Warning: Spoilers ahead for Game Of Thrones.
Does it feel a bit chilly in here? As the Game Of Thrones season 7 finale, “The Dragon And The Wolf ” proved, winter is here, and it’s not going anywhere. In fact, it’s only about to get more dangerous.
enter a hiatus of undefined, but inevitably long, length. With “Dragon” now behind us, it’s impossible not to wonder what’s next for newly-minted couple Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and what this new relationship means for Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). On top of all this relationship drama, there’s also an ice zombie with an ice dragon for a stead flying around the North and finally taking down magical walls. That’s probably something to be concerned about.
All in all, the season 7 finale promises Game Of Thrones ‘ eighth and final season will be a wild, wild ride. Keep reading to find out how the biggest shockers of “Dragon And The Wolf” will play into next season for your favorite characters.
Jon “Snow” (A.K.A. Aegon Targaryen)
If “Dragon And The Wolf” was a game-changer for any character, it was a game (of thrones)-changer for one Mr. Jon Snow. The episode hinges on Jon, Dany, and their followers attempting to to sway Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) with the wight they captured during last week’s “Beyond The Wall.” Of course, seeing a member of the army of the dead doesn’t move Cersei enough, and she demands Jon stay neutral as King In The North when it comes to her political battle against Dany. A man of honor like Jon can’t agree to these terms, since he already bent the metaphorical knee to the dragon queen.
Daenerys is so moved by Jon’s unwavering support, she lets him into her chambers that night and the pair finally consummate their attraction after weeks of longing glances. Bizarrely, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) catches the nighttime tryst from the hallway. As this is happening Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Samwell Tarly (John Bradly) are discussing the fact Jon is actually the trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen (Wilf Scolding) and Lyanna Stark (Aisling Franciosi) — and therefore the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.
On top of all of this drama, it’s confirmed Jon’s true name is Aegon Targaryen, hinting he’s the one who’s meant to conquer the Seven Kingdoms as the first Aegon did hundreds of years ago.
Dany ends “Dragon And The Wolf” in the throws of passion with Jon, who is her nephew. That’s already uncomfortable, but it’s even more awkward knowing the silver-haired queen will learn of her accidental incest the moment she reaches Winterfell. At least it’s possible the news of Jon’s true name will fix her succession problem, which Tyrion was worrying about in “Beyond.”
However, the biggest takeaway from the finale for Dany isn’t specifically her newly-found sexual relationship with Jon. No, the biggest takeaway is whether Daenerys is actually unable to get pregnant. For the first time ever, someone questions in “Dragon” if it is really a smart plan to trust the prophecy of a vengeful witch. Interestingly, the subject of Dany’s alleged infertility has come up two episode straight and directly leads up to the queen’s sex scene with Jon. It’s definitely possible Daenerys’ womb is quickening once again.
The most haunting moment of the season 7 finale arrives when Tyrion is lurking outside of Dany’s room and sees Jon enter the queen’s chambers. Considering how long Tyrion is standing there, and how pensive he looking the entire time, it’s likely he heard everything going on inside.
It’s possible this is Thrones ’ way of setting up a long-planned, but seemingly disregarded, A Song Of Ice And Fire plot where Tyrion ends up in a “deadly” romantic rivalry with Jon, Vanity Fair points out. In the original George R.R. Martin outline, the author planned for Jon and Tyrion to vie for Arya Stark’s attention. Thrones might be following a similar storyline, but with Dany substituted for the youngest Stark daughter.
Let’s hope this tension-causing development is officially in the making, and Tyrion doesn’t simply enjoy lurking in dark corners while listening to Daenerys Targaryen have sex.
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
Thank the Seven Game Of Thrones didn’t decide to pit Stark sister against Stark sister. As the Internet hoped, Sansa and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) pulled a fast one on Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), finally — and very publicly — calling out the would-be puppet master for multiple counts of murder, treason, and even fatally manipulating Ned Stark (Sean Bean) back in season 1. Littlefinger’s face when he realizes he’s the one who is in trouble, as opposed to Arya, is one of the most satisfying moments in Thrones history. It’s was nearly as satisfying to finally see characters realize Littlefinger sowed nearly every chaotic seed that eventually led to the War Of The Five Kings and the subsequent current drama in Westeros.
After Sansa perfectly lays out all of Littlefinger’s crimes, pointing out he tried to turn the Lady Of Winterfell against Arya in the same way he turned Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie) against Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), she sentences him to death by the hand of “executioner” Arya.
Later, the younger Stark daughter later points out Sansa is truly one of the toughest people in Westeros. This is important, since “Dragon And The Wolf” teases a possible confrontation between Sansa and Jon over the King In The North’s relationship with Daenerys. Although Sansa kills Littlefinger, it’s likely she did take away one important lesson from their final conversation. “He was named King In The North. He can be unnamed,” Littlefinger tells Sansa. When Jon arrives in Winterfell all loved-up, it’s feasible to imagine that’s exactly what Sansa will want.
Arya’s late season 7 arc was unsettling to the say the least, as she intimidated Sansa with deeply macabre threats about skin and murder. Thankfully, all of that is gone for “Dragon And The Wolf,” in favor of sibling support and heart-to-hearts. After Arya slits Littlefinger’s throat, the Stark sisters have a an emotional conversation where Arya sounds like most like herself in weeks.
“I was never going to be as good a lady as you. So I had to be something else,” she admits. “I never would have survived what you survived.” In the immediate future, this hints Arya will be far less bizarrely creepy. This new alliance also makes us question whether the former Faceless Men protégé will continue to support Sansa when Jon returns to Winterfell. Before, that idea sounded impossible. Now there is at least a sliver of hope Arya will back her legitimate sister over her technical cousin if things ever come to that in season 8.
Or, considering Arya’s general disinterest in politics, will she leave Winterfell all together after a reunion with Jon?
Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish
Good riddance, my dude.
The sole remaining son of Ned Stark is set to be the bearer of bad news, as he’s determined to tell Jon about his true parentage. This will obviously be a major plot point in season 8. Beyond that, it’s still a question whether Bran will “fly” by warging into one of Dany’s dragons, or even the ice Viserion now set loose in the North.
Even though Bran is making everyone around him deeply uncomfortable, his story is far from over.
Although many Thrones fans questioned whether Cersei is actually pregnant, or using the idea of a new baby to manipulate her brother-lover Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), we get our answer in “Dragon And The Wolf.” And, guys, Cersei really is pregnant, as she appears to confirm to her other brother Tyrion. Unfortunately, it looks like Cersei will be raising her fourth child solo, if everyone lives long enough. The reason for this is due to Cersei’s decision to tell Dany & Co. she will fight with them against the White Walkers, while secretly planning to double-cross everyone. Jaime, realizing this level of pettiness is literally putting the entire realm at risk, decides it’s finally time to leave Cersei.
It seems season 8 will finally show us what the Lannister twins’ lives are like with their “other half” as Cersei actually orders Ser Gregor Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) to kill Jaime for so-called treason. Cersei and Jaime have always had their issues, but this moment signals a permanent break for the pair.
Expect Cersei to be more a of Mad Queen than ever before without Jaime to ground her.
The big question now is whether Jaime will run into Bran again, eight seasons after that aforementioned attempted murder. With Bran now more of the Three-Eyed Raven than Bran, it’s likely he knows why he nearly died and who killed him. We’ll have to wait and see to find out if Bran will reveal Jaime for who he was or keep that secret an actual secret.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) is back, ladies and gentleman. The sole remaining Greyjoy son has obviously been skulking around Thrones for years, haunted by his physical trauma and personal guilt. All of these issues were only compounded by Theon’s PTSD-related choice to abandon his sister Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) at the end of “Stormborn.”
But, Theon is finally allowed to get past all of this in “Dragon And The Wolf” by having a long, difficult conversation with Jon, whom Theon sees as a paragon of justice. With Jon’s encouragement, Theon realizes he finally has to go save his sister, since their sadistic uncle Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) still hasn’t killed her. In true regressive Thrones fashion, Theon is only able to assert her true personality through murder, beating an Iron Islands seaman to death after the guy refuses to rescue Yara. The scene is meant to imply Theon has accepted the physical trauma inflicted upon him by the late, terrible Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), as the Greyjoy son’s lack of a package is an advantage during his fight.
Now, it’s all but promised Theon and Euron will have a major battle in season 8.
The Night King
The Night King has an ice dragon. The Night King used that ice dragon to bring down the millennia-old Wall. The Night King is now officially invading Westeros and he’s got a massive army of the dead behind him.
Winter isn’t merely here — it’s taking over. Maybe Cersei should reconsider her whole “Ignore The Night King” stance for season 8? Unless she’s always wanted to have a wight for a baby.
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