Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Game of Thrones” season seven, episode four, “Spoils of War.”
“Spoils of War” might go down in “Game of Thrones” history as one of the best episodes of all time thanks to the epic Lannister vs. Dothraki/Drogon battle and another memorable Stark family reunion. But hidden among all the madness were more references to older episodes and smaller important details you might have missed.
Keep reading for a look at the nine biggest moments.
Bran repeated the iconic 'chaos is a ladder' line back to Littlefinger, revealing that he knows about Lord Baelish's true intentions.
Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish tried and failed to rattle Bran by giving him the same blade used by the cutthroat to kill Bran on the first season. Then he tried to get Bran to divulge information about what he'd been up to beyond the Wall.
'To go through all of that and make your way home again only to find so much chaos in the world,' Littlefinger said. ' I can only imagine -- '
'Chaos is a ladder,' Bran said, interrupting.
This was what Littlefinger told Varys on season three, when he revealed that he had been manipulating Sansa and Joffrey the whole time.
For most of the earlier seasons, Littlefinger's motivations were mysterious. But he laid out his cards on the third season when he told Varys that creating chaos was his mechanism of ascending the rungs of power in Westeros.
'Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder,' he told Varys. 'Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again -- the fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love ... illusions. Only the ladder is real, the climb is all there is.'
If Bran has seen this conversation through his greensight visions, it means he probably knows about everything Littlefinger has done -- including betray his father Ned.
Arya's struggle with entering Winterfell was a perfect mirror to the first season when she accidentally left the Red Keep.
When Arya finally made it to Winterfell, she was stopped at the gates by two guards who refused to believe she was really Arya Stark. The same thing happened to her on the first season when she was chasing cats and got lost in the dungeons of the Red Keep.
Arya made her way through the Red Keep's sewers and finally got back around to the gates, but was laughed at by the guards there.
When she was younger, Arya used a lot more back talk to convince the guards that they'd better let her in the gates. But now on season seven, Arya's response to their disbelief was more measured and mature, relying on cleverness as opposed to an indignant attitude.
Jon took Daenerys into the dragonglass caves to show her ancient drawings on the wall made by the Children of the Forest. Though the most interesting thing about them was the White Walkers depictions (why does the Night King have a beard?), there was also a spiral pattern that's been shown before on the series.
This spiral was seen on seasons three and five and seems to be a symbol for the Children of the Forest and the White Walkers.
We first saw the pattern on season three, when Mance Rayder called the White Walkers 'artists' because they left the carcasses of horses and men in a spiral shape.
The pattern appeared again on the fifth season when we watched the Children of the Forest create the Night King -- the very first White Walker -- by plunging a dragonglass dagger into his heart. He was tied to a tree that stood at the center of a rock formation in the same spiral shape.
The true significance of the pattern remains to be seen. But for now, it's a clear signal that something concerning the Children of the Forest or the White Walkers is brewing.
When Daenerys told Jon to bend the knee once again, she repeated the same question Jon had for Mance Rayder back on the fifth season.
Daenerys told Jon she'd fight for the North, but only if he bends the knee and swears fealty to her as the queen of all Seven Kingdoms.
'My people wont accept a southern ruler, not after all they have suffered,' Jon said.
'Isn't their survival more important than your pride?' she asked.
Jon had almost this exact same conversation, in reverse, with Mance Rayder -- the leader of the Wildlings.
When Stannis Baratheon arrived at the Wall and captured Mance Rayder, he told him he'd spare his life if Mance bent the knee. When Mance refused, Jon went to his prison cell to try and convince him to just swear fealty to Stannis and save the Wildlings from future suffering.
Here's how their conversation played out:
'Isn't their survival more important than your pride?' Jon asked Mance.
'Pride? F--- my pride,' Mance said. 'This isn't about that.'
'Then bend the knee and save your people,' Jon insisted.
'They followed me because they believed in me,' Mance said. 'Because they respected me. The moment I kneel for a southern king that's all gone (...) I'll be honest with you. I don't want to die. But it's better than betraying everything I believe.'
'And what happens to your people?' Jon asked. 'You preserve your dignity and die standing, and they will sing songs about you. You'd rather burn than kneel, a great hero. Until winter comes, and the White Walkers come for us all, and there's no one left to sing.'
'You're a good lad, truly you are,' Mance said. 'But if you can't understand why I won't enlist my people in a foreigner's war, there's no point explaining.'
Jon didn't try to explain to Daenerys why he won't bend the knee, but we can guess that he was thinking back to Mance's argument.
Though Jon didn't understand Mance's decision back on the fifth season, he's grown and learned more as a leader since then. He knows now what Mance meant. Betraying his people's trust and handing them over to a new, unknown ruler isn't worth the cost of their lives.
They likely wouldn't even easily turn over to fighting under Daenerys and the North can't afford to be splintered again with the Night King and his army so close. So Jon's gesture would potentially lead to their deaths anyways, but at the cost of his people's trust and respect.
So far we've seen several new costumes for Daenerys on the seventh season -- all of them evoking her Targaryen heritage and even hearkening back to her brother Viserys.
After speaking with costume designer Michele Clapton, we know that every detail of the costumes is meant to convey how the character is feeling or thinking, which is why we perked up when Daenerys was seen with a silvery-grey cape on this episode.
Prior to 'Spoils of War,' Daenerys has only worn red capes, the colour of the Targaryen sigil. But grey is one of the colours of House Stark. Is this just another monotone costume choice? Or are we meant to understand that Daenerys and Jon's relationship is becoming friendlier?
While discussing Daenerys and her 'good heart,' Jon switch subjects to discuss strategy.
'How many men do we have in the north to fight (the Night King)? 10,000? Less?' Jon asked.
'Fewer,' Davos replied.
'What?' Jon said.
This was a reference to one of many jokes the fandom makes about Stannis -- his knack for correcting people incorrectly using the word 'less' instead of 'fewer.'
On the second season, Davos told Stannis he didn't mind that his king had chopped off most of his hand. 'It's four less fingernails to clean,' Davos said.
'Fewer,' Stannis said, correcting him.
'What?' Davos replied.
'Four fewer fingernails to clean,' Stannis said.
When Stannis and Davos were sitting in on a Night's Watch meeting about letting the Wildlings south of the Wall, Bowen Marsh argued they should just die.
'Less enemies for us,' Marsh said.
'Fewer,' Stannis said under his breath.
'What?' Davos asked.
'Nothing,' Stannis replied.
But based on the season seven episode, it looks like the lesson finally sunk in for Davos, who has become more and more literate as the series has gone on (mostly thanks to Shireen's teachings, R.I.P.). Now it's Jon's turn to learn the difference between 'less' and 'fewer.'
While on the battlefield, Tyrion's warning to Jaime was reminiscent of another iconic line in a fantasy epic.
When Tyrion saw Jaime about to foolishly charge at Daenerys and Drogon he said, 'Flee you idiot.'
For any fan of the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, this seemed like a nod to Gandalf's big moment in 'Fellowship of the Ring.' When he chooses to fight the Balrog and save the rest of the fellowship, Gandalf says, 'Fly you fools.'
It wouldn't surprise us to know the showrunners/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss intentionally drew that connection to J.R.R. Tolkein's work.
Last but not least, Cersei mentioned the Golden Company -- a mercenary group that's been referenced in passing before.
Cersei told Tycho Nestoris, the Iron Bank emissary, that Qyburn has made overtures to the Golden Company. This is a group of 10,000 sellsword mercenaries, not unlike the Second Sons led by Daario Naharis that Daenerys enlisted in Essos.
They have been mentioned on the show before -- once by Davos and Stannis and another time when it was revealed that Jorah spent time with the Golden Company before meeting Daenerys and Viserys.
In the books, the Golden Company is rumoured to be the most fierce and expensive sellsword company in the Free Cities. If Cersei really does get them on her payroll, that will be a big boost to the now depleted Lannister forces.
Read our full review on why 'Spoils of War' was one of the greatest 'Game of Thrones' episodes of all time here.
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