So ends another season of Game of Thrones, which means we’ve got over a year to wait until we’re back in Westeros. In the meantime, then, let’s look back at the season that was.
If Season 7 was uniquely frustrating in some ways (seriously, what is with the lightning-speed travel?) it was also deliciously satisfying in others (three words: ice zombie dragon). It had moments that made us howl with laughter, and moments that made us scream with anger.
It was silly, it was smart, it was stupid, it was spectacular. Here are some of the most superlative moments of Game of Thrones Season 7.
Best Dragon: Viserion
With all due respect to Rhaegal and Drogon, nobody elicited bigger gasps than Viserion when he showed up in wight form at the Wall, the Night King at his back like a twisted mirror version of Daenerys Targaryen.
Best Mic Drop: Olenna Tyrell
Sad as we were to see her go, at least Olenna Tyrell got to die doing what she loved: destroying her enemies with a few choice words. “Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me” is going to haunt Jaime for the rest of his life.
Best Stark: Sansa Stark
Jon Snow may be King in the North, but Sansa Stark has more than earned her title as the Lady of Winterfell. She’s been keeping the peace and preparing for winter while Jon’s been out hunting zombies and screwing blood relatives, and she even rallied her siblings to bring sweet justice to Littlefinger – the true source of all the Starks’ problems.
Worst Battle Name: Loot Train Attack
If you’re wondering what the Loot Train Attack is, that’s because it’s a terrible freakin’ name for one of the most stunning battle sequences the show has ever given us. You know, the one where Daenerys came riding in on her dragon and basically torched the place. But yeah, sure, the loot train is definitely the part we were all fixated on.
Best Ship: Tormund and Brienne
Pure, sweet things are rare in the world of Game of Thrones, but Tormund’s enduring crush on Brienne of Tarth is one of them. We should all be so lucky as to find significant others who’ll gush about us the way Tormund does about Brienne to a shocked Sandor Clegane.
Most Welcome Return: Gendry
Gendry’s absence from the show was so long, it became kind of a joke. Was the dude really still rowing to King’s Landing? Had he perished on the way? Had the show just forgotten about him? Nope! They were just waiting to deploy him at the right time – and as soon as Davos found him again, he was ready to hit the ground running. Missed you, dude.
Unsung Hero Award: Gilly
Since Samwell Tarly failed to give Gilly the credit she deserved, we will: GILLY 👏 DISCOVERED 👏 THE 👏 TRUTH 👏 ABOUT 👏 JON 👏 SNOW. 👏
Jon, Sam, Bran, and really anyone else with a vested interest in Jon’s rise to power should be on their knees thanking Gilly for unearthing the truth. (Of course, Jon being Jon, and therefore the kind of guy who won’t even thank his sister/cousin in public for saving his life at the Battle of the Bastards, he will probably say nothing.)
Best Ed Sheeran: Ed Sheeran
Some would argue that Ed Sheeran’s cameo was terrible for Game of Thrones because it was so distracting: It was hard to see Ed Sheeran as anyone but Ed Sheeran. I say it was a success, because that just means Ed Sheeran was the Ed Sheeran-est Ed Sheeran imaginable. Good Ed Sheeran-ing, Ed Sheeran.
Best Outfit: Dany’s dragon-riding cloak
Only Season 8 will tell whether Daenerys or Cersei comes out on top in the fight for the Iron Throne – but in the game of Game of Thrones costumes, Dany’s already a clear winner. Honestly, we’d watch an entire spinoff about the underling whose job it’s been to design Dany’s outfits this whole time.
Worst Outfit: Euron’s hipster Hot Topic getup
It’s not uncommon for Game of Thrones to retool characters between seasons – just ask Dickon Tarly. But Euron Greyjoy’s makeover wasn’t just extreme, it was ridiculous. Last season, he looked like a typical Iron Islands lord. This season, he resurfaced looking like an extra who’d been booted from the set of Pirates of the Caribbean for trying way too hard – and he had the obnoxious Jack-Sparrow-without-the-charisma swagger to match.
Which, perhaps, was the point. You want costumes to reflect the characters, after all, and both Euron Greyjoy and his hipster Hot Topic outfits are objectively just The Worst.
The Good Riddance Award: All the Sand Snakes
Case in point: You probably read the line above and thought, “the Sand what now?”
Most Surprising Survival: Grey Worm
We assumed that Grey Worm’s tender scene with Missandei marked him as a goner, since no one gets to be that happy on Game of Thrones and live for long. We were wrong.
Grey Worm, it turns out, has figured out the real secret to surviving this show – just don’t be onscreen long enough for the show to give you a dramatic death. Here’s hoping our guy pulls the same move in Season 8, thus coming out of this whole thing alive.
Best Game of Thrones Take: Jaime Lannister
Over the past seven years, Game of Thrones has launched a cottage industry of hot takes, deep dives, and think pieces about the show. But none I’ve read have summed up the series better than Jaime did in the Season 7 finale: “Maybe it really is all cocks in the end.” It really is, Jaime. It really is.
Good Samaritan Award: Samwell Tarly
Apparently, the only reason greyscale has been “incurable” all this time is because the maesters couldn’t be bothered to look up a cure and follow a few simple (albeit extremely disgusting) steps. So props to Sam for stepping up when basically everyone couldn’t, and singlehandedly rescinding Jorah’s death sentence.
Most Inevitable Incest: Daenerys Targaryen and
Jon Snow Aegon Targaryen
We knew it was gonna happen, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t gross. And hot. And all the grosser because against our better judgments, we found it kind of hot. Ugh, we’ve got such severely mixed feelings about this pairing, even though we’ve had seven seasons to prepare for it.
In any case, we can’t wait to find out how these two feel when they discover the truth. On the one hand, neither one has seemed all that into incest. On the other, they’re both Targaryens, which means it’s just a family tradition. So … ?
Season 7 MVP: Davos Seaworth
There’s a serious shortage of good people in Westeros, especially since the really good ones have a tendency to go and get themselves killed. So let’s raise our glasses to Ser Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight: humble, loyal, true, wise, and clever, and yet also somehow so cool and likable that we don’t even resent how amazing he is.
Not only has he proven, time and time again, that he’s got more integrity in his severed pinky finger than most people in the Seven Kingdoms have in their whole bodies, he’s survived long enough to live to a ripe old age – and lovingly lecture young whippersnappers like Jon Snow and Gendry about it. Here’s hoping some of his lessons actually take.