The GAME OF THRONES season finale is upon us and there were a lot of outstanding issues plaguing our characters at this crucial juncture: would Cersei agree to help Daenerys and Jon defeat the White Walkers? Would Arya and Sansa end their ridiculous feud and band together to run Winterfell or would Littlefinger drive them apart? Would Dany bring her army to King’s Landing? And, most importantly, would the Night King ride his new zombie dragon over the Wall?
Many of those questions were answered this week as the penultimate season of GAME OF THRONES came to an end. Before we even begin to contemplate the fact that only six new episodes of the show remains (as in…before it ends forever), let’s deal with the events of “The Dragon and the Wolf”.
Dany’s army stood before Jaime and Bron — a massive army, to be specific. One that Jaime didn’t have the men to fight. And before they could become a problem, Tyrion, Jorah, Jon, Ser Davos and Dany’s armada were sailing towards King’s Landing. Cersei seemed prepared enough as she headed to the dragon pit to meet her guests, including Brienne, who had come at Sansa’s bidding.
This is a meeting that has been years in the making.
Cersei walked in and took her throne, accompanied by Jaime and Euron Greyjoy. But Dany’s absence was the one that mattered and it soon became clear why she didn’t accompany the rest of her party — she chose, instead, to arrive on the back of one of her dragons.
What an entrance.
The two queens vying for the Iron Throne sized each other up and before Tyrion could get the meeting started Euron told Theon he needed to submit to him or he would kill Yara.
But Cersei and Jaime weren’t happy about Euron’s antics and ordered him to sit down and shut up, giving Tyrion and Jon the floor. As Jon quickly explained, the army of the dead was coming and it was going to kill them all. But Cersei thought all of this was a joke — a trick to allow Dany to solidify her army so that she could take the crown.
The wight they had captured beyond the Wall was quickly brought out and he made a beeline for Cersei, who seemed terrified. Sandor quickly dismembered it as it continued to screech before Jon stabbed it with dragonglass.
“There’s only one war that matters: the Great War. And it is here,” Jon said.
Euron quickly told Cersei he was taking his fleet back to the Iron Islands, which the wights couldn’t reach because they couldn’t swim. He said the wights terrified him and off he went.
“The Crown accepts your truce,” Cersei told Dany. “Until the dead are defeated they are the true enemy.” But she had a condition: Jon had to remain in the North and not take up arms against the Lannisters. Jon, however, refused — he could not serve two queens and he had already bended the knee to Dany. This, however, was not something that Cersei could accept and she ended the meeting.
Tyrion was furious, telling Jon he should have simply lied to Cersei so they could all join together to fight the wights and White Walkers. And so he decided to go talk to Cersei and try to convince her she needed to join them.
Cersei and Tyrion’s meeting didn’t get off to a good start, with Cersei accusing her brother of trying to destroy their family and being responsible for the deaths of her children as well. But despite Tyrion goading her into killing him, Cersei couldn’t do it.
Despite the hostility, Tyrion’s talk with Cersei seemed to have worked, because she came back out to tell the group she would march her armies to the North to fight the Great War.
Up in Winterfell, Sansa was furious with the news that Jon had pledged to bend the knee to Dany. Littlefinger, of course, seemed eager to drive a wedge between the siblings and suggested that Jon and Dany might want to get married. But Sansa warned him that Arya would never allow her to stage a coup against Jon. Still, Littlefinger managed to convince Sansa that Arya was eager to kill her and become Lady of Winterfell.
Back at Dragonstone, Dany, Jon and their allies planned how to move their armies to the North and the two agreed to sail to the North together. Meanwhile, Theon told Jon he admired the fact that he told Cersei the truth in King’s Landing and that Jon always tried to do the right thing. Jon told Theon that Ned was more of a father to him than his own father and he had betrayed him. But he reminded Theon that Ned would always be a part of him and told Theon that he forgave him. “You don’t need to choose: you’re a Greyjoy and you’re a Stark,” Jon said. And these words prompted Theon to try and do the right thing. As he remembered that Yara was the only one who ever tried to save him, he vowed to save his sister.
Theon headed back to his Iron Islands brethren and said that they needed to save Yara. But the men were more interested in fleeing from the threat of the wights and wanted nothing to do with Theon the coward. When one of the men attacked Theon stood his ground, taking punch after punch and getting back up again. He finally managed to get the upper hand in the fight and convinced the rest of the men to join him in finding his sister.
In Winterfell, Sansa ordered Arya to meet her in the Great Hall, where she reunited the three remaining Stark siblings in front of a room of soldiers.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Arya asked. But Sansa insisted that she was defending her family and the North from those who would harm them.
And then, a twist! Sansa publicly accused Littlefinger of both murder and treason. And we realized that the Stark women had been plotting against him all along and he had to answer for the murder of Lysa. Sansa then laid out more of Littlefinger’s machinations, going all the way back to the beginning of the series. And when he begged for a chance to defend himself, he found himself alone. Even begging to Sansa on his knees didn’t yield mercy.
“Thank you for your many lessons, Lord Baelish. I’ll never forget them,” Sansa said to Littlefinger a second before Arya slit his throat.
Back in King’s Landing Jaime was making plans to move their armies. But Cersei reiterated that she had no intention of sending her armies to fight the Great War. “Let the Stark boy and his new Queen defend the North. We stay here where we’ve always been,” Cersei told her brother. Her plan, instead, was to take back the lands they had lost while Dany and Jon fought in the North. Jaime believed his sister had finally lost her mind, but Cersei revealed that Euron had actually set sail to buy them a mercenary army. She had simply set up her enemies to believe in a temporary truce.
Jaime was furious his sister had made all of these plans without consulting him and she accused him of conspiring against her when he agreed to meet with Tyrion. He reminded her that he was the only one she had left and he told her to kill him if that’s what she wanted. She nodded for the Mountain to get on with it, but Jaime quickly said “I don’t believe you,” and walked away. Later, we saw him riding away from King’s Landing.
Meanwhile, Sam arrived at Winterfell and met with Bran, who remembered him from their encounter at the Wall. Bran discussed Jon’s impending return to the North and said he needed to know the truth. Then he spilled the beans about Jon’s parentage and Sam quickly told Bran what Gilly found in the book about Rhaegar and Lyanna’s marriage. As Bran quickly headed to the past to see the pair’s wedding we saw Jon knock on Dany’s door. The two had sex as Bran flashed back to the Tower of Joy scene with Ned and Lyanna and we heard Jon’s real name: Aegon Targaryen.
“He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the Iron Throne,” Bran said as Tyrion quietly contemplated what Dany and Jon’s hookup could mean for everyone. And Bran insisted to Sam they needed to tell Jon about his true parentage.
The two Stark sisters mended their fences on the walls of Winterfell. Arya insisted they needed to protect themselves and look after each other. As Bran sat beneath his tree in Winterfell we saw ravens fly high above the Wall. Tormund stood in one of the crows nests and then spotted the White Walkers just below them.
Now the army of the dead was at the Wall.
Then a relatively mellow season finale exploded with action as the newly resurrected Viserion, with the Night King on his back, attacked the Wall with his icy breath. Soon the dragon broke through the Wall, which fell in spectacular fashion.
The Wall that had stood for thousands of years — the only true barrier between the army of the dead and the people of Westeros — had fallen.
Oh. My. God.
The final season of GAME OF THRONES has set up what’s sure to be am incredible battle between the living and the dead. But once — or even if — the dead are dispatched, who will sit upon the Iron Throne?
We will have to wait until 2018 to find out.