SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.
This was the most emotionally devastating episode of Game of Thrones. Ever. At least for me. It certainly ranks high on the list of most crushing episodes in the history of the show if the early online reactions are any indication.
There was a fair bit of talk about fathers in this episode, kicked off by Jon and Jorah talking to each other about theirs. That Lord Commander Mormont served as a sort of father figure to Jon and that he saw him as sort of a surrogate son, it was interesting to see them talk to each other about him. And I suppose they kind of bonded over their fathers being honourable men who died because of their honour. And as many fans speculated, Jon did give Jorah Longclaw! But he immediately gave it back. I honestly didn’t think he would keep it.
They even briefly talked about Ned…and how he was going to execute Jorah. He was brought up again when Jon was talking to Beric, who noted that Jon looked nothing like him and must favour his mother. As we all know, Jon truly does. All of these hints and references to R+L=J and the one person who should know above all others is absolutely clueless. Jon truly knows nothing.
Ned came up again with Arya and Sansa. Arya told a story about how Ned caught her practising archery and applauded rather than punished her. It was a really nice moment to see the two sisters remembering him and the story captured who he was. Then Arya had to go and ruin by producing the letter she found in the last episode and accusing Sansa of betraying their family.
Seriously, this thing of Arya being unnecessarily antagonistic toward Sansa is annoying and frustrating. She can’t blame Sansa for writing the letter. She explained it to her; she was forced to do it and was only trying to save their father. Arya refuses to accept that as justification. Given that she knows how timid and naive Sansa was back then you’d think that Arya would understand. Instead, she’s just being indignant.
Like Sansa said, Arya was there at Ned’s execution and she didn’t do anything either. In fact, I’d argue that Sansa did far more to save their father than Arya ever did. I’m glad that Sansa didn’t take any of Arya’s crap. Of the two of them, shes the one who went about restoring their house. Arya never cared about or tried to do anything of the sort. All she wanted was to go about killing people out of revenge. She’s going after Sansa for betraying their family when she herself did nothing to help them.
Perhaps that’s where all of this is coming from. She sees where Sansa succeeded and she failed when it came to their family and she’s taking it out on her. Looking for any little thing to use against her to say that she’s a traitor. I’d like to think that Arya is well aware of what Littlefinger is doing and is playing a part, but that’s not very likely. She really should have told Sansa that she found the letter in his room when she was asked.
Speaking of the slimiest person in all of Westeros, why is Sansa even going to him about this? Not too long ago she wanted nothing to with him and or to hear anything from him. Every time he spoke to her she immediately shut him down. She knows he’s a schemer and manipulator and cannot be trusted. So why is she seeking council from him? It makes no sense at all. He 100% set her up to send Brienne away. It can’t be a coincidence that right after he told her that Brienne would defend either of the sisters should the other attack them, she got an invitation to King’s Landing; the perfect excuse to have Brienne leave Winterfell.
I am really confused about what happened in Arya’s bedroom when she caught Sansa searching it. Did she threaten her or not? Because we know what Arya can do, her telling Sansa that she could take her face and become her is most definitely a threat…but then she gave Sansa the Valyrian steel dagger in a gesture that I cannot for the life of me decipher. She’s been acting really strangely in the last couple of episode and hopefully this little story line will be resolved next week.
Tyrion really laid out Daenerys’ faults during their conversation. Her impulsiveness, her bad temper and above all her hypocrisy. She always says that she doesn’t want to be a tyrannical ruler, but she’s leaning into that pretty heavily by being unnecessarily ruthless. Case in point – as Tyrion points out – burning Randyll and Dickon Tarly. She’s also really stubborn and doesn’t know when to listen.
Tyrion raised some very good points about the succession if she wins the thrones. I really don’t think that Daenerys is barren. I think that somehow Mirri Maz Duur’s prophecy will play itself out before the series ends and she will be able to have children. I’m hoping that’s the case, because I really want her and Jon to make Stark/Targaryen, Ice and Fire babies. Introducing voting is one to go about the succession and it’s not a foreign concept to the Westerosi as Tyrion pointed out. The only thing is how the would specifically implement that.
How lucky was the Magnificent Seven and friends that they just so happened to chance upon a small group of wights with one White Walker and not the whole dang army? Really though, how exactly were they going to go about finding a wight to capture? Were they planning on just wandering around north of the Wall until they just bumped into one? Like pretty much what actually did happen?
In any case, their venture gave us a pertinent piece of information. White Walkers and wights work like the sire lines in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals; if you kill a White Walker you kill every wight that it created. Seeing as the Night’s King is, well, the king of all White Walkers and he is the one who makes more White Walkers…does that mean that if you kill him you kill them all? Did we just find a way to get rid of the White Walkers for good? Beric seems to think that’s the case. If so, all of Sam’s hard work was for nothing. Perhaps he’ll confirm this later.
I do feel it necessary to point out that we didn’t see this happen at Hardhome when Jon killed his first White Walker. Granted, at the time there were no wights around for him to see that happen to. And with it being a huge battle, wights were dropping left and right anyway so if it had happened no one would have noticed that that was why. Still, I don’t think that this was always a thing and that the writers only just came up with it. Of course, it could also be something they got from George R. R. Martin that they only now decided to include.
Thank the Old Gods, the New and R’hollor that the wights screwed up by jumping on that one random dude and broke the ice. Otherwise, Daenerys would never have had time to fly from Dragonstone to rescue the Magnificent Seven. It was 100% percent a plot convenience to be sure, but it was a fairly clever way of dealing with that. Although, it still felt like she got there pretty darn fast.
Daenerys could have gotten there and just picked them up and ran too, if Sandor hadn’t screwed the pooch by throwing rocks at the wights. I knew he was going to end up revealing to them that the water had frozen over again. His taunting the wights got everyone into an avoidable battle.
Not that I didn’t care about the other six, but I really wanted Tormund to live more than anyone else. I was certain he was about to bite it when those wights tried to pull him into the water. Mostly because he’d spoken about how taken he is with Brienne and how he wants to start a family with her. That’s my dream for him too! I really want Tormienne to happen. Maybe a little more than Jon and Daenerys (Jonerys? Jaenerys? Jany? Don?). Characters who discuss their dreams usually die in an episode with a big battle.
I know that I said that I wanted one on the dragons to die…but not like this and not in this context. I wanted one of them to die at the hands of Cersei, not the Night’s King. I was also really angry with Daenerys when I said it so…it doesn’t count. Damn though… it really hurt. More than I thought it would have. Daenerys’ face and Drogon’s weeping (You can’t tell me that that isn’t the sound a dragon makes when it cries!) really drove it home. I’m fairly certain that it was Viserion who died; the wing membranes looked gold.
Narratively, it works better for Viserion to have been killed by the Night’s King. He is the ultimate threat. In so doing, Daenerys is now fully aware of how dire the situation is and what the Night’s King is capable of. Like she said to Jon, she now sees. Furthermore, it just motivates her to abandon the war with Cersei instead of waiting around for the armistice to go North. Waiting on that wastes time.
As soon as I saw those wights hauling giants chains I knew what was about to happen. I was lulled into a false sense of security. Because the Night’s King hadn’t immediately raised Viserion after killing him, I thought that it wasn’t going to happen. But it did! Seeing Viserion die hurt, but seeing him turned into a wight broke me. I was fine-ish until that happened.
Nothing, not one thing that has happened on Game of Thrones had ever upset me as much as that did. Not Ned’s beheading, not the Red Wedding, not Margaery’s death or Rickon dying or even Hold the Door (and up until this point that was the only sad thing on this show that had managed to make me cry). It took me completely by surprise how utterly devastating that moment was.
Daenerys is going to have to fight one of her babies. Drogon and Rhaegal are going to have to fight their brother. They’ll have to kill him! I’m simultaneously excited for and dreading the moment when Daenerys finds out that Viserion was turned into a wight and she has to do battle with him. If there’s any consolation in this, it’s that we don’t have to worry about who the third head of the dragon/third dragon rider will be (sorry Tyrion), because it’s the Night’s King.
- Even Tormund is reminding Jon of Mance’s refusal to bend the knee.
- You know where she got the letter from Littlefinger.
- That wight just sounded the alarm! The storm is coming! White Walkers bring the storm confirmed!
- They weren’t that far from Eastwatch.
- R.I.P. Thoros of Myr.
- Did Beric have to point the sword at the Night’s King and make it so obvious?
- She took all three dragons!
- Daenerys is so there for Jon and no one else.
- Ha! Sandor impaled the wight on Drogon’s spike.
- That is a lot of blood…
- If Jorah falls off this dragon…
- Uncle Benjen!
- Ask about his scars Daenerys!
- He called her Dany! He bent the knee! KISS HER ALREADY!
- Dammit Night’s King!
*Side note: Clegane Bowl confirmed? Sandor is taking the wight to King’s Landing after all…
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.