What a way to kick off a season. The Season 6 finale saw Arya exact revenge on Walder Frey — who killed Robb and Catelyn at the Red Wedding years earlier — by feeding him his sons and cutting his throat. Season 7 began with Arya, wearing the face of Lord Frey, poisoning the rest of the Frey line in the same hall the Red Wedding took place. David Bradley was great in the scene, especially as he began to slip back into being Arya near the end of the speech.
Daenerys Returns to Dragonstone
Daenerys spent a long time on the opposite side of the Narrow Sea, so seeing her finally come home to Dragonstone was a powerful moment. It’s a quiet scene, with the Mother of Dragons and those closest to her taking in the sights of the island, the throne room, and the war room, before Daenerys ends the premiere episode with a question: “Where do we begin?”
Daenerys and Jon Snow Finally Meet
Two of the show’s most popular characters have finally came face-to-face in a meeting that was… less than friendly. Jon needs help defeating the White Walkers while Daenerys needs help taking the Iron Throne. Their conflicting agendas put them at odds immediately, leaving viewers wondering if they would ever be able to play nice.
Arya vs. Brienne
On her path to becoming a warrior, Arya has been through a lot, to say the least. She survived through it all — from King’s Landing, to Harrenhal, to Braavos, and back to Winterfell — but it was always hard to gauge how much progress she had made until she squared off with Brienne. The two put on quite a show in Winterfell, with the added bonus of Arya intimidating Littlefinger in the process, that ended in a blade-to-throat draw between the two fighters.
Olenna Gets the Last Word
Olenna Tyrell, a.k.a. the Queen of Thorns, has never been shy about speaking her mind. After Jaime Lannister sacked her home and killed all of her men, he granted her a quick death by pouring poison into a glass of wine. After she threw it back, she let Jaime know that it was she who had Joffrey poisoned at his wedding, insuring she would go down as one of the most badass characters in the show’s history.
The Loot Train Battle
The loot train battle was probably the largest spectacle of the entire season. It was Daenerys’ first true show of force in Westeros, using both the intimidating Dothraki army as well as the destructive force that is Drogon. The loot train attack also marks the first major battle that saw main characters fighting opposite each other — with Jaime and Bronn among the Lannister army that was defeated by Daenerys atop her dragon.
Sam Leaves the Citadel
Samwell Tarly has long been an unsung hero of the series, usually the one left on the sidelines when the real action starts. But Sam has had enough of being left out of the great game, abandoning his attempts to become a maester and instead venturing back into Westeros to help Jon in the great war to come.
West(eros) Coast Avengers Assemble
Admit it: you got goosebumps when Jon Snow assembled his team of knights, cutthroats, and one bastard to range north of the Wall in search of the army of the undead. The show has never been shy about sending characters into dangerous situations, but never before has such a diverse group come together united by the single purpose of defeating the Night’s King.
Viserion Dies… and is Resurrected
Let’s all be honest, we knew this was probably coming. The show would have been doing the audience an injustice if it didn’t give us some dragon vs. dragon action. That didn’t make Viserion’s death, and later resurrection into the White Walker army, any less epic. Seeing the dragon’s eyes open back up to be blue was a chilling moment even if everyone knew it was coming.
Jon Bends the Knee
Jon and Daenerys may have gotten off to a rocky start, but they quickly came to value and respect each other as both leaders and survivors. After Dany saves Jon and company from the Night’s King — at the cost of one of her dragons — she pledges to help him defeat the army of the undead. In return, Jon pledges loyalty to her and her quest to take the Iron Throne.
The Death of Littlefinger
Littlefinger played the Game of Thrones better than most in Westeros, but in the end, it was the Stark sisters that would be his undoing. It was satisfying — in a show that usually features characters like Littlefinger conspiring off-screen — that Sansa and Arya were secretly working together to take down Littlefinger. Aidan Gillen was phenomenal in his final scene as he flipped from shock to anger to groveling on his knees before Arya cut his throat with the Catspaw dagger.
The Wall Falls
Episode 6 of this season saw the Night’s King revive Daenerys’ dragon Viserion, but the closing moments of the Season 7 finale put the undead dragon into action. The army of the undead finally approaches the wall. Just as it seems they are about to attack, the Night’s King appears from the clouds on the back of the great beast. It proceeds to unleash a hellish blue flame on the Wall that brings a massive section crashing down. The army slowly marches through, putting them within striking distance of the land of the living for the first time.