Spoilers for the Game of Thrones series finale ahead. Game of Thrones has officially ended, albeit divisively. But even if you weren’t thrilled with the finale, the show made sure to throw in more than a few callbacks to previous Game of Thrones seasons to please superfans.
Sure, there are a lot of unanswered questions stemming from the final episode. What happened to Meera Reed, the woman who dragged Bran Stark to and from the North? Is what Tyrion says to Jon about Daenerys, "I didn’t love her as successfully as you," the new (and just as problematic) way of telling someone you’ve been friendzoned? Are the Iron Islands no longer seeking independence too? How the heck did Davos convince Grey Worm not to assassinate Jon Snow on the spot for killing Daenerys Targaryen?
But for everyone unanswered question in the finale, it appears there’s at least one Easter egg that can make you feel like you got a tiny bit of resolution and satisfaction for following the show for this long. Here are all the callbacks to earlier seasons in the season finale of Game of Thrones.
Tyrion Walking Through The Red Keep
Starting with a small one, this calls back his escape in Season 4.
The Dothraki Promise To Daenerys Targaryen
In her eerily dictator-like speech, Queen Daenerys referenced the promise Khal Drogo made to "kill the men in iron suits and tear down their stone houses" — something she also asked of her new khalasar.
"Break The Wheel"
In the same speech, Daenerys referenced what she once told Tyrion Lannister. She wanted to break the wheel of noble houses that turned over, crushing the people of Westeros as those seeking power schemed for the Iron Throne. In his new vision for Westeros, Tyrion honored that dream.
Remember That Time Jon Snow Died?
Tyrion sure does, and asks Jon if there’s life after death while locked up.
The List Of Daenerys’ Many Slaughters
Tyrion references Daenerys’ various accomplishments in Essos, and the destruction that came with them. Seems like he read all of those "The Bells" thinkpieces about how we were cheering Daenerys on for murdering hoards of evil men while she only got more affirmed in her belief that fire and blood is the best way to deal with conflict and enemies — perceived or otherwise. He referenced pretty much everything she’s done in previous seasons that led to the finale.
While we’re on this scene, Tyrion also referenced two of his own murder victims: Shae and Tywin Lannister. And…
"Love Is The Death Of Duty"
Jon Snow quoted Maester Aemon, who was "a Targaryen alone in the world" for years at the Wall. Now that title belongs to Jon himself.
Viserys’ Appeal To Ned
As Insider’s Kim Renfro pointed out, the way Tyrion asked Jon to think about Sansa and Arya’s survival under Daenerys harkens back to the way Viserys urged Ned to think of his daughters. With them in mind, Ned confessed to treason he did not commit in order to save his wife, and Jon Snow became the Queenslayer.
Daenerys’ Vision Of The Iron Throne
As many fans predicted, the vision Daenerys had in Season 2 of a snowy, broken King’s Landing came true. In the vision, she turned around to see Khal Drogo and their son Rhaego. In the finale, she turned around to see Jon and Drogon.
Her death, in Jon’s arms, could also be a callback to Ygritte’s death… but that’s too depressing to think about.
Tyrion’s On Trial
When is he not talking his way out of a trial, to be honest?
The Meeting Of Noble Houses
The gang’s all back! How exciting! That is, if you remember Edmure Tully, Robyn Arryn, and what Dornish robes look like. Who were those other folks? Unclear, though many fans have already decided that the man sitting between Samwell and Edmure is Ned Stark’s former BFF, Howland Reed.
How Bran Learned To Fly
OK, it’s a little dramatic for Tyrion to insist that Bran has the "best story" of everyone in that council meeting. Even his own story has more adventures. If Bran’s story was that good, would he have sat an entire season of Game of Thrones out? Anyway, the Three-Eyed Raven told Bran in Season 4, "You’ll never walk again, but you will fly," which Tyrion references while making his case for King Bran.
Someone Actually Took The Black As Punishment
When Sansa was barely a teenager, she tried to advocate for her father to be sent to the wall as a sentence when he was falsely accused of treason. That did not work out. In Season 4, that was supposed to be Tyrion’s fate when he was falsely accused of killing Joffrey. In the end, it was Jon who took the black (again) by order of the crown.
"There Will Always Be A Home For Bastards & Broken Men"
This is what Tyrion says when Jon asks him if the Wall still exists, and it’s a callback to what he tells Jon in Season 1: "I have always had a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things."
What’s West Of Westeros?
Arya’s exploratory journey is inspired by a conversation she had in Season 5 with an actress in Bravos.
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
In one of the episode’s most touching emotional payoffs, new Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Brienne of Tarth finished former Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Jaime Lannister’s entry in the Book of Brothers. Joffrey taunted his uncle/father about the incomplete entry in Season 4, saying that someone had forgotten to add all of his good deeds — because he didn’t have any to record, get it? Now he does. Would it have been nice if Brienne had started her own page next? Yes, but we’ll let the Jaime fans have this one.
Tyrion Rearranging The Small Council Chairs
Some of the callbacks, like Tyrion dragging chairs around, were actually kind of cute and funny. This is a reference to Season 3, when Tyrion was made Master of Coin.
"A Song Of Ice & Fire"
Archmaester Ebrose told Samwell in Season 7 he was writing a history book, but the name wasn’t as poetic as the future Grandmaester would have liked. Sam got his wish! Tyrion, who always loved books, did not get his wish — he’s not in this particular book. Yikes.
Calling Davos Seaworth The "Master Of Grammar"
He learned from Stannis Baratheon, the realm’s biggest word nerd.
Tyrion’s Brothel Story
Twice before the finale, Tyrion has started his anecdote/joke "I once brought honeycomb and a jack*ss into a brothel" only to be cut off. The rule of threes in comedy dictates that he must do so one more time, and he did! We’ll never know what happened next.
Arya’s On A Boat, Again
Right down to the music, this is like the end of Season 4, when she hightailed it to Braavos. However, Arya isn’t No One anymore. There’s a big ol’ Stark wolf on her ship. The pack survives.
Sansa Walks Down The Aisle A Third Time
However, it’s not a wedding. It’s the Queen in the North’s coronation.
The Game of Thrones pilot began at the Wall, with a party of rangers who left to deal with Wildlings and one survivor running out of the woods after a White Walker attack. Now, the rangers and the Wildlings are peacefully going back into the woods together.
Plus, Jon’s with Ghost again. Yay! All these nods to previous seasons may make it seem like nothing has changed in almost a decade of Game of Thrones. However, the lessons learned and the absence of a certain looming, poisonous symbol of power says otherwise. The story of Ned Stark traveling North is finally over, and the next chapter of Westeros history will hopefully be better than the last.
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