Game of Thoughts: Beyond the Wall (7.6)

21 Aug

Hello and welcome to Game of Thoughts! I’m still alive and carving time out of my busy weeks for some Game of Thrones goodness. These posts WILL contain spoilers. They are nothing more than a recap and chance for GoT fans to have a bit of a natter and react as situations permit. They were inspired by the incredible, in-depth and insightful posts of Patrick Sponaugle, except his are intelligent and mine are just squeeing. 

Got-DAM that was some good stuffs! Let’s dive in!

First of all, there are some things that are dumb and I will only mention them here: No, Jon didn’t need to offer Jorah Longclaw, and no, the kid who’s never seen snow is not making it back to the Wall by himself with no supplies and no weapons, I don’t care how much rowing Gendry’s done. I’m not sure why the Others are suddenly fast zombies either, but whatever, we’ve got bigger fish to fry!

Beyond the Wall

  • I love these dudes. These are good, good dudes. Bickering, banter, and Beric Dondarrion chatting with Jon about coming back from the dead. Good times that of course don’t last. Tormund is a deep thinker, the Hound is not sure how he feels about Tormund’s plan to make giant babies with Brienne, and Gendry trades rowing for running. Joe Dempsie must be in STUPID good shape by now.
  • Suddenly, zombie snow bear and Thoros is wounded. It’s kind of fitting that he goes out providing warmth for the rest of the group – Good bye, Thoros. I will miss your jokes, your flaming sword, and your eensy manbun.
  • Our dudes are surrounded on a frozen lake, The Hound gets bored and makes a poor decision, and Jon ravens the tower for immediate evac  sends Gendry to send a raven to Dragonstone so Danaerys can airlift them out.
  • Just when we get an idea of how to take down ALL the Others and White Walkers, Night’s King shows that he’s got his own secret anti-dragon weapons. What upset me most about this episode was the terrible picture on my hotel tv – I couldn’t tell what color the dragon was that went down. I think it was Viserion, the cream and brownish one.

Winterfell

  • Games are being played. At first I was sure that Arya and Sansa were pretending to fall for Petyr’s bullshit trap, but now I’m not so sure.
  • HOT TAKE: I’m thinking the real Littlefinger has been dead for a while and Arya’s masquerading as him to feel out which of Sansa’s people are loyal.
  • Arya learned the Game of Faces in Braavos, but Sansa learned the Game of Thrones in King’s Landing. They’re equally matched in terms of chicanery.
  • I’m not thrilled that Brienne is going south, but I do hope she and Jaime are reunited and he gets back on the Program. The ‘Not Banging Your Sister And Playing Her Mindgames’ program. But I am sad she will probably not be seeing Tormund again any time soon, as it seemed like he was staying in Eastwatch.

Jon Snowball

  • I figured SOMEONE would rescue Jon, but I sure as shit wasn’t expecting Uncle Benjen to show up. It was a great last scene and it made want to have Benjen’s undead babies.
  • I think Benjen’s horse must have been undead too, otherwise it wouldn’t have survived in that climate. But yay getting Jon back to the wall! Maybe they all should have undead horses.
  • Fun fact: Some jackwagon posted that scene of the Others hauling the dead dragon out of the water and Night’s King rebooting its OS to Snowzombie.exe. So I invite that person, whoever they were, to fornicate themself with a stick. SPOILSPORT!
  • Danaerys seemed weirdly serene in that moment when her dragon died. It was an odd emotional beat that felt wrong. This is a woman who has lost one child (way back in season 1, when she was pregnant but her baby was born gross, scaly and dead because of black magic) and to lose another is… well I can’t imagine. Maybe I missed it but she had the same look I get on my face when the long search for my car keys has ended (plot twist- they were in my hand the whole time).

The Loooooooove Boat…

  • After fighting for your life, being nearly burned to death, being dunked in a frozen lake, riding horseback dozens of miles in a snowstorm and having your frozen clothes peeled off, you might not feel like doing the horizontal mambo.
  • …But then again, you might, and GOSH was there a lot of eye-banging going on in that cabin. Everyone needs someone who looks at them them way Jon Snow looks at Dany. And vice versa.

This week’s episode felt rushed, but DAMN am I ready for next week’s season finale. GOD this has been a hell of a season. Although I love the show, I love the books more and differently, and I will add my voice to the many others crying out for the next book.

Thanks for reading as always, and have a great week!

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6 Responses to “Game of Thoughts: Beyond the Wall (7.6)”

  1. lkeke35 August 21, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    I do not love this show the way some people seem to. I have never read the books. I watch the show off and on, about once or three times a season. I know enough to know the names of all the top characters and who doing what to who. I have missed and skipped whole seasons.

    But Last Night!!!!

    But Girl! I was shook last night, though! I need medication. I was messed up for the whole night after that sht. I was emnotionally fcked up! I loved all the White Walker scenes, the dragons against the Night King, and so far I’ve managed to follow all the Arya, Sansa, Littlefinger stuff.

    And that ending! OMG! I can’t wait for the finale because fcking Ice Dragon!

    • jennnanigans August 26, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

      I get it! My coworker doesn’t watch it but the first thing he said to be Monday morning was ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ — and I knew what he meant!
      Yes! It’s popping off FOR REAL this season and soooooo gooooood!

  2. Carlos Diaz August 21, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    Such a great episode! AV Club gave it a “B”, the lowest grade this season, due mostly to the compression of time and sheer amount of information they need to impart in said time. But some of those reviewers, though thorough in their discourses, are kinda whiny if you ask me. Anyway….

    I need to have a discussion with my sons. I started the show about a half hour late (I don’t have cable, per se, I use the HBO.GO app on my xbox, and there was some activation shenanigans I had to wade through before getting the app back up and running last night), and as the wights were closing in and Gendry was pulling his Hussein Bolt of the North impersonation, my phone buzzes aggressively. I look and see a text from my son, and everything in me screamed, “don’t fucking read it!!!”…so I read it… He had texted me in all caps “OMG ZOMBIE DRAGON!!”

    God dammit….

    Now, this wasn’t a HUGE spoiler; hell, the “coming attractions” poster for season 7 I saw back in April kinda spoiled that. But I wanted to experience that myself, THEN frantically text my sons back and forth about the zombie ice dragon, which really was one of the coolest moments in the show! But seriously, boys….we need to discuss what is and isn’t appropriate show discussion via text during the very sensitive time frame of 9 to 11 pm Sunday night! Onto my musings…

    1) The Beyond the Wallers…The Ballers!! Ahem…sorry… Their walk and talks were delightful highlights of the show. There needs to be a Tormund’s Guide to Life book, because that guy has it all figured out.

    2) One of the biggest knocks against this episode was the relative merit of the plan to capture and return a wight to King’s Landing. I couldn’t argue with the idea that Cersei would need an angry, screaming animated corpse running around the throne room to fully grasp the idea that an army of these things is at the very least worthy of a BIT of concern. Quite frankly, I would LOVE to see a screeching, snarling wight in the throne room making people shit themselves with fear and revulsion! I can also see Qyburn would be that annoying guy who’d want it for himself, because he’d want to study it and secretly expand his own brand of making an undead army like a one-man military industrial complex. But I don’t see the magnificent seven (six…RIP, Thoros) just handing it over.

    3) That fucking bear! It startled the shit out of me; literally, spilled beer everywhere! Because I’m the idiot who leaned in, squinting at supposedly some kind of animal in the far distance through a snowstorm, then BOOM!! Zombie bear in my face! If there is a producer who said, “do the thing where it’s hard to see something so people really get in close and then hit them with it!!!”, congratulations. You got me. But this also goes to my morbid fear of giant, zombie bears, thanks to a little piece of shit horror movie from the 70s called “Prophecy” I saw as a kid that featured, you guessed it, a giant, howling, mutated (this was during the fear of nuclear power era, so mutated things on a killing spree were big back then because undead stuff was still the realm of crappy B movies) bear ripping its way around a wooded area and killing people left and right. I digress…

    Zom-bear spent a lot of time on fire, I figured it would been engulfed a lot sooner! Are there dire-bears in Westeros? Credit to Jorah for giving the final, killing blow.

    4) My inner D&D geek was just pinging off the charts last night in the wake of the camera tracking around the heroes as they brandished various magical weapons in preparation for the wight attack. I was adding up stats in my head as they appeared: fighter with Silver Hammer +1, ranger with Longclaw, +1 valerian steel, +5 against White Walkers, fighter, barbarian, and paladin with dragonglass swords and axes, +3 against wights, and watching Beric and Thoros (fighter/clerics) ignite their fire swords…I was almost overwhelmed with geek pride!!

    4) The Arya/Sansa friction is just not resonating with me. Both of them have been through so much and have gone through tremendous changes and horrific experiences, you’d think, seeing as how their reunion seemed to be warmer than that of Bran’s return, they’d go over their individual lives up to that point. There seems to be a lot of snap judgments based on old or faulty data, and Sansa defaults to defensive teenager a little too easily in the face of Arya’s accusations. It all seems a little much for me to believe that two clever women are either falling for all of this or being too stubborn to realize the truth.

    Exactly what does Littlefinger stand to gain from the sisters fighting? Is he hoping that Arya would somehow get put out of the picture so he can consolidate his power with Sansa?

    5) Aw, man, is Jon really going to die this time!? NO! Because Benjen “Coldhands” Stark is a freaking deus-ex-rockandrolla!! I probably woke my neighbors cheering his return with that fire-mace-chain thingy whipping around and laying undead fools OUT! It was a fine, heroic end to a fantastic character.

    6) Jon is still completely unaware of his actual heritage, despite being on boop-the-snoot level with Drogon, but doesn’t Daenerys have a much better clue about what’s going on…relationship wise with Jon? She knows about dragons and the Targaryan relationship with them, isn’t she a the very least suspicious of Jon’s heritage and how that would play out with her apparent fetish for guys with heinous scars? I know I come from a place of already knowing who’s who, but it all rings creepy to me.

    7) The posts on the bed in Daenerys’s ship had those rings attached to them. Are those… handles!?….or used for restraints…!? I couldn’t shake the nefarious thoughts when I saw them, because they seemed to be framed so prominently in a scene already fraught with unabashed sexual tension. I’ve been single way too long…

    8) Did Daenerys bring a tailor from Meereen or something? Her outfits have been pretty amazing all season, but that winter coat was on point! That silver baldric has been a staple of her wardrobe, does it mean more than I think it does, or is it just an accessory?

    9) Ok, now for the important part — DRAGONS!!

    First, I have questions…

    Why didn’t they just end it RIGHT. THERE! The dragons decimated the wight army, all the white walkers were standing there, a few more attacks and BOOM! It’s over! Of course, there is the Night King and his magical icy harpoons, but I think the dragons could have “dracarys’d” all of them before any more damage could have been done.

    Wait a minute. WAIT. A. MINUTE. Where in the hell did a wight army all of the sudden have few hundred yards of industrial metal chain!? I guess they could have brought them from Hardhome; the chains did have a nautical or anchor look to them that might have been laying around a fishing village, but damn. I’ll have to watch the Hardhome episode again and see if I can find those chains laying around. It would have been cooler (and more “convincing”) if the chains were made of magic ice the white walkers created. Can’t deny dragging the dead dragon (more on who the dragon was in a moment) out of the icy water with said chains looked impressive.

    Much discussion on the relative timeline of the dragon attack. First, they didn’t really mention, but that mountain was the Fist of the First Men, correct? I looked it up, and the Fist is about 200 km (approx. 120 miles) from Eastwatch. So Gendry trotted all the way back (no rest, no food, but who knows, there’s not enough screen time to watch him take a nap) to Eastwatch, that might have taken a couple days, maybe? A raven to Dragonstone, perhaps a day, maybe two, for one to make it that far? Daenerys puts on her outfit and rallies the dragons up to the north, another couple days or maybe one day of hard flying, so conservatively, a week goes by between getting caught on the ice lake island and getting rescued by Daenerys. I can see that. But in 20 minutes of screen time, putting those things together was distracting. No wonder the Hound got bored and started throwing rocks at the wights…!

    So which one was it!? Even in the behind the scenes HBO snippets, Weis and Benihof were maddeningly vague about it, always citing “THE dragon” or “it”, never by its name. It was also unclear based on the color alone since all three are dark colored, but the general consensus was that it was Viseryon, the white dragon. Dany is always on Drogon, and the green color of Rhaegal is usually apparent. So much for the three-headed dragon and Tyrion is a Targaryen theories!

    Final thoughts:

    What’s the over/under on the wall coming down next week?

    “…Night’s King rebooting its OS to Snowzombie.exe” Snerk! That made me snort laugh. 😉

    Next week, on the season finale, it’s 81 minutes long!!! So exciting!

    C

    • jennnanigans August 26, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

      “Talk to your children about spoilers, before someone else does.” 😀

      -Yes, every time they flame on those swords I get a little ‘HELL YEAH’ moment. SO cool! I hope The Hound has some kind of spiritual conversion and he’s all for preserving life and like, he can do that because what a GREAT narrative arc that would be. And THEN— CLEGANEBOWL!!! [loud emotions]

      -I think the Arya/Sansa thing is some kind of clever ruse, but I’m not sure whose pulling the strings. I can’t IMAGINE two women who’ve been through what they have are going to fall into that kind of petty bullshit now.

      – Ice chains – I keep seeing this mentioned places and I keep thinking how we have seen literally nothing of the culture of the White Walkers, no buildings or anything. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And for all we know those chains were made of frozen mud or water.

      – Danaerys’s outfits – YES. SO sharp!

      – Jon seems to be unaware, and I think they’re leading up to a big reveal on that point.

      Man, I just start thinking about the season finale and get short of breath. I. CAN’T. EVEN.

  3. patricksponaugle August 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    “I figured SOMEONE would rescue Jon, but I sure as shit wasn’t expecting Uncle Benjen to show up. It was a great last scene and it made want to have Benjen’s undead babies.”

    Same.

    Hey, I’m glad you mentioned Benjen’s horse. That animal is my MVP, for sticking with Benjen forever, and not being afraid to charge into a horde of wights.

    That horse needs to be taken to Winterfell, stabled well, and fed all the apples and brushed all the time.

    • jennnanigans August 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

      Ha ha, yes! That horse should live to a ripe old age and have a soft retirement. Which is way, way more than any of our characters can expect.

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