The season six finale of “Game of Thrones” delivered several jaw-dropping sequences and some long-awaited reveals for book readers and show watchers alike. But — as usual — among the epic scenes of dragons and wildfire there were small details and references that the average viewer may have missed. We’ve gone through and pulled out the best of these “Game of Thrones” knowledge nuggets.
Scroll down for a look at the eight things you probably missed.
The Bolton sigil was removed from Winterfell in the opening credits.
Ever since season four, the flayed man sigil of House Bolton has sat atop Winterfell during the animated title sequence. The broken Stark sigil could be seen on the ground next to the tower. But all the changed after episode nine, “The Battle of the Bastards,” when Jon and Sansa finally defeated the Boltons.
Here’s how Winterfell appeared during the finale credits:
Speaking of the Starks, Jon Snow’s new nickname has a significant meaning.
When Robb Stark was crowned King in the North back in season one, his men called him the Young Wolf. Now in season six, when Lord Wyman Manderly declared Jon Snow the King in the North, he referred to Jon as the “White Wolf.” This nickname is more than just an allusion to Jon’s albino direwolf, Ghost. It has ties to his bastard status.
Jon’s new sigil as King in the North will be a reversal of House Stark’s banner.
In Westeros, bastards who take up their house banners must reverse the colors of the sigil. This custom is meant to signal the man’s bastard status. House Stark’s sigil is a gray direwolf on a white background, which means Jon Snow’s banners will show a white wolf on a gray background. Jon Snow, the King in the North, will be known as the White Wolf. The fact that he owns a snowy direwolf is really just a foreshadowed cherry on top.
Arya Stark’s highborn mannerisms betrayed her real identity.
Some observant fans noticed that Walder Frey’s servant girl was not who she appeared to be even before Arya revealed herself. Because Arya was raised highborn, she addresses other highborn men and women as “my lord” and “my lady.” This is a dead giveaway when she’s trying to pass herself off as a lowborn servant.
Tywin Lannister taught her this lesson back in season two.
When Arya was posing as a young boy and serving as Tywin’s cupbearer, he figured out she was lying very quickly. “Lowborn girls say m’lord, not my lord,” Tywin told her. “If you’re going to pose as a commoner you should do it properly.” The lesson didn’t quite stick, clearly.
Arya’s scene had another hidden reference: The Rat Cook.
Feeding Walder Frey’s two sons to him in a pie was actually an adapted storyline from the book series. Though Arya (and Lord Walder) aren’t the key characters involved in the books, the showrunners clearly had this plan in mind for awhile. A big hint about the Freys’ cannibalistic fate was given back in season three.
Bran Stark told the fable of the Rat Cook right after the Red Wedding.
“The cook killed the king’s son and cooked him into a big pie with onions, carrots, mushrooms and bacon,” Bran told Meera and Jojen. “That night, he served the pie to the king. He liked the taste of his own son so much he asked for a second slice. The gods turned the cook into a giant white rat who could only eat his own young.”
When Meera mocks Bran’s concern about a common murderer being turned into a rat, Bran corrects her.
“It wasn’t for murder the gods cursed the Rat Cook, or for serving the king’s son in a pie,” he says. “He killed a guest beneath his roof. That’s something the gods can’t forgive.”
Bran tells this story right after Walder Frey and Roose Bolton kill the Starks at the Red Wedding. Walder Frey gave Robb, Catelyn, and their men bread and salt, the symbol of guest right in Westeros. By killing the Starks under his roof after feeding them, Walder violated the tradition of guest right. Now, three seasons later, Walder was punished for his crime against the Starks and the gods.
There was a neat Easter Egg in the Citadel library.
This chandelier-looking contraption was hanging in the Citadel library when Sam entered. It seems to be built to reflect sunlight around the large room. Look familiar?
It looks exactly like the spinning astrolabe from the opening credits.
Redditor Samurio noticed the similarities and uploaded screenshots to the /r/GameofThrones subreddit. This is likely a symbol of the vast knowledge contained in the Citadel. With thousands of books documenting the history of the world, maesters of the Citadel have the globe at the their fingertips.
Were you wondering how Varys managed to get back to Meereen so fast?
In the finale episode, we saw Varys in Dorne with Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell as they discussed an alliance. But at the end of the episode he was right behind Daenerys as she set sail for Westeros. The journey from Meereen to Dorne is a couple thousand miles, so how did he do it?
The show skipped ahead by a few weeks at least. We know because you can see Dornish ships among Daenerys’ fleet.
Dorne’s sigil is a golden spear piercing a red sun on an orange background. You can spot this symbol among the fleet leaving Meereen. Varys went to Dorne in order to convince Ellaria Sand and Olenna Tyrell to join Daenerys. Because we see Dorne’s ships among her Targaryen fleet and the Greyjoy ships, it’s clear that a significant amount of time passed between Varys scene with the women of Dorne and Daenerys’ departure.
The Tyrell fleet is present as well, meaning Lady Olenna has officially teamed up with the Mother of Dragons.
House Tyrell’s sigil, a golden rose on a green field, was also spotted behind Daenerys ships. For both the Martell AND Tyrell fleet to be there with Daenerys, we’d guess a solid month went by before that ending scene.
Tommen’s final costume was a callback to the prophecy predicting his death.
Back in the season five premiere, viewers watched as a young Cersei had her fortune told by a woman named Maggy the Frog. The witch told her that all three of her children would die. “Gold their crowns, and gold their shrouds,” she said. Tommen was dressed in a golden jacket when he committed suicide by jumping from his window in the Red Keep. Cersei’s prophecy is complete.
At least, the whole children dying bit is complete. Jaime could have an unpleasant destiny with Cersei in season seven if the fan theories about her prophecy are correct.
Sansa and Littlefinger’s conversation was a reversal of a scene from season one.
When Littlefinger approaches Sansa in the godswood of Winterfell, they were echoing a conversation between Catelyn and Ned Stark in season one. Remember, Littlefinger set the events of season one into motion when he convinced Lysa Arryn to poison her husband, Jon, and send a raven to Catelyn telling her it was the Lannisters’ plot.
Catelyn told Ned the news of Jon Arryn’s death in this exact same place.
Sansa still doesn’t seem to know Littlefinger was the one truly responsible for all the horrors done to her family. Not only was he the one who flared the rivalry between the Starks and Lannisters, but he betrayed Ned in King’s Landing. Sansa’s refusal of Littlefinger in this same sacred place her parents once stood was a poetic role reversal.