Cocks, lad. I tell you, it’s all about cocks. Photo: HBO / FoxtelOh dear. Maybe this Game of Thrones drinking game – one shot every time someone mentions genitalia – wasn’t such a great idea. Here we are five minutes in and I’m already three sheets to the wind. I blame Bronn.
There he is parading around the ramparts of King’s Landing, ordering more oil be prepared for tossing over the massed and rather unsullied ranks of the Unsullied. “Men without cocks,” he says, marvelling at the very thought of it. Skoll!
He wouldn’t be fighting in any army if he didn’t have a cock, he tells Jaime. (Skoll!) What’s the point?
“Gold,” Jaime suggests.
“What do you think soldiers spend their gold on,” asks Bronn.
“Not without cocks, you don’t.” Skoll again. Hic.
“Maybe it is all cocks in the end,” concedes Jaime. Barkeep – another round for me and my friends. Skoll.
Things don’t look great for Jaime and Bronn; Unsullied and Dothraki on one side, a fleet of ships on the other. “How many people live here,” aks Jon, who is aboard one of the vessels
About a million, answers Tyrion.
That’s more than up t’north. Why would so many people cram into a city like that, Jon wonders.
“There’s more work in the city,” says Tyrion. “And the brothels are far superior.”
??? Inside the castle, Cersei is laying out the welcome mat.
“If anything goes wrong, kill the silver-haired bitch first,” she tells the Mountain. “Then our brother, then the bastard who calls himself king. The rest of them you can kill in any order you see fit.”
Bronn leads out a welcoming party, complete with Brienne, who has travelled south via TGV at Sansa’s request. The Hound, who is in Jon’s party, is surprised to see her, but not as surprised as she is to see him. Hey, didn’t I kill you, like, two seasons ago?
Bronn leads them into the dragon pit, a kind of ruined colosseum where centuries ago dragons were kept for amusement. Deprived of their freedom, the beasts became stunted, and eventually died out. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t feel like a particularly auspicious place to be trying to save a species.
“I left this shit city because I didn’t want to die in it,” the Hound tells Tyrion. “Am I going to die in this shit city?”
“You might,” Tyrion says.
“This is all your idea. Seems every bad idea has some Lannister c— behind it.”
“And some Clegane c— to help them see it through.”
Please stop. I can’t see any more.
Game of Thrones finale … The Hound faces The Mountain. Photo: HBO
Cue some other Clegane c—: the Mountain looks positively mountainous as he strides in alongside Cersei, Jaime, Qyburn and that toss-pot Euron Greyjoy.
It’s all meaningful glances at 10 paces as Brienne clocks Jaime, Cersei clocks Tyrion, Jon clocks Cersei. Hell, Theon has even been transported from whatever hole he was snivelling in just so he can clock Euron. There’s so much bad blood here a cameo from Taylor Swift would be in order.
Sandor gets up close to Gregor. “Remember me? Of course you do. What did they do to you? You’re even uglier than me now.”
He’s right, too. It’s the first good look we’ve had at the Hound’s brother since he was brought back to life by some Qyburn necromancy, and it’s not pretty. You can only see what’s visible through the openings in his helmet, but with his red eyes and mottled skin he looks oddly like Toad from Toad Hall. Beep beep.
“It’s not how it ends for you brother,” says the Hound, crushing the hopes and dreams of GoT fans everywhere. “You know how it ends for you. You’ve always known.” Sounds like someone has leaked him the script for Clegane Bowl, but damn if he isn’t just keeping it to himself.
Cersei has finally joined the party, but there’s an empty seat where Dany is supposed to be. But here she comes now, running late as usual; after-school pick-up is just such a hassle, even for the Mother of Dragons.
Drogon lands on a stone wall, which crumbles a little under his weight, and Dany dismounts. Everyone looks impressed, except Cersei, who looks all, “Oh yeah, dragons. What’s so special about dragons?”
“We’ve been here for some time,” she snarls as Dany takes her seat.
“My apologies,” says Dany. Like, totes soz.
Game of Thrones finale … Drogon at the Dragonpit summit. Photo: HBO
Tyrion begins to explain why they’re here, but he’s barely started before Euron tries to cut him down to size. In the Iron Isles, they kill his sort at birth, he says, to save the parents the shame. Oh yeah, and he’s got Theon’s sister with him too, and he’ll kill her if Theon doesn’t submit. And one more thing…
“Sit down or leave,” spits Cersei, in a rare display of good sense.
Tyrion says everyone has lost someone they love because of these stupid wars. So this is all some hippy-dippy peace thing, wonders Cersei?
“This isn’t about living in harmony,” Jon says. “It’s just about living.”
Look, let’s just all try to get on, OK? Photo: HBO / Foxtel
But Cersei isn’t interested in a truce. It rhymes with ruse, and she’s sure that’s what this is all about – biding time to mount an attack on House Lannister.
Thankfully, though, here comes the Hound with one he prepared earlier. He carts the captured wight into the arena in a wooden crate, kicks it over and the walker spills out and sprints towards Cersei. He’s almost at her when the Hound yanks him back by a chain. He chops the walker’s arm off, cuts its body in half, and still it’s flailing around.
Qyburn picks up the hand, still twitching, and you can see he’s wondering how he could make use of this. A massager, maybe? What about all those Yellow Pages searches ??? let the fingers do the walking?
Jon sets fire to the wriggling hand, says this is one way we can kill them. He pulls out his dagger of dragon glass, stabs the writhing torso, says this is another way.
What a sales pitch; if this King in the North thing doesn’t work out, he could always try selling vacuum cleaners for a living.
Game of Thrones finale … Army of the Dead’s zombie soldier. Photo: HBO
Euron is so convinced he doesn’t need to see the PowerPoint presentation. “This is the only thing I’ve ever seen that terrifies me”, he says. He’s taking his ships and going home.
Cersei is convinced too. All right, a truce, but only if you, Jon Snow pledge not to attack me.
Awesome. This is what they came here for. Now, just to sign the contract…
“I am true to my word,” says Jon. “That is why I cannot give you what you ask. I cannot serve two queens.”
The deal is off. Oh, Jon, you stupid great lump of integrity, you.
As Cersei and her entourage walk off in a huff, Brienne makes one last attempt to broker a deal. “F— loyalty,” she says to Jaime, thereby abandoning the one ethos that has guided her entire life. “Talk to the queen.”
“And tell her what,” asks Jaime. I swear he only wears that suit of armour because he’s so spineless he’d collapse in a heap without it.
Jon’s buddies crowd around to offer their congratulations on another brilliant bit of politicking.
“I wish you hadn’t done that,” mutters Davos.
“I’m grateful for your loyalty,” says Dany, “but if it’s all for nothing then my dragon died for nothing.”
“Have you ever considered learning how to lie every now and then, just a bit,” asks Tyrion.
Actually, no, says Jon. “When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything.”
Donald Trump suddenly appears at the back of the Colosseum in a baseball cap, saying this is a really tremendous point that his very good friend Jon has made, and if only the failing media would stop spreading fake news then the Seven Kingdoms could get back to being great again.
Jon totally ignores him. In a world where words mean nothing, he continues, “There are no more answers, only better and better lies. And lies won’t help us in this fight.” Donald Trump disappears in a puff of smoke.
“That is indeed a problem,” concedes Tyrion. “But the more immediate problem is we’re f—ed.”
He goes to talk to his sister. The fact he’s shadowed every step of the way by the Mountain makes it look even more like a suicide mission.
“You killed our father,” says Cersei, who is seething. Killing Tywin exposed the family to attack by their enemies, and it led to the deaths of her children.
“All right, put an end to me,” Tyrion dares her. The Mountain clutches at his sword. “Do it. Say the word.”
She doesn’t, though she looks like she’s giving it some serious thought.
Out in the dragon pit, Jon and Dany are wandering among the bones of stunted dragons. They look like they’re about to resolve all that simmering unresolved sexual tension, but there’s a scuffling noise. Small miracle, Tyrion is still alive. Slightly bigger miracle – Cersei’s trailing behind him.
“My armies will not stand down,” she says. “I will march them north to fight alongside you in the great war.”
You’d call it a change of heart, but first you’d have to prove she has a heart to change.
Up north, Sansa is fuming about Jon having pledged allegiance to Daenerys without bothering to consult her. Littlefinger is only too willing to stoke the fires of her resentment.
Sansa fumes at the tought of Jon acting all kingly and making decisions on his own. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
“I’ve heard gossip that the dragon queen is quite beautiful,” he says. “Jon is young and unmarried. Daenerys is young and unmarried. Together they’d be difficult to defeat. He was named king in the north. He can be unnamed.”
Arya would never stand for it, says Sansa.
Littlefinger tells her there’s a little game he likes to play when he’s wondering about people’s motives. “What’s the worst thing she could want,” he asks.
“She could want me dead because she thinks I wronged my family.”
And after she murders you, what does she become?”
“Lady of Winterfell.”
Littlefinger gives a little look. My work here is done.
Mwah-ha-ha-ha. Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
While Satan is spinning his magic, the teleporter takes our heroes back to the World of Warcraft table in Dragonstone. They’re debating the merits of flying versus sailing up north – the former is quicker, the latter far more romantic, what with all those dinners at the captain’s table, quoits on deck, and cinema nights hosted by David Stratton.
It’s important to arrive together, says Jon, to show we’re allies. Dany says OK, she’ll sail up. Theon is lurking in the background, and while this might be the perfect opportunity for him to make himself useful by suggesting Jon and Dany could travel together by dragon, he flubs it.
As Jon leaves, though, Theon follows. He seems to have mistaken his adopted bastard pseudo brother for a Catholic priest and gets all confessional on him.
I’ve always struggled with an impossible choice between Stark and Greyjoy, he says.
He might have expected to be given an Our Father and 10 Hail Marys, but Jon isn’t in a forgiving mood. “Our father” (by which he means Ned Stark, who was in fact the father of neither of them) “was more of a father to you than yours ever was” (by which he means Balon Greyjoy).
“He was,” Theon agrees.
“And you betrayed him, betrayed his memory.”
“But you never lost it,” Jon says. “He’s a part of you. Just like he’s a part of me.”
It’s a blessing of sorts, but Theon is too self-pitying to grasp it.
“The things I’ve done,” he mopes.
“It’s not my place to forgive you for all of it. But what I can forgive, I do,” says his Holiness Pope Jon. “You don’t need to choose. You’re a Greyjoy and you’re a Stark.”
Still Theon is too thick to accept the benediction. “Yara’s the only one who tried to save me,” he says. “She needs me now.”
“So why are you still talking to me?”
As Jon stalks out, Theon heads to the beach to prove his manliness by taking an absolute shellacking from Harrag (Brendan Cowell), the captain who fished him from the drink.
Harrag keeps beating the crap out of him, and Theon keeps getting up. Harrag delivers what ought to be the killer blow by kneeing Theon in the privates, but Theon doesn’t have any privates, and for once it’s an asset. He feels no pain down there.
Game of Thrones finale … Theon Greyjoy/Stark grows a pair. Photo: HBO
Suddenly, he’s emboldened, and he turns the tables on the captain, beating him to a pulp. “For Yara,” he yells, and the men who had moments earlier been mocking his cowardice cheer. Fickle bunch, these Iron Islanders.
Up in Winterfell, Sansa has Arya brought to her, seemingly in irons.
“Are you sure you want to do this,” Arya asks.
“It’s not what I want, it’s what honour demands,” Sansa says, as Bran sits oddly mute at her side.
“All right then, get on with it,” says Arya.
“You stand accused of murder, you stand accused of treason,” Sansa says. “How do you answer these charges ??? Lord Baelish?” Nice bait and switch.
For once, the manipulator in chief is speechless.
“Lady Sansa forgive me, I’m confused.”
She runs through the charges. You murdered our aunt, Lysa Arryn. You conspired to murder her husband, Jon Arryn, before that. You fomented conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters, by claiming it was the Lannisters who murdered Jon. You conspired with Cersei and Joffrey to betray our father, Ned Stark.
“I deny it,” Littlefinger squeaks. “None of you were there to see what happened, none of you know the truth.”
“You held a knife to his throat,” says Bran the brain. Of course, he can see everything, because he’s now an all-encompassing time-travelling CCTV surveillance system, drone network and metadata scraping operation rolled into one.
Sansa throws Littlefinger’s words about motives back in his face. “I’m a slow learner, it’s true,” she says, “but I learn.”
The Stark sisters are doing it for themselves. Photo: HBO
He’s down on his knees, now, begging for his life, and it’s wonderful. “I loved your mother since I was a boy,” he grovels.
“And yet you betrayed her.”
“I loved you, more than anyone,” he says.
“And yet you betrayed me.”
It may be true that he loves this teenage daughter of the woman he loved, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t creepy. Eww.
Arya has had enough. She steps up and delivers justice, with one short, sharp killer blow to the throat with the dagger Baelish had given Bran, the dagger he claimed was never his, though it was.
It’s such ugly, sweet punishment, and no one in this twisted GoT world has ever deserved it more. Except maybe Joffrey. And, when her time comes, Cersei. Tywin kind of had it coming too. And the High Sparrow was quite a knob, and let’s not forget Ramsey Bolton. And??? Actually, it might be quicker just to list those who don’t deserve it.
The jury is still out on Jaime, whom we find standing on the giant Axminster rug of Westeros, giving orders for the forthcoming military campaign against the army of the dead-undead.
“What are you doing,” Cersei asks.
“Preparing for the expedition north,” he says. Like, der.
“I always knew you were the stupidest Lannister.” Ouch.
Something’s growing inside. I think it’s … disdain. Photo: HBO
Her pledge of support was nothing but a scam. “The monsters are real,” she says, and she means not just the armies of the dead but the Dothraki and the Targaryens too. “Let the monsters kill each other. And while they battle in the north, we take back the lands that belong to us. And then we rule.”
Jaime may be Mr Flippy-Floppy, but he’s not convinced. Someone’s got to win – whether the living or the undead – and when they do “they’ll march south and kill us all”. Better to honour the deal they made.
Nah. Those dragons are vulnerable, Cersei says. There were three, now there’s only two. Something happened to one of them. She may be evil, but at least she’s been following the show.
There’s an army of mercenaries just ready to be bought, she says. Euron hasn’t really fled, he’s gone to collect them. “No one walks away from me.”
Jaime is furious. “You conspired with him, without telling me, the commander of your armies.” Not to mention the father of your unborn child.
(Unless, that is, she’s secretly had it away with the Mountain. You wouldn’t put it past her, but then again you probably wouldn’t want to see it either.)
Jaime turns to leave. Go, says Cersei, and that will be treason. The Mountain is behind him, blocking his way. “I told you no one walks away from me.”
For the second time this episode, a Lannister brother dares Cersei to give the order for this enormous hulk to kill him. This time, she nods, almost imperceptibly.
Jaime swallows his shock, says “I don’t believe you,” and walks out. Though he’s drawn his sword, the Mountain does not follow.
Really, this is how you treat your brother-lover-commander? Photo: Helen Sloan / HBO
But as Jaime rides away from King’s Landing, snow flakes flutter down. A bank of fog has begun to settle on the city. Winter isn’t just coming, it’s here. Even in King’s Landing, where the sun has always shone.
Up in Winterfell, where the sun hasn’t been seen since season one, Sam pops in to visit Bran.
“I wasn’t sure if you’d remember me,” says Sam.
“I remember everything.”
Bran gives his “I am Google” speech again, then asks Sam why he has come.
Sam talks about what he discovered in the Citadel, and Bran talks about what he’s seen in his visions. They give their combined knowledge a stir, add a dash more time travel, and pop it in the oven on a low heat for 15 minutes. The full picture begins to emerge.
Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and they were secretly married, which means Jon is neither a Stark nor a Snow nor a Sand – which, as a bastard Dornish child, he would have been. He is Aegon Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Well, this would be stonkingly good news were it not for the fact that as Bran is piecing it all together said Targaryen lad is getting nekkid with his aunty Dany. Fire and Ice are coming together, and chances are the wet patch in the queen’s bed won’t be the only mess they leave behind.
Game of Thrones finale … Jon Snow, now revealed to be Aegon Targaryen, makes love to his aunt. Photo: HBO
“He’s the heir to the Iron Throne,” Bran says. “He needs to know. We need to tell him.”
Better hurry, because up at Eastwatch things have just taken a nasty turn. As Tormund and Beric do sentry duty up on the Wall, they notice a lone figure on horseback down below. It’s one of the White Walkers, and soon he’s followed by hundreds, no thousands, of the undead. This can’t be good.
Game of Thrones finale … Daenerys Targaryen’s steamy sex scene with Jon Snow. Photo: HBO
But wait, there’s more, and no number of steak knives will get you out of this spot, lads. There’s a roar and a flap of wings and the back-from-the-dead dragon Viserion flies into view, the Night King on his back.
He flies up to the Wall and lets rip – not with ice, but with fire. It’s blue flame, too, presumably even hotter than the standard-issue orange stuff the living dragons breathe. The undead are cooking with gas, and the Wall is no match.
Tormund tells everyone to run, but it’s no use. The Wall begins to crumble, and our heroes disappear with it, just a couple of lumps of ginger in a giant slushy of 8000-year-old snow.
Game of Thrones finale … the Army of the Dead are marching past the wall. Photo: HBO
The dead march through the massive gap in the Wall. Wights, White Walkers, a couple of resurrected giants. The Night King and Viserion fly ahead. The north is exposed and everyone is doomed. Bollocks.
I don’t know about you, but I need a drink. Skoll!
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