Season 7 of Game of Thrones will begin in Australia on Monday, July 17th. The season will run shorter than the traditional 10, with only 7 episodes to be followed by a 6-episode eighth season that could conclude as late as 2019. However, we are beginning the final leg of what has been a remarkable television journey, and to celebrate, we thought we’d cast a look back to ten of our favourite moments from the show in the lead up to the season premiere. Dave Griffiths will also be interviewing members of the cast in the upcoming digi-mag, so be sure to check that out.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.
As we come to number 1, it may prove surprising to reflect on some of the moments and characters that didn’t make the Top 10. Lyanna Mormont, for one. The Battle of the Bastards. The Mountain vs. The Viper. Brienne and Jaime sharing a hot tub. Jon Snow being killed and/or being brought back to life. The Great Sept of Baelor being blown up at the end of last season. The assassination of Renly Baratheon by supernatural hands. The fight between the Hound and Brienne of Tarth. The Purple Wedding. Podrick Payne turning out to have a talent with the ladies. Stannis Baratheon murdering his daughter or being killed by Brienne. No mention of Ser Davos or the Tyrells, Sam and Gilly, Ser Jorah or Arya Stark. Tyrion Lannister resolving issues with his daddy…
This show is so rich in storytelling that a Top 10 doesn’t really do it justice, and a Top 1 can’t possibly satisfy all fans as the absolute best moment of the show. We’ll try anyway by calling back to that first season that suckered us in so immediately with all these wonderful characters that we had to learn the fates of. Perhaps none more so than a young girl on the other side of the world being pimped out by her brother to gain an army to reclaim his kingdom. The arc of Daenerys Stormborn (Emilia Clarke) in season 1 is one for the ages: an absolute victim at the beginning, and a leader by the end of it. Constantly on a journey of discovery throughout taking on the Dothraki culture, awakening sexually, dealing with the loss of her husband and revealing the ruthlessness that resides in her as she dispatches foes.
At the conclusion of season 1’s tenth episode, Fire and Blood, the last of the known Targaryens became the leader she never knew she was. Her decision to burn herself in the flames with the dragon eggs is the taking up of the mantle of her identity with no real reason for her to know she will survive it, except that she believes she will. The very last scene of the season is Daenerys having survived the bonfire (a rebuke to countless virgin sacrifices throughout history), rising to her feet holding her newborn dragons and looking out at the horizon as her followers bow before their Queen. There has been nothing nearly as compelling since as she’s roamed the desert, but this season the Mother of Dragons is coming home. We can’t wait.