Battle of the Bastards, The Dance of Dragons, The Watchers on the Wall. Game of Thrones has made a habit of making the penultimate episode of every season action-packed and epic. And that is where they went wrong with Beyond the Wall.
The Magnificent Seven Idiots beyond the Wall were just that. When Jon Snow (Kit Harington) was apologizing to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) on her ship at the end of the episode, he said, “I wish were never went.”
No shit Jon Snow. Pretty much anyone could have told you that your plan was stupid beyond belief.
The one positive of the death-wish mission beyond the Wall was the dialogue and interactions that took place. Jon finally got to meet Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) had several amazing and hilarious moments – which made me think he would be a goner – but I was pleasantly surprised. The Hound (Rory McCann) was heartbreaking in his inability to try and save Thoros of Myr. His fear of flames continues even when death is impending.
The trend of extremely fast travel continued (seriously, is Gendry The Flash?) but it was all for the better in my opinion. Had Jon Snow’s trek happened in earlier seasons, those Seven Men would have been walking for ten episodes.
Okay so let’s talk about that battle. That unnecessary, plot-hole-filled battle. Even in the post credit discussion co-creator D.B Weiss says, “we had to give them a fighting chance against the Army of the Dead.” Talking about the choice to place the men on an island. So my question is…IF YOU KNOW IT’S NOT WINNABLE WHY PUT IT IN THE SCRIPT?! All the viewers knew the mission was a death wish, but we also (at least I did) knew Jon Snow would make it out alive. He has too many loose ends to die just yet. The battle beyond the Wall felt like a desperate stretch with lazy writing. I imagine the writers room going something like this:
Writer 1: “So we have to somehow make an Ice Dragon.”
Writer 2: “Great let’s just use one of Dany’s.”
All writers nod simultaneously without asking any questions: “Yes, yes that is a good plan.”
I also don’t like to see any animals hurt, even if they are dragons in a make believe world. So to see Rhaegal go like that really hurt my heart (there were also tears. Lots of tears.)
Phew. Okay well that’s out of the way. Let’s take a stroll down to Winterfell where shit is heating up.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) dropped my favorite line of the season with, “The world doesn’t just let girls decide what they’re going to be.”
That badass line aside, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Arya needs to chill. She had no idea what her sister, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), has been through. While Arya’s training at the House of Black and White was tough, and her journey getting there tougher, she wasn’t tortured, tormented, and raped. Sansa was.
I can’t help but wonder if there is deeper scheming going on at Winterfell though. If all of the tension between Arya and Sansa is a ruse to fool Littlefinger. I mean, surely Arya was trained well enough to know how to keep her voice down when threatening the life of her sister? I hope next episode we see the end of Petyr Baelish.