20) Tommen Takes The Easy Way Out
“The Winds of Winter,” Thrones‘ epic season six palate cleanser, carries more surprises than probably any other episode of the show. Together, showrunners (and this episode’s writers) David Benioff and DB Weiss oversee a mass cast clearout, which in the case of many of said doomed characters feels necessary. For one character in particular, however, their goodbye just feels pointless and sad.
Tommen, a good king who was never meant for George R.R. Martin’s ruthless world, ends “The Winds of Winter” imprisoned in his chambers, effectively powerless and with his beloved wife dead at the hands of his own mother. His suicide – a silent jump out of the window – is shocking not just because of how sudden and unexpected it is, but because of how harshly it signifies that goodness and innocence have no place in Westeros.
19) Benjen’s Alive!
Remember Benjen Stark? Maybe not. He went missing at the beginning of season one, apparently lost in wildling territory, and was promptly forgotten seemingly by both the show and the characters therein. Benjen, it seemed, was to be a footnote to both Stark and Game of Thrones history.
Then, at what was almost the end of season six, a character everyone had forgotten about just showed up out of nowhere to save Bran and Meera from a pack of ravenous wights. This unlikely hero was Benjen, but not quite as he was the last time we laid eyes upon him.
Still, though now half-human, half-wight, it was all the same Uncle Benjen all right, here to save the day – almost six years since the show misplaced him somewhere north of the Wall.