Game of Thrones season finale: Death, defiance and a doozy of a revelation
This article contains spoilers about the season finale of the hit fantasy HBO series
This article contains spoilers about the Game of Thrones season 7 finale entitled: The Dragon and the Wolf.
Game of Thrones ended its seventh and second-to-last season with some major plot twists and a visually stunning — albeit predictable — cliffhanger.
Fans of the show knew a zombie dragon was imminent after last week's episode but the final scene of the finale leaves a myriad of possibilities for the hit fantasy series' eighth and final season.
"One of the things that was so cool about George R.R. Martin's books (on which Game of Thrones seasons one to five were based) was that it didn't seem possible that he was going to find a way to resolve all of this stuff," said Sonia Saraiya, a TV critic with Variety. "The fact that it's sort of an unresolvable story by design makes it really hard to end."
Social media lit up with praise for the episode's twists and turns, even though many of the revelations were predicted by fans — such as Jon Snow's true identity and his star-crossed union with Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen — earlier in the season.
If <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GameOfThrones?src=hash">#GameOfThrones</a> didn't just prove that is the best show ever idk what else they could do seriously that episode was the best episode ever—@kingfrutiz
I have finally figured out why there's such a long gap between each season of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GameOfThrones?src=hash">#GameOfThrones</a> it's cause we need the time to breathe again—@anjsav20
Me acting shocked about the information they gave us that we already knew. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gameofthrones?src=hash">#gameofthrones</a> <a href="https://t.co/KR9dw5cFnt">pic.twitter.com/KR9dw5cFnt</a>—@dalinabr
Well played, Starks, well played
Just when viewers were beginning to question Sansa Stark's loyalty, she turned the tables on manipulator extraordinaire Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish and together with her sister, Arya, brought him to his knees — literally — before commanding her masterful younger sibling to slit his throat.
Speaking of siblings, Snow's true identity is also revealed (to everyone except him). Turns out, he's not Ned Stark's illegitimate son after all but Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the Iron Throne and yes, nephew to his current lover.
Snow might not know who he really is, but his sense of self couldn't be stronger — nor more politically à propos — than during a showdown between rulers.
After a meeting with Cersei Lannister goes awry thanks to Snow's enduring honesty, Tyrion Lannister asks him if he could learn to lie, "just a bit."
Snow responds by saying: "When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. And there are no more answers, only better and better lies."
'Primed to pay attention'
While season seven was still hugely popular (the two episodes preceding the finale were the show's highest-rated ever), it faced increasing dissection and deliberation by fans, as will the upcoming final season.
Many pointed out inconsistencies in plotting and changes in character traits that didn't seem as believable as in earlier seasons.
"We're all paying attention to those details because we were kind of primed to pay attention to those details," Saraiya told CBC News. "Nothing was by accident before. And so now, if it's not holding up to that same level of scrutiny, it doesn't quite feel like the same show."
The show ran out of material from Martin's fantasy series after season five and was forced to go on their own scripting for seasons six, seven and the upcoming final one.
We still don't know exactly when the final season will air. The earliest would be the summer of 2018 but it could come as late as 2019.
It will only be six episodes long but the length of each one is undetermined. The season 7 finale ran 82 minutes.
HBO previously announced it was considering a number of GoT potential spinoff scripts, hoping that one would be good enough to form the foundation for a prequel after the popular series ends.