Warning: contains major spoilers.
Game Of Thrones season seven packed a great deal into its extended-length finale. There were reunions aplenty, call-backs to seasons past, and payback for historical crimes. For anyone scratching their head trying to remember exactly what happened the last time this lot saw each other, how Littlefinger became Lord Protector of the Vale, or the last time Dany last told someone that a dragon is not a slave, we’re here to help.
Who were the episode’s titular dragon and the wolf?
Daenerys Targaryen is the symbolic dragon to Jon Snow’s Stark wolf, but we saw another couple who also fit the description, courtesy of Bran’s powers: Rhaegar Targaryen (dragon) and Lyanna Stark (wolf) aka Jon’s parents. Jon’s moving words to Theon about not having to choose between being Greyjoy or Stark also apply to him. Jon’s both Targaryen and Stark, dragon and wolf.
What’s Ser Bronn’s history?
Mercenary swordsman Bronn had a rough start in life. His nose was broken by his mother with an iron poker at the age of five, also the age at which he learned that a man empties his bowels when he dies. He met Tyrion when he sold him his room at the overfull inn where Catelyn Stark called upon her father’s bannermen to seize the Lannister traitor for—she thinks—sending an assassin to murder Bran (the second child Tyrion is wrongfully put on trial for killing). When a hilltribe attacks Catelyn’s group which is transporting Tyrion to the Vale as prisoner, Bronn sees Tyrion kill his first man. With his sights set on Lannister gold, Bronn offers to be Tyrion’s champion in his trial by combat and wins, and the two form an alliance based on money in which Tyrion says he’ll always double whatever anyone offers Bronn to betray him. Bronn fights for the Lannister army at the Battle of Blackwater and afterwards is knighted by King Joffrey, then briefly becomes the leader of the City Watch while Tyrion is the acting Hand of the King. In season four, when Tyrion is on trial for Joffrey’s murder, Bronn accepts a bribe from Cersei (a titled wife with lands) not to speak in Tyrion’s defence, saying “I like you, I just like myself more” which Tyrion understands. Brought in to help Jaime learn to use a sword with his left hand, Bronn forms a similar friendship with Tyrion’s brother and instead of marrying his betrothed, goes with him to Dorne where he’s almost killed by poison but survives. Now he’s Jaime’s right hand man.
Remind me about the Unsullied again?
An unusually high percentage of characters in Game Of Thrones are, as Bronn squarely puts it “men without cocks” – Varys, Theon Greyjoy and the thousands of Unsullied. They’re warrior-eunuchs taken as children from their families, given new names, castrated and trained to fight and show no pain. Dany makes a deal in season three to trade a dragon for 8,000 Unsullied, then has then turn on their masters and sets them free from slavery, giving them the choice to serve in her army as free men, a choice they all take her up on, electing Grey Worm as their commander.
When did Pod and Tyrion last see each other?
Tywin Lannister appointed Podrick Payne as Tyrion’s squire as punishment for Pod’s earlier misdeed, but Podrick and Tyrion formed a kind of friendship, especially after Pod saved Tyrion’s life when Lannister soldier Ser Mandon Moore attempted to kill him. Tyrion assumes Cersei or Joffrey is behind this attempt on his life, but on the show it’s never been confirmed who ordered the attack. When Tyrion is awaiting trial, Pod brings food to his cell and says he was offered a knighthood if he agreed to lie and say he saw Tyrion buy the poison that killed Joffrey. Pod refuses, putting himself in grave danger so Tyrion orders him to leave King’s Landing for his own protection, telling him “there has never lived a more loyal squire”. Jaime arranged for Pod to squire for Brienne, and Pod was given the axe Tyrion fought with at the Battle of Blackwater as a gift.
What’s the story with Pod’s “magic cock”?
In season three, Bronn reminds Tyrion that he still owes Podrick for saving his life at the Battle of Blackwater, so Tyrion pays for him to lose his virginity to three prostitutes at Littlefinger’s brothel. He later returns with Tyrion’s money intact, telling him that the women said they enjoyed the experience so much, they did not want payment.
When did Brienne and Jaime last see each other?
On opposite sides in a battle. Brienne was at Riverrun to convince the Blackfish to send his troops to support Sansa and Jon’s attempt to reclaim Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton, while Jaime and the Lannister soldiers was laying siege to Riverrun last season. “You’re a knight Ser Jaime, I know there is honour in you, I’ve seen it,” she told him. After Jaime’s army retook Riverrun, he saw Brienne and Pod escaping on a boat, and the two waved each other goodbye. Prior to that, Jaime had said goodbye to Brienne at King’s Landing, gifting her a suit of knight’s armour and his Valyrian steel sword, which she named Oathkeeper. Jaime decided this episode to walk away from Cersei in order to keep his own oath, sworn to fight alongside Dany and Jon against the army of the dead.
Is this Jon’s first visit to King’s Landing?
Yes. In season one when Ned Stark and his daughters travelled south to King’s Landing so he could take up his position as Hand of the King, Robb stayed behind as acting Lord of Winterfell, and Jon Snow travelled north to the Wall to take up the black. Jon/Aegon has never been this far south before.
Remind me what happened between the Hound and Arya?
He kidnapped her from the Brotherhood Without Banners and planned to take her to brother Robb for a handsome reward, but Robb was killed at the Red Wedding before he had the chance. They travelled together for months, forming a hostile kind of alliance, with him occupying a place on Arya’s death-list alongside his brother and many others. When Brienne fought the Hound, Arya refused to put him out of his misery but left him for dead and escaped to Braavos, later taking him off her list. He seems pretty fond of her now.
When did Tyrion and Theon last discuss dwarf jokes?
In season six, when Theon and Yara visited Dany in Meereen. Tyrion reminds Theon that the last time they spoke was at Winterfell, when Theon was making jokes about his height. In season one, we saw Theon speak disrespectfully to Tyrion, and Tyrion wind Theon up about being the Stark ward, or “lackey” as he put it.
What is the symbol on Cersei’s crown and the Mountain’s armour?
It’s a rebranded version of the Lannister lion in abstract form, the head is the shape in the middle, with the splayed points representing the mane and deliberately echoing the swords in the Iron Throne, her great ambition. You can read about its design by costume genius Michele Clapton here in this Vulture piece, where she explains that Cersei’s new crown doesn’t include any reference to her husband Robert as “there is no need anymore. She doesn’t have to try and prove a link.”
What did the Hound’s words to his brother mean this episode?
When the Hound came face to face with the resurrected Mountain for the first time he walked away saying “It’s not how it ends for you, brother, You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.” We know the Hound was granted a vision by the Lord of Light at the start of this season. Did it include information on the Mountain’s ultimate fate? If the Mountain has “always known” who’s coming for him, is it the Hound himself, in revenge for burning his face in the fire as a child?
Where have we heard Dany say “a dragon is not a slave” before?
It’s what she told Kraznys Mo Nakloz, the slave owner from whom she freed Missandei and with whom she traded a dragon for her Unsullied army in season three, before using the dragon to burn him to death and setting the slaves on their masters, employing them instead as free men. She says it in High Valyrian, which comes as a surprise to Kraznys, who’d been merrily insulting her in the language throughout their dealings without knowing that she was fluent.
What was Cersei’s dig at Tyrion and foreign whores all about?
She was referring to Shae, the Essosi sex worker with whom Tyrion fell in love and snuck into King’s Landing to act as Sansa’s handmaid. Shae was discovered by Cersei’s agents and bribed to speak against him at his trial, as well as sleeping with his father Tywin Lannister. Tyrion strangled her to death with the chain of the Hand of the King on the same night he shot his father with a crossbow and escaped Westeros with Varys.
Why was everybody so afraid of Tywin Lannister?
He was ruthless, cold-hearted and the richest man in the Seven Kingdoms. He was Hand to three different kings, and very powerful. After his loving but weak father all but destroyed the family name, Tywin set about re-establishing the Lannisters’ fearsome renown, ruthlessly putting down a rebellion by House Reyne of Castamere, for which occasion the song ‘The Rains Of Castamere’ was composed. A nasty piece of work with no discernible conscience who was obsessed with amassing gold and power and making his family feared, in short, just like his eldest daughter.
What’s Qyburn’s story?
Cersei’s Hand is whom Tyrion was referring to this episode when he told his sister that unlike her, Dany has selected a Hand (him) who doesn’t bend to her worst impulses. Qyburn used to be a maester of the citadel but was stripped of his chain for forbidden human experimentation, vivisecting men in pursuit of medical knowledge. He was among the prisoners at Harrenhal and served Roose Bolton there where he tended to an infection on Jaime’s arm. He travelled to King’s Landing with Jaime, where he cooked up an alliance with Cersei and, with her blessing, secretly continued his dark experiments leading to him resurrecting Gregor Clegane after he was killed fighting Oberyn Martell. He replaced Varys on Cersei’s small council, then became her Hand when she crowned herself Queen. He has a thing for body parts, hence his especial interest in the hand of that White Walker this episode.
When did Littlefinger hold a knife to Ned Stark’s throat?
When he was seized in the Throne room and accused of being a traitor by Cersei Lannister. After Robert’s ‘accidental’ death (planned by Cersei, enacted by Ser Lancel Lannister), Ned brought a letter from Robert naming him as Protector of the Realm until Joffrey came of age, which Cersei tore up. He then publicly accused Joffrey of not being Robert’s legitimate heir. The Lannister Goldcloaks slaughtered Ned’s household guard and Littlefinger put a knife to his throat saying “I did warn you not to trust me”.
So, Littlefinger ordered the hit on Bran in season one?
It looks like it. Arya says the dragonbone hilt dagger the assassin who tried to kill Bran was armed with belonged to Littlefinger. He did it to frame the Lannisters and further the hostility between the Starks and the royal family.
What happened between Littlefinger and Lysa Arryn?
He played her like a fiddle. He grew up alongside Catelyn and Lysa Tully, albeit with far less status and money than them. He fell in unrequited love with Catelyn, but used Lysa’s love for him to further his ambitions. Before the show started, he supplied Lysa with poison and told her to murder her husband Jon, the Hand of Robert Baratheon, then write a letter to Catelyn blaming the Lannisters. She did it all on the understanding that Peter loved her. When he brought a disguised Sansa to the Vale after spiriting her away from King’s Landing following Joffrey’s death, he married Lysa and thus became Lord Protector of the Vale. When an unhinged Lysa tried to kill Sansa in jealousy after seeing Littlefinger kiss her, he tricked Lysa and pushed her out of the Moon Door to her death, colluding with Sansa to make it look like a suicide.
Why does the North hate Targaryens?
The Lords of the North supported Robert Baratheon in his rebellion against Mad King Aerys after he killed Ned Stark’s father and brother, which got the Northmen’s backs up. By raising his concerns about Dany’s safety travelling alongside Jon in the North, Ser Jorah is obviously trying to keep the two apart. Not only does Jon Snow have Ser Jorah’s family sword, now he also has the woman he loves.
Why didn’t Varys get any lines this week?
Good question. Too much else was going on, clearly.
So Sam was paying attention to what Gilly read out from her book on the night they left the Citadel?
Yes he was.
Will Dany and Jon/Aegon conceive a child?
Targaryens have a long and unhealthy tradition of incestuous marriage. Aegon the Conqueror was married to both of his sisters, for instance. It would certainly be in keeping for Jon/Aegon to conceive a child with his Auntie Dany.
Who was Aegon the Conqueror, Jon’s namesake?
The lord of Dragonstone and founder of the Targaryen dynasty who conquered Westeros with three dragons. Three hundred years ago, he unified the Seven Kingdoms and forged the Iron Throne.