Game of thrones: season 7, episode 7


As one House rises & another falls, we unpack just what the game of Thrones Season 7 finale means for the endgame going forward.

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The episode begins strong by returning to some of the elements that made the early seasons so appealing: a bunch of people sitting around và talking. Mind you, that penultimate season budget has been able to lớn change it from a darkly lit corridor into an actual beautiful Roman amphitheater ruin, which they’re calling the “Dragonpit.”

Aye, this is where the dragons used lớn be kept, và it is where Jon and Daenerys’ family power nguồn first began to drain away. As Dany later crystalizes for her ruggedly handsome nephew và the audience, the Dragonpit was built khổng lồ chain the first great beast who conquered Westeros, Balerion the black Dread. Khaleesi has already made a similar mistake when she shackled Viserion and Rhaegal beneath the Great Pyramid of Meereen. There, her children suffered in the dark, & Dany’s nguồn likewise waned as the slave thành phố tried to lớn tie a weight around her neck. She could only really break không tính phí from it when the dragons were loose, & she looks like she’ll never chain them again… which is curious for the future for both Daenerys và her children.

But in the build-up khổng lồ what is essentially that moment where the Five Families meet in The Godfather & decide if they want to bởi vì business with Sollozzo, the episode has a cascade of reunions, each more heartwarming (or hilarious) than the last.

There’s Tyrion and Bronn, who are all business—explaining away why Cersei didn’t kill Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, even though she probably should have—plus Podrick and Tyrion sharing a grin. My personal favorite though was Brienne of Tarth’s double take at seeing the Hound alive and technically on her side. If ever there has been a better personification of “politics breeds strange bedfellows,” I haven’t seen it. A man who uses the word “cunt” in the same way that Van Gough plays with oils, and the woman who kicked his ass seven ways till Sunday, and then took a chunk of his burnt ear as a memento.

Of course they must kết thúc up sharing a laugh, if for no other reason than their mutual prize has become a source of pride. Arya is at long last trang chủ in Winterfell, & no one is going khổng lồ be able to lớn screw with her again. Hearing that the little she-wolf has blossomed into a masterful murderer is the closest the Hound will ever come khổng lồ knowing what it’s like to see his child learn to ride a bike.

However, the early moment that probably has the most importance to the wars lớn come is one that actually signals quite early the war lớn come. The Hound versus the Mountain will definitely happen in the final season. Up until this episode, I’ve always fancied “Cleganebowl,” as its acolytes điện thoại tư vấn this potential showdown, to lớn be just that: a flight of fancy. Và I’m still unsure George R.R. Martin would ever give readers something as anticipated as these two awful brothers entering mortal combat.

But Game of Thrones is Benioff and Weiss’ alone now, and they foreshadow Cersei’s inevitable betrayal when the Hound indicates that no one gets khổng lồ kill (or re-kill) Gregor Clegane except him. “You know who’s coming for you, brother. You’ve always known.” This can only over with one Clegane killing the other, & given there are only six episodes left, that means Cersei and Daenerys’ truce would have to be shorter lived than Jon Snow’s autonomy as King in the North.


Speaking of the King in the North, he cuts a striking figure with his black cloak in the ruins of the Dragonpit. The true meaty satisfaction of the episode is Jon, Tyrion, and (eventually) Daenerys trying khổng lồ convince Cersei Lannister of an existential threat. But convincing someone of inherited wealth that there is climate change and actually getting them to vì something about it are two different things, eh?

Dany at least makes a grand entrance with the ultimate power move. Retroactively confirming that she totally commanded Drogon khổng lồ dive bomb Jon Snow và Davos Seaworth back on Dragonstone before rushing to the throne room for their first meeting, she one-ups that little mind game by having Drogon carry her directly into the heart of the Dragonpit while Rhaegal circles from a distance. Before the confrontation began, Cersei hilariously asked the Mountain khổng lồ kill Dany if/when things go south. Good luck with that, buddy. While Bronn being intimidated by the Unsullied and Dothraki is a bit surprising—it’s not lượt thích any of them apparently brought catapults or siege towers—that dragon has the Lannister Queen in checkmate before the game’s even begun.

And to top it all off, Dany’s late. You don’t need fire breathing monsters to lớn have a CEO pull that kind of shtick on you nowadays.

Cersei is annoyed, và for good reason. Staring at Dany across the way while her impish brother’s mouth moves, it’s likely she is finally starting to realize that Maggy the Frog’s prophecy from her childhood was not foretelling the coming of Sansa Stark or Margaery Tyrell to her court; it was about a dragon Queen potentially incinerating sad court on a whim.

I must admit I’m curious about what Cersei’s original plan was for this meeting. She obviously did not believe trắng Walkers & zombies existed. While playing reluctant before ultimately signing onto a truce gives her the breathing room to lớn recruit the Golden Company, I cannot help but ponder if she had a Red Wedding-esque Plan B. Almost every last one of her living enemies was in the same place at the same time. Granted, if she actually acted on her impulses, Drogon would turn her to lớn ash, but such punishment has never assuaged her thought process before. Mayhaps grappling with the Sparrows has actually given Cersei what she’s long bragged about possessing: Tywin Lannister’s sense of perspective.

Whatever her initial plan was, it ultimately would fall apart very quickly. Euron Greyjoy tries khổng lồ regain political advantage for Team Lion by making fun of Tyrion’s height, but when your jokes are so bad that the Lannister Imp & Theon Greyjoy are giving each other telekinetic high fives, you know the punchline is a flop. It’s no matter though, Tyrion is just setting up Jon Snow lớn deliver the most stunning nguồn point presentation of all time.

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It’s short but effective: The Hound hauls in a coffin with an Ice Zombie in it, & lets the little guy give Cersei a face full of decomposing gum lines.


There is something satisfying about a plan coming together. To be fair, it was a stupid plan, & one of the many foolhardy decisions Tyrion has made in season 7. But nonetheless it came together, because he finally provides irrefutable proof that seas levels are rising the dead are walking. It is hard khổng lồ dismiss corpses when they’re breathing down your face. Jon Snow even behaves lượt thích an old timey magician with the Hound as his assistant. One helpfully carves the subject in half, & the other burns his hand for maximum impact.

It’s lượt thích someone blasted a gust of icy wind across the arena. The two reactions that most impressed me were Jaime Lannister và Qyburn. Jaime has ever more reluctantly followed Cersei toward the Gates of Hell, even though he knows exactly where their destination lies. Seeing a zombie though gives him perspective; if he’s headed to lớn one of the Seven Hells, it might be getting here sooner than he thought. It also will be arriving for the million or so people he’s already saved from the Mad King 20-odd years ago… and his unborn child.

A lightbulb finally went off for Jaime Lannister, & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau visibly flips it for audiences in a split second. I vì chưng wish we had more time on Qyburn’s reaction though, because unlike everyone else, he was super-jazzed to lớn see a zombie that was not reanimated by presumably lightning bolts và “Sitting on the Ritz” dance lessons. Nay, unlike his Franken-Mountain creation, here was a zombie that through magic could live past death và even be split in half. Here’s hoping they burned all the pieces of the wight’s body toàn thân before Qyburn got it back lớn his lab.

But Cersei is much more practical. So the dead are walking? What’s in it for her? She’ll reluctantly sign on lớn a truce with Daenerys, but she needs some assurances that give her an advantage later—and all it will take is for Jon Snow lớn offer a little white lie. Ruh-roh.


Some readers over the years have pushed back on my assertion that Jon Snow should not end up on the Iron Throne, or that he is a great general but an incompetent monarch. Well, here is Exhibit… Z? There have been many instances of Jon proving he is Ned Stark’s son, but none are more glaring than in the first utterance of Sean Bean’s beloved bonehead tonight. Cersei will agree to lớn march with the North & the Targaryen horde if Jon makes concessions that he will not march back south in the inevitable war between queens.

And Jon cannot make that pledge. Instead, he reveals that he has bent the knee to Daenerys Targaryen and will support her claim as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. I suspect that when Cersei invoked Ned’s name, she did not vì chưng it out of some wistful nostalgia for the former Warden of the North’s upright truthfulness. Rather, she remembers Ned Stark as the fool who warned her that he had proof that her children were fathered by Jaime Lannister, not Robert Baratheon. By going to lớn her with a reprieve, for her children’s sake, he condemned himself lớn his eventual fate. If Jon Snow is anything lượt thích Ned, his damnable pride will force him khổng lồ stay out of the war… unless he’s already pledged to House Targaryen. In that case, he’ll vì chưng exactly what followed.

Hence more evidence that it doesn’t matter on a personal cấp độ who biologically sired Jon Snow. He is Lord Eddard Stark’s son. Aye, he’s more Ned than any of Ned’s actual children. And like Ned, he walked straight into a trap laid by Cersei Lannister. Admittedly, this failing might ultimately be moot, but that is why he probably gets to leave King’s Landing with his head while Ned was prematurely separated from his own.

Dany & Tyrion also are far too quick lớn coddle the King in the North. Jon Snow is allowed khổng lồ be right in his big soap box speech about the importance of truth và facts—I’d daresay it is probably the closest Benioff and Weiss have ever come lớn making an intentional commentary about our real world politics—but Tyrion has a more pressing point in this context. Yeah sure, Jonny, but “we’re fucked.”

And Jon’s inability to lớn acknowledge that, at least in Tyrion’s presence, or come up with a solution to it is why I maintain Jon Snow và Daenerys ruling from the Iron Throne would be an awful ending. Jon wouldn’t over up with any better results in the south than his papa did.


Luckily, Tyrion is on-hand lớn give us the best scene of the night. No matter what happens, be it through thick or thin, terrible war strategy or ill-advised climate summits, Tyrion is my favorite character on Game of Thrones. He hasn’t had a whole lot to bởi since meeting Daenerys Targaryen at the over of season 5, & no matter how many scenes they give him to lớn play off the Breaker of Chains, she still broke the momentum in his character arc, which has long plateaued.

So it’s a fairly shocking jolt of electricity when he unexpectedly got a scene to play next khổng lồ Lena Headey’s Cersei. These two’s fireworks have lit up probably more than a third of Game of Thrones’ best scenes, & seeing them interact tonight added more triumph lớn that pile. The last time Tyrion was in King’s Landing, the idea of Cersei allowing him lớn leave without taking his head seemed absurd, but in this scene it’s agonizingly plausible. She needs Tyrion & Daenerys to believe that she has been swayed by their admittedly air-tight science.

But she is still sooo tempted lớn kill him. The shot of Franken-Mountain towering behind Peter Dinklage as he enters her chamber is the stuff of nightmares, và even the most cynical viewer must’ve flinched when Ser Gregor slightly unsheathed his sword. Unlike the last time Tyrion came trang chủ to King’s Landing, Cersei cannot get Dany’s pause of hostilities unless Tyrion lives. But as the siblings bring out all their sordid, glorified soap opera angst, the taste of his crimson blood whets her mouth, và she is ready to lớn feast.

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