Game of Thrones Season 7 Finale Recap
All the forces are meeting at King’s Landing. Jaime and Bronn look down at the perfectly-aligned Unsullied, but they don’t get worried until the raucous Dothraki spill onto the scene. Jon and Tyrion’s delegation arrive by boat, notably without Daenerys. The Hound taunts the wight in its crate. Cersei gives the Mountain instructions as to the order in which he is to kill the visitors.
The meeting is set up in the abandoned Targaryen dragon pit, of course. Bronn takes Podrick for a drink while the “fancy folks” talk. Jon, Tyrion, Jorah, and the rest of Daenerys’ contingent take their seats and wait, silently. Cersei enters, surrounded by guards, as well as her brother and the Mountain. Euron sits on the Lannister side. Cersei doesn’t wait long to address the notable absence: Daenerys. Tyrion promises she will be there soon and an uncomfortable silence falls over the group. The screech of a dragon pierces the air, and Daenerys arrives, riding Drogon with Rhaegal following behind. Drogon lands to let his mother off, growls menacingly, and joins his brother in the air. Now that’s an entrance!
Cersei is pissed at Daenerys, and points out they have been waiting there “for some time.” Tyrion jumps up to speak, but is immediately interrupted by Euron, who issues a threat to Theon: submit or Yara dies. Jaime and Cersei both implore Euron to sit, but it isn’t until the Mountain steps forward that he takes his seat.
Tyrion continues, but Cersei is impatient. Jon jumps up and gets right to the point. “This isn’t about living in harmony; this is about living.” He warns that without the help of the Lannister army, the millions of people living in King’s Landing will be turned into the walking dead. Cersei snarks that it might be better for them. She obviously doesn’t take this seriously, so Tyrion interrupts: “We have something to show you.”
The Hound carries out the crate on his back. He unchains it and opens the lid. Nothing happens. The Hound kicks the crate over, and out spills the wight, gnashing its teeth and growling as it lunges towards Cersei. The jokes are gone, and she looks genuinely scared and surprised. Everyone does. The wight is on a chain, and the Hound draws it back before it can attack anyone. He chops it in half, but it still continues to chomp at nothing. Another slice, and its arm comes off. Qyburn examines the still-twitching hand until Jon takes it and sets it on fire. He then stabs the top half of the body with dragonglass, demonstrating the two known methods to kill the dead. “If we don’t destroy them, that is the fate of everyone in the world,” Jon says. “There is only one war that matters: the Great War.”
Cersei is speechless. Euron asks if the dead can swim. He is relieved that the answer is no, and he announces he is taking his fleet back to the Iron Isle to wait it out. That is the only thing he has ever seen that terrifies him. Cersei finally finds her words and admits Euron is right to be afraid, but is a coward to run. She accepts that tales of the army of the dead are true, and that the dead are the true enemy. In exchange for her army standing down, she expects Jon to remain in the North and not to take up arms or take sides. She knows a Stark son will be true to his word. Jon is truthful: he cannot make that vow, for he has sworn fealty to Daenerys. This infuriates Cersei, who tells them to enjoy dealing with the White Walkers; they will deal with whatever is left. Cersei leaves, with Jaime following, trying to convince his sister that this threat goes beyond houses and loyalty and oaths.
Back in the dragon pit, Daenerys tells Jon she is grateful for his loyalty but she wants to make sure her dragon didn’t die for nothing. Tyrion chimes in, wondering why he couldn’t have lied. “Lies won’t help us in this fight!” insists Jon. He offers to go talk to Cersei alone, since he got them into this particular jam, but Tyrion insists he talk to her. Cersei would certainly kill Jon, but there is a chance she won’t kill her brother. Even still, Tyrion heads to Cersei knowing he will probably die. Jaime chats with him for a few minutes before Tyrion goes into Cersei’s office; it is an unspoken farewell. They seem to have made some sort of peace.
Cersei is angry when Tyrion comes in. After a few minutes of ranting, it becomes clear that she is most furious about Tyrion killing their father, and blames him for the deaths of her children. Tyrion agrees that he has done some horrible things and suggests Cersei give the order to have him killed. He waits tensely, but she cannot do it. Instead she asks why he has put his loyalty behind Daenerys. “I think she will make the world a better place.” He notices Cersei putting her hand over her belly as she talks about the importance of keeping family together. “You’re pregnant!” he exclaims.
Tyrion returns to the dragon pit, and everyone seems surprised to find him in one piece. Cersei and her contingent returns. She states that her armies will not stand down; they will march to the North and fight beside the others. When the Great War is over, Cersei hopes that they will remember that she helped them.
In Winterfell, Sansa is anxious. She has received word from Jon that he is fighting for Daenerys. Littlefinger, always there to feed anxiety, suggests that Jon wants to marry Daenerys. An alliance makes sense. But Littlefinger also points out that Jon was named King of the North; he can always be unnamed. Sansa refuses – Arya would never go along with that. When faced with the worst possible situation, Sansa admits she thinks that Arya might want her sister dead because she thinks she wronged the family, and she found the note Sansa wrote years ago as justification for murder. The music grows ominous when Sansa realizes that if she is murdered, Arya becomes the Lady of Winterfell.
Back at Dragonstone, Daenerys and her team plot their movement. Following on Jon’s suggestion, Daenerys decides to arrive in Winterfell by boat, with Jon. This way the North sees them as being allies and it is less scary than if she arrives by dragon.
As the group is leaving, Theon pulls Jon aside. He is impressed that Jon told the truth to an enemy and that Jon always knew what was right – even when they were little. Theon has always wanted to do the right thing, but never knew how to. He blames this on not knowing whether he was more aligned with his bloodline, Greyjoy, or Stark, the family that raised him. While it is not Jon’s place to forgive Theon for everything he has done, what he can forgive him for, he does. Jon also points out that he doesn’t need to choose. He can be a Stark and a Greyjoy. Theon finally gets to the point of this whole conversation: he needs to go rescue his sister. “So why are you still talking to me?” Jon asks.
On the beach, Theon tells the few remaining Ironborns that he was a coward. Harrag, who has become the group’s de facto leader, agrees with Theon and announces that he and the others are going to find a small island, kill the men, marry their women, and hide out until the whole White Walker thing is resolved. Theon is determined to save his sister, and expects the other Ironborn to help him. Harrag starts beating on Theon. He is larger and stronger, and Theon doesn’t stand a chance against Harrag. Nevertheless he throws himself into a brutal fight. Theon keeps getting knocked down, and against Harrag’s advice, he keeps getting up. The fight takes a turn when Harrag unknowingly tries to knee Theon in the balls. Nothing happens. Harrag is confused and tries several more times, but Theon barely flinches. He grins, taking advantage of the moment, and headbutts Harrag to the ground. He climbs on top of the larger man and crushes his skull. With Harrag dead and the Ironborn watching in awe, they agree to help Theon rescue his sister.
Sansa is glum after her talk with Littlefinger. Alone, watching the snow fall, she tells one of the guards to bring her sister to the Great Hall.
Arya is brought in, with guards lining the walls. Sansa and Bran sit stiffly at the long table. Arya is nervous, while Littlefinger watches from the sidelines with a smug smile. Arya asks her sister if she is sure this is what she wants; “It is what honor requires,” replies Sansa. Arya tells her to get on with it. “You stand accused of murder and treason,” Sansa announces. “How do you answer… Lord Baelish?” Littlefinger is at a loss and stammers to defend himself. Sansa reads off the charges: murdering her aunt Lysa Arryn; conspiring to murder Jon Arryn; and conspiring with the Lannisters to frame Ned Stark for treason. Littlefinger denies all of it, but Bran recalls him saying, “I did tell you not to trust me.” Littlefinger tries to secure safe passage for himself but none of the guards present have any sympathy for him, so he drops to his knees begging for forgiveness. On Sansa’s word, Arya slits Littlefinger’s throat with her dagger. Afterwards, the sisters watch the snow together, complimenting one another before reminiscing about their father.
Jaime is making a plan of attack for the expedition up north with his men when Cersei interrupts. She tells him that he is the dumbest Lannister and explains she would have said anything to protect their house. Cersei has no intention of sending the Lannister armies up north to battle the dead. “Let the monsters kill each other,” Cersei says dismissively. While Daenerys’ army is busy fighting the dead, she plans on taking back the lands in the south. Jaime is furious – he made a promise to help! He also tries to tell his sister that their armies can’t win. Cersei waves his concerns aside and explains that Euron Greyjoy didn’t leave to go hide out somewhere; they went to pick up the Golden Company she bought. Jaime refuses to go back on his promise, and Cersei warns that if he does, he will be committing treason. He tries to leave, and the Mountain blocks his path. “No one walks away from me,” Cersei warns. Jaime dares her to give the Mountain the order to kill him. She nods slightly, and the Mountain draws his weapon. Fear shades Jaime’s face, but he draws up his courage and says, “I don’t believe you.” He walks away. Safely outside of the Keep, Jaime is on horseback, still shaken from the encounter. Snow begins to fall. Winter has come to King’s Landing.
Sam arrives at Winterfell and visits with Bran. He hasn’t seen Bran since he was a child, and asks him what happened beyond the wall. “I became the three-eyed raven,” Bran says, explaining that he can see into the past and present. Sam is uncertain how to handle this news, so he announces that he is here to help Jon lead the fight against the dead. “Jon needs to know the truth: he is a Sand, not a Snow.” Sam puts the pieces together and tells Bran of the secret wedding he read of in the maester’s diary. He encourages Bran to use his raven vision to see the event. Bran does, and he sees Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen married, in what is clearly a loving and consensual marriage. He then visits Lyanna giving birth to Jon, and giving the child over to Ned. Remember a few seasons ago, we saw this scene, and Lyanna whispered something to her brother? Well, now we get to know what she said. “His name is Aegon Targaryen. You must protect him.”
Intercut with these scenes, we see Jon going to Daenerys’ state room late at night. It is pretty clear what they are doing when he shuts the door, but to drive the point home, we see Jon and Daenerys having s3x while, in voice over, Bran says that Jon is the lawful heir to the Targaryen name, which means he is the heir to the Iron Throne.
Up at the Wall, Tormund and Beric are looking down the immense distance when they see figures emerge from the woods. It is the army of the dead. They move at a slow, steady pace, hundreds of thousands of them. They surround the Wall, then come to a stop, just standing there, staring. The Night King arrives, flying the zombified Viserion. Now that he is dead, Viserion breathes blue fire, which I imagine is icy, not hot. Doesn’t matter, because he is coming at the Wall at fantastic speed. Tormund yells at everyone to run! The dragon spits out icy-fire at the wall, shattering it. The Wall literally crumbles like a sleeve of saltine crackers. The army on the ground waits patiently until the dust settles and a huge hole appears. They march forward.
You can watch the final scene below, and for an inside look at the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, click here.