‘Game of Thrones’ season 6 recap: Everything you need to know to prepare for the season 7 premiere Sunday

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Season 6 of “Game of Thrones” began with Jon Snow dead, Arya Stark blind, Daenerys imprisoned by Dothraki and Cersei bent on revenge against the High Sparrow. Season 6 ended with Jon Snow brought back to life and named King in the North, Arya regaining her sight and her name — and killing several of those on her revenge list — Daenerys commanding the Dothraki and setting sail for Westeros, Cersei ending the Faith Militant and claiming the Iron Throne and Winter finally arriving.

Daenerys

Daenerys begins the season imprisoned by the Dothraki. During her imprisonment, Tyrion Lannister — along with the invaluable eunuch Varys — rules the city of Meereen in her place, trying to prove his loyalty. The Dothraki threaten to imprison Daenerys for life, as is tradition for widows of Dothraki khals. In true Mother of Dragons fashion, Daenerys locks herself in a room with the gathered khals and sets fire to the building, burning them alive. She emerges from the flames, naked and unburnt. The Dothraki bow, accepting her as their new leader. Upon returning to her city, Daenerys appoints Tyrion as Hand of the Queen and tells Jorah Mormont to leave and find a cure for his Greyscale. With a fleet provided by the seafaring Yara and Theon Greyjoy, some newfound allies in House Martell and House Tyrell, an army of Unsullied and Dothraki warriors and three dragons, Daenerys finally sets sail to Westeros to reclaim the Iron Throne.

Cersei

Cersei Lannister took over the Iron Throne in the season 6 finale by blowing up the city’s Great Sept and most of her rivals with it — including Margaery Tyrell, the fan-favorite queen who realized Cersei’s conspiracy just before the roaring green wildfire flames burned the Great Sept to the ground. Also in the sept were the High Sparrow and his loyal fanatics, who had risen to power in the city and humiliated Cersei by forcing her to walk the city naked. As Cersei destroys the Great Sept, her only surviving child King Tommen kills himself by stepping out of his window. His suicide clears the path for Cersei to take the Iron Throne herself. Jaime Lannister spends most of season 6 outside of King’s Landing, for he is sent to recapture Riverrun after being removed from the Kingsguard. He succeeds, bids farewell to his friend Brienne of Tarth and returns home ready to see his twin sister and lover. Instead, he returns to see Cersei sitting at the throne and the city burning. Jaime realizes that Cersei took the throne by committing the very atrocity — using the stash of wildfire to burn the sept — that he killed the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen to prevent; the act that won her the Iron Throne made her the Mad Queen that Aerys II never was.

The Starks

Jon Snow started season 6 dead, but was brought back to life by the Red Woman Melisandre. Meanwhile, Arya abandons her training with the Faceless Men, recovers her sword, Needle, and thus reclaims her Stark identity. She promptly begins working on her revenge list — starting by killing Walder Frey. Bran continues his training under the Three-Eyed Raven, learning that the Children of the Forest created White Walkers and that he has the ability to control the future by changing the past. In the devastating episode “The Door,” brave, wonderful Hodor saves Bran by sacrificing himself and holding the door against a White Walker attack.

After escaping the evil Ramsay Bolton, Sansa reunites with Jon to gather support from the Northern houses to defeat Ramsay and recapture Winterfell in the biggest battle in TV history. “Battle of the Bastards” sees Jon and Ramsay face off, and with last minute help from Sansa’s secret alliance with Petyr Baelish, Jon Snow defeats Ramsay, recaptures Winterfell and is named King in the North. In what was the biggest revelation of the season, Bran has a vision that confirms Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen (the famous R+L=J theory). With many key characters set to collide in season 7, winter is finally here, and the greatest war is about to begin.

Contact Jamie Duncan at [email protected].

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