The latest episode of Game of Thrones was utterly and completely heartbreaking. There were moments that were also uplifting and, despite the deep chords of sadness and darkness, the producers were able to give us the briefest, most staccato moments of joy and hope.
But for now, the sadness runs deeper.
This is a recap and review of Season 7 Episode 6. Don’t read on unless you’ve already seen the episode.
Arya & Sansa Were Confusing, Until You Looked at Arya’s History
I can’t say that I immediately understood Arya’s and Sansa’s motivations in this episode. Their treatment of each other was confusing — especially at first. Arya read Littlefinger’s letter and doubted Sansa’s motives. She threatened her sister and talked about taking her face.
Meanwhile, upon being reminded that Brienne would protect either sister who was in danger, Sansa promptly sent her off to King’s Landing. What? Why? Is she afraid that Brienne will side with Arya? Or stop Sansa from hurting her little sister? I still can’t quite figure out this one.
I can, however, make a guess about Arya’s motivations. The “Game of Faces” is a game where you discover a person’s true motivations and loyalties, whether or not they are lying. But you do it by hurting them and being incredibly mean to them, in order to push them to the edge. I am guessing that’s why Arya said what she did to Sansa. And perhaps she then handed the dagger to her sister as a way of telling her that she passed the test.
Of course, I could be completely wrong and we could wind up with a dead Sansa next week. Or a dead Arya. I’m not completely certain what Littlefinger is hoping to accomplish, except that he always climbs the ladder in the middle of chaos. Maybe he just sees this as a way to get closer to Sansa, since she’s been pushing him away. Maybe it will work, or maybe it will all backfire on him.
The Journey North of the Wall
It was amazing to see the landscape north of the Wall again. Tormund and the Hound’s banter was something I didn’t even realize that I needed. I loved how Tormund talked about his beauty back home.
And Jorah’s gifting Jon with Longclaw was quite the moment. Although you have to feel bad for Lyanna Mormont, who really should be the one who gets the sword if Jorah doesn’t want it.
But then there were the random people who kept dying. I really could have sworn that last week, seven men left on this adventure. Now we suddenly have 11 men on the quest. Four red shirts and seven mainstays. So yes, there were moments when I thought someone in our team had been killed, only to discover it was a red shirt. That was interesting.
The undead bear was a sight to behold.
He was incredibly fierce, even grabbing a flaming sword in his mouth! And The Hound’s fear of fire is not something he’s going to quickly overcome, even to save someone else, it appears. That’s pretty realistic.
There are a few questions. If Gendry could run to Eastwatch, why didn’t they all run? And if Gendry could run to Eastwatch, they must not have gotten very far on their journey before encountering the White Walkers.
Did you notice that the Arrowhead Mountain where they did their battle was the same place where the Night King was created by the Children of the Forest?
We also learned that if you kill the White Walker who animated the wights, then all the wights he controls dies. That led Jon Snow and Beric to decide that killing the Night King will kill everyone. But will it? I mean, Leaf created the Night King, but when Leaf was killed, the Night King didn’t die.
Thoros’ dying on the rock, succumbing to his wounds, was incredibly sad. We were led to believe they were only there for one night by the transitions, but this show isn’t great with indicating time. If you calculate how long it would take a raven to get to Dragonstone (probably two days), and how long it would take Dany to fly back (probably less than a day), then they might have been on that rock for three days. That would give the lake time to freeze back over, like it did. And they might be able to survive that long with the right supplies. So if you really think about it, the timeline isn’t so strange after all.
The Battle That Broke My Heart
And then there was the moment that Dany arrived with her three dragons, straight into the heart of the battle. Oh, it was beautiful for a time. Seeing those dragons lay waste to the wights was like seeing a million spiders set on fire… I’ve never done either, but I imagine both would be satisfying. It was beautiful. Dany came to Jon’s rescue. All was right in the world.
And then the Night King’s new weapon appeared.
Did you see just how many of those weapons he had on hand? There would be no “hey I burned up the one Scorpion weapon and now you’re in trouble” moment here. We were given a false sense of security when that Scorpion weapon was destroyed.
The Night King has battled dragons before. This isn’t his first rodeo.
He knew exactly what he was doing. Very calmly, he ignored Drogon who was closer and aimed for Viserion. The poor dragon was just preparing to let out more fire when he was hit in the neck and died a horrific death, his brother trailing behind trying to follow him.
And those dragons wailing as they circled around Eastwatch later… :(
It was the saddest death, as we watched him close his eyes and fall. Little Viserion, the smallest of the dragons with the cream-and-yellow scales and the orange-red wings. All he wanted was to be a good dragon and serve his mom. He was locked up in the catacombs with his brother for a long time, and was finally free. He loved breathing out fire and destroying evil. He was truly living.
And now he’s gone. :(
Seriously, I can’t put photos of his death in this story because it hurts my heart too much. I never thought I’d get so attached to a CGI dragon. But I did. Is that a lump in my throat? I must have allergies or something.
Then they tried to make me forget by having Jon fall into the water just like Jamie did. Jon tried to run after and kill the Night King to end the war forever, just like Jamie tried to kill Dany. And both were knocked by someone into the water and seemed to disappear beneath it. There are far too many parallels between Jon and Jamie to miss in this one, but I’m not sure what they’re trying to tell me. Is Jamie also going to fulfill a prophecy, just like we think Jon will? Maybe they’re two sides of the same coin.
Well, no matter how intriguing, it didn’t make me forget Viserion.
Then there was Benjen’s appearance. It was great, but it would’ve been epic if Rhaegal had swept in and taken Jon away.
I’m just going to skip ahead now to the scene at the very end of the episode. The Night King, like I said, was prepared for this. They dragged little Viserion out of the water. He put his hand on Viserion’s face and he opened his eyes — blue eyes now.
Which leads to a question… If the Night King is reanimating corpses as wights, he just raises his hands. He doesn’t have to touch them. (I’m assuming he has greensight, like many of the First Men — from whom the Starks are descended — likely did. So he can warg just like Bran can, even though he’s controlled by ice magic…)
So back to the point… The Night King touched Viserion to raise him. It’s confusing, because the only others he’s touched have been the babies. He touched their faces to turn them into White Walkers, who have far more independence and thought than wights. But unlike those babies, Viserion is dead. So he’s some kind of weird half wight/half White Walker type dragon?
I hope there is still a spark of his old self in there somewhere, and he can be reached…
Jon and Dany
I’m saving this part for last, because I want to end on a happy note. I’m not typically a big “shipper” in the TV world. But wow, they have me shipping Jon and Dany. Both have gone through so much pain in their lives, they truly need each other.
I wrote about this in another story just about these two, but I want to share it again.
Dany waiting for Jon to come back after the battle, hoping that he would somehow still show up alive. And he lived. He’s King of the North. He made it. Later when she came into his room on the boat and saw his wounds, she realized what he had gone through but wouldn’t talk about… Well that really hit her. He had told her that she was the one who could do the impossible. But apparently so can he.
When she came back when he was awake, the scene between them was powerful.
He’s one of the only people that she allows to see her true emotions.
And he’s one of the only people who can comfort her.
They both apologized to each other. He for convincing her to come and the terrible price that she paid. She apologized for her arrogance. And they made promises to each other. She would help him, and he would bend the knee.
The looks they exchange are amazing. Dany believes she doesn’t deserve Jon’s fealty, after seeing what he has gone through for his people. Jon assures her that she does.
And Jon sees who Dany really is. He’s falling in love her.
These two deserve happiness after what they’ve been through. They’ve fought battles and sacrificed so much. Jon was murdered by people he tried to lead and care for. Dany lost one of her children. They’ve fought for everything they have and still have unimaginable fights ahead of them.
I hope they can find joy as a couple. I know that their scene together was the only thing that helped steal my attention away from the poor dragon.
A note of joy amid chords of darkness. We need more of this.