Dragons, we have concluded another eventful season of Game of Thrones. If you thought that the season finale was going to slow down, no luck. Let’s jump into it.
The episode opens with a highly anticipated scene – (almost) all of our primary characters in one place at the same time. The great powers – Cersei, Jaime, the Mountain, Qyburn, Euron, Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Varys, Theon, Davos, Jorah, Missandei, the Hound, and Brienne meet at the Dragonpit, an abandoned structure in King’s Landing. The Unsullied, led by Greyworm (he’s still alive! Hooray!), and the Dothraki army wait outside of the gates of King’s Landing. The Dragon Queen’s posse (as I have named them) minus Dany arrive via her fleet, with Jon getting his first glimpse of King’s Landing. We’re also reminded that they have that dead guy stored in a box.
On the way to the Dragonpit, we learn a bit about the history of the structure – the Targaryens had to keep their dragons locked away for the safety of the realm, but in doing so, the dragons withered and ended up growing smaller and smaller, eventually ending up only the size of dogs. There’s some more back and forth as everyone reconnects – Tyrion and Pod chat, as do the Hound and Brienne, and Tyrion and Bronn. All of which is fine, but can we get to the big scene please?!
Finally, everyone is in the arena – everyone but Dany, that is. Bronn makes the wise choice to go get a beer instead of listen to this and takes Pod with him. There’s a moment of tense apprehension as Dany’s posse waits for Cersei et al., as if they all believe it might have just been a trap to begin with. But no, Cersei arrives, looking fierce as ever (seriously, the costumes are on point this season). The Hound approaches the Mountain – we don’t get CleganeBowl, but we do get a nice threat from the Hound: “What did they do to you? Doesn’t matter. That’s not how it ends for you, brother. You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.” Can we PLEASE see the Hound kill the Mountain next season?!
Cersei demands to know where Dany is, and Tyrion says that she’ll be arriving soon, but she didn’t travel with them. Of course, it’s at that moment that we hear the screech of dragons as Dany arrives on Drogon. It’s certainly one way to make an entrance. It’s an obvious show of power, but I can’t say I blame her. Tyrion stands to discuss why they’re there, but Euron – because he’s a jerk – interrupts him to yell at Theon that he’s going to kill Yara unless Theon submits to him. Tyrion and Euron exchange words, but finally Cersei tells Euron to sit or leave.
“We are a group of people who do not like each other, as this recent demonstration as shown. We have suffered at each other’s hands, we have lost people we love at each other’s hands. If all we wanted was more of the same, there would be no need for this gathering. We are entirely capable of waging war against each other without meeting face to face,” Tyrion says. So, what, Cersei says, are they looking for peace? Why are they there?
Jon stands. “This isn’t about living in harmony. It’s just about living. The same thing is coming for all of us. A general you can’t negotiate with, an army that doesn’t leave corpses behind on the battlefield.” Luckily, they brought proof this time to ease Cersei’s skepticism. The Hound brings out the box with the wight and unleashes it, the creature rushing toward Cersei until it’s stopped by its chain. The Hound cuts the wight in half, and yet, it still crawls. He chops off his hand, and it still crawls. (Qyburn picking up the hand was THE BEST, and I laughed out loud.) Jon explains that they can kill the wights by burning them or with dragonglass.
Cersei, in a rare moment, looks genuinely shaken. Jaime asks how many there are, and Dany says a hundred thousand, at least. Euron asks if they can swim and says he’s going back to the Iron Islands. Cersei says she will accept their truce – if Jon Snow, as King of the North, will agree to take no sides and extend the truce. Jon says that he can’t do that, because he’s already bent the knee to Dany. “Then there is nothing left to discuss,” Cersei snaps as she stands to leave the pit. Brienne runs after Jaime and tells him that he has to talk to Cersei. “This goes beyond honor and houses and oaths.”
Tyrion goes to visit Cersei alone, convinced that it is the only way to make her change her mind. Cersei accuses Tyrion of wanting to destroy the Lannister family, and Tyrion insists that he’s the one who stopped Dany from coming after King’s Landing with fire and blood. Cersei points out (rightly) that killing Tywin set events in motion that essentially killed Myrcella and Tommen. “So put an end to me,” Tyrion says. “If it weren’t for me, you’d have a father. If it weren’t for me, you’d have a mother. If it weren’t for me, you’d have two beautiful children. I’ve thought about killing you more times than I can count. Do it! Say the word.” But Cersei doesn’t. I’m not entirely sure why Tyrion was pushing her here – trying to, in some odd way, appeal to her humanity and remind her that she really does love him deep down? Tyrion grabs a glass of wine and pours one for Cersei as well. She doesn’t touch it. Cersei tells him that when she saw the wight, she didn’t think about the world, she just thought about her family. Tyrion interrupts her. “You’re pregnant.”
Meanwhile, Jon and Dany are still waiting in the pit. (Every time I refer to “the pit,” I think of this Mouserat classic.) She tells him that she respects what he did for her, even if she wishes he hadn’t done it. “This place was the beginning and the end for my family. A dragon is not a slave. They were terrifying. Extraordinary. They filled people with wonder and awe, and we locked them in here. They wasted away. They grew small. And we grew small as well. We weren’t extraordinary without them. We were just like everyone else.” Jon points out that she hasn’t seen the end of her family – she’s still here, after all. Dany tells him that she can’t have children (let’s play a drinking game where you take a shot every time she brings this up in conversation). “Who told you that?” he asks. “The witch who murdered my husband,” she replies. “Has it occurred to you that she might not have been a reliable source of information?” Jon points out. THANK YOU, JON. I have been saying this since Season 1, but no one will listen to me!
Tyrion returns, and Cersei is close behind them. She tells them that she will march the Lannister army with them north to the Wall to fight the Great War. Great! Perfect!
We switch to Winterfell, where Sansa has received word that Jon has pledged to Dany. Littlefinger continues to try to manipulate Sansa, telling her that he’s heard that the Dragon Queen is quite beautiful – perhaps it’s a marriage arrangement. “He was named King in the North. He can be unnamed,” Littlefinger says. Sansa says that even if she wanted to, Arya would never go along with it. Sansa tells him that Arya is a Faceless Man now. “What do you think she’s after?” Sansa asks. “Sometimes,” Littlefinger says, “when I try to understand a person’s motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What’s the worst they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, how well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?” He plays this game with Sansa, leading to the conclusion that Arya came back to Winterfell to kill Sansa and become Lady of Winterfell.
Back in Dragonstone, Jon suggests that the Dothraki take the Kingsroad north to Winterfell while he and Dany ride with the Unsullied to White Harbor via the fleet and then take the Kingsroad to Winterfell. Jorah suggests that she fly north instead. Jon says that if they sail to White Harbor together, it sends a better message – that she is an ally rather than a conqueror. Dany agrees.
As Davos and Jon are leaving, Theon asks to speak with Jon. He tells Jon that he’s impressed with what he did in King’s Landing. Jon says that now is the time for them all to be honest with each other. Theon says he always wanted to do the right thing, be the right kind of person (IS THAT WHY YOU TOOK OVER WINTERFELL AND BURNED THOSE BODIES AND MADE EVERYONE THINK THAT BRAN AND RICKON WERE DEAD. YOU ARE THE WORST). Theon says he always felt like he had to make a choice between being a Greyjoy and a Stark. Jon says that even though Theon betrayed Ned, Ned is still with him and is still a part of him. Jon says he can’t forgive everything that Theon did, “but what I can forgive, I do. You don’t need to choose. You’re a Greyjoy. And you’re a Stark.” And this is touching and everything, but this is WAY, WAY too much screen time for Theon.
Theon then gets it in his head that he needs to go save Yara, so he goes and tries to convince everyone to come with him, gets in a fight with one of them, beats that guy up, and convinces the rest of the remaining Ironborn to come with him to save Yara. And that’s all the time I’m devoting to this scene.
OKAY, BECAUSE IT’S TIME FOR THE GREATEST SCENE EVER.
We’re back in Winterfell. Sansa orders that Arya is brought to the Great Hall. The Hall is filled as guards escort Arya in. I can’t do this justice with summarizing, so here you go:
Arya: Are you sure you want to do this?
Sansa: It’s not what I want. It’s what honor demands.
Arya: And what honor demand?
Sansa: That I defend our family from those who would harm us. That I defend the North from those who would betray us.
Arya: All right, then. Get on with it.
Sansa: You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges……. Lord Baelish?
ME RIGHT NOW.
THEY SET HIM UP, Y’ALL.
Arya smirks. “My sister asked you a question.”
“Lady Sansa, forgive me… I’m a bit confused,” Littlefinger stutters.
“Which charges confuse you? Let’s start with the simplest one. You murdered our aunt, Lysa Arryn. You pushed her through the moon door and watched her fall. Do you deny it?”
Littlefinger tries to diminish it, saying he did it to protect her. But Sansa’s not backing down. She lists the rest of his crimes, including killing Jon Arryn and starting the War of the Five Kingdoms. “You had Aunt Lysa send a letter to our parents telling them it was the Lannisters who murdered Jon Arryn when really it was you. The conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters, it was you who started it. Do you deny it? You conspired with Cersei Lannister and Joffrey Baratheon to betray our father, Ned Stark. Thanks to your treachery he was imprisoned and later executed on false charges of treason. Do you deny it?”
Littlefinger shouts, “I deny it! None of you were there to see what happened! None of you know the truth!”
THEN BRAN SWOOPS IN FOR THE KILL. “You held a knife to his throat. You said, ‘I did warn you not to trust me.'”
THREE-EYED RAVEN, BITCHES.
“You told our mother this knife belonged to Tyrion Lannister,” Arya says, pulling out the familiar dagger that was used to kill Bran in Season 1. “But that was another one of your lies. It was yours.”
Littlefinger tries to appeal to Sansa, telling her that he’s known her since she was little and has tried to protect her. Sansa wonderfully throws his earlier words back in his face: “Sometimes when I’m trying to understand a person’s motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What’s the worst reason you have for turning me against my sister? That’s what you do, isn’t it? It’s what you’ve always done. Turn family against family.” Littlefinger continues to plea for another chance. “Thank you for all your many lessons, Lord Baelish. I will never forget them.” And with that, Arya slits his throat.
Back in King’s Landing, Cersei interrupts Jaime as he is planning the expedition north. Cersei tells him, LOL, dude, we’re not doing that. She says that she’ll say whatever she needs to save their family. Did he really believe that she was going to devote forces to the Dragon Queen? And, umm, yeah, did you guys really believe her? And if so, why? “I made a promise,” Jaime says. Cersei’s approach is basically to let everyone else die and see what happens. Jaime tells her that they can’t beat the Unsullied, the Dothraki, and the dragons. Cersei says that they have something better than their own numbers – the Iron Bank. Cersei’s purchased the use of The Golden Company – 20,000 men, horses, elephants. Euron didn’t go back to the Iron Islands – he went to Essos to get their new army. Jaime tells her that he pledged to ride north, and he intends to follow through on that. It’s “treason,” Cersei says, and as Jaime turns to walk away, the Mountain steps in his way. For a moment, I didn’t know how this was going to go, and I thought maybe Cersei really was crazy enough to have Jaime killed. But she doesn’t, and Jaime leaves her and King’s Landing. As he’s riding off, snow begins to fall. Winter has reached the south.
Back in Winterfell – oh, hey, Sam’s here! He visits Bran, who tells him that when he was beyond the wall, he became the Three-Eyed Raven. “Oh! I don’t know what that means,” says Sam, speaking for all of us. “I can see things that happened in the past,” Bran explains. “I can see things happening now all over the world.” (Ummmm, maybe you could have informed someone that the White Walkers have an ICE DRAGON, BRAN!?!) Sam says that he came to Winterfell to fight alongside Jon. “He’s on his way back to Winterfell with Daenerys Targaryen,” Bran says. Sam asks if that’s a vision, but no – that’s just a raven. Anyway, Bran says, he’s gotta talk to Jon too because “he needs to know the truth. About himself. No one knows. No one but me.” (Side note again: So, you haven’t bothered to tell your sisters, but you’re just going to spill the deep, dark secret to Sam within a minute of seeing him again for the first time in years?) “Jon isn’t really my father’s son. He’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and my aunt, Lyanna Stark. He was born in a tower in Dorne. His last name isn’t really Snow, it’s Sand.” “It’s not!” Sam says. “At the Citadel, I transcribed a High Septon’s diary. He annulled Rhaegar’s marriage to Elia. He wed Rhaegar and Lyanna in a secret ceremony.” (Okay, so even without a baby, this is still a big deal, and Sam hasn’t thought to tell anyone else this until now because…?) Sam asks if this is something that Bran could see to make sure.
So, Bran goes back, and we get to see the wedding of Rhaegar and Lyanna. “Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie. Rhaegar didn’t kidnap my aunt or rape her. He loved her.”
Cut to the boat. Jon’s at Dany’s door. We all know what’s about to happen here, right?
“And she loved him.”
She answers. No words are exchanged as she invites him in.
Bran’s voice plays over a repeat of the scene from last season where we saw Lyanna die in childbirth. “And Jon. Jon’s real name–”
Lyanna tells Ned, “His name is Aegon Targaryen. You have to protect him. Promise me, Ned.”
Cut back to the boat. Still no talking going on, because Jon and Dany have jumped straight to the sex.
“He’s never been a bastard,” Bran’s voice continues. “He’s the heir to the Iron Throne.”
Not gonna lie, it’s a little creepy to have Bran point out how related Jon and Dany are as they’re having their intimate moment, but I’m still into it.
Elsewhere in Winterfell, Arya asks is Sansa is alright and assures her that she did the right thing. Sansa asks Arya if it bothers her that she’s the Lady of Winterfell, and Arya says no, she knew she would never be a lady the same way that Sansa could be. She says she could never have survived what Sansa did. Sansa tells her that she knows Arya could have, because she’s the strongest person she knows. “In winter, we must protect ourselves, look after one another,” Arya says, quoting their father. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” Sansa finishes. The Starks are back in town, and they’re not going anywhere. Everything’s great, right?
Let’s visit the Wall really quick. I’m sure it’s peaceful. Tormund and Beric are bonding at Eastwatch. What’s that in the distance? Oh, just the Army of the Dead. Those at the Wall blow the horn to indicate trouble, but they have no idea what’s in store. Because where is the Night King? Oh, you know, JUST RIDING THE ZOMBIE ICE DRAGON THAT FOR UNKNOWN REASON BREATHES A BLUE FIERY SUBSTANCE. Tormund and Beric begin to run as the Ice Dragon breathes this weird magical blue fire at the Wall, BREAKING THE WALL. The Wall begins to collapse. I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL, THE WALL IS COLLAPSING. As the Wall crumbles, the Army of the Dead continues into the North.
Most important question here: are Tormund and Beric dead? Well, it doesn’t look good, but we didn’t see a body, so until they show me Tormund’s cold, lifeless (and/or cold/White Walker) body, I refuse to believe it.
And now, Dragons, my watch has ended. See you next season!
Dragons, what did you think of the season finale? Were your burning questions answered? Will anyone ever tell Jon he’s a Targaryen? Is the Jon/Dany incest icky or acceptable at this point? Why so much Theon? Where’s Gendry? Leave your thoughts in the comments!