As the seventh season of Game of Thrones draws to a close, here is a recap of everything you need to know and the big questions we're asking ahead of the finale.
Spoiler alert for anyone not up to date!
So far this season we have seen emotional character reunions, storylines converge, old truths revealed and some truly gripping drama, but after the events in Beyond the Wall we have more questions than ever about what the finale may hold, and on a larger scale, how the show can possibly wrap up entirely.
We'll save the questions about the series' end game for season eight's six episodes, but for now, all eyes are on Monday's forthcoming outing; The Dragon and the Wolf.
The Dragon and the Wolf
What a title for the finale of a season largely centred on bringing together two fan favourites; Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. We have watched the King in the North and the Mother of Dragons grow closer as the episodes have gone on, with Jon finally bending the knee to his queen in episode six.
The episode title could mean a few things:
- Jon and Dany might get together – sparks have been flying between the pair, there was even some emotional hand holding this week.
- Jon may ride a dragon – we saw how well he got on with Drogon that time and with their group King's Landing-bound and meeting in The Dragonpit, you just don't know what's going to happen.
- Jon could find out who his parents are – his father is Rhaegar Targaryen (dragon) and his mother is Lyanna Stark (wolf).
If any - or all - of those come to pass, it would be so satisfying.
For the last few episodes the plan to bring a wight to King's Landing to show Cersei that the threat beyond The Wall is real has been carried out, and we see from the trailer for the finale that all of the major players – or at least their representatives – will come together to discuss "the only war that matters".
The Dragonpit is a location that hasn't been used yet on the show, but it's worth mentioning some of the history of it that ties into Cersei's descent into madness.
After already channelling the Mad King by using wildfire to burn down the Sept of Baelor in season six, her use of the Dragonpit for this meeting is worrisome. Before it was the Dragonpit, a Sept sat in its place which was burned down by another mad Targaryen king, Maegor the Cruel. It is also a place where wildfire has been discovered - which sounds like somewhere Cersei and Qyburn could have set a trap for their visitors.
Will Cersei have set a trap? How will the wight fare in the heat of King's Landing? Will there be some dragon action in the Dragonpit? Will Cersei be nicer to Tyrion now that she knows he didn't actually kill Joffrey?
Will Cersei even listen to Jon speaking about the Night King and his army? Also, where is Daenerys while all of this is going on? We don't see Dany in the trailer as the group descends on the Dragonpit, though that doesn't mean that she isn't in King's Landing.
The Mad Queen
With Cersei drawing so many parallels with the Mad Kings of years gone by, it all seems to be building up to her becoming a Mad Queen. Having already killed a reigning monarch for the good of the people, will Jaime have to take matters into his own hands again?
The prophecy Cersei received earlier in the series has so far rang true, with one section that was omitted from the series but featured in the book saying she would be killed by a younger brother. Due to her intense hatred of Tyrion, he seemed the obvious option to kill her, but there is also a lot to be said for the idea that her other younger brother – she was born before her twin – Jaime would do the noble thing and kill her if she starts to become too evil.
After revealing to Jaime that she is pregnant again, it raises another possibility that she may die due to complications with her pregnancy, as the unborn child could be the younger brother of her already deceased children. Prophecies can be so specific, yet so vague.
It seems unlikely that Cersei will be killed in the finale, although it has been a season uncharacteristically low on the death count of main characters, so who knows who will go, but this meeting with her enemies is sure to involve some kind of drama. Even if she believes in their cause, she isn't the kind of person who can put a war on pause and risk losing her throne.
With Littlefinger pitting the recently reunited Stark daughters against each other, and Sansa sending Brienne to King's Landing in her place, something dodgy is bound to go down in Winterfell this week. While Bran is now the Three-Eyed Raven so knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen, he has done little but keep his sisters on edge since his arrival home; perhaps because he knows too much.
Bran let Sansa know that he knows exactly what she went through with Ramsay, he has used some of Littlefinger's past words against him, and he has armed Arya with the Valyrian Streel and dragon glass dagger that was used in his assassination attempt back in season one.
Will he allow his sisters to be torn further apart or will he intervene? Will Arya and Sansa unite and take down Littlefinger themselves? Will Arya kill Sansa and wear her face? Will Sansa allow an assassination attempt on her younger sister now that Brienne is out of the way and can't protect her?
Beyond the Wall
Now that he has added an Ice Dragon to his army, the Night King is in a much more powerful position. Being that the episode is feature length, and how quickly characters can time hop this season to allow the plot to move forward more quickly, it is possible the finale will both show the meeting in King's Landing and some action beyond The Wall.
The Wall is not just a physical barrier to the white walkers; it is also enchanted so that the dead cannot pass. Now that winter is underway, there are theories that the army of the dead will be able to walk on the frozen water around Eastwatch-by-the-Sea as in the opening credits it appears the water is frozen over, and we saw the wights walk on the frozen lake last week.
With the wight Viserion now in play, it will be interesting to see what exactly he can do. Will he still be able to breathe fire? Will be breathe ice? Both pose trouble for the war to come. If he's the fire breathing kind, could be melt part of the wall? He could definitely burn the armies of men. If he breathes ice, he could freeze them. Either way, an un-dead dragon is bad news.
In the same way the image of Viserion's eye turning blue was a powerful final image from that episode, an image of the Night King riding Viserion towards The Wall would be in incredible one to finish the season on.
- Tormund and Brienne will be reunited in the episode as both will be part of the company in King's Landing; will he finally make his move?
- Thoros of Mhyr was killed in the last episode, and Melissandre was headed for Volantis, so both characters known to bring people back from the dead are gone.
- Davos and Bronn will also feature in the episode so hopefully they will provide some more of their hilarious one liners as light relief, if there is any light relief to be had.
- The Unsullied are seen in the trailer, so they have made it back from Casterly Rock somehow.
- What huge plot points and information will Sam and Gilly unearth this week?
The Game of Thrones season 7 finale airs on Sky Atlantic on Monday at 2am and 9pm.