Welcome to our weekly recap of Game of Thrones, the show that makes you scream obscenities at your television. We’re well beyond the books and no one knows what’s going to happen, although as you might imagine, there are as many theories as there are characters in the series—and that’s not a small number. This season promises to be epic—winter has come, the dragon queen has returned home, and the stage seems set for one last, monumental war…
I know up above I said that this show makes you curse at the screen, but tonight, at least in parts, I was screaming with excitement. Lots of things have finally come together, some things are unraveling, and dear God, I’m not sure I can recap this in any coherent fashion. I’ve been involved with this story since the first book came out, and here we are seeing the culmination of so many storylines. Help…
Okay, here we go. The big climate summit at King’s Landing goes off on schedule, with Dany making a dramatic entrance on Drogo. Once again, just like with the Traveling Therapy Group last episode, there are characters meeting up and chatting–Tyrion and Podrick, Tyrion and Bronn, Brienne and Jaime, and even the Hound and the Mountain do the sibling glare for a couple of minutes. But nothing tops this tension-filled discussion of the Great War. Tyrion tries to start everybody out politely, only to be immediately interrupted by Euron, threatening to kill Yara if Theon doesn’t bugger off. A semblance of order is eventually restored, and the Hound brings in a crate full of WTF. He kicks it over and the wight goes straight for Cersei, who actually displays a facial expression as the Hound pulls the wight up just short of her face. Jon demonstrates how to kill the thing with fire and dragonglass, and Qyburn looks like he can think of no better pastime than dissecting one of these freaky things. Euron does what he wanted Theon to do and buggers off to the Iron Islands, reasoning that if wights can’t swim, he’ll just wait things out.
However, even though Cersei now believes in the wights, she has no intention of helping unless Jon agrees to be neutral. He could lie at this point, but instead he tells the truth: he’s pledged to Dany. Cersei flounces off in a huff, with Brienne catching Jaime and begging him to talk to her. But that’s not the important conversation that we’re about to see. That honor goes to Tyrion realizing that his only option is to go and talk to Cersei himself. He walks into the lioness’s den, and the conversation initially goes about as well as you’d think. Cersei nearly orders the Mountain to kill Tyrion, but can’t bring herself to kill a family member–the thing she is most angry at Tyrion for. She’s more concerned with saving her family than anything else, and Tyrion clues in to the fact that she’s pregnant.
Back in the dragonpit, Dany and Jon are having a chat about Jon’s inability to lie, when Tyrion comes back, followed by Cersei. She pledges to send her armies to help fight the army of the dead, and everybody begins to think that maybe the world isn’t screwed after all. But wait… Jaime finds that Cersei was lying all along. Euron didn’t abandon them–he’s off to Essos to bring back the Golden Company (including elephants!) and Cersei has no intention of committing her armies to a losing battle. Jaime’s attempts to reason with her come to nothing, but almost get him killed by the Mountain too. But in the end, he leaves Cersei behind, leaving King’s Landing as snow begins to fall. Winter has come to the South.
Back at Dragonstone, plans are moving on apace to get their armies moving North, and Jon and Dany decide to sail North together, to show everyone that they’re united. Theon, who’s had little to do this season but get his ass kicked, has a heart to heart with Jon, who forgives him for what he can. Theon races off to save his sister, but runs up against the contempt of the Iron Islands sailors. He and the leader have a seemingly one-sided fight, with Theon getting his ass handed to him, until the other guy tries to knee him in the balls… and nothing happens. Theon actually smiles at this, and turns the ass-kicking back on his opponent. Off they go to save Yara.
Back up at Winterfell, Littlefinger is continuing his quest to drive a wedge between Sansa and Arya. He tells Sansa about a little game he plays, in which he thinks of the worst reason for someone to do and say what they do, and then see how well their actions and words fit that reason. Sansa realizes that the worst thing that Arya might want to do is kill her and become Lady of Winterfell. So now what does Sansa do? After a lot of thought, she calls Arya to the Great Hall. Arya faces Sansa calmly, asking her if she really wants to go through with what’s coming, and Sansa does. She pronounces charges of murder and treason, and then asks “How do you plead… Lord Baelish?” And I have never screamed so loud at a TV show in my life. Littlefinger tries desperately to weasel his way out of what’s coming, even dropping to his knees to beg, but all for nothing. Apparently the Stark siblings have been gathering evidence with Bran’s neat new abilities, and they know all of his secrets, all of the ways he turned the Starks against each other. Sansa pronounces him guilty, and Arya slits his throat with Catspaw–his own dagger. He collapses and dies as the siblings watch silently.
Later, Samwell arrives at Winterfell and goes to see Bran. The conversation that ensues is the biggest bombshell of this series. Bran knows that Jon wasn’t Ned’s bastard, but instead he’s Lyanna Stark’s son. But it’s Samwell who provides the crucial piece of information–proving that was listening to Gilly after all!–that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. Bran immediately wargs off to check this intel, and sure enough, we see the pair getting married. And we finally, finally, get Jon Snow’s real name: Aegon Targaryen, the rightfully born ruler of the Iron Throne. Robert’s Rebellion was founded on a lie. None of these terrible events need to have happened.
Meanwhile, on a boat, Jon goes to Dany’s cabin and the next thing we know, the two are having a passionate love scene. Interspersed with this is the aforementioned revelation of Jon’s parentage, which we viewers all know means that Jon is screwing his aunt. We’re not sure how to feel about this, but we’re still kind of rooting for these two crazy kids.
But none of this may matter in the end, because at Eastwatch, the army of the dead has finally arrived. The Night King swoops in on Viserion, and the dragon breathes what looks to be cold fire. The Wall, which has stood for eight thousand years, crumbles. The army of the dead enters Westeros.
And that’s our season! At this point, all I can think is that the showrunners better not make us wait two years to finish the story, or all the fans may riot. But at least this season has been immensely satisfying, bringing many characters together and resolving some long-standing questions. I’m looking forward to what comes next. Thanks for reading!