Last season, Game of Thrones brought us the Battle of the Bastards. That episode left us speechless and left us wondering if it could ever be topped. This week’s episode not only managed to top it, but also left us wondering how in the hell is anyone going to make it out of Westeros alive at this point.
If you weren’t left heartbroken or speechless during this week’s episode, you have no soul. The only good thing that came out of this episode is there was no Cersei.
Gather ’round and let’s the discuss this week’s episode “Beyond the Wall.”
In Eastwatch: The Suicide Squad (Jon, Gendry, Tormund, Jorah, Thoros of Myr, The Hound and Beric Dondarrion) make their way beyond The Wall while bringing up some of the giant elephants in the room. Tormund got the ball rolling with Jon and his refusal to bend the knee. “You spent too much time with the free folk. Now you don’t like kneeling,” Tormund tells Jon, adding that Mance Rayder never bent the knee. “How many of his people died for his pride?” Gendry, on the other hand, is still mad that the Brotherhood Without Banners sold him to Melisandre, which The Hound shuts him down about and tells him to stop whinging. Then Jon and Jorah talk about their dads, which leads Jon to offer Longclaw (the sword that Jorah’s dad gave him) back to Mormont’s son. Jorah refuses it and tells Jon it’s his given that he no longer has the right to have it. Jon and Beric also discuss their shared experience of getting resurrected, both hoping what they do will be enough to keep their people safe. Just then a blizzard comes on, and the men see a bear rushing at them. It is gigantic, it is angry, and it its blue eyes indicate that it is a wight. Thoros and Beric light it aflame with their swords, but it isn’t until Jorah goes in with a blade that the thing finally stops attacking.
Back at Winterfell: The Stark sisters have a moment as Arya recalls Ned watching her taking some unsanctioned target practice with a bow and arrow when she was a girl. The moment of tenderness ends as Arya turns on her sister. “Now he’s dead, killed by the Lannisters, with your help,” she says, pulling out the missive she found in Littlefinger’s quarters in the previous episode. Sansa tells her that Cersei forced her to write it but Arya doesn’t care. Sansa points out that neither of them did anything to stop the execution nor could they because they were children. Sansa goes on to say that her sister should thank her for re-taking Winterfell — after all, Jon lost the Battle of the Bastards. “The knights of the Vale won the battle, and they rode north for me,” she points out, which leads Arya to threaten to tell everyone about the letter. That leads Sansa to run to Baelish and confides how worried she is that all the men who are loyal to Jon will desert her if they get wind of the years-old letter. He suggests bringing Brienne into the fold, just in case Arya is plotting something mutinous, which Sansa goes for (FYI Sansa, Brienne would kill Littlefinger before ever harming Arya). Speaking of the lady knight, after receiving an invite from Cersei, Sansa informs Brienne that the lady knight will be going in her place. Brienne refuses to go, stating that Sansa isn’t safe alone at Winterfell when Littlefinger is there. But Sansa won’t hear it and sends her away. Keeping the ball rolling with bad moves, Sansa snoops in Arya’s room and finds her bag of faces. Arya sneaks up on her and teaches her very freaked-out sister about the Game of Faces. “I don’t want to play,” Sansa says. “The world doesn’t just let girls decide what they’re going to be. But I can now. With the faces, I get to choose. I can be someone else. Speak in their voice. Live in their skin,” Arya says, picking up her dagger. “I could even become you.” Then she hands the weapon to Sansa and walks out, leaving her sister beyond shaken (WATCH YOUR BACK).
At Dragonstone: Daenerys and Tyrion discuss Dany and her loves and that’s where Tyrion confirms something Dany already knows: Jon’s got the hots for her. She claims he’s not her type (yeah right girl). Then they talk their plans against Cersei. Tyrion informs her that she needs to view things from her enemies’ viewpoints in order to do the right thing. Then he brings up succession on the occasion of her death but she isn’t having it. She throws shade at him by reminding him that he cost her Highgarden and Dorne and will only discuss her successor when she is queen.
Back to the 9th circle of hell: The Suicide Squad ambush a White Walker and his small band of wights and learned something new: when the main guy goes down, almost all of his fighters suddently dissolve into piles of bones. The guys do capture one wight but the wight makes such a noise that it summons the other wights which has Jon sending Gendry (the fastest) running back to Eastwatch to send an SOS raven to Daenerys. Gendry takes off as Jon and crew lead the zombies onto a frozen lake; though the wights get one of the nameless good guys, their combined weight eventually cracks the ice so much that many of them fall into the frigid waters. On an island in the middle of the lake, the squad is (for the moment) safe. Gendry arrives at the castle but collapses after sprinting the entire way; Davos comes to his rescue and sends the raven off. As for the squad, by the morning, Thoros has succumbed to his wounds, having frozen to death overnight. “We have to burn his body,” Jon says, so Beric does the honors with his fiery blade. The men then discuss why the walkers died with the death of the main White Walker. Beric gestures to the Night King, watching everything from a nearby hill, and suggests taking him out in order to destroy the entire army.
A Hero Falls: When Daenerys gets the Eastwatch raven, Tyrion begs her not to go. “You told me to do nothing before, and I listened to you,” she says, climbing on one of her winged babies. “I’m not doing nothing again,” she states and leaves with her dragons. And it’s just in time, because as The Hound learns by heckling the wights that the lake has re-frozen, which causes the undead to charge at them. It rapidly becomes clear that the King in the North’s crew are an eyelash away from becoming zombies themselves. At one point, Tormund is almost a goner but The Hound comes to his rescue just in time. All looks lost but then Daenerys’ children rain fire down upon the assembly, torching nearly all of the undead. She lands, and everyone but Jon is able to board a beast to safety. Just as he’s getting ready to join them, the Night King launches a spear and lands a fatal blow in Viserion, who spills his magical blood all over the place and then sinks beneath the lake’s surface as he dies (NOT MY DRAGON BABIES). While Dany looks devastated, Jon sees the Night King gearing up for more, so he urges her to go.
Dead Man Walking: Jon gets knocked into the water while fighting some other wights, but eventually claws his way out and gasps for air alongside Longclaw. He stands and faces the army moving toward him, ready to die until a rider with fiery weapons shows up on horseback. It’s Uncle Benjen, Ned’s kinda-dead-kinda-not brother. He throws Jon on the horse and sends him away as he fights the undead alone so his nephew can ride to safety quickly as Daenerys and the crew are about to leave for good from Eastwatch. Jon and Daenerys share a moment while he rests in bed. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” he says, taking her hand. “I wish I could take it back. I wish we’d never gone.” She reassures him it was necessary and vows to destroy the Night King and avenge Viserion’s death. Jon promises her his loyalty, calling her “my queen,” and they hold hands for a good long time.
Sadly that’s not how the episode end as we see the Night’s King’s minions pull Viserion’s corpse out of the lake with chains. He approaches, places his hand on the beast’s snout, and then it opens an eye… an icy blue eye.
Quote of the Night
“Sometimes, nothing is the hardest thing to do.” Tyrion
Check out the promo for the season finale below!