Game of Thrones season 7 episode 6 review: Of bromance, romance and bent knees
The frozen expanse beyond the Wall was the setting for Game of Throne's season 7 episode 6, which was fittingly enough called 'Beyond the Wall'.
When we last left our merry band of Game of Thrones characters (we're going to pretend that the whole HBO Spain snafu never happened — although, we will say this: you make that Oscars 2017 goof-up look good) Cersei was cosying up to her baby daddy Jaime, Littlefinger was setting up a major Arya-Sansa showdown, Sam was being daft (pay heed to Gilly next time, son), and Jon and Dany were staring wistfully at each other while also nuzzling dragons.
There was also the little matter of an armistice being negotiated between Dany and Cersei, for which Jon needed to bring a white walker (or wight) to King's Landing. Yes, the reasons for it seemed thin at best to us, but according to wiser minds than us (namely, Tyrion) this was the only way the Lannisters would be convinced of the threat beyond the Wall and focus their energies on battling it, instead of Dany (well, for a while at least).
And so we had a veritable cast of underdog heroes set off for the Night King's fiefdom, to capture one of his minions.
Beyond the Wall picks up from this point:
The Fellowship of the King — Jon Snow, Ser Jorah 'The Bear' Mormont, Gendry 'The Bull' Waters, Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane, Ser Berric Dondarrion, Thoros the Priest and Tormund Giantsbane — are trudging along the snowy expanses beyond the Wall. They have two minor skirmishes: a wight bear that attacks them, shaking Thoros around as though he were Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revanant, before finally being subdued by the others. Then, a group of wights along with their White Walker commander helpfully pass by so our heroes can capture one of them. Mission accomplished? Not yet.
For there is the Army of the Dead marching toward them, that Bran saw in his vision. At this point, Jon and gang do what seasoned veterans of The Walking Dead have done before them — they run. Gendry meanwhile, is tasked with running all the way to Eastwatch and having a raven sent to Dany.
Trapped, the Fellowship make a last stand, Thoros freezes to death, and as the wights attack them, in flies Dany with her dragons and does a 'loot train attack' reprise.
But if Drogon took a shot to the chest in her last battle, this time it's Viserion — felled by an icy spear thrown by the Night King, who used to be a champion javelin thrower in the time before he became obsessed with spreading darkness around.
Dany takes Drogon and Rhaegal out of the line of fire (sorry, ice) along with Jorah, the Hound, Beric Dondarrion and Tormund. Jon, hoping to avenge Viserion, keeps fighting wights, and is nearly felled. Then, Uncle Benjy (!) rides along and saves him — although, from the last we saw of Ned Stark's brother (buried under a swarm of wights) we'd say his days of fighting white walkers are well and truly over.
Jon rides back to Eastwatch, frozen out of his wits, Dany gets him snugly tucked into bed while they take a ship back to Dragonstone, they
admit that they have the hots for each other seal an alliance to fight the Night King — The End.
Stray thoughts we had after watching this episode:
1. If the Revenant bear and the wight bear were to lock jaws (or claws, or whatever it is bears do when they fight), who would win?
2. Poor Gendry. When he ain't rowin', he's runnin'.
3. Does anyone else think Master Qyburn and the Night King would be best friends if they met? They both like raising things from the dead, they both have an interest in bringing down dragons — and they could exchange fond notes on the Night King's ice spear versus Qyburn's ballista/scorpion as the ore effective technique to do so. Considering all the bromance that went on in Beyond The Wall (Jon trying to give Jorah his sword, Longclaw; Jorah and Thoros discussing old battles; Thoros and Gendry discussing that time the blacksmith was sold off to Melisandre; Tormund sweet talking the Hound — marry him already, Brienne! — much pleasant chit-chat was had by the Fellowship of the King before they got down to fighting wights), Qyburn and NK deserve a chance.
4. Jon is an incredibly lax correspondent! As Sansa mentions to Littlefinger, it's been weeks since they had a raven from the King in the North. Weeks! Now we get that he's busy mining dragon glass and falling for Dany's good heart, and making crazy plans to capture wights, but you know — drop a line to your sister when you get a minute from all that? Communication is the foundation for any good relationship.
5. Now that Viserion's been raised by the Night King, will he breathe ice? Or is he just going to be a winged steed, like the nazgul have in Lord of the Rings?
6. How pointless is the Sansa-Arya squabbling?And with Bran — the one person who could tell them what's what — spending all his time by the weirwood, peace between the Stark sisters seems a distant dream.
7. The amount of baby talk (we mean literal talk about babies, not cutesy conversation) in this episode was enough to make us forget the existence of that Lannister baby that may set Jaime's metamorphosis back by several steps (although, Brienne is on her way to King's Landing to meet him, so maybe not?). First, Tyrion and Dany discuss babies — she can't have them (although one might argue Mirri Maaz Duur's prophecy could be set aside during the Long Night) So she needs to choose a successor. Then, Jorah and Jon discuss babies — Jorah asks Jon to keep Longclaw for his children (and you can tell he's thinking of little babies that have Jon's hair and Dany's eyes — or maybe that was just wishful thinking on our part). Tormund tells the Hound about all the giant babies he intends to have with Brienne. And then, Jon and Dany discuss how she can't have any babies other than her dragons (a hint to him to not expect any kids with her if they do hook up?). Let the babymaking begin!
8. How does Jon get into these battles where he's hopelessly outmatched, and then have the ladies in his life come swooping down to save the day?
9. A Twitter wit once eloquently described Jon's wooing technique thus: 'My sad face brings all the girls to the yard, and they're like, 'my dragon glass is yours'' (sung to the tune of Kelis' 'Milkshake' song). And Jon brings his A game to the mix in this episode! As he turns his wounded brown eyes on Dany, and they hold hands in a gesture more romantic than a kiss (pardon our swooning), she tells him she'll fight the Night King by his side. Jon tells her he'd bend the knee if he wasn't laid up in bed, and calls her 'Dany', and then 'My Queen'. Does this qualify as a proposal in Jon and Dany's books? We sure hope so!
10. Flaming swords! We need to get our hands on one of those.