Warning: spoilers ahead!
‘Beyond the Wall’ is the penultimate episode to season 7, and like its predecessors, it comes neatly wrapped in death.
Despite this, it’s an excellent episode that broke away from the questionable plot we’ve had over the last few weeks. With the stakes rising and tension building, not everyone is bound to live to see the remaking of Westeros. Here we have seven men who go beyond the Wall, and let’s take your bets on who makes it out alive.
There are a few man-to-man conversations that occur on their trek, and while they all served a purpose, some were more significant than others. The one that comes to mind is the conversation between Jon and Jorah, during which Jon offers Longclaw to Jorah as it belongs to Mormont family. It’s an honourable gesture, but what is even more honourable is Jorah’s declination.
Now this is where things get a little intense. After encountering an undead bear, the Night King’s army surrounds the men on a frozen lake. The sheer number of White Walkers is incredibly terrifying, but not as chilling as seeing the Night King perched on the crest of a hill, watching. Gendry was sent back the Wall to send a raven to Dragonstone, and his awkward stumbling through the snow only adds to the growing tension that maybe Jon and the others won’t make it out alive.
Who did you think would live? It honestly could have been any of them. But we lose Thoros of Myr, who peacefully dies frozen after being wounded by the undead bear. The hunting party goes from seven to six, and their chances against an army of the undead are looking nonexistent.
But this is Game of Thrones. The supernatural and incredulity takes precedence, and it does not disappoint. Gendry is successful and the raven miraculously makes it to Dragonstone. Even after Tyrion speaks to Daenerys about being a better ruler, about understanding her temper and making rational decisions, she ignores the dwarf and takes her children to rescue Jon.
What follows is one of the most chilling scenes in Game of Thrones. With the lake solid enough for the undead to cross, a battle commences, one where the breathing are significantly disadvantaged. As Daenerys soars in to save Jon and his men, her dragons charring hordes of the undead, it feels like victory. Ice meets fire. You bathe in it, watching the long-standing threat lose his men. But not all battles are so sweet and Daenerys’ rash decision comes with consequences.
With a ice spear, the Night King takes down Viserion, one of Daenerys’ dragons. Screeching in pain, bleeding all over the snow, the mighty creature sinks into the cracks of the frozen lake. The elation of the rescue immediately goes cold as the mortality of her children sinks in. It’s a horrific sight,