Game of Thrones is almost back. Game of Thrones is almost done. Just six more episodes left and they’re all movie length features, with the first one premiering on 14 April in the USA. That means, as per usual, sometime in the early afternoon of Monday 13 April in the great nation of Aotearoa. Which… is a bloody long time between drinks to be honest. The last episode was aired in late August of 2017 so we’re coming up on 18 months between episodes. Safe to say that a little catch up on proceedings would not go astray.
Season seven was a bit of a downer in a few different ways. Hopefully it was just a matter of trying to save some energy for the final lap but a few of the plotlines weren’t as gripping as in the past. Nothing happened here like the Red Wedding, like the death of Ned Stark, like the bombing of the citadel, etc. But we did get through a whole heap of yarns. And in the best interests of not spending the entire first episode of the final season going: ‘Wait, who’s that?’, here’s a summary of those yarns.
So we don’t have to worry about that Littlefinger lad anymore. He was up to his old tricks in trying to turn Arya and Sansa against each other. Arya who had returned home after all her face-changing and death-bringing travels and Sansa who had assumed the leadership at Winterfell and been pretty damn brilliant in that role while Jon was away worrying about White Walkers. To be honest, she should have been the proper Lord or Winterfell anyway but… institutional sexism, methinks. No dramas, she and Jon got on well enough despite their old frictions. And although we were lead (a little clumsily, I thought) to believe that Arya and Sansa were gonna go to battle like in the old days, but with much higher stakes, old mate Bran happens to have the Third Eye and he saw what was going on. Arya gave Littlefinger a proper shanking right through his throat with the very knife that nearly killed Bran way, way back in season one.
Lol, remember when Arya killed Walder Frey and his entire family? Yeah, good times.
Shout out to the Stark family, who have been through so much that we should probably start a Give A Little for their sakes. Sansa and Arya are best mates now, that’s all sweet. Robb’s long dead and so are both the parents; not really sure what’s up with Uncle Benjen, he’s sort of dead but not dead. Ser Coldhands and all that. They killed off Rickon too. Bit harsh. But the remaining Starks are as united as they’ve been since episode one of season one and poised for glory... hopefully.
Although Bran, well… Bran’s gotten weird. He’s the Three-Eyed Raven after all and having almost unfiltered access to all the information in the world has got to be a real burden. He knows everything so long as he knows to look for it. He knows what Ramsay Bolton did to Sansa. He also knows that Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s bastard, but the legitimate child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
That one was a bit of a scoop, tell you what. It means that Jon Snow is actually the heir to the iron throne. Like, ahead of Daenerys even. Because the oldest child is supposed to be the next up and as the younger sister of Rhaegar, Dany falls behind Jon Snow… or Aegon Targaryen as he was born. Suddenly you realise why Ned took that one to his grave. Rather crucial information. Shout out to Sam and Gilly for helping with that bit of info – support your local library!
DRAGONS AND STUFF
Dany and Jon, aye? The show’s top female and male heartthrobs and arguably the two most stanned characters in the show, what a pairing. But jeez it’s gonna be awkward when the two of them get back to Winterfell in S08E01, which is supposedly happening, and Bran let’s the cat out of the bag (RIP Ser Pounce) that Dany is actually Jon’s auntie. In fairness incest isn’t quite as forbidden in this show as in our own reality. Lannisters and all that. Plus the Targaryens are famous for it – probably explains all the madness and insanity in that family line.
Yeah so not sure how that one’ll play out but remember that Tyrion got a bit of a glimpse of Jon sneaking into her bedroom after dark and we all know what that means. Jorah Mormont’s still got a little jealousy to deal with – although his history suggests he won’t do anything silly. That whole crew is on their way north to Winterfell and the suggestion is that Sansa is gonna swear fealty to Danaerys (Jon already has) so they can all get to the whole drama about stopping the White Walkers ASAP. Dany is on board with all that now. Jonny’s been Mr Day One on that whole situation. Even Tyrion’s on the bandwagon. Hence why forces are amassing. The Dothraki are on their way. The Unsullied are hovering. The forces are all united and that includes two dragons.
But only two because one of them got whacked while they were scrapping it out with the Night King up beyond the wall. That dragon kinda got raised back from the dead as a zombie too so if you weren’t already scared then you should be now. By the way, Jon died. Not recently, it was a few seasons back and they quickly revived him… but I get the feeling that resurrection will still play a large part in what’s to follow.
One other complication is that despite seeing a White Walker for herself, Cersei Lannister still ain’t much fussed about that drama. She thought it was a bit of a trick at first and even after coming to a mild truce she still wouldn’t cop that Jon and Dany, and by effect their combined forces, wouldn’t acknowledge her as the proper queen. Human ego, mate. Can’t do much if you can’t dump the ego. Meanwhile Euron Greyjoy, uncle of Theon and Yara, bolted with his fleet out of sheer terror at the sight of the dead fella but you can bet we haven’t seen the last of him - or Theon and Yara too. Yara’s missing at the moment and Theon, having reconciled with Jon, is off to go save her.
Dany’s lot had initially come back to claim the throne and first step was to attack the Lannisters. But Jaime out-thunk ‘em and withdrew his men from the Lannister home of Castlerly Rock and instead smashed up the Tyrell’s at Highgarden. He poisoned Lady Olenna to put the icing on the cake but then the Good Lady went and dropped the bomb that she’d been the one who orchestrated the plot to kill Joffrey and to make sure to let Circe know all about it. Yass, queen.
Tyrion, long estranged from the family and currently Hand to the Queen for Dany, got himself a heart to heart with Circe right near the end in an attempt to salvage the White Walker resistance. Great scene, one of Peter Dinklage’s best. They hashed out their old issues and Tyrion was a right clever bastard in deducing that Circe was actually pregnant again. Jaime’s kid, of course. With three dead bubbas and an opportunity for a fourth and final chance, she finally relented and agreed to send her forces north to fight the forces of winter.
Oh no but wait, it was all a bloody old ruse. Euron had only left to go spend all the Lannisters’ money on mercenary armies (The Golden Company). With all the riches of Highgarden now at their disposal, the Lannisters have lived up to the phrase and paid their debts to the Iron Band of Braavos… and Circe, bound by the delusions of power, probably wants to ambush Dany and Jon instead of helping them. But Jaime wasn’t up with that concept and he was last seen marching north in revolt.
WINTER HAS ARRIVED
The last thing we saw as the eighth season ended was Tormund and Beric at the Eastwatch castle along The Wall. They shared some nervous small talk. Then, down below at the edge of the Haunted Forest, a single white walker emerged upon a zombie horse. Following behind are further white walkers, so many that you’d have a quicker time counting the hairs upon Jon Snow’s head (or the scars on his chest). They sound the horn three times, as is the custom when the undead arrive.
But just then the resurrected Viserion came soaring along with the Night’s King atop his back. Breathing blue flames, it began to destroy the Night’s Watch structures along The Wall, all the wooden lookouts and sentry platforms. Tormund screamed at his men to retreat. The Wall began to crumble. The dragon demolished enough of a hole for the army of the undead to march through and thus they did, to the sheer terror of the Night’s Watchmen who lived long enough to witness it.
And that’s about where we finished up on that front. Best chuck on a warm coat there, chief. Winter has finally arrived.
SOME OTHER FOLKS WHO ARE STILL ALIVE
Gendry is still alive and he’s technically got a shot at the throne being King Robert Baratheon’s son.
Bronn is still alive and somebody better give him his castle and his promised bride soon.
They’re not up to as much as they used to be, both having made some enemies, but Varys and Melisandre have a heap of info and a heap of cunning so don’t count them out.
A whole bunch of jokers over the seas too, who knows how many still have a role to play?
Shout out to the Brotherhood Without Banners who are clinging on in. Thoros got killed by a bear, poor fella, which means no more resurrections for Beric Dondarrion. Also The Hound. Everybody loves The Hound. Not so much his zombie brother The Mountain though. Still waiting for the Clegane-Bowl. On that note, Qyburn is an absolute creep.
Hey that Ellaria Sand is still around too. Locked in prison at King’s Landing, she’s just seen her last daughter die in front of her eyes as punishment for taking out Circe’s youngest two but she’s still alive with the remaining strength of Dorne at her disposal if she ever gets out.
Missandei and Grey Worm are a couple now. The little cuties. He’s kind of been castrated so I guess he’s in it for her, if you know what I mean. Aye? Aye? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! Nah but seriously, hope they don’t die miserable and painful deaths like everyone else.
Davos Seaworthy. Possibly the smartest man on the planet. Got the ear of Dany and Jon both.
Already mentioned Samwell and Gilly. There’s a baby there too. After all the studies, they’re both back in Winterfell now and chatting with Bran.
Podrick. The ladies know what’s up. He’s been with Brienne of Tarth and both have hooked up with the Winterfell crew. Brienne went to King’s Landing with Jon/Dany and copped a few glimpses at Jaime.
Probably a few others too but, honestly, I’ve lost count.
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