“Death is the enemy, the first and the last.”
Well slit my throat and call me Cat. Clearly my recaps have become so popular that the execs over at HBO had to name the penultimate episode of season 7 “Beyond the Wall”.
And wow, what an episode this was. I don’t quite think it measured up to “The Spoils of War” when Dany attacked the Lannisters, but it was damn close. This week, it was not only our main characters walking on ice, but it was the viewers as well. Six days ago, some idiot at French HBO office (or Littlefinger) accidentally posted this weeks episode six days before it was due to air. Chaos then ensued (more reason to believe it was Littlefinger), videos were posted on YouTube, and I got a part of tonight’s episode spoiled for me thanks to the “suggested videos” on YouTube and assholes titling their videos “The Night King revives Viserion”. If next week’s finale leaks, I’m chucking my phone farther than the Night King chucked that spear so that there are no spoilers for this guy.
This weeks episode had several frustrating moments for me. Luckily, there were a few great moments that kind of made up for the bad. This is the longest episode of GoT to date at 71 minutes, which will be eclipsed (timely eh?) by next weeks finale at 80 minutes.
Let’s start off with some of the more frustrating aspects of this episode in…
Alright you know what? Fuck Arya. God I can’t stand her. As predicted, the letter she found in Littlefinger’s room was the letter that Cersei forced Sansa to write to Robb after Ned’s death. The letter told of King Robert’s death and that Robb must come bend the knee to King
fuckface Joffrey. Of course, Sansa did not want to write this letter. But Arya goes into this big monologue about how much she loved Ned and how he was killed by the Lannisters with Sansa’s help. Sansa simply tells Arya that she was forced to write it, and Arya says “were you?”
Sansa was a child. What motive would she possibly have in colluding with the Lannisters to result in her father’s death? Arya makes a somewhat fair comparison to Lyanna Mormont, saying that she is younger than Sansa was when she wrote the letter so she can’t use the age card. But then again, Lyanna and Sansa came from two completely different upbringings that are not fair to compare. Then Arya says that Sansa did not do anything to stop Ned’s execution? WHAT IS SHE SUPPOSED TO DO? Walk right through the Hound and stop a huge blade from coming down on Ned’s head? I’m on Sansa’s side here and I really do not get the hate on her character. As she said to Arya, she has been through hell. She has learned from Cersei and Littlefinger, two of the smartest players of the game, and has become a terrific leader in the North. And now Arya wants to give her shit because she doesn’t believe that Sansa couldn’t refuse an order from Cersei fucking Lannister to write a letter? Then Arya does this creepy routine getting her sister to think she is going to kill after Sansa finds her faces? Side note: Those faces were dumb as hell. I get it, they spent their budget on CGI polar bears and dragons, I get it. I know they’re going to keep Arya around and she is likely going to kill Littlefinger next week and I hate it.
Shit. These are supposed to be funny. Sorry, characters I strongly dislike get me riled up.
So, Littlefinger’s plan has worked. Yay! For now. I’m not getting any hopes up at all. He has caused a riff between the Stark girls. But, so what? Is he really banking that one of them may try to harm the other? He says that Brienne is sworn to protect both Stark girls, so if Arya tries to harm Sansa then Brienne would have to intercede. So what does Sansa do? She sends Brienne away to King’s Landing when a raven comes from Cersei inviting Sansa to the capital. Ugh.
It seems very likely that this will blow over, the sisters will make up, maybe even consult Bran, and end Littlefinger. Yup, the greatest mastermind in Westeros who basically caused the show is going to go out in a mediocre storyline that no one is really paying attention to. Oh well, what are you going to do. Man if only this show had some books to go by….
Before we get to the main shit, let’s briefly check in and get Dragonstoned at…
Dany and Tyrion are arguing again while Dany questions his loyalty and Tyrion accuses her of having a short temper and making impulsive decisions.
Dany: “You know what I like about you? You’re not a hero.”
Tyrion: “Well, I’ve fought in battl-“
Dany: “You’re not a hero”.
Dany infers that heroes do dumb things and nearly die, like Jorah, Drogo, Daario, and Jon. Tyrion points out that all of those men are also in love with Khaleesi.
Dany: “OMG lyke Jon is totally NOT in love with me, he’s practically a midget”.
Tyrion: “Starting to like Cersei better tbh”.
Tyrion points out that to create a new world, they need to do it without deceit and mass murder. To which Dany asks which wars have been won without those two things. Mind you last week she legit said “I am not here to murder” LOL.
Dany: “WTF when have I ever lost my temper?”
Tyrion: “When you burned the Tarlys…and the Lannister fleet…and practically every time you have used your dragons…”.
Dany questions Tyrion’s loyalty for like the fourth straight episode and Tyrion implores with her that she must think about the long-term and about a potential heir since she cannot have children.
Dany: “You’ve been thinking a lot about my death haven’t you?”
Dany: “We will discuss succession after I wear the crown”.
Indication she probably won’t end up wearing the crown. I dig it.
Now for some shit to really hit the fan…let’s head to…
Remember when last weeks episode was titled “Eastwatch” and we were there for five minutes? That was sick.
Well the Suicide Squad is marching East on to complete the most idiotic plan ever conceived in a TV show. I didn’t really talk about how stupid their plan was last week, so here we go. They plan to walk right into the army of the dead, capture one, bring it ba,ck to Cersei, and expect her to comply. One, how do they even know the zombie will stay alive on the road to King’s Landing if he is under some sort of spell that wears off. Two, why do they even need Cersei’s help?? She has half of her army left and half of the Greyjoy army left. Sure, she has the Iron Bank’s support, but why not just have Dany fly her three dragons over there and burn them all (heh, get it? Like her Dad?). Even better, have Dragon fly over, snatch up a zombie, and fly it back to Dragonstone. No one even has to step foot over there. They can all stay in Dragonstone, get dragonstoned, drop a few molly in some milk of the poppy, and have a great time. But no, they’re doing this dumb plan. There are several dual character moments in the first twenty minutes. The Hound and Tormund chat:
Hound: “Fuck off”
Tormund: “Don’t like gingers?”
Hound: “I prefer chicken.”
Tormund: “I’m gonna marry a huge blonde woman.”
Hound: “Brienne of fuckin Tarth?”
Tormund: “You know her?”
Hound: “She left me for dead.”
Tormund: “You’re a lucky man.”
Jorah and Jon also share a conversation about Longclaw.
Jon: “I want you to have this.”
Jorah: “It’s beautiful. But I’m not worthy. It clearly likes you better. No matter what I do for it it won’t love me back. She’s all yours.”
Jon: “We’re talking about the sword, right?”
Jorah: “….Uh yeah, of course…let’s keep moving.”
Then Berric and Jon have a conversation about their purpose and coming back from death yadda yadda. Then the group shits on Gendry for never seeing snow just like any New Englander would shit on a Californian seeing snow for the first time (The Wildlings are the Bostonians of Westeros after all). They’re all bantering and getting along some what and acting as a team. Soooo, you would figure that means one of the major characters is going to die right? Hahah WRONG!
The gang is marching along minding their own business doo doo da doo when suddenly FUCKING ZOMBIE POLAR BEARS COME MARCHING IN LIKE A COCA COLA COMMERCIAL OUT OF HELL!! The bear from The Revenant is alive (well dead) and well (well freezing) and attacking our heroes. They’re HUGE. It seems like at least one main character will die! Jorah? Hound? Berric? Gendry? Nope. Thoros. Well NO SHIT he was going to die! Jesus throw us a friggin curveball will you. BUT THE BEARS! Berric lights one on fire! It seems like nothing can stop them! Except a stab from a small dagger by Jorah…huh…wait wasn’t there two of them?? So Thoros is dead, not from the wound exactly but he freezes to death later, and the Hound points out that Berric is now on his last life.
The gang then encounters a small bunch of walkers whom they take care of easily. Jon kills the main boss which then causes the rest to die, except for one. HOW CONVENIENT. They get the lone zombie to the ground, but not before it lets out a screech that seems to be white walker language for “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKING HELP!” So the rest of the army comes after our heroes. Jon tells Gendry to run all the way back to Eastwatch and send a raven to Dany to come help. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. MAYBE IF YOU JUST DID THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE YOU WOULDN’T BE IN THIS MESS. Oh well. Gendry runs back all the way to Eastwatch. This guy must be KILLER in the sack because this dude did not stop running….until twenty feet in front of the gate…c’mon dude. At first I was like really, he ran to Eastwatch that fast? But then they showed that like a day had passed to I was chill with it.
The rest of the gang run away from the army and find a safe spot as the weight of the army sinks into the ice, causing them to cease. They stay there for a long time and are in danger of freezing to death. If only they could make a fire, or you know, had someone who can instantly bring fire to his sword to keep everyone warm….Anyway, the Hound tries to fight off his boredom by throwing rocks at the walkers. He knocks the jaw off one of them, but the second one bounces off the ice. Wait…bounces off the ice…you mean the ice is…solid? Fuck. The one walker realizes he can now walk on the ice…and so do the rest.
HERE WE FUCKING GO. IT’S CAPS LOCK TIIIIIME!
WALKERS COME CHARGING FROM EVERY DIRECTION. THE HOUND FIGHTS THEM OFF. JORAH FIGHTS THEM OFF. BERRIC FIGHTS THEM OFF. JON FIGHTS THEM OFF. TORMUND FIGHTS THEM OFF. OUR HEROES ARE SOMEHOW STAYING ALIVE IN A FIVE ON LIKE TWENTY THOUSAND FIGHT BUT WHATEVER.
“FALL BACK” JON YELLS. “TO WHAT” IS WHAT I IMAGINE EVERYONE ELSE WAS THINKING. THEY HAVE THE CAPTURED ZOMBIE, NOW THEY NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. A COUPLE OF WALKERS GRAB TORMUND AND NEARLY DRAG HIM UNDERWATER. IT’S A SCARY MOMENT BUT THE HOUND MAKES THE SAVE AND DRAGS TORMUND TO SAFETY. OUR HEROES ARE SURROUNDED, BUT STANDING THERE GROUND. BUT OH NO! A NAMELESS WILDLING SOLDIER DIES! AND OH NO! YET ANOTHER NAMELESS WILDLING SOLDIER FALLS INTO THE ARMY OF THE DEAD! WHAT EVER WILL WE DO WITHOUT THESE NAMELESS UNIMPORTANT CHARACTERS! IT SEEMS LIKE A GRIM SITUATION FOR THE GANG. HOWEVER, THE SCENE IS STARTING TO GO INTO SLOW MOTION. AND IF WE KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SHOW, IT IS THAT IF A FIGHT SCENE GOES INTO SLOW MOTION, A SAVE IS ABOUT TO BE MADE.
RIGHT ON CUE, HERE IS DANY! AND SHE IS SPORTING A DOPE NEW WINTER OUTFIT! SHE GOT THE RAVEN AND IGNORED TYRION’S ADVICE TO STAY PUT. TYRION IMPLORED THAT DANY SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING. SHAME ON TYRION FOR PROMOTING WHITE INACTIVITY JUST LIKE TINA FEY AND HER CAKE EATING. YOUR SILENCE IS VIOLENT. ANYWAY, DANY IS HERE. AND SHE HAS NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT ALL THREE DRAGONS IN TOW. SHE IS MOWING DOWN THE ARMY OF THE DEAD WITH DRAGONFIRE. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM THIS SEEMS LIKE A PERFECTLY LOGICAL PLAN THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE STARTED WITH INSTEAD OF THEIR DUMB ONE. DROGON IS BURNING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. DROGON LANDS AND THE GANG GET ON HIM. EXCEPT. FOR. FUCKING. JON. WHY THE FUCK WOULD HE DO THAT? TO KILL MAYBE FIVE MORE WALKERS? JUST GET ON THE DRAGON AND FUCKING GO.
WAIT…WAIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THE NIGHT KING DOING. HE HAS AN ICE SPEAR. HE’S AIMING. AND HE CHUCKS IT HOLY SHIT IT HITS VISERION IN THE DRAGON SHOULDER. QYBURN WOULD BE PROUD. JESUS CHRIST I HOPE THE NIGHT KING WAS A JAVELIN THROWER IN HIGH SCHOOL THIS DUDE MUST HAVE BEEN AN OLYMPIAN. VISERION GOES DOWN AND PLUMMETS INTO THE ICE. HOLY SHIT. DANY IS DOWN TO TWO DRAGONS, HOWEVER TORMUND LOOKS MORE UPSET ABOUT IT THAN SHE DOES.
JON AND THE NIGHT KING LOCK EYES FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE HARDHOME. HE IS GETTING ANOTHER ICE SPEAR READY AS JON SHOUTS FOR DANY TO TAKE OFF. JON RACES TO DROGON, FIGHTING OFF WALKERS. BUT HE’S TACKLED INTO SOME ICY WATER! BRONN? NO, JUST SOME WALKERS. IS HE GONNA DIE?? DEF NOT. THE NIGHT KING AIMS AND CHUCKS ANOTHER ICE SPEAR…BUT MISSES. DROGON DODGES IT AND JORAH NEARLY GOES FLYING OFF THE DRAGON JESUS CHRIST ANYONE BUT JORAH.
JON IS FINE OF COURSE. BUT HE’S ALL ALONE. THE DEAD SEE HIM AND CHARGE TO ATTACK WHEN SUDDENLY THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN SHOWS UP! JUST KIDDING, IT’S UNCLE BENJEN! CAN YOU IMAGIN HOW FUCKING CONFUSED JON SNOW MUST BE RIGHT NOW! BENJEN GIVES JON HIS HORSE AND DIES SACRIFICING HIMSELF FOR HIS NEPHEW.
Wow. What a sequence that was. The Night King just fucking killed a dragon.
Jon gets back to Eastwatch and is cared for. Dany watches and sees Jon’s scars, though we all know she was checking out his sick abs.
Jon: “I’m sorry, I wish I could take it back.”
Dany: “We are abs-olutely going to kill the Night King.”
Jon: “Thanks, Dany.”
Dany: “TF, did you forget I’m a Queen?”
Jon: “How about my Queen?”
Dany: *A fucking waterfall downstairs*
They hold hands. Jon bends the knee. Ugh, they’re so going to bone. Next week we’re going to see them bone and Littlefinger die, oh boy what great direction for the series. Ugh.
In the final scene, we see the dead with some gigantic chains in hand pulling Viserion out of the water.
Me: “Where did they get chains?”
My pal Daryl: “They brought them back to life.”
I died at this.
The episode ends with the inevitable. They drag Viserion out of the water. The Night King places a hand on the beast’s snout. And the dragon awakens, now with blue eyes. The Night King now has giants, polar bears, and A DRAGON in his army. Jesus Christ.
This was a monumental episode that was bogged down by some dumb storytelling. Some great acting all around, amazing special effects, and great moments rivaling the battle at Hardhome.
EPISODE RATING: 9.3/10
- Okay, at this point, what the fuck are they doing with Euron? Are we really going to waste time on his death in the final season next year?
- Sadly, no DAVOS MOFUGGIN SEAWORTH this episode. Let’s hope he returns with a vengeance next week.
- The preview for the finale was very vague, as it should be. But seeing Jon Snow and the rest in the same setting as Cersei is incredible.
- Littlefinger is fucked and I just hope he gets a proper send off next week.
- So is it safe to assume that if the Night King dies, the army dies?
- The wall is coming down next week, I’m calling it.
- Performer of the week: I hate to do this, but I’m going to go with Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. I can’t stand her, but her monologue at Winterfell about Ned was very good and her ability to act creepy and/or scary is unmatched on the show.