This season of Game Of Thrones has felt like watching a movie at 2x speed. Events seem to breeze by at such a rate, the internet has been aflame. Some love the new pacing, others are left angrily asking where The Night King found such large chains last episode. In fact episode 6 of Game Of Thrones has been one of the most divisive episodes of the entire series, as no one seems to be on the same page. This brings us to the finale dubbed ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’, and there’s a lot to unpack here.
First off contrary to the enhanced speed in which the rest of the season has progressed, this episode felt like it was from a much earlier season. The main focus isn’t on giant battles or continent hopping antics, it is all about characters sitting down having a conversation. This is not your average conversation, as it is a conversation that involves the fate of all of Westeros. It is weird seeing characters like Cersei, talk to Daenerys, as despite being on the same show for the last 7 seasons they always seemed to be on perpendicular paths, never to meet.
The best moments however were between characters ripe with history. Whether it be the Hound starring into his brothers cold dead eyes, giving everyone a glimpse of Cleganebowl. Or the exasperated Brienne telling Jaime ‘Oh fuck loyalty’ in an attempt to make him see reason. If I were to dictate each and every great line from this week, you’d essentially just have the script. That’s not to say the episode is perfect, it certainly has a few flaws, but the dialogue is not one of them.
My biggest issue with this episode is the fact that it kind of declaws Cersei. She is being set up to still be a great villain, but she twice lets her brothers out of her grasp this episode. Tyrion makes a little more sense given his political standing, but Jaime straight up leaves to take arms against her. It would have been better for Jaime to leave without her knowing, as the scene makes Cersei look like less of a threat. The second quibble I have is with the Arya, and Sansa plot. It is unclear if they were playing a game against Littlefinger for the entire season, or if the tables were turned after he recommended Sansa ‘deal’ with Arya. Their plot line has been the most inconsistent this season with characters adopting new personalities as the scene seems fit. Arya goes from being able to at least participate in a normal conversation in the first two episodes, to being a complete psychopath as soon as she meets with Sansa. Adding more to the Arya confusion is the fact that after they kill Littlefinger she seemingly goes back to being able to have a conversation again. This criticism goes to Bran as well who goes into despondent hippy mode for most of the season only to be able to have a normal conversation with Sam, in one of the episodes final moments.
Lets talk about the major reveals of this episode. First we get the death of Littlefinger, which really paints a clear picture of everything he was behind. Sure we knew most of this, but we had it all confirmed here. The Lannister, Stark Feud was really sparked by Littlefinger. He poisoned Jon Arryn, attempted to kill Bran by hiring the assassin, betrayed Ned Stark, and pushed Lysa Arryn out of the moon door. He…was not a good man to put it lightly, and he has needed to go ever since the season started. They really didn’t give him a clean death either, his throat was slit after he plead for his life in front of a crowd. He was brought to tears, and torn down to the level he never thought he’d be again. The more significant reveal has Bran Stark confirming to Samwell Tarly that Jon Snow is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, with his name supposed to have been Aegon. Then Sam goes the extra step bringing in the information we had casually dropped by Gilly that Jon (er Aegon?) is not a bastard at all since his parents were married. Which means Daenerys, and Jon are related, and we cut straight to some incest going down. Only Game Of Thrones can pull out ‘incest’ as an amazing punchline to what seems like a season long joke. Then the wall gets torn down by The Night King, and his new zombie Dragon. We get a lot of info dumped on us in that last twenty minutes.
This was a satisfying conclusion to a really mixed season. We finally had characters reuniting, and while only one main cast member died (Berric, and Tormund are not dead I promise you) a lot of puzzle pieces were placed towards the hopefully satisfying finale we’ll be seeing in what may be two years. After becoming concerned for most of the season, I am confident that the series still has the capability to be the show I fell in love with.