The finale of this tremendously busy season of Game of Thrones gave us: one utterly predictable death, one revelation that almost every audience already knew, one aunt-nephew incest sequence and one ice dragon that caused some serious damage.
Game of Thrones season 7 was an episode that dealt head-on with the story conflict at the heart of the series — the fight for the Iron Throne vs. the battle of Living and Dead — and also the theme at the heart of GoT: family. Thanks for reading these recaps the last seven weeks. See you in a year or so?
In a season that has been marked by first-time meetings of major characters as well as major reunions, the great convergence at the Dragonpit of King’s Landing served as a fitting conclusion. In one side, we find Team Dragon Queen, with Jon Snow, Tyrion, Varys, Theon, Davos, Missandei, Jorah and the Hound. The Winterfell delegation between Brienne and Podrick is as well there, and Bronn leads them all to the Dragonpit, the previous stable for the great beasts of the Targaryens’.
Like previous episode’s march beyond the Wall, the trudging through King’s Landing gives everyone an opportunity to break off for private conversations and catch up. Tyrion and Bronn (the spark isn’t quite like it used to be), Tyrion and Podrick (Podrick retains his title as Greatest Sweetheart in Westeros), Brienne and the Hound (commiserate in their own way on the current psycho killer status of Arya).
As Jon (who at this point is tremendously overdressed for the warmer southern weather) and his gang wait, Cersei walks in with Jaime, Qyburn, Euron and the Mountain. The sight of the Mountain inspires the Hound to go and pay a visit to his long-lost brother, where he notes that in spite of his own misfortunes in the looks department, big brother is looking even rougher these days. Those hoping for a Clegane Bowl this week were left disappointed, but the Hound saying “You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known” sure tells us that the showdown will come at some point in one of the show’s final Game of Thrones season 6 episodes.
Ever the one to make a dramatic entrance, Daenerys flies in on the back of Drogon while Cersei does her best to act completely unimpressed. Tyrion attempts to make some opening remarks but is soon cut off by Euron Greyjoy, who uses this chance to demand his nephew, Theon, submit to him or else he’ll kill Yara, which has definitely be the last thing on anyone’s mind at this point.
Tyrion tries to put the current situation in perspective, while Jon puts it bluntly: “This isn’t about living in harmony, it’s just about living.” The simple demand from Daenerys is a truce, but of course Cersei will not be won over this easily. And that’s why they have brought a box with a special guest for show and tell, which the Hound unlocks and unleashes. The wight goes wild upon release, charging at Cersei and striking fear into everyone, except for Qyburn who looks on in awe like Beavis and Butt-head when a Metallica video comes on. (“This is the coolest thing I have ever seen.”) The Hound ultimately chops it to pieces before Jon explains that they can be killed by fire or dragonglass. “If we don’t win this fight, then that is the fate of every person in the world,” he says delivering a fatal blow to the screeching wight with dragonglass.
For as ill-considered as the entire kidnap-a-wight caper seemed, there is something to be said about the virtue of a prop during a presentation. Euron inquires if these things can swim and when told they can’t (though they can submerge themselves underwater to surface a dragon, but we won’t dwell on that at this point), he tells the gathered that he will just retreat to the Iron Islands and hold on the long winter. But as much as we may have wished that it really was the last we saw of Euron Greyjoy, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.
Cersei has seen enough and is prepared to call for a truce, under sole condition — that Jon Snow not take up arms against the Lannisters. (She doesn’t even ask this of Daenerys, since she knows it would be a nonstarter.) It would have been quite easy for Jon to just agree and seal the deal on something that’s been his sole mission, but he can’t lie and confesses to Cersei that he’s already pledged himself to Daenerys so that promise is one he can’t make. Foreheads are smacked, Cersei calls everything off and the North is left to fend for itself.
“I wish you hadn’t done that,” Davos tells Jon. “Have you ever thought about lying just a little bit?” Tyrion wonders. Even Daenerys is baffled by this strategy. With Jon’s instincts for truth and honor getting the best of him once again, it’s up to Tyrion to clean up his mess by speaking to Cersei to try to salvage the deal, even though he knows he’s risking his life by meeting alone with his sister, “the most murderous person in the world, who’s tried to murder me twice” as he tells Jaime.
Tyrion walks away from the battle fully intact, and audiences get a rare and surprising take at Cersei’s humanity. She reels off her list of grievances against Tyrion — siding with Daenerys, spending his entire life trying to destroy the Lannister family, killing their father, bearing indirect responsibility for the deaths of Myrcella and Tommen.
Tyrion speaks of his sorrow over the loss of the children and tells her that if she’s going to kill him, get it over with and kill him. But Cersei can’t bring herself to do it; she has always said family is her reason for everything, and that hated dwarf is still her family. The moment jerks them both to tears, and makes Tyrion go for a drink, while he pours one for his sister, too. It’s not like Cersei has forgiven Tyrion, but seeing that wight come at her did provide a moment of clarity. The sight of it made her realize that the only important thing for her now was keeping those things away from her family. And the rubbing of her stomach and that untouched wine glass next to her clue Tyrion in on the fact that his sister is expecting once again.
Theon tries to salvage himself, yet again
Still with the Theon, huh? Inspired by a talk with Jon, Theon decides it’s his task to rescue Yara. She’s his sister, and she was the only one who tried to save him when Ramsay was holding him prisoner. As Theon tries to persuade his fellow Iron Born going on a rescue mission, he’s dismissed by the group’s leader as a coward. Which, true. Theon says he will go find her and set her free, which earns him a loogie in the face and then a punch in the face, and then many more punches in the face, which land him on the ground.
But Theon keeps coming back for more and turns the tables when his nemesis tries an old-fashioned knee to the groin which has no effect due to his castration at the hands of Ramsay Bolton. Finally, it pays off! Theon kills the man with his bare hands and leads his newly inspired fellows on a mission to rescue his sister.