TV

Here Are the Game of Thrones Midseason Awards

It's all in how you play the game.

By Brenden Gallagher

After last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, half the season is in the books (or, not in the books, in this case). Some story lines have progressed at a nice pace, giving us rewarding scenes like Bran finally escaping that damn tree and Sansa telling Littlefinger not to let the door hit him on the way out. Other plots have been a little slower to unfold. If Tywin Lannister were still alive, he would have stabbed that High Sparrow a long time ago. And how many times is Daenarys going to raise and lose a horse army in this damn show? And some other plots haven’t moved an inch. After they killed the Prince in Dorn, do they just take some time to drink some wine and have any orgy before they do anything else?

Even if some parts of the story have been slow to come together, Season 6 is off to a strong start. You finally get the sense that all of these various plot lines might one day converge into a bitching battle between ice and fire. Before we press on the Battle of Winterfell, the religious purge of King’s Landing, and hoping that they’ll finally let Daenerys get on a boat, let’s take a look back at Season 6 so far with these Midseason Awards.

  • Best Clapback – Daenerys Burns Down the Patriarchy.

    Though Westeros offered a few solid clapbacks, including Ellaria Sand gutting Doran Martell, The Mountain smashing a dude’s head in, and Brienne letting Davos and Melisandre know exactly how Stannis met his demise, for the best clapback you best look across the Narrow Sea.

    Daenarys endured a lot of sh-t talk from the various Khals who rode into Vaes Dothrak literally on their high horses. Much of her time with the Dothraki was one long tasteless rape joke. She let the men talk. And then she took action. *flame emoji*

  • Most WTF Moment – Melisandre is Old as Hell.

    We waited a long time for Jon Snow to go ahead and rise from the dead, and while we waited they had to give us something other than repeated shots of his chiseled, nude, frost-bitten body. While we kept our watch, a completely unexpected plot twist kept us entertained. It turns out Melisandre, she who showed her boobs to any Lord she happened upon and banged Stannis on a Risk board, is actually old as Hell.

  • Pettiest Moment – Daario Kisses and Tells.

    Daario is kind of a d-ck. Since Michael Huisman took over the role from the hunky surfer dude who was originally cast in the role, he has brought nuance and depth to the part. It as almost enough to make us forget that the guy is a rogue murderer who is a real jerk.

    If Jorah were your boy, you would do him a solid and tell him that pining after a girl two decades his junior isn’t a good look. But, a real friend definitely doesn’t do it by getting into the details of how she is in the bedroom. That’s just ice cold.

  • Biggest Backstab – Westeros’ Best Fighter Goes Down From A Cheap Shot

    If you are strictly a show watcher, you may not be able to pick the name Arthur Dayne out from the thousands of others you’ve heard over the last six seasons. Dayne was one of the greatest swordsman in Westeros history. Word was that Ned had beaten him fair and square when they fought at the Tower of Joy. Bran finds out the hard truth. Ned’s man Howland Reed stabbed him in the back when it looked like he was about to send Ned back to the Old Gods.

    This won’t change much in the story going forward, but this would be like finding that Seal Team 6 didn’t actually take down Bin Laden.

  • Badass Female Moment – Sansa Threatens to Do It Herself!

    “If we don’t take back the North, we’ll never be safe. I want you to help me, but I’ll do it myself if I have to.”

    Daenerys definitely has had some badass moments in Season 6, but we are kind of used the Mother of Dragons burning sh-t to the ground. We’ve been waiting for years for Sansa to have opportunity to shine. It looks like Sansa is well on her way to rightful place as Mother of Wolves. While the true feminist moment will come when she feeds Ramsay to his own dogs, it’s nice to see her take charge of her own destiny.

  • Who We’re Shipping – Tormund Giantsbane and Brienne of Tarth

    If you didn’t notice the knowing glances being exchanged between Tormund and Brienne over some of the best cuisine The Wall has to offer (which would be the worst cuisine anywhere else) or Tormund’s horseback ogling this week, then you don’t have a pulse. Even Dolorous Edd noticed sparks flying! Yes, they come from two different worlds (or at least two different sides of the wall), but it seems they both find the available options wanting, so maybe we should all be rooting for these two crazy kids.

    People don’t stay happy in Westeros for long, but we’re maybe these two could at least make it work for a little while.

  • Worst Kept Secret – Jon Snow Comes Back

    We haven’t expected a comeback this much since Michael Jordan washed out of minor league baseball. Kudos to the GoT team for trying to keep this hush hush, but we all knew that Jon Snow was going to rise from the dead.

    In earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, you had no idea who was going to die, but now it feels like there are a few characters (Tyrion, Daenarys, Jon, Sansa) who definitely can’t bite it until their story gets some kind of closure. If any of these characters seem to go off the map, you get the sense they might show up again the next week.

  • Most Gruesome Kill – Ramsay, Dog Gone!

    Just in case the raping and flaying didn’t make you hate Ramsay enough, he went ahead and fed a mother and child to the dogs. When we got rid of Joffrey, we thought that we had reached peak “insufferable violent tyrant,” but Ramsay has claimed the mantle of biggest asshole in a kingdom filled with them.

  • Best One-Liner – “Well, at least obeyed.”

    Tyrion and Varys (and to an extent, Littlefinger) have been the brains of Game of Thrones since Ned Stark went to King’s Landing. They have survived while people of magic and people of might have fallen. When a new Priestess of the Flame makes her way to Mereen, they have the same skepticism toward people with absolute solutions that has kept them alive this long.

    Though they got a few laughs this time, you have to wonder with all this new magic cropping up, if skepticism is the best long-term plan for survival.

  • Side Eye Moment – Tyrion Sells Out the Slaves

    There’s no denying that Tyrion is among the best diplomats in Game of Thrones. But, in Westeros, nobody is perfect. You don’t have to be a former slave to know that Tyrion’s attempts at peace weren’t so slick. When he allows the Slavers seven years to phase out slavery and a few whores to seal the deal, you definitely get the feeling that while Tyrion is a great statesman in Westeros, in Mereen he might be a clueless stranger in a strange land.

  • OMG Moment – “Hold the Door!”

    The craziest moment of the season so far was also a payoff for a mystery viewers have wrestled with since the series premiere. In some sci-fi time travel madness, we find out that Bran’s time traveling created a ripple in the fabric of time, and Hodor’s name is a part of it.

    Originally a normal boy named Wylis, Hodor become “Hodor” when an echo from the future told him to “Hold the door!” for Bran against an onslaught of white walkers. Hodor did his part.

    If you didn’t shed a tear during that last sequence, you have no heart.

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