Game of Thrones season 7 recap: Everything that matters for season 8

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4: Debut 8/6/17Episode 64 (season 7, episode 4), debut 8/6/17: Conleth Hill, Peter Dinklage, Nathalie Emmanuel, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Kit Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO
Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4: Debut 8/6/17Episode 64 (season 7, episode 4), debut 8/6/17: Conleth Hill, Peter Dinklage, Nathalie Emmanuel, Emilia Clarke, Liam Cunningham, Kit Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO /
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A full recap of the seventh season of Game of Thrones focused on the moments and revelations that tie into the final season.

The following post is full of Game of Thrones spoilers. We’re a week away from season 8, so if you still want to watch the entire series, you’re about to have a hell of a week. 

In the final week of a seven-week series, we’re recapping the key points of Game of Thrones season 7. ICYMI, you can read recaps of season 1season 2, season 3season 4, season 5 and season 6 through those links.

Season 7 was the first of the final two shortened seasons. With only seven episodes, there was a lot of ground to cover, both figuratively and literally, as the characters made best use of their fastest travel options on multiple occasions. (I worked out the math and it still all made sense, relax, travel truthers.)

Keep in mind: The following points should serve as reminders as to what happened in the season, but are focused in relation to season 8. Some key points will be glanced over in favor of what will come to be important this season.

What happened in Game of Thrones season 7

Game of Thrones‘ seventh season opened with one of the best revenge scenes in the whole series. Arya Stark, fresh off of her clever and satisfying murder of Walder Frey, face swapped as him and assembled every single important person in the Frey family for a feast. Then she poisoned all of them. “Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.” Amazing.

From there, Arya was on her way to King’s Landing to murder Cersei and cross another name off her list. After running into Ed Sheeran and some of his friends, she met up with her old friend Hot Pie and found out that Jon Snow had taken back Winterfell. She decided to travel North to her family and on the trip ran into her direwolf Nymeria, now in command of a pack of wolves. Nymeria’s path mimics Arya in that she doesn’t want to be a pet. She’s wild and in charge of “hundreds” of wolves so Arya is forced to say goodbye (for now).

At Winterfell, Arya and Sansa’s reunion was warm at first, but Arya quickly became skeptical of Sansa’s motives and her supposed lack of support for Jon while he was away. Littlefinger saw this as an opportunity to turn the sisters against each other. He set a plan in motion, as he does, and wound up getting sold out by that snitch, Bran Stark, who can now see everything that’s ever happened. Littlefinger was murdered in episode 7, giving us yet another very satisfying Game of Thrones moment.

Another important moment happened late in the season at Winterfell when Sam and Gilly showed up to help out in the coming war. Bran had discovered that Jon is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Sam (actually, Gilly) found out through an old maester’s notes that Rhaegar and Lyanna were also secretly married when all of this happened. Jon Snow is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and a full-blown Targaryen.

Jon traveled the most of anyone in season 7. After Sam discovered the massive supply of dragonglass under Dragonstone, he sent a raven to tell Jon how useful it would be in the Great War to come. Jon hopped on a horse and set off to Dragonstone to meet with Daenerys and negotiate a mining deal. When he got there, she was more concerned with him “bending the knee” than anything else. These two meeting brought us one of the funnier moments in Game of Thrones history.

After some convincing and very convenient cave hieroglyphics, Dany agreed to let Jon mine the area and take what he needs. During this time, Dany, Tyrion and Varys were being outsmarted in every battle they waged against the Lannisters. They took Casterly Rock because Jaime left it empty and attacked Highgarden, a useful castle full of gold and supplies. With frustration mounting, Dany decided it was time for a show of force. She called on Drogon, fired up the Dothraki and flew to the convoy of supplies to burn the Lannister army to a crisp. This moment was by far the most effective Drogon has been in the series.

Once she finished flexing on Jaime, Jon and her advisory group convinced her that it was time for a plan that didn’t involve coming off a little too burn-ey (like her father). The true war was the war against the dead, the rest could be sorted out afterward. Jaime did his best to convince Cersei of this as well.

Jon and a small crew of the world’s top swordsmen ventured North of the Wall to retrieve a wight. If they could show the southerners that the threat was real, it would be easier for them to convince them to join the cause. Unfortunately for them, wights act like spruce bugs, meaning when one screams, the rest come swarming in. The crew got themselves trapped on an island, surrounded by wights and only survived because of Gendry’s sprinting skills. Before the crew was ambushed, he was sent back to the wall to get word to Dany. She showed up the next day and saved everyone but Jon, who, again, tried to sacrifice himself for everyone else. Dany brought all three dragons on the rescue mission, not knowing that the Night King was a world-class javelin thrower. He speared Viserion, killing him, and was eventually able to revive him as a wight-dragon. The trade was one for one, a small, annoying wight for a full-grown undead blue fire-breathing dragon. Not good.

Dany took off with everyone but Jon before the Night King killed a second one of her children. Eventually, Jon pulled himself out of the water and was rescued by Mr. Timing himself, Uncle Benjen. Benjen propped him onto his horse and sent him back to the wall while he held off the hoard of wights. RIP Uncle Benjen (we think). Jon made it back to the wall and was put on a ship headed South with Dany and the rest of the crew from Dragonstone.

Everyone eventually convened in King’s Landing for a parlay. The wight was revealed, Cersei and Euron acted terrified and Cersei promised her forces to the North to fight the dead. She later revealed that she was bluffing and her and Euron had devised her own plan prior to the meeting. Euron actually left to pick up the Golden Company, an elite army of 20,000 sellswords paid for with the gold from the Highgarden raid. Cersei’s plan is to let everyone else fight the Great War and take on whoever is left. She figures it’s her best chance at keeping her butt on the Iron Throne and to be honest, she might be right. Jaime didn’t like the plan at all though and the season closed with him riding North to Winterfell to fight for the living. He’s going to have some explaining to do when he sees Bran Stark (who he kicked from a tower window in season 1).

In the final moments of the season, the Army of the Dead reached the wall at Eastwatch by the Sea. With his newly acquired dragon, the Night King made quick work of the wall, burning it down and marching his army right through to Westeros. Not good. That’s not the only shocking moment at the end of episode 7, though. The entire season built a sexual tension between Jon and Dany, who finally couldn’t hold it back any longer. The two went at it, completely unknowing that they are actually closely related. Dany is Jon’s aunt and that’s going to be an interesting conversation they’ll be having early in Game of Thrones‘ final season. Like Jaime Lannister says, “We don’t choose whom we love.”