The unthinkable has happened. Then again, if you’re a particular friend of mine, the very thing you’ve been dreaming about since the day you found out dragons and wights existed in the same series has finally happened. I’ll just leave my friend to revel in his moment while I attempt to process the events of Beyond the Wall. And sob inconsolably into my drink because, damn it, they just had to kill a dragon. Worse yet, they had to kill a dragon in the north, beyond the wall, leaving him in the clutches of the Night King.
Dany Loses a Child And The Night King Gains a Wight
If Game of Thrones achieved anything in Beyond the Wall, it’s putting you on the edge of your seat screaming at your TV. Ever since the beginning of this season with the presentation of Qyburn’s Scorpion, Dany’s dragons have been in mortal peril. Drogon came close when the arrow hit him in the Battle of the Loot Train. Then, thankfully, it hit him in the shoulder, and he survived. Viserion, however, did not share in Drogon’s luck.
Of course, the idea of the Night King turning a dragon isn’t new. It’s often preceded by, “wouldn’t it be cool if…” Cool is not how I would describe it though. I hate the thought of losing one of the dragons to anyone, let alone the Night King! Don’t get me wrong; I completely understand what it adds to the show, aside from the shock factor. Game of Thrones wouldn’t be much if the dragons were truly invulnerable to everything. If there were nothing at stake, you wouldn’t have any reason to worry. Dany could just swoop in burn the wights, save the people, and fly away.
Now, however, the stakes are up. Not only is Dany aware of the imminent threat to the North, but she’s experienced it firsthand. Adding to that, the Night King turned Viserion. If the White Walkers weren’t already enough of a threat, they’re about twenty times worse now. And you can bet we’ll be freaking out at every moment waiting for the next body to drop and awaken on the wrong side of the fight. Please, please, don’t let it be another dragon or, god forbid, a direwolf.
What We Know About the White Walkers
Despite the loss of Viserion, a few interesting and good things (I say that tentatively) did happen. While Jon’s team lost a few members (not Tormund, Gendry, or the Hound, woo!), they managed to capture a wight and learn a couple of things about them. One, wights have creepy-ass warning calls. Too bad this wasn’t something they were aware of before they ventured down this road. B, If you kill the White Walker that turned the wights, the wights go down with it. That ultimately means you only really need to kill one White Walker to win. Unfortunately for everyone, that one White Walker is a very well protected, cunning, and ruthless Night King. Thirdly, perhaps this one is more speculation on my part as a viewer, but it seems the Night King is also a bit of a greenseer.
In his previous encounter with Bran, he was able to reach into Bran’s vision and grab him. And in Beyond the Wall, he merely decided to wait them out. Admittedly, the ice and water prevented the wights from moving forward, but the Night King didn’t just seem like he was waiting for the water to freeze over. It almost appeared as though he was waiting for something more. Perhaps, even, like he was waiting for Dany and came prepared with spears for the occasion. Okay, so it’s probably more speculation, but it fits.
Dany Agrees to Fight, Jon Agrees to Bend the Knee…Eventually
Aside from the wights, something even greater came out of this mission. Due to the loss of Viserion, Dany has come to realize precisely how great a threat the white walkers are to everyone. It’s one thing to hear about it, but it’s another thing to see it. It’s worse yet to experience it as she did. In more ways than just losing Viserion. For a moment, she also thought she lost Jon. With all that in mind, she agreed to fight with Jon to destroy the Night King. And Jon also learned what lengths Dany would go to for her people. He realized what she was willing to do for someone she barely knew and she lost her child because of it. Due to that, he decided to bend the knee to Dany. These two have officially joined forces.
Of course, beyond that knee-bending, there were a few more romantic moments between the two of them. Other characters have been noting Jon’s attraction to Dany. Dany, in her way, has begun to show her interest in him, as well. Then they shared a moment that was more significant than a queen merely checking on the well-being of one of her men or someone consoling a friend on his part. It seems a romance may be blooming there. Though, admittedly, I’m not sure I am fully behind this one, yet. If Jon is Rhaegar’s son, then Dany is his aunt, and that’s just too close in relation for me to get behind. And too much like the Lannisters.
Arya, Sansa, Just No
Meanwhile, back in Winterfell, the ongoing saga continues as Arya confronts Sansa about the letter she found. I expected better from Arya due to her training. Yes, I know. She’s still a kid, but I don’t want to believe Littlefinger could so easily trick her. It just seems too easy. And let’s not forget Sansa, either. When Arya confronts her, Sansa runs to Littlefinger, of all people. When will he go away? Also, if Arya and Sansa had just said a few small things to each other instead of bickering as they did, the entire situation would have been defused. And Littlefinger wouldn’t have this opening. Instead, they’re (seemingly) playing right into his hands. Then again, maybe, they’re playing Littlefinger. One can hope, right?
On top of it all, Sansa sent Brienne away. The one person who is on both of their sides. She does not favor one sister over the other as she’s sworn to protect both. I am not sure what Sansa is up to, but I can see it playing out in a couple ways. Perhaps, she’s sent Brienne away because she doesn’t trust Littlefinger and is undermining him. Then again, that could be what Littlefinger wants. He probably feels he could handle a little girl much better than a giant knight. Brienne is sworn to protect Arya, too, after all. What better way to leave her vulnerable than to get Sansa to send Brienne away, whether she realizes that’s what she’s done or not.
Arya has also revealed that she is more messed up than I realized, or at least, wants everyone to think that. Arya more or less threatened Sansa when she found those faces. Sansa hasn’t exactly been the warm and welcoming sister, but this was a tad disturbing. Rather than talk it out or explain her suspicions clearly, Arya also pulled a Bran and spoke in riddles. Then she pulled a dagger and spoke in threats. Now, I’m wondering if Bran’s concerned look when he handed Arya the dagger was because he knew it meant he was ultimately sealing the fate of one or both of his sisters’ lives.
That fate may be something we’ll have to wait until next season to see thanks to the adventures of Jon and Dany, but maybe not. We’ll find out next week in the season finale of Game of Thrones! Until then, check out the director’s take on Beyond the Wall and comment below with your thoughts on the episode.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.
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