Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 Recap

All of Westeros gathers to prepare for the beginning of the end.

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team 

 

A critical parlay. A rat exterminated. A long-awaited revelation. A terrifying escalation of a supernatural threat. The season finale of Game of Thrones covered a lot of ground. As we huddle through the Long Night before Season 8, “The Dragon and the Wolf” gave us enough of all the shocking, satisfying, and awe-inspiring moments to tide us over.

 

First, the confirmation we’ve all been waiting for: Grey Worm made it across the continent from Casterly Rock safe and sound. He’s led the Unsullied to King’s Landing, where Daenerys Targaryen is gathering her forces to show Cersei Lannister she means business at their Queens’ summit.

Jaime and Bronn watch from the battlements as the Dothraki whoop and gallop through the orderly phalanxes of the Unsullied, an intimidating display of the chaos and order under Daenerys’ wing. She’s got one army to execute commands with military precision, another to wreak havoc, and, of course, dragons. Cersei should be quaking in her shoulder pads.

Meanwhile, the Targaryen delegation, minus Daenerys herself, approaches King’s Landing by sea. Country boy Jon Snow wonders why anyone would live in a crowded coastal metropolis. Cosmopilitan elite Tyrion Lannister replies that the city has better jobs and brothels, and he would know. About the brothels.

 

Everyone meets in the Dragonpit, a ruined monument to the Targaryens’ former might and eventual downfall. The road there gives us some more long-awaited reunions. The Hound and Brienne express admiration for Arya Stark’s capacity for self-defense, and we get a brief taste of Tyrion and Bronn banter for the first time since Season 4. Best of all, the Hound kicks off the parlay with a WWE Raw promo for Cleganebowl, calling his brother Gregor ugly right to his undead face.

Dany presses pause on the hype by swooping in on Drogon. Now that’s how you show up late for a meeting. After a brief, swagger-filled interruption from Euron, who reminds Theon that he still has Yara, Tyrion pleads their case to his sister. They’re all enemies who have suffered and will continue to suffer at each other’s hands. But the real enemy is the Night King and the army of the dead.

 

To prove their point, the Hound hauls out their captured wight, sending it lunging straight at Cersei only to yank it back and chop it in half. Cersei is visibly terrified; Qyburn, naturally, is visibly excited. Jon lights the zombie’s still-moving hand on fire, then kills it with dragonglass, wrapping up the Show & Tell that cost Daenerys a dragon.

Euron has sailed the world and seen it all, but here he’s seen enough. Satisfied that the wights can’t swim, the King of the Iron Islands leaves to wait out the war back home. But Cersei seems to have been swayed, agreeing to a temporary truce—on the condition that the King in the North remain neutral.

 

Too late, Cersei. Jon chooses this impeccably timed moment to announce that he’s sworn allegiance to the Targaryen cause. Not happy, Cersei cancels the truce and storms off in a huff. Jaime follows his twin out, but not before Brienne tries to impress upon him the severity of the White Walker threat. C’mon Jaime, you and your true soulmate Brienne are destined to fight together with your Valyrian steel BFF charms.

Team Targaryen is upset with Jon for sinking their parlay. But Jon is Ned Stark’s son, ideologically if not biologically, so he’s allergic to lying, obfuscating, withholding information, massaging the truth, and practicing tactful diplomacy. You know, what everyone else in Westeros does.

Tyrion, who’s an expert in all those things, risks his life to talk to Cersei alone. They have an emotionally charged confrontation that echoes Tyrion’s chat with Jaime in Episode 5, talking in circles around unhealed wounds and relitigating old fights as only siblings do. We’ve seen a lot of sibling conflict this season among Starks and Lannisters alike, as the two central families of the show attempt to establish a new familial order now that their parents are all dead. In the end, Tyrion guesses the Queen is pregnant with incest baby number four. Stop conspicuously rubbing your belly, Cersei!

 

Though there are no petroglyph caves in the Dragonpit, Jon and Dany find a crumbling alcove so they can put their faces closer together when they talk. They muse about the future of their cause and the sad end of the Targaryen dynasty, when the last dragons were confined and inbred so severely they only grew to the size of dogs.

The future of the Targaryen dynasty is up for debate, too. Daenerys mentions that she can’t have children, and Jon is the first person ever to point out that the witch who murdered Khal Drogo might not have been a trustworthy source of information on the matter. In other words: challenge accepted.

 

Cersei abruptly returns for parlay number two and declares that she will uphold the truce after all. And she’ll send her troops to fight against the Night King. Later, she privately reveals to Jamie that none of this is true. Oh, and Euron really didn’t run away with tail between his legs. He’s off to Easteros, where he’ll ferry back 20,000 mercenaries from the Golden Company.

Jaime is shocked that his evil, conniving sister intends to do yet more evil. Maybe he is the stupidest Lannister. But this time, Jaime can’t be brought back under Cersei’s heel. Disgusted, he leaves her once and for all. The last we see of Jaime, he’s riding North alone, as the first snows of winter fall on King’s Landing.

 

Speaking of the North, Sansa Stark meets with Littlefinger one last time about her troubles with Arya and Jon. She’s just gotten word that Jon has sworn allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen, and she’s not happy he made a unilateral decision about the fate of the North.

Baelish slyly points out that Jon and Daenerys are both young and unmarried, and that an alliance would benefit Jon more than anyone else. He encourages Sansa to take advantage of Jon’s divided loyalties and try to become Queen in the North herself. And he further speculates on Arya’s motives in “finding” that letter: if Sansa and Jon were both gone, Arya would be the Lady of Winterfell.

“What’s the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do,” he asks Sansa rhetorically, providing her with more fake-deep Machiavellian wisdom, as well as a new reason to distrust her sister.

His suggestion appears to achieve its desired effect. Sansa calls the Lords of the North and of the Vale into the Great Hall, and commands Arya to appear before her. “You stand accused of murder, you stand accused of treason. How do you answer...Lord Baelish?”

 

Yep, the Stark kids knew all along that Littlefinger was trying to play them. With Bran’s help, they’ve nailed Baelish for everything, from pushing Lysa out of the Moon Door to selling out Ned to instigating the entire War of the Five Kings by poisoning Jon Arryn and lying about his dagger. Like the cornered rat he is, he resorts to tearful begging, which Arya promptly silences with Valyrian steel to the throat.

The student has become the master. Sansa out-manipulated the manipulator, and Westeros finally bids goodbye to one of its oldest, slipperiest villains. Let’s pour a cup of Arbor gold for the former master of chaos, reduced by a string of bad decisions to a creepy uncle slinking around the castle.

Of course, Sansa couldn’t have prevailed without her siblings. The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives, and defeats its enemies in the most satisfying way possible.

Back on Dragonstone, Daenerys’ council plots their path Northward, and Theon Greyjoy accosts Jon in the throne room. He admits he’s impressed at Jon’s lifelong commitment to honor, a concept Theon has heard of, maybe, but hasn’t personally encountered before.

“I always wanted to do the right thing, be the right kind of person,” Theon claims. “But I never knew what that meant.” Here’s an idea, Theon: don’t murder children and betray the family who raised you. Jon gives him yet another idea, to rescue his sister Yara.

 

Flush with excitement about Finally Doing the Right Thing, Theon rushes down to the beach, ready to mount a rescue mission for Yara. Unfortunately, his fellow Ironmen don’t share his enthusiasm, despite Yara’s popularity among her crew. They’d rather follow Euron back to the Iron Islands to remain safe from the White Walkers while the landlubbers duke it out.

Theon and Ironborn #1 get into a fistfight about it. Despite being outmatched by his bigger, taller opponent, Theon knows how to take some serious punishment (thanks, Ramsay). His adversary beats Theon to a pulp, but he miraculously gets up, fights back, and finally prevails. The surrounding Greyjoy men cheer, satisfied with the traditional display of dominance. They’re ready to rescue Yara.

 

After a long journey from Oldtown, Samwell Tarly, Gilly, and Sam Jr., arrive at Winterfell. Sam meets with Bran, who fills him in on his BFF Jon’s alliance with Daenerys (although for once, he’s gotten the news the old fashioned way, via two-eyed raven).

Sam and Bran are the only two people in Westeros who know about Jon Snow’s true parentage, but each of them had an incomplete version of the story until now. Bran reveals that Jon was born to Rhaegar and Lyanna in Dorne, which would make him Jon Sand...to which Sam replies that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married in a secret ceremony, which makes Jon a trueborn Targaryen. (Of course, Gilly was the one who unearthed that piece of information, but Sam takes all the credit.)

Bran visits that fateful wedding in a vision, confirming what fans knew all along: R+L=J, they were in love, and Jon is the actual heir to the Iron Throne, ahead of Daenerys.

But Jon and Daenerys don’t know that yet. And because they have no idea they’re aunt and nephew, they don’t see a problem with acting on the romantic tension that’s been building between them since the moment they met. As Jon and Dany consummate their love by candlelight, gazing into each other’s eyes with the fervor and passion of true Targaryens, Bran and Sam discuss how they’re related by blood. And Tyrion, despite being out of the loop on it all, appears wary of the union.

He’d be more troubled still if he knew what awaited them in the North. The White Walkers have arrived at the wall, accompanied by a horde of wights, horse wights, wight giants, and one wight dragon. The Night King commands the dragon formerly known as Viserion to let loose, and a column of blue fire hits the Wall. Though it’s stood for thousands of years against White Walkers, wildlings, grumpkins, and snarks, the Wall cannot resist undead dragonfire, and the final barrier against the horde of the undead crumbles along with our sense of hope. The final image of this season is the army of the dead breaching the ruins of the Wall and beginning their invasion of Westeros.

 

Whew. So many questions. Is Tormund okay? Does Cersei actually have a plan? Will Jon and Dany take the news of his parentage gracefully (and could she be pregnant with a Targaryen child)? Find out when Game of Thrones returns for its final season, only on HBO.

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