In the immortal words of the perma-stoned engineer in “Galaxy Quest”: Well, that was a hell of a thing.
A plot line from before season 1 episode 1 got resolved in the most satisfying way possible, a zombie dragon destroyed the undestroy-able, the gal on the Iron Throne reminded us that she is NOT to be trusted...
...and a very handsome man made love to his aunt.
As closes the seventh season of “Game of Thrones,” the way-trashier-than-anyone-likes-to-admit prestige TV show, let’s see where everyone landed with the Game of Thrones power rankings.
1. The Night King.
Last seen: Riding a dragon that was spitting blue fire, so, yeah, he comes in on top.
Dude has a) an undead dragon b) that he rides like it was named Silver and he was the #@$%% Lone Ranger, and c) it just destroyed the Wall, the thing that has, roughly forever, been keeping That Which is Beyond the Wall from invading Westeros. The destruction of the Wall makes the stakes sickeningly clear -- if humanity cannot put its petty crapola aside, death will beat life, and it won’t even be close. Everyone who is breathing either fears him or should.
2. Daenerys Targaryen.
Last seen: Sexing her nephew. In fairness, she does not know dude is her nephew.
She has two dragons. She pretty well faced down the most murderous woman in Westeros and kept her cool. She finally had a bunch of sex with Jon Snow, on whom she has a massive crush and whom nobody except Bran and Sam Tarly knows is her nephew. She is doing all right for herself.
3. Cersei Lannister.
Last seen: Almost killing Jaime with Ser Gregor, aka the zombie Luca Brasi of King’s Landing.
Does she deserve the number three spot? The argument against: She is increasingly isolated. She keeps lying to everyone. Even her brother/lover/biggest fan Jaime has bounced.
But she goes here because she is completely insane -- it’s Nixon’s madman theory in a world with magic and dragons. She sits down with her enemies as they attempt to convince her the world is going to end via zombie, and she kind of doesn’t care. (She also has a bunch of money and thinks the Golden Company -- apparently the Blackwater/Academi of Westeros - is going to save her kingdom.)
She is only mildly predicable -- she values her family and keeping her family together and seemingly nothing else. She is the Michael Bluth of King’s Landing. Except really mean.
4. Jon Snow (aka Aegon Targaryen, apparently).
Last seen: See above: Daenerys Targaryen.
The King in the North also proved himself the most honest (to a massive fault) man in Westeros. He is the heir to the Iron Throne, which a) only his extremely boring brother Bran knows and b) when it is revealed, is going to hack off absolutely everyone, including his new lover Dany.
5. and 6. Sansa and Arya Stark.
Last seen: Dispensing fist-pumpingly awesome justice to one of the show’s most loathsome figures.
It was touch and go there for a bit with these two, but it turned out they were running the most satisfying long con we have seen in YEARS on that punk-#@% Littlefinger. Sansa finally proved the she is worthy of the title Lady Stark, and Arya reminded everyone that, yes, she will cut a (expletive).
7. Euron Greyjoy.
Last seen: Seemingly looking out for number one.
The king dirtbag in a show that is not lacking for dirtbags seemed to leave the Dragonpit in a cloud of OH HELL NO after finding out the wights can’t swim. According to Cersei much later (jeez, this episode was long), he is in fact headed off to get some mercenaries and return to King’s Landing. Because nobody leaves Cersei hanging.
8. and 9. Brienne of Tarth and the Hound.
Last seen: Together? Going to the Dragonpit, bonding over their love of Arya. Separately at the end? It’s a bit unclear.
It was kind of wonderful to see these two hit a truce. Brienne tried to kill him, but he is really good at not taking that terribly personally, especially since it didn’t work. I would love some sort of love triangle/mystery-solving spinoff with these two and Tormund.
10. Theon Greyjoy.
Last seen: Reasserting his, um, manhood.
The annoying fellow finally redeemed himself after bringing shame to eunuchs everywhere when he abandoned his sister, Yara. Also proved that the Iron Islands dudes switch loyalties at the drop of a ... well, whatever that guy’s name was that Theon killed.
11. and 12. Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly.
Last seen: Discussing the hinge upon which the entire show turns.
Sam confirms (hey, he WAS listening to Gilly!) what Bran can see in his creepy psychic brain: Jon Snow is not only not a bastard, he is not the son of Ned Stark but is, in fact, Aegon Targaryen, the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark and the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Bran also helpfully notes that Robert’s Rebellion was based on a lie -- Rhaegar did NOT kidnap, rape and kill Lyanna. The latter died in childbirth and made her brother Ned promise to keep li’l Aegon safe.
13. Ned Stark’s reputation.
Last seen: Well, it was pretty well spotless before now.
All of which calls into question Ned’s inherent nobility -- how many died because Ned kept his promise to his sister? How much chaos was Westeros thrown into because he couldn’t face Robert and say, look, your finance bounced on you, but we can work this out? Perhaps this is unfair; perhaps the Mad King had to go, and this was as good an excuse as any. But jeez, Ned -- the consequences were astounding.
14. Tyrion Lannister.
Last seen: Looking ... longingly? Sadly? With jealousy? at Jon as the King in the North heads into Dany’s cabin.
This was not Ty-Ty’s best season -- dude is simply not a wartime consiglieri. He was responsible for a string of military losses even as he tried to prevent Dany from simply burning King’s Landing, and the remainder of his family, to the ground. There is a strong implication that he has caught feelings for Dany, which is unfortunate given her fondness for hero types. Somebody get this man some wine and a professional consort, stat.
15. Jaime Lannister
Last seen: Heading North, as he promised.
Poor Jaime. He is in love with an insane woman who also happens to be the queen and who also happens to no longer trust him. It looked for a second like she was going to kill him. But, no, he put a glove on his golden hand and headed towards Winterfell, looking very much like he is in exile.
17. Tormund Giantsbane.
Last seen: On a Wall that was getting absolutely destroyed by the Night King.
If this ginger giant dies off-screen, his love of Brienne never consummated, fans are going to be really, really ticked off.
17. The wight that the Suicide Squa-- uh, Jon and his crew brought back from beyond the Wall.
Last seen: Killed by Jon Snow’s dragonglass knife.
He died as he lived -- a screaming, lunatic reminder that this series started life as a kind of cool hunk of palace intrigue, that turned into a sexually sadistic Dungeons and Dragons campaign and now seems to be ending up as the Walking Dead as reimagined in the War of the Roses with dragons. On the plus side, he almost ate Cersei’s face.
18. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish.
Last seen: Bleeding on the floor of Winterfell like the pig he is.
Yeah, son, you go BELOW a zombie. The sound you heard Sunday night was every single Thrones fan going absolutely nuts when Littlefinger got dropped by Sansa and Arya, two women who seemed to go along with his manipulative scheme until the last possible second. There was screaming, there was cheering, there was dabbing, people were trying to explain to their pets how awesome this was. Baelish, whose “uh hold up” look was just fantastic, tried to talk his way out of it. Too late, son. Far too late. When Arya cut his throat -- quickly, ruthlessly, without gloating -- it closed the book on a character whom fans had waited years to get got. Spectacular.