of Unsullied and Second Sons, her inevitable journey to Westeros may finally be able to begin Sunday night. However, fans have been waiting years for her to leave Essos, so forgive me for not getting my hopes up too high, as Daenerys always finds some reason to stay in Meereen.

4. Braavos

Meanwhile, Arya Stark’s mic-drop moment in last week’s “No One” ended her time training with the Faceless Men in Braavos. She proudly declares “A girl is Arya Stark, and I’m going home,” though “home” could mean several places.

The most obvious would be Winterfell, her childhood home which was conveniently just reclaimed by her siblings.

However, “home” could also refer to Westeros as a whole, which could suggest other destinations. Her kill list, for instance, still has a few names on it, including Cersei, the Mountain, and Walder Frey, all of whom are in the preview for the finale.

While we may only see Arya leaving Braavos, as she left Westeros in season four’s finale, it’s not entirely impossible that she pops up in King’s Landing or the Riverlands. With travel being much faster this season, and Arya now able to completely disguise herself, her storyline could truly go anywhere.

5. Loose Ends

The last few storylines haven’t been the focus lately but could potentially surprise us with unexpected developments.

As mentioned earlier, Walder Frey dines with Jaime Lannister in the preview for the finale, celebrating last week’s reclaiming of Riverrun. This scene could simply be a check-in moment, but if Arya decides to take Walder’s name off the list before heading North, could we see some long-awaited Red Wedding revenge? Nearby, the Hound is another wildcard, seemingly taking up with the Brotherhood Without Banners, but still potentially a character who could surprise us in the finale.The Winds of Winter: What to Expect from the Season Six Finale of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’

North of the Wall, Bran Stark hasn’t been seen for a few episodes now, leaving his last scenes of the season really up in the air at this point. He’s briefly seen in the preview, but with so much else to do in the finale, I can’t imagine we can expect more than a few minutes of his visions. Other loose ends include Varys’ secret mission, the Dorne plotline, and a few other minor characters we might not revisit (Gendry, I’m looking at you).

Regardless of how many of these expectations actually pay off, season six of Game of Thrones has been a wild(fire) ride and I can’t imagine the finale disappointing us too much.

The “Winds of Winter” will air Sunday night on HBO.

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