Cersei Lannister once said: "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die." Season 6 proved this rule many times. Check out insights from the cast below about who still has moves to make, and who has made their last play.
Click the actors' names to read their full interviews.
Ramsay Bolton took on the Stark army in the most epic GoT battle to date. Things were looking good until the Knights of the Vale showed up, a twist that took the character by surprise. Iwan Rheon explained: "He’s more annoyed that his magnificent plan has not worked. But even then, he’s so arrogant he believes it’s going to be all right. He’s got that sort of ridiculous self-confidence. Then the door starts breaking, and he starts to realize, 'Right, this is over, so I’m going to go out the way I want to go out.' When he’s shooting arrows at Jon Snow, he knows he’s going to die, but he doesn’t really care."
Tommen Baratheon has been easily swayed by his family through most of his reign, but it was his love for his beautiful wife Margaery that made him willing to trust his mother's greatest foe. "At the start of the relationship, Tommen knows that the High Sparrow isn’t someone he should trust," actor Dean-Charles Chapman admitted. "But Tommen gets manipulated by everyone, so unfortunately he gets wrapped around the High Sparrow’s finger. I don’t think he necessarily likes the High Sparrow, but he assumes that if he goes along with what the High Sparrow says, everything will resolve happily... If you can’t beat them, then you might as well join them."
Margaery Tyrell found herself wrapped up in quite a mess this season. Despite the dire consequences, Natalie Dormer appreciated the send-off. "That’s the beauty of what [series creators] Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff] wrote. They gave her the privileged position of being the only person to realize what’s happening, a moment of vindication that just summed up her personality. She was always a couple of steps ahead of everyone else, even to her last moment. I’m very grateful, because Margaery Tyrell was never a victim – even in her last moment they allowed her to not be."
Hodor proved unyielding loyalty does exist in Westeros when Wylis gave the ultimate sacrifice for Bran and Meera. Kristian Nairn maintained his character was free of resentment: "He doesn’t have that emotion. I don’t think he's very fond of the warging, but he sees the bigger picture," Nairn said. "I think he’s more sad about what happened because he’s not going to see his friends again."
STILL IN THE GAME
Lyanna Mormont made quite an impact with her small stature and great ferocity. Actor Bella Ramsey shared her initial impressions of the Lady of Bear Island: "I thought, 'This is a character to really get my teeth into.' Lyanna is strong about what she believes, and wants to keep her family and island protected; she wants to be treated like an adult."
While Melisandre says she's been "ready to die for many years," it looks like the games not done with her yet. "We start with messy Melisandre," Carice van Houten stated. "She looks bad, she doesn’t sleep – to her slowly regaining her faith and her confidence… slowly feeling like she has a place in this game."
From Stannis' right-hand man to trusted advisor of Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth has done pretty well for himself, and has proved his integrity time and time again. Actor Liam Cunningham explained that Davos has "a predictability about him, which can be dramatically, incredibly boring. But at the same time, he’s pulling the situations. He’s got to stand back and watch things be made a mess of, and then gently take over."
Between reuniting with her brother to rallying support at the kingsmoot to allying with Daenerys, Yara Greyjoy has been one busy lady. "'A few people have tweeted me saying, 'Why does Yara keep running away from threats?'," commented Gemma Whelan, "It’s because she’s playing the long game. It’s like chess and she plays several moves ahead – which makes her even more of a brilliant candidate to lead. She understands exactly how things will play out."
Arya Stark finally realized what fans hoped all along - once a Stark, always a Stark. Maisie Williams described the transition: "In the early part of the season, Arya is dead set on her future as 'No One.' She does a really good job and surprises herself with how quickly she forgets her list of names. As we get into the later half of the season, it’s a bit more of a struggle when she does start to get that Arya – and the loyal Stark – quality back. We realize that she hasn’t totally lost that spark." After all, there are still several names on that list.
Bran Stark made amazing discoveries this season. Where can he go from here that makes it all worthwhile? Isaac Hempstead Wright weighed in: "Bran’s definitely had to grow quite a thick skin. He started off as this perfectly happy-go-lucky kid in a castle...to having that ripped away from him pretty brutally when he’s chucked out of a window. He’s had to understand that this is not a nice world he’s living in. But equally, I think Bran’s got a Zen aura about him. He realizes that he can’t be a normal kid anymore – he can’t even be a normal person in Westeros – because he’s got this higher purpose. He and he alone is going to be the one who commands the mystical powers of Westeros."
Sansa Stark has come into her own in Season 6. "Sansa's position is at once much more vulnerable and ultimately more powerful this season. She’s taking charge and becoming something of a leader alongside Jon, but she’s also very much putting herself in danger by doing so," said actor Sophie Turner, "Emotionally, I don't think she feels vulnerable at all. She's bitter and determined. She spent the first five seasons running away from people or plotting how to evade her captors. This time she's going head-to-head, very publicly, against the people who have done her wrong. What draws me most to Sansa is probably just how resilient and determined she is, and how – as cliché as it sounds – what doesn't kill her only makes her stronger."