Everything you need to know about ‘Game of Thrones’ before the season 7 finale
As we make our way to the end of TV’s hottest series, Game of Thrones, the highly-anticipated season finale is just a few hours away. If you haven’t been keeping up with the program, here is an episode-by-episode guide guaranteed to ready you.
By Emily Beck
Episode One: Dragonstone
The new season opens on a dinner gathering at House Frey. Walder Frey, who was murdered by Arya Stark in the previous season, is giving a toast to the men who killed the Starks at the Red Wedding. Quickly, you realize something is amiss as men begin choking and dying. Arya, who is now a Faceless Man, removes her mask and tells the Frey daughter that “The North remembers.” She then sets off to King’s Landing to kill the queen.
Jon Snow is back at Winterfell, where he has been declared King of the North. He proposes to his allies that they must join together, along with Daenerys Targaryen, to fight the White Walker army. Jon sends the Wildlings to protect the wall and argues with his sister, Sansa, about how to best rule the kingdom. Lord Baelish, “Little Finger”, hovers nearby and attempts to manipulate Sansa.
At the capital, Cersei and Jamie Lannister discuss how King’s Landing is in trouble. Cersei then befriends Euron Greyjoy, of the Iron Islands, who has promised to bring her a gift if she takes his hand in marriage.
Sam Tarly remains at Oldtown, where he works for the Maesters, and discovers a secret, locked area of the Citadel library. He sneaks in late at night and finds a book about Dragonglass, a unique dagger, and how to cure Jorah Mormont’s worsening Greyscale, that he contracted in season 6.
Thoros, Beric, and the Hound come across a farmhouse and find a father and a daughter’s skeletons rotting inside. This is the same family that the Hound robbed and injured previously. After he remorsefully buries them, he looks into the fire and sees the Wall and the incoming White Army.
Daenerys Targaryen finally reaches Dragonstone and ends the episode by asking, “Shall we begin?”
Episode Two: Stormborn
The episode begins with Daenerys at Dragonstone, conversing with her council. She receives a raven from the Red Witch, Melisandre, warning her about the Long Night and references a prophecy about a prince who was promised to bring the dawn. After pointing out that Daenerys is not a prince her advisor, Misandre, states that the translation could be prince or princess. Dany then plans her invasion of Westeros and Tyrion Lannister suggests she take Casterly Rock first.
In Winterfell, Jon tells the Northerners that is will be traveling to Dragonstone to mine Dragonglass, which has been said to kill White Walkers. He leaves Sansa in charge and threatens Little Finger to stay away from his sister. Little Finger ignores Jon’s wishes and tries to turn Sansa against her brother.
Cersei meets with the lords of King’s Landing, using propaganda against Daenerys to gain support. She hopes that by aligning with Randall Tyrell, who is allies with Olenna of Highgarden, Cersei may have a chance at winning the war.
In the caverns, Cersei is introduced to a giant crossbow which has been used to slay dragons in the past.
In Oldtown, Sam defies his teachers and uses his newly discovered literature to remove Jorah’s Greyscale infection.
Arya continues her journey and meets with an old friend who mentions the Starks are in Winterfell again. She decides to abandon her mission to kill Cersei to rejoin her family. Arya runs into her former dire wolf, Nymeria, who refuses to reunite with her.
On the oceans, the Ironborn fleet attacks the Dorne ships and Euron’s men wreak havoc. Euron eventually slaughters two of the Dorne women and captures Yara Greyjoy. Euron challenges Theon Greyjoy to save his sister, but due to his troubled past, Theon jumps ship, abandoning his sister.
Episode Three: The Queen’s Justice
Jon arrives at Dragonstone, where he attempts to convince Daenerys of the White Walkers. They argue over who should “bend the knee.” Daenerys and Jon speak of her brother Rhaegar, whom she named one of her dragon’s after, alluding to potential family ties between Daenerys and Jon.
Euron delivers Yara and the Dorne women to Cersei in King’s Landing. Cersei then tells him that he will have her hand in marriage once the war is won. Cersei is visited by Tycho, from the Iron Bank, who tells her they will no longer fund her wars due to her ever growing debt. She reminds him that “A Lannister always pays his debt.”
Sansa prepares the North for the war to come, while Little Finger overhears that all raven scrolls are recorded by the Maesters. He is worried that this may lead to the Starks realizing his dangerous, tangled web of lies.
Bran Stark, who is now the Three-Eyed Raven, returns to Winterfell and is no longer a young boy, but a callous enigma.
Jorah bids farewell to Sam and returns to Dragonstone to serve his queen, Daenerys.
Greyworm and the Unsullied Army attack Casterly Rock only to find that the Lannister Army is not there. Jamie and his men are in Highgarden, taking over the Tyrells.
Jamie finds Olenna in her chambers, where he gives her poison and she admits to being the one who poisoned Joffrey.
Episode Four: The Spoils of War
The Tarlys and Bronn are working with Jamie to control Highgarden. Jamie begins to question whether his sister will make a good ruler but continues to support her, although his justifications are weakening.
Cersei and Tycho discuss further loans from the Iron Bank as the Highgarden capture has supplied her with enough to repay her debts. Cersei mentions her plan to rule all of Westeros and considers hiring a mercenary army, the Golden Company.
In Winterfell, Bran and Little Finger have a conversation and Little Finger gifts Bran the Valerian Steel Dagger. Bran sees through his conniving lies and repeats Little Finger’s phrase, “Chaos is a ladder.” Little Finger finally begins to realize Bran is much more than he seems. Bran later admits that the boy he used to be is now dead.
Arya arrives in Winterfell and reunites with her brother and sister. Bran brings up Arya’s list of names and gives her the dagger. Brienne of Tarth and Arya later spar and Sansa becomes frightened by her younger sister’s newfound skills.
Daenerys and Jon explore the caves of Dragonstone where he shows her the carvings of The Children. Jon points out the story of the White Walkers and finally convinces her to join him. Theon arrives at Dragonstone, where Jon chooses not to kill him, but to instead send him away.
While returning to King’s Landing from Highgarden, the Lannister army is interceded by Daenerys on her dragon and the Dothraki army. Daenerys and Drogon burn the Lannister army and destroy much of their caravan.
Bronn attempts to kill Drogon with the crossbow, the Scorpion Bolt, but misses, landing the giant spear in the dragon’s shoulder. Jamie sees the wounded dragon and tries to kill Daenerys, but before being burned to a crisp, Bronn saves him by pushing him into the river.
Episode Five: Eastwatch
The episode starts off with Bronn and Jamie washing up along the shore and Tyrion walking through the wreckage of the battle.
Daenerys speaks to the survivors, claiming she is not there to burn or murder and gives them the ultimatum of bending the knee or dying. The Tarlys refuse to surrender to her and she uses Drogon to burn them alive. Daenerys says she wants to break the wheel, but her track record for ruling hasn’t gone well.
Back at Dragonstone, Jon and Drogon have a moment where Jon is allowed to pet the large dragon. This scene again alludes to Jon having Targaryen blood. Jorah arrives at Dragonstone, where Daenerys welcomes him with open arms.
Varys and Tyrion discuss Daenerys’s violent ways and try to figure out how to help her from becoming her father, The Mad King. Her counsel finalizes a plan to capture a wight to bring to Cersei.
In the North, Bran uses raves to see the White Army headed in their direction. The Night King breaks his control by looking directly into the raven’s eyes. In Winterfell, the counsel wants Sansa to become ruler, not Jon. Sansa tries to be reasonable and reminds them that Jon is their king. Arya accuses Sansa of being weak and chastises her for loving pretty things. Little Finger manipulates Arya into finding a past scroll from Sansa betraying her family, which creates animosity between the two sisters.
Tyrion and Davos travel to King’s Landing where Tyrion meets with his brother to convince Jamie to have Cersei make peace with Daenerys. Jamie returns to Cersei at the capitol and she refuses to surrender to Daenerys because she tells Jamie that she is with child. She warns Jamie to “never betray her again.” Davos finds Gendry, Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, and brings him back to Dragonstone. Once there, Daenerys sends Jorah, Jon, and a team of men to find the White Walkers.
The Arche Maesters of Oldtown refuse to believe Bran’s raven and Sam’s pleading about the White Walkers. Frustrated, Sam decides he and Gilly will leave, but not before Gilly drops major hints about the Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark tryst leading to further evidence of Jon Snow’s true bloodline.
Episode Six: Beyond the Wall
The team of men is beyond the Wall, exploring into the North to find the White army. They manage to capture a wight, but become surrounded by the entire army. They send Gendry running back to the wall to send a message to Daenerys for assistance.
The group waits until the impatient Hound throws a rock, hitting the jaw off one of the wights. He hurls a second stone, which misses the wight, but skids in front of his feet. This initiates a massive battle between the men and the dead army. Daenerys arrives with her three dragons, destroying much of the army.
When she lands Drogon to rescue the men, the Night King hurdles a huge ice spear into the air, killing the dragon, Viserion. Daenerys and the men watch as the powerful beast sinks into the frozen lake. She escapes, leaving Jon behind, and flies back to the Wall.
At Winterfell, Sansa and Arya argue over the message found in Little Finger’s bedroom. Arya accuses her of betraying her family, leading to the death her father. Later, Sansa sneaks into Arya’s room to find her leather folder, filled with faces. Arya threatens her sister, but at the last moment, hands her sister the Valerian steel dagger from Little Finger. Sansa receives a letter from Cersei inviting her to join her at King’s Landing but Sansa refuses, sending Brienne in her place.
Jon Snow, frozen and near death, makes his way back to the Wall. He and Daenerys have a discussion while he recovers and he agrees to bend the knee to his new queen. They share an intimate moment, but Daenerys rushes away and leaves Jon to sleep.
The ending scene shows the White Walker army dragging heavy chains up the mountain from the frozen lake. The army pulls Viserion from the water and the Night Kings respawns the creature into an undead dragon.
Be sure to catch the “Game of Thrones” finale tonight at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Header photo courtesy of HBO Inc.