This Game of Thrones episode, titled “Beyond the Wall,” gives us our biggest battle with the Army of the Dead to date! Daenerys says it best when she says you have to see it to believe it. The White Walkers are a formidable foe.
Jon and the gang go on their mission to capture a wight to prove to Cersei that the threat is real during “Beyond the Wall.” Of course, things are never easy on Game of Thrones, and the Army of the Dead quickly surrounds them and a brutal battle ensues. And after seeing that battle, there’s no denying the threat is real. But is the fight hopeless? Jon and the others barely survive the battle. And that’s before an undead dragon joins the mix.
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The Stark Sisters’ Rivalry Reaches New Heights
Back at Winterfell, Arya reminisces to Sansa about how she taught herself to shoot an arrow. She kept messing up until she hit the bullseye, only to find Ned watching and clapping. Even though it was against the rules, she was doing what she was supposed to be doing. Now he’s dead. “With your help,” Arya accuses Sansa. She takes out the note she found. Sansa says she was forced to write it, that she was a child and that it was the only way to save Ned, but Arya accuses her of betraying their family. She also reveals she was there at the execution and watched Sansa stand there. Sansa points out that Arya didn’t do anything either. In fact, Sansa was the one who won Winterfell back and suffered while Arya was training. “You never would have survived what I survived,” Sansa says. “I guess we’ll never know,” Arya replies. She threatens to show the note to the Northern Lords.
So Sansa talks with Littlefinger, who pretends that he has no idea how Arya got the note. Sansa’s worried that the Northerners will turn on her or go home if they find out about it. Littlefinger sneakily says Brienne could help since she’s sworn to protect both of the Stark girls. If one of them was planning to harm the other, she would have to intercede.
Sansa then receives an invitation to King’s Landing, but she refuses to go. She wants Brienne to go instead of her, but Brienne thinks its unsafe leaving her alone with Littlefinger. Sansa doesn’t want to be babysat, but she’s being an idiot. This does mean Brienne will see Jaime again, though.
Later, Sansa sneaks into Arya’s room and finds her different faces. Naturally, she’s incredibly creeped out by it. Arya catches her and tells her about becoming a Faceless Man. She wants to play Game of Faces, but Sansa refuses. Arya says the world won’t let girls decide who they want to be, but with those faces, she can be someone else. She could even become Sansa the Lady of Winterfell. She picks up a knife and threatens to take her face, then hands the knife to Sansa and walks out. Arya is acting like a complete psychopath.
Arya and Sansa have both been through so much and have survived. It’s terrible to see Littlefinger get between them and for them to fall into their old rivalry. Can they learn to trust each other?
Does Daenerys Trust Tyrion?
Meanwhile, Daenerys talks with Tyrion at Dragonstone. She likes that he’s not a hero. Heroes do stupid things and die. They all try to outdo each other. Daenerys names a few like Drogo, Jorah and Jon Snow. They all have something else in common too, according to Tyrion: they all fell in love with her. Daenerys claims that Jon’s “too little for me,” which is awkward. And I’m not buying it.
Daenerys changes the topic to Cersei. Tyrion says they’ll be prepared for anything with two armies and three dragons. But Cersei’s going to lay a trap. Daenerys asks if they should too, but Tyrion argues against it. The Lannisters only ruled with fear, and Daenerys wants to do something more. Daenerys points out that Aegon did pretty well on fear too, but Tyrion says he created the wheel and Daenerys has said she wants to break it. Tyrion says the deal with Jaime was that Jaime would help if Daenerys didn’t do anything impulsive, no matter what Cersei says to her. Daenerys has done impulsive things, like burning the Tarlys. They argue over how necessary that was, and Daenerys ultimately accuses Tyrion of taking his family’s side. Tyrion says Daenerys needs to see things from the Lannisters’ side in order to beat them.
Then he says she needs to plan for the long-term future. She’s said that she can’t have children. What happens once she’s gone? Who will her successor be? What if she dies in the war? How will they keep her dream of a broken wheel alive? Daenerys gets super offended. She blames Tyrion for their recent losses and says they’ll discuss succession when she’s wearing the crown.
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The Army of the Dead Shows What It’s Capable Of
Most of the action occurs north of the wall, though. This episode of Game of Thrones is called “Beyond the Wall,” after all. And Jon Snow and his ragtag group are traveling north of the Wall to capture a wight.
The question is: can they all work together? They just attempt to get all their problems out in the open right now. Gendry had never seen snow before, and Tormund says you have to keep moving to survive up there. Jon also describes his predicament with Daenerys to Tormund, who reminds him that a lot of people died because of Mance Rayder’s pride. Gendry, meanwhile, is still a little pissy at the Brotherhood, but the Hound puts him in his place. Jon and Jorah also talk about their baggage with their dads. They’re both happy that Ned didn’t kill Jorah. Jon even gives Jorah the Longclaw sword that Jorah’s father had given him, but Jorah refuses it.
The Hound’s not too keen on bonding with a ginger like Tormund, though. Tormund keeps trying to talk to him. He says he looks mad but really seems sad and asks about his face and the fire. Tormund eventually talks about Brienne of Tarth waiting for him. He wants to make babies with her. It’s adorable. The Hound, of course, knows her.
Berric Dondarrion also talks with Jon. He knew Ned. He says Jon doesn’t look like him, which makes sense since he’s not really Ned’s son. They bond over how they were both brought back from the dead, and Beric says that they both serve the Lord of Light now and that the Lord of Light wants them alive for some reason. The most important thing is to know what they’re fighting for: life. “Death is the enemy. The first enemy and the last,” Beric says. “The enemy always wins, and we still need to fight it.”
Finally, they see the arrowhead mountain that the Hound had seen in the fire. They travel through the blizzard, but something appears from the distance — something with blue eyes. One of the group is immediately killed by a zombified bear! The bear attacks the group, and they fight it off with flaming swords and more. The Hound, of course, is terrified of the flames and watches while Thoros of Myr is almost killed.
Of course, that’s just the beginning. The group continues up the mountain, but they hear a noise. They look down to see a White Walker and a bunch of wights. It’s not all of them, though, and they need to keep going before the others show up, so they set a trap by starting a fire and then attack the group. Jon kills the White Walker, and nearly all of the wights collapse. There’s only one left, who they try to subdue and capture, but he makes a horrible noise. Soon, a huge horde of wights comes. Jon orders Gendry, who’s the fastest, to run back and send a raven to Daenerys. And Tormund takes his hammer, which seems like a terrible idea. The group runs, but they end up on thin ice. They make it onto a rock in the middle of the lake, and the ice starts to crack, so the wights can’t get to them. A lot of the wights fall through the ice, but the group is surrounded. They’re basically trapped.
Gendry, meanwhile, runs for all he’s worth back to Eastwatch. He passes out right by the gate and tells Davos to send a raven.
At the same time, the group is stuck at an impasse, and Thoros sadly dies while they’re sitting around waiting in the cold, so they burn his body. Jorah realizes they’ll all freeze soon. The water will also freeze, and the wights will be able to attack. He asks Jon why all those wights died when the White Walker died, and Jon says the White Walker must have created them, so Jorah advises that they kill the White Walkers so the wights they created would follow. Berric says they should kill the Night King, who just showed up. He created all of them, so the army would fall if he did. It’s a little more complicated than that.
Daenerys gets the raven and decides to take her dragons and save Jon and the others. Tyrion begs her not to go. If she does, they’re all lost. “You told me to do nothing before and I listened to you,” she says, “I’m not doing nothing again.” So she and the dragons take off.
Meanwhile, the Hound starts throwing ice at the wights. He misses and it hits the water, and they realize the water has frozen. The wights can cross the ice and attack them now. It’s absolutely terrifying. And they’re absolutely screwed.
It’s the biggest battle with the Army of the Dead yet. And they’re completely swamped and overpowered. It’s absolutely hopeless, and Jon yells to fall back. The wights almost kill Tormund, but the Hound saves him at the last minute, thank god. Still, there’s no way out. Someone falls into a group of wights and is killed, though.
That’s when Daenerys and her dragons show up and burn the place down! Hell yes, Daenerys! The group grabs their captured wight and climbs on. Everyone’s ready to go except Jon. And that’s when the Night King gets involved. He throws his sword through Viserion, killing him! This is so sad, and I am absolutely devastated, but does this mean we get a zombie dragon? Because that would be epic.
Infuriated, Jon Snow starts to head for the Night King. One of the White Walkers grabs another sword to throw, though, and Jon warns the others to go. He runs for Drogon but is pushed into the water. And Daenerys has to leave him behind to avoid the sword!
With the battle over, the Army of the Dead starts to leave, but Jon makes it out of the water, and he’s determined to fight. They all charge at him and it looks pretty hopeless again, but Benjen randomly rides in to save the day! He gives him his horse, sends Jon away and faces the Army of the Dead himself. I really thought we’d see a dragon swoop in and that Jon would be riding Rhaegal home. Oh well.
So the rest of the group make it home and get ready to bring the wight to King’s Landing, but Daenerys wants to wait longer for Jon. She’s about to give up when she sees him and the horse! They bring him on the boat with them, but he’s not doing too well.
Jon wakes up to find Daenerys watching over him. He apologizes for Viserion and holds her hand. He regrets going beyond the Wall, but she doesn’t. “You need to see it to know. Now I know,” she says. She tells Jon that the dragons are the only children she’ll ever have and, they’re going to destroy the Night King and his army together. She gives him his word. “Thank you, Dany,” he says. She doesn’t like being called Dany. Her brother was the last one to call her that. “Okay. Not Dany. How about my Queen?” he says. Finally. For a long second, it looks like they’ll hook up, but Daenerys pulls away.
Meanwhile, the Army of the Dead is busy dragging the dead dragon out of the water. The Night King touches him, the dragon opens his piercing blue eyes. That’s right. Zombie dragon is happening!
Well, the group has a wight to show Cersei. But will it really matter? Can the Army of the Dead be defeated with an undead dragon in the mix?
Do you think Jon Snow and Daenerys will hook up? Is Benjen dead? Can Cersei be convinced to join the war against the Army of the Dead? And how will they defeat an undead dragon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Game of Thrones season 7 airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on HBO. Want more news? Like our Game of Thrones Facebook page.
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV