'Game of Thrones' Finale Delivers Vengeance With a Book-Friendly Feast

Game of Thrones S06E10 Still 6 - Publicity - H 2016
Helen Sloan/HBO

Game of Thrones S06E10 Still 6 - Publicity - H 2016

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the season six finale of HBO's Game of Thrones.]

"A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I'm going home."

Arya (Maisie Williams) failed to mention it at the time she quit the Faceless Men, but she actually planned on making a pit stop or two before returning home. First item on the list: revenge — a dish that's traditionally served cold, but in this case, it comes in the form of piping hot pie.

(Perhaps actually from Hot Pie? Let's wait until season seven for confirmation.)

In "The Winds of Winter," the season six finale of Game of Thrones, Arya exacted vengeance against Walder Frey (David Bradley) in what can only be described as overkill — sweet, delicious overkill. Late in the episode, an unknown servant presents Walder with a massive meat pie, and in between mouthfuls, he wonders aloud about the whereabouts of his children.

"They're here, my lord," the servant replies, pointing at the pie. "They're already here."

Soon, Walder Frey arrives at the twisted conclusion so many viewers have already realized: the pie itself is made with the minced meat of Lord Frey's family members. The girl pulls off her face and reveals herself as Arya, admitting that Walder's children "weren't easy to carve — especially Black Walder."

For many viewers, it was Walder Frey's just dessert, in the form of a savory pastry. But for readers of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, the novel series on which Thrones is based, it was an especially tasty twist.

In A Dance With Dragons, the fifth and most recent book in the series, a Northern lord named Wyman Manderly, who lost family during the Red Wedding, pretends to play nice with House Bolton and House Frey during their time of power, quietly plotting revenge. ("The North remembers," he solemnly vows in a conversation with Davos Seaworth.) At one point in the book, he serves three massive pies to the Freys during a feast, right around the same time three of the Freys have gone missing. 

When asked what's inside the pies, Manderly unforgettably replies: "The best pie you have ever tasted, my lords."

Interestingly, the season finale featured the first appearance of Wyman Manderly, albeit not as the strong Northern loyalist depicted in the books; that glory goes to Lyanna Mormont, one of the breakout characters of the year. But the Frey pies were served nonetheless, thanks to Arya Stark, delivering not just one of the most satisfying kills in Game of Thrones history, but one of the show's very best riffs on the books yet. 

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