Well you guys, just a few weeks after we got one of the shortest episodes of Game of Thrones, we got one of the shows longest episodes. Because of it, we’ve got a lot to untangle this week. Let’s hop right into it.
For an episode titled “Beyond the Wall,” it certainly lived up to it’s namesake, with a good portion of the episode focused on Jon and Company’s ventures in the North. It was really inevitable that something was going to happen to them in their journey, but I didn’t expect them to run into the White Walker army like they wound up doing. Their first encounter with the undead bear proved to be too much for them, and I was surprised that it didn’t end there.
But of course, there was more. We were left with a solid portion of the episode pertaining to the battle between Jon and Friends and the White Walkers. Throughout that whole time, I couldn’t help but constantly fear for the entire group’s lives. When you think about it, that whole group was mostly comprised of some of the most lovable characters on the show, and seeing even one of them die would’ve been sad. We almost saw Tormund die, and my heart was racing as he fought for his life. But thankfully, all the core members (Jon Snow, Tormund, The Hound, Jorah, and Gendry) made it out alive.
The show also did it’s ol’ “sad music cue when something dramatic happens, so it seems like someone’s going to die” trick again. It’s subtle, but it really puts me on edge, knowing that this show can fuck with my feelings at any given second. Please, you can take anyone but Jon Snow. I don’t need that heart attack again.
And we almost did get him taken from us again. When all of a sudden, Benjen Stark comes in to save the day. We haven’t seen him since last season, where it was revealed to us via Bran that he is stuck in the North because he can’t pass through the wall. Somehow he didn’t get killed by or encounter the White Walkers during his time in the North, and came through just in time to save Jon Snow, before he dies just after. I wasn’t really moved all that much during this part, more or less because Benjen here was sort of a deus ex machina. But hey, at least Jon lived.
Thankfully, Dany came in clutch with her dragons, choosing to swoop in and save the day right when we thought all hope was lost. But that saving grace came with a catch, and it lead to arguably this episode’s biggest death; Dany’s dragon, Viserion. She had separate lines both before and after Viserion’s death relating to how her dragons are her children, so losing one of them is the worst thing that can happen to her. It may have taken six episodes, but Tyrion’s advice may have finally gotten through to her. She herself may not have died, but she just lost something that was extremely precious to her.
Side note, Tyrion has had a bit of an understated role this season. Prior to last week’s episode, many of scenes had more or less been reduced to him further trying to elaborate Dany’s safety (mostly his “it only takes one vulnerable moment to kill you” lines). Now, it’s nice to see all that pay off, and I expect to see huge “I told you so” from Tyrion next week. Maybe he’ll get taken more seriously as time goes on.
But for now, back to Dany. The episode closed with the scene of Viserion getting resurrected as a wight dragon for the White Walkers, which they seemed to do surprisingly easy. Not only is Dany down one dragon, but the White Walker army now has one. I wonder how that’s going to go over once Cersei hears about it.
Speaking of the devil (a little too true), we didn’t get a single scene with the Lannisters this week. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but I was a little intrigued to see what would happen with them this week, especially after we were left with Cersei possibly being interested in the armistice. But when she learns that Dany is down a dragon, she might not be so interested. Honestly, anything could happen with the Lannisters next week. Dun dun dunnnnnnn.
And as for the rest of the episode, it was limited to scenes between Arya and Sansa, as they went back and forth over the discovery of Sansa’s note. It’s starting to seem like this note was solely brought in by Littlefinger to tear apart the sisters, and so far, it’s working. The two are clearly irate at each other, with Arya believing that Sansa betrayed her family. But as Sansa said, she truly thought writing that note would save her father. Since that note was written, it’s become fairly obvious that on this show, when your fate is sealed, it’s sealed. Unless you have crazy magic people to save you. I wish Ned Stark had had one of those. Overall though, Arya and Sansa’s dynamic had its highs and lows this week, as the two sisters begin to get angry at each other.
It feels weird to think that the season is over next week; it feels like it just started! Game of Thrones has a knack for its penultimate episode of a season usually being the best, but I don’t think it’ll be true here. I think next week’s episode is truly going to blow our minds, and make the year-long wait hard to endure. But for now, this week’s episode was a good one, after the breather episode that we got last week. Jon’s battle, while not quite hitting the highs of last season’s “Hardhome,” still made for a hell of a thrilling episode, constantly making us question whether or not this was it for him.
Stay tuned for the season finale of Game of Thrones next week!