Beyond The Wall
Holy Mother of Dragons! This episode was a game changer to say the least. Most of the action took place Beyond The Wall as the title would suggest, but before we get there let’s recap what happened elsewhere and get that out of the way! OK… I guess some of the things that happened elsewhere weren’t that terrible…
OK. Sansa! Arya! Listen up! Knock off this childish fighting and get on the same damn page! No, Sansa, don’t talk to Littlefinger! Arya, stop threatening your sister with that dagger! Sansa, don’t send Brienne away! Arya, keep your severed faces to yourself! What the hell is wrong with you two?! I just… I…. Ugh… I can’t. Winterfell ladies and gentlemen.
“Sometimes fear makes them do unfortunate things. I’ll go with anger.” — Arya
Ah! Another great conversation between Dany and Tyrion. After speculating on how small or tall heroes should be, things get a bit serious. Tyrion has the right idea about planning for a successor to the thrown, but he pushes a bit too hard and too soon. Dany goes all mad queen for a moment and Tyrion can’t seem to influence her lately no matter how hard he tries.
Later, after receiving a well timed raven from the North, Dany jumps on Drogon and takes all three dragons to save the day. Again, after Tyrion advises her not to. I know he hasn’t exactly had a great track record lately, but sooner or later you have to listen to your Hand right?
“You told me to do nothing before and I listened to you. I’m not doing nothing again.” — Dany
The North (Beyond The Wall)
The episode opens with a series of “walk and talks” between several members of Snow-ceans Eleven. I actually loved every minute of it. I could watch all of these different pairings over and over again. No undead killing action needed.
Tormund helps Gendry by explaining to him the best ways to stay warm in the North. (Moving, Fighting, and Fornication.) They accomplish two out of three in this episode. The third one… we’ll just wait and see. He then gets to speak with Jon one on one for a bit and they talk about the consequences of bending the knee. Or rather the consequences of not doing it. Tormund telling Jon that Mance Rayder was a great man, but let many die for his pride may have changed Jon’s whole perspective on kneeling before Dany. It certainly looks that way by the end of the episode anyway.
“Smart people don’t come up here looking for the dead.” — Tormund
Jon and Jorah are up next and they talk about each others’ fathers and finally we see them talk about Longclaw! As predicted, Jon offers the sword to Jorah. As expected, Jorah refuses and Jon keeps the sword. The formerly disgraced knight also gives Jon some food for thought. “May it serve you well, and your children after you.” I don’t believe Jon had ever considered the prospect of children before. The question is, will he ever get to see that prospect realized?
The Hound and Tormund was just perfect! Even though they don’t share the same affection for Brienne of Tarth, I think they’ll be best buds in no time.
Jon gets a chance to chat with Beric. Two men who have cheated death discover that death is the real enemy and that they must fight it no matter what.
“The enemy always wins. But we still need to fight him. That’s all I know.” — Beric
Wait a minute? Undead bears? Nobody told me there would be undead bears?! Great. Here come the nightmares. In any event, this was still awesome. We lost a couple of red shirts right away that we cared absolutely nothing about, but then our favorite drunken priest Thoros takes one for the team. Well, more like taking one for the Hound. Thoros jumps in front of the now flaming bear (more nightmares) and is severely wounded. Not for nothing, but the Hound needs to take some of his own advice and stop “whingeing” around fire. You’re fighting alongside two guys that use flaming swords! What did you expect?!
Shortly after the attack the TV-MA Fellowship of the Ring stumble upon a rogue group of undead soldiers led by one White Walker. They seize the opportunity and find out that if you destroy a White, then the other wights (I know, they’re spelled different. It’s confusing.) that he created all die as well. Except for one. Probably because he was made by another White and just happened to be marching with this group? Or it could just be a convenient plot hole. Either way the group captures a wight and succeeds in their stupid plan. (I think I mentioned not being a fan of this plan last time. Nothing has changed.) The wight then calls for help much like a velociraptor from Jurassic Park and suddenly the group finds themselves in a pickle.
Ladies and gentlemen, Gendry “The Jet” Baratheon! Jon somehow knows that Gendry is the fastest and sends him back to the wall to send a raven to Dany. He takes off just as the horde of undead soldiers chase the rest of Jon’s gang to a standstill in the middle of a frozen lake. Here’s where the timeline gets a bit hard to follow. Let’s just say it’s been a couple of days and accept that the show is not wasting time. I have complained about the streamlining before, but I’m over it. For now.
The Hound throws a few rocks at the undead because… they needed to realize the lake had froze again? I don’t know. It gets crazy right after that as the two groups collide and battle it out. After the last of the red shirts falls (very sad) it looks like we may lose some more main characters. It gets intense and when all seems lost we finally get to see Ice vs Fire!
Dany and her dragons swoop in to save the day and begin to lay waste to the army of the undead! This starts to look like the battle of the Loot Train from episode four until the unthinkable happens. One of Dany’s dragons, Viserion, is struck with an ice spear from the Night King. I don’t think I’ve ever been this sad about a CGI character before. The group, minus Jon, (because somebody had to go and be a stupid hero) escape with the wight they captured. Viserion sinks into the lake and Jon soon follows. Then something strange happens…
Did Jon just die again? It’s possible that he held his breath and somehow didn’t get hypothermia, but he was under water for a long time. The army was already marching away. When he was originally brought back did that make him undead as well? Is this another instance that I should just accept and shut up about? Fine. For now.
Good old uncle Benjen does what he does best. Saves Starks from certain death in the knick of time. The reunion between Jon and his favorite uncle is short lived (puns) and Benjen is overcome by the undead as Jon rides for The Wall. An undead man on an undead horse watching his undead uncle get torn apart by the undead. What show are we watching again? Where’s Rick and Carl? Sorry. I meant where’s Rick and Cooooouuuuuurrrrrlllllll! (If you don’t watch The Walking Dead then please ignore the previous joke.)
Later, Jon wakes up on a boat headed back to Dragonstone. Dany is at his bedside and mourns the loss of one of her children. She vows to destroy the Night King and his army and Jon swears his allegiance to her. A touching scene. Maybe too touching. She’s your aunt dude. No more touching.
“Alright. Not Dany. How about my Queen?” — Jon
As far as endings go, this episode had easily one of my favorites for this show. An army of…let’s call them the zombie chain gang, pulls a very dead Viserion out of the lake. The Night King places his hand on the dragon’s head and then Viserion opens his eye… which is now bright blue. Bye bye Wall.
“Holy son of a f#*%ing mother f#*%ing b#*ch mother f#*%er!” — Me, when Viserion opened his eye.
Thoughts and Theories
- Gendry. The Brotherhood is never going to apologize for selling you to a Red Witch. Stop whingeing.
- Sansa! Arya! Same page! Now!
- Still worried about Littlefinger.
- Where were the undead giants? Saving them for later?
- Pour one out for Thoros of Myr. (He’s got plenty left in that flask.)
- How were they going to freeze to death when Beric had a flaming sword the whole time?
- Who uses the better warhammer? The Hound or Gendry?
- Speaking of The Hound. He’s heading to King’s Landing with that wight. The Mountain is there. Get hype!
- The Wall is coming down this season! Last thing we’ll see I would think.
- Ice Dragon! I know. You’re right. It’s very sad… Meh. Ice Dragon!
These episodes are getting longer and so are these recaps! Fear not. My love for my own voice is still strong. Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your own thoughts and theories in the comments. I’ll leave you with this… The finale this week is titled “The Dragon and The Wolf.” Dany and Jon? Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark in a flashback via Three Eyed Bran? Yes. Please. All of it.
“That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.”