Halftime continues with our Game of Thrones recaps in preparation for the release of season eight on Sunday, April 14. Here is our recap of season seven.
Warning: This post contains spoilers for the seventh season of Game of Thrones
Episode 1 – Dragonstone
In a dramatic return, Arya (Maisie Williams), wearing Walder Frey’s face, kills all the Freys with poison wine, saying, “Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe.” Come through, Stark revenge for the Red Wedding. Speaking of Starks, Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), now the Three-Eyed Raven, returns to the Wall having visions of the Army of the Dead approaching. At Winterfell, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) have some tensions as Jon does his best ruling over the North. Jon then receives a letter from Cersei (Lena Headey) requesting him to come south and bend the knee, pledging to fight for the Lannisters. Back in King’s Landing, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) tells Cersei they need more allies to win the war, so she invites the Greyjoys, who have an impressive fleet. Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) proposes to Cersei, and when she declines, he vows to return to King’s Landing with a gift to prove his trustworthiness. Meanwhile, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) is being delegated the worst jobs at the Citadel, but he discovers a secret locked library and gains access to it through the Arch Master to learn more about the White Walkers. For some reason, Ed Sheeran makes a cameo and gives Arya some food when she declares she is off to kill the Queen. The Hound and followers of the Lord of Light stay the night in an abandoned house, and the Hound sees White Walkers passing the Wall where the Wall meets the sea in the fire (foreshadowing?). Sam learns that there’s a mountain of dragon glass on Dragonstone and needs to tell Jon. The episode concludes with the first shot of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) this season in her epic return to Westeros on Dragonstone. Khaleesi! Khaleesi! Khaleesi!
Episode 2 – Stormborn
While on Dragonstone, Daenerys doubts Varys’ (Conleth Hill) loyalty, but he convinces her he is a true servant of the realm. Daenerys receives a visit from Melisandre (Carice van Houten), who previously served Stannis Baratheon), and she swears allegiance to Daenerys and encourages her to invite Jon Snow to come pay her a visit. Meanwhile, Cersei warns her Lords about Daenerys and her armies of savages, all while making derogatory comments on House Tyrell’s rebellion against the crown. Jaime asks Randyll Tarly (James Sebastian Faulkner) to swear alliance with Cersei and fight for her, but he declines. Additionally, we see that Cersei’s men have developed a new giant crossbow that can take down a dragon. Daenerys tells Ellaria Sand of Dorne (Indira Varma), Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), and Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) of their plan to attack Westeros with their Westerosi armies. Olenna advises Daenerys to not listen to men like Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). That night, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) professes his love to Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), and things get R-rated from there in true HBO fashion. Sam begins to remove the greyscale-disease-nasty-stuff from Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) against the Arch Master’s (Jim Broadbent) orders. Arya finds out Jon is King in the North, and she heads back north to see him. Jon announces his plans to travel south and try and convince Daenerys to let them use her dragon glass and dragons to fight the Army of the Dead. His plans are met by the resistance of Sansa until Jon says she is in charge while he’s gone. The nasty Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) gets choked by Jon Snow when he tells him about his affection for Catelyn and Sansa. Right as Yara and Ellaria are about to make out, their ship gets invaded by Euron. He captures both of them and Ellaria’s daughter, while Theon abandons ship to save himself (hang in there, Reek).
Episode 3 – The Queen’s Justice
Jon Snow and company arrive at Dragonstone and meet Missandei and Tyrion who take their weapons as the dragons fly overhead. Varys and Melisandre (not to be confused with Missandei) chat on the cliff away from the main parties and Melisandre announces her exit from Westeros and Varys tells her to not return, but also states that they will both die in Westeros. Daenerys asks Jon Snow to bend the knee, but he refuses and says they need to focus on the enemy to the north, claiming, “You’ll be ruling over a graveyard if we don’t defeat the Night King.” Euron delivers his gift of Ellaria and her daughter to Cersei, and she promises to marry him when the war is won. Cersei tortures Ellaria by poisoning her daughter with the same poison she used to kill Cersei’s daughter, Mycella (Nell Tiger Free), and making her watch it. She also pays a visit to the Iron Bank, where they tell her of their doubts about her success and her empty vaults. Cersei promises to repay her debt and expresses her self confidence in the wars to come.Tyrion chats with Jon Snow, and Jon says he doesn’t know how to convince people who don’t trust him about the White Walkers’ existence. Tyrion advises him to ask for something reasonable, so he asks for some dragon glass, and Tyrion helps coerce Daenerys to let Jon Snow mine it. Sansa is ruling in the North, and Littlefinger is being creepy, as usual. Bran arrives but he isn’t really Bran—he’s the Three Eyed Raven, but it’s “difficult to explain.” Jorah Mormont is completely healed from his greyscale thanks to Sam, and the Arch Master congratulates him on his work. In an epic finale sequence, Daenerys army takes Casterly Rock, but, in the process, the Lannisters burn the Unsullied fleet and maneuver the bulk of their army to the Tyrell’s. Jaime conquers the Tyrell’s army and kills Lady Olenna when she reveals that it was her who orchestrated Joffrey’s death (Queen! Love that).
Episode 4 – The Spoils of War
Cersei repays her debt in a single installment thanks to the Tyrell’s fortune escorted by Jaime and regains the Iron Bank’s fiscal support. Up north, Littlefinger tries to get in with Bran, but the Three-Eyed Raven doesn’t buy into his tomfoolery. Arya finally returns home to Winterfell and is reunited with Sansa and Bran. Jon Snow shows Daenerys the caves below the island where the dragon glass is located. He also shows her old cave paintings by the children of the forest of White Walkers and the Night King, convincing Daenerys of their existence. She says she will fight with Jon Snow when he bends the knee. Daenerys learns of her loss in Casterly Rock and wants to attack the Red Keep with her dragons, but Jon Snow convinces her the people of Westeros won’t believe in her if she gains the throne via scorching deaths. Arya flexes her new swordsmanship skills against Brienne and the two begin training. Theon (Alfie Allen) returns to Dragonstone and finds Jon Snow but not Daenerys. Finally, for the big budget flex from HBO, Daenerys rides in on her dragon alongside the Dothraki (Jason Momoa) and wipes out the Lannister army on their way back to King’s Landing, and Jaime is dead??????
Episode 5 – Eastwatch
Haha, just kidding, Jaime is ALIVE! Honestly, I bet the producers knew he was too sexy to let him die. Daenerys gathers together the survivors and offers them a choice: bend the knee or die. Randyll and Dickon Tarly, against Tyrion’s advice, refuse to bend the knee and get burnt alive. Jaime returns to King’s Landing and tells Cersei of Daenerys dragons and impeccable Dothraki army and admits that it was Olenna who murdered their son. Daenerys returns to Dragonstone and is reunited with Jorah Mormont. While Sam is still struggling to convince the Masters at the Citadel of the legitimacy of the Army of the Dead, Tyrion tells Jon Snow the only way to convince Cersei is by showing her an actual White Walker. Sansa enjoys ruling in the North, and Arya learns that Sansa thinks she should be Lady of Winterfell. Bronn sneaks Tyrion into the Red Keep to meet with Jaime and tells him about the plan to show Cersei a White Walker. Sir Davos goes and finds Gendry, who has been hiding from the King’s Guard in a steel shop, and the two of them along with Tyrion escape King’s Landing but not before taking two guards out. Jaime tells Cersei about his meeting with Tyrion, but she already knows everything about it. Cersei agrees to meet with Daenerys to form an armistice because she knows she has the losing hand. Gendry meets Jon, and the two bond over their fathers’ friendship, Gendry agreeing to fight for the King of the North. Daenerys says a subdued goodbye to Jorah Mormont and a sexy goodbye to Jon Snow as the two sail off to capture a White Walker. Sam steals the forbidden books from the Citadel about the Long Night and leaves with his wife and son: “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men.” Arya and Littlefinger are sneaking around, spying on one another. Jon and company arrive at the Wall and convince the Free Folk to help them capture a White Walker. In the process, they run into the Hound and the followers of the Lord of Light and decide to bring them along north of the wall. ¡Vámanos!
Episode 6 – Beyond the Wall
Jon Snow and friends are venturing beyond the Wall in search of a White Walker. Arya and Sansa start to fight over the note Sansa wrote to Rob while being held captive in King’s Landing—encouraging him to come south, but we know Littlefinger planted the note for Arya to find. Jon and company run into some zombie beasts north of the wall and they finally capture a White Walker, but then are quickly surrounded by the Army of the Dead with Gendry barely escaping to tell the Night’s Watch. Jon and his amigos get surrounded by the White Walkers, stuck on a rock in the middle of a frozen lake. Meanwhile, Sansa sends Brienne of Tarth to King’s Landing in her stead to meet with Queen Cersei. Daenerys flies off with all her dragons to save Jon Snow, much to Tyrion’s dismay. The dead outnumber the living heavily, and in the last moment Daenerys comes in with the save! Yay! But the Night King kills one of her dragons, and she rescues everyone from beyond the Wall except Jon. Luckily, he is saved by his Uncle Benjen and makes it back to the Wall, making Khaleesi very happy. Arya shows Sansa her faces and tells her about her weird Game of Faces she used to play in Braavos. Jon and Daenerys mourn the loss of her dragon, and she vows to help him defeat the Night King, and he finally bends the knee. The episode climaxes with Daenerys’ dragon being dragged out of the frozen lake and turned into a White Walker. White Flier? Either way, big yikes for the living!
Episode 7 – The Dragon and the Wolf
The Unsullied and the Dothraki have the Lannisters surrounded and outnumbered. Daenerys and company meet with Cersei to discuss a treaty, and the Queen is appalled when she sees the undead, but ultimately decides not to help when she learns the King in the North fights for another Queen. Tyrion meets privately with Cersei to try to convince her to come to a truce, and, in the process, he discovers she’s pregnant. Cersei returns and announces her plans to help them in the Great War against the Army of the Dead. Littlefinger tries to convince Sansa that Arya is plotting against her. Theon sets off to save his sister Yara from their Uncle Euron. Although it seemed like Littlefinger was pitting Sansa and Arya against each other, the Stark sisters were really plotting against him, and they MURDER HIM! YAY! I’VE ONLY BEEN WAITING SEVEN SEASONS FOR THIS! Cersei tells Jaime that she was lying; she’s not sending any of her troops to fight alongside Daenerys or Jon. Jaime is annoyed with Cersei’s lies and deceitfulness and heads north to fight the White Walkers. Sam has arrived in Winterfell, and he talks with Bran, who tells him that Jon Snow is not really Ned Stark’s son; he’s Ragon and Lyanna Stark’s secret love child (gasp! They’ve only been hinting at it this whole time!). Meanwhile, Jon and Daenerys are getting it on (wow, we love some healthy Game of Thrones incest), and the season concludes in a high budget CGI finale with the undead dragon burning down the wall at Eastwatch. The dead are here!!
Overall, this season was very necessary. It felt as though each scene was mandatory to get the plot from where it ended in season six to where the producers want it to begin for the final season. This season had no major character deaths, other than Olenna and Littlefinger—a loss and a win, respectively. As much as I love Jaime, I would have loved to see a character of his caliber say bye-bye for good. I think this season was missing big surprises that the show is known for, like the Red Wedding or detonation of the Sept. In the early seasons, journeys across Westeros would last for seasons, but by season seven long trips would occur between episodes with no screen time, like Jon’s trip to Dragonstone or Daenerys’ voyage beyond the Wall. Even shortening the season to seven episodes felt like a lack of effort from HBO. Come on, there was only one sex scene this season! Everyone has different predictions for the final season, but I hope at the very least I don’t see it coming. Games of Thrones has the cast, budget, and cultural significance to go down in history as one of the most epic and beloved shows of the 2010s, but it’s all going to come down to how the last few episodes play out.
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