- SPOILERS AHEAD … ZOMBIES AND BROTHERS AND LITTLEFINGER OH MY!
You know how wonderful it is how, after an astonishingly long period of bitter estrangement, a family comes back together again, mends broken bonds, speaks words of healing, and they all become one big happy again?
No? Well, you’re in good company because neither do Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey) aka “the most murderous woman alive” who look like they’re finally, FINALLY – c’mon all Tyrion did was kill dad, two of Jaime and Cersei’s kids and god knows who else for which he’s really, REALLY, sorry OK? – burying the hatchet, letting feudally violent bygones be bygones when suddenly … yeah Cersei goes back on her word.
Of course you expect her to do it but it’s when she does it that really stings, and kudos to the writers of the show, brings the most dramatic bang for your dragon buck. (Speaking of which why are there only two, muses Cersei, unaware one of them is now a zombie, ice-breathing, Wall-demolishing wight guided by the Night King himselfm uh-oh).
After a huge amount of diplomatic palava involving Tyrion, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) – or is that Jon San hmmm? You Dornish bastard you or perhaps not at all – Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), who totally nails her dramatic entrance, usurping Cersei’s power-wielding staging of their tête-à-tête in the infamous Dragonpit at King’s Landing, and pretty much everyone who’s Game of Thrones anyone including Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), Ser Jorah (Iain Glen), Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) and Sandor Cleghane (Rory McCann) and a typically in-it-for-himself Ser Bronn (Jerome Flynn), where a deal is brokered to fight the fast-encroaching Army of the Dead, what does Cersei do?
Why even though she’s shaken to her core, pregnant and fearful for her child-to-be (or is she? I mean, is there even a child or is it simply another way to manipulate Tyrion, and yes, Jaime), and all too aware after seeing the captured, violently-aggressive wight that the marching undead are real, she still finds it in herself to go for the self-interested self-preserving deal.
Well, actually, not so self-preserving, notes Tyrion when he’s first trying to sway her from fighting Daenerys to joining them in an all-in battle to stop the Night King’s hordes, since the Army of the Dead, will reach King’s Landing, upon which snow is just beginning to fall, and turn its one million citizens into shuffling, animated corpses.
So wise and caring a leader is Cersei that she notes that would likely be an improvement for many of them; how very Marie Antoinette of her!
Her moment of gilded French royalty aside, Cersei spends the entire time that Daenerys and Jon Snow are there desperately trying to save Westerosians from becoming extras in The Walking Dead and countless George Romero films, subverting, acting, lying & scheming and playing every last damn one of her supposed would-be allies.
While she says she’ll join the great alliance to fight the dead what-ho, privately she’s gathering troops from Essos, the infamous Golden Company, courtesy of Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) – who thanks a newly-motived Theon (Alfie Allen), who seeks and earns forgiveness from Jon Snow, may have more than a little trouble reaching his destination – lying to her “treacherous” brother (who’s, bizarrely shocked she would go back on her word and goes off by himself to the north) and generally acting like the nasty autocratic ruler she is.
Think we all know where Joffrey got his maniacal freakishness from don’t we?
The upshot of all this duplicity is that just when Westeros needs, really, really needs a united front, which it partially has with Jon Snow, who, in a shock twist we find out is in fact the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (which makes the sex he has with Daenerys at the end a little icky, to say the least)- who got married! Hurrah! Which means Jon’s legit! Hurrah! – it finds itself split between the Good Guys and Gals and one very Bad Woman who is not interested in saving anyone that isn’t her.
She is, naturally dooming them all, or possibly dooming them all, since the Night King, thanks to zombie Viserion, is now entering Westeros proper courtesy of the newly-demolished Wall, upon which Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) were just standing and are now presumably buried, and it will be interesting how Daenerys and Jon et all can counter an army of 100,000 animated corpses and one big ass nightmarishly-possessed dragon?
While all this backstabbing and noble deeding is going on, depending on which side of the sociopathic divide you stand, Winterfell, soon to be Zombie Central, was dealing with some intrigue of its own.
After allowing Lord Petry Baelish (Aidan Gillen) to think he had manipulated the hell out of her, Sansa Stark ushers Arya (Maisie Williams) in and appears to accuse her of murder and treason.
What what? Shock and horror!
Ha, not so fast my sweetly-trusting fellow viewers; for the words of accusation are meant for Baelish aka Littlefinger who finds all his sins read out before them, and good golly are there a lot of them, mostly involving lots of Starks dying, people he claims to ahem, love, and the summoned to death and then, rather quickly killed, by Arya who’s a dab hand at the dagger (which, in a piece of poetic symmetry is actually Baelish’s own dagger and not Tyrion’s as he once represented it).
It’s high stakes drama, which could be interpreted as rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic given how close the Night King is and the start of the Great War is, but it’s necessary to root out Baelish’s cancerous duplicity which has left more than a few people dead and Westeros in the weakened, divided position it finds itself.
While justice is being served, with an extra drop or two of blood, Samwell (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) are back in town and in a conversation with Bran aka Three-Eyed Raven aka Weird Guest You Should Never Invite to a Party EVER, revealing Jon Snow’s true lineage.
It caps off a riveting season 7 finale in which the fate of many people is likely sealed, Westeros is doomed or not doomed but in serious amounts of crap, the Night King comes waltzing into the southern lands below the Wall and Game of Thrones really amps up the tension in what’s bound to be a full-on, deeply cinematic eight season.
Which, sadly enough, is a year away; given how murderously vengeful the Night King looks (well, like Nicole Kidman, it’s actually rather hard to tell but let’s say he is), a year might be just what we need to prepare for the carnage, battle and mayhem to come …
For detailed notes and insights on “The Dragon and the Wolf”, check out the Game of Thrones Wiki.