"Game of Thrones" season finale: "The Dragon and the Wolf"
Courtesy HBO(NEW YORK) –After a thrilling season, Sunday night’s Game of Thrones season finale didn’t disappoint. We found out that Jon Snow’s real name is Aegon Targaryen, and that he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Also, Jon and Daenerys — who are nephew and aunt — finally did it, and Lord Baelish, a.k.a. Littlefinger, came to a bloody end, courtesy of Arya’s dagger. And oh yeah: the zombie dragon, ridden by the Night King, melted a huge chunk of the wall, and let the Army of the Dead march through.
Here’s how it all went down:
It’s the big faceoff we’ve been waiting six seasons for: Jon, Tyrion, Jorah, Varys, Theon and the Hound come to King’s Landing with their wight-in-a-box to meet Cersei, Jamie and Euron Greyjoy face-to-face. Also present is the contingent from Winterfell, led by Brienne. Dany arrives late — riding one of her dragons, of course — much to the annoyance of Cersei.
Things get heated right away, but Tyrion admits up front that yes, they all hate each other and have done each other wrong. But, he says, “We have something to show you.” Cue the Hound, who opens the box and frees the wight. It immediately tries to attack Cersei. Everyone’s terrified, especially after the Hound cuts the wight in two, and it keeps on snarling and attacking. Finally, Jon explains that the wights can be burnt or killed with dragonglass, and stabs the thing to death.
“There is only one war that matters. The Great War. And it is here,” he declares.
Euron announces that he’s taking his fleet back to the Iron Islands because he’s terrified. Cersei agrees to a truce while they all fight the Army of the Dead, but she has one condition: After it’s over, she insists that Jon and the North not take sides between her and Dany. Too late, he says…he’s already bent the knee for Daenerys. A furious Cersei says the truce is off and storms away. But Tyrion, who realizes his sister is pregnant, manages to talk her into changing her mind and pledging her troops to the cause. Or so he thinks.
It turns out that later, when Jaime is making plans to march North, Cersei says she has no intention of keeping the pledge — she wants to let all the “monsters” kill each other while they stay behind, retake all their lands and rule Westeros. Jaime rightly points out that at some point, either the dead, or Dany and Jon, will come and kill them all.
Cersei points out that Dany showed up with only two dragons, and correctly surmises that something must have happened to one of them, which means they are vulnerable. She also says that Euron didn’t really desert them — he’s actually heading to Essos to bring back 20,000 mercenary soldiers to help them. When Jaime insists that he still plans to ride North, she threatens to kill him. He tells her to go ahead, but she won’t do it. We last see Jaime riding away as it begins to snow in King’s Landing.
On a boat
Jon and Dany are heading to White Harbor by sea, where they plan to meet the rest of their troops and march North. While on the boat, Jon knocks on Dany’s door. They exchange a look, and the next thing you know, they’re doing the horizontal dance with dragons — if you know what we mean. But this happens right at the moment that we find out about Jon’s true parentage at…
Sam, who’s left the Citadel, arrives at Winterfell and tells Bran he’s there to help Jon fight the dead. Bran announces that he’s got to talk to Jon, because he knows something that no one else knows. Then, apropos of nothing, he spills it all to Sam. He explains that Jon is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, Dany’s late brother, and Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister. But when Bran then goes on to say that yes, Jon is a bastard, but not Ned Stark’s bastard, Sam corrects him.
Sam then reveals what we learned last week: that the High Septon secretly married Rhaegar and Lyanna, which means that Jon isn’t a bastard. Bran then quickly travels back in time, witnesses the wedding and then witnesses Jon’s birth — and we see Lyanna tell her brother Ned, with her dying breath, “His name is Aegon Targaryen and you must protect him. Promise me, Ned.” Bran then realizes that Jon is indeed the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Not only does this prove once and for all that Jon and Dany are nephew and aunt, but it also proves that Robert’s Rebellion — in which Robert Baratheon teamed up with the Lannisters to overthrow the Targaryens because he believed Rhaegar kidnapped and raped Lyanna — was all based on a lie. And speaking of lies, more of them are being uncovered in another part of Winterfell…
The Great Hall
After Sansa ponders whether Arya really wants to kill her and take her place as Lady of Winterfell — an idea that Lord Baelish encourages Sansa to believe — she makes a decision. She has Arya brought to the Great Hall, where she and Bran sit behind an imposing table, with armed guards everywhere. It looks like Arya’s going down but psych! The entire thing is a set up to put Baelish on trial for…well, everything.
A shocked Littlefinger sputters and stammers as Sansa announces a litany of his lies and treachery, none of which she would presumably ever have known unless Bran, the all-seeing Three Eyed Raven, told her. Among Littlefinger’s crimes: He convinced the Stark kids’ Aunt Lysa to poison her then-husband, Jon Arryn, and then tell their mom, Catelyn, that the Lannisters did it. In other words, he’s the one who started the whole war between the Starks and Lannisters.
What else? Let’s see…hmm…he killed Lysa by pushing her through the Moon Door at the Eyrie. He conspired with Cersei and Joffrey to have Ned Stark accused of treason and murdered. He also provided the dagger that the assassin used to try to kill Bran in his bed, and then lied and said it was Tyrion’s.
When Littlefinger drops to his knees and declares that he loved their mother Catelyn, Sansa coldly says, “And yet, you betrayed her.” When he then declares that he loves her, Sansa repeats, “And yet, you betrayed me.”
Sansa ends by saying, “When you brought me back to Winterfell, you told me that that there’s no justice in the world, not unless we make it. Thank you for all your many lessons, Lord Baelish. I will never forget them.” Then Arya calmly walks up to him and slashes his throat. Littlefinger dies, gurgling, in a pool of his own blood.
Theon declares that’s he’s going to save his sister Yara, who his uncle Euron still claims to have prisoner. The rest of his men taunt him for being a coward — which he admits to — and one of the men beats him up. But when he knees Theon where it hurts, it doesn’t hurt him…thanks to what Ramsay Bolton did to him. That allows Theon to get a second wind and beat the Iron Islander to death. The rest of the men all fall in behind Theon and set off to save Yara.
Finally, we’re back at Eastwatch with Beric and Tormund, who are up on the Wall. They see some people approaching: it’s the Army of the Dead. As if that’s not terrifying enough, here comes the Night King riding Viserion — Dany’s dragon, who he killed last week and turned into a zombie. Viserion breathes a blue fame that melts away a huge chunk of the wall, and the Army of the Dead march right on in.
And on that cheery note…we’ll see thee next season!
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