It’s almost hard to talk about Game Of Thrones in anything resembling a succinct manner these days. The show is so expansive, and the fans are so deeply involved with theories, that even the smallest of points seem to require hours of debate. Therefore, recapping an entire season seems frankly exhausting. But I’m going to try it out here by focusing on some of the biggest moments, both experienced and yet to come. Obviously, many spoilers follow.
The Coolest Moments
Arya Meets Nymeria – Pretty much all Thrones fans want more of the direwolves, and Arya’s had been missing for more or less the entire duration of the show. In the books, there are occasional references to an unusually intelligent wolf leading a giant pack, and it’s assumed that it’s Nymeria. Early in this season, Arya collided with some form of this mini-narrative, and came face-to-face with her old Direwolf, Nymeria. Even cooler: Nymeria refused the offer to reunite and took off on her own path, prompting Arya to sadly (but also approvingly?) gasp, “that’s not you.” It’s actually kind of sad – but the callback behind it was fantastic. It had to do with Ned Stark, who once presented the life of a lady to Arya, only to have her respond, “No, that’s not me.” Sometimes, this show is still magic.
The Queen Of Thorns’ Sign Off – The Queen Of Thorns, aka Olenna Tyrell, has been one of the most consistently clever and biting characters in this show. It’s a mark of how well she’s played the “game” that she was done the honor of death by poison, which Jaime Lannister offered her about as civilly as one can deal a death blow. In response, Lady Tyrell used her last thorn, and revealed that it was she who murdered Joffrey several seasons ago. It’s been so long we almost forgot that it wasn’t a done deal who killed the little brat. But this was also a big moment in that it drove perhaps the final wedge between Jaime and Cersei. Knowing that Tyrion didn’t kill Joffrey, Jaime now knows Cersei’s anger at Tyrion is unfounded.
The First Dragon Battle – This is probably an obvious pick, but man was it cool to see the first Targaryen/Dothraki vs. Lannisters battle. Everything from the Dothraki standing up in their saddles during a charge, to the arrival of Danaerys on dragonback, to Bronn’s successful launch of a gigantic spear into said dragon’s wing, was just amazing. Somehow they made it all look realistic, which is frankly absurd.
The Biggest Questions Answered
Yes, Jon Is A Targaryen – A lot of people assumed this question was basically answered back in season six, when Bran had a vision of a young Ned Stark accepting his dying sister’s baby – whom he would effectively protect as “Jon Snow,” his false bastard. But in actuality all that proved is that Jon Snow was actually Jon Sand – a bastard of the south, rather than the north. This season we got confirmation to the popular theory that Lyanna Stark (Ned’s sister) had in fact married Rhaegar Targaryen before having his child, which makes Jon not a Stark, Snow, or Sand, but a legitimate Targaryen – and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
No, Sansa Didn’t Trust Baelish – Game Of Thrones has largely been a journey of people trusting schemers when they shouldn’t. The ultimate schemer is Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, and at the end of season six he was shacked up with Sansa, seemingly with the Lady of Winterfell at least somewhat indebted to him. Would you believe that at least one analysis on predictions for season seven mentioned potential nuptials between Sansa and Baelish? That’s right! Just a year ago, we thought this was a possibility! As it happened, Sansa was the first person in the Seven Kingdoms wise enough not to trust Littlefinger – and Arya did what someone should have done six seasons ago, and slit his throat mid-sentence.
Yes, Jon & Dany Are A Thing – Most fans seemed to want these two to hook up, even though the same fans seemed fairly certain that the story would reveal Jon to be Dany’s nephew. Well, it did, and they hooked up anyway. For my money, this was actually stiff, forced fan service. The two really don’t have much chemistry other than representing fire and ice and both being attractive. But HBO chose not to consult me on the manner. They hooked up, and now the question is whether they will indeed remain an item.
Problems Yet To Solve
Who Will Conquer Cersei? – It’s a virtual certainty that the Iron Throne will be taken from Cersei, and she’ll likely die in the process. But the old prophecy a young Cersei heard from a witch in the woods complicates things. PopSugar did us the courtesy of recounting this prophecy, the key portion of which is phrased thusly: “You’ll be queen for a time. Then comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear.” The smart money is on this younger beauty being Daenerys, but remember how certain we all were that it was Margaery Tyrell? The idea of “taking all she holds dear” doesn’t actually hold up very well given that she’s already lost most of what she held dear. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
What’s Going On With Tyrion? – First, he mysteriously convinced Cersei to pledge her help to Dany in the battle against the White Walkers. Then, he saw that Jon and Dany were hooking up and got an infamously cryptic look on his face. Tyrion was effectively neutered in season seven – he had bad ideas, his strategies backfired, and he was more or less relegated to a small role. But these strange events toward the end of season seven indicate that he’s not done with his agenda, and he’s probably up to a few things we haven’t guessed at yet.
Will Jon & Dany Stay Together? – People know who Jon is now, and it’s certain that he’ll be told eventually. The family tree is a little bit complicated, but here’s my best attempt at explaining it: the so-called Mad King who was overthrown by Robert Baratheon had three children: Rhaegar, Viserys, and Daenerys Targaryen. Rhaegar, as the eldest, was the heir, and was married to one Elia Martell, with whom he had two, supposedly murdered children. However, it was Rhaegar – Dany’s brother – who we now know to have annulled his marriage in time to marry Lyanna Stark and produce another child: Jon. So, putting it simply, Jon is Dany’s nephew and lover. When he learns of the former, will he remain the latter?
A Few Fun Predictions
Daenerys Will Die – This doesn’t seem to be a particularly popular talking point. But right now we basically have a conqueror who believes she’s the rightful heir, and her nephew, who is the rightful heir. It’s an inconvenient situation. Supposedly, this series is still moving toward author George R.R. Martin’s intended ending, and there’s just always been something about Jon – something even Tyrion seemed to recognize in their early conversations back in season one. It seems unlikely that a series overstuffed with greed and ambition will really end with a determined conqueror on the throne. The reluctant ruler – Jon – seems more Martin’s style, which means Dany has to be out of the way.
Gendry Will Be Jon’s Hand – There’s no deep theory on this one, but it seems to fit in a poetic sort of way. Jon’s foster father, Ned Stark, started this whole story by journeying south to be the hand for a Baratheon king. That king’s bastard has proven noble and capable, and is in position to be of great help to Jon. Many times this series has hinted at the general rise of bastards, and for these two to end up in the throne room would be fitting.
Jaime Will Win A Fight – Finally, before all’s said and done, we’re going to see some redemption for Jaime – not in his moral compass, but in his fighting skill. We’ve been told from the very beginning that he’s as good a knight as there is, and we’ve hardly seen him win a fight – even with a good hand. His big moment will come on a battlefield, where he’ll finally win something, and do a good deed in the process.