Warning: spoilers ahead.
This is it. This is moment we have been waiting for. The season finale for Game of Thrones is here and honestly, it could not have been better.
With a litany of iconic moments, this is the episode can be summed up in three words: big, bloody and brilliant. “The Dragon and the Wolf” is ruthless and efficient, wrapping up story lines, throwing shade into alliances, and serving justice to those who have had it coming for a while. It also opens up a multitude of possibilities for the final season as our hopes are crushed in the last few minutes of the episode. With the houses all gearing up for the upcoming Great War, there’s no telling who will survive.
It has to be said: Lena Headey is a phenomenal actress. Cersei Lannister takes up a large portion of screen time, and for good reason. She is the deciding figure in the upcoming Great War, the one who stands in the way between humanity’s survival or extinction. As we approach the fragile summit arranged between Cersei, Daenerys and Jon within the ruins of the Dragonpit, the unfamiliarity of the location gives rise to uncertainty and fear.
Cersei is in charge here. This is King’s Landing and she is the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She is not about to give up her position of power even if a bloodthirsty wight is about to tear out her throat. She’s got other priorities, like conquering what will remain of Westeros. Refusing the truce Tyrion offers, to fight with Daenerys and Jon until the Army of the Dead are defeated, she storms out, making way for one of the greatest exchanges we’ve seen between the Lannister siblings.
There is no denying that without Cersei’s help, they are royally fucked. So Tyrion does what he does best: talk. He shares a brief moment with Jaime outside Cersei’s room, and almost a bittersweet farewell. Time after time, Tyrion has been denied the moment to have it out with his sister, and here he’s granted that moment. And it’s all to do with family. Tyrion killed their father, and so Cersei sees everything as his fault, including Tommen and Myrcella’s deaths. It’s such a heated argument, but calculated: Tyrion realises Cersei is pregnant, and Cersei knows she can’t kill Tyrion.
Not if she wants everything to go according to plan, meaning her agreement to help Jon and Daenerys fight the Army of the Dead. It’s all a sham. As far as Cersei is concerned, the whole of Westeros can slaughter each other and she’ll take on what’s left. She’s looking out for herself, and not even Jaime is aware of what she’s planning: Euron is on the way to Esso to pick up the Golden Company, the Iron Bank’s forces. As swift as Jaime is in pointing out
Cersei’s lunacy, it’s the turning point for their relationship. Cersei is too far gone into her paranoia, her hunger for power. In the end, he leaves for the North alone, looking for a way to ease his conscience and hopefully right the wrongs Cersei will do.
In the North, the master schemer gets totally outplayed by the Stark sisters, managing to convince him they had turned against each other. Instead, he stands accused of treason, murder and god knows what else. Aiden Gillen, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Issac Hempsted Wright were all sensational in their roles as the drama unfolded. Sansa lays down the charges like a bamf while Bran drops the evidence like a hot potato, completely throwing Littlefinger off his guard. Because how could Bran have known what he said to Ned Stark? How could the Stark children know he led their father to his death and planned for the Stark and Lannister feud? Baelish is at a loss for words, caught out and frightened at being outsmarted at his own game. Arya watches, bemused, before slashing his throat with his own dagger. Farewell, Littlefinger.
But wait, there’s more. The climax of the episode involves, naturally, ice and fire. Remember the R+L=J theory that was lowkey confirmed by Gilly? It’s definitely confirmed now as Sam Tarly and Bran discuss Jon’s true identity. Jon Snow is actually the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark – hence the Dragon and the Wolf. As it’s revealed to us, Jon and Daenerys make love for the first time and it’s a scene that leaves the fandom in a state of confusion. It’s a familial relationship, but plays out the prophecy, so does that make it right? Their relationship can change the fate of Westeros, and it’s not like they chose to fall in love.
This brings us to the final moments of the episode aka the beginning of the end. Tormund and Beric are dumbstruck as they watch the White Walkers and the dead gather at the base of Eastwatch. It takes us a moment to realise the Night King is flying on an undead Viserion, who sweeps past with a breath of blue flame. It’s a horrific sight as the Wall melts with the Army of the Dead watching in what seems like anticipation. Their blue gazes are haunting and vacant, yet they know this is their moment, their purpose. And of course, it ends with Eastwatch being destroyed and the army advancing.
This season had a rocky start as story lines connected, meetings took place and characters had to make choices that were not exactly the best. The thing is, all the lies, the murders, the politics and betrayal, none of it matters now. The pacing also threw us through a loop, but the finale ties everything together with one clear message: the next
season is going to be a bloodbath, and Westeros will not be the same.
See you in 2019, probably.