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'Game of Thrones' season finale recap: 'He needs to know'

The end of season seven of "Game Of Thrones" has come and gone and with it, the assurance that winning the Great War will be a priority for all of the squabbling lords and ladies of Westeros as well as any hope someone would tell Jon about his parentage before he fell in love with his aunt.

The episode begins in King's Landing where pretty much every main character sans some Stark girls has gathered to discuss their current collective predicament — the inevitable Great War against the Night King. Bronn and Jaime stand on the battlements, looking out over Daenerys' Unsullied army and Dothraki allies. Dany's party arrives without her, which irks Cersei. The Mountain has been prepped for the meeting — if anything goes wrong, he's to kill Dany first, of course. Jon, Tyrion and company meet with Podrick and Brienne as all head toward the abandoned dragon pit for their conference. It's pretty great to see all these characters, whose paths have crossed before, catching up and making small talk. Brienne and the Hound chat about Arya, as friends do when they tried to kill each other last they saw one another. Tyrion offers Bronn the same price he has previously — double whatever his siblings are paying.

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Everyone enters and sits down to wait for Cersei. She arrives with Jaime and Euron and of course, The Mountain. The Hound confronts his reanimated brother saying "you know who's coming for you — you've always known," before leaving to retrieve the wight captured beyond the wall.

Dany arrives in spectacular fashion, landing her dragon on the walls her ancestors used to contain theirs so long ago. Dany takes her seat, and apologies for her late arrival. Euron tries to derail negotiations right out of the gate, demanding Theon (yeah, he's there, too) submit to him or risk the life of his sister. Cersei calls for order, and Jon explains their plight. One million dead citizens of King's Landing means 1 million more soldiers for the Night King's army, he explains. Cersei dismisses the risk, and Jon tells her he's serious — "I wouldn't be here if I wasn't," he says.

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"There is no conversation that will erase the last 50 years — we have something to show you," says Tyrion, and the Hound retrieves a crate with the wight inside.

The wight charges at Cersei, and the Hound hacks it into still-wiggling pieces. Jon gives a short Killing A Wight 101 demonstration with fire and dragonglass.

"There is only one war that matters — the Great War and it is here," he says.

Euron leaves to take his fleet back to the Iron Islands to ride out the war, supposedly because the wight scares him. Cersei, having seen death in the jaws of a snapping zombie, agrees to a truce on one condition: The King in the North not ally with Daenerys. Jon rejects this proposal, to his negotiating party's dismay.

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Negotiations break down and Cersei leaves, and Tyrion follows her shortly after. Outside her chamber, he talks with Jaime, "one idiot to another," and says goodbye in case Cersei unleashes The Mountain on him. In her office, Cersei accuses Tyrion of destroying their family and making them vulnerable. Tyrion challenges her to kill him, since he's been such a threat. Surprisingly, she doesn't make the call. Tyrion pours the two some wine, which Cersei conspicuously does not drink. Tyrion realizes Cersei is pregnant.

In the dragon pit, Dany runs through the history of the dragon pit. She recounts her ancestors' mistakes — "a dragon is not a slave," she says. "We weren't extraordinary without them." Dany also, once again, reminds Jon she can't have children. He's not so sure she's got accurate information on that front. Cersei re-enters the pit and pledges all her forces to the Great War. "The darkness is coming for us all," she says. Except, she doesn't actually care. Later, as Jaime is planning a Northern strategy against the Night King's army, Cersei fills him in on her backroom dealings. She has no intention of helping Jon and Dany, and Euron isn't actually headed for the hills. He's on his way to pick up The Golden Company, a mercenary army Cersei paid for with some help from her new allies, The Iron Bank. Jaime is disgusted and for the second time this episode, someone challenges Cersei to execute them. She doesn't, and Jaime leaves as snow falls on King's Landing.

In Winterfell, Sansa and Littlefinger discuss Jon's recently pledged loyalty to the Dragon Queen. Petyr tries (again) to turn Sansa against Arya, suggesting that Sansa should try to think of Arya's worst motive for returning home. "If she murders you, what does she become?" he asks. Sansa calls Arya to the Great Hall. She and Bran sit at the head table, and Arya comes before them.

"You stand accused of murder, and you stand accused of treason," Sansa says, pausing for dramatic effect before continuing, "Lord Baelish."

The Stark children run through Littlefinger's truly lengthy list of crimes — plotting against their father for one — before asking how he pleads. He says he's innocent, that he only did what he did to protect Sansa, out of love for her and her mother. Sansa is having none of this, and passes Littlefinger a death sentence. Arya slits his throat and he dies. While debriefing on the castle walls, Sansa and Arya discuss Petyr's actions. Arya admits she could have never survived what Sansa did. The animosity seen all season seems to have either been for show or quickly resolved. "The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives," Sansa says, echoing their father's words from seasons ago.

On Dragonstone, Dany and Jon have arrived home from negotiations. Theon (yep, still here) approaches Jon for some sort of redemption? I guess? He tells Jon that he is saddled with regret, and Jon kind of comforts this guy who he just threatened to kill mere episodes ago. "It's not my place to forgive you for all of it, but what I can forgive, I do," Jon tells him. Theon, still taking up precious minutes of the episode, makes his way out to the beach, where the other Iron Born men are trying to leave. Theon attempts to convince them to rescue Yara. One of the men resists, telling Theon they're just going to shore up on an island and wait out this whole war against the undead. Theon grapples with him, kills him and convinces the rest to join him in his rescue mission.

Sam rides into Winterfell, where he meets with Bran. Bran lets Sam know he's the Three-Eyed Raven, again not really explaining that at all, and tells Sam that Jon must know the truth. That he's not a Snow, but a Sand — a bastard to Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen born in Dorne. Sam, who apparently was listening to Gilly when she uncovered Rhaegar's annulment, tells Bran that Jon's parents were legitimately married. As Bran verbally runs through everything — that Jon is a Targaryen, that he has a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne — Jon enters Dany's bedchamber. The narration is truly as awkward as you might imagine, as let's not forget, Dany is Jon's aunt. As the two, er, bond, we hear Bran's voice: "He needs to know. We need to tell him."

Bran, seated under a wierwood tree, wargs into ravens over Eastwatch. There, Tormund and Beric are looking out over the forest from a crow's nest. Suddenly, the army of the dead emerge from the trees, led by White Walkers on horseback. I guess all this time, there's been no real plan for what the Night's Watch will do when the walkers arrive, because Tormund just kind of freezes. The Night King breaks through the treeline riding the undead Viserion. Viserion spouts blue fire (which seems to have the same effect as regular fire) toward the wall under Eastwatch. It crumbles toward the earth, leaving Beric and Tormund's fate unknown, and clearing a path for the undead army to advance. And advance they do, toward Westeros, with the Night King flying overhead.

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