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GoT S7E6 Raven On Recap: Beyond the Wall

Posted August 21 into Raven On by girlclumsy

DEATH IS THE ENEMY AND YES I AM DEAD THEY KILLED ME I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES THEN A FEW MORE FOR GOOD MEASURE I AM DEAD VERY DEAD DEAD DEAD

Hey, remember that Loot Train Battle from, I don’t know, two episodes ago? Remember how we were all like, THAT WAS EPIC AND AMAZING AND HOW CAN THEY TOP THAT?

Episode Six just rocked up and said HOLD. MY. BEER.

Magnificent Seven! Male bonding! Panserbjørn! Red shirts! Wight supremacists! Gendry inventing the marathon! Dragonfire! Falcor rescue! Dead dragon! Deus Ex Benjena! ICE DRAGON!

But most of all, my Beloved Throners...

JON SNOW WITH HIS SHIRT OFF! AAAAABBBBBBBSSSSSS!

Oh my sweet precious darling. My tender juicy lamb. My meaty shank of pork. My reanimated bit of rough. You really are too beautiful to die…. again.

It almost looked like his hair was out of its man bun too, spilling over those soft pillows in much the same fashion as I spilled tears throughout that whole viewing experience.

Also Jon was holding Dany’s hand a little too tightly and apparently he’s definitely in love with her now and is bending the knee and she was looking at him all lovey-dovey too and GODS I AM STILL VERY CONFLICTED ABOUT ALL OF THAT.

You see, I wanted to be Jon’s nurse, on call around the clock, dabbing tenderly at his… brow. I already have the uniform. I bought it from an adult store. Let me take your temperature, Jon. The thermometer that came with the uniform is very soothing.

The ice dragon. ARRRRGGGGHHHH. There’s the obvious tragedy of Dany losing one of her precious children and the Night King gaining a terrifying super weapon, but the same icy javelin that took the creature’s life also skewered one of the most popular conspiracy theories about Game of Thrones - that three Targaryens would ride the three dragons. I’m glad, because I never wanted Tyrion to be the other secret Targaryen, along with Jon. No sirree. Now, with only two dragons, can we expect to see Jon one day ride Rhaegal? Can we say that dragon’s name again? RHAEGAL? Named after RHAEGAR, Jon’s true father?!?!?!

Also - Sansa? Arya? YOU GIRLS BEHAVE. I did not like EITHER of you this episode, and you know I have always been in both of your corners. I also will admit to not really understanding why the HELL kind that kind of dick-swinging was going on between two young women WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER not to ape the fricking patriarchy that they have so far so gloriously defied.

Seriously, it’s like the Taylor Swift/Katy Perry feud. Or the Taylor Swift/Nicky Minaj feud. Or the Taylor Swift/Kim Kardashian feud. I can’t get onboard. It has to end. These two should be singing duets, not throwing shade. They need to SHAKE IT OFF. Also T-Swizzle needs to release some new music pronto because my topical references are getting really dated.

Oh, wait, I referenced The Neverending Story before. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s going to be all dated pop references from your recappespondent, all the time. So let’s express ourselves, do it Gangnam Style, and bless the rains down in Aaaaaaaaaaafrica with another Raven On recap, rising like Olympus above the Serengeti.

Season 7, Episode 6: “Beyond the Wall” or I WEPT WITH JOY AND FEAR

Because “I WEPT WITH JOY AND FEAR” is not really a cohesive theme, I’ve decided to drop anchor on “Thin Ice” as a metaphor for this episode.

Clearly the literal thin ice north of the Wall was what got the Magnificent Seven into trouble in the first place - trapped on a rock in a hard place.

But figuratively, there was a lot of delicately navigating difficult subjects, from Sansa and Arya’s simmering tension over responsibility for the fortunes of House Stark and Winterfell, to Dany and Tyrion discussing love and the long-term, to Tormund questioning how the Hound got such “sad eyes”. Even the death and subsequent reanimation of Viserion showed how perilous power can be for the mightiest of players in the Great Game.

However let’s confront the thinnest ice of all head on, lest the skating send us mad. I’m speaking of course about the show’s very flexible and doesn’t-stand-up-to-much-pressure interpretation of time in Westeros.

Exactly how far did the Magnificent Seven walk out beyond the Wall before running into trouble? Exactly how fast was Gendry to Chariots of Fire it back in record time? Exactly how quickly can a raven get from Eastwatch to Dragonstone? Exactly what is the flying speed of a large airborne reptile? Exactly how long did Dany take to locate the marooned warriors in mountainous country? And while it’s not time-related, from where did the White Walkers procure a large number of dragon-weight-bearing chains?

These are the questions we must resolve to never have a satisfactory answer. But we must be like the palm tree by the seashore that bends with the cyclonic winds of plot convenience, or we shall all break under the pressure of obsessive-compulsive nerdiness.

Let us therefore take a deep breath together, as deep a breath as Jon Snow drew as he plunged into that ice hole. Oh Gods I wish he’d plunge deep into my ice hole... sorry where was I?

Magnificent Seven. Yes. Let’s start there, with a comprehensive series of male-bonding mini-sitcoms.

Everything about these walk-and-talk sequences was brilliant. Every double act was played out, and every line was a cracker. I have dubbed the group The Fellowship of the ZING.

Poor Gendry, already suffering due to his snow-ginity, was told his near-fatal interaction with Melisandre perhaps wasn’t so bad, and that Beric had actually died six times and wasn’t whinging about it. Thoros told Jorah he didn’t even remember taking part in the famous raid on Pyke because he was too drunk at the time. Tormund told Jon he didn’t like the South, to be corrected that Winterfell was in fact the North. The Hound told Tormund he hated gingers, and had “met” his intended girlfriend, and Beric and Jon had a good catch-up about their own Personal Jesus experience.

Jon is still looking for answers about why his resurrection happened, and what his purpose is, but Beric has come round to the view that Death is the Enemy, and they just have to keep fighting it while they can. And maybe that’s enough. You may not be a follower of the Lord of Light like Beric, Jon, but you can still reach out and touch faith.

Of course, this whole sequence came about because of the BARMY AF plan to seize a wight to take it back to King’s Landing to prove to Cersei there’s a bigger challenge to her rule than Dany and her dragons. The fact they are even out here at all is ridiculously risky, and while I loved every minute of it, I also couldn’t help agreeing with Tormund when he told Jon “Smart men don’t come up here looking for the dead.”

Meanwhile, what did Jon think he was doing in attempting to give Longclaw back to Jorah Mormont? Sure, he’s the son of Jeor, but he is no longer the rightful owner. And Jon, I know you’re being beautiful and brave and noble and brooding and gorgeous and sexual, but you’ve SEEN that sword in action, and you know you need it against the oncoming storm. You have no business giving it up, you’re letting me down. Next you’ll be running around and deserting me.

There was a moment, as Jorah held the Valyrian steel weapon, when betting on the “Ser Jorah is Azor Ahai” conspiracy theory jumped faster than a Neo-Nazi at a sale on polo shirts. But then Jorah handed Longclaw back to Jon, saying he deserved to pass it on to his children, and the bottom fell right back out of the market.

"Are you Beyonce? Because I think you're Destiny's Child."

Things got a bit wilder and windier as they approached the Arrowhead Mountain that Sandor Clegane had seen when he looked into the fire back in the Riverlands. Given all the banter and bro talk that had been going on, I would have been quite happy for events to turn more Brokeback Mountain, but the show had something else in mind.

BEARS!

Well, a bear. But not since Lyanna Mormont have we seen such fearsome a bear.

As an aside, the giant bear actually reminded me of Iorek Byrnison, one of the armoured talking Icelandic bears from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I rarely give literary recommendations, because let’s face it an expired yoghurt has more culture than me, but it is one of the most beautiful stories ever written, and worth your time in the bland, boring months when Game of Thrones isn’t on.

Of course, this bear was not a cool fighting Scandanavian, but a blue-eyed zombie demon, who promptly snatched up a raiding party support staffer - literally a Shakesperean exit, pursued by a bear.

He turned his grizzly attention to our wandering heroes, and they battled the beast bravely; all except the Hound, who whimpered like a bad dog in the face of so much fire.

Of course the confirmation that animals too can be raised from death to fight for the White Walkers was a HUGE PIECE OF FORESHADOWING but I didn’t pick up on it because I was too worried about Thoros of Myr, who was more than gummed by the bear.

Beric cauterised the wound with his flaming sword, truly the handiest of all awesome weapons, and I couldn’t believe Thoros was still going. Obviously all that drinking made him 90 per cent (Bundy bear) proof. But the group...re-grouped, and pushed on, eventually coming across a White Walker leading a small band of wights through a mountain pass.

It seems like the perfect opportunity to fulfil their mission, so the boys lay a fire trap for the White Walker & Gang, then ambush them from behind. The zombies put up a fight, but promptly crumble into pieces when Jon very sexfully slices the White Walker lieutenant in half with Longclaw.

Hope for proof is not lost though, as a sole wight continues to GRRRR, ARRGGH at them. In an display of teamwork worthy of the WWE, Tormund tosses away his axe, clocks the zombie in the face, and the Hound jumps and pins him to the ground. The team manages to rope and cover the wight’s face, although not before the Hound rips off most of its jaw while trying to stop it from screaming.

Then it all goes quiet. Oh no, wait, that’s not quiet, that’s the rumbling sound of thousands of corpsey footsteps coming from behind them. Fearing the worst, Jon directs Gendry to get a message back to Daenarys. He then leads the rest of the party away from the pass with the surging horde of wight supremacists, and out onto a frozen lake. The ice starts to break but the group hurry to the relative safety of a rock in the middle.

Another red shirt is taken by wights, but it prompts a mass fall through the breaking ice, and leaves the rest of the wights standing in a circle on the edge of the lake, completely surrounding the stranded Seven (and diminishing support squad). An uneasy peace settles over the scene as night starts to fall.

Gendry! What are your legs? Steel springs! What are they going to do? HURL YOU BACK TO EASTWATCH!

For a moment during his through-the-night endurance event, I thought Gendry was going to be randomly attacked and murdered by a wight. I would have been royally peeved if he had been brought back after all those years and then killed without even getting his shirt off. So I was very pleased when he miraculously collapsed within dashing distance of the Eastwatch tunnel, to deliver the bad news to Davos.

The Onion Knight obviously got the bird away on a good wind, because it didn’t take long for the tweet notification to arrive @Dragonstone, and for Dany to suit up in her most fabulous figure-hugging couture winter battle coat and prepare to fly north.

We’d earlier seen Daenarys and Tyrion sitting warm and toasty like a couple of foster kittens in front of the fire in the role-playing conference room.

Dany’s giving Tyrion the backhanded compliment about how she’s glad he’s not a hero like Khal Drogo, Jorah, Maario and “even this Jon Snow” because heroes are idiots who just want to swing their… swords around to see which is biggest. Tyrion makes the point that all of the men she’s just named all fell in love with her, although she doesn’t get the Jon Snow thing.

“I suppose he stares at you longingly because he’s hopeful of a successful military alliance,” Tyrion responds drily, to which I respond LET’S NOT DISCOUNT THAT POSSIBILITY, TYRION, OK, I’M TRYING TO KEEP SOME HOPE ALIVE HERE.

How does Dany respond? “He’s too little for me.” WHAT? From my calculations, girly, you’re about five-foot-nothing so let’s not get judgy on a perfectly formed 5-foot-8 or so fella. I’m 5-foot-9, and you wouldn’t see me turning down Jon Snow. Not even if what Tormund said about his, er, icicle is true.

Also, as an Australian, why am I still measuring height in feet and inches? Because somehow, despite being able to visualise centimetres when they’re horizontal, flip them vertical and I am more lost than an ill thought out J.J. Abrams TV series.

Tyrion is more generous than he should be after this awkward exchange, and discussion turns to the differences between Cersei’s style of ruling (Fear, Fear and Fear Again) and Dany’s point of difference. Tyrion is trying to make her see that Cersei will be planning all manner of traps and foils, but Daenarys cannot simply respond in the same way. If she wants a better world, she has to plan for enemy action, but lead by example - and keep her temper in check.

“When have I lost my temper?” she asks through gritted teeth, making me wish Tyrion had a mirror he could just flash back at her. Instead, he cites the Tarly BBQ as an example, trying to impress on Dany that pragmatism and moderation in a leader is just as valuable as conviction.

He then brings up another sensitive subject, and Dany’s icy exterior cracks further. What happens after she breaks the wheel; how does it stay broken? He doesn’t mean her lack of babies is a failing; he points to the Night’s Watch and the Iron Islands systems as other examples of succession planning. He saw her fight in battle; he worried for her safety against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. He wants a plan. But Dany is being classic Elizabeth I in this scenario. Don’t mention the succession!

It’s interesting to see Dany treat Tyrion in this way. She called him brave, said he was the only Lannister whose promises she believed - and then accuses him of taking the Lannister’s side and thinking about her death a little too much. It shows that key vulnerability in Dany’s character, a fear of failure that manifests in not responding well to questions or challenges.

Later, when the rapid raven flies in, Tyrion tries to convince her not to put her personal safety on the line. “Sometimes nothing is the hardest thing to do,” he pleads. But this time, Tyrion, I’m not on your side. That’s sucky advice. Like Elizabeth I at Tilbury, Dany is not scared to don armour (or in her case, dragons) and get amongst the action. But whereas Elizabeth had to settle for watching fire ships in the English Channel (if that), Daenarys is going to go FLAME SOME MOTHERF***ING SPANIARDS I MEAN ZOMBIES.

Back at the rock, night has come and gone, and with it, Thoros of Myr. Beric bades a solemn farewell to his travel companion, drinking buddy, fighting lieutenant and personal Philosopher’s Stone. The Hound says it’s one of the better ways to go, and tries to drink the rest of Thoros’ booze. But Jon grabs it to use as an accelerant, for they must burn his body or risk him becoming a wight.

“We’ll all follow if we don’t have some fire,” says Tormund. In possibly the coolest magic trick ever, Beric pulls out his sword, flicks his hand across the base and it bursts into flame. Eat your heart out, Penn and/or Teller.

Jorah and Jon theorise that the wights’ lives are tied to the White Walkers that “created” them, leading Jorah to think that if they got all the WWs, they’d be fine. Jon insists Daenarys is their only way out, but Beric gets his last-life-fatalism on and reckons they should try to get the Night King, now perched on his skeletal horse high above the lake.

Beric hails the Lord of Light as bringing him back for this moment, to show him the way. Sandor disses all gods as c***s, and why should the Lord of Light be any different? It’s a fine slag off from the Hound, but it seems like the joke backfires.

Some time later, he throws a rock at a wight, knocking half its head off and prompting the Hound to chuckle “Dumb c***”. But who’s the dumb c*** really, when another rock lands safely on the ice, allowing the wights to realise the lake has refrozen and guess what? They all start coming for our heroes.

"And they say that a hero can save us... I'm not gonna stand here and wait.
Except there are few other options really."

It’s all f***ed from this point as the wights surge forward in waves, our brave warriors fending them off one again and again. At one point, Tormund is grabbed and dragged towards a hole in the ice, the threat of death VERY present. “Not Giantsbane!” cried the world, preparing to riot should one of the series’ most brilliant characters be killed off at this point. But no, thankfully, the Hound overcomes his ginger-phobia and drags Tormund back to safety. PHEW.

The battling crew are pushed back towards the edge of their rock, and the last of the wildling red shirts falls off and is torn apart by wights. It’s basically the physical manifestation of a Twitter call-out pile on.

It’s all starting to look very grim, and the music changes from pulsating urgency to slow and ominous. There are slow motion shots exactly like during the Battle of the Bastards, when Jon was struggling to breath, and the mound of corpses was crushing him, just before the cavalry turned up…

AND THEN THE GIANT FLAMING DRAGON CAVALRY TURNED UP.

I screamed. I wept. I clapped like a bouncy toddler in front of Peppa Pig. Watching Daenarys and her crack team of fiery lizards scorch those wight supremacists was a dream come true.

RAAAWWWWWWRRRRR I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR ALSO HEAR MY DRAGONS ROAR AS THEY BURN YOU TO A CRISP MOTHERF***ERRRRRRRRS.

Ahem. I have some revenge fantasy issues I’m working through. On an unrelated note, I would be so much more inclined to attend my upcoming high school reunion if I could turn up on a DRAGON.

But, wait. My victorious feelings were….too soon.

Dany lands Drogon on the rock and the miscreant band of soldiers jump onboard. All except Jon, that is, who stays to stave off a few rogue wights, but then INEXPLICABLY keeps fighting them. Everyone is waiting for him, yelling “Jon! Get on the dragon!” (that may have in fact been my voice shouted at the TV) but still he DOESN’T GET ON THE DRAGON.

And then, that horrid, heinous, hideous Night King decides to play his trump card, which is not “fire and fury”, but instead “icy and precise”. For it turns out the Night’s King medalled in Olympic javelin throwing. He ever so calmly draws a sharp, frosty spear from its sheath, and sends it skywards so casually it might as well have been a paper plane.

ALAS AND ALACK, the spear finds its mark, a direct hit on Viserion, who goes crashing to the ground in a one-dragon recreation of the Hindenburg disaster. The howls of Drogon and Rhaegal are heartbreaking, but soon a stunned silence falls as the icy waters of the lake claim Viserion’s body.

Oh, the humanity!

Dany’s eyes are black with shock and grief, the rest of the Merry Men, all hardened fighters, look like tiny babies who’ve just had a puppy taken away from them.

"Is... is that a farm? Is he going to a farm, Mommy?"

Knowing now her life and her sweet baby Drogon’s life are in peril, Dany takes to the sky, leaving Jon behind. She pulls off a classic Maverick from Top Gun move and dodges a second spear from the Night King. The roll nearly sends Jorah plummeting, but his cohorts grab him like Cary Grant grabs Eva Marie Saint on Mt Rushmore at the end of North by Northwest and he’s OK.

But Jon? Jon is most definitely NOT ok. Surrounded by wights, the ice cracks beneath him and he plunges into the water. He returns to the surface, gasping for air, clutching at Longclaw. Somehow the frigid water didn’t shock him into paralysis, somehow exposure to the cold has not ravaged his beautiful features. He returns to solid ground, grasping his sword, holding it aloft, as the pack turns on him.

At this point Jon is dead-diddly-dead. Game over, man, game over. But he’s going to go out fighting. He’ll go down like a champion, because he has form in every sense of that expression.

But out of the darkness comes a light. A holy, golden light, spinning and whirring and knocking wights down like bowling pins. It is the magical mystical saviour that is… DEUS EX BENJENA!

Jon spent years wondering what happened to his uncle, and now here he is, out of the murky blue, riding in Gandalf style at the Battle of Hemsworth. Sorry, Helm’s Deep. I keep making that mistake and I have no abs, I mean no idea, why.

“Get on the horse,” Benjen growls. “You come too!” Jon pleads like a scared child. “There’s no time,” Benjen responds heroically. Instead, he spurs the horse carrying Jon away, and takes his spinning fire mace back into the wights, presumably to die horribly or be fully converted into zombie form.

How did Benjen manage to be there? Had he just turned up, or watched for a while before intervening? The plot convenience ice cracks a little more here, but it doesn’t stop me from loving Benjen for sacrificing his safety for my Beloved’s.

Back at Eastwatch, the dragons circle The Wall, their mournful cries ringing out over the forest. The Hound, Beric and Tormund say their farewell as the Hound prepares to take the zombie wight prize they secured - at SUCH AN EFFING COST - to King’s Landing. And Dany stares out from a parapet, hoping against hope of Jon’s return.

I thought it was going to be another Brienne-and-Sansa-candle-in-the-tower missed moment as the Mother of Dragons turned away to leave. But then, joyfully, the horn sounded, and Jon’s near-frozen body arrived atop Benjen’s horse. I hope the Night’s Watch keep that loyal and clever filly. They should make it take the Black Caviar.

Jon is groggily put to sleep below decks of a Greyjoy ship, with Davos, *gasp* pulling off his clothes *slobber* to reveal - bruised and torn, but still bare - ABS!

I'm going to need some alone time.


Oh, HBO. You’ve delivered me a beautiful, delectable, ice-cream of an episode, and then you add the six-pack of cherries on top. Thank you with all my heart and parts beyond.

Some time later Jon groggily opens his eyes (never has emerging from unconsciousness been sexier) to see Dany sitting closely by his bed, worried in a way we haven’t seen since Jorah revealed his greyscale.

I have never wanted anything more than to be that furry blanket.

Jon apologises for suggesting the mission in the first place, but Dany says she’s glad she came, because now she knows for sure. She declares they will fight the Night King and the White Walkers and all the wight supremacists together, and they hold hands, a little too long for my liking, and Jon calls her Dany, and she says “Wow, lol, no,” and he says “What about my Queen?” and cracks a joke about not being able to bend the knee, and she cries and says she will do her best to deserve it, and they’re still holding hands, fire and ice steaming up the place, and it’s all very erotically charged and I now need to write a Mills & Boon novel then shred it while crying.

Find someone who holds your hand like Jon holds Dany's.
Preferably someone not related to you by blood.

It’s an amazing moment, and shows that Jon had listened to Tormund during their march earlier, when he talked about Mance Raydar being too proud to acknowledge a king, and how many men had to die because he wouldn’t bend the knee?

Jon once again is putting his people first, because he is proud, but capable of learning lessons, an important one being it’s probably for the best to be on the good side of dragons.

Although it’s going to be interesting to see how his northern lords and sisters will react. Hopefully they’ll all fly into Winterfell together and scare Sansa and Arya straight because BY THE OLD GODS THEY NEED IT.

Yes. Now that we’ve recapped the brains out of that epic adventure crazy battle stuff, let’s examine the Winterfell sequences. I wanted to look at them altogether, because they were such a change of pace from the action north of The Wall.

For starters, Arya tells Sansa an old story about how she used to secretly practice archery when she thought no one was looking - but their father was. As they stand on the balcony where Ned Stark used to watch his children, we’re reminded of how far they’ve come, and how Arya’s childhood playfulness and exuberance has been replaced with careful, deliberately chosen words and actions.

She confronts Sansa with the note she found in Littlefinger’s room, the one Sansa was forced to write under duress in the wake of King Robert’s death. Sansa tries to explain, but Arya isn’t having it. “I would have let them kill me before I betrayed my family!” she declares. In a bullish move, she accuses Sansa of being in on the plot, citing her pretty hair and dress on the chopping block.

Realising her sister had been there, Sansa strikes back absolutely rightly by saying Arya didn’t jump out of the crowds to try to save Ned, because she too was a wee bairn at the time and they don’t call it the “survival instinct” for nothing. Sansa also points out that the only reason Arya is standing in Winterfell is because Sansa and the Knights of the Vale saved the day at the Battle of the Bastards and took the castle back.

But then Arya counters by saying Sansa doesn’t want the northern lords to see the letter, in case they get the same wrong idea Arya has. Sansa said once before she’d learned a lot from Cersei, and this political instinct to control the narrative seems to be one of them.

SISTERS! Say NO to being JERKS!

Later Sansa discusses this with Littlefinger, who honestly needs to be roasted by a dragon yesterday. Still sowing the seeds of discord, he very cleverly suggests she get Brienne involved in the dispute with Arya, because she is sworn to protect BOTH Stark girls.

Sansa promptly sends Brienne off to King’s Landing to represent her at a parly with Darth Cersei. Brave, sensible, loyal Brienne tries to object, tries to suggest that Littlefinger may not be truly representing her best interests and her safety could be compromised. But Sansa brushes her concerns away and sends her packing.

This was a BAD MOVE, Sansa. Brienne is one of the truly selfless people on the damn continent, and you send her away? Do you honestly feel like you don’t need her protection - or are you more concerned about the protection she might offer Arya… against you?

Finally, we see Sansa sneak into Arya’s room, and rifle through her bag of faces. The girls had earlier said they would never know what each other survived to get to this point, and Sansa sure as hell is freaked out by the concept of the Faceless Men.

Arya very calmly grabs Catspaw and moves closer to Sansa, saying that all she could use her own face

This idea completely ignores the obvious problem that Arya could wear Sansa’s face, but not her height, and the elder Stark has a good foot or more on the younger. Surely somebody would notice that? But let’s skip over that crack, because Arya’s menacing stare down of Sansa doesn’t end with a knife in the gullet, but rather her flipping the danger over and allowing Sansa to take it. It was almost a dare, a “just try me”. I do not like ANY of this behaviour.

It’s interesting we didn’t see Bran during all this. I know he’s a bit freaky now, and slightly awkward to hang around with, but come on, Branny, this is exactly the kind of family feud situation that you could come in on with your spooky powers. “The survey says… you’re both being idiots, shut up and hug until you mean it!”

CODA.

North of the Wall, the White Walkers have been to Bunnings and sourced several kilometres’ worth of large link chains and a few hundred sausage sizzles. I’m initially distracted by the wights’ impression of Jean Valjean in the opening scene of Les Miserables and think they must be on their way to pull down The Wall or something.

But no.

The chains are in the water, and they’re dragging up the huge body of Viserion. The tender ice holds his weight long enough for the Night King to walk over and touch his poor scaly snout. The camera pans up the great head and...the dead eye opened.

IT WAS BLUE.

No good can come of this.

The ice that separated the living from the wrath of the dead just cracked wide open.

And with apologies to Robert Van Winkle - or more appropriately, to Queen and David Bowie, I present some OLD SCHOOL TERRIBLE EARLY NINETIES RAP.

Yo, King in North, let’s kick it
(Ice Ice Dragon)

All right stop, annihilate and listen
Night King’s back with my brand new creation
Something grabs a hold of my fancy
Send up my harpoon you shit your pantsies
Will it ever stop? Yo, it’s Jon Snow
Fighting my wights, with gusto
He’s a machine, on the rock he can handle
Suits total rage just like a Trump suits a scandal
Trance, we are the wreakers of doom
I’m freaking them out with stillness in the hushed gloom
Standing, all around, lives in jeopardy
Just like what Beric said “Death is the Enemy”
That one’s a dumb c*** Hound says in jest
He didn’t hit bull’s eye, that was the test

If you have an army, yo, I’ll dissolve it
You got a dragon? Well I can evolve it

Ice Ice Dragon, I’ve got an Ice Ice Dragon
Ice Ice Dragon, I’ve got an Ice Ice Dragon

Now that the battle is pumping
Though the ice is thin, the wights are just thumping
Quick to the rock, the red shirts they’re taking
Humans fight back, like Buffy they’re staking
Burning them, flaming swords are nimble
But I’m a fugitive like Richard Kimble
On the high ground, with my grouped-up posse
Wights on a roll and it’s time to get bossy
Tormund, almost goes below
But the Hound jumps in and says hell no
The ginger is OK, more wights hit the floor
Did we stop? No, we just sent more
Kept on pursuing to the big rock
They’re busting guts and the scene is full of hot schlock
We’ve got ‘em trapped now they’re all gonna die
Moved in for the kill...what’s that in sky?

Fire is hot from the scaly big meanie
It’s a magic trick worthy of Houdini
Dragons, not just one but three
Gone to Hogwarts School of Lizardry
Burning, all my wights aglow
A bump in the road, Dany’s coming for Jon Snow
Bollocks, I’ll show ‘em who’s Night King
I grab my pole for some damn good javelling
Tossing, that spear in the air fast
The dragon was hit, like a real blast
Gazumped to gazumper, the dragon is whacked
It crashes to the ground and the ice is cracked
Dany’s lost her sheen, you know what I mean
She flies away, and my eye’s got a blue glean

If I have a javelin, you bet I’ll involve it
If you’ve got some chains, I’ll resolve it

Ice Ice Dragon I’ve got an Ice Ice Dragon
Ice Ice Dragon I’ve got an Ice Ice Dragon

Yo, wights, let’s get out of here!
Word to your Mother (of Dragons)

Yay! Best Moments

Oh GODS. The arrival of Dany and her dragons as all hope was being lost north of the wall was not unexpected, but BOY was it satisfying. What was unexpected, and HORRIFYING, was the Night King being able to easily throw a spear into the air with enough force to bring down Viserion in full flight - and not even break a sweat. Seriously, the Lannisters needed high-tech equipment while the Night King looked like he was at a pub darts competition.

Jon and Dany’s emotional reunion below decks (phwoar) was also beautifully played, damnit to seven hells.

And ice dragon. Wow.

Zing! Best Lines

Pretty much everything from the Magnificent Seven March, but in particular the Hound and Tormund’s exchange. I LOVED how Tormund picked up on Sandor’s meanness being learned, not innate (“You have sad eyes”), and about them having something in common (“Gingers are kissed by fire… like you.”) And of course, their banter about Brienne.

Tormund: I have a beauty waiting for me back in Winterfell, if I ever get back there. Yellow hair, blue eyes, tallest woman you’ve ever seen. Almost as tall as you.
Hound: Brienne of Tarth.
Tormund: You know her?
Hound: You’re with Brienne of f***ing Tarth?
Tormund: Well I’m not with her yet. But I see the way she looks at me.
Hound: She looks at you… like she wants to carve you up and eat your liver?
Tormund: You DO know her.
Hound: We’ve met.
Tormund: I want to make babies with her. Think of them. Great big monsters. They’d conquer the world.
Hound: How did a mad f***er like you live this long?
Tormund: I’m good at killing people.

This guy. MVP for ever and ever and ever and ever.

Honorable mentions to:

Jorah: I thought you were the bravest man I’d ever seen.
Thoros: Just the drunkest.

And:

The Hound: (throws rock at wight, hits it in the head). Dumb c***. (Wights realise lake has refrozen and start to move in on the Magnificent Seven). Oh, f***.

Ew, gross

It’s not really gross, except that he has behaved grossly in the past, but I wanted to ask the question - Where’s Theon? We last saw him steer his little dinghy onto the beach at Dragonstone, get manhandled by Jon (jealous) and told that Dany couldn’t help him rescue Yara because she was otherwise engaged burning the f*** out of the Lannister army.

It would have made sense to have him in last week’s episode, either saying “Bye then, Greyjoys out”, or “Hey Jon, buddy, can I help with that dragonglass?” or something. This week, no sign again. Did he leave Dragonstone? Would he have gone around to the western side of the continent to take on Euron Greyjoy, who we imagine has Yara with him as he blockades Casterly Rock? Or is he just hanging out at Dragonstone somewhere with Varys and Missandei, who were also absent this episode?

Boo, sucks

The reanimation of Viserion into the Night King’s new pet was horrid, but nothing had me more despondent this episode than rapidly disintegrating relations between Sansa and Arya.

WHAT THE HELL CAN HAPPEN NEXT WEEK?

By the Old Gods and the New, Beloved Throners, that was an almighty episode. I feel as exhausted as Gendry after his punishing run, and I've only sat here and typed. A special thanks to Stu and Brittany for taking the journey with me this episode, and of course to all my Patreon subscribers for actually backing me with your hard-earned cashola. I get through because you are my Deus Ex Benjena, throwing me on the horse and slapping me on my way. Special kudos to Vanessa MacB, Barney J, Kostas S, Rachelle R and Amanda G, and if you'd like to join them, click here. Next week's recap will come to you from New York City - I'll be watching live as it goes out on Sunday night US time, and recapping into the early hours of Monday morning. Send me your best wishes, because I have a feeling it's all going to be a little crazy!

6 Responses to ‘GoT S7E6 Raven On Recap: Beyond the Wall’

Jeats has opinions thus...

Posted August 22
Jon and Dany go to Winterfell and discover his mothers Statue and notice all the Talgalryn artefact there, and the dragon eggs...

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted August 22
Can I say Dany was channeling the Dinsey Frozen line in outfits tonight, looking fabulous and launching a thousand cosplays.

I try not to quibble too much about the many inconsistencies which we can agree there are many, after all it's a show with Dragons, fireproof people, the undead, three eye Ravens and a world where no one has knifed Littlefinger but why for frack sake did all but ONE wright dissolve other than for the God of narrative convenience.

Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted August 25
Maybe only the one's that he raised dissolved. That sacrificial one was one added to the undead platoon at the last second, cause, you know, Harry was out on sick call. Maybe?

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted August 23
I'm just gonna put my Littlefinger is Snape theory.

All roiads lead to Littlefinger biting the big one in the s& finale, as he's now been reduced to nothing more than a pantomime villian.

BUT - earleir season hints at some kind of meta-level grouping that Varys and Littlefinger seem part of. Maybe Littlefinger is the show's Snape - the evil baddie that was really the uber-Goodie?

Rhino asserts...

Posted August 25
No. He's just a wanker.

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 25
God, I love me some Nat recap action.

But, I am forced to repeat my unloved FB comment here: as much as I enjoyed the banter of the Walking Magnificent Seven and Couple a Red Shirts, I think that it was a wasted 30 minutes that did nothing to move things forward. That's 7.14% of all the minutes that we get this year. Seems a waste for some fan service.

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