At 79 minutes and 43 seconds, the Jeremy Podeswa-directed episode “The Dragon and the Wolf,” which airs Sunday, easily outstrips the 70 minutes-plus of August 20’s game-changing “Beyond the Wall.” Before this past Sunday’s episode, the previous longest GoT was “The Winds of Winter,” the Season 6 finale of June 26, 2016. Executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had teased in interviews this year that the S7 finale would be the longest ever for the series based on George R.R. Martin’s books.
The length of the Season 7 finale marks another record for GoT in a season that has seen repeated viewership and ratings highs too. With 10.72 million viewers and a 5.0 rating, the August 13 “Eastwatch” episode was the best the Emmy-winning HBO blockbuster has ever done in both categories.
The title of the season-finale episode, also announced today, has led to plenty of tea leafing. It is pretty clear that the “Dragon” is a reference to the House Targaryen of the show and the “Wolf” refers to House Stark.
However, in a season full of hacks and leaks for GoT and HBO, the title doesn’t betray what exactly that is meant to say about the political and professional relationship between Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington), especially as the latter King of the North has vowed to bend the knee to the former.
And there is their mutual war against both the Night King and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) in King’s Landing. And then there is the whispered fact that Jon Snow is not the bastard son of Ned Stark as he has always thought but the spawn of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. That’s a twist of birth that makes the seemingly unkillable character not only the true heir to the Iron Throne but the nephew of Daenerys, who has not only has designs of her own on him but on ruling the Seven Kingdoms
Alas, the intrigue….
Whatever the title means and whatever happens this coming Sunday, you can be sure it all lurches towards the eighth and final season, which is expect to start its six-episode run in the summer 2018.