Season Seven of Game of Thrones drew to a close last August, back when the days were still warm and long, and we still thought we could expect Season Eight by the next year (no dice– Game of Thrones will not return to our screens until 2019). The season was shorter than usual, but jam-packed with memorable, emotional scenes. In addition to some epic battles and awe-inspiring supernatural natural displays on the part of wights and dragons, audiences saw characters reunite, fall in love, and learn a little more about themselves along the way.
Game of Thrones has a very enthusiastic fan-base and each episode almost always elicits an immediate, emotional response from its audience. This can be a large part of the fun (you haven’t lived until you find yourself up at 4 AM on a Monday arguing with someone on social media about a character’s questionable life choices in last night’s episode), but sometimes the polarizing nature of the show can make true critical assessment difficult immediately. With that in mind, we returned to Season Seven, after taking a few months to cool down, and asked some of our writers about their favorite scenes from the season.
Check out their takes below.
The Trial and Death of Littlefinger
The build-up throughout the season of the tension between Sansa and Arya was too much to bear. Knowing Littlefinger was behind Sansa’s ear whispering lies, I wanted to absolutely scream at the television, “Are you freaking kidding me, girls? You are better than this!!!” But I was so pleasantly surprised to see that Sansa was playing the long con. Quite the teacher Littlefinger has been. Our Queen of the North isn’t the same little girl from King’s Landing back in Season One. This is a full grown woman who has been through hell and back at this man’s hands and damn if that vengeance isn’t sweet. This man is the reason so much of her family is dead. Why so many people are dead. Why she was brutally beaten and raped repeatedly. As Littlefinger himself said, “…there is no justice in the world not unless we make it.” Well, she made justice for so many people a reality with his demise. #TeamWinterfell
The Death and Turning of Viserion
Another death, I know. But to be fair, this is Game of Thrones we’re talking about here. Not Sex and the City. The group was narrowly making it out of that lake alive. There was going to be loss somewhere. The tragedy is the loss of a dragon. While they clearly boost fighting odds, they are also Dany’s children. She raised them from birth and nurtured them. This loss is a devastation to the living, but also Dany’s heart. And our hearts. But that episode wasn’t quite done with our emotions as it reveals right at the end that the un-dead are working together to remove Viserion from the lake. When we see the Night King approach, you know in the pit of your stomach what is going to happen. And with spine chilling intensity, the dragon’s blue eye emerges, signaling the possible demise of all humanity.
This was a tough call: there were a LOT of fantastic scenes between many of the characters in Season Seven. My personal favorite scenes of the season (yes, there’s a third and fourth that I also enjoyed but they were pretty short compared to these two) have to do with Lady Olenna Tyrell and Jaime Lannister and the epic Field of Fire fighting scene with the Lannister forces against the Dothraki and one very large dragon.
The Death of Lady Olenna Tyrell
What did Petyr Baelish once say, “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects?” Well, we all grew to know and love the sassy, sarcastic and very blunt Lady Olenna Redwyne Tyrell, who was the real power of House Tyrell. What’s not to love? She had the confidence of an empress, the comedic timing of a seasoned actor and was wise like a serpent, while keeping the appearance of a dove. Everyone who looked at her thought she was just an elderly lady of a great and ancient House, who couldn’t wield any power or do anything corrupt or immoral. WRONG.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? Picture this: Prince Joffrey’s wedding to Lady Margaery Tyrell, with all the splendor and pomp that a royal wedding commands. You have to be very careful when watching one particular scene, which was so well done and the foreshadowing was exquisite. Lady Olenna pays her respects to Sansa, as she did have a tender spot in her heart for the girl, knowing that Sansa had been used as a pawn, emotionally abused, and at the mercy of that hideous monster, Cersei. Call it karma. Call it divine justice. Lady Olenna gives her condolences to Sansa and we see her rearrange Sansa’s braids. Look a little closer. Something was very carefully removed from Sansa’s necklace. And when the insufferable Joffrey continued to be an absolute monster to both Sansa and Tyrion at the reception, you couldn’t help but notice – once the choking started and Joffrey was going down for the count – there’s a scene where it focuses on Lady Olenna’s face. For a fraction of a second – there appears to be a slight smile on her face while Joffrey is dying. Can’t say I blame her.
Flash forward to what was one of the most pathetic sieges – House Tyrell wasn’t exactly known for its’ military prowess. Lady Olenna stands in her castle, overlooking the fields, knowing that her House has been beaten by the combined forces of the Lannisters and the Tarlys. No matter, this sassy grandmother kept her cool, kept her wits about her and in the end, when faced with death – she took that goblet of wine and downed it like a champ. And when she delivered that searing monologue to Jaime – “It must have been hard for you, as a Kings guard; as a father. A shocking scene. Not at all what I intended.” With a smug sense of satisfaction, Olenna watched as the truth registered on Jaime’s face. “You see, I had never seen the poison work before. Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”
And just like that, Lady Olenna Redwyne Tyrell, delivered one of the BEST LINES of the season, like a boss, I may add. Even in death, she got the last middle finger to the Lannisters and even though fans were upset that this grand old matriarch was seconds away from her death, many a cup was raised in admiration. That line was the one that launched a few hundred memes with Olenna as a gangster. How’s that for going out in a blaze of glory?!
The Loot Train Attack
The next scene of the season was, in my humble opinion, when Dany had had enough of losing allies, resources and men. Taking her forces to the land and using Drogon as aerial support, she found the Lannister and Tarly forces in an open field, a long winding trail of wagons, weapons and men, all out in the open, with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. As the late Lady Olenna said to Dany, “You’re a dragon. BE a dragon.” Dany and company did not disappoint.
You first see all the men stationed at the lake’s edge, some watering their horses, other men polishing their weapons. The wagons and supplies make for a very long trail. Jaime, Bronn and Dickon speak about fighting battles, how scary it actually is and what happens to men when they die (the rot, the stink and of course, the loss of bowel control). Bronn takes the opportunity to school Dickon about the reality of fighting when it goes quiet. There’s the camera that pans to the wide field. The clouds look a little darker and Bronn’s keen sense of hearing picks up something. A faint rumble in the distance. That rumble starts to get louder. An eerie silence is followed by some faint cries, which appear to be coming from the field. The Lannister and Tarly forces assemble at once, not knowing what they hell they’re up against. The rumbling sound starts to get worse – the intensity of it picks up at a frightening speed and you can see the fear in the soldier’s faces, as they make line formations around the wagons – whilst Jaime and Randyll call to everyone to arm themselves and stand their ground.
Bronn, being an experienced sell sword and fighter, knows that this is going to be a brutal onslaught and tells Jaime to make tracks while he can still get the hell out. Jaime, being the commander and all, thinks it’s a noble effort on his part to stay with his troops and prepare to fight. “We can beat them,” he says to Bronn, when they see the huge wave of Dothraki coming towards them. Um, NO. There’s a little surprise in it for you, Jaime: his name is Drogon. And he’s super pissed off.
Season Six gave us the immense Battle of the Bastards fight scene and that was a pretty amazing, overwhelming and scary fight sequence. It was a huge scene, with so many armies clashing against each other. Especially when the Knights of the Vale came in to help vanquish the Boltons. But, we’re talking about having a HUGE dragon as a massive weapon of warfare. Dany wields Drogon well and the majority of the Lannister and Tarly forces pay for it with their lives. Jaime looks around with sorrow and the crushing disappointment that so many lives have been lost. Huge blasts of flame, smoke and dust fill the air. It’s hard to breathe; much worse, you can’t see the enemy sneaking up on you. The Dothraki do well in open combat and the Lannister forces are being smashed left, right and center. Tyrion is on hand to witness the sheer devastation, while one of Dany’s lieutenants remarks that Westerosi don’t know how to fight. Well, he’s not wrong. Bronn gets in some serious cross bow wizardry – after a few attempts, he manages to pierce Drogon’s wing, bringing the poor creature down to the ground. Dude, that’s a DRAGON and you’ve really woken the beast’s temper now. Drogon basically unleashes fire and brimstone on everyone and everything within striking distance. This is when Jaime, on horseback, gets the idea that this is an episode of MTV’s Jackass and thinks he’s so invincible, that he’s going to end the war by killing Dany with a spear. Someone please get a nice gold dunce cap for Jaime, as we all know he’s no match for the dragon.
Two honorable mentions that I would like to include are when Arya made quick work of House Frey in the opening sequence of the season premiere. Kudos to her because she got rid of a lot of scum and also made the young girl married to the old jerk a widow. A win win situation all around.
I also enjoyed when Brienne and The Hound met up again in the season finale. It was sweet of them to see that they were both protective of Arya and that they didn’t carry a grudge about the past. I don’t know about you, but I kind of want to see them as a couple in Season Eight. And I think we need to see more of The Hound (Clegane Bowl hype!) in the final Season.
Season Seven was definitely a dense, tense addition to the larger show, and because of its short length, every scene seemed to count, making it difficult to choose just a few that stood out to me.
One thing I really loved overall about the season was the multitude of reunions. It is so much fun to see characters that have been apart for what feels like forever meet up again– Bran, Arya, and Sansa, Theon and Jon, Tyrion and Jon, Jaime and Brienne–the list goes on and on. I found the interactions these reunions sparked terribly interesting and liked seeing how they helped illustrate how far our characters have come since the beginning of the show.
I also liked starting to see how magic is becoming a real, undeniable fact of life in Westeros– seeing characters who haven’t come in contact with the supernatural thus far watch dragons flying overhead or dodge a charging wight at the Dragonpit was very refreshing.
Theon Greyjoy Finally Gets a Win
Theon has had a rough time in general on Game of Thrones, and Season Seven wasn’t all too kind to him. After Euron attacked Theon and Yara’s fleet, Theon dealt with a lot of guilt over having to leave Yara behind, and it didn’t help that the Ironborn survivors of the attack whom he regrouped with didn’t seem to be his biggest fans, constantly questioning his intentions and challenging his authority.
By the end of the finale, when Theon is ready to head off and rescue Yara, the Ironborn are downright mutinous. They don’t want to follow Theon, and they really don’t want to fight Euron. Actually, all they want to do is go live on an island and while the days away partying it up.
The main instigator of the mutiny, Harrag, ends up throwing a punch at Theon and the situation quickly devolves into a bloody beach brawl…which Harrag makes very clear is to the death. Theon, despite being beaten very badly by the stouter, tougher Ironborn, refuses to give up on the fight, or on Yara, and eventually his stubbornness pays off. Harrag meets his end, and Theon smiles for the first time in years. The Ironborn, impressed by Theon’s resilience and strength of character, agree to support him in his rescue mission.
Love him or hate him, it’s always fun to see an underdog triumph, and for those with an eye to symbolism, it was pretty clear that Theon was living the Ironborn motto, “What is Dead May Never Die, But Rises Again, Harder and Stronger,” out on the beach. He’s been through so much, and it’s rather inspirational how he just keeps moving forward, and rolling with the punches life sends his way, metaphorically and literally speaking.
It’s also good to know that there is hope for Yara, since no one else seems all that interested in freeing her. Maybe Theon’s success against Harrag will give him more confidence next time he has to face down his uncle.
Samwell Tarly Drops Out of the Citadel
It’s another small, less flashy moment of character development, but I was so happy to see Sam abandon his commitment to become a maester at the Citadel. Sam has a good head on his shoulders, and he has proven again and again that he can hold his own just by teaching himself the things he needs to know, as he demonstrates when he cures Ser Jorah Mormont’s greyscale. The Citadel was crushing his spirit and wasting his time with the hoops they wanted him to jump through, and Westeros needs Sam advising Jon, not cleaning chamber-pots.
I was pleased that Sam had the self-confidence he needed to say goodbye to the stuffy old maesters with all their White Walker denial and judgmental ways, and head off to Winterfell, Gilly and Baby Sam in tow. Maybe in the future, Sam can start a new initiative that will make life-saving knowledge more easily accessible, and the Citadel obsolete.
That’s a wrap! What was your favorite scene from Season Seven? Feel free to let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.