The episode focused on the aftermath of the Night King’s defeat in Winterfell, revealing that there’s no greater threat to humanity than itself. Long-awaited conversations finally went down, bringing fans closure and pushing a dozen plot lines, character arcs, and existential threats full circle. Here are 13 of the most powerful ones:
1. Jon’s speech mourning the dead soldiers from The Battle of Winterfell featured the creed belonging to the Night’s Watch: “And we shall never see their like again.”
2. Tyrion makes a comment about Bran’s wheelchair, mentioning the saddle he had designed him earlier. This is a callback to Season 1, when Tyrion first visited Winterfell and crafted a saddle that allowed Bran to ride a horse after his Jaime-induced injury.
3. Daenerys is seen wearing all red—symbolizing the “Fire and Blood” linked to Targaryen Red. It’s the first time she’s seen wearing the color fully, and pays homage to her father, The Mad King Aerys, who was also a fan of the monochrome-red look.
4. Producers accidentally left a coffee cup in a scene featuring Daenerys seated at a table. After people online pointed out their flop, the network edited it out.
5. Writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff make a guest appearance as two wildings.
6. The Hound and Sansa Stark finally have a real conversation. The two discuss the history of when they first met at King’s Landing in Season 1, with The Hound recalling how he had tried to help Sansa escape.
7. During their conversation, Pod walked off with not one girl but two girls. TWO GIRLS! Reminding us that we still don’t know what Pod did to those girls several seasons ago.
8. Arya’s rejection of Gendry’s proposal was a reference to a conversation she had with her father, Ned Stark, at King’s Landing.
9. During the Stark family meeting, Sansa and Arya continuously refer to themselves as “the last Starks,” mirroring Cersei Lannister’s conversation with Jaime in which she tells him they are “the last Lannisters.”
10. Bronn’s comment to Jaime and Tyrion is a callback to when he and Jaime first met Brienne of Tarth at Robb Stark’s camp. (The original Braime shipper!)
11. Arya and The Hound ride off to King’s Landing together—just as they did on their previous adventure from King’s Landing to Winterfell.
12. When Tormund told Jon “you’ve got the North in you,” it was a callback to Season 2 when Jon explained that Ned Stark always told him that he’s “of the North.”
13. Missandei getting killed while wearing chains is symbolic and very important. Cersei decided to murder her in chains to prove that Daenerys is not truly the “breaker of chains,” if someone can simply slip them back on the slaves she’s freed. Additionally, her last words, “Dracarys” was a call back to when Dany originally freed her and her people from their slave owners.
It could also be a foreshadowing of what’s to come. Mainly: Mad Queen Dany.
h/t: BuzzFeed, HBO