Previously on GoT: Winter was coming, and then it arrived, and Arya Stark stabbed it. Jon Snow revealed he had a secret claim to the throne. Cersei Lannister‘s baby daddy ran off to help the North. And a whole bunch of people died.
We open on Daenerys Targaryen bidding a tearful goodbye to Ser Jorah Mormont, whispering something inaudible to his corpse.
A little further away, Sansa Stark is just as torn up over Theon Greyjoy‘s passing. She takes a Stark sigil brooch off her outfit and hooks it onto his armor instead.
Jon Snow makes an impassioned speech about the meaningful sacrifice these people made for the living and how they’ll never be forgotten.
And with that, all the corpses are set on fire and the living return to life—with a bittersweet feast. Gendry, feeling a wee bit frisky, decides to leave the party early to go find Arya Stark, who’s nowhere to be seen. But Dany borrows him for a (very public) minute. With no true remaining Baratheon heirs, Daenerys decides to legitimize Gendry as Lord Gendry Baratheon of Storm’s End (!), a proper lord with a proper castle.
With spirits lifted and Gendry celebrating the end of his bastardness (Bastardity? Bastarddom?), Dany congratulates herself on her masterful political manoeuver; she’s just secured the new and improved House Baratheon and the Stormlands as allies to House Targaryen. Someone else realizes the meaning behind the power move.
Spirits are further lifted when good ol’ Tormund Giantsbane proposes a toast to Dany, who offers toasting to Arya instead. Tormund doesn’t care that much—he just wants to drink.
Tyrion and Jaime Lannister are playing that one drinking game Tyrion once played with Shae (R.I.P.) with Ser Brienne of Tarth (and presumably Podrick Payne, but no one cares enough about the squire with the magic dick to ask him questions).
Tormund sings Jon Snow’s praises to anyone who’ll listen, jokingly declaring him a king because he “climbed on a fucking dragon.”
Looking around, Dany sees Tyrion having fun with his brother, Jon having fun with his old friends, and… no one there to hang out with her. She’s alone. A fact made even more heartbreaking by Ser Jorah’s very recent death. Dany leaves, unable to handle the crushing solitude any longer.
As Brienne is finally really letting loose and having a blast, Tyrion goes for the jugular, guessing she’s still a virgin.
Obviously offended, Brienne shoves right past Tormund to go hide somewhere else—with Jaime hot on her tail. Rejected, Tormund goes to cry on Sandor Clegane‘s shoulder, who obviously gives no fucks.
But a couple of Winterfell girls show up to make them feel better (hint hint). Tormund gladly accepts the compensation prize, but The Hound ain’t having none of that. Sansa Stark approaches to talk to him, for the first time since like… season 2.
Sansa and Sandor reminisce about the good old days and Ramsay Bolton and rape and stuff. Clegane tells her all the horrible things that happened to her wouldn’t have happened if she’d escaped King’s Landing with him way back when. But she explains all those horrible things helped shape her into the woman she is now.
Gendry finally finds Arya, off practicing archery, and promptly proposes. He wants Arya to come down to Storm’s End with him and be his lady.
Arya is touched, but she’s nobody’s lady. She turns him down.
On the luckier side of things, Jaime visits Brienne, who is still pretty miffed about the virgin comment. Jaime takes off his jacket, brings up Tormund, then tries to take his shirt off with one hand. Brienne helps him, things escalate from there, and… well, y’all, Brienne ain’t no virgin no more.
Dany visits Jon, who’s still conflicted about the whole Aegon Targaryen thing. He still intends to bend the knee and be with her, but he does want to tell his family about his true lineage. Daenerys knows the second he starts talking about it (especially to Sansa), the whole world will find out and will want him on the Iron Throne instead of her. The only way they can both be happy is if Jon shuts his know-nothing mouth and keeps the truth to himself.
The next day, Dany and her remaining advisors/frenemies gather to discuss battle plans against Cersei Lannister’s army. Jon and Tyrion agree a siege of King’s Landing would be the best course of action. But Sansa intervenes, suggesting that throwing the army into another war just seconds after the previous one is unwise. People need time to heal. Of course, Dany just sees this as Sansa refusing to help. But naturally, Jon is still thinking with his nether regions, so he’ll go with whatever Dany says.
After the council meeting, the Starks reconvene to hold an intervention for Jon in the Godswood.
With a slight push from Bran, Jon finally decides to tell them the truth about his heritage—but they must promise never to tell a soul.
Tyrion and Jaime are drinking (as always) when Bronn barges in with a crossbow and smacks Tyrion in the face.
Officially, Bronn is here to fulfill the assassination contract on them that Cersei gave him, but really, he’s a (mildly) reasonable man. He realizes Cersei is outmatched, so if they can flip the script and win the war against her—and give him a nice compensation prize—he’ll let them live. Tyrion offers Highgarden.
On his way out of Winterfell, Sandor Clegane is joined by Arya, who’s also out of there. The Hound is on his way to King’s Landing to settle some unfinished business (THE MOUNTAIN!), and Arya is also headed there… for different, mysterious reasons. Cersei is still on her names list, after all, so that’s probably it.
Tyrion checks up on Sansa, who’s looking extra broody about the Daenerys situation. Sansa surmises Tyrion is a lil’ bit scurred of his Queen, and the two of them argue about Jon’s relationship with Dany. Finally, Sansa makes a move—she tells Tyrion about Aegon Targaryen.
In the courtyard, Jon is getting ready to head south. He bids his farewells to Tormund Giantsbane, who reminds him he’s a man of the North (the “real North,” above the Wall), and that maybe he’s headed in the wrong direction.
Next are Gilly and Samwell Tarly, who reveal Gilly is expecting.
After some tearful farewells, Jon heads out, giving the tiniest of nods to his old direwolf, Ghost, whom he’s leaving to Tormund to take north.
With two episodes left, this may or may not be it for our Northern friends.
A small portion of the Targaryen army is sailing south to Dragonstone: a bunch of Unsullied, Grey Worm and Missandei— who are being way too much of a happy couple for things to keep lasting—as well as Tyrion and Varys. Tyrion, who now knows the truth about Jon, promptly spills the beans to Varys, who wonders whether Jon would indeed be a better choice. He’s calmer, he’s more well-liked, and he’d unify the North and South more effectively.
Speaking of dragons, Dany is flying happily overhead with Drogon and Rhaegal… Until Rhaegal is hit by three giant arrows and dies.
Euron and the Greyjoy fleet have ambushed Dany and taken down a whole-ass dragon in 10 seconds. Okay cool yeah awesome!
Dany attempts to take them down, but each of the Greyjoy ships has one of those giant dragon-killing crossbow things, and she quickly peaces out of there. With the dragon out of sight, Euron and his men fire at the ships instead.
Some of the men manage to escape the sinking fleet—Tyrion, Varys, Grey Worm—but Missandei is nowhere to be found.
In King’s Landing, Euron is informing Cersei of Rhaegal’s death. Cersei tells Euron they’re having a baby, and of course, he buys it.
Cersei is having the people of King’s Landing take shelter inside the Red Keep for protection from Dany’s invasion—but really, the true goal here is to use the people as leverage by keeping them close.
Also: Missandei has been brought to King’s Landing as a hostage!
Dany is very mad. She wants to go all Mad Queen on this bitch, and right now, that means potentially murdering everybody in King’s Landing if necessary. Varys thinks this is a mistake. They’re also waiting for Jon and the majority of the troops to arrive, so Tyrion suggests a public parley in the meantime, for good PR.
With that craziness benched for the moment, Varys and Tyrion resume their conversation. Varys is convinced Jon would be a better choice for the Iron Throne. Tyrion isn’t sure. Varys reminds him he serves the realm first and foremost—and whichever ruler he thinks would be best for the realm is the one he will support. Even if that means having to overthrow Dany.
The news reaches Winterfell, where Sansa and Brienne let Jaime know what happened.
Jaime mulls things over for a while, and that night, he packs up to leave. Brienne catches up to him, trying to stop him. He tells her about all the awful things he’s done, including pushing Bran out of the tower. Jaime and Cersei are the same, and he’s going to King’s Landing to rejoin her. Whatever that means, it’s a pretty rough break for Brienne.
The time has come for the parley at King’s Landing. Cersei is standing at the top of the city battlements, with Missandei in tow. Qyburn is sent to speak for Cersei. Tyrion meets him to negotiate peace. He doesn’t want to hear burning children’s screams. Qyburn agrees that’s not the nicest sound.
His Supreme Cleavageness refuses to bend or discuss any sort of deal or surrender.
Tyrion marches right past Qyburn to directly address Cersei. For the umpteenth time, he attempts to appeal to her humanity—and her motherhood. He tries to convince her to give up the fight, for the sake of her baby. For a while, it looks like it might work.
But then Cersei asks Missandei if she has any last words. She does: “Dracarys.”
Cersei steps back, the Mountain steps forward… and off comes Missandei’s head.
Now Dany’s really, really, REALLY mad.
It’s about to go DOWN.
R.I.P.: Rhaegal. Missandei. A bunch of Targaryen soldiers. And Gendry and Brienne’s hopes and dreams.
MVPs: Euron Greyjoy and Cersei Lannister. Also, Podrick Payne the threesome-haver.
Notably absent: Captain Strickland. Yara Greyjoy. Meera Reed. (Meera’s never coming back, is she?)
Next week is when shit hits the fan… again. Can’t wait! Tune in next time!