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HBO

Major spoiler follow because that Game the Thrones’ season 7 finale, “The Dragon and also the Wolf.”

Game the Thrones concluded its abbreviated seventh season through a supersize episode featuring a totality lot the talking, as what appeared like fifty percent of the series’ cast held a very prolonged series that negotations.

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But with the end of “The Dragon and the Wolf,” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss capped turn off the season v a triple whammy of very big, long-in-the-making moments.

Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow lastly decide to consummate their common attraction while on a watercraft sailing northward, confirming a long-anticipated romantic pairing of 2 of the series’ key characters.

At the same time, hundreds of miles away, Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly finally piece together the mystery of Jon’s parentage and realize the that he is not just a Targaryen however a legitimate Targaryen called “Aegon.” that is: He’s no a bastard, and he has actually a case to the iron Throne follow to Westeros’s inheritance laws. Also, this renders Dany his aunt — which is miscellaneous Jon probably would have wanted to know before heading to she cabin.

Such personal concerns then paled, though, in the confront of the true game changer that the season’s final moments: The Night king dragon-powered attack destroys part of the Wall, permitting the military of the dead to lastly pour right into the 7 Kingdoms.

This last image makes clear the Game of Thrones’ eighth and also final season will certainly heavily focus on the war against the White Walkers. And yet over there will plainly be more human scheming too, as Cersei Lannister has chose to rest her covenant with Jon and Dany, holding she army back from the north in hopes of preserving her tight on the steel Throne. So this is a rundown of the biggest occasions from the finale.

Ice and fire came together (on a boat)…

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HBO Long prior to this season began, pan of both the TV collection and George R.R. Martin’s publications speculated that whatever was building toward an eventual romantic pairing of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.

The book series is titled A song of Ice and also Fire, after ~ all. The title seemed to promise an ultimate clash between fire-breathing dragons and the icy White Walkers, yet it likewise apparently foreshadowed the union of Dany and Jon, the personalities that ideal represent fire and also ice.

And after several episodes that not-exactly-subtle setup, it ultimately happened. Regardless of Jon’s previous protestations that there to be “no time” because that romantic concerns, he ultimately concluded the there wasn’t much else to carry out on a long and boring watercraft trip come the North various other than pay Dany a exclusive visit. (Okay, he is fallen in love through her.)

Could the ultimate finishing of the collection be Jon and Dany, married, as king and queen that Westeros? Or is that as well pat and predictable a conclusion because that Martin? There’s tho one more season, after all, so maybe their love will end tragically instead.

Plus, they’re about to learn one bit of info that can really complicated things.

…as we lastly learned the full truth about Jon’s parentage

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HBO indigenous season one, Jon Snow has actually been defined to both the characters and viewers that Game the Thrones together Ned Stark’s bastard son. In truth, though, he’s neither a bastard no one Ned’s son.

When Bran huddles with Sam at Winterfell, he finally explicitly confirms what he witnessed in visions in the season six finale: that Jon is the child of Ned’s sisters Lyanna Stark.

In the series’ history, Lyanna is a key figure in Robert’s Rebellion, the battle that deposed the Targaryen dynasty and brought the Baratheons come the throne. It was Lyanna’s supposed kidnapping by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen — Dany’s older brother — that infuriated the Starks and Baratheons and started the battle in the an initial place.

Now, though, Bran learn through one more vision the Rhaegar didn’t kidnap Lyanna at all — rather, they to be in love. Those more, together Sam clarifies, lock made the love main in a mystery marriage ceremony. Then, they had a child together the Lyanna called “Aegon,” and before she passed away from complications of childbirth, she handed off the boy to Ned.

Because the Targaryens lost the battle — Robert Baratheon eliminated Rhaegar ~ above the battlefield and also took the throne for self — this child’s visibility was significantly dangerous, presenting a risk to Robert’s rule. For this reason Ned retained the baby’s identification a secret, renaming the Jon and also passing him off as his very own bastard son rather than his sister’s legitimately born and also royal child.

In part ways, this revelation will certainly likely bring Jon and Dany closer together. For instance, the confirmation that Jon has actually Targaryen heritage seems to collection him up to ride Dany’s just remaining riderless dragon, Rhaegal. The publications hint at some kind of miracle connection between Targaryens and also their dragons, and Rhaegal is named after Jon’s dad Rhaegar, after all.

Yet the seems most likely that the news will additionally introduce brand-new tension in between Jon and Dany.

For one, the revelation the their love work is incestuous might be problematic. Despite Targaryens have a long legacy of incest — Jon’s ancestor and also namesake Aegon married not one but two that his sisters — that still considered taboo in much of the rest of Westeros, and also in the North. Jon might well react with disgust at what he is done, à la Oedipus.

Second, the showrunners have actually specifically chosen to emphasize the Jon is not just a Targaryen yet a legitimate Targaryen and also the heir come the steel Throne. Indeed, according to Westeros’s sequence laws, he has actually a much better claim than Dany come the throne, because he’s the just surviving child of the last Targaryen king firstborn son.

Might Dany watch Jon’s Targaryen heritage as a danger to her very own rule? They’re acquiring along wonderfully ideal now, therefore it no seem like that would certainly be a problem, so long as they just marry and unite their claims. But it’s uncertain why the collection would emphasize this plot point so late, if it no going to have a significant impact. (What if Jon doesn’t want to marry his aunt?)

And indeed, the showrunners check as much in this week’s “Inside the Episode” segment. “It complicates whatever on a politics level, on a personal level, and also it simply makes whatever that could have been so neat and kind that perfect for Jon and Dany — it yes, really muddies the waters,” states showrunner David Benioff.

The White Walkers finally make it into the 7 Kingdoms

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HBO yet for now, Jon and Dany will have bigger troubles than your rival cases to the throne — since at lengthy last, the White Walkers have breached the wall in a spectacular attack.

We lastly got a glimpse in ~ the full force of the military of the dead, as countless White Walkers and a seemingly limitless mass the wight foot soldiers amassed north of Eastwatch, but seemed halted by the wall itself.

Then the Night King make a dramatic airborne entrance on the earlier of his weapon of mass destruction: the reanimated dragon Viserion, breath blue flame.

For numerous years, pan of the TV collection and George R.R. Martin’s books have theorized around how the wall might at some point fall. (The publications introduced the idea the a magic horn could carry it down.) however it turns out the answer has been ideal in front of united state for years now: a wall of magically reinforced ice cream is fairly naturally vulnerable to an attack from wonder dragon fire.

So Tormund Giantsbane and the Night’s Watch can only look at on in horror as the Night King causes a major stretch that the wall to collapse and the military of the dead starts putting through it — beginning the North.

What’s next? Well, it’s significant that Jon, Dany, and also their militaries are still reasonably far south — they’re sailing from king’s Landing come White Harbor, a harbor city ~ above the southerly border that the North, at season’s end.

Meanwhile, yes sir a swarm of important characters — Sansa, Arya, Bran, Sam, and also Gilly — right now at Winterfell, i m sorry is more north 보다 White Harbor and a likely target for the next huge White pedestrian attack.

With this twist, Game that Thrones would seem come be placing all its share in the battle between humanity and the White Walkers. Except…

Cersei continues to be in the mix together a last antagonist

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HBO If you will do asked me last year for my predictions because that Game the Thrones season 7, I’d have actually confidently wagered that we’d view Cersei Lannister at the very least shed her throne and probably gain killed turn off entirely.

But no — versus all odds, Cersei ends the season quiet in manage of king Landing, and also prepared come sabotage Jon and also Dany’s do the efforts to unite all the 7 Kingdoms versus the White Walkers (even despite it loses her Jaime).

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In the dramatic conference at the Dragonpit, Cersei commits to Jon and Dany the she’ll send the Lannister army north to assist them fight the White Walkers. However she later reveals to Jaime the she was lying. Instead, she’ll keep her military down south by she side and also further mass up its forces by sending out Euron Greyjoy east, wherein he’ll usage the iron Bank’s line of credit to hire mercenaries. She happy to let Jon and Dany’s forces get take it apart through the army of the dead — it’s the North, not King’s Landing, the they’ll fight first, after ~ all.

So despite Jon and also Dany have actually united, they’ll now have actually to challenge threats to your north and south simultaneously. Merged with the symptom Jon’s very own heritage might present because that his alliance with Dany, the an intriguing twist saying the end of the collection may not be together straightforward together we could expect.