Neither Snow nor Sand: Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 “The Dragon and the Wolf” (HBO)

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7 “The Dragon and the Wolf” (HBO)

HBO

HBO

“The Dragon and the Wolf” includes betrayals (big and small), reunions, and legendary theories verified for once and for all.

Mostly a great episode (maybe I am just feeling vindicated after getting a surprising number of things right of late, purely by accident I assure you). Oddly enough, out of all my articles that did huge business this week, the one that did the worst was the Sansa and Arya article (which broke down what was going to happen almost exactly).

Okay, enough bragging, let’s get to the fun. If you haven’t seen “The Dragon and the Wolf” yet (where were you?) * Spoiler Alert *

Maybe It’s Really All About C*cks in the End

HBO

HBO

Sadly, this pretty accurately describes both Jon’s current path and Littlefinger’s demise (but I am getting ahead of myself).

The first thirty-five minutes of 'The Dragon and the Wolf' is almost entirely shot in sequence and with very few cuts. It is almost an unbroken narrative bringing together all of the Lannister’s and all of Team Targaryen along with virtually all of the side players that we have grown close to over the years.

Basically, what happens is Tyrion and team Targaryen pleads with Cersei for a cessation of hostilities so that Team Drogon can go North and fight White Walkers.

Cersei at first refuses because Jon won’t pledge to remain neutral (he instead chooses to publicly declare for Daenerys, see above) but then Tyrion goes and has a discussion and somehow “convinces” Cersei both not to kill him and also to agree to Daenerys terms.

In fact, she comes back out into the Dragon Pit and tells all present that the Lannister’s will form up and join the fight against the White Walkers side by side with the forces of Daenerys.

Do I believe what she is saying is true? Hmm, Let’s check what I wrote after the Eastwatch episode:

“To keep it 100%, this seems like a fairly stupid plan to me. Yes, people will become terrified. But why would anyone believe that Cersei would do anything but go Donald J. Lannister and use that fear to sew up her base and to crack down on her enemies under the guise of security against the Walkers? Someone might suggest that if she lets Daenerys solve the White Walker problem successfully, she will lose all credibility. Sure, that is true, but she has never been good at long-term thinking. I suspect she would just say let the White Walkers weaken the Dothraki, pretend to be responding, and then take out whatever is left of Daenerys’ troops after the battle against the Walkers.”

To be fair, I did get one thing wrong. Cersei has gotten much better at strategy.  Hell, she is about ten steps ahead of Tyrion, twenty steps ahead of Jon and Daenerys, thirty steps ahead of Jaime, and let’s not even count how far she is in front of the Dothraki.

She, as I also suggested, assumed from the get-go that Tyrion would actually bring a White Walker to King’s Landing. She needed there to be an actual White Walker for her plan to work. Remember, if she fights Daenerys NOW, she loses and loses badly.

If she waits before fighting Daenerys, she can reconstitute her forces while Daenerys weakens hers. In this instance, best case scenario, Daenerys kills the White Walkers at great cost and then gets destroyed by Cersei’s reconstituted forces.

HBO

HBO

I should mention that she also tricks BOTH Tyrion and Jaime in the same episode into believing, in the end, that she could not bear to kill them.

She needed Tyrion to sell her commitment to the truce, so she didn’t kill him for a strategic reason (not because Tyrion was persuasive). If she is truly pregnant or not, by letting Tyrion assume that she is, she creates a reason for him to believe she is being genuine (the Walkers are an existential threat to her unborn child).

If she is pregnant, she needs Jaime gone because if he is seen as the Father, the child will never be seen as a legitimate heir to the throne (Euron can stand in as the Father as part of the agreement for them to wed).

If she is not pregnant, she needs Jaime gone because she thinks that he is untrustworthy and not a particularly smart General (good at tactics but not overall strategy). He can only complicate her plans.

She can’t kill Jaime because it would make her a Kinslayer which could undercut her credibility as a ruler and also (perhaps) because a small part of her (Like the Grinch’s heart) cares about him even if she doesn’t trust him anymore.

It is still not clear if Cersei is actually pregnant. One thing both Cersei and Daenerys share are witches leaving prophecies suggesting that neither can or will have more children.

Seriously well done, and about time, for once I am not cursing Benioff and Weiss by name (Cersei’s turn at the end of Season 6 saved that season for me as well. Always end with Cersei, it rarely goes wrong).

Also cool to see Tyrion and Bronn and Pod all meet up again. Ahh the good old days, back when Tyrion was actually clever (sigh).

Look, I know winter is coming and all (and by the end of the episode it arrives in King’s Landing) but why is Jon Snow wearing a gigantic winter cloak in what looks like a beautiful Fall Day?

Oh, also Euron claims he is leaving because he is terrified of White Walkers (and because they can’t swim) but this is obviously nonsense (we find out later he has gone to ferry the Golden Company back from Essos to King’s Landing).

Cleganebowl was soo close to being on, but sadly, we were denied again. However, Sandor did promise it was still coming which is great!

One other funny but curious moment, Qyburn looked authentically gleeful when the White Walker came out of the box and authentically sad when they burned it. This might suggest, after creating Frankenstein Gregor, that he is going to experiment with the remains of the Walker (what could possibly go wrong?).

“Thank You For All Your Many Lessons”

HBO

HBO

Okay, I am taking another little bow here, this is taken from the piece I wrote like three days ago:

“I would absolutely LOVE to find out Arya had been playing a double game on Littlefinger and applying spycraft to continually give him false confidence. I will tip my cap to Benioff and Weiss if this turns out to be true and I will be HAPPY to have been wrong in my recaps. How awesome would it be to have Baelish walk into a room surrounded by guards and facing BOTH Stark sisters united (Yes! Make it So).”

I do, as promised, tip my cap to Benioff and Weiss for not making Arya out to be the best-trained idiot in Westeros (who could be tricked by a foolishly simple ruse by Littlefinger).

I loved the scene where Sansa set up Littlefinger (by getting him to admit he wants her to kill Arya. I loved that Bran helped (even though I didn’t think he would, mea culpa).  

And by the way, did you notice Bran wasn’t zoned out as if lost in being the Night King (Remember last week when I wrote two pieces disproving that theory?).

I think this settles the matter, if Bran was lost in the Night King after warging him for too long, he could not be the three eyed raven at the same time (he would be lost in warging, it isn’t a gradual process, you literally stay too long and get lost leaving a body husk behind).

It’s Not 100%% About C*cks Apparently

HBO

HBO

Theon, famously, no longer has his man parts (Ramsay took it and fed it to his dogs).

After getting a lecture in heroism from Jon, Theon decides to fight Yara’s first mate over who gets to order the rest of their depleted Iron Island crew around.

Predictably, Theon gets his ass kicked until the first mate tries three times to kick him in the balls. The strange thing about this is that everyone on the Iron Islands KNOWS he got his parts removed (it was even a joke at the Kingsmoot on the show).

I guess this dude has short-term memory loss or something? Anyway, Theon uses this lull to break the dude's nose and then pummel him to death.

The crew is suitably impressed and they all agree to go free Yara (even though they are massively outnumbered and outclassed).

Okay, fun time, good for Theon.

R + L = J

HBO

HBO

Yup, Jon is Aegon Targaryen.

Sam shows up at Winterfell and talks with Bran, together they use their combined knowledge to confirm the entire theory.

By the way, Sam’s reaction to Bran explaining his powers is classic, you have to watch it again, it should become a GiF for sure

Jon is the rightful ruler of Westeros. I am sure Cersei will willfully surrender. I am sure Daenerys will abdicate. All hail King Jon of Emo.

Sure, we all knew this. Most of us have known it for over a decade (has it been that long?). But now it is official.

All hail Argon Targaryen, first of his name, King of Emo and bad rulership, wearer of heavy cloaks in nice weather, owner of great hair, and a man who sleeps with his aunt.

Sorry, forgot to mention that part.

Yup, Daenerys, and Jon get it on as they head towards the North on her flagship (if this ship's a rockin', don’t come a knocking?). Oh, and Tyrion watched kind of (ewww).

Holy Zombie Ice Dragons

HBO

HBO

Can anyone please explain to me how Bran can verify the existence of everything Littlefinger ever said, verify R + L = J, admit to being able to see everything that is happening now or in the past, but he can’t see a gigantic zombie ice dragon?

I know he has problems with the Night King but the Ice Dragon is NOT the Night King.

He sent his ravens (Did I mention that it makes no sense that he controls multiple Ravens at once because you can only warg one bird at a time? I think I mentioned that before, yes?). But he couldn't have figured out about the gigantic zombie ice dragon?

Okay, a gigantic zombie ice dragon attacks and destroys the wall. Tormund and his whole crew are pretty much decimated (and maybe Beric too). At the very least, there is no more barrier between the Wakers and the North (or any other part of Westeros that isn’t an island, good on you Bear Island).

I still can’t get over that Bran somehow missed this part. Of course, the Night King fans will now say this is proof Bran is actually in cahoots with the Night King but it doesn’t work that way. If you are lost in the Night King, you are lost in the Night King. You can’t take breaks to do treeflix checks on Targaryen's and Littlefinger.

HBO

HBO

Did anyone else catch the digs at Trump from Jon/Aegon (*new news* turns out I was right about this):

"I’m not going to swear an oath I can’t uphold. When enough people make false promises words stop meaning anything and there are no more answers, only better and better lies. And lies won’t help us in this fight."

Also, can we just say that Tyrion was, by far, the biggest loser of Season 7? His first plan lost Daenerys two of her best allies and half of her navy while his second plan resulted in the destruction of the wall. Tyrion needs to start drinking heavily again (he was much smarter when he was wasted).

How will it all end? My way too early predictions:

When all seems lost, Arya will kill Cersei (and might die in the process).

I am still betting Bronn kills, or tries to kill, Jaime (I realize the odds are poor on this one but I am stubborn).

Jon and Daenerys will probably die in the war for the North. But, somehow, probably through some last second sacrifice, they will defeat the white walkers.

Sansa will end up as the Queen she wanted to be way back at the very beginning.

Bran will merge with a tree and live happily ever after.

Sandor (The Hound) will kill his brother Gregor (Ser Strong).

Tormund will survive the Ice Dragon and hook up with Brienne.

Okay, it has been a fun season, hope you enjoyed the recaps. I am sure I will write several more pieces this week (so stay tuned). Also, at some point, I will start doing my History of Westeros posts again.

Let me know what your predictions for the final season are!