ROUND-UP: Game of Thrones – ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ (Season 7, Episode 7)

Meet and Greet/Show and Tell

Marieke: Everyone arrived at the dragon pit, and I loved the little reunions. The Hound and Brienne talking about Arya, as if their girl is all grown up. Tyrion, Bronn and Pod; the three Lannisterteers back together again, just like old times. Varys stood out for being so quiet, he really did not like being back did he. Dany was fashionably dragon late, after her armies had taken their place to show off how big they are. I liked Cersei noticing only two dragons: that Queen ain’t no fool! There was some Cleganebowl trash talk. Well, monologue trash talk rather, because FrankenMountain has lost the ability to speak. Cannot wait for the Hound to break him into pieces someday though! It is basically why he is still alive. Euron challenged Theon, which reminded Tyrion to use ‘basically everyone hates everyone’ in his speech. It is striking Tyrion speak for Daenerys and that Cersei speaks for herself. She is the more confident ruler. She hardly flinched when the wight came storming at her. There was fear in her eyes, oh yes, but she did not show any weakness. I was only a tiny but disappointed the Hound pulled that chain just in time. Not that I thought Cersei would be zombie food, but still! The demonstration for the wight killing looked like a bad infomercial to me, especially when Jon came with his ‘fire or dragonglass’ comment. It was unintentionally hilarious. I think they were all convinced there is a new danger, but I am not sure if they really ‘bought’ it, wink wink.

Pod Tyrion Got ep 7
Podrick (Daniel Portman) meeting up with his one time boss, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), once again.

Euron’s departure bugged me a lot. At first I thought ‘oh figures he is a coward’, but we later find out that he is getting the armies from Essos and that Cersei is still playing him. Since he could not have known about the wight being that scary (I doubt he believed any of that), it was a very convenient moment for him to leave. Did Cersei tell him to look out for an appropriate moment or something? It is a tiny detail, but it bugs me because it doesn’t make sense after his ‘SCARIEST THING EVERRRR’ speech. I liked a lot of the big meet up, but it also felt without any danger (as it shouldn’t’ve!) and pretty pointless in the end. I understand why people found it somewhat boring too. I wonder how it will keep up in repetitive viewings. I’ll probably still get a little kick out of the reunions. I keep recalling who met whom and how many times and where and the outcome is that the common denominator is Tyrion. Come to think of it, it felt like a Tyrion heavy episode whilst the emphasis should have been on two other people?

Danielle: Those little reunions before the show and tell were great. I loved that Pod got to say hi to his former boss, Tyrion, as did Bronn who seemed oddly OK still serving Cersei and Jaime, even though that castle and wife haven’t yet been given to him. I wonder about that. Conveniently, he and Pod went off for beer before everything kicked off, because Jerome Flynn and Lena Headey won’t share a scene together. I really enjoyed that little conversation between Brienne and The Hound as well. It’s great to see that even they can put the fact that she nearly killed him behind them and bond over Arya having become a miniature ninja, who’s safely tucked away in her ancestral home. It just goes to show that now the undead shit has hit the fan, former animosities become irrelevant.

Davos Jon Dany Brienne got ep 7
Davos (Liam Cunningham), Jon (Kit Harington), Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) hoping to convince Cersei and Jaime to join the cause.

Well, some people seem to realise that. Euron took the time to pick on ‘Little Theon’ and threaten to kill Yara if her brother didn’t bend the knee, before cracking all too obvious jokes about Tyrion’s stature, and making overtures to Dany about them being the only ones left if they fall back to their own islands, because the wights can’t swim. His departure also left me scratching my head. In light of what we know happens later, it seems like the plan was always for him to go off to Essos, no matter who or what Jon and Daenerys planned to show Cersei and her allies. To be honest, it feels like an oversight in the writing. The Dragon Queen’s arrival ended up being hilarious. Of course Cersei was miffed about her tardiness, and instantly took a dislike to her. Even more amusing than that though was that silent ball of awkwardness between Cersei, Jaime and Brienne shortly before her arrival, as the two women caught him eyeballing Sansa’s sworn sword and then stared at each other with varying degrees of disgust and horror respectively. The man in the middle trying to diffuse the situation by effectively deflecting attention towards Dany flying in was priceless. Still though, the ante was upped thoroughly in the aftermath of Jon’s frankly underwhelming infomercial and him refusing to bend the knee to Cersei, when Brienne literally span Jaime around, and to his absolute surprise, told him to ‘Fuck loyalty!’ With his sister watching the whole altercation, in that moment he couldn’t exactly agree that realising that upwards of 100,000 zombies exist has changed the game, but it obviously informed his later actions. Just as an side, I’m really curious as to why Jon didn’t mention how Valyrian steel is capable of killing White Walkers as well.

Threats and Deception

Marieke: By far the strongest scene in this extra long episode was between the reunited Lannister siblings Cersei and Tyrion. It is a joy to see Heady and Dinklage play off each other again. They hate each other, but they also cannot hurt each other. Tyrion killed ‘both’ Lannister parents, and in Cersei’s eyes, two of her children. For that, Cersei will never forgive him. Tyrion hates his sister for how she’s always treated him, and for the false accusation of Joffrey’s murder. He has loved his niece and nephews though. It is no wonder Cersei saw everything turn to shit after Tywin’s death, because she favours ruling like that. Fear is her weapon of choice, just like her father’s was. Tyrion, after having chosen Dany, sees it differently, because he even talked Dany out of using fear and destruction as a method to get the throne. Tyrion notices his sister’s pregnancy (she refuses to drink wine. HELLOOOOOOOO that is a more clear sign than a neon blinking arrow pointing at her belly!) Now we don’t know what was said behind closed doors, and I am curious. Something that means he will eventually betray Dany? It must be huge because Cersei pledged her forces to the cause without any demands, which was an enormous clue in itself, Of course she lied. I honestly was not surprised by it.

I also knew it would be power that came between Jaime and Cersei. She chooses power and their fetus over him. Jaime realises they won’t even have another kid when the Night King wreaks icy havoc, but Cersei still sees power in keeping forces at bay to just defeat whatever ends up coming south. And she broke Jaime with this decision. But she could also give the cue to the Mountain to execute him. Family is still has a level of importance to Cersei apparently. Jaime leaves and I wonder where he is heading. Dragonstone? Winterfell? Imagine if Bran found out about who pushed him off the tower… Is he going just where Brienne is? He has many enemies so his journey won’t be without danger. I hope Bronn secretly followed him. A little Bro(nn)mance before a great war never hurt anyone.

Jaime Tyrion got ep 7
Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Tyrion saying their goodbyes.

Danielle: I really enjoyed that little scene between Jaime and Tyrion before the latter took his chances, and faced their sister. Their little ‘goodbye’ showed just how much love still remains between them, in spite of the fact they were effectively on opposing sides in that moment. It’s this and that earlier discussion between Dany and Tyrion in the previous episode, I think, which are the key to decoding what was said in the following scene between Dinklage and Headey after the cameras cut away. In terms of what we did see, I loved the tension between the siblings. Just like she always has, Cersei blames her little brother for everything, but when push came to shove and he was goading her to kill him for his perceived crimes, just like Tywin, she couldn’t do it. At the end of the day, he’s family and whether she wished to admit it or not, she knew he loved Myrcella and Tommen. This is where him knowing about Cersei’s pregnancy became game changing. Regardless of his ongoing animosity with his sister, he loves his brother and he loved his niece and nephew. More than that, not being privy to Jon apparently rubbishing Dany’s belief that she can’t bear ‘human’ children, her Hand currently believes that she’s not taking the issue of who’ll succeed her seriously. Because of both of these factors, I firmly believe that Tyrion already knew Cersei was lying when she told Jon and Dany that she’d send the Lannister forces North. How that shakes out in Season 8 is going to be so interesting.

The idea that Tyrion has betrayed his Queen is only compounded by the way the Iron Throne’s current occupier told her twin that she always knew he was ‘the stupidest Lannister’ when he gathered their bannermen, and began to plan their march North. The resulting argument, where Jaime explained that betraying their newest allies would mean certain death for them, regardless of whether it was the living or the dead who triumphed in the coming war, was a long time coming. As was him finally walking away from his sister/lover to honour the pledge he made, even though she threatened to kill him. Her dishonesty, coupled with the realisation that she was still stringing along Euron with the promise that she’d marry him, as well as her obsession with clinging onto power through the child she’s carrying was what killed their relationship in the water. The emotional distance between the two of them began to open up way back in Season 3 after Jaime was taken prisoner by the Starks, and ended up meeting Brienne. Now that’s going to be reflected in the physical distance between them. The scene with him pulling on a glove over his golden hand, and a snowflake falling on it, was just beautiful. Winter is here for everyone, including the Lannisters.

Littlefinger Gets the Middle Finger
Littlefinger got ep 7
Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) pleading with Sansa for his life.

Marieke: Talk about satisfying and unsatisfying at the same time: Littlefinger’s death. I cheered. I fist pumped. FINALLY. The smug bastard with a more consistent accent lately is dead! The Stark sisters and bro lured him into a trap, which he could not beg his way out of, the weasel. Time was definitely up for him, because of the larger danger and because his blind spot (Sansa) had made him oblivious to his own peril.

But…

There is a huge ‘but’ here. The conversation between Arya and Sansa in the previous episode makes even less sense and becomes more hurtful now. I do not believe Littlefinger was eavesdropping, they should have made that clear on screen. Also I do think Sansa did not trust Arya at that moment too. Suddenly all is resolved. We can assume that Bran had something to do with it, sitting next to the Lady of Winterfell. Also she mentioned details she could not have known, unlike the Moon Door. Now the creators have shared such a scene has been skipped. Sansa did use Bran’s Westflix to figure out what happened. It would have been nice to see a scene of conspiring Starks. Yes, it would have diminished the surprise somewhat, but we can argue surprises are unnecessary at this time in the story. Nonetheless, Sansa addressing Petyr Baelish was pure class. He tried to squirm his way out of it and even resorted to begging. He is that much of a coward. I also cannot believe that he still thought confessing his love for both Catelyn and Sansa would help him out. It is so creepy! With one stroke of -that- dagger Arya finally put an end to it. What a lovely sight! Sansa the Lady and Arya the Executioner, side by side, taking care of Stark enemies. One of the last pawns of the game of thrones has been eliminated, time for that ice and fire song to start playing now. That begging Baelish intro was sweet though, wasn’t it?

Danielle: Look, the sensible and sane amongst us have wanted Littlefinger dead for a long time. Even if you set aside the fact that he was indirectly responsible for Ned and Cat’s deaths, it was his machinations that set up the War of the Five Kings and consequently he caused the deaths of thousands and thousands of men. I can’t even fault the writers’ decision to have him begging for his life pathetically, and those pleas falling on deaf ears for everyone around him, before he unceremoniously had his throat slit by Arya after Bran’s testimony damned him. It’s the fact that Sansa had to be such a ‘slow learner’ that troubled me throughout the season, especially when she’d already come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t to be trusted in last year’s, ‘The Winds of Winter’. The drama between her and her sister felt entirely manufactured just so we could arrive at Littlefinger’s execution with a modicum of surprise. Sadly, it fell flat. I was somewhat convinced beforehand that the siblings were jointly plotting against their scheming ‘ally’, but the revelation that a scene was cut from the finale where Sansa approached Bran to find out who to trust undermines that completely. Really, the main saving grace from the Northern story line in the finale was where the two girls buried the hatchet once and for all on parapets of Winterfell, and remembered their father together.

Theon (Re-)grows a Pair

Marieke: I still feel for Theon. He truly paid for his mistakes, in a horrible way too. He is so conflicted. However, I do believe that Jon’s speech was aimed more to his unknown Targ/Stark heritage than Theon’s Greyjoy/adapated Stark. However, it was nice Jon told Theon he was both, because he was always conflicted by it himself. Possibly not knowing where he belonged was part of his wrong decision making, without using it as a full on excuse. Theon learned from Ned, but the Greyjoy part sadly tugged the wrong strings. Now he is ready to be both and find another missing piece of his life: his kidnapped sister, Yara. It does seem Theon’s story is often motivated by womens’ ordeals, so I hope he will only partially be responsible for her rescue, and that she won’t be a complete damsel. It would be nice of him to repay her attempt to recover him from Ramsay’s clutches, which went wrong because his Reek persona was controlling him at the time. At least we know in a fight he has no male weak point. Theon is a lousy fighter, but he can take pain, especially down there. Theon’s face was golden when Harrag realised kneeing Theon did not work. Finally, an upside to having no penis (and I assume balls too??).

Theon got ep 7
Theon (Alfie Allen) asking what remains of the Iron Fleet, who were loyal to Yara, to join him in rescuing her. 

Danielle: Alfie Allen is so underrated as an actor, isn’t he? The glut of emotions that filtered across his face when Jon told him that he’ll forgive the actions he’s able to forgive him for, and then informed him that he doesn’t have to choose between being a Stark and a Greyjoy, left a lump in my throat. Nevertheless, I do feel that Marieke’s analysis of that conversation is spot on in terms of it speaking more to Jon’s own unwitting mixed heritage. (Accepting that he can be both a Stark and a Targaryen is going to be hard though, I feel.) Finally for Theon though, he’s been able to turn what happened to him at Ramsay’s hands into a strength, freaking out Harrag when he kicked him in his none existent private parts and turning the tide of the fight, so that he eventually won. The Iron Islanders follow strength, and now that he’s secured what remains of the men who were loyal to Yara, he can go and confront Euron and get his sister.

Keeping It in the Family

Marieke: Either you cheered or either you cringed. It had become an inevitable storyline throughout this season that Jon and Daenerys would get it on. I never rooted for them as a couple, and I found there was not enough attraction between them. But it happened. I guess after the Lannister twins, I am somewhat desensitised towards an unknown aunt and uncle getting it on, however the scene felt so wrong because of the conversation between Sam and Bran. It was hammered home once again that they’re related, something we know by now. We also saw some of Bran’s visions. One about Jon’s real parents, Viserys I mean Rhaegar with Viserys’ wig and Lyanna. They had more chemistry in that short scene than the other naked dragon and wolf getting it on. It does not even matter if there was chemistry or not, because the narration made it terribly unsexy. Also, why is Sam taking credit for Gilly’s info? He did copy the book, but he completely dismissed it that other episode. Either he is such a typical man, or he actually does listen to his woman whilst also thinking about other things. That would be some skill, Sam!

Then there’s the foreshadowing of Jon’s magic Targ sperm impregnating Daenerys, who believes she can’t get pregnant anymore. It is really wrong when somehow them being related feels like the least wrong thing in the scene, although that ick factor is hard to deny. I do wonder how they both will respond to this news. Little bit of vomit in the mouth and a little screaming are options. I have to add though, Jon Snow does have a very nice arse. Nothing wrong with that… Then there was Tyrion knowing what is going on behind the closed door. What did his look represent though? Was he worried that Jon/Dany sex would hurt the cause? Did he feel like he picked the wrong side? Was it a ‘I got rid of my humping siblings and now -they- are getting it on too?? Or was he Jorah the 2nd in this scenario? Stay tuned til 2019, probably…

Rhaegar Lyanna got ep 7
Rhaegar (Wilf Scolding) and Lyanna (Aisling Franciosi) shortly after their wedding ceremony.

Danielle: Oh God, I was definitely one of the people who was gagging throughout that whole sex scene! It really didn’t help that the ‘chemistry’ between Jon and Dany felt unbelievably forced, but the obvious problem was the incest. I think we’ve all become somewhat desensitised by the twin’s baulk worthy make out sessions and more, but somehow it makes it worse that it’s earnest reliable Jon who’s getting it one with his Auntie Daenerys. My gut feeling is that that it’s going to bother him far more than her once he finds out. She’s been brought up in a family where incestuous relationships and marriages were actively encouraged, whereas his upbringing as a follower of the Old Gods where incest is forbidden, is probably an insurmountable barrier for them. As things stands, the Northerners were never going to welcome her with open arms anyway, but throw their relatedness into the mix and things are probably going to get nasty. Possibly adding a baby to proceedings can only make things even messier.

I have to say, I really can’t get behind Rhaegar’s marriage to Lyanna as some kind of romantic idyll either. Not only did their actions bring about the death and destruction of Robert’s Rebellion, but he also left his first wife, Elia, and left their two children behind in King’s Landing to be butchered by The Mountain whilst he ran off to Dorne with Jon’s mother to marry her and get her pregnant. That’s seemingly being glossed over in the show as they’ve also decided to give Jon the name, Aegon, the same as Rhaegar’s firstborn son in the books.

As for Tyrion’s odd response to Jon entering Dany’s cabin, knowing full well they were about to get jiggy, I suspect there’s a fair amount of confusion on his part. I do think he has romantic feelings for his Queen, even though as her adviser he’d probably tell her to cement an official alliance with the former King in the North. That’s been clear since the end of last season, however that uncertain look he gave as he observed what was going on, once again bolsters my belief that he’s in on Cersei’s betrayal of them and, I think, in that moment he was feeling a certain degree of guilt.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

Marieke: C-c-c-c-climate change is here! In the form of the Night King and his minions, the cold and long winter makes its way through the wall. A few questions arise though. Had the King been able to get through the wall without a resurrected Viserion? Doesn’t look like it, he needs the blue flames to break the wall down, which makes Jon’s plan and Dany’s rescue even more stupid. GPS Bran apparently has not been marked by the Night King either, which would have made more sense than luckily acquiring a dragon. Then there is also still the walker/wight/blue eyes question. I figured Viserion would be a walker dragon, but he looks decomposed which is more wight material, yet he has blue eyes… It is a tad confusing and some consistency here would help, especially because their destruction depends on fire -and- dragonglass or only the latter. All in all, it is thriller time in Westeros. Cue MJ’s song.

Oh and Tormund and Beric Dondarrion aren’t dead. We need giant babies after all. But seriously, Tormund cannot almost dramatically die behind the wall and then just vanish like that. Same with Beric, he only has one life left now Thoros is dead, so he cannot go out in a whimper either. His last death needs to count. They managed to stay at the non-collapsing side of the wall and will return at some point next season.

Night King Got ep 7
The Night King directing Wight!Viserion to melt through The Wall with his blue flames.

Danielle: The Night King taking down The Wall with Wight!Viserion, as his army of the dead waited patiently, looked fantastic, but as my Fezzy friend has pointed out, it made little sense. Was it simply dragon fire that undid the magic within that giant wall of ice, or was something else at play? I get the impression that this is one of those questions that will never be answered as we move into Season 8. There just isn’t enough time left to explore that kind of detail in the remaining six episodes. Regarding Tormund and Beric surviving The Wall coming crashing down, I’m in two minds. On the one hand, it would seem like a lame denouement for the pair of them, on the other, it’s really hard to imagine them somehow getting past the Night King and running back to Winterfell to tell everyone that they need to brace themselves for impact. I’m not even sure they need to. Bran has probably already seen them breaching The Wall. I genuinely don’t know. Perhaps they’ll run back to Castle Black and work from there, it’s extremely hard to know. What we do know for sure is that Winter is well and truly here, and it’s not going to let up for some time.

MVP of the Week

Jaime finally realising his sister is batshit crazy, and peacing out of King’s Landing.

Death of the Week

Littlefinger of course! PARTY!!!!

Quote of the Week

The Hound: Seems every bad idea has some Lannister cunt behind it. 
Tyrion: And some Clegane cunt to help them see it through.

The Verdict?

Marieke: Not the best of the finales. That position is still firmly held by Season six’s, ‘The Winds of Winter’, but I am a sucker for reunions, so I enjoyed it nonetheless. Also, Starks taking care of Littlefinger, come on, I would pay just to see that! I do think the little reunion interactions are somewhat overshadowed by the pointlessness of the whole wight plan, which became overtly clear during a second viewing. Even so, it felt like a much more old school GoT episode, with a lot of character interaction instead of only fast travelling and action. I do wonder about repetitive viewings for this one. The season six finale had that gruesome scene set to beautiful music, which made it so incredibly compelling that I had to watch it a few times. Was this episode compelling enough? I have to say, the biggest problem actually is the long wait till the final series. 2019. Are they effing kidding me????

Danielle: There was was much to applaud about ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’, not least of all the fact that it was a visual feast from start to finish. That montage where we finally saw Winter arriving in King’s Landing was a beautiful triumph all on its own. Furthermore, those reunions and first time meetings between friends, family and foes did indeed make the season finale incredibly watchable. However, considering all the effort that was put into building up that meeting in the dragon pit between the various factions in Westeros, it felt thoroughly underwhelming. This was particularly disappointing for me because it seems like that was the point that the whole season was hinging on, and to get there certain missteps in terms of characterisation had to be made to push towards this ‘momentous’ parlay. Jaime bolstered his sister’s maniacal rule for too long, and left to deal with things alone in the North, the Stark sister’s feuding felt oddly nonsensical. That said, I’m still unbelievably hyped for the final instalment! Where’s my time machine again?!

Our Fezzy Score: rsz_fuzzy_fezrsz_fuzzy_fezrsz_fuzzy_fezrsz_tiny_fez

So what did you think of the Season 7 finale? Let us know in the comments…

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