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Game of Thrones (season 6)

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Game of Thrones
Season 6
Game of Thrones Season 6.jpeg
Region 1 DVD cover
StarringSee List of Game of Thrones cast
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10
Release
Original networkHBO
Original releaseApril 24 (2016-04-24) –
June 26, 2016 (2016-06-26)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 5
Next →
Season 7
List of episodes

The sixth season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on April 24, 2016, and concluded on June 26. It consists of 10 episodes, each of approximately 50–60 minutes long. Much of the season's storyline is derived from content not yet published in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, although a significant amount of material from A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons and the upcoming sixth novel The Winds of Winter, which Martin outlined to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, was used.[1] The series was adapted for television by Benioff and weiss. HBO had ordered the season on April 8, 2014, together with the fifth season, which began filming in July 2015[2][3] primarily in Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Iceland and Canada. The season cost over $100 million to produce.

The season follows the continuing struggle among the noble families of Westeros for the Iron Throne. The Starks and allies defeat the Bolton forces in the "Battle of the Bastards" reuniting Sansa Stark and Jon Snow, who is proclaimed the King in the North, while Ramsay Bolton is killed. In Essos, Tyrion Lannister rules Meereen while Daenerys Targaryen is held captive by the Dothraki, after which she burns the Khals, emerges from the flames of their temple alive leading the surviving Dothraki to pledge her their loyalty. At King's Landing, Margaery Tyrell capitulates to the High Sparrow, who becomes more powerful by influencing King Tommen. The imprisoned Cersei avoids her trial by destroying the Great Sept with wildfire, killing the Sparrows, her uncle, and the Tyrells. Tommen commits suicide in the wake of the blast, and his mother is crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell's daughters kill Doran and Trystane Martell and seize control of Dorne. Arya Stark finishes her assassin training and returns to Westeros to resume her revenge list. Bran Stark becomes the Three-Eyed Raven, escapes the White Walkers, and returns to the Wall. Yara Greyjoy fails in her bid to be queen of the Iron Islands, so she and Theon ally with Daenerys. Varys secures an alliance for her with Olenna and the Dornish.

Game of Thrones features a large ensemble cast, including Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Kit Harington. The season introduced new cast members, including Max von Sydow, Pilou Asbæk, and Essie Davis, and returned Isaac Hempstead Wright and David Bradley to the series. Additionally, Rory McCann returned to the series after his character, Sandor Clegane, was presumably left for dead in the fourth season. The season finale also marked the final appearances of Iwan Rheon, Kristian Nairn, Natalie Dormer, Jonathan Pryce, and Finn Jones.

Critics praised its production values, writing, plot development, and cast. Game of Thrones received the most nominations for the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, with 23 nominations, and won 12, including that for Outstanding Drama Series for the second year in a row. U.S. viewership rose compared to the previous season, and by approximately 13 percent over its course, from 7.9 million to 8.9 million by the finale.

Synopsis[edit]

Background[edit]

At this point in Game of Thrones, Margaery has married the new King Tommen Baratheon, Joffrey's younger brother, in King's Landing. The Sparrows, a group of religious fanatics, impose their views upon the city, imprisoning Margaery, her brother Loras, and Cersei for committing various sins. Jaime travels to Dorne to take back Myrcella Baratheon. However, Oberyn Martell's lover, Ellaria, and his bastard daughters kill Myrcella as revenge for Oberyn's death. In Winterfell, the new seat of House Bolton, Baelish arranges Sansa's marriage with the now-legitimized son of Roose Bolton, the sadist Ramsay. Stannis's unsuccessful march on Winterfell, which leads to his death, allows Sansa the opportunity to escape with Theon. At the Wall, as the newly elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow forms an alliance with the Wildlings to save them from the White Walkers and their army of reanimated corpses. However, Jon is stabbed to death by some brothers who see him as a traitor; Melisandre tries to revive him. Arya arrives in Braavos, where she finds Jaqen H'ghar whom she had previously helped escape and begins training with the Faceless Men, a guild of assassins. In Essos, Tyrion becomes an advisor to Daenerys. Ser Jorah saves the life of Daenerys against a revolt of slavers, who flees Meereen on Drogon's back.[4]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [5]U.S. viewers
(millions)
511"The Red Woman"Jeremy PodeswaDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 24, 2016 (2016-04-24)7.94[6]
Alliser Thorne assumes command of the Night's Watch, while Ser Davos and several loyalists bolt themselves inside a room with Jon's body; Edd leaves Castle Black to seek help. At Winterfell, Ramsay briefly mourns Myranda, while Sansa and Theon are pursued by Bolton men. Brienne and Podrick arrive, killing the pursuers. Sansa formally accepts Brienne into her service. Jaime arrives in King's Landing with Myrcella's body and vows to Cersei to take back everything taken from them. Obara and Nymeria murder Trystane Martell while, in Sunspear, Ellaria and Tyene kill Prince Doran and Areo Hotah after Doran learns of Myrcella's murder. In Meereen, Tyrion and Varys discover ships are burning in the harbor. Jorah and Daario Naharis continue tracking Daenerys, whom the Dothraki take to Khal Moro. In Braavos, a blinded Arya begs on the street. Each day, the Waif beats her with a staff and forces her to fight. In her bedchamber, Melisandre removes her bejeweled necklace revealing she is elderly and frail.
522"Home"Jeremy PodeswaDave HillMay 1, 2016 (2016-05-01)7.29[7]
In a vision of the past, Brandon sees his father Ned, Uncle Benjen, their sister Lyanna, and young Hodor at Winterfell. Edd returns to Castle Black with Tormund and a group of Wildlings, imprisoning Thorne and the other mutineers. Tommen asks Cersei to help him be strong, as the High Sparrow threatens Jaime. Astapor and Yunkai have reverted to slavery. In the catacombs, Tyrion unchains Rhaegal and Viserion. In Braavos, H'ghar allows Arya to return to the House of Black and White. Roose Bolton's wife gives birth to a male heir; Ramsay murders Roose, his stepmother, and the infant. En route to Castle Black, Brienne tells Sansa that she had encountered Arya. Theon leaves to head home to the Iron Islands. Euron Greyjoy also returns to Pyke Island and murders his brother, King Balon. Melisandre attempts and apparently fails to resurrect Jon, but after everyone leaves the room, Jon revives.
533"Oathbreaker"Daniel SackheimDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 8, 2016 (2016-05-08)7.28[8]
En route to Oldtown to train as a Maester, Samwell first visits Horn Hill, his family home, intending to leave Gilly and Little Sam with his family, claiming Little Sam is his biological son. In a vision, Brandon sees young Ned and Howland Reed, Meera's father, dishonorably defeat a Targaryen Kingsguardsmen at the Tower of Joy in Dorne. Varys discovers that the masters of Slavers' Bay are financing the Sons of the Harpy. In King's Landing, the High Sparrow preaches to Tommen, while Jaime, Cersei and her bodyguard, Ser Gregor Clegane, interrupt a small council meeting, only to be shunned by Kevan Lannister and the Tyrells. The Waif rigorously trains Arya, whose sight is restored after accepting herself as "no-one". In Winterfell, Lord Umber asks Ramsay to help protect the North from the Wildlings, presenting Rickon Stark, Osha, and the head of Rickon's direwolf as gifts. Jon executes Thorne, Olly, and the other mutineers. He renounces his oath and puts Tollett in charge of the Night's Watch.
544"Book of the Stranger"Daniel SackheimDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 15, 2016 (2016-05-15)7.82[9]
Sansa, Brienne and Podrick arrive at Castle Black. Sansa wants Jon to retake the North. In Meereen, Tyrion offers the masters of Slaver's Bay peace in exchange for slavery being abolished within seven years; this angers former slaves. Littlefinger returns to the Vale to mobilize its soldiers against Ramsay. Dario learns about Jorah's greyscale; they find Daenerys in Vaes Dothrak. In King's Landing, Margaery is allowed to visit Loras while Cersei, Jaime, Kevan, and Olenna shelve their differences and plot to defeat the Sparrows. Theon arrives at Pyke Island and supports Yara's claim to the Iron Islands throne. In Winterfell, Ramsay kills Osha, who tries to assassinate him. Ramsay sends Jon a message, threatening Rickon unless Sansa is returned. Sansa convinces Jon to retake Winterfell. In the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, Daenerys tells the Khals that she will lead the Dothraki; she ignites the temple, killing them. When she emerges unscathed, the Dothraki bend the knee.
555"The Door"Jack BenderDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 22, 2016 (2016-05-22)7.89[10]
Sansa secretly meets with Littlefinger, who offers the Vale's forces and says her great uncle, Brynden Tully, is building an army in Riverrun. Sansa distrusts Littlefinger and declines his help. Jon and Sansa leave Castle Black to gather Northern houses' support. Sansa sends Brienne to meet with her great-uncle, Brynden Tully. In Braavos, Arya is tasked to assassinate Lady Crane, an actress. Beyond the Wall, Brandon learns that the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers to protect themselves from mankind. In the Iron Islands, Euron wins the Kingsmoot, despite confessing he killed Balon; Yara, Theon, and their supporters flee, taking many ships. In Essos, Daenerys orders Jorah to return after finding a cure for his greyscale. In Meereen, Kinvara, a red priestess, meets Tyrion and Varys and promises to support Daenerys. In Brandon's unaccompanied vision, the Night King touches him, leaving his mark and making the cave vulnerable. The Night King, White Walkers, and hordes of wights attack the cave, killing the Three-Eyed Raven, several Children, Summer, and Hodor, whose younger self was rendered mentally disabled by Brandon's order to "Hold the door".
566"Blood of My Blood"Jack BenderBryan CogmanMay 29, 2016 (2016-05-29)6.71[11]
Meera escapes the cave with Bran, who is immersed in the Three-Eyed Raven's transferred visions. In the forest, the wights attack, but a man on horseback saves them. At stately Horn Hill, Sam's father, Randyll, demeans Sam as a soft bookworm and rejects Gilly for being a Wildling. That night, Sam takes House Tarly's ancestral Valyrian steel sword, Heartsbane, and leaves with Gilly and Little Sam. Arya warns Lady Crane of her planned assassination, then retrieves Needle. H'ghar allows the Waif to find and kill Arya. Jaime attempts to rescue Margaery from the Faith Militant, only to find she has repented and Tommen has forged an alliance with the Faith. Tommen forbids Jaime to serve as a King's Guard in King's Landing and orders him to aid Walder Frey, who is holding Edmure Tully hostage, to retake Riverrun from Brynden Tully. Benjen Stark, the man who saved Meera and Brandon, says he was turned by the White Walkers but later unturned by the Children using Dragonglass. Daenerys mounts Drogon and gives a rousing speech inspiring the Dothraki to cross the Narrow Sea and conquer Westeros for her.
577"The Broken Man"Mark MylodBryan CogmanJune 5, 2016 (2016-06-05)7.80[12]
The Hound is alive and living a simple, non-violent life, having been saved by a Septon and his followers. When rogue Brotherhood members threaten and eventually slaughter the group, the Hound seeks revenge. Margaery convinces her grandmother to return to Highgarden after the High Sparrow threatens to punish Olenna following her and Jaime's confrontation with the Faith. Margaery then secretly signals to Olenna that she has not converted to the Faith. Jon, Sansa, and Davos recruit the wildlings, House Mormont, and others but remain outnumbered by the Boltons. Sansa secretly sends a message to the Vale requesting aid. Jaime arrives in Riverrun with Bronn and assumes command of the siege. Jaime unsuccessfully parleys with Brynden Tully. Theon and Yara spend their last night in Volantis before sailing to Meereen to ally with Daenerys. Arya prepares to return to Westeros until the Waif, disguised as an old crone, viciously stabs her.
588"No One"Mark MylodDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissJune 12, 2016 (2016-06-12)7.60[13]
Tommen abolishes trial by combat, to Cersei's dismay, who planned to win with Ser Gregor as her champion. In Riverrun, Brienne fails to persuade Brynden Tully to surrender the castle and ride safely North. After Jaime threatens to kill Edmure's infant son, Edmure enters the castle and orders the Tully forces to stand down. Brynden is killed fighting the Lannisters while Brienne and Podrick escape. Varys departs for Westeros on a secret mission. Meereen comes under naval assault by the slaving cities; Daenerys returns on Drogon, accompanied by the Dothraki. The Hound kills four of the rogues, then encounters Berric Dondarrion and Myr Thoros, who have captured the others. They execute them and ask Clegane to join the Brotherhood. Arya seeks out Lady Crane, who tends her wounds. The Waif kills Lady Crane and pursues Arya through the streets. Arya leads the Waif into darkened catacombs and kills her in the dark, using Needle. Arya places the Waif's face in the House's columned collection room and tells H'ghar that she is Arya Stark of Winterfell and she is going home.
599"Battle of the Bastards"Miguel SapochnikDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissJune 19, 2016 (2016-06-19)7.66[14]
On Tyrion's advice, Daenerys meets with three slave masters to negotiate a surrender, which they refuse. Astride Drogon, as Rhaegal and Viserion follow, Daenerys burns the slavers' fleet. Grey Worm kills two of the masters, leaving one alive to report what he witnessed. Theon and Yara meet with Daenerys and Tyrion to offer an alliance in exchange for the Iron Islands being independent. Near Winterfell, the Stark and Bolton armies meet on the battlefield. Ramsay feigns releasing Rickon before killing him with an arrow. In the battle, the Stark forces are pinned by Bolton soldiers until the Knights of the Vale arrive and overwhelm them. Ramsay flees to Winterfell, but the wildling giant Wun Wun breaches the gate. Ramsay is taken prisoner; Sansa later watches Ramsay's starving hounds devour him.
6010"The Winds of Winter"Miguel SapochnikDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissJune 26, 2016 (2016-06-26)8.89[15]
Before her trial, Cersei destroys the Sept of Baelor by wildfire, killing the High Sparrow, the Tyrells, Lancel and Kevan Lannister, hundreds of nobles, and the Faith Militant; Qyburn has Pycelle killed. Cersei reveals her incest with Jamie and that she killed Robert Baratheon to Septa Unella before having Ser Gregor Clegane, torture her until she dies. Distraught over Margaery's death, Tommen commits suicide. In Dorne, Varys meets with Olenna and Ellaria, seeking an alliance between Daenerys and their Houses against the Lannisters. Davos confronts Melisandre over Princess Shireen's death, resulting in Jon banishing her. Led by Lyanna Mormont, the Wildlings and the surviving northern houses pledge loyalty to Jon as King of the North. Sansa rebuffs Littlefinger's romantic overtures. Arya kills Walder Frey and his sons. Sam and Gilly reach the Citadel in Oldtown. Benjen accompanies Brandon and Meera to the Wall but is unable to go further. In a vision, Bran sees Ned finding Lyanna Stark as she lies dying after giving birth (to Jon Snow) during King Robert's rebellion. Jaime returns to King's Landing, and Cersei crowns herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Daenerys names Tyrion Hand of the Queen and sails for Westeros with the Greyjoys, her armies, and her dragons, leaving Dario Naharis and the Second Sons behind to rule Meereen until new leaders are elected.

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Guest cast[edit]

The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 6. They are listed by the region in which they first appear:

Production[edit]

Crew[edit]

The writing staff for the sixth season includes executive producers and showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, producer Bryan Cogman, and Dave Hill. Author George R. R. Martin, who had written one episode for each of the first four seasons, did not write an episode for the sixth season, as he chose to resume working on the sixth A Song of Ice and Fire novel, The Winds of Winter.[97] The directing staff for the sixth season was Jeremy Podeswa (episodes 1 and 2), Daniel Sackheim (episodes 3 and 4), Jack Bender (episodes 5 and 6), Mark Mylod (episodes 7 and 8), and Miguel Sapochnik (episodes 9 and 10). Sackheim and Bender were first-time Game of Thrones directors, with the rest each having directed two episodes in the previous season.[98]

Writing[edit]

With the end of the fifth season, the plot has reached the most recent novel in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance with Dragons. Season 6 director Jeremy Podeswa said in August 2015, "Right now in season six, what we're shooting currently isn't based on anything in the book. It's fully based on discussions the writers have had with George Martin, because the series has now surpassed the books in terms of what's available."[99] Actress Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell, later added that the show's writers "know where it's got to go and what [George Martin]'s intentions for the characters are. But they are just filling in the gaps."[100]

The season premiere starts off right where the fifth season ended.[101] Material from an excerpt of The Winds of Winter, published online, regarding a traveling theater troupe located in Braavos that stages a play called "The Bloody Hand", about the events that have taken place in King's Landing since the beginning of the series, is included in the sixth season.[102]

Filming[edit]

The Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Spain is among the filming locations.

Filming for the sixth season began in July 2015 and ended on December.[103] The budget for the sixth season increased compared to the previous seasons as each episode cost over $10 million, totaling over $100 million for the full season and setting a new high for the series.[104] The season filmed in five different countries: Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, and Canada.[105]

Like the previous seasons, a large amount of production took place in Northern Ireland, mainly in Belfast and on the Causeway Coast, including film locations in the Binevenagh, Magilligan area, which was used to film scenes for the Dothraki Grasslands, and Larrybane Quarry and Ballintoy Harbour, both used for scenes in the Iron Islands. For the siege of Riverrun, the small village of Corbet was used. As in previous seasons, some of Castle Black was set at the abandoned Magheramorne quarry.[106]

During September and October, the show also filmed in Spain, specifically in Girona, Navarre, Peniscola, and Almería.[107][108] Specific locations included the Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, the Bardenas Reales Natural Park in Navarre, the Alcazaba in Almería, and the Castle of Santa Florentina in Canet de Mar.[109][110]

In August 2015, HBO announced that for the first time since season 1 the show would not be filming any scenes in Croatia. The Croatian city of Dubrovnik has stood in for King's Landing since the beginning of season 2; nearby cities such as Klis, Split and Šibenik have been used to depict various other locations.[111] Contradicting the statement by HBO, filming took place in Dubrovnik, where the cast of the show were seen in costume in October 2015.[112]

Only a very small portion of the season was filmed in Canada (north of Calgary, Alberta): the scenes featuring Jon Snow's wolf, Ghost (played by animal actor Quigly).[113] However, some of the special effects were created at Montreal's Rodeo FX studios which has won Emmy Awards previously for its work on the series.[114]

Casting[edit]

The sixth season saw the return of Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark, Kristian Nairn as Hodor, Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed, Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy, and Rory McCann as Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, who did not appear in the fifth season.[22][50][115] Clive Russell, Tobias Menzies, Patrick Malahide, Richard Dormer, and Paul Kaye also returned to the show as Brynden Tully, Edmure Tully, Balon Greyjoy, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr after not appearing since the third season.[41][42][44][51] Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow was added to the series main cast after appearing in a recurring role in the previous season.[116]

Across the Narrow Sea, Melanie Liburd plays a red priestess from Asshai who is in R'hllor's service.[117] At the Reach, House Tarly is introduced, with Freddie Stroma joining the cast as Samwell Tarly's brother Dickon, a character so far only mentioned in the novels.[118] Other members of House Tarly that were introduced were Randyll Tarly, played by James Faulkner; Melessa Tarly, played by Samantha Spiro; and Talla Tarly, portrayed by Rebecca Benson.[119]

Veteran actor Max von Sydow was cast to play the Three-Eyed-Raven, Bran's trainer,[35] previously played by Struan Rodger in the fourth-season finale, "The Children". David Bradley confirmed in August 2015 that he would be returning to the show as Walder Frey after last appearing in the third-season finale, "Mhysa", but he did not confirm when.[120] After the second official trailer was released, it was confirmed that Bradley would appear in the sixth season.[40] Danish actor Pilou Asbæk joins the show as Theon Greyjoy's uncle, pirate captain Euron Greyjoy.[52] Ricky Champ played Gatins, an outlaw in a band using religion to extort the people of the countryside.[47] A young Ned Stark was portrayed by Sebastian Croft in a flashback scene.[121]

The sixth season also included a traveling theater troupe located in Braavos that stages a play called "The Bloody Hand", about the events that have taken place in King's Landing since the beginning of the series. Essie Davis and Kevin Eldon joined the cast in this theater troupe, portraying actors playing Cersei Lannister and Ned Stark, respectively, while Richard E. Grant was cast as the troupe's manager.[72][102][122] Members of Icelandic indie band Of Monsters and Men appear as the musicians of the Braavos theatre group.[123][124]

Music[edit]

The soundtrack for the season was digitally released in June 2016, and on CD late the following month.[125] The album reached No. 27 on the Billboard 200,[126] No. 1 on Soundtrack chart[127] and No. 79 on the Canadian Albums chart on its digital release,[128] with the track from the season finale "Light of the Seven" reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Spotify Viral 50 chart.[129]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Game of Thrones (season 6): Critical reception by episode

On Metacritic, the season (based on the first episode) has a score of 73 out of 100 based on 9 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[131] On Rotten Tomatoes, the sixth season has an approval rating of 94% from 37 critics with an average rating of 8.28 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Bloody and captivating as always, Game of Thrones plunges back into the midst of a world touched by grief, dread, and precarious sexuality."[130]

New York Daily News wrote about the premiere episode, "It's finally back - in all its gory grandeur."[132] New York Post praised the "gloriously brutal moments" in the premiere episode.[133] Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times praised some of the humorous moments in the premiere.[134] The Boston Globe called the premiere a "busy hour, leaping from place to place to catch us up with the Game of Thrones gang and set the stage for the sixth season... But fun was afoot."[135] Vulture gave the premiere a score 4 out of 5 and found the episode more "compelling" than season 5,[136] while Observer.com praised the episode for not "overly-rushing".[137]

The Orlando Sentinel eulogized the show for "playing by its own rules", and not "pander for fans' affection and take easy storytelling routes" like other shows.[138] Slate gave the premiere a positive review and stated, "Game of Thrones is finally off book, having lapped George R.R. Martin's slowly gestating A Song of Ice and Fire series. Finally, it seemed, anything could happen."[139] Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture gave the premiere positive review and stated, "The world the characters inhabit is still a hugely dangerous one, but at no point did I feel as though the writers were showing us beautiful butterflies in preparation of pulling their wings off."[140] Entertainment Weekly gave the premiere a score of 'B' and stated, "Few shows on television look better than this one, but it's coming up on great-drama retirement age. Game of Thrones is getting older. But it's not dead, yet."[141] NPR praised the season for "reaching new heights", and "setting up its endgame in spectacular, meticulous fashion".[142]

Ratings[edit]

The season finale had 8.89 million viewers on its initial airing on HBO, up 10 percent from the previous season's finale, the previous most-watched episode.[143] The average gross viewing figure per episode for the show, which includes streaming, DVR recordings, and repeat showings, reached over 25 million for this season,[144] and it was described as the last consensus show on television.[145] The figure went up by 25 percent compared to the previous year,[146] and viewing figures of the show for this season on its on-demand services HBO Now and HBO Go went up by over 90 percent, new records for HBO. Almost 40 percent of viewers watched this season on HBO digital platforms.[144] The show also broke records on pay television channels in 2016 in the United Kingdom with an average audience of more than 5 million across all platforms[147] and in Australia with a cumulative average audience of 1.2 million viewers.[148]

Viewership and ratings per episode of Game of Thrones
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Red Woman" April 24, 2016 4.0 7.94[6] 1.0 2.11 5.0 10.06[149]
2 "Home" May 1, 2016 3.7 7.29[7] 0.9 1.92 4.6 9.20[150]1
3 "Oathbreaker" May 8, 2016 3.7 7.28[8] 1.0 1.96 4.7 9.24[151]1
4 "Book of the Stranger" May 15, 2016 3.9 7.82[9] 1.1 2.22 5.0 10.05[152]1
5 "The Door" May 22, 2016 4.0 7.89[10] 1.4 2.76 5.4 10.65[153]
6 "Blood of My Blood" May 29, 2016 3.2 6.71[11] 2.0 3.61 5.2 10.32[154]
7 "The Broken Man" June 5, 2016 3.9 7.80[12] 1.5 2.81 5.4 10.61[155]
8 "No One" June 12, 2016 3.9 7.60[13] 1.5 3.0 5.4 10.60[156]
9 "Battle of the Bastards" June 19, 2016 3.8 7.66[14] 1.7 3.42 5.5 11.08[157]
10 "The Winds of Winter" June 26, 2016 4.3 8.89[15] 1.6 3.19 5.9 12.08[158]

^1 Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

Accolades[edit]

For the 32nd TCA Awards, the series was nominated for Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Drama.[159] For the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series received 23 nominations, the most of any series. It won 12 awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for "Battle of the Bastards", and Miguel Sapochnik for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "Battle of the Bastards".[160][161] For the 7th Critics' Choice Television Awards, the series won for Best Drama Series.[162]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2016 AFI Awards AFI TV Award Game of Thrones Won [163]
32nd TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [159]
Program of the Year Game of Thrones Nominated
TV Choice Awards Best International Show Game of Thrones Won [164]
Dragon Awards Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series Game of Thrones Won [165]
Gold Derby TV Awards 2016 Best Drama Series Game of Thrones Won [166]
Ensemble of the Year The cast of Game of Thrones Nominated
Best Drama Supporting Actor Kit Harington Won
Best Drama Supporting Actress Lena Headey Won
Best Drama Guest Actor Ian McShane Nominated
Max von Sydow Nominated
Best Drama Episode "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated
"The Winds of Winter" Nominated
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Series Drama Nina Gold, Robert Sterne, Carla Stronge Nominated [167]
EWwy Award Best Supporting Actress, Drama Sophie Turner Won [168]
68th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Game of Thrones Won [160]
[169]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister Nominated
Kit Harington as Jon Snow Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen Nominated
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister Nominated
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Jack Bender for "The Door" Nominated
Miguel Sapochnik for "Battle of the Bastards" Won
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "Battle of the Bastards" Won
68th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Nina Gold, Robert Sterne, and Carla Stronge Won
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Max von Sydow as Three-Eyed Raven Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series Gregory Middleton for Home Nominated
Outstanding Costumes for a Fantasy Series Michele Clapton, Chloe Aubry, Sheena Wichary for The Winds of Winter Won
Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series Kevin Alexander, Candice Banks, Nicola Mount, Laura Pollock, Gary Machin, Rosalia Culora for The Door Nominated
Outstanding Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) Jane Walker, Kate Thompson, Nicola Mathews, Kay Bilk, Marianna Kyriacou, Pamela Smyth for "Battle of the Bastards" Won
Outstanding Production Design for a Fantasy Program Deborah Riley, Paul Ghirardani, Rob Cameron for Blood of My Blood, The Broken Man, and No One Won
Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series Jane Walker, Sarah Gower, Emma Sheffield, Tristan Versluis, Barrie Gower for The Door Won
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama series Tim Porter for Battle of the Bastards Won
Katie Weiland for Oathbreaker Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series Tim Kimmel, Tim Hands, Paul Bercovitch, Paula Fairfield, Bradley C. Katona, Michael Wabro, David Klotz, Brett Voss, Jeffrey Wilhoit, Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit for The Door Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Series Ronan Hill, Richard Dyer, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters for Battle of the Bastards Won
Outstanding Special Visual Effects Steve Kullback, Joe Bauer, Adam Chazen, Derek Spears, Eric Carney, Sam Conway, Matthew Rouleau, Michelle Blok, Glenn Melenhorst for Battle of the Bastards Won
Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Series Rowley Irlam Won
Outstanding Interactive Program Game of Thrones Main Titles 360 Experience Nominated
Hollywood Professional Alliance Outstanding Sound Tim Kimmel, Paula Fairfield, Mathew Waters, Onnalee Blank, Bradley Katona, Paul Bercovitch for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated [170]
Outstanding Editing Tim Porter for "Battle of the Bastards" Won
Outstanding Visual Effects Joe Bauer, Eric Carney, Derek Spears, Glenn Melenhorst, Matthew Rouleau for "Battle of the Bastards" Won
Australian Production Design Guild Production Design for a Television Drama Deborah Riley Won [171]
3D Award for Visual Effects Design Iloura for "Battle of the Bastards" Won
British Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography in a Television Drama Fabian Wagner for "The Winds of Winter" Nominated [172]
ACO/BSC/GBCT Operators TV Drama Award Sean Savage, David Morgan & John Ferguson for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated [173]
American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Regular Series Fabian Wagner for "Battle of the Bastards" Won [174]
Anette Haellmigk for "Book of the Stranger" Nominated
7th Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Game of Thrones Won [175]
[176]
[162]
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Peter Dinklage Nominated
Kit Harington Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Emilia Clarke Nominated
Lena Headey Nominated
Most Bingeworthy Show Game of Thrones Nominated
IGN Awards Best TV Series Game of Thrones Nominated [177]
Best TV Episode "The Winds of Winter" Nominated
Best TV Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated
IGN People's Choice Award Best TV Series Game of Thrones Won [177]
Best TV Episode "The Winds of Winter" Won
Best TV Drama Series Game of Thrones Won
MTV Fandom Awards Fan Freak Out of the Year Game of ThronesResurrection of Jon Snow Nominated [178]
International Film Music Critics Association Best Original Score for a Television Series Ramin Djawadi Won [179]
Film Music Composition Of The Year Ramin Djawadi for "Light of the Seven" Nominated [180]
World Soundtrack Awards Television Composer of the Year Ramin Djawadi Nominated [181]
2017 43rd People's Choice Awards Favorite Premium Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show Game of Thrones Nominated [182]
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress Emilia Clarke Nominated
44th Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in a Live Action Production Nicholas Tripodi, Dean Elliott, James Hollingworth, Matt Weaver for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated [183]
[184]
74th Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [185]
Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Lena Headey Nominated
21st Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Lena Headey Nominated [186]
[187]
Best Television Series – Genre Game of Thrones Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards 2016 Episodic Drama David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "The Winds of Winter" Nominated [188]
Television Drama Series David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, Dave Hill, D. B. Weiss Nominated
23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Drama Series Boian Anev, Kristina Baskett, Rachelle Beinart, Richard Bradshaw, Michael Byrch, Nick Chopping, Christopher Cox, Jake Cox, David Cronnelly, Matt Crook, Levan Doran, Bradley Farmer, Vladimir Furdik, Richard Hansen, Rob Hayns, Paul Howell, Rowley Irlam, Erol Ismail, Milen Kaleychev, Leigh Maddern, Jonathan McBride, Leona McCarron, Kim McGarrity, Richard Mead, Casey Michaels, Sian Milne, David Newton, Jason Otelle, Radoslav Parvanov, Ian Pead, Rashid Phoenix, Andy Pilgrim, Marc Redmond, Paul Shapcott, Jonny Stockwell, Ryan Stuart, Edward Upcott, Leo Woodruff Won [189]
Outstanding Performance by An Ensemble in a Drama Series Alfie Allen, Jacob Anderson, Dean Charles Chapman, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunnungham, Peter Dinklage, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Kristofer Hivju, Michiel Huisman, Faye Marsay, Jonathan Pryce, Sophie Turner, Carcie Van Houten, Gemma Whelan, Maisie Williams, Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Peter Dinklage Nominated
American Cinema Editors Awards 2017 Best Edited One-Hour Series For Non-Commercial Television Tim Porter for "Battle of the Bastards" Won [190]
Art Directors Guild Awards 2016 One-Hour Single Camera Period Or Fantasy Television Series Deborah Riley for "Blood of My Blood", "The Broken Man" and "No One" Nominated [191]
Producers Guild of America Awards 2016 The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama David Benioff, D. B. Weiss, Bernadette Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss, Bryan Cogman, Lisa McAtackney, Chris Newman, Greg Spence Nominated [192]
Visual Effects Society Awards 2016 Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Glenn Melenhorst, Matthew Rouleau, Sam Conway for "Battle of the Bastards" Won [193]
[194]
Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode or Real-Time Project James Kinnings, Michael Holzl, Matt Derksen, Joseph Hoback for "Battle of the Bastards" – Drogon Won
Sebastian Lauer, Jonathan Symmonds, Thomas Kutschera, Anthony Sieben for "Home" – Emaciated Dragon Nominated
Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial or Real-Time Project Deak Ferrand, Dominic Daigle, François Croteau, Alexandru Banuta for "Battle of the Bastards" – Meereen City Won
Edmond Engelbrecht, Tomoka Matsumura, Edwin Holdsworth, Cheri Fojtik for "The Winds of Winter" – Citadel Nominated
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project Patrick Tiberius Gehlen, Michelle Blok, Christopher Baird, Drew Wood-Davies for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project Kevin Blom, Sasmit Ranadive, Wanghua Huang, Ben Andersen for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated
Thomas Hullin, Dominik Kirouac, James Dong, Xavier Fourmond for "Battle of the Bastards" – Meereen City Won
Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode Thomas Montminy-Brodeur, Patrick David, Michael Crane, Joe Salazar for "Battle of the Bastards" – Meereen City Nominated
Dominic Hellier, Morgan Jones, Thijs Noij, Caleb Thompson for "Battle of the Bastards" – Retaking Winterfell Won
Eduardo Díaz, Aníbal Del Busto, Angel Rico, Sonsoles López-Aranguren for "The Door" – Land of Always Winter Nominated
Cinema Audio Society Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Television Series – One Hour Ronan Hill, Onnalee Blank, Mathew Waters, Richard Dyer, Brett Voss for "Battle of the Bastards" Won [195]
69th Directors Guild of America Awards Dramatic Series Miguel Sapochnik for "Battle of the Bastards" Won [196]
USC Scripter Award Best Adapted Screenplay David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for "The Winds of Winter" Nominated [197]
Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards Best Period and/or Character Makeup – Television Jane Walker, Kay Bilk Won [198]
Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling – Television Kevin Alexander, Candice Banks Won
Best Special Makeup Effects – Television Barrie Gower, Sarah Gower Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards Outstanding Fantasy Television Series Michele Clapton, April Ferry Won [199]
Dorian Awards TV Drama of the Year Game of Thrones Nominated [200]
22nd National Television Awards Best Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [201]
[202]
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: FX/Foley Tim Kimmel, Brett Voss, John Matter, Jeffrey Wilhoit, Dylan Wilhoit, Paula Fairfield and Bradley Katona for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated [203]
Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: Dialogue / ADR Tim Kimmel and Tim Hands for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated
Best Sound Editing in Television, Short Form: Music David Klotz for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated
Society of Camera Operators Awards Camera Operator of the Year – Television Sean Savage Nominated [204]
Zulu Awards Best Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Nominated [205]
Canadian Society of Cinematographers TV Series Cinematography Gregory Middleton for "Home" Won [206]
Location Managers Guild Awards LMGI Award for Outstanding Locations in Period Television Matt Jones and Naomi Liston Nominated [207]
43rd Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Television Series Game of Thrones Nominated [208]
Best Supporting Actor on Television Kit Harington Nominated
Best Actress on Television Lena Headey Nominated
22nd Empire Awards Best TV Series Game of Thrones Nominated [209]
Irish Film & Television Academy Best Television Drama Game of Thrones Nominated [210]
Actor in a Supporting Role – Television Liam Cunningham Nominated
Best Sound Game of Thrones Nominated
Best VFX Game of Thrones Nominated
Webby Award Best Overall Social Presence Game of Thrones Won [211]
Unscripted (Branded) "Battle of the Bastards" Featurette Won [212]
Hugo Award Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form David Benioff (writer), D. B. Weiss (writer), and Miguel Sapochnik (director) for "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated [213]
David Benioff (writer), D. B. Weiss (writer), and Jack Bender (director) for "The Door" Nominated
2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards Show Of The Year Game of Thrones Nominated [214]
Best Actor In A Show Emilia Clarke Nominated
Tearjerker Hodor's (Kristian Nairn) Death Nominated
2017 British Academy Television Awards Must-See Moment "Battle of the Bastards" Nominated [215]
Glamour Awards Best UK TV Actress Sophie Turner Won [216]

Release[edit]

The season was simulcast around the world by HBO and its broadcast partners. In some countries, it aired the day after its first release.[217] By the end of 2016, the sixth season of Game of Thrones became the most-pirated TV series of the year.[218]

Marketing[edit]

In November 2015, a teaser poster displaying Jon Snow was released on the official Game of Thrones Twitter account.[219] A 41-second teaser trailer was released in early December, featuring Jon Snow from the fifth season episode "Hardhome", many of the previous seasons' highlights, and voice-overs from Max von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven and Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark.[220] The first footage from the season was revealed in a new promotional video released shortly afterward by HBO highlighting its new and returning original shows for the coming year, showcasing scenes involving Daenerys Targaryen, Ramsay Bolton, Cersei Lannister, and Tommen Baratheon.[221] On December 28, 2015, Entertainment Weekly released its "Exclusive First Look" issue, featuring an image of Bran Stark, who had shorter hair and was noticeably older from his last appearance in season four.[222]

In January 2016, three teaser trailers were released, with each teaser depicting the banners of the houses Targaryen, Lannister, and Stark and which included voice-overs by Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton, Jonathan Pryce as The High Sparrow, and an unknown character speaking in Dothraki.[223] The following month, HBO released 28 exclusive photos from the sixth season, picturing several of the main characters during the season and confirming the fates of Theon, Sansa, and Myrcella, while Jon Snow was notably absent.[51] HBO released a teaser trailer on February 14, 2016, that shows the faces of a number of living as well as deceased characters such as Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Tywin Lannister, Stannis Baratheon, Ygritte, and, controversially, Jon Snow in the House of Black and White.[224] Later that month, HBO released 16 character posters of both deceased and living characters and two official posters featuring various characters.[225]

A behind-the-scenes video of the sixth season was released at the end of February, focusing on camera operators working on the show.[226] The first official trailer for season 6 was released on March 8, 2016.[39] Another behind-the-scenes video was released almost a month later, focusing on the creative process of prosthetics, specifically the White Walkers. The video also contained new footage of White Walkers from the sixth season.[227] On March 24, Entertainment Weekly revealed a series of new issues titled "Dame of Thrones", featuring six of the female lead characters from the series and a focus on the sixth season.[228] Shortly afterward, HBO released new photos from season six and a new promo named "March Madness", with new footage.[229][230] After the screening of the season premiere, "The Red Woman", HBO released a second official trailer.[40] In July, HBO released a blooper reel online.[231]

After the Thrones[edit]

After the Thrones, a live aftershow in which hosts Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan discussed episodes of the series, aired on the stand-alone streaming service HBO Now on the Monday following each episode of the show's sixth season.[232]

Home media[edit]

The season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 15, 2016.[233] The set includes extra background, behind-the-scenes material, and deleted scenes.[233]

Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season
Set details Special features
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Castilian, German
  • Subtitles: English, French, Castilian, German, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 5-disc set, 10 episodes
  • "18 Hours At The Paint Hall": Shows how and where the season was filmed.
  • "The Battle Of The Bastards": Behind-the-scenes on the various production challenges of the sixth season.
  • "Recreating The Dothraki World": Showcases the creation of Vaes Dothrak,
  • 13 audio commentaries by, among others, Benioff, Weiss, Dinklage, Headey, Harington, Coster-Waldau, Turner and more.

Blu-ray exclusive:

  • "In-Episode Guide": In-feature resource that provides background information about several characters and locations.
  • "Histories & Lore": The mythology of Westeros as told by the characters themselves. Also includes 8 history pieces.[233]
DVD release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
November 15, 2016[233][234] November 14, 2016[235] November 16, 2016[236]

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