I think we can all wholeheartedly agree that this season of Game of Thrones was the most rushed, poorly written ending to a series since Lost. It inspired rage that hearkened back to the “Don’t Stop Believin'” ending for Tony and The Sopranos. At least while George “I can’t finish a book” RR Martin was providing source material, DB and David could keep our characters and story lines on an acceptable, timely track. This season, we had a woman make a split-second decision to kill literally everyone, Jon Snow suddenly know how to ride a dragon, Varys suddenly forget how to be the sneaky bitch he was for 10 years (RIP tho), and Jamie go all the way through his character arc just to do a total 180 and end up right where he was before—banging his sister.
A few good things to come of this season include Ghost surviving, Sansa becoming the true boss bitch she is (and staying independent in her fashionable winter wardrobe), and Robin Arryn getting REALLY HOT since we last saw him. Even though the series is over, we have a LOT of questions that demand answers regarding this entire season and series, into which I have poured countless hours crying, reading Reddit theories, and arguing about predictability via Instagram. Shall we?
What Happens When Drogon Comes Back?
I have a LOT of questions pertaining to Drogon, who I incorrectly predicted would die by the end of this season. As a note, I think I felt more feelings for this dragon than any human-related plot or interaction in the last six episodes, which is saying something, and that something ain’t great. Who else had major Lion King flashbacks when Drogon gently nudged a v dead Dany to get up cause “we gotta go home, mom”? I thought I’d gotten past that as an adult, but apparently not. More importantly, once Drogon picked up his mommy and flew off, where’d he go? What happens when he comes back? Is he going to destroy a different city in the meantime? Do dragons have a grasp on death? Can they feel feelings? Additionally, why did Drogon burn the throne and not the dude who clearly JUST STABBED HIS MOM? Does he have something against swords? Thrones? Sword thrones? Maybe DB and David read him the script ahead of time? I demand a dedicated series to Drogon and his fun-filled exploits around the world.
Or does she found the flat earth movement? That honestly seems like something she’d do. I can’t even truly express how much I don’t give a sh*t about Arya’s exploits. But I do have a few questions about her entire character arc that led up to her conquistador moment. What’s going to happen to all the faces in her bag? Is she going to entertain the crew with a one-woman puppet show? F*ck if I know (or care). Additionally, where’d she get that boat? What happens when there is no land West of Westeros? Where’d she find a crew willing to sail under someone with little to no exploratory experience? Is she going to eventually go back to Winterfell to piss Sansa off? Stay tuned, I guess.
Will Jon Snow Ever Be Happy?
This poor f*cking guy has been stabbed, had to watch two girlfriends die, never had a mommy, and definitely has some deep-seated psychological issues after what he’s been through. He has a handful of friends who tend to die, and when he finally has a cause to rally behind, said cause ends up being a genocidal maniac who dabbles in incest. So, what? Now he’s going to f*ck off up north with a bunch of questionably-fashioned homeless folks, a heartbroken ginger, and his CGI good boi for the rest of forever? Justice for Jon Snow. Also, why is there even a Night’s Watch? I’m pretty sure we killed all the dead things in episode 3, made peace with the Wildlings several episodes (seasons?) ago, and have no threat looming north of the wall except for hypothermia.
When Did Dany Lose Her Sh*t?
This has been a question floating around since episode 5 when Dany decided to unleash Drogon’s fire breath on the entirety of King’s Landing. What, exactly, set Dany off course from white savior of Essos and Breaker of Chains to blathering psycho intent on burning cities, banging nephews, and becoming a more attractive medieval Hitler? I have a hard time believing that Jon refusing to make out with her was the straw that broke the Khaleesi’s back. Missandei dying, Rhaegal dying, and her nephew refusing to snuggle—all combined—make for a pretty sh*tty week, but, again, it seems like a stretch that a few sad events caused Dany to have a true mental break and lecture Jon about what’s good vs. what isn’t good.
Will Grey Worm Captain An Award-Winning Volleyball Team On Naath?
Grey Worm pissed me (and the rest of the internet) off this episode, but at least he’s out of Westeros on his way to a very odd beach retreat with the boys. Part of me is happy for him and his newfound peace in Naath, but I’m slightly incensed that this guy that helped kill innocents in King’s Landing gets a happier ending than Jon Snow. Grey Worm, I was rooting for you and Missandei, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Here’s hoping you get a stellar tan and find a great piña colada stand in Naath, though.
Is Bran’s Wheelchair The New Throne?
F*ck Bran and f*ck everyone that voted him into office. Let’s backtrack: if Bran hadn’t been climbing that f*cking tower way back in season 1, he would have been able to mind his own goddamn business and let Jamie and Cersei get their freak on in peace, erasing the need for the war of the five kings,, allowing Robert’s dudes to successfully kill Dany, and letting this whole series never consume my life only to disappoint me and let me down like everything else I’ve ever loved. I mean, Robb would still be alive with a kid and gorgeous wife! So would Joffrey, but, you know, we gotta take the good with the bad, fam. Anyway, f*ck you, Bran, and your weird staring. I hope Drogon comes back and snacks on your crunchy little legs. Speaking of Bran…
Did Bran Know Everything The Whole Time?
…and just piss everyone off with his white Walker hunts and three-eyed-raven bullsh*t and long, lingering stares? What an asshole. So you can see into the future? Why the f*ck didn’t you tell Jon to be more sneaky about killing Dany? Maybe he could have been happy for once in his life! Does that mean nothing to you? Why didn’t you stop Dany from killing millions of innocent people? Was that not on your to-do list for the week? Where do you get off, Bran? Oh, wait—you don’t. You knew that this whole thing ended up with you on the throne, and yet you continued to f*ck around with everyone’s thoughts and feelings for several seasons while we all waited for you to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING worthwhile. What was the actual point of revealing that Jon was a Targaryen? I’m glad Tyrion christened you “Bran the Broken” cause it’s not even a cool nickname and, honestly, you don’t deserve anything cool anymore.
Does Ghost Know He’s A Good Boy?
…and is he getting enough pets up north? Even if the entire rest of the episode (and season) was a dumpster fire, the fact that Jon gave Ghost pets and snuggles made everything kind of okay. I’m willing to overlook the absolute piss writing just for the good boi moment in the gif above. Further, I’m really glad to see that this season’s entire budget went to CGI Ghost and CGI not-such-a-good-boi Drogon instead of character development. I’ll miss you both; keep it real.
Do The Unsullied Moonlight As Civil Engineers?
…cause that Hand of the King room looked like it definitely didn’t get blown to sh*t a few weeks prior. I know it takes roughly six months to address the potholes on my road, so, just saying. In the beginning of this episode, I’m 90% sure that roughly 75% of King’s Landing—especially the Red Keep—was beat to sh*t. Are we to assume that instead of getting right on building a hospital (and burn ward), the carpenters, stone masons, and civil engineers of Westeros went right the f*ck to town on the room where rulers can keep rulin’? I mean, maybe there’s literally no one left, so, ya know, no real need for a medical unit at this point. I guess I’m just kind of surprised at the level of priorities here.
Who Was Braiding Dany’s Hair After Missandei Died?
I know from rewatching this series several times that Dany’s elaborate Coachella-worthy braid crowns were the handiwork of our fav multilingual betch, Missandei (RIP). So, once The Mountain and Cersei decided to make the former citizen of Naath a head shorter, who was doing Dany’s hair? It looked pretty fetch while she stood and addressed the Dothraki and Unsullied in episode 6. More so, it looked super grool while she rode Drogon and destroyed King’s Landing in episode 5. Are we to believe that Jon’s talents include hair plaiting and accessorizing? Seems like more of a Varys thing, but whatever. Or maybe it was Pod all along! Honestly, that makes the most sense to me.
Let me know in the comments any other burning questions that the Game of Thrones writers didn’t have time to answer. Other than that, it’s been real!
Images: Giphy (10)
I could save both you and myself a lot of time by summing this entire Game of Thrones recap up in one statement: what the actual f*ck. To anyone who complained about the lack of gratuitous violence and death in the Battle of Winterfell, this is your fault. I hope you’re happy.
To say “The Bells” was a disappointing lead up to the series finale would be an understatement. While many characters, both beloved and despised, died in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, the most important death was the character assassination of just about everyone involved.
Daenerys? Spends seven seasons preaching about rescuing the innocent, only to torch an entire city of them even after their leaders had surrendered.
Jon? A wide-eyed idiot whose only real skill is managing to underestimate every single situation he’s ever found himself in.
Arya? Suddenly someone who runs from a fight that she’s spent the last 10 years working toward.
Cersei? Don’t even get me started. That woman has been Villain Number One since day one and she deserved a death that reflected that. Getting torched by Drogon as she stares unwaveringly into Dany’s eyes? That would have worked. Chugging a glass of wine before throwing herself off the keep à la Tommen? Fine. But cowering in the arms of her brother-lover after a failed escape attempt? An insult. Cersei Lannister deserved better.
The entirety of the siege of King’s Landing could have been communicated with a black screen and just scrolling captions that said “She’s the Mad Queen! Dany is bad! Remember how we foreshadowed this?? Also does anyone know where George went?? He’s stopped returning our calls!” It was 45 minutes of gratuitous death and gore, a purposeful move that’s meant to turn the audience against Daenerys so that her death next week will feel like vindication.
But anyway, let’s dive into this mess.
We open back in Dragonstone on Varys, who is writing a letter to an unidentified person about Jon being the true heir to the Iron Throne. He’s interrupted by a young servant girl who reports that Dany isn’t taking meals.
The next morning, Tyrion watches as Varys greets Jon on the shore. The guy doesn’t even manage ten seconds of small talk before diving right into his pitch for Aegon Targaryen, King of Westeros. Jon is not entertained, but to be fair he’s never been entertained by anything so it’s hard to tell at this point.
Jon: I don’t want the throne. Never have.
Varys: Why do people keep saying that like it matters or something?
Varys might have made an impression if he just stuck to logic, but the second he insults Dany’s sanity he loses Jon entirely. Jon drops a steely “she is my queen” before stalking off into the castle.
Tyrion goes straight to Dany and we’re going to address the elephant in the room right off the bat here by saying that our girl does not look good. In fact, she looks downright bad. Not just “I lost my dragon and best friend/hairstylist in one fell swoop” bad. We’re talking “I’ve taken to glaring at the horizon and mumbling about my enemies” bad. They might as well just have hung a plaque around her neck that read “Mad Queen.”
She knows that Jon told Sansa about his lineage, who proceeded to tell the whole world, Tyrion included, who then told Varys, who is now actively campaigning against her. It’s worth nothing that not once during this argument, or any of the ones that follow, does Dany raise her voice. Everything is just a quiet, urgent whisper, which is honestly more disarming than her trademark temper. It’s clear that Varys’ fate is sealed here, only further confirmed by the arrival of Grey Worm at his room later that night. Varys manages to finish burning his letter before he’s escorted out to the cliffs where Dany, Jon, Tyrion, and Drogon are waiting. It’s safe to say that nothing good is about to happen when you’re dragged out of your room to face a dragon in the middle of the night.
Tyrion steps forward in a truly honorable moment to tell Varys that he was the one to rat him out. Varys isn’t shocked—he’s been in the game long enough to know how this goes.
Varys: I hope I’m wrong about all this.
Varys: But I’m not.
Varys: See you all in hell, bitch.
I’m surprised Dany is allowing even the slightest showing of remorse on Tyrion’s part. Empathizing with her enemies feels like something she’d be against even on her best day, and this certainly isn’t anywhere close to that. Instead, she just sentences Varys to die, with no charges or justification to offer.
After torching Varys, Dany heads to the war room with Grey Worm, where she gives him Missandei’s only possession—the shackle she used to wear around her neck. He tosses it into the fire, clearly on Team No Mercy alongside his queen.
Jon shows up and Grey Worm makes a hasty retreat, leaving these two estranged relatives/lovers to sort out some sh*t.
Dany: Sansa basically killed Varys.
Jon: Flawed logic but sure.
Dany goes on a short tirade about the people of Westeros fearing and not loving her, before pivoting and trying to seduce Jon in a way that truly made my skin crawl. He swerves, which confirms for her that she’ll have to rule by fear from here on out, having been slighted by the last person alive who claims to love her.
Later in the throne room, Tyrion is pleading with Dany to not destroy King’s Landing and all the innocent people in it. This argument, which he’ll make many times this episode, falls on deaf ears. Dany is beyond reason and speaking like a true tyrant, claiming that she’ll be saving future generations by cleansing the city now. Tyrion makes a last ditch effort and asks that she at least call off the attack if the city surrenders. She agrees, before sending Grey Worm off to prepare the Unsullied to sail out.
Tyrion: Please tell me you aren’t going to slaughter all the innocent people in King’s Landing who have done nothing to wrong you.
As Tyrion makes his way out, clearly aware of what he’s now dealing with, Dany drops a bomb: Jaime was captured trying to make his way into King’s Landing. This is the second time that Tyrion has been wrong about his siblings’ intentions, and Daenerys makes it clear that it will also be the last time.
Next we cut to King’s Landing where Jon, Tyrion, and the troops are all arriving for battle. Morale is low at best. They’re greeted on the shore by Davos, who Tyrion pulls aside to ask for a smuggling favor. Safe to say that one doesn’t pan out.
Arya and the Hound arrive at the camp at night, looking like they’re ready to singlehandedly take on this battle. If only that were the case.
Arya: I’m Arya Stark and I’m here to kill Cersei.
The Hound: She is the light of my life.
Tyrion sneaks into the tent where Jaime is being kept prisoner, hellbent on saving at least one person in this entire episode.
Tyrion: How did they find you?
Jaime: Turns out not a lot of men have a solid gold hand.
It becomes clear that Jaime has no intention of asking Cersei to surrender, thereby busting the theory I’ve been lecturing people about all week in which Jaime returns only to kill Cersei and then himself. Instead, Tyrion switches tactics and begs Jaime to escape with Cersei so that they can start fresh elsewhere. Not sure where the world-reviled Lannister twins could escape to, but it’s a nice thought. Against all odds, Jaime agrees and the two say goodbye for the final time. It was the closest I came to feeling anything this entire episode.
Tyrion: You were the best family I’ve ever had.
Jaime: Low bar there but I appreciate the sentiment.
At last, the day of the battle has arrived and both sides are prepping across King’s Landing. Euron is arming his many scorpions on his fleet in Blackwater Bay. John, Greyworm, Tyrion, and Davos, followed by the Northerners, the Unsullied, and the five remaining Dothraki are lined up against the Golden Company outside the walls of the city. Inside, soldiers are taking their places as the civilians race to the Red Keep for protection. The gates close before many of them can get in, Jaime included. He spends the next thirty minutes trying to find his way inside a crumbling city. Cersei looks out over King’s Landing, calm as a cucumber. God grant me the serenity of Cersei Lannister when faced with any kind of adversity.
Things kick off swiftly with Dany flying down from the clouds to torch Euron’s entire fleet of ships. The scorpions, which seemed last week to be the end of all dragons, are entirely ineffective. Drogon is out here, pirouetting across the sky, raining fire down on these giant crossbows as if it’s no big thing. Rhaegal is quaking at the bottom of the ocean.
Dany makes quick work of the bay and then turns her attention to the city itself. She blasts through the wall behind the Golden Company, effectively toppling all of them in seconds. Jon, Grey Worm, Davos, and their armies run through the gaping gates while we’re offered expansive shots of the opposing side lying screaming and burning on the ground. There’s a lot of that kind of behavior over the next forty or so minutes.
It becomes quickly apparent that Cersei does not stand a chance. Like, if Dany had rolled in with all three dragons, this episode could have been five minutes long. While she torches the Lannister army from above, the Unsullied wreak havoc below in the streets. It’s not even a contest, which seems weird considering the fact that Team Dany was looking worse for wear not ten minutes earlier.
Cersei is watching from her balcony, slowly realizing that this won’t be the cake walk she anticipated. Qyburn informs her that the scorpions have all been destroyed, that the Golden Company are charred, lifeless husks, and that everything is rapidly going to sh*t.
Dany parks Drogon on a tower just as Jon and company come face to face with the Lannister army. It’s a standoff of sorts, everyone clearly in over their heads. The Lannister forces drop their swords seconds before the bell signaling surrender rings through the city. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “thank God that was quick. Now we can spend the rest of the episode effectively setting up a plot for next week.” Just call me Jon Snow, I guess.
Up on the tower, Dany watches as the city surrenders. For one second you think things are going to be chill before she suffers a clear mental break, lets out a single sob, and then takes off in the direction of the keep.
“Oh, well, she’s just going to kill Cersei,” I thought, “this plan still checks out.” But guess what? She doesn’t do that. She doesn’t even attempt to do that. Cersei is hanging out, entirely unprotected on a very visible balcony on top of the biggest building in the city, and instead of heading for that very viable target Dany flies down to the streets and begins torching civilians and soldiers alike.
This move is clearly a shock to Jon, Davos, Tyrion, the millions of people in King’s Landing, me at home on my couch, and anyone capable of understanding logic, but you know who’s not fazed at all? Grey Worm, who takes it as a signal to keep on keeping on. He charges full force into a crowd of unarmed Lannister soldiers, and the battle is back on.
What follows is forty straight minutes of carnage. It was clearly meant to shock the audience into submission, but I actually just found myself to be bored by the over-the-top gore of it all. I had more of a visceral reaction to Tyrion outing Brienne as a virgin than I did to the people of King’s Landing being incinerated in HD. So instead of attempting to describe the mayhem, let’s just cover the important plot points that took place while the King’s Landing was being dismantled brick by brick.
Jaime & Euron
Jaime finds his way to the outlet Tyrion directed him to, down on the shores of Blackwater Bay, only to be intercepted by Euron, who immediately challenges him to a duel. This entire scene was the most unnecessary sequence of events in an episode made up solely of unnecessary sequences of events. Euron, whose character arc was already weak at best, has been reduced to a man who operates on chaos alone. He managed to survive Drogon’s attack on the water, and instead of making a break for it he just…goads Jaime Lannister into a fight? To what end?
Euron: I had sex with a queen which makes me a king so now if you kill me everyone will be like “Wow Jaime Lannister killed TWO KINGS” wouldn’t that be crazy?
Jaime: …Sir this is an Arby’s.
Jaime gets stabbed twice in the torso before managing to get a killing blow into Euron’s chest. Dark Pacey Witter, the chaotic Jack Sparrow of Winterfell, dies alone on the shores of King’s Landing. His last words are “I am the man who killed Jaime Lannister.” None of it made sense, but it’s so low on the totem pole of things to be mad about that I guess we’ll just move on.
Jon spends the entire siege running around the city, being shocked that Dany is doing exactly what Varys said she would do. He tries to save a few people and stop a few fights, but is ultimately useless.
Dany: * goes insane, burns King’s Landing to the ground, basically follows up on her promise to rule the people of Westeros by fear*
The Hound & Arya
Pre-Mad Queen, the Hound and Arya were strolling through King’s Landing looking like the best pair of assassins you’ve ever seen. But once the city starts crumbling around them, they lose some of their bravado. The two of them make it all the way to the Keep only for the Hound to turn around and urge Arya to escape. You expect her to laugh in his face but then, against all odds and in opposition to everything we know to be true about her, she just…does it?
The girl who killed the Night King makes it to the doorstep of Cersei, the woman she’s vowed to kill since day one, and then goes “Eh, not feeling it anymore.” At this rate, why didn’t she just stay back and marry Gendry? She could be in Winterfell, eating ice cream and watching rom coms with Brienne and Sansa, having sex with her hot, newly-noble fiancé, not having a care in the world. But sure, this route makes sense, too.
Arya thanks the Hound for I don’t know what, then high tails it out onto the streets of King’s Landing, which appear to be just as dangerous as the Keep. The Hound continues up the stairs and comes across Cersei, Qyburn, and the Mountain, making their escape. The brothers lock eyes, and it’s clear that we’re about to get the fight everyone has been asking for. Cersei commands Ser Gregor to stay by her side, and he answers by picking Qyburn up and busting his skull against a rock. Good riddance. She sneaks past them and leaves the two to battle it out.
Jaime & Cersei
In case my rant above wasn’t enough, let me drive my point home by saying that the death of the Lannister twins was the single most disappointing death scene in this entire show. Qyburn went out more heroically than these two incestuous idiots.
After leaving the Cleganes behind, Cersei comes across Jaime in the Keep. She starts sobbing upon seeing him and they stand there and hold each other for far longer than you would expect, given the fact that the ceiling could come down on them at any moment.
They make their way to the dragon dungeon Tyrion once escaped from, only to find that their route has been blocked by a pile of debris. Instead of doing, I don’t know, anything about this situation, Cersei starts sobbing about not wanting their baby to die. Jaime grabs her by the face, tells her that nothing matters but the two of them, and then they died clutching each other as the entire Keep collapses down onto them.
Their death feels like such a throwaway that I am now retroactively Team Cersei. Dying together? Check, we’re all on board for that. Dying cowering and sobbing in each other’s arms? Not my Lannisters.
What happened to Cersei, whose natural response to any danger is gulping wine and arching her eyebrow? Or Jaime, the brave and honorable knight who would rather go down fighting than surrender? Did everyone just forget the last nine years of character development? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.
It shouldn’t be surprising by this point when I tell you that Clegane Bowl was entirely underwhelming. The Hound repeatedly stabs his giant zombie of a brother to no avail while the building collapses around them. Once it becomes clear that nothing will stop the Mountain, not even a dagger through the skull, the Hound tackles him and together they crash through what’s left of the wall and they both tumble hundreds of feet to the fiery city below. I would say it’s safe to assume both of them are dead, but it’s not safe to assume anything about this show anymore.
Arya & The Horse
Out on the streets of the city, Arya is not faring well. Despite the fact that she’s clearly won, Dany is still flying around and roasting people while toppling whole city blocks. Everything is debris and ash and fire and death and it’s honestly awful. Arya almost dies a handful of times, only to be saved by a kind woman who later dies by fire for her efforts.
Arya is knocked unconscious and wakes up covered in debris an undetermined amount of time later. While you can still hear screams in the distance, everything is quieter now. There isn’t a living soul in sight except for one immaculate, entirely unharmed white horse. I thought maybe this was a metaphor or a hallucination on Arya’s part, but It was actually just a whole-ass horse. Arya hops on and gallops away as the screen fades to black and for some reason “Old Town Road” isn’t playing in the background. Yet another disappointment to add to the list.
That’s it, folks. That’s the episode.
It seems like the only possible route now is for what’s left of Westeros (aka the Starks) to rise up against Dany. Now that she’s not even feigning sanity anymore, there’s nothing stopping Dany from riding north and torching her last standing opposer: Sansa. If we don’t get a Stark reunion followed by a Baelish-style surprise execution, I will riot.
Sansa up North, sipping a daiquiri and not being burned alive in a battle she didn’t support, carefully crafting her “I told you so” speech for Jon:
MVB: That stupid horse
Pickings were so slim this week that we’re bestowing the coveted title of Most Valuable Betch to the horse that managed to survive the melee on the streets of King’s Landing. With those kind of instincts, it’s probably smarter than Jon—someone please let the horse develop the game plan for next week.
Images: HBO; Giphy (5)
I don’t even know where to start.
The Battle of Winterfell was 82 minutes of straight f*cking torture. Beautifully shot, anxiety-inducing torture. The episode was directed by Miguel Sapochnik, the man who brought us such nightmares as “Hardhome” and “The Battle of the Bastards”, so you know we were going to be in for a traumatizing time from the start. I am sitting here, scrolling through my TWELVE PAGES of notes and realizing they’re almost entirely incoherent keyboard smashes followed by a roll sheet of people who I could tell were still alive at any given point.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a physical reaction like this to any kind of media in my life. The second the theme music began, I was overcome with a wave of nausea so intense that I had to lie down. My heart raced, as if I was outside running a marathon, for the entirety of the episode. I had to pause halfway through to answer the door for my Postmates, and my hands visibly shook as I reached out to grab for the bag of food. Those enchiladas sat, wholly untouched, until the credits ran. I cried salty tears into my cold Mexican food as my roommate walked through the door, equal parts confused and concerned. It wasn’t even sad crying, but just the kind that little kids do when they’re overwhelmed and don’t know how to communicate it. This show reduced me to the emotional maturity of a toddler. It feels like I just survived a battle, which is more than we can say for some.
Let’s get the worst part out of the way and tally our dead. Ignoring the obvious thousands of unnamed Dothraki, Unsullied and Westerosi who fell to the army of zombies, we also lost Edd, Beric, Lyanna Mormont, Theon, Jorah, Melisandre and … the Night King? Don’t worry, we’ll dive into each one as I try and dissect the almost hour and a half of warfare we just watched unfold.
If you don’t feel like reading this novel of a recap, it can be mostly summarized in this single GIF.
I think it’s fair to say that the women of Winterfell truly put the entire team on their back. From Dany and her dragons to Melisandre and her fire to Lyanna and her final act of heroism, it was the women who saved humanity tonight. Plus, well, the obvious one.
* Extremely Tim Riggins voice * Arya Stark forever.
Typically when these battles episodes take place, I skate over most of the action and recount the main plot points, because words could no truly do scenes any justice. This isn’t really an option for this episode, which was 99% battle and 1% me screaming into a pillow. So, we’ll do our best here.
We’ll start with everyone’s positions at the beginning of the episode. We follow Sam, making his way out onto the battlefield. The Dothraki are on the front lines, being led by Jorah and, for some reason, Ghost. There’s only enough production budget to CGI him into 45 seconds of every episode, so I guess we’ll find out next week whether or not he survived the fray.
The second line is made up of our Westerosi heroes, with Brienne and Jaime leading the pack. They’re joined by Tormund, Podrick, Gendry, Beric, the Hound, Edd and finally Sam. Not one of them look confident.
In the back are the Unsullied, who will later have the very terrible job of holding back the wights as everyone else retreats. From a plot point of view, I understand why both the Dothraki and Unsullied armies were put in the literal worst positions, but it was still horribly sad to watch all these unnamed men die such horrible deaths so far away from their homes.
Jon and Dany soar onto the field on the backs of Drogon and Rhaegal and take their place on a nearby clifftop observe, while Davos, Sansa, Arya and the archers watch from the ramparts of Winterfell.
This entire set-up unfolds over the course of what felt like 15 minutes, but was likely only three. Every second of it was ominous. This doesn’t feel like any battle we’ve ever seen on Thrones—there is no air of excitement or even optimism. Every single face we come across is terrified.
A single horse rides across the battle field towards Winterfell and, lo and behold, out of the mist and darkness comes Melisandre. I take back every terrible thing I ever said about this woman, who showed up in the final hour of humanity and not only provided fire for the army to fight with, but also provided the single source of lighting in this entire dark as night episode. Honestly, feel free to throw leeches on Gendry’s d*ck any time. You’ve earned it.
The Apocalypse: * is imminent *
Melisandre: Not today, Satan.
She asks Jorah to tell the Dothraki to lift their weapons, at which point she performs a quick spell and every single one of their swords catch fire. Where was this women during the strategy sessions? Would have loved her input while Jon was pushing tiles around on a game board.
Apparently only the Dothraki are being blessed by the Lord of Light, because Melisandre walks past the rest of the waiting armies and right into Winterfell, where she is immediately met by Davos. If you’ll recall, Davos is not her biggest fan, on account of that whole “burning Shireen Baratheon alive” bit.
Melisandre: There’s no need to execute me, I’ll be dead by dawn.
Davos: …. I mean we all will, that doesn’t really count.
Melisandre spies Arya watching from above, and they share the first bout of incredibly meaningful eye contact in this episode. Believe me when I say, there is a lot of it. Everyone is just out here, staring into each other’s souls, getting ready to die. The battle hasn’t even started yet and I’m already sweating.
The Dothraki ride across the field, which is actually a beautiful site to behold from Dany and Jon’s perspective. Just a mass of screaming, burning torches, flying into the night and coming to an almost immediate stop as they collide with the army of the dead. You can actually feel the last shreds of hope die as everyone watches the burning swords of the Dothraki be extinguished one by one. These people followed Daenerys across the ocean only and into the frozen and racist wasteland that is the North only to die on the icy battlefield of Winterfell to save a bunch of people who probably hated them anyways. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
A few horses and Dothraki manage to successfully retreat, Jorah once again in the lead, and sprint past the Westerosi and Unsullied in a futile attempt to escape. Dany watches from above and immediately races to Drogon, trying to get to the battlefield to help before all hell breaks loose. Jon tries to stop her, reminding her that they’re meant to be protecting Bran.
Jon: The Night King is coming.
Dany: You have never created one successful plan in your life and I doubt that you’ll be turning that record around today.
Down on the field, we get one more pan across the terrified faces of all our favorite people before the wights come flying onto the screen. They collide with the first line, and the battle has finally begun.
I get that we’re all going to make the same joke about the total lack of lighting and how you need blackout curtains to even attempt to see what was happening on screen, but I think it makes sense the way it played out. Staring into blackness, only hearing the screams of dying people and seeing flashes of horror by firelight was 10/10 the most terrifying viewing experience imaginable. It put us right in the thick of things, leaving the audience just as confused as those on the field.
What follows here is an hour of straight mayhem, cutting between the battlefield, the Godswood, the skies, and the crypts. Each time we flash to someone we know, they’re in worse shape than when we saw them last. I was convinced Grey Worm died six separate times, but somehow the guy kept coming back. Maybe he really will get that life on a beach in Naath with Missandei. JK, I refuse to believe in anything.
It only takes about 30 seconds of watching events unfold before Sansa sends Arya down to the crypts for safety and takes her place amongst the melee.
Sansa: I don’t know how to use a knife.
Arya: Stick them with the pointy end.
I’ve already seen some Sansa slander circulating, saying she played a minimal role this episode while girls younger than her were risking their lives out in the fray, so we’re going to pause really quick to let you know why that’s wrong. As previously stated, this is a pro-Sansa zone and that kind of behavior won’t be tolerated, but especially not when the take is that bad.
Arya and Lyanna Mormont are warriors. Sansa is not. They are able to meaningfully contribute to a battle, whereas Sansa’s presence would only serve to distract those who would try and save her. Running out to risk your life when it’s only going to make things more difficult for everyone else may be Jon Snow 101, but not Sansa. She’s smart enough to know that everyone is better off with her out of the way.
Throughout the entire battle we get multiple shots of Jaime and Brienne diving into screen at the last minute to save each other from the jaws of death. These two lovebirds, fighting back to back, with dragon fire blazing behind them like a beautiful sunset? Poetic cinema.
The first major character to fall is Edd, who dies seconds after saving Sam from a wight out on the battlefield. It’s the quickest death of the episode, and honestly the one we all care least about, but jarring nonetheless. All week long we’ve been talking about how people are going to start dropping like flies, but it’s different to see it actually happen.
Sansa’s arrival in the crypts is not met with the best reaction. First of all, everyone gathered there knows that her showing up means things are going poorly up top. To make matters worse, she’s looking less than composed, tears welling up in her eyes and at complete a loss for words. Her and Tyrion share some long-held suffering eye contact and it communicates what he already knew to be true: they’re f*cked. At least he planned ahead and brought some wine down there with him.
Up in the sky, Jon and Dany are effectively blind. The darkness wasn’t a great start, but they’re also coming up against a gigantic cloud of fog courtesy of the Night King, which makes it difficult to see where they’re throwing fire onto the field. I didn’t realize until this moment that it’s very likely that a lot of our own people are going to get roasted on the battle field. Dany may be good but that level of precision is just unrealistic, I say in reference to a show about medieval people with dragons fighting ice zombies.
On the ground, the armies start to retreat behind the gates of Winterfell, where they have their next round of defenses. It looks like Lyanna and House Mormont are leading the charge here, while Jaime and Brienne start manning the ramparts. Remember that scene in Hardhome when all the wights just climb up the fortress wall, World War Z style? Well that’s making a cute comeback soon.
Tormund and the Hound are two of the last to retreat past the Unsullied, who are all silently and dutifully holding down the last line of defense. We don’t deserve them. The Hound is saved from a stray wight by none other than Arya, who shoots a flaming arrow over his shoulder from up on the ramparts. It’s reminiscent of the first time we ever met Arya back in season one, shooting arrows from the walls of Winterfell. You can see the pride swell in his eyes for about half a second before he remembers that he’s on an open field full of zombies, and makes his way inside.
Once everyone is in, Grey Worm makes the call to light the trenches that have been dug around the castle. He pulls a rip cord that appears to effectively separate his army from the safety of Winterfell, the trench between them. Only problem—it’s not on fire. The fog is keeping Dany from being able to see the signal to light it, and she’s stuck looping above the castle trying to what’s going on.
It’s at this point that Melisandre makes her second dramatic appearance and comes forward to light the trenches with her hands. In this moment, when the fire catches seconds before the wights break through, she is forgiven for that time she let a child burn to death. The Lord of Light decrees it. We have no choice but to stan.
Down in the crypts, morale is low. Everyone is sitting in total silence, until Tyrion starts whining about not being up top with everyone else. He’s sure that were we there, he could see something that the rest of the warriors couldn’t. Sansa assures him that’s not the case, probably because that would require actually being able to see what’s going on. She echoes my earlier sentiment, albeit bitterly, that any of them being present in the battle would only serve to distract those who were fighting.
Sansa: We’re useless.
Tyrion: Wow I love that level of self-loathing, perhaps we should have stayed married.
Sansa: You were the best of them.
Tyrion: That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard in a lifetime of exclusively sad things.
It appears that Tyrion is actually reconsidering this whole marriage thing but Sansa nips it in the bud, saying that his allegiance to the dragon queen would prove to be a problem for them. I think it’s bold that they’re making plans for anything farther than five minutes into the future, considering the state of things at the moment. Missandei agrees, popping out of the shadows to remind them that they’d all be dead if it weren’t for that dragon queen. Get you a friend like Missandei, defending your honor even on the brink of the apocalypse.
In the Godswood, Theon can see that the trench has been lit, which means they’re seconds from being thrown into battle. He takes this last second of wight-free time to attempt to apologize to Bran for all the sh*t he’s pulled over the years. Bran, in classic three-eyed raven nature, doesn’t let him, telling Theon that everything he’s done has brought them to that moment. This is a theme throughout the episode, as it becomes clear that a lot of the suffering we’ve endured has been to ensure that every single one of these people was present at this exact time. Doesn’t make any of the last nine years any easier, but it’s nice to know we didn’t all cry in vain.
Bran: I’m going to go now.
Theon: …..I’m sorry but what?
Bran wargs into a flock of ravens and suddenly we’re back up above the gates of Winterfell. The trench appears to have worked, leaving all of the wights lined up on the other side, staring into Winterfell. Bran continues to fly until he reaches the Night King, who is now ready to join battle as well. Remember when the Internet thought he wouldn’t show up at Winterfell? The joke is on all of us.
The novelty of the burning trench lasts for all of ten seconds, at which point the wights start throwing themselves onto the flames one by one. Slowly but surely, there are enough bodies to smother the fire, and a tiny bridge has been created for them to cross through.
Everyone in the castle braces for an attack, with Jaime, Brienne, Jorah, Tormund, Gendry and Podrick leading the arches up top, and Lyanna and House Mormont holding the yard below. This is when things truly started getting grim.
The only shining beacon of hope at the moment is Arya, who is flying through wights with the special weapon she had Gendry make for her. Davos is watching from a few feet away, equal parts terrified and impressed, probably looking into adoption papers. Same.
Arya: * murdering zombies left and right, looking like a graceful queen while she does it *
But soon Arya is overcome by the masses, and seeing her almost fall is enough to break the Hound out of the existential crisis he’s been having on the sidelines. The combination of all that fire and the never-ending onslaught of wights was really taking a toll on him.
Beric: Get your sh*t together, Clegane
The Hound: We’re literally all going to die. We can’t beat death.
Arya: * back flipping through the background * WANNA BET
Speaking of tolls, y’all ready for our next death? Down in the yard, the gates of Winterfell splinter to pieces to reveal the giant zombie Wun-Wun. In all the chaos I forgot that there was a literal giant on the side of the Night King. He busts through the gates and knocks Lyanna Mormont to the side before he starts wrecking everyone in sight.
She recovers and charges him, only to be picked up and crushed to death in his giant hands. For a couple horrifying seconds it looks like Wun-Wun was going to eat Lyanna, at which point I was already crafting my home sick email to my boss for the next day. But with her last living breaths, Lyanna leans forward and stabs Wun-Wun in the eyes with her dragonglass dagger. They both go down and Lyanna dies as she hits the ground. This small child singlehandedly took down one of the biggest threats in the Night King’s army, while Jon pirouetted through the air, trying not to collide with his girlfriend. Queen of the North, indeed.
Up in the sky, Jon and Dany finally break through the cloud cover and get about a second of peace before Viserion and the Night King come barreling up through the clouds. A chase scene ensues that only leaves me wondering how high into the atmosphere these people can fly before dying? Like, there’s no way they can breathe up there? There’s not even handles on these dragons? This is no time for nit-picking scientific accuracies, and yet here I am.
Inside the library of Winterfell, a nightmare is unfolding that is giving me PTSD flashbacks to the scene in Jurassic Park where the children are hiding from the velociraptors in the kitchen. The wight have made it inside the castle, but instead of a screaming horde they’re now actually just wandering around like slow, meandering zombies. Arya is dodging them in the stacks of the library, because apparently they only operate off of sound? And not smell? Sure.
She tosses a book to distract them all and barely escapes through the doors, only to alert them all to her presence by sighing too loudly. A girl can truly not catch a break. Neither can the wrinkles in my forehead, which deepened a whole two inches just watching Arya sprint through the castle in utter horror, bleeding from the forehead and narrowly avoiding being killed four separate times.
Down in the crypts, the sounds of battle are starting to permeate through the walls. The children are dead silent. Varys looks like he’s about to sh*t himself. Tyrion is drinking. All in all, things are bad and then they hear a swarm of bodies crash against the door. It’s soldiers from the living side’s armies, who are yelling for them to open the door as they’re being attacked by wights. The screaming lasts about ten seconds before everything goes silent again. No one even moved an inch towards the door.
It’s moments like this that make me really glad that Sansa and Tyrion are down in the crypts and not someone with a mile wide honorable streak *cough* JON *cough*. The two of them are pragmatic enough to know that they can’t save everyone, and that trying to do so would probably get the rest of them killed anyway. Jon would have opened that door, and in doing so ensured the death of everyone who was put down there to hide in the first place.
The Hound and Beric have made their way inside the halls of Winterfell and come across Arya in just the nick of time, who crashes through a door and is tackled to the ground by wights. They pry them off her and start sprinting away, but not before Beric is repeatedly in the chest. The three of them make it into the great hall and manage to barricade the doors before Beric falls to the ground and dies in Arya’s arms.
Melisandre appears, apparently immune to things like walls and zombie wars, and completes her third and final act of greatness for the day: spurring Arya to action. She reminds them of the time they first met, during Gendry’s kidnapping, when Melisandre predicted that Arya would kill many people—people whose eyes are brown, green, and …. BLUE. Did Melisandre predict that Arya would kill the Night King all the way back in season three? Did Beric know that he was meant to keep her alive for that very purpose? Has this entire show been hurtling towards this moment? I’m not sure, but I’m ready to spend the next seven days obsessing over it.
As the wights come crashing against the door, Melisandre gives Arya the strength she needs to go out and finish this sh*t.
Melisandre: What do we say to the God of Death?
Arya: Not today.
Every single person watching:
Things are really escalating on the battle front. The wights have full swarmed the Godswood, and Theon is shocking everyone by holding it down while the rest of the Iron Borne die left and right. Brann sits, entirely unperturbed, still watching bird TV as people are getting massacred all around him.
In the sky, the Night King runs Viserion full force into Winterfell, unleashing his blue fire all across the side of the castle just as Jon and Rhaegal crash into him. They start battling it out up above the battlefield, and eventually both Jon and the Night King fall to the ground.
Dany pulls up above them on Drogon, makes direct eye contact with the Night King, and then unleashes a Dracarys on him. It was far too triumphant a moment for any of us to believe that it would work, which was proved seconds later when the fire dissipates and the Night King is left their SMIRKING AT HER.
Fire cannot kill a dragon, which begs the question…. Is the Night King a Targaryen? It’s possible and I’m exhausted at the very thought of it. This man has gotten far too human and far too confident this episode. He’s just swagging his way across the battlefield towards Winterfell all by himself, laughing at people. The audacity.
Jon tries to catch up to him, under the very mistaken impression that he’s about to singlehandedly take down the Night King. Sorry, that role has already been assigned, my dude. Instead, the Night King turns around, lets Jon get about ten feet closer, and then slowly starts to lift his arms, raising the thousands of dead people surrounding them as he does it. Literally the entire battlefield stands up as Jon limps his way towards the Night King. Inside, we’re treated to an especially horrendous moment as Lyanna Mormont opens up her now electric blue eyes. Talk about adding insult to injury.
The Night King leaves Jon to deal with the newly resurrected sea of wights and takes a couple jaunty steps towards the Godswood. Honestly, he’s having way too much fun. Dany flies down to save Jon’s ass for the 100th time this episode, distracting the dead as Jon runs off to try and beat the Night King to Bran.
Dany makes the mistake of staying on the ground for too long, and suddenly Drogon is overcome by wights. He knocks her off and then attempts to fly away with hundreds of them on his back, leaving Daenerys alone and unprotected on a battle field for potentially the first time ever. But fear not, because before things can get truly dire, Jorah appears out of absolute thin air to defend her.
As Jon passes through the yards of Winterfell and watches each of his friends fight losing battles, it starts to become clear that things are not going to end well here. The ceiling is collapsing, the wights are a ceaseless stream of death, and Sam is on the ground being straight up mangled. Jon passes by all of it, and the fact that he doesn’t try to save anyone is probably the greatest indicator that they’re on the losing side of this battle.
Inside, the wights begin to break through the walls of the crypt. It’s unclear whether they’d found a way in, or if these are the centuries old dead Starks coming back to life. Either way, it’s not a good change of events.
Tyrion and Sansa have taken cover behind a tomb, and I am truly glad that they are sharing what is quite possibly their last moments on Earth together. Further proving her worth, Sansa refuses to go down without a fight and pulls out the dagger that Arya gave her. Tyrion does the same, before grabbing her hand and kissing it. This is the most platonic love scene I’ve ever witnessed, and the effect is not at all lessened by the fact that you can hear young children screaming and dying in the background.
Watching what looks like the end of times, losing any semblance of hope by the second as the noise begins to dim and haunting music plays over the single most depressing sequence of fight scenes I have ever seen, I can’t even believe there was a time on this show when we were worried about anything but the White Walkers. Like, the days of Joffrey are straight-up laughable right now. All former grudges are dropped as each of our heroes stares straight into the depths of hell that are charging throughout Winterfell. We are all on one team, and it’s called “Team Too Traumatized to Go to Work Tomorrow.”
Finally the supercut of death and despair stops as the Night King arrives in the Godswood, flanked by his generals and a couple hundred wights. All of the Iron Borne are dead, leaving just Theon between Bran and the White Walker army. It is very obvious what direction this is about to go in, and only becomes more so when Bran calls to Theon and tells him that he’s a good man.
With that single sentence, the only thing that he has ever wanted to hear, Theon has effectively completed his redemption arc. He thanks Bran and turns to the Night King, charging at him and then being almost immediately speared through the torso. Theon Greyjoy dies protecting Bran Stark, but more importantly, he dies a good man. Sorry for saying that you didn’t deserve Sansa last week. I stand by it, but at least feel guilty about it now.
As the Night King slowly marches towards Bran, always one to heighten the drama, he looks more human than I’ve ever seen him. Except for that one time when he used to actually be human. I don’t know if that’s just because he’s never had this much consistent screen time, or because I’m suffering from an entire mental break. Both seem plausible.
In an episode chockfull of longing, meaningful eye contact, Bran and the Night King truly take the cake. This thousand-year-old zombie takes his sweet-ass time slowly reaching for Bran, and just as he’s about to reach him, just as Viserion is about to straight up torch Jon out in the yard, Arya comes flying out of the fog to stab the Night King.
In the single most important scene in TV history, the Night King catches Arya’s mid-air, and she drops her dagger from her raised left hand to her lowered right, stabbing him in the chest.
Arya Stark saved humanity. Beric Dondarrion and the Hound were both resurrected to keep her alive long enough to kill the Night King. Syrio Forel, Jaqen H’gar, Melisandre, the Faceless Men—all of them lead her to this moment.
She murdered the Night King, with the dagger that was meant to kill Bran, in the exact spot where she asked Jon how he possibly could have survived being stabbed in the heart only days earlier. There were a hundred clues that led to this moment and we didn’t pick up on a single one because no one dared believe that this battle could actually be won.
Arya Stark is truly THAT BITCH.
love letter to arya pic.twitter.com/3sftUXog7f
— ???????? ⌖ (@kiminostaythere) April 29, 2019
All cross Winterfell, the wights begin to fall. Viserion crumbles to dust before he can blast Jon with blue fire. We flash across the faces of the living, and it’s almost impossible to believe that most of our favorites are still standing.
Sansa. Tyrion. Varys. Gilly. Sam. Little Sam. Missandei. Jaime. Brienne. Podrick. Tormund. Grey Worm. Gendry. The Hound. They’re all still alive. How are they all still alive. I haven’t breathed in an 80 minutes but it’s okay because THEY’RE ALL STILL ALIVE.
Except, well, Jorah. Out on the battlefield, he keeps the brand strong to his literal dying breath, going down defending Dany in a blaze of glory.
Jorah, laying on the ground with upwards of 45 stab wounds: I think I’m hurt.
He dies exactly the way he always wanted to, in Dany’s arms, her weeping over his body. This is truly best case scenario, okay? A dragon, I think Drogon but truly cannot stop crying enough to differentiate at this point, lands next to her and swaddles her with his body while she sobs into Jorah’s corpse. Just like that, the proud House of Mormont is gone.
As everyone looks around in disbelief, also shocked that they somehow survived, Melisandre makes her way out to the grounds. Davos follows her, still wary of this woman even though she showed up and save everyone’s asses.
Melisandre marches out onto the now still battlefield alone, removing her pendant as she goes. Without it, the magic that keeps her alive slowly starts to drain away, and Davos watches as her retreating figure slowly decomposes into dust. She falls just as the sun peaks over the horizon, making true on her promise to be dead by dawn. Much like Beric, she had completed her mission. Then the credits roll into silence, as if we hadn’t all spent that last hour and a half in a state of near cardiac arrest.
Was ten pages of that recap too long for you? Well TL;DR: Arya Motherf*cking Stark killed the Night King. The White Walkers are gone. And somehow, there are still three more episodes left.
I understand that the battle for the Iron Throne is the focal point of this entire show, but the fact that we’re concerned about literally anything happening after this is laughable. Like, I watched the trailer for next week and rolled my eyes. Oh, we’re still worried about Cersei? Arya just murdered a thousand-year-old zombie king, but yeah, the drunk woman who f*cks her brother is definitely still a viable threat.
On the other hand, this victory is going to leave everyone feeling a little too confident for my liking. Fresh off a victory like that, it would be easy to start taking things for granted and making stupid mistakes. What I’m saying is, we’re not out of the woods yet.
Most Valuable Betch: Melisandre
I know you probably think Arya should be carrying this title for the rest of her life, and you’re not wrong, but none of what she accomplished would have been possible if Melisandre hadn’t showed up and lit a literal and figurative fire under her ass. Our Red Witch Queen, always ready to do the hard jobs that others won’t. A little Machiavellian for my tastes, but you can’t argue with the results.
Images: Giphy (6)
The entirety of this week’s episode of Game of Thrones can basically be chocked up to one big, weird, existential crisis-ridden house party. If you think about it, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” has all the makings of a teen party movie. There are confrontations, uncomfortable reunions, hookups (!!!), secrets that were better left untold (@Tormund), secrets that definitely needed to be told (@Jon), moments of absolute absurdity immediately followed by moments of pure sentimentality. Oh, and pretty much every one was drunk.
Let’s dive in.
After an undetermined period of intense staring, it appears the rest of Winterfell was alerted to the arrival of Jaime Lannister. We open on him standing before Daenerys, Sansa, and Jon in the great hall, surrounded by all the lords and ladies currently present in Winterfell. The vibe is tense, to say the least.
Dany: When I was little my brother used to tell me bedtime stories about how you murdered our father.
Jaime: Okay sure, but to be fair, they were both d*cks.
Given the fact that Jaime has had a hand in the demise of both the Starks and the Targaryens, this would have been an uncomfortable conversation no matter the circumstances. But now he’s forced to not only atone for his past sins, but also for the fact that Cersei clearly lied about sending her army to help in the fight against the dead. Tyrion looks on woefully from the background, and it suddenly becomes clear that, despite some very optimistic theorizing, he truly did believe Cersei would help them. Cut to Sansa, continuing to be disappointed by every single man in her life.
Dany: It’s crazy because I was promised an army but all I see before me is a man with one hand.
Jaime: Wow, so you’re both hot and mean. If we were related, I would be in love with you.
Tyrion tries to come to Jaime’s defense but is cut down by both Dany and Sansa. They are, for a single moment, brought together by their shared hatred of the Lannisters. It’s a glimpse into a future that we need but do not deserve: these two strong af women, ruling side by side, while Jon knits in the corner.
Jaime: Everything I did, I did for my house and my family. I’d do it all again.
Bran: tHe ThInGs wE dO fOr LoVe
But before the tensions can escalate any further, Brienne steps in, reminding Sansa that she’s only alive because of the oath that Jaime swore to Catelyn. There’s also a lot of tender staring, but it’s fine, we can address that later.
Sansa may hate the Lannisters, but not as much as she loves Brienne, and she agrees to let Jaime stay. Jon sides with her, knowing that they’re going to need all the help that they can get, even if it’s a sad man with one hand. Dany fumes in the corner, fondly reminiscing on the times when she was allowed to just burn people to a crisp for disagreeing with her.
But more than that, she’s pissed at Tyrion for not seeing through Cersei’s lies. Dany tells him, in no uncertain terms, that if he can’t remove his sister from the Iron Throne, she will find herself a Hand who can do so. Varys and Jorah are awkwardly shuffling around in the background, and maybe it’s just me, but neither of them seem especially excited about the prospect of being the one to replace him.
Meanwhile, in the forges below Winterfell, much more important things are happening. And by that, I mean Arya is stalking Gendry and flirting with him the only way she knows how: vaguely ominous threats followed by knife throwing. That approach has yet to work for me, but I’m optimistic for her.
Arya’s come to check on the status of her weapon, which Gendry has yet to start making. While he’s obviously very busy building weapons for an entire army for a war that could start at literally any second, I also think he’s avoiding making it in the hopes that it’ll deter Arya from fighting. He tells her that it’ll be safer for her down in the crypt when the battle comes, and she proceeds to roll her eyes so hard that I’m concerned she’s about to go blind again.
Arya: What are the White Walkers like?
Gendry: They’re like death.
But as we all know, Arya is no stranger to death. She tells Gendry as much, right before tossing a couple of knives across the room into a post. Foreplay with these two is wild.
Continuing his tour of terrible conversations, Jaime heads out to the Weirwood, where Bran is sitting and gazing into the distance, likely because he’s run out of newcomers to stare at. Guess it’s time to apologize for tossing him out a window all those years ago. Better late than never.
Apparently no one has clued Jaime in on the whole Three Eyed Raven thing, because he expects Bran to be angry with him. Or upset. Or any kind of emotion that one might exhibit in this situation. But of course, he’s none of those things. In fact, I’d say this is the potentially the best conversation that Bran has had this season. He’s open, less cryptic than usual, and almost-kinda-sorta cracks a joke.
Jaime: Sorry I threw you out a window.
Bran: I’m not.
From there, Jaime heads to the yard, where he finally comes face-to-face with his brother. Tyrion tries to get Jaime to sip on some Daenerys Kool-Aid, but he doesn’t seem to be buying it. Clearly at odds, they move onto the next vindictive blond queen in their lives: Cersei.
Tyrion admits that he’d truly believed Cersei would come to their aid. Their last conversation, in which she’d told him that the pregnancy had changed her and would be a new start for her a Jaime, had convinced him that she was on their side. He said this so incredibly casually, as if he wasn’t referring to his sister being pregnant with his brother’s unborn child for the fourth time.
It’s obvious that Jaime isn’t ready to talk about Cersei, or confront whatever feelings he has about the matter, and so he escapes to just outside the gates where Brienne is overseeing Podrick’s training.
I’m going to take this moment to address something that has been coming up all week: Brienne and Jaime vs. Brienne and Tormund. I understand that many of you are devoted to the idea of Brienne and Tormund, and I get it. I really do. Once upon a time, I may have agreed with you. But hear me when I say this: no.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tormund. I know that we’re all obsessed his weird antics and his barbaric tendencies and his less-than-subtle methods of seduction. But you know who doesn’t like any of those things? Brienne. You know who looks at Jaime Lannister like the sun shines out of his ass? Brienne. You know who managed to take the most arrogant piece of sh*t in the Seven Kingdoms and turn him into a good man? Brienne. I will die on this hill (and probably so will both of them, but I digress).
After some horribly stilted small talk, absolutely laden with unrequited love, Brienne gives us a dose of normalcy by screaming at Jaime. Ah, simpler times.
Brienne: WHY ARE YOU BEING SO NICE TO ME
JAIME: IDK I GUESS I LOVE YOU I MEAN WHAT
Jaime asks to serve under Brienne’s command, despite the fact that he’s not the fighter he used to be. She agrees and then the eye contact that follows between the two of them is probably the closest we’ll ever get to a kiss. I’ll take it.
Back in Winterfell, Jorah seeks out Daenerys to, against all odds, defend Tyrion. He thinks that Dany should forgive Tyrion for his mistakes, just as she forgave Jorah for his. Jorah was basically a spy, whereas Tyrion just had the audacity to be manipulated by his sister, but yeah we can put them on the same level I guess.
Dany: You want me to…forgive him?
Dany: Does not compute.
Dany: DOES NOT COMPUTE.
You know who else thinks Tyrion deserves a break? Sansa. She says as much when Dany finds her later, finally read to lay all her cards on the table.
Dany: He shouldn’t have trusted Cersei.
Sansa: I have been saying this since season two, but sure.
What follows is the closest equivalent to a drunk bathroom heart to heart that we’ll probably ever get from these two. It wasn’t until I sat and watched them giggling over how useless men are that I realized how badly I want them to be friends. As Dany points out, both of them are powerful women who have risen to their station despite the men in their lives trying to stop them from doing so. But that shared trait is also likely the reason they’ll never truly be on the same side: they’ve lost too much and come too far to compromise now.
Dany: Your brother loves me. Why don’t you?
Sansa: Men are dumb and easily manipulated.
Dany: Lol TRUE.
For the first time in a while, Dany shows some real vulnerability when she tells Sansa that it was her love for Jon that diverted her from her life goal of attaining the Iron Throne, so maybe she was in fact the one being manipulated. I’m hoping this could serve as some foreshadowing to the fact that Dany’s love for Jon will overcome her love of power when she finds out the truth about who he is, but something tells me that won’t be the case.
It looks like the conversation might end on a truly happy note, but then Sansa broaches the topic of life after the war, and where the North fits in relation to Dany’s rule of the Seven Kingdoms. Just like that, any progress made between these two is immediately eliminated.
But before they can truly get into it, they’re interrupted by the arrival of none other than Theon, who addresses Daenerys, but only has eyes for Sansa. He tells Dany that Yara has gone back to the Iron Islands to claim them in her name, but he’s come to fight for the Starks. But it’s very clear that by “fight for the Starks” he means “fight for Sansa,” and I am immediately conflicted about the energy that is flying between these two.
In a perfect world, my dream for Sansa is that she survives the war, remains the Lady of Winterfell, and grows old ruling over her people with no husband and 100 wolves. Picture the Queen of England and her corgis, but better. There’s about a 1% chance that the showrunners let her live this beautiful life of solitude, in which case, the only male companion I would settle for is Podrick, whose many secret talents include singing and banging it out. Our girl has suffered too much and for too long to spend the rest of her life taking care of another broken man, redemption arc be damned. Theon, with all his sadness and all his trauma and his total lack of d*ck, does not make the cut here.
Fear not, the reunions aren’t done. Outside a horn sounds, signaling the arrival of the survivors from Eastwatch: Edd, Tormund, Beric, and their band of followers. Tormund stomps in, intercepts a hug from Jon, casually drops the news that the dead will be arriving TOMORROW MORNING, and then immediately asks about Brienne. You’ve got to respect his priorities.
The armies start preparing in earnest now, seeing as how sh*t just got very, very real. Jon and the rest of the important characters gather in the war room for the single most depressing strategy session to yet be featured on this show.
It’s decided that their best bet is taking out the Night King, in the hopes that doing so would result in the deaths of all the wights at once. The plan is to lure him out into the Weirwood by using Bran as bait with Theon and the Ironborn nearby for protection.
Killing Bran, keeper of all memories, would be a vital step in enacting an Endless Night, which is basically the end of man. The Night King could probably save himself a whole lot of trouble by letting Bran ominously roll around Winterfell for a few more days, because he’s probably three weird proclamations away from getting clubbed by literally anyone who has to listen to him.
Jon decides that the dragons will roam close by in case Bran needs saving, and Dany decides that Tyrion will remain in the crypt with the women and children. It’s entirely possible that she really is trying to protect him, knowing that his wisdom will be needed to rebuild Westeros after all of this is said and done, but doing it in front of everyone like that was most definitely a power move. Daenerys Targaryen may forgive, but she does not forget. Also…she doesn’t really forgive.
Tormund: We’re all going to die.
Also Tormund to Brienne:
On that uplifting note, everyone clears out to make the most of what is likely their last night alive. Tyrion hangs back with Bran, asking to hear about the journey that got him here. I’m thinking this is less of a kind gesture and more so in preparation for whatever plan he has for the next day. He may have been fooled once, but he’s not about to let Dany down again.
What follows is a series of scenes in which everyone attempts to come to terms with the fact that in less than twelve hours, they could all be zombies. Some seek comfort in alcohol, others in random sex, but most of all, people just don’t want to be alone. The Westerosi—they’re just like us.
From Missandei and Grey Worm we get warm promises of a happy and peaceful(ish) life together in Naath. The fact that this is later followed by a very dramatic kiss as Grey Worm rides out of the gates leads me to believe that they aren’t going to be able to follow through on that plan. It’s okay, we can all cry about it next week.
Up on the ramparts we get a quick reunion of Jon, Sam, Edd, and most importantly, Ghost. Has he been back this whole time and I just haven’t noticed?? Why didn’t they make a bigger deal about this?? If I have to watch that wolf become a wight I will throw myself into oncoming traffic.
Tyrion and Jaime set up camp in front of a fire inside, reminiscing on happier times when they were both awful rich men with no responsibilities.
Tyrion: Remember how carefree and innocent we were the first time we came to Winterfell?
Jaime: I was sleeping with my sister and you had no friends.
Tyrion: Those were the days.
They’re joined by Brienne, Podric, Davos and Tormund, coming together to form what I can only describe as a Winterfell Breakfast Club. It starts out horribly uncomfortable, and then remains that way until alcohol is introduced, at which points it is still horribly uncomfortable, but at least they’re drunk.
Tormund delivers the performance of a lifetime while explaining the origins of his nickname: Giantsbane. It turns out this isn’t Tormund’s last name, as I’ve thought for literally the entire show, but instead a name he earned after killing a giant, crawling into bed with its wife, and then breastfeeding off of her, all at the age of ten. He offers this story up, entirely unprovoked, while everyone else tries not to make eye contact with each other.
Tormund: Y’all wanna know why I’m so big?
When he isn’t narrating tales from his life, he’s staring at Brienne like she’s a big old jug of breastmilk, leaving Jaime to look on in the background, clearly torn between jealousy and outright horror.
The evening takes a beautifully sentimental turn when Brienne’s greatest dreams are realized: becoming a knight. Women can’t be knights in Westeros, despite the fact that Brienne is more of a hero than most of the men on this show combined. Tormund says as much, cementing his status as a true ally to women.
Tormund: I’d knight you ten times over.
Jaime points out that any knight can make another knight, and then calls Brienne to him. Right there, in the hall of Winterfell, in front of God and everyone, Jaime Lannister knights Brienne of Tarth. I’m crying. You’re crying. She’s crying. Tormund is likely masturbating.
Jaime: Arise Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
Arya finds the Hound up on the ramparts, because obviously these two wouldn’t seek out simple comforts like warmth on their last night alive. They sit in angry silence together before being joined by Beric, who proceeds to preach about the Lord of Light. Feels like this would be a great time for the guy to come through, but that’s neither here nor there. There’s some playful banter before Arya realizes that her last waking hours could be spent in a much better fashion.
“I’m not spending my final hours with you two miserable old sh*ts” – Arya, on her way to get that d*ck.
She ends up back in the castle, practicing archery, when Gendry finds her. She asks him about his time spent with Melisandre, which leads to the slightly complicated story that he’s actually the bastard son of Robert Baratheon. All Arya hears is “not a peasant anymore” and immediately starts quizzing him on his sexual history. Again, her methods are unusual, but also apparently incredibly effective.
Arya: So you had sex with the red woman.
Gendry: What?? nO-
Arya: So you’re a virgin.
Gendry: Also no!!
Arya: How many women have you slept with.
Gendry: I just feel like I’m not going to win here.
Arya Stark, our day one badass, found herself stuck on a snowy rampart with two whiny old men and instead went “I’m gonna get me some. Later, losers.” Was it a little weird to watch, considering we’ve watched Arya grow up? Sure. Did I scream regardless? Absolutely. Would I die for the two of them? You bet.
Arya: I’m not the red woman. Take off your own pants.
All of us:
Outside, Jorah and Lyanna Mormont are arguing about the coming battle; specifically, Lyanna’s role in it. Jorah wants her in the crypts with the women and children and Lyanna, predictably, doesn’t give a f*ck what Jorah wants. Sam approaches as Lyanna walks away with her men, gifting Jorah with his family’s sword Heartsbane. Jorah’s father was more of a dad to Sam than his own, and he knows that Jorah will probably make better use of the sword than he will.
Across the yard, over the dulcet tones of Podricks’ silky voice, we see Theon and Sansa, who have opted to spend their last night just staring at each other. I still hate it. I will always hate it. But the Gods gave us Arya and Gendry, so I will tolerate it.
Down in the crypts comes the goodbye that we’ve all been waiting for. Dany finds Jon standing before the statue of the woman he now knows to be his mother, Lyanna Stark.
Dany: Who’s that?
Jon: A loaded question, that’s who that is.
Dany starts talking about Rhaegar, and how she can’t reconcile the good things people said about him with the fact that he kidnapped and raped Lyanna. Jon, knowing that this conversation has to happen and figures it might as well be with a zombie army on the horizon, goes for it.
He explains, in a much more eloquent matter than was afforded him, I might add, who his parents are, why it was kept from him, and how he came to know. Sam and Bran could take some notes. Dany rockets from confusion to realization to disbelief to indignant anger faster than Jon has ever experienced one single emotion.
Dany: If that’s true, you have a claim to the Iron Throne.
Jon: If it’s true I also had sex with my aunt but sure let’s focus on your stuff first.
But before they can really have it out, a horn sounds—the White Walkers are here. After two straight episodes of reunions and love, we’re about to get our first major battle of season 8. All hell is about to break loose. Hopefully someone tells Gendry to put on some pants.
Most Valuable Betch: Arya Stark
Looking death in the fact and actively deciding not to die a virgin? An icon. A star. A woman in control of her own destiny. We don’t deserve her.
Images: Giphy (6), Tumblr (2)
Welcome back, my friends.
The day has finally come. After two long years, we’ve made it to the final season of Game of Thrones. Who’s ready for six straight weeks of anxiety and general despair, followed by a life-long hole in your heart where this show used to belong? Just me? Cool, cool.
There will be a lot of emotional introspection as this final season plays out, but I’d like to start by saying it’s been both an honor and a privilege to spend the last four years watching and recapping this show alongside you all, butchering the names of the characters and pushing my pro-Daario Naharis agenda alike. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and for only mildly berating me for not having read the books. It’s much appreciated.
Before diving in, I’d like to make one thing very clear from the onset here: in this house, we love and respect Sansa Stark. Any other opinion will not be tolerated. Thank you for your time and patience, can’t wait to see you in the comment section.
Our episode opens in Winterfell, on a young child who, for the shortest of seconds, I thought was Rickon. My heart nearly stopped, and we’re not even into the important stuff yet. Could you imagine wasting resurrection on such a useless character?
But no, the small child is a nameless citizen of the North, who has gathered, like the rest of Winterfell, to watch the arrival of Jon and Dany, looking like the most regal incestuous couple to roll in since season one, episode one, with the arrival of the Lannisters. You thought this would start slow? Fools.
The Hound and Gendry are in tow, and literally all of them ride by Arya without noticing her. Seems rude, but sure. Our two favorite queens, Tyrion and Varys, are sharing a carriage into Winterfell, like the incredibly high maintenance icons they are. The Unsullied follow, led by Greyworm and Missandei, who are just one of the four couples that I am hopelessly devoted to this season. I’m sure they’ll all make it through and live happily ever after and I won’t cry once. Let me have this.
All the Northerners in the crowd look skeptical to say the least because, as Jon reminds Dany, they aren’t big fans of outsiders. But that vague skepticism turns to outright fear once the dragons roll in, dramatic as ever.
Jon is way too excited to see Brann, not yet knowing that the kid who used to be his little brother now only speaks in riddles and has some truly tragic information to share with him in the near future. Dany comes in hot with the compliments for Sansa, which I would think are genuine if I was a naïve idiot who’d never been to high school.
Dany and Sansa: *attempting vague pleasantries despite openly disliking each othe*
Brann: WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SH*T
Brann informs everyone that the Night King has Viserion, he’s a full on wight-dragon, the wall has fallen, and that the army of dead are marching south literally as they speak. I get the urgency but, like, could the kid attempt social etiquette for ONE second.
There’s an immediate gathering of the Lords and Ladies of the North to establish a game plan, and we get about six seconds of cute from the mini Lord Umber before Lady Mormont starts calling Jon on his sh*t. Honestly, just throw her in the ring with the Night King and save everyone some trouble.
Lady Mormont: You left Winterfell a King and came back a…
Jon: …a man in love? With an army behind him?
Lady: a BITCH.
Jon, never one to pass up an opportunity for a Friday Night Lights-inspired speech, lets everyone know that he may have surrendered his crown, but he only did it protect the North. In doing so, he got them an army, two dragons, and a hot girlfriend/aunt for himself. What’s a guy to do?
Tyrion jumps in to defend him, which may have worked until he mentioned that the Lannister army was en route. While almost no one in the Seven Kingdoms are fans of the Lannisters, the North are especially not so. It makes sense, given literally everything that’s happened since the last time the Lannisters rode into Winterfell.
Tyrion and Sansa’s reunion after the mildly successful town hall isn’t as uncomfortable as it could be, all things considered. They touch on their last encounter at Joffrey’s wedding, and the almost unbelievable fact that both of them are still alive.
Tyrion: Many underestimated you. Most of them are dead now.
Me, crying on my couch:
Tyrion, against all odds, truly still believes Cersei and the Lannister army is coming to their aid, and Sansa is like “… are you for real? You? The smart one?”
Jon and Arya have a much kinder reunion at the Weirwood, which ranks in one of the most touching moments of the entire episode. In fact, the whole episode was fairly heartwarming, which leads me to believe that we’re all about to get absolutely wrecked next week.
Arya: How do you survive a knife through the heart?
Jon: I didn’t.
Arya: That’s that sh*t I do like
Jon asking Arya if she’s ever used Needle is kind of similar to the time my Dad asked me during college if I’d ever tried alcohol. There was some bad lying followed by a blanket understanding that we were all going to blindly accept the lie because it’s just better that way.
What none of us, including Jon, were prepared for was Arya standing by Sansa. My girls, finally coming together. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Jon: Sansa hates my girlfriend and thinks she’s smarter than everyone
Me and Arya, in unison: SHE IS.
Arya reminds Jon that Sansa is merely defending the Starks, or what’s left of them. It’s clear from this interaction, and many that follow, that while the Starks trust Jon, they’re not psyched about this newfound Queen. Surviving the White Walkers isn’t as exciting a prospect if it’s just going to be followed by another war for the Iron Throne.
Back in King’s Landing, we see Qyburn and Cersei, who are watching the approaching fleet from the Golden Company, led by the Dark Pacey Witter.
Qyburn: Hey, so, uh, the army of the dead have broken through the Wall.
Euron still has Yara prisoner aboard his ship, who he appears not only be beating but also using as a therapist. Men are really out here demanding emotional support no matter the circumstance aren’t they?
Euron: Yeah I’m gonna f*ck, Cersei.
Wow, I nearly forgot about the gratuitous sex scenes in this show until I had to watch Bronn have a disappointing threesome with three prostitutes who are clearly just trying to get in some good gossip. They’re interrupted by Qyburn, who’s come on Cersei’s behalf with a mission for Bronn: kill Jaime and Tyrion, with a crossbow no less, assuming they manage to survive the zombie war. It’s “poetic justice.”
Cersei commits her greatest crime since blowing up the sept by having the audacity to utter the phrase “You want a whore? Buy one. You want a queen? Earn her.” If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of thousands of white girls sprinting to their nearest tattoo parlor as we speak. Then she goes on to have sex with Euron, because if you’re going to f*ck up, you might as well go all in.
I constantly vacillate between despising this guy and being almost shocked into respecting him. He’s out here, carrying some chaotic Jack Sparrow of Westeros energy, asking a woman who’s been known to murder men on a whim if he’s better at sex than her twin brother. I won’t be sad when he dies, but I will enjoy watching him interact with people up until that point.
Cersei: You’re arrogant, insolent, you look like a dirty pirate….and I’m into it.
Euron: Nice let’s have a kid.
In a twist that none of us were dumb enough to actually believe would happen, Theon successfully, and discreetly, rescues Yara from Euron’s ship. She thanks him the only way this family knows how: by punching him in the face. Yara plans to re-take the Iron Islands, giving Dany somewhere to retreat to if they can’t hold the North. I have a feeling the first spot that she’s offering up is her bed, but I digress. However, she lets Theon return to Winterfell, knowing that he wants to fight alongside the Starks.
Back in Winterfell, Davos, Varys and Tyrion have a small pow wow to discuss the very real issue of the Northerners loyalty. Davos brings up, yet again, the fact that the North won’t trust Dany…unless she were to be married to Jon. Get you a friend like Davos–brings you back from the dead and secures you a hot and powerful dragon wife. Wingman of the century.
Meanwhile, Dany and Jon are discussing the loyalty of one Northerner in particular: Sansa.
Dany: Sansa hates me.
Jon: Okay, yeah, but she hated me for a while, too.
Dany: …no, you were supposed to say that she doesn’t hate me.
God forbid Sansa be wary of strange blond queen riding into her home, pretending to be her friend, and then taking advantage of her family. Not like that’s ever happened before or anything.
Dany lets Jon know that, much like every mean girl on every season of The Bachelor, she is not here to make friends. There’s a slight allusion to the fact that if Sansa can’t learn to respect her, something may have to happen, but they’re interrupted by the Dothraki before that horrible train of conversation can continue. Turns out the dragons hate the cold and are barely eating in protest. If only we all reacted to cold weather in the same way.
Watching Jon and Daenerys flirt while he learns how to ride a dragon is truly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. This is the only rom com I’ve ever needed. I can’t believe I’m twenty-seven years old and openly rooting for incest. What a time to be alive.
They arrive at a desolate waterfall, and proceed to make out as if the world isn’t ending in a week. Ah, young, familial love. The dragons are not as into this PDA as I am, reacting in a similar way as my coworkers did last Friday when we tried explaining the dynamics of this relationship to them.
My boss: So…they’re related. And you’re…into that.
Me: Yes but they’re in LOVE.
Arya, The Hound, and Gendry all reunite in the forges below Winterfell, where Gendry is busy making dragonglass weapons for an entire army.
The Hound: You left me for dead
Arya: And I also robbed you.
The Hound, visibly trying not to cry: That’s my girl.
After some flirting that melts both mine and Arya’s cold, dead hearts, she asks Gendry to make her a special weapon out of dragonglass. Winterfell is currently the set of a romance novel and I am LIVING for it.
Gendry, with literal hearts in his eyes: I always knew you were just a rich girl.
Arya: You don’t know any other rich girls.
Jon returns from his date only for Sansa to tell him that the Glovers have abandoned them, opting to stay in their castle and take on a zombie army alone rather than fight beside a Targaryen. An overreaction? Sure, but you have to respect their flair for the dramatic.
Lord Glover’s note doesn’t necessarily say that it’s because of the presence of Daenerys, but it doesn’t have to. Jon and Sansa finally have it out, her being upset that Jon relinquished his crown and Jon making the argument he’s been make for upwards of five years now: that none of this matters because literal zombies are coming.
Jon: Do you have any faith in me at all?
Sansa: …you know I do.
Jon: That was a lengthy pause but I’ll take it.
Jorah brings Daenerys down to the library to make his move introduce her to Sam, the man who saved him from grayscale. He’s also the man who knows she’s currently having sex with her nephew, but that’s a conversation for another time, I’m sure.
Dany wants to give Sam something for his service, and he asks for a pardon for stealing from both the Citadel and his father. This brings them to the awkward moment when Dany has to tell Sam that she roasted his father for refusing to bend the knee.
Sam: I’m a Tarly.
This is probably the first time that Dany has ever been confronted with the results of her…less than diplomatic methods. Sure, burning people alive who don’t agree with you seems like a good move in the moment. But having to tell their sons later, the ones who are actively fighting for you? Less awe-inspiring.
Sam, true to his brand, starts blubbering in front of Dany once he finds out that his brother was also part of the Tarly barbecue. He escapes outside only to find Brann, possible the least comforting person in the entire world.
Sam: Whatcha doing out here buddy?
Brann: Waiting for an old friend.
Sam: But…you don’t have any friends.
Brann decides that this is the moment that Sam must tell Jon about his true lineage. The guy just got some mildly traumatic news, but sure, why not go ruin his best friend’s life real quick. He finds Jon in the crypts below Winterfell, and honestly seeing Sam is the happiest Jon has ever looked. Even when he was banging his aunt. He truly loves him.
Sam goes with the tried and true method of bad news, immediately followed by even more bad news. He starts with the fact that Dany executed his father and brother and then railroads directly into “oh, by the way, you’re the King of the Seven Kingdoms.” He breaks down R+L=J in a matter of ten seconds, which seems kind of messed up considering it took all of us two years to come to terms with that news.
Jon: But my honorable father, Ned Stark, does not lie.
Sam: Jesus Christ, not this again.
Further North, Tormund, Beric, Edd, and what’s left of the Night’s watch find each other in the desolate and empty halls of the Umbers’ castle. It’s been ransacked by the Night King and his army, who left little Lord Umber staked to a wall as a message. Has the Night Kind developed a flair for the dramatic since last season? I don’t remember him leaving cryptic and ominous messages before, but adopting a dragon changes a zombie I guess.
The episode closes with a momentous arrival at Winterfell: our boy Jaime Lannister. I REPEAT. JAIME LANNISTER HAS ARRIVED AT WINTERFELL. Last time he was there he pushed a child out a window, so here’s hoping he follows it up with something even better.
I was hoping he’d immediately fall into the arms of Brienne, bringing all of my favorite couples into one very cold castle, but his welcome is, uh, far less romantic. Jaime hops off his horse and immediately comes face to face with Brann, who is in the same exact spot he’s been since Sam left. Turns out he was was waiting for an old friend.
Brann: *KILL BILL SIRENS*
Season one, episode one ended with this blonde asshole throwing this sweet child out a window, and here we are, seven seasons later, ending season eight, episode one with the two of them coming face to face for the first time since. Who would have thought we’d all be on Jaime’s side after all this time? In these moments I am reminded that beyond the gore and glory and generally terrible events that take place, this show can be poetic.
To Brann’s credit, he treats the guy who crippled him and effectively started his entire journey to becoming the Three Eyed Raven the way he treated his beloved siblings and every single other person he’s come into contact with this episode: with a weird vacant stare.
And that’s it, folks. Week one, complete. Our main characters are basically all together, our zombie army is uncomfortably close, and Cersei is thousands of miles away, continuing her lifelong trend of having sex with people she shouldn’t be having sex with.
What will next week bring? Despair, most likely. Can’t wait. See you all then.
Images: HBO; Giphy (4); Tumblr (2)
The final season of Game of Thrones is upon us, and I’m sure you’ve all seen plenty of predictions, questionable spoilers, and lame people complaining about how they don’t care. But there’s one issue that hasn’t been getting nearly enough coverage, and it’s time to address the most important Game of Thrones question: which character has the most Big Dick Energy? 2018 was the year of BDE, and honestly, it’s not going anywhere. Whoever wins the iron throne is irrelevant, but whoever has the most BDE…now there’s a reason to bend the knee. Move over Pete Davidson, because winter is coming.
10. Lyanna Mormont
Lyanna doesn’t have a huge role in Game of Thrones, but anytime she is in a scene she is exuding big dick energy. She’s a literal child who rules her house like a boss, and grown-ass men respect the hell out of her. She’s a no-nonsense bitch, and she’s got the BDE to prove it.
9. Tyrion Lannister
It’s been heavily implied that Tyrion is well-endowed, and the energy of his endowment matches the size. He can drink anyone under the table, has a witty comeback to everything, and to put it bluntly: this guy f*cks. Big dick energy for a big dick’d man.
The first thing we learn about Ygritte is that she’s very good at making fun of Jon Snow for being a virgin who can’t murder her. Love that. She also teaches Jon Snow how to eat pussy, for which I deem her a BDE legend. Plus, she brought us the line, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” And for that we are eternally grateful. May Ygritte and her BDE RIP.
7. Lord Varys
Lord Varys may be missing his member, but he has the dick energy of a man with a 12-inch shlong. He always has to tea to spill, and he does so very strategically. He’s a messy bitch who lives for drama, and he’s always playing games. That sh*t takes a lot of energy–big dick energy, that is.
6. The Night King
This dude goes around murdering people for like, no apparent reason? Kind of a dick move, but also a big dick move. Guy gives zero f*cks. Like, he literally came to slay.
5. Just Like, Dragons In General
Dragons can fly, breathe fire, and are generally terrifying and beautiful. This is the big dick energy that Westeros deserves.
4. Daenerys Targaryen
She is the mother of dragons, need I say more? I don’t need to, but I will. Daenerys started out as a servant-bride, who then simultaneously rebirthed herself and three dragons by surviving a fire, and continued to casually gather a massive army of soldiers who have all bent the knee to her as their queen. Swing that big dick energy around, girl.
3. Cersei Lannister
Cersei has two modes: drinking wine while arching her brows, and mercilessly murdering people with a smirk. That makes her a giant bitch with massive dick energy. Sure, she f*cks her brother, but she is also a woman in a man’s world who has managed to rise to the top by outsmarting everyone at every move.
2. Olenna Tyrell
From the moment Olenna Tyrell walked on the scene, talking about cheese in her gorgeous headdress, we all knew we were dealing with a goddamn queen. Pretty much every line she delivered became an instant meme, as she was never not dishing out blunt insults and witty wisdoms. And she did so right up until the iconic moment that she died, when she used her last moments to talk shit about Cersei, and then calmly tell Jamie Lannister that she killed his son, right after he had decided to grant her a painless death via poison. That right there is peak BDE.
1. Arya Stark
Let’s be real, any girl who has a list of names of people to murder has the most big dick energy of all. Her entire life since the series began has been dedicated to seeking revenge via murder, so like, she might be a sociopath, but we know for sure that she is a BDE queen. Remember when she cut up two of Walder Frey’s sons, fed them to him in a pie, slit his throat, carved off his face, and used it to disguise herself as him, and then slaughtered the entire House Frey? Yeah, there isn’t a ruler out there big enough to measure that dick energy.
So these are the official rankings for now, but we’ll be watching carefully throughout Game of Thrones season 8 to see if anything changes. Maybe Jon Snow will suddenly stop being a little bitch, or maybe Dany will do something to really annoy us. Who knows? This sh*t is about to get crazy, and I can’t wait to see it all go down.
Images: HBO, Giphy (10)
HBO dropped the Game of Thrones season 8 teaser trailer this past Sunday, officially kicking off three things:
1. The countdown to the premiere of the final season *muffled sobs* on April 14th
2. The inception of hundreds of thousands of fan theories about what every single second of this 1:44 video means.
3. My very own stress dreams about this show ending.
Reddit has not slept since Sunday night. The footage of Jon, Sansa, and Arya slowly walking through the Winterfell crypts as dialogue from seasons past plays eerily overhead has taken the GOT world by storm.
To be fair, we’ve been starved for the past year and a half and would have taken literally anything at this point. Like, the trailer could have just been Tyrion drinking an entire carafe of wine and we all would have collectively lost our minds. I, for one, was reduced to vigorously following Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s wedding celebrations just for a glimpse of Sansa Sophie Turner. Alas, there were no clues to the show but like, wow. Good for Sansa.
So what can this trailer tell us, other than the fact that we’ve all got far too much time on our hands? A few notable things, actually.
Bran Can’t Sit With Us
Bran was nowhere in sight in the Stark-heavy trailer, implying that he is no longer on the same path as the rest of the Stark children. Considering the kind of sh*t that happens to Stark children, this is likely a win for Bran. Considering my own distaste for looking at Bran, it was definitely a win for me.
Jon Gets To Continue His Sad Existence For A Very Long Time
As the Starks reach the end of the crypts, they’re greeted by three statues—of themselves. This in itself is sketchy as hell, because that means they’re dead. But considering the fact that the season six trailer featured the lifeless faces of many characters, both living and dead, I’m not as concerned about that.
The battle currently raging in every comments section on the internet is about the fact that Jon looks like an older version of himself in his statue, while Sansa and Arya look like their present-day selves. Personally, I chalked that up to poor craftsmanship more than any kind of prophecy, but I’m not an expert on stone masonry, I guess.
The Dialogue Is All About Jon
As each character walks by the crypt of a dead family member, we hear dialogue they’ve spoken in previous seasons. It is, of course, all about Jon. What else is new?
From Lyanna we hear, “You have to protect him,” which was the oath she made Ned swear from her deathbed at the Tower of Joy. So it sounds like Jon is going to finally find out who he is, which will make that entire boat journey’s worth of sex with his hot aunt a little uncomfortable, I’d imagine.
From Catelyn we hear, “All this horror that has come to my family, it’s all because I couldn’t love a motherless child.” To be fair, the Starks were doomed, regardless of Catelyn being a raging bitch to Jon. But a little kindness probably wouldn’t have made matters worse or anything.
From Ned we hear, “You are a Stark. You might not have my name, but you have my blood.” Thanks to Bran’s flashback at the end of last season, we have official confirmation that Jon is, in fact, a Stark, just not the way he’d always been told. The fact that Jon was the one to walk by Ned’s statue as this was spoken only serves to further highlight the similarities between them, i.e. f*cking up a lot of stuff because, you know, HONOR.
There are surely more Easter eggs to be uncovered over the next four months, and we’d love to hear yours. Leave any theories in the comments so we can geek out together. See you soon, my friends. Recaps are coming.
Okay so sure, we all probably know that Taylor Swift’s new
very bad song “Look What You Made Me Do” is (in my opinion) obviously about Kim, Kanye, Katy Perry, Calvin Harris, The Barista Who Got Her Drink Order Wrong, and everyone else who pissed her off in 2017, but there are several clues throughout the track that actually pointed to someone else: Arya Stark. Game Of Thrones fans are used to tying together vague clues and foreshadowing, so it took less than -.5 seconds for Twitter to see the connection between Swift’s new lyrics and the life and times of the Stark family’s most fucked up ninja. Don’t believe me? Here’s a breakdown:
Remember the time those actors in Braavos put on a play about the War Of Five Kings where they portrayed Ned Stark as a huge dumbass?
Well then look at this:
I don’t like your tilted stage
The role you made me play
Of the fool
Okay, so that isn’t like, exactly her life, but then you look at this line:
I don’t like your kingdom keys
They once belonged to me
Umm…Cersei much? Or, after the last episode, maybe a veiled threat at Sansa? Unclear. Then there is this line which is CLEARLY about The Red Wedding:
You asked me for a place to sleep
Locked me out and threw a feast
Wow. Didn’t realize Taylor also had beef with Walden Frey. Interesting.
Of course, there’s one line in particular that got GOT fans screaming “A GIRL HAS NO NEW SINGLE!!” as soon as they heard it:
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
I check it once, then I check it twice
Okay. So that is definitely about Arya Stark’s famous list of people who she’s going to kill. Right!?! And obviously has us all speculating—does T Swizzle have a kill list? If so, who is on it? Kimye, obviously. Then, depending on whether or not they actually make up at the VMAS, Katy Perry. Then…Calvin? Harry Styles? Jake Gyllenhaal? THE HOUND?!?
Oh, and let’s not forget the whole “The old Taylor is dead” motif throughout the lyric video. Is this a nod to Taylor’s recent training as a Faceless Man? Was she being carried out of her apartment because she was on some kind of a Faceless Man mission? Is that why she was MIA all year? It’s all coming together.
I mean, probs not, but I think we can all agree on one thing: this theory is a fuckload more interesting than this song.