Review: Game of Thrones 7×06 “Beyond the Wall”

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Spoilers. Duh.

This episode was extra long, and it felt like it at some points. I get they feel they need to remind us about what’s happening in Winterfell, but most people I know are frustrated by the Sansa/Arya stuff. I have some thoughts on that later. Still once the action got started, it was intense and unnerving and all the things it needed to be. Book readers have been theorizing for a long time about the last scene of this episode, so there’s a lot to unpack here. Previously on Game of Thrones, Jon led a merry band of random important characters to beyond the wall so they could find a wight and bring it back to prove the undead are more dangerous than the current war. This group includes: The Hound, Tormund, Gendry, Thoros of Myr, Jorah, and Beric. And apparently two red shirts which I didn’t even NOTICE last week, which is pretty cheap if you ask me. GRRM has no problem slaughtering people, show. I expected more from you on this.

I’m just going to talk about the main plot because it’s really what matters. The group have some chats and actually these conversations are fun to listen to. Tormund and Hound bond, Gendry whines at the Brothers and they’re like eh shit happens kid, Jon and Beric talk about the being resurrected, and Jon and Jorah have a very sweet moment about the sword Jorah’s father gave Jon. I thought Jon’s gesture here was noble, and it might have made Jorah see that this guy deserved the sword, which is why he didn’t take it. Poor Jorah. Jon gets his father’s love, his sword, and the love of his life. Alas. Anyway the group comes upon a zombie bear, which was seriously terrifying and made me jump out of my chair. Thoros is injured by the bear and a red shirt is killed. The healer is down, I repeat, the healer is down! They also fight a group of wights and when Jon kills the leader, they all fall down, proving that if the Night King is killed, it might very well stop the entire army. Good info.

But we saw in the trailer eventually the group is completely outnumbered and that happens fast. Gendry is sent back to the wall to send a raven to Dany. He runs and the others are stuck on this one stone in the middle of the wight army, all waiting because the ice has broken and they can’t cross. The group is stuck there for who knows how long. A lot of people keep complaining about how fast ravens move around, but seriously people, you want them to take a million days to get to one another? WE HAVE NO TIME FOR THAT. You can accept dragons and zombies and not be cool with this teleporting happening? C’mon now. Meanwhile Dany and Tyrion have a heart to heart, where he warns her that Cersei will try and make her lose her temper. It’s funny because Dany’s like WHEN DO I LOSE MY TEMPER, as she loses her temper. They do have a good conversation and he gives good advice, but he sets her off when he mentions she can’t have kids/can’t have heirs. Therefore later on when she takes her dragons to go rescue Jon, he points out she could end the entire thing by dying, and she’s like yolo.

It’s a good thing considering this group is about to be in serious trouble. Thoros dies from the wound and exposure, and they burn his body. The Hound keeps throwing rocks at the wights and accidentally shows them that the ice is no longer dangerous to go out on. So a new battle begins. The other red shirt is murdered. We almost think Tormund is going to die. We almost think everyone is going to die. And then of course Dany swoops in and saves the day. Her choice to be there leads to some very serious consequences for her personally and for everyone, because the Night King murders one of her dragons. Viserion is struck by a spear and crashes into the water, dead. The other dragons freak out, and people say Emilia emoted very little here, but I think she’s trying to display that Dany was in such shock that it’s not like she can break down into sobs right then and there. She never thought her dragons could actually be killed like this. EXCUSE ME THOUGH THE NIGHT KING IS RIGHT THERE. WHY NOT DROGON IMMEDIATELY SET HIM ON FIRE? BOOM. DONE.

Jon gets pulled under the water and they have to leave him, but he manages to survive because he has plot armor, and he has nine lives. He’s about to get killed again when Benjen Stark comes out of no where to save him. Not out of no where, we knew he was in that area when he helped Bran. But this means Jon has TWO amazing uncles who would give their life for his. Bye Benjen. This is kind of a lame death since I expected a lot more people to bite it to up the drama, but alas. Jon makes it back. He and Dany bond as he recovers in bed. I think it’s very important for their growth as friends, allies, and no doubt eventually lovers, that his first words when he sees her are “I’m so sorry.” He understood her loss, and he regrets that his choices led to it. She counters that it was important for her to see the danger for herself, so she now understands 100% that their real enemy is this army. He agrees to bend the knee.

Here’s the thing, a lot of fans are being weird about this. For one, Tormund points out that the free folk have changed Jon, because it used to always be normal for his people to bend the knee to the ruler. Ned Stark and the others did! He also pointed out that Mance’s refusal led to a lot of death and strife in his own group. The important part for me is that Jon has never wanted to be king, the only reason he was holding out on Dany was he didn’t know if she was a good leader. He’s seen only bad rulers at this point, and he had no reason to believe yet she was worth following. Now he knows. She came to their rescue, and she’s recognized saving everyone is more important than beating Cersei. She also knows now that his heart is in the right place and she can trust him. It will be romantic between them soon, I don’t think they’ll know their blood connection until next season, but first this is a scene more between two leaders acknowledging each other’s worth. They’re partners now. The North might protest at first, but Jon is hoping they’ll see what he sees eventually and calm themselves. Again, Jon does not want to be a King. I’m not even sure he wants to rule at Winterfell.

Okay so other stuff! Arya and Sansa. This is a hard situation to read. I still am not ultimately convinced what we are seeing from Arya is genuine. The reason that I hesitated in this episode is she talks about the Lying Game. That’s when she tells a blatant lie and then she handed Sansa her knife hilt first. If this is true, she was lying that she wanted to kill Sansa and take her face. I’m not sure why she is lying or making Sansa sweat. I do think the two of them will take out Littlefinger, but I’m not sure if it’ll happen next week or if it’s already happening off-screen and they’re trying to trick us. It does make rational sense in some ways. As Arya pointed out here, the last time they saw each other they were very different people. We’ve all seen their growth, but they haven’t. I definitely don’t think she plans on hurting her sister, but she doesn’t trust her. Also where the hell is Bran? He could’ve fixed this easily. Ugh. I do find it interesting they’re having these conversations about their experiences, it just sucks it has to come with forced drama.

One thing I was amused at Arya saying was that Lyanna Mormont wouldn’t really buy the “I was just a child” argument. And she’s right. She would spit at that. Still, as I’m very fond of Sansa, you can’t expect everyone to have the bravery as Lyanna. Dany wasn’t exactly bursting with feminism at Sansa’s age either. Anyway. I think that will get resolved soon. Sansa is sending Brienne south, right after Littlefinger told her to keep Brienne close, and that I find interesting too. But Chrys Reviews pointed out the following which made me laugh. Also the fact that my OTP is reuniting is freaking me out. The only OTP I have on this show is Brienne and Jaime so I screamed out loud when I realized they were coming back together. Ahhhhhh the tension! The feels! This is all I will obsess over next week. So next week a bunch of people will be meeting: Cersei, Dany, Jon, and all their collected people will be there. I don’t think the wight will matter to Cersei. She’ll pretend she cares, but this is Cersei. She’ll cheerfully let them all kill each other and arrogantly think she will manage to win afterward. I can’t envision a world where she would ever, ever willingly ally with her enemies.

Chrys is the best

FINALLY. The ice dragon. Viserion is brought back by the Night King. We’ve been saying this for awhile since it’s been argued that the only way to take down the Wall would be with dragon fire/dragon assistance. And I think that’s how this season will end, with exactly that. As soon as Viserion went down I said yup here’s what’s going to happen. This changes things too, it puts the White Walkers on an even more even and balanced setting with their enemies. Poor dragons and Dany though; they’ll have to battle and kill Viserion again this way. Yikes. I can’t believe next week is the finale. Aghhhhhhhh.

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