The extended 81-minute Game of Thrones season finale was packed with reunions, negotiations, heartbreak, and revelations. There wasn’t as much action as, say, last week’s intense showdown between Jon Snow and the Nights King. But Game of Thrones has often saved the biggest spectacles for the penultimate episode, saving the final episode of each season to wrap up loose ends and set the groundwork for next season.
As always, there were more than a few small details hidden in the background of shots, and references that called back to scenes from past episodes. Here’s six examples we enjoyed from the Game of Thrones season 7 finale.
When Bran uses his Three-Eyed Raven powers to see back in time, we get our first look at Rhaegar Targaryen as he marries Lyanna Stark. Rhaegar looks a lot like Daenerys’ brother Viserys (the one Drogo ‘crowned’ back in season 1), partly because Rhaegar is their older brother and because Viserys was rocking the same royal haircut favored by Targaryens. Lyanna Stark is also a near dead ringer for her niece Arya, something several characters have remarked on in the past.
It looks like the Dothraki are enjoying the spoils of war in Westeros. During the truce negotiations in the Dragonpit, you can see several of Dany’s bloodriders wearing scavenged pieces of Lannister armor and Greyjoy clothing. Several men have an entire arm covered in plate mail, perfect for protecting himself when riding down enemies with their arakh.
Bronn’s Hasty Exit
Did you notice that conspicuous moment in the Dragonpit where Bronn and Podrick exit stage left for no apparent reason? That may be because Bronn actor Jerome Flynn and Cersei actor Lena Headey are on such infamously bad terms in real life that the production teams make sure they’re “kept apart at all costs.” Filming for the major meeting of Westerosi leadership took several days, and it looks like having Bronn disappear for the majority of them was the solution producers came up with.
The Pack Survives
Up on the ramparts of Winterfell, Sansa and Arya repeat a quote their father Ned Stark said in season one: “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” At the time, Arya and Sansa were in King’s Landing and not getting along. Ned used the words to remind them of the importance of family. A fitting line to come up right after his daughters outmaneuvered Littlefinger and solidified House Stark’s power.
Starks In Winterfell
Speaking of that shot of Sansa and Arya atop the walls, it mirrors a similar shot in the season six finale with Sansa and Jon Snow.
A Dragon Is Not A Slave
Daenerys is not a fan of her family’s former Dragonpit in King’s Landing, where Targaryen rulers of old used to keep their dragons. As the ages went on, their dragons grew smaller and less numerous, and some believe it was chaining them up in the pit that caused them to shrink in size. She repeats an old Valyrian saying, “A dragon is not a slave.” She last said those words in season three, right before she had Drogon bathe the Unsullied slavemasters in fire.