Game of Thrones fans have been stuck with the pointy end once again, and another season of the fantasy epic has bowed out in style as we near the end. HBO and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss certainly have a great wall of ice to climb if they want to top season 7, but as we head into the show’s final year, all bets are off to who (or what) will be sitting on the Iron Throne when winter ends.
It was a season of Jon Snow’s Magnificent Seven, Daenerys rocking her winter wardrobe, and the best outdoor BBQ that Westeros has ever seen. Elsewhere, Queen Cersei Lannister kept her claws dug on the crown, we lost a “great dame,” and Arya Stark stayed creepy.
You didn’t have to be a Three-Eyed Raven to spot that Littlefinger’s treachery might finally come undone, or that Samwell Tarly would be the one to unearth Jon’s heritage at the Citadel - well, it was technically Gilly - but there more than a few things that may need a rewatch to pick up on.
In a show that is so filled with Easter eggs, callbacks, or even a Baelish eyebrow raise that can mean something, nothing is left to chance in the Seven Kingdoms. With that in mind, here are Game Of Thrones: 15 Things You Missed In Season 7.
15 The Symbols At Dragonstone
Everyone knows what happened last time Jon Snow ended up in a cave with a member of the opposite sex, but in season 7 it was the hunt for dragonglass. With the battle of the living vs. the dead growing closer, Snow and co. were looking for the ultimate weapon to defeat those abominable snowmen. It just so happened that the aptly named Dragonstone was sat atop a whole mine of it.
While previous owner Stannis Baratheon hadn’t bothered to poke around in the bowels of his island, Daenerys wasted no time in going spelunking with Jon. However, it wasn’t just shards of Walker-Away that the heroes found under there.
As Jon cast his torch over the walls of the cave, it showed that the Children of the Forest had once also been there. With clearly no respect for other people’s property, those forest imps had scrawled their own hieroglyphs on the walls of the cave. Did you notice that the drawings matched the same dismembered array of men and horses that the White Walkers have been leaving dotted around north of the wall?
14 Jaime Ignores King Robert's Warning
Where would the world of Westeros be without that fat, drunk King Robert Baratheon?
Although Mark Addy’s portly ruler bowed out way back in season 1’s seventh episode, it hasn’t stopped Robert’s legacy echoing over the rest of the show - most notably in season 7’s “The Spoils of War.”
As those crafty Lannisters smugly rode off with their Highgarden haul, Jaime’s smile was wiped off his face by a charging horde of Dothraki riders, oh, and a rather large dragon. Despite a valiant effort by Team Cersei, the Lannister forces were trounced, ironically nodding to Robert’s speech back in season 1: “We hole up in our castles. A wise move. Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field."
Admittedly, it was the dragon that probably won it for Daenerys, but her sickle-wielding Dothraki caused one hell of a headache for Jaime and Bronn.
13 Cersei's Single White Handmaid
Where Cersei Lannister's enemies, her own father, and all her children have perished, one person close to the Queen has survived the whole War of the Five Kings.
Unlike other forgotten characters like Matthos and Ros, Cersei’s handmaid Bernadette is still going strong. Played by actress Sara Dylan, Bernadette has seamlessly blended into the background of the show - which may explain why she is still alive.
The wardrobe department has certainly been kept busy in season 7, and the venomous Queen of the Seven Kingdoms has fully embraced her Miranda Priestly to declare black is the new black. After the walk of atonement, Cersei’s pixie cut has slowly grown on fans of the show, and it seems like it is also catching on in King’s Landing.
Bernadette once again emerged in “The Queen’s Justice,” sporting a rather Cersei-esque change of clothes with a new 'do. Well, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
12 Harry Potter In Westeros
Dragons, magic, and fantasy frolics, the worlds of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter aren’t that different really. However, there was a very subtle Harry Potter reference lurking in the dusty Citadel during the Season 7 premiere.
Samwell Tarly did his best Dolly Parton "9 to 5" emptying chamber pots, but the show also introduced a new face: Archmaester Marwyn - Sam’s stoic mentor. It was big casting news that British actor Jim Broadbent would be joining the show in season 7, and Marwyn didn't disappoint.
Although Broadbent wasn't reprising his role as Professor Slughorn from Harry Potter, he did reference the “restricted section” of the Citadel. For those who don’t know, Hogwarts had a restricted section of the library where junior wizards weren’t allowed to go. According to Marwyn, neither was Sam - better luck next time.
This amazing piece of fan service for fans of both franchises that once again showed that Thrones isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself.
11 The Future Of Arya and Nymeria
It makes perfect sense that Arya Stark’s direwolf shares her attitude. There may only be two of those Stark wolves still knocking around in Westeros, but Ghost and Nymeria are two of the best-loved characters out there. Last seen right at the start of season 1, fans had always hoped that Nymeria would get reunited with Arya, and thankfully, season 7 granted us this.
The meeting was all too brief, though. Arya had hoped that Nymeria would follow her back, but instead, the wolf turned tail and Arya accepted, “that’s not you.” It echoed Arya’s conversation with her father when Ned had promised his youngest daughter a castle and a dress. Just as Arya turned up her nose and said “that’s not me," Nymeria did the same.
The show gave Nymeria just as big a spirit as her owner and she could really be gone forever. However, with the howling direwolf being a big part of Martin’s books, expect Nymeria and Arya’s paths to (hopefully) cross at some point in season 8.
10 Walder Frey Is Back (Again)
If you could pick anyone’s face in the Seven Kingdoms, who would it be? Most would surely select the handsome visage of Jon Snow, but for a newly-graduated assassin like Arya Stark, the choices are limited.
For a brief time, it looked like slippery Petyr Baelish had got one over on the Stark siblings, and there was an uncomfortably tense argument between Arya and Sansa at Winterfell. A perturbed Sansa discovered Arya’s “face sack.” It was a bit of a puzzler that being a Faceless Man is as easy as carrying a bag full of dismembered faces, but lurking in there appeared to be the familiar face of Walder Frey.
It may be an Easter egg for eagle-eyed viewers, or it could imply that Arya isn’t quite done with her enemy just yet. None of it really matters anyway, consider the Starks on better terms thanks to the slicing of a certain “little finger.” That being said, don’t expect Arya to give up her Faceless ways until that list is a little shorter.
9 Daenerys' Winter Wardrobe
Daenerys Targaryen slayed the catwalk - and the wights - on her brave mission beyond the Wall. It was a foolish mission anyway, but with Jon Snow and his "Snow Men" in some serious bother, a last-minute arrival from Daenerys once again saved the day with a blizzardy BBQ.
“Beyond the Wall” had earlier displayed Daenerys’ winter furs as she took her trio of dragons from Dragonstone, but her wardrobe choice was no accident. Emmy Award-winning costume designer Michele Clapton even admits that the influence for Dany’s coat comes straight from the pitted skin of the White Walkers. Clapton is behind some of the show’s most iconic looks - and Ikea rugs - meaning nothing is left to chance.
As Dany went to meet the frozen foes for the first time, it is great to see that she at least dressed for the occasion.
8 Gendry Wields His Dad's Signature Weapon
Adding to the pack of bastards that the show is so fond of, Gendry is the forgotten contender for the Iron Throne. Rowing back into the storyline, Joe Dempsie triumphantly returned as the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon.
It looks like the boy from Flea Bottom had learned a thing or two from his dear old dad, and Gendry’s latest addition to the armory was a formidable war hammer. Robert was known for a very similar weapon, which he violently used to smash the jewels off Rhaegar Targaryen’s signature armor during the Battle of the Trident.
Whether it be taking out some Gold Cloaks or smashing up wights, the legacy of King Robert’s preferred weapon of choice once again lives on in spirit. Thankfully, those four seasons of rowing have certainly helped Gendry’s muscles be able to swing that impressive war hammer.
It is unlikely that Gendry will use his hammer to smash the jewels off another Targaryen, but as the rightful heir to the throne (sort of), Jon and Dany should definitely watch their backs.
7 Jaime's Gold Irony
Just give the man a castle, that is all he wants. Thrones has seen Ser Bronn of the Blackwater ably serve both those Lannister brothers. From sparing Tyrion Lannister a trip through the Moon Door to firing that infamous arrow into the water of wildfire, Bronn has been on quite the journey.
He may once have been in the pocket of the Imp, but these days he can usually be found saving Jaime Lannister's life. After Bronn once again pestered for a life of riches, the gold-handed Jaime warned that the more you own, the more it weighs you down.
Bronn clearly took his friend's advice on board when he could’ve grabbed a sack of gold, but left it behind to save his own life. That being said, the episode ended with one of the worst Game of Thrones cliffhangers since some thought Jon Snow might actually be dead at the Wall.
It took only a week to realize that Bronn had saved Jaime, but it is easy to imagine a Littlefinger smirk when realizing that it was Jaime’s golden armor that weighed him down into those watery depths.
6 The Hound's New Job
He may be a burned blaggard with a penchant for dropping the C-word, but it is nearly impossible not to love Sandor “The Hound” Clegane. From Joffrey’s personal lapdog to the loyal traveling companion of Arya Stark, Clegane is alongside Jaime Lannister with one of the best redemption arcs to grace the series.
After being dumped off a cliff by Brienne of Tarth and left for dead by Arya, The Hound was thankfully one of those ambiguous loose ends that Benioff and Weiss tied up in season 6.
Clegane's book counterpart is currently MIA, but Brienne finds a man on the Quiet Isle known only as the gravedigger in "A Feast For Crows." Fans saw the show’s interpretation of The Hound return in that superb episode with Ian McShane, but season 7’s “Dragonstone” all but confirmed that Clegane and the gravedigger are the same.
A clearly guilt-ridden Sandor returned to the farmhouse where he had left a father and daughter duo to perish in season 4, then turned gravedigger once more to bury their corpses. See, there is a heart beating there under all that spit and vinegar.
5 Euron Becomes Victarion
Pilou Asbæk's Euron Greyjoy may not have lived up to his promise of being the biggest bad since Ramsay Bolton, but that didn't stop the daring Dane from taking to the role with gusto. After a damp entrance in season 6, Euron came bounding into season 7 with promises to bed Cersei Lannister and bring her a mysterious gift.
Said "gift" turned out to be Ellaria Sand and Yara Greyjoy, but it was how he got the pair that was the most intriguing. Seemingly coming from nowhere, Euron’s colossal fleet of ships caught up with Theon and Yara in a battle where blood was definitely not thicker than water.
One of the best characters who will sadly never make the leap from Martin’s pages to HBO is Victarion Greyjoy. The absent younger brother of Euron, Victarion was an aggressive fighter who swung a mighty kraken ax.
The show did at least give a nod to him when Euron took on the fleet of his niece and nephew. Stomping the deck like his own Blackbeard, Euron wielded an ax that - you guessed it - had a rather intricate kraken design.
4 All Dwarfs Are Bastards
One of the most tragic characters from the show and the books is everyone's favorite Lannister: Tyrion. However, from day one, The Imp has been seen as a misunderstood member of the Lannister lions.
There are obvious rumors that Tyrion is about to betray his new alliance, but for the time being, Team Daenerys is looking pretty well stocked with fan-favorite characters. Season 7’s “Stormborn” had a faithful nod back to the first season of the show and Jon and Tyrion's meeting and Winterfell. There was that typically light-hearted saying: "All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes."
It came as a surprise that so many years later, Tyrion’s words echoed once more when he penned a letter to Jon Snow asking the King in the North to bend the knee. Kneebending became a running joke of the season, but even Tyrion’s humor couldn’t sway the fur-clad ruler. More importantly, Tyrion’s joke proved that the raven was from him and not some trick from Daenerys to roast Jon like a Tarly in battle.
3 Jon And Ned Go For The Throat
The action was focused at Winterfell at the start of the season, and before Jon Snow set off to woo Daenerys, he had to deal with a political predicament at his homestead. With Petyr Baelish preparing to pull the strings of the Stark sisters, Jon was right not to trust Littlefinger. However, when Baelish pushed Snow’s buttons in the crypts at Winterfell, Jon decided enough is enough.
Paying respects to the statue of his deceased “father” Ned Stark, Jon gripped the slimy Baelish by the throat and have him a stoic warning: "Touch my sister and I'll kill you myself."
Remembering back to season 1, Ned and Littlefinger had a very similar confrontation outside Baelish’s brothel. This time there was no Catelyn Stark to calm things down, but it still didn’t look like Littlefinger got the message. Thankfully, Baelish never did get to touch Sansa, though it didn’t stop him upping his creep levels to 100.
We spent the next five episodes watching Littlefinger dance his merry dance and once again underestimate the power of the Starks. At the end of the day, he was a cut-throat schemer who, well, got his throat cut.
2 Euron's Got Your Tongue
If collecting his “gift” for Cersei wasn’t enough, Euron also took another souvenir from the defeat of his fellow family members.
Fans could barely glimpse Euron’s black galleon, but it is known that his ship was called the Silence. The books go into more detail, but the name comes from Euron slicing the tongues off his crew to assure that they can never tell tales of what they have seen on the decks.
The episode was too busy showing Sand Snakes having the life bled out of them, but there was a subtle nod to Euron’s tongue-twisting ways. Looking closely, you can see several of Euron’s men slicing the tongues out of those they have captured. Also, Ellaria Sand meets a man below deck who isn’t particularly chatty - did he too get the Euron treatment?
Just like with the Victarion ax, it shows that Thrones was at least trying to redeem a character that didn't live up to the hype.
1 The Stark Sigil
"The Dragon and the Wolf" was a frosty finale as the Night King took his Army of the Undead and marched on Eastwatch by the Sea. Leaving the lives of fan-favorites Beric and Tormund in the balance, the White Walkers finally had a door of opportunity to enter the realm of men. However, there was some rather unusual line dancing going on.
As the dead lumbered forward, eagle-eyed viewers noticed that their ranks seemed to form the head of a wolf. This has great significance when you realize that the wolf is the sigil of House Stark and what they proudly display on their banners.
While this could simply be an Easter egg or an allusion that the reformed Stark family are the ones to watch, some believe that it supports the whole Bran is the Night King theory. It could be Bran taunting the heroes, or it could be Bran's way of saying, “Hey, it’s still me.”
Did you spot these little details in Game of Thrones or do you need more time studying at the Citadel? Sound off in the comments below!