Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 – Beyond the Wall Recap

Night King Beyond the Wall

So, Game of Thrones tonight…Well, that was rather a lot, wasn’t it?

Spoiler Note: This is our book reader’s recap, intended for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The post and the comments section may contain spoilers from the novels, whether or not that material has appeared on the show yet. Because no, we are not all Unsullied now. If you have not read the books yet, we encourage you to check out our non-book-reader recap, by Oz of Thrones!

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At Winterfell…

The tension between Sansa and Arya is reaching a boiling point. Tonight, it begins when Sansa comes upon a pensive Arya overlooking the courtyard, and the younger sister shares a poignant memory of Ned watching her shooting an arrow at a target over and over. As she reminisces, it seems as though there’s the old Arya in her face, expressive and human, speaking of her father applauding her aim. But the humanity slides away as Arya accuses Sansa of helping the Lannisters kill their father. She produces the letter Sansa was forced to write in season 1, as proof of her sister’s betrayal. A distressed Sansa protests she had no choice, being a child then. Arya bitterly recalls the day of Ned’s execution, revealing she was in the crowd watching. Angry now, Sansa points out that Winterfell would be gone without her actions taken to win the Battle of the Bastards. Arya observes that the Northern lords would disapprove of Sansa if they discovered the letter. The sisters part ways with a divide between them growing greater by the day.

Later, Sansa frets over the argument, talking it over with Littlefinger and worrying she’ll lose the Northern lords if they discover the letter. Littlefinger works his snaky magic, stoking her paranoia while feigning help, and implanting the idea that Brienne may be forced to intercede in this fight (which would probably wind up harming Brienne)…

Which is why Sansa takes the opportunity to send Brienne away when a raven arrives from King’s Landing. Cersei is demanding the Lady of Winterfell’s presence but she won’t be going- her lady knight will be sent in her stead. Brienne protests, and wants to at least leave Podrick behind to watch after Sansa, but she insists coolly. It’s only after Brienne has left that we see Sansa’s uncertainty.

Sansa Arya

Deciding to hunt for the letter in Arya’s room, Sansa makes an unpleasant discovery among her sister’s things- what looks like several human faces.  Unfortunately, she’s found by her sister before she can leave. Arya remains calm, and talks to her sister about the Game of Faces she played in Braavos. She explains how they both wanted to be different people when they were young, and now she can become anyone- perhaps even Sansa, if she has her face. Toying with the knife Bran gifted her, the threat seems clear, and Sansa is terrified. Instead of acting, Arya withdraws and hands the knife to her sister.

All in all, I don’t find anything about this storyline particularly interesting. There are small pieces of it that have been fun, like the tightly edited montage of Arya and Littlefinger’s subterfuge last week, and the nicely acted scene between Sansa and Brienne this week, but as a whole, the storyline is an unsatisfying head-scratcher. We can guess that this story’s trajectory is headed toward an ultimate confrontation where either Littlefinger or Sansa will be removed from the game. (With Brienne removed from Winterfell, the last person who can physically come close to competing with Arya is off the table.) But being able to understand the technical point of a plotline isn’t the same as appreciating or enjoying it on an emotional or dramatic level.

And the behavior of the Stark sisters often just doesn’t make sense. While Arya’s lack of trust in Sansa is somewhat understandable, given her traumas, she has displayed humanity when discussing Ned- and toward strangers as recently as a few episodes ago. If we’re to put any degree of faith in the possibility that Arya would consider killing her sister, we’d have to write off the humanity she’s shown us. And without that faith on the viewer’s part, there’s no real tension, despite the horror-movie beats in “Beyond the Wall”‘s Winterfell scenes. At the end of the day, it feels like the show just needed something for the actresses to do at Winterfell and all they could come up with was, “…..fight with each other??” Alright, moving on!

Tyrion and Daenerys Beyond the Wall

On Dragonstone…

Daenerys and Tyrion are having a chat after the boys have headed up north for their annoyingly heroic mission. Tyrion rightly points out to Daenerys that Jon Snow has moon eyes for her, after the queen is pouting a bit over Jon’s departure. It seems as though Dany doesn’t want to admit her feelings for the King in the North but her Hand is unfailingly honest.

In other business, they discuss meeting with Cersei, and the likelihood of his sister planning a trap for them. (Highly likely. Of course, it’s Cersei.) They return to the topic of how to rule, with Tyrion cautioning against ruling by fear. The burning of the Tarlys is weighing on his mind- but not on hers, Daenerys is certain it was the right thing to do. But he has another concern- her successor. Dany isn’t a fan of this topic either, since talking about who will follow her on the throne means discussing her death.

But luckily she won’t have to take part in these conversations for long. Because Daenerys receives a raven, dons her most gorgeous new white spined coat, and flies away from Dragonstone with all three of her children. Where to? You’ll see.

Tormund and Jon Beyond the Wall

In the frozen north beyond the Wall…

The magnificent seven (plus assorted wildling redshirts, but let’s roll with seven) trek into snowy northern territory, with Tormund passing the time by ribbing southerner Gendry and talking frankly with Jon Snow about Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall whose pride got too many killed. It’s Feelings Time for the travelers, apparently- Gendry confronts Beric and Thoros about selling him off when he joined the Brotherhood without Banners in good faith, though the Hound shuts down his “whingeing” right quick.

Jorah and Jon open up as well, discussing their fathers. The Valyrian steel sword Longclaw was a gift from the later, elder Mormont; Jon takes this opportunity to offer it back to Jorah, the man who should have inherited the priceless blade. Jorah admits he broke his father’s heart and has no claim on the sword now. Interestingly he mentions the sword serving Jon’s children after him, but since Jon is a fire wight (per George R.R. Martin) the odds of him being able to conceive a child seem incredibly slim. Daenerys emphasized that she’ll never have children besides her dragons in this episode as well. A simple parallel, or are they going somewhere with it?

706 - Beyond - Jon, Beric 2

Later, the typically gruff Hound isn’t interested in Tormund’s friendly overtures, and is amazed to discover through the wildling’s chatter that the woman he’s head over heels for is Brienne of fucking Tarth. Tormund wants to make ‘great big monster’ babies with her. I don’t think B is down with this plan.

Nearby, Beric and Jon have a heart-to-heart about their mutual acquaintance the Lord of Light, and their resurrections. The men get philosophical about their survival, and the purpose of their fight. They’re fighting for life, Beric insists, though the enemy, death, always wins in the end. A contemplative Jon realizes he’s the shield that guards the realms of men- that’s right, Jon, you can flounce from the Night’s Watch but you’re never off the clock.

Wight Bear Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall

Moving deeper into the North, with snow falling now, the men spy something moving in the distance and oh christ, it’s a FREAKING BLUE-EYED WIGHT BEAR leaping out of the storm.

Thoros and Beric light up their flaming swords and go to town, but the Hound freezes at the sight of flames. The bear tears up a couple redshirts- but Thoros dives in there with his sword ablaze. The damn thing is on fire, but it still digs its teeth into Thoros, slapping him around until I can’t believe he’s still alive. But alive he is, surviving long enough for the others to kill the undead creature. This wight hunt…is starting to seem like a not great idea, fellas.

Storm and bear passed, the men continue their search, as Jorah and Thoros discuss their long-ago meeting during the Greyjoy Rebellion. Which it turns out, Thoros doesn’t actually remember. The Red priest was famously first through the breach, and Jorah second behind him…but Thoros always was a drinker, and still is.

Soon they come up mindless wights being led by a sole White Walker, and seize the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, by laying a trap in the form of a small campfire to draw the undead to one spot. Surrounding the creatures, the fight is quickly over. Jon engages the White Walker in one-on-one battle, and shatters him with Longclaw…..and every wight but one drops, suddenly lifeless. Their animation has completely disappeared, except for one screeching wight that the group quickly subdues and bags up.

And that’s when they hear it. The sounds that tell them this just went from not-so-good to holy-fucking-terrible. The sound of hundreds of wights pouring through a pass, rumbling over the snow and headed your way.

Seven running Beyond the Wall

They need help, no doubt about it, so Jon makes a hail-mary pass and sends Gendry running back to Eastwatch to have the guy send a raven.

The group now has no choice but to run across a frozen lake, until they’re surrounded in the center and waiting to battle- and then the ice begins to break under the weight of the wights. The undead army pauses, unable to pass over the water.

Gendry runs like hell, and barely manages to make it all the way to Eastwatch, where Davos is waiting to drag his new foster son inside.

Hours pass, and the remnants of the original group huddle on the frozen rock in the center of the lake. As the men sleep, Thoros dies, succumbing to his wounds and the cold. Beric kneels for his friend, and the Hound surprises us by joining him with a word of comfort. “They say it’s one of the better ways to go.” But now it’s time to burn Thoros’ body, so the Red priest doesn’t rise.

Now that the men have had time to rest and think, Jorah approaches Jon with an observation: he realizes that all the wights (but one) died when the White Walker did, meaning perhaps there was a connection. They realize if that White Walker was the one who turned them, that would mean they have a way of killing a lot of them at once. But right now they want to bring a wight back to Daenerys, not kill the one they’ve captured.

Frozen Lake Beyond the Wall game of thrones

That’s when Beric sees, it’s not just wights penning them in. Above the lake, watching them, is the Night King himself and his White Walkers.

After the Hound takes to chucking rocks at a wight, they discover that the lake has finally frozen over once more. Which means that the living are screwed. Yep, it’s time to fight, and for Beric to do the flamey thing with his sword that I never get tired of.

The men dive into fighting the masses of the undead, using dragonglass weapons to stop and kill them. As they’re fighting, Jon protects their prize- the wight they’ve already secured. It’s a bloody, brutal battle, with the redshirts quickly falling. Tormund fights like hell and is nearly dragged to his death into the lake by a horde of wights, but is saved by the Hound. (See, Hound, he grows on you!) As always, Jon is breathtaking with his sword, but there’s countless wights, and no way to win this battle. The swarms keep on coming and it’s only a matter of time before they lose. The masses are crowding them in, and the end is near, but then!

Dragons flame Game of Thrones

The dragon’s flames rise over them, as Dany’s children blast the lake with fire, melting the water and wights alike in a spectacular display. The dragon queen extends her hand to Jon, but he’s busy fighting the undead and can’t accept quite yet. He fights off the wights as his compatriots climb aboard Drogon (with the tied-up wight in tow).

That’s when the Night King calmly makes his move, spear in hand. As Viserion flies overhead, the Night King raises his arms and takes aim. The icy spear stabs into the dragon, sending it crashing to the lake, bleeding and dying as its mother looks on in horror.

Jon urges Dany to take off as the Night King grabs another spear. He continues to struggle with the wights, until he’s pulled into the water himself.

Daenerys and Drogon barely miss being speared by the Night King’s second throw, as they’re forced to leave Jon behind in the lake.

Jon Benjen Beyond the Wall

Jon survives the water, barely, and drags himself onto the surface, but the wights realize he’s there. Longclaw or not, he can’t hold off a legion of the things. And then through the crowd, a spot of fire knocks aside the creatures. It’s Benjen, with his flaming flail! He leaps off his horse, gives it to Jon and resumes his fight with the wights. As Jon rides away, he sees his uncle fall under the swarm of wights.

Hound Beric Tormund

On the other side of the Wall, the Hound says farewell to Beric and Tormund, and prepares to depart with his ghoulish prize- the wight.

Daenerys Jon Beyond the Wall

Daenerys is having a harder time leaving, still hoping and waiting atop the Wall; her patience is rewarded as the horse arrives with a just-alive Jon.

Inside her ship’s cabin, Jon is tended to, and Dany sees his deep scars, ones that should have killed him.

Waking up later, Jon apologizes to Daenerys, wishing they’d never gone on the hunt, but she isn’t sorry, because now she knows about the Night King. And she and Jon will destroy him and his army together.

He thanks her, calls her Dany…and his queen. He bends the knee, though not physically since he’s still bed-bound and all. An emotional Daenerys accepts his hand in hers. “I hope I deserve it.”

Viserion eye Beyond the Wall

Beyond the Wall…

The undead minions of the Night King drag giant chains, hauling the great mass of a carcass. The body of a dragon is pulled from the lake- poor Viserion. (No word on how they managed to attach the chains to the dragon without going IN the water.) The Night King approaches, laying his hand on the beast for a moment. And then it happens- his eye snaps open, unnaturally bright blue.

The Night King has a new mount.


Stray Thoughts:

WIGHT POLAR BEARS ARE YOU KIDDING ME, JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY WTF ARE YOU GUYS FOR REAL???!!!?  

Iceland is worth every penny of the locations budget, with the incredible chilly vistas in turn blending seamlessly with the scenes cleverly shot on set in Northern Ireland. “Beyond the Wall” looks absolutely gorgeous, from beginning to end.

Duo Deus Ex Machina: Boy, GoT loves their deus ex machina, don’t they? It’s getting to be a bit much though, and two in one episode (Dany showing up at the last second, and then Benjen) is definitely excessive.

The Little Moments: Tons of great little moments throughout the episode, mainly in the north as the men travel from one place to another and interact, sometimes with unusual character combinations. Tormund was a special superstar this week. His moment discussing Mance Rayder’s pride ties in neatly with Jon realizing his pride isn’t more important than survival, and Jon bends the knee at the end. Then there’s Jorah & Jon (nice to address the sword question), Beric & Jon, Tormund & the Hound, Thoros & Jorah, Gendry calling the Brotherhood out, and so much more.

I mean I still cried: For all my criticisms of the Arya-Sansa  business, I really did tear up when Arya was talking about Ned watching her.

The Ties That Bind: It would’ve been a lot more effective for audiences when Viserion dies, if the show had made more of an effort to ever show Dany bonding with any of the dragons besides Drogon. That seems like a misstep to me, though it was still affecting because of the acting from Emilia Clarke, and because of the overall implications of the scene.

D + J: When it comes to Dany and Jon being a Thing, I do think that Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington have chemistry and I’ve liked the small moments they created this season as a pair of Very Busy But Still Pretty People liking the cut of each other’s jib. The power duo of Jon and Dany seems so obvious that people hated it before they ever met onscreen, but I’ve tried to resist that urge and give it a chance. The blood relation between them doesn’t bother me; it’s the Targaryen way. It’s not an extremely complex relationship as of yet, though. I would like to see the inevitable power struggles between them explored down the road, but I’m not sure Game of Thrones has the time for it. ASOIAF will have that time, and I have the feeling that this is in George R.R. Martin’s game plan. Hopefully he will confront the dynamics at play in this pairing if this is indeed where he’s headed. Either way, bringing them together is not a guarantee for happily-ever-after, with Jon essentially the walking dead as a fire wight and Daenerys not someone who trusts or shares her throne readily. This is not a happy ending show, but we can enjoy the journey and the sweet moments.

How Bout That Lake Though, Great Views: Give it up for the cast and the stunt team, because damn that was intense. Even knowing Tormund would make it (spoilers), I was still suddenly convinced he was going to die. That was harrowing. Incredible direction on Alan Taylor’s part.

RIP Thoros, Benjen and Viserion : Pour one out for ya. And then a few more for Thoros, because consistency. (The HBO Viewer’s Guide confirms that Benjen gave his life to save Jon so we can mark him off as gone.)

Alright, viewers, what did you think?

403 responses

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    1. Littlefinger works his snaky magic, stoking her paranoia while feigning help, and implanting the idea that Brienne may be forced to intercede in this fight (which would probably wind up harming her)…

      How would Brienne’s intervention harm Sansa? I’m thrilled to see you address this issue because I’m really stumped here.

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    2. I loved this episode! The stuff beyond the Wall was great (both the interactions and the… action-actions 😛 ). RIP, Thoros, Benjen and Viserion.

      I loved Tyrion & Dany’s interactions. The actors did a great job and I could see both their points of view. Dany is only thinking short-term, while Tyrion is only thinking long-term.

      I didn’t even mind the Sansa-Arya stuff that everyone seems to hate.

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    3. Happily unspoiled, I get rewarded with another gut-punching episode. What a show!

      My spouse had predicted a dragon would die this episode, but I had dismissed it. (Looks like my knowledge isn’t all that!) Getting a wight dragon out of the deal was an amazing bonus.

      Also, between Jon getting Viserion killed and the strange game Arya is playing with Sansa, an alternate title for tonight’s episode might be, “Quick Tempers, Slow Minds.” 🙂

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    4. Okay, so is this a dramedy now? Because I laughed at scenes both intentionally and unintentionally funny throughout the episode.

      In before the “psycho Arya needs to be put down” crowd. I thought she was pretty clearly just trying to scare Sansa. She’d never harm her family…right? Yeah, she’s just playing.

      Okay, we get it, D&D! George told you Jon and Dany are going to get married and make babies. Show us, don’t beat us over the head with that foreshadowing anvil!

      So the Night King forgot how to freeze water quickly? And he has a howitzer for an arm! And how is it the wights know to swarm Benjen but they just went at the suicide squad one at a time? Oh, and Gendry Gump! The things they do for drama!

      Of course the dragon named after Viserys would become the Night King’s mount! Who else thought Rhaegal swooping in to save Jon would have been better than Benjen? Save Benjen for next season, dammit!

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    5. What a great episode. It wasn’t perfect (how fast do ravens and dragons actually fly? I didn’t like some of the slow-mo bits etc.) but I liked it a lot. There was action, emotion and even humour.

      I was screaming at Sansa when she was conferring with LF and sending Brienne away. But I was also disliking the self-righteous, sneery Arya. Come on, sisters, work together!

      I started crying when I thought Tormund was a goner, lol.

      Sandor, you shouldn’t throw rocks at wights! I liked it how he smashed the ice to sink the wight, and laughed outloud when he impaled the captured wight on one of Drogon’s spikes.

      Dany saw Jon’s scars (and abs!) and now believes the threat is real. Jon is ready to bend the knee (Tormund’s words about Mance must’ve helped), oh, and the emotions in that scene!

      The last scene was scary. The Night’s King now has an undead ice dragon, holy shit!

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    6. Loved this episode. Despite this reviews comments regarding the lack of development between Dany and the other two dragons, everyone at our viewing was like “Nooo!” as soon as the Night King pulled out that ice spear.

      Ps- Loved Dany’s fit outfit!

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    7. your thoughts echo mine. the chain was terrible as even Ygritte pointed out they cant make steel for swords much less a chain that size lol.

      Arya was in stinking Harrenhall with LF and Tywin when they were talking about Robb. She found the lettter in LF’s room and she can’t put two and two together about him?

      2 episodes ago Sansa dropped another ‘you can’t trust LF’ and now she trusts him? huh?

      The absence of Bran in this episode for the dudes up north was inexcusable. It should NOT have been Dany doing the rescuing. The twist would have been Dany showing up and Bran already handled it. That way viewer’s FINALLY gets to see all of Bran’s supposed power and so does Jon/Dany.

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    8. ManderlyPieCompany:
      your thoughts echo mine. the chain was terrible as even Ygritte pointed out they cant make steel for swords much less a chain that size lol.

      Arya was in stinking Harrenhall with LF and Tywin when they were talking about Robb. She found the lettter in LF’s room and she can’t put two and two together about him?

      2 episodes ago Sansa dropped another ‘you can’t trust LF’ and now she trusts him? huh?

      The absence of Bran in this episode for the dudes up north was inexcusable. It should NOT have been Dany doing the rescuing. The twist would have been Dany showing up and Bran already handled it. That way viewer’s FINALLY gets to see all of Bran’s supposed power and so does Jon/Dany.

      When did Ygritte say that?

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    9. I have to say that this episode is where it finally started to feel too much like fan fiction to me. The show is still an incredible production (visuals, cinematography, etc.) but the plot just seems too rushed/lazy compared to the intricate plotting of the books and previous seasons.

      As Sue pointed out, the double deus ex machina of Dany and Benjen was a bit much, not to mention NOT A SINGLE MEMBER of the Magnificent Seven killed when THOUSANDS of wights swarmed their island. Are they invincible? Thoros freezing to death was believable, but come on, there should have been more casualties on a mission like this.

      But the biggest raised-eyebrow moment has to be Gendry “I’ve-never-seen-snow” Baratheon running all the way back to the wall in… what? A day? …followed by instant raven and instant Dany swooping in to save the day. I was willing to forgive the show’s travel/time compression up to now but this was just too much. If everything can happen instantly regardless of distance, nothing has an impact.

      It was also a bit weird how little reaction the characters had to anything. You’d think someone like the Hound who had never seen wights or dragons before would be at least somwhat amazed.

      I still enjoy the show, and happy for everyone who thought this episode was a masterpiece, but it finally crossed the suspension-of-disbelief line for me. Kind of felt like the showrunners saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if the Night King had an ice dragon?” and not really caring how they got there.

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    10. Boromir:
      I have to say that this episode is where it finally started to feel too much like fan fiction to me. The show is still an incredible production (visuals, cinematography, etc.) but the plot just seems too rushed/lazy compared to the intricate plotting of the books and previous seasons.

      As Sue pointed out, the double deus ex machina of Dany and Benjen was a bit much, not to mention NOT A SINGLE MEMBER of the Magnificent Seven killed fighting THOUSANDS of wights. Are they invincible? Thoros freezing to death was impactful and believable, but come on, there should have been more casualties on a mission like this.

      But the biggest raised-eyebrow moment has to be Gendry “I’ve-never-seen-snow” Baratheon running all the way back to the wall in… what? A day? …followed by instant raven and instant Dany swooping in to save the day. I guess they were just sitting for days out on that rock island?

      It was also a bit weird how little reaction the characters had to anything. You’d think someone like the hound who had never seen wights or dragons before would be at least somwhat amazed.

      I still enjoy the show, and happy for everyone who thought this episode was a masterpiece, but it finally crossed the suspension-of-disbelief line for me. Kind of felt like the showrunners saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if the Night King had an ice dragon?” and not really caring how they got there.

      Beric, Hound and Tormund not reacting to the dragons was horribly disappointing. Don’t even get me started on Gendry running to Eastwatch and the raven getting to Dany and even Benjen showing up last minute. And Dany swoops in with 3 dragons and nobody heard the dragons coming?

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    11. Boromir: the plot just seems too rushed/lazy compared to the intricate plotting of the books and previous seasons.

      That’s what happens when reaching the climax of the story. We’ve not even come close in the books yet, if we ever will.

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    12. ManderlyPieCompany:
      your thoughts echo mine. the chain was terrible as even Ygritte pointed out they cant make steel for swords much less a chain that size lol.

      Arya was in stinking Harrenhall with LF and Tywin when they were talking about Robb. She found the lettter in LF’s room and she can’t put two and two together about him?

      2 episodes ago Sansa dropped another ‘you can’t trust LF’ and now she trusts him? huh?

      The absence of Bran in this episode for the dudes up north was inexcusable. It should NOT have been Dany doing the rescuing. The twist would have been Dany showing up and Bran already handled it. That way viewer’s FINALLY gets to see all of Bran’s supposed power and so does Jon/Dany.

      The White Walkers didn’t build that chain. It belong to wrecked ship that you see a shot off.

      Also I mentioned before. Sansa does not trust Littlefinger. She’s playing him especially when Littlefinger mentioned Brienne you can see her face how she’s discover his motives

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    13. And what was Arya talking about with the bow? She said she shot it 20 or 50 times as Ned looked on. In the series premiere, she shot it once while Ned and Cat watched.

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    14. Arya was at HH when Tywin and LF were talking about Robb. Why is she not realizing LF is scheming with the scroll?

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    15. Jack Bauer 24:
      And what was Arya talking about with the bow? She said she shot it 20 or 50 times as Ned looked on. In the series premiere, she shot it once while Ned and Cat watched.

      You do confuse easily don’t you. Do you play on your phone while watching or something? It was extremely clear that she was talking about a different and earlier time than the scene we saw. She said NOBODY was around when she was shooting.

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    16. So if you’re on a wight hunt and an undead polar bear kills one of your folks, shouldn’t you just wait around a bit and take him back rather than keep moving and finding thousands surrounding you?

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    17. I have a strong feeling that this episode is going to be one of my most-rewatched of the entire series. It was every bit as thrilling on the second pass. I absolutely loved it.

      One of my favorite small moments in the episode when the party was stranded on the island in the middle of the frozen lake, staring at the Night King, and Beric suggests to Jon that if they kill him, the entire army of the dead will fall. Jon is rightly hesitant, but Beric – in far more eloquent terms – is basically like “You and I were resurrected for a reason, brother. There’s our reason, right there. Let’s go kill that motherfucker.”

      It’s remarkable the degree to which I’ve grown to fucking love Beric on the show (hence, the current avatar). I always liked the character on the page (and I certainly far preferred him to LS), but Richard Dormer has been killing it ever since he returned to the show last year. The Lightning Lord is making the absolute most of his new, last lease on life. I’m so damn happy that he’s still around.

      And his goodbye to Thoros as he passed was one of the episode’s most quietly affecting moments. I found myself thinking back to Thoros’s confession to Melisandre in Season 3 – “I knelt beside his cold body and said the words. Not because I believed in them, but … he was my friend. And he was dead. And they were the only words I knew. And for the first time in my life, the Lord replied.” Beric does believe in the words he says over Thoros’s body, but Thoros does not rise, because he’s served his purpose. His time is over. But Beric’s isn’t. Not yet.

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    18. What bothers me about the Sansa-Arya conflict (like the Sansa-Jon conflict to start the season) is invoking their father’s name but contravening his warnings about internecine feuds (echoed by Jon last season): “We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves,”

      From S1e3 (Ned & Arya):

      Ned: Look at me. You’re a Stark of Winterfell. You know our words.

      Arya: Winter is coming.

      Ned. You were born in the long summer. You’ve never known anything else. But now winter is truly coming. And in the winter, we must protect ourselves, look after one another. Sansa is your sister.

      Arya: I don’t hate her. Not really.

      Ned. I don’t want to frighten you, but I won’t lie to you either. We’ve come to a dangerous place. We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves.

      ————-_——-

      From S6e10 (Jon & Sansa):

      Jon: You told me Lord Baelish sold you to the Boltons.

      Sansa: He did.

      Jon: And you trust him?

      Sansa: Only a fool would trust Littlefinger. I should have told you about him, about the Knights of the Vale.
      I’m sorry.

      Jon. We need to trust each other. We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves….

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    19. Jack Bauer 24:
      Arya was at HH when Tywin and LF were talking about Robb. Why is she not realizing LF is scheming with the scroll?

      I’m not sure why I still bother responding to all of your question posts.

      Try rewatching the Harrenhal scene. Littlefinger doesn’t say anything damning to himself in the scene other than simply being on the side of the Lannisters. What it does though is add to Arya’s distrust and suspicion of Littlefinger. That is what we’re seeing. She heard him tell Wolkan that Sansa will be thankful to him for finding that scroll. She has nothing to prove Sansa isn’t working with him. She has allowed the weasel to hang around and she talks privately with him often. She should be suspicious.

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    20. I don’t think the wight dragon will be able to breathe fire. The fire isn’t magical. The dragon has some gland that produces flammable liquid. We’ve seen Drogon basically run out of the stuff before, when he was smaller. That gland isn’t going to work anymore. Because it’s not magical, it can’t be magically replaced by ice breath. So it’s still a force to be reckoned with, and can maybe fly a force of White Walkers over the Wall, but it doesn’t have its main weapon.

      In every year’s polls of who were the best actors and actresses for the season, I’ve never even given one second of thought to Emilia. But now it looks like I won’t be giving anyone else any thought this season.

      The show has become more conventional tv/movie the further it gets away from the books. That’s just how it is The things that drew me into it originally are largely gone now, but there’s still the amazing characters and acting along with the cinematography and effects. It’s amazing, it’s just not really the same thing it started out as anymore. Characters sometimes did foolish things, but for reasons that were always believable. That’s just completely missing.

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    21. Same template as Hardhome – an unlikely alliance has a nice chat, unfortunately interrupted by the Army of the Dead, they put a desperate fight, most of the named characters escape at the last possible moment, the Night’s King makes few moves and becomes VIP of the episode. Bah, obviously a ragged bunch fighting zombies on snowy terrain is not my cup of tea, but it was nicely done nevertheless. Even had some fun in the thick of the action – The Hound’s Punic war with a certain wight.

      At least Tormund has a plan about taking over the world. Now that’ll be a nice sequel.

      I’m happy with Arya this episode, she was more mature than I expected. What I saw was her testing Sansa, pushing her in and out of balance all the time. At the end she seemed satisfied with what she found. The dagger gesture had meaning on at least two levels:
      1. We are family, no need for that.
      2. I’m tempted to take your place and it’s quite easy for me, but I’m not doing it. You’re tempted to take Jon’s place. Are you sure you want to do it?
      No mindless killer, not a trace of the typical Stark rashness. Don’t forget this episode when you talk about character development. Only thing worrying bout her is she seems too overconfident.

      Sansa’s character was once again written in a weird way. “I won the BotB, I…, I…, I…” Really? How does this correspond with apologizing to Jon for keeping the Veil forces in secret? And the brutally honest conversation with LF made no sense at all. Sending Brienne away immediately after it might be reasonable – he definitely intends to drag her too into his schemes, and maybe Sansa doesn’t trust herself resisting the temptation.

      The theory that the sisters are playing LF can be put to rest. Not yet for sure and definitely not together. Looks like there’s a good chance for this to change in the next episode. In any case, Sansa is suspicious toward him by default, and Arya is already circling him like a shark, driven by the common Stark antipathy towards him and her character reading skills.

      Btw, Jon is still to bend the knee, he just offered. Chances are 50/50 for him doing it in the next episode or it being left for the next season and then… who knows.

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    22. Jared,

      Just want to say, I love your comments. The amount of detail in them and your constant positivity is always fun to read, and very refreshing after all the nitpicking I’ve seen from some people.

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    23. I agree wholeheartedly to the confusion this episode caused. Seems like it was rushed a bit too much, and I’m missing the political drama×action-in-suspense drama of GoT which is being overlooked, ever so slightly, for the juicy action scenes.

      In the WF plot, I really really believe that Arya and Sansa are working together to stop LF. Sansa can not be as stupid and easily manipulated as that. She never trusted LF for a second! How did she drag him into her room and shut the doors when she hates him? Plus the intricate details of the stories they were telling and the feelings they were going through do not seem to match the arc the first episodes created. I sincerely hope they were plotting against the Creep (who can, mind you, not be dead in the eyes of the Northern Lords and Knights of the Vale, considering Arya’s more intricate abilities.)

      As for the North(-er), everyone seems to know a lot about what is happening… Why would they not attack directly if they’re 1 immune to the water and 2 outnumbering the 7 (actually 5) by the thousands? Is the night king that eager to send a message? Or was he hunting larger prey..? Ther3 seems to be a snitch in the south, someone who knew about the army’s position, possibly, and knew about the dragon queen… Gosh I need answers and this season has been moving so quickly yet answering so few questions – rather posing more and more. And if my theories are incorrect, I’d just consider the questions this episode brought to us plot holes (except of course there’s a good explanation for all this.) Nevertheless, it’s very satisfying to finally see the blue flower blooming on the wall!

      Great recap Sue, really appreciate the criticism you offered, I think it makes for an excellent reference point to where we all collectively are in this season. Very much enjoying these new episodes yet I’m even happier to be conflicted while watching!

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    24. The Jon and Dany scene in the cabin of the ship may be the sweetest, most romantic scene that Game of Thrones has done in all of its seven seasons to date, especially without sex. I thought it was beautifully written and directed, and so extraordinarily well performed by Kit and Emilia. All of the emotions shone through bright and clear as day.

      The circumstances in which these two found each other may be tragic, especially now after the loss of Viserion. But these two will persevere through the Long Night together.

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    25. I like how D&D don’t even bother calling Benjen anything other than Coldhands.

      So did Longclaw react to Jon in the water or no?

      Beric and Jon’s conversation was pretty depressing, actually.

      Jorah is hot.

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    26. I disagree with you, Sue on Jon necessarily being a fire wight. He may not be one.

      Grrm said the following

      “Poor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this, every time he’s a little less Beric. His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore. His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing…”

      He is talking about Beric being a fire wight not Jon.
      He used two justifications. Justification 1 is that after each resurrection he loses a bit of himself and his memory. But Jon does not have 6 resurrections and even that is probably related to Ghost. So he probably would have a stronger memory , maybe? Or would take more qualities of ghost, ie become more beastly.
      Justification 2 is blood not flowing in beric’s veins: But his own book text contradicts this.

      Lord Beric’s knees folded slowly, as if for prayer. When his mouth opened only blood came out. The Hound’s sword was still in him as he toppled face forward. The dirt drank his blood. Beneath the hollow hill there was no sound but the soft crackling of flames and the whimper the Hound made when he tried to rise. Arya could only think of Mycah and all the stupid prayers she’d prayed for the Hound to die. If there were gods, why didn’t Lord Beric win? She knew the Hound was guilty.

      Clearly there is enough blood in Beric that it flows out when someone pierces him. So blood is flowing in him , right? Maybe after multiple resurrections it will ultimately stop flowing, but in resurrection 5 or six it is still flowing.
      So it is not a certainty that what Grrm said about Beric applies to Jon (and Grrm does not say Jon is a fire wight) . There is a chance that Jon also is a fire wight , but it is only a chance at this point.

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    27. I have always thought that all the complains about the writing were just “whinging” but tonight I feel that the writing of this episode really failed the show…..I mean, wouldn’t be more logical to make that Daenerys gone to Beyond The Wall be her own idea?….why not let Benjen joint the group a bit early and avoid the Deux ex Machina felling?.

      Another thing, the Winterfell storyline….The popularity of Sansa Lannister Bolton is simply annoying…it makes perfect sense that Arya distrust her sister….and what was so terrible about Sansa’s life in King’s Landing?….She was some kind of prisoner but most of the time she was treated like a lady, she run away and willingly married the son of the man responsible of the death of her brother and mother, she’s openly conspiring or let others conspire against Jon….What should Arya must think about that?

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    28. Jared,

      Beric (Richard Dormer) really had a chance to shine this episode. I liked his talks on his outlook: he’s been ready to die for quite some time but has been kept alive for “a reason” – and is almost hoping he can finally have the meaningful death he’s been waiting for.

      Beric wasn’t scared of anything. And I will never get tired of watching him ignite flaming sword with his blood.

      QUESTION though: Why did Beric and Sandor part ways at the end ? I thought Sandor had joined the Brotherhood.

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    29. Jack Bauer 24:
      And what was Arya talking about with the bow? She said she shot it 20 or 50 times as Ned looked on. In the series premiere, she shot it once while Ned and Cat watched.

      Dude your questions are umm.. I don’t know how to put it nicely so I won’t go there but I will help you understand what she was saying.
      Arya was telling a backstory we haven’t seen on screen. Basically the first time she practiced with a bow. In the series premier she shot one arrow and got it on the bullseye. Now ask yourself did that bulleyes shot looked like it was her first time using a bow?

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    30. Jorah-Thoros conversation felt so wonderfully real. Like an aged rock star talking to a life long fan, putting on a brave face, despite knowing he’s not long for this world. “Nope, just drunk.” A small scene, but Paul Kaye did such a good job!

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    31. Ten Bears:
      Jared,

      Beric (Richard Dormer) really had a chance to shine this episode. I liked his talks on his outlook: he’s been ready to die for quite some time but has been kept alive for “a reason” – and is almost hoping he can finally have the meaningful death he’s been waiting for.

      Beric wasn’t scared of anything. And I will never get tired of watching him ignite flaming sword with his blood.

      QUESTION though: Why did Beric and Sandor part ways at the end ? I thought Sandor had joined the Brotherhood.

      Houndie has to wight-sit down south, methinks?

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    32. This episodewas just insane, so much to digest and so many heartstrings plucked. I have totally given up on time, sequencing, and distance. I am pummeled into taking a gestalt view, just observe and be happy.
      I cannot see how the NK is not invincible now. He has an immortal army, he sees the future and is capable of high strategy, and now he has a bloody dragon!
      What the hell is Bran good for anyways, he needs to pull his head out of the past or there will not be a future.
      Sansa is a dummass, be ing played by Petyr Balish into a dangerous game.
      The scenes between Jon and Danny are so well done. There is so much between them, but also so much standing in their way. I wonder if Sam will be able to advise Jon of his parentage before nature takes it course?
      Lastly, the cinematography is just amazing, especially the Beyond the Wall scenes. What in incredible beauty!

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    33. King Podrick: The White Walkers didn’t build that chain. It belong to wrecked ship that you see a shot off.

      Also I mentioned before. Sansa does not trust Littlefinger. She’s playing him especially when Littlefinger mentioned Brienne you can see her face how she’s discover his motives

      I rewatched the scene and don’t see a wrecked ship. Any way how was the lake frozen back over that quick and since the lake was frozen back over how did they get the chains on Viserion?

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    34. Ginevra: How would Brienne’s intervention harm Sansa?I’m thrilled to see you address this issue because I’m really stumped here.

      LF tells Sansa if one of the sisters was going to harm another Brienne would be honor bound to step in. I take Sansa sending Brienne away to mean Sansa might be planning on harming Arya.

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    35. Ten Bears: QUESTION though: Why did Beric and Sandor part ways at the end ? I thought Sandor had joined the Brotherhood.

      Sandor seems to be in charge of the wight so I assume he is going to Kings Landing while Beric stays at Eastwatch.

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    36. Jack Bauer 24:
      So is Theon just hanging around DS?

      Obviously Yes. He’s not going anywhere, He just took a big L from the person on your profile pic. He needs gather himself again. The preview for next week shows him standing next to Tyrion and team DS

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    37. Could the discussion between Tyrion and Dany about her budding romance with Jon and her successor foreshadows Dany will get pregnant with Jon’s child? Could their child be the PTWP? The Red Priestess is not sure whether Jon or Dany is the PTWP but is sure that both of them has a role to play, maybe the role is to be the father and mother of the PTWP?

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    38. Jack Bauer 24,

      Arya was not referring to the scene in the pilot episode. The moment that she was referring to happened before the show as we know it began.

      BigMac,

      It’s easy to be effusively positive when the show delivers an episode like this! There will be valid critiques of the hour, and there will be nitpicks (among them the season-long whinging about pacing and fast travel, which have already been explained and about which I do not care, and inane questions like “where did the wights get the chains?”, which I have no time for). There was a time when such things would depress me. But for me, when the show is this great, and the end is this close, I’m just so damn happy that I’m around to watch it. So all I can do is laugh, and be grateful.

      Ten Bears,

      Beric’s great. The character almost certainly won’t survive the series, but I hope that he makes it as close to the end as possible.

      Sandor was traveling with the Brotherhood, but I’m not sure that he ever officially joined it (he certainly wasn’t on board with their Lord of Light worship). In any event, it seems like he’s the point man for taking the wight down to King’s Landing, and since that was the objective, I can see why Beric would let him go. And given Beric’s focus on the Army of the Dead, it makes sense that he would stay at the Wall.

      And honestly, I’m not sure how much of the Brotherhood is left at this point.

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    39. Jack Bauer 24:
      So is Theon just hanging around DS?

      Yes he is. He’s cleaning, lighting brazziers, making sandwiches for the others and sewing sweet outfits like the one Daenerys wears to ride north.

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    40. Pepi,

      Yes I know it’d be fan service, but I would’ve liked Thoros to open his eyes for a few seconds before expiring… just long enough to look up at The Hound to ask:

      ” ‘the f*ck you doing here, Clegane?”

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    41. Jack Bauer 24: how did they get the chains on Viserion?

      They used the power of suspension of disbelief.
      If you thwarted that then let’s say they tossed the chains down to the wights that sunk to the bottom and they hooked them up…

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    42. ManderlyPieCompany,

      The LF advice powwow is weird, but I think it’s this “can I pass my hand over the flame and not be burned” kind of thing. She doesn’t trust LF, but she knows his mind is sharp. Plus her fear has dulled the edges of her rational thinking.

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    43. Clob: They used the power of suspension of disbelief.
      If you thwarted that then let’s say they tossed the chains down to the wights that sunk to the bottom and they hooked them up…

      Those wights drowned. And the lake mysteriously froze back over after Viserion put a huge hole in it. And they got that massive chain out of no where.

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    44. Cenk from What The Flick?! had an interesting interpretation of Arya handing Sansa the dagger. He thinks it’s Arya daring Sansa to make the first move. She’s giving Sansa a chance to prove herself. Like, “I’m not going to kill you unless you do something to deserve it. Prove to me you don’t deserve it.”

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    45. ‘It was early days and nobody was paying attention to the show. We didn’t really know what a phenomenon it was going to be, and I think he was being less guarded than we’ve become since then. Anyways, he( GRRM ) alluded to the fact that Jon and Dany were the point, kind of. That, at the time, there was a huge, vast array of characters, and Jon was a lowly, you know, bastard son. So it wasn’t clear to us at the time, but he did sort of say things that made it clear that the meeting and the convergence of Jon and Dany were sort of the point of the series.

      http://deadline.com/2017/08/game-of-thrones-spoilers-recap-kit-harington-emilia-clarke-alan-taylor-beyond-the-wall-season-7-hbo-1202152264/

      This should put an end to the theory that Jon is the ultimate hero, that the ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ refers to him alone.

      Nope, Its about Jon and Dany together-Ice and Fire. They had Melisandre literally spell it out- ”I have brought Ice and Fire together, my work is finished” but many people failed to see.

      This sorta gives me hope that both Jon and Dany survive and find some happiness at the end.

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    46. When they are surrounded by wights and after Thoros dies Jon says a raven was sent and they need Daenerys, Beric’s like maybe not, and pointing at the NK says we can kill him he’s the one that turned them all then Jon just says “you don’t understand.” I wish he would have explained that a little more.

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    47. Jack Bauer 24,

      The lake didn’t mysteriously freeze it froze because it’s freezing cold, the wights can’t drown, they’re already dead lol……those chains were probably owned by giants before, there you go, case solved

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    48. Jack Bauer 24: I rewatched the scene and don’t see a wrecked ship. Any way how was the lake frozen back over that quick and since the lake was frozen back over how did they get the chains on Viserion?

      The Ship wrecked is there it’s easy to miss but they actually give you a closer look at the dock that has a chain attached to it. That chain leads down and wrapped around the Dragons neck with the other end being pulled by the wights.

      The lake looked like it froze over a day. So yes, time did pass by as you can see they were there overnight.

      Yes the lake froze back up but when Viserion crashed down he broke that part of the ice thus making a new opening.

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    49. I’m enjoying the acting in the Winterfell scenes. As for Ayra’s humanity, she smiled after poising a room full of people. She has no humanity for her enemies, and right now, she believes Sansa is her (and Jon’s) enemy. She still thinks Jon’s the asme as she left him, and that Sansa’s the same. Sansa didn’t tell the truth over Joffrey’s injury, Sansa always looked down on the rest of them. And yes, Sansa does want to rule … alongside Jon. Not in his place.

      What has frustrated me about the storyline is the logic glossed over. Don’t just say “I went through hell,” tell Arya how you fought to keep Ned alive and that he wasn’t supposed to die. The one effective moment was when Sansa challenged Arya’s inaction when Ned was about to be killed. I get Ayra’s blind anger, I just want to see more moments where that’s chipped away.

      There was also awkward stage setting. Awkward because it was so glaring. The whole children/childless thing, for example. I still hope a Jon/Dany as lovers relationship doesn’t happen. It’s so obvious. And GRRM doesn’t like doing the obvious.

      And, uh, Jon, I don’t think the North is going to be as eager to be Dany’s subjects as you think.

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    50. Ginevra: How would Brienne’s intervention harm Sansa?I’m thrilled to see you address this issue because I’m really stumped here.

      I had the impression that Sansa sent Brienne away to protect Arya. It was confusing, though. I still think Sansa and Arya might be staging most of their fight to trick Littlefinger. Maybe they want him to think Brienne is gone, but she won’t have gone far, or it’s all to lull him into making a mistake. I just want to think that they’re too smart to so easily fall for LF’s manipulations.

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    51. NinaD,

      Since we are talking of Sansa talking of trying to keep Ned alive , here are some books quotes for you.

      “We might have lost all. Even so, it was a close thing. If Sansa hadn’t come to me and told me all her father’s plans …“ (Cersei ACOK)

      ‘but she was hardly innocent of betrayal; she had once spilled her own father’s plans to Cersei.’ (Tyrion ASOS)

      No one had given Cersei such a lovely gift since Sansa Stark had run to her to divulge Lord Eddard’s plans. (Cersei AFFC)

      “Sansa played a role, certainly, but it would be unfair to put all the blame on her. But it would also be unfair to exonerate her.” GRRM [x]

      “Sansa was the least sympathetic of the Starks in the first book; she has become more sympathetic, partly because she comes to accept responsibility for her part in her father’s death.” GRRM [x]

      Ie Sansa was greatly responsible for Ned’s death in grrms words.

      Yes she requested ned be sent to the watch rather than hanged, but if she had been sensible and not blurted all her father’s plan her father could have won if this was the real world and if everything did not go as per grrms wish.

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    52. I think this was a strong episode, but not without flaws, maybe even significant flaws.

      I agree with Sue that double-dipping on the deux-ex-machina was a bit much. I honestly think that the scene would have been stronger if, instead of leaving Jon behind to eventually be saved by Benjen, the exciting bit was seeing whether he would make it back on the dragon in time before the NK threw his spear. Whereas Dany’s eventual arrival was set up, Benjen’s wasn’t, and felt like a cheat. Maybe that leaves Benjen as a loose thread, I don’t know, honestly I wish he had just died when he disappeared back in the day. I liked him then but he has been pretty uninteresting from a character and plot perspective since being slightly undead.

      Even though I thought that the dragon arriving was a satisfying moment, and one that was character-driven (Dany ignores the advice of Tyrion to do the right thing), I think it would have been stronger if it didn’t rely on a confusing, at best, passage of time. Maybe they didn’t get that far beyond Eastwatch before bumping into the wights? Perhaps that is why it didn’t take so long for Gendry to get back to the Wall? Perhaps Jon & Company were on that little island for a few days, which would explain why Dany got the raven in time? Even if you can come up with a reasonable timeline, that timeline wasn’t communicated well. It made Dany’s saving of Jon feel unearned. And it’s an easy fix! Just have a throwaway line early on telling how long they’ve traveled (apparently, not THAT far) and show a couple moments on the isle at night, showing that they have been there for days.

      What saves the sequence from being TOO convenient, for me, was the killing of the dragon. Yes, Jon engaged in a pretty infeasible plan to capture a zombie, and it miraculously worked without too many named characters dying, and they got out with the help of the dragon, but they lost Viserion in the process. Makes Dany’s decision to come save them more heroic as well, since it came at a terrible cost.

      And hey, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, so I can’t be too down on the scene. And I really loved all the conversations in the episode, so that’s a plus. One of the weaker penultimate episodes, honestly, but that’s mostly because the other ones have been so strong.

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    53. Ginevra,

      I think the meaning was that it could hurt Brienne because Arya had already shown during their sparring session that she could beat her. So Sansa sent Brienne away to protect Brienne.

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    54. Jared,

      “It seems like he [Sandor] is the point man for taking the wight” to KL.

      The way Sandor was kicking and stomping the hooded wight, I almost feel sorry for the journey that awaits it.

      If the show weren’t hurtling toward the conclusion in 7 more episodes, I wouldn’t mind a season-long detour of the Adventures of The Hound and the Sentient Wight as they make their way down to the capitol. Sort of like Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in “Midnight Run.”

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    55. Jack Bauer 24: Those wights drowned.

      Wights don’t drown as they’re not living, breathing people, they just can’t swim and simply sink. Water doesn’t melt them like acid or anything either as we see them in the water trying to pull Tormund in.

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    56. I dont know whether that Benjen thing is deux ex machina. Bran may be keeping an eye on things. Some people are talking about longclaw’s eye. But honestly there are so many other ways bran could have arranged a rescue through raven or other means.

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    57. I actually disagree with Sue a bit on the Arya/Sansa stuff. I think it is interesting, and I am glad there is conflict between them. It feels true to the characters, so I’m all aboard (although I am nervous about what will happen next).

      Good point about how the Sansa/Arya confrontation near the end doesn’t have the same tension when you pretty much know Arya would never kill Sansa, but I will admit it worked on me. I’m not going to pretend like I know for sure what Arya’s intention was in that scene (especially giving the knife), but combination of her experience in Braavos slightly dehumanizing her/her suspicion that Sansa is up to no good helps explain her very confrontational and threatening demeanor.

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    58. I honestly could care less where the chains came from and how the lake froze back over – do we really want to see the show waste time with details such as this? Who cares…

      I for one like that they are not delving into the details as much this season, makes me very excited for when the books come out and explain all this as only GRRM can.

      Loved the episode

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    59. Clob:
      Pigeon,

      Looks to me like the eye gems were frosted over and water splashes on them as Jon comes out.

      Hey thanks, that’s a really good point I wouldn’t have clued in on!

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    60. I rather enjoyed the episode but the great amount of illogical situations and plot holes are making it a bit too difficult for me to take the show seriously.

      I kind of understand the need to cut the travelling parts in the previous episodes but c’mon. Did Gendry really run back to the Wall (how did he even find the way), sent the raven to Dragonstone and Dany managed to get up North just at the time the lake froze over again? Like, seriously? I know it’s a fantasy world with dragons and ice zombies but I assume general physical laws apply here, too.

      What about Jon, who suddenly decided to fight off all the wights while others were absolutely ready to go and were just waiting for him. What the heck was that about?

      And then there’s Benjen, who could’ve easily got up the horse and rode away with Jon. Yes, he can’t pass the Wall but he could have easily rode a few miles before getting off and letting Jon go back to Eastwatch. Instead, he says there is no time. No time to jump on a horse? It could take less time than the exchange Jon and him had.

      I like the show very much but plot holes… Plot holes everywhere.

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    61. I enjoyed this episode.
      I really liked it, that a lot of Characters finally had a talk about their past.

      Still, I kinda have some Problems with it …(Plotholes, Timing of Gendry/Raven/Dany)

      Viserion really broke my heart…really…
      GRRM always had a thing for 3*, so I really wanted to believe, that all the Dragons made it and survive….Im such a fool…

      (*3 Children for Aerys, Rhaegar, Tywin, Cersei; 3 Dragons; “Three treasons there shall be”; The Dragon has 3 Heads; Dany took 3 Cities, there is probably more.)

      Can somebody make some Screenshots of the Docs, Ships? I watched it twice and didnt notice…

      RIP Viserion
      RIP Benjen
      RIP nameless Redfurs

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    62. This would have been great with a laugh-track! All the wise-guys cracking jokes. Hilarious! The Hound throwing stones, everyone looking at him like parents at a child; great laugh-track moment! Gendry running like a madman across a winter landscape (and he’s never seen snow before today!?) and falling flat on his face. Fantastic! Jon refusing to hop on the escape shuttle and getting his love’s baby killed? Good times! Uncle Benjen coming to ride to the rescue but Jon again being a bastard about sharing rides? Amazing!

      They’re really struggling to bring this story to a close, and I blame Martin for copping out on finishing the books. Poor HBO, now they get all the flak for it.

      That said, I’m loving Sansa more with each episode. That Tyrion guy was up to something when he noted she might outlive them all.

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    63. The Winterfell storyline is just plain bad.

      I think it would have been better for Jon to meet Benjen while the group was hiking beyond the Wall, instead of that last minute save. Maybe Benjen could have helped them with the polar bear or something. That seemed like a good moment to introduce him.

      Also, Jon isn’t a fire wight. Beric is. We don’t know how Jon will come back in the books. With all the talk about Jon giving Longclaw to his children and Dany being barren, the show is setting up for those two to have kids.

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    64. Hodor Targaryen,

      Maisie is doing creepy really well lol. I like that there is a bit of intrigue between her and Sansa. I think there’s some foreshadowing that one could make a good speculation for based on their conversations here, though I can’t place what it might be. But Arya talking about becoming who she wanted to be as a kid and trying to get Sansa to admit she still wants the same….maybe a set up for Arya suggesting killing Cercei next season trying to place her sister on the throne?

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    65. Hodor Targaryen,

      > Whereas Dany’s eventual arrival was set up, Benjen’s wasn’t

      I suppose that the 3ER sent him, like last year. It’s still deus-ex-machina for me, but you can’t say it hasn’t been foreshadowed. Maybe they could have added one still of Bran before that, but well, better a resolution with some plot holes than letting the actors grow old.

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    66. jonryaerys,

      Like it or not, he’s a fire wight. He was resurrected by a Red Priest(ess, in his case) and only lives on due to the power of the Lord of Light. That’s all a “fire wight” is. The difference between fire wights and ice wights is that he keeps his humanity and memories instead of becoming a mindless zombie under the control of the Great Other. This is even true of Lady Stoneheart in the books, though the brutal circumstances of her death have left her mangled and full of vengeance. Jon’s physical state, however, obviously isn’t the same as Beric’s due to the fact that Beric has experienced multiple deaths and resurrections and Jon only one–but both are animated by the same magic and bound to the will of the Lord of Light.

      The show has never once bothered to establish that Jon is a warg (before or after his resurrection) and it made the decision to cut that detail for a reason, so it’s highly unlikely that Ghost played any kind of direct role in that. He simply sensed that Jon was alive again before anyone else did.

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    67. Worst. Recap. Ever.

      Like somebody turning up at a party, chucking out the fun tunes and replacing them with Radiohead.

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    68. double_trouble,
      They clearly just wanted to wrap up Benjen/Coldhands storyline as quickly as possibly. He could have yanked Jon up on the horse – we saw he had extreme strength when he rescued Bran and Meera. I don’t mind him suddenly coming in, I do mind how rushed and poorly executed the whole thing was.

      There was a lot wrong with this episode so I don’t think the many complaints are just ‘nitpicking.’ It’s a pity because only two weeks ago we had The Spoils of War.

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    69. Whether you enjoyed this episode or not is going to come down to how much plot contrivance and lack of logic you can swallow. It certainly has a lot of things in it which you’re just being expected to suspend a huge amount of disbelief for in return for some crowd pleasing moments or ongoing plot necessities. Some people are willing to accommodate a lot more than others so I would expect opinions to be mixed.
      I enjoyed it a lot and have probably watched it about four times since it leaked and replayed some scenes a number of times too. It’s hugely enjoyable, but I willingly accept there’s a lot of silliness I’m meant to swallow. I wouldn’t waste my time trying to bend double with feats of the imagination to try and make sense of these issues though.
      One thing I would mention is that I think Jon should have run towards the NK rather than back to Drogon when he shouted “leave!”.
      There’s a look on his face when Viserion goes down and he turns around which seems to beg for this and it would nicely foreshadow the inevitable confrontation between these two characters while making Jon’s apparent death seem more like a sacrifice for everyone else.
      Perhaps he could have thrown something at the NK just as the latter was about to throw the spear and this would explain why the second one missed.
      I don’t know – I think this would have enhanced Jon’s character and perhaps affected Dany in a way which added more to the scene where they talk on the boat.
      The “Dany” line was a bit forced but I’m alright with it. As I’ve said before, they’ve had four episodes so far to try and convince us of what will inevitably be the most important romantic union in the story. That alone is asking too much so I expect cock ups. It doesn’t really convince but then it was always going to struggle.
      Overall, I enjoyed it for its moments despite its failings – like the whole season so far actually.
      I guess I’d be more critical, but I’ve lost respect for the source material at this point. There’s no way around it – the last two books were boring and nothing of any consequence happens. This season is like the complete opposite – it’s rushed, Ill thought thought through and clumsy, but at least it promises to go somewhere and there’s a pace and direction which the books have completely lost. I appreciate that and am willing to just sit back, switch off and enjoy.

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    70. Hodor Targaryen,

      Well, for now I don’t we are yet seeing both sisters playing Littlefinger as some have been hoping. I think Arya is still suspicious that Sansa is still too soft and pliable to lead the North and she is warning her in the only way she knows how which is to scare the bejasus out of her. Handing over the knife seems like an act of trust but at the same time saying “you can either be with me or against me”, and she certainly doesn’t want Sansa undermining Jon.

      It’s not like they were always best sisterly friends and the mutual suspicion was set up way back in Season 1 on the Kingsroad,

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    71. Fortunately, I have remained unsullied about this episode thanks to the Chrome GoT spoiler plug-in I’ve been using. I’m also not on Twitter nor do I go on Reddit so it’s been pretty easy.

      This episode was amazing and heartbreaking! UGGGGhhh… honestly, I would rather have had more of the Magnificent 7 die than one of Dany’s dragons but I can also understand why Dany needed to lose one at the hands of the Night King. Not only will she take the threat seriously but now that the NK took one of her children, Dany will be completely committed to this cause and use all of her forces to help Jon. But it doesn’t make it any less painful. My heart stopped when she came to the rescue but I particularly looooved the shot of the whights falling into the lake which was only brightened by dragonfire. It was perfection.

      I’m seriously still surprised none of those men mentioned Arya, but I can see why Thoris, Beric, & The Hound didn’t: they technically kidnapped her and held her hostage to ransom Arya to her family. But Gendry could’ve brought her up!! And I hate to say it but I’m over the whole Arya-Sansa tension as well. I feel like the Hound should head over to Winterfell and drop some Real Talk like he did with Gendry.

      Also, I think the whole Tyrion-Dany conversation about a successor, and more importantly, how to choose one was waaay more critical to GoT endgame. I am starting to believe more and more that in order to “break the wheel”, there will either be more than one ruler OR the people will vote for their ruler. Tyrion already mentioned methods of choosing a successor: the Iron Born (Kingsmoot) and the Night Watch (Voting for Lord Commander). I remember enacting the Great Council was brought up by Catelyn & there was also a telling passage from Jaime:

      Rhaegar had put his hand on Jaime’s shoulder. “When this battle’s done I mean to call a council. Changes will be made. I meant to do it long ago, but . . . well, it does no good to speak of roads not taken. We shall talk when I return.” Those were the last words Rhaegar Targaryen ever spoke to him. – Jaime, AFfC

      #GreatCouncil2018/19!!

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    72. Does anyone think that being a kind of greenseer himself the Night King.. held off on killing the 7 dudes so he could bag himself a dragon or two.

      It is my belief that Bran is the only one who can stop him/disrupt his ability. I reckon the Night King knew all of this sh*t was going to happen, or something close to this.

      Also the Night King seems to be a very calculating enemy, his Hardhome scenes.. and in this episode.. dammit! he scares me. Maybe when he was defeated in the Long Night.. some lessons were learned!!

      Anyway.. I love all the prophecy and destiny in this episode. LOVED IT!

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    73. Azor Asshai,
      But he wont die if the red priestess dies because beric did not die when thoros did.

      What do you mean by a wight?
      Is it simply anyone resurrected?
      Then yes Jon Snow is obviously a fire wight.
      But if you mean someone who has forgotten who he is, who his family is like the ice wights , does not remember much about his own family, its certainly not established that jon snow is that.
      Beric is much closer to fire wight in that sense as he does not remember his lover he does not remember many things as he has been resurrected many times. Jon on the other hand even remembers stuff about valyrian steel.
      If you mean fire wight in the sense that it cant reproduce , even that is not established. Blood flows out of beric when the hound kills him (despite the fact that he has been ressurected many times) in the books at least. A ice wight on the other hand has no blood coming out when killed.

      So like it or not there is a lot we dont know and Jon being a fire wight depends on what you define as a wight.
      P.S- When I was talking about ghost being involved I was talking of the book moment where he chant “ghost” before dying. The show has obviously chosen not to show that side of it.

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    74. Its nice that the NK has an Amazon Prime account and got same day drone delivery on those chains, lol.

      I was glad to see Gendry get to the wall, he really doesn’t have 3 seasons to be running North of the wall like the time spent rowing before.

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    75. seenGhost?:

      I’m happy with Arya this episode, she was more mature than I expected. What I saw was her testing Sansa, pushing her in and out of balance all the time. At the end she seemed satisfied with what she found. The dagger gesture had meaning on at least two levels:
      1. We are family, no need for that.
      2. I’m tempted to take your place and it’s quite easy for me, but I’m not doing it. You’re tempted to take Jon’s place. Are you sure you want to do it? No mindless killer, not a trace of the typical Stark rashness. Don’t forget this episode when you talk about character development. Only thing worrying bout her is she seems too overconfident.

      Sansa’s character was once again written in a weird way. “I won the BotB, I…, I…, I…” Really? How does this correspond with apologizing to Jon for keeping the Veil forces in secret? And the brutally honest conversation with LF made no sense at all. Sending Brienne away immediately after it might be reasonable – he definitely intends to drag her too into his schemes, and maybe Sansa doesn’t trust herself resisting the temptation.

      The theory that the sisters are playing LF can be put to rest. Not yet for sure and definitely not together. Looks like there’s a good chance for this to change in the next episode. In any case, Sansa is suspicious toward him by default, and Arya is already circling him like a shark, driven by the common Stark antipathy towards him and her character reading skills.

      This.

      BigMac:
      Cenk from What The Flick?! had an interesting interpretation of Arya handing Sansa the dagger. He thinks it’s Arya daring Sansa to make the first move. She’s giving Sansa a chance to prove herself. Like, “I’m not going to kill you unless you do something to deserve it. Prove to me you don’t deserve it.”

      I like it, it makes sense.

      One more thing: I hate the idea of Jon bending the knee. I would understand it, if he had to, to save his people. But just after Dany stated she will fight the NK? It makes no sense. They are so clearly in love with each other – there is no reason for Jon to become Dany’s subject. Being allies makes much more sense. But I guess, the show just loves Dany, and she has to win, even if it ruins Jon’s character, doesn’t it?

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    76. Just to add to my above comment.. remember the lines in the old abandoned castle with Bran, Sam and Jojen “The Nights Watch can’t stop him, all the Southern armies can’t stop him”.

      Then Sam says something like “but you’re going to stop him?” Quite dubious at the time.

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    77. Lord Freddy Blackfyre,

      Oh, yeah…..Sansa had a real party during her luxurious stay with the Lannisters. Who doesn’t appreciate being menaced and threatened with rape on a regular basis? I know *I* can never pass up a chance to be stripped and beaten in front of a huge group of people! And the VIEWS —remember that time she got to go up and look at her father’s head on a spike? Amazing! Hope she got pics to post on Instagram.
      And while they were pampering her with all those treats, her kind hosts didn’t neglect the romance department, either! Thoughtful to a fault, they married her ungrateful 14-year old self to a member of their OWN family! How generous is THAT? Never mind the fact their family is sort of responsible for killing most of the people she’s ever known or loved —she had a BEAUTIFUL dress.
      And even THEN her gracious hosts didn’t stop with the generosity —they made sure to include her in fun family gatherings where she enjoyed, among other things, being reminded she was a traitor and the reenactment of the horrible desecration of her brother’s body!
      You are SO right. I don’t know HOW she could ever want to leave that little slice of heaven on earth. Some people, though….you just can’t please ’em.

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    78. Tbf, I think Jon being saved is a dual Fire/Ice thing and a nod to his blood

      Eg Dany saves him with Dragons on the Fire Targaryen side of the equation ala Drogon in Daznaks pit

      We could have easily had him just fly off on Drogon with everyone else but they took the time and effort involved in the extra saving which has earned a complaint up above

      It seems they’ve deliberately had 3ER/Bran send Benjen to save Jon on the Ice side as well, this is right after he has had one of those re-birth scenes from the Ice water.

      That Ice water would have killed anyone within minutes, even if he had been pulled out so I reckon this is supposed to be the equivalent of Dany in Drogo’s funeral Pyre (notice how Viserion is re-born out of the Ice Water Pyre)

      Maybe even the Drowned God equivalent of him being resurrected by Mel – intriguingly it seems Longclaws eyes opened when Jon re-emerged from the pool. Though Drowned God can be a nod to Viserion – I do seem to think there’s a weird connection between Drowned God/Euron/Ironborn and the WW’s in the books

      Either way it seems that it is the magical properties of his Stark blood that has saved Jon from the effects of the Ice water?

      I am also wondering if it is some kind of nod to the NK being of Stark blood as well, plus the possibility we can see the “warged Ravens in reverse” where like what has happened with Benjen, Bran can override control of Wight Viserion the Ice Dragon

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    79. Arya’s threat to Sansa made no sense and holds no weight. Nothing in the letter says she did anything to directly hurt her father. And she was married to Tyrion and then married to Ramsay…… everyone already knows that she’ll do what she has to do to survive. So writing a letter when she was younger than when she married Tyrion LANNISTER(THEIR biggest human enemy) is gonna make everyone turn on her? No. Just lazy writing by people who are clearly just trying to end the show as quick as possible and outside of nice action scenes they are horribly lazy with the writing and the plot.

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    80. Aszusz,

      Absolutely agree with you on the Jon bending the knee issue! I thought exactly the same. She finally agrees to fight with him against the NK and he suddenly decides to bend the knee? Why hasn’t he done it before when he tried to persuade her. At this point it makes little sense and it was a huge let down for me

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    81. Right, so the country is at war but Dany has time to put on full make up this season and have a snappy new outfit made – never mind that she has a hundred thousand soldiers to feed and no food – for her flight to the north?

      The romance is forced – pretty boy and pretty girl, enough already, I”m not buying it. Jamie and Brienne would have been the far better and more realistic romance to continue to play up and both actors are talented enough to pull you in and feel something.

      Oh and how have Jon’s scars not healed yet? Dany crying over Jon but her shock face at one of her children dying was not very realistic – again perfect hair, perfect makeup and Channel outfit made for an unrealistic scene.

      Arya is just plain creepy and Littlefinger is wasted. A man that scheming and brilliant reduced to playing two school girls off against each other. And no Bran? Isn’t he the key to the series? Oh no wait, it’s the Barbie and Ken show now.

      Why do I keep watching then? Because I’ve waited 20 years for the ending .

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    82. Aszusz: This.

      I like it, it makes sense.

      One more thing: I hate the idea of Jon bending the knee. I would understand it, if he had to, to save his people. But just after Dany stated she will fight the NK? It makes no sense. They are so clearly in love with each other – there is no reason for Jon to become Dany’s subject. Being allies makes much more sense. But I guess, the show just loves Dany, and she has to win, even if it ruins Jon’s character, doesn’t it?

      Yeah I think it is one of those cryptic double-meanings

      Eg he calls Dany “his Queen” which can just as easily mean wife Queen and bending the knee is a custom when proposing

      Eg Dany referred to Jon as a “King” and so has recognised him as holder of that office/station, and it’s a short step to “her King”

      This seems to be balancing out the annulment revelation next week and puts Jon and Dany into a form of balance going into next season, don’t think one will be the others “subject” though,

      eg the whole “Dany” thing and mentioning that Viserys wasn’t the type of company Jon wanted to keep is a nod to idea the anulment revelation infers with the Viserys/Dany type dynamic occurring between them where Viserys was the claimant etc but that this wasn’t an applicable dynamic between Jon/Dany in Targaryen terms

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    83. Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m failing to see what your point is, is Drogon made out of Valyrian steel or dragon glass? No? Okay, then impaling the wight would only further prove how much of a threat they are, since impaling them does absolutely nothing to faze them.

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    84. Tyrion Pimpslap: Of course the dragon named after Viserys would become the Night King’s mount! Who else thought Rhaegal swooping in to save Jon would have been better than Benjen? Save Benjen for next season, dammit!

      I didn’t mind Benjen showing up , but I did think they were going to hype it by showing wights catching up with Jon , having the abandon the horse, and Rhaegal swooping in to save him , mainly because of dragon affinity for Targ blood.

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    85. + The action is good, and the special effects are spectacular.

      + In general, I liked the character interactions amongst the Fellowship of the Wight.

      – GOT is at its best when it’s being spectacle, and the plot doesn’t distract from the spectacle by being too dumb. I commended the Dany vs. Lannisters battle from 704 for managing this. Hoo boy does this episode flunk that test. Much of the discourse around this season has concerned the plausibility of travel times, etc. and how much can be inferred to have passed offscreen, but this episode snaps any plausibility in that regard, between Usain Gendry’s run back to Eastwatch, followed by the world’s fastest raven covering the better part of 2000 miles to Dragonstone, and then Dany and her dragons flying up and easily locating them, all the while Jon and his team are encircled on a small island, completely exposed to the elements, and waiting only for the ice to freeze again. We’re talking a day or two, tops. And that’s just nonsense. And then there’s the extreme bullshit of Jon being fully submerged in freezing water and somehow not dying of hypothermia after riding for hours and hours in sub-zero temperatures (and also only getting away from that because of the almost hilarious perfunct return of Benjen to say one line and then die offhandedly).

      – I don’t know about anyone else, but my TV started to have audio problems with Arya’s dialogue at the point where she drew that knife and tried to convince Sansa that she was about to peel her face off. I think it was probably the sound of Ned and Cat spinning in their graves. This whole plot is moronic, and takes the germ of a solid idea (that Sansa and Arya might logically have trust issues) and completely fails to make it plausible in execution. Arya, especially, has pretty much turned into a Sand Snake, to the point that, much like with the Braavosi plot in episode 607, fans are trying to come up with explanations about how this whole thing is some elaborate feint on her part (or the sisters’ parts together). While it’s of course impossible for Sansa to have made the following rejoinder to Arya’s hypocritical, victim-blamey bullshit, because she doesn’t know about it, I dearly wish she had said “I hear Tywin Lannister said you were a great cupbearer.”

      – Also, on the subject of the scene with Dany and Tyrion, the show continually talks the talk about fear being a brittle basis for power, but it never walks the walk. It’s the exact same as with Ramsay last year, where we were told constantly that Ramsay’s cruelty and lack of self-control would be his undoing, but it never had any consequences. How brittle is Cersei’s power, exactly? She has effortless control of the city despite have blown up the holiest spot in it and killed numerous civilians along with the Pope, she was able to get the Tyrells’ own bannermen to switch sides, and the only defeat she’s sustained all season was because of Dany unleashing raw power at last. If the show wants to talk about how fear isn’t sufficient, then it needs to, at some point, show the people who rule through fear experiencing blowback for it. And that is not merely them losing in the end, which is what the writers seemed to think Ramsay’s defeat showed.

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    86. It’s Jon’s thumb causing Longclaw to look like it’s eye “opens”. Yes, it would be very interesting if it were more than that, but it is what it is.

      I think the Arya/Sansa scenes were good. They gave us further insight into the thoughts of each. Sansa has better understanding of who her little sister is now. Arya hands her the catspaw dagger hilt-first, which means Sansa won the game of faces. She may be afraid of Arya, but I still believe the Stark loyalty runs deep. Arya has a point in forcing Sansa to confront it, not just with Arya, but within Sansa herself.

      I like (sarcasm) how every viewer thinks they know exactly what they’d do in an unpredictable, life-threatening situation. The fact is, reflexive impulse and a bit of instinct is all anyone can rely upon when someone or some thing is trying to kill you. If you’ve got time to assess each moment, you’re lucky. More than likely, it’s milliseconds determining how you’ll react. I say this because I had a dangerous job, once upon a time. It takes extensive training for numerous possible scenarios in order to know what you can do. Who can predict a giant, undead, zombie bear if you didn’t know one existed? Who knew the Night King could throw a javelin with such accuracy?

      There’s a lot we don’t know about the Night King, but I think we can all agree that he’s got intelligence. He’s resourceful. I don’t know where he got the huge chains, but after existing for so long, I don’t doubt he’s acquired many things along the way, or, at the very least, knows where to get what he wants. I’m not going to over analyze it.

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    87. Aszusz: This.

      I like it, it makes sense.

      One more thing: I hate the idea of Jon bending the knee. I would understand it, if he had to, to save his people. But just after Dany stated she will fight the NK? It makes no sense. They are so clearly in love with each other – there is no reason for Jon to become Dany’s subject. Being allies makes much more sense. But I guess, the show just loves Dany, and she has to win, even if it ruins Jon’s character, doesn’t it?

      I hope this is indeed what they were intending with the leaving of the dagger – a final challenge to Sansa to finally stop playing games with LF. I’ve seen so many people wondering if Arya or Sansa plan on killing each other, lol No, I don’t see either doing this, the show runners won’t be so stupid.

      Many of us have been hoping for Sansa to take Littlefinger down for a while, she has so much dirt on him and obviously distrusts and hates him, yet he is like a crutch for her, he is giving her useful advice and I think his ways of praising and flattering her are also something she craves – made really clear in this episode, she wants all the credit and respect that she hasn’t had since she was held hostage. Sansa finally needs to stand firm with her family and get rid of the bad influence LF is in general around him, to everyone she cares about. I hope this happens.

      I think Jon saying he will bend the knee is basically his way of saying that he believes she is the only one who can save them. He finally realizes that her intentions/ambitions are not only for the throne, before this I don’t think he was sure – she was too focused on the wrong battle. Now that she understands, he will stand with/behind her. I agree a marriage alliance would be better, especially since that is what she was planning on doing all a long, but they are holding on to that one until later.

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    88. A couple of observations.
      I would of thought that the Night King would have had something will more Sauron-like Mojo to deploy than a big BIG JAVLIN (with, I guess, of Others-Juice in it). Seemed kind of pedestrian way to kill a dragon for such a supernatural guy.

      So why didn’t Rhaegal respond to sibling’s Viserion’s demise ? The NK didn’t even have another javlin nearby, right away. Could have roasted the whole command post. In fact first Rhaegal was there and then… where was he?

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    89. I just rewatched the episode, and while it does require a suspension of disbelief, to be not completely silly, the writing really only requires two things to fill two truly unbelievable parts of the episode:

      1. The Mag 7 (Minus Gendry) were on the island for a number of days (5? 10?) but this was barely shown (they do show Gendry running through the night and the rest of the Mag 7 waking up cold and freezing, but we have to assume more time goes by, and that they would not have frozen to death during whatever time they were there).

      2. There is an explanation for the massive anchor chains they pull out Viserion out with (eg, as mentioned earlier, the NK has the ability to look into the future (explains some of the waiting of the army of the dead) and knew they would be needed in order for him to get a “dragon equalizer), the chains have a purpose in pulling down gates/taking castles or some other explanation).

      For me, most everything else can be waved off (eg, Gendry actually making it to Eastwatch, Jon being able to swim in furs (btw he and Bronn should team up), etc.).

      However, although I barely have cracked the books, I can see how those who are loyal GRRM readers or love the storytelling and pacing of previous seasons that were scaffolded by his books would find this turn towards more traditional fantasy epic visual story telling unsatisfying on some level.

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    90. talvikorppi,

      I think all the Finnish fans love this, for “beware the thin ice” moments that were recreated in an authentic way and at reflect what we were taugh since pre-schoolers. Good thing you can use Longclaw as an icepike! Also, while Thoros dying would not have been a highlight, it was realistic in that we all know you do not fight hypotermia with alcohol, quite the contrary.

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    91. kathy,

      I could be completely wrong here, so If I am, forgive me, but isn´t the whole point of Littlefinger this season that he is basically lost in Winterfell and that he cannot adapt to the new circumstances?

      He was still fine with what was happening last season as Sansa may not really want him, but she is far too intelligent and reasonable to let him go with the lord of the Vale backing him, so he may have regained her favor sooner or later; things went sour when Jon got elected King in the North and the priorities shifted from political powerstruggle to an all out war against he dead. Even worse for LF, his King has not been around in Winterfell for months now, so he has no direct way of influencing him properly, he can only hope that the player he knows, Sansa, creates circumstances that lead to her taking the place of Jon or that Jon is forced to return to Winterfell at some point so that he is accessible once again… or dies, ofc.

      The fact that LF is kinda wasted in Winterfell seems to be a deliberate choice for me as he really can´t do much about his situation rather than wait, can he? He can´t leave as he does not have a really good reason for it that wouldn´t make Sansa and the others suspicious, the Vale-lords seem to be all too ready to back Sansa in any case even though LF controls SweetRobyn plus Arya and Bran are wildcards that do not open up to direct manipulation. Leaving would mean losing and staying means being trapped in circumstances quite unfavorable to him. He´s caught between a rock and a hard place and mostly not even because of his own actions, but because the Northerners chose irrationally and made a completely illegitimate Snow their King.

      Furhtermore, it highlights the change for better or for worse of the series, depending on who you ask; LF is a man of political intrigue and can´t handle this new world properly, where actual politicing is taking a back-seat to Jon´s agenda of fighting for the “greater good”. LF being a relic of the old world that needs to be overcome in order for everyone to focus on the real threat seems to be the not-so-subtle way of telling that the climax of GOT truly is inevitable.

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    92. kathy,

      and now that you see the ending you hate it. That is sad.

      Where does this rubbish about Dany’s make up come from. This is a TV show. Of course they put make up on the actors, all of them male and female.

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    93. Dany has got to get some Battle-worthy-apparel , these style-page gowns don’t cut it.
      Once again Tyrion warns her about arrows, geez.

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    94. Sacred Lime: Before it is released .. guess the title of the final episode..

      I reckon “The Long Night”

      Don’t know the reason for the reluctance with the episode titles.
      Plus, until it flashed on screen , we didn’t know that David and Dan had written this episode even tho they had said they did.

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    95. This comment is for people who watched Trailer2 .. with the light of the seven music.. not a real spoiler:

      “The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives” Sansa hasn’t said that yet… this leads me to believe the Stark sisters will be fine and it is Littlefinger who is stuffed

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    96. Be aware, this is a long post. Skip it if you suffer from ADS, read it at your own risk.

      I haven’t commented on GoT since last season, but now I feel compelled to share some thoughts, for the better or worse. Don’t take these personal.

      It seems that the writing gets worse in proportion to the show’s visual effects. This penultimate episode of the season highlighted this almost painfully.

      For me as someone who has been reading the books for over 20 years now, this is particularly disappointing. There are thousands of fantasy stories out there, since Lord of the Rings pointed out that this is actually a profitable genre again, but GRRM’s story stood out from the lot like a skyscraper towering over a medieval village.

      Why?

      Because the characterisation of the diverse protagonists (and also of secondary characters) was so well done – nothing was black and white (or Elves and Orcs), but rather 100 shades of grey. That made it so interesting to read, to follow the evolution of every one of these personalities that really came to life.

      Because of the intricacies of the plot – sometimes even a bit too much (as can be seen in the last two books that were just overladen and contribute to GRRM’s snail pace writing). Still, the main story lines were unconventional, often surprising, always creative and very well thought-out. Basically everything happened for a reason, and decisions had consequences both for the person taking them and for everyone else.

      Because of the quality of the writing, and in particular the dialogues. You can immediately feel GRRM is a born storyteller, he knows how to suck you into his world, how to make it come alive in your mind when you read it; and there is never an impression that any dialogues or internal monologues of a character sound wooden, everything is polished out, sometimes gritty, always realistic.

      And in the show? I was overwhelmed with happiness when they announced HBO would make an up to 10-season show out of GRRM’s books. And as long as there were books for the show to follow, when the writers’ job was basically to condense the books and make them digestible as a TV show – it was a fantastic show. Witty dialogues, believably motivated characters, fascinating twists and turns of the plot and, added to this, the fabulous visuals: the show delivered it all. It did not feel at all like watching a “normal” TV show, with the “villain of the week”, cheesy and two-dimensional characters and absurd plot devices, usually glossed over with fast pacing and some special effects because the episodes needed to be churned out quickly. No, it felt to me like a movie, in the sense that there was years of preparation and thinking that went into making it, until it was ready to be shot.

      But already in season 6, and far more glaringly in the present season 7, it becomes utterly obvious that the lack of fleshed-out book material is a giant detriment to the show’s quality. There is just an almost inconveivably large difference in the quality of the writing between someone like GRRM, and some hired TV writers that just have a couple hours to think about what to do with the broad outlines of the saga. There are so many shortcomings to the show now, which were not there before or only to a negligbly small extent, which make watching it increasingly frustrating.

      I cannot even begin to count how many face-palm inducing moments there have been so far in this season.

      That starts with the personalities of many of the protagonists (Daenerys probably the most glaring example, but so it is with Arya or Tyrion, even Jon) that are barely recognisable. They regularly act without any care for their behaviour and feelings of the previous seasons. Some do not seem to know why they are there at all (Petyr Baelish, Varys), some have acquired skills over years only to be unable to use any of them when called for (Arya, Bran). And I could go on.

      Then there are the dialogues. I cannot remember ever thinking, during the first five seasons, “oh this is cheesy, no one would say this” or “WTF? this is all you can think of saying in this situation”, or “OMG is that lame”. Now this happens basically every five minutes in the season 7 episodes. Many conversations feel contrived, out of character, without more than 5 minutes of thought going into it. How many fantastic things did Tyrion have to say in the first few seasons? Yet here, not only has he lost basically half of his IQ, but his previous eloquence is entirely absent.

      Lastly, there are the gaping holes in the show’s logic. Showcased (sic) by at least two deus-ex-machina happening in each episode now, unexplained movements over thousands of miles without transportation methods, utter lack of reaction to improbable things happening that were fairytales for thousands of years (“oh, dragons are here again? right, sure, let’s just get on with it”; “reanimated ice-zombies, why not, let’s talk about something else”), huge plotlines being abandoned without any reason or comprehensible explanation. All of that takes away what made GRRM’s saga so compelling, so unique and utterly fascinating, and some of which it shares with the Lord of the Rings: The sense that we are seeing a historic moment, the culmination of thousands of years of history, and built on the legacy of more than one vanished civilization with all the complexities that this includes. This sense of being in the presence of something epic, awe-inspiring which is bigger than itself and transcends the boundaries of its medium – that has gone missing.

      Just to be clear – it’s not about the fact that a TV show is inherently different from a book in that it needs to convey things in a more condensed fashion. Rather, this has been done with skill in the first five seasons, when there was far more guidance from the books that had years to polish their storylines and characters.

      Now we can guess that GRRM has given some gnawed-upon backbones on how it will all end, what is the fate of the main characters and some hints on how they will get there. But the meat, the flesh on these bones, is missing. The result of it is that instead of getting a Châteaubriand, we are forced to consume a soup hen, as far as the previously multi-layered and intricate story can be compared to the present outlines which are a shadow of what the saga of ice and fire stood for.

      Don’t get me wrong – I love the show, I will continue to watch it, I am glad to have paid for the HD streaming and I will buy the blu ray next year and watch it all again. Its visual effects are fantastic and deeply impressive, and set the bar for any current show, as is the quality of the acting.

      But it hurts deep, deep down to think of how much better it could have been, had GRRM finished writing (most of at least) his books, had he been able to fully apply his storytelling genius to the entire run of the show. I wonder how he feels about it himself? If I were in his shoes I would probably be very, very sad about it all, to see the achievement of a lifetime mangled like it is, when everything comes towards what was supposed to be the climax of thousands of pages of his books.

      Ok this got longer than intended. Still, I felt it needed to come out, like the shadow demon birthed by Melisandre. 🙂 🙂

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    97. Silent Sister:
      Arya hands her the catspaw dagger hilt-first, which means Sansa won the game of faces.

      How did Sansa win the game of faces? What would that particular game have told her other than that Sansa is sincerely scared of Arya peeling her face off?

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    98. Sacred Lime:
      Before it is released .. guess the title of the final episode..

      I reckon “The Long Night”

      I think the most appropriate title would be: “Whining is coming”

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    99. Winterfell – Wow. Yeah, the wheels have come off this reunion pretty fast. First off, however, I will say that I loved the scene in which Arya and Sansa discuss Ned watching over them. His daughters were the only two family members physically close to Ned when he died, and it is heartbreaking every time they discuss him.

      In a sense, Sansa is right – she was told to send that letter. It was dictated to her, and she thought only of trying to help her father. She was a child and, perhaps more importantly, politically naive. Sansa didn’t understand how she was being used in that moment. She still believed Joffrey was her dream prince and everything could be made better by her father simply confessing his treason and Robb bending the knee to Joffrey. At this point, Sansa still thought life was a song – it isn’t until Ned actually loses his head that she realizes it isn’t.

      What we have to remember as well is that one of the last scenes Sansa and Arya shared in King’s Landing involved Sansa begging Ned not to call of her betrothal to Joffrey. One of the last memories Arya has of her sister there is Sansa saying she doesn’t want the brave, gentle and strong man her father promises her in Joffrey’s stead; she wants him. The Sansa she has reunited with says she didn’t kill Joffrey but wishes she had, but this scroll reminds Arya of the person her sister was then.

      Sansa does have a point – Arya would never have survived what she went through. Her mouthy retorts would have led to Joffrey having her beaten to death, if he hadn’t done it himself. Even if she’d got as far as Ramsay, Arya would have tried to kill him on their wedding night. That said, I doubt Sansa would have survived all Arya endured. These two will never stop fighting this war among themselves until they sit down and share their experiences. They have no understanding of what the other has been through, and until they do this suspicion will remain.

      Not happy that Brienne has been sent away – Sansa’s dismissive tone isn’t a good sign, and Brienne tries to serve her as best she can. She is isolating herself almost in the way that Jon did at the end of season five, and that didn’t end well. It is all playing into LF’s hands. And that can’t be a good thing.

      Sansa reconnected with Jon, but Bran and Arya’s experiences are so outside the realms of her understanding and have altered them so much, it has been so bittersweet for her to see them again. Once more, I will say that it must be strange for her to find that the one family member she had so little time for growing up is the one she most identifies with now.

      I think Sansa remains in no doubt whatsoever that Arya has killed people. And that she will do so again. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode.

      Dragonstone – We saw less of Dragonstone than I anticipated from the stills and trailer, but I felt Tyrion and Daenerys needed this one-on-one time that’s been lacking in season seven. Her team has grown so wide and they’ve had so many visitors that we’ve rarely seen the two of them alone together.

      These two are fantastic together, and I enjoyed seeing him call her out on her feelings for Jon in the same way that Davos called Jon out on his. Daenerys’s attempts to dismiss what he says about Jon convince no one.

      I love Daenerys’s outfit. I still haven’t been able to figure out if it is white and silver or white and grey, but either way it looks pretty Stark-ish. A sign of Jon’s growing importance to her.

      Tyrion is right – Cersei is the type to lay a trap. It was clear from her demeanor in Eastwatch that she has something up her sleeve. But Tyrion seems a lot more invested in breaking the wheel than I think Daenerys anticipated. For him, it covers the war to win the Iron Throne as much as it does ruling from it.

      Beyond the Wall – The landscape was simply stunning in this episode. Whatever anyone wants to nitpick about plot and the basis of this trek north, I don’t think anyone can deny that the cinematography in this episode is off the scale.

      As was the case with Blackwater, Watchers on the Wall and Battle of the Bastards, we got a good blend of character moments and interactions alongside the action and fighting. My favorite had to be Tormund and the Hound. In an episode that worked to tug on our heartstrings, they were the light relief – ah, Brienne! What an impression she’s made on Tormund, and how he has completely misinterpreted her response to him!

      As much as I love Jorah, I did find myself yelling at Jon not to give away Valryian steel. No. Just no. That Jorah rejected it shows for me how much he sees the respect his father clearly had for Jon to give him the sword in the first place. These two characters work really well together, and I hope to see more of them moving forward.

      I think Jon sending Gendry back had more to do with him realizing the others were better fighters than Gendry being the fastest. But making it a positive thing is such a Jon-like act. And with Gendry surviving, it increases the chances of an Arya/Gendry reunion! Please! Reuniting with Hot Pie really helped her, and I think coming together again with Gendry would be more powerful. I can be your family.

      Speaking of Arya, when she wasn’t mentioned last week, I figured they were saving talk of her until this episode – it seems strange that neither the Hound, the Brotherhood nor Gendry mentioned her. Especially given Gendry spoke of his time with the Brotherhood.

      So we learned that killing a White Walker can also kill wights – that will be helpful moving forward. We also got a rough idea of how the wights communicate. Also, current White Walker kills has Jon ahead with two. Sam and Meera are tied for second place on one. I do wonder how seeing Jon kill a Walker will impact on his standing among those who witnessed it. I mentioned Jorah’s respect for him above. He now has first-hand experience of Jon’s martial skill.

      I think I entered this episode writing Beric and Thoros off as collateral damage – mostly, if they died then potentially less (sorry, fewer) of the characters I am heavily invested in would die. That said, I was oddly moved by Thoros’s death. I loved his moment with Jorah earlier in the episode in which he admitted to being drunk during the breach of Pyke during the Greyjoy Rebellion. It sort of linked in to Daenerys and Tyrion’s discussion about bravery and stupidity. The Hound may have been bickering with Thoros and Beric for seasons, but even he was sorry to lose Thoros.

      I got incredibly panicked at Tormund’s close call. I do not want him to die. I want him and Brienne to produce those children that will rule the world! Though I do sort of want her to live happily ever after with Jaime too. Anyways, I was relieved to see him surface and to see that the Hound was the one to save him.

      I had kind of bought in to the idea of the Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai and who would die, but actually I think the message behind this mission for the viewers is that of people who have spent a long time disagreeing, and who don’t necessarily trust one another, setting those differences aside for common good and fighting together. As Jon said at the end of the last episode – they are all on the same side now.

      I was quite flippant at the thought of a dragon death pre-season. I figured we’d had enough direwolf deaths and it was time for one of the dragons to go. That said, I found it incredibly emotional to watch. Not only in terms of Daenerys’s reaction, but the visual of the dragon being downed. The Night King obviously has better spear-makers than Qyburn. In all seriousness, though, it was a very moving scene – helped along by the sight of Jon sacrificing himself so the others could get away.

      Jon fighting until the last echoed Hardhome, when he was the last to take a rowing boat away from shore. I hope that doesn’t signify bad things for him in the future, but it is who he is. The man who passes the sentence swings the sword. Jon is the leader, and he will ensure his men get out of there first.

      Uncle Benjen! Jon is one lucky nephew, when you consider the sacrifices Ned and now Benjen have made for him. I would have liked one line of RLJ dialogue (something like I couldn’t save her, but I can save you) that didn’t give too much away to Jon, but you can’t have everything!

      The scene with Daenerys and Jorah atop the Wall echoed that of Jon and Sam from You Win or You Die, when they spot Benjen’s horse returning through the trees. She is clearly desperate to see him survive – Viserion is a high enough cost for her to pay without losing this man she has come to feel so much for.

      It isn’t addressed in the dialogue – and rightly so, because I think it would have upset the flow of the scene – but Daenerys finally sees the truth about Jon’s stabbing and the knife he took in the heart. It was kind of inevitable she would find out about it given the way Jon and Beric’s resurrections were so openly discussed in the pre-action sequences. The pure emotion in her eyes when she realizes what he’s been through is gut-wrenching. As is their final scene together.

      I love that Jon decided to bend the knee not because of anything Daenerys did, but because of what Tormund said. Jon isn’t Mance, and he believes what he is doing will save lives.

      The scene with Jon and Daenerys on the boat was just beautifully done. The voice at the back of my head screaming Jon is Daenerys’s nephew has grown quieter – and it is down to the way Kit and Emilia have completely sold me on these two together. They are a partnership of equals in so many ways, and that is why they work.

      When Daenerys tells Jon her dragons are the only children she’ll have, he understands she means that if the take their feelings for one another further he won’t have any sons or daughters to follow him. He’ll only have her. His nod signifies Jon feels she is enough. The look on his face when Jorah returns Longclaw to him says that children was something Jon never contemplated, not even after leaving the Night’s Watch, and it takes us back to his conversation with Sam in Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things when Jon said he’d sworn not to bring more Snows into the world.

      This episode was beautifully shot and – as has been the case all season – the acting was right on point. They’ve set us up for a promising finale, and I can’t wait to see it. The only problem is that the next episode is the last of the season! 🙁

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    100. I think the reason I enjoyed watching this episode was because I had almost a year, since the leaks,to wrap my head around the idea of operation Grab-a-Wight, all just to convince batshit crazy Cersei. So I didn’t mind it as much, finally watching it on television. Since I already knew about all the silly, impossible things that were going to happen in the episode, I could just concentrate on all the good stuff, namely the conversations between the Magnificent 7, the whole emotional aspect of the episode with the death of Viserion and the Dany-Jon conversation, the almost melancholic horror feel to the events beyond the Wall. The Winterfell plot is a total mess though, nothing remotely sensible or enjoyable about it.

      Sean C.:

      – GOT is at its best when it’s being spectacle, and the plot doesn’t distract from the spectacle by being too dumb.I commended the Dany vs. Lannisters battle from 704 for managing this.Hoo boy does this episode flunk that test.Much of the discourse around this season has concerned the plausibility of travel times, etc. and how much can be inferred to have passed offscreen, but this episode snaps any plausibility in that regard, between Usain Gendry’s run back to Eastwatch, followed by the world’s fastest raven covering the better part of 2000 miles to Dragonstone, and then Dany and her dragons flying up and easily locating them, all the while Jon and his team are encircled on a small island, completely exposed to the elements, and waiting only for the ice to freeze again.We’re talking a day or two, tops.And that’s just nonsense. And then there’s the extreme bullshit of Jon being fully submerged in freezing water and somehow not dying of hypothermia after riding for hours and hours in sub-zero temperatures (and also only getting away from that because of the almost hilarious perfunct return of Benjen to say one line and then die offhandedly).

      Ever since I watched the episode, I have wondered why didn’t the writers just have Dany fly north to Eastwatch on her own, out of anxiety and fear for Jon and Jorah’s lives? This would have been so much simpler and would have avoided all the travel time complaints. Why did they come up with such an impossible-to-believe way to get her North?

      A GOT season isn’t complete until Jon gets saved from whatever impossible situation he gets himself into lmao. This time they outdid themselves by doing it twice in a matter a minutes, first by Dany and the dragons and then by Deus ex Benjen. I keep hoping that there will finally come a time when Jon doesn’t need to get saved over and over and over again, but I keep getting disappointed in this aspect lol.

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    101. Interesting that only Thoros of the Magnificent Seven bit the biscuit.
      Gendry is ok, thought Ghost might rescue him, where is Ghost?!
      Don’t count Unc Benji.

      The spear carriers were a chaotic jumble. I counted four in the initial sequences but then like 8 or was it 10 ? seem to show up for requite demise , one lasting right up to the almost end.

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    102. King Podrick: The White Walkers didn’t build that chain. It belong to wrecked ship that you see a shot off.

      Also I mentioned before. Sansa does not trust Littlefinger. She’s playing him especially when Littlefinger mentioned Brienne you can see her face how she’s discover his motives

      Ooo, good point about the chain! I didn’t catch the ship. Was that in the Previously On? And I’d always thought that we had no idea how much time elapsed between Jon leaving and Viserion rising.

      And what are Littlefinger’s motives with regards to Brienne?

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    103. I took Benjen letting Jon go alone as a form of suicide. He can’t pass the wall and the NK is heading to the wall. Rather than wait there to be turned fully why not go out in a blaze of glory?

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    104. Jack Bauer 24:
      And what was Arya talking about with the bow? She said she shot it 20 or 50 times as Ned looked on. In the series premiere, she shot it once while Ned and Cat watched.

      She was talking about something not in the show, when she first learned to shoot with a bow and arrow. During the premiere, she’d obviously been practicing for quite a long time.

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    105. Pigeon: I like how D&D don’t even bother calling Benjen anything other than Coldhands.

      I thought that was odd.
      Am I miss remembering ? Did GRRM explicitly state that Benjen was not Coldhands?

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    106. My question is what does it to to Daenerys’ prophecy/Targaryen a dragon has three heads? One of those dragons/dragon riders is gone now.

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    107. Ten Bears:
      What bothers me about the Sansa-Arya conflict (like the Sansa-Jon conflict to start the season) is invoking their father’s name but contravening his warnings about internecine feuds (echoed by Jon last season): “We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves,”

      From S1e3 (Ned & Arya):

      Ned: Look at me. You’re a Stark of Winterfell. You know our words.

      Arya: Winter is coming.

      Ned. You were born in the long summer. You’ve never known anything else. But now winter is truly coming. And in the winter, we must protect ourselves, look after one another. Sansa is your sister.

      Arya: I don’t hate her. Not really.

      Ned. I don’t want to frighten you, but I won’t lie to you either. We’ve come to a dangerous place. We cannot fight a war amongst ourselves.

      ————-_——-

      From S6e10 (Jon & Sansa):

      Jon: You told me Lord Baelish sold you to the Boltons.

      Sansa:He did.

      Jon: And you trust him?

      Sansa: Only a fool would trust Littlefinger. I should have told you about him, about the Knights of the Vale.
      I’m sorry.

      Jon. We need to trust each other. We can’t fight a war amongst ourselves….

      And that’s why I wholeheartedly believe they’ll come together in the end, hopefully this season. The lone wolf dies. The pack survives!!!!

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    108. Ser Hogwyn,

      Hehe!! yep, you are probably right. Let me just say this in defence of D&D..

      Every writer (Even GRRM) gets stuck on certain plot points how to resolve times, locations etc. The story requires the Night King to have a dragon.. clearly, I also believe this will be in the books. With no actual book to fall back on, they had to get Dany beyond the wall with all 3 dragons.. with no time for writers block for D&D and only 7 episodes (because of limited budget to portray all the things they need too).

      They moved the pieces around as we saw. I think the relationship between Dany and Jon was set up sufficiently and Jorah had to be cured and go with them.. this gave Dany the ultimate reasons to go North with her Dragons.

      They could not conceivably battle the army of the dead for a week until Dany rocked up.. so we got a sped up version. Yes they could of tackled it some other way maybe.

      After everything I am willing to accept the version they have put in front of me. Now they have set up Dany & Jon, the Night King has an undead dragon. They can slow it down for the finale.. and treat us to a massive spectacle.

      I suppose what I’m saying is they may of scratched their heads for ages figuring out how to move everyone into place for the final 7 episodes of the entire series, and yes some of the plot points have been forced.. but at least it is still an amazing piece of TV. I think for the sake of some dodgy plotting by a set of writers who have to get to an end point that they didn’t write in a limited time. I am definitely going to give them some slack, maybe everyone who didn’t like some of the plotting and writing should as well.

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    109. Hexonx: LF tells Sansa if one of the sisters was going to harm another Brienne would be honor bound to step in.I take Sansa sending Brienne away to mean Sansa might be planning on harming Arya.

      Yes, that’s the way I took it, but that conflicts so much with Sansa’s style!!! And if it came to violence, I know which sister I’d be putting my money on.

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    110. Jared:
      Ten Bears,
      Sandor was traveling with the Brotherhood, but I’m not sure that he ever officially joined it (he certainly wasn’t on board with their Lord of Light worship). In any event, it seems like he’s the point man for taking the wight down to King’s Landing, and since that was the objective, I can see why Beric would let him go. And given Beric’s focus on the Army of the Dead, it makes sense that he would stay at the Wall.

      And honestly, I’m not sure how much of the Brotherhood is left at this point.

      Yeah, the Hound hasn’t joined the Brotherhood but they’ve all joined Jon’s army to fight the real war, the only war that matters!

      My favorite part of the episode is the Tormund-Sandor bromance!!! Tordor!!! I so ship it. If anything, the Hound is now an honorary Wildling. He’ll fit right in.

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    111. I think that maybe all this Arya/Sansa dagger thing was a kind of “man needs a name”. Sansa choose whose face to take and Arya do it.

      Dead army Lords proved themselves very well organized. They seemed to be ready to face the dragons (and brought a special weapon for this occasion, both with giant chain).

      Thrilled to see next episode

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    112. Juri G.:
      Ginevra,

      I think the meaning was that it could hurt Brienne because Arya had already shown during their sparring session that she could beat her.So Sansa sent Brienne away to protect Brienne.

      I’d certainly thought of that, but Sansa doesn’t strike me as willing to sacrifice her own life rather than Brienne’s.

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    113. Sacred Lime,

      Good points, there is indeed no time for Writer’s Block and the Meereenese Knot when writing serialised TV, nor spending several years in between seasons redrafting ad nauseum to hone the absolute perfect script. Unless of course we’d have preferred the whole show to erratically wind its weary way over 25 years+ beginning to end striving for the impossible dream of satisfying everyone.

      The show moves ever further away from perfection (as if that’s even possible) but it’s still essential viewing for huge numbers worldwide. And at my age it’s my best shot at seeing how this story all comes to an end.

      So maybe the engine knocks, the suspension is rough, the tyres could do with a change and the exhaust sounds like a wounded rhinoceros sometimes but I still wanna ride!

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    114. Boojam:
      Any bets on wither Rickon will be mentioned at all this season?
      Or ever!?

      Why would he be mentioned? The appropriate thing for this was right after the BotB – they had a red witch at hand and Jon’s resurrection was still fresh on everyone’s mind. It was odd neither Jon nor Sansa asked her to do it again with the heir to WF. But knowing they’re both such good kids, obviously this was simply a writing omission.

      The Magnificent 7 + the cannon fodder sherpas were The Dirty Dozen. Check the panoramic pictures with the group early in the episode.

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    115. What happened to Rheagal? We just saw him fly away… However at the Wall, we just saw Drogon.

      Guys…! Only one week of joy is left. FIt will be followed by a long winter of trying to avoid any leak spoilers. I personally want to watch Season 8 as unsullied as possible. It was fun to avoid mostly all spoilers this season. Being so violently drawn to the edge of your seat is just wonderful…

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    116. Well, it seems that this episode put the theory about Three Dragon Riders to an end. Will Rhaegal become Jon Snow mount? I’m curious how will they handle this.

      Also I’m still waiting for the outcome of battle between Euron and Grey Worm. Taking into account current show pace, I think it is safe to say that is long over.

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    117. Absolutely loved this episode and have watched it about 4 times since it leaked.
      I know everyone has different views but I’d like to offer some alternate explanations to some of the things that seem to have upset people about the episode:

      Arya/Sansa – I think Arya is testing Sansa. She quite rightly suspicious and the confrontation scene was, in my view, an attempt to size Sansa up and get a good read on her. The only way to get a true read, was to get her at her most vulnerable. Sansa passed the test which is why Arya gave her the knife. I think we’ll see in the next episode that Arya is a bit less hostile.
      And Sansa clearly does NOT trust LF, despite appearances. He counselled using Brienne to protect her. She did the absolute opposite and sent her away. Tells me she does not trust him at all.

      Jon’s escape – There is no way that Jon was getting on a dragon, any dragon, in this episode as part of a rescue. They are saving that for a much bigger scene where Jon chooses to ride a dragon as part of his acceptance of his parentage and his role as “the shield that guards the realms of men.” Him being forced to get on a dragon now would diminish the impact of that eventual scene. The story requires that Jon did not get on a dragon at this point so they had to have *someone* save him. Enter Uncle Benjen. It also has the benefit of tying up the Benjen loose end.

      Just my interpretation.

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    118. Ok, I believe that Night King can reanimate the dead, but throwing an ice javelin a quarter mile??? C’mon, man….

      Sansa and Arya just really irritate me. No interest in that plot.

      Tinfoil hat theory: Winterfell is so named because that’s where the Night King is ultimately defeated…..time loop Bran names it so when he goes back in time.

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    119. Arya – “I wonder what it would be like to be you – to wear those pretty dresses. All I’d need is your face.”

      Well, Sansa’s been dressing like she’s off to Whitby Goth Weekend for a while now.

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    120. Con Jonnington:
      Arya/Sansa – I think Arya is testing Sansa. She quite rightly suspicious and the confrontation scene was, in my view, an attempt to size Sansa up and get a good read on her. The only way to get a true read, was to get her at her most vulnerable. Sansa passed the test which is why Arya gave her the knife. I think we’ll see in the next episode that Arya is a bit less hostile.

      How did that help Arya get a good read on her? All she could possibly have learned from that scene was that Sansa was sincerely scared Arya was going to kill her.

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    121. Ginevra,

      I actually understood the opposite: that Brienne could harm Arya in order to protect Sansa. This is why I do’nt understand at all all the winterfell scenes… Is Sansa pretending to be scared of Arya to play LF? But if so, then what is the point of the last scene between Arya and Sansa? And finally why is Arya giving Sansa the dagger? Does it make sense to anyone?

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    122. Hard for me to wrap my head around the direction the series has gone in. Hard for me to figure how the guys who brought this series to life and really deserve most of the credit for the show’s success have forgotten about what made the series great. The only conclusion I can come to is D & D are tired of Game of Thrones and are preoccupied with other projects. Confederate is a very sensitive show and I’m sure much D & D had to spend months developing the concept in order to get HBO to sign off on it. It’s a shame because this was really their time to shine — to prove the people wrong who said they were just riding G.R.R.M’s coat tails. It hasn’t been a good showing and I can’t help but imagine that S7 has taken a ton of pressure off George.

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    123. Hard for me to wrap my head around the direction the series has gone in. Hard for me to figure how the guys who brought this series to life and really deserve most of the credit for the show’s success have forgotten about what made the series great. The only conclusion I can come to is D & D are tired of Game of Thrones and are preoccupied with other projects. Confederate is a very sensitive show and I’m sure much D & D had to spend months developing the concept in order to get HBO to sign off on it. It’s a shame because this was really their time to shine — to prove the people wrong who said they were just riding G.R.R.M’s coat tails (which I don’t believe at all). It hasn’t been a good showing and I can’t help but imagine that S7 has taken a ton of pressure off George.

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    124. Con Jonnington: And Sansa clearly does NOT trust LF, despite appearances. He counselled using Brienne to protect her. She did the absolute opposite and sent her away. Tells me she does not trust him at all.

      “only a fool would trust him”, she said something like that earlier in the season. I agree with you, I can’t imagine Sansa trusting him. But why did she go to Arya’s room searching for the letter? This means she is really scared of Arya, isn’t it? I’m completely lost with the wintefell story and I don’t see the point of all of that… The death of LF? of Sansa ?

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    125. Aszusz,

      How exactly does Jon bending the knee ruin his character? What is this, some misogynist thing? A man shouldn’t recognize a woman’s power?

        Quote  Reply

    126. Sean C.,

      Not necessarily. Sansa’s fear would strip her of the arrogance she has regarding her position (“I won the BOB” for example) allowing Arya to really test what lies beneath that very carefully honed persona that Sansa projects.

      Just my reading of it though.

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    127. I swore that the dead dragon was Rhaegal!
      Viserion is supposed to be cream colored.
      they did not do a good job with the dragon coloring.

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    128. Chris,

      —- I’ve been convinced of a several rilers ending for long now. Maybe 3, with Tyrion as n°3 if the theory about him is right, but most probably 2. Now that one dragon is down…

      We’ve got so used to being on the lookout for and then interpreting each little phrase in the show that we might all have been blind to the obvious and simple, right under our noses from the start and hinting at 2 rulers in the end :

      1/the show is Game of throneS, so why just the Iron one (there are seven kingdoms but which have no kings/queens, just THE ruler in KL ; why playing with thrones in the plural, then) ?

      2/ the GRRM saga is A song of ICE + FIRE ; it could be explained as an epic story of how ice and fire finally ended up TOGETHER (and by together I mean not as a couple ; marriage would lead to one single ruler and a consort anyway, not two).

      That would be THE ULTIMATE trick from all the authors, books and show, to have fooled and outsmarted everybody for years !! Wouldn’t it be sheer irony and thus glorious ! Transparency eventually coming out from so much complexity, simplicity as the result of intricacy !

      Jon has finally bended the knee but it does not mean that Dany can’t “give” him the north in the end. It would then be the 2 kingdoms.

      —- As for the timing, it seemed obvious to me that the 7+ had only just begun their journey, a few hours, and were still on day 1, so not very far away from the wall.

      —- Children/successors mentioned a lot this week. Certainly not by chance. Can’t see why (but I may miss sth) Jon could not have children, as some say. Dany, quite the reverse, definitely can’t.

      —- And I might be stubborn, but IF J+D finally happens, I’m convinced (well, I really hope so, too) it can’t last once Jon learns about his parents : incest is NOT in HIS education, even if it is in Dany’s.

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    129. I’ve come to realize that I enjoy the show differently.

      I used to watch, watch again, theorize, reference the various Wikis, and discover new things.

      Now, I watch, enjoy, and then promptly decide to put it out of my mind to avoid thinking about the stupid things.

      My overall beef is not with the ultrasonic raven — in a land where seasons last 10 years or more, I really don’t care about the air speed of a bird; or with Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner attempting to stretch the limits of their acting ability and not really succeeding. Or with Dany being all over the map.

      I just realize there is a goal in mind. And they bend, fold, mutiliate and spindle logic, characterization and common sense to get there.

      I just hope I like the goal.

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    130. FRAN: —- Children/successors mentioned a lot this week. Can’t see why (but I may miss sth) Jon could not have children. Dany, quite the reverse, definitely can’t.

      everyone is saying Jon can’t have children because GRRM basically said that resurrected characters are some kind of wights, not really themselves anymore. But this has not been addressed in the show (Beric for instance is perfectly fine after 6 deaths), and like you I don’t see why Jon would not be able to father a child.

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    131. Flayed Potatoes,

      Lol thanks!

      Con Jonnington:

      Jon’s escape – There is no way that Jon was getting on a dragon, any dragon, in this episode as part of a rescue. They are saving that for a much bigger scene where Jon chooses to ride a dragon as part of his acceptance of his parentage and his role as “the shield that guards the realms of men.” Him being forced to get on a dragon now would diminish the impact of that eventual scene. The story requires that Jon did not get on a dragon at this point so they had to have *someone* save him. Enter Uncle Benjen. It also has the benefit of tying up the Benjen loose end.

      Just my interpretation.

      I agree about this.

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    132. seenGhost?: Why would he be mentioned? The appropriate thing for this was right after the BotB – they had a red witch at hand and Jon’s resurrection was still fresh on everyone’s mind. It was odd neither Jon nor Sansa asked her to do it again with the heir to WF. But knowing they’re both such good kids, obviously this was simply a writing omission.

      That’s interesting never thought of that.
      O well, I guess Arya and Bran will just never ask what happened to their brother?
      Maybe Jon will?

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    133. Con Jonnington:
      Not necessarily. Sansa’s fear would strip her of the arrogance she has regarding her position (“I won the BOB” for example) allowing Arya to really test what lies beneath that very carefully honed persona that Sansa projects.

      But she didn’t “really test” anything. She didn’t ask any questions — or rather, she asked a question about whether Sansa wanted to be in charge, and Sansa wasn’t having any of it and shifted the conversation to the faces. If Arya was really concerned about that, Sansa’s behaviour would read as evasion. Arya’s not a telepath; terrorizing Sansa doesn’t give her the ability to read Sansa’s mind, all the “game of faces” is is trying to read if people are lying.

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    134. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Yeah, and hopefully.. as the story condenses down to the final plot points, there will be less and less travelling and only one enemy and all the insane moving of people around Westeros will stop and they can move to an epic conclusion. We will look back on the plot points that were slightly forced and a bit unbelievable as small bumps in the road to the great ending.

      It must get easier for them the less that has to happen. I mean they gave themselves 7 episodes to convince Dany, Tyrion and co that this Legendary enemy that most people don’t even think exists .. does exist, A massive war with Dragons, Jorah had to get cured, almost all Stark re-unions had to take place, Littlefinger had to have some scheming purpose in the North.

      I would of just liked one extra scene here and there.. of Gendry in the woods staring around at noises at a campfire before running off again.. A raven arriving at Dragonstone with them commenting that they all might be dead as it’s been 3 days!! and Tyrion saying how fast can you get to the wall.. at least we would have some sense of time. Anyway.. it is what it is.

      I don’t for a second think I could do a better job, so I will go with it. Now their possible Meereenese knot is done, it may calm down a bit and everyone will be happy.

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    135. Rii-iight, now I’ve got the workaday thing done and can concentrate on this. I watch the episode twice in the early hours of Monday morning, in bed on my tablet, with earbuds so as not to wake the neighbours, lol. Then shower, breakfast, work, while my mind is still churning.

      Apologisies to Sue and all the commenters, I haven’t read the recap post or the comments yet because I want to be “unsullied” by other people’s interpretations and views before I put my first thoughts out there.

      Let’s get the bad out of the way. The WF scenes have me scratching my head and disliking both Stark sisters. Supersonic ravens and dragons stretched my suspension of disbelief almost too far. Jon escaping on uncle Benjen’s horse, the slow-motion made it seem like he was on a nicely rocking fairground hobby horse. The first two are writing issues, the last a cinematography/director issue.

      That said, I really liked the episode. S7 has been even more different from the early seasons than a couple preceding ones. It’s far more fast paced and cinematic… But I also feel it lacks texture. Everything is kind of slick and fast. Fair enough, lots of it have been set up in seasons before… But… It just falls a bit flat for me. I still like it, and there are great character moments and beats, still an exceptionally good TV show, but…

      Like, the “capture a wight” mission was moronic from the start. Tyrion thinks that will convince Jaime and hopes Jaime will be able to convince Cersei. Tyrion obviously doesn’t know how much Jaime is under Cersei’s thumb and she won’t listen to anybody, not even her brother-lover, especially if he seems to be working with her hated little brother Tyrion. Plus, the plan to capture a lone wight was moronic to start with. Jon knows they usually come in big bands… But whatever.

      So that’s my criticisms, I’ll shortly be back with more positive notes. 🙂

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    136. Sean C.,

      Yeah, everything I was thinking while watching the winterfell scenes was that Arya was so proud of herself and so dehumanized that the character had lost any interest… It’s sad, and I hope that whatever happens in season 6, Arya in season 7 will be a very interesting character, as she has always been (even when her story was not so interesting).

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    137. Why exactly does incest in a medieval story-wherein so many marriages between family members are already established – bother people so much?

      So, Dany and Jon-even if they fall in complete love with one another-should shove their feelings aside and choose loneliness all because…incest?

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    138. Sean C.,

      Is that all the game of faces is? Im not sure we know that. In a previous episode Arya was able to tell Sansa what she was thinking about at that moment. I think that was setting up that the game of faces gave her an incredibly astute intuition about the the thoughts and feelings of others when interacting with them, not necessarily just the ability to tell if an answer to a direct question is a lie or not.

      Its just the way I read the development of these characters and the meaning of the scene and the way it makes sense to me. I might not be right 😉

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    139. BranTheBlessed:
      Aszusz,

      How exactly does Jon bending the knee ruin his character? What is this, some misogynist thing? A man shouldn’t recognize a woman’s power?

      LOL. Jon has no problem with powerful women, we know that. However, Jon is not a kneeler any more, as Tormund said in an earlier episode. He was chosen as a King, he accepted it and he is willing to do whatever he thinks is best for his people. If kneeling to Dany saves them, he would do that. However, Dany just proved that she will help, even if Jon doesn’t kneel.

      Jon has the loyalty of the North, as they are willing to follow him, and he knows they will have a problem accepting a Targ ruler once again. If it is a neccessity, then fine, but the point is, it isn’t. Jon has no reason whatsoever to give up his kingdom and risk a rebellion against Dany AND himself when he finally tells the Northern Lords that he knelt. Saying that “OK, I believe you are a good person and the Northern Lords will see it too” is BS. He gains nothing but risks losing the North. And he isn’t that stupid politically, or at least he shouldn’t be. That’s why I say the show sacrifices his character so that Dany can get what SHE wants, without her becoming a shortsighted bitch who wouldn’t help Jon even after Viserion’s death (unless he bends the knee). So the show makes Jon giving up his kingdom for no good reason.

      And it has nothing to do with Dany being a woman. Her gender doesn’t matter, if she was a guy, I would think the same.

      About Jon missing the Drogon-ride:
      I think the whole point of that wasn’t only giving a chance for Benjen to reappear. IIRC in the books it is stated, that a person can bond and ride only one dragon. A dragon can have multiple riders (once a rider dies, they allow another one).
      If Jon rode Drogon, maybe that would have put an end to him claiming Rhaegal later, because he would have sit on Drogon before.

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    140. Well, seeing how good this episode was received with GA and how controversial it is among the hard core book fans, I think this may be the final partition of the fandom.

      There were controversial episodes in the past, but I don’t remember such a different reaction between two parts of the fandom. Mostly they think the same. Maybe “The Children” was similar? Book fans hated it and for majority that was the best E10 this show ever had.

      Well, maybe this was inevitable, D&D were never writers book super fans wanted. They always had completely different priorities when it seem to this story. Now, that is clear.

      What that means for the future of this fandom? Only more negativity I think. D&D are not writing the story they want, and GRRM is not writing at all. That frustration makes everything toxic.

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    141. WinterDragon,

      Although I haven’t been a ASOIF fan as long as you, I feel your pain. I don’t know where all the posts regarding the episode quality are coming from because this show is suffering without GRRM.

      The writers clearly don’t know how or are willing to kill any major/secondary characters. They will kill very minor characters not critical to any forward-moving plot devices.

      The action scenes are better quality visually now, but the suspense is lacking tremendously. Everything feels very predictable and trite.

      While I do still enjoy watching the episodes from time to time, the desire to see what happens is rapidly fading. Hopefully, GRRM can finish what he started because this is definitely not his vision.

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    142. Con Jonnington,

      This is the impression I had as well. She wants to scare her to see where her true loyalties lie. There is a reason why she gave her dagger at the end. I mean, if someone disagrees with this opinion, what they think the point was when it comes to dagger?

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    143. BranTheBlessed,

      It seems clear to me that incest is strongly disapproved of in GoT society, with just the one exception of the Targaryens : just see how Jaime+Cersei is viewed in the whole kingdom. Incest in the show is just practised by people regaded as degenerate or savages : Targaryens and one sickly wildling, Craster. Well, the other wildlings never, I think, expressed themselves on that point, but I suppose they greatly frown uopn it.

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    144. mau,

      No this isn’t a book vs show thing. The whole, we need to appease Cersei subplot is just plain bad and makes very little sense. They hammered it in there to set up some big show down in King’s Landing for the final episode I’m sure.

      C’mon, even you had to be like wtf when Tyrion walked right up the steps into King’s Landing. I was simultaneously laughing and crying at such a buffoonish misstep.

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    145. Con Jonnington,

      Arya’s comments in the prior episode were based on her belief that Sansa wanted to be in charge and was trying not to think about it. That’s one part reading her conduct during the meeting, one part her read on Sansa’s answers in their private conversation, and one part her own projections. She doesn’t have the ability to read Sansa’s mind about whatever she wants even when it’s totally unrelated to the subject of their interaction.

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    146. I never thought an episode of Game of Thrones could make me depressed unless there was a wedding massacre or one of television’s greatest screen dads losing his head.

      But, boy, they’ve found a new way to make me depressed because I just found that whole episode risible. I really didn’t like it.

      Full of manufactured drama, dodgy dialogue, silly plot devices, action sequences devoid of the sort of tension and craft we’ve come to expect from this show…

      Without doubt the worst moment in the episode for me was when Sansa found the faces in Arya’s room. Having her pull the obviously rubber mould of David Bradley’s face out and hold it up in front of the camera was just so unsubtle and unnecessary. The whole Sansa/Arya thing over the last couple of episodes has been frankly painful to watch.

      I think the first four episodes of this season had their flaws, but they were still pretty decent Game of Thrones episodes.

      But episodes 5 & 6 have been massive clunkers, in my opinion, and almost not Game of Thrones-like in their writing and production.

      Unless the finale is absolutely spectacular then this is undoubtedly the worst season so far, in my opinion.

      I’m sorry in advance if anybody finds my opinion disagreeable, but it’s just my own personal take on the episode and season so far.

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    147. mau,

      Balderdash. I am a casual book reader. I’ve read them all once and found Books 4-5 to be dreary slogs. I’m re-reading the last two along with the Feast of Dragons thing the Game of Owns Podcast is doing and that improves them a bit, but not much.

      I live by the following credos: 1) Dorne sucks in the books too. 2) George is just as fascinated by rape and gets a pass on it. 3) There is no functional difference between “Only Cat” and “Only Your Sister,” so just shut up.

      Having said all that, this last episode was thrilling, beautiful to watch, reasonably well-acted (outside of the Stark sisters) and incredibly stupid once you think about it for more than 5 minutes afterwards.

      Who are the three greatest heroes in the story? We all have our favs, but you can make a case for Jon, Tyrion and Dany.

      Jon is basically an idiot that someone made king. His strategy appears to be blunder in after people tell him he’s a moron and wait for someone smarter to save him, only it’s killed Rickon, Viserion, and God knows how many redshirts.

      Tyrion is great at court intrigue, but is a horrible military planner and has no idea how to manage up.

      Dany is just all over the map, bouncing from one situation to another until she realizes she has dragons and then just burns stuff.

      So, the three great heroes are all behaving moronically. And it’s getting old.

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    148. The Het,

      Sneaking into other people’s rooms and rummaging through their things; peaking around corners; eavesdropping; and not asking obvious questions – that’s all cheesy, soap opera type stuff beneath GoT.

      At some point, Arya should’ve asked or told Sansa that it was LF who retrieved the scroll from Maester Wolkan, purportedly on Sansa’s behalf. And Sansa would’ve asked where Arya found the scroll. And the two of them would’ve asked themselves/each other why LF orchestrated the whole charade.

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    149. mau,

      I read them all once. I’ve looked at the Wikis. First three books are good.

      But I do not find the current season problematic compared to the books, or even problematic compared to the first three seasons.

      I find them problematic with logic and reason.

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    150. Con Jonnington:
      Absolutely loved this episode and have watched it about 4 times since it leaked.
      I know everyone has different views but I’d like to offer some alternate explanations to some of the things that seem to have upset people about the episode:

      Arya/Sansa – I think Arya is testing Sansa. She quite rightly suspicious and the confrontation scene was, in my view, an attempt to size Sansa up and get a good read on her. The only way to get a true read, was to get her at her most vulnerable. Sansa passed the test which is why Arya gave her the knife. I think we’ll see in the next episode that Arya is a bit less hostile.
      And Sansa clearly does NOT trust LF, despite appearances. He counselled using Brienne to protect her. She did the absolute opposite and sent her away. Tells me she does not trust him at all.

      Jon’s escape – There is no way that Jon was getting on a dragon, any dragon, in this episode as part of a rescue. They are saving that for a much bigger scene where Jon chooses to ride a dragon as part of his acceptance of his parentage and his role as “the shield that guards the realms of men.” Him being forced to get on a dragon now would diminish the impact of that eventual scene. The story requires that Jon did not get on a dragon at this point so they had to have *someone* save him. Enter Uncle Benjen. It also has the benefit of tying up the Benjen loose end.

      Just my interpretation.

      Couldn’t agree more.

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    151. Well I’ve surprised myself by feeling sad about the death of a CGI dragon. I liked the episode. I’ll concede that the telling of the tale has a different methodology since it went past the books but I am looking on it as a sort of sitting round the camp fire type of telling of a story -person A tells the story to such a point and then person B takes up the tale. I think there has to be some resolution of the story now and I don’t mind that it is going at a fast pace. Bring on the jet packs. As for the dei ex machina – well Mr Martin does use them sometimes – I’m sure I’ve said before that I found it a bit of a coincidence that Theon’s squire who was cut from the show was hiding up a tree at just the right moment to be able to witness Rickon and Osha being sent to the Last Hearth. It’s not a deus ex machina but why the heck didn’t book Gendry tell Lady Stoneheart he’d met Arya before she ran away from the BWB?

      I will laugh my socks off if the wight capturing scene is in one of the unpublished books when they eventually come out. No doubt it will suddenly become “brilliant” then. Having said that the ASOIAF novels provide a whale of a tale even if I have a few nitpicks with AFFC and ADWD.

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    152. mau,

      If Arya thinks Sansa is contemplating treason, then attempting to destroy evidence of her own betrayal (as Arya sees it) is the most damning evidence Arya has to date. She would logically probe or confront Sansa about that.

      She doesn’t only because the whole ridiculous plot would collapse instantly if she did.

      mau,

      Plenty of reviews for this episode from TV reviewers have been saying the same things.

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    153. They’re in such a rush to end this that it seems like they don’t even care. I think what’s happening with D & D is akin to what happened with Oberyn. They really knocked it out of the park and then the exploded and all of a sudden they were famous and had closets full of Emmy’s and realized they now had the power to make any movie or TV show they wanted. But uh yeah, they sort of forgot that they needed to finish one of the greatest stories of all time, and in doing so they’re treading on all they’ve built up for the past decade. Some of the stuff this season is just careless and is frankly embarrassing.

      I will say that Bryan Cogman has really shined through in his recent episodes despite the down turn of the series. I had always wondered if he was the real deal or if D & D were just carrying him, and now the answer seems obvious.

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    154. Sean C.,

      No I don’t think she is reading her mind. Its more that she has a skill for detailed intuition. Intuition far in excess of anything anyone not trained by the Faceless Men would be capable of.

      I can see no other reason why Arya would give Sansa the knife at the end of the scene unless she used this ability she has to determine that while Sansa might like the idea of leading, she wouldn’t ever betray the family to achieve it.

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    155. Ten Bears:
      The Het,

      Sneaking into other people’s rooms and rummaging through their things; peaking around corners; eavesdropping; and not asking obvious questions – that’s all cheesy, soap opera type stuff beneath GoT.

      At some point, Arya should’ve asked or told Sansa that it was LF who retrieved the scroll from Maester Wolkan, purportedly on Sansa’s behalf. And Sansa would’ve asked where Arya found the scroll. And the two of them would’ve asked themselves/each other why LF orchestrated the whole charade.

      </blockquote

      Thats the blowback effect of LF suddenly releasing the blueprint of his teleport system to everyone. Everything is more or less rushed this season, while this particular plot moves at normal speed.

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    156. Sean C.:
      mau,

      If Arya thinks Sansa is contemplating treason, then attempting to destroy evidence of her own betrayal (as Arya sees it) is the most damning evidence Arya has to date.She would logically probe or confront Sansa about that.

      She doesn’t only because the whole ridiculous plot would collapse instantly if she did.

      I don’t see what you talking about.

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    157. mau,

      You’re not getting it. I would find these last couple episodes stupid even if I hadn’t read the books.

      I read the books, but I didn’t devour them. I don’t quote them. I don’t refer to them all the time. I read them AFTER I’d watched Seasons 1-3, by the way.

      These were exciting episodes. They were stupid episodes. That’s fine. Fast and the Furious makes good money.

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    158. The Het:
      Ginevra,

      I actually understood the opposite: that Brienne could harm Arya in order to protect Sansa. This is why I do’nt understand at all all the winterfell scenes… Is Sansa pretending to be scared of Arya to play LF? But if so, then what is the point of the last scene between Arya and Sansa? And finally why is Arya giving Sansa the dagger? Does it make sense to anyone?

      If Browne would protect Sansa at all costs, including Arya, then self-focuses Sansa would absolutely want to keep Brienne. Sansa has never been more self-focused than this episode after her speech: You should be on your knees thanking me!

      I don’t believe anyone I see playing Littlefinger.

      I saw the dagger handoff as: I could easily kill you and take your face and your life, but I won’t. And I’m not scared of you, even if you’re armed and I’m not.

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    159. As an afterthought was GRRM a fan of “Noggin the Nog”* when he was younger (I don’t know if the show ever made it to the USA) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72Z8yyNRiyM

      Mind you on “Is Winter Coming” – no not the site that shall not be named there is an ice dragon thread and somebody mentioned that E Nesbit wrote a story about an ice dragon back in something like the 1890s.

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    160. JJ:
      jonryaerys,

      Exactly!This nonsense that GRRM said Jon definitively was a Fire Wight is FALSE.Yet people including our reviewer keep misreading this.

      Plus, wouldn’t a fire wight, with no blood flow, not need to eat or breath either? I saw plenty of huffing and puffing, and cold vapor coming out of JS for most of this episode. He’s no wight. They’re just plain wong.

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    161. mau,

      Littlefinger made Arya think that Sansa asked him to retrieve the letter from Wolkan. Taken at face value, this would be strong evidence that Sansa is scared of the contents of the letter and covering her tracks, possibly laying the groundwork for something. It’s the most direct evidence of Sansa potentially behaving underhandedly that Arya has.

      Of course, were Arya to confront Sansa about this, Sansa would instantly know that Littlefinger is behind everything, because she of course did not ask him to do that. Which world torpedo the plot, so Arya does nothing with this.

      Much like Sansa, who wonders aloud how Arya got the letter, doesn’t think to go ask Wolkan about it.

      mau,

      Because Arya isn’t a telepath. Terrorizing Sansa into thinking she’s about to die would not yield any particular insight into whether she wants to rule Winterfell.

      Indeed, Sansa specifically evades Arya’s question about that.

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    162. Dame of Mercia:
      I will laugh my socks off if the wight capturing scene is in one of the unpublished books when they eventually come out.No doubt it will suddenly become “brilliant” then.Havingsaid that the ASOIAF novels provide a whale of a tale even if I have a few nitpicks with AFFC and ADWD.

      It’s a reasonable hypothesis I think that in the books there will be a need to recognise that a truce is needed in the War for the Throne in order to deal with the greater threat in the North. This seems to me a “major beat” that GRRM will have passed onward to the show writers.

      I’m interested to see how this will be approached (my guess near the end of TWOW), and how anyone in the south could be convinced of the threat of “tales of snarks and grumpkins” that they continually and habitually treat with contempt, without some serious proof. Could the wight’s hand that Alliser delivered to to KL foreshadow this? Quite probably not, but as you say if it does…

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    163. Sean C.,

      Why would Arya confront Sansa about this at the moment when she she has everyhing she needs?

      Why would Arya mention anything, when it’s clear to her that LF was telling the truth?

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    164. Sorry, I didn’t explain in my previous post that “Noggin the Nog” was a 1960s British series (they updated to a colour version for either the 1970s or 1980s). There was one series called “Noggin and the Ice Dragon” but the eponymous dragon was a friendly creature. Of course there was a kids’ cartoon called “Jane and the Dragon” which preceded ASOIAF which featured a girl riding a dragon long before Daenerys climbed on to Drogon’s back. But these shows and ASOIAF probably evolved quite distinctly.

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    165. Clob: They used the power of suspension of disbelief.
      If you thwarted that then let’s say they tossed the chains down to the wights that sunk to the bottom and they hooked them up…

      Yes and yes!
      Sometimes a viewer just needs to let go and enjoy the ride and boy this episode was a thrilling ride!

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    166. Sean C.:

      Because Arya isn’t a telepath.Terrorizing Sansa into thinking she’s about to die would not yield any particular insight into whether she wants to rule Winterfell.

      Obviously it would. When someone is scared it’s much easier to see his thoughts. Isn’t that something people use in investigations?

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    167. Jack Bauer 24,

      To Jon in season 2 after he failed to kill her and they were looking for Qhorin Halfhand after Jon had to chase her. Not as relevant, but also a book thing. All the free folk iron and steel is scavenged. I mean, all that notwithstanding, Tyrion had to commission all of the blacksmiths of KL to make the chain for KL. It’s a small nit, but in an episode with lots of small nits they add up to be hugely distracting.

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    168. Has anyone seen Qyburn and the NK in the same room together? I’m suspicious. They both bring back the dead and they both assembled dragon-killing scorpions. Yikes! If anything, I predict collusion between the two! 🙂

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    169. Clob: Are Drogon’s spikes made of dragonglass?No, no they are not.

      😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😥😥😥😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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    170. mau,

      If she’s convinced that Littlefinger is telling the truth, then what is the purpose of any further investigation?

      mau,

      No. Trying to rattle people is useful (or thought to be useful by some) to see if they stick to their story, or try to assess the plausibility of what they’re saying. Arya does neither.

      Arya literally walks Sansa through what the game is (lie to me and try to fool me).

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    171. Interesting: If as it seems next week the parley with Cercei is going to take place in the Dragonpit, then there are going to attend THREE dead individuals who were reanimated by three different methods: 1. Jon Snow, reanimated by Melisandre through the Lord of Light method; 2. the wright captured in the north, reanimated by the Night’s King method; 3. the mountain, reanimated through Qyburn’s (“scientific”?) method.
      Beric was also reanimated, but by the same method as Jon and anyway he might not be there.
      It appears that reanimation is becoming quite the thing in Westeros…

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    172. Aszusz,

      You’re completely missing the context of the scene. Jon and Dany’s previous meetings always had one refusing the qualms of the other. This is the episode where they break past that stubbornness.

      Dany agreed to setup an armistice meeting with Cersei, she ignored her advisor and embarked on a mission of great personal risk to help Jon and co, she promised Jon that they would fight the NK together.

      If there’s one thing we know for certain about Jon, its that he doesn’t give a shit about ruling or popularity or sticking to methods/decisions that may be considered conventional. This is the guy who befriended Wildlings and let them through the Wall even though he knew that would lead him to be hated figure in the NW and Seven Kingdoms.

      Whatever misgivings he had about Dany before, her actions in this episode left him no reasons to doubt her. He believes she’ll be able to win over the Northerners in much the same way she won him over. His actions always have the good of the realm in mind, not appeasing certain factions of the realm.

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    173. Ginevra: She was talking about something not in the show, when she first learned to shoot with a bow and arrow.During the premiere, she’d obviously been practicing for quite a long time.

      How that went over Jack Bauer 24s head is amazing…

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    174. Sean C.,

      You convinced yourself that this storyline won’t work even before season srated by reading the leaks, and now you are just sticking to that.

      Arya’s way to see if Sansa is telling the truth was to scare her, that’s it. Everything is clear.

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    175. It’s clear Arya is a screwed up individual who hated her sister when she was younger, and takes Sansa pandering to the Northern Lords as total weakness and a betrayal to her favourite sibling… I don’t think it would take much to lead her down the Sansa is a b*tch who wants the North .. I mean it’s almost true isn’t it?

      I love the bittersweet reunions.. I mean they are the most different people imaginable now.. Political mover with questionable motives, Trained Assassin who is as cold as ice, and Magical Greenseer.. the reason Sansa/Jon was so happy.. is because Jon is pretty much the least changed personality wise out of all of them. I would of been very disappointed with happy, happy Starks.

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    176. ManderlyPieCompany:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      To Jon in season 2 after he failed to kill her and they were looking for Qhorin Halfhand after Jon had to chase her. Not as relevant, but also a book thing. All the free folk iron and steel is scavenged. I mean, all that notwithstanding, Tyrion had to commission all of the blacksmiths of KL to make the chain for KL. It’s a small nit, but in an episode with lots of small nits they add up to be hugely distracting.

      Somebody said the chain was on a wrecked ship, but I still don’t see it. It’s pretty cringey how they even managed to get the chains on to begin with and when Viserion landed he broke the ice and fell in the water, but they cut right to a shot of his head still above water and he slowly drowns even though his whole body was just under water.

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    177. BranTheBlessed:
      Aszusz,

      You’re completely missing the context of the scene. Jon and Dany’s previous meetings always had one refusing the qualms of the other. This is the episode where they break past that stubbornness.

      Dany agreed to setup an armistice meeting with Cersei, she ignored her advisor and embarked on a mission of great personal risk to help Jon and co, she promised Jon that they would fight the NK together.

      If there’s one thing we know for certain about Jon, its that he doesn’t give a shit about ruling or popularity or sticking to methods/decisions that may be considered conventional. This is the guy who befriended Wildlings and let them through the Wall even though he knew that would lead him to be hated figure in the NW and Seven Kingdoms.

      Whatever misgivings he had about Dany before, her actions in this episode left him no reasons to doubt her. He believes she’ll be able to win over the Northerners in much the same way she won him over. His actions always have the good of the realm in mind, not appeasing certain factions of the realm.

      I understand that. What I don’t understand is your last sentence. What good exactly would do the realm if he bends the knee? Because, at this point, nothing. Dany will help her no matter what.

      Maybe I’m upset because I never agreed that Jon needs Dany’s help in a way Dany thinks he needs it (and asks something in return). Helping Jon is in Dany’s best interest, because if she doesn’t do that, she will have to face the Walkers eventually, but they will also have a larger dead army, incuding all the North. Dany doesn’t need to help Jon to save Jon’ people: she has to do it to save her own people. And she has a better chance doing so, if she works together with Jon. None of them should be a subject of the other: they could be equals, fighting against their common enemy.

      So the moment she realises that she has to help, she also realises that it is in her best interest, and she is not doing any favor for Jon. So there is no need to return that favor with kneeling. Jon already returned that by warning Dany of the threat, telling her how to fight it, and showing her the whole army of the dead, so now she is fully aware of it.

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    178. I’m sorry. You guys can handwave it all you want, but the Arya-Sansa thing is just stupid.

      If it needs this much explanation, it sucks.

      This is Arya walking around in broad daylight when a death cult is after her stupid. This is Sansa not hinting that help might be coming stupid. I doubt there is a grand plan.

      It’s just two allegedly smart characters being written stupid. This could end stupid, with Sansa banishing Arya from Winterfell, or Arya outing Sansa and causing the North armies to leave and making Littlefinger and the Vale the true power.

      Stupid

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    179. Next I must address the Stark sisters. (Still haven’t read any comments.)

      At first viewing, I disliked them both, especially Arya. After a few hours to digest, I still dislike Arya’s actions and demeneaour but I can see where she’s coming from and where she is possibly going. Sansa leaves me a bit more head scratching.

      On the balcony, Arya was being very self-righteous and bitchy to Sansa. She was almost hinting at “I was daddy’s girl and he didn’t care about you because you were knitting inside” (trust Arya to get the handcraft thing wrong. Sansa was embroidering, not knitting), which is patently untrue. Ned cared deeply about Sansa, loved her. It’s immature and petty of Arya to bring this up in this way.

      Arya might’ve learned all kinds of amazing ninja assasin things from Syrio Forel, the Hound, the House of Black and White, whatever. But she hasn’t grown up emotionally. She’s still an angry little girl. No wonder, her experiences have been so harrowing, the things she has had to do to just survive. She’s never had anybody to guide her through her crucial growing years.

      But it’s grossly unfair that she discounts her sister’s experiences. They probably haven’t shared their most horrible ones but I doubt Arya can top being repeatedly raped and abused. So, little Miss Assassin, pipe down a bit, will you, aye?

      Here’s the thing. Arya is basically the same 11-yr old girl she was in S1. She “hates” and envies her older sister, the pretty one, the perfect lady. Tries to sneer at “pretty handwriting” and “pretty dresses”.

      Child Arya called everybody who didn’t think her way, like what shee liked, “Stupid!” It’s annoying and bratty but very understandable in a young child, especially when the bratty kid is mostly right.

      Still, this season, Arya, who is supposedly at least 16, maybe 18, has been acting like the little girl she was in S1. Back then, she called people who think differently from her “stupid”, she called things she doesn’t like “stupid”, she called anybody who doesn’t fall in line with her “stupid!” She’ was one entitled little lady. Now she’s calling for the heads of people who think differently from her. She’s too black-and-white.

      The Sansa/Arya scenes in the previous episodes and the current one have been building up and we viewers are left with seeing both sides.

      My take is that Arya gave Sansa a creepy warning. “Be loyal to Jon or else…” But she switched the dagger, gave it to Sansa. The obvous fan theory is that Sansa will kill Littlefinger…

      The Stark sisters… I really dislike Arya going all self-righteous on Sansa. Arya served as Tywin’s cupbearer and stupidly didn’t give Tywin’s name to Jaqen H’gar. Even Gendry and Hot Pie saw her stupid mistake. She could’ve named Tywin and the war might’ve ended before the Red Wedding, thereby saving her mother and brother… So it’s a bit rich for Arya to castigate Sansa. Arya seems like an angry little girl, she hasn’t grown emotionally – the FM training of course further stunted her emotional growth.

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    180. I think at the end of the day everyone just has to realize the show is going to have flaws and that they are trying to finish the story within a limited amount of time. Because of the production costs involved and not being a major Hollywood produced project they are taking liberties that people just don’t like. I wish that they had 10 seasons to tell the whole story but for whatever reason that’s not the case. Without original source material and without George Martin basically telling them what to do, they are doing what they think is going to make the conclusion the most exciting. Yes there are plot holes but overall I found this episode and the season to be very entertaining. And at the end of the day that is really what matters.

      Things like where did they get the chains from are really not worth bickering over. D&D could easily have had the Viserion crash land on dry land and then at the end of the episode have all the whites gather around and the night King could have still done his thing. While being a little more believable would that really have made that big of a difference to people’s enjoyment of the show? If the answer is yes then people need to just get over it.

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    181. Sorry to interrupt any discussion, just a small question, entirely off topic and linked to my recent return to the website; Is the ol´ Wimsey still around? Can´t seem to find him anywhere?

      Would be super-nice if someone could just write a quick yes or no, I just remember that he was this super-active member of the community and I haven´t seen a comment from him this season, I think. I´m still trying to get used to who is who in the new context 🙂

      Thank you so much for answering and sorry for the interruption.

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    182. To everyone complaining about Jon and Dany’s “love” relationship, Alan Taylor revealed what GRRM told him back in season 1 about those two in this article with DEADLINE.

      “DEADLINE: With over 10 million viewers watching the 9 PM broadcast and growing each week, plus all those on the other platforms, I think it’s pretty clear they are going to stick around, if for nothing else to see what brews up between Jon and Dany…

      George RR Martin The Interview

      TAYLOR: (Laughs) There’s been an inevitability to the two of them coming together. It’s been foreshadowed over and over again, and those who know the books know it’s inevitable, but that doesn’t tell you anything about how it’s going to play out or how it’s going to go. I remember when I was doing Season 1 and we were on location in Malta, and George R. R. Martin came to visit. He was sitting in a chair, and he was being really quite open about things that were to come…

      DEADLINE: About Jon and Dany or Game of Thrones in general?

      TAYLOR: Bit of both, but it was early days and nobody was paying attention to the show. We didn’t really know what a phenomenon it was going to be, and I think he was being less guarded than we’ve become since then. Anyways, he alluded to the fact that Jon and Dany were the point, kind of. That, at the time, there was a huge, vast array of characters, and Jon was a lowly, you know, bastard son. So it wasn’t clear to us at the time, but he did sort of say things that made it clear that the meeting and the convergence of Jon and Dany were sort of the point of the series.

      So, I was happy that a big step forward was taken in the episode I got to do this season is where he has fallen for her both, you know, emotionally and politically I think. He recognizes what she’s capable of, and is ready to bend the knee as soon as his knees bend. There’s still a step further to go with them in terms of the romantic side of things and a lot more to play out in terms of how the politics and the power struggle will work, but it was at least a sort of solid step forward in that major arc.”

      Link http://deadline.com/2017/08/game-of-thrones-spoilers-recap-kit-harington-emilia-clarke-alan-taylor-beyond-the-wall-season-7-hbo-1202152264/

      Despite the fact that this relationship has been foreshadowed many times in the books, I still see book readers complaining about it and saying GRRM would never be this “predictable”.. I guess Jon being the son of R+L or the true heir to the IT doesn’t count as predictable to them. I hope with this article, those individuals can finally understand that GRRM has been building up this relationship between Jon and Dany since day 1 with obvious parallels and foreshadowing hence why it looks “predictable” now.

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    183. talvikorppi,

      I have long had a feeling that GRRMs oft quoted “My wife won’t let me kill Arya” was a bit of a blind that while Arya may live to the end of ASOIAF he will write her character actions in a way that we increasingly find unlikable and unsupportable, one of the “bittersweet” facets to make us feel ambivalent or even angry at her survival.

      That being said, I still like Arya because Maisie is just too damn watchable!

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    184. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      That’s a really good point. Taking a character everyone likes and turning her unlikable/unrelatable would make an excellent counter for all those characters we start off despising but come to appreciate later through their “redemption arcs”.

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    185. ManderlyPieCompany,

      The chains were for the Wall. Remember the Giants trying to pull the tunnel door down in the Wildling battle at the Wall? The Giants had the chains before they were turned into wights. NK was using them to breach the Wall. Just found another purpose in dragging Viserion out of the lake.

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    186. In retrospect, maybe they should have raced through the book material faster so the final two seasons wouldn’t have to go at such a breakneck pace. But then people would have complained about even more things from the books getting left out or condensed. The show was never going to be 14 seasons long. So we’re getting a condensed end. Deal with it and enjoy the action, I say!

      Now that UnViserion is a thing, I’m thinking that Bran is the third dragon rider. He’s going to get strong enough to take control of it from the NK. That’s what it meant when Bloodraven told him that he wouldn’t walk but he would fly. Bran will probably have to sacrifice his life to do it though.

      I didn’t read the comments, so sorry if I’m repeating things already been said a bunch.

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    187. Well, that was intense. As always happens when we draw near the end, I’m not 100% sure what I think and/or feel. The necessity for this basic episode was setup in season 1: nobody believes in wights or White Walkers, and, no, simply sending ravens is not going to convince anyone anymore than reports of Elvis sightings would convince anyone in our world. So, they need to actually get an Elvis: and we (the audience) should have known that, ultimately, Jon was going to have to drag one (preferably young slender) down south.

      So, was this the best way to do it? I don’t know.

      I never have had problems with the so-called “teleporting”: space is time, and if you see a character in scene A and then the same character 100 kilometers away on a horse in the next scene, then you know that at least a couple of days has elapsed. However: how could they have gotten word to Daenerys that quickly? OK, ravens probably can fly pretty far, pretty quickly: but you are talking at least a couple of days. And then flying up to the wall probably takes a day. (Let’s assume that Gendry’s mental cartography skills are awesome and he told them where to look for Jon et al.)

      What I think that a better solution would have been would have been for Bran to see the event coming up, or at least to see that Jon & Co. were walking right into the main army. He could have had a raven sent to Daenerys before anything even happened. It would have been, um, literal Deus ex Machina (a tree god does it!) but not literary Deus ex Machina (the Bran gun has been hung).

      Of course, it had to be cavalry in the nick of time because, hey, this is a story. But having a second one with Benjen was a bit much. Reintroducing Benjen earlier in the year would have helped, too. Yes, yes, they hung the Coldhands Benjen gun last year, and rehung it with his departure from Bran, but guns hung too long ago start to look like Deus ex Machina. I mean, it makes total sense that Benjen would have been tailing the wight army: I mean, what the hell else is he going to do? However, the audience needed to be reminded of this!

      (My real disappointment: I thought that the slain dragon would turn out to be just badly wounded, and that Jon falling on it would be what caused him/her to revive and flee, wounded, but still alive, and with Jon clinging to its scales….)

      And then the dragon died. I had a horrible feeling when we saw the wight polar bear that this was a hung gun. I figured that they would not kill Drogon, but one of the other two… maybe. So, when both flew off with Daeny, I was really worried.

      And, yes, I will admit it: part of why it really bothered me is that I, like many fans, interpreted the “Three Heads” of the dragon as there being three riders. Some people pointed out that this was not necessarily the case, and that one or two of the dragons might die along the way before the climax. Well, it looks like I was wrong! Moreover, I can see this serving a major plot point now. The scorpion proved ineffective against dragons, and Jaime knows it. The Night King’s spear wasn’t: and if Jaime accepts that it’s true that whatever it is north of the wall actually succeeded in killing a dragon, then he is going to take this wight very seriously.

      The “male-bonding” dialog bored the crap out of me. I’ve read complaints by some posters here about the lack of this sort of dialog in earlier episodes. Well, this is why that stuff shouldn’t be included at this point in a story. Really, the only useful part was Beric and Jon’s discussion. I would have cut that and put in a Bran scene instead.

      Finally, the Winterfell stuff intrigues me. Arya & Sansa never liked each other: Arya always thought that Sansa was too caught up in “courtly” glamor, and Sansa always thought that Arya was irresponsible and a tomboy. Neither Sansa nor Arya knows much about the other’s history anymore: after all, you only talk about traumatic experiences with people to whom you are close, and the sisters are not close. And that means that, in one anothers’ minds, both have just become extreme versions of themselves. Arya is making a classic mistake: she is seeing Season 1 Sansa still (but with added power). Sansa is making the same classic mistake: she is seeing Season 1 Arya still (but with added power). Nothing has happened along the way to make either see whence the other one comes. (Again, remember: they don’t get to watch the show, and just “telling each other” does not work in real life, so why should it work on TV?) I am intrigued to see exactly where this will wind up.

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    188. I’d sum up my feelings as: this season and especially this episode are disappointing, but it’s understandable how we got here. I imagine GRRM told D&D “the white walkers will kill Viserion and reanimate him as a wight dragon.” But GRRM himself probably hadn’t figured out the logistics of how that would happen yet, because he’s nowhere near that far in writing the books. So now D&D have to finish this story knowing only certain major beats about the endgame, they probably aren’t as good writers as GRRM to begin with, but more importantly they’re writing under tight deadlines that GRRM doesn’t have. Fans can get impatient with GRRM taking forever to finish, but he doesn’t have cast and crew contracts to worry about.

      The main thing I blame D&D for is insisting on two shortened final seasons when the show clearly could have gone on longer than that. They’re rushing to the end.

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    189. I think a lot of people just aren’t enjoying the writing of the Arya-Sansa conflict, and Arya is getting the worst of it. I truly believe this is a short term story arc because the final season has more important things to cover than a sisterly argument. It has to come to an end in some manner soon. If it doesn’t I’ll be pissed because, as I wrote last week, Arya has better things she could do than being tacked onto the Sansa-Littlefinger storyline. This is reducing the character too much.

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    190. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Oh, Maisie is brilliant!

      I’m not too sure about Arya… In S6 she was talking with Lady Crane… What’s west of Westeros…

      She’s such a damaged little girl that I don’t think she’ll ever settle down (sorry, Gendry!) She’ll sail west of Westeros and be the discoverer, a future hero.

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    191. Phario Forel:
      Interesting: If as it seems next week the parley with Cercei is going to take place in the Dragonpit, then there are going to attend THREE dead individuals who were reanimated by three different methods: 1. Jon Snow, reanimated by Melisandre through the Lord of Light method; 2. the wright captured in the north, reanimated by the Night’s King method; 3. the mountain, reanimated through Qyburn’s (“scientific”?) method.
      Beric was also reanimated, but by the same method as Jon and anyway he might not be there.
      It appears that reanimation is becoming quite the thing in Westeros…

      Interesting! Thanks for pointing it out.

      I’ve been wondering about how Qyburn will reaction to the wight, which I assume he will see. Then I started to wonder if Qyburn has possibly studied whatever is know about wights, WW, and the NK. During his time in Old Town, he must (or might) of had access to some of the books and materials about what was known about them. This could have sparked his interest in his experiments which lead to the reanimated Mountain. Now I am wondering if Cersei actually knows all about the NK, etc. via Qyburn and is just using the “wight show and tell” as part of a ruse / trap to bring everyone together in one place. I can hear her smugly saying “I already know about them, I just wanted you to expend your time and resources.” And sadly it did, getting that wight cost Dany and Jon dearly. And we have yet to see what happens in the finale where Cersei is looking mighty pleased with herself. Oh well, the imagination just keeps spinning out these bits and pieces to wonder about!

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    192. Ser Broccoli McBroccoliface,

      There is no way that D&D would write 5 seasons without the books. Even 3 seasons without them is very hard.

      This is not their story and they have to find a way to finish this. Fast pace is helping, because sometimes you don’t think about details.

      GRRM on the other hand wants to explore every detail, and that’s the reason he can’t finish the story. If you try to respect every rule you established you aren’t able to move the plot.

      It’s clear from this season that this world is too big for plot to move, so they don’t pay that much attention to logistics.

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    193. Oh, and of course, what good is a discussion without a “future works” section? 😀

      So, rolling to the conclusion. The Night King has himself a shiny new dragon now. Uh oh: my bet is that this is going to be key to how he tears down the Wall. And, really, the Wall needs a big hole in it soon. However: we still are no closer to learning why he’s back or what would make him go away again. My bet is that the answers are in Sam’s soon-to-be-badly-overdue-Citadel scrolls & books, albeit not in plain English (or common tongue or Andal or Old Tongue or whatever). But we really need to learn this soon, because unless GRRM has been bullshitting badly for 20 years, it’s got to be key to the climax.

      Jon & Daeny are doing the graduate school crush thing really well. (However, people who’ve never been in grad school might not be familiar with that! :-D) And they’ve got themselves a wight. I think that they should name it Joffery, myself. That gets a big chunk of this year’s story told, as we’ve now seen how these two main characters have fallen in the “choose your battles” tale.

      They also have a big meeting with Cersei and ….

      …. and do any of us expect Cersei to accept what the wight means? She’s going to be Scott Pruitt with a climate change paper: she’ll deny the evidence as fabricated/politicized/etc., because she “knows” that it’s some trick to steal the power that she feels that she has earned for herself. Jaime, on the other hand, might take stock in this. If nothing else, the claim that this new enemy actually killed a dragon might make him take pause. Tyrion’s presence is going to complicate things: Cersei clearly did not want to accept that he was innocent in Joffery’s euthanization, and she always has seen him capable of almost any level of mischief. Euron represents less of a hanging gun and more of a hanging loose cannon: I doubt that the wight will mean anything to him, but if he learns about Cersei’s pregnancy (and we might be at a point where she’ll be having to hide it!), then things could get particularly complicated.

      On the topic of hung guns, what of Nymmeria? There was no point of that scene unless it was to rehang the gun. Given that this is basically a split season, perhaps it will be next year: but I’d prefer it to be this year.

      And, finally: Daenerys, I would strongly recommend taking Drogon and Otheroneion and starting a breeding program!

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    194. talvikorppi: I don’t think she’ll ever settle down (sorry, Gendry!) She’ll sail west of Westeros and be the discoverer, a future hero.

      I’m not going to rule out Gendry being her traveling companion. He hasn’t really led a charmed life himself so maybe he’d enjoy a little adventuring. 🙂

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    195. Ginevra: And that’s why I wholeheartedly believe they’ll come together in the end, hopefully this season.The lone wolf dies.The pack survives!!!!

      • I just don’t understand why, to ramp up the “suspense”, Sansa had to revert back to her self-centered, self-aggrandizing persona, and go back to confiding in and trusting LF. When Sansa was boasting “I won the Battle of the Bastards; Jon was getting his ass kicked until I saved the day; I took back Winterfell; I, I, I, me, me, me…”, she reminded me of Joffrey:

      Although pompous coward King Joffrey chickened out of the Battle of the Blackwatet, and it was Tyrion and Tywin who actually fought and won that battle, afterwards Joffrey was bragging:

      “They know I saved the city. They know I won the war.”

      • I also couldn’t undertand the necessity for Arya’s behavior to be so out of character – a complete departure from the Arya Stark developed over the previous 65 episodes.

      Openly speculating how interesting it would be if she carved off Sansa’s face and impersonated her made Arya sound more like Hannibal Lecter than Arya Stark. I could picture her taunting Sansa by saying something like:

      “Meryn Trant tried to test me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

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    196. A Man Grown:
      I’d sum up my feelings as: this season and especially this episode are disappointing, but it’s understandable how we got here. I imagine GRRM told D&D “the white walkers will kill Viserion and reanimate him as a wight dragon.” But GRRM himself probably hadn’t figured out the logistics of how that would happen yet, because he’s nowhere near that far in writing the books. So now D&D have to finish this story knowing only certain major beats about the endgame, they probably aren’t as good writers as GRRM to begin with, but more importantly they’re writing under tight deadlines that GRRM doesn’t have. Fans can get impatient with GRRM taking forever to finish, but he doesn’t have cast and crew contracts to worry about.

      The main thing I blame D&D for is insisting on two shortened final seasons when the show clearly could have gone on longer than that. They’re rushing to the end.

      Exactly. HBO already stated Benioff and Weiss could have whatever they want and it was up to them how many episodes were needed to wrap things up. They chose 13. They could have had 20 or whatever. They are obviously rushing to the finish because they are tired and want to work on their new show Confederate.

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    197. I hated this episode. This is season 5 all over again: only one episode is good (s07e04)

      TOTALLY AGREE: Aszusz: One more thing: I hate the idea of Jon bending the knee. I would understand it, if he had to, to save his people. But just after Dany stated she will fight the NK? It makes no sense. They are so clearly in love with each other – there is no reason for Jon to become Dany’s subject. Being allies makes much more sense. But I guess, the show just loves Dany, and she has to win, even if it ruins Jon’s character, doesn’t it?

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    198. Clob: Speak of the devil:

      I always saw myself as more of Djinn, actually…. 😀

      (I’ve been traveling a ton all summer, AND I keep hearing about leaks, so I’ve been avoiding places like this, save for the aftermath of an episode. I follow Sue on Twitter, and she’s commented multiple times about banning people who post leaks. To that, I write: Good on you, Sue! But I also write: I cannot unread spoilers….)

      I probably will give this site another day until I read that someone’s leaked Episode 7 (along with all of Season 3 of The Expanse, the Christmas Doctor Who special, and The Last Jedi to boot) on CNN. I just wish someone would leak my latest research project so I could just cut to the conclusion, but will anybody do that? Noooooo…….

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    199. I so loved this , enjoyed every part of it , Tyrions & Danys discussion , Snow and the boys in the North , truly wonderful . I adored the dress of Daenerys when she threw herself on Drogon , it was truly lovely to see a Daenerys that didn´t think of the throne but of Snow , this is why stand behind Daenerys she shows that she´s not only thinking of herself , Cersei wouldn´t do like Dany of that im truly sure , we can write and say how cold Dany could be like when she burned the Tarlys , but Dany is not even close to Cersei . It was so amazing when she burned those Walkers , sadly she didn´t burn the Night King with Drogon .

      I must be honest that i cried when Viseron was killed , as much as Daenerys was sad i was that to , so did Dany do the right thing when she turned her back to Tyrion and flew with her Dragons to Jon Snow ? , yes she did , and the end of Viserion wasn´t for nothing , sad that hes now flying with the Night King with that monster on hes back for sure , and not with Dany . I could only love the scene then with Jon Snow and Daenerys , when he swor to stand behind Daenerys , Harrington & Clarke was brilliant , if its not love there then Dragons don´t breed fire .

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    200. A Man Grown,

      This season took longer to shoot than any other. So from their perspective they are not rushing anything.

      With 10 episodes there wouldn’t be enough money for dragons and battles. And you can say that you don’t care for that, but you can’t tease the Great War if you aren’t able to deliver on that promise.

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    201. Jack Bauer 24,

      The Giant Wildlings had the chains before they were turned to Giant Wights. Remember the Giant Wildlings trying to pull the door down in the Wildlings battle at the Wall? The NK was going to use his Wight Giants tools to breach the Wall. He just repurposed for Viscerion.

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    202. Here is my impersonation of the next Sansa/Arya conversation

      Arya: You sent away Brienne. Do you always do Cersei’s bidding?
      Sansa: What even the hell are you on about now?
      Arya: Cersei sent that letter. You LUUUURVE Cersei, don’t you? Answer me! My training taught me how to read all human emotions!
      Sansa: Have you tried it in a mirror?
      Arya: Sansa loves Cersei. Sansa loves Jaime. Sansa loves the Mountain. Sansa loves Joffrey
      Sansa: Well, so long as we’re getting our intel from Littlefinger. Yes, Maester Wolkan told me he was the one who requested the scroll. Let’s see what else he can tell us. Oh yes, that you were Tywin Lannister’s cupbearer? That you didn’t kill him in a blaze of glory there?
      Arya: Sansa loves Tyrion… Sansa loves Tommen…
      Sansa: SHUT UP! SHUT UP!

      Lyanna Mormont walks in with Ghost and Podrick:

      Lyanna: I see what you mean, Podrick. You were right to come to me.
      Ghost: Rolls his eyes at the girls, who haven’t realized they aren’t alone
      Lyanna: Both of you shut up. Now. Arya, either help or leave. Sansa, either you order Ghost to kill Littlefinger or I’ll do it. Today. Come Podrick. You know, in about five years, I’ll need a husband…

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    203. onefromaway: Then I started to wonder if Qyburn has possibly studied whatever is know about wights, WW, and the NK. During his time in Old Town, he must (or might) of had access to some of the books and materials about what was known about them.

      If so, then we should have learned about it already. The Citadel has old books on lots and lots of things, and expecting someone who was there to have looked through all of the topics is like expecting a physicist at a modern university to be reading the economic journals and treatises. Given Qyburn’s obvious skepticism regarding religion and myths, and given his own Mengelesque science ethos, he probably focused more on what people knew about anatomy, botany, etc. Such a person would no more look to old myths for answers than a modern scientist would.

      My bet is that, instead, Qyburn might look into how Jon & Daenerys has faked this wight. After all, it’s not too dissimilar to what he’s done. Moreover, Cersei will (or should) want this to be a fraud: so, much as Scott Pruit looks for anyone with anything like science credentials to gainsay anthropic-driven climate change, Cersei should be asking Qyburn to prove that this is a fake.

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    204. dwm:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I’m failing to see what your point is, is Drogon made out of Valyrian steel or dragon glass?No?Okay, then impaling the wight would only further prove how much of a threat they are, since impaling them does absolutely nothing to faze them.

      They killed wights in Hardhome without dragon glass. The glass is needed to kill white walkers so it made no sense to impale the wight on Drogon when they need it alive.

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    205. talvikorppi:
      Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Oh, Maisie is brilliant!

      I’m not too sure about Arya… In S6 she was talking with Lady Crane… What’s west of Westeros…

      She’s such a damaged little girl that I don’t think she’ll ever settle down (sorry, Gendry!) She’ll sail west of Westeros and be the discoverer, a future hero.

      As long as The Hound joins her and we get a spin off 😀

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    206. Wimsey,

      Maybe one reason Cersei won’t believe the wight evidence is because Qyburn created the reanimated Mountain. If Qyburn could do it, maybe someone else could too and why should she believe the wight represents something different than what Qyburn has done. I’m looking forward to the next episode for answers to many questions and how Cersei reacts to the wight is one.

      Nice to be reading your posts again!

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    207. Ryan,

      I was thinking that if the NK could throw the javelin that far and hit the moving dragon, why didn’t he just launch a few at Jon & Co. on the island?

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    208. WeirwoodTreeHugger: Now that UnViserion is a thing, I’m thinking that Bran is the third dragon rider.

      I think that we need to reach a very different conclusion: basically, those of us who thought that there were going to be three dragon riders (and I was one of them!) were wrong. I remember Hodor’s Bastard raising this possibility a while ago, when speculating that one of the dragons might die before Daenerys gets to Westeros: after all, it was we fans who jumped to the Three Riders conclusion from the “Three Heads” bit, and although that is not an unreasonable conclusion, it is by no means a logically valid one.

      As for Bran having more power than the Night King, I doubt that he will. Clearly, the Weirhub didn’t have that power: and there is no reason to think that Bran will ever equal that power, never mind exceed it.

      In the end, I think that the Dragon Wight is going to be a major plot tool in several ways. One, Daenerys knows of two ways in which her dragons are vulnerable: and one in which they are very vulnerable. Two, this could well be how the Night King takes down the wall. Three, those people who saw how difficult it was to hurt Drogon might take a new view to a possible enemy that can actually kill a dragon.

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    209. Addendum to 11:37 am comment:

      I was really expecting Sansa and Arya to relate their respective experiences during the ~ 6 years since they last saw each other, by telling each other about separate interactions with other characters like The Hound, Meryn F*cking Trant, Brienne… AND Littlefinger.

      Confiding in each other just a little bit would’ve made them realize that LF’s “pretty picture” has always included “f*cking” the Starks. And just maybe Sansa would acknowledge that she has imperiled herself and her family by allowing serial killer/non-stop schemer LF to slither about. 🐍

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    210. Ginevra: How would Brienne’s intervention harm Sansa? I’m thrilled to see you address this issue because I’m really stumped here.

      Not harm Sansa, harm BRIENNE. Brienne is gonna get killed by Arya if she’s forced to intercede. Too many “hers” in that segment, I suppose.

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    211. onefromaway,

      Awe, thanks! And, yes, you are absolutely right: it would be completely consistent with Cersei’s world view if she suspects that someone has poorly replicated Qyburn’s work. After all, what little we’ve seen of the Mountain suggests that he’s going to look only slightly better than the wight. Indeed, might she use the Mountain as counter-evidence to Jon’s and Daenerys’ claims?

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    212. Sue the Fury,

      On a side-note, I’ve liked (literally and twitterly) many of your recent tweets about the show! And thanks for the heads up about people posting spoilers: your tweets about the people responsible really are far too kind….. 😉

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    213. Wimsey,

      Hey, you’re back ! I wanted to know what you thought about Chekhov’s VS dagger. They made a point about dredging up this artifact from S1 and having it wind up in Arya’s possession….

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    214. Jack Bauer 24: They killed wights in Hardhome without dragon glass. The glass is needed to kill white walkers soit made no sense to impale the wight on Drogon when they need it alive.

      Jon ‘killed’ them with Longclaw. The rest were just temporarily incapacitated unless they were shattered skeletons, and even then pieces were shown moving (crawling arm). They were then all back up as Jon floated away from shore. Still, regardless of what has been, they’ve made it a point this season that dragonglass or fire is necessary to destroy wight bodies for good. THAT is what the dialogue has been telling us and that is what we’re seeing. With that in mind there is no problem with Sandor ‘attaching’ the wight to Drogon’s spike. Let it go!

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    215. Long time reader, first time posting…

      WinterDragon…I completely agree with you and thank you for your thoughtful and well written analysis.

      Overall the episode was great. I especially loved the “Fellowship” beyond the wall and all of the character interactions. The cinematography was amazing. In general, I can look past plot holes and timing issues as most television shows have these issues, we have just been very spoiled for a long time prior to this season and last.

      There are a few things I just cannot get past. Where was Bran this episode and why wasn’t he helping them across the wall? If he was the one who sent BenJen, then why not show this so people are reminded of his power? Thus far this season he has done hardly anything and if he really is the one to destroy the NK or play any major part in the final battle, they need to start making it clear to viewers how powerful Bran truly is. This is just inexcusable to me.

      This episode just had too much going on. I feel cheated by the writers. I have been waiting YEARS to see dragons attack WWs. This was amazing and I screamed out loud when I saw this. I figured a dragon would die this season and once I saw Daenerys bring all three dragons beyond the wall I figured it would happen in this episode. However, turning the dragon into an undead dragon in the SAME episode that we finally saw the dragons beyond the wall ruined the entire episode for me. I try to avoid spoilers in both the books/show, so maybe people knew this would happen all along but it caught me completely off guard. I felt so robbed. Why couldn’t they begin next week’s episode with the dragon getting pulled out of the lake. I just hated this. And do you all think this will really happen in the books? I certainly hope not. After all this time convincing people to believe the WW are a real threat and slowly finding their weaknesses, only to have their greatest weapon against the WW turned against them in the 2nd to last season (or in the books, 2nd or last book), is ridiculous. At this point the NK is basically invincible and I don’t see how they can defeat him. It makes me feel like the entire story was for naught, lol. I’m really curious to hear how everyone thinks they will destroy the undead dragon. Can they use dragonglass against an undead dragon?

      My apologies for my rant. I just have so many mixed emotions about this episode as I have been a fan of this serious for a very long time and really don’t know what to think about the show anymore. I know myself and will continue to watch it, but now I want the books out even more as I just do not feel like we are in GRRM’s world anymore.

      Also, where the hell is Ghost?!? Lol.

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    216. I still haven’t read the article or previous comments (sorry… ) Trying to be “unsullied” here, to tease out what I think before I read what everybody else thinks.

      The Magnificent Seven (plus a few red shirts… But were they twelve + one like the Last Hero? Sorry, book stuff.). So many fan favourites, I was so scared any of them would die. My tear ducts opened and I wailed when it seemed Tormud was a gonner. TBH, I wasn’t all that moved about Thoros earlier. Am I a bad person?

      The maginficent seven had some discussions. Good, good, all good. A bit of a shame Arya was never mentioned – Beric, Thoros and Gendry, and then Sandor would know about her. Maybe the writers didn’t want to distract, Arya’s story is now in WF.

      I must say, that image, that picture of all the wights first running to surround the magnificient 7, and then later (thanks, Sandor. Like, you’re pissed off but DO NOT THROW ROCKS AT WIGHTS, jeez.)

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    217. Jack Bauer 24,

      They should’ve had a wight giant throw the spear or fire an arrow at Viserion rather than bestow another incredible ability on the Night King.

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    218. Also it’s weird that it’s beginning to look like Beric Dondarrion might make it to the final season, even though in the books he died in book 3. I do like the character though.

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    219. ghost of winterfell,

      Even better would have been Mel returning (or never leaving) and telling Dany that Jon is in trouble & needs her and Dany leaving and risking everything to save him & the rest.

      So no need to send Gendry on the Marathon. No need for ravens. Dany would have already been on the way after Mel saw a vision in the flames. And once again we would have had Mel not seeing everything because she wouldn’t have seen Viserion dying.

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    220. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
      talvikorppi,

      I have long had a feeling that GRRMs oft quoted “My wife won’t let me kill Arya” was a bit of a blind that while Arya may live to the end of ASOIAF he will write her character actions in a way that we increasingly find unlikable and unsupportable, one of the “bittersweet” facets to make us feel ambivalent or even angry at her survival.

      That being said, I still like Arya because Maisie is just too damn watchable!

      1. If Arya becomes unlikable by the end, the syndication value of GoT will plummet.

      2. There’s been no real setup for such a drastic, permanent transformation of Arya’s character. Admittedly, she’s given “the gift” to scores of people, but no innocents. Her moral compass has survived (albeit dented at times).

      3. I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence: “…I still like Arya because Maisie is too damn watchable.” 👸🏻🗡🔪 I really loved her sparring scene with Brienne in Ep. 4 this season.

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    221. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      They should’ve had a wight giant throw the spear or fire an arrow at Viserion rather than bestow another incredible ability on the Night King.

      It’s actually their fault by downplaying or not displaying the abilities of the White Walkers so far during the series. They’re suppose to be supernatural beings that can move at unbelievable speed and have great strength and agility. The show has basically just shown them as tall, creepy looking, strong creatures.

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    222. I enjoyed the episode, but like just about everyone else it was anti-climatic, unlike Loot Train which was 10x better than this fight. Perhaps it was the lazy writing on the part of D&D, perhaps their worst ever, I mean, logically have Dany waiting at Eastwatch with her dragons. Dragonstone is a thousand miles away, and a good writer does some research, like how far a Raven can fly in one day, which btw is 500 miles…so Eastwatch to Dragonstone is 2 days distance, then Dany’s return flight is 6 hours, as she could not stay on a dragon flying more than 150 mph. D&D are solely to blame with their stubbornness on 7 episodes and 6 episodes instead of 10 episode seasons, I was afraid of a rush to finish and it’s starting to show now.

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    223. Ten Bears: • I just don’t understand why, to ramp up the “suspense”, Sansa had to revert back to her self-centered, self-aggrandizingpersona, and go back to confiding in and trusting LF. When Sansa was boasting “I won the Battle of the Bastards; Jon was getting his ass kicked until I saved the day; I took back Winterfell; I, I, I, me, me, me…”,she reminded me of Joffrey:

      Although pompous coward King Joffrey chickened out of the Battle of the Blackwatet, and it was Tyrion and Tywin who actually fought and won that battle,afterwards Joffrey was bragging:

      “They know I saved the city. They know I won the war.”

      I’m not sure that I see the comparison there. What Sansa said was, in the view of the show, correct. Indeed, Jon, in episode 610, said exactly the same thing. The battle was totally lost until the Knights of the Vale intervened, and Sansa was the one who arranged that.

      Now, then you have the preposterous issue of Sansa not telling Jon about them, etc., but that morass is clearly one the writers don’t want you to dwell on much.

      Ten Bears:
      And just maybe Sansa would acknowledge that she has imperiled herself and her family by allowing serial killer/non-stop schemer LF to slither about.

      Littlefinger still being around isn’t Sansa’s decision, though. She told Brienne earlier this season that he’s still there because they need the Knights of the Vale. Jon is KITN, not Sansa. If he disagreed with her and didn’t want Littlefinger around or think they need the KOTV, he could send them on their way. He has not done so.

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    224. Ten Bears: 1. If Arya becomes unlikable by the end, the syndication value of GoT will plummet.

      2. There’s been no real setup for such a drastic, permanent transformation of Arya’s character. Admittedly, she’s given “the gift” to scores of people, but no innocents. Her moral compass has survived (albeit dented at times).

      3. I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence: “…I still like Arya because Maisie is too damn watchable.” 👸🏻🗡🔪 I really loved her sparring scene with Brienne in Ep. 4 this season.

      Agreed!
      As my favorite character (as she is yours), I’m not liking what they’ve done with her in the last two episodes. I’m not sure what they were thinking when writing it. They said at the SXSW panel that they know that a lot of people didn’t/don’t like Sansa. Did they write this arc thinking people would enjoy Arya going after her? The problem I personally have is that while I’ve always been neutral on Sansa I was also starting to like the character more this season. Admittedly that has a lot to do with how much better I feel Sophie is doing, but still. It’s almost like they’re ‘burning’ a major fan favorite to make Sansa look better… I don’t know, don’t quote me on that. I just want whatever this arc is to come to an end.

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    225. mau,

      Exactly. It’s like the entire board over at awoiaf came by to rehash their everlasting gripe that everything D&D do is horrible and GRRM is god. I could write their posts for them at this point.

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    226. Clob,

      I think they’ve shown them to be strong and agile enough. Throwing Jon and Sam around like rag dolls and handling a 10ft drop with ease.

      And I don’t think they need to be particularly superhuman to be a menace.

      But I don’t think there was any need for the Night King to be suddenly capable of launching spears into the air with more strength and accuracy than Qyburn’s scorpion.

      It felt cheap. Like they were desperate for the Night King to kill Viserion so that Dany has a personal beef with him.

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    227. Ten Bears,

      It seems like the Hound is helping transport the wight to King’s Landing for “show ‘n tell” and Beric and Tormund are staying at EastWatch to wait for the Wight Walkers and the zombie army.

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    228. This is the weakest writing I’ve seen from this show.
      I’ve never subscribed to the thought that D&D are tired and are just rushing to finish this series… and I still don’t. But this episode gave me the feeling that they believe they can be as lazy as they want with the quality of the storytelling and not lose their audience and that is unfortunate.

      I hope this type of writing doesn’t happen again. Because this is an incredible show

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    229. Ten Bears: 2. There’s been no real setup for such a drastic, permanent transformation of Arya’s character. Admittedly, she’s given “the gift” to scores of people, but no innocents. Her moral compass has survived (albeit dented at times).

      Well she has kind of moved from Series 1 Neutral Good to Chaotic Good when she was aspiring originally to Lawful Good 😉

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    230. Hursta1,

      Don’t lump me in with those jackholes. The Sansa-Arya stuff is weak-ass writing delivered by two actresses who are in over their heads.

      I don’t care about the supersonic raven. I don’t care about the Night King having a great arm.

      What I care about is good writing. And the Sansa-Arya stuff is weak. And it’s weak to continually threaten Jon with death only to have him saved by smarter people.

      It was a fun episode. So long as you don’t think too much about it after.

      This show used to be Bourne. Now it’s xXx. It used to be David Mamet Heist films. Now it’s Fast and the Furious. No shame in that. But it has changed.

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    231. I’ve seen people complaining about various things in this episode (about fishing the dragon out of the water when the wights drowned, how marathon man Gendry made it to the wall, about super fast ravens, Sansa and Arya, about Jonaerys…). I feel at this point nobody is going to be completely satisfied with anything, given the expectations are so ridiculously high with the show.

      Since I knew there was leaked material left and right, I stuck with the threads and reviews that talked about past episodes and did not go anywhere near #GoT twitter or tumblr or Youtube commentary just because I knew it was going to be a minefield. So I decided to sit down and just watch the episode without wishing things to go in any particurlar direction… and I really enjoyed it.

      The other thing I am really enjoying is seeing so many GoT “experts” fumbling their preditions pretty bad and getting angry at the show’s producers for not doing what they expected!

      I was not blown away by the episode (quite frankly topping what Hardhome and Winds of Winter did to me is almost unthinkable) but I got really involved with what happened in it. When the wight bear attacked and I did not see Jon for a while I was screaming at the TV “where’s is Jon?!!!” several times. When Tormund was in peril, I was like “no, no, no…Tormund no” even though I really thought he could be a goner this time.

      I really enjoyed the interactions between Tormund, Sandor, Beric, Jon, Jorah y I laughed out loud when Gendry was complaining that Melissandre had tied him up naked… and the other three were like…”U-huh, and what’s the problem with that?”

      I am not annoyed by the confrontation between the Stark sisters, for I’ve witnessed fucked up sibling relationships play in a similar note over decades in real life, so it is not unbelievable that old grudges come into play. Plus, I have seen both Sansa and Arya do stupid things in the recent past, despite each of them having learned a great deal of things on their own. Sansa withheld crucial information before the BoB that could have altered the way the battle was planned and conducted, even when Jon asked her directly about it. She said “I don’t know” (seriously the girl needs a crash course in effective communications). And Arya went carelessly for a stroll in Braavos when the Waif would obviously be looking for her, which was absolutely dumb. So… I think they haven’t learned all the lessons they are supposed to learn. I am not sure if they will ever learn them. Hopefully they will, but I’m not betting on this. I think they have both developed skills but they have not developed a worthy purpose (heck, it took Jon a season before he could articulate the reason for his comeback story: he is the shield that guards the realms of men…). Neither Sansa nor Arya know what we know, but if you think of it, both of their sets of skills are rather pointless in the current situation. Politicking with the Night King? Murdering him?… that would be great knowing what we learned in this episode, except Arya gave the Valyrian steel dagger that could kill him to Sansa… (a move I did not understand, quite frankly).

      The fact so many of us are having an emotional reaction to what is going in WF means we are that invested in these characters, and D&D are playing us like LF has played with everyone else in this story.

      Aside from the dagger switching hands, the other thing that left me kind of baffled in this episode was Tyrion’s advice to Daeny (not the succession thing, because that has to be addressed at some point). Rather it was the way he washed his hands from yet another poor plan. I mean, this crappy plan of capturing a wight to bring it to Cersei was Tyrion’s plan in the first place, so when the cry for help came from the North and Daeny decided to go in their aid… him saying stay put in Dragonstone and “do nothing” gave me such a creepy feeling! Tyrion’s planning has effectively gotten rid of almost all Daeny’s Westerosi allies… I may be totally wrong about this, but I feel uneasy.

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    232. WorfWWorfington,

      How in the hell are you implying Jon is responsible for Rickon’s death? What show are you watching? Did Jon shoot Rickon with arrows? Did Jon turned Rickon over to Ramsay? Jon tried to saved Rickon, despite Sansa telling him to give him up for dead. You can accuse Jon of many things, you can blame him for Viserion’s death, even though technically it was Tyrion’s plan, you know. You can blame him for putting family first as he rode to save Rickon thus abandoning his battle plan and causing the death of many of his men. Surely Sansa keeping quiet about the Vale and using his brother and his forces as bait don’t merit any blame there. Not, it was all Jon’s fault, right. But accusing him of causing Rickon’s death that is just plain . . . ugh!

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    233. I think I’m in agreement on the whole winterfell plot just giving them something to do. I would bet Arya and or sansa knows what’s going on and little finger is about to finally get his comeuppance.

      So can ice Viserion just fly over or around the wall now?

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    234. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Aside from you know, animating corpses and turning humans into white walkers, we don’t know what other things the Night’s King is capable of. He is a magical being you would guess he has magical or extra ordinary abilities. The controlling corpses thing should give us all a clue. I mean, him accurately throwing a spear a far distance and killing a dragon I believe. Jamie being able to swim such long distance while wearing armor and not being detected by his enemies is by far something more difficult to believe. Jon surviving the cold waters I believe because Jon is “chosen” if you will, he will die only when it is time for him to die. He was brought into the world to fulfill a world saving destiny, he is protected until then.

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    235. Another episode wrecked by spoilers, unfortunately, much like Battle of the Bastards last year. I even avoided the Internet, but my wife for some inexplicable reason decided to spill to me anyway.

      Winterfell

      Until proven otherwise, I still believe the twist in store for us is that Sansa is playing Littlefinger. It seems she hasn’t involved Arya, but I think we get some kind of student becomes the master scene in the finale, which will be a nice place for her “lone wolf dies, but the pack survives” monologue from the second trailer, quoting Ned. Littlefinger is the ultimate lone wolf and he has no place on the show in season 8 when it becomes all about the Great War. I’m hoping, anyway. It will mean not only that Sansa has surpassed Littlefinger by beating him at his own game, but also surpassed Cersei in that Cersei continued to allow herself to be played and tricked by Littlefinger and Sansa won’t. The fickleness of the northern lords and Knights of the Vale remains plausible for now, but when the wall is breached and they see the true threat, and Daenerys comes north with her hundred-thousand man army and dragons to help them, and Jon with his stash of dragonglass, there will no longer be any plausible way they can turn against her or Jon.

      North of the Wall

      Yeah, the pacing is terrible. I’ve never minded the teleporting before. It was perfectly plausible that, just as in the pilot, Jaime and Cersei go from King’s Landing to Winterfell in the span of half of episode, weeks or even months can pass off-screen. Figuring Gendry running back to Eastwatch, sending out ravens to Dragonstone, and Daenerys flying to the rescue has to take at least four days, there is no way our heroes are standing on that island for four days. I can believe the Night King would wait to attack if he knows dragons are on the way and wants to ambush one to claim as his own, but they’d die one way or another with no proper place to camp.

      But I guess we’ll just have to deal with that given the compressed schedule.

      As for the events, well, like everyone else, I’m sitting here basically convinced the Night King is now impossible to defeat by any conventional means. An undead dragon is a game changer. He can’t be killed by ballistas since he’s already dead, and unlike every other undead creature they’ve faced, he is invulnerable to fire. The other dragons can’t even stop him. This seems to me the avenue through which Bran’s role comes to front and center. He may not really be the main hero of the story, but he is the hero of this particular fight, and it has been clear for a long time his destiny is tied to the destiny of the Night King. All the southern kings can’t stop him and that seems to include Jon and Daenerys, though if Bran can stop Viserion somehow, it may still be Jon who stops the Night King himself.

      Jonerys Shipping

      Yeah, full swing now. They’re foreshadowing the heck out of these two eventually having kids, in spite of Daenerys believing she can’t. The prime mystery now is when and how it will be revealed that Jon is Rhaegar’s true-born son and rightful heir to the throne ahead of Daenerys, as well as her nephew, and how they’ll mutually react to that news. I was heavily on-board the Daenerys dies and Jon rules train before, but it is seeming less and less like that is the direction the story is going. The hints are way too strong that these two end up ruling together.

      Convincing Cersei

      She looks smug as ever in the finale preview, in spite of being completely surrounded by an overwhelming force that could destroy King’s Landing in hours if it wanted to. I don’t think there will be much in the way of political intrigue in the final season, as the focus really has to shift to the Great War, Bran’s role, and developing whatever will ultimately happen to Jon and Daenerys, all in a pretty short span. Cersei either rather implausibly bends the knee and agrees to come on-board, or tries some trickery to defeat her gathered enemies all at once in this finale, but is likely thwarted by Jaime in his long-awaited character redemption. You’d think they couldn’t possibly fall for another wildfire trick, with Tyrion knowing about the hidden caches and everyone knowing what she did to the Sept of Baelor, but Qyburn has proven to be a clever season MVP time and again and will have something up his sleeve.

      Although this won’t be the Clegane Bowl everyone hoped for in the form of trial by combat, they will be in the same arena on opposite sides and it seems Sandor’s reason for persisting so long was to eventually face and kill his brother, so maybe this is his chance and we’ll get something. I see Jaime making it only because of all the reunions we haven’t seen yet, having him meet Bran again is one of the most intriguing. Though he will get another reunion with Brienne. Maybe that provides the catalyst for him to betray Cersei if she stays true to character and does not yield. Whatever remains of the Lannister forces will follow him for the final season if he commands them to go north and fight, but Cersei needs to be out of the picture. I suppose the other possibility is Cersei has no trickery up her sleeve just yet and actually commits her forces, figuring she either dies along with everyone else in the Great War, or she survives and employs her trickery in the aftermath to hold and consolidate power against Jon and Daenerys.

      Iron Islands

      How long is the finale? Will we get any resolution to Yara’s abduction and Theon’s rescue plans? Anyone’s guess, I suppose. It seems that there just isn’t time to do Euron and the Iron Islands storyline any justice and that is one of many things we’ll need to wait for the books to get.

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    236. King Podrick:

      Arya was telling a backstory we haven’t seen on screen. Basically the first time she practiced with a bow. In the series premier she shot one arrow and got it on the bullseye. Now ask yourself did that bulleyes shot looked like it was her first time using a bow?

      Well said. And she shot that one over Bran’s shoulder, so she had to be accurate. Anyone paying attention to that Ep 1 scene realised that this tiny girl wanted to be a warrior/knight AND had the aptitude for it. Her dedication to practicing till she gets something right started there, even before Jon told her to practice every day. And she had to break the rules. Since Arya is 11 when the show starts, maybe Ned’s “And which of you was a marksman at ten?” is also a wry compliment to her. Ned even approved of her aspirations well before he discovered Needle in KL and got Syrio to teach her. What a dad!

      By the way, maybe the show is hinting that Arya’s going to do more fighting with bow and arrow. She was practicing with Anguy in S3. Taking out White Walkers with dragonglass arrows would be Rad, and very effective, since killing a Walker also destroys his personal squadron of wights.

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    237. After having a night to process it, I have to voice my displeasure with the way the show handled the beyond the wall shenanigans. Why is it so necessary to have all of these last second Deus Ex Machina moments? Is there no other way to get the dragons to the Wall than waiting until the shit hits the fan and sending Gendry Gump back to send a raven? Bran has been useless, so why not involve him somehow? If magic can explain away everything else, why not have him preemptively send a warning to Dany? Anything to make the rescue attempt and the time necessary for her to make it to the Wall more realistic would have helped. Or maybe start actually letting us know the Night King’s agenda. Show us that he is a greenseer and was intentionally withholding the wights from killing the suicide squad. If we understand that he was using them as bait, waiting for the dragons he knew were coming, and properly showing the passage of time, it would have beer more palatable for me.

      I can forgive a lot. I don’t view the show with the same critical eye that I did in the first four seasons. Mostly because I just want to know the ending. But I would like for the showrunners to do a better job than they did in this episode. And that includes spelling out the ending with all of the references to children with Jon and Dany. Here’s hoping for a great finale and a final season that is handled with more care!

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    238. mau: backstory

      It works both ways, like the game they’re playing. Arya could even be saying, “Here. Kill him yourself.” Or if they are conning LF together, it may be the signal that it’s time to end the charade. Like Occam, I think the simplest explanation is right–when someone gives a sharp weapon to another and then turns their back, it signifies trust.

      By the way, that dagger is significant in myriad ways. Every Stark except Robb and Rickon has held it. And it’s passed from hand-to-hand since S1E2. I think Jon get it for two reasons: 1) Arya would give it to him once she knows he’s a Targaryen. 2) It should be his. I recall reading somewhere that Valyrian steel weapons somehow gravitate to the right owners. A lot of commentators think it was Rhaegar’s, which would make it Jon’s by right.

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    239. Stark Raven’ Rad: It works both ways, like the game they’re playing. Arya could even be saying, “Here. Kill him yourself.”Or if they are conning LF together, it may be the signal that it’s time to end the charade.Like Occam, I think the simplest explanation is right–when someone gives a sharp weapon to another and then turns their back, it signifies trust.

      By the way, that dagger is significant in myriad ways. Every Stark except Robb and Rickon has held it. And it’s passed from hand-to-hand since S1E2. I think Jon get it for two reasons: 1) Arya would give it to him once she knows he’s a Targaryen. 2) It should be his. I recall reading somewhere that Valyrian steel weapons somehow gravitate to the right owners. A lot of commentators think it was Rhaegar’s, which would make it Jon’s by right.

      When did Jon hold it?

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    240. While the show is heavily suggesting Jon + Daenerys, and that they will have children and rule together, I have a slightly different thought:

      That after the eventual defeat (or pacification) of the Others, Dany (apparently show version isn’t a fan) will be pregnant with Jon’s child when he is killed by someone he trusts, forcing her to flee. She will die giving birth to the PTWP, and the whole damn thing starts again. I think this could be an ultimate commentary on how we are continually trapped in the same patterns regardless of a greater common threat.

      Consider Mirri’s curse:
      “When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east,” (Fire, LoL worshipers, etc. are now on Westeros)
      “When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. (Not so sure about this one)
      When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. (All the obvious J + D tension)
      Then he will return, and not before.” (Drogo will return to Dany because they are now both dead.)

      What do you all think?

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    241. Clob,

      I was starting to like Sansa too… and then they had her revert back to “I’m great, I won the BoB, Jon’s an idiot, I took back WF while you were at summer camp, I’ve got work to do so f*ck off” mode.

      It wasn’t necessary to turn Arya into Hannibal Lecter. (“Quid pro quo, Lady Sansa. You tell me things and I tell you things.” .)
      “And let’s both talk in riddles and generalities…”

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    242. Ten Bears,

      It’s almost like the writers trashed two females characters in order to prop up a male character (LF)0. Hopefully another man (Bran) is not the solution to this conjured up of pettiness of two women.

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    243. Sacred Lime,

      I’ve watched the episode three times since it leaked, and that’s exactly what I think. The Night King was being patient and toying with them because he knew the dragons would come. The big thing that bothered me, having come to suspend disbelief for D&D sake, is why didn’t they just use Bran in this episode? He could have sent for Danaerys & Benjen and his time-warging abilities would have helped explain away the ridiculous travel times.

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    244. I only have a few minutes to reply, so I apologize if I haven’t read everyone’s responses yet and others already said the same thing. I will go back tonight. I completed watching for a second time, and I was moved more during the second viewing. I am a #talkthethrones fan, and there was a lot of hating about this episode. They talked about the stupidness of the mission and alot of plot movements that caused characters to suffer. Well, it was either Jon or Tormund who admitted none of them were very smart for going beyond the wall in search for the dead. It worked for me partly because the BWB knew they had a purpose, and they figured this mission must be it. The Hound’s vision took them to Eastwatch. Jon admitted to Dany at the end that he wished they had never done it and could take it back. The scenes with Dany and Jon moved me alot more this time. It could have been because I could focus a little more on the scene since I didn’t have to recover from the battle sequence the second time through…Dany says she needed to see (the dead) even though she lost her child. In the end, men do stupid brave things as she said to Tyron. The raven speed did get me, but I did read some of the comments that the magnificent 7 were on the rock at least 24 hours or more. At least Gendry didn’t have to die. I will say one of the only things that bugged me is the “red shirt” Star Trek thing with all of the no name wildlings going down.

      I thought Arya and Sansa’s story was much better than the critics. I have heard alot of hate and confusion about this. Some said Arya’s character was too much like a villain. I didn’t get that. During the second viewing, I thought Arya sounded alot like the Waif in her inflections during the Game of Faces. I think that was intentional. She was taking on the Waif’s role in the Game of Faces with Sansa. She was showing her menacing side for sure. Arya does have this side now. That is a truth. But to me this was all tough love that needed to come out. She needed to get Sansa to take a hard look at herself, and I think she will accomplish this. Everything she said about Sansa was true (and many of the things that the fans hated about Sansa in the early seasons) Sansa just never really admitted it to herself. Arya revealed truths about herself to Sansa. She came clean about that she has become a FM and how deadly she is now. But she gave the dagger to Sansa. Yes Arya was admitting she could kill Sansa at any time she wanted and perhaps even enjoy seeing what it is like to be Sansa for awhile, but in the end, they are still sisters and she’s not doing it. She’s handing over the dagger and she just wants her to admit the truth to herself and leaves her to it. Did anyone notice the scar under Arya’s bottom lip? I wonder if that was makeup.. Maybe Maisie asked for at least a couple scars after all of those wacks to the face at the house of B&W.

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    245. Sue the Fury: Not harm Sansa, harm BRIENNE. Brienne is gonna get killed by Arya if she’s forced to intercede. Too many “hers” in that segment, I suppose.

      Thank you! I guess Sansa might be that nice. I’ve just not seen as much of that side of her yet, so I’m having a hard time seeing her as one to risk her own life to save Brienne and Pod.

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    246. Tinabean,

      Exactly what I feel. And the insistence of having the two surprising last second saves was counter to the thing that bothered me most about the episode, the heavy handed, knock you over the head with a sledgehammer foreshadowing of Jon and Dany conceiving a child. Why is it they needed to spell that out so clearly, yet refuse to have Bran actively involved in facilitating Dany going North to rescue them? Why have we still not been shown more about the White Walkers and the Night King? If they would just confirm that he is a greenseer, that he knew what was coming, it would be much more understandable. Please, give us some more info on the White Walkers, D&D! I want them to be more than a simple Sauron-type big bad. I feel like this series demands them to be something more.

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    247. Dame of Mercia:
      As an afterthought was GRRM a fan of “Noggin the Nog”* when he was younger (I don’t know if the show ever made it to the USA)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72Z8yyNRiyM

      Mind you on “Is Winter Coming” – no not the site that shall not be named there is an ice dragon thread and somebody mentioned that E Nesbit wrote a story about an ice dragon back in something like the 1890s.

      GRRM’s “The Ice Dragon” seems so appropriate now, right? I think that I’m about to get it. I’m listening to the audio preview now.

      http://a.co/f6dl87G

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    248. A Redshirt Beyond the Wall: Consider Mirri’s curse:
      “When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east,” (Fire, LoL worshipers, etc. are now on Westeros)
      “When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. (Not so sure about this one)
      When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. (All the obvious J + D tension)
      Then he will return, and not before.” (Drogo will return to Dany because they are now both dead.)

      Sorry, but this is obvious to me : it all means NEVER ! Just variations of “when pigs fly”.

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    249. Ten Bears: They made a point about dredging up this artifact from S1 and having it wind up in Arya’s possession….

      Good call! Yes, that has to be there for a reason. Somehow, I suspect that Littlefinger’s downfall will stem from the shenanigans he pulled with it earlier. I do not have a clear idea of how that might be, though.

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    250. Stark Raven’ Rad: Like Occam, I think the simplest explanation is right–when someone gives a sharp weapon to another and then turns their back, it signifies trust.

      Well, Occam basically said that, all else being equal, prefer the simplest explanation! But that certainly is a simple explanation. Another is that Arya is putting Sansa on notice.

      Explanations involving the Tree Gods and the Drowned God uniting to revive all the dead under Winterfell and summoning all of the dire wolves are substantially less parsimonious…..

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    251. FRAN: Sorry, but this is obvious to me : it all means NEVER ! Just variations of “when pigs fly”.

      Except that, in the books, we know that it’s not until “never.” This is, I think, more ironic than sarcastic.

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    252. Tyrion Pimpslap: Why is it they needed to spell that out so clearly, yet refuse to have Bran actively involved in facilitating Dany going North to rescue them

      We cannot say that the “refused” to do this: they might simply have not struck upon a simple option. There are, after all, only 2-3 of them working on this, while also working on a lot of other things. It is a very common lament from even the best writers that a better idea eluded them until it was too late.

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    253. Tycho Nestoris:
      Ten Bears,

      It’s almost like the writers trashed two females characters in order to prop up a male character (LF)0. Hopefully another man (Bran) is not the solution to this conjured up of pettiness of two women.

      Conjured up pettiness? Have you not watched the first 6 seasons?

      Sansa and Arya never got along from the beginning. They were petty from episode 1 season 1. Arya has grown up thinking she is now a badass assassin when the truth of the matter is she isn’t No One. She never finished her training so she is actually quite arrogant if her display in the yard with Brienne wasn’t proof of that. Sansa has been jealous and had a great deal of self-pity for quite a while now and it’s pretty obvious to anyone who’s actually watched the show.

      We can debate if the writing has been the best or if they could have portrayed things slightly differently but both Arya and Sansa have always had a level of pettiness and it makes perfect sense that they are showing it now.

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    254. Ser Broccoli McBroccoliface,

      I think it’s fair to say that they were petty to each other in their youth. Pentultimate ep of season 7 it’s an over the top attempt to dumb down two women to strengthen a man and potentially the womens’ brother.

      Plus in context (an episode where men band together to overcome their differences) the idea that two women can’t play “house” together without fighting is bordering on sexist imho.

      Can Sansa and Arya figure this out on their own or will they need Bran? Cause if it comes to Bran being the problem solver, that I call character assasination.

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    255. I have a weird theory that I’ve been spitballing. Here me out, Bran the builder built the wall 700 ft high mysteriously 1000s of years ago to save westeros from the wight walkers but nobody ever explains how he did it. It’s impossible that the wall could be man made without modern technology.

      I think Bran the builder was the three eyed raven and he warged into a a wight ice dragon to build the wall with ice breathe. Ice breath has been confirmed through ASOS and ADWD, as well as from Old Nan telling stories about the long night to Bran.

      I think Bran is also the savior of Westeros this time around and will do the same thing, warg into the viserion ice dragon and build the wall higher or encase the wight walkers in an ice tomb essentially banishing them again.

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    256. Can I talk about Jon being awesome? That exchange with Beric. “The shield that guards the realms of men” You saw it on his face. The resolve.
      And D&D is right-he is the guy who throws himself on the grenade to help other people get away.
      He’s always been that guy.
      And when he tries to give Jorah the sword-his expression is genuine. It isn’t his. Hell, as far as he knows he’s still a bastard that tripped into being king so he could get his family’s home back for them and save the world for everyone else.
      His decision to send Gendry to safety-fast runner? maybe. Definitely not as experienced with surviving in cold or rough fighting.
      That moment when he gets right with dying. Again. Then senses the dragons.
      His decision not to take Dany’s hand, to instead make sure everyone else was safe first. That’s Jon.

      Honestly the only time I got ticked off was when she called him little. She called the khals small men and burned them. Just from her perspective, he’s the chosen king of the entire North with a lot of battle time under his belt. Also kind and thoughtful and good military strategist. Unless she means, “not technically as tall as my last husband”-it makes no sense.

      Okay that’s my Jon fan club moment for the day. He’s doing great this season.

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    257. Ive not read everything, but ive seen multiple people on different sites asking why the NK just doesnt kill Drogon. But since we can assume the NK had a vision and was waiting there, he probably saw what he did. He probably saw that he took out Viserion. If he would take out Drogon instead, even when it seemed easier, he would not know what would happen after that. I think he went with the known future rather then change it and not know what would happen.

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    258. Tinabean:
      Sacred Lime,

      I’ve watched the episode three times since it leaked, and that’s exactly what I think. The Night King was being patient and toying with them because he knew the dragons would come.The big thing that bothered me, having come to suspend disbelief for D&D sake, is why didn’t they just use Bran in this episode? He could have sent for Danaerys & Benjen and his time-warging abilities would have helped explain away the ridiculous travel times.

      That definitely would have worked perfectly.

      Tbh? I think part of the reason they kept Bran out of this episode because of the Sansa/Arya thing. Because he could have solved that really easily too and everyone knows it.
      But who knows-he actually could have sent Benjen. Maybe we’ll find out later.

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    259. Lothlauriean,

      I had the same question since I red the leaks: how are they going to fight the NK now, when he proved that he could take out a dragon and turn it with such an ease? But I guess that is supposed to be the most unexpected twist of the story: they built up dragons just to show that their use was dangerous and back firing and now the living will have to think of something else.

      Otherwise I had many issues about this episode and the last one: the whole wight hunt could and should have been set up and presented better, but the last scene beween Jon and Dany was a pure gold, so I guess I can move on.

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    260. One of the best episodes of the show. I see some complaints here about “plot-holes”, first i thought there were really plot-holes in this episodes and i gave the episode an 8 for myself but after watching the episode a second time, and putting some things on paper I came to the conclusion that there were no plot-holes or mistakes in this episodes, but that D&D calculated everything perfectly and i changed my rating to a 9,9 for this episode. Below I will address this “plot-holes” and mistakes.

      1. Arya/Sansa scene was a very clever scene. Arya know that Sansa can be trusted (handing over the blade). Sansa clearly asked Arya if she could become everybody, she led Arya know that they are going to kill somebody next episode that Arya can become. Clever scene. Everything in WF this season was Sansa’s plan to getting LF killed. And now that she knows that Arya can become him, she doesn’t need LF anymore.

      2. The timing at the lake. Eastwatch to dragonstone is about 1500 miles
      – I looked up how long it takes for a lake to freeze at -20 degrees that it would be thick enough to walk on and this is about 3 days.
      – How long does it take for Gendry to run toward Eastwatch? they walked less than 6 hours, so Gendry will be back in about 3h max.
      – How long does it take for a raven to fly 1500 miles. a raven fly about 60 miles an hour. without stopping this would be 25h if we assume that the ravens would stop we’ll make it 30h. We’re 33h later (less than 2 days)
      – how long does it take for Danny to get to eastwatch and beyond? We can assume that when she read it she would fly away in 1 hour max. multiple calculations assume that dragons fly about 200mph. that means 7,5 to eastwatch, 1,5 searching for jon. Makes a total of 10h for Dany to reach Jon. making a total of 43h for Dannereys to reach Jon after Gendry runs away.
      43 hours is much shorter than 3 days, so we can assume that the water froze faster than usual.

      3. Why did the NK not kill Jon and co immediately? (and everything with the NK)
      simple answer: Jon was bait to get the dragons to the lake. Why he need an dragon we will see in the next episode or next season.
      What if everything that we assume is luck is really the big plan of the NK. Letting Bran below the wall, letting Jon go now to go to KL. What if the NK know something bad is going to happen in KL next episode that he could benefit from? What if the NK is the one that has shown Sandor the vision he saw in 6×01? What if the NK can see visions for himself?
      4. Why didn’t he kill Drogon? Something about this scene that hit me was that he really did look first at Drogon but somehow he decided to let Drogon live. I think he needed Dany and co to get away because he forsaw something or needed them to go south to forfill his plan.

      I really think there’s more to this episode that meets the eye, what may seems as a mistake or plothole (Sansa and the NK) I think that it’s done on purpose. (wouldn’t be the first time D&D made scenes that first felt like a big mistake and later we found out that there was something clever going on).

      I hope my comment wasn’t to bad to read, am always up for help to improve this. second i want to say that i really like watchersonthewall, I have read (Almost) every review and newspost since the start of this site.

      ps I read the books multiple times, can’t wait for the WoW

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    261. I think everyone is under estimating Sansa. Remember, she has admitted to learning a lot from Cersei. I think she is playing Little Finger and is adhering to the wisdom of keeping your enemies close at hand. At the same time, Arya is playing Sansa. Goading her in a Faceless way as well as trying to establish that she may be the little sister but she is still a force to be reckoned with. Arya’s many ‘talents’ have not yet been used except to forward Arya’s personal agenda. Sharing with Sansa some of her skills opens up the possibility of using these to advance the North’s cause. Frankly, its time these two sisters sit down and discuss what has happened to them in the years they were parted.
      Where is Ghost?

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    262. Sacred Lime,

      I 100% agree about Bran. The GRRM loves subverting tropes so my end game theory is Jon (and possibly Dany) die, and when all seems lost Bran wargs a dragon to kill the Night King. The NK marked Bran like Voldemort did Harry Potter. What’s the point of him having all of his abilities otherwise? The 3ER told him he will fly, which he does with the ravens. Who knows? Maybe he’ll physically fly on one. They made a big deal of Tyrion designing him a special saddle…
      Either way, no one suspects the cripple of being the hero.
      Or I could be completely wrong about everything. Just another year or two till we find out. 🙂

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    263. Nuncle Kingsmoot: he GRRM loves subverting tropes so my end game theory is Jon (and possibly Dany) die, and when all seems lost Bran wargs a dragon to kill the Night King.

      That would not be subverting a trope: that would be wrecking the story! Remember, GRRM has told us for years that these stories would all revolve around people working through conflicted feelings/thoughts: and so far, the first 4 book stories and first 6 TV stories have all done that.

      In the end, unless GRRM has been BSing us all the while (and unless this is not truly a story), the grand finale will involve Jon, Daenerys, etc., having to decide between unpalatable alternatives. In short, it will all be akin to “betray Westeros by letting Wildlings through the Gate, or betray humanity by letting the Walkers turn them into more zombies”: and even if we readers understand why they made the choice, we can bet there will be a lot of tertiary characters who do not.

      Nuncle Kingsmoot: Either way, no one suspects the cripple of being the hero.

      But nobody would suspect a bastard, a dwarf or a woman of being a hero, either. Heroes are supposed to be whole trueborn males. The “Bastards, dwarfs and broken things” line from very early in the story summarized the characters that count.

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    264. Jack Bauer 24: Anyone else think it looked wonky when everyone rode Drogon, especially when Jorah almost fell off?

      No need for theories about “three dragon riders”.
      Not now we know we can have dragon mini-buses.

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    265. I would like to preface this by saying I quite enjoyed this episode,despite its few,albeit gaping plotholes. The camaraderie between the Magnificent seven was a beauty, & Tormund especially was the shining star.Ever word out of his mouth was pure gold. The battle was glorious.When Viserion’s lifeless body sank into that freezing lake,my heart sank into my chest & Dany’s reaction to that brought me to tears.

      The scene between Dany & Jon in the cabin truly warmed my heart,it was full of genuine unspoken emotions which I don’t think either of them have displayed so far & it was beyond endearing. Who knew in a show filled with all kinds of sex,mere hand holding could be so intimate.

      And I agree that the use of deus ex machina twice over felt a bit contrived,but to be honest the shot of dragons saving the stranded suicide squad made for a thrilling piece of TV, just wish it was less predictable though.

      I think the scene in the previous episode with Bran & the ravens discovering Army of the dead was also meant to show how fast ravens can fly.Although there was some timejump in that scene too though so it doesnt justify the messed up time space continuum of this episode.

      The Winterfell storyline on the other hand makes least sense though. The tension between the girls seems rushed & not well thought out. If they truly are conspiring against each other,(which I don’t think they are) their character development all these years on this show would amount to nothing. I mean, they didn’t spend all those years suffering & struggling to acquire their unique skill sets only to use against each other, that will make little to no sense. I think they are working together to eliminate Littlefinger from the game once & for all,coz let’s face it, he is a liability now.The girls could have been given more productive storyline though.
      Can’t wait for the finale,can’t believe its already over..Aaahhh!

      Random useless thought:
      Dany was in her usual black costume in that last scene on the ship.She didn’t pack any change of clothes on Drogon when she left,did she?

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    266. jonryaerys,

      Sansa did not blurt out her father’s plans to Cersei in the show, so it’s pointless disliking her for that in the show.

      In the books, Cersei already knew Ned was going to move against her and her incestuous bastard son because – hello! – Ned told her. What Sansa’s blabbing achieved was to provide incontrovertible proof. Because of Sansa, Cersei was able to intercept the Winterfell man going for the ship, carrying Ned’s letter to His Grace, King Stannis.

      In the show, Sansa had no part in that, so many (book reader) fans’ and Arya’s harsh judgement of her is unfounded. In the show, Sansa was an annoying, stupid tween but she never betrayed her father or her family.

      She went out of her way to plead for her father. Even Cersei agreed with the plan to let Ned take the black. It was moronic, arrogant Joffrey, drunk on power (and perhaps prompted by whispers from LF) who called for Ned’s head.

      If Arya had seen the whole scene (she didn’t because Yoren shielded her, good man) she would’ve seen Sansa collapsing, screaming, Cersei confused, trying to intercede with Joffrey, Varys totally surprised, flapping his arms, trying to stop the horrible mistake, Pycelle totally nonplussed…

      But Arya has construed her own narrative, one in which the sister she never liked much, is taking on an antagonist role. This shows one fundamental flaw in Arya’s character. She’s too judgemental, too black-and-white (haha), too full of herself, believing she knows best and everybody else is “stupid”.

      That’s why the elder Stark sister is becoming more sympathetic. Sansa admits her mistakes, she realizes she was wrong, a “stupid little girl”. She has grown emotionally. In contrast, Arya is still much the angry little girl she was in S1. She might’ve learned all kinds of super-ninja-assassin skills but she’s emotionally stuck in the past. Can’t blame her for that, the life she’s lived, was forced to live, isn’t exactly conducive of healthy emotional growth. If anything, she had to shut down her emotions to survive, especially in the House of Black and White. That’s why I always think of Arya as a tragic figure. Adulating her as a “badass” seems misguided and ignoring her tragedy.

      Sorry for the long ramble but I find the topic of Sansa/Arya utterly fascinating.

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    267. FRAN: Jon could not have children, as some say. Dany, quite the reverse, definitely can’t.

      There’s really no evidence for this at all.

      There was a prophecy which mentioned “when” Daenerys bears a living child. That’s not the same as saying that she never will, even if that’s what you inferred from it.

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    268. Lothlauriean,

      I can’t get past the exclusion of Bran either. I’d much preferred a few scenes of him struggling by the heart tree get a clear view of Jon&co (while also communicating with Benjen) interwoven with interesting scenes from the past, illuminating Bran’s increasing power in relation to his flailing attempt to learn on the job, instead of some of the scenes we saw north of the wall.
      As it is, I think we’re meant to assume Benjen showed up when he did because of Bran. I could be wrong, who the f*ck knows at this point:)

      Some posters here have mentioned the possibility of Bran warging into ice Viserion….that’ll certainly neutralize the walkers’ ice nuke.

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    269. Grandmaester Flash: There’s really no evidence for this at all.

      There was a prophecy which mentioned “when” Daenerys bears a living child.That’s not the same as saying that she never will, even if that’s what you inferred from it.

      More like a curse or side effect of powerful magic that was in play. Both can be undone ( traditionally ) by messing with at least equally powerful magic or some selfless act. Conditions are in place for both. The fact Mirri put it with so much detail hints it might not be irreversible.

      Them having a child ( or more ) would add some of the sweetness we’re promised for the final ( if one doesn’t think too much about the incest part ). As I am still sure Daenerys will die at the end, to secure the pinch of bitterness.

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    270. At the end of my first watching, I was delighted with the episode, and couldn’t wait to watch it again, which I have, several times. Yes, I am aware of all the time/travel issues. All I can say at this point is that I appreciate every old-school teacher/professor I’ve ever had a whole lot more. If anyone turned in a paper with all the issues of timing, reliance on coincidence and skewing of logic that this episode employed, it would have been massively red-penciled, with a “see me” notation. That’s probably why I sometimes wish the “edit” button lasted for at least an hour. I’m always wanting to go back and change spelling, punctuation, etc. That being said, I still loved the episode.

      Some of you moaned about the male-bonding on the way to Arrowhead Mountain, most loved it. I am with the latter group – there were some absolutely great lines, revelations of character and basic life advice. I say again, I could listen to Dormer read my electric bill and be entranced. I’m not surprised he got Sandor to go with them; the man is so beautifully, quietly convincing.

      I don’t have the time right now to go into everything about the way this played out, but I’m happily certain there will be many, many discussions in the week ahead I can jump into. I just wanted to update my take on a theory I had about Dany.

      A few years ago, after Dany’s visions in the House of the Undying, I put forward the idea that having seen Drogo and their unborn baby in a tent NORTH of the Wall, that she was going to die in the north and rejoin Drogo. I’ve changed that – yes, I still believe the prophecy has come true, but in a different way. In the prophecy, she leaves Drogo and the baby behind to answer the call of her dragons. And now she has. She watches Viserion die and had to fly away and leave one of her “children” there in the ice and snow. On the boat, she connects to Jon in a way she hasn’t connected to a man since Drogo, but in an even more profound way. Jon is good, honorable, smart and brave. He wouldn’t dream of molesting or taking her by force. So, Drogo, too, is left behind in the ice. Yes, I’m shipping Dany and Jon, big time. They are hooking up.

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    271. Rich Stark,

      I think D had on her standard black outfit under the white coat. Which makes the coat even more amazing because it looked totally fitted and not bulky at all. 14/10 for the coat.

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    272. seenGhost?: Them having a child ( or more ) would add some of the sweetness we’re promised for the final ( if one doesn’t think too much about the incest part ). As I am still sure Daenerys will die at the end, to secure the pinch of bitterness.

      Some nicely put points. I’d love for them to have a child. I say poop to Mirri Maaz Duur’s prophecy. She also told Dany that Dany wouldn’t hear her, Mirri, screaming when the fire burned her, yet she screamed and screamed. So not everything from her mouth came true. Maybe it will take the combined strength of Targaryens together to make Dany’s womb quicken.

      I’m still working on how much “bitter” can be in bittersweet before it turns into downright sadness. Dany dying (or Arya, Sansa or any of the remaining main chars except Cersei) crosses the line from bittersweet into sadness. Arya not finding solace in her “pack” at Winterfell, then going out on her own again, is bittersweet. Arya maybe going crazy and killing or maiming Sansa because the Septa used to rap Arya’s knuckles for not being as good as Sansa – that’s sad. I don’t want to think of Dany dying.

      Obviously, I can’t stand Arya’s attitudes over Sansa. I’ve loved reading posts from people who have sisters who call bullshit on a lot of the dialogue between Sansa and Arya.

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    273. talvikorppi,

      I see this conflict between Sansa and Arya as a very typical conflict between the so callded conformists and disidents which I’ve been watching for some 25 years now in my counry. Sansa had moments of bravery but in general she was a conformist who tried to surive and succeeded until the moment when she could take an efficient action and win the ultimate victory. Arya made no compromise (at least in her own view) but she was never alone: there were always people who protected her even at the cost of their own life. So, although one can blame Sansa for being cowardish but it was much easier for Arya to be brave.
      It changed in recent seasons. Sansa finaly got to people who were ready to fight for her and therefore she started to act more bravely herself. Meanwhile Arya put her trust into very untrustwothy FM and, unless the showrunners wreck it, this story should come to some rather unpleasant conclusions. If I’m getting it right Jaqen for Arya is like Littlefinger to Sansa, but if Sansa has never trusted Littlefinger, Arya trusted Jaquen blindly and now she believes that she got out of the House of Black and White for good and all. By all the rules of GoT it shouldn’t be the case and IMO the FM are simply waiting until Arya gets into some conflict with her family and decides to go back to them. And that can happen because now both sisters are letting out the worst of them.
      In general the conflict could have been written better: IMO the turn was a bit too abrupt. But as I have written above I have seen a lot of such conflicts breaking out of nowhere, so I can qualify this as believable and only hope that the sisters will somehow sort it out.

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    274. Juri: Ten Bears: 1. If Arya becomes unlikable by the end, the syndication value of GoT will plummet.

      LMAO! There is no way you truly believe this crap.

      I hope you are right and a reason will be quickly revealed for Arya’s behavior. But I agree with Ten Bears – if Arya turns totally rotten,

      or worse, turns out to be the cunty Waif wearing an Arya face,

      I could never watch the show again. It would poison the whole darned thing for me.

      I’ve voiced dismay at the Waif theory before and been reassured that the writers wouldn’t do that because it would make no sense to the story. please let it be so.

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    275. Grandmaester Flash,

      Yes. But let’s not forget that the “when your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child” part is not the RESULT of the combined necessary conditions but ONE OF those conditions : the result of all that is her being reunited with Drogo. The maybe-baby would be a step in the process of being with Drogo again. Given that the guy is now ashes, how could he come back to her ??
      Not to mention the fact that “bear” is different from “actually give birth to a (healthy) child”.
      And if she “bears” a child, it would then be Jon’s, as everyone predicts ; and IF the child is born (+ all other conditions before), she would then have Drogo back. Nice trio + a baby !

      OR then they metaphorically meet again in death. And Jon, if he makes it in the end, ends up as a single father, or the heir remains alone if Jon dies.

      How could this work otherwise ??

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    276. tinabean: 14/10 for the coat.

      Oh, that amazing coat. That had to take a chunk out of the budget. I must say, Dragonstone has some talented furriers. That thing was gorgeous, and gorgeous on her.

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    277. Inga: Meanwhile Arya put her trust into very untrustwothy FM and, unless the showrunners wreck it, this story should come to some rather unpleasant conclusions. If I’m getting it right Jaqen for Arya is like Littlefinger to Sansa, but if Sansa has never trusted Littlefinger, Arya trusted Jaquen blindly and now she believes that she got out of the House of Black and White for good and all. By all the rules of GoT it shouldn’t be the case and IMO the FM are simply waiting until Arya gets into some conflict with her family and decides to go back to them

      Or they decide to come after her in some way. I always wondered if Jaquen’s little smile at the end meant “a girl may go in Peace” or “a girl will end up in pieces.”

      Is anybody else wondering if there is some kind of treachery brewing inside Tyrion? Does he want Dany to name HIM king if she should perish? The lack of success of all his military plans, the fact that he didn’t want her to go help Jon and his wild concern over the heir to her ventures has me giving him the side eye.

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    278. Hexonx: LF tells Sansa if one of the sisters was going to harm another Brienne would be honor bound to step in.I take Sansa sending Brienne away to mean Sansa might be planning on harming Arya.

      I took Sansa sending Brienne away to mean she didn’t want to have a situation that would force Brienne to have to make that choice, to take that action. I do not think Sansa OR Arya are evil or have ill intent to one another. I think they are very different people, who have been through very different extreme traumas both mental and physical, they both had to adapt to survive in very different ways, and they have seen one another for years…now they have to find a way to understand and trust one another. Sansa is not evil. She has human desires still, yes, maybe even somewhat selfish ones, but she puts them aside to do what is right. Arya is still the angry young girl in many ways who has lived and fed on plans of revenge for years, and now is deadly with the ability to exact those revenges…but while I believe she still doesn’t fully trust Sansa, because the last Sansa she knew was a selfish, spoiled girl with fantasies of being queen…I also don’t believe she hates Sansa.

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    279. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      By the way, maybe the show is hinting that Arya’s going to do more fighting with bow and arrow. She was practicing with Anguy in S3. Taking out White Walkers with dragonglass arrows would be Rad, and very effective, since killing a Walker also destroys his personal squadron of wights.

      Yeah, I thought that this line almost had a prophetic ring – not sure that all will happen, but the knight thing felt particularly real to me.

      You wanted to be a queen, to sit next to a handsome young king on the Iron Throne. I wanted to be a knight, to pick up a sword like father and go off to battle.

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    280. I haven’t read through all comments, so I apologize if this has been said once already, but:
      In regards to Benjen not leaving with Jon, I believe there was one very good reason he didn’t: Jon needed to get back to Eastwatch as fast a possible, or he would start losing parts to freezing. He just came out of a freezing lake, and the air is freezing as well, and maybe the only thing that would save him is all the clothes he had on and the speed of the horse. With more weight on the horse, it would not be able to run as fast and get Jon to safety as quickly. Plus, it would have been all for what? Benjen couldn’t even pass through the Wall anyway!

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    281. Wimsey: Except that, in the books, we know that it’s not until “never.”This is, I think, more ironic than sarcastic.

      Right! As one who enjoys physics, I was particularly fascinated with the rising in the west and setting in the east bits. This would be possible on earth if travelling over Mach 2, I think, chasing, catching, and overtaking the sun after it sets because one would be going faster than the sun moving relative to the earth. In this way, relative to Dany, the sun could rise in the west as she chases it and then eventually set in the east well after she’s overtaken it. Of course, it might not be an awesome feat of physics, but I would totally love it to be!

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    282. To all the people who think the guys were traveling in the north/on the island for many days….

      SERIOUSLY? NO. Watch the scenes again, starting from when they set out in episode 5. They clearly leave at the break of dawn. They see the wights and lay the trap to catch one by around mid-afternoonish. Gendry sets off at full speed for Eastwatch right after that, and he arrives at dusk. Meanwhile, the guys are trapped on the island all night. At eastwatch, a raven is sent to Dany, it flies all night to get there in the morning. Now we are at ONE WHOLE DAY only since the guys set off from Eastwatch. Dany takes off with the dragons, and I’m sure they fly pretty damn fast. They arrive midday-ish to the lake/island as the wights have begun to attack. She and the guys minus Jon and Viserion fly back to Eastwatch, probably takes very little time (fast dragons). Jon is saved by Benjen, takes off on the horse, it’s still around midday-ish, remember…the horse can go alot faster than Gendry even ran. They arrive at Eastwatch before evening, maybe late afternoon.
      BOOM.

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    283. Wimsey: I.e., they act like 80% of siblings?

      Oh, yes. I remember the last time my brother threatened me with a dagger. Oh, wait. There was that time with the .22. Nevermind.

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    284. Thronetender,

      And that would be unfortunate for you… However, if we can have an unlikable character redeeming him/herself, I don’t see the problem with a likable character going “rotten” as part of his/her character arc… I would argue that it would be a perfect way to address the futility of revenge, for instance (like a certain undead lady in the books.) I’m sure we won’t see it in GoT though.

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    285. I’m bringing this up again.

      Did anyone else feel for the wights? When one panicked at being cornered and captured or when one displayed curiosity about the ice.
      I don’t remember ever feeling anything for wights. Not even the child wights from S5.

      Was this intentional or not? Maybe I’m making much to do about nothing.

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    286. talvikorppi:
      jonryaerys,

      But Arya has construed her own narrative, one in which the sister she never liked much, is taking on an antagonist role. This shows one fundamental flaw in Arya’s character. She’s too judgemental, too black-and-white (haha), too full of herself, believing she knows best and everybody else is “stupid”.

      That’s why the elder Stark sister is becoming more sympathetic. Sansa admits her mistakes, she realizes she was wrong, a “stupid little girl”. She has grown emotionally. In contrast, Arya is still much the angry little girl she was in S1. She might’ve learned all kinds of super-ninja-assassin skills but she’s emotionally stuck in the past. Can’t blame her for that, the life she’s lived, was forced to live, isn’t exactly conducive of healthy emotional growth. If anything, she had to shut down her emotions to survive, especially in the House of Black and White. That’s why I always think of Arya as a tragic figure. Adulating her as a “badass” seems misguided and ignoring her tragedy.

      Sorry for the long ramble but I find the topic of Sansa/Arya utterly fascinating.

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. I think it needs to be remembered that Littlefinger’s arc has been linked with Sansa’s for several seasons now. It’s going to be *her* problem to solve narratively, because of what she’s endured due to his manipulations in the past. So many viewers are underestimating Sansa’s importance in this WF conflict, assuming that Arya is some mastermind, who knows LF better than her sister does, and who will just use her assassin skills to take care of the problem.

      If anything, I think Arya is being over-confident, her many clever yet brutally violent kills have made her think too highly of herself. When I watched that final confrontation, the simple explanation to me of her actions was that she thought her sister was so little a threat that she could give her the very weapon she would have sliced her up with and turned her back on her and still killed her if Sansa tried to attack her preemptively. In other words Arya was threatening her for real (in order to scare her straight), then implying Sansa was weak and no threat to Arya.

      In no way did I see Arya telling her non-verbally that she trusted Sansa. Otherwise Sansa’s expression and body language would have been one of pleased surprise or relief. Instead we got tears in the eyes, shaky breaths and a look of utter shock and terror at how lethally dangerous her sister had become.

      I don’t think they were acting for LF’s benefit at all. Although I do think Arya was testing Sansa and being more aggressive and OTT threatening than she really felt, if that makes sense.

      I think the writers do want us worried the sisters are going to reach boiling point, that Littlefinger’s attempts to drive an wedge between the sisters have been successful. It feels like a viewer manipulation to me.

      I don’t believe for a second that Sansa is trusting LF again. She’s keeping him closer, making him think she’s turning to him because of her sister’s accusations, but doesn’t it make more sense that she’s playing along and trying to figure out HIS plan? When she sent Brienne away, it didn’t feel as if she was trying to remove protection from Arya. She already knows Arya is likely an accomplished killer and can take care of herself. She saw them spar with her very eyes.

      No, I think when Littlefinger suggested she use Brienne to intervene with Ayra, she realized he was placing Brienne on the chess board. She had to take Brienne (and Pod) off of it to protect them both and Arya from a possible conflict neither could back down from. Brienne swore an oath to Catelyn to protect both sisters, true, but she also swore a personal vow to serve and protect Sansa specifically. If Brienne saw something similar to what Arya pulled on Sansa in her quarters, who do you think Brienne would have been forced to side with? What would she have been compelled to do as Sansa’s personal bodyguard? Either way, it would have driven the two sisters apart even more.

      Sansa’s sense of self preservation is strong, so why would she send Brienne away if she clearly needs protection? To set up taking out Arya? Not likely, because it exposes her more than it makes Arya vulnerable. Who wants Sansa isolated the most? Littlefinger. He’s going to think his whispers are working, even though Sansa zigged instead of zagging. I also think it was a politically smart move and consistent for Sansa to send an emissary she trusted to KL rather than step foot in Cersei’s proximity herself. She wanted Jon to send an emissary rather than personally meet with Danaerys, too.

      I’m actually enjoying the WF plot immensely. I’m glad we’re seeing an exploration of how much or how little the two sisters have changed from their past incarnations. I’m also enjoying their mirroring each other in terms of perspectives. One is acting from a place of fear, one is acting from a place of anger. Neither is necessarily the completely *right* way to handle this situation. I do think Arya is emotionally stunted due to her experiences and dehumanized from her Faceless Men training. She’s very single-minded and harshly judgemental of others whom she deems as traitors to the family. She always has been, but going through the process of becoming No-one, she learned to detach herself in a way that’s not psychologically healthy, albeit necessary to become an effective and ruthless killer.

      I’m glad the writers are acknowledging that edge to her, and also that she’s not infallible and can be wrong about things. It’s not that she’s too far gone, though. We know that her love of Jon, her family, desire for personal justice/vengeance etc made her keep her identity in Braavos. She left the FM because she refused to completely let go of ‘Arya’. This is a good thing, she needs emotional attachments to stay grounded. Unfortunately with Jon not being there, LFs plot being in motion to make Sansa look disloyal to Jon, and Bran being emotionally unavailable, she’s having difficulty with that.

      Moving on from that plotline, I think the point of Jon ‘bending the knee’ in this episode and calling Dany his queen at last is that he’s finally been convinced – due to Dany’s bravery and personal sacrifice for the cause – that she’s earned his respect and fealty. Of course there’s also developing romantic feelings, but it comes more from a place of shared experiences and ideals rather than just mere lust or physical attraction.

      The death of Viserion had me sobbing like a baby. It’s the most I’ve cried over this show since we lost Hodor. It gutted me in a way I wasn’t prepared for. I can’t imagine what my reaction will be like if we ever lose Drogon in the future. This was a major loss for the story (and gain for the WW) and for Dany in particular, since she viewed the dragons as her children. Thoros’ death also had me tearing up, even though he isn’t a lead character. The implications of his demise are that now Beric has only one more life to give. Those arguing that there weren’t enough *big* deaths in this ep must be just too jaded and perhaps want shocking deaths for the sake of it.

      Favorite snippet from the episode, and perhaps the whole season so far:
      Jon: “So, what are you fighting for.”
      Beric: “Life. Death is the enemy. The first enemy and the last.”
      Jon: “But we all die.”
      Beric: “The enemy always wins and we still need to fight him. That’s all I know. You and I won’t find much joy while we’re here. But we can keep others alive. We can defend those who can’t defend themselves.”
      Jon: “‘I am the shield that guards the realms of men.'”
      Beric: “Maybe we don’t need to understand any more than that. Maybe that’s enough.”
      Jon: “Aye. Maybe that’s enough.”

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    287. Thought it was a good episode, great action and honestly after waiting near now 15 years I’m just happy we are seeing an ending. I’ve read too many great books in my life where the author doesn’t finish them due to whatever – and it sucks. You get so engrossed with characters and the story but no resolution? At least here we are getting a version of it. I hope GRRM finishes his books too because they are brilliant and the world there is vastly larger.

      I still don’t get how people can say “worst episode ever”, criticize the show if you want since most all shows have their faults and everyone has their own opinion and likes..But to say this episode was one of the worst? Madness. Last week there was yelling and screaming about why Jon and Jorah didn’t discuss Longclaw. Well they did here, lets wait till last episode before giving full judgement. We all watch then look back and wish they had put more into an episode or made seasons longer. I know in Two Towers I was telling friends about Aragorn and the Dúnedain expecting a mention somewhere, didn’t get it till the Extended Edition and I was pretty upset. But to be honest, it not being in the theatrical version didn’t take away from that epic movie.

      Anyways, few things I liked and I wonder about…

      – Tormund and the Hound are the best and I hope next seasons Brienne will get to see Tormund in glorious action with his dragonglass/axe/spear thing.
      – I assume the one wight left after Jon killed the WW was because they would always leave a wight in another group in case a WW died. That wight could then signal the horde with a scream, like it did. I feel like I’ve seen this somewhere before or read it too but whatever, its a good strategy.
      – Did Dany get the raven? I feel like this might be talked about next episode. I thought she left because she was worried about J and J (and the rest)? Would be nice for a little scene next episode where we find out Dany came without ever receiving the raven, just on her own.
      – Love me some dragonglass DMG +100% vs Wights with chance of instant kill. They held their own for a good bit holding down that rock, arm those Unsullied with dragonglass spears please. I especially like how the Hound changed to the daggers after seeing the hammer do nothing.
      – So people think the Night King is a greenseer like Bran? I was thinking he was just waiting them out on the rock because he’s a cocky sob. Same with the dragon, took out Vis to show he could – then stared down Jon again, just like Hardhome where he saw Jon leaving and he purposely came forward to prove his power. But as to if he set a trap to lure Dany North with dragons?
      – Sansa sent Brienne away in case she needs to deal with Arya? Knowing Brienne would protect Arya? Or at least that’s what LF was trying to tell her I think.
      – Benjen was pretty random, but as Jon got out of the water (we knew he wasn’t going to die) I started wondering how he’d escape. Hoped Rhaegal came back, Benjen was a good reminder though. Curious again if next week that loose end gets tied by Bran? Didn’t the old 3 eyed raven send messages to Benjen?

      ginny,

      Well said.

      Anyways, good episode, the views were amazing. I went to Iceland last year and I was blown away by the sites. I really do hope though that after this HBO just gives them green light for 90min episodes for all of S8, seeing that preview just makes me realize that the ends really here.

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    288. As much as I was bummed about Viserion’s death (and other things) from the episode, I keep thinking about what we saw from the wights and WWs.
      My goodness. I hope we get more about them.

      Bottom line

      You make me, “awwwww” at a wight, I want to know why.