We’ve finally done it. We’ve now recapped the entire series of Game of Thrones so far, with season seven as the last hurdle before the Great War truly begins.
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With the eighth and final season just around the corner, now’s the time to get familiar with everything that’s happened.
Daenerys Targaryen is finally in Westeros, but she has a lot to do before she can take the Iron Throne from Queen Cersei Lannister — who won’t give her crown up so easily. All the while, the white walkers are coming, and Jon Snow needs to convince all of Westeros that they need to put aside their differences and come together to stop them before it’s too late.
Check out our video below, or read our recap of everything major you need to remember about Game of Thrones season seven.
Winterfell (and the Citadel)
Newly crowned King in the North Jon Snow is organising the defence of the North, like training civilians how to fight against the coming white walker army. This includes women and children, as there are not enough soldiers to keep them all safe.
He’s also mistrustful of Petyr Baelish (AKA Littlefinger), who has remained at Winterfell after helping with the Battle of the Bastards.
- Queen Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen each send ravens to Winterfell, commanding Jon to come and bend the knee. Queen Cersei seems OK with House Stark reclaiming the North from House Bolton, but demands he submit to her rule. At the same time, Daenerys wants Jon as an ally in her fight to take the Iron Throne, but only if he’ll declare her queen.
As Jon figures out next steps, he gets a letter from Samwell Tarly revealing that Dragonstone, the new seat of Daenerys, is sitting on a big fat pile of dragonglass. It’s a vital weapon against the white walkers.
Jon agrees to travel to Dragonstone and appeal to Daenerys for help — against the wishes of Sansa Stark and many of the Northern lords. Before leaving, Jon names Sansa Lady of Winterfell, and asks Tormund Giantsbane and his men to go and defend the Night’s Watch outpost at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, as it’s largely unguarded.
Samwell has been spending his time at the Citadel, training to be a maester, but he’s sick of reading about other people’s great adventures and would rather participate.
By using experimental methods, he manages to cure Jorah Mormont’s greyscale. He also learns that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were married, meaning any of their descendants would be legitimate. Samwell steals a bunch of books, and he, Gilly and Little Sam leave for Winterfell to help in the coming war against the dead.
- After Jon has departed, Bran Stark arrives at Winterfell. He spends most of his time reminding everybody within earshot how he’s the Three-Eyed Raven — only taking time out of his silent treatment to be a dick to Meera Reed and imply that he knows Littlefinger’s agenda. He also refuses to be named Lord of Winterfell, ceding the position to Sansa, as he no longer considers himself a nobleman.
Afterwards, Arya Stark arrives at Winterfell. After killing Walder Frey — and wearing his face to trick his entire house into drinking poisoned wine — she decides it’s time to kill Cersei.
But before she heads south, she finds out from Hot Pie that Jon took back Winterfell, and instead chooses to go home. On the way, she crosses paths with her old direwolf, Nymeria, who’s become wild and feral.
After arriving home, she spars with Brienne of Tarth, showing her new skills as a fighter, and Bran gives her the dagger that started the War of the Five Kings. It was a regift from Littlefinger, because Bran doesn’t give a damn.
Littlefinger doesn’t trust Arya or Bran, and wants to stay in control of Sansa. He can’t really do anything about Bran, who’s off staring into space, so he starts plotting to pit Sansa and Arya against one another. He plants an old letter Sansa had written while under Cersei’s control, which had begged Robb Stark to bend the knee to Joffrey, leaving it for Arya to find.
Sansa and Arya have a few tense scenes that feel kind of stupid and pointless, unless you subscribe to the theory that they were in cahoots all along (which I personally don’t).
It all culminates in a trial. At first, it looks as though Sansa is sentencing Arya... but then she turns it around and reveals the trial is for Littlefinger. He apologises and pleads for his life, but she is unmoved.
Arya calmly slits his throat, using the same dagger that had started much of Game of Thrones’ drama — the dagger an assassin used to try and kill Bran and frame Tyrion in season one, but was a Littlefinger scheme all along. Petyr Baelish is dead.
Dragonstone and King’s Landing
- Daenerys has arrived at Dragonstone, the seat of the Targaryen empire in Westeros. Armed with her allies — Hand of the Queen Tyrion Lannister, Varys, Olenna Tyrell, Yara Greyjoy and the Sand Snakes of Dorne — she plots her move to take the Iron Throne.
Over in King’s Landing, Queen Cersei is in peak “I don’t give a damn” mode. She’s openly flaunting her incestuous relationship with Jaime Lannister, and even indicates that she’s pregnant with their child.
She forms an alliance with Euron Greyjoy, recently crowned King of the Iron Islands, and also plots to get a new loan from the Iron Bank so she can hire an army of mercenaries. Euron is a disgusting prick to Cersei, and also proposes marriage, but Cersei refuses.
- Jon arrives at Dragonstone, and asks for Daenerys’ help with the dragonglass. He refuses to bend the knee, so she quasi-holds him and Davos Seaworth hostage until they can come to an agreement. Although it feels more playful than threatening.
- Melisandre shows up at Dragonstone to tell Daenerys about Jon, and that she believes he’s very important in the war to end all wars. In addition, she shares how believers in the Lord of Light see Daenerys as the “Prince Who Was Promised”, who would stop the coming winter and save the world. She also tells Varys she’s heading back to Westeros, as both of them are destined to die there.
- Tyrion Lannister comes up with a plan to attack the Lannisters where it hurts. The Greyjoy, Tyrell and Dornish forces would hit King’s Landing by sea, cutting off their supplies to turn the people against Queen Cersei; while the Unsullied take Casterly Rock, the seat of the Lannister family.
The plan goes badly. Euron launches a surprise attack against the fleet, destroying most of the Greyjoy ships and killing a huge number of their forces. Yara is taken captive, along with Ellaria Sand and her youngest daughter.
Meanwhile, Casterly Rock is easily overtaken because the Lannister forces aren’t even there. They’re over in Highgarden, taking control from the Tyrells — thereby ensuring enough gold, food and supplies to keep King’s Landing afloat for months.
At the same time, Euron’s ships launch another surprise attack, burning many Targaryen ships.
Olenna Tyrell is poisoned by Jaime, but not before confessing (like an absolute boss) that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey.
Cersei also poisons Ellaria’s daughter, Tyene, as revenge for the death of Myrcella. Ellaria is forced to watch, helpless, as her daughter slowly dies — as Cersei promises to keep her alive, next to the corpse, for years.
Daenerys retaliates by flying in with her Dothraki horde and dragons to destroy the caravan of goods being delivered on the Kingsroad to King’s Landing. The Lannisters managed to get their gold inside, but Daenerys has her eye on the food stores — thereby ensuring that Queen Cersei will have to choose between feeding her people or paying for more armies.
Drogon is injured by a scorpion (kind of like a giant crossbow).
The war is going badly for Daenerys, as she’s lost all of her allies and only has an empty castle at Casterly Rock to show for it. She snaps at Tyrion and stops listening to his advice.
The only hope seems to be Jon and his armies — and not only is he preoccupied with the white walker army, he’s still refusing to bend the knee. They spend time getting to know each other and start building a rapport. Drogon even allows Jon to touch his head, something that shocks Daenerys.
Eventually, Jon convinces Daenerys that they need to get Cersei to put a pause button on the war so they can all fight the white walkers. To do this, they come up with a plan to go north of the Wall and capture a wight, so they can show Queen Cersei that they’re a real problem.
Tyrion secretly meets up with Jaime to convince him of Daenerys’ intent, and Jon gets some of his best bros for a side quest — including Jorah Mormont, who returned to Dragonstone after being cured of greyscale.
- Davos Seaworth finds Gendry working at a blacksmith in King’s Landing and offers to bring him back north with him, insisting that he keep his identity as the last surviving Baratheon a secret. However, upon meeting up with Jon at Dragonstone, Gendry immediately reveals himself. Jon is impressed and agrees to let Gendry come with them.
Beyond the Wall
- A group of Brotherhood Without Banners fighters are heading North, including Beric Dondarrion and Sandor Clegane; the latter of whom sees a vision in the flames of a place that looks like Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, so they decide to head in that direction.
Jon, Davos, Jorah and Gendry arrive at Eastwatch, preparing to go north of the Wall to find a lone wight to bring back. While there, they meet up with Tormund and the wildlings they’d stationed there — as well as Beric, the Hound, and the other Brotherhood members, who’ve been imprisoned by the Night’s Watch.
Jon agrees he’s needs all the help he can get, and the whole group embarks on a side quest. Davos chooses to stay behind.
It’s Band of Bros time! Jon and his ragtag team of cool guys head north of the Wall. They come across a white walker snow bear and have a battle, with Jorah dealing the final blow using a dragonglass dagger.
The group comes across a small band of wights led by a white walker. Jon kills the white walker, causing most of the wights (except one) to disintegrate. They capture the lone one and prepare to bring it back south.
- Unfortunately, the wight won’t shut up and his howls draw the attention of a huge horde, which immediately gives chase. Jon sends Gendry back to Eastwatch to get help, as he apparently has the ability to fast-travel. The band of bros ends up on a small island in the middle of a lake, surrounded by the white walker army. The Night King even shows up. This is bad business.
Daenerys receives word from Gendry that crap’s going down, so she fetches her dragons to go north of the Wall and help — against Tyrion’s wishes, as it would put her in grave danger. Just in time, too, as the lake slowly froze over the course of the standoff, allowing the wights to attack the vastly outnumbered band of bros.
Daenerys and her dragons arrive and start pelting the wights with fire. Things are looking as though they’ll turn out OK. However, we see the Night King grab a spear and hurl it toward Viserion, who immediately collapses and dies. The group manages to flee, but have to leave behind Jon, who gets pulled under the icy water.
Luckily, Jon emerges, and even manages to get Longclaw back. But it isn’t long until he’s spotted by another wight horde. He’s saved at the last minute by his long-missing uncle Benjen Stark, who gives him a horse and orders him to flee back to the Wall.
Daenerys and Jon share a moment, where she promises to help in the war against the Night King, and he declares her as his queen.
Where Do We Leave Off?
A great summit happens at the famous Dragonpit to try and secure a temporary truce. Jon and Daenerys show Queen Cersei the wight they brought back from Beyond the Wall, and say 100,000 more wait beyond.
It seems to convince Cersei. She promises not to attack, so long as Jon and Daenerys’ forces are fighting the undead horde, and will even send Lannister troops north to help. However, she insists that Jon not get in the way once the fighting between her and Daenerys resumes.
After the summit is over, Cersei reveals to Jaime that she was just screwing with them and has no intention of helping out. Instead, she’s secretly sent Euron to Essos to bring back the Golden Company, a group of ruthless mercenaries. After Daenerys and Jon exhaust their troops against the undead army, she’ll swoop in with her own and clean house.
Jaime is pissed at Cersei’s actions, especially that she secretly worked with Euron instead of trusting him. He chooses to abandon her and head north — but not before seeing snowflakes falling down on King’s Landing.
- Jon and Daenerys have sex, with Tyrion having witnessed Jon going into her bedroom. As the two of them consummate their relationship, Bran reveals to Samwell the truth about Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark’s relationship, saying how he knows Jon is Aegon Targaryen — the true heir to the Iron Throne. That means Daenerys is technically his aunt. That’s going to be awkward.
North of the Wall, a bunch of wights somehow manage to get chains around the underwater body of Viserion, pulling him above the ice. The Night King does his thing, and Viserion wakes up as an ice dragon.
The season ends with the Night King, his army and Viserion destroying the Wall and marching south into Westeros. The Great War has begun.