Warning: SPOILERS ahead for the Game of Thrones season 7 finale
Although Game of Thrones season seven may not have concluded with a Red Wedding or Battle of the Bastards-style bloodbath, "The Dragon and the Wolf" was nevertheless packed with important moments and huge amounts of story development. From The Night King burning down The Wall with his undead dragon to Theon Greyjoy finally mustering up the courage to rescue his sister from the sadistic Euron, there was plenty to keep viewers talking as the long wait until season 8 begins.
Perhaps the most significant moment in the entire feature-length episode however, came when Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly finally confirmed beyond all doubt that Jon Snow is the legitimate child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark - a revelation that came to light just as Jon was bending a bit more than the knee with Daenerys Targaryen, his Aunt.
While viewers were still trying to decide whether to feel pleased that two of Thrones' most popular protagonists had finally got together or disgusted at the incestuous nature of their relationship, the episode quickly cut to an ominous shot of Tyrion Lannister - Dany's Hand - lurking mysteriously outside his Queen's chamber. The meaning behind this scene wasn't immediately clear. If it was Jorah Mormont skulking about then jealousy would be the obvious reason, but Tyrion has been nothing more or less than a loyal servant to Daenerys since their first meeting, and has only ever shown fondness for Jon. Undoubtedly, the shot possessed some deeper meaning other than Tyrion trying to catch an earful of action but could Tyrion really betray Dany and Jon in season 8? And what possible reason could he have for doing so?
A Realignment With The Lannisters
In the centerpiece of "The Dragon and the Wolf," Daenerys Targaryen and her allies held an audience with Cersei at King's Landing in an attempt to forge a truce whilst the threat of The Night King was dealt with. Although the presentation of a Wight seemed to initially spur the Queen into accepting, Jon's refusal to accept her condition that the King in the North remained neutral nixed the deal.
In a last ditch effort to gain something from the meeting, Tyrion bravely went to speak to his sister and later re-emerged having apparently negotiated the best possible deal - an alliance with Cersei to fight the White Walkers with no strings attached. Cersei later revealed to Jaime that this was all an act, but was Tyrion also in on the ruse?
Crucially, viewers only saw the first half of the conversation between Tyrion and Cersei, with the exchange being cut off after Tyrion surmises that his sister his pregnant. The episode didn't reveal why Cersei had a change of heart, or indeed how Tyrion managed to gain such favorable terms, and when considered alongside that ominous shot on the boat, there seems to be a definite possibility that in his chat with Cersei, Tyrion actually switched allegiance back over to the Lannisters.
If this proves to be the case, the question of why Tyrion would do such a thing is immediately raised. The character has been fiercely loyal to Daenerys, feels nothing but contempt for Cersei and is considered a traitorous criminal deserving of death by his sister in return. The answer could reside in Cersei's pregnancy. During their conversation, Tyrion revealed that despite his anger towards the Lannister family - and his father in particular - Tyrion deeply regretted that harm came to his nieces and nephews and he didn't even argue with Cersei's assessment that Tyrion's actions had indirectly caused her children's deaths.
With the final moment viewers see of this scene being Tyrion discovering Cersei is pregnant, it's feasible that the outcast of the Lannister family is seeking to make amends for the deaths of Myrcella and Tommen by protecting the life and ensuring the future of Cersei's unborn child. After all, if Tyrion truly felt regret for the deaths of the Lannister children, helping one to survive would be the best possible apology, even if that meant betraying his more recent allies.
Interestingly, this would also reaffirm Cersei's advantage over Dany in the wake of Jaime's defection. With the Kingslayer heading north to Winterfell, it's a sure bet that he'll inform Jon and Dany that Cersei's promise was a lie, thus resetting the political landscape of Game of Thrones back to square one. However, if Tyrion was secretly working for Cersei, the Queen at King's Landing would regain her tactical advantage.