The North remembers ― and so do “Game of Thrones” screenwriters.
“Stormborn,” the second episode in Season 7, was chock-full of callbacks to scenes and details shared throughout the series’ six-year run. Some are obvious: The episode kicks off by showing Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) at her family’s ancestral home of Dragonstone as a storm ― much like the one that earned Dany her first nickname, her council notes ― rages outside. Later, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) reads a message from Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) containing a phrase Jon remembers him using years ago as a peace offering: “All dwarves are bastards in their fathers’ eyes.” And Arya (Maisie Williams) even reunites with Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey)!
But other echoes of the past were all over the place. As much as they remind us how far the Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens and all their friends and enemies have come ― as the series’ final episodes approach quicker than we’d like them to ― they make us wonder whether there’s a bit of foreshadowing going on, too.
Here are a few you might’ve missed.
Cersei (Lena Headey) tests a crossbow that’s a bigger, badder version of the one Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) had.
She also uses it to shoot an arrow through a dead creature’s eye socket, just like Joffrey once did to impress Margaerey (Natalie Dormer). Perhaps most memorably, Joffrey used his crossbow to murder a woman who betrayed Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen). We’ll see what Cersei decides to do with hers.
Arya repeats herself as she realizes Nymeria has an independent spirit much like her own.
In Season 1, Arya rebukes her father’s plan for her future by simply telling him, “No. That’s not me.” In Season 7, Nymeria walks away from Arya’s invitation to venture north to Winterfell, apparently because doing what other people want her to do is not the direwolf’s jam, either.
But we wouldn’t have recognized this if it weren’t for a handy explanatory video from the “Game of Thrones” showrunners, who obviously wanted us to appreciate the reference.
Dany uses the same words when hearing about Jon Snow that Aemon Targaryen (Peter Vaughan) used when hearing about her.
When Aemon Targaryen served as maester of the Night’s Watch, few people there seemed to know his true identity. But his Targaryen heritage makes him Dany’s great uncle, and when Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) reads him news of Dany’s accomplishments overseas, he responds by saying she sounds like “quite a woman.” Dany uses the same phrasing when Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) tells her about Jon Snow, saying he sounds like “quite a man.”
Viewers are likely supposed to notice the familial link ― “Game of Thrones,” along with a sly infographic by HBO, confirmed last year that Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, making Dany his aunt.
Sam pays it forward, declaring that Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) will not die much like Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo) commanded of him.
When Sam is too scared to go on after encountering real White Walkers, Jeor Mormont (then Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch) tells him to buck up, saying, “I forbid you to die.” Much later, when Jeor’s son Jorah is suffering from a bad case of greyscale, Sam declares Jorah is “not dying today” ― putting a Sam-esque spin on the exact same message.
Sam survived, so we have high hopes for Jorah.
Littlefinger gets assaulted by two different Starks in the same way.
For bringing his wife to a brothel to keep her presence in King’s Landing a secret, Ned Stark (Sean Bean) pinned Littlefinger to the wall by his neck. When Littlefinger makes a creepy comment about Sansa (Sophie Turner), Jon pulls the same move.
Considering Littlefinger betrays Ned afterward, leading to his death, it gives us reason to be concerned about Jon. But unlike his father, he has a newly powerful ally in Sansa.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.