Well, Game of Thrones; things definitely went down in Beyond the Wall.
Who doesn’t love the crew beyond the wall? For basically being on a suicide mission, they’re pretty chipper and amusing. What I didn’t like were the wildling “red shirts.” I don’t remember seeing them walk out of Castle Black back in Eastwatch. Unnamed characters put into a situation entirely for the sake of being expendable, is pretty lame. Granted, we did have some legit casualties in this episode. I guess I can’t complain too much (should I be complaining that enough characters didn’t die?).
The pacing of the episode isn’t something I was fond of. I guess they needed to structure it this way so they can show a pass of time, but still, I would have loved to have just been north of the wall for as much time as possible.
I’m not invested in the storyline in Winterfell. The tension between Sansa and Arya doens’t seem like something that should be happening. Granted, Arya is a Faceless Man (reject), which basically she is an assassin, but I can’t believe that she wants to kill Sansa or is dumb enough to fall for Little Finger’s game. At least I hope she isn’t.
I love The Hound and I love Tormund. What Game of Thrones has done the best; take characters we initially hate and make use love them (The Hound, Jaime Lannister, Little Finger). There’s something about Sandor Clegane’s arc that just works. We were supposed to hate him. He killed Arya’s friend, the butcher’s boy and he’s kind of an asshole to everyone. But he’s charming and you can see the good in him. He’s trying to make amends and it shows through, again in this episode; when he saves Tormund.
The situation the men beyond the wall are in, is terrifying. I love the set up, I love the action; it’s one of those scenes (and episodes), that I’ll probably watch 4 or 5 times. My issue, which I’ve had multiple times this season; the passing of time. Our crew are stuck on a rock in the middle of a frozen lake, waiting for help; Gendry runs back to the wall (weren’t they miles away?), sends a Raven across the world to Dragonstone, then Daenerys still needs time to fly her Dragon’s to Jon. The episode gives no indication of how long they were sitting there, with the army of the dead waiting for the lake to refreeze. Was it a single night? I doubt it. Was it 3, 4 or 5 days? That makes more sense, but would the dead just wait for that long? I just wish someone mentioned “how many more nights can we stay out here.” just to give us some type of indication.
The battle was fantastic. I didn’t really see a Dragon being killed coming, but it happened. We definitely had some foreshadowing from the zombie-polar bear, from earlier in the episode. I knew we were going to see an evil-revived dragon, once it went down. One other issue I had, no mention of which dragon died! I literally had to look up that was Viserion, who was turned.
I did love that Benjen made his return to save Jon, after a some-what far-fetched scenario, which Jon shouldn’t have made it out. But let’s face it, they can’t kill him (again).
Maybe I’m just fully drinking the cool-aid, but even with the my time and information issues that I had with Beyond the Wall, I loved it. It was one of the better episodes of the entire series.
What did you think of the episode? Let me know what you think.