"Game of Thrones" The Winds of Winter (TV Episode 2016) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Cersei and Loras Tyrell stand trial by the gods. Daenerys prepares to set sail for Westeros. Davos confronts Melisandre. Sam and Gilly arrive in the Citadel. Bran discovers a long-kept secret. Lord Frey has an uninvited guest.

  • Cersei and Loras stand trial for their crimes, while Jaime celebrates victory with Walder Frey at The Twins. Davos confronts Jon about Melisandre's actions, and Littlefinger reveals his intentions to Sansa. Meanwhile, Bran continues his quest for knowledge in the far North as "winter" finally arrives.

  • Cersei is to be tried by the Seven, but has plans of her own. Jaime and Bronn celebrate with the Freys. Bran continues his quest for knowledge as the Three-Eyed Raven. Jon and Sansa discuss the impending Winter. Daenerys and her fleet finally make way for Westeros.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Church bells are ringing throughout Kings Landing. Everyone, from the High Sparrow to King Tommen, prepares for the trials of Cersei and Loras. The mood is sombre as people begin to take their positions. In the Red Keep, Cersei is dressing, looking upon the city. She puts on a black leather dress with a chain across the front, unlike anything she wore before; it looks more like an armor. In the Sept of Baelor Loras Tyrell is brought in, shivering and disheveled. He says there is no need for a trial; he is ready to confess everything. He is willing to renounce his title and future to become a member of the Faith Militant. The High Sparrow has their cult's star carved into his forehead. Mace Tyrell, his father, is upset and tries to run to his son, but Margaery holds him back. Margaery is upset too, that wasn't part of their deal, she says to the High Sparrow, confirming that there was some negotiation going on between them. In the king's chambers, Tommen is ready to go to the trial, however, the Mountain blocks him from leaving.

    As Grand Maester Pycelle makes his way to the Sept of Baelor, he is beckoned by a child who whispers something in his ear and he follows the child to Qyburn's laboratory. There Qyburn tells Pycelle "Before we can usher in the new, the old must be put to rest", just before a gang of children (the "little bird" spies) surround him, stabbing him to death. As the other sparrows leave to seize Cersei who has not come to the Sept, Lancel notices a child running to the chambers below the Sept and he starts chasing the child. He is led to a dungeon with a great array of barrels. He takes in the scene, with surprise, realizing, just before he is stabbed in his leg by the boy he was chasing, that it is a massive stash of wildfire with several candles burning in a small pool.

    In the Sept, people are waiting, apprehensively. Margaery senses there is something wrong about Cersei not coming; "She's beaten you; she knows the consequences of not being here", she warns the High Sparrow, but he ignores her. She tries to get everyone out, but the Faith Militant block her way.

    Lancel crawls forward toward a candle burning down in green pool of wildfire near the barrels. He is trying to blow it out and stop the wildfire igniting but he is not in time. There is a massive explosion, the green flames ripple through the building, sparing no one. Everyone in the Sept is obliterated and the building collapses in a green plume of smoke. One of the giant bells of the Sept flies through the city, smashing into a small plaza. Cersei looks on from the Red Keep, sipping her wine, with a gleeful smile.

    Continuing with her revenge, Cersei visits Septa Unella, the one who shouted "Shame!" at her during her walk of penance. She is strapped to a table, and Cersei waterboards her with wine and taunts her, admitting all her sins - killing King Robert, having kids with Jaime - and that they felt good to her. "Even confessing feels good under the right circumstances", she says. Unella says she is happy to die and see the gods, but Cersei tells her it's going to be a long time before she dies. "This is your god now", Cersei says and brings in the Mountain to torture Unella. He takes off his helmet, revealing a horrific sight. "Shame", Cersei says gleefully as she walks away from the screaming Unella, closing the chamber door.

    Tommen, looking over the devastation of the Sept, is devastated at the turn of events. As the guard leaves him alone, he takes off his crown and drops out the window to his death. When Cersei sees her last child's dead body she appears sad, but not surprised and rather cold. The prophecy after all had prepared her that all her children would die. She decides to have him cremated.

    At the Twins, Walder Frey toasts his house's stronger ties to House Lannister. Bronn and Jaime drink. As Walder Frey gloats about his victory "Here we are now, two Kingslayers!... Fear is a marvelous thing", Jaime corrects him; he hasn't really accomplished anything apart from murdering defenseless wedding guests. Whenever Walder needs help he calls the Lannisters to bail him out. The Freys have needed the Lannisters. Why do the Lannisters even need the Freys? Meanwhile, a pretty serving girl gives Jaime a couple of seemingly flirtatious looks.

    Later, when Walder is alone, the girl comes back. Walder wants to know where his sons are. The girl says they're right here, and reveals they're cooked into the pie she just served him. The girl whips off her mask and reveals herself to be Arya Stark. "The last thing you're ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die", she says. She slits his throat in much the same manner that her mother, Catelyn Stark, was killed.

    Sam, Gilly and little Sam arrive in Oldtown, where men become maesters. They see the white ravens leaving the Citadel, signifying Winter is here. Sam enters the impressive library, where he will need to wait for the arch maester to verify his credentials, while Gilly and Little Sam must wait outside.

    At Winterfell, Jon Snow and Melisandre are discussing recent events as Davos walks in, throwing Shireen's toy stag at her. He tells Jon the witch had little Shireen burned alive and demands that she is executed for it. Melisandre says she has been ready to die for a long time, but she can help Jon defeat the Night King. Regardless, Jon banishes her; she must ride south, and if she returns north, he will hang her as a murderer.

    Jon and Sansa reconcile. He says it was Sansa who won the battle, and asks her if she can really trust Littlefinger. She apologizes for not telling him about the Knights of the Vale plan and agrees it is not wise to trust Littlefinger. Later on, Sansa meets with Littlefinger and asks him what he wants. He admits he is after the Iron Throne, with Sansa as his queen and attempts to kiss her. She appears to entertain the thought but avoids the kiss.

    North of the Wall, Bran Stark, now the new Three-Eyed Raven, bids farewell to his reanimated Uncle Benjen. Benjen cannot pass beyond the Wall because he is technically dead. "While it stands, the dead cannot pass", he says, reminding them that the Wall was built to keep out the White Walkers, and there is a spell on it that prevents anybody who is undead from passing. Bran and Meera are left near a weirwood tree, where Bran again goes into the past to finish his vision of his father, Ned, at the Tower of Joy. They go in and find Lyanna Stark, Ned's sister, dying in a pool of blood. "Promise me, Ned" she says. She whispers something in his ear. A baby is brought to Ned. The closeup of the child cuts to a closeup of Jon Snow, all grown up, seemingly confirming Jon's true parentage; Jon was never Ned's bastard son but the son of Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.

    At Winterfell, Jon is overseeing a debate between the Lords of the North. There are disagreements about whether they should side with Wildlings. The 10-year old Lady Mormont chastises them for their cowardice and declares Jon the King in the North. Lord Glover who had refused to help now agrees Jon is the King. Soon others join in. "The King in the North!" everyone cries as Jon rises. Sansa is seen smiling, whereas Littlefinger is not pleased with the development, as his interest was to establish Sansa as the true Stark heir and stays quiet in the background.

    In Dorne, Lady Olenna, in black mourning clothes, her whole family wiped out, meets with the Sand Snakes. They all want to go to war with the Lannisters and Varys arrives on the scene, conveying "fire and blood", war is coming.

    In the south, Jaime and his crew ride to King's Landing, where they see in shock the smoking ruins of the Sept of Baelor and hurry to the Throne Room. There the lords and ladies have gathered. Cersei walks in, with her entourage, the Mountain and the rest of the Kingsguard. She takes her seat on the Iron Throne. Cersei and Jaime share a look; Jamie looks at her, befuddled, from the gallery. Qyburn is the Hand of the Queen. "Long may she reign", Qyburn proclaims.

    In Mereen, Daenerys asks Daario to stay behind while she sails to Westeros, to rule Mereen for her until they elect their own rulers, effectively breaking up with him. She admits that he would be a distraction and prevent her from being able to enter into a political marriage. Daario is frustrated and declares his love for her but ultimately accepts her decision. Daenerys discusses with Tyrion how it went with Daario and it appears he was the one who had advised her to leave her lover Daario behind, for political expediency. She confesses to Tyrion it was not hard to let go of Daario and only looks forward, to the charge to Westeros. He says "I've been a cynic for as long as I can remember. Everybody was always asking me to believe in things... but I believe in you". She then presents him with a pin she had made for him; she's making him her Hand of the Queen. They set sail for Westeros and the parting shot is of her significant fleet sailing west, with her great dragons flying over the ships and waves.

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