Sunday night brought "The Winds of Winter," the end of Season 6 of Game of Thrones. For those who watched, or aren't fearful of spoilers, a rundown of the best analysis, cheers, and tears:
- "This post contains spoilers that prove fan theories can sometimes turn out true. It's a weird world." So begins Peter Clark at Mashable, in a look at the theory that has been swirling surrounding Jon Snow's true parentage. The "R+L=J" camp is cheering, but Clark points out that there's still the smallest element of mystery. The "L" part of the equation (that is, Ned Stark's sister, Lyanna, being Jon's mother) was confirmed, but in her whispers to Ned, she didn't audibly say Rhaegar Targaryen was Jon's father.
- As for why the fan theory persisted, at Vanity Fair Joanna Robinson explains that George RR Martin hasn't yet reached a confirmation point in his novels. Thanks to his "slow progress, the show got the honor of that reveal." She then shares the "clues [that] were there all along."
- Enter a new theory about another major character's surprise parentage, per Mashable.
- Esquire has a cool footnote regarding the theory, the showrunners, and a question from Martin himself.
- Mashable sheds a tear in its look at Tommen's "suicide note."
- In case you missed it, Mashable flags the small, significant, triumphant change that aired in Sunday night's opening credits.
- And then came the "silence of the opening minutes," which Rolling Stone takes a look at.
- Again at Vanity Fair, Robinson examines the rise of women in Season 6, with an interesting side note about Cersei—and "a prophecy (that the show has ignored)" that we perhaps saw the very first step toward in the last moments of the finale.
- So, critically speaking, how was "The Winds of Winter"? "I loved it," David Sims writes at the Atlantic, praising the episode's "feeling of bows being tied up, of story threads dovetailing in satisfying fashion (with plenty of murder and darkness mixed in, of course)."
- What will Season 7 bring? Perhaps a starring role for the Night King, speculates the Telegraph, which looks at the "seismic break" the show took in its treatment of the White Walker leader as compared to the novels.
(Click to watch some Game of Thrones bloopers