We’re almost to the end of Season 7 of Game Of Thrones, and things are getting a little out of control. After the events of this latest episode, we’re all hoping thing pan out okay for our fan favorites during the season finale! For now, check out our latest recap on Episode six, “Beyond The Wall!”
Thanks to Littlefinger’s meddling, the sisterly bond between Sansa and Arya has reached its breaking point. Arya and Sansa stand where their father once stood, looking down on Winterfell’s empty courtyard. Arya tells Sansa a story of her youth, when she snuck in some bow-and-arrow practice when she thought no one was looking. When she finally hit the bullseye, she heard clapping—Ned had been watching her and he approved, even though it went against the traditional rules governing gender roles. Ned always knew she was meant to be a fighter.
But Ned Stark is dead, and thanks to the note Arya “discovered” in Littlefinger’s room, she blames Sansa for it as much as the Lannisters. She pulls out the note and Sansa tries to explain the context but Arya is unmoved. She feels that Sansa, even though she was a child, should not have betrayed their family no matter what. Arya believes that if the situation were reversed, she would have died before writing that note. Arya tells her that she was there when Ned was executed and saw Sansa looking pretty, standing next to her “beloved Joffrey.” She criticizes Sansa for doing nothing to stop it, but as Sansa points out, Arya didn’t try to stop it either.
Arya and Sansa were always very different, and it would seem that Arya still sees Sansa as the would-be queen, obsessed with needlepoint and pretty dresses and stylish hair. But that isn’t who Sansa is anymore and she reminds Arya that the only reason they won back Winterfell is because she brought the Knights of the Vale. While Arya was off training, Sansa suffered unimaginable horrors. She tells Arya, “You never would have survived what I survived,” but Arya remains cold to her.
Sansa wants to know what Arya plans to do with the note and who she’s shown it to. Arya can see that Sansa is worried about it, but not because of what Jon might think. Jon would understand and forgive her and they both know it, so Arya intuits correctly that Sansa is afraid that the northern lords would no longer respect her if they learned that she had bent to the will of the Lannisters—especially Lyanna Mormont who is younger now than Sansa was when she was the Lannisters’ prisoner. Sansa does not want to look weak now that she’s finally got some power and control, and that’s exactly what would happen if the northerners found out about that note.
Sansa goes to see Littlefinger and he plays dumb about the whole thing. Sansa is worried that news of the note will push the boundaries of their army’s loyalty, which she believes is to Jon over her. Littlefinger tries to prop her up, saying the men respect her and may even prefer her to Jon, but Sansa points out that many of the northern families haven’t displayed steadfast loyalty to House Stark in the past and that she has already been married to two of their enemies. The note would likely be the last straw for some whose loyalties are already questionable.
Littlefinger tells Sansa that Arya would never do anything with the note because they are sisters and though they might not get along, Arya is not the type to betray family. Sansa points out that she would if she thought Sansa was going to betray Jon. Littlefinger suggests involving Brienne, who is sworn to protect both Catelyn’s daughters.
Sansa receives a raven—an invitation to King’s Landing—and decides to send Brienne in her place. Brienne doesn’t want to leave her alone with Littlefinger, even suggesting to Sansa that Littlefinger has influence over her guards. Brienne wants to leave Pod to protect Sansa but she says she doesn’t need protection. She sends Brienne on her way, quite harshly, and it leaves me wondering what Sansa’s plan is here.
Sansa goes to Arya’s room, presumably to find the note, and gets a bit of a shock when she finds a bag filled with stolen faces. Arya catches her in the act and tells her that she got them in Braavos while training to be a Faceless Man. She tells her about a game she used to play while she was training: the game of faces. Arya wants to play with Sansa, which entails asking her a question about herself and Sansa trying to make a lie sound like the truth. Arya asks how Sansa feels about Jon being king and if she thinks there’s someone else who should rule instead of him. Sansa refuses to play. She wants answers about the faces. Arya tells her that, because of the faces, she can be the knight she always wanted to be. She can become anybody—“even you,” she says ominously and grabs the dagger Bran gave to her. She walks toward Sansa and it’s legit terrifying as she ponders what it would be like to take her face and become Sansa. At the last moment, she hands Sansa the dagger and walks away.
Despite Arya’s travels and training, she has always been stuck in the past and obsessed with the moment of her father’s death and everyone involved in it. She’s always been hell bent on revenge, but here we see exactly how much she has changed. She never had much love for Sansa and things are even worse now that she believes Sansa is a power-hungry opportunist willing to sell out her family to get what she wants. Littlefinger put it all in motion, but I think even without his meddling there would have been friction between Arya and Sansa. The whole thing makes me very nervous for House Stark. On The other hand, there are many a theory stating that Arya and Sansa are playing Littlefinger like a harp. Hopefully we’ll find out during the finale!
Beyond The Wall:
We kick off this week beyond the Wall, where our suicide squad of fan faves (Jon Snow, Gendry Waters, the Hound, Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion, Jorah Mormont, Tormund Giantsbane, and assorted Brotherhood/Night’s Watch redshirts) trek further and further north to catch a wight by the toe. Much like Lord of the Rings, we’ve got a lot of walking and talking here, where we catch up on conversations we’ve been waiting years to hear. Firstly, Jon mediates a teasing discussion between wildling Tormund and summer child Gendry, where the two compare their respective living conditions and complain about the other’s. Tormund ends this chat by disturbing the hell out of Gendry by joking that fucking is the best way to keep warm — and, since there’s no living women around, they’ll just have to make do with what they’ve got. Jon and Tormund split off and the King in the North explains his reluctance to bend the knee to Daenerys for her assistance to his old wildling friend… and Tormund argues that that same stubborn pride is what got Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, and many of his men, killed.
Later down the walk, Thoros and Beric try and mend bridges with Gendry after selling him off to Melisandre way back in the day. He refuses to forgive them, explaining the horrific (fairly non-invasive) witchcraft she had performed on him, but the Hound interjects and asks him to stop his whinging — he survived, so things could’ve been a lot worse. Poor Gendry just can’t catch a break. Meanwhile, Jon and Jorah bond over their mutual acquaintance — Jeor Mormont, former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and Jorah’s estranged father. Jon tells him all about Jeor’s death and his personal vengeance for him, and they change subjects to Jon’s ‘father’ Ned Stark, and his exile of Jorah in the first place. While they disagree on the man’s character, they agree on one thing: it’s a damn good thing he never caught him. Pulling Jorah aside, Jon, likely eager to get rid of the cold steel on his hip, offers him Longclaw — the Mormont family sword, which had it’s pommel changed from a bear to a direwolf after Jorah’s disgrace. The two nobly try and give it to each other, but Jorah wins this battle; he tells Jon that he broke his father’s heart and Jon has earned the right to wield it, and grants it to him as the new traditional family sword for the Snowstarkgaryens of the future.
Much farther down the way, Tormund stops the Hound and tries to strike up a conversation, which the Hound snarkily avoids as ‘he doesn’t like gingers’. Tormund compares them both — calling them both ‘kissed by fire’ — and, noticing this struck a nerve, pries further into why he’s so burned up and eventually gets called gay because the Hound is still living in 1999. The wildling notes that he’s hella straight and he has a beauty waiting for him at Winterfell, but as he describes her the Hound recognizes her more and more — Brienne of Tarth, the knight who bested him in battle. Pissing Sandor Clegane off further, Tormund goes on and on about his desire to make great monster babies to rule the world with Brienne. Elsewhere, Beric and Jon are chatting it up about their shared penchant for coming back from the dead. Jon rejects the notion that the Lord of Light wants anything to do with him, and Beric agrees that he doesn’t know much about R’hllor’s desires either — he just knows that he personally fights for life, as death is the only sure enemy. The two come to an agreement: maybe the ability to defend the lives of others — being the shield that guards the realms of men — is enough reason to keep on fighting.
As the crew makes their way along through a blizzard to the mythical ‘mountain shaped like an arrowhead’ from the Hound’s vision in the flames, they see a little AT-AT in the distance. Upon realizing it’s a polar bear they halt to let it move along… until Gendry notes that this bear seems to have bright blue eyes, and it’s charging right at them. As their disposable scout comes racing back to the group in terror, he’s suddenly mauled by the zombified bear, leaving only a crimson Rorschach homage in the snow. At the ready, the gang draws their weapons and form a circle… and wait, trying to peer through the blinding sheet of snow. No matter, because the bear finds it way to them, breaking ranks and devouring a poor nobody in the back of the circle. As the men start to attack it (losing many more poor extras in the process), they end up setting it ablaze with Beric’s and Thoros’s flaming swords — right as it makes it’s way to Sandor Clegane, who is notoriously pyrophobic. Frozen with fear, the Hound nearly lets the bear maul him, until his old knot-top pal Thoros of Myr knocks him out of the way to grapple with the bear and save his life. Though the men try to ward Ol’ Frosty away, (with the Hound still staring on in horror) the great bear does quite a number on Thoros midsection before they finally are able to kill it with a swift fatal (re-fatal?) dagger to the neck from Jorah. Gendry and Beric drag the poor man to a safe(ish) area to get a look at his wounds, and it is not looking good, folks — blood is oozing out of multiple wounds everywhere, and the Hound could not look more guilty and ashamed. Jorah resolves that they need to take him back to Eastwatch, but, not wanting to waste time, Thoros downs half his flask of wine and has his dear old friend Beric cauterizes his wounds en masse with his flaming sword, and the crew carries on carrying on.
Finally out of the storm, the magnificent seven make their way up the path near Mt. Arrowhead (which, let’s be real, just looks like a regular mountain) and Jorah chats with Thoros about an old battle they attended during the Greyjoy Rebellion — the Siege of Pyke. He asks the red priest how drunk he was during the battle, and he laughingly admits he can’t even remember it. Jorah mentions how he thought he was the bravest man he ever saw that day, and Thoros jokes, with a playful nudge, that he was just the drunkest. Hearing something up ahead, Tormund shushes the gang and they peek over a ridge to see a White Walker leading a group of Winkie wights through the valley, and they decide to move quickly. Down below, the White Walker comes across a diversion campfire fire burning in the snow, and, as he looks around ahead for a sign of the source, gets flanked from behind by our gang, whoopin’ and hollerin’. As the men fight wights, Jon takes on the Walker — eventually bisecting him with his Valyrian steel blade in a shower of ice-blood, causing the bulk of the inspirited wights to collapse like… well, corpses. With no time to be surprised, they surround one of the remaining zombies and bully it into submission, as it lets out a loud warning screech letting them know it doesn’t appreciate being dogpiled on before the Hound shushes his decomposing ass. Hearing more response-screeches in the distance, the team quickly picks up pace and bags the wight’s head (so it can’t see where they’re taking him?) while tying him up, with Jon sending Gendry — the fastest of the lot — back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Dany post-haste, advising her of the trouble they’re (about to be) in. Reluctantly, he gives up his Baratheon warhammer to Tormund to speed up his snow-shuffle back to the Wall.
While Gendry “Usain Bolt’s” his way across the ice, Jon And The Marky Mark Bunch run for their ever-lovin’ lives when the literal Army of the Undead start surrounding them. As they’re trying to escape, they end up stumbling onto some very VERY fragile ice. They end up surrounded, and stranded on the island. After suffering one full night of unsettling sleep, they soon come to the realization that Thoros had died in his sleep. It’s apparent that his wound and the inescapable cold was too much to Bear. (Too Soon? Deal with it, I made that joke.) They burn his body, since they can’t risk him changing while their backs are turned. Meanwhile, Gendry has run out of steam just outside of the Eastwatch; thankfully Davos runs to the aide of his son, I mean his…adopted…you know what, they’re family now. I’ve declared it. Gendry tells him they need to send a raven to Daenerys, which Davos doesn’t question.
Back on the island of lost toys, The Hound is bored and being…well he’s completely stupid, let’s be real. He tosses stones at the Undead, but when one falls just short, the Wights and White Walkers charge forward. One after the other, Redshirts are taken and our main characters are very literally fighting for their lives. When Tormund takes a blow to the head, viewers end up on the edge of their seats. He screams for help, but it seems fruitless. Wights that had earlier fallen into the freezing waters burst through and start grabbing at his legs, but surprisingly, The Hound comes to his aide. With the order to retreat, the men following Jon begin backing up, stuck on the edge of their island and surrounded. Jon realizes the futility of the situation, so much so that it looks like he’s about to give up entirely.
Lo and Behold, Daenerys got the raven and flew to her man’s help in record time! She and her three dragons lay waste to the armies attacking, and it seems to be going well. As the gang loads up their undead catch, and begin piling onto Drogon’s back, Jon slices away at the White Walkers still attacking. Distracted, they don’t see the Night King until it’s too late. With a throw that rivals Olympic Javelin-Throwing Medalists, he launches an ice spear at Viserion and pierces his normally thick dragon hide. Dany’ watches in despair as one of her only children screeches in pain and falls from the sky, never to fly again. Viserion’s body sinks into the waters, and in a fit of rage (Probably cause you just killed his wOMAN’S CHILD YOU MONSTERS) Jon hacks away at the Wights and tells Daenerys to take them and leave. She does as he asks and flies off, and looks back just in time to see Jon get overwhelmed and vanish into the waters just like her dragon did.
As they vanish into the skies, Jon emerges from the hole he’d fallen into. Upon his “death,” the Undead Army had wandered off, but as he crunches his way across the ice, they turn back to see him. Once more he’s charged head on, and just as he’s preparing to fight to his last breath, a mysterious figure on a horse emerges and rescues him. The face mask is pulled away and Jon is shocked to see his Uncle Benjen. Jon is hoisted onto the horse and sent off, and Benjen fights off the Wights just long enough to let his nephew escape before he’s overtaken.
Finally, at the Eastwatch, Daenerys watches from the top in the hopes of seeing Jon emerge from the edge of the woods, despite knowing it’s hopeless. As she accepts that he won’t return, the horns sound and she looks down to see him. He’s taken into their care, his clothes literally frozen shut around him. They’re pried off of him and Dany gets a glimpse of the unhealed scars from the knife he very literally took to the heart for his people. Let’s be real, we know they’re related but GOD THEY’RE AN ADORABLE COUPLE, besides we’re past the shock of incest on this show at this point.
At the end of the episode, we see beyond the wall. The White Walkers have…honestly I don’t know how, but somehow they got a bunch of chains and have attached them to the dragon. As they pull Viserion from the ice, the Night King walks up to his new FREAKIN’ ADDITION. Viserion opens his eyes, which are now strikingly blue, and I sobbed like I watched my own child become a damn zombie.
Dragonstone/The Shivering Sea:
At Dragonstone, prior to the events beyond the wall, Daenerys is visibly shaken that two of her men have left on a dangerous mission. She plays it off to Tyrion saying “Drogo, Daario, Jorah, even this…Jon Snow” all try to out do each other and do stupid, brave things that get themselves killed. Tyrion looks amused and mentions that all of these men have been in love with her…she doubts Jon’s love and then says he’s “too little for her”. RUDE, girl. First of all, you’re talking to a dwarf, and second of all, are you’re seriously gonna judge the ultimate bae of Westeros on his small stature??
Tyrion then decides to bring up strategy with Dany. He tries gently to bring up her fluctuating temper and lack of a long term plan. But this is Daenerys Targaryen he’s talking to; she’s too prideful to take much advice at all. It’s her biggest character flaw. Hmmm…if only there were *someone* around who’s very humble that could even her out…
It’s like losing Viserion, seeing the White Walkers, and almost losing Jon Snow knocked Dany off of her high horse (or dragon…heh heh). As she sees Jon return and she sees the stab wounds in his chest, a Daenerys emerges that we haven’t seen in a very long time. A humble Daenerys.
Jon Snow awakens from his frozen slumber to see Daenerys sitting beside him–she looks relieved to see him wake, and he apologizes for the stupid mission right away. She responds admitting that she doesn’t regret it; now she knows the Army of the Dead is real. And she pledges to defeat them…with Jon. He thanks her…and calls her his Queen. This shakes Dany to her core–most men she’s encountered have fallen for her and bowed to her instantly. Jon is different. She takes his hand, sheds a tear, and whispers, “I hope I deserve it”. He gives her the best love eyes ever, possibly, and responds, “You do.”
Now all they have to do is convince Cersei that her fight isn’t with them – it’s with the undead that are coming for them all.