Seven Kingdoms Highlights: ‘Game of Thrones’ S7E6: “Beyond The Wall”

In the Penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, each season has been one hell of an episode.  In the season one episode “Baelor,” we saw Ned Stark's execution, showing that no one is safe on this show as the main character got his head cut-off.  In the season two episode “Blackwater” the Lannister and  Stannis Baratheon’s armies came face to face at King’s Landing, giving us our first large-scale battle on the show which was very reminiscent of a Lord of the Rings battle in sheer scale and scope.  The season three episode “The Rains of Castamere” gave us the Red Wedding and all the horror inflicted on the rest of the Stark family.  The season four episode “The Watchers on the Wall” had the Night’s Watch face off against the Wildling Army at Castle Black, raising the stakes even higher for great action scenes.  Season five gave us “Hardhome” where the Night’s Watch teamed up with the Wildlings to try and fight off the army of the dead, and it also gave us “The Dance of Dragons” where the Sons of the Harpy tries to kill  Daenerys and she was rescued by Drogon.  Last season had “The Battle of the Bastards” where Jon Snow took the fight to Ramsey over Winterfell and reclaimed the Stark ancestral home.  What would they do on this season’s penultimate episode “Beyond The Wall?”


The Sansa and Arya beef continues!  This time, it’s escalated to death threats.  Littlefinger’s plan seems to becoming to fruition.  Last week, he ensured that Arya would find the letter that she wrote under duress while being held at King’s Landing by Cersei way back when.  Her brother Robb realized that she wrote the letter as a hostage and buried it.  However, Littlefinger was gambling on the optics of the letter, and the cover-up of it as a means of driving a wedge between the two Stark sisters.

When Arya confronts Sansa over it, she doesn’t have the same forgiving attitude that Robb did (or Jon probably would).  Arya doesn’t live in the world of politics anymore, she spent the last few years learning how to be a cold-hearted assassin.  As far as she was concerned, Sansa failed her family’s loyalty test and probably should have fought back against the Lannisters, even if it meant her death.

Of course, Sansa goes to Littlefinger for guidance who acts like he has no idea about the thing he just orchestrated.  As he said before “chaos is a ladder” and by creating chaos between the two Stark girls, he can turn them against each other.  He knows that Arya is a force to be reckoned with and will not be as easy to control as Sansa.  But manipulating Arya in the area of honor, he can turn her against Sansa and pick up the pieces when the two go to war against each other.  He even tells Sansa to get Brianne involved in their squabble.  Brianne is the only one who could even take Arya.

Later on, Sansa sends Brianne to Kings Landing for a meeting with the Lannisters, but Sansa will no longer willingly go there with Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne.  With Brianne going in Sansa’s place, there will be no one to protect him from Littlefinger through.  This could cause all sorts of problems for Sansa, but she’s too proud to even see it.

This week it’s Sansa’s turn to do some snooping as she goes through Arya’s quarters.  Be careful what you search for, you might not like it!  As she goes through Arya’s gear, she sees some of Arya’s faces.  On cue, Arya shows up and the two sisters have another tense confrontation.  This time it’s not about politics or about secret notes, now it’s about how dangerous Arya can possibly be.  She tells her sister about her ability to wear the faces of her victims as being one of the faceless men.  She even threatens to wear her sisters face (which means she would kill Sansa).  Sansa is now terrified of her sister and what she could do.  Arya backs away though as she was just taunting Sansa, but the fear remains.


While Danny is waiting for Jon and his group to return, it gives her some much-needed time with her Hand Tyrion.  She comments that she likes him because he’s not a hero.  Ask his face about not being a hero, he did lead the battle of Blackwater, which he even comments on.  However, she clarifies that he doesn’t do stupid heroic things, throwing himself out in a battle needlessly.  As she lists all the people who she has come across that have done heroic things including Khal Drogo, Daario, and now Jon Snow.  Tyrion comments that those “heroes” have all been in love with her, commenting that he knows she and Jon are starting to have the hots for each other.  Of course, we know they are related as she’s his aunt, but they don’t know it, once again bringing Game of Thrones into another incestuous area.

The two also talk strategy about their upcoming meeting with Cersei to discuss the army of the dead.  Tyrion finally brings her to task about killing the Tarleys.  He states that she was too impulsive to kill her enemies, showing that she could easily become like her father.  The two also discuss this new world that she’s trying to create and then the idea of a line of succession is brought up.  Dany gets defensive and doesn’t want to talk of her successor (since she can’t have kids) until after she’s queen.  Does she think that Tyrion wants to replace her?

North of The Wall:  

The best part of this week’s episode focuses on Jon Snow and his group as they carried out their mission north of the wall.  As this group assembled at the end of last week’s episode, they are very different from each other, but they all have the same mission, to help the world of the living by defeating the dead.  After a few minutes of getting to know each other and sorting out their differences, they come across their first obstacle.

During a blizzard, they notice a polar bear on the horizon.  Gendry notices that the bear has blue eyes, meaning this is not a normal animal, but one resurrected by the White Walkers.  The zombie polar bear savagely attacks the group, killing Random Guy #1 and critically injuring Thoros.  The Hound once again freezes at the sight of fire thanks to his childhood experiences with his brother.  Just wait until he meets his zombified brother again.

The group’s next challenge is when they stumble across a small group of the dead walking with a White Walker.  They realize that since it’s a small group, it’s their best chance at capturing one of them.  They launch a sneak attack against the group of the dead.  After Jon uses his Valyrian steel sword to kill the White Walker, which causes many of the dead to die afterward.  They capture the remaining one, which lets off a scream that lures many more towards them.  Jon has Gndry head back to the wall to send for help.

Now it really hits the fan as thousand upon thousands of the dead are hot on their trail and they manage to find refuge on an island in the middle of a frozen lake.  Thoros manages to succumb to his wounds, meaning that Beric can no longer be resurrected if he dies again.  The Hound continues to try and lure the dead to come after them with the hopes that they will crash into the frozen water where the ice is weak.  Unfortunately, the lake is completely frozen over and once the dead realize that, they race towards the group.

How freakin cool is Beric’s flaming sword?

 As the dead storm upon them, they fight with every ounce of their being, but the odds are not in their favor.  Just as they are about to be overrun, Danny comes in not with one, but three dragons to rescue them.  As we see the dragons lay waste to countless scores of the dead, the Night King is standing there watching, and then he makes his move.  Grabbing an ice spear, the Night King launches it like a perfect Olympic thrower and the spear pierces the side of her dragon Viserion, killing the dragon.

Down one dragon, it’s time to get out of there.  Jon gets ambushed by a group of the dead and gets pulled underwater.  To avoid a second spear from the Night King, Danny flies out of there, leaving Jon behind.  Jon manages to pull himself out of the freezing water and prepares to face-off against more zombies.  Just then he is rescued by his uncle Benjen AKA Cold Hands.  Benjen gives Jon his horse and tells him to leave as he is overwhelmed by the dead.

Jon makes it back to the wall where he is rescued from near death.  He awakens on Danny’s ship heading back to Dragonstone.  He talks with her apologizing for her dragon’s death, but she tells him that she needed to see the dead in action to believe it.  With that, she vows to destroy them before they can kill everyone.  Jon finally tells her that he will bend the knee and treat her as his queen.  She appreciates this and tells him she hopes she can be worthy of his trust.

Meanwhile, the dead pull Viserion out of the water (where did they get those big chains?!?) and the Night King resurrects the dragons as a wight.  With an ice dragon, it looks like the Night King now has the upper hand!

Next week is the season finale for Game of Thrones with the summit over the army of the dead having all the remaining rulers facing off.  Will they be able to put aside their squabbles?