Since Game of Thrones first premiered in 2011 we've been preparing ourselves for winter, and it finally arrived in Sunday's Season 7 finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf." Snow started to fall in King's Landing right before the Night King hopped on Viserion's back and used his icy fresh breath (which we can only assume smells of Winterfresh) to knock down the Wall and enter Westeros at Eastwatch.
But that wasn't the only thing that happened in the finale. Sam (John Bradley) and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) finally put together the complicated puzzle of Jon's parentage, much to the delight of impatient fans everywhere. Unfortunately, Jon (Kit Harington) still doesn't know, which means he totally had sex with his aunt (Emilia Clarke) and has no idea. Elsewhere, the Stark sisters (Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams), with Bran's help, sentenced and executed the manipulative Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) for his many, many crimes, and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) fled King's Landing once he realized Cersei (Lena Headey) really was the monster everyone kept telling him she was.
Quite understandably, we have a few burning questions in the wake of such an eventful episode. Seeing as we likely have to wait until 2019 for the eighth and final season, we've got plenty of time to discuss them all in great detail. Let's get to it!
1. Why are the sex scenes on Game of Thrones so unsexy?
We'd like to believe the sex between Daenerys and Jon — whose birth name was revealed to be Aegon Targaryen during a flashback — was stiff and completely void of passion and chemistry because we're not actually supposed to be rooting for the nephew and aunt to be together. We'd also like to believe the series was finally taking a stand, albeit a halfhearted one, against incest. But this is hardly the first time the series has featured what amounts to a cold and passionless sex scene. Even when the series was using nudity and sex in more gratuitous fashion, viewers were struggling to find anything sensual about the scenes that transpired.
To make matters worse, now we're going to have to spend the next two years thinking about how stiff, awkward and silent that entire sex scene ultimately was. Sure, it showed off Kit Harington's butt, but was it really worth it? We're not so sure.
2. Why did it take the White Walkers and the army of the dead so long to reach the Wall if they can apparently move as fast as Gendry can run?
We understand the importance of building a narrative and we know that the Night King had to arrive in the final episode of the season. We also know that time has no meaning in Westeros anymore. But those ice zombies were moving pretty freaking fast once Viserion took down the Wall with his
lasers icy fresh breath. By our estimate, they'll be at Winterfell by morning.
3. Are Tormund and Beric still alive?
We've watched enough television to know that we can't consider anyone to be dead until we see a body. Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric (Richard Dormer) were both very high up on the Wall when it came down, so it stands to reason that at least one of them won't make it out alive, but until series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss actually show us the bodies, we're not buying it. (Some people may also call this denial.)
However, if Tormund and/or Beric perish at Eastwatch, the dramatic stakes that have been missing from the series might be real again. Many fans have complained about the fact the series is now governed by its popularity and its status as the biggest show on the planet — meaning it doesn't want to kill off any fan favorites unless it absolutely has to — and while we certainly aren't actively wishing for Tormund to die, especially since he'd only join the White Walkers' army of the dead, it would bring a sense of danger back to the series right when it needs it most.
4. What is Jaime's next move?
Regardless of the prophecy that foretold of Cersei's "younger brother" being her downfall, we always knew Jaime was eventually going to distance himself from his mad sister. He's a flawed man who's made truly awful decisions in the name of love, but he's also not a monster who would leave innocent people to die in the name of his own ambition.
Jaime has a conscience and doesn't wish to see the world burn (or be covered in ice), something we know thanks to his rather complicated relationship with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), which revealed the truth about what really happened the day he killed the Mad King. We also knew he'd been carrying the weight of that secret on his shoulders ever since. What we didn't know for sure was when or what would push Jaime to finally pull away from Cersei; if you'd have told us it would happen as a result of Cersei threatening him and saying she didn't need him now that she was pregnant with another child, we'd never have believed it.
But where will Jaime go now? Will he head to Winterfell and warn Jon and Daenerys of Cersei's betrayal? Will he reunite with Brienne while he's there? Will he become the big damn hero we want and need him to be? Only time will tell.
5. Is it really that outrageous to think Euron would choose to save himself?
Prior to threatening Jaime, Cersei — who's been at least one step ahead of everyone else this season — revealed that Euron (Pilou Asbæk) was not on his way back to the Iron Islands as he claimed to be, but was instead on his way to Essos to pick up the Golden Company, aka mercenaries paid for by the gold from Highgarden.
However, there's one thing we can't get out of our heads after this revelation: Cersei acted as if it was obvious Euron wouldn't turn down a chance to go to war (or marry a queen), but it seems entirely plausible that a man who has no allegiance but to his own ego would hightail it back to the Iron Islands to wait out the Great War. Yes, Euron loves the heat of battle, and yes, he's arrogant enough to believe he's invincible against an army of the undead, but this battle isn't going to be on the open seas, where he excels, it's going to be on snow-covered land. So yeah, we totally believed him when he peaced out of the summit.
6. Will Theon be successful in his rescue mission?
The first draft of this question asked who came up with the idea to turn what is perceived to be Theon's (Alfie Allen) greatest weakness into his greatest asset — a knee to the groin doesn't affect him during a fight! — but considering the conversation Theon had with Jon just prior to that moment, we realized this wasn't really a laughing matter. Theon, a man with no balls, was revealed to have the biggest metaphorical balls of Yara's (Gemma Whelan) remaining men. We fully support his mission to rescue his sister from Euron, even if it means he will probably die in the process. The final chapter of Theon's redemption story is upon us! Huzzah!
(Though we could have done without the heavy-handed talk about being two things at once. Like, we get it, Jon is a dragon and wolf. It's right there in the title.)
7. Were Arya and Sansa faking their tension all season?
Sansa turned the tables on Littlefinger when she coolly revealed it was he and not Arya who was standing trial for their sins in the finale. But the episode never definitively answered whether the Stark sisters were plotting this duplicitous turn against him the entire season or if was only recently they'd come to the decision. But to be honest, it also doesn't matter at this point, because the writing was sloppy no matter the answer. Either the writers stripped the Starks down to their worst traits for the sake of contrived narrative tension and then magically erased it or they crafted an exasperating storyline that gained nothing from keeping the audience in the dark. Whatever the case may be, at least the Starks appear to be on much better terms now.
8. What's the point of Bran being the Three-Eyed Raven if he only does half his homework?
Based on the charges Sansa brought against Littlefinger, Bran went all in on his research of that chaos-creating, manipulative jerk. She knew the role he played in coming between Catelyn and Lysa. She knew the way he manipulated the events of the war into motion. This was all well and good — you won't find us mourning Littlefinger's death, just the fact Arya slit his throat indoors and robbed us of the image of beautiful, bloody snow — but why didn't Bran immediately dig into the history of Jon's parents when he first learned of Lyanna's identity? Furthermore, why did Sam have to tell Bran about Rhaegar and Lyanna's wedding if Bran is an all-knowing being now? Tell us how your powers work, Bran!
9. Why was Tyrion being such a creep?
We're pretty sure that "The Dragon and the Wolf" will end up being Peter Dinklage's Emmy submission next year — the scene in which Tyrion confronted Cersei was his best work all season — but why was Tyrion being such a creep when Jon and Daenerys were getting it on? He was skulking in the shadows like Littlefinger. Does he know something Jon and Daenerys don't know? Is he worried about what this new development will do to the alliance? Or is this another Jorah (Iain Glen) situation, where Tyrion has fallen in love with Daenerys and is jealous of the King in the North? We're pretty sure it's not the last one, but something is definitely up.
10. Where is Gendry?
DO NOT DO THIS TO US AGAIN, SHOW.
Game of Thrones Season 7 is currently streaming on HBO Go. The eighth and final season will likely premiere on HBO in 2019.