Season 7 finale sets up great things for 'Thrones'

J.T. Johnson
Special to The Saline Courier

“Game of Thrones” did a superb job with the season seven finale, setting up the stage for the final six-episode eighth season. The show had a lot of threads to deal with and my concern was that it wouldn’t be able to pull it off or that it would feel rushed. Thankfully, I had no reason to worry.

In King’s Landing, at the ruins of the Dragon Pit, King Jon and Queen Daenerys meet with Queen Cersei. They show proof of the undead armies that are quickly heading toward the Wall. At first, it seems Cersei will not assist them despite the undead monster she just saw, but after a rather tension-filled conversation with Tyrion, she apparently changes her mind.

Of course, this is Cersei and she is totally lying. She orders her brother Jaimie to stand down against his wishes. She’ll let her enemies die at the hands of the undead and reclaim the lands they have taken from her. It is at this moment that
Jaimie starts to see where his sister’s actions could lead them. He finally breaks rank and decides to head to the North in order to assist the others heading back at Winterfell.
After returning to Dragonstone, Theon has a heart-to-heart with Jon and knows that he must overcome his own cowardice to rescue his sister Yara. After this, Jon and Daenerys head back to Winterfell onboard a ship. They finally give into their feelings and make love as Samwell arrives in Winterfell.

Bran reveals to Sam that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. However, Sam hits Bran with even more information when he reveals that Rhaegar’s marriage was annulled and that he actually married Lyanna. Bran discovers through another vision that Jon’s name is actually Aegon Targaryen and that he is actually the heir to the Iron Throne.
At the end of the episode, the Night King and his undead army finally make it to the Wall. Using the now undead Viserion, the Night King is able to bring down the Wall. The undead army marches into Westeros and the great war finally comes home.

So, was there anything else I was forgetting? Anything at all? Oh, yeah! Only the greatest part of the episode. For the past few weeks, I’ve been getting a little annoyed at the Sansa/Arya friction that has apparently been spearheaded by Littlefinger.

Thankfully, that was all a ruse after all. The two sisters were actually playing Littlefinger so that they could trap him. It looks like Sansa is about to charge Arya with treason when she turns her gaze upon Lord Baelish. With the help of Bran, the sisters reveal that they know about Littlefinger’s involvement in every dreadful aspects of their lives.
After this, Arya executes Littlefinger, ending all of his schemes once and for all. I never felt that Arya and Sansa would be at each other’s throats over a simple letter. I was so happy to see that this was not just a case of bad writing, but a trap for the always conniving Littlefinger.

Even though the resolution to that particular storyline was the biggest highlight of the episode for me, the rest of the show was great as well. The episode thankfully took its time in a season that has definitely had a rushed feel up to this point. "The Dragon and the Wolf" sets up plenty of drama that the filmmakers will have to resolve rather quickly in season eight, but it also did a good job of setting up the final pieces for the final game by simply taking its time.

I don’t know how the show will resolve the Jon/Dany relationship considering that we know they are related but also that they are now lovers. One thing is for sure, they definitely have enemies on both sides with Cersei promising to destroy her enemies and the undead army coming in from beyond the Wall. This is a show that has consistently kept its viewers on its toes and tonight, it reestablished that tone.

Winter is undoubtedly here now as snow falls in King’s Landing. After this stellar episode, I can’t wait to see what that Winter will bring with it during the eighth and final season.