From frustration and fear to excitement and anticipation. Season 7 of Game of Thrones so far has caused many viewers to experience extreme swings in emotions. The season punched its way through the door with shocking scenes and a record breaking death toll. It becomes very clear that the motif for this season is the extermination of entire houses. George RR Martin loves the whole “ Valar Morghulis”, all men must die spiel – but, Benioff and Weiss have taken it to the next level. So far we have seen at least three Great Houses knocked out of the Game for good: House Frey wiped out by Arya Stark, House Tyrell wiped out Cersei Lannister and House Tarly wiped out by Daenarys Targaryen. Looks like the women in Westeros have a serious mean streak!
Now, it is no coincidence that the women who have wiped out entire Houses, come from the three most powerful and prominent families in Westeros. It may be, however, a coincidence that they have each destroyed the allies of their enemies. Another clear motif for this season has been reunions. We have seen many characters reunite after seasons of separation, yet to our eternal dissatisfaction the reunions we long for the most are yet to occur. Most of these reunions involve Arya Stark – with The Hound and the brotherhood without banners, with Jon Snow, with Gendry, and with Melisandre. With just two episodes to go of this season, it doesn’t seem like we will get to see many more reunions at all. This season has moved along frustratingly slowly, with lots of meaningless stuff happening, but no real progression for the high-level story line.
The increase in the occurrence of “stuff” has been aided by the Westerosi discovery of the stratojet aircraft named ’season 7 travel takes 2 seconds, irrespective of where you are on the map’. Amongst all of this low-level noise, we have not seen much of the night King and his army. This is either because they have been stuck on the London Underground for the past 5 weeks, or because Benioff wants to mirror the Player’s disbelief of wights by not showing their progress to viewers. This has also allowed Benioff to create more tension for the viewer because we don’t know how much time they have.
Bran was able to do one useful thing – send ravens to warn all of Westeros that the threat of a White Walker invasion is real and imminent. Other than this he has been shamefully useless. The pieces of information that Bran could really do with unveiling are; the fact that Little Finger had a hand in Ned Stark’s betrayal and death, and let me think… Jon’s true identity as Rheagar’s son and the true heir to the Iron Throne. There are also looming questions around Bran and his mark from the night King. Are the results permanent? If so, does that actually mean the wall’s magic is gone for good? Given that there are no more known Children of the Forest (apart from the ones hinted at to be hidden far south), can the magic be reinstated quickly enough to hold out the army of the dead? Is the Horn found in Season 1 by Sam going to be useful in anyway? And dear uncle Benjen…whats the deal?
Samwell Tarly’s prominence in this season has peaked viewers curiosity as they look for signs as to why he is so important. Other than curing Jorah Mormont and discovering the location of a Dragon glass mine, he doesn’t seem to have gained any useful knowledge at the Citadel. So why do we persist to see him past episode 2? Gilly on the other hand kindly teased us with the idea that Rhaegar is Jon’s father and that he isn’t a bastard at all. This would be if Rhaegar was annulled from his former wife and then immediately married Lyanna Stark. Another fan-favourite theory, however, is that Jon Snow is actually Robert Baratheon’s bastard, as Robert was meant to marry Lyanna and may have been the one who raped her after he killed Rhaegar. But, it does appear that Benioff is committed to Jon being a Targaryen, as he shows him in ’How to Train your Dragon’ mode with Drogon.
One thing that is on everyone’s mind is who the three dragon riders will be. It seems fitting that it would be one Targaryen, one Stark, and one Lannister – ironically fighting together to bring peace to the Seven Kingdoms from the great evil that is the White Walkers. Many people think the ’Song of Ice and Fire’ is Jon and Dany, as hinted by Melisandre this season – but I think fire is the three Great Houses – Targaryen, Stark, and Lannister vs. Ice, the wights. So, Dany is obviously the Targaryen, Jon is the Stark who is half Targaryen…so who is the Lannister? The Lannister is Tyrion, who has been obsessed with dragons since he was a child and the third character who has been able to tame a dragon. He may have been able to do this because he might also be half Targaryen.
This fan theory explains why Tywin Lannister hated Tryion so much, and declared he was ’no son of [his]’ at the dawn of his death. It is rumoured in the books that Joanna Lannister was the mistress of Aerys Targaryen before she married her cousin Tywin. The book also describes Aerys’ jealousy at the Lannister wedding and the later fallout of his friendship with Tywin, perhaps because he cheated with Joanna and is actually Tyrion’s father. Tywin Lannister would go on to hide this fact to protect the legacy of his House and the memory of his wife who died in child birth – a common theme for women who bore Targaryen children. Tywin states that because he can’t prove that Tyrion is not his, he will prevent him from inheriting any Lannister Land. And finally, Tyrion always talks about being a bastard in the eyes of his father…maybe because he actually is one.
Episode 6 and 7 are set to be longer than 45 minutes each, so I hope there will be greater advances in the plot than we have previously seen! Despite there being some issues with pacing vs. the number of episodes remaining in the series, Game of Thrones remains the greatest TV show of all time.