The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale has finally been unveiled, and boy howdy are these characters in for some trouble in the eighth and final season. This year’s truncated season of just seven episodes felt in no way smaller or shorter than previous seasons, and if anything felt bigger than the show has ever been, so it makes sense that the final scene of the finale is a giant zombie dragon tearing down The Wall.
HBO has released a behind-the-scenes featurette in which showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss break down the major story points of the Season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” offering some insight into how the stories came about and what they mean going forward. It begins with the Arya/Sansa rivalry that culminated in the finale with Littlefinger’s death, as Benioff and Weiss confirm they knew this was where their arc was heading, and so their job in this season was to thread that tension between the sisters and make it feel real. They also go into detail about that big sitdown meeting with all the characters, including Cersei’s machinations and how she played Tyrion with the final truce deal, as well as how tough it was to shoot.
And of course, Benioff and Weiss touch on Jon Snow’s true name, which was one of the episode’s biggest reveals even if it included information we already knew. Weiss says the trick was presenting the information in a new and engaging way:
“I would say the challenge with this sequence was finding a way to present information that at least a good portion of the audience already had in a way that was dramatic and exciting, and also add a new element to it. Part of the answer to how to go about doing that is the montage, inter-cut nature of it. It was about making it clear that this was almost like an information bomb that Jon was heading towards. The only way to really emphasize that was to tie those two worlds together cinematically and to have Bran actually narrating these facts over footage of Jon and Dany. Just as we’re seeing these two people come together we’re hearing the information that will inevitably, if not tear them apart at least cause real problems in their relationship. And she’s his aunt.”
Benioff continues, foreshadowing some major drama between Jon and Dany in the final season:
“It complicates everything on a political level, on a personal level, and it just makes everything that could’ve been so neat and kind of perfect for Jon and Dany and it really muddies the waters.”
The two also discuss the zombie dragon, revealing that they’ve known this is how the White Walkers get past the wall for years now. So it’s all been heading to this, all this time, and it finally came to fruition. Check out the video below for the full breakdown.