S7E6+E7 (Finale): “Beyond the Wall” + “The Dragon and the Wolf”
(By J. Huang / Yellow)
This is a combined recap of Game of Thrones Season 7 last two episodes. Spoilers, spoilers and spoilers all the way ‘til 2019.
Beyond the Wall
After hyping the fuck out of this next episode being exactly like a Magnificent 7 movie, I feel completely validated. The opening interactions between our seven heroes beyond the wall is the stuff of legends. Our young, clear-eyed buck, Gendry gets a lesson from Sandor Clegane on the definition of ‘whinging’. Melisandre, the red woman, did awful things to Gendry. She tied me down to a bed! NAKED! and wanted my blood! She was naked too. That doesn’t sound all that bad.
When Gendry told the crew that Mel wanted him dead, the Hound quickly pointed out that Beric Dondarion had died six (count it SIX) fucking times, and you don’t see his ass ‘whinging’.
Speaking of Beric and his resurrections, the only other known person to come back from the land of forever sleep is Jon. Our beloved Jon has gone through a second-life crisis ever since he came back in season 6. Why him? Why not Ned? Why not Robb? He’s just a bastard. He’s certainly not worthy. Beric is unable to answer this question for Jon, because he’s not able to answer that question for himself. All he knows is that they are soldiers in this war, fighting for the living. What Beric says next sets the tone for the entire episode.
“Death is the enemy. The first and the last. The enemy always wins. And we still need to fight him. That’s all I know.”
This is the first time Jon has felt like someone has been able to talk to him about this extremely bizarre and life altering experience he has had. Something he won’t share with Dany or anyone else in Westeros.
The Hound and Tormund bonded over their affinity for Brienne of fucking Tarth. The chick that wants to carve you up and eat your liver. We’re all waiting on Tormund and Brienne’s great big monster babies to rule the world some day!!
Jon offering Jorah his family sword (Longclaw) and ancestral right back is one of the most touching moments of the season. Jon is 100% the type of guy that would do that, and Jorah is the type of guy that would refuse due to his distance from that life. Jorah hasn’t been the heir to House Mormont for years. He fled to Essos, became a sell-sword, spied for Westeros only to betray them again when he fell in love with Dany.
Their first encounter beyond the wall, towards the land of always winter is a wight bear. You may be familiar with the bears work in Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant. He shows up and mauls a couple of sledgers (dudes pulling the sled containing dragon glass). Beric and Thoros’ flaming swords set the creature on fire. Sandor Clegane is terrified of clowns, but he’s really petrified at the site of this giant dead bear on fire. Thoros steps in to save him resulting on his own mortal wounding before Jorah puts the beast down with a dragonglass dagger.
Expedition North pushes on towards the arrowhead shaped mountain Clegane had seen in his vision.
Expedition North finally catches the break they’ve been looking for. A small detached group of wights led by a White Walker. The team wastes no time ambushing the unsuspecting zombies. Jon kills the White Walker, using longclaw’s valyrian steal, and all but one wight, immediately fall. They’re able to tie down the one remaining wight and it looks like they may be able to pull off this stupid plan. The theory is that if you strike down the white walker that turned these wights then they all fall as well.
Our heroes fortunes quickly turn. They find the rest of the marching dead army. All of it. We’re talking 100,000 corpses, plus a few wight giants as well. In a split second, Jon calls an audible. He sends Gendry, the fastest one, back to Eastwatch so they can send Dany a raven to come rescue them. Gendry runs for what we can only assume is 12 hours and covers a ridiculous distance to deliver on his end.
The team is able to find a haven in this frozen lake. They’re basically on a tiny island in the middle of the lake and the idea is that the wights will break the ice and sink to the bottom. We have our Mexican stand-off. Thoros of Myr succumbs to his wounds and the cold overnight. Thoros’ claim to fame is that he was the first through the breach at the siege of Pyke, back when the Baelon Greyjoy revolted against Robert Baratheon. Thoros reveals that one of the most courageous acts Jorah had ever seen was nothing more than a blacked-out drunk fool charging with his flaming sword. Who will bring Beric back to life when he dies?
With the maturity of a 5-year-old, The Hound throws a stone at one of the wights. Why? Boredom? Looking at the rock skip across the ice let’s the wights know that this lake is safe for skating.
Hundreds of wights rush the group and they fight them off as best as they can. We see Tormund get pinned down by a group of them, almost get pulled into the freezing water just to be rescued by The Hound. Gingers everywhere were cheering at that moment. Just when you think they can’t possibly survive another theatrical minute, Dany swoops in blasting the shit out of the wights with all 3 of her dragons. Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are in full combat mode torching everything they see. Everyone is safely mounted on Drogon, including the tied up wight, when Jon decides he’s going to sacrifice himself for them to safely take off. The Nights King has been watching all of this unfold from hundreds of yards away. He calmly steps down from his horse and proceeds to do this.
A collective “FUCK” echoed throughout the realm. Jon gets pulled into the icy waters by a couple of wights and the team leaves him behind as they ride back to Eastwatch. Jon resurfaces from the frozen lake and is then rescued by his uncle Benjen Stark, aka First Ranger of the Nights Watch, aka Coldhands. Benjen puts Jon on his horse and stays behind sacrificing himself. Benjen was able to save Bran and Jon in the show, and now his watch has ended.
Jon makes it back to Eastwatch on horseback. He wakes up on the sex boat with Dany by his side. Jon expresses how sorry he is that Dany lost one of her children. Dany pledges to fight for the North and in turn Jon finally bends the knee. They’re feelings for each other are quite clear at this point and it’s shocking that they don’t get busy in that swanky chamber.
The wights pull Viserion’s body out of the water and you guessed it: the Nights King turns him into a Wight Dragon. WORST. TRIP. EVER.
The Dragon and The Wolf
The seventh season finale of the show was also its longest episode at a whopping 81 minutes. It’s clear that the show runners knew where they wanted this finale to be and worked backwards from it attempting to fill the gaps in the story line. In true Thrones fashion, they deliver on conclusions to the season’s story lines.
The episode opens with one of the great exchanges between Jamie and Bronn discussing what reason does a cockless man have to fight? Gold? what do you think soldiers do with gold. Family? Not without a cock you don’t!
“Maybe it really is all about cocks in the end.”
– Ser Jamie Lannister
Just about everyone who is anyone goes to King’s Landing for this G8 summit, except for the real Stark children. The Targaryen party is greeted and escorted on King’s road by Ser Bronn of the Blackwater. Another beautiful reunion scene between Tyrion, Bronn and Pod! The Hound and Brienne bond over their love for their murderous adopted daughter, Arya.
In the Dragonpit, Sandor confronts his brother Gregor, and this all but assures us that Clegane Bowl will very much happen…in season 8. Euron let’s Theon know that Yara is alive and he will kill her if he doesn’t turn himself in. Dany of course pulls the ultimate power move and makes everyone wait while she flies in on Drogon.
The Hound releases the captured wight who almost gets a clean bite of Cersei’s face. Jon demonstrates how hacking them won’t kill them but dragonglass or fire will do the trick. Qyburn clearly has an erection over this fascinating discovery. Euron takes his fleet back to the Iron Islands after he finds out the wights cannot swim. Cersei agrees to a temporary truce as long as the King in the North remains neutral. Something that was already true a few hours ago before the sex boat. Jon, like the Bastard that he is, foolishly refuses to lie and let’s her know he has pledged his fealty to the Mother of Dragons. Cersei storms off. NO DEAL!!!
Tyrion meets with Cersei in her chamber fully aware that the Mountain is one word away from hacking him in half. Tyrion finds out that Cersei is pregnant and somehow is able to appeal to what little humanity she has left. Cersei returns to the Dragonpit and tells them that her forces will join them in the North to battle the dead.
Back in Dragonstone, Theon asks Jon for his forgiveness. Jon lets him know that Theon is both a Stark and a Greyjoy. Theon wins a fight because he doesn’t have balls to get kicked and rallies the iron born to rescue Yara. Theon redemption story is in effect. Jorah tries to talk Dany out of sailing to White Harbor on the sex boat with Jon. He tried.
Back in Winterfell, Littlefinger is counseling Sansa on the likelihood that Arya may actually murder her. For what reason? To become the Lady of Winterfell. Sansa makes her decision and has Arya escorted to the great hall for an audience. Sansa begins by listing accusations of murder and treason. The accused: Lord Baelish.
Littlefinger looks puzzled. He tries to gather his thoughts and pleads to Sansa denying all of the things we know to be true. That he was the one who had Jon Arryn poisoned, he conspired to kill Ned Stark, he was the one that kicked Lysa Arryn through the moon door. All fact checked by the Three-Eyed-Raven himself, Bran Stark. Caught in his web of lies, the master puppeteer has finally been strangled by his own strings. He underestimated Arya and Bran. More importantly, he underestimated Sansa. She remembers what he once told her: ‘The only justice in this world is the one we make”. Arya uses the Catspaw dagger to slice his throat. Petyr Baelish will not be sitting in the Iron Throne.
It’s good to see the Starks united and working as a pack. Arya and Sansa recite Ned’s words.
“ When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
– The Starks
Back in the Redkeep, Jamie is interrupted by Cersei while planning with his bannermen. Cersei reveals that she has no intentions to fight in the North. She will consolidate her powers while Jon and Dany fight the dead and weaken themselves. Euron is on his way to Essos to pick-up the fabled mercenary army, the Golden Company. Jamie is in shock.
He has seen the wight and he gave his word that he would fight for the living. This is the only war that matters. For a moment we really believe that Cersei will give the Mountain the order to kill Jamie. This is the second brother she’s unable to kill today as Jamie is seen riding off on his horse as the snow flakes begin to fall in Kings Landing. This is the glory and purpose that Jamie has been searching for. Jamie’s redemption story is in full effect.
Sam and Bran exchange notes and come to the conclusion that Jon is not a bastard. His last name isn’t Snow or Sand. Robert’s Rebellion was based on a lie. Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen were in love and were lawfully married in Dorn. We hear Lyanna whisper to young Ned Jon’s real name: Aegon Targaryen. The sixth of his name and the true heir to the Iron Throne. This reveal narrated by Bran is beautifully cut between Jon and Dany’s inevitable yet beautiful sex scene. Lyanna, Rhaegar, Jon and Dany are the dragon and the wolf. Jon is the dragon AND the wolf.
The last scene in season 6 showed a triumphant Daenerys crossing the Narrow Sea with her fleet of Dotrhaki, Unsullied and three dragons finally on their way to Westeros. This season the show runners have chosen to go on a different direction. Tormund and Beric sit vigilant on the Wall at Eastwatch by the sea. A blizzard brings in the army of the dead. They’re here. And so is the Nights King riding Viserion, the wight dragon. This wall built by, Bran the builder, that stood for 8,000 years and kept the Nights King away is obliterated by Viserion’s blue flame. Our worst nightmares have come true.
Thank you for reading this recap. Writing doesn’t come easily to me, but I’ve had a lot of fun doing this. Alex (Black) and I will record a podcast to discuss season 7. Please subscribe to our podcast (Black and Yellow), now on iTunes!