Review by Lauryn Angel
The sixth season of Game of Thrones is the first season to move beyond the source novels written by George R. R. Martin, meaning that for the most part, only the showrunners knew what was coming. The result is a show with lots of surprises. We finally learn the fate of Jon Snow (Kit Harrington); we get the back story for minor characters, such as Hodor (Kristian Nairn); and we get cryptic suggestions about the true nature of other characters, like Melisandre (Carice van Houten). Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) returns to the story to take up his training with the Three-Eyed Raven (Max Von Sydow), and it’s during this training that we learn the truth about what happened to Lyanna Stark.
One of the things that makes this season different than those that came before is the speed with which things happen. It’s clear that the show is hurtling toward its endgame, and to that end, certain characters develop more quickly than in previous seasons. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) finally seems to learn how to play the game of thrones, whereas her sister Arya (Maisie Williams) learns a different game in Braavos. Other characters stay much the same, while others finally get what’s coming to them. (You’ll have to watch to find out who.
Each season has traditionally featured one epic battle, and this season is no exception. Season five’s eighth episode “Hardhome” was perhaps the show’s most intense battle . . . until season six gave us “The Battle of the Bastards” with its ninth episode. And while this is the most intense action scene, there is no shortage of action in this season.
Without question, season six is my favorite season of Game of Thrones (so far, at least), mainly because it answered a lot of lingering questions, as well as some I didn’t know I had. The Blu-Ray set includes audio commentaries for each episode that I look forward to watching, as well as in-episode guides and deleted scenes. There are three featurettes: “The Battle of the Bastards: An In-Depth Look”, “18 Hours at the Paint Hall,” and “Recreating the Dothraki World.” Finally, there are 18 “Histories and Lore” featurettes, covering a lot of the backstory that gets elided in the episodes themselves. There is quite a bit here to keep fans busy until we get season seven in June of 2017.