To quote Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, it was a game of "ice to meet you" in the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale. We headed to the Dragonpit for a frosty foray of favorites, then further North for an even colder reception at Winterfell and the Wall. Lurking in the shadows beyond the Wall, the Night King and his frozen forces made moves for their endgame, and we were left with one of the biggest #GameofThrones shocks to ever grace seven years of the Seven Kingdoms. While some may have clocked what happened at the Wall ahead of time, it sounds like showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had it planned all along.
Warning: spoilers for the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale
Mr. Frosty, He's So Fun
Fans of the show used their own Bran Stark intuition to warg themselves beyond #GeorgeRRMartin's books and predict that the icy spectacle would tumble before Season 8's end. However, there was no mythical Horn of Winter to turn the Wall into the world's biggest slush puppy, it was our blue-eyed beau, the newly resurrected Viserion, who delivered the killer blow. With a blast of azure flames, Vis and the Night King became the coolest couple in town and gave the Army of the Dead the perfect window to the rest of Westeros.
Speaking in an exclusive "Inside the Episode" video for HBO, the showrunners unveiled how long they had been working on their dastardly scheme of destruction:
“We tried to contrast to contrast the various season endings so they don’t feel too similar. So last season we had a pretty triumphant ending with Dany finally sailing west towards Westeros… This one is definitely more horrific. For many years now we’ve known this would be the ending of the penultimate season. The Wall’s kept these things out for 8000 years. There’s no real reason why it can’t keep doing that unless something puts a hole in the wall. There’s one thing on the board from the beginning that is now big enough to do that, and that’s a dragon. They just start to suggest itself as a logical way forward.”
It certainly beat the usual shot of Daenerys being carried away, Daenerys sailing somewhere, or Daenerys emerging from some flames, but the finale has given us an achingly long wait until 2019 to find out where the Night King and his band of popsicles head next.
We have already covered how the White Walkers broke through the magical marvel that was this feat of engineering, but Benioff and Weiss said that it wasn't just as simple as getting out the hammer and chisel. The show certainly needed something as monumental as Viserion's attack to wrap up the show's seventh season, and that is exactly what we got:
“We write ‘and then the wall comes tumbling down’ and it’s really easy to type those words. It’s really hard for them to make it look good. It needed to be a thing you go out of the season on.”
With the fate of two major characters left in the balance, Cersei pulling the wolf fur rug from under our heroes, and Jaime Lannister continuing his arc of redemption, it is clear that the final season of HBO's snowy spectacular really will live up to its motto of "Winter Is Coming." In the meantime, has anyone got any crushed ice hanging around? My margarita is getting tepid.
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