Callback and Easter eggs in “The Winds of Winter”


We begin our hunt for callbacks and Easter eggs in the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale with an oft-used quote from the High Sparrow, originated by Cersei back in Season 5: “The Faith and the Crown are the two pillars that hold up this world. One collapses, so does the other.” She may have rued those words since first speaking them, but she got her way in the end, mostly. Redditor Pdan4 pieced together this neat homage to the tragedy that befell the two pillars of the kingdom in “The Winds of Winter.”

"[S6 Spoilers!] Game of Thrones – The Two Pillars"

On the subject of wildfire, Redditor WolfmanJapan recalls Jaime’s conversation with Brienne as they bathed together (rather reluctantly) in the baths at Harenhal back in Season 3, when Jaime told Brienne about when he killed the Mad King. As you may recall, the Mad King’s last words were, “Burn them all.” Now that Cersei has made good on the Mad King’s last command, I wonder if Jaime will have to run a sword through his sister’s back at some point. That look he gave her in the throne room could be read a couple of ways.

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The past keeps cropping up. Tommen’s suicidal leap out the window following the fulfillment of Cersei’s scheme echoed both Bran’s fall from the tower at Winterfell in the very first episode of the show, “Winter is Coming,” as well as Cersei telling Tyrion that she “would have thrown [her]self from the highest window in the Red Keep” in “Mhysa,” the Season 3 finale.

Showrunner Dan Weiss identified a callback during an interview with Deadline. It involves the scene where Arya feeds Walder Frey a pie made with the flesh of his own sons.

"Going back to the killing by Arya of Walder Frey, there’s an echo there from earlier in the series when Bran Stark told the story of the Rat Cook, who baked his enemies into a pie. It was clearly a call back from there."

This is also a nod to the bit from the books where Wyman Manderly, who showed up in the flesh in this episode, kills a few Freys, bakes them into pies, and serves them during a feast at the Bolton-occupied Winterfell.

Speaking of Bran, remember when he had that rapid-fire vision back in “Blood of My Blood?” It ends up he saw the past as well as the future. Some of that footage was from the finale, when wildfire ripped through the tunnels under the Sept of Baelor.

Here’s an obvious one: the Northerners making Jon Snow their King in the North recalls when they did the same thing to Robb back in Season 1. Redditor Navso71 sums up everyone’s feelings on that:

Over on HBO’s recap show After the Thrones, host Andy Grennwald pointed out another interesting callback:

"I thought about that at the end of Cersei’s storyline for this season, when she is back on the Iron Throne. She sat on the Iron Throne once before, if you remember, during the Battle of Blackwater . . .  she sat on the Iron Throne with a much younger Tommen, about to kill him .  . .  That history repeated itself: she’s back on the throne and her son did die."

Tommen’s death, you’ll recall, was foretold by Maggy the Frog, the witch woman Cersei visited when she was a child. Redditor imnotyourfatherjeremy takes us through the implications of her prophecy.

"“Oh yes. You will be queen, for a time…”"

As Redditor DrWattson shows us, Sansa is learning not to trust Littlefinger, which is somehting her father Ned never got the hang of.

"Only A Fool"

Redditor akarpil77 astutely pointed out that Lady Lyanna Mormont wasn’t lying when she told Lord Manderly that her son had been killed at the Red Wedding. It’s fun being put to shame by a 10-year-old girl, isn’t it?

Also, did you notice how much the chandelier in the library in Oldtown looks like the astrolabe from the opening credits.

Here’s a fun one from Redditor baottousai. Remember back at the beginning of the season when Daario and Jorah were looking for Daenerys together? Daario to Jorah: “It must make you angry, that our Queen chose me.”

Ser Friendzone pulls through.

Here’s a look at all the Great Houses that have joined Daenerys’ fleet, via Redditor CarolinaCapsFan. We’ve got Targaryen, Greyjoy, Tyrell, and Martell sails.

Finally, the very final last scene of the season recalled this early one from the Season 3 premiere, when Daenerys contemplated how she needed an army and for her dragons to grow, all while standing on the deck of a ship.

Mission accomplished.

It’s been a fun ride for Season 6, and I cannot wait to see what Season 7 brings us. Until next time, our watch continues.