Game of Thrones has just finished its sixth season,Â with an explosive and nerve-wracking finale. Itâ€™s the first time the showâ€™s makers have gone beyond the books of the sagaâ€™s creator George RR Martin â€“ so how did it go?
We asked fansâ€™ thoughts on the latestÂ Game of Thrones offering â€“ did it live up to the expectation? Are you now thrillingly anticipating whatâ€™s to come? Hereâ€™s what you told us.
Zoe Tongue, 20, Sheffield
This season of Game of Thrones has seen its women start to dominate, making it the best season yet. The show has previously been criticised for its portrayal of women, but nowÂ they are showing their strength. The transformation of Sansa Stark from a naÃ¯ve, weak girl into a strong survivor who is unafraid to fight for her house and family has been one of the highlights of this season. Another highlight was the story of Cersei Lannister who, despite suffering loss and humiliation, crawled her way back to the top in the season finale (the first 20 minutes showing her destroying her enemies as she sips wine were incredible).
TheÂ Battle of the BastardsÂ was another of the seasonâ€™s best scenes: bloody, intense, and as epic as most Lord of the Rings battles. Itâ€™s a shame that the season was let down by episode seven, The Broken Man, which seemed to be a filler episode and almost had me bored, but it was still a stunning season nevertheless.
Suzy Jackson, 35, Gateshead
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 â€“ â€˜An exhilarating season, but I needed a notebook to keep upâ€™
Game of throne Season 6 has both exhausted and exhilarated me as a viewer. I watched avidly asÂ Jon Snow rose from the dead, chuckled at Tyrion avoiding being chargrilled by dragons, and shrieked with joy at the Houndâ€™s safe return(disclaimer: this is not a show you watch casually).
So many Game of throne Season 6 characters and so little time, though. Episodes flitting from story to story were great, but I needed to write down the details so I can keep up with the pace. The ultimate reward for viewers like me was when the hand-wringing returned with the battle of the bastards, and Sansa overseeingÂ Ramsay Boltonâ€™s demise at the jaws of his own baying hounds. Yara Greyjoy and the brilliantly-played young Lady Mormont completed a very girl power heavy season.
Ultimately, Game of throne Season 6 ended magnificently with a black queen, a white wolf king â€“ of newly recognised lineage, and a Khaleesi and her substantial fleet heading to shore. Winter, it seems, is here.
Ed Prior, 31, Bristol
Rating: 4 out of 5 â€“ â€˜This season brought us compelling TV, even without a guidance from George RR Martinâ€™
Game of throne Season 6 was a thrilling step into the unknown. Many popular fan theories were confirmed, as well as gasp-out-loud surprises. It was also satisfying, in a show sometimes borderline glacial in pace, to see things really get moving.
Much-hated characters got their deserving punishments while long-suffering fan-favourites rose, giving more reason to smile than usual in a show known for frequent rug-pulling. Numerous key plot threads came together or were brutally cut off, offering the prospect of a leaner, more focused story for the showâ€™s final two seasons.
The writing was sometimes less subtle that itâ€™s been, the dialogue not quite as sharp. However, this was made up for with some truly spectacular action, especially in penultimate episode, and moments of heartbreaking emotional heft (Iâ€™m looking at you, Hold the Door). On the whole scale, this seasonâ€™s bold storytelling proved Game of Thrones can still deliver compelling TV even without a complete roadmap fromÂ George RR MartinÂ for help. All of the pieces are now in position for what promises to be a truly titanic conclusion to the series.
Jack Myers, 21, London
Rating: 4 out of 5 â€“ â€˜Game of throne Season 6 ending has set us up for a 2017 of relentless excitement and goreâ€™
Season six has redeemed itself from previous seasonâ€™s doldrums. Itâ€™s been a long time coming, but with Olenna, Sansa, Yara and Danaerys having drubbed their wan competition, next season promises some compelling character trajectories (especially if Little Miss Mormont, the baby battleaxe of Bear Island, is anything to go by). Thank the many-faced god Daenerysâ€™s faraway farragos have come to an end, and fingers crossed that this spells an end to the dragon ex machina also. Game of throne Season 6â€™s halfway house, The Door, boasted a Danny Boyle flair for the rabid undead, although Hodor deserved much more than that twee backstory. The battling bastards on the other hand proved even more mesmerising than last seasonâ€™s Hardhome.
With the whole of Westeros now bound and determined by deposing Cersei at its decrepit core, the season six finale has set us up for a 2017 of relentless excitement and gore.
Adam Dawson, 23, Newcastle
Rating: 3 out of 5 â€“ â€˜Game of throne Season 6 of incredible highs and disappointing lowsâ€™
Itâ€™s been, as usual, a season of incredibly satisfying highs and terribly disappointing lows. Most of the good stuff came from the women of Westeros. Most satisfying, for sure, was Sansa finally getting revenge on one of the many men whoâ€™ve abused and tried to tear her down. Her smirk at Ramsay Bolton as heâ€™s eaten by dogs is such a release for a character who has suffered beyond suffering.
Sansaâ€™s ferociously loyal guard,Â Brienne of Tarth, isnâ€™t as lucky. Once again, sheâ€™s let down by a dull storyline which has her traipsing the countryside looking for someone to chat with rather than whipping out her sword and slaying on the battlefield. If the series really wanted to break those gender roles, itâ€™d show Brienne becoming the knight we know she is.
At least thereâ€™s hope for Daenerys. Finally, sheâ€™s getting herself across the ocean. Maybe now sheâ€™ll stop making grand speeches about how sheâ€™s going to do something and actually do it. Maybe itâ€™ll take another Game of throne seven seasons for her to actually set foot in Westeros. Weâ€™ll be here, waiting, watching.
Sarah Barrett, 28, Leicester
Rating: 4 out of 5 â€“ â€˜Itâ€™s not always well-written or feminist, but goddammit itâ€™s addictiveâ€™
After the run of violence against women that was Game of throne Season five â€“ a series where theÂ rape of Sansa StarkÂ was followed by the burning alive of an innocent girl â€“ my hopes werenâ€™t high for season six. But as opposed to my better judgment I ended up watching anyway, and ended up satisfyingly surprised. The sex and violence is slightly less gratuitous this time around, Westerosâ€™s villains are beginning to get their comeuppance, and the women wronged last season are beginning to avenge themselves. Sansa smirking as she walked away from a screaming Ramsay Bolton created a deeply satisfying scene.
Now, my beloved Tyrells are burned away in Cerseiâ€™s wildfire (boo) and their murderer is on the Iron Throne (hiss.) God knows what Season seven will bring, but by this point Iâ€™m there until the bitter end. (And this isÂ Game of Thrones, so the ending willÂ be bitter.) Itâ€™s not always a brilliantly written show and, despite some ground gained this year, itâ€™s not a particularly feminist show either. But goddammit, itâ€™s addictive.
Lewis English, 29, Stevenage
Rating: 4 out of 5 â€“ â€˜The story-lines have sped up, although it has lost some heartâ€™
By differentiating itself from George RR Martinâ€™s novels, the sixth season of Game of Thrones sped up many of its storylines while, simultaneously, losing some of its heart. A perfect example of this is the storyline of Sansa Stark and Brienne of Tarthâ€™s trip from Winterfell to Castle Black. In season three of the show this would have been a whole seasonâ€™s arc (I exaggerate, but not by much.)
However, despite this loss of heart, Hodor excluded, I currently
believe this might be the best season of the show. Gone is the wanton misogyny that got replaced by breakneck storytelling, a mass cull of unnecessary characters and a convergence of alliances that make me truly excited for Game of Thrones season 7.
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