Oh, hey, Dragons! I almost missed this week’s recap, because I was in Las Vegas, but lucky for me, I just jumped on one of those SUPER SUPER SUPER fast ravens that they use between the Wall and Dragonstone! Let’s put my sarcasm aside and break down this episode.
The bulk of our action takes place beyond the Wall, so let’s first address the storylines away from there. Let’s start with this nonsensical Arya-Sansa debacle. I am desperately hoping that Arya is somehow setting this up to catch Littlefinger in something and kill him. Arya confronts Sansa about the note she found last week – the note were Sansa begs Rob to bend the knee to King Joffrey. Sansa insists that she wrote it under duress, to which Arya seems skeptical. And the rest of us think: umm, duh? You SERVED TYWIN LANNISTER, do you remember that Arya? Remember all the crap you’ve had to do to survive? It’s an odd thing for Arya to fixate on, and instead of being like, “I got you, girl, we’ll destroy this note,” she threatens to tell the other Northern lords about the note. Umm, what? To what end? Sansa has been doing nothing to suggest that she’s trying to undermine Jon. Arya, I know you’re still a little crazy from Braavos, but this is too much.
Later, Sansa meets with Littlefinger – because Sansa is still THE WORST and confides in Littlefinger – who not so subtly suggests she sends Lady Brienne in her stead to King’s Landing. Because, after all, Brienne is sworn to protect both Stark girls, so if Sansa’s going to preemptively strike on Arya, best not to have her around. Again, WHAT?
Sansa goes snooping in Arya’s room and finds her bag of faces. THAT’S RIGHT. ARYA JUST KEEPS HER FACES IN A BAG. Sansa doesn’t understand what they are and asks about ten times – girl, it’s a bag of faces. That’s literally all it is. Arya sort of explains how she steals people’s faces and generally acts like a sociopath. And yet again, readers – WHAT?
At Dragonstone, Tyrion tries to have a heart to heart with Dany about the whole burning people alive thing. He also floats the idea of Jon Snow being interested in her, and Dany replies that he’s too little for her. Come on, Dany. Don’t be one of those girls. Then, out of nowhere, Tyrion brings up the idea of succession, and we are reminded for the first of two times in a single episode that Dany cannot have children. She doesn’t want to talk about succession and says they’ll figure it out when she’s on the throne.
Alright, let’s cut to where all the action is – beyond the Wall! We have Jon, the Hound, Jorah, Thoros, Beric, Gendry, Tormund, and a bunch of randos who are basically GoT red shirts for this scene. We get a few minutes of The Gang just walking and talking. Jon tries to give Jorah his father’s sword, Longclaw, back, which Jorah refuses. Gendry grumbles about being sold to Melisandre by Thoros and Beric. Beric and Jon talk about the burden of being resurrected by the Lord of Light. In the best moment of the episode, Tormund tells the Hound that he’s super into Brienne (finally!).
But all of this dialogue can’t continue forever, and soon The Gang faces their first threat: a zombie polar bear. They fight it off, but not before Thoros is mortally wounded. NOOOOOOOO. As The Gang is dragging Thoros around before he dies, they come across a group of wights and a White Walker. They fight them, and when Jon kills the White Walker with his Valyrian steel, all of the wights disintegrate. This has never happened before – they speculate that maybe that White Walker is the one that turned them all (more on this later). But one wight survives (so convenient!), and they tie him up to drag back as their proof.
This clearly isn’t going to go smoothly though, as the wight keeps shrieking. Our heroes look off in the distance and realize that a giant hoard of wights is about to bear down on them. Jon tells Gendry to run back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Dany, which he does. I guess Gendry is your youngest and best bet, but I mean… how fast can this kid run? The gang fights off the wights as they run to essentially an island in the middle of a frozen pond. The wights are stopped by breaks in the ice, falling into the water as they try to get to our heroes.
Meanwhile, Gendry is already at Eastwatch (did he get an Uber back?), and presumably, a raven is sent.
Back to our heroes. They’re cold, for sure, but not THAT cold, and no one is complaining about starvation, so they’ve been out here for… a few hours? Maybe? Half a day? In the middle of all this, Thoros dies (sad face), and they burn his body.
The wights figure out that there are some parts that they can cross and start to make their way over. Beric gets out his flaming sword! Tormund almost gets killed by wights, and the whole time I was yelling, “IF TORMUND DIES, I AM DONE WITH THIS,” but luckily, the Hound saves him.
And then, here to save the day, it’s Dany! Damn, that raven was FAST. Dany destroys the wights but misses the White Walkers and the Night King, the only dudes on horseback, as she tries to save the group. It’s too bad, because the Night King has one hell of an arm, and throws an ice spear at Viserion, who takes a direct hit. RIP, Viserion. That was brutal.
The group climbs on Drogon, and Dany flies away with them. Meanwhile, Jon Snow, because he’s Jon Snow, has fallen behind and through the ice. But he’s fine, because he’s Jon Snow, and once he crawls out of the ice water, he’s saved by Uncle Benjen. Oh, hey again, Benjen. You keep showing up at the right times! Benjen throws Jon on a horse and continues to fight the wights.* The horse takes Jon to Eastwatch, and the horse knew how to do that because… magic?
The Gang sails back to Dragonstone on Dany’s boat. Wait, Dany has a boat? How did she get a boat up there? Did she fly the boat on the dragon’s back? Is time an illusion in this universe? (Time is a flat circle.) Dany watches as they rip Jon’s shirt off (oh hey) and sees all of his stab wounds. When Jon awakens, Dany is sitting by his bedside. He tells her how sorry he is about Viserion, and we get some hand holding. There’s another reminder that Dany can’t have kids as she tells Jon that she’ll never have children and the dragons ARE her children. But regardless, she’s glad she went, because now she knows about the army of the dead, and she will fight for him. Jon calls her Dany, which she asks him not to do (deal with it, because I’m not spelling out your name in every recap), and he responds, “How about ‘my queen’?” He tells her that he will bend the knee, and Dany looks genuinely touched. There’s more hand holding before she leaves him to rest.
Final scene: the wights and White Walkers are using chains to pull Viserion out of the lake. I have so many questions. Where did they get these chains? Do wights really take direction that well? But really, chains? Anyway, they pull out the dead dragon, and you should know where this is going – the Night King touches the dragon, and his eye opens – now ice blue.
*An earlier draft of this post had an error which was pointed out by an observant reader/our number one fan. I incorrectly stated that Benjen was also on the horse that took Jon to Eastwatch because (1) your fearless writer was still mourning Thoros and was not paying attention and (2) it doesn’t make any sense for the horse to just KNOW to go to Eastwatch, but whatever, that is the least of my problems at this point.
Dragons, what did you think of this week’s Game of Thrones? Are you feeling the love between Jon and Dany yet? Can you explain the Sansa-Arya storyline to me? Can Tormund go back to Winterfell to profess his love for Brienne? Leave your thoughts in the comments!