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Ladies and Gents, a man has returned from the frozen depths of hell to bring you the Unsullied, untenable recap of shock and awe that could only be matched by the coldest shower you can imagine. I felt like I needed a blanket for the entire duration.
This shit was cold.
Beyond the Wall was chock-full of revelations and realizations that maybe we thought possible along the way and then ultimately came to fruition. Let’s be honest… the episode had its issues. But the inaugural meeting of ice and fire has been recorded, and for the first time, I honestly feel like it’s all happening wayyyy too fast…
For all of the remarkable things Beyond the Wall brought us, it arguably towed with it some equally frustrating moments. You guys and gals know that I’m somewhat of a pushover for whatever the show gives us. But throughout, I’ve also tried to be brutally honest even when my recaps were partially negative.
So, let’s be clear… I loved the episode. But there were glaring issues that at times screamed, “let’s get this shit over with.”
I completely approve of the “previously on” segment featuring old occurrences that may have been fuzzy to a casual viewer. We were taken back to Season 1 multiple times with refreshers relating to Jon and Sansa.
The Significant Seven
Whoever wrote the dialogue for the scenes depicting the Seven on the trek to catch a Wight did a very entertaining job (credited to D&D). I’ll point out my fav quotes as usual below, but here are some highlighted points:
- Tormund talks to Jon about not bending the knee and how it got Mance and lots of his people killed over his pride.
- Thoros explains to Gendry why they sold him off to Red Velvet.
- Jon and Jorah talk about their fathers leading up to Jon attempting to give Longclaw back to him. Of course, Jorah refuses.
- Tormund and the Hound’s dialogue together was television GOLD. Tormund’s description of Brienne made the Hound realize who he was referring to. They’re going to make monster babies together. It is known.
- Jon and Beric dialogue was great all-around. Beric points out that Jon doesn’t look like his father. They discuss serving the Lord of Light and that they’ve both been brought back. When Jon asks why, Beric says that they are fighting the enemy. See quotes below. Beric Dondarrion is the coolest-talking fucker on the show.
The crew eventually come to the arrowhead mountain that the Hound saw in the flames. Indeed, they are close.
It’s Getting Cold in Winterfell
Arya recalls memories with Sansa about her growing up shooting arrows, knowing what she was doing was wrong but doing it anyway. Then Arya reads the note Sansa wrote to Robb asking him to swear fealty to Joffrey. Sansa pleads that she was a child and was forced to do it, but Arya is having none of it, pointing out that being child was not an excuse and using Lady Mormont as an example.
Sansa points out that Arya didn’t come running up to save Ned either, but Arya snaps back that she didn’t betray anyone in order to get what Sansa ultimately wanted… to be the Queen.
Sansa then takes credit for the reason they are both standing in Winterfell at all and that the Knights of the Vale came for her while Arya was off “traveling the world.” She attempts to tell Arya what she has been through which has little effect. Sansa then exhibits concern with what Arya will do with the letter, knowing that she could quickly lose support of the Northern Lords. To be continued…
The Fire Was So Delightful, But Wasn’t
Dany and Tyrion were warm until they weren’t. Dany voices her appreciation of the fact that Tyrion is not a hero, always attempting to outdo someone else. She names Drogo, Daario, Jorah and Jon and Tyrion points out that they were all in love with her.
The dialogue then shifts to Cersei and how she is likely setting a trap. Once again, Tyrion tries to reason with Dany about not using deceit and mass murder, reiterating the conversation Tyrion had with Varys about getting Dany to listen. The “how are you different” theme emerges again as well and then Tyrion boldly tells Dany that she has been known to lose her temper.
Tyrion continues by telling Dany of the importance of understanding her enemies and thinking long-term about carrying on her work after she is gone. Dany responds that she will worry about it after she is on the throne. Her responses may have been more troubling if not for the events later on that will likely make Dany reflect on exactly what Tyrion was trying to get across.
The Bear Beyond the Wall
Back up North, the situation is about to get ugly. In the distance, the men spot a bear (a “big fucker”) with blue eyes. One of the wildlings gets obliterated and then the rest of the crew are attacked by the snow bear from Hell.
The Hound attempts to help Thoros but is still haunted by his memory of fire. Then Thoros gets the Leo Dicaprio Revenant treatment before Jorah takes it out. Thoros survives for the moment, has a drink and then gets seared shut by the flaming lightsaber.
The Dirtball is Effecting
LF meets with Sansa to discuss her concerns with the Lords finding out about the letter and them not needing a good excuse to go home. Sansa tells LF that Arya would betray her if she thought she was going to betray Jon. He brings up Brienne and that she is sworn to protect both of them. If one of them were going to harm the other, she would be forced to intercede.
The assumed effect: Divide the sisters even further, and get Brienne out of the picture.
Capturing the Wight
The band of Brotherhood come up on a small group of Wights and a White Walker and attack from behind. When Jon destroys the Walker, conveniently all but one of the Wights disintegrate giving them their prize. This would set off a string of issues in my mind in what followed.
The army of the dead would encroach shortly thereafter prompting Jon to send Gendry back to Eastwatch to get a raven to Dany telling her what’s happened. Apparently, that meant, “tell her we need some fucking help.”
Why was the ice cracking? I realize this is somewhat nitpicking, but how freakin’ cold is it supposed to be beyond the wall? After all, it is snowing pretty heavily in Winterfell. It would be logical to surmise that it is likely a hell of a lot colder north of Eastwatch, and that shit should be solid.
However, it did setup the waiting game as the weight of too many wights obviously is enough to break through the ice. And give Dany time to get there. OK.
But how long does it take for Gendry to get back to Eastwatch? How long does it take for a raven to fly from Eastwatch to Dragonstone? How long does it take for Dany to fly with three dragons from Dragonstone to beyond the Wall?
I am well aware that time as we knew it before in this world really does not depict a true continuum. I have been one of the writers who has defended it… up until this point.
This scene was remarkably different as it depicted a group of men in a dire situation in real time, none of whom had any business surviving this predicament. And let’s be honest… even if you could overlook the jetpack, “beam me up, Scotty” scenario, the cold alone should have been enough to kill them.
Once the Hound threw the rock and the wights began to encroach, they were incredibly outnumbered. And even at the pace in which the wights were making it to the platform where they were trapped, all of them should have realistically been killed.
Of course, we’re talking about dead people attacking half-frozen people. So, realism is somewhat checked at the door when you enter anyway.
We could nitpick this and other details all week, and many of us probably will. Let’s come back to this in a minute with a more positive outlook.
Sansa receives an invitation to come to King’s Landing and decides to send Brienne. The big woman states that it is not safe to leave Sansa there with Littlefinger, but Sansa sends she and Pod anyway.
Later, Sansa snoops around Arya’s chambers and finds the faces. Arya tells Sansa about the simple game she used to play in Braavos that revolved around telling the truth. Arya tells her about being able to be whoever she wants to be and makes Sansa believe that she may, in fact, kill her.
I can only see this going one of two ways… either one of the sisters is going to kill the other, or one (if not both) of them is going to find out that LF is pulling strings and they are going to kill him.
I just hope this whole “sister act” thing ends up netting something relevant to the overall story.
Let’s attempt to move forward while admitting there were issues but also realizing the importance of what was about to take place.
RIP, Thoros of Myr. Paul Kaye has always been one of my favorite actors in the series. Pour one out for Paul.
Again, they all should have been dead. With seven episodes remaining and Dany in route, we all knew that wasn’t going to happen. But when Tormund got taken down, the joyous idea of Tormund and Brienne living happily ever after and raising monster babies waned quickly. Yet, the Hound somehow saved him.
In a scene that resembled many before, Jon looks around and believes this is it.
But then the dragons swoop in with Dany on back and save our boys from the frozen hell.
Just as it appeared that the five remaining would make it out, the Night King grabs his dragon-killing javelin and launches it, striking and sending Viserion to watery grave. I assume there is some kind of significance of the ice spear taking out the fire-breathing dragon so easily. Maybe we’ll find out. But regardless, then there were two.
As the Night King reloads, Jon orders them all to leave. As he is running back, he is tackled into the water by dead swimmers and the others are forced to leave him behind. Jon somehow escapes the ice-water and is saved by out-of-nowhere Uncle Benjen. who puts Jon on his horse and takes one for the team.
The Hound gets put in charge of transporting the wight as Dany watches over the Wall for any sign of Jon. Once he is there, Jon and Dany share a moment on the ship and Dany not only realizes the person Jon truly is, but that their enemy is common. And it’s not Cersei. Jon says that he will bend the knee if he could, and we almost had our first Targaryen kiss-action.
And just when you thought it was over…
Episode 706 Personal Awards
Favorite Action Sequence: The javelin taking out Viserion was a fucking shock. The Night King was a former olympian.
Favorite (or significant) Quotes:
“Down south the air smells like pig shit.”
“You’ve never been down south.”
“I’ve been to Winterfell.”
“That’s the North.” -Tormund and Jon
“Walkings good. Fighting’s better. Fucking’s best.” –Tormund
“Your lips are moving and you’re complaining about something. That’s whinging.” –The Hound
“This one’s been killed six times. You don’t hear him bitching about it.” – The Hound
“I didn’t betray him. I didn’t betray Robb. I didn’t betray our entire family for my beloved Joffrey.”- Arya
“You never would have survived what I survived.” – Sansa
“You want to suck my dick, is that it?” “Dick?” “Cock.” “Oh, dick. I like it.” -Tormund and the Hound
“Not with her yet. But I see the way she looks at me.” -Tormund about Brienne
“Death is the enemy. The first enemy and the last. The enemy always wins. And we still need to fight him. That’s all I know.” -Beric
“We can defend those that cant defend themselves.” -Beric
“I am the shield that guards the realms of men.” -Jon
“He’s too little for me.” –Dany referring to Jon
“You need to inspire a degree of fear. But fear is all Cersei has. It’s all my father had, and Joffrey. It makes their power brittle because everyone beneath them longs to see them dead.” –Tyrion
“You need to take your enemies side if you are going to see things the way they do. And you need to see things the way they do if you are going to anticipate their actions, respond effectively, and beat them.” –Tyrion for President
“I just got bit by a dead bear. Funny old life.” -Thoros
The “Ow, That Shit Hurts Award” goes to: Thoros getting seared shut, the random Wildling getting torn apart, and Viserion getting the business.
Jackass Award: When this award is given, you know LF will be involved. But Sansa sending Brienne off seemed odd. If anyone needs protection, it’s Sansa.
Overall Thoughts: Look, I loved the episode even with its missteps and inconsistencies. The locations and scenery were breathtaking and with the CGI, there is no question where the budget is going.
Could this episode been split in two? Yes. In fact, it may have helped with the timing of the raven getting to Dragonstone and then Dany getting to Iceland. A week’s break in between may have made this whole ordeal a little more reasonable.
Plus, I came to the realization last night that we only have one more episode and I’m admittedly pretty pissed. I understand the reasoning, the budget, the other variables involved, etc. But it doesn’t mean i have to like it. This episode made it feel more rushed. Then again, maybe I just don’t want to see it end.
Ok… enough of the whinging. Question: does a wight dragon breathe fire or ice? Reference: How to Train Your Dragon Part 2.
What did you guys and gals think? Am I being too harsh? Are my emotions surrounding the fact that we only have one more episode skewing my thoughts?
Let me know! Until next week, hang out and stay awhile. Invite an Unsullied to join us. And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz
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