Well, friends, the time has come. After seven short weeks, the penultimate season of Game of Thrones has come to an end. It's hard to believe we only have six episodes to wrap it all up. But the good news is that "The Dragon and the Wolf," clocking in at a whopping 80 minutes, has given us more than enough drama to discuss until then.
But first, a quick refresher. Last week's episode, "Beyond The Wall," delivered on a major twist: Viserion, arguably the most disposable dragon in Daenerys' fleet, was shot down by the Night King's killer javelin throw. But far from sinking quietly into the frozen lake, the dragon was pulled out by a horde of wights, given the magic White Walker touch, and turned zombie. Now, on top of everything else, we have to worry about killer undead ice dragons. Great.
All About Them Cocks
The episode opens on Greyworm, who I'm happy to report still exists. He's standing in formation with the rest of the Unsullied outside King's Landing.
A delightful Bronn, up on the ramparts with Jaime, points out that he would never fight in an army were he castrated. After running down the list of various reasons why a man should fight, Jaime comes to the same conclusion: "Maybe it really is all about cocks in the end."
Speaking of cocks, the Dothraki are coming. Bronn is not pleased, and neither am I. #TeamLannister!
"Why would anyone want to live that way?" Jon Snow asks, echoing what I ask myself on the New York City subway every day. He's referring to the million people crammed inside King's Landing, but boy, same. Tyrion and he are on their way to the big peace summit, but Daenerys is nowhere to be seen.
The Dragonpit meeting brings about pretty much every reunion possible. Some, like Pod, Bronn and Tyrion, are fun. Others, like Euron and Theon, are sad. Brienne and the Hound share a very gushy moment about Arya that may or may not have made me audibly sigh with joy. Speaking of the Hound, he also comes face to face with his brother and explicitly threatens him, which makes me think we definitely have a Cleganebowl in our future.
(FYI, we're going to be spending a lot of time in the Dragonpit in this story, so if you're still wondering what that is, here's a quick explainer.)
Daenerys is late to the meeting, which is getting more and more awkward by the second. Of course, she would arrive by dragon. It's certainly one way to make an entrance, if a little undiplomatic.
Cersei, I'm happy to report, is unmoved by these shenanigans. Watching her battle wits with Dany is a goddamn delight.
Tyrion takes the stage to introduce Jon, who goes on at length about the White Walkers, blah blah blah. We get it, the dead are a big threat. Now let's see one.
The wight situation is rather... anticlimactic. Am I watching The Walking Dead? Seriously? Basically, the Hound hacks away at it to prove it doesn't die, Qyburn the Brave picks up an arm quizzically, and Cersei looks pretty freaked out, but so would I if some greasy creature lunged at me. Euron, a genius, asks if they can swim. They cannot, and he is outta here, back to his island. Can't blame him. Jon runs down all the ways to kill a wight, and Cersei accepts a truce but with one condition: Jon must remain neutral, and not take sides in the conflict.
Rather than do the normal thing and lie, Jon pulls a Ned and reveals to everyone that he has pledged himself to Daenerys. He really does know nothing. With that, Cersei picks up and leaves: "The dead will come North first, enjoy dealing with them."
TBH, even Dany isn't on board with Jon's stupid honor. Tyrion takes one for the team, and heads off to talk some sense into Cersei.
But First, Wine
Having the Mountain lurk behind Tyrion gives me serious second debate Hillary/Trump vibes, but this scene is masterful. Where has this writing been all season?
She hates him for making the Lannisters appear weak. He seems genuinely remorseful about Myrcella and Tommen's fate. Eventually, things come to a head and he challenges her to just kill him. She can't, and they drink. How can you kill such a great wine partner?
Between glasses, they discuss world views: Tyrion wants to see Daenerys make a better place. Cersei doesn't care about the world, or anyone in it, aside from the people she loves. With that, Tyrion guesses about the mini Lannister currently growing in her womb. She's pregnant — if she wants the baby to have a future, she has to fight for one.
Back in Dragonpit, Dany and Jon share a moment. Their flirting is pretty bad, but still, can they just bone already? One important detail: when Dany says she can't have children because of a witch's curse, Jon doesn't look convinced. Perhaps we can expect a mini Targaryen to go up against a mini Lannister?
But before any of that, the dead have to stay dead. Cersei returns to the meeting to declare that she will send her armies to fight alongside her enemies: "When the Great War is over, perhaps you'll remember I chose to help with no promises or assurances from any of you." She's so fucking badass.
Meanwhile, back in Winterfell, Littlefinger is trying to convince us that ravens are having trouble communicating because of the weather. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? After all the insane time jumps this season, that is a big fat lie.
Seriously though, Littlefinger is being sneaky and trying to turn Sansa against Arya. It's unclear to me why, because it's not like he can control Arya better than he can Sansa.
Return Of The Theon
Minutes after that raven comment, Daenerys and Jon are back at Dragonstone. Unbelievable.
Jon wants to sail to White Harbor together and ride to Winterfell. Jorah is against it — he's sure someone will try to kill Daenerys. Obviously, she sides with Jon. Know your place, Jorah.
Once everyone is gone, Theon speaks up. He and Jon play a little round of Who Has More Regrets, and they make up. Theon declares he's off to save Yara, the only person in the world who cares about him at this point, and goes to the beach to inform his crew. Unsurprisingly, they laugh at him. But this is a new Theon, a Stark-Greyjoy Theon! He fights back and gets his ass kicked. Is he really going to die this stupidly?
No! Mean Ironborn Man tries to knee him in the balls, but Theon has none. This is repeated a couple of times for effect, but Theon eventually pounces and kills his opponent with a rock. HE IS A MAN. RESPECT HIM, MEN.
"Do You Deny It?"
Sometimes, Game of Thrones delivers a twist so perfect, it's art. So it is with the Sansa-Arya-Littlefinger moment in this episode. Sansa asks that Arya be brought to the Great Hall, which leads us all to think that she's going to kill her sister.
But instead, we get this: "You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges... Lord Baelish?" Like me, Baelish was not expecting that. (Although some of you were, congrats!) At all.
For once in his life, Littlefinger is cornered. He did murder Lysa Arryn. He did conspire to murder Jon Arryn. He did start the whole conflict between Starks and Lannisters. And he most definitely betrayed Ned Stark.
When he does, in fact, try to deny it, Bran speaks up: "You held a knife at his throat. You said, 'I did warn you not to trust me.'"
It seems Bran does more than brood in the godswood all day. He speaks, and tells his sisters of plots brewing against them!
On his knees, Littlefinger tries to beg for his life, professing his love for Sansa. All he gets is a slash of his own dragonglass dagger across his throat. Starks Sisters FTW!
Money, Money, Money
FOOLED YOU! Obviously Cersei wasn't serious when she offered to fight the White Walkers with her enemies. This is Cersei! She's not about to do anything selfless.
The problem is that she also fooled Jaime, who has, for once in his life, decided to choose honor over twincest. Cersei has used the Tyrell gold to buy the services of the Golden Company, an army of mercenaries from Essos. You thought Euron really left? Wrong! He sailed east to pick them up.
Jaime is still not convinced. He saw what those dragons can do, and he saw that wight. He intends to honor his pledge to ride North.
When Cersei accuses him of treason, he repeats Tyrion's challenge from earlier, daring her to have the Mountain kill him. But unlike with Tyrion, she nods. Is she really ready to do without him? Jaime doesn't think so, and he pushes past his would-be executioner. (Full disclosure: I was hyperventilating for much of this exchange, and can only remember the barest of details. I apologize.) But from the look on Cersei's face, I'd say we can safely expect a Mountain/Lannister face-off next season.
As he leaves, snow falls. Winter has come to the south.
What's My Name Again? (#Boatsex)
Sam arrives in Winterfell, where his is greeted by Bran the Three Eyed Raven, who remembers everything. Except he doesn't, because he didn't know that Rhaegar and Lyanna were secretly married, information that only Sam can provide. (With absolutely no credit to Gilly, by the way. What a dick.)
Also worth noting is the fact that Robert's Rebellion was basically started because some dude couldn't accept a girl rejecting him for someone else. Men!
Now, another Stark and Targaryen are getting it on. Tyrion sees Jon enter Dany's chamber, and we get treated to a rather tender sex scene between an aunt and her nephew.
The Pack Survives
Arya and Sansa make up; they both know their roles now. Sansa is Lady of Winterfell, while Arya is the hand that wields the sword. As they look over Winterfell, they recite a Ned Stark ditty:
"In winter we must protect ourselves. Look after one another."
"When the snows fall, and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives."
Killer Ice Dragons
I told you, guys! Bran has a vision of the White Walkers reaching Eastwatch. But where is the Night King? Like Daenerys at the Dragonpit, this guy likes to make an entrance — on his ice dragon of course!
Tormund tells everyone to run, because he's a sensible man, but it's no use. The dragon can breathe blue fire and blasts a giant hole through the wall. The dead are coming.
See you all next season! It's going to be major.
This post originally stated that Bronn and Jaime were in Highgarden. They're actually in King's Landing.
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