5:00am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Must-See Moment: What Won't Happen in the Season 7 Finale
When it comes to Game of Thrones, the possibilities are almost endless ... almost.
Sprung from the mind of author George R.R. Martin and brought into live-action through more than a decade of work by showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, HBO's Thrones trades on the idea that bad things can happen to good people at any time, all of the time. And to riff on what's often said on the Iron Islands, what is dead does not always necessarily die, as both Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) will happily tell anyone willing to listen. Plot twists come left and right, with huge swaths of heroes wiped out in a single instant (the North remembers the Red Wedding, as does everyone else), villains brutally meeting their ends after seasons of tormenting good people (good riddance to Joffrey and Ramsay) and even the occasional dragon or three springing to fiery life after decades and decades of extinction.
But there are some twists that are too far, or simply too unlikely, even for Thrones. With only seven episodes left in the series, and only one single installment left in this calendar year in the form of Sunday night's season-seven finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf," it's worth taking a moment to address seven scenes we absolutely won't see in this coming episode:
There will be no Lady Stoneheart. In the books, after she's killed at the Red Wedding, Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) is brought back to life through the magic of Beric Dondarrion. If this twist were ever happening on the show, it would have happened long ago. Every finale since season three has had an opportunity to put this twist into action. It's not happened yet, and it won't happen, ever, not with only six episodes remaining in the series. Insert your sad trombone sound of choice here.
There will be no Howland Reed. Nothing would please me more than to be wrong about this one, so I'll happily eat an entire pie made out of crows (or Freys if there are any leftovers) if the Lord of Greywater Watch shows up in the finale. As one of the two survivors of season six's scene set in the Tower of Joy (in which a young Howland made his first and only appearance of the series), Lord Reed is one of the only men still alive who might know about Jon Snow's true origin. He may yet be the one to deliver such information in Martin's novel series, where there's still plenty of room for the character to arrive. With only six episodes left, there's simply no room for Howland on the show.
There will be no merlings. Since we're talking about Howland Reed, let's take a moment to shout out one of the greatest running gags in the Thrones fandom: that mermen and mermaids not only exist in this universe, but are actually the secret identities of some of your favorite characters. For example, Varys the Spider? Definitely a merling. Euron Greyjoy? Also a merling. Why didn't Jaime Lannister drown at the end of the Loot Train Battle? Because Bronn's a merman, obviously. Except, of course, he's not, and no such twist will be unveiled in this coming season finale. Next year, though? Watch out, White Walkers, because the merlings are coming for blood.
The Hound will not die. ... unless the Cleganebowl happens in the season-seven finale, in which case, Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) is definitely up for grabs. Until then? He's the safest character on Game of Thrones. Make no mistake about it: The Cleganebowl is real. It. Is. Known.
Bran is not the Night King. With apologies to the fans who are steadfastly holding onto hope that the young Three-Eyed Raven and the White Walkers' commander are one and the same, it's just not happening, for so many reasons. It's not impossible that the Night King is an ancient Stark from a long ago time, nor is it impossible that he has the power of greensight. In fact, both possibilities make a lot of sense. Here's what makes no sense: Bran being the Night King. Yes, some version of time travel does exist on Game of Thrones, as proven in season six's horrifying Hodor (Kristian Nairn) deathisode, but with so little time left in the series, it would be virtually impossible to neatly explain how Bran could zap into the past, somehow overcome his paralysis and subsequently become the brawny warrior the Children of the Forest tied to a tree and turned into the Night King. Abandon ship on this theory, stat.
The chains will go unexplained. The White Walkers did not visit Hardhome Depot on their way to pulling Viserion out from the frozen lake. We will not see the origin story behind how the wights were able to sink to the bottom of the lake and put chains on the dragon's icy corpse. It just happened, and it will go completely unmentioned in the finale. Let it go.
Speaking of "Let It Go," there will be no musical numbers. Much to the chagrin of Gwendoline Christie.
Otherwise? Anything else on Game of Thrones is fair game. Enjoy the ride, folks. It's the last one until 2018, at the absolute earliest.
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