Game of Thrones

HBO

Season 7 Episode 6

Beyond the Wall

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One of the things that I have heard the most from people regarding the truncated nature of this season of Game of Thrones is that they are wasting the opportunity to explore the narrative by not having more episodes. I agree with them to a point, but this season has had such an interesting and engaging flow to it that I honestly don’t feel the need for more episodes past this year’s finale. I can only expect there to be diminishing returns if they did and honestly, I enjoyed this prelude to the finale, despite some pretty huge flaws.

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So Jon Snow and his group are traversing beyond the wall to capture a white walker to bring to Cersei Lannister to prove that the Night King’s army exists and is on the move. As they travel through the frozen waste they are attacked by a dead ice bear, which is pretty awesome. As the group comes upon a small group of Whights and their handler, They manage to take out the handler (learning something new about the nature of the army itself) and capture one of them, still moving. Unfortunately, this causes another set of issues.

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At Winterfell, Arya confronts Sansa about the letter that she wrote to her brother Robb begging him to swear allegiance to Joffrey. Sansa tries to explain to her sister that she thought she was doing the only thing she could do to save their father, but Arya doesn’t believe her. Frankly, Arya has adopted the attitude that most viewers have had of Sansa since the first season and while many of their opinions changed considering what she had to endure as the wife of Ramsay Bolton, Arya only sees her sister as she once was.

Sansa, of course, goes to Littlefinger for advice. He gives it,  but the advice he gives puts both sisters in a precarious situation that leaves them at risk and without protection.

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At Dragonstone, Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister continue to debate her actions. While Tyrion is confronting her out of respect and faith in her mission, he can’t help needling her about some of her actions. His trying to micro-manage her behavior as well as her emotions come to a head when he confronts her about the issues with succession after she takes the Iron throne. Daenerys is not ready to hear this and dismisses him.

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Beyond the wall, Jon and his team are confronted by the army of the dead and the only safe place they can find is on a rock in the middle of a frozen river. As the cracking ice keeps the dead at bay, Gendry is dispatched to get a letter to Dragonstone. The battle that follows is great to see and the end of the episode is both powerful and bittersweet, but there are some pacing issues that I can’t really ignore.

 

 

(Spoilers)

 

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How long were Jon and company on that ice flow? How long does it take for a raven to travel from the wall to Dragonstone? How long does it take a ship to travel from Dragonstone to the Wall? Was the ship already there? How long does it take a dragon to fly from Dragonstone to the Wall and why didn’t they just keep roasting Wights the whole time Dany was trying to rescue the guys?

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