Game of Thrones: Season Seven, Episode Seven – The Dragon And The Wolf

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So it turns out Sam was paying attention to Gilly’s little history lesson that time. And it turns out there was a valid reason for him running away from the Citadel – so that he could tell the news to Bran… who could’ve just looked it up himself in the Raven’s Encyclopaedia but I guess you need to know what to look for first.

Okay, yeah, there are all sorts of confusing things about Bran’s visions since they’ve never really explained how they work. The book never explained a thing either, other than something to do with the weirwood trees. Best not dwell on that, not when we’ve finally had the worst kept secret in Westeros confirmed: R+L=J.

Not only that but, as Bran cleverly ascertained, what with the annulled marriage and all that makes Jon/Aegon the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (Fire + Ice!), which also sorta makes him the rightful heir to the iron throne. Which… might be an awkward post-coital chat with Dany once it one becomes common knowledge. Possibly even more awkward than the news that they’re actually aunt and nephew. Hey, but that’s the Targaryen way, ain’t it?

Can't wait to tell the families...

Can't wait to tell the families...

Argh, feels like there might be something more important that I’m forgetting… something of immense relevance that… oh yeah. They broke The Wall. Like, shattered it to pieces with icy fire (however that’s possible). One undead dragon with a White Walker and that’ll do it, apparently. Whatever magic there is in The Wall disappeared in that big ol’ hole in the middle of it and the dead bastards strolled right on through. Winter is here. For real this time.

The idea of getting all those major characters together for the first time probably meant more in theory than it did in practicality. Seven seasons and more of interconnected histories… Tyrion chatting with Bronn and Pod, Brienne with Jaime, the two dastardly Cleganes… but there wasn’t nearly enough time to get through it all satisfactorily – especially when it’s so damn hard at this stage to remember all the varied connections. Eh, fan service.

"So... how are the Stark kids...?"

"So... how are the Stark kids...?"

I just wanna point out what an increasingly bad idea the wight expedition was. They showed the skeletal bugger to Cersei and she found a way to use it to her advantage, initially in rejecting things, then by pledging complete assistance and then by rejecting things again. They got their truce but they’re not getting a lot else from the Lannisters while The Night King now has a dragon zombie that can bust The Wall. The logic was shady from the beginning and now it looks like a straight up disaster.

What was Cersei’s problem the first time… that Jon wouldn’t stay neutral during the truce even though all his mates are on Dany’s side and Cersei killed his dad and brother? Okay, technically Robert killed his dad and he never had a brother but whatever – Jon laid it down to Theon about being both a Greyjoy and a Stark, because, you know, he was basically raised by Ned and all that. One of those sneaky telly things where you say one thing about one thing but it really means another thing about another thing. Because Jon was also raised by Ned. Because Jon is also as much a Stark as a Targaryen… although he literally is because his mumma’s a Stark. Just means he’s a cousin not a bastard half-brother is all.

Then Cersei straight up lied to everyone. After Jon had put them all at risk with his honourable aversion to lying. Because… they’re different! Because one is good and one is evil! Because it’s important to make a moral stand and all that jazz! Yeah, got it.

When you remember they've delayed next season 'til the end of next year

When you remember they've delayed next season 'til the end of next year

MVP points to Peter Dinklage and Lena Headley for that scene they had together, that was some Emmy nomination reel stuff right there. Then Tyrion caught on about the pregnancy thing and… nah never mind Cersei was lying anyway. Which sorta means that after all that we ended up back where the season began, with the human dramas still mounting but the wintery threat even closer. Of course, we lost Dorne. That’s one thing. But despite all the wise words spilled in this episode, the setup with Euron pretty much guarantees that Cersei was never planning on helping anyway. She was always gonna find a way to use this to her advantage. Now she has… although apparently at the expense of Jaime. Borderline ordering his execution, that’s usually a deal-breaker and even lovestruck Jaime can’t handle that.

No worries, she’s got another Lannister on the way and it in no way feels like a scam pregnancy any longer. In fact it’s the extra impetus that her character needed since the end of last season when the Great Sept exploded under mysterious circumstances, coincidentally killing every one of her last local enemies.

For a second there I thought that Jaime was gonna die. When he wandered off on his horse into the unknown I was kinda disappointed that he didn’t, to be honest. The show’s not ruthless these days. This was a fine finale which did plenty to fix a lot of the things that went wrong in the last couple episodes (not all, mind) but a statement killing going into the last season just to remind everyone again that Game of Thrones still pulls no punches would’ve kept us all on edge.

No but we did get one! We got a statement character kill! Yeah… nah. I shall refrain from re-litigating the Sansa vs Arya narrative again because while the big reveal was about the best thing they coulda done with the hole they’d dug, it hardly made up for the rest of it. Littlefinger wasn’t there in that bedroom when Arya and Sansa went head to head with the knife. Ah, forget it. Problem was you could see the direction that scene was heading from the first smug close-up of Littlefinger. Honestly, that character lost his relevance once he left King’s Landing. He should’ve died ages ago but at least he got a poetic demise. Cheers, Arya. Good to have you back.

Now… about that hole in The Wall…

Diggity Doc:

For a wall that has protected those south of Castle Black for thousands of years, it didn't take a whole lot to bring it down. I had read a fair bit about nuanced magic being part of that wall, allowing it to graduate from 'really tall wall' to something that felt like it could be the focal point of any war between the living and the dead. Instead it feels as though the Wall stood for so long because it just hadn't really been tested all that well.

"Hello, customer service? Yeah I'm calling about my big magic wall. It appears to be faulty."

"Hello, customer service? Yeah I'm calling about my big magic wall. It appears to be faulty."

There's no need to get into the intricacies of why the Wall was built and who exactly the Wall was meant to protect those poor living creatures from, that's spilt milk or crumbled Wall at this point; the Wall stood for so long because in that time, the White Walkers weren't attacking it. Maybe my Wall-magic loving could be the reason why Ice-Viserion didn't just fly over the Wall, bring the ruckus and then gap it back North to regroup.

Watching those Wights and White Walkers and a White Walker Viserion stroll/fly through the crumbled wall, along with Winter hitting King's Landing was possibly my two favourite moments of this season. I can't really explain why seeing snow fall in King's Landing - or even worse, snow and darkness sweep over King's Landing - was so beautiful, that's the power of this show though and the visual beauty, combined with what it all meant gave me one or two goosebumps.

Phar Lap's ready for that 2018 comeback already

Phar Lap's ready for that 2018 comeback already

This was a very different feeling to say, Littlefinger getting his throat slit. Both felt inevitable and both had far greater meanings - Winter is here yo vs Stark children unite! - but one was gave me goosebumps and Littlefinger's death? Well that made me stand and salute.

We've got so much to unpackage that it's impossible to fit all those ideas into a thingy-ma-jig the day after watching, to the extent where I don't even need to mention Dany and Jon. I'll stop short of going all-in on Cersei's future as well because Cersei and Dany share something unique in this GoT world as they have both had prophecies about their lives told to them earlier in the series. This season, we saw many references to the first season which largely centred around Ned Stark - you'd be wise to go back and watch episodes in which Cersei and Dany had their respective futures outlined to them, with the benefit of hindsight.

What intrigues me about Cersei is that she is so wrapped up in the typical battles her and her father (who taught her so much) have fought, and won. It's not as though I believe Cersei is irrationally ignoring the threat of the dead, I just don't think she's wired that way, hence Winter's arrival in King's Landing holds such depth as a low key event. Cersei has seen the Wight, she looked the poor dead chap in the eye and appeared to poo her pants, then as Jamie finally gapped her, Winter came.

We were all busy rejoicing Jamie's departure to ponder what Cersei was up to as King's Landing became engulfed by Winter. I wonder how Cersei is going to react to snow at King's Landing and how King's Landing will survive - with one million people and all jam-packed into its walls - with a couple inches of snowfall.

I really want to look deeper into some those prophecies because it seems like there are a few (maybe three or four) people who have their motives stuck in making prophecies come true.

This isn't just Dany and Cersei (they had theirs told to them on the show), there are other characters who have seen visions or understand history (Beric, Melissandre etc) who are trying to act out certain prophecies. This is why I wonder if Cersei's actions are based on her trying so hard to stick to a script that was dictated to her, which is a horrible idea #LiveYoLife.

Bran doesn't have a need for prophecies and when you're dealing with the facts like Sam is, Sam probably doesn't have a whole lot of interest in those either. We were finally graced with seeing these two creatures come together, combining two great minds with intriguing skillsets, a moment that featured a top-five funniest conversation, as well as ground-shaking information. 

Now, the information about Jon being a legit Targaryn x Stark is important fo-sho. Many believe its important because Jon can lay claim to the Iron Throne now, which is where I think this isn't quite as important as it seems because Jon doesn't really care. Jon's mission is to defeat the dead, save the living and not worry about the power-struggle of those chasing the throne; the Night's King doesn't care who sits on the Iron Throne, nor who is the rightful boss-dawg and I'm certainly not convinced he wants the Iron Throne (he might though). Jon's too cool for the Iron Throne.

This reveal about Jon's parents and real name 'Aegon' - possibly pointing to another prophecy - was important because it showed what Bran and Sam are capable of as a team. Just like Littlefinger's death showed what the pack of wolves can do, or more notably that the Stark children are now a pack of wolves and we all know that the pack survives. Bran's skills came in handy twice; bouncing back to confirm Littlefinger's shady and bouncing back to confirm the marriage between Rhaegar and Elia. 

The finale finished with the Night's King doing what he did at the Wall, a scene that started with Bran sitting at his Weirwood tree, worging. The way this last stanza was shot, there was nothing concrete shown regarding Bran worging into his ravens, perching at the wall and watching mayhem unfold, that's exactly what I think happened though. From Bran at the Weirwood tree to Tormund at the top of the wall, to Tormund seeing the dead emerge from the forest, to the Night's King arriving on a dead Viserion, there was enough stuff there to make you forget that this scene started with a cheeky worg from Bran.

Most GoT seasons end with you wondering how the fuck these jokers are going to handle next season's antics and this season is no different as it doesn't feel like there's much hope for Winterfell as the dead march south, with a ice-fire breathing Viserion. If Bran was in worg-mode and saw this, at least he's got Sam there in Winterfell so they can suss some shit asap. They gotta suss something.

GoT S07E07 Character Rankings

  1. The Night King – BUT WHAT DOES HE WANT!? AND HOW DO YOU STOP HIM!? (Okay, that last part we understand, at least in theory).
  2. Sansa & Arya Stark – Because they’re a team now, get it? We thought they weren’t but now they are again.
  3. Jon/Aegon Snow/Targaryen – Arse.
  4. Cersei Lannister – Never not plotting to make a better world for her child. Except for the ‘better’ and ‘world’ part of that.
  5. Daenerys Targaryen – Seemed a satisfactory episode for her, yeah sure.
  6. Tyrion Lannister – Yet another situation he was able to talk his way out of… although goading The Mountain to do him in was a little risky this time. Ty’s a tad too trusting for his own good sometimes.
  7. Bronn – Maybe it’s all cocks in the end?
  8. Sandor Clegane – He’s coming for you, you zombie-smelling bastard. Also he single-handedly transported the evil-incarnate undead fellow with a flimsy wooden box.
  9. Bran Stark – Westeros’ number one fact confirmer. He makes one hell of a lawyer.
  10. Theon Greyjoy – Wouldn’t it still hurt getting a vicious knee in the nethers even if you did get the business chopped off?

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