Season 8 of Game of Thrones is nearly upon us. As the show draws to a close, it’s inevitable that we’ll be losing some of our beloved GOT characters over the next few months. So, as we celebrate the show’s run and get ready to say our goodbyes, Def Pen is looking back at previous seasons. Every week leading up to season 8’s April 14th premiere we will be recapping a season of the show. This week, we go back to look at Jon v Ramsay and the Battle of the Bastards in season 6.
First, though, check out our season 5 recap here if you missed that
After Jon Snow’s betrayal and assassination, Davos and Edd find his body the next morning. Edd goes to find help as a few brothers still loyal to Jon lock themselves in a room with his body. Across the sea, Arya lives as a blind beggar on the streets while the Waif torments her daily. Elsewhere, the Meereenese harbor burns as Jorah and Daario continue to track Daenerys after she was taken to Khal Moro. In Winterfell, Ramsay surprisingly mourns for Myranda. Outside the walls, Sansa and Theon are on the brink of escape as the Bolton men catch up them. Brienne and Pod arrive just in time to dispatch the men though. After that, the two help Sansa and Theon escape. In Kings Landing, Jaime arrives with the body of Myrcella. He swears to a distraught Cersei that they will have their revenge. Meanwhile, the Sand Snakes and Ellaria kill Trystane, Dorah and Areo Hotah as they enact their plan.
Far North of the Wall, Bran comes back into the picture a year on from when we last saw him. He is training with the Three-Eyed Raven and he has obviously learned how to better control his powers. He and the old man stand in a vision of the past as they watch a much younger Ned, Benjen, and Lyanna play in the courtyard. In the present, Tyrion decides to release the dragons from their chains after learning Astapor and Yunkai have once again returned to their old ways of slavery. In Braavos, the Waif continues to torment a blind Arya before Jaqen arrives to re-recruit her. Meanwhile, in the north, Ramsay murders his father, step-mother, and new half brother after fearing the new child will challenge his legitimacy. After receiving Sansa’s blessing, Theon travels back to the Iron Islands to find his uncle Euron has returned to kill King Balon. Back at the Wall, Edd returns with Tormund and a group of Wildlings who throw Thorne and the other mutineers in jail. Davos convinces Melisandre to try and revive Jon and she tries many times. They don’t seem to work however and everyone leaves the room hopeless. Jon then jolts awake with a deep breath.
Back in Essos, Varys learns more about the Sons of the Harpy. The masters of Volantis, Astapor, and Yunkai are funding the terrorist group. In Braavos, Arya continues her training and after finally accepting herself as ‘no one,’ she regains her sight. In another vision, Bran sees his father’s famous battle at the Tower of Joy. However, when Howland Reed saves his father from death, Bran learns that history isn’t always the true story. Meanwhile, Cersei and Jaime’s revenge tour is off to a slow start after they’re shooed away by the Small Council. Elsewhere, their power over Tommen begins to fade as he becomes close with the High Sparrow. In Winterfell, Lord Umber hands Rickon and Osha over to Ramsay in exchange for protection from the Wildlings. Back at the Wall, a newly-resurrected Jon executes his assassinators before claiming ‘his watch is over.’
Littlefinger then returns to the Vale so that he can begin gathering his forces against Ramsay. Further south, Cersei and Jaime plot with their uncle Kevan and Olenna Tyrell against the Sparrows. Meanwhile, Theon arrives in Pyke and offers his support to Yara as the next ruler of the Ironborn. North, at the Wall, Sansa arrives to reunite with Jon. It isn’t long before the news of Osha’s death comes from Ramsay and Winterfell. Ramsay also threatens Rickon if Sansa isn’t returned. With that and some convincing from Sansa, Jon decides to march south and retake Winterfell. In Meereen, Tyrion tries to find a compromise with the slavers but they refuse his offer. Elsewhere, Daenerys tries to reason with the Khals but they refuse to follow her. So, she burns them to death and walks out of the fire unburnt, causing the full might of the Dothraki to kneel to her.
Back in Westeros, Littlefinger offers Sansa the support of the Vale but she knows better than to accept. She and Jon then ride south to begin gathering support for their cause, sending Brienne even further south to rally the Tully troops in the Riverlands. Across the sea, Arya is given a second chance with the Faceless Men as she is tasked with killing an actress, Lady Crane. Tryion and Varys meet with a Red Priestess who pledges support to Daenerys. Speaking of, Daenerys learns about Jorah’s greyscale and tearfully orders him to find a cure and return to her. North of the Wall, Bran enters a vision unaccompanied and learns that the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers. While in the vision, he is touched by the Night’s King, breaking the protective spell on the cave he is in. As they are attacked, Bran remains in a vision of the past at Winterfell. Desperate to escape, he takes control of Hodor’s past self to control the older Hodor. Unfortunately, this reveals that Hodor’s mind was basically broken by Bran’s meddling and results in the death of the loveable giant in the present while he protects Bran and Meera as they escape the Walkers.
Meera drags Bran through the snow as the wights catch them. Suddenly, a mysterious rider dispatches the undead with ease before taking them to safety. Later, they learn the man is really Bran’s Uncle Benjen. In the south, Sam and Gilly arrive at the Tarly home of Horn Hill. It quickly becomes clear that Gilly is unwelcome and Sam decides to take her with him to the Citadel. Before they leave though, Sam also makes sure to grab Heartsbane, the Tarly family’s Valyrian steel sword. Over at King’s Landing, Jaime tries to save Margery from the Faith Militant. However, he learns that she has repented as Tommen has aligned himself and the crown with the Sparrows. His first act is to remove Jaime from the Kingsguard, sending him to the Riverlands to negotiate a peace between the Tullys and Freys. Across the sea, Arya refuses to kill Lady Crane, warning her of the assassination before reclaiming Needle. Elsewhere, Daenerys finally reunites with Drogon, climbing onto his back before declaring war on Westeros in full view of her Dothraki horde.
Jon and Sansa continue to recruit men to their cause. Alongside Davos the convince House Mormont and the Wildings to fight but they are still outnumbered by Ramsay’s forces. In the south, Olenna patronizes the Faith and Margaery urges her to leave the capital. In the Riverlands, Jaime takes over the siege of Riverrun. He meets with Bryden Tully and tries to broker peace but his attempts are unsuccessful. Across the sea, Theon and Yara decide to ally with Daenerys as they sail for Meereen. Meanwhile, Arya is in hiding, close to escaping from Braavos before the Waif finds her and stabs her. Back in Westeros, the Hound is revealed to be alive living with a priest of the Seven and his small community. The Brotherhood Without Banners attacks the group, killing everyone while Clegane is away and he sets off on a new revenge tour.
He quickly finds and kills the men he was searching for. Shortly after, he finds Beric and Thoros, who tell him that the men he’s searching for are rogue men from the Brotherhood. In the Riverlands, Brienne and Pod arrive and try to convince Bryden to stand down. Their attempts prove to be futile though and Jaime ends the siege by entering the castle. The elder Tully dies fighting the Lannisters. In King’s Landing Tommen abolishes trial by combat, ruining Cersei’s plans to win her trial. Things go south for Daenerys too as Meereen comes under attack from the masters of the other slavers cities. In Braavos, Arya goes to Lady Crane for help. While recovering though, the Waif shows up and kills Crane. She then chases Arya across the city before Arya lures her into the sewers. Arya kills the Waif in the dark and returns her bloodied face to the House of Black and White. She also reclaims her identity as Arya Stark and declares her intent to go home to Winterfell.
Daenerys returns to Meereen and meets with the masters to negotiate peace. After the refuse, she burns their fleet and kills 2 of the 3 she’s meeting with. Later, Theon and Yara meet with Daenerys, pledging their support in the coming wars. Back in Westeros, Jon marches on Winterfell. The battle starts with Ramsay seeming to free Rickon before killing him at the last second. During the fight, Jon’s forces are overrun and pinned by the Bolton men before the Knights of the Vale ride in, saving them. As the tide starts to turn Ramsay retreats to the castle. Wun Wun the giant isn’t having any of that though as, even full of arrows, he breaks down the gate, allowing Jon to enter. After a short standoff, Jon beats Ramsay within an inch of his life before imprisoning him in the kennels. Later, Sansa visits him and gets her revenge by setting his own dogs on him.
In King’s Landing, Cersei blows up the Sept of Baelor as everyone gathers for her trial. Margaery, Loras, Mace, Lancel, Kevan, and the High Sparrow all perish as well as hundreds of nobles. Upon seeing the destruction from his window, Tommen commits suicide. Meanwhile, Arya returns to Westeros and kills the Freys before heading north. At Winterfell, Jon is named King in the North by the remaining houses. North of the Wall, Bran, and Meera continue south without Benjen as he stays behind to cover their escape. As they are traveling, Bran enters a vision to discover that Jon isn’t actually his half-brother, he’s his cousin. His mother was Ned’s sister Lyanna, who died giving birth at the Tower of Joy. Back at the capitol, Jaime returns as Cersei is crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. It seems like that will be short lived though as Daenerys leaves Daario to rule over Meereen as she sails west with her full fleet.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14th on HBO.