Oh, Game of Thrones. You got me right in the gut with these past few episodes. There has certainly been some clunky plotting and some silly character choices. Like why has Tyrion suddenly become terrible at his job and why does Jaime’s ending feel a little underwhelming?
But good gods if I didn’t love every second of it. This is your back half of season 7 recap!
Eastwatch (Season 7, Episode 5)
On the Rose Road: I was totally right! Jaime is not dead, which shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone.
Elsewhere, Dany is leaning into her crazy. She offers the captured Lannister soldiers a choice: “Bend the knee or die.” Okay, Dany. That’s not really a choice, especially when your fire-breathing dragon is literally standing over them.
Only two, Randyll and Dickon Tarly, stand up to Dany. What do they get in return? They get burnt to a crisp. No one will miss Daddy Tarly. But Dickon Tarly was pretty and is now a pile of ash. This means that Samwell might be rightful heir of Horn Hall. Except he’s stuck in the Citadel and has no idea what has befallen his family.
Winterfell: Bran is still being the family weirdo, this time warging into a conspiracy of ravens (yes, it’s literally called a conspiracy) and checking out the wight army beyond the wall. That is, until the Night King sees him. This moment led to a pretty interesting theory that Bran might actually be the Night King himself.
Arya observes Sansa overseeing a meeting of the Lords of Winterfell. Some of them are angry with Jon for leaving and are ready to bend the knee to Sansa. She uses her diplomacy to keep the house in order, and Sansa is quite good at leading.
She’s come a long way from Season 1, but Arya doesn’t see it that way. Arya has a sneaking suspicion that Sansa is in fact plotting against Jon, if not in words, then certainly in her heart. Arya goes so far to accuse Sansa of wishing Jon dead so she can rule the North. Sisters, amiright?
It’s not surprising that these two aren’t getting along. They were fundamentally different as children and their time apart has led them down vastly different roads. They’ve become more extreme versions of their childhood selves.
And Arya is getting a little big for her britches. She might have gone up against some worthy foes in Braavos, but nothing has quite prepared her for Littlefinger. They stalk each other, but Arya’s the one who falls into the trap. Littlefinger leaves a scroll for Arya to find. It’s the one that Sansa under duress wrote in Season 1, urging Robb to bend the knee to Joffrey.
Oldtown: There’s an Archmaesters meeting and Sam is bringing in the scrolls. He overhears the Archmaesters discussing a raven that’s just arrived from Winterfell. It’s from Bran and the Archmaesters are dismissive of its contents. But Sam speaks up, telling them how Bran lived beyond the Wall for years when no one else could. He doesn’t convince them to take it seriously, but they at least agree to investigate. Sam leaves, frustrated. And the Archmaesters discuss the death of Sam’s family. Sam hasn’t even been told.
Later on, Sam and Gilly are going through the books. Gilly is going through a Maester’s diary, recounting the number of stairs in the Citadel and bowel movements he had, and reveals the most important bit of information this season. The Maester annulled the marriage of Prince Rhaegar and Elia Martell, which means the “R +L” fan theory is correct. Rhaegar married Lyanna Stark, which also means Jon Snow has more claim to the throne that Dany!
Sam completely ignores Gilly, triggering every female audience member who’s ever been in a work meeting with men. He laments his choices and decides to leave the Citadel, but not before stealing a bunch of books (seemingly at random). Together Sam, Gilly, and baby Sam leave Old Town. He still doesn’t know about his family.
Dragonstone: Jon is walking around super casual, when Dany and the dragons return from the Loot Train Battle. And Drogon let’s Jon pet his face! If that’s not a true Targaryen sign then I don’t know what is! Dany and Jon continue to stare at each other with growing affection, making all of us gag/root for incest like we never have before.
Jorah returns like a long-lost ex-boyfriend. Dany hugs Jorah in a touching moment, with new boo Jon Snow watching the whole thing. Tyrion and Varys discuss Dany’s impetuous ways, specifically killing the Tarlys. It’s Tyrion’s job to keep her in check and he needs to step up his game. They also discuss a raven that’s just come from Bran, which of course Varys read.
Later, Jon reads the scroll. He learns Arya has returned to Winterfell and that Bran had the vision at Eastwatch. It’s Tyrion who comes up with a plan: capture a wight and bring it to King’s Landing. He convinces the group that he can get a meeting if Jaime plans it. And despite the Suicide Squad aspect of this mission, they all agree.
King’s Landing: Jaime returns to King’s Landing to inform Cersei of their failed mission. They’ve lost most of their armies and he sees no way to defeat Dany. He also informs Cersei of Olenna’s last words, giving Cersei much grief and the audience great satisfaction.
Davos gets into smuggler mode and brings Tyrion to King’s Landing. Tyrion, with the help of Bronn, has a meeting with Jaime that ends in success. These two brothers love each other and it’s awesome. It also might just save the world.
Davos heads to Flea Bottom and into a blacksmith’s shop, where he finds Gendry. Yep, Gendry is no longer rowing, but has been forging Lannister swords. Grabbing his weapon (a giant war hammer), they head off.
Two Lannister soldiers greet them at their boat. Davos, an experienced smuggler, convinces them that he’s there to sell fermented crab to the brothels. It seems to work out just fine, until Tyrion arrives to muck it up. Gendry puts his hammer to good use and smashes the soldiers’ heads.
After Jamie’s meeting with Tyrion, he goes to speak to Cersei. Qyburn is there, whispering with Cersei. After he is dismissed, Jaime tells Cersei that Dany wants a truce so they may fight the Army of the Dead. Cersei doesn’t believe in the White Walkers and besides, she’s hella pregnant. Jaime seems excited, and Cersei whispers that he must “never betray me again.”
Dragonstone Part 2: Davos, Tyrion, and Gendry return to Dragonstone. Yes, Dragonstone and King’s Landing are very close together. Gendry immediately tells Jon that he’s Robert Baratheon’s bastard, directly disobeying Davos’ orders. But Jon and Gendry form a bastards bromance, and they all head to Eastwatch.
Eastwatch-By-The-Sea: Okay, so Eastwatch actually is very, very, very far from Dragonstone. How they got there so quickly, we’ll never know. Jon, Gendry, Davos, and Jorah all arrive and have a sit down with Tormund Giantsbane. Tormund shows them his new prisoners, the Brothers without Banners and Sandor Clegane. Like an Ocean’s Eleven reunion, they all quickly establish why they hate each other. But they all agree to fight together because they’re “all breathing.”
In the last scene, all of them (except Davos, who has volunteered to stay behind), head out towards the Army of the Dead.
Beyond The Wall (Season 7, Episode 6)
Beyond the Wall: Our favorite Suicide Squad has been marching through the frozen tundra of the North for who knows how long. Gendry, the only one with head protection, continues to “whinge” about how cold it is. Everyone else is an experienced soldier. Gendry’s like an innocent child compared to them.
Everyone gets to have conversations to air out their grievances or establish a relationship. Gendry confronts the Brothers, Jon tries to return Longclaw, The Hound talks to Tormund about “Brienne of fucking Tarth.” Jorah recalls the Battle of Pyke with Thoros of Myr, who was too drunk to remember it.
Out of nowhere a giant, terrifying, frozen wight polar bear attacks. It’s like you had a zombie nightmare about Lost. Everything is terrible, also the bear is on fire. They manage to kill it, but not before it fatally maims Thoros.
They soldier on, eventually running into a small band of wights. Fun fact we learned here: when you kill the lead White Walker, the wights they created all die. This will be very helpful during the Great War, I’m sure. They find one wight left alive and tie it up. But it’s only a few minutes before the rest of the army finds them and attacks. Jon sends Gendry back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Dany.
Together, they run across a frozen lake carrying the captive wight. They make it to a rock in the middle of the lake. The ice cracks and hundreds of wights fall into the water below. For a while, they’re safe.
Meanwhile, Gendry makes it to Eastwatch. A raven is sent to Dragonstone.
After spending the night on the rock (during which time Thoros has died), Clegane starts throwing rocks at the wights. One of them skids across the lake, proving that the lake has once again frozen over. At this point, they’re basically screwed. They’re completely surrounded and the wights are coming. Uh oh.
Winterfell: Arya is competing with Bran for Stark family creep. First, she relays a story to Sansa about how she learned to use a bow and arrow. And then she reveals the treacherous scroll she found implicating Sansa in betraying House Stark. Arya is off the deep end and no one, especially Sansa, knows what she’s going to do with this new information.
Sansa confides in Littlefinger about her altercation with Arya, which seems ridiculous because we know that Littlefinger is pitting them against one another. We also know that Sansa is wary of Littlefinger, so why would she have him as a confident? He suggests Brienne of Tarth might be a good barrier between the sisters, as she’s sworn to protect both Stark sisters.
Afterwards, Sansa gets a raven calling her to King’s Landing. So she sends Brienne. This seems fishy, as Littlefinger just dropped her name and now Sansa is sending away one of her best allies.
And in the final scene of this week’s Arya versus Sansa showdown, Sansa sneaks into Arya’s room and discovers her bag of Faces. Arya appears and describes the Game of Faces to Sansa, sufficiently creeping her out. Arya threatens Sansa’s life, then flips the script when she hands Sansa her knife.
Dragonstone: Dany and Tyrion have a chat while they wait for the men to return from Eastwatch. Dany says she likes that Tyrion’s not a “hero,” meaning he won’t do stupid things to show off. Drogo, Dario, and Jon are all heroes and they’ve all almost died because of it.
Tyrion notes that all these men have also fallen in love with her at some point. She seems flustered at the idea of Jon being in love with her. I can’t tell if Tyrion is pro- or anti- Jon Snow. All is know is that he has no idea who Jon really is.
He attempts to tell Dany that burning the Tarlys was a bad idea, but she won’t hear any of it. He also brings up the idea of succession. Since she can’t have children, she needs to consider a democratic process. Dany, again, won’t entertain the idea.
Later on, Dany receives the raven from Eastwatch and heads off with her dragons despite Tyrion’s protestations.
Beyond the Wall Part 2: Dany saves the day! Her and Jon share a moment, because the showrunners really want us to know that these two are pretty much in love. Drogon and his siblings start burning wights down. Jon fights off some oncoming wights so the others can climb aboard Drogon. They’re almost able to make an escape.
And then the Night King kills a dragon! Can you handle that? Because I couldn’t! The dragon basically explodes into a fiery mass and sinks into the water after being speared. This is the penultimate episode of this season, so someone major had to die. And it was Viserion the Dragon. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, just wait!
While everyone is frozen in shock, Jon sees the Night King pick up another spear. This dude came prepared. Jon starts yelling for them to run away while he fends off the wights. Dany is hesitant, but does so. They fall fly off, leaving Jon behind.
Jon fights until he falls through the lake. At this point I genuinely thought Jon would be dead forever – except he comes out of the water, dripping wet. Considering how Jaime went in episode 4, I don’t think the showrunners know how dead these guys would actually be. Just as John’s preparing to meet his doom, a rider comes to his rescue. It’s Uncle Benjen! He sends Jon off on his horse and Benjen finally meets his demise fighting the wights.
At Eastwatch, Dany is waiting to see if Jon will return. She’s about to give up when a horse comes through the trees. Jon’s about to die from hypothermia, so the squad strips him bare. Dany sees his scars for the first time.
As they’re sailing across the narrow sea, Dany and Jon have an interesting conversation. Their attraction to each is palpable, half the fandom is screaming “No!” and the other half is screaming, “Make out!” Jon bends the knee to Dany, Dany agrees to fight the wights, they hold hands, and the audience freaks out.
Back beyond the Wall, the wights are pulling giant chains. How they got them and where they’ve been hiding them no one knows, so don’t worry about it! They pull the corpse of the dead dragon out of the water. The Night King strolls over, and touches its snout. One blue eye magically opens. We have an ice dragon, ladies and gentlemen!
The Dragon and the Wolf (Season 7, Episode 7)
King’s Landing: Bronn looks out to see the Unsullied standing in the fields, swiftly followed by the war cries of the Dothraki. It’s clear Dany has brought her whole army to let the Lannisters know just who they’re messing with.
Dany’s crew (Tyrion, Jon, Davos, Theon, Sandor Clegane, and Missendei) arrive at King’s Landing. They’re greeted by Team Cersei (Jaime, Bronn). Bronn and Tyrion have to reminisce. The Hound and Brienne have to bond over their little murderer Arya. Anyone hoping for a Jaime/Brienne make out session was sorely disappointed.
The conclave takes place in the Dragon Pit, a ruin that once held the Targaryen dragons is also where they were allowed to grow small and weak. Once everyone is seated, Cersei makes a grand entrance with her crew (Euron, Qyburn, and the Mountain). Dany makes an even grander entrance with her two dragons, infuriating Cersei.
Everyone gets a chance to take jabs at one another. Sandor talks to his brother, no CleganeBowl yet, sports fans. Euron interrupts Tyrion to antagonize Theon (also, why is Theon even there?). Eventually, Tyrion gets the ball rolling and Sandor brings out the wight.
Sandor kicks over the box holding the wight and it runs for Cersei. The audience wished that Cersei would die then and there. But alas, the wight is reigned back by its chains. Sandor cuts its hand off and throws it to the ground, where it crawls around. Eventually they kill it with dragonglass. Qyburn is way too interested in the re-animated zombie hand.
Now that everyone is a sufficiently terrified, a few things happen. First, Euron retreats to the Iron Islands since the wights don’t swim. Second, Cersei agrees to a truce, but only if Jon Snow remains neutral after the Great Zombie War. Because, you know, he’s the King of the North.
Jon is nauseatingly honest and says he can’t do that because he’s already pledged for Dany. Okay, Jon, we get it. You have a giant crush on the Mother of Dragons and you cannot tell a lie. He’s the Boy Scout of Westeros. Now the whole plan is off and they went to the Wall for nothing.
Cersei trounces off and Tyrion, ever the diplomat, trounces off after her. Jaime can’t talk sense into her, so maybe Tyrion can? We’ll find out next season because, after realizing Cersei’s pregnant, the scene immediately cuts away. Next thing we know, Cersei returns to pledge her armies at no cost. What?
Now that the conclave is over, they can all return to Winterfell to begin planning for the Zombie War. Dany agrees to take a boat, despite Jorah insisting she take her dragons. We all know what’s really going on, Dany.
As they leave, Jaime also begins planning for the Lannisters army to prepare for the Zombie War. Except Cersei has yet again switched sides. They’re not helping. They’re going to wait it out and have their child and all will be fine.
She’s clearly lost it, and she loses Jaime in the process. I never thought that they would break-up and both of them would live to tell the tale. Jaime finally frees himself of Cersei’s insanity, partially because she’s going to replace him with her new child.
Jaime trots off on his horse just as snow begins to fall in King’s Landing.
Winterfell: The whole Arya versus Sansa story arc is getting old, but it’s coming to its end. Sansa looks out over the walls of Winterfell and contemplates her next move. She then heads inside and asks for her sister, Arya.
In front of a council, Arya is brought to stand in front of Sansa and Bran. Littlefinger looks on, pleased with his handy work. Sansa begins with, “You stand accused of treason and murder. Do you deny it- LORD BAELISH.” Eat that, Littlefinger!
In the most satisfying death of this season, Littlefinger pleads for his life, denying his involvement in the deaths of Lysa Arryn, Jon Arryn, and the conspiracy to frame the Lannisters for Bran’s attempted murder.
He tries to manipulate Sansa but it doesn’t work. He demands to return to the Vale, but receives no protection. Finally, he begs on his knees, espousing his love for Catelyn and Sansa. Arya slits his throat with the knife he gave to Bran in episode 4. Arya and Sansa agree that while they may be sisters and they may fight, God help anyone who tries to come between them.
Sam shows up to Winterfell and goes to see Bran. There’s some fumbling of conversation, which is the norm for Sam, but eventually Bran does his damn job as the Three Eyed Raven and admits that Jon is a Targaryen.
Sam fills in the details of the marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna. We even get to see the marriage take place thanks to Bran’s special vision. What makes this moment, the moment that the audience has been waiting for all season, so… squicky… is that it’s a split scene with Jon and Dany doing the nasty on the boat. #PraiseThatButt. All this is happening while Tyrion stands glowering in the hallway.
The Wall: Who really cares how this went down, the point is the ice dragon brought down the wall and maybe killed Tormund! We don’t know yet!
End of Season Thoughts:
- Jaime is gonna kill Cersei. Or Cersei’s unborn child is gonna be the death of her. But either way, she and Jaime are going to die together because #twincest.
- Jon and Dany are going to be deep in love and get married. Then she’s going to find out his true parentage and she’s gonna freak the hell out. Also, he’s going to learn to fly on the other dragon, conveniently named for his dad, Rhaegar.
- Still think Theon’s gonna die next season.
- Tormund’s not dead, Tormund’s not dead, Tormund’s not dead.
- Bran is NOT the Night King.