There are so many things I’ve wanted to tell you, like how hot the summer was. How the earth is dying, and you would tell me something reassuring you’ve learned in your long life to show we’d never die, like polar bears storing water in their fur. This unbearable summer; Winter can only be longer. I hope I see you in fall, a mirage in leaves. All we as something indeterminate. The impossibility of reading. The pedestals of hope. The rhythmic crash of night.
Rhetorical Ink: Game of Thrones “Beyond the Wall” Review
**ICY, ICY SPOILERS BELOW**
So, for the first time this season, I took notes and watched the episode without the computer in front of me. I sadly had a few spoilers to this episode already, but I went in for the most part without knowing much. Now that I’ve gathered my thoughts, I can happily give –
My Top Ten Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 7, Episode 6:
10. Instead of diving into individual moments (which there were much more than 10 in this episode), I’m going to discuss individual people/groups this post. Starting with: Gendry.
I really liked the Hound calling out Gendry for his whining. It’s hard to get past that Gendry has been waiting for a battle for so long, and that he’s still at heart, “just a kid/young man.” Gendry also isn’t used to the cold…in the end, I am happy that he was sent back to the Wall to send word to Dany…with a badass hammer like that, I want to see him in a bigger battle in Season 8. With his gung-ho attitude, though…are we sure we want him to end up with reckless Arya? I know, I know, me too...which leads us to:
9. Some people complain about the writing of Jon and Dany this season, and I’ll get to those people below…if there’s anyone that I’ve been frustrated with the writing on this season, it’s been Arya. She’s just too reckless. It’s as if the House of Faces taught her no lessons discipline, just on some badass tricks, that aren’t going to do her well in the end. He scenes are odd and they actually have me rooting for Sansa, yes, SANSA, to keep a level head and get the two of them out of danger from Littlefinger…Arya, you better have some sort of weird plan out of all of this…because now Brienne is gone and Sansa’s on her own…well, we do have Bran of course. Maybe he’ll intervene next episode.
You know Sansa’s all, “Geez, my siblings are weird,” here:
8. Jorah, Jorah, Jorah, the Explorah is next on my list to discuss. I do like the discussion we get with Jon Snow, about Long Claw and his father. I’m glad that end was tied up, though I can’t help but notice Jorah’s line about giving Long Claw to “his children” to protect the realm. Is he giving Jon his “blessing” to pursue Dany? Uhm…okay? More on THAT below too. I’m glad he at least made it out of this episode to fight another day for his Queen.
7. This episode continues this season’s status as a giant set up for Season 8, and I think that none exemplified this more than Beric’s conversation with Jon Snow about death being the only enemy. It’s an interesting concept, considering that it goes in STARK (pun…intended?) contrast with the philosophy that Arya and the Bravos believe in serving/honoring the “god” that is death. Thoros, of course, succumbs to the cold after a “Grizzly” attack by a turned polar bear, and now Beric is down to his last life. Surprisingly, he lives to see another day, but I’m guessing that with the dead marching toward the Wall (where he ends up), he might not be making it through the season.
6. Of the group dialogue, Tormund’s and The Hound’s was probably the most humorous; I could not stop giggling at how much Tormund is in love with Brienne…and having the Hound simply be disgusted by it was delightful. Poor Tormund; he and Jorah are in the same one-sided love boat, but also POOR Tormund, who nearly gets eaten by the white walkers this episode…luckily the guy’s got a lot of layers of fur on him to pad that flesh down. With him at the Wall with Beric, though…I’m not sure how much longer he’ll last…long enough to reunite with Brienne? I don’t know…she’s going all the way south to probably see Jaime again, so I’m not sure about that.
5. We learn that the White Walker who reanimates the dead, once destroyed, destroys the “soul” of those dead as well, which is good to know. Now we have a way for them to “definitely” be defeated…which, of course, is going to be more difficult than it seems, but there is a way at least!
We also get the body of the corpse in possession, which was creepy enough, but at least it’s there and ready to go south…which is still an awful plan to me, but oh well…what could go wrong!? *laughs nervously*
4. Tyrion is just not having a good season, is he? He’s still alive and well, which is good, but for the last 6 seasons, he’s been able to talk sense into a lot of people and wiggle his way in and out of a lot of situations. But now that he’s up against Dany, who has no time for clever council, she’s testing a lot of his will…and on one end, you can see her hesitance to trust him after he talked back to her about the Tarley’s…mentioning Jaime probably didn’t help, especially since he murdered her father. And while I am glad that she took off to go help Jon and the others against Tyrion’s advice, there was just such a note of heartache in his voice as he begged her to stay. He really does seem to believe in her and want to help her, but you also know that if she dies…he’s pretty much screwed too. Here’s to a happier end of the season for you Tyrion; though, with you going to meet Cersei again…is that even possible?
3. Of course, we have to talk about THAT BATTLE. There was so much tension in the moments; trapped on the rock, the water melting, then re-freezing…the lead up to them all being cornered; Dany rushing in to save them…what is my #1 below…and then her saving everyone but Jon, who runs out only to fall through the ice and then crawl his way back out. When cornered finally, and all hope is lost, who shows up, but Uncle Benjen! I really like the idea of his uncle coming to save him, but…why didn’t he go with Jon Snow? Is it because he can’t go towards the Wall and was afraid he would cause Jon to lag behind? I’m not sure what the reasoning behind that was, but I’ll be sad if it’s the last we see of Benjen. The battle, though, was brutal, and if it’s a taste of what’s to come, it should get interesting! Not “Hardhome” as good, but still really tense!
2. Jon makes it back to the ship where he’s laid down to rest and recover, and Dany sees that he indeed “took a knife in the heart,” as well as some other places, for his actions. Now, some people complain that the dialogue was fan-fiction like…and I’m going to depend what happened in the scene to a large extent.
For one, the idea of Jon “Bending the knee” to Dany was brought up in the first five minutes of the episode, when Tormund teases Jon that he’s like Mance, and that by not letting go of his pride, his sacrifice and actions didn’t amount to much in the end. Jon clearly takes that to heart when he decides to place his trust in Dany, who did in fact come to their rescue and saved their sorry bums.
As for their sort of “puppy love” towards each other…these are two VERY innocent characters when it comes to romance. Jon Snow has only ever slept with one other woman, and Dany’s only ever been with Drogo and Daahrio. And even then, I wouldn’t describe them as having the savvy with wooing others as those like Oberyn Martell or even Tyrion…so their actions to me seem in-character enough. The only part I was like, “Huh?” for was when Jon called Daenerys “Dany,” but I’ll let that one word slide.
I’ve waited for six seasons for these two to meet…what were we expecting? For them to hate each other and never want to talk…we have no time for that. A war is imminent and these two realize they need to get along. And I mean, it’s Kit Harrington and Emelia Clarke…they’re not exactly hideous allies…I can see the physical attraction, and I’m for this “Song of Ice and Fire,” personally. *shoves fan girl self back into the closet*
1. Rest in Peace, Viserion. It was only a matter of time before one of the dragons died, but it was heart-breaking in any case. I’ve read some people hating Emelia’s acting in that scene, but I can see how she would just be visibly shocked…what could she do in that moment? Even when she’s with Jon, she’s trying to hide her clear heartache at the death of her child. Cersei was decisively cold and emotionless when Tommen died…but we dont’ condemn her actions then, eh?
In any case, it was ALSO only a matter of time before what we all knew was coming…ZOMBIE DRAGON. A White Walker Dragon is a terrifying concept and I’m scared to see what happens now that the scales have tipped back over into the Night King’s favor.
As I was last week, I cannot WAIT and cannot believe we’re already at the Season Finale next week!
The polar bear is uniquely adapted to life on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean,
and for millennia they have roamed the vast and pristine circumpolar
Arctic relatively undisturbed by human activities. However, climate
change has created a conservation crisis for this iconic species, and
their persistence in the wild is jeopardized by record-breaking sea ice
losses and increasing industrial-scale human activity. For nearly a decade, San Diego Zoo Global’s researchers and our US
and Canadian partners have focused on developing the best conservation
strategies to boost their wild populations. Every detail matters:
reproduction, denning, communication, available prey, formation of sea
ice, climate change, and the impact of human activities are all
evaluated. (photos courtesy of Helene Hoffman)