So the penultimate episode of season 7 is here and we’re following the band of unfortunate brothers who are travelling up north, by Eastwatch to go and try to catch a Wight, going by Jons rather crazy plan devised in the last episode, the ‘suicide squad’ as I’ll call them is an interesting mix and Jon and Tormund have a little discussion at the front of the pack, over how crazy this idea is. And over Mance Rayder and him refusing to bend the knee and we all know what that got him.
Gendry complains to Thoros and Berrick over their past actions, i.e. selling him to Melisandre, who wanted to sacrifice him and all, so yeah fair dos’ to Gendry being annoyed, though The Hound is having none of it, Gendrys interactions with characters are quite fun so far, unsurprisingly. And for another interesting interaction, Jorah and Jon Snow, Jorah had bad blood with Ned Stark but all is forgiven now, more or less, with Jon respecting Jorah and his house greatly.
At Winterfell, Arya and Sansa have a bit of a bonding session, talking about past memories and their childhoods and memories of Ned in a rather charming moment… that turns sour after Arya reveals the infamous note that Sansa was forced to write, to ask for Robb Stark to come back to Kings Landing. So things are a bit tense and I’m sure Littlefinger’s happy with this wedge being driven between the two Stark sisters, Arya is not happy at all, admitting she would have rather die than have written the letter and yes she was there but also did nothing, as Sansa points out. The two of them are at an impasse, it seems, Arya wants to keep a hold of the letter and seems to be using it as leverage against Sansa because she’s angry but yeah, we don’t need any more dead Starks, so stop fighting kids!
Back up North
Tormund and The Hound have a fun interaction over The Hounds backstory and how he got burnt, they also quite humorously talk about Brienne, who as you know tried to kill The Hound, who Tormund now fancies…. awkward but I’m loving it.
Berrick Dondarion and Jon discuss the lord of light and the purpose of their mission up north. “So what are you fighting for?” Jon asks, “Life”, Berrick replies, a pretty to the point answer and a clear laying out of what he’s fighting for, death (the White Walkers) is the enemy apparently and needs to be fought against.
In Dragonstone, Dany and Tyrion discuss Tyrion and his demeanor, namely on his intelligence, which has kept him alive so far, unlike Khal Drogo, Daario, Jorah and Jon Snow (and hey two of these people are still alive at this point). The conversation turns to Kings Landing and what the plan is, if and when Dany wants to go there, Cerseis manner of ruling is highlighted in comparison to previous conquerors like Aegon, who was pretty traditional as Tyrion points out – though Dany wants to break tradition and do things differently.
The two then disagree over Danys emotions and how she reacts to situations, the recent execution of the Tarlys comes up, a controversial event for sure. And interestingly, long term planning comes up, namely Daenerys plans for Westeros after she rules and eventually dies, with there being no clear plan in place, Dany is reluctant to even entertain the idea for now.
And back north again
The squad trudges through a blizzard and can comes across a bear…. an undead bear that is and so it begins, killing a bear is one thing but it’s undead so that’s a bit difficult, even though it gets set on fire and everything. And Thoros, while injured by the bear is still okay for the time being.
In Winterfell Sansa confides in Littlefinger over the situation with Arya finding the letter, she’s worried the Northern lords will defect over news of the letter coming out and she has a valid point, with Sansa being married to and in the Lannisters presence in the past for a while. Littlefingers mind games seem to be taking shape here, with him seemingly trying to set up Brienne as a protector of Sansa, in case Arya goes full rogue. Back beyond the wall, the squad comes across a curious site and what do you know, it’s only part of the army of the dead, but where’s the rest of the army? Good question.
In what seems like a trap (that they’re setting up), the undead march to a river crossing and then clash with the squad and the dead apart from one Wight are all dispatched once their local leader is killed by Jon but not before it lets out a particular cry, so the dead Wight is captured and they can all leave. Wait…. that cry was a distress cry most likely and the whole army of the dead is coming, the rest of the squad without Gendry tries to get away but runs onto some precarious thin ice and they are swiftly surrounded, though a break in the ice takes a few of the undead and holds them, things are not looking good.
Gendry makes it back to the wall in record time and is taken in. Meanwhile of the rest of the squad essentially waits for their inevitable doom (or maybe not)…. Thoros passed away while the men were waiting sadly. And now what, I wonder what was going through Jons head, faced with all the wights around them and seemingly no hope, they still need to take the wight with them though and get back alive.
The Nights King is also present though, kill him and game over for the wights…. or so the idea is, though things won’t be that easy of course.
Further drama afoot
At Winterfell, Sansa receives an invitation to Kings Landing (by the Lannisters of course), Sansa refuses to go but calls for Brienne to do so, seemingly wisely while Brienne wants to leave protection for Sansa while she leaves, for her not to be swayed too much by Littlefinger. And really, Sansa, are you siding with the little scrote again?
At Dragonstone, Dany decides to set off to go to the North to help out the remaining squad and off she goes with her other two dragons, in what would be a fairly long trip I imagine but hey short season, characters teleporting etc.
Back beyond the wall, the squad remains waiting, while the Hound mocks them by throwing rocks, a lone wight ambles forward while others do as well, is there a plan or method to the wights attack? Maybe not but I’m sure the Night King has something in mind. Anyway the hordes of the undead march on and combat ensues in what seems like the most one sided fight in Game of Thrones since Hardhome. Tormund is almost, so closely taken down (and what a shame that would have been) but saved by The Hound.
And I mean things have looked bleak before but the fight seems hopeless, until dragonfire…. Dany and her dragons arrive (short season, it’s cool) and help to clear out large swatches of the wights in rather spectacular fashion. But not so fast, the Night King himself takes up a weapon and heads to the squad, throwing a spear at one of the dragons and killing it rather dramatically, as it sinks underwater….. Dany is devastated to say the least and now a dragon short.
Jon is taken down by some Wights and falls underwater but survives, as the remaining wights leave the area. But he is of course noticed as the lone living person by the army but holy unexpected plot point, long lonst uncle Benjen arrives in the nick of time and sacrifices himself to save Jon in the second most selfless act of the day (after Dany).
The remaining squad arrives at the wall with a wight in tow, while Darnerys thinks over the days events, still mourning her lost dragon clearly, it’s so odd seeing Dragons in the frozen wastes of the north but it makes for some great spectacle. Jon arrives on a lone horse and is taken in, just in the nick of time – no Jon, no dying for you again.
And at Winterfell, Sansa searches Aryas room out of curiosity seemingly, finding her literal face masks, though Arya finds her in typical faceless man sneaking fashion, she wants to play the game of faces with Sansa and oh how little Arya has grown and I mean it is pretty weird you have a bag of faces Arya. She seems to threaten Sansa but only appears to be doing so to intimidate her and well, it worked Sansa is aware of Aryas abilities and power now, how will she act? Will she side further with Littlefinger?
Back out at sea, Jon and Dany have a little talk, with the latter seemingly now a bit smitten with Lord Snow but importantly, she now knows the dead are real and a real threat and driven by the death of her dragon, she seems driven to action, time to unite some armies am I right? Jon accepts to bed the knee for Dany figuratively and finally, you should’ve done this like 2 episodes ago, dude.
And back up north again, the Wights have giant chains somehow and are pulling something rather large from under the ice sheet, a dead dragon that is…. an undead ICE DRAGON!? This was fan fiction for a while but it’s now reality, the Nights king walks up to the dragon and brings it back to life. Now that’s gonna be an interesting thing to deal with.
. Dany’s now onboard to fight the undead, where does Kings Landing lie in importance for her?
. So the undead Ice dragon, will breathe fiire? and The White walkers also have a way over or around the wall now so…. everyone’s screwed, presumably.
. What is Arya planning exactly, to make Sansa aware of her abilities, then kill Littlefinger? Is sansa now too scared of Arya?
And phew there is is, a long re-cap for a long and exciting, great episode with some expected Deus ex machina moments but a lot of thrilling moments as well, can’t wait for the season finale in what should be something pretty spectacular.