'Game of Thrones' Season 6: The 10 Most Important Moments

6:00 AM 6/27/2016

by Josh Wigler

From "The Red Woman" through "The Winds of Winter," here are the 10 most important points throughout season six.

Courtesy of HBO
  • Melisandre's Ancient Secret

    Episode 601, "The Red Woman"

    Helen Sloan/HBO

    The first episode of season six did not resolve season five's Jon Snow cliffhanger. Instead, it dropped a different bombshell altogether: Melisandre, the Red Woman of Asshai, is secretly hundreds of years old, glamouring everyone around her with her youthful image. It recolored everything viewers have come to know about the Lord of Light's most devout disciple, and also confirmed there's something real behind her magical gifts.

  • Jon Snow Lives

    Episode 602, "Home"

    Courtesy of HBO

    Melisandre further proved her power in the subsequent episode, summoning Lord Snow back from the great beyond. He burst back to life at the end of the season's second episode, gasping for air, pale as a Ghost. Rather than return with newfound purpose, however, Jon's resurrection saw the man even more melancholy than ever, devastated that his actions as Lord Commander got him betrayed and killed — but at least it meant an end to his time with the Night's Watch, thanks to a technicality.

  • A Time for Wolves

    Episode 604, "Book of the Stranger"

    Courtesy of Helen Sloan/HBO

    The Stark family diaspora has been a cornerstone of Game of Thrones, ever since series' second episode sent the family into separate directions. Season six started the process of bringing those pieces back together, beginning with the tearful reunion between Jon Snow and Sansa Stark, never particularly close with one another as children, but suddenly everything in the world to each other in the face of so much trauma.

  • The Children of the Children

    Episode 605, "The Door"

    Courtesy of HBO

    Ever wondered where White Walkers come from? Wonder no more. The Children of the Forest turned humans into ice monsters thousands of years ago, in their bid to stop mankind from destroying their homeland of Westeros. The reveal adds new shades of gray both to the Children and the Walkers themselves, proving that few people in Game of Thrones can be defined under simple terms.

  • "Hold the Door!"

    Episode 605, "The Door"

    Courtesy of HBO

    Throughout the season, Bran Stark explored his ability to travel back in time and witness events of the past — and influence those events as well. The most prominent example marked the season's turning point, as Bran inadvertently created a feedback loop connecting Hodor's past self with his present self, effectively naming and killing the one-worded giant in the process. It was a chilling ending to one of the warmest-hearted heroes on the show, and a sign that Thrones was firmly moving toward its end game.

  • Graduation Day

    Episode 608, "No One" and Episode 610, "The Winds of Winter"

    Helen Sloan/HBO

    After spending almost two full seasons studying at the House of Black and White, Arya rejected the persona of "no one," and instead reclaimed her full identity as Arya Stark of Winterfell — all thanks to plucking off the Waif's face, and disavowing her allegiance to Jaqen H'ghar. Her first stop? The Twins, where she served Walder Frey a pie made out of his own children, then slit his throat. Red Wedding, you have been avenged.

  • The Starks in the North

    609, "Battle of the Bastards" and Episode 610, "The Winds of Winter"

    Courtesy of HBO

    After six years on the air, Thrones managed to one-up itself in the size and scale department, delivering the absolutely massive "Battle of the Bastards." Beyond the epic measure of the battle, however, seismic shifts occurred in the Seven Kingdoms' political arena: Ramsay Bolton's defeat and death paved the way for Jon to claim Winterfell as the new King in the North — a promotion that doesn't necessarily sit well with Sansa and Littlefinger.

  • Jon's Mother Revealed

    Episode 610, "The Winds of Winter"

    Courtesy of HBO

    Remember the big mystery about Jon Snow's mother? Wonder no more: Lyanna Stark is the woman who gave birth to Jon, a development that complicates the story surrounding his parentage. Ned's not the father (but man, is he a heck of an uncle), and most theories agree that the legendary Rhaegar Targaryen is Jon's true father... an exciting development that gives Jon both fire and ice in his veins, but also one that potentially upsets his future reign as King in the North.

  • King's Landing Burns

    Episode 610, "The Winds of Winter"

    Courtesy of HBO

    After spending the season fighting against the High Sparrow, Cersei Lannister escalated her war to the next level by literally setting King's Landing on fire. In the process, she incinerated her enemies — no more Sparrow, and farewell to the Tyrells — but also caused her last living child to commit suicide out of grief. Now, Cersei sits on the Iron Throne as the first ever Queen of Westeros, a title earned under grim circumstances, and a reign that's not likely to last too long, given the enemies she's left in her wake.

  • Daenerys Goes to Westeros

    Episode 610, "The Winds of Winter"

    Courtesy of HBO

    Has there ever been a more satisfying image on Game of Thrones than Daenerys Stormborn finally — finally! — sailing for Westeros? Not only is the Mother of Dragons at last on her way to the Seven Kingdoms, she's heading there with a massive army in tow: Dothraki warriors, the Unsullied, the Greyjoy fleet, and a brewing alliance with Dorne and Highgarden. The future of Game of Thrones is filled with fire and blood indeed.

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