Overview: Season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones is over, and all we have left is to watch it all again or read all the books or delve in Audiences Everywhere’s wonderful coverage. This season showed us that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss know when to listen to their fans; last year’s grim misogynist wheel-spinning was replaced with smiles, climaxes and an overflow of powerful women in every corner of Westeros and beyond. The pointless female nudity was scrapped in favour of pointed nudity and dicks for days. With the season over, we’ve put together a little post-season scorecard to relieve some of the best bits of a fantastic ten or so hours of telly.

Most Satisfying Death: So many this year. Yes, it was nice to see Walder Frey eat his kids, the Waif lose her face, and the High Sparrow go up in flames, but nothing compares to finally, finally seeing Ramsay Bolton get that smirk ripped off his face by his own dogs. The fact that Sansa orchestrated it was all the better.

Saddest Death: I’m going to be sad not to see Natalie Dormer as Margaery on the show anymore, but the clearest winner of this is the ol’ door stop himself: Hodor. Hodor’s death was heartbreaking, exciting, clever, shocking, and heroic. If you didn’t finish that episode in floods of tears then you must be made of ice. And you’re a White Walker.

Best New Character: Lyanna Mormont. Next question.

Best Returning Character: A few faces we hadn’t seen for a while popped back up in season six. Nice to see the Bros without Banners return and I’m sure there were a few watchers who said, ‘Who?’ when Benjen Stark reappeared. In the end, though, it was The Hound that got the best re-origin story (featuring Ian McShane!) and who brought back that heady mix of violence and quips that we expect from the big psychopath.

Best Episode: Battle of the Bastards was possibly the best episode the show has ever done so a clear winner.

Worst Episode: Oathbreaker. Too bitty by far. It was one of those Thrones episodes that tries to check in with as many characters as possible, stretching itself too thin and leaving no real impression

Most Improved Character: Sansa Stark has had a hard run on this show. Passed from abusive shit to abusive shit, her plot culminated in her imprisonment and brutalisation by pre-dog food Ramsay Bolton. This season she got to kick ass, take names, and be an absolute fucking queen.

Best Romance: There aren’t many couples hanging around in Westeros at the moment except Jamie and Cersei and even that’s not great. Season 6 gave us two couplings to ship until the show returns, and two unexpected ones too. Daenerys and Yara looked about to get down to it in the throne room of Meereen within three seconds of meeting each other, and poor Tormund couldn’t hide his infatuation with Brienne of Tarth. The show seems to be pushing some sort of romance between Brienne and Jamie, but I feel like Tormund is more her type i.e. he also bites people during fights.

The Season Summed Up In One Sentence By My Wife: ‘Sean, it’s 7am, I don’t care, something about rising, and cream rising or going sour, oh just piss off and let me sleep.’

Overall: A triumph. Season 6 stands up there as the best or at least second best (after the first) season this show has ever done. It was satisfying, scary, exciting, epic, and, for the first time in ages, optimistic.

Featured Image: HBO