Recap the Realm: Game of Thrones, Season 7, “The Dragon and the Wolf”

Hello, all you giant monster babies, and welcome to this season’s final installment of Recap the Realm! This was a doozy of an episode and the longest of the show by far, so expect several thousand words. You knew what you were getting in to! So let’s get right to it.


Lord MWB: Season 7 has been a bumpy road. There have been glorious action pieces, baffling character decisions, weird timelines, and a general sense that we’re just really racing to the end as fast as we can. It’s been rough, y’all. But with this last episode, the entire season has mostly been redeemed. Mostly.

The meeting at the Dragonpit was exciting just by sheer volume of characters, we got some fun dialogue from…everyone really, and Bronn and Tyrion finally quipped with each other again, which is honestly half of what I wanted from this season. And Sandor teased us oh so sweetly with the promise of Cleganebowl. I’m honestly not too mad we didn’t get it because the show hasn’t set up the dramatic weight of it the way the books have, but I’m still excited to see it eventually. There’s so much to go over from this scene, I can’t even wrap my head around where to begin.

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Firstly, Show Euron’s a Becky. I feel like my understanding of the term “Becky” is probably not in line with culture-at-large’s understanding—and for that I’m sorry—but Show Euron is both incredibly extra and incredibly basic. Like, I love how he waited for the precise moment that Tyrion started talking to start smack talking Theon. And not only that, but Theon’s right—his dwarf joke sucked and he was so satisfied with it that he felt the need to explain it cus I guess he thought no one else would get it. If that’s not Becky behavior, I don’t know what is.

As for Jon Snow’s decision to derail the proceedings by being honorable…I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, way to completely screw everybody over for your own feeling of self-righteousness, you dumb prick. On the other hand, he’s not wrong. The world of Westeros became the terrible place that it is because words mean nothing. The lies and intrigues have been rotting away the foundations of their society for hundreds of years and now everything is threatening to topple over. Dany talks about wanting to break the wheel and the wheel is built on lies. But…maybe now wasn’t the best time to do that, bro. Granted, Cersei was gonna screw everyone over no matter what, but the characters don’t know that the way the audience does.

It’s really weird how we don’t see the rest of Cersei and Tyrion’s meeting, right? Did he strike some sort of deal with her? What happened after he found out she was pregnant? There are potentially huge implications for the final season here. Also, Nikkie will talk about this more, but I still don’t think Cersei’s pregnant. And my god—Lena and Peter acted the HELL out of this scene, right?! They’re consistently two of the best actors on the show.

The Hound and Brienne bein all proud parents about Arya was super cute.

Also, points for Jon saying maybe the smartest thing he’s ever said when he tells Dany that maybe the witch who killed her husband and baby wasn’t exactly reliable. We’ve all been thinking it!

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Sort of related to the Dragonpit stuff: Theon’s story in this episode ended on such a weird note.
I loved the scene between him and Jon. It was maybe one of the most uplifting things on the show in a long time, and it has implications for Jon finding out he’s a Targaryean—he may be a dragon by blood, but Jon will always be a Stark at heart. (Nikkie Note: I cosign this!) But then, Theon’s confrontation with the little crew of Ironborn was weird. I liked that he was standing up for himself again, buuuuut I don’t really like that he won the fight ‘cus the guy tried to kick him in the nuts. It felt like it was trying to be funny in a scene that was supposed to be serious.
Regardless, I loved that last scene of him washing his face with sea water. Hopefully his little side quest isn’t too distracting in the last season.

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Finally—FINALLY—Jaime breaks away from Cersei. He’s long past that point in the books, and seeing him continually go back to her and declare his love for her these last few seasons has been torture. I really thought he was going to get killed by the Mountain for a moment. I would have died.
I understand that him putting the glove over his gold hand was supposed to be symbolic, but it was also weirdly comical. Like, what are you protecting it from? The snow? Do you think that no one on the Kings Road will recognize you if it’s covered? (Nikkie Note: Seriously. You’re Jaime fucking Lannister. Everyone knows your damn face, man.)

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Jesus, that was a lot. And now I can finally talk about the shit I want to talk about: Winterfell, baby! Starklings unite! At first, I thought this episode showed that the Stark Girlz were playing Littlefinger this whole time, but Nikkie has since wisely pointed out to me how little sense that would make, based on their confrontation in Arya’s room. So now I think Arya was playing Littlefinger from the beginning but also testing Sansa’s loyalty/pushing Littlefinger into playing his hand too hard to show Sansa what he’s up to. At the same time, Sansa, I think, was playing up her “Oh, Lord Baelish, I need your big strong man brain to help me understand what Arya’s up to” act to see if he would go so far as to tell her to act against Arya. Sansa knows he plays people against each other—she’s known since Lysa died—so I think she was just trying to see if he would do it to her as well. This would explain why she went from not listening to any of his shit in the first few episodes to suddenly acting like she needed him.
So the Stark Ladies were both playing their own separate games toward the same end, and eventually they realized that they needed each other. And then Three Eyed Bran came in for the assist at the last minute to bring it all home. Seeing all the Starklings come together to take down possibly the most dangerous human character in the series was IMMENSELY satisfying. The rest of their plot was a little clunky this season, and parts of it don’t hold up under scrutiny, sure, but watching Arya cut Littlefinger’s throat is enough to make me happy with it overall. And I think Bran may not be as removed from human affairs as he wants us to think. Remember that look he gave Littlefinger when he threw “chaos is a ladder” back in his face?
The Starkling pack is back together. And the pack fucking survives.

Then, Sam shows up and has some dialogue with Bran. His reactions to Bran’s mystical shit is hilarious. Bran really is the Iron Fist of this show—just telling anyone who’ll listen that he’s the Three Eyed Raven and I guess expecting them to know what that means even though it sounds insane. We get some context for Jon’s birth while Jon and Dany get on with their hawt aunt/nephew lovin, and we all feel a little dirty inside.

And then our hearts break. I hope Tormund is alive somehow but…I doubt it. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. My heart hurts.

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I’ve said before that the show, to me, is just an extended trailer for the last two books, and this episode more than any other really highlights that.

We had a major death with Littlefinger, but as satisfying as the death was, it felt weirdly small. We had the reveal of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s love without answers to all the many questions it raises (How did they meet? What about Elia? Why is Rhaegar so willing to throw away his life and ruin his family for this? etc…). The Wall came down in a way that required a sloppy plan and immense luck. All of these things will happen in the books, but their execution will be much grander.
This honestly isn’t a bad thing. Being this far removed from the books really allows me to enjoy the show as its own thing. I don’t have to worry about the books being spoiled because I don’t think 80 oercent of what’s happening in these last two seasons will happen at all…or at least not in the same way. So as rough as this season was, it was at least very entertaining.

Nikkie, I’m…so sorry for rambling again. I can’t control myself! But, take it away.


Lady MWB: GET WRECKED, LITTLEFINGER, YOU PIECE OF DISGUSTING GARBAGE!!!!!!

*Ahem* Excuse me. I had something caught in my throat for seven seasons.

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Honestly. I have so many thoughts about this finale, you guys. I’ve already gotten into a couple arguments about it; it’s hard to know where to begin! So I’m just going to go ahead and jump into my point about Cersei’s pregnancy, which my lord husband so thoughtfully left for me to debate.

In that very intense conversation with Tyrion, where she basically says she’s currently mad at him for messing everything up by killing Tywin (read: not because she loved their father but because his death made their house vulnerable), she talks about how when the wight came at her, the world went black and all she could think about were the important people in her life. She chooses this moment to “absentmindedly” caress her stomach, and paired with the pointed avoidance of the wine he’d set out of her, Tyrion realizes that she’s pregnant. And I bought it. Very well done, Cersei. Except for one thing.
She didn’t touch her stomach when the wight charged.
Watch the scene again. Her hands were ALREADY IN HER LAP as they all watched Sandor bring the zombie-filled box into the pit. If there were really a baby in there, and her motherly instincts had really kicked in the way she wanted us all to believe, then her hands would’ve flown over her stomach protectively—or at least over her entire torso if she was trying to keep the pregnancy a secret for some reason. Although in a moment of pure terror, she wouldn’t have had control over her movements, so my guess is she would’ve covered her stomach and turned away to shield it.
But, watch the scene again. Because what does she do? She grips the arms of her chair and leans away. Her stomach is completely exposed. Why? Because in that moment, the pretense is dropped. She is truly afraid of what she’s seeing, and the last thing on her mind is being conscious of the fact that she’s supposed to pretend to be pregnant.
I’M ON TO YOUR GAME, CERSEI. I’M ON TO IT.

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That being said, I feel like the fate of her “baby” is absolutely something that came up during the part of her conversation with Tyrion that we didn’t see. Likely, Tyrion promised her that Dany would let her and the baby live because Dany is not in the market of murdering children, not even in-utero ones. So my gut says that that was part of the deal.

Naturally, it doesn’t matter because Cersei was pulling bamboozles left and right. People have asked how her and Euron would’ve known about the wight in order to bambooze everyone. There are options. My initial thought was that they had originally intended to stage a fight so she could realistically kick him out—note his bizarre, out-of-nowhere behavior that Cersei gets all salty about at the beginning of the meeting—but when the wight came out and scared the living shit out of everyone (except for Qyburn, who went all Dr. Krieger and was likely fully erect as he examined the moving severed hand), Euron saw it was a much better opportunity to plausibly take his leave. A second option, posited by the Ringer’s post-show “Talk the Thrones” roundtable, is that Tyrion told Jaime in their “secret” meeting that Dany + crew intended to capture a wight and bring it to Cersei as proof. Jaime then relayed that information to Cersei, and she and Euron hatched the scheme of “Act like you’re so freaked out that you’re going to bail.”
Either way, there’s a very big chance that Euron is going to turn her bamboozle around on her. Did you see how torqued he got looking at those dragons? I doubt he’s done trying to go after Dany and her scaly chiddrens.

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Speaking of Dany . . . I suppose I may as well address the dragon with two bare backs in the room . . .

Incest has returned, you guys. In all its candlelit, taut, disgusting glory. While I will always appreciate an opportunity to see Kit Harington’s naked body, and I could even appreciate how well they sold the looks of love mid-coitus, I STILL CAN’T SUPPORT DANY + JON AS A SHIP. It’s too upsetting. Yes, part of it is because I’m a Jon/Ygritte and Dany/Drogo die-hard; you will pry those ships from my cold, dead hands. But really, my main issue is that it’s far too late in the show to be introducing an instance of “good incest.”
Yes, everyone has talked about how Targaryens married brother and sister for centuries, but we never SAW it. And the last Targaryen to marry his sister was the Mad King—not exactly the company you want to keep. Then, there’s the psychosexual domination that Viserys would use against Dany (mostly in-book). Then, OBVIOUSLY, there’s the twisted relationship between Cersei and Jaime. It doesn’t matter that Jaime was legitimately in love with her; we were never intended to root for them because their union was ruinous. The only other instance incest we got to see was *shudder* Craster and his daughter-wives. So, yeah, not a lot of super-happy and beautiful examples of incestual couplings on this show. It’s been beating us over the head with “Incest is bad and gross and it gets little boys thrown out the window and ultimately Ned Starks killed.” The show can’t expect me to rail against incest (which, you know, is also just an idea that regular society has corroborated) for six full seasons and then suddenly say “But not THIS one. THIS is the blessed pair. Definitely support THIS one with your entire heart.” I think not.

To all the scrubs in my office: TYRION IS IN LOVE WITH DANY. End of discussion. Peter Dinklage said so himself. Hints have been left for us since the conversation where Dany named him Hand. It. Is. Known. Why the hell else would he be lurking outside her bedroom at night? It certainly wasn’t the time for some strategy chats. It was the time for boning, and it’s possible he was working up the nerve to make his case (because it’s a hard case to make—he’s her Hand after all) when Jon beat him to it. I’m not one to throw my weight around . . . But I’m 100 percent right, and everyone who thinks otherwise is wrong and should be forced to watch all Dorne-related scenes on repeat for an entire week. Two weeks. Until the show returns! I DUNNO! YOU’RE STUPID, OKAY!

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Don’t even get me started on Tormund. I know, I know. “There’s no way they’d just relegate him to an off-screen death.” But until I am given proof of life in the form of him sweeping Brienne off her giant, blonde feet, I AM WROTH. I feel like they’d absolutely kill him off to appease the Jaime/Brienne shippers. Y’all are garbage.

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And yes. I am over the moon about Jaime. It was ALMOST too late. Almost. I welcomed his abandoning of Cersei with open arms, though, because I’ve been waiting for this for so long. Y’all may be complaining about not getting Cleganebowl, but I got what I came for: Jaime getting wise to Cersei’s shit.

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Now. The big stuff. What Super Hubs had so delicately referred to as being in danger of being the Dorne of this season—the Winterfell storyline.

I feel absolutely satisfied by what happened. Because, unlike some people, it didn’t imply to me that Sansa and Arya were working together this entire time. As great as that would’ve been, it wouldn’t have made sense given the collection of scenes we saw with them. The scene in Arya’s bedroom makes no sense because, if they were working together at that point, who were they putting it on for? Littlefinger may potentially have eyes everywhere, but hidden cameras don’t exist, and they were the only ones in the room. So that conversation was real.

As Super Hubs said, we discussed earlier the likelihood that the girls really did have some animosity that they needed to work through, and Littlefinger was trying to play into it, but he overplayed his hand and got his dumb ass killed. So. Let’s think back.

Arya is watching Littlefinger because she can sense that he’s up to some shit (because look at him). She watches as he has a bunch of whispering meetings, which culminates in him receiving and hiding the letter that Sansa wrote Robb in season 1. She finds and reads the letter, like he intended, and she *is* a little pissed. As we all know, her list of people to kill began when Joffrey ordered Ned’s death, and Sansa calling their father a traitor in a letter (even if she was being coerced) was not going to go over well. Factor in how Arya and Sansa’s relationship was always rocky in the past, and it’s not really surprising that Arya would want to confront her about it. But Arya would also wonder, “Why would Sansa send Littlefinger to find this letter? What lord of the North would go looking for it if they have no idea it existed in the first place?” She knew Littlefinger was up to something; what she didn’t know was how involved Sansa was. So she confronted her with the letter because she wanted to see the truth of the situation by reading Sansa in their interaction. She could see instantly that Sansa had no idea that the letter was in play, but she could also see that Sansa was a little afraid of her and unwilling to trust her outright. So she couldn’t just throw out into the conversation “By the way, one of your advisers is trying to bamboozle you and tear apart our family.” So she let the game continue because she knew Sansa would eventually think to herself, “How the hell would Arya think to find that letter if all the people who know I wrote it are either dead, in King’s Landing . . . or Littlefinger?”
And so we have Sansa, who is legitimately concerned about her sister’s life as a trained assassin. She’s always taken issue with how Arya didn’t play by the rules, and now her life is so far outside the one they were raised to have. How are they supposed to relate to each other when their paths are even further split than they were as children? Then, all of a sudden, Arya comes at her with this letter, accusing her of betraying the family (following an earlier accusation of not properly standing up for Jon when the Northern lords were bitching about him going beyond the Wall). She’s not going to react well to that! She’s trying to keep their kingdom alive! She doesn’t need all this stress. But eventually, she’ll start to think about how Arya came to get that letter. She’ll realize Littlefinger is the only one who could know about it. So she starts feeding him lines, seeing how quick he is to lean into the “You and Arya are obviously in a power struggle and you need to get rid of her” method of advising. Answer: Nearly immediately. But while she can be sure he’s up to something, she can’t be sure of whether Arya actually fell into Littlefinger’s trap and is legitimately upset with her. So she snoops in Arya’s room for evidence, leading to that faceless confrontation. Both sisters are playing things close to the chest here, but Arya extends her olive branch of sorts when she hands the dagger over to Sansa. Her tone for that conversation was very much “Much like this dagger, I am a weapon. I could be used against you, but I am placing myself in your hands. Use me to fight your true enemies; the enemies of our house.”
So, Littlefinger essentially played himself by trying to play the sisters. He’d toed the line by suggesting that Sansa use Brienne against Arya. But he launched himself over the line and into the land of the Obviously Fucked when he suggested that Sansa play his little game of “What’s Their Worst Motivation?” Was he really dumb enough to think that, once she had this in mind, she wouldn’t turn that against him? Get real, bro.

And thus, we get the ultimate comeuppance. The Starks team up to take down the foe who initiated the downfall of their family, and it’s glorious.

Seeing Littlefinger fall to his knees and beg was beautiful. Sansa should’ve put on some leather high-heeled boots and stepped on his neck. (Is my kink Sansa getting revenge? Potentially!) And then the swift nature of Arya slitting his throat, literally cutting off the lies . . . *kisses fingertips* delicious. I’m so glad we won’t have to deal with one more episode of his nonsense. BYE FELICIA.

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And thanks for finally pitching in, Bran. Damn lol. Although I will give you a lot of side eye for opting to spill the tea about Jon’s heritage to Sam, of all people. I get that, narratively, it’s because Sam had the knowledge about the Lyanna-Rhaegar marriage, but that’s really the first person you’re going to tell about Jon’s parents? Odd move.

To the haters: I don’t have a problem with the fact that Bran didn’t “know” about their marriage. Just because he has access to the entire past doesn’t mean he knows where to look in the past for all the relevant information. As he said, everyone in Westeros believed that Rhaegar had kidnapped and raped Lyanna. Seeing the scene at the Tower of Joy doesn’t do anything to dispute that thought; it would simply show that she had been impregnated after the kidnap/rape. So as far as Bran was concerned, that was all he needed to see. There was literally NO motivation to dig deeper into the matter. So once again: EVERYONE SHUT UP. YOU ARE WRONG.

Also. SAMWELL TARLY. How dare you take credit for Gilly’s discovery. I hope she slaps you.

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Annnnnnnd I think that’s everything. Is the next season here yet? Is Winds of Winter out yet? No? I’m going into a self-induced coma. Wake me up when either of these are a thing.


So there you have it, folks. Our lengthy (but worthwhile???) thoughts on the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones. It was pretty iffy at times, but we think it managed to stick the (king’s) landing. If this were a tournament, this season wouldn’t win first place, but with all the reveals, reunions, and really great shots of Kit Harington’s arse, it still earns a top spot.

We feel it’s important to note, in case it hasn’t been obvious to anyone who’s been keeping up with our posts, that we still support this show. Yes, it has strayed far from the books. Sure, it’s less the sprawling epic that GRRM set out for the story and has fallen on some generic fantasy staples/tropes (instead of subverting them outright) to move the pieces across the board. But it’s still a damn entertaining show, and if you’re so salty about it, please—show us how you can do better. We’ll wait.

May the final seasons of all your shows arrive before the world ends,
Lord and Lady MWB


A Special PS from Super Hubs

Thank you all for reading far too many words about a show we love but constantly compare to books we love more. It’s been fun writing these recaps. So fun in fact that I think I’m addicted. I can’t stop. So join me for a new series of posts called Rewind the Realm, where I’ll be recapping every episode of the first six seasons. We still don’t know when the final season will air, so I have to do something to keep my mind occupied! And when the next book finally comes out, expect a roughly 12,000-word post about how it’s so much better than the show. I have a problem, you guys!

Also … Where’d Bronn and Pod go?

 

Photo Credit: Mashable

 

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