Massive Game of Thrones battle scenes are usually a once-a-season affair, but we’ve already had several big-budget blowouts in Season 7, and last night’s finale began with the promise of the most epic throwdown to date.
Bronn and Jaime looked on as thousands of Dothraki and Unsullied took formation at King’s Landing.
But in this feature-length installment, the battle will be fought with words … and the occasional dagger …and maybe the occasional zombie dragon.
Damn, this season ruled.
Anyway, let’s start at the begininning … with a long-awaited meeting.
As Bronn and Jaime discuss the importance of dongs, and Jaime credits his brother Tyrion with being a v woke friend of the oppressed, a fleet of ships arrives.
Jon first lays eyes on King’s Landing (population: 1 million, we learn), and his ship is carrying come dangerous cargo.
Of course, Cersei is less interested in Jon than in the opportunity to off both her chief rival and her hated brother in a single afternoon.
Speaking of penises (as this show often does) we get another reunion when Tyrion comes face-to-face with his well-endowed squire, Pod.
The tense team-building exercise in King’s Landing, as even the Hound and Brienne are making nice.
Bronn and Tyrion’s relationship, of course, is a bit more complex.
Bronn, as always, is looking out for number one, but even he can’t prevent his affection for Tyrion from shining through.
There’s a tense “a little too quiet” moment, where it seems an ambush might be in store, but fortunately for the good guys. Cersei decides to hear them out.
Of course, her entrance is no match for the Mother of Dragons who arrives who breezes in on the back of one of her children/WMDs.
Tyrion begins his “why we’re all here today” speech, but is interrupted by Greyjoy drama.
There’s a brief discussion on the quality of dwarf jokes, with Tyrion and Theon accurately pointing out that Euron’s sucked.
Finally, Jon gets down to brass tacks.
Stirring speeches are made, but even master wordsmith Tyrion is aware that no amount of conversation will secure the truce his side seeks.
For that you need a demonstration featuring one very pissed off wight.
Even the usually unflappable Cersei knows some terrifying sh-t has arrived at her door when the 28 Days Later extra leaps out of its crate.
“This is the only thing I’ve ever seen that’s terrified me”, Euron says before fleeing carrying on the proyd Greyjoy tradition of wussing out (or so we think).
Cersei grants the truce on the condition that Jon keep his nose out of the wars to come.
He could’ve played a game of semantics (He’s no longer King in the North, and he was never really Sed Stark’s son), but instead, he pledges his loyatyl to the Khaleesi … even though she wishes he hadn’t.
Jon gives a speech about the importance of integrity that feels awfully apt in 2017, and Tyrion proves once again that he’s one of the show’s most courageous characters.
He strides into the lion’s den to meet his sister … and possibly his death.
We’re reminded of the extent of Cersei’s seething hatred for her brother, as Tyrion passionately pleads his case, knowing full well he might be breathing his final words
Bonding over the one thing they have in common other than their last name (wine) and Tyrion makes the realization that Cersei is being spiteful for two these days.
From there, Daenerys delves into her family’s disgraceful history, revealing her belief that dragons are the only thing that gives her an advantage over others.
Just as Jon pronounced the whole endeavor will and truly “f–ked” Cersei delivers the surprising news that she plans to have her army’s join the campaign against the White Walkers.
For some reason, no one is skeptical of her newfound willingness to look at the big picture.
It seems at first that Tyrion really did a number on her.
Hey, maybe the Lannisters aren’t Westeros’ most dysfunctional family anymore!
In fact, the Starks are offering up a challenge in that department these days
Sansa hates Jon for making moves without her consent, and to make matters worse, Littlefinger is all up in her head.
He’s got her thinking Arya wants her dead and Jon wants to marry Daenerys.
It’s worth noting that this is one of the talkiest episodes of the season … and yet it’s full of white-knuckle suspense.
Another reminder that it’s the writing, not the jaw-dropping effects that keep us tuning into Thrones.
Of course, zombie dragons are pretty damn cool, but more on that later.
Theon aptly points out what many already have–that Jon could’ve just effing lied to Cersei.
But unlike the others, he offers his observation as praise.
The disgraced and mutilated Greyjoy becomes the all the more tragic in a surprisingly moving scene in which Jon offers his forgiveness–and guides Theon toward redemption.
Theon resolves to save his sister, but he’s not getting much support from his men
Fortunately, (we guess?) he finds there are advantages to being castrated, as Theon demonstrates in his fight with Random Red Shirt Iron Islands Guy.
Just when we think the Starks are fully self-destructing, we’re reminded that Sansa is savvier than she’s usually given credit for .
She turns on Littlefinger and she and Arya bond in the classic fashion of sisters everywhere–by collaborating on an execution.
It was the season’s least-surprising death, but still pretty damn satisfying.
Speaking of terrible people who can’t be trusted, Cersei is still totally focused on crushing her enemies and has no interest in joining the effort to save the world.
She plans to hire a band of mercenaries known as the Golden Company company to carry on the war effort.
On top of that, Euron is still on board, and Jaime and Cersei are now officially still at odds.
Also, she’s ordered the Mountain to kill him but he walks out anyway?
We’re not totally sure what happened there.
Anyway, Bran pays a surprise visit to Sam and … we won’t even attempt to do justice to these last ten minutes so here’s a breathless rundown of events:
A Stark (Bran) finally learns Jon is a Targaryen.
Jon and Dany enjoy some incestuous sexy time.
Jon’s real name is officially Aegon Targaryen!
Sansa and Arya are cool with one another once again.
Bran says what we’ve all been thinking: Jon. Is. The. Heir. To. The. Iron. Throne.
And just when you think that’s the last big twist of the season … the walls come tumbling down.
Yes, the zombie dragon is back and IT’S SPITTING BLUE FLAMES!!!
It brings down the Wall and a stream of wights passes into Westeros.
Earlier in the episode, Sansa utters the memorable line “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
But the final shot reminds us that everyone dies … and on GoT it’s usually a violent exit.
Unfortunately, we may have to wait until 2019 to find out if humanity is wiped out.
Hopefully the real world is still standing then, so we can finally get some closure.
In the meantime, watch Game of Thrones online at TV Fanatic to hold you over in the long winter to come.