Game of Thrones Recap, Season 7 Episode 7: The Dragon and the Wolf
Summary: Grey Worm and the Unsullied are in formation outside of King’s Landing, where they are soon joined by the Dothraki horde. The odds look grim for a standard battle, and Cersei has agreed to meet with Dany and her envoys.
After a handful of touching reunions (Tyrion and Bronn, Tyrion and Pod, the Hound and Brienne), Dany’s emissaries arrive in the Dragonpit. The Hound uses the opportunity to confront the Mountain and let him know there’s still unfinished business. After Dany’s grand arrival on Drogon’s back, and with Tyrion’s efforts at persuasion falling on deaf ears, the Hound retrieves the crate they brought and kicks it over, allowing the wight to rush out and charge at Cersei. The Hound pulls on the wight’s chain before it can attack anyone, and Jon demonstrates its weaknesses to fire and dragonglass. Euron asks if the wights can swim, and upon hearing they cannot, leaves to pull his fleet back to the Iron Islands and wait out the army of the undead. Following the demonstration, Dany proposes a truce: Cersei will pull her armies back until the Targaryen and Stark forces are finished battling the undead in the north. Cersei accepts on the condition that Jon remains neutral in the wars to come, but he admits he’s already pledged his house to House Targaryen. Cersei calls the truce off.
Tyrion follows Cersei to her chambers, and after significant casting of blame, deduces that Cersei is pregnant.
Jon and Dany discuss their new conundrum and the past glory of House Targaryen, citing the Dragonpit where they currently stand as a primary cause of their downfall.
LORE: THE DRAGONPIT
Tyrion soon returns, with Cersei in favor of a compromise: she won’t be pulling her troops back to King’s Landing, but rather sending them north to help in the fight against the Night King.
After the Targaryen group has left King’s Landing, Cersei tells Jaime there will be no troops marching north. She recognized the reason for only seeing two of Dany’s dragons, and has the Golden Company coming to King’s Landing on Euron’s fleet to bolster their forces. Despondent over the lack of trust and Cersei’s choice of allies, Jaime decides to leave King’s Landing and head north. Cersei stops just short of ordering the Mountain to kill him, and while Jaime begins his ride north, snow begins to fall on King’s Landing.
Analysis: The amount of time spent and energy expended by Dany and her war council in pursuit of an impossible task is truly staggering. With all of the posturing and distrust, no one seems to be capable of basic mathematics or understanding the current state of the world. Dany is worried about directing her attention north while the Lannisters have time to regroup and bolster their army. This would be a valid concern if there were any houses loyal to the Lannisters who had fighting men available for the cause, but Dorne certainly isn’t taking their side and the rest of the kingdom has been ravaged by war for years. On the other side, Cersei complains about the possibility of sitting through a truce only for Dany to return with an army four times as large; as Jon Snow says early in the episode, there are more people in King’s Landing than all of the North. Adding the (very depleted) strength of the North should they survive the fight against the Night’s King will hardly cause a ripple in Dany’s massive forces of Unsullied and Dothraki.
Similarly puzzling is the very premise of Cersei’s ruse. She’s hoping to convince the Targaryen war council that Lannister troops are headed north to bolster their army. How long do you think it would take someone, anyone with basic military understanding to notice the lack of an army marching behind them? Dany or Grey Worm or Jorah or Jon or Tyrion or literally anyone involved in the machinations of Westeros should pick up on her lie in about a day.
On the bright side, we got some great reunions with the potential for more action down the road. Tyrion’s reminder to Bronn that he’ll double anyone’s offer to kill him in order to stay alive could be useful when Cersei is Bronn’s boss, and seeing Jaime and Brienne nod at each other gives me hope of continued adventures. Perhaps most importantly, we got more Clegane Bowl foreshadowing, and I am all in on seeing them settle their vendetta before the show runs its course.
Summary: Dany sides with Jon on their approach to the North; the Unsullied will march up the Kingsroad while Dany and Jon will sail with the Dothraki to White Harbor, presenting a unified front to the North.
Theon approaches Jon, compliments him for his honesty and ability to do what’s right. Jon tells him it isn’t something unique to him, and forgives Theon for what he has the ability to forgive him for. After their conversation, Theon approaches the Iron Islanders on the beach and proposes a mission to rescue Yara. After being laughed off, Theon fights the captain, and wins not only the fight but also support for his mission.
Analysis: If I wasn’t utterly fatigued of everything Greyjoy-related, I would be pretty excited about Theon’s legitimate winning of a crew and a ship. His conversation with Jon offered some glimmers of hope for both characters, with Jon asserting you don’t have to choose parts of yourself, just embrace both. If Bran ever gets around to telling him about his parentage, he’ll need to take the same advice to heart.
Summary: Littlefinger offers Sansa counsel on how to deal with Arya, and she follows his train of thought to determine how to proceed.
Sansa summons Arya to the Great Hall, where she’s waiting with Bran and a large contingent of armored troops from the Vale. She begins reading the charges aloud before shifting her attention directly to Littlefinger, who is caught entirely off guard. He attempts to defend himself, justifying the murder of Lysa Arryn and Jon Arryn, but Bran seals the charges by recalling his exact words to Ned Stark in front of the Iron Throne. He professes his love for Sansa and begs for forgiveness, but she’s moved beyond her need for his lessons. Arya steps forward and cuts his throat with the Catspaw blade originally intended for Bran.
Later that night, Sam and Gilly arrive from the Citadel. Sam seeks out Bran, who remembers him from the Nightfort and does a very poor job explaining his new abilities and condition. Together they piece together Jon’s legitimacy as a voiceover while Jon and Dany unknowingly partake in some aunt-nephew incest on the high seas. Tyrion looks on, troubled, from the adjacent room.
Analysis: Watching Sansa play Littlefinger like a fiddle was extremely satisfactory, if long overdue. I’d like to think she and Arya had been setting him up all season rather than genuinely distrusting each other at any point, but I can’t figure out why they’d bother. In any case, the justice of Bran bearing key witness and Arya using the Catspaw blade to kill Littlefinger is sweet.
I’ve been pre-emptively complaining for some time about the possibility of history repeating itself to the tune of a new incest-baby sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of this story, and we took a big step in that direction this episode. It’s nice to see Bran committed to informing Jon of his heritage, and exciting to see him team up with Sam to expand on it, but with access to ravens and Jon in Dragonstone for what must be months, I can’t figure out why he’s waiting to break the news. Instead, Jon and Dany have taken the first step to making a baby and will presumably continue to test that possibility until they reach Winterfell.
I have no idea why Tyrion was looking on creepily, but I tend to believe it has more to do with his concern for the ramifications than any romantic feelings for Dany.
Summary: The White Walkers and their army arrive, emerging from the forest beyond the Wall. Soon after, the Night King swoops in on Viserion and begins shooting blue flame at the Wall. As the defenders scatter in all directions, a breach is made, and the army of the dead begins to march through the gap and into the Seven Kingdoms.
Analysis: Well, that was easy. I don’t fully understand why Viserion’s fire is now blue (is it actually ice? Is it hotter than other dragonflame? Is it just blue because the White Walkers turn some stuff blue?), but it had no problem destroying the Wall. The ease with which the Night King was able to overcome this obstacle suggests to me he may share some of Bran’s powers and have the ability to see hazily into the future. It would explain why they wandered back and forth in the areas beyond-the-Wall until an opportunity presented itself to snare a dragon, then immediately made their march. In any case, there isn’t anything substantial standing between the Wall and Winterfell, so we should have a large-scale showdown very soon.
Dragonflame Burn of the Week
Thanks for checking out our recap! If you need some more historical context for what you're seeing, you can check out our Game of Thrones Lore series, which details the history of Westeros and some of what we know of Essos. Check back for another recap next week, and until then, remember: "Everything before the word 'but' is horseshit."