灰蟲子率領的無垢者，列隊在君臨之外，在牆上，詹姆·蘭尼斯特 和波隆正討論 discuss how the latter is unnerved by the idea of soldiers without genitalia, as he's been around enough soldiers to know why they fight, and the idea that of soldiers who fight for no promise of sex is alien to him. As they talk, hordes of 多斯拉克人 ride in, a stark contrast to the disiplined 無垢者; but the two ancient enemies are united in cause today.
The group arrives and are escorted to the 龍穴, the location of the summit. Tyrion reconnects with Bronn, who concedes it is good to see him again. The pair greet 波德瑞克·派恩, who had arrived earlier with 塔斯的布蕾妮. As Pod goes off with Bronn, Brienne hangs back to talk with Sandor. They both acknowledge that they only fought to protect Arya, and she tells him that Arya doesn't need looking out for anymore, which seems to bring a smile to his face.
At the 龍穴, the various factions meet: 瑟曦·蘭尼斯特, Jaime, 科本 and Euron in the middle, Jon, Davos and Brienne to the left, and Daenerys's court to the right. When Cersei demands to know where her rival is, the Dragon Queen makes a suitably dramatic entrance on 卓耿's back, with 雷哥 flying overhead. Sandor, for the first time in years, comes face-to-helmet with his brother, and wonders what exactly has happened to him, before leaving to retrieve the wight. Sandor ultimately muses however that what happened to Gregor is irrelevant, and promises what's left of his brother that he still intends to end Gregor. Euron tries to posture, threatening to kill 阿莎·葛雷喬伊 unless Theon yields to him and deriding Tyrion's dwarfism; when Tyrion and Theon retort to his taunts with their own, Euron angrily remarks Tyrion would have been killed at birth in the 鐵群島. A furious Jaime orders Euron to sit down, and when he disregards the warning, Cersei reiterates it; a subdued Euron returns to his seat
Getting the meeting on track, Tyrion, Daenerys and Jon try to warn Cersei of the 異鬼 coming for them all, but she dismisses it as a ploy to trick her into lowering her defences. To prove their claims, Sandor returns with the crate containing the wight, which is worryingly silent. Clegane gets the crate open, but there is still no movement. He finally gives the crate a massive kick, which prompts the enraged wight to launch itself out and charge toward the nearest target - Cersei, appropriately enough. Visibly horrified, the Lannister queen and her allies recoil in horror as Sandor pulls the wight back on a chain, its claws inches from Cersei's face, and manages to slice the creature in half when it turns to attack him. The assembled look on in shock as the wight's upper half still moves around trying to kill something. Jon steps forward and picks up the wight's discarded hand, using a torch provided by Davos to demonstrate how fire can be used to stop them. He then uses a 龍晶 dagger to the heart to end the wight's upper half, bluntly stating that if they don't win the coming war, such a fate awaits every person in 維斯特洛. A horror-struck Jaime asks how many wights are coming, and Daenerys tells him the army of the dead numbers at least 100,000. Euron asks if the wights can swim; at Jon's negative assertion, Euron declares that he has been over the whole world and has never been terrified until now. He tells Daenerys to retreat to her 龍石島 while he returns to 鐵群島, and to come find him when they are the last factions left alive.
Seemingly convinced, Cersei immediately offers terms: satisfied that Daenerys is concerned with the Army of the Dead, Cersei will not withdraw her troops, but will guarantee that they will not hinder the Targaryen or Northern forces in any way during the battle against the 異鬼. She refuses to deal with Daenerys at all, however, and calls on 瓊恩·雪諾, as 北境之王 and Ned Stark's son, to keep the truce and keep both Cersei and Daenerys in line. Jon thanks Cersei for the compliment, but says that he cannot serve two queens - and reveals to all assembled that he has already declared for Daenerys, infuriating all three Lannisters present. Declaring that there will be no truce if it is just her and Daenerys, Cersei storms out, content to let the Starks and Targaryens battle the undead alone and then deal with whoever emerges victorious from that conflict. Desperate, Brienne grabs Jaime and begs him to reconsider, as what they've seen goes beyond family, Houses, and thrones. Jaime doesn't disagree, but walks away, not knowing what he can say to convince his sister.
Meanwhile, Dany and Tyrion (who never knew about Jon's change of heart in the first place) rip into Jon over his ill-advised action, suggesting that learning to lie just a little might be a good skill. Jon responds by arguing that while such an attitude may have gotten his father killed, if no one is willing to speak the truth, then everyone's word is worthless, and lies will not help them win the coming fight. Tyrion reluctantly decides that he will goand try to talk some reason into Cersei alone. Dany and Jon protests, fearing Cersei may have him killed out of spite, but Tyrion insists it's the only way if they don't want everything they've done to be for nothing and bids them wait.
In the 紅堡, Tyrion, escorted by Ser Gregor, meets Jaime, who confirms that he believes the threat of the Dead, but has been unable to convince Cersei. Tyrion enters Cersei's office, and the two trade savage barbs, Cersei blaming his murder of Tywin for the series of events that led to her younger children's deaths and the destruction of 蘭尼斯特家族's future. Tyrion finally screams that he loved 彌賽菈·拜拉席恩 and 托曼·拜拉席恩 almost as much as Cersei and that he regrets what happened to them, and that if Cersei genuinely blamed him for their deaths, then Gregor should just kill him right then and there. A tense moment passes... in which Cersei does not give the order. Relieved, Tyrion heads straight for the wine. They continue their discussion until Tyrion realizes that Cersei is pregnant.
Back at the 龍穴, Daenerys and Jon discuss the dragons and how her ancestors caged them, and in turn become less impressive as the power of the dragons waned. Jon questions Daenerys's assertion of infertility, particularly when she admits that she never got an informed opinion about her condition from anyone except Mirri Maz Duur herself. Their conversation is interrupted by the return of all three Lannisters. Cersei has agreed to work with Daenerys, but not by keeping her troops back: the Lannister army will march north to fight alongside the Starks and Targaryens.
After the enemy delegation has left, an eager and relieved Jaime meets with his commanders to discuss the logistics of moving the army north. Cersei enters the map room and asks what he is doing. Dismissing the commanders, she tells Jaime he really is the stupidest Lannister. Shocked, Jaime listens as Cersei explains that Euron has not abandoned her, but has gone to 厄斯索斯 to ferry the 黃金團 back to 維斯特洛. She intentionally leaked her pregnancy to Tyrion so he would believe her, and now she intends to allow their enemies to exhaust themselves against the Army of the Dead, then have the 黃金團 clean up what's left of whoever wins in the North. Jaime is furious that his sister and Euron plotted this behind his back, but Cersei angrily accuses him of plotting with Tyrion in favour of her enemies. Reeling from the accusation, Jaime incredulously reminds her that whoever wins the conflict in the North will turn their attention south afterwards; either the 異鬼 to kill them, or the Starks and Targaryens will take their revenge over the fact Cersei betrayed and left them to die; Cersei is indifferent. Finally seeing his sister for what she is- an insane narcissist content to leave 維斯特洛 to die if she can remain Queen, Jaime disgustedly declares that he, at least, will fight to honour the pledge he made. When he tries to leave, he finds his way blocked by the Mountain. Cersei furiously insists that she will kill him if he tries to leave as a traitor, but Jaime calls her bluff and storms out, and Cersei does not give the order.
Alone, Jaime rides out of 君臨. Realizing how conspicuous he is, he nervously pulls a glove over his golden hand. Surprised by the sudden appearance of a drop of water on the glove, Jaime looks up... and sees a blanket of snow descending upon 君臨. As Jaime rides away, the snow begins to cover the houses, the streets, and even Cersei's map in the 紅堡.
Winter has come at last to the south.
珊莎·史塔克 discusses the potential threat of her sister 艾莉亞·史塔克 with 培提爾·貝里席. Baelish tries to manipulate her as usual, encouraging her to think as he does and ask herself what Arya's worst possible motivation is. Seemingly overcome with horror at the thought that Arya would want to take her face and reign as Lady of 臨冬城, it seems that Sansa decides to do something about it, to Baelish's quiet delight.
After a long time reflecting on her course of action on the battlements, Sansa orders Arya be brought to the great hall. In the Hall, Sansa and 布蘭·史塔克 are seated at the great table, the hall lined with soldiers and a few key lords such as 約恩·羅伊斯 and, of course, Baelish. Arya is brought in and asks sardonically if she "really wants to do this". Sansa says it's not about what she wants, it's about justice, and them proceeds to rattle off a list of crimes perpetuated against 史塔克家族... and asks Baelish how he intends to answer the charges. At this, all heads turn ominously towards Baelish. Thrown, Littlefinger tries to figure out what is going on. Sansa reveals his murder of 萊莎·徒利 and his use of Lysa to murder 瓊恩·艾林. She uses his own words against him and accuses him (quite correctly) of orchestrating the conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters that has ultimately engulfed the 七大王國 for the better part of the last decade, including the betrayal and death of her father 艾德·史塔克. Baelish tries to deny this, but Bran uses his 綠之視野 to recall the exact words Baelish said as he held the knife to Ned's throat. Swiftly realizing that he has lost control of the situation and the trial is just a drumhead, Baelish demands that Lord Royce take him, the Lord Protector of the Vale to safety; Bronze Yohn refuses with a flat "I think not". In desperation, Baelish falls to his knees and pathetically pleads for his life, insisting yet again how much he loved 凱特琳·史塔克 and how much he now loves Sansa, but the Lady of 臨冬城 sentences him to death. A delighted Arya carries out the sentence, reaching in and easily slitting Littlefinger's throat with the same 瓦雷利亞鋼 dagger that lay at the heart of his plots.
On the battlements, Sansa and Arya discuss Littlefinger's plots and how much they, as people, have changed. Arya admits that she wouldn't have been able to survive what Sansa did, although her sister disagrees, saying Arya is the strongest person she knows. The sisters muse on another of their father's stories, about how lone wolves die in the winter, but wolf packs survive, and realize the truth of his words as the Starks have at last been reunited.
Some time later, 山姆威爾·塔利 and 吉莉 arrive at 臨冬城. Upon hearing that Bran is back, Sam calls on him, recalling their meeting at the 長夜堡 some years earlier. Bran is glad to see Sam, but is surprised to find him here. When Sam reiterates his loyalty to Jon, Bran, unable to keep it a secret any longer, reveals the truth of Jon's origins: he was born to 雷加·坦格利安 and 萊安娜·史塔克 at a Tower in Dorne, and is not a Snow at all, but a Sand. Sam realizes that that isn't true either, recalling the entry from High Septon Maynard's private journal about annulling Rhaegar's marriage. Bran expressed his doubts, but Sam reiterates the private nature of the journal and encourages Bran to use 綠之視野 to confirm it. To his own surprise, Bran easily finds the wedding, where he sees a clearly happy Lyanna wedding Rhaegar in a 七神信仰 ceremony before a 心樹. Warging forward to the 極樂塔, Bran finally hears Lyanna's dying words. Now piecing the truth together, Bran declares that Rhaegar never raped Lyanna. She loved him and ran off with him, and bore him a son: 伊耿·坦格利安(雷加之子). His voice breaks a little as he realises that Robert's Rebellion, the deaths of his grandfather and uncle, and the entire reign of 拜拉席恩家族 of 君臨 was all for nothing and built on a lie.
In the Chamber of the Painted Table, Daenerys and her court discuss logistics. It will take the Dothraki a fortnight to reach 臨冬城, and the plan is to have Jon and the 無垢者 cross the sea by ship and meet them at 白港. 喬拉·莫爾蒙 points out that the North is not really safer for her than anywhere else, as someone with a memory of Robert's Rebellion and an idea of becoming a hero could easily take her out with a single crossbow bolt. He suggests she fly to 臨冬城 to avoid any potential unpleasantness. Jon counters that Daenerys ride with them so that the North can see her as a liberator and ally. After a moment's consideration, Dany decides to go with him on the road. Jorah, suspecting a different reason for her decision, throws her a look, which she notices but avoids.
Some time after setting sail, Jon knocks on the door of Daenerys's cabin. She answers and meets his gaze without words. After a moment, he enters, and, with their eyes still locked, shuts the door. Unaware of the truth of Jon's past, they finally give into the burgeoning passion between them and have sex.
Unknown to both of them, Tyrion had also been on his way to speak with his queen, and had seen Jon enter the cabin. Silently devastated that Daenerys has made another mistake, Tyrion walks away.
托蒙德 and 貝里·唐德利恩 review the defenses atop the Wall at 東海望. 托蒙德 remarks that the 烏鴉 say he'll get used to the height, but he admits it'll probably be a while. Suddenly, the pair see movement at the edge of the 鬼影森林. A 異鬼 emerges atop an undead horse, followed shortly by a horde of wight. More and more 異鬼 emerge as the Night Watch's horns sound their alarm. The army stops some distance from the foot of the Wall, however, and 托蒙德 looks relieved since they can't hope to get through. But then all on the Wall stop in horror as they hear a very familiar sound; a screeching roar mixed with the heavy thumping of huge wings beating the air.
Suddenly, the undead 韋賽利昂 swoops down, with the 夜王 riding on his back. With a burst of sinister blue flame, Viserion demolishes some of the scouting platforms atop the Wall... and then turns his flames against the Wall itself. Realising they have no chance against such a foe, 托蒙德 shouts for them all to run and the 守夜人, and the Wildlings desperately try to evacuate as ice melts and rock crumbles. 托蒙德 and Beric manage to make it farther west along the Wall itself before the entire eastern extremity of the Wall collapses... leaving plenty of space between the Wall and the sea for the Army of the Dead to cross. A road now open to them, the 異鬼 direct the wights to begin their march into the North.
The Great War has begun.
- Main: The Dragon and the Wolf/Appearances
- 雷加·坦格利安王子 (in vision)
- High Septon (Robert's Rebellion) (in vision)
- 20 of 22 starring cast members appear in this episode.
- Starring cast members Carice van Houten (梅麗珊卓) and Joe Dempsie (詹德利) are not credited and do not appear in this episode.
- The episode title is a reference to the sigils of 坦格利安家族 (a three-headed dragon) and 史塔克家族 (a 冰原狼). Previous episodes have followed a similar theme in nomenclature: "The Wolf and the Lion" in Season 1, referencing the sigils of Houses Stark and 蘭尼斯特, and "The Lion and the Rose" in Season 4, referencing the sigils of Houses Lannister and Tyrell.
- Cersei and Jaime refer to bringing sellswords from 厄斯索斯, making this only the seventh episode to refer to the eastern continent by name in seven TV seasons (it is so large, comparable to Eurasia, that most characters just refer to the overall region of it they are heading to: "the 自由貿易城邦s", "奴隸灣", etc.). In this case, it isn't entirely necessary, as the 黃金團 is based largely in the 自由貿易城邦s region - although Euron could have to pick them up from somewhere further east.
- With a runtime of 79 minutes, 43 seconds, this episode is the longest episode of the television series thus far.
- In the previous seasons, at least one king was killed per season: Season 1 - Robert; Season 2 - Renly; Season 3 - Robb; Season 4 - Joffrey; Season 5 - Mance Rayder and Stannis; Season 6 - Balon and Tommen. No king was killed in this season.
- The 龍穴 appears for the first time in this episode. Although explicitly stated to one have been the home of the Targaryen dragons, the structure is clearly too small to hold full-size dragons, in chambers that ringed the inside of the arena. In the books, it is enormous, easily large enough to have held forty dragons (although there were never more than 20 alive at any time during the reign of the Targaryens). This is the result of impracticalities in filming: the crew had the opportunity to film in an actual Roman amphitheater for the scene, and went with the realism of a real ruin rather than try and CG something that would have been the right size, but might have looked fake. Notice that Drogon - who isn't even as large as some of the centuries-old dragons like Balerion - can barely fit inside the arena with his wings fully extended. Nor can he possibly fit in any of the entrances - in the books, the main entrance is big enough for thirty knights to ride through abreast on their horses.
- In contrast, when the TV series depicted 達茲納克競技場 in Season 5, the massive gladiatorial arena in 彌林, it did film in a real Roman ruin - but then used CGI extensions to make it appear bigger than it actually was in real life. Compare the size of the 龍穴 depicted on-screen here with the size of ?彌林's arena, which could plausibly have contained an adult dragon (Drogon was a juvenile at the time).
- It might be waved aside that in the TV continuity, the chambers for the dragons are all on the outside of the structure, and they would just fly in through an open roof for public events, and the arena is some sort of top section above the rest - but this would be fan theorization. The TV writers have made no attempt to explain the discrepancy.
- It is also mentioned in dialogue that the dragons that grew up in the pit never reached the full size of the others, but were increasingly stunted and sickly - but that still doesn't explain how Tyrion says that Balerion could reside inside of it.
- It's vaguely possible to wave aside that the 龍穴 is, of course, in ruins, and what we're seeing here are just some foundations, thus when it was whole it appeared much larger - if the remaining huge wall on one side is an indication.
- Daenerys laments that keeping the dragons restrained in the 龍穴 made them grow stunted and sickly. Other characters have previously mentioned that the Targaryen dragons grew smaller over the generations like this, until the last one left a skull not much bigger than a dog's. Many characters do think this in the novels, but it has never been confirmed as the exact reason the dragons dwindled. Daenerys has a conversation with Jorah and Barristan Selmy about this in the novels debating this: Jorah scoffs that by the same logic, men who live in small huts should give rise to a race of dwarfs, while men who live in castles should give rise to a race of giants; Selmy answers that "Men are men, dragons are dragons". The far more pragmatic answer is probably that, much like their Targaryen masters, generations of heavy incest severely damaged the health of later generations: all Targaryen dragons descended from only three original ones they brought to 維斯特洛 (siblings mated with each other, aunts with nephews, etc.). Some suspect another theory, that the 學士 secretly started poisoning hatchlings whenever they could, because they champion science and abhor the magic that dragons represent.
- As the showrunners point out in the Inside the Episode video, the parley at the 龍穴 is the first time that most of the starring cast members have interacted with each other in the same scene after seven TV seasons: so many major characters appear in it, and they had to plan out reaction shots for each of them (instead of just having some them stand in the background), that it took 10 full days to film the entire sequence. The entire sequence has 17 named recurring characters in it: Cersei, Jaime, Gregor, 科本, Euron, 瓊恩·雪諾, Tyrion, Daenerys, Varys, Davos, Theon, Jorah, 彌桑黛, Sandor, Brienne, as well as (briefly) Bronn and Podrick.
- Starting in at least Season 5, the TV series defined the core of its starring cast by pay grade as specifically five actors, called "Tier A": 瓊恩·雪諾, 丹妮莉絲·坦格利安, and the three Lannister siblings (Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime). The younger Stark siblings might not have been included because they were under-aged. Nonetheless this generally matches which characters get the most POV chapters in the books (Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, etc.). Thus this scene is the absolute first time in the entire series that all five "Tier A" cast members have been in the same scene together.
- Some of the characters besides Daenerys had a few brief scenes together in the Season 1 premiere, "Winter is Coming": Jon and Theon were in the courtyard when King Robert's royal party - including Tyrion, Cersei, and Jaime - arrived at 臨冬城, but they were just in the background and didn't share any lines (Jon then didn't appear at the feast with Cersei due to his bastard status). Theon and Jon shared a few more scenes in the first episode (the execution, finding the 冰原狼). Similarly, Tyrion had separate scenes with Jon and then Theon before departing 臨冬城. Jon also had a very brief scene with Jaime at 臨冬城, which the producers explained in the TV commentary that they put in because they realized these two core characters wouldn't meet again for many seasons.
- If examined closely it can be seen that the Dothraki who accompany the party to the 龍穴 are wearing Lannister clothing under there usual dress. The clothing has likely been obtained from the Lannister soldiers killed during the Battle of the Goldroad. This would also indicate a steady drop in temperature and the Dothraki unused to these colder climates would naturally have scavenged warmer clothing from their slain enemies.
- The special effects for the undead 屍鬼 are greatly improved for the one displayed at the 龍穴. The novels make this more clear, but every part of a wight will continue to move, even after it has been severed from its main body - i.e. a severed hand will continue to slowly crawl around to try to claw someone to death. Understandably, this would have been difficult to emphasize in large scale fight scenes, with dozens of severed wight limbs still crawling at the 守夜人. The display of the wight in the 龍穴 puts extra focus on getting this detail across: the wight's severed hands keeps moving, after it has been cut in half through the waist, the upper half of the wight continues crawling around, and if you pay close attention, even the severed legs of the wight continue to thrash around.
- In pop culture terms, wights do not follow "zombie" rules like from The Walking Dead, but deadite rules from The Evil Dead. Destroying the brain does nothing - wights were shown at Hardhome being shot through the head with arrows, or outright decapitated, to no effect. The only way to fully stop one with a sword is total body dismemberment of every joint. Fire is more effective - not just because it destroys their entire body, but because wights are extremely flammable, as if their flesh was made of pitch (even a few sparks will set them totally ablaze and then burn away to nothing).
- Daenerys repeats her famous line, "Zaldrīzes buzdari iksos daor", providing a direct translation for Jon: "A dragon is not a slave". She previously said this in Season 3's "And Now His Watch Is Ended" when she declared to the slave-masters of 阿斯塔波 that she wouldn't sell Drogon, right before burning them all to death. "Buzdari" is actually the 阿斯塔波i Low Valyrian word for "slave"; the High Valyrian is "dohaeriros". Daenerys was likely defaulting to the term she was most used to using, rather than trying to say something profound. Given she had to translate for Jon, the point is moot anyway.
- Jon asks if Daenerys has confirmed her infertility with someone other than the witch who cursed her in the first place. He asks half-seriously and half-humorously, since it is indeed precisely the sort of thing someone would get a second opinion on. In the books, Daenerys believes she is infertile, but in her final chapter at the end of the fifth novel, while stranded in the Dothraki Sea again (corresponding to the Season 5 finale), she starts passing blood again - which she interprets as being sick, but which might mean that she has started Flowering again and her reproductive organs have recovered.
- Multiple lines in this episode contradict information previously established in dialogue by the TV series (which originally matched the books):
- Jon asks Tyrion how many people live in 君臨, and he responds "a million" (which Jon repeats later). In Season 3's "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", 詹姆·蘭尼斯特 stated that the population is half a million ("five hundred thousand"), which is what it is in the novels. It's possible that Tyrion was including a rough guess at how many refugees have flooded into the city during the course of the war (which is a factor), but it seems more likely that the TV writers just wanted a round number. ***Jon also responds that "one million" is more than the entire population of 北境, but co-authors of The World of Ice and Fire sourcebook estimated that the population of the North is actually around 3 to 4 million. Of course, it's possible to explain that 瓊恩·雪諾 himself isn't a demographer and might simply be mistaken.
- Cersei states that the 黃金團 has "20,000 men". When they were 先民tioned in Season 4, however, Davos and Stannis stated that they have 10,000 men - which is accurate to the novels. It might be waved aside that Cersei is simply in error, but this would also be fan theorization that the TV writers themselves didn't address.
- Cersei's line was possibly based on a line from the sixth novel: in the "Theon I" sample chapter, after receiving the fund he needs from 泰楚·奈斯托斯, Stannis orders Ser Justin Massey to travel to 布拉佛斯 and hire sellswords, preferably the 黃金團, unless they are already under contract (which they are) - at least 20,000 men. It is doubful, though, if Ser Justin can make it to 布拉佛斯 and back in time with reinforcements. Yet what Stannis meant was 20,000 men including the 黃金團, who can only make up about half of that number.
- It is confusing why, at the beginning of the episode, 波隆 remarks on how pleasant it is when soldiers call him "my lord" now - as if this is a new development. He is still just a landless knight, but was knighted at the beginning of Season 3 (knights are sometimes generically addressed as "my lord"). Later with Tyrion, Bronn remarks on how he actually hasn't gotten the full reward he wanted, of a castle and a marriage to a noblewoman so he can join the ranks of the nobility. In the novels by this point, Bronn has actually already married Lollys Stokeworth - who was introduced in Season 5, only for the Lannisters to call off the betrothal because they still needed Bronn's help. It's unclear if there was supposed to be some sort of deleted scene in Season 7 explaining that he recently has been allowed to marry Lollys, which was then cut for time, or if this is purely meant to refer to his status as a knight. Bryan Cogman did mention in passing that there were more Bronn scenes intended for previous episodes this season that were cut for time, which seems to support this somewhat.
- Cersei states that the 黃金團 has men, horses, and Elephants - the first time that their use of war elephants has been mentioned in the TV continuity. Elephants are quite regularly used in Volantis and not an uncommon sight in the southern 自由貿易城邦s, imported as beasts of war.
- Tyrion says that nothing can erase the past "50 years" of bad blood between their families. Apparently he is referring to when the Mad King's reign began (rounding to a broad figure). Actually, the first two decades of the Mad King's reign were a time of peace and prosperity in the 七大王國 - because his capable 國王之手, 泰溫·蘭尼斯特, was the one really holding the realm together. While the Timeline is somewhat in flux at this point, in Season 4 the chronology was more certain, and at that point Littlefinger said that Robert's Rebellion was "20 years ago" (which is more or less accurate, as it was "17 years ago" in Season 1, and other statements give that about 3 years passed between Season 1 and Season 4).
- 桑鐸·克里岡 hasn't seen his brother 格雷果·克里岡 (or what's left of him) since he stopped him during his rampage at the Tourney of the Hand in Season 1's "The Wolf and the Lion". When Sandor eyes his brother's bizarre appearance and wonders "What have they done to you?", this introduces a meta-narrative joke the writers probably didn't intend - given that the last time Sandor saw Gregor in Season 1, he was played by a different actor (the role was recast twice since then).
- Euron's insult to Tyrion that dwarfs are killed at birth in the 鐵群島 because of their physical infirmity hasn't been mentioned in the novels - though it is stated that this is done among the 多斯拉克人, the wildlings, and in the pirate dens of the Three Sisters off the north coast of the Vale. Given that hard way of life on the 鐵群島, it's reasonable to assume they follow the same practice. As Tyrion recounted in Season 1's "The Kingsroad", most commoners throughout the 七大王國 will leave a dwarf baby out in the woods to die (because they can't work enough to sustain themselves and are just another mouth to feed), but he was spared this because he was born into a wealthy noble family.
- Euron's dialogue asking if the undead wights can swim across water - then being told they can't, and thinking the 鐵群島 are safe - raises an interesting question applicable to the novels as well. It is repeatedly stated that the 異鬼 and their undead armies are a threat to the entire world, but it is never explained how they can spread to the other continents, or even islands off the coast of 維斯特洛 like Pyke or 龍石島. While wights can't swim, they don't need to breathe either. In the books, Cotter Pyke's desperate plea for help, sent from Hardhome by messenger-raven, mentions "dead things in the water". Presumably the 異鬼 are capable of intelligently directing the wights to be ferried on ships, but this is just conjecture. As for why the 異鬼 never tried to build a fleet and sail around the Wall, apparently there was some other sort of magical restriction on them traveling south of it. Future novels will have to address this.
- Of course, since they now have an undead dragon who can fly, and perhaps two more if they win the war in the North, the 夜王 can simply fly to the other countries and kill people there to create a new army of wights and 異鬼.
- Tyrion says that Cersei tried to kill him "twice" already: the first time was when she put him on trial for killing Joffrey, but it's unclear what the second time he's referring to was. When Mandon Moore tried to kill him at the 黑水河之役, he thought Cersei might have ordered him to do it for a time, but then settled on thinking it must have been Joffrey. Maybe the second time was after he escaped to the 自由貿易城邦s and she put a price out on his head (resulting in the severed heads of several innocent dwarfs being delivered to her).
- When Jaime is discussing troop movements with the Lannister generals, he says: "The remaining forces in the Westerlands will take the River Road east. We'll meet at Lord Harroway's Town". The River Road is indeed the main east-west highway leading out of the Westerlands that an army heading east to link up with other armies from 君臨 would use. It intersects the 國王大道 near the appropriately named 十字路口客棧. After passing east from the crossroads into the mountains of the Vale, the nature of the path is so different that it becomes the Eastern Road. The Eastern Road has been mentioned by name in dialogue before, though the River Road has not (albeit it has been plainly visible on maps). Lord Harroway's Town is a large market town just upriver from the 十字路口客棧, making it a logical meeting point for armies converging from the west and east to head north.
- Jaime's final scenes leaving Cersei and 君臨 are loosely transferred from how he left her in the books - which happened much earlier, at the end of the fourth novel. Chronologically, this would have corresponded to the end of Season 5. In the books, the rift between them has begun at their first meeting after Jaime returns to 君臨; later, Tyrion reveals to Jaime that Cersei has been sleeping with other men. Throughout the first half of the fourth novel, they grow more and more distant from each other, as Jaime is disgusted by Cersei's behavior, and she treats him with contempt. Jaime travels to resolve the 奔流城之戰 (which was pushed back to Season 6), and on the way he meets Lancel, who tearfully confesses about his affair with Cersei and his part in Robert's death; only then Jaime realizes that Tyrion's last words about Cersei's promiscuity were true, and she is responsible for the murders of Robert and the previous High Septon. Since that point, he thinks about her as a treacherous slut, thinks about a way to winkle Tommen from her clutches before he becomes another Joffrey, and even contemplates if Tommen would be safer with her dead. He is also distressed by her erratic behavior which threatens their badly needed alliance with the Tyrells (which only gets worse after he leaves 君臨). In the meantime, Cersei is arrested by the Faith Militant; she is allowed to write a letter to him desperately begging that he come back to help her. At 奔流城, Jaime looks up and sees that the first light dusting of snow is falling across 河間地 - winter has truly come; after witnessing sadly the devastation that his father's bannermen left in 河間地, he becomes worried that there is not enough food for the winter. Next morning, he receives the letter from Cersei, and orders his squire to burn it; he is fully aware that Cersei is guilty of all the crimes she is charged with - high treason, adultery, fornication, incest, regicide and deicide, and has no intention to help her (the fourth novel ends on this cliffhanger image). In the next novel, he continues nonchalantly to Raventree Hall, aware that Cersei may be executed before he returns to 君臨 - and does not care at all. The TV series moved around or delayed much of this, so that Jaime went to 多恩 in Season 5 (which doesn't happen in the novels), then went to 奔流城 in Season 6, and then even stayed with Cersei after she killed so many innocent people, including several of their kin and all the Tyrells, at the Destruction of the 貝勒大聖堂. Loosely paralleling the book events, however, the reason he finally turns against her in the TV series is because she intends to betray badly needed allies instead of seeing the bigger picture they need to survive, and she also isn't including him in her plans anymore.
- When Cersei rants at Jamie about his treason against her, she claims that he committed treason against her by meeting with Tyrion with secret without her consent. This notably contradicts even her own earlier statements. When Jamie first told her about the meeting with Tyrion, she asks if Jamie will punish Bronn, given that he set up a meeting with Tyrion without Jamie's knowledge or consent, thus admitting that Jamie had no role in it. Cersei's statements in this episode, however, reveal how openly deranged and tyrannical she has become: She is openly accusing Jamie of treason, despite herself admitting Jamie actually hadn't been aware of the meeting beforehand. This happens frequently in the later novels: Cersei starts delusionally blaming everyone around her for things which at best physically couldn't be their fault, and at worst, are things she is actually directly responsible for.
- Cersei blaming Tyrion for the deaths of her three children is also spurious. She blames that their other enemies would never have moved against her children like that if Tyrion hadn't killed Tywin - Tywin was still alive when Joffrey died, though Tyrion seems to only regret the deaths of Myrcella and Tommen when he says he loved "the children" and didn't want them dead.
- Even then, Tommen's suicide was the direct result of Cersei blowing up the Great Sept, and her maneuverings against the Tyrells (which including re-creating the Faith Militant). Yet Tommen married 瑪格麗·提利爾 while Tywin was still alive, at his insistence. The Faith Militant might not have been as bold in their coup if Tywin was still alive, but Cersei alone was responsible for re-arming them, as a counter to the Tyrells - and the Tyrells were already undermining the Lannisters even before Tywin's death, due to becoming dependent on their money and food supplies.
- As for Myrcella, the Dornish (in the TV series) killed her to provoke a war with the Lannisters as revenge for 奧柏倫·馬泰爾's death, fighting for Tyrion against Tywin's champion Gregor - a scenario Tyrion couldn't have wanted, as he wanted to win the trial by combat. She is the only one of the three that might vaguely be a result of Tyrion killing Tywin (arguing that the Dornish never would have tried to provoke a war out of fear of their father). In the books, Myrcella is non-fatally wounded by an assassination attempt in Dorne, and Cersei irrationally believes that Tyrion must have been directly responsible, simply as petty revenge against her (even though this wouldn't make much sense).
- This episode apparently establishes that at least some of Arya's bizarre behavior towards Sansa was indeed a ruse to fool Littlefinger. During the actual trial, Arya joins in the accusations by pointing out that Littlefinger lied to their mother Catelyn that the 瓦雷利亞鋼 dagger belonged to 提利昂·蘭尼斯特, in order to stir up conflict between the Starks and Lannisters. She had no way of knowing this beforehand, so apparently either Bran or Sansa told her off-screen. It remains unclear at what point earlier in the season that Arya started play-acting that she was turning against Sansa, if at all - or if the TV writers ever consciously decided when.
- What little answer may be gleaned comes from the Inside the Episode video, in which showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss explain how excited they were to build up tension for the audience that Arya and Sansa might actually want to kill each other - apparently with no thought to how plausible this was.
- A mistake reviewers sometimes make is assuming that the final version of the episode is exactly what was intended, when behind the scenes information has revealed that prior episodes have often gone through multiple rewrites, disagreements between writers and directors, etc. sometimes resulting in incongruous scenes. Judging from the showrunners comments, it appears that the original intention was to depict Arya and Sansa play-acting that they were turning on each other, in order to fool Littlefinger's spies around 臨冬城 - but then Benioff and Weiss became so excited building up tension for the audience that they removed any parts making it clear what the Stark sisters were planning. A speculative example: if Arya's speech in "Eastwatch" threatening to cut off Sansa's face, then incongruously handing Sansa the dagger, had originally been meant to end with Arya winking at Sansa/flicking her eyes in the direction of a servant in the hallway who could overhear them, etc., this was cut out of the final version in order to make the final reveal more shocking.
- Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran) confirmed in a subsequent interview with Variety that several scenes were filmed but ultimately deleted from this storyline - partially confirming the suspicions that it went through multiple last-minute rewrites. It's not certain if all of these deleted scenes built up to a cohesive whole, or contradicted each other. Whatever the case, he said that he filmed a scene in which Sansa knocks on the door to Bran's room, and says "I need your help", right before the trial. From his perspective, Isaac interpreted this to mean that Sansa and Arya actually were threatening each other before, but off-screen right before the trial, Sansa revealed information from Bran's visions to Arya, convincing her to change her mind and that Littlefinger was manipulating them against each other. It's unclear if he is correct, because he wasn't in most of these scenes - whether Arya and Sansa were actually supposed to be threatening each other or just play-acting. Moreover, the fact that the scene was deleted means that it isn't necessarily canon anymore: it's possible that it was deleted specifically because the writers changed their minds and wanted to retroactively imply that Sansa and Arya were faking their animosity in earlier episodes. Either way, io9's Beth Elderkin concluded: "Game of Thrones screwed the pooch with Arya and Sansa’s storyline, turning what could’ve been a conflict of ideals into a nonsensical female rivalry that almost ended in one of their deaths...It just goes to show that this whole storyline failed Arya as a character, and only barely served Sansa until the very end, just so the sisters’ storyline could have a last-minute twist."
- If Isaac Hempstead-Wright's conclusion is what the writers actually intended, it would confirm that Sansa did not "outmaneuver" Littlefinger, did not realize what he was doing or out-plan him, but literally relied on the deus ex machina of using her brother's magical visions, with little action by Sansa herself. As the scene was deleted, it isn't even clear if there is one, single, "final version" that the showrunners settled on, or if even as of the airing of this episode, each of them thought that a different off-screen scenario happened (such confusion happened before, i.e. when Benioff and Weiss gave directly contradictory statements on what 艾里沙·索恩's motivation was for turning against 瓊恩·雪諾).
- While the editing of these scenes may be somewhat confusing, the revelation in this episode that Arya was working together with Sansa on this ploy to fool Littlefinger (though starting exactly when is unclear) will be taken as proof by Game of Thrones Wiki that within the "TV-continuity" (as a persistent fictional universe that exists outside of the camera frame), Arya never seriously meant her threats to actually kill Sansa, but this was just an act.
- The subplot of Littlefinger trying to turn the Stark sisters against each other was negatively received by major critics. Rob Bricken of io9 concluded in his review of this episode: "As satisfying as it was to watch Littlefinger finally get his comeuppance for trying to set two Stark women against each other, I can’t honestly say it makes up for the past two episodes. I can’t help but think at least some, if not most of Sansa and Arya’s fights were real (they had several scenes where it seems highly unlikely that they were performing of one of Petyr’s spies), and it was only Littlefinger’s clumsy push at the end—or maybe Bran rolling in with the truth, since he was sitting next to Sansa in the room—that made them realized their rift was primarily Baelish’s fault. Even if they were playing him the whole time, surely there was a way for the show to tell this story without both of them turning into weird, awful caricatures of themselves. But still, I’m still so relieved this horrible storyline course-corrected that I don’t mind Littlefinger’s ignoble, ignominious death, or how he basically did nothing but get himself killed in season seven. Thank the gods it happened."
- Sansa didn't do anything to "outmaneuver" Littlefinger, even though the TV writers seem to be presenting it that way. The evidence Sansa presents against Littlefinger is heavily dependent on her brother Bran's literally magical powers, which no one else can confirm or deny. Sansa did already know that Littlefinger killed 萊莎·徒利 and 瓊恩·艾林, but no reason is established for why she feels confident enough to reveal this information now - earlier in the season she decided not to move against Littlefinger, because she felt she was dependent on his Vale army.
- The one thing Sansa did do was pretend to be falling for Littlefinger's manipulations - the showrunners state in the Inside the Episode video that Littlefinger is a sociopath who, on a certain level, honestly thinks he loves Sansa and that she must love him, and would never turn on him. This does not address, however, how Sansa could adequately sway the Northern and Vale lords to turn against Littlefinger based only on her word and that of her brother's alleged magical powers.
- In the novels, Littlefinger is arguably the main antagonist of the entire 五王之戰: 泰溫·蘭尼斯特, 瓦德·佛雷, even 盧斯·波頓 are seemingly only pawns in wider plans he has set. It does not appear that he will die this simply in the future novels, or that he will become as peripheral of a character as he did from Seasons 5 to 7:
- Starting in Season 5, Littlefinger's storyline was drastically truncated and diverged from the books, confusingly setting up a marriage between Sansa and 拉姆斯·波頓 (a serial rapist who publicly displays the flayed skins of his enemies) who no clearly discernable gain other than to "undermine the Boltons from within". At the time this was presented as Sansa "going from pawn to player" in the political game, but in this episode Sansa criticizes it as "selling me to the Boltons".
- In the books, Littlefinger and Sansa stayed in the Vale and spent time consolidating their hold over the lords there (through bribery and various other political maneuverings). A major part of Littlefinger's ongoing plans is for Sansa to marry Harrold Hardyng, cousin and heir of the sickly Sweetrobin Arryn, so she can one day claim rule over the Vale and lead its armies to retake the North (none of which required marrying into the Boltons).
- Book-Littlefinger has incorporated many other political players into his plans, to the point that he has anticipated and apparently doesn't fear either the Lannisters, Boltons, or Tyrells. There are even hints that he may have already incorporated 丹妮莉絲·坦格利安's upcoming invasion into his plans, judging by his cryptic comments to Sansa that what little order the 五王之戰 left in 維斯特洛 will not long survive the "three queens".
- In contrast, TV-Littlefinger didn't really have a long-term plan for the North after taking it from the Boltons: he had no way of knowing that Arya or Bran were still alive, or that 瓊恩·雪諾 would be a factor (he'd been planning to use the Vale to invade the weakened North since he started the entire war) - though what exactly his long-term plans are in the books have yet to be revealed. Instead, multiple major reviewers criticized that Littlefinger largely just hung around in the shadows in Season 7 shooting ominous looks at Sansa from the shadows, with his plan consisting of turning the Stark children against each other with no other leverage.
- The framing of Littlefinger's downfall mirrors 艾德·史塔克's arrest in Season 1: both walk into a foreign courtroom (臨冬城, the 紅堡) thinking they are about to orchestrate a coup, only for the surprise revelation that they've been double-crossed, and alleged supporters (Sansa and Royce, Littlefinger and the Gold Cloaks) end up turning on them. He then sinks to his knees in the middle of the 臨冬城 court and pleads for mercy, similar to the shot of Sansa sinking to her knees before the鐵王座 and begging that Joffrey and the Lannister court show mercy to her father Eddard.
- Ultimately, the Sansa/Vale/Littlefinger storyline was truncated much as the Tyrell/Reach and Martell/Dorne storylines were heavily condensed then abruptly wrapped up.
- The question arises if 約恩·羅伊斯 was ever even willing to work with Littlefinger, as he was seen meeting with him in the previous episode along with Lord Glover (out of fear that Jon was ignoring the North); yet he always mistrusted Littlefinger since he was introduced in Season 4's "The Mountain and the Viper", and Littlefinger outright threatened him with an accusation of treason in Season 6's "The Door". Thus, when Littlefinger orders Lord 約恩·羅伊斯 to escort him back to 月門, it shows how really desperate he is, since old Bronze Yohn never liked him in the first place, accused him of murdering 萊莎·徒利 after her death and nearly got thrown out the Moon Door thanks to Littlefinger's whisperings to Robin Arryn. It's possible he thought Royce would side with him because they met in private with Glover before - but even if this wasn't some sort of ruse against him, Royce never particularly liked him.
- Although Sansa passes sentence on Littlefinger, she does not carry it out. This violates one of her father's key tenets of good leadership, that the man who passes the sentence must also swing the sword. Both Robb and Jon have taken this lesson to heart (i.e., Rickard Karstark and Janos Slynt). Sansa does allude to this in her conversation with Arya; the sisters seem to acknowledge, based on another of Ned's stories, that as long as the Starks act as one (a pack), Sansa need not swing the blade so long as Arya is the one wielding it. Alternatively, this might symbolize that Sansa has become more like a southern-style political strategist, but Arya remains very much her father's daughter.
- Littlefinger says he only knows of the 無面者 of 布拉佛斯 "by reputation". In the novels, King Robert's 御前會議 actually debated what to do about Daenerys allying with the Dothraki, and one suggestion was to hire a Faceless Man to assassinate her. This was dismissed because of the exorbitant price: the 無面者 charge based on the relative importance of the target, and the price for the last known Targaryen was more than the cost of hiring an entire army.
- Arya tells Sansa "In winter, we must protect ourselves. Look after one another" - the line her father told her in "Lord Snow". Sansa answers "When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives". Both sentences are told by their father to Arya in the first novel, with slight changes.
- In promotional materials for the season, Sansa's recitation of these lines was used ominously. In context, their use us much more encouraging, cementing the Starks back together.
- The issue of armies and characters moving implausibly fast across 維斯特洛 came up in the preceding episode, and a few issues are raised in this one - though not nearly on the same scale. Back at 龍石島, Jon says that the Dothraki should reach 臨冬城 in a fortnight (two weeks) by riding up the 國王大道. In the books, the rough figure is that it would take riders about eight weeks to travel from 君臨 to 臨冬城, without a baggage train (which the Dothraki don't have, being very mobile). Mitigating factors, however, are that we never actually see when the Dothraki left 君臨 - they apparently left when Daenerys did, but some time has passed during which she traveled back to 龍石島, made other preparations, etc., so there is some leeway in that respect (Jon never says where the Dothraki currently are, for all we know they've already reached the Neck). Dothraki are also light cavalry and move faster than standard 維斯特洛i heavy cavalry.
- In contrast, 詹姆·蘭尼斯特s' generals say that it will take them a fortnight just to gather together a baggage train for their army to head north. Mitigating this is that the Lannister army wasn't expecting to travel north but Daenerys was expecting her Dothraki to go to 臨冬城, and the Lannister army is primarily infantry - the Dothraki infamously don't need a baggage train but just carry everything with them on horse to make lightning strikes.
- No one particularly brings up how slow their armies might move in the heavy snows of the North - despite this being a major plot point resulting in Stannis's defeat in Season 5, three years ago in the internal timeline, before the beginning of winter was officially announced.
- Jon says that they will sail with the 無垢者 to 白港 to catch up with the Dothraki, meeting them on the Kingsroad before they reach 臨冬城. It's quite possible that 白港 will appear on-screen for the first time at the beginning of Season 8. 白港 has been mentioned in passing since Season 1, and several times in Season 7 itself: it is the only true "city" in the North, though the smallest of the five cities in 維斯特洛, with a population perhaps around ten to twenty thousand (depending on what figures you use). Nonetheless it is the only major port the North has, and the closest thing to an urban center - if modest compared to 君臨. In the books, Davos made an extended stay in the city to try to rally support for Stannis against the Boltons. The rulers of the city, House Manderly, briefly appeared in Season 6 at 臨冬城 - they are actually a family from 河灣地 that was exiled and fled to the North, where they became loyal bannermen of the Starks. 白港 is somewhat of an odd exclave of southern Andal culture in the North as a result: the Manderlys follow the 七神信仰 (so the city is the only part of the North with a sizable minority devoted to that religion), and the architecture looks like an odd mix of North and Reach castle styles (sort of like a cross between Scottish and French architecture).
- 席恩·葛雷喬伊 and 瓊恩·雪諾 do parallel each other in many ways, as noted in their exchange: both were outsiders at 臨冬城 and treated as adoptive Starks but never full members of the family, Jon a bastard and Theon a ward (political hostage). Jon managed to rise above bitterness and resentment at his position but Theon did not - Theon always struggled with choosing between his two identities while Jon made peace with his.
- The irony of course is that Jon's speech to Theon will soon be applicable to himself, when he learns that he's actually half a legitimate Stark, and half Targaryen, just as Theon had to choose between Stark or Greyjoy.
- Jon tells Theon "Our father [Eddard] was more of a father to you than yours [Balon] ever was" - similarly to what Theon told Ramsay in "And Now His Watch Is Ended". In the first novel Theon says a similar thing, but in his first POV chapter it turns to be a lip service: Eddard had tried to play the father from time to time, but to Theon he had always remained the man who'd brought blood and fire to Pyke and taken him from his home; as a boy, Theon had lived in fear of Eddard's stern face and great dark sword.
- Apparently, when the slaver fleet was being refurbished, Daenerys's followers had the time to add Targaryen heraldry to the ships' interiors in addition to painting the sails. Of course, at least some months have apparently passed since her forces departed for 維斯特洛.
- Tyrion is noticeably concerned that Jon and Daenerys have become intimate - though precisely why is unclear, given that a marriage-alliance with Jon would secure the North and the Vale and fully unite the anti-Cersei forces in 維斯特洛. It's possible he's concerned given that Jon's refusal to lie nearly cost them the truce he wanted to broker.
- The episode explicitly confirms that Lyanna ran off with Rhaegar and their relationship was consensual. Although implied by previous revelations, it is finally confirmed here, both through Bran's narration and the fact that Lyanna clearly looks happy at her very private wedding ceremony.
- As Isaac Hempstead-Wright points out in a tie-in interview, this means that all the events of the last twenty-four years are essentially based on a lie: the elopement of Rhaegar and Lyanna would have been problematic only for 馬泰爾家族, and for 勞勃·拜拉席恩 personally. The Starks would have been uncomfortable about the bruised honor of Lyanna seemingly stealing another woman's husband, but no actual harm or dishonor had come to their kinswoman.
- Of course, the true start of Robert's Rebellion was 伊里斯·坦格利安二世's brutal murder of Rickard and 布蘭登·史塔克, and his subsequent demand that Ned and 勞勃·拜拉席恩 be turned over to the Crown – a request 瓊恩·艾林 responded to by raising his banners in revolt. Since Rhaegar had no control over his father, those events were largely unavoidable. On the other hand, Aerys allegedly took such drastic action based on a verbal threat Brandon had made against Rhaegar upon arriving at the 紅堡, a threat that might never have been made if the truth were known.
- Rhaegar's physical appearance is very similar to his younger brother Viserys Targaryen, and even his clothing style is similar - this isn't a coincidence, as costume designer Michele Clapton specifically said that Viserys was old enough when the Targaryens were overthrown to remember what the old Targaryen fashions at the royal court looked like, so it stands to reason that Viserys was actually imitating the way that Rhaegar used to dress (see "Costumes: The 七大王國"). As for his physical appearance being similar, this was a point from the books as well: when Daenerys sees Rhaegar during a vision of the past at the House of the Undying in Qarth, she initially mistook him for Viserys, before realizing he was someone else: "The man had her brother's hair, but he was taller, and his eyes were a dark indigo rather than lilac." This description may have been taken literally: it looks as though Wilf Scolding is wearing exactly the same wig as Harry Lloyd.
- Bran's participation at the trial, and Sam and Bran's conversation later, clarifies some of the mechanics of his powers: Bran can use 綠之視野 to view past events at his leisure, but must have some idea of what he is trying access. That is, he is not presented with relevant information and immediately assailed by the appropriate visions, but must sift through visions to find what he is looking for. Once he knew to look for a vision of Lyanna's wedding he could find it easily, but without some hint to search, he had no idea it happened. Similarly, he didn't know about 培提爾·貝里席's betrayal until he viewed the event himself.
- Some reviewers criticized that it was a plot contrivance that Bran didn't instantly know about Rhaegar and Lyanna's wedding already, but Bran repeatedly stressed in prior episodes that he has gained more "memories" of past events than one human mind can easily process, to the point that he is overwhelmed - he is not omniscient, he has to know what to look for first. His situation is comparable to a modern person going through a predecessor's computer files with no idea of their filing system, but knowing that everything they need is there.
- It is implied that Bran no longer needs to be in close proximity to a 魚梁木 tree to see through time using 綠之視野. It is not clear if this is an intentional growth of his powers, or simply a method of expedited storytelling.
- In the novels, the 三眼烏鴉 does say that Bran's powers will start with being able to see historical events that happened near 魚梁木 心樹s, but over time will expand to be able to see much beyond them. Also this helps explain how it was relatively easy for him to quickly sift through his new magical memories of the past and find Rhaegar and Lyanna's wedding: it was conducted in front of a 心樹. The 森林之子 taught the 先民 (from whom the Starks descend) that those who follow the 舊神s of the Forest should conduct all important events in front of 心樹s to be witnessed by the gods (marriages, political pacts, etc.) - not realizing that these events were literally being witnessed, because events performed in front of 心樹s are easier for 綠先知s to observe through the 魚梁木 network.
- Although he dismissed Gilly's revelation at the time, Samwell now remembers the High Septon's diary entry she read about Prince Rhaegar's annulment.
- Bran explicitly clarifies that bastards are supposed to bear the surnames of the region in which they are born: 瓊恩·雪諾 should have been Jon Sand, in spite of one parent being from 北境 and the other from the Crownlands. Jon's situation was quite unusual, however, in that 艾德·史塔克 refused to even specify where he had been born as part of his cover story, just saying he fathered him with some woman in the south during the war - if he had given a specific name (like "Sand" or "Waters") that would have slightly narrowed down the search if anyone tried to find out who Jon's mother actually was. Thus he just ended up using the surname "Snow" by default – and for safety.
- As Bran states, Jon's secret identity as 雷加·坦格利安's legitimate son makes him the real heir to the 鐵王座, ahead of Daenerys, Rhaegar's younger sister. By every law of inheritance currently practiced in 維斯特洛, a man's lawful son inherits before his younger siblings, brother or sister. From time to time, if a lord only leaves an infant daughter behind, etc., his younger brother might claim inheritance due to being more fit to rule (this type of thing is a frequent cause behind civil wars). Yet even under gender-blind Dornish law (different from the rest of 維斯特洛), Jon ranks ahead of Daenerys. The third inheritance law used in 維斯特洛 is rare but important: the extreme male-preference primogeniture adopted by the Targaryen dynasty after the Dance of the Dragons, to try to prevent another civil war. This new鐵王座 inheritance law (followed for the past 170 years) puts female candidates behind all possible male ones - yet this is irrelevant, because even under standard Andal inheritance law followed in most of 維斯特洛, Jon should be the real heir as the lawful son of Daenerys's older brother. At one point in the novels, she even remarks that if Rhaegar's infant son with 伊莉亞·馬泰爾 had lived, even after Rhaegar died, he would have had a superior claim to the鐵王座.
- This episode explicitly confirms that 丹妮莉絲·坦格利安 is actually 瓊恩·雪諾's long-lost aunt - as he is having sex with her. "Avunculate relationships" (uncle-niece or aunt-nephew) are officially considered Incest in 維斯特洛. First cousin marriage, however, is not considered incest, even though it was in the real-life Middle Ages (the Lannisters, Tyrells, and Starks all had first cousin marriages in the last generation or two - Ned Stark's own parents were first cousins once removed). For example, given that 珊莎·史塔克 actually isn't Jon's real half-sister, but his first cousin, a marriage between the two of them would not be considered incest.
- 坦格利安家族, of course, doesn't take issue with aunt-nephew incest: they preferred to marry brother to sister to "keep the bloodline pure", in the custom of their Valyrian ancestors, but when none were available in the current generation set, they would wed aunt to nephew or uncle to niece, or beyond that as close a cousin as possible. Rhaenyra Targaryen was married to her own uncle Daemon Targaryen - both of them direct ancestors of all subsequent Targaryen kings. In the novels, Daenerys even ponders at one point that had Elia and Rhaegar's son Aegon lived (but his sister Rhaenys died), she would probably have been expected to marry her nephew as heir to the throne (had all of them lived, she would have been married to her brother Viserys).
- Although Daenerys is Jon's aunt, they are roughly the same age, because she is his father's much younger sister (a surprising number of viewers seem to have trouble with the timeline). Both of them were born a few weeks or months after Rhaegar died at the Battle of the Trident. Incidentally, both of their mothers died giving birth to them, and both of them were born after their fathers died (Queen Rhaella Targaryen gave birth to Daenerys on 龍石島 shortly after the Mad King was killed during the Sack of 君臨).
- Despite Daenerys and 瓊恩·雪諾 being fictional characters, actress Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) was utterly disgusted at having to film an incestuous sex scene. Multiple professional reviews described her enthusiasm as wooden in the scene (New York Magazine ran an article on it titled "Jon and Dany's Hookup Was the Most Boring Game of Thrones Sex Scene Ever") - a conclusion in line with her reaction in the behind the scenes videos. Clarke described dry-heaving and wretching at several points due to her disgust at filming the scene (although she attempted to spin her reaction as being played up for entertainment purposes), and expressed open contempt for 喬治·R·R·馬丁 writing a story that required her to have an incest sex scene in it. Kit Harington indicated that he deliberately flubbed a few takes during filming by pretending to dry-heave on Clarke as a joke, though in his case it is very unclear how serious he was being.
- The marriage of 雷加·坦格利安 and 萊安娜·史塔克 takes place before a 魚梁木 心樹 with the High Septon and recitation of traditional 七神信仰 vows - apparently due to being an interfaith marriage, as the Starks worship the 舊神s of the Forest and Rhaegar followed the 七神信仰. The wedding scene of 羅柏·史塔克 and Talisa in Season 2 (invented for the TV series), also had 七神信仰 vows conducted by a Septon in front of a 心樹: the producers said the in-universe reason was that Robb was the product of an interfaith household (Catelyn followed the 七神信仰), so he just enjoyed mixing the pageantry of both.
- 瓊恩·雪諾's real name might not necessarily be "伊耿·坦格利安(雷加之子)" in the novels:
- 雷加·坦格利安 already had a son named "伊耿·坦格利安(雷加之子)" (伊耿·坦格利安(雷加之子) (son of Rhaegar)) - had he lived, Rhaegar's firstborn son with 伊莉亞·馬泰爾 would have ascended the鐵王座 as "King Aegon VI Targaryen". Because he died as a baby and was never crowned, any future king named Aegon will become "Aegon VI" (there were numerous Targaryen princes named "Aegon" who never ruled as kings). Elia's son Aegon has been mentioned by name before in the TV continuity. Thus it wouldn't make much sense for Rhaegar to give two sons the same name. Kim Renfro of Insider wrote an article discussing why this is confusing.
- The chronology is that Rhaegar was killed at the Battle of the Trident, then a few weeks later his father the Mad King and Elia's baby son Aegon were killed during the Sack of 君臨, then a few weeks after that 艾德·史塔克 reached the 極樂塔 where he found Lyanna dying from childbirth. Jon was thus born a few weeks after Elia's son Aegon died.
- Fan theories have suggested several alternate names that Rhaegar might give his son with Lyanna in the books:
- "Jaehaerys" after Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Aegon I's grandson, considered by many to be the greatest king in the history of the Targaryen dynasty. Aegon I was a conqueror and builder of empire, but Jaehaerys I was a great diplomat, scholar, and law-maker - closer to the kind of man that Rhaegar would admire. Rhaegar was always of a more scholarly bent, and only took up the sword relatively late after he read something in a book (possibly a prophecy). This would keep Jon's "J" initial.
- "Aemon" after Maester Aemon. Rhaegar had a great friendship with his great-uncle: despite Aemon living at the Wall, they exchanged written correspondence very frequently.
- The TV series conspicuously made it a point to remove "Jaehaerys II" from the TV continuity - father of the Mad King and son of Aegon V, back in Season 1, but avoided giving a clear explanation why (though this might have just been to simplify the relationship between Aemon and Daenerys). Alternatively, it's possible that this was meant to shorten the reference in later seasons, to say "Jon was named after the greatest Targaryen king, Jaehaerys", without having to explain that there were actually two prior kings named "Jaehaerys".
- Given that the TV series didn't spend as much time introducing information about earlier Targaryen kings (Jaehaerys has been mentioned exactly once) it's possible that the TV continuity changed his name to "Aegon", when it's actually "Jaehaerys" in the books.
- The possibility that his real name actually is "Aegon" in the books, however, cannot be dismissed either:
- In their video review of this episode, 維斯特洛.org weighed in on the issue- the semi-official book fansite run by Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, co-authors of the World of Ice and Fire sourcebook with 喬治·R·R·馬丁. They actually had a nuanced reaction: initially they both doubted Jon's real name is "Aegon", but on reflection Elio realized that it might be - Linda still doubted it but increasingly felt it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand:
- The simple answer, as Elio observed, is that even in the books, it's possible that Lyanna named her son, not Rhaegar. Lyanna only gave birth to her son a few weeks after the Sack of 君臨, after Rhaegar's first son died, and even such a remote location as the 極樂塔 would have received messenger-ravens giving news of what happened. Thus it's possible that the dying Lyanna chose to name her son after Rhaegar's older son who had already died.
- It's quite possible that Rhaegar didn't give 瓊恩·雪諾 his original name, because he assumed he would be female, and intended to give him a female name. Following the prophecy that "the dragon has three heads", it appears that Rhaegar wanted to essentially re-create the original trinity of Targaryens from the Conquest generation: Aegon the Conqueror, and his two sister-wives, Rhaenys and Visenya. Rhaegar's first child was a daughter he named "Rhaenys", and his second child with Elia he named "Aegon". It's possible that Rhaegar hoped his child with Lyanna would be a daughter to finish the set, and he thought he'd name her "Visenya" - so he didn't come up with a male name for Lyanna's baby before he was killed.
- Even if the books give Jon a different name, this scenario is at least internally consistent for the TV continuity (Rhaegar wouldn't give his two living sons the same name, but Lyanna could plausibly have named her son after his dead half-brother).
- On a meta-narrative level, both "Aegon" and "Jaehaerys" have thematic resonance. The number seven is important in 維斯特洛 - 七大王國, the 七神信仰, etc. - while the Targaryens tend to do things in threes ("the dragon has three heads"). Thus if Jon's name is "Jaehaerys" he would rule as "Jaehaerys the Third". If Jon's real name is "Aegon", however, he would not be "Aegon the Seventh" - Rhaegar's first son was never crowned so he wouldn't be counted as "Aegon the Sixth". Thus Jon is "Aegon the Sixth" - missing the thematic significance of naming him "Aegon the Seventh".
- Of course, it's possible that "Aegon the Seventh" might be a potential future son of Jon and Daenerys.
- Ultimately this is left an open question, awaiting the next book. It cannot be taken as absolute proof that Jon's real name is also "Aegon" in the books, but the scenario - while a little unusual - is plausible enough that it cannot be automatically dismissed as an invention of the TV series.
- How Game of Thrones Wiki will respond to this revelation about 瓊恩·雪諾's real name: The wiki won't re-name the 瓊恩·雪諾 article to "伊耿·坦格利安(雷加之子)", at least not at present. The simple answer is that "Jon" doesn't call himself that (yet), few people even know that's his original name (yet), and the HBO Viewer's Guide itself still lists him as "瓊恩·雪諾". From a more pragmatic, out of universe perspective, most viewers across the past 7 years refer to him as "瓊恩·雪諾" so it's a much more recognizable search term. If the situation changes in Season 8, if "瓊恩·雪諾" starts calling himself "伊耿·坦格利安(雷加之子)" and even official HBO materials start renaming the character, the issue will be revisited, but not before. Wiki editors should refer to him as "Jon" in summaries set prior to this point, not "Aegon" - i.e. a summary of the Battle of 黑城堡 in Season 4 should not say "Aegon held the dying Ygritte in his arms" because no one called him "Aegon" at that point in time (just as the "Darth Vader" article doesn't refer to him as "Anakin Skywalker" during the Battle of Hoth).
At the Wall
- It is unknown if the Wall will actually be breached like this in future books. In the Inside the Episode videos, showrunners Benioff and Weiss make stray remarks about the Wight Hunt i.e. "we thought it was a good idea", in such a way that it seems to be admitting that this is their invention, not part of 喬治·R·R·馬丁's outline for future novels. Similarly, in the Inside the Episode video for this one, they remark on how they thought that it would be "logical" to have a dragon breach a hole in 絕境長城 - again, implying this isn't what really happens in future novels.
- We have no idea if the 夜王 even exists in the novels, or is an invention of the TV series to provide a main antagonist as a focal point for the narrative. Game of Thrones Wiki directly asked 喬治·R·R·馬丁 about this, but his response was deliberately ambiguous.
- Given that the Wight Hunt is apparently an invention of the TV series, it's possible that 韋賽利昂 isn't going to be killed and resurrected as a wight-dragon at all. Instead, it is heavily implied that 攸倫·葛雷喬伊 will use a magical "dragonbinder" horn her obtained from the smoking ruins of Old Valyria to mind-control one of Daenerys's dragons and bind it to his will - possibly as part of a magical ceremony he intends to perform at The Hightower in 舊鎮, which he is preparing to attack in the next novel (like the Wall, the Hightower is built on ancient, magical ruins, and may be another leyline of the world).
- If Viserion is not killed and turned into a wight, that raises the question of how the Wall could be breached in a future novel. Several magical horns are introduced in the novels which characters believe how the power to make the entire Wall crash down, from coast to coast. Mance Rayder claimed to have one, though he later admitted this was a bluff. In both the books and the TV series, 山姆威爾·塔利 finds a mysterious old warhorn at the Fist of the 先民 - and there is some speculation that this is the true horn capable of destroying the Wall. Curiously, the horn was introduced in Season 2, and emphasis was put on it, only to then never be mentioned again. The TV writers later explained that they copied many details from the books in the first few seasons without realizing what they would build to, until Martin finally revealed his full future outline to them after Season 3 was written - thus it's possible that after that meeting, they revised their own outline of how the TV series would progress, and chose to abandon the warhorn. Ultimately, of course, only the release of the next novel will confirm any of this.
- The debate about 韋賽利昂's current nature seems settled: he still breathes fire, not ice, and his abilities are unhindered by damage done to his corpse.
- In real life, a blue color usually indicates a much hotter fire than a red-yellow fire. It's not clear if Viserion is now somehow breathing hotter flames than when he was alive, or if the color is simply the result of the 夜王's magic (the most likely explanation), or even some chemical change in Viserion's reanimated firebreathing organs.
- Viserion is not, literally, an "ice dragon" now. Ice dragons are a specific mythological creature rumored to exist in the northern polar regions in sailors' tales, but they are literally made out of living ice, and breathe freezing blasts of cold instead of fire.
- The destruction of 東海望 means that there are only two manned castles left along the Wall, 黑城堡 and the 影子塔. Both are sitting ducks, given their relative lack of defenses and low manpower - as seen in Season 4's "The Watchers on the Wall", the castles along the Wall intentionally don't have strong defenses on their southern side, so they can't be used against the realms of men.
- In the premiere episode of Season 7, Jon mentioned that if the 異鬼 got through the Wall, the first obstacles in their path would be the seats of Houses Umber and Karstark, Last Hearth and Karhold, respectively. What this means for the inhabitants of the castles, if any, remains to be seen.
[This section will be updated with comparisons after the sixth novel is released.]
The episode contains influences from the following chapter of 群鴉的盛宴:
- Chapter 44, Jaime VII: Jaime decides to break up with Cersei as snow falls.
The episode contains influences from the following chapter of 魔龍的狂舞:
- Chapter 54, Cersei I: Cersei states that Tyrion is responsible to the attempt on Myrcella.
- Epilogue: Snow falls on 君臨, signaling the arrival of winter in full
The episode contains influences from the following chapter of 凜冬的寒風:
- Theon I: Someone intends to hire the 黃金團, at least 20,000 sellswords.
The episode may contain influence from the following fan predictions and theories regarding 凜冬的寒風 and/or A Dream of Spring:
- R+L=J: It will be revealed 雷加·坦格利安 married 萊安娜·史塔克 in secret. Jon's true name is taken from a previous Targaryen king.
- Cleganebowl: 桑鐸·克里岡, who survived after Arya refused him "the gift of mercy", will have a final confrontation with his hated brother, 格雷果·克里岡
瓊恩·雪諾: "There is only one war that matters and it is here."
瓊恩·雪諾: "When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. There's no answers, only better and better lies."
瓊恩·雪諾: "You're a Greyjoy and a Stark."
瓊恩·雪諾: "This isn't about living in harmony. It's just about living."
珊莎·史塔克: "When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives."
珊莎·史塔克: “You stand accused of murder, you stand accused of treason, how do you answer these charges… Lord Baelish?”
珊莎·史塔克: "I'm a slow learner, it's true. But I learn."
珊莎·史塔克: "You're the strongest person I know."
桑鐸·克里岡: "You're even uglier than me now. What did they do to you?"
桑鐸·克里岡: “You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known."
波德瑞克·派恩: “I’m glad you’re alive."
丹妮莉絲·坦格利安: “Your capital will be safe until the northern threat is dealt with. You have my word."
丹妮莉絲·坦格利安: "If it's all for nothing, then he died for nothing."
布蘭·史塔克: “You held a knife to his throat. You said, 'I did warn you not to trust me.'”
布蘭·史塔克: "And Jon. Jon's real name. He's never been a bastard; he's the heir to the鐵王座. He needs to know. We need to tell him."