Game of Thrones S06 E10: The Winds of Winter Analysis and Review

Game of Thrones High Sparrow, Great Sept of Baelor Featured Image Credit: HBO via Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

Cersei Lannister and The Trial at the Grand Sept of Baelor

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 The Winds of Winter Cersei Lannister

Game of Thrones Cersei Lanniseter, Red Keep Image Credit: HBO via Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

As this Game of Thrones episode begins we see Tommen, Margaery, Loras, The High Sparrow, and Cersei preparing for the trial and contemplating the gravity of the situation. The trial begins with Loras confessing all of his sins, begging for forgiveness from The Seven and The High Sparrow. He asks for the chance to devote the rest of his life to become a devotee to The Seven, abandoning the Tyrell name and renouncing his lordship .

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones Lancel Lannister Image Credit: HBO via Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

Pleased by Loras’ humble surrender, the High Sparrow consents to this request and then proceeds to have Lancel use a sharp knife to mutilate the symbol of their religion into his forehead, as is the tradition. All the while Cersei is noticeably absent from the trial and when we see Ser Gregor appear to prevent Tommen from attending, we know something is about to go horribly wrong for those that are there. Not to mention the beautifully foreboding soundtrack which plays in the background.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones Cersei Lanniseter, Red Keep Image Credit: HBO via Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

The tension increases as both Maester Pycell and Lancel Lannister are lured away from the trial by Varys’ Little Birds, which are a group of street children loyal to Varys’ spying, violence, and deceit. Confused, Pycell finds himself in the presence of Qyburn, who stands watch as the Little Birds viciously and repeatedly stab Maester Pycell to death.

He mentions, “Sometimes to usher in the new, the old must be put to rest.” While this statement is true for this situation, it is also a microcosmic summation of the events of this episode as a whole, which is interesting to keep in mind as we review the events that follow.

Simultaneously, the Little Bird that is leading Loras away from the trial sneakily stabs him in the side, bringing him to the ground and essentially immobilizing him in front of long corridor filled with barrels of wildfire. Cleverly, slowly diminishing candles in a pool of wildfire are used as fuses, which are set precisely under the Great Sept of Baelor, where the trial is taking place.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones High Sparrow Image Credit: HBO via Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

Lancel helplessly attempts to prevent the impending tragedy, dragging his limp body toward the fuses. Back at the trial Margaery realizes that if Cersei and Tommen are not there, it means that they are about face imminent doom. However, the arrogant High Sparrow is too pompous to heed her warnings and instead has the sparrows prevent them from escaping. In a visually stunning emerald canvas of destruction, the Great Sept of Baelor, and everyone within it, including Margaery, Loras, and the High Sparrow, is annihilated.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones Great Sept of Baelor Image Credit: HBO via Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

If Cersei were thinking about this more sensitively, she might have realized that after losing his wife and the faith for which he was willing to sacrifice his own mother’s dignity and well-being, Tommen needed some consoling. However, as Tommen casually commits suicide by falling face first out of a window, Cersei is still on the revenge warpath, as she begins to torture the wretched nun that had previously tortured her. Cersei demands the nun admit to her hypocrisy in that she tortured Cersei not for religion, but because it felt good.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones Cersei Lanniseter, Red Keep Image Credit: HBO via Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

In a sense, Cersei is drawing a comparison and insisting that whether the nun beats her because it feels good or whether Cersei has sex with her brother and kills people because it feels good, the two of them are not so different because they are merely humans who do what feels good to them, as we all do in our own ways. It is an interesting point to consider that despite the seeming moral high ground of the religion and doing what is “right,” it is probable that most people wouldn’t do anything willingly, even religion, if it didn’t “feel good” for them.

The nun defiantly boasts that she is ready to accept death. But Cersei informs her that death is a courtesy that she will not be granted for quite a long time. Cersei then leaves the nun in the room and proceeds to be devastated by the news of Tommen’s death while also realizing this means she is now the Queen who will sit on the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 The Winds of Winter

Game of Thrones Jamie Lannister Image Credit: Screenshot by Ian Lepkowsky

When Jaime returns from his visit with Walder Frey, he is in for quite a shock. He comes to realize that his sister has now used wildfire against her enemies and innocents alike, which is the type of action that caused Jaime to betray his loyalty to The Mad Kinq Aerys Targaryen. In other words, he realizes that despite the fact the he killed the Mad King, his sister and lover has now become the Mad Queen and the look on his face when he sees her sitting atop the iron throne is one of sheer terror and trepidation.

Ian Lepkowsky

Ian is a passionate writer searching for personal transformation through unconditional self expression. He's also a philosopher, artist, and creator that's interested in video games and food and stuff.

Leave a Reply