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5 Things The Game Of Thrones Season 7 Finale Needs To Get Right

Big things are coming on Game of Thrones

Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, up through episode 6, below

Game of Thrones' Season 7 Finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf," is almost here. The show's penultimate season has had its ups and downs as the series throws all its rules out the window and hurtles toward its final season. There have been more astonishing, game-changing twists and events in Season 7 than the last three combined, and based on previews, it seems the finale will be crazier still.

This Sunday, all our favorite characters will find themselves in a position that could alter their worlds forever. The intrigue between Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Littlefinger in Winterfell will be wrapped up one way or the other. And it looks like Jon and Daenerys will finally head to King's Landing and confront the Lannisters together, united in their belief that the White Walkers are the true threat. That puts the Wolf King and the Dragon Queen, not to mention Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, and every side character associated with these disparate groups, in potentially explosive circumstances.

And then there's the episode's tantalizing title. Does "The Dragon and the Wolf" refer to Jon and Dany, or is there some deeper mystery still left to reveal? No matter what happens, Game of Thrones only has one episode left to set up its final season. Here are five things the Season 7 finale needs to nail in order to do that right.

Cleganebowl

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As a longtime believer in Clegane Bowl--the theory that the Hound and the Mountain's very separate paths will finally converge again, and the two brothers will fight to the death in an epic display of fraternal animosity--my hype levels for this Sunday's finale are way over 9,000.

In the published books, a character who's probably the Hound was spotted briefly convalescing and repenting in the service of a humble religious brotherhood; while the Mountain, re-animated by Qyburn, has joined the Kingsguard in the guise of "Ser Robert Strong," since Cersei still needs to pretend Gregor Clegane is dead for the sake of her tenuous relationship with Dorne. He also may or may not have a head under his helmet.

Like it has with many other things, the show got through these story beats pretty dang quickly, and now the duel fans have speculated about for years looks like it might finally happen, with the Hound likely heading to King's Landing, and the Mountain serving as Cersei's main enforcer. Here's hoping it goes down in all the right, bloody ways.

Jaime and Brienne's reunion

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The relationship between Jaime and Brienne has long been a favorite for fans. Brienne has served as a conduit for Jaime's growth and redemption as a character, while the Kingslayer gave the Maid of Tarth validation and the opportunity to prove herself.

After Jaime sent Brienne out of King's Landing to find the Stark girls, their paths in the books didn't converge again until the most recent novel, and then only briefly. Readers have yet to see how that meeting will play out, so whatever happens in the show when Brienne returns to King's Landing will be a surprise for everyone. If Tormund gets thrown into the mix, who knows what might happen?

Sansa's reasoning for sending Brienne south might not be clear, but the narrative purpose is. Let's hope it pays off.

Lannister family values

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Jaime Lannister's on-again/off-again love affair with his sister Cersei (still gross even after seven seasons) is very much on at the moment. He believes his sister to be pregnant with their fourth incest baby, and although fans aren't so sure, Jaime seems to be all in on Team Lannister going into the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale.

Tyrion, on the other hand, will likely meet with his sister again this episode for the first time since his flight from King's Landing after his trial over Joffrey's murder. Whether or not she believes it, Cersei has learned through Jaime that Tyrion did not, in fact, murder her son; He did, however, definitely kill their father, Tywin. So she probably won't welcome him back to the Red Keep with a reconciliatory embrace.

When the last three Lannisters meet again for the first time in years, their claws are going to come out. Game of Thrones needs to wrap their long story up in a satisfying way to set up whatever the survivors will be focused on during the final season.

The Winterfell knot

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There's a lot going on in Winterfell, unless you think things are really as simple as they appear. On the surface, Littlefinger is playing Arya and Sansa against one another, and Bran is busy spying on all of history.

Maybe Arya and Sansa are really playing Littlefinger, trying to get him to show his hand. Maybe they'll kill him so Arya can wear his face and unite the North and the Vale without his meddling. Bran might have been secretly spying on Littlefinger this whole time, or he could be gearing up to serve some other purpose. Or maybe the Starks in Winterfell will cannibalize themselves, Littlefinger watching and laughing from the shadows.

Whatever happens in the North, the battle with the dead is going to be extra hard next season if this conflict isn't resolved.

Jon's big reveal

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There's a long-held fan theory that Jon Snow isn't who everyone thinks. This used to be based on subtle hints in the books; at this point, the show has provided much more obvious clues. I won't spoil it in case you're still in the dark, in which case, I envy you--you're in for a great surprise.

All signs point to this big reveal coming in the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale on Sunday, and there are a variety of sources from which it could arrive. Given that it will be one of the single most important moments in the entire series, fingers crossed they get it right.

Game of Thrones' Season 7 finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf," airs this Sunday, August 27 on HBO.

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mrougeau

Michael Rougeau

Mike Rougeau is GameSpot's Senior Entertainment Editor. He loves Game of Thrones and dogs.

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