The Dragon and the Wolf was a powerful conclusion to arguably Game of Thrones’ best season yet. I was tempted to write this with Break Down the Wall playing.
It’s hard not to dive right into that crazy final scene with The Wall tumbling down, but there was a lot of quality happenings to break down first.
Serious question time now. Who deserves a book of quotables more? Bronn or Littlefinger? It seems like every other sentence is gold and worthy of recognition in the Jedi archives. I forgot how much I missed the dynamic of Tyrion, Bronn and Podrick.
While I still contend the setup for this was incredibly stupid and costly on many levels, this was an epic scene. In a moment reminiscent of the meeting of the five families, The Dragon and the Wolf kicked off with an epic meeting of all the principal characters save the Stark siblings. Daenerys has to one up Cersei’s showy entrance by arriving on dragonback. Has The Mountain been working out? He looks broader and more intimidating than usual. Maybe it’s that sleek black and silver outfit? Kudos to the costumers this week. Everyone was rocking their Sunday best and the outfits looked incredible.
Since he has no use for etiquette, Euron immediately starts crapping on decorum by taunting Tyrion and Theon. That dude is a bastard, but man does he make for entertaining TV. For The Hound’s next trick… the incredible undying man. I dug how Cersei completely maintained her composure when Daenerys rolled up on her dragons, but totally lost it when the walker advanced.
Euron peacing out at that moment instantly made him the smartest character in the history of the show. Cersei is down for this truce provided Jon doesn’t come gunning for the Lannisters after the white walkers are defeated. Cersei’s survivalist game is on point. Daenerys wants the throne, but knows Jon wants payback for his family. Not surprisingly, Jon declines even at the expense of the truce.
The Dragon and the Wolf seriously could have just spent an hour with Cersei and Tyrion talking. Lena Headey has been impressive all season, but whenever she’s opposite Peter Dinklage she hits another level. Cersei makes a grandiose proclamation that the Lannister army and banner men to help. But wait, we’re supposed to hate Cersei!
Whoa, not so fast. Cersei was just playing to the crowd again and already plotting on a betrayal with the help of The Golden Company elite mercenary army. Jaime rightfully calls out this highly flawed strategy — if the white walkers win, they kill everyone and everyone else will gun for the Lannisters if they win. Cersei likes to brag about her strategic mind, but her blow everyone up final solution won’t work in this case.
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Jaime finally finds his breaking point with Cersei and even risks decapitation from The Mountain by walking off on her. Shedding his golden armor, Jaime heads North to honor his commitment to fight against the walkers. Just as snow starts falling in King’s Landing. That’s probably not a good sign…
The redemption tour continues as Theon apologizes to Jon for everything. Jon forgives him and we get a true reunion of the Stark ‘brothers.’ Winning over the remaining Greyjoy armada proves harder for Theon. True to Iron Islands thinking, he has to fight the captain to the death to gain their respect and get their help in saving Yara. This is probably the first time anyone on this show was happy to be a eunuch.
At Winterfell, Littlefinger has got Sansa wrapped around his … little finger again. He’s got Sansa all set to sentence Arya and possibly execute her for crimes against the realm. Littlefinger is smart enough to know Arya is having absolutely none of his foolishness and has his puppet do his dirty work. Only thing he didn’t count on though was the Stark sisters were playing a long con on him. Sansa called him out in front of the northern lords and ran down his long list of crimes.
This was always Littlefinger’s undoing. He assumed he was the smartest man in the room in any situation, but didn’t recognize he was giving the Stark kids all the tools they needed to outsmart him. It was fitting that Littlefinger’s first slip-up throughout the series cost him his life. I loved Arya’s subtle tribute to her father with her outfit here.
Bran seemed to have mellowed out somewhat and actually greets the returning Sam with actual warmth. It’s weird though that it took the conversation with Sam for Bran to fully see Jon’s true lineage. So much for being the all-seeing Three-Eyed Raven. Turns out Sam was listening to Gilly and was able to help Bran use sight beyond sight to learn Robert’s Rebellion was based on a lie. More importantly, Jon is the legit rightful heir to the throne and his real name is Aegon Targaryen.
In the kind of wacky coincidence that seems to always happen in GOT, just as Bran is making this discovery, Jon is discovering Daenerys’ body is a wonderland. It’s going to be all kinds of weird when he learns he just hooked up with his aunt. Why does that make Tyrion so sad? Did he also need to be in love with her too?
While Jon and Daenerys are cosplaying as Jaime and Cersei, the Walkers have approached their destination — The Wall. I get this was always hopelessly understaffed and ill-prepared for an attack, but why didn’t Tormund have anything to stop them? Maybe some fireballs or anything? Before he can figure out some strategy, the Night King arrives pulling a Daenerys and obliterating the wall with his ice dragon.
Maybe I’m overthinking it, but instead of blue fire wouldn’t it have been cooler for the Ice Dragon to shoot extremely powerful ice blasts? Kinda like a Bizarro/Superman deal. Either way, this destruction was impressive and I’m already hyped for the battle of fire and ice dragons. Big question of the episode: did Tormund survive so he can take Brienne out?
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
The season finale tends to be slow, but The Dragon and the Wolf delivered on pretty much every level.
Photo Credit: HBO