As is standard practice: Spoilers for the latest episode.
Wow. While I wouldn’t say the finale was perfect, the end of the seventh season was certainly interesting.
“He needs to know the truth about himself.”
Let’s start from the start:
The Dragonpit/King’s Landing: The lead up to this scene was a nice reminder of which characters were buds with which, for people who might not remember that far back: Pod is still loyal to Tyrion, Bron is still loyal to Bron but also he and Tyrion did have a friendship. The Hound doesn’t care for much of anyone, but his lines with Brienne about Arya well reflected his changed self — and his care about Arya started well before he got taken down a notch by Brienne.
When they start to gather, Euron does his best to be the biggest dickweed present, but Cersei is clearly the winner of that award. Her attitude is as shitty as we’ve come to expect, and I really feel like her character has just… eroded this season. She had a high point last season, with her reaction to her daughter’s death and the events leading to King Tommen’s high-dive. Mostly every time she’s on screen it’s just, “How is she going to be unreasonable and stupid now?” This episode is no different; most everything she does is her worst possible decision.
Euron pretending to be a coward should fool zero of the adults at the meet. Also, Theon’s fight didn’t really do much for me; he often shows moments of bravery followed by serious cowardice. Will he remain brave this time? Who knows.
Tyrion and Cersei together was time-consuming and didn’t do either of them any favors, in my opinion. This constant threat of, “Well I’m going to have the Mountain kill you” is really annoying — and I cannot wait to see the Hound decapitate that freak show.
Jon’s honor is too much in his way. Maybe when he learns the truth he’ll be a little less honest. That is what got Ned killed after all.
Skipping ahead to do one region at a time and into a deep rant, what in the name of hell does Cersei think she’s going to accomplish by blatantly betraying the North and Dany? Jaime is correct: if the Targaryen forces win against the Night King, the Targaryens will be able to defeat them. The Golden Company won’t matter: one of Cersei’s only winning notes has been that Dany brings foreign invaders. If those foreign invaders save the country from the Wights, and she proposes to fight them off with other foreigners… nobody is going to risk their neck for her.
Also, if the Dead win — well, the Golden Company might just say, “Hey, these fuckers can’t swim, let’s go back to Essos.”
In her scenario her only hope is that whoever drags themselves down from the north is too weak to defeat her. That’s a shitty hope. Nothing she could ever do will win her the support of the Dead. Nothing. By pissing off the northerners/Dany, she only guarantees that whichever side wins she has an enemy to the north. But helping the Targaryen forces against the Dead wins her points with them — just because she has never valued her allies (and always takes their support for granted) does not mean the others will act in the same manner. There could be a negotiated peace here — Cersei herself did not kill Ned, or Robb, or Rickon, or any of the Targaryens.
She’s making the same mistake that killed Margery Tyrell — she wants to be queen so bad she’s willing to risk anything for it. And that’s going to be her undoing. When Jaime Lannister, who pushed a child from a tower window for her, is willing to walk out because her strategy is stupid then maybe she should think twice. He’s asked her for very little and she has asked him for the world — and he’s lost his hand to deliver it, among other things.
So Jaime rode north, and at this point so does our story telling.
First, the moments on Dragonstone — yeah, ok, and…
Then the boat: Okay that’s interesting, but not surprising. They’ve been heavily implying these two like each other from their first meet, aside from Dany acting like Jon just naturally owed her loyalty without knowing crap about the situation. The more interesting moment on the boat: That look on Tyrion’s face.
We’ll hit Eastwatch next: Ok, was that blue fire coming out of the dragon? Why wouldn’t it breathe ice/cold — just didn’t fit the script? Meh. Also, Tormund and Beric better be in the next season. They’re too promising to cut out yet (even if the books already did cut out Beric.)
Winterfell: Ok, I get why the Starks ganged up on Littlefinger, but I feel like I missed a scene showing that they had some collective idea he was a dick. Just, ten seconds of discussion at any point, or a knowing look, or just about anything between them, would have made that flow a little better. Still, it was about time. His schemes haven’t made sense in forever.
The more interesting part, and the most interesting part of the episode, was the reveal of the truth about Aegon Targaryen, also known as Jon Snow, and the heir to the throne. It is a monkey-wrench thrown into the mix, and it does all sorts of stuff for the next season. It was also my single favorite scene of the season. And now we know why Gilly had that book to read: Sam was copying the rotting old thing. (is the Citadel located in a swamp? Why would a book from less than twenty years ago already be rotting away?)
Now, for Season Eight Predictions:
– I cannot be the only person wondering what will happen when Jaime and Bran meet; Jaime might end up like Littlefinger if he’s not careful. Maybe they won’t meet. Maybe Bran, as the three-eyed raven, won’t even care. He’ll have seen other things. I have to think Jaime is done with Cersei at this point, though. Which means: Jaime-Brienne-Tormund triangle? Do we even have time for that? I also kind of feel like Jaime will sacrifice himself at some point.
– Mountain vs Hound. Has to happen. Though with them headed in different directions I am not sure when it can happen. Maybe if Jaime betrays Cersei the Hound and Arya will ride south to remove her from the Throne. (This is close to what I’d write were I D&D at this point.)
– Dany and Jon won’t care for the revelation about Jon’s ancestry. Dany will initially be bitchy about it, but will either be talked down from acting crazy since she’s not the direct heir, or she’ll be fine with it from the get go because her family is still alive. I don’t think both of them survive; I think Jon has more chance than her, despite everything, because GRRM hates his female characters. I also do think they’ll have a child, because they spent too much time talking about how she can’t. “Look at this MAGUFFIN!”
– I’d say the definite survives are: Bronn, Pod, Tormund, Brienne, the Hound or Arya (but maybe not both), Dany or Jon (not both, not neither), Tyrion or Jaime (not both, not neither), Sansa, Lady Mormont, Sam and Fam (Gilly and Little Sam). Definite deaths: Cersei, Jorah, Beric (eventually, hopefully at the end or something), Davos (which I hate, but I can see him sacrificing himself at the end), Melisandre, Grey Worm. Up in the air: Bran (though what we mean by “survive”…), Missandei, Meera (might be off-screen…), Gendry (though why bring him back to kill him off?), Varys, Dolorous Edd, etc.
– Can the White Walkers turn unborn babies? That’d be a twisted way to end Cersei.
– Or, maybe Arya rides hard south, with Littlefinger’s face on, and gets to Cersei that way.
– Basically, I’m not sure Cersei survives Season Eight’s opening episode, and I’ll be shocked if she survives through the third episode.