Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t watched season seven’s episode seven: The Wolf and the Dragon.
Game of Thrones finale … Daenerys Targaryen’s steamy sex scene with Jon Snow. Photo: HBO
The great mystery of Game of Thrones was finally resolved in the season seven finale on Monday: the true identity of Jon Snow, and whether he is in fact the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Thanks to the combined efforts of Sam Tarly (John Bradley) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), we discovered Jon’s real name is Aegon Targaryen. We also learnt (though in truth we had known this for a while) that he is the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, who were wed in secret after Rhaegar’s first marriage was annulled.
That means the entire history of enmity, sparked by the belief that Lyanna had been abducted and raped by Rhaegar, was based on a misunderstanding.
“He’s never been a bastard,” said Bran, as he disappeared into one of his time-travelling visions. “He’s the heir to the Iron Throne. He needs to know. We need to tell him.”
Though it had been long foreshadowed, that revelation was still one of many fist-in-the-air moments delivered by this movie-length (81 minutes) episode.
Others included: The Stark sisters Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) overcoming their differences to finally deal with the real viper in the Winterfell nest, Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen). Many have died in Game of Thrones, but a more deserved brutal ending has never been met by anyone;Cersei (Lena Headey) refusing the offer of a truce, only to change her mind and accept it, only to later reveal that she has no intention of honouring it at all. She may not be consistent, but her untrustworthiness is;Cersei’s brother-lover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) finally defying his sister, and daring her to order her oversized protector The Mountain to kill him. She did, sort of, but Jaime rode away regardless. He may have a death sentence hanging over his head, but at least his twisted relationship with his sister is seemingly at an end. Yes;Siblings Sandor “The Hound” (Rory McCann) and Gregor “The Mountain” (Hafpor Julius Bjornsson) Clegane finally coming scarred face to scarred face, one of many seething encounters in the Dragon Pit. The bloody showdown long dreamt of by fans didn’t happen, but the seeds were sown for a suitably brutal resolution in the final season;Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) finally growing a pair and standing up to the latest in the long line of bullies he has faced over the years. In so doing he proved that despite what Bronn (Jerome Flynn) thinks, you don’t have to have a cock to be ballsy;The Night King riding in on the back of his resurrected Ice Dragon to demolish the Wall. Viserion doesn’t breathe ice, as we might have expected, but a blue flame, which presumably burns even hotter than the living dragons’ orange blasts. As if it weren’t scary enough already, the army of the dead is now officially cooking with gas!
The most anticipated moment of all, however, was the coming together of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Jon (Kit Harington). In their own minds, they are queen and loyal subject, and now lovers. In truth, they are actually king and ??? well, king’s aunty.
If last week’s offering seemed more riddled than usual with troubling plot illogicalities, this week’s was a return to what Game of Thrones does best: political intrigue, inter- and intra-family rivalries, a little sex and death, and a lot of peril for our most-loved characters.
As set-up for the final season due late next year, fans could hardly have wished for more.
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