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[Warning: This story contains spoilers through season six, episode nine of HBO’s Game of Thrones.]
“The Winds of Winter” is almost upon us, though not in the way many book readers anticipated.
The final episode of Game of Thrones season six shares its name with the upcoming sixth installment of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series on which the show is based — a book that as of yet does not have a release date, and a book saga that’s now several storylines behind the pace of the TV series. As of Sunday night’s “Battle of the Bastards,” however, fans finally caught their first glimpse of the show’s version of “The Winds of Winter,” thanks to the preview for the episode … and with it comes all the frosty ferocity promised in the title.
The preview begins in King’s Landing, as Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) dress themselves in isolation. The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) speaks out: “Are you prepared to stand trial and profess your innocence before the Seven?” Cersei probably isn’t prepared for trial, but knowing her, she has other plans brewing. Her brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), meanwhile, is seen standing before Walder Frey (David Bradley) at the Twins, who makes an announcement: “The Freys and the Lannisters send their regards.” Loaded words, and ominous ones.
In the North, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), are once again the proud owners of Winterfell, and vow to “trust each other. We have so many enemies.” One man who rides the line between friend and foe is Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), who approaches Sansa at one point in the preview when asked what he wants: “I thought you knew what I wanted.” Elsewhere in Winterfell, Jon deals with his own difficulties, as Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) approaches with Melisandre (Carice van Houten) in tow, wanting to out the Red Woman’s role in killing Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram).
All the way in Meereen, a victorious Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) deals with the aftermath of her own great battle, fielding advice from both Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) — “Are you afraid? Good,” he tells her — and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who essentially summarizes the entire series in 12 words.
“You’re in the great game now,” he says, “and the great game is terrifying.”
Watch the season finale preview in the video below:
Game of Thrones wraps up its sixth season on June 26.
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