An explosive ending


"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." — Cersei Lannister, "Game of Thrones"

(WARNING: Spoilers below)

"Game of Thrones" ended its sixth season on Sunday night. After 10 of the most action-packed and riveting hours imaginable, it's fair to say this is the best season yet. Here's where we are heading into the next season.

The finale was a bloodbath. It reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino movie. The movie usually starts out slow, building characters and setting the mood. Then an action piece comes. Then in the third act, everyone dies.

The sixth season of "Game of Thrones" was very much like that. There were some incredible episodes along the way. The first half of the season was incredibly strong. Then last week's episode, "Battle of the Bastards," was the kind of action set piece we've come to expect from this show. It was an all time episode.

It would have been reasonable to expect the finale to be a bit of a let down. Instead, it was a jolt of pure adrenaline that will leave all the fans craving more for 10 months until our next fix comes in the season seven premier. Here's just a few of my quick takeaways.

* Cersei is the new villain supreme. This show has always had powerful villains. First there was Joffrey. Then he died, and Ramsey Bolton assumed the mantle. He was rightfully killed in episode nine, and it was worth wondering who would become the new supreme symbol of evil. It didn't take long for Cersei to take the crown, literally and figuratively. First, she killed have the city when she destroyed the Sept. Then her own malicious deeds, and her ignoring Tommen, led her only remaining child to kill himself. By the time she was crowned, it was clear who the real evil left in Westeros is.

* Jon is having a good year. Coming back from the dead makes you a winner. But Jon won the battle and beat Ramsey. Then he gets proclaimed King in the North. We can only hope that he and Daenerys form a new alliance — perhaps a coupling — to share power in Westeros.

* Jamie has fallen out of love with Cersei. There is a popular theory that Jamie will be the one to kill Cersei. He is the Kingslayer. And the look on his face at the end said all we need to know about how he's feeling about his malicious sister right now.

* The Starks are on the rise. Jon is King of the North. Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell and has taken the power of her own life back. Arya is back taking revenge. And Bran is on his way back to the North just in time. The table is set for an epic reunion.

* Season seven will be about the battle for Westeros. I am more convinced now than ever. With Daenerys sailing for Kings Landing, Cersei taking the Iron Throne and Jon being declared King in the North, the battle for power is on. My prediction is season seven is about settling the battle among the living and season eight, the final season, is about squaring off with the Night King.

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