A Binge Guide for Season 7, Episode 7 – “The Dragon and the Wolf”
by Greg Enslen
Episode Number: S07E07
Original Air Date: August 27, 2017
Time: 80 minutes
Synopsis: Everyone meets in King's Landing to discuss the fate of the realm. In Winterfell, Sansa confronts Arya. Sam reaches Winterfell, where he and Bran discover a shocking secret about Jon Snow.
The animated map during the credits shows several important locations: King’s Landing, Dragonstone, Winterfell, the Wall, Eastwatch and far to the south, Oldtown.
Gray Worm stands with his Unsullied army, waiting. Jaime Lannister and Ser Bronn of the Blackwater look on nervously from the battlements of King’s Landing as the assembled armies of Daenerys Targaryen march to King’s Landing and pause outside the gates. The two armies, Dothraki and the Unsullied, are there to ensure the parlay between Daenerys and the Lannisters goes on as planned.
In the Red Keep, Queen Cersei Lannister wonders why “she isn’t with them,” and her advisor Qyburn doesn’t know. He says the rest of the people arriving for the parlay are headed to the Dragonpit, a massive ruined structure that sits atop one of the highest points in King’s Landing. Jaime is there, as well the reanimated guard The Mountain, and Cersei gives him instructions on who to kill first if the meeting turns bloody.
Aboard one of the ships in Daenerys’ fleet, Tyrion Lannister, Theon Greyjoy and Varys watch the Red Keep of King’s Landing in the distance. Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth, Missandei and Jorah Mormont stand at the front of the ship, eyeing the approaching city. Below decks, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane checks on a box, which starts to thrash about—it’s the captured wight.
Ashore, the group makes its way to the Dragonpit. Jorah explains to Missandei that the Dragonpit was built to give the Targaryen dragons a place to live, as they didn’t understand “what is theirs and what isn’t,” leading to destruction and death. They are greeted by a group of Lannister soldiers and Bronn, along with Brienne of Tarth and Podrick, who arrived earlier and represent Sansa Stark. Bronn and the soldiers escort them to the Dragonpit. Brienne and The Hound discuss their fight, and Brienne mentions that Arya is still alive—and more than capable of taking care of herself, a reference to their recent sparring session. Tyrion, Bronn and Pod discuss the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and Bronn reminds Tyrion that Queen Cersei has put a price on Tyrion’s head.
Notes: The first time Jon, Theon, and Jorah are shown in King's Landing. Brienne and Podrick haven’t seen the Hound since S04E10, when Brienne and the Hound fought. Bronn refers to a “magic” part of Pod’s body, a reference to Pod’s pleasant encounter and sexual prowess suggested in S03E03.
Inside the ruins of the massive Dragonpit, a seating area has been created on the raised dais in the center. Tyrion and his group—Jon Snow, Podrick, Ser Davos, Jorah Mormont, Theon Greyjoy, Brienne of Tarth, Missandei, The Hound, Varys and at least a dozen Dothraki warriors—make their way to their seats and wait, surrounded by Lannister troops. Bronn invites Podrick away to have a drink while the “fancy folks talk,” and Brienne says it’s okay.
Next, another group approaches—it is Queen Cersei Lannister, accompanied by Jaime Lannister, Euron Greyjoy, The Mountain and Qyburn. They walk to their seats. The Hound walks over and speaks to his reanimated brother, telling him he’s the ugly one now.
Cersei wants to know where Daenerys is, and Tyrion says she didn’t travel with them. Suddenly two dragons fly over the arena and lands—it is Daenerys, who dismounts and walks to her seat, apologizing for her tardiness.
Notes: This is another reunion as many familiar faces are reunited: Tyrion hasn’t seen Cersei or interacted with her since his trial in S04E06 for murdering King Joffrey; Euron and Theon haven’t seen each other since Euron kidnapped Yara in S07E02; Jon hasn’t seen or spoken with Jaime Lannister since S01E02; The Mountain and the Hound haven’t been seen together since the Tournament of the Hand in S01E05; and Brienne hasn’t seen Jaime since S04E04. Lastly, Daenerys really knows how to make an entrance. Bronn leaves the parlay early, before Cersei arrives. This might be because the actors, (Jerome Flynn and Lena Headey) dated in real life and are estranged; according to IMDB, it is written into their contracts that they never be on-set at the same time. The first time Daenerys is shown in King's Landing. This is the first time Cersei and Daenerys meet.
Filming Locations: The Dragonpit was filmed in the Roman amphitheater ruins of Italica, located on the northern outskirts of Seville, Spain.
Tyrion stands to speak but Euron immediately interrupts him to tell Theon that he has Yara, Theon’s sister. He demands that Theon submit to him here and now or he’ll kill her. He threatens Tyrion as well, insulting him, until Jaime and Cersei insist that he sit down or leave the Dragonpit. Euron takes his seat and Tyrion continues, reminding the gathered that they all acknowledge their differences and the enmity towards each other.
Jon Snow stands and explains that they have a common enemy, one that none of them can defeat on their own. Cersei doesn’t believe him—she thinks it’s a “monster hunt” at that the truce is just a way for Daenerys to strengthen her positions.
From below the arena, the Hound carries a wooden box and sets it on the ground in front of the gathering. He opens it and a reanimated wight springs out, racing directly at Cersei. The Hound pulls it to the ground by means of a chain, and it races at him. The Hound cuts it in half and the creature continues to fight and writhe on the ground. The Hound hacks at it, cutting part of its arm off, and Qyburn stands and picks it up, fascinated. Jon explains that these creatures can only be killed by fire and dragonglass—and that every person in the world will become one of these if the Night King wins.
Euron stands and wants to know if they can swim—he’s returning to the Iron Islands with his fleet to avoid the coming war with the undead. He tells Daenerys she should go back to her island as well before leaving the parlay. Cersei is moved and accepts Daenerys’ truce. “Until the dead are defeated, they are the true enemy.” But as a condition, the Queen asks that Jon Snow also accept the truce and not take sides or take up arms against the Lannisters. He refuses, saying he’s already chosen to back House Targaryen. Cersei stands and reminds them that the dead will attack the North first. She leaves, and Tyrion is furious with Jon. They have few options, and Tyrion agrees to go and attempt to negotiate terms with his sister.
In her chambers, Tyrion speaks to Cersei and pleads for her to see reason, but she’s more interested in talking about all the things that Tyrion has done to destroy the Lannisters. He pours himself a drink—and one for her as well—and asks that she reconsider the truce.
As they wait for Tyrion to return, Daenerys and Jon discuss the dragons that used to inhabit the Dragonpit. Tyrion returns—with Cersei and Jaime. She has reconsidered and will accept the truce and send her troops north to fight alongside Daenerys’ armies in the Great War with the undead. She orders Jaime to recall all of their troops.
Quotes: Cersei Lannister: “If those things come for us there, will be no kingdoms to rule. Everything we suffered will have been for nothing. Everything we lost will have been for nothing. The crown accepts your truce. Until the dead are defeated, they are the true enemy. In return, the King in the North will extend this truce. He will remain in the North where he belongs. He will not take up arms against the Lannister's. He will not choose sides.” Daenerys Targaryen: “Just the King in the North? Not me?” Cersei: “I would never ask it of you. You would never agree to it. And if you did, I would trust you even less than I do now. I ask it only of Ned Stark's son. I know Ned Stark's son will be true to his word.” Jon Snow: “I am true to my word. Or I try to be. That is why I cannot give you what you ask. I cannot serve two queens. And I have already pledged myself to Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen.” Cersei: “Then there is nothing left to discuss. The dead will come North first. Enjoy dealing with them. We will deal with whatever is left of you.”
Sansa Stark is angry with Jon Snow for pledging to fight for Daenerys Targaryen, bending the knee. Petyr Baelish is with her and suggests that Jon may be seeking a romantic match to strengthen any alliance between their two Houses. He suggests Sansa take Winterfell for herself, even if it means going against Arya. He goes on to counsel her to not trust Arya and “assume the worst” in order to not be surprised by it.
Later, Sansa summons Arya to the Great Hall, where the bannermen and Lords of the North are assembled. As Peter Baelish and Bran Stark watch, Sansa tells Arya that it is important that she, Sansa, defend the North from “those who would betray us.” Arya tells her to get on with it. “You stand accused of murder and treason. How do you answer these charges…Peter Baelish?” Ah, the old switcheroo. Peter is confused and it takes a moment before he starts to defend himself against her accusations: he murdered Lysa Arryn by pushing her through the Moon Door; he conspired to murder Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, by giving Lysa “Tears of Lys” to poison him; he had Lysa send a letter to the Starks blaming the Lannisters for murdering Jon Arryn in order to set House Lannister and House Stark against each other; he conspired with Cersei and Joffrey to betray Ned Stark, leading to his execution.
Petyr denies it, saying that none of them were there. But Bran has seen it—he tells Petyr that he “held a knife” to Ned’s throat and repeats what Petyr told Ned: “I did warn you not to trust me.” He doesn’t understand how Bran could know this, but he pleads for his life. Sansa is unmoved, but thanks him for his lessons, then nods to Arya, who walks over and calmly slits his throat. Baelish fall to the ground, dead.
Notes: There is a pretty good chance we’ll see Peter Baelish again. Arya could move in powerful circles wearing his face.
Quotes: Arya Stark: “Are you sure you want to do this?” Sansa Stark: “It's not what I want. It's what honor demands.” Arya: “And what does honor demand?” Sansa: “That I defend my family from those who would harm us. That I would defend the North from those who would betray us.” Arya: “Alright, then. Get on with it.” Sansa: “You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges...Lord Baelish?” Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish: “Sansa, I beg you! I loved your mother since the time I was a boy.” Sansa Stark: “And yet, you betrayed her.” Petyr: “I loved you. More than anyone.” Sansa: “And yet, you betrayed me. When you brought me back to Winterfell, you told me there is no justice in the world not unless we make it. Thank you for all your many lessons, Lord Baelish. I will never forget them.” Petyr: “Sansa!”
Back at the map table in Dragonstone, Jon and Daenerys plan how to best move their forces north to defend the Wall. Jon suggests that he and Daenerys sail to White Harbor together, and Daenerys is careful to avoid giving the appearance that she is conquering the north. In the throne room, Jon counsels Theon to rescue his sister Yara by any means necessary, and later, on the beach, Theon fights and defeats the head of the Ironborn and convinces the others to sail to rescue Yara.
In King’s Landing, Jaime meets with the other Lannister Army leaders and bannermen to plan their move north, but Cersei tells him to hold off. She, in fact, is not sending her troops north. The whole thing was a ruse to get Daenerys to move her armies north—and leave the south open for Cersei to take. Jaime is aghast at her duplicitousness and angry at being lied too—Euron didn’t leave, he went to Essos to bring back the Golden Company. Jaime is disgusted with her, especially when she insists he stay—and has Ser Gregor block his path. Jaime leaves anyway and rides out of the city as it begins to snow. Winter is here.
News and Visions
Samwell Tarly and Gilly arrive at Winterfell, and Samwell meets with Bran Stark. Sam has returned to help Jon, and Bran tells him that he has visions and can see things that happened in the past. Bran tells Sam that Jon needs to know the truth: he’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Bran’s aunt, Lyanna Stark. Bran thinks Jon is still a bastard, but Samwell disagrees—he remembers what Gilly read about the annulment, and asks if the ceremony is something Bran can go back and “see.” Bran closes his eyes and searches the past, finding the marriage ceremony. He watches them wed and knows the truth: Jon Snow is not a bastard, but Aegon Targaryen, a true melding of House Stark and House Targaryen. And he’s the rightful King of Westeros.
Meanwhile, on their boat, Jon Snow goes to the cabin of Daenerys Targaryen and she invites him in. They start kissing and move to the bed, where they consummate their relationship.
Notes: This is the first time since S03E10 that Bran and Samwell share a scene.
Bran sees the Army of the Dead marching toward the Wall and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. The Night King appears, riding the reanimated wight-dragon Viserion, and flies toward the Wall. It opens it’s mouth and blue fire comes out, striking the Wall. Incredibly fast, the dragon continues flying at the Wall and burning it until the Wall itself starts to collapse.
Tormund and Berric Dondarrion and others atop the Wall scramble as massive portions of ice crack away and fall on Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, destroying the castle. The Night King continues to direct his dragon and the Wall continues to crumble until a portion of it breaks off and falls into the sea, opening a path. The Army of the Dead begins moving, passing where the Wall used to stand, and moves into the Seven Kingdoms, an unstoppable force marching on the lands of men.
It was great to see most of the main characters on the show gathering into one place, and many of them rightfully seemed fearful that the whole exercise would end in bloodshed. We get lots of great moments as people are reunited after long periods of time apart or meet new people for the first time.
The group parlay was interesting, and I liked how each character stayed true to themselves. Euron doesn’t stand on ceremony or wait his turn and simply starts speaking, frustrating everyone involved. Tyrion tries to explain things, Cersei gets impatient, and Jon Snow, always about making progress and moving things forward, reveals the wight and shows how it can be killed. Jaime, the military man, wants to know “how many” undead are coming and is rightly terrified when Daenerys says at least 100,000. Qyburn, alway curious, wants to understand how the creature is animated as he’s fascinated with the concept, having successfully reanimated Ser Gregor Clegane.
I didn’t like the scenes between Tyrion and Cersei and how she marched back out to the Dragonpit after just returning from the Dragonpit—the whole thing seemed oddly disjointed, making me wonder why they needed the Tyrion scene in her chambers—it only exists so they can yell at each other for a while. The end result is the same, and Cersei lied either way so it didn’t really matter at all.
The trial in Winterfell was great and explained why Sansa and Arya had been acting so strangely to each other over the past three episodes—it was all a trick to get Petyr into a situation that he couldn’t talk himself out of. Apparently Sansa and Arya were “fake” arguing all over Winterfell so that people could overhear it and word would get back to Petyr. And with Bran, the all-seeing detective, it wasn’t hard to gather the evidence they needed to prove his nefarious deeds. And he tried every way he could to get out of it: explain that he was doing these things to protect Sansa; demand the Knights of the Vale escort him to safety; saying that Lysa Arryn was crazy and that explained everything; and, at the end, beg and plead with Sansa for his life. None of it saved him. Though I think he’ll be back—if Arya is smart, she’ll add his face to her bag. Petyr Baelish has many connections and could be considered one of the most powerful men in King’s Landing. Maybe he’ll return soon and request an audience with Queen Cersei.
Bran and Samwell’s conversation was beautifully constructed and timed to play out as a voiceover for the scene between Jon and Daenerys, framing the story and, ironically, confirming that Jon and Dany are aunt and nephew just as they consummate their relationship. And the ending at the Wall, with the ice dragon, surely had every viewer on the edge of their seats.
Great episode, even though many of the elements feel rushed or were rushed to get to this point. I still disagree that this season needed to be seven episodes instead of ten—why rush through things to “save money?” It doesn’t cost a lot to have two people talking in a room. And that’s one thing this season needed more of. There was plenty of spectacle and explosions and not enough people talking to each other about what was going on.
The title of the episode refers to House Targaryen’s sigil, the dragon, and House Stark’s sigil, the direwolf. It is also signified by the union between Daenerys and Jon.
Nudity and Violence:
Dragons—Jon and Daenerys consummate their relationship, and we see lots of butts and boobs (72:00).
Notes: All sites accessed November 27 and December 6, 2017.
HBO Game of Thrones episode synopsis. https://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/season-07/7-the-dragon-and-the-wolf/synopsis
Game of Thrones Wiki, several pages. http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Game_of_Thrones_Wiki
Where To Next? http://travelwheretonext.com
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