Here we are. The final episode. Over the last two months, we’ve seen dragon warfare. We’ve lost great Houses (Rest in Power, Olenna Tyrell). We’ve cried through family reunions. We’ve faced the Night King. What does it all come down to? “Maybe it really is all about cocks in the end,” Jaime muses to Bronn as they stare at the Unsullied army. Now that Jaime’s defined what the patriarchy is, we are off! Welcome to the seventh season finale, heauxs.
We spend most of this super-sized episode in King’s Landing, where Cersei, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and their entourages are gathering to discuss a possible truce. Cersei chooses the historic Dragon Pits of King’s Landing as the meeting place, not a subtle reminder that this is the location where the Targaryens’ last dragons were stifled to the point of extinction. Daenerys responds in kind by parading out her vast army of Unsullied, Dothraki, and her two remaining dragons, and makes a fashionably late arrival astride Drogon. There’s reunions galore--Brienne and Jaime! Tyrion, Bronn, and Pod! The Hound and Brienne! The Hound and the Mountain! After seven years, there’s so many great moments as each of these characters size each other up, remember their history, seethe over past conflicts, or chuckle at shared memories and dick jokes.
When the main players are all seated, Euron immediately hijacks the meeting by calling out Theon and threatening to kill Yara Greyjoy if he doesn’t switch sides. It’s very pro-wrestlery of him and it looks like this summit might go off the rails quickly. Cersei’s not budging on the idea of truce so it’s time to bring out the wight from Mission Impossible: Beyond the Wall.
At first, it seems to be dead in its crate and I wanted to yell at the TV, like did you idiots forget to poke air holes in the lid and give him water? But as soon as the Hound kicks over the crate, it wakes up and runs screeching towards Cersei. It’s more than a little satisfying to see her terror as she realizes Jon was telling the truth. Even Euron peaces out, deciding he’d rather hole up in the Iron Islands than wage a war against the walking dead. Cersei is willing to agree to a truce on one condition--that Jon Stark agrees to an armistice after the Great War is over. Jon, ever the loyal doofus, replies by saying that he is true to his word, therefore he can’t make this promise because he has bent the knee to Daenerys. You can tell that everyone on his side immediately wanted to throttle him, including Dany, who wants to both throttle him and jump his allegiant bones. “Have you ever considered learning how to lie now and then, just a little bit?” Tyrion fumes while everyone stands around dejected, frustrated, or turned on (Dany).
In a final Hail Mary, Tyrion goes to speak to Cersei one-on-one. These two haven’t been in a room together in years, and in that time, Cersei has been raging over Tyrion’s murder of their father Tywin. She’s so delusional that she even blames Tyrion for the deaths of Myrcella and Tommen, and let’s be real girl, Tommen was totes your own fault. Tyrion picks up on two small tells-- 1) Cersei places a protective hand over her abdomen, and 2) She doesn’t immediately go for the glass of wine he offers her and we all know that our girl loves a wine-down. A lightbulb goes off over Tyrion’s head; he’s going to be a double-uncle once again.
While Tyrion’s talking to Cersei, Jon and Daenerys are having a private conversation back at the dragon pit. Only in Westeros is it considering flirting to tell a cute girl that the evil witch who called her infertile was probably lying. They are interrupted when Tyrion comes back out, followed by Cersei and her squad. Cersei has come around on the truce, presumably to save Westeros for her baby. We’re going to war TOGETHER, betches!
Meanwhile, in Winterfell, Littlefinger is continuing to fill Sansa’s ear with manipulative advice on what to do about Arya. “Assume the worst,” he tells her, and Sansa seems to take this to heart. She calls a House meeting and asks her guards to bring in Arya. OMG, here we go. Arya stands in the center of the room, her hands behind her back as if handcuffed. Sansa faces her sister and reads off a list of offenses--murder, treason--and then says “How do you answer to these charges….Lord Baelish?” THAT PIVOT THO. I rewound this three times to fully drink in Sansa’s ice cold delivery and Littlefinger’s shocked reaction. The pupil has become the master, muthafuckassssss. While Baelish is trying to recover, Arya delivers the verbal one-two punch with a knowing smile: “My sister asked you a question.” They have been playing him this whole time--the outcome I’d been hoping for--and I want to jump on my couch in joy like 2005 Tom Cruise. Dropping to his knees, Littlefinger begs for his life up until the second Arya slashes his throat with his own Valyrian steel dagger. Later on, Arya and Sansa stand upon the wall of Winterfell together, savoring the moment. “I’m just the executioner. You passed the sentence,” Arya says to Sansa, a reference to their father’s famous motto. When they work together, the Stark sisters and their three-eyed raven brother are a force to be reckoned with.
Speaking of siblings, we’re not done with Cersei and Jaime just yet. Jaime is preparing his strategy for marching north when Cersei steals him away and lets him know that she’s not actually joining the Great War. “I intend to stay among the living,” she says, plotting instead to let Jon and Daenerys risk their own men against the Night King. She reveals that Euron hadn’t turned tail after all; instead, on her orders, he took his fleet to Essos to retrieve the Golden Company, an army of sellswords that she plans to buy with the Iron Bank’s gold. Jaime feels betrayed that Cersei made plans behind his back with Euron, who’s still set on marrying her after the war is over. For a second, we think that Cersei might actually kill Jaime, which is how Lannisters break up. Instead, Jaime rides away while the first snow falls on King’s Landing because it’s cold like CERSEI’S HEART #symbolism.
Back in the north, Sam and Gilly reach Winterfell. Like everyone else, Sam finds it super awkward trying to make small talk with philosophy-grad-school-student Bran, until the young Stark mentions that he needs to tell Jon the truth about his parentage. This grabs Sam’s attention, and they piece together the information that everyone who reads the internet already knows: Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, who were wed in a secret ceremony. “Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie,” says Bran. “He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the Iron Throne. He needs to know. We need to tell him.” If Bran were using his sight RIGHT NOW, he’d see that he sat on this info for waaaaaay too long because Jon’s on his way to Daenerys’s cabin for shipboard sexytimes.
Oh man, this scene. On one hand we’re all like NOOOOOO you’re related but at the same time we’re like OOOOOHH you’re both so physically attractive and you look really hot together and then we’re like NOOOOOO all over again this is wrong but OOOOOOH why are you making us kind of like this and then NOOOOOO I’m grossed out for real tho and then OOOOOOH I might rewind this to look at butts one more time.
This would be a hell of an ending on its own, BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. At Eastwatch, Beric Dondarrion and our favorite ginger Tormund Giantsbane are stationed at the top of the wall when suddenly they see the army of dead emerge from the forest. White Walkers lead the way on their zombie horses, and undead giants are scattered throughout their ranks. The Night’s Watch sounds the horn, readying for an attack, but we as the audience feel a sense of growing dread because we know what’s coming and here it is!!!! Zombie Viserion screeches through the sky with the Night King aboard, unleashing blue flames at the wall. The fire cuts through the ice (TITULAR MOMENT YOU GUYS) and the wall starts to crack. Tormund orders his men to run, and his voice is filled with terror. As the Night’s Watch flees for their lives, Viserion’s fire continues to pulverize the ice wall. The structure that has stood for eight millennia crumbles away, opening a path for the army of dead. And they begin to march….
HEAUX MY GOD!! Here we are, waiting a year (or more?!) to see what happens next. This season has been something else. Even when I felt frustrated with pacing issues or shortened screen time, I never ceased to be constantly entertained. I mean, we finally got full-on dragon warfare. There’s so many battles ahead, and so many characters that we’ll soon have to say goodbye to (honestly, I’m kind of surprised that there were relatively few surprising deaths this season, though the ones we got--Olenna and Littlefinger--were shocking). I want to revel in this moment a little while, having just watched a sometimes messy though overall satisfying season, and knowing for the last time that we still have a season to look forward to. It has truly been the joy of my summer to write these super nerdy recaps and share with y’all. Until next time, keep on being dragons.