Warning: Huge spoilers for “Game of Thrones” season seven. If you aren’t caught up on the series or the season, read at your own risk.
Season seven of “Game of Thrones” was action-packed and exciting. But it was also frustrating given the introduction of new travel speeds, and a really convoluted plot with the Stark sisters in Winterfell.
So much happened this season, and Jon Snow travelled so much (and so quickly), that it’s a little hard to remember some of the biggest moments from the earlier episodes.
We collected the best of the bunch, including dragon battles, shocking deaths, poop scooping, the cure of an incurable disease, and some partial nudity.
Here’s our recap of “Game of Thrones” season 7:
Arya poisons the Freys! Basically all of them, except the women.
At first, it seems like Walder Frey's speech is a flashback of the Red Wedding, or something similar. But as Frey continues talking about how he was responsible for brutally murdering the Starks, it gets more obvious what is happening. Especially when Arya (as Walder Frey) says, 'leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.'
Ed Sheeran's cameo includes a reference to the books and to a song about Tyrion Lannister, who kills Shae in the season four finale, 'The Children.'
Sheeran and his Lannister soldier friends, who Arya runs into in the premiere, sing, 'For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman's hands are warm.'
The song is actually from the books, and chronicles Tyrion's murderous exit from King's Landing in season four. The hands of gold refer to Tyrion using Tywin's Hand of the King chains to kill Shae right before killing his father on the toilet.
In her time with these Lannister soldiers, Arya learns that Lannisters can be good people, as not all of them are Cersei or Tywin. They offer Arya food and comfort, and they enjoy her incredibly funny joke about how she's headed to King's Landing to murder the queen.
And it's not what Sam expected from studying to be a maester at the Citadel.
With the help of Gilly, Sam tries to figure out how to defeat the White Walkers. And they figure out that underneath Dragonstone, there's dragonglass, which can kill the White Walkers.
Travelling North with Thoros of Myr (with a man bun) and Beric Dondarrion, the Hound has a huge moment. They seek shelter at a home that the Hound realises is one he robbed with Arya back in season four. The father and daughter died in their home because of starvation, and Beric Dondarrion points out that it looks like the father killed his daughter to stop her suffering.
The Hound buries their bodies with the help of Thoros. He also sees the army of the dead coming through fire, and seems to understand what this Lord of Light thing is all about.
Varys betrayed her father, and then served as Master of Spies for Robert Baratheon. While doing that, he betrayed Robert as well. And he also helped facilitate the attempt on her life, with the help of Ser Jorah Mormont.
Daenerys tells Varys that she doesn't know if she can trust someone when she doesn't know where their loyalties lie. But Varys smartly responds by telling her about his background. He is not from a noble house. Like Missandei and Grey Worm, he was a slave, so he cares about the good of the people in Westeros -- not just the lords. Daenerys decides to trust him.
Sam goes behind the Archmaester's back to save his former Lord Commander's son. He performs secret surgery on Jorah Mormont's greyscale.
Samwell Tarly admired Lord Commander Mormont. Upon finding out Ser Jorah is his son, Sam tries to find anything he and the Archmaester can do to cure Jorah's greyscale. But the Archmaester gives up, and decides to send Jorah away to die. But Sam refuses to give up, and sneaks his way into Jorah's chamber in the middle of the night to try something he found in a book that could stop the greyscale.
Without the convenience of cell phones, the internet, and email, news travels slowly in Westeros. Which means that until this episode, Arya had no idea that Jon and Sansa had retaken Winterfell from the Boltons.
Thanks to her old friend Hot Pie, Arya finds out that the Battle of the Bastards was a thing that happened, and changes her plans. Instead of heading to King's Landing, which is only 200 miles away, she heads north to be reunited with her family.
Later, in the woods, a wolfpack gathers around Arya. Nymeria, her direwolf, leads the pack. Arya asks Nymeria to come North with her, but she walks away. Like Arya, Nymeria has her own plans, and doesn't follow what anyone wants her to do.
Yara and Theon are headed to Dorne with Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes. But suddenly, Euron and his fleet attack. Euron kills Obara and Nymeria Sand, and captures Yara, Ellaria, and Tyene. Euron tries to convince Theon to save Yara himself. Triggered by the sight of men being tortured, Theon seems to transform back into Reek and jumps into the ocean.
Episode 3: 'The Queen's Justice' - Jon and Daenerys meet in Dragonstone, but it doesn't go as well as either of them planned.
Daenerys expected Jon to bend the knee. And Jon expected Daenerys to offer her help to fight the White Walkers immediately. But unfortunately, the two are both incredibly stubborn, which is definitely a trait they share because they are related.
With the help of Tyrion Lannister, the two come to an agreement: Daenerys will let Jon make weapons out of the dragonglass at Dragonstone because it can destroy White Walkers.
In a move that was surprisingly responsible, Melisandre tells Varys that she's leaving Westeros for Volantis, rather than cause a stir upon Jon and Davos's arrival. She says she'll be back, and we think she will be sometime in season eight.
Cersei locks Ellaria and Tyene in a dungeon, and gives them a long monologue while wearing a lipstick colour we've never seen her wear before. Cersei poisons Tyene with a kiss, the same poison used to kill Myrcella. Cersei keeps Ellaria alive in the same dungeon, forcing her to watch her daughter slowly die and watch her corpse rot.
And he doesn't get into much trouble for performing the very difficult procedure without permission: he is praised for it.
Jaime and his Lannister army take Highgarden. On Cersei's orders, he poisons Olenna Tyrell who confesses to killing Joffrey.
This was an unexpected move, because Cersei and Jaime basically abandoned their home of Casterly Rock so Cersei could take down Olenna Tyrell.
Cersei wants to wipe out all of her enemies, and Olenna was one of the weakest. Jaime poisons her, and lets her know that he talked Cersei out of giving her a more brutal death.
But Olenna is a clever woman, and wouldn't go down without having a shining moment. Before she dies, she tells Jaime that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey, and tells him to make sure Cersei knows it.
Cersei promises Tycho Nestoris that all of the crown's debt will be paid once the gold arrives from Highgarden. He promises her that he will support her once the gold arrives.
Jon leads Daenerys to see the dragonglass at Dragonstone, so she gets to see it before they start making weapons.
In the caves where the dragonglass is, there are ancient carvings by the Children of the Forest that depict them uniting with the First Men to defeat White Walkers. This gets Daenerys to agree to help Jon Snow in the North if he bends the knee.
Just outside of King's Landing, on their way back from Highgarden, Jaime and Bronn hear something and it doesn't sounds good. They prep for battle, and see a hoard of Dothraki headed their way. The Lannister army goes in pretty confident until they see Daenerys riding Drogon, who breathes fire everywhere.
Jaime is within feet of Daenerys and a wounded (and very mad) Drogon, and stupidly tries to attack them himself. Drogon breathes fire on him, but Bronn jumps in at the last minute and they end the episode underwater.
Episode 5: 'Eastwatch' - Daenerys has Drogon burn Randyll and Dickon Tarly alive for refusing to bend the knee.
Daenerys tells the survivors of the Loot Train Battle that they can bend the knee to her or die. But Randyll and Dickon Tarly are too stubborn to surrender, despite their fluctuating loyalties.
Tyrion opposes her decision.
Drogon's new friend is Jon Snow. This could be a hint that Jon will eventually ride Daenerys's other dragon, Rhaegal.
Also on Dragonstone: Ser Jorah Mormont returns to service his Khaleesi, greyscale free.
Tyrion and Jaime have an intense exchange, since it's the first time they have seen each other since Tyrion killed their father, Tywin. But Tyrion needs Jaime to convince Cersei that the threat of the White Walkers is very real, and they need to team up if any of them want to live.
Davos smuggles Tyrion into King's Landing so he can meet with Jaime. In doing so, we get to see the smuggler side of Davos. He also picks up Gendry, Robert Baratheon's bastard son. Gendry very willingly joins Davos on the journey back to Dragonstone, and proudly introduces himself to Jon Snow and shows off his skills with his war hammer, saving Tyrion.
Despite the fact that Cersei has never fought a battle herself, and has not seen the destruction of a dragon with her own eyes, she has zero interest in giving up in the war against Daenerys. Even though Jaime, who is visibly shaken at what he's seen, attempts to convince her otherwise. Jaime also tells Cersei that Olenna Tyrell killed Joffrey. She struggles to believe it's true, because she thinks Tyrion is a monster just like their father did.
Cersei tells Jaime she's pregnant. It's his, and she will tell everyone in Westeros that he's the father.
When Jaime tells her about his meeting with Tyrion she says, 'never betray me again,' which is definitely a threat.
First, Arya witnesses the lords of the North and the Vale complain to Sansa that their king is not in Winterfell. He's busy! Doing really important things! How can they not know this?
Arya basically suggests to Sansa that she should threaten to behead any men who betray Jon, but Sansa's not having it. Then we see Arya following Littlefinger around. She sneaks into his room and finds a message in his mattress. It's a message written by Sansa (but actually by Cersei) when she was a captive in King's Landing, asking Robb to bend the knee to King Joffrey.
The maesters don't take the White Walker threat seriously, so Sam leaves The Citadel. And Gilly, despite getting talked over by Sam, unknowingly makes a huge revelation.
Although Sam tries to argue that the maesters should take the message of the White Walker threat from Winterfell seriously, they say they need to look into it more. After stealing some books, Sam, Gilly, and Not-A-Baby-Anymore Sam leave The Citadel.
Before they leave, Gilly reads about annulments in a book. She discovers that someone named Rhaegar annulled a marriage and married another woman. Sam talks over her before they could think on this harder, but this is definitely Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. AKA: Jon Snow's parents.
Jon once again unites a group of people who kind of hate each other but have a common enemy: The Hound, Jorah Mormont, Tormund, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, and Gendry. Davos is sort of part of the group, but since he's not confident in his fighting skills, he stays at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
Episode 6: 'Beyond the Wall' - Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, The Hound, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Gendry, and Jorah Mormont try to capture a wight.
The Dream Team catches a wight but loses Thoros of Myr, who gets bitten by the White Walker bear and freezes to death during the long stand-off. Beric uses his flaming sword to burn his body so he doesn't turn into a wight.
Before the showdown with the wights, Jon Snow sends Gendry back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Daenerys.
Jon kills a White Walker with Longclaw, and with the killing blow all but one wight they're fighting instantly die. The Dream Team captures the remaining 'living' wight.
This proves that when a White Walker dies, all the dead they brought back die, too. So if the Night King is killed, the entire army of the dead dies -- or at least that's what we think.
The Stark sisters just can't get along, and are too stubborn to realise that Littlefinger is playing them.
Littlefinger can't stop adding steps to his ladder of chaos, and he's adds a big one by causing the Stark sisters to turn on each other. Arya can't get over the fact that Sansa, while a child in captivity, wrote a letter asking Robb to bend the knee to her 'beloved' Joffrey.
Arya is so stubborn that she doesn't give a chance for Sansa to explain herself. And Sansa is is so insulted by Arya's anger that she doesn't even try to.
Tyrion doesn't recommend this. He thinks it's too risky, especially considering the Lannister army shot arrows at her before and she doesn't have armour or a succession plan. But Daenerys insists that she take the journey. She needs somewhere new to show off her new coat!
The next time we see Daenerys, she appears riding Drogon with Rhaegal and Viserion at her side breathing fire on the army of the dead surrounding Jon Snow and his companions. She saves everyone but Jon Snow, who seemingly sacrifices himself for the team so they can make a quicker escape without risking any more dragon lives.
After Jon Snow pulls himself out of the water, the wights go after him. But out of nowhere, someone on a horse swoops in and saves Jon.
It's Uncle Benjen! Benjen gives Jon his horse, and sacrifices himself so his nephew can escape.
Weak and in bed, Jon calls Daenerys his queen. Viserion's death at the hands of the Night King has driven Daenerys to ally with Jon and defeat of the guy who killed her dragon.
In this scene, Daenerys also sees Jon's scars from when he got stabbed in the heart. So now she probably knows that he was literally willing to take a knife through the heart for his people.
The Night King brings Viserion back to 'life' after the wights pull him from the lake, making the army of the dead an even bigger threat.
Episode 7: 'The Dragon and the Wolf' - Most of the characters on the show gather in King's Landing to see the captured wight.
Tyrion leads his group of heroes into the dragon pit of King's Landing, where they're to meet Cersei to discuss a truce and introduce her to an undead wight.
Cersei has a look of terror on her face as the wight gets within inches of her, and everyone else who's never seen them before does as well. Except for Qyburn, who looks at it like it's pizza delivery.
Jon Snow stupidly tells Cersei that he will stay loyal to Daenerys, no matter what.
In the dragon pit, The Hound immediately goes up to The Mountain. He notices his creepy zombie eyes and says, 'You're even uglier than me now. What did they do to you?' Then he says, 'You know who's coming for you,' which could confirm that we'll get Cleganebowl sometime in season eight.
Even though it would likely end with his death, Tyrion meets with Cersei alone in an attempt to make up for Jon Snow's stupidity. He basically begs her to have zombie The Mountain kill him, but she won't give the order.
He apologizes for the deaths of her children, Myrcella and Tommen, who he loved. And even apologizes for murdering their father, Tywin.
Tyrion also realises that Cersei's fear is because she's pregnant. She rubs her belly in front of him, causing him to figure it out. After their conversation, Cersei comes back and says she will help fight the dead, and will bring all of her men to Winterfell.
Who knew Theon Greyjoy and The Mountain could have anything in common?
Before Theon tells Jon that he has to part ways to go save his sister, Jon kind of, sort of, forgives him for his betrayal of th Stark family. Jon says, 'You're a Greyjoy and a Stark.'
Before Theon bashes in the face of an Ironborn who refuses to help him get his sister back from Euron, he meets with Jon in the Dragonstone throne room.
Sansa, with the help of Littlefinger, arranges for Arya to answer for her 'crimes' against Sansa.
Instead, this is all a grand plan by Sansa, Arya, and Bran to execute Littlefinger for his many, many crimes that led to tragedy in the Stark family. Sansa reveals Littlefinger's murder of Jon and Lysa Arryn, and Bran confirms his betrayal of Ned and Catelyn Stark with his Three-eyed Raven gift.
Arya slits Littlefinger's throat with his own dagger, and viewers all over the world cheered.
Cersei tells Jaime that she lied to Jon Snow, Tyrion, and Daenerys -- she doesn't plan to help them fight the dead, and never planned to. She has the Iron Bank on her side, and has Euron in Essos getting some paid soldiers. But Cersei is a fool for thinking that paid soldiers will protect her against dragons and zombies, and Jaime knows this.
Jaime, perhaps inspired by his conversation with Brienne earlier in the episode in which she screams 'F--- loyalty!' at him, finally abandons his sister (it's about time, Jaime!). The next we see him, he's riding a horse alone in the snow, because winter has officially come to the South.
Bran tells Sam he's the Three-eyed Raven. And Sam, speaking for all of Westeros, says 'Oh! I don't know what that means.'
Bran tells Sam that he must tell Jon that his true parents are Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Bran says his real name is Jon Sand.
But Sam puts together the little, but very important, nugget of information that Gilly found in the High Septon's diary. That's the revelation that Jon is actually not a bastard, because Rhaegar and Lyanna were married. Bran then witnesses the wedding ceremony with his powers. So Jon's real name is Aegon Targaryen, and he's the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne.
In an excruciating sequence, we see Jon and Daenerys hook up, the true weight of their actions unknown to either -- they are technically aunt and nephew. As one incestuous relationship ends, another begins! Meanwhile, Tyrion broods in the hallway outside.
The Night King comes to Eastwatch on his zombie dragon and destroys part of the wall with jets of blue flame.
After literally seven seasons of slowly walking, the Night King and his army finally make it to the Wall. Bran wargs into ravens and observes this happening. The army attacks Eastwatch, and zombie Viserion arrives and blasts a blue substance with the Night King on his back that takes down Eastwatch.
Beloved heroes Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion seemingly survive the attack because they make it to the portion of the Wall that doesn't collapse, but their fates are still up in the air.
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