[SPOILERS for the Game of Thrones season 6 finale ahead.]
There’s still a lot to talk about with Sunday’s epic Game of Thrones season 6 finale. Not only did it set the stage for many regal conflicts to come in the final two seasons, confirm that long-held fan theory about Jon Snow’s true parentage, and otherwise make us jump for joy (the Tower of Joy, in particular), but it also gave some eagle-eyed viewers a sense of déjà vu.
Thanks to the Red Witch-approved magic of the internet, fans have discovered that certain scenes from Game of Thrones latest (and, by its ratings records at least, most popular) season finale directly evoked some familiar moments - key moments from the show’s first season finale, to be exact.
Perhaps most importantly, the two Kings in the North were each declared during season 1 and season 6’s big finale episodes. In the first, it was Robb Stark, who was crowned King in the North by his fealty-swearing fellow rebels, and, of course, Jon Snow ascended to that honor after recapturing Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton (see the comparable screenshots below, via Imgur). Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have confirmed the visual and emotional similarities of those two scenes was fully purposed (and perhaps indicative of a similar ill fate to come for Jon Snow). There's hardly any doubt the timing of the scenes with respect to their seasons is also intentional.
There’s also the fact that in both episodes, Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover) was shown after having enjoyed the company of King’s Landing’s lady callers. In each instance, his paramour was shown stark naked while he wore his traditional, shabby night robes. Coincidence? Hardly. In the season 1 version of this setup, he was reminiscing to a highly uninterested Ros (R.I.P.) about how the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen had devolved from a nice little lad into the wildfire-wielding loon he’s now famed to have become. Then, in season 6, he was tricked trapped and swarmed by the Little Birds, based on the idea that “Sometimes, before we can usher in the new, the old must be put to rest.” The new, of course, would be Queen Cersei, whose use of the Mad King’s prized green goo that torched the Sept and all its occupants proved that she's scarily similar to the king that Pycelle had once lamented so many years ago in a similar setting.
Meanwhile, Daenerys reclaimed her single-to-mingle status in both season 1 and season 6’s finale episodes as well. In the first, of course, she said goodbye to her “sun and stars” Khal Drogo, who survived his wounds from being cut after defending her honor against a key member of his khalasar - but was in a vegetative state, so Dany killed him, quite literally, with her own two hands. The second instance was far less lethal, as she simply ditched Daario in Meereen under orders to protect the newly-at-peace city from falling back into chaos. In both cases, though, she said goodbye to her special someone and embarked on a new journey.
Another striking plot mirroring between the episodes is the fact that Tyrion Lannister was deemed Hand in each. In the first instance, he was much less enthused about serving his vicious nephew, King Joffrey, at his father Tywin’s behest. But when Daenerys Targaryen pinned him Hand in the latter, he was much more excited and gracious about the honor.
Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that Daenerys has a big moment with all three of her dragons in each of these season finales. In the first, she became the Unburnt after joining her late husband in his funeral pyre and emerging safely with her three newly-hatched dragons in tow. In the season 6 closer, Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion are seen as part of Dany’s giant fleet, flying along as her ships make way for Westeros at long last. Kind of chilling (especially for a trio of fire-breathers), isn’t it?
Game of Thrones will return to HBO for season 7 in spring 2017.