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Sunday, January 23, 2022

The seventh season of “Game of Thrones” came to a close this week. One notable quality of the show has always been its ability to carry on several plotlines at once. However, as the show enters its final season, it’s time for these plotlines to merge and the motives of the many characters to become unified. Episode seven, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” did just that.

This finale was all about relationships, seen through the interactions surrounding the Dragonpit meeting. This meeting between the great powers of Westeros is key to moving the plot forward by bringing the characters together and finally revealing the threat of the army of the dead. However, it is the individual interactions that truly make this scene.

Throughout the series, each character in the pit has shared history with another that may not align with his or her current allegiances. Tyrion, Podrick and Bron each enter representing the interests of different rulers. Still, they once fought alongside each other as allies and friends. Brienne of Tarth nearly killed Sandor Clegane in single combat, but they are able to connect over the shared concern for Arya’s safety. The Lannisters are brothers and sister, yet they sit on opposite sides. The web of relationships shown reminds the viewer that these characters have complex motives based on complicated histories.

The interwoven nature of these relationships is a reminder that these characters’ fates are intertwined. This realization is what triggers Jaime to abandon Cersei. They both see danger, but Cersei would rather see the world end than risk trusting anyone, even Jaime. Without any moral influence, Cersei is sure to be a major disruptive force in the final season.

Complicated relationships are pivotal in the events that unfold at Winterfell. Petyr Baelish has spent most of the season attempting to create distrust between the Stark sisters. His efforts appear to successfully play off of their childhood rivalry, until he implies that Arya wants to kill Sansa to become Lady of Winterfell. Sansa knows that Arya has never wanted to be a Lady. The relationship between the sisters returns to a trusting one when Sansa realizes she has been manipulated. With the help of Bran, Baelish is tried for murder and treason. He is then put to death by Arya with his own knife that was once used in an attempt on Bran’s life.

The long predicted romance between Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow finally comes to fruition, with major consequences. As Baelish points out, a marriage between Jon and Daenerys would be powerful. However, as Bran and Sam finally discover Jon’s true heritage and name, a potentially major conflict is revealed. Not only is Daenerys Jon’s aunt, but Jon, or Aegon Targaryen, is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne — not Daenerys. This is certain to play a major role in the season to come.

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