Well friends, we’ve made it through another season of Game of Thrones and what’s really fucking me up about this finale is that it didn’t give us a mind-numbing plot twist, horrifying death, or really anything that we didn’t expect. In fact, with the exception of maybe the death of Littlefinger (which I totally called but it’s fine), we all predicted just about everything that was going to happen in this finale. Jon and Dany banging? Check. Cersei somehow fucking up this truce? Check. Zombie Viserion wrecking the wall? Check. And yet, I’m still sitting here, two hours after the credits rolled, unable to formulate coherent thoughts.
Because it was so damn good.
Season seven was kind of crazy in that it gave us almost everything we wanted?? Sure, there were setbacks, but minimal ones when you consider the things we’ve suffered in the past. I spent most of this finale cheering when I fully expected myself to be on the ground weeping. But that’s the magic of Game of Thrones: even when you know exactly what’s coming, you aren’t ready.
Let’s just say that in a show of many amazing scenes and heart-wrenching reunions, nothing compares to the great Treaty of King’s Landing we were treated to at the opening. As Tyrion astutely points out later, no one gathered here likes each other. Actually, most of them openly despise each other. And yet, they’ve all come together to glare and discuss the possibility that all their petty shit doesn’t really compare to the army of zombies slowly marching their way. It’s a treat. There are so many beautiful single interactions, it’s hard to gloss over them all.
First and foremost, Bronn sitting at the top of Highgarden, looking over the thousands of Unsullied soldiers and contemplating life without a penis is the single best representation of every straight man that I’ve ever had to interact with in my life.
Bronn: What could you possibly do without a dick?
Me: A whole lot fucking better, tbh.
Also Bronn acting as the welcoming party to a bunch of people who have tried to murder each other is everything this already tense event needed. Like yeah, send out Ser Bronn of the Blackwater to be an emissary. He’s the face we want representing us.
Jaime’s face while he listens to Cersei give the Mountain detailed instructions on who to murder first kind of makes me think this is the first time he’s recognizing how truly insane she is. Like…my dude….she blew up a church with hundreds of people in it. What did you really expect here?
Cersei: Where the fuck is the dragon queen? Why didn’t she sail with the rest of them?
Me: We all know her dramatic ass is about to soar in here on the back of Drogon. Cersei, PLEASE.
Can we all take a minute to appreciate Jon Snow walking around in the near tropical climate of King’s Landing in full Northern furs? We get it. You’re a king. You still sweat.
Last but certainly not least, Brienne and the Hound bonding over the fact that they’d both do just about anything to make sure Arya survives warmed what little part of my heart that this show hasn’t decimated.
The entire crew comes together in the long abandoned dragon pit. If that seems like some obvious foreshadowing, it’s because it is. This pit is where dragons withered away and eventually died, kind of like how this truce is about to go.
Cersei attempts a dramatic entrance after Jon, Tyrion, and their entire assorted crew has taken their places. What she doesn’t know but will soon be very familiar with: No one is more dramatic than Deanerys Targaryen.
Hound: You’re even uglier than I am now
Mountain: *zombie silence *
Hound: Yeah, well, this has been nice. Burn in hell.
The brief reunion of the Clegane brothers does little for the single most awkward silence that settles in as everyone waits for the Mother of Dragons to ride her ass into this treaty. Luckily, they don’t have to wait long.
Jaime: *shits himself immediately*
Cersei: *sips wine*
While she’s doing a very convincing job of playing it cool, Cersei’s mask drops for a second when Drogon lands in the pit. She’s nervous, and not for the last time during this meeting. While I get that this is a big dramatic show of power, all I can really think about are all those spoiled children who rode elephants into their birthday parties on My Super Sweet Sixteen.
Once everyone is seated and have re-secured their thoroughly snatched wigs, Tyrion attempts to start conversations. Unfortunately, he has yet to experience the singularly annoying experience of being in the vicinity of Euron Greyjoy.
Dark Pacey Witter stands up and immediately tells Theon that he has Yara and will kill her if Theon doesn’t submit then and there. Sir. Please read the room.
Tyrion: Who the fuck are you?
Euron: Your sister’s fiancé.
Tyrion: Honestly idk which one of you I feel worse for.
Even Cersei is fucking annoyed with Euron and tells him to shut up and sit down. Marriage is going to be super fun for these two.
Tyrion starts off logically by pointing out the one thing they all have in common: no one in this circle likes each other. No one can disagree here, but still not a great reason for a meeting. At this point Jon jumps in with his likely now trademarked speech about the Army of the Dead. Usually this performance brings a room to its knees, but Jon has never been a room with Cersei Lannister. She’s unmoved, even when Dany chimes in and promises a truce until after the White Walkers are dealt with.
Enter the Hound, with a crate strapped to his back carrying the wight. I feel like there were probably better means of transportation here, but it’s fine. After a prolonged silence, the wight jumps out and immediately lunges for Cersei. If only they’d let it take her out, we could have solved half of the group’s issues in the first five minutes of the episode. But clearly their expedition was worth it because, finally, Cersei’s resolve cracks. She is visibly shook, along with everyone in attendance. Except for Qyburn of course, who is visibly aroused at the sight of a real life zombie.
In a move that shouldn’t have surprised anyone, Euron immediately bails, and announces that he’ll be taking his fleet back to the Iron Island, where they will be safe from White Walkers. Sure, wights can’t swim, but they’ve got a dragon. This plan seems flawed to me, and yet no one is stopping him, probably because they are all openly hoping Euron is the first to go.
If you thought Cersei immediately accepting that truce was far too easy, it’s because it was. Yeah, she’s down to put their differences aside to fight the Army of the Undead, but only if Jon agrees to stay neutral in the ensuing war between her and Dany. Clearly she didn’t see their epic handholding session last week.
Cersei knows that Ned Stark’s son would be too honorable to make a fake vow in front of every important person in Westeros, and she’s absolutely right. Which is why Jon, the man who is has been campaigning for peace in the face of the White Walkers at all fucking costs for the past six years, calmly and clearly denies her request.
Dany: Um that was cute but also what the fuck
Tyrion: You know what’s super cool, Jon? Lying.
Cersei storms off with Jaime and company in tow, and not even an impassioned plea from Brienne can get him to stick around. It is Cersei’s world and Jaime is just living in it. Now that Jon has tanked the truce that he has spent almost this entire show working towards, it’s become a fun game of “who is Cersei least likely to murder right now” as they all decide who to send in to try and talk some sense into her.
Tyrion wins out in the end and opts to go try and convince Cersei to drop her ego in favor of not being turned into a zombie. Could you imagine a wight Cersei Lannister? Bye bye, Night King. There’s a new bitch in town and she looks good in black.
He runs into Jaime on his way to his likely death and honestly, can we all just take a second and imagine the lovely life these two could have had if Cersei weren’t around? Imagine the laughter. The joy. The not always thinking about murdering each other. What fun.
Cersei and Tyrion sitting here and hashing out 20-plus years’ worth of resentment is honestly the most realistic thing that’s ever happened on this show. It’s like any family holiday after the kids have gone to sleep and your mom and her sister are four bottles of wine deep. Secrets are coming out.
Tyrion: Fucking kill me.
Tyrion: Man I did not see that coming, where is the wine?
With all their feuding and hatred for each other I have completely failed to notice that the only thing these two have in common is their inhumane love of wine. Together they probably singlehandedly keep the Westerosi wine industry afloat.
In the end, I think Tyrion’s saving grace is that Cersei knows he truly did care for Myrcella and Tommen, whose deaths she completely blames on him. Killing Tywin made the Lannisters weak, and circling families moved in and started hacking away at their power. She tries to go on some lengthy speech about family over all, but Tyrion cuts her off immediately with the realization that she’s pregnant. He figured it out faster than I did, and I watched the episode where she actually announced it.
Back in the dragon pit, Jon and Dany have gone into their own secret pow wow, rehashing the fact that their grand plan is essentially went up in smoke because of Jon’s giant crush on her.
Dany talks about how chaining up dragons was the beginning of the end for her family and how their death brought the realization that without dragons, the Targaryens were nothing. This might be her projecting a bit after the loss of Viserion, but best boyfriend in the world Jon Snow is having none of that self-deprecating bullshit. He believes in her, with or without dragons, with or without children, and especially with or without clothing if you catch my drift.
Dany: I can’t have children.
Jon: Who told you that?
Dany: This random blood witch who murdered my husband and spoke exclusively in riddles.
Jon: Ah yes, a trusted source then.
Honestly I’ve never watched two people eye-fuck each other so aggressively while discussing the impending apocalypse. Someone get these two a room STAT.
Tyrion walks back into the arena and everyone is shocked to see him alive. They’re even more shocked about what follows…Cersei and her entire squad. She’s agreed to the truce under some new rules: The Lannister armies will not stand down, but they will march North to fight alongside Jon and Dany.
Spoiler alert: She’s lying. It’s this thing adults do. Someone please explain it to Jon.
Cersei: When all this shit is done, maybe all you assholes can remember that I agreed to help despite the fact that you’re all going to try and murder me anyway.
Dany: Read at 10:15am.
Up North, Sansa finally finds out that Jon has bent the knee to Dany and she is less than psyched. To be fair, without any context this is kind of a big deal and you know Jon’s eloquence in war battles does not extend to letters to his sister. In modern times, Jon Snow definitely reads iMessage novels and responds with a “K.” His letter probably went something like “Sansa, I am bending the knee to Dany. Talk soon. X. Jon. PS – Winter is Coming.” Thanks for the overwhelming lack of details.
Sansa: I can’t believe he’d do this
Littlefinger: I mean…Daenerys is crazy hot
Sansa: What does that have to do with anything?
Littlefinger: …oh right, you’re like 15, huh.
Baelish is not so subtly implying that Sansa should overthrow Jon and if that means getting rid of Arya in the process…so be it. He puts the idea in Sansa’s head that Arya only came back to kill Sansa for betraying their family and marrying their enemies. He convinces her that Arya’s grand plot is to become Lady of Winterfell, despite the fact that Arya has made it clear she’s never wanted to rule anything. I swear to GOD if this isn’t just some ploy by Arya and Sansa to kill Littlefinger and they actually turn on each other I will lose my goddamn mind.
The good news is I’m a prophet, and that’s exactly what it was.
Jon, Dany, and the team are already strategizing their move North. Jorah suggests that Dany fly to Winterfell to avoid coming into contact with any lingering enemies in the North, but Jon argues that arriving together will actually help the Northerners believe that Dany and Jon are allies. Also, all that romantic travel time together? Can you imagine?
Dany decides to sail together, because riding in on a dragon might look like she’s there to fuck shit up rather than save everyone. Jorah, assuredly back in the friend zone, takes this loss in stride. Jon, victorious, is surely en route to pound town.
Theon pulls Jon aside to rehash the incident in King’s Landing and discuss his general role in the fall of the Starks.
Theon: So…you told Cersei the truth…when you could have lied.
Jon: Yeah I think we’ve all covered that at this point.
Until this moment I kind of forgot that Jon and Theon really did grow up together. But while Theon sits there and recounts all the times that Jon was right, even when he was young, it makes you remember that once upon a time, everyone wasn’t trying to murder each other all the time. I’m nostalgic for something I never even got to experience because this show has effectively turned me into a puddle of unnecessary and unwanted emotion. Jon and Theon were both unwanted sons whose only saving grace was that Ned Stark had too much honor to do anything other than raise them as his own. I’m not crying. It’s fine.
Jon: I’ve done a lot of things I regret.
Theon: Not compared to me.
Jon: No shit, you’re actual garbage.
Theon’s come-to-Jesus moment about doing the right thing is cute, but honestly so poorly timed. Like dude, there are some fairly pressing matters to attend to but sure, let’s discuss your daddy issues right now.
Jon: I forgive you, you spineless worm.
Jon’s speech about Theon not having to choose his identity between Greyjoy and Stark is some very serious foreshadowing for the undoubtedly near future when Jon finds out he’s got a similar decision to make: Stark or Targaryen. What are the odds that Bran busts in moments after him and Dany are done banging to let him know that they are in fact related? Considering Brann’s general lack of timing or usefulness, I’m going to go with Very High.
Theon lets Jon know that he’s finally grown a pair and is going to go save Yara. Hope he wasn’t looking for any kind of congratulations, because he absolutely isn’t getting one from the Honorable Jon Snow, who would have busted Euron’s door down three weeks ago to save his sister.
The rest of the Iron Islanders are not so moved by Theon’s sudden surge of bravery. They have no plans to rescue Yara, and instead are looking to save themselves and hide out until Winter passes.
Iron Islander: We’re going to sail to a quiet island, kill all the men, rape the women, and then build a life on their graves.
Theon: Calm down, Christopher Columbus.
A fight ensues in which Theon gets wrecked in front of all his men, likely losing any last bits of respect they might have for him. All in a day’s work for poor Reek.
Iron Islander: Stay down or I will kill you.
The tides turn when the dude goes to knee Theon in the balls and is met with no resistance. Like, Theon actually smiles while the guy is going to town on his crotch. At this point, every other man watching this fight take place immediately switches sides because no one wants to be against the guy who laughs while he’s getting kicked in the dick.
For potentially the first time in his life, Theon wins. His men applaud him, and they’re off on their way to save Yara. Better late than never, I guess.
Sansa summons Arya to the Great Hall for what I’m really hoping is a big fake display of tension that ends in the murder of Littlefinger. I mean, Brann is there. What could possibly go wrong?
Arya looks a bit uneasy surrounded by soldiers. Sansa tells her that what’s about to happen isn’t something that she wants to do but something that she has to do for the North, and then proceeds to start listing charges. Murder and treason are on the table, and someone needs to answer to them. But who is that person?
MOTHER FUCKING PETYR BAELISH. THAT’S RIGHT. NO ONE FUCKS WITH THE STARKS.
Sansa: How do you plea?
Arya: My sister asked you a question.
Petyr: * KILL BILL SIRENS *
Sansa starts reading off the charges that Baelish has racked up since season one and honestly, it is wild. I forgot half the shit he’s pulled, including instigating the conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters aka the reason everyone is in this mess in the first place. Maybe another day, Petyr could talk his way out of this, but that was before Bran, Master of Receipts showed up to start taking people down. Fucking finally.
Baelish: I loved your mother since I was a boy.
Baelish: I loved you more than anyone.
Sansa thanks Petyr for all he’s taught her and then lets Arya slice his throat. This entire room of hard-ass Northerners watches him bleed out on the floor and
Sansa: * Commands the death of Petyr Baelish after he spent years plotting against her family, manipulating her, and generally being a giant fucking creep *
Me: Skin clears, hair shining, crops flourishing, credit score raising, living my best life.
Cersei interrupts Jaime’s strategy session to let him know that he’s a fucking idiot for believing anything she’s ever said. Fair.
Cersei: I have no intention of helping them fight the White Walkers and I never did.
All of us:
Sure, she’s completely betrayed everyone again and did the one thing Jon wouldn’t do, but Cersei makes a pretty fair point: If dragons and the Dothraki and Jon, the zombie expert, can’t take out the White Walkers, what good would a southern army do? Cersei knows that Dany is down a dragon which means something is up. She’s confident that the army of the Iron Bank, the 20,000 strong Golden Company made up of mercenaries, will come through for them once Jon and Dany have defeated the Army of the Dead, and she knows this because Euron left their little powwow and sailed straight to Essos to recruit them.
Cersei: No one walks away from me.
Jaime: Yeah I’m starting to see that.
Jaime is pissed that Cersei conspired with Euron behind his back and tells her that he’s going to honor his pledge and take their armies North anyway. Cersei threatens to charge him with treason, and for the second time this episode one of Cersei’s brothers dares her to kill him. However, this time, she doesn’t seem to hesitate.
That’s right. Cersei came closer to killing Jaime then she did Tyrion, and that is the single most shocking thing to happen in this finale. Not even I, the great Game of Thrones prophet, saw it coming.
Sure, Jaime does walk away in the end, but there was a moment where we all weren’t sure if he would. Like that, Cersei has severed her last true ally, the only one who cares about her and not her power.
As Jaime rides away, hopefully North, hopefully into Brienne’s steady and strong arms, it begins to snow. In the South. This does not bode well for anyone, but especially not for all those poor souls in Fleabottom.
Sam and Gilly arrive in Winterfell, and Sam heads straight to see Brann. I realize this is going to be an important conversation but I’m already mad that I have to listen to it.
Sam: What happened to you beyond the wall?
Brann: A lot of not chill shit.
Bran gives Same an explanation of the Three Eyed Raven business that he should have given Sansa and Arya about two weeks ago. He also tells Sam that Jon is en route to Winterfell with Daenerys, and that he needs to know the truth about who he is ASAP.
Sam: What are you talking about?
Bran: R + L = J
Sam: Of course.
For real, Bran just fucking lays out the entirety R + L = J for Sam and the whole world stopped, as if we all haven’t known this to be absolutely true for the past year.
Bran: Yeah so his last name should be Sand. Wild right.
Somehow, Sam brings a little fact to the table that magic-ass Bran didn’t know: Jon isn’t a bastard. Just like the scroll that Gilly read told us all two weeks ago, Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia and married Lyanna in secret. Bran has a vision to support this seconds later.
These two giant fucking nerds are having the epiphany of a lifetime in a quiet room in Winterfell: that Robert’s entire rebellion was built on a literal throne of lies. Jon is legitimate, the heir to the throne, and this entire voiceover is occurring as he heads to Daenerys’ room, his AUNT’S ROOM, for some sweet, sweet, incestuous sex.
That sound you heard Sunday night was every single person in America screeching at the exact same time.
The voiceover also heavily implies that Jon and Dany are in love and that sound you hear is the screeching of every single person in America as we all openly root for incest. Can’t wait for all of this to come crashing down when they both arrive to Winterfell and Bran drops some knowledge on them.
Jon finding out he fell in love with his aunt:
Dany finding out that she fell in with her rival:
Lyanna: His name is Aegon.
Ned: JON YOU SAY? A FINE NAME.
Like. Yes. We all knew this was the truth. We all knew this would happen. But listening to Bran’s monotone voice fucking confirm that Jon, the bastard who has suffered everything, was never really a bastard at all and in fact the one true heir to the Iron Throne while he and Dany stare lovingly into each other’s eyes, butt-ass naked, is going to be the end of me. I’m calling in sick to work for the rest of the week. No one talk to me.
Engrave “He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the Iron Throne” on my fucking gravestone.
Sansa and Arya bonding over the cold-blooded murder of Littlefinger is the only thing keeping me from passing out at this moment. The two of them sit there, compliment and insult each other, and then quote Ned and it’s fine we’re all just sobbing.
Down at the Weirwood, acting like he hasn’t just singlehandedly ruined and saved all our lies, Brann is having yet another vision. In it, Tormund and Beric are holding down the fort at Eastwatch, looking out into that vast expanse of the North.
Except, by holding down the fort, I mean watching as the entire White Walker army comes marching out of the trees towards the wall. There’s a noticeable addition to their ranks: Viserion, who shows up to shoot some blue fire at the wall and also directly into my god damn heart. To make matters worse, THE NIGHT KING IS RIDING HIM. SURE. FINE. THIS IS FINE.
Tormund and Beric don’t even fuck around with pretending to try and fight. They just start screaming, letting everyone know that it’s time to get the fuck out of there. You know what’s really effective at tearing down a giant magical ice wall that’s stood for centuries? Zombie dragon fire. No one even has to yell Dracarys. Viserion just goes to town on the wall and an entire section of it crumbles down like it’s made of Legos.
Just like that, the White Walkers have breached the wall and begin their march into the North. Meanwhile, Jon and Dany are hanging out on their love boat, blissfully unaware that they’re related and sailing towards imminent death.
It’s fine. Really.
Oh, and we won’t get to find out what happens until 2019, which gives us plenty of time to recover, reflect, and then immediately start writing think pieces about how this all goes down. The only thing I can sit here and say with 100% confidence is that it’s not going to be a happy ending for anyone.