"The Dragon & the Wolf" paves the way for an explosive final six episodes. Here"s how the episode played out.

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There’s no greater symbolic gesture of the kết thúc of Westerosi civilization as we know it than the fall of the Wall, a development that was baked into the premise of the Wall’s existence from the very beginning. A fantasy tác giả doesn’t just place an enormous enchanted barrier between the living và the dead without plans to knock the thing down eventually. Now, there’s no more eventually about it.

What does the Wall’s fall mean for the series moving forward? Nothing short of all-out war as soon as Thrones returns. The final season of the record-breaking HBO series boasts only six episodes, và given the events of the season seven finale, it’s easy to lớn see why. With white Walkers fully marching on Westeros soil, there’s simply no way for Thrones to lớn expand its story beyond a shortened but propulsive arc. For instance, Winterfell is within spitting distance of the Wall, at least if we’re judging by how quickly one can fly lớn the North from Dragonstone, as established in the season’s penultimate hour. Expect the home of House Stark to lớn come under attack from the Army of the Dead as soon as the very next episode of trò chơi of Thrones — tragic timing, considering Winterfell only reverted khổng lồ its rightful owners very recently.

Speaking of the rightful owners of Winterfell, the surviving children of Ned (Sean Bean) & Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) finally avenged their parents, leading to lớn the biggest human casualty of the finale: Littlefinger, the scheming manipulator who died as a long-winded result of his unhealthy obsession with his beloved “Cat.” After spending weeks at each other’s throats, the Stark sisters Sansa (Sophie Turner) và Arya (Maisie Williams) pulled off their proverbial masks, revealing their aim lớn take down Littlefinger once and for all. With an assist from Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) và his ability khổng lồ see into the past, the Stark siblings ascertained all of the evidence they needed to convict Lord Baelish in his crimes against House Stark. For a man who once boasted that he could see every single possibility playing out at all times, it turns out Littlefinger was no match for a young man with actual omnipotence on his side.

Love him or hate him, Littlefinger was a character who added enormous amounts of intrigue lớn the show’s more politically inclined storylines. His loss isn’t quite as grand a symbolic gesture as the fall of the Wall, but it’s nevertheless one that reinforces the show’s current mission statement: game of Thrones has little time left for scheming & manipulation, not when there’s an undead army breathing down humanity’s neck. (In fairness, the white Walkers have not quite yet reached the Neck. In further fairness, that was an awfully nerdy Westeros geography joke. I make no apologies.) Given the clear & present danger of the show, Littlefinger’s role was already slipping away; with the Night King now officially in Westeros proper, và with Littlefinger in such close physical proximity to the coming trắng Walker assault, there was only so much wheeling-and-dealing Lord Baelish could pull off before his inevitable meeting with the Stranger. Considering the alternative, it’s much more fitting for his story to kết thúc at the hands of the Starks, the family he ruined through his own political ambitions & long-simmering personal grudges.


Of course, death is not always the over on trò chơi of Thrones, as both Beric và Jon Snow would happily tell you. No, the Lord of Light doesn’t likely have plans for Littlefinger. The only person who might have cause to bring Littlefinger back lớn life: No One. Don’t forget that Arya is capable of taking on the likeness of the dead, thanks to lớn her training as a Faceless Man. And don’t forget that she still nurses a serious grudge against the Lannisters. Before she returned lớn Winterfell, Arya was heading south to assassinate Queen Cersei (Lena Headey). Is it possible that Arya will resume that mission, this time wearing the face of Littlefinger as a means of getting closer to lớn Cersei, just as she’s becoming increasingly desperate for allies? Put that theory on the back burner for now, & don’t forget khổng lồ take it off the stovetop come time for the final season.

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The season finale featured another major development for the inhabitants of Winterfell: the revelation of Jon Snow’s true heritage. Of course, anyone who reads about game of Thrones & takes part in the theory culture already knew what the show delivered as a “big reveal”: Jon is the son of Lyanna Stark & Rhaegar Targaryen, và he is the legitimate heir khổng lồ the Iron Throne, due to lớn his parents’ legitimate marriage. (For what it’s worth, seeing Lyanna and Rhaegar together in the flesh was among the most satisfying experiences in trò chơi of Thrones history, at least for the book-reading crowd.) Bran và Sam (John Bradley) arrived at the mutual discovery of Jon’s origins together, and of course the potential ramifications are huge for the Seven Kingdoms’ political landscape — assuming there are even Seven Kingdoms still standing at the end of the impending trắng Walker war, let alone one kingdom.

Oh, and Jon’s official birth name? Aegon Targaryen. Welcome back to lớn Westeros, Mr. Conqueror.


Speaking of royalty & incest, which will go down as my personal favorite transitional phrase of the year, Jaime và Cersei aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye these days. During the epic meeting in the dragon Pit, both of the Lannister siblings are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt about the great threat lurking north of the Wall — or actually just lurking in the North, now that the threat is through the Wall. But only Jaime actually plans on committing to the cause of fighting against the white Walkers. Cersei plans lớn double-cross Daenerys, especially in light of Jon’s disclosure that he’s bent the knee to the Targaryen queen, but Jaime is well past the point of those concerns, given that the trắng Walkers are on the march.

For a moment, it looked like their disagreement would lead toward Jaime’s demise at Cersei’s hands — or the Mountain’s hands, more accurately. Instead, the two have parted ways, with Jaime dutifully riding off into battle against the Walkers. The stage is very much set for a final, fatal disagreement between Jaime and Cersei in the final season, one that could fulfill the prophecy of Cersei’s death at the hands of the “valonqar,” or “younger sibling” in High Valyrian. That’s assuming the trắng Walkers don’t get their hands on both siblings first.

Turning toward the younger sibling, the scene between Cersei and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has lớn go down as one of the single greatest exchanges of the season. After a long string of episodes in which he lacked a meaningful arc, Dinklage was finally allowed a real moment lớn shine. In the scene, after the two mô tả a glass of wine or two, Tyrion deduces that Cersei is pregnant. Given his love for her deceased children (two of them at least), one imagines the arrival of a new nephew or niece to lớn be a pretty big deal for Tyrion. More và more, what was once an unfathomable prospect is starting to lớn look possible: Cersei might make it out of this series alive, if Tyrion can convince the long Queen khổng lồ show mercy toward an expectant mother. An evil expectant mother, but an expectant mother all the same.

Like Jaime, Tyrion nearly lost his life at the hands of the Mountain — và while we’re on the subject, can we take a moment lớn acknowledge the moment between the Mountain and the Hound (Rory McCann), in which the much-hyped Cleganebowl was hyped to lớn new levels of hypeness? Consider the younger Clegane brother’s words lớn his zombified sibling: “Remember me? Yeah, you do. You’re even fucking uglier than I am now. What did they vì to you? Doesn’t matter. It’s not how it ends for you brother. You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.” and lo, it is known: the final season will feature a battle lớn the death between the brothers Clegane.

One last development in the episode: Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) rediscovering his inner badass và kicking the snot out of an obnoxious Iron Islander. Looks lượt thích there’s room in the final season for little Theon to track down Uncle Euron (Pilou Asbaek) và rescue Yara (Gemma Whelan) after all. It’s a nice và surprising turn for fans invested in Theon’s storyline, which, admittedly, is not everyone. The most important part of Theon getting his groove back, of course, is the advice he receives from Jon Snow: “You’re a Greyjoy, và you’re a Stark.” Moving forward, whenever Jon learns the truth about where he comes from, here’s hoping he’ll remember he’s both Targaryen và Stark — the dragon và the wolf, as it were.

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