WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The internet is ablaze with theories about who will prevail in this game. Stephen King reckons it will be Tyrion. Popular opinion leans towards Sansa given her “what if there is someone else - someone better?” line. But what about that old smokey Gendry, whose proposal was knocked back by a suddenly saucy Arya and who some believe is the only legitimate son of Robert Baratheon and Cersei.
Or, will it be as I explained to the person who once asked me how Sons of Anarchy ended: Pretty much everyone dies.
Oh no they’re making us watch a sobbing Brienne again. That broke me. And the flashback finishes with a seething Dany, who has devolved in the eyes of some as just another entitled white woman. But her will has certainly been steeled by the murder of her loyal wingwoman, Missandaei.
That machiavellian Lord Varys appears to be dobbing. Is he writing a letter proclaiming the true identity of Jon Snow? Martha comes in to tell him “she” won’t eat again. “The greater the risk, the greater the reward,” he reminds her. “She” is Dany.
Outside Varys is telling Jon that he must rule. “What I tell you now is true. you will rule wisely and well while she …”
“She … is my queen,” Jon snaps, cutting him off. Tyrion skulks in to see Dany in her self-imposed exile.
She asks if Jon Snow has betrayed her. Tyrion says no! It was Varys.
But she reiterates: if Jon hadn’t told anyone like she’d asked, nobody would know. Girlfriend is displeased — with Tyrion, too.
Back in Varys’ chambers, he burns the note, takes off his rings and … apparently prepares himself for execution. Oh. There’s Grey Worm at the door. He marches him outside. They face Daenerys and Jon. “It was me.” Tyrion tells him. “I hope I deserve this. Truly I do. I hope I’m wrong,” Varys says of his fears about Daenerys' rule before Drogon snarls and gnashes his teeth and then vomits fire onto him.
Oh cute. We cut straight to another fire, this one in Daenerys' chambers. She’s fingering Missandaei’s collar — her only possession. Grey Worm tosses it symbolically into the fire before making way for Jon Snow.
Dany’s all like “come on mate I told you not to tell anyone we're related."
She’s sad because everyone loves Jon. “I don’t have love here. I only have fear.”
“I love you and you will always be my queen,” Jon promises.
“Is that all I am to you? Your queen?” She kisses his face but he pulls away. A woman scorned.
Tyrion begs Daenerys not to torch King’s Landing and slay innocents but she is determined. Tyrion reckons Cersei’s supporters will abandon her if they know the war is lost. Give them the chance to surrender, he begs. “If you hear them ringing the bells, call off the attack.”
She’s off Tyrion, too, since Jaime has abandoned the good fight. “Next time you fail me will be the last time you fail me.” This looks like setting up a final stand off between Daenerys and Tyrion.
Jon and Tyrion sail to base camp.
“Ey oop. Where you goin?” a soldier says to Arya. “I’m Arya Stark. I’m going to kill Queen Cersei.” Awesome.
Tyrion attempts to speak Dothraki. “I want to eat the skull keeper,” he says. But he actually wants to see the prisoner. The prisoner is Jaime. Tyrion convinces him to find Cersei and flee — escape through the Red Keep and out to the beach where a boat will be waiting and sail off to drink pina coladas and make love at midnight in the dunes at the cape till the end of time. Tyrion unshackles him and they share a moving, presumably final, moment together.
“If it weren’t for you I never would have survived my childhood. You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster. You were all I had.” And they hug. There’s lots of tears.
At KL they are arming the giant scorpion crossbows and urging all the people inside. Somehow Arya and The Hound wander through. Jaime’s in too, just before they lock the gates.
Outside the walls some dude on a white horse stands in front of the nicely groomed and frocked up soldiers, who are staring down the decidedly manky-looking motley crew across the ditch. Cersei-with-the-bad-hair surveys her kingdom and contemplates victory. Little Martha and her mum get locked out of another gate. Jaime, too. “Soldier!” he cries, waving his golden hand. To no avail. Lucky he knows the joint. So he’s off to find Cersei.
Euron looks to the sky. It’s Dany on her dragon And just like that she takes out half the fleet. They dodge another steel arrow. And burn more ships. The Scorpions aren’t exactly quick to load. Before they can fire they are on fire.
Meanwhile the soldiers are having a stare off. There is an explosion in the distance. Horses neigh. They know what’s up. A giant fire ball bursts through the gates and takes out Cersei's troops. This is hectic. Jon and the Unsullied ride in and slice through Cersei's men. Drogon keeps torching all in his sight. Cersei seems oblivious. and then a flash of recognition on her face as she sees smoke, and a dragon.
“All we need is one good shot,” she tells Qyburn, who has bad news. “The Scorpions have all been destroyed … The Iron Fleet is burning, the gates have been breached.”
“The Red Keep has never fallen. It won’t fall today," she insists. That seems a little hopeful rn. Inside the walls there is a stand-off. Cersei’s soldiers seem to know they’re screwed.
The dragon lands and roars. And they lay down their swords. Jon looks a little relieved as there is a progressive “clang” of swords being dropped.
“RING THE BELLS” the people cry repeatedly.
Dany and Cersei have a long distance stare off. Tyrion stares at the bell. And it rings.
This all seemed too easy. Dany grunts and takes off to find Cersei and burn a few thousand soldiers innocents in her path.
A man in mourning, Grey Worm has gone rogue. Suddenly the fight is back on. This is turning into the carnage Tyrion predicted.
Ser Davos is herding innocents to safety while the guys go fully sick. One slices a woman’s throat. It has all gone horribly wrong. He puts a sword through one of his own men who was brutalising a woman.
Drogon belches fire onto one of the turrets. And another.
At Jaime and Cersei’s proposed meeting spot Euron stumbles ashore and he challenges Jaime to a fight.
“If I win I will bring your head to Cersei so you can kiss her one last time,” Euron snarls.
That golden fist is quite handy in a fight. Oh hang on. Jaime has been knifed.
Is that a tear? Yes, Cersei is crying as Qyburn tells her the Unsullied have breached the gates of the Red Keep.
Meanwhile Jaime musters enough strength to plunge a sword into Euron. “I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister” he reckons, with a smile on his bloody dial. Nong.
At King’s Landing the Hound tells Arya to go home or she’ll die.
“Sandor,” she says, using his real name. “Thank you.”
Cersei tries to take shelter as the Red Keep crumbles around her. And here is The Hound! “Hello big brother,” he says to the Mountain, Gregor. This enduring case of sibling rivalry is about to get very ugly. Qyburn gets tossed aside. Another one down. Cersei just wanders off as these two only have eyes for each other.
Cersei finds a hidey hole downstairs. And there’s Jaime. They embrace. He sniffs her hair. “You’re bleeding,” she says. More tears.
Arya stumbles through the carnage, getting trampled by the stampede of terrified people. The brothers continue their grudge match, like it’s all about them. The hound stabs and laughs as his brother chokes him and gouges his eyes out. But still manages to land a knife in his brother’s skull. Which he looks about to pull out. “F…ing die!” he yells. In exasperation The Hound lunges at his brother and pushes him off the edge, going with him.
Down on the streets the fighting continues. Jon and Davos exchange knowing glances. “Fall back,” Jon tells the soldiers as Drogon flies overhead.
Now we cut to the aftermath. Arya is dead. No! Oh no she’s not. She’s badly hurt though. She finds Martha and her mum and drags them out to find a safer place. Oh dear. That was a mistake. There is more fire and Arya could actually be dead this time.
Cersei is sobbing to Jaime. “I want our baby to live. Don’t let me die, Jaime. Not like this.”
“LOOK AT ME,” he tells her. “Nothing else matters. Only us.” Ugh. Jaime. You pathetic dog. They hug as the walls fall on them.
Oh sweet lord Arya rises again. Martha and her mum are petrified in a death embrace like Pompeii relics but somehow Arya didn't burn. A white horse appears amid the ashes. "Sshh," she says to the horse. And off she gallops.