[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the sixth episode of Game of Thrones' seventh season, "Beyond the Wall."]
Well, that was fast, wasn't it?
After only seven weeks, Game of Thrones has finally reached season finale territory. The upcoming episode, "The Dragon and the Wolf," marks the end of the seventh season of the HBO fantasy series, the final installment before the final run of episodes. When the credits roll on the finale this weekend, there will only be six episodes remaining before all is said and done on Game of Thrones (successor series notwithstanding), which means the coming finale has a lot of moves it needs to make in order to set the stage for the final act.
With all of that said, here are seven potential plot developments to expect in the season seven finale:
1. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) Will Learn He's a Targaryen.
Anything short of the King in the North learning the truth about his background will be an extreme disappointment. Viewers already know that he's the son of Lyanna Stark through the show, and it's been heavily implied (and even verified by HBO in external ways) that he's the son of Rhaegar Targaryen. If the finale treats a Rhaegar reveal as impactful enough on its own, fans will be well within their rights to be extremely disappointed. Fingers crossed that the next step in the "Jon Targaryen" journey is more meaningful than that.
2. Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) Will Take the Next Step.
Their growing attraction toward one another seems to move further and further with each passing scene, while stopping short of outright declaring their true feelings. With only six episodes remaining after this weekend's finale, there's little time left to enjoy an outright romance between Jon and Dany — er, Daenerys. Expect some forward momentum on that front in an episode called "The Dragon and the Wolf." A marriage proposal, perhaps? Not off the table!
3. We Will See the Tourney at Harrenhal.
Honestly, this one is less of a prediction and more of a sincere hope. Again, the episode's title, "The Dragon and the Wolf," certainly speaks to the alliance between Jon and Daenerys, but it could also speak to the historic union of Rhaegar and Lyanna from long ago. If that's the case, there's no time in Westeros history more important to explore than the tournament at which these legendary figures fell for one another. We have yet to see Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) do a deep dive into the past this year. Perhaps the finale is the moment we've been waiting for.
4. The Wolf Will Leave Winterfell.
There are theories out there about Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) manufacturing a feud in order to get one over on Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), the scheming manipulator with unhealthy obsessive tendencies toward the Starks. Maybe that's happening. If it is, it feels more in line with 24 and House of Cards than it does with Game of Thrones. However it shakes out, we're expecting the plot will resolve with Arya abandoning House Stark for good, or at least for now. The fact that Arya couldn't win back Nymeria earlier in the season was a key clue to what to expect for the character moving forward: there's simply no going home for the artist occasionally known as No One.
5. The White Walkers Will Invade Westeros.
It's time. They have a massive army. They have a cruel leader capable of doing whatever it takes to destroy all in his path. And now, they have a weapon of mass destruction. Whatever was keeping them spinning their wheels beyond the Wall, the Army of the Dead now has few reasons to wait around. With an ice dragon in tow, expect the Night King to finally make a concrete move against the Seven Kingdoms by the time the finale ends.
6. Humanity Will Rise Up.
If only for now. Over the past couple of episodes, the Stark-Targaryen alliance has been focused on finding a way to prove to House Lannister that the White Walker threat is real. Perhaps the White Walkers will do the job for them, if they invade Westeros. Perhaps the sight of a wight will be enough on its own. However it plays out, expect Cersei (Lena Headey) to agree to help Jon and Daenerys fight the monsters pressing down upon Westeros, even if (and really, there's no if about it) she keeps one eye on the war for the Iron Throne at all times. Cersei will not end this series without her ambitions firmly clasped in her death grip, but an alliance for now? It's very much in the cards.
7. The Wall Will Fall.
Remember the classic Chekov saying: "You don't introduce a massive, magical wall made of ice in the first act unless you plan to bring it down in the final act." Pretty sure that's an exact quote. Anyway, we're in the homestretch now, even more so after this finale. The Wall has been the one thing keeping the dead at bay, away from the living. If we agree that Game of Thrones is about to let the White Walkers through into Westeros for this final six-episode arc, then it only makes sense for a huge symbolic gesture to mark the occasion — and there's no greater symbol to destroy than the great Wall of Westeros.
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