Every action-packed episode of Game of Thrones‘s seventh season seems to have been leading up to a massive clash between everyone with any claim whatsoever to the Iron Throne, and according to a new promo for next Sunday’s season finale, it looks like that’s exactly what we’re going to get.
The short, tense clip starts by catching viewers up on several major players’ situations: Grey Worm and the Unsullied are trapped on Casterly Rock; Tyrion Lannister, Theon Greyjoy and Varys reassess their thwarted attack plan on a nearby ship; Jaime Lannister looks over the endless sea of troops approaching his castle; and Sansa Stark stands alone in the snow at Winterfell. Then, seven seasons’ worth of struggles apparently come to a head when Jon Snow and all three Lannisters meet up in the Dragonpit — the now-ruined former home of the Targaryen dragons at King’s Landing — either to negotiate an end to the titular game of thrones or to declare all-out war. It’s probably the latter, as the only line spoken throughout the entire promo is Jon Snow’s solemn declaration that, “There is only one war that matters, and it is here.”
Noticeably missing from the Dragonpit, however, is the Mother of Dragons herself. Daenerys is nowhere to be seen in the video, whether because she’s too busy mourning the loss of her beloved dragon-child Viserion or because she’s content sending Jon, her probable nephew and potential lover, in her stead. (He did finally bend the knee, after all.) Whatever the reason, all will be revealed this Sunday at 9 p.m.
In the meantime, you can catch Dany on Instagram: Emilia Clarke has posted several photos with Kit Harington, the IRL Jon Snow, since their fortuitous mid-season meeting. In one selfie of the two of them, Harington smiles smugly while Clarke points worriedly at him, evidently fearing that he’ll assert his own alleged Targaryen ties and steal the throne from under her and her dragon kids. “Wait….. did I NOT tell you guys?! Um yeah. Now if he’d only bend the bloody knee there’ll be no problems…..??❄️ #modragonsmoproblems #igot99problemsandjonsnowisone #whichroundsmeupto100problems #youknownothingjonsnow,” she captioned the picture. Clarke also posted a video last week of Harington standing on a hillside and flapping his cape like a dragon’s wings.
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Olenna Tyrell may have been served poison after her army had been defeated and her grain stores raided, but she didn’t go out without making a gut-punch of a reveal: It was she who poisoned Joffrey Baratheon, not his uncle Tyrion Lannister, three ago. Good thing Cersei is again pregnant by her brother, because their incestuous brood has dwindled considerably since Joffrey’s death.
Melisandre might have made her graceful exit when she incited Stannis Baratheon to roast his own daughter Shireen on a burning pyre, but no—it’s taken her two more seasons to take her leave. She left Dragonstone bound for Volantis, but never fear. She’ll be back, because, as she promised, she has to die in Westeros. As does Varys, apparently.
Not Bran Stark precisely, but at least, his social skills—since he became the Three-Eyed Raven, these have quietly bid him adieu (as Meera Reed says dramatically, “You died in that cave”). Even his sister Arya, who has undergone her own transformation into a girl with no name (it’s Arya. her name is Arya.), has taken note. The Three-Eyed Raven might be the biggest drama queen in Westeros, and it’s a land filled with high drama. “I remember what it felt like to be Brandon Stark,” he tells Meera. “But I remember so much else now.” Including, apparently, “everything that’s ever happened to anyone.”
Speaking of Meera Reed, Bran Stark’s faithful companion north of the wall takes her leave once Bran (sorry, the Three-Eyed Raven) is securely installed back at Winterfell.
Nymeria (Stark?), Arya Stark’s direwolf, had been AWOL since the first season, but she returned earlier this year for a brief mystical encounter with her former mistress in the forest. Just as quickly as she appears, Nymeria vanishes again into the woods, because a wolf has no master.
The latest victim of Cersei Lannister’s revenge tour—an odyssey that gives Arya Stark’s murder list some real competition—Ellaria Sand and her daughter were chained in the basement of the Red Keep, where Ellaria was forced to watch her daughter die of the same poison with which she poisoned Myrcella Lannister.
Euron Greyjoy didn’t make a literal return this season, because after he dropped in on the Iron Islands last season, he never really left. But when he arrived at King’s Landing earlier this season, intent on seducing Cersei Lannister—or at least securing the power and authority that comes with marrying her—he did so with a new look. Meera’s departure from Winterfell may have been meme-able, but it couldn’t compare to the stir Euron’s Rick Owens makeover caused on Twitter.
Thanks to Samwell Tarley, Jorah “no one glowers like you” Mormont has been reintegrated into society, free of greyscale at last. It remains to be seen if that’s a good thing.
Dickon Tarly, gone too soon. While he made a prominent entrance at the beginning of the season and spent the first four episodes currying favor with Jaime Lannister—seeming to secure his future on the series in the process—it turns out, he allied himself with the wrong team; this week, he was promptly incinerated alongside his father.
The Night King, still freezing hearts and taking names, is back, and Jon Snow and co. are running straight for him.
Certainly our favorite blacksmith-hammer-wielding bastard, if not our favorite bastard, Gendry Baratheon, the illegitimate son of King Robert Baratheon, made a grand re-entrance, joining the cause of the King in the North.
First Ranger of the Night’s Watch Benjen Stark makes a grand entrance swinging a ball and chain wreathed in fire. He sends Jon Snow on his way, and we last see him falling beneath a dog pile of wights. (Zombies. They’re zombies.) Local hero Benjen Stark seems to always show up at the right place at the right time.
Don’t call her Dany. That’s all.
The Brotherhood Without Banners is dwindling; Thoros of Myr has been eviscerated by a zombie bear. (Zombies, everywhere.) For the uninitiated, Thoros is the one without the eyepatch. The other one is Beric.
To anyone who isn’t Daenerys, her three dragons—her “children,” as she tells us again and again—might appear interchangeable. But with the death of Viserion by the Night King’s ice javelin, we lose the dragon named for her psychopathic late brother Viserys Targaryen. But where we lose a dragon, we gain a zombie dragon, which definitely seems like an upgrade as far as fantasy scenarios go.
Honestly, it’s impressive Littlefinger survived this long. Nobody wanted him around, least of all the sisters Stark, who wrought his demise. But as they say, one man’s death is another woman’s death mask. Arya, here’s a face for your morbid collection of tokens.