‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Episode 7 Recap: Loyalty, Betrayal, and Big Reveals Abound

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7
Kit Harington and Peter Dinklage in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 finale (Photo: Macall B. Polay / Courtesy of HBO)

Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) stands at the head of the Unsullied army outside of King’s Landing as Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and the Lannister army make ready to attack, if necessary, at the beginning of Game of Thrones season seven episode seven. The season finale finds Bronn (Jerome Flynn) and Jaime discussing the “men without cocks” and why they would want to fight in an army. Bronn believes no cocks equals no family, and then the talk turns to Tyrion siding with the cockless.

The Dothraki army arrives next, riding through the Unsullied columns to take their places immediately in front of the Unsullied army.

Meanwhile, onboard Daenerys’ ship Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) says one million people live in King’s Landing, something Jon Snow (Kit Harington) just can’t understand. There’s no appeal to living on top of other people. Below deck, The Hound (Rory McCann) makes sure the wight is still undead.

Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) is informed of their approach, and she tells Sir Gregor to kill Daenerys first, then Tyrion, and then Jon Snow if there’s any trouble.

After landing, Tyrion, Jon Snow, The Hound, and Daenerys’ key advisors (but not Daenerys – she’s not with the group) walk toward the dragonpit where they’re met by Bronn who has Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman) with him. Bronn is there to escort them all to the meeting. Tyrion and Podrick exchange pleasantries, with Podrick admitting he’s glad Tyrion’s alive.

Brienne assures The Hound she was only trying to protect Arya when she attempted to kill him, and reveals that Arya is alive and at Winterfell. The Hound wants to know who’s protecting her, but Brienne is certain Arya can take care of herself.

The group walk toward the dragonpit, and Tyrion tries to buy Bronn’s loyalty, offering to pay him double if he joins Daenerys’ side. Bronn thinks by setting up the initial meeting between Tyrion and Jaime, he’s on Queen Cersei’s good side so he’s not switching allegiance at this time.

Jon Snow, Brienne, Tyrion, and the rest are assembled in the dragonpit but Queen Cersei and her lover/brother Jaime are nowhere to be seen. The Hound asks Tyrion if he’ll die in this shit city, sure that his death will come because of a Lannister. As he speaks, The Mountain arrives escorting Queen Cersei, Jaime, and Euron (Pilou Asbeak). Brienne and Jaime barely exchange glances, with Cersei and Tyrion also only briefly making eye contact. The Hound approaches his brother and asks if he remembers him. The Hound states the obvious, calling The Mountain ugly and then wonders what they did to him. The Hound reminds The Mountain he’s always known how his life ends and who’s coming for him. With that, The Hound walks out of the pit.

After Cersei and Jaime are seated with their guests, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) makes a grand entrance riding Drogon. As Drogon approaches, Cersei attempts to look unimpressed. After depositing the Mother of Dragons, Drogon soars over the pit and leaves.

Daenerys takes her seat next to Tyrion as Cersei scolds her for being late. As Tyrion begins to address the group, Euron interrupts and commands Theon (Alfie Allen) to submit to him or he’ll kill his sister. Tyrion tries to get the group back on track but then becomes the target of Euron’s insults, with Euron saying they kill dwarves in the Iron Islands.

Cersei and Jaime instruct Euron to sit down and he finally does. Tyrion continues, pointing out the obvious that they do not like each other and have lost loved ones at each other’s hands. They are clearly capable of waging war without a face-to-face meeting, and Jon Snow takes over to say this meeting is about staying alive with an army of the dead marching toward King’s Landing. When Cersei wises off, Jon Snow attempts to tell her this is serious business but she believes it’s all a bad joke. Cersei asks Daenerys if she’s requesting a truce, unable to believe that’s true. Daenerys gives her word that King’s Landing will be safe until the threat in the North is vanquished.

The Hound returns, this time with the crate carrying the wight. He backs off quickly after opening the top and everyone waits in anticipation. Nothing happens. Finally, The Hound kicks it over and the wight runs toward Cersei. It’s on a chain and The Hound pulls it back before anyone is hurt. After he slices it in half, the wight’s torso continues to come for him, crawling toward his legs. After he slices off an arm, the wight is undeterred and pulls itself forward. Jon Snow picks up the severed arm and lights it on fire, explaining you can destroy them by burning them or using dragonglass. “If we don’t win this fight, then that is the fate of every person in the world,” declares Jon Snow.

He lifts the torso and kills it using the dragonglass. Cersei appears concerned as Jon Snow says the Great War is here. Daenerys admits she saw them all and Jaime asks how many. Daenerys says, “100,000 at least,” as Euron rises to his feet and asks if they can swim. When the answer is no, he decides to take the Iron Fleet back to the Iron Islands. He claims to be terrified for the first time in his life and he’s leaving with his men. “When winter’s over, we’ll be the only ones left alive,” he says, telling Daenerys she should return to her island as well.

Cersei agrees if the White Walkers come, everything they’ve done will be for nothing. There will not be any kingdoms left to rule. She accepts Daenerys’ truce until the dead are defeated. But, she adds that the King in the North will remain in the North and will not take up arms against the Lannisters. She wants this promise from Ned Stark’s son since he’ll be true to his word. “I am true to my word, or I try to be. That is why I cannot give you what you ask. I cannot serve two queens and I’ve already pledged myself to Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen,” replies Jon Snow.

The assembled group is silent for a moment, and then Cersei declares the North will have to deal with the dead and then she’ll deal with the North. As they walk away, Jaime and Brienne discuss loyalty, honor, and oaths. She wants him to convince Cersei to help fight the White Walkers but he won’t.

Daenerys is grateful for Jon Snow’s loyalty but thinks this means her dragon died for nothing. Tyrion wonders if Jon Snow has ever learned how to lie, but Jon refuses to swear an oath he won’t uphold. “Lies won’t help us in this fight,” says Jon.

Tyrion thinks they’re all f*cked, and Davos (Liam Cunningham) wonders if there’s a way to fix this. Tyrion believes he can talk to Cersei and Jon also volunteers to do so, but Tyrion advises him Cersei will definitely murder him. Tyrion is convinced he needs to see his sister alone. They finally agree.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7
Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 episode 7 (Photo: Macall B. Polay / Courtesy of HBO)

The Mountain escorts Tyrion to see Jaime who tells him Cersei thinks he’s an idiot for trusting their brother. Jaime suggests they say goodbye, one idiot to another, and then Tyrion enters his murderous sister’s chambers with The Mountain close at his heels.

Cersei’s not surprised her brother is siding with Daenerys, but he confesses he’s trying not to destroy their family and is attempting to keep Daenerys from bringing fire and blood to King’s Landing. Cersei’s still furious he left their family open by killing their father. She doesn’t accept his apology and he admits he will always be a threat, suggesting she kill him. He reminds her if it weren’t for him she’d have a father, a mother, and two beautiful children. He taunts her, telling her to order The Mountain to kill him. She doesn’t.

Tyrion pours a drink for himself and then brings one to his sister. He apologizes for the death of her children and reminds her she knows how much he loved them. She doesn’t care about his love or feelings, only what he cost the Lannisters. Cersei asks about his ultimate goal, and Tyrion confirms he wanted Jon Snow to bend the knee to Daenerys and for Daenerys to be Queen because she’d make the world a better place. He also says Daenerys chose him to check her better impulses, and then Cersei admits that when the wight came for her she only thought about keeping those teeth away from her family. It’s then that Tyrion realizes his sister is pregnant.

Daenerys and Jon Snow have another heart-to-heart, and he says no one is less happy about this outcome than him. Daenerys respects him for it, but wishes he hadn’t done it. She then explains this place was the beginning of the end for her family. The dragons filled people with wonder until they were locked away and grew small. She hands a tiny dragon skull back to Jon Snow who tells her she’s not like anyone else. He says her family hasn’t seen its end and she confesses she can’t get pregnant. Jon Snow believes that the witch who told her that might not be telling the truth. She can’t forget what she saw north of the Wall, and Jon Snow admits Tyrion was correct. “We’re f*cked,” he says, and they both chuckle.

Tyrion returns to the group followed by Cersei, Jaime, The Mountain, and Cersei’s men. Cersei says her armies will not stand down, she will march them north to fight alongside her in the Great War. “The darkness is coming for us all. We’ll face it together. And when the Great War is over, perhaps you’ll remember I chose to help with no promises or assurances from any of you,” declares Cersei, ordering her banners called.

Meanwhile at Winterfell, Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) have received a note from Jon Snow and can’t believe he’s bent the knee and will fight for Daenerys Targaryen. Littlefinger thinks Jon did it because he wants to marry Daenerys. An alliance makes sense since Jon was named King in the North. Sansa says Arya will kill anyone who betrays their family, so she can’t un-name Jon as the King. They discuss the Faceless Men and Sansa knows they’re killers and that Arya was one of them. She wonders what Arya is after. Littlefinger tells her to assume the worst to explain what someone does or says. Sansa believes the worst thing Arya could want would be her dead because she believes Sansa wronged her family. Arya could be there to kill her for betraying the family and she unearthed the letter to provide proof of Sansa’s betrayal. Sansa takes the next logical step in this line of thinking, saying that if Arya murders her, Arya becomes Lady of Winterfell.

The battle is planned out, with Jon Snow suggesting how the battle will go down. Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) says Daenerys should ride north on Drogon since everyone in the North will be after her head. But, Jon Snow believes if they sail to White Harbor together, it sends a better message. “I’m not coming to conquer the North, I’m coming to save the North,” says Daenerys, opting to sail together.

As the meeting breaks up, Theon (Alfie Allen) asks to speak with Jon Snow. Theon is impressed Jon Snow risked everything to tell an enemy the truth, and Jon believes they need to be honest in order to fight with their enemies. Theon believes Jon Snow has always known what was right, and every step he takes has always been correct. Jon Snow says that’s not true and that he’s done plenty of things he regrets, but not plenty when compared to Theon. Theon confesses he always wanted to do the right thing but never knew what that meant. He always felt he had to make the impossible choice of being a Stark or a Greyjoy. Jon reminds him Ned was more of a father to him than his flesh and blood father, and that Theon betrayed Ned’s memory. Theon agrees that’s true. Jon Snow adds that Ned is a part of Theon, just as he’s a part of Jon. He can’t forgive Theon for everything, but what he can forgive he does. He explains Theon doesn’t have to choose; he’s a Greyjoy and a Stark. Theon reveals Yara tried to save him when he was Ramsay’s prisoner. She was the only one who tried and now Yara needs him. “So why are you still talking to me?” asks Jon and then turns and walks away.

Theon approaches Yara’s men and reminds them Yara would never leave a man behind. They think Yara’s dead, but Theon doesn’t. He admits to being a coward and the men decide they’re going to sail off, find an island, kill the men, and take the wives. Theon on the other hand is going to stay behind and find Yara and set her free. They taunt him, telling him to run away and then a fight breaks out. Theon doesn’t give up and keeps attacking although he’s no match. He struggles to his feet after being warned to stay down or he’ll be killed. He’s knocked down again and yet he returns to his feet and is back on the attack. There’s no reaction of pain when he’s repeatedly kicked in the groin since he lost his private parts to Ramsay a while back. Theon knocks out his attacker and the remaining men agree to help him find Yara. A cheer goes up, “For Yara!”

Sansa stands in the snow at Winterfell, alone. She then commands one of her men to bring Arya to the Great Hall. Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is also there when Arya (Maisie Williams) arrives. Arya looks at the soldiers surrounding her and asks if Sansa is sure she wants to do this. Sansa believes this is what honor demands, as Littlefinger stands by slyly smiling. Sansa then accuses Lord Baelish of murder and treason! Yes! And now it’s Arya’s turn to smile.

Littlefinger looks stricken and says nothing as Arya prompts him to reply. He says he’s confused and Sansa reminds him he murdered her aunt, Lysa Arryn, to take power in the Vale and conspired to kill Jon Arryn, providing Lysa with the poison. Sansa continues, revealing she knows Littlefinger had Lysa send a letter to her parents telling them the Lannisters killed Jon. The conflict between the Starks and Lannisters was started by Littlefinger. He conspired with Cersei and Joffrey to betray Ned Stark and that led to Ned Stark’s beheading. Bran then speaks up, recalling that Littlefinger held a knife to their father’s throat and said, “I told you not to trust me.”

Arya brings out the knife Littlefinger told her mother belonged to Tyrion, which is actually his. Sansa denies him the opportunity to speak alone which he requests, and she turns his little game against him. She knows he has always turned family against family and sister against sister. She calls herself a slow learner but says she’s learned.

Littlefinger tries to get the men to escort him back to the Vale, but they won’t. He then begs Sansa and says he loved her more than anyone. She reminds him of his words that there is no justice in the world unless they make it. She thanks him for his many lessons and then Arya slices Littlefinger’s throat. (I’m sure a cheer went up from every Game of Thrones household.)

Back at King’s Landing, Jaime goes over battle plans with his men, discussing how they will march toward Winterfell. Cersei overhears and calls him the stupidest Lannister. She asks if he’s a traitor or an idiot? She will not command the troops to fight alongside the Dragon Queen. She doesn’t believe the Lannister army will make a difference and wants the Stark boy and his new Queen to defend the North alone. Jaime reminds her he made a promise and says their child won’t be born if the dead come South. Cersei believes all the stories of monsters are real, but while the others battle in the North, they will take back their lands and rule. Jaime is frustrated by Cersei’s decision, telling her if the dead win, they will kill all of King’s Landing. If the North wins, they will march south and kill them all.

Cersei doesn’t care and wants to know what happened to the third dragon. She thinks one of the dragons is dead. She tells her lover brother that the Iron Bank is on their side and gold will buy them a win. Highgarden bought them 20,000 men – the Golden Company – but Jaime has no idea how a mercenary company in Essos is going to help them. It’s then that Cersei reveals Euron actually sailed to Essos to get the Golden Company to win the war for her. Jaime can’t believe she conspired with Euron without telling him, and he intends to ride north because that’s what he pledged. She labels that a betrayal of his Queen and as he attempts to leave, The Mountain blocks his way. Jaime reminds her he’s the only one she has left and tells her to give the order to The Mountain to kill him. She nods her head, but Jaime walks away alive and unharmed. (Both of Cersei’s brothers asked her to kill them this episode.)

Jaime rides off, covering his gold hand as snow falls. Winter is here.

Sam Tarly (John Bradley) makes it to Winterfell and Bran greets him by name even before he reintroduces himself. Bran thanks him again for helping him beyond the Wall and says now he’s the Three-Eyed Raven, which Sam doesn’t understand. Bran explains that means he can see things from the past and what’s happening now all over the world. Sam says he’s come to Winterfell to help Jon Snow. Bran says Jon’s on his way home with Daenerys, and that Jon needs to know the truth. “Jon isn’t really my father’s son. He’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and my aunt, Lyanna Stark. He was born in a tower in Dorne. His last name isn’t really Snow, it’s Sand.”

Sam is shocked and then, without mentioning that Gilly pointed out this crucial information, says he transcribed a High Septon’s diary that included a passage about Rhaegar’s marriage being annulled followed immediately by a marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna in a secret ceremony. Jon Snow’s not a bastard. Bran didn’t know that, but Sam is sure. Then Bran has a vision of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s wedding, watching as they exchange vows. Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie; Lyanna wasn’t kidnapped. Instead, she was loved by Rhaegar and she loved him in return.

While Sam and Bran are having their pivotal discussion, we see Jon Snow entering Daenerys’ room at night. Tyrion watches from the shadows.

Bran finishes the story and announces Jon’s real name is Aegon Targaryen. (Jon’s real name revelation should keep fans talking for months.) He says Lyanna made Ned promise her that he would protect her child.

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen make love for the first time.

Bran says, “He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the Iron Throne. He needs to know. We need to tell him.”

Back at Winterfell, Arya asks Sansa if she’s all right and tells her she did the right thing by passing the sentence. Sansa asks if the fact she’s the Lady of Winterfell bothers Arya, and Arya says she was always meant to be something else. Arya also admits she couldn’t have survived what Sansa survived, but Sansa calls her the strongest person she knows. Arya can’t believe the compliment, proclaiming it’s the nicest thing her sister has ever said. “In winter we must protect ourselves, look after one another,” says Arya, quoting their father.

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives,” adds Sansa.

Arya says she misses their father and Sansa admits that she does, too.

Bran, critical information revealed, sits in the woods by the old tree. Eyes vacant, he sees the Wall and Tormund.

The scene switches to Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric (Richard Dormer) looking over the Wall as White Walkers march toward it. A horn blares as hundreds of thousands of wights and giants approach. Viserion appears in the sky, blue fire shooting from its mouth and the Night King on its back. Tormund yells for everyone to run as the dragon breaks through the Wall. A massive section of the Wall crumbles, enough for the White Walkers to march through.

Viserion flies above the wights as they head north.

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