Game of Thrones finale lacks surprises, still delivers
***Warning: Spoilers Alert***
By Emily Beck
Season 7 of “Game Of Thrones” has come to an end but the story continues.
As we reach another incredible finale by the producers at HBO, this last episode laid the foundation for an action-packed Season 8.
This finale, titled “The Dragon and the Wolf,” opens with Greyworm and the Unsullied army gathered outside King’s Landing. As Bronn and Jamie Lannister gaze upon them from the safety of their stone wall, the Dothraki ride in, filling the gaps between the mercenary soldiers. Tyrion, Jon, and Daenerys’s counsel arrive to the capital aboard a ship flaunting the Targaryen family crest.
As the Targaryen fleet reaches King’s Landing, they are met by Bronn and the Lannister army, who directs them to the Dragonpit. After they reach their destination, Cersei and Jamie Lannister appear with the King’s Guard in tow. To Cersei’s dismay, Daenerys has yet to arrive.
Finally, in true Targaryen fashion, Daenerys rides in atop Drogon with Rhaegal following closely behind.
Despite Jon’s pleading, Cersei has no interest in the war beyond the Wall until The Hound carries the boxed wight into the arena. Introducing a member of the undead army to Cersei and her allies has a seemingly profound effect.
Fearing for the life of her unborn child, she agrees to a truce with Daenerys and Jon before ultimately confessing to Jamie her plan to rescind her parlay: She has sent Euron Greyjoy to Essos to contract the Golden Company to help conquer all of Westeros, in exchange for her hand in marriage.
This decision angers Jamie who abandons King’s Landing, discovering snow falling onto the capital for the first time in decades. While Euron is away, Theon convinces a group of Ironborn men to journey with him to rescue his sister Yara.
In Winterfell, the animosity rages between Sansa and Arya as Little Finger manipulates Sansa to mistrust her younger sister. The Lady of Winterfell demands her sister be brought into the Great Hall for questioning. Sansa then confronts Arya, accusing her of treason and murder. Sansa shifts her gaze at Little Finger, to whom we now understand the allegations are directed. As he begs for his life and pleads for mercy, Arya savagely slits his throat, leaving him to die on the Hall’s floor.
Samwell Tarly arrives in Winterfell, where he meets Bran in his chambers. Together they unveil the truth behind Jon’s true heritage, finalizing the reality of Jon’s bloodline. Bran discovers through visions that there was indeed a secret ceremony between Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
Jon’s true name is Aegon.
This realization, of course, comes as Jon enters Daenerys’s chambers and the sexual tension comes to a climax.
The episode closes at the Wall where Tormund and Beric are gazing into the North; they watch, terrified as the undead army filters through the forest toward the Wall.
The skeletal army defiantly grows closer as the Night King flies on his very own, newly unveiled ice dragon — aka the undead, freshly reanimated Viserion.
Breathing a crystal blue fire upon the ice wall, the structure collapses, disintegrating into the sea.
This finale did not hold the gripping drama typical of some of its predecessors. Many of the plot points were easily predictable — other than the death of Lord Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger.
But it still worked.
Cersei’s lack of humanity solidifies her as a truly conniving villain — one that is seemingly incapable of change. Despite her fake empathy, she continues to serve herself, proving that she will stop at nothing to remain in power — no matter the cost.
The palpable tension between Daenerys and Jon since their initial meeting has been leading to the inevitable sexual chemistry.
However, due to their familial ties and the fact that Jon is revealed to be the actual heir to the Iron Throne, it leaves the viewers questioning whether this will create malevolence between them or if it will somehow bring them closer together.
Incest was a common thread of the Targaryen bloodline and the ensuing dynasty. But how will this fact hold up? Will it lead them to further unite, or will it divide them?
The Night King riding on the back of Viserion wasn’t surprising, but it was powerful nonetheless. Thrones fans have been waiting for the White Walkers to invade the mainland of Westeros for seven seasons.
There are fan theories regarding whether Jon or Daenerys will be the “Prince That Was Promised” or Azor Ahai to lead the people of Westeros through the second coming of the Long Night. But it looks like we may have to wait until 2019 to see who ultimately wins the Game of Thrones.
Header photo courtesy of MTV