Game of Thrones Recap: “The Dragon and The Wolf”

And there we have it, the end of Game of Thrones season seven. This season was unique because of it’s record breaking sprint to the finish line. This episode, however, felt refreshingly slower. Not in terms of fewer events, because as we’ll get into, there were some huge events and revelations this episode. No, it felt like the creators really let this episode breathe, I’m sure the fact that this episode being the longest in the series history had something to do with that. Alright, enough foreplay, Full Spoilers below.

King’s Landing

We open on the Unsullied standing outside the gates of King’s Landing, as Jaime and Bronn look down at them realizing for the first time the scope of the treat they face. But not much time passes before the Dothraki horde comes charging over the field. The shot of the Unsullied in their marching formations and the Dothraki just galloping about was really something special. It showed just how powerful Daenerys is, if two polar opposite armies will join together to fight with her.

Cercei prepares in her chambers with Jaime and The Mountain, instructing Her Gregor to kill Dany, Tyrion, and Jon (in that order) should anything happen to her. I hate Cercei so much, but theres something so damn charming about her when she gives inhumane, sadistic orders. On a boat just outside King’s Landing, Jon and the rest of Dany’s generals prep for the big meeting, and The Hound goes below deck to aggravate the captured wight. It’s not like the last time he did that a bunch of people died or anything. Dick.

The two factions meet just outside the Dragonpit, and we get a massive dose of some lovely reunions. Brienne and the Hound talk about how he’s supposed to be super dead, and how Arya is the freaking best. Tyrion, Bronn, and Pod talk about Pod’s magic nether region. It’s tense for sure, but all seems to be going well so far.

They enter the Dragonpit, and a boardroom has been set up for their parlay. Who set these tents up? Did Cercei give the order, or someone else? Is the set up crew part of the Kingsguard, or contractors the crown hired? Why am I asking these questions when there’s so much more episode that needs to be discussed? All of these are great questions, but I don’t think we’ll get there answers for them anytime soon.

Dany’s generals are waiting around, trying their best not to look bored, when Cercei and her small council enter. Here’s where I notice the difference between Dany and Cercei: Dany’s advisors are from different parts of the world, and their costuming reflects that. Everyone looks like they represent a different corner of the world, and they’ve chosen to serve Dany. Cercei’s party on the other hand: all wearing the same, streamlined black outfits. All except Jaime, something we’ll get back to in a minute. They take their seas, and The Hound approaches The mountain and tells him he’s going to kill him. Cleganebowl confirmed. The Hound mopes away.

Cercei thinks she’s won this whole “showing up fashionably late so you can look cool” thing, but not so fast. Dany flies in with two dragons in tow, really letting everyone get a good look at the power she packs. This scene was badass, and I half expected Dany to flick a cigarette once she got of Drogon, but that might have been a bit too much. Also, not seeing three dragons was a real bummer. Cercei throws some shade at Dany for not being on time (Pot, meet Kettle), and Dany doesn’t even try to pretend she’s sorry.

Tyrion starts the show, and is immediately insulted by Euron. Cercei tells him to shut up, and Tyrion gets back to it. Jon gets up, and channels his inner Al Gore to tell the world about this seemingly impossible temperature themed threat. No one is buying it, then The Hound comes back. The wight charges Cercei, and Jon demonstrates the different manners in which wights can be killed. Everyone seems to be terrified, except Qyburn, who’s definitely turned on by all this. Euron asks if they can swim, and when he’s told they can’t he promptly gets the hell back to the Iron Islands
Say what you will about the rationale behind Seal Team Snow’s plan, but it seem’s to have worked. Cercei is seemingly convinced by their demonstration, and agrees to Dany’s truce, on the condition that Jon pledges himself to her. Jon does the honorable (see: stupid) thing, and tells Cercei that he’s already bent the knee to Dany, and he won’t go back on his word. Cercei, having been flat out rejected, rounds up her pack, and storms out. The shot of Brienne trying to get Jaime to talk to her was particularly heartbreaking.

Everyone seems pretty pissed at Jon, asking why he couldn’t have just lied to save the realm. Jon responds with an amazing monologue about how he’s not going to be a person who lies because “When enough people make false promises words stop meaning anything and there are no more answers only better and better lies…” Jon is freaking awesome.

Dany pulls him aside and, even though she says she wished he would have bent the knee to Cercei, you can tell she’s so glad he refused she’s already planning the fastest way to get all that leather off. Jon then not so subtly asks why she can’t have kids, and Dany gives the medically sound reason of a witch cursing her lady bits. Jon says that isn’t the most reliable source, and he may as well be saying, “Wanna test that theory?”

Tyrion goes to the Red Keep to try and convince Cercei to agree to the truce. Before he goes in, he and Jaime share a great moment. They both know Cercei’s crazy, and they both know she might kill them. He heads in, and here we are, back in the Small Council chambers, with two Lannister’s talking politics. Cercei rattles off her favorite insults her brother, when Tyrion turns the dial up to eleven. He throws everything she hates him for in her face, and dares her to kill him. She want’s to, but just can’t give the order. Clearly relieved, Tyrion pours himself a glass off wine. God I love Tyrion. They chat more and Tyrion find out that she’s pregnant. The acting in this scene was absolutely incredible. Lena Heady is no such, but Peter Dinklage, my goodness. Give that man an Emmy right now.

Cut back to the Dragonpit, Tyrion comes in, followed by Cercei and her lackies. Not only has Tyrion convinced her, but she’s agreed to fight alongside Dany against the Army of the Dead. It almost seems too good to be true.

Oh wait, it is too good to be true, because Cercei is the absolute-freaking-worst. As Jaime is giving battle plans, Cercei comes in and explains the bait and switch she just set up. Using the money from the Iron Bank, she has bought a fleet of mercenaries, and the real kicker is that Euron is on his way to pick them up. Jaime is pissed, and he say’s he’ll take the troops anyways. Cercei threatens his life, and Jaime calls her bluff. That’s two times in one episode that Cercei hasn’t been able to give the order, and I have a feeling its the last time she fails to do so. A lot of comparison has been made between Cercei and Tywinn, but this episode makes it clear, she’s The Mad Queen now. Jaime starts going north, and snow falls on King’s Landing for the first time in decades. Winter has Come.

Dragonstone

There’s a brief strategy meeting, in which Dany agree’s to ride on with Jon, as opposed to flying there like Jorah advises. Sorry Captain Friendzone, theres a sexy Northern boy calling the shots now. After, there’s a great scene in the throne room between Jon and Theon. Theon wants to apologize for everything he’s done, saying he’s never know if he was a Stark or a Greyjoy. Jon tell’s him he’s forgiven, and that he’s both Stark and Greyjoy. He then tells Theon to get Yara back. This scene was cheesy as all hell, but it had me holding back tears.

Theon goes down to the beach and tells the Greyjoy banner men they’re sailing to get Yara back from Euron. Their new ring leader says hell no, and proceeds to beat the hell out of Theon. But if the last few seasons of this show have proven anything, it’s that Theon can take a punch and get back up. Theon kills this new guy, and the other men join him in his quest to get Yara back. Theon has probably had the most emotional character arc of the series, and in my opinion, he’s been fully redeemed. You go get her back Theon.

Winterfell 

Sansa is on the castle wall, watching the snow fall, when Littlefinger comes up to give his final bout of manipulation. He lays it on thick, and seemingly convinces Sansa that Arya is her enemy. Sansa orders Arya be brought to the great hall, and i’m genuinely worried that she’s about to do something stupid.

Arya comes in, surrounded by darkness and a shadowed army. Sansa rattles of a list of crimes, and Arya asks, “you sure you want to do this?” She does, but PLOT TWIST! It’s not Arya who’s on trial, it’s Littlefinger. She goes over his crimes again, one by one, and he tries to smooth talk his way out of them. I absolutely Loved watching Aiden Gillian try to weasel his way out of the situation. He tries many different tactics, but each crime is backed up by a member of the Stark family. Finally, Bran speaks up and use’s his Three-Eyed-Raven talents for something that matters.

Littlefinger drops to his knees, his last ditch effort to convince Sansa not to do this. Arya walks up, and slices his throat, leaving his face noticeably intact. There’s a beautiful shot of him on the floor, bleeding out. Finally, Littlefinger has been caught in his own web of lies. I’m beyond pleased that he’s dead, but I’m sad to see one of the best performers in Gillian go. At least his ending scene was a high note to go out on.

Later, Sam arrives in Winterfell! He reunites with Bran, and has the single greatest reaction shot of the show when Bran tells him “I can remember everything.” Sam sits down and Bran tells him he’s the Three-Eyed-Raven, and Sam is all of us when he responds, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what that means.” Bran then tells Sam that he needs to speak with Jon, to tell him that he’s not a Snow, He’s a Sand, as he is the bastard of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.

But wait! Sam actually was listening to Gilly! He tells Bran that Rhaegar married Lyanna Stark, making him a high born Targaryen. Bran uses his powers, and confirms that the two were married, and conceived Jon in wedlock! But there’s even more! Jon’s name isn’t Snow or Sand, it isn’t even Jon. Bran See’s Lyanna tell Ned that Jon’s name is actually Aegon Targaryen. This is a huge deal, And I had to rewind it three or four times because I kept screaming at my TV/dog with excitement.

The Sea

That scene between Bran and Sam had two intercuts that were both amazing and gross. While Bran is explaining that Jon is a Targaryen, we see him know on the door of Dany’s chambers. No dialogue is exchanges as she invites him in. Probably just to play scrabble right?

Then, literally as Bran says “He’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne” confirming that Jon is the grandson of Aerys Targaryen, and Dany’s nephew, cut top their naked bodies on top of each other, as Jon rolls her over, and they finally release the sexual chemistry that’s been building since episode two.

I really wanted confirmation that Jon was a high born Targaryen, and if I’m being honest, I’ve wanted Jon and Dany to hook up for a while. What I definitely DID NOT want, was both of those things at the same time. The editors did a great job at showing their perfect bodies rolling around, and conveying the fact that they are related.

This scene gave me the weirdest boner.

Also, Tyrion watching was just a little creepy. Did he want to get with Dany? Is he excited or worried about this hook up? Am I really ok with an Aunt/Nephew having sex? I guess we’ll have to wait till next season to find out.

Eastwatch

And now, for the epilogue of the season. Tormund and Beric or on top of the wall, and they see a White Walker on a horse approaching, followed by the entire Army of the Dead. They stop, and everyone on the wall starts freaking out.

Then you hear it.

It sounds like a dragon, but it’s not quite right.

The Night King comes flying in on the back of a newly resurrected Viscerion. He does a fly by of the wall, and Tormund screams for everyone to get the hell out of there. The Night King does another fly by, and finally we see it: Blue flame, doing massive damage to the Wall. More fire, more shots of the willings trying to get off the wall. But it isn’t enough. The Night King has punched a hole in the wall, and Eastwatch is gone. It Tormund dead? Beric? I don’t know. What I do know, is that the was has come down, and the Night King is leading his icy dead army straight into season seven.

Conclusion

Wow. What a phenomenal episode of television. “The Dragon and The Wolf” has definitely wrapped this season well, and let me wanting so, so much more going into next season. There are a lot of question marks I still have, but goodness me, that was incredible. And now, we enter into a Long Night of our own, as we wait until (hopefully) 2018 for our eighth and final season.

Thanks to everyone who’s been following along with these recaps as I’ve been doing them. They’ve been a ton of fun to write, and I’ve greatly appreciate the feedback I’ve gotten on them. I’ll do a full season seven review soon, but I wanted to extend my gratitude to everyone who’s been on this journey with me. I’ll see you back here in season eight.

Quote of the Episode:

“I’m about to step into a room with the most murderous woman in the world, who’s already tried to kill me twice, that I know of. Who’s an idiot?” —Tyrion

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