The season, now available on Digital HD, starts off very slowly, wasting the first two episodes just moving players into position. All too leisurely, the season of the women gets underway. I wish there was more time spent on Arya (Maisie Williams)’s efforts to return home and Sansa (Sophie Turner) finally matures and becomes quite cunning. Sansa’s rise this season is the most major change and could have been explore more. My wife predicts there will be a showdown between the sisters-in-law (unless I’m mistaken, she’s still technically married to Tyrion [Peter Dinklage], making Cersei her extended family). Of all the women in the sprawling cast, Brienne (Gwendoline Christy) gets short shrift and needed more screen time.
While it was nice seeing Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) back in action, and it’s always a pleasure to see Ian McShane in anything, their storyline in “The Broken Man” and “No One” feels extraneous.
Season Six also wrapped several long running plot lines in an effort to move things to the final act, spread over shortened seasons seven and eight. We thankfully bid farewell to the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and welcome back to the powerful Queen Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Her evolving friendship with Tyrion remains a highlight of the show. And the show definitely had more wonderful moments than bad ones, but it’s predictability felt wrong.
“The Winds of Winter” proves Ned right from the first episode as the snow begins to fall and the night King grows ever closer. Those in power and seeking power remain largely clueless of the true threat to Westeros so we’re left to anticipate what comes next.
The Digital HD package contains not only all ten episodes in fine audio and video form, but you also receive a Season 5 Recap, all ten The Game Revealed shorts, and additional features on the characters and world. All in all, if you want it, this is a fine way to own a piece of the kingdom.