With just one season and a scant six episodes remaining in the already legendary run of HBO’s Game of Thrones, many fans have been left with mixed emotions. While most are excited at the prospect of seeing the narrative of A Song of Ice and Fire reach its conclusion, others are greatly saddened at the prospect of leaving Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister behind forever. Of course, there are also those who are concerned that six episodes won’t be enough to wrap up this epic saga in a satisfactory fashion.
The lead-up to Game of Thrones Season 8 - which begins airing on April 14, 2019 - makes for the perfect opportunity to refresh yourself on the prior events of the series, including those that occurred in the series’ penultimate season. While Season 7 of GoT featured plenty of epic moments and the conclusion of several characters’ storylines, it mostly served as a set-up for the grand finale - but now all the pieces are on the board for one final confrontation.
By the end of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow are a couple. But some joint-investigative work by Samwell Tarly, Gilly, and Bran Stark throughout the season reveals they’re also relatives.
Sam begins researching ancient tomes while studying at the Citadel in Oldtown, and idle browsing by Gilly reveals Prince Rhaegar Targaryen annulled his marriage so he could wed Lyanna Stark, the sister of Ned whose disappearance kicked off Robert Baratheon’s rebellion.
After Sam and Gilly make their way to Winterfell, they reconvene with Bran Stark, who uses his time-bending abilities to peer into the past and confirm the series’ central twist: Jon Snow is not the illegitimate son of Ned Stark, but instead the legitimate heir of Rhaegar and Lyanna.
Not only does this make Jon the nephew of Daenerys, but it arguably gives him the strongest claim to the Iron Throne.
To call the final scene in Season 7 of Game of Thrones a cliffhanger would be an understatement. As Tormund Giantsbane and Beric Dondarrion look out from atop the Wall, the Night King appears out of nowhere riding on the back of a resurrected Viserion - and intent on doing the unthinkable.
The Wall - which had stood for thousands of years - begins to crumble under the onslaught of Viserion’s icy-hot breath. As Tormund and Beric dive for cover, an enormous section of the Wall breaks, creating a large enough gap for the army of White Walkers to begin their march into Westeros.
Cersei Lannister isn't truthful when she agrees to a truce with Daenerys Targaryen late in Season 7 of Game of Thrones, but she does take the time to reveal some rather important secrets to her brothers.
First, Cersei tells Tyrion she's pregnant, presumably with Jaime’s child, in the conversation immediately preceding her acceptance of Daenerys’s terms. It’s not yet known what impact this revelation has on her apparent change of heart nor the effect it may have on Tyrion’s loyalties moving forward.
Later in the season finale, Cersei confesses to Jaime her alliance with Daenerys is nothing more than a sham and she intends to let the White Walkers and Dany’s forces take out one another before swooping in with the Golden Company to grab Westeros for herself.
This betrayal probably sets up the ultimate conflict of Game of Thrones, but it also drives Jaime away from Cersei once and for all as he heads north.
Jon Snow’s appearance at the Dragonpit summit is further complicated by the revelation that he’s already decided to bend the knee to Daenerys Targaryen - pledging his allegiance to her and recognizing her authority as the sole monarch in Westeros, despite his claim as King in the North. He’s not able to consult with his sister, Sansa Stark, before making this decision, and that may lead to tension in Season 8 of Game of Thrones.
As Jon and Daenerys share a boat ride back to the North, they take their alliance to the next level - by finally acting on their simmering attraction to one another and sharing a passionate romp in Dany’s cabin. The romance between Jon and Daenerys sets up the greatest power couple in all of Westeros, but it also has some darker implications as the plot moves forward, especially given the revelation about Jon's true parentage.