Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones season seven.
Well, that’s all folks – season seven of Game Of Thrones came to a suitably dramatic end this Bank Holiday Monday, and if we are being totally honest we are still struggling to process it all.
The season finale consisted of healthy doses of everything that makes the HBO fantasy drama; brutal deaths, shocking twists, plenty of sex, betrayals and, of course, a bit of good old-fashioned incest.
Why don’t we start at the beginning?
The 75-minute episode kicked off with all of our key players finally meeting as Daenarys, Jon Snow and their army met with Cersei and Jaime in King’s Landing as they asked for a truce so that they could focus on the army of the dead beyond the wall – bringing a White Walker along with them as proof.
Although it was exciting to see so many key players properly interact for the first time, the scenes also felt a bit like a bizarre episode of Long Lost Family, or arguably even Jeremy Kyle, as scorned relatives reunited with tension still rife in the air.
As well as Tyrion coming face to face with Cersei for the first time since he killed their father, Theon was heckled by his nasty uncle Euron, and the Hound found himself briefly in the company of his brother, the Mountain.
Of course with all of the underlying issues and history between most of the characters, the scenes were tense and Jon saw himself dip slightly out of favour when Cersei told them all that she’d only agree to a truce if he agreed to stick to the North and not continue his allegiance with Dany, and he refused.
With Tyrion quite aptly quipping: “Have you ever considered learning how to lie every now and then?” he ended up risking his life by taking one for the team and approaching his sister one-on-one in a desperate bid to appeal to what is left of her humanity.
Although Cersei strangely proved herself unable to kill her younger brother, she couldn’t resist making digs at his “foreign whore” ex-wife Shae and after a bitter exchange of words Tyrion worked out that his sister is pregnant and seemingly used this information to win her over.
The next we see of Cersei is her telling Daenarys and Jon that she will send her army to fight the Night King alongside them, and although it was definitely a nice idea that all enemies would unite and work as a team for the greater good, we should have known that this wouldn’t ever actually happen.
In fact, later in the episode Cersei and her one remaining ally, Jaime, end up coming to blows when Cersei admitted that she conspired with Euron behind his back and lied to their enemies about fighting together.
It is clear that Jaime’s patience for his sister’s ruthlessness is weaning and with Olenna Tyrell’s parting words no doubt still ringing in his ears, Jaime was lucky to escape with his life as he turned his back on Cersei, no doubt gearing up to join their brother Tyrion on the opposing side next season.
On that note, winter has finally reached King’s Landing.
Elsewhere, despite the fact that the state of Westeros is fast-deteriorating, Daenarys and Jon managed to find the time and energy to shamelessly flirt with one another, with the pair finally giving in to the sexual tension that has been bubbling between them all series and enjoying a night of passion en route to killing White Walkers.
Well, we guess they had to pass the time somehow?
The timing was even more apt as viewers saw Dany and Jon’s writhing naked bodies just as the age-old theory about the two being related was officially confirmed.
Speaking to Samwell Tarly, Bran Stark finally utilised his powers and admitted that Jon needs to know the truth about who he is – the son of Ned Stark’s sister, Lyanna, and Daenarys’ brother, Rhaegar Targaryen.
Somehow, Sam seemed to know more than the Three Eyed Raven as he told the young Stark boy that Lyanna and Rhaegar had secretly married, with Bran’s visions confirming that Jon isn’t actually a bastard and is a legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.
Bran also got close enough to Ned and Lyanna to hear what Lyanna whispered to her brother as she passed him her newborn son, telling him that she’d named her baby Aegon Targaryen and that Ned must protect him after she dies.
The significance of Jon’s real name is huge, with Aegon I Targaryen being the first king of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros, with many of his descendants being named after him, solidifying Jon’s standing as a legitimate Targaryen.
The confirmation of Jon’s parentage, real name and legitimacy was all played over the scenes of he and Daenarys in bed together, with Tyrion also caught looking more than a little bit disheartened by Jon and Dany’s antics.
It’s unlikely that Tyrion is jealous of the romance between the two, however, he may have concerns that sex will complicate things between the two leaders and act as a distraction during the epic war ahead – and that’s before anybody learns that Daenarys is actually Jon’s auntie.
Jon’s parentage wasn’t the only thing that Bran used his powers for this episode; he also finally filled his sisters Sansa and Arya in on just how crafty, malicious and nasty Littlefinger is, leading to one of the greatest twists in Game Of Thrones’ history.
With Littlefinger once again worming his way into Sansa’s mind by badmouthing Arya and trying to convince Sansa that her younger sister was going to murder her, viewers were on tenterhooks when Sansa seemingly called Arya to trial.
As fans braced themselves for an epic showdown between the Stark girls, Sansa proved that she isn’t as easily manipulated as we were all lead to believe, dropping a huge clanger when she told Littlefinger that he was the one who has been accused of murder and treason.
Clearly not used to ever being outfoxed, Littlefinger stumbled as all of his games came back to haunt him, with the usually calm and collected character panicking as he realised that his time was well and truly up.
Proving that Bran has done his research, Sansa outed Littlefinger on betraying her father, Ned Stark, turning families against each other, and even being the one to kick off the ongoing feud between the Starks and the Lannisters.
She expertly used his own advice of thinking of somebody’s worst possible motive against him, with Littlefinger’s final moments seeing him break down and cry, beg for forgiveness and once again proclaim his love for Sansa and her mother before Arya finally slit his throat with the dagger that started it all way back in season one.
Arguably the biggest death of the entire series, Littlefinger’s demise was definitely a satisfying twist in the tale, however, we have to admit that Westeros won’t be the same without his cunning game plans.
Finally, the episode ended with the army of the dead destroying the wall as the Night King rode Viserion, his new Ice Dragon, leaving us pretty certain that next series is going to be non-stop action and drama from the very opening scene…. And it can’t come soon enough!