'Game of Thrones' Finale Brings Disturbing Deaths, Big Changes for Season 6

The episode ends the HBO series' most controversial season yet.
Helen Sloan/HBO

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Sunday's Game of Thrones finale, "Mother's Mercy."]

Game of Thrones delivered a finale nearly as painful to watch as season three's Red Wedding.

Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) journey came to an end when he was betrayed by the Night's Watch, who executed him Julius Caesar-style, each of the mutineers stabbing him while saying "for the Watch." The cruelest cut came when Jon's squire, Olly (Brenock O'Connor), took part. 

The episode answered a major question book readers had wondered: Is Jon really dead? The latest book, A Dance With Dragons, ends with Jon being attacked, and though he appears to be mortally wounded, it is not clear if he lives or dies. Fans have hotly debated whether Jon will survive, with a popular theory speculating that before his death, Jon Wargs into his direwolf Ghost. While the show has established Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) as the only Stark child with the power to control animals, the books showed that Jon also had that power.

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Jon's ending in the show is far less ambiguous in the book — there's no hint of his eyes changing color (which would indicate warging), and Harington has said he is no longer on the series. Jon Snow was an honorable man like his father Eddard (Sean Bean), and he paid for it like his father.

Other huge developments for the show:

Cersei atones. One of the most buzzed-about scenes fans wondered about ahead of the season was the infamous Walk of Shame, a hallmark of the books. The scene ends up being among the series' most disturbing, stretching on and on for minute after painful minute as things went from bad to worse for Cersei (Lena Headey). When she finally made it to safety, she was greeted by a newly revamped Mountain (Hafpor Julius Bjornsson), who has taken a vow of silence until he has killed all of the queen's enemies. It looks like season six will see Cersei exacting revenge on those enemies thanks to her Bane-like companion.

Sansa and Theon escape. Sansa (Sophie Turner) made the bold choice to attempt to contact her supporters and escape, and Theon/Reek (Alfie Allen) saved Sansa from Myranda's (Charlotte Hope) bow and arrow. The pair took a leap of faith together, jumping off the walls of Winterfell, where one can hope they survived by landing on the snow. Perhaps they will both be free of Ramsay's (Iwan Rheon) control.

Daenerys is captured. After Drogon flew her far away, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) was captured by a group of Dothraki. Meanwhile, Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) are on her trail, with the Khaleesi dropping a ring in hopes the search party may find it.

A triumvirate rules Meereen. Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) will govern Meereen while the search for Daenerys happens. That should make for some very interesting times in season six. 

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Arya is blind. Arya (Maisie Williams) prematurely took a face in order to exact vengeance on Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie). This is not the way of the Faceless Men, and Jaqen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) explained those faces are poison to those who are not ready. Arya, who stabbed Meryn's eyes out, goes blind herself.

Stannis loses everything. Killing his daughter resulted in ruin, with half his men so horrified that they deserted. Stannis' (Stephen Dillane) wife Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald) hanged herself, Melisandre (Carice van Houten) abandoned him and went to The Wall, and his battle against the Boltons ended in total disaster. Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) was finally able to exact vengeance for Stannis' murder of his brother Renly (Gethin Anthony) in season two.

Myrcella dies. Just after Jaime's (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) daughter Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) revealed she knew her "uncle" was actually her father, she died in his arms, the victim of a poisonous kiss from Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma). Though this was not a state-sanctioned action by Dorne, there will undoubtedly be dire consequences because of this murder. If there is not war, at the very least, things look bad for Myrcella's betrothed Trystane Martell (Toby Sebastian), who is currently sailing away to King's Landing.

What do you think is next for Game of Thrones and what did you think of the season as a whole? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments.

June 15, 11:34 p.m. An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified actress Charlotte Hope as Charlotte Pope. THR regrets the error.

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