Spoilers for the Season 7 Finale of Game of Thrones
The latest 'Inside the Episode' video from HBO breaks down the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones and hints at the stories to come. Despite the abbreviated episode count this season, Game of Thrones managed to pack a lot of action and character interactions into just seven episodes. While this quickened pace led to some questionable timelines and truncated arcs, it still allowed the series to pull together a number of factions, tease out the war for Westeros, and finally bring everyone into the fold regarding the White Walkers and the threat they pose.
Following each episode, the showrunners—who also wrote this episode—of the series have attempted to offer insight into each installment of Game of Thrones. While no concrete information about next season was revealed in the latest video, the subjects and storylines David Benioff and D.B. Weiss chose to illustrate help to point towards the final batch of episodes for the hit series. And while we still don't know exactly when season 8 will premiere, the contraction of storylines that the showrunners speak of in the video let's viewers know that there are only a handful of directions forward at this point.
For the episode itself, the biggest moments were the meeting of Daenerys' and Cersei's forces in the dragon pit at King's Landing, the questionable conflict between Sansa and Arya (and Littlefinger), and the continued trickle of information regarding Jon's parentage. The former provides us with a number of exciting interactions, from the Hound and the Mountain (which teases Cleganebowl) to the reunion of Jaime and Brienne and Podrick and Tyrion. There's also a surprise sit down between Cersei and Tyrion, which the showrunners confirm involved the former purposefully revealing her pregnancy to the latter. The plot involving Cersei's new child is one likely to be more layered than it appears, and it should play a big role in season 8.
When it comes to Jon's parentage, the audience has known most of this information for awhile. In the showrunners eyes, the benefit of revealing it the way they did was to merely contrast it with the relationship between Jon and his aunt and highlight how messy things will become next season. It's a foregone conclusion that's been spelled out all season, but it certainly takes what could be a happy moment and reminds the audience that it's fraught with misery and complications. Not the least of which is that Jon is actually the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, something that could drive a further wedge between him and his aunt/lover.
Finally, there's the attack on the Wall. While this has been brewing all season, it's really been in motion since the beginning of the show. Ever since the White Walkers appeared, the threat of them somehow getting past the Wall has been all but a certainty. With their acquisition of Viserion last week, the final piece of the puzzle was in place for the army of the dead to eradicate the only barrier keeping them out of Westeros. Naturally, all of next year's political and incestuous intrigue will pale in comparison to the coming doom from the North. Still, it's clear that both Jon and Dany's arc and the machinations of Cersei and Euron will continue to disrupt what should be a unified front of the living against the dead.