Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond The Wall review: Dany pays great price for Jon but all’s cool
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Beyond the Wall review: Jon Snow puts a lot at risk as he goes looking for a wight in the cold with his motley crew but not as much as Daenerys who paid dearly for her decision to help him out.tv Updated: Aug 21, 2017 15:26 IST
Game of Thrones: Death is the Enemy
Cast: Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Maisie Williams, Iain Glen, Sophie Turner
Director: Alan Taylor
Is it wrong to break friendships over television spoilers? Any other day, any other show and I would have smacked your head and told you to get your priorities right for asking this question. But right now, I am not so sure. Not sure at all.
Earlier last week, yet another bunch of low-lives posted gifs of Viserion’s eyes turning blue all over Facebook and Twitter. About half a scroll into your timeline, you land on this mine. Your day, your week, your existence ruined because an idiot from school you don’t even wish on birthdays decided it’d be a fun prank to play on people. There is a special place in hell for him and none in my friend’s list.
Beyond The Wall had all the ingredients necessary for the much revered penultimate episodes of the series and if we lived in a better, less selfish world, it may have even achieved the desired effect. However, maybe this is the true test of quality, to be in awe of the episode for its execution when you already know what is to unfold. To still be left waiting for things to happen, on the edge of your seat. To be so lost in this work of art, you have to remind yourself how angry you were an hour and 11 minutes ago.
The climax, as essential as it was, wasn’t what raised Beyond The Wall from a good watch to one of the greatest episode of the series. The magic ingredient was the suicide squad’s journey through the picturesque mountains and everything that happened before the dragons actually land. What would you not give to have another episode of Tormund gushing to the unimpressed Hound about the woman who beat him to a pulp, or scaring little Gendry with his perverted ideas, Jon ready to give his sword to Jorah and him refusing to accept it, Beric and Jon bonding over coming back from the dead and a bored Hound just throwing rocks at zombies, calling them filthy names.
Their journey, however short, was still packed with moments of tussle, bonding, boredom and crisis which flowed fluidly, one after another. It could have seemed like a desperate, quick attempt at recreating Lord of the Rings but how Alan Taylor managed to avoid that, needs an explainer episode in itself.
Taylor returned to directing the series’ episodes after a long time (he directed the last two episodes of season 1 and four of season 2). The connection becomes palpable when you realise how Arya bought up episode 9, season 1 in a needlessly hostile conversation with Sansa. She tells her of the day their father was executed and how her sister did nothing. Even with two back-to-back episodes of Arya being terrible to Sansa, it is still not evident why she is digging up the past. If Littlefinger did intend to cause a rift between the two sisters, it still seems quite a stretch to assume that Arya would actually be this affected by a letter that was clearly written under pressure.
At this point, I see myself siding with Sansa, the sister I never thought I would choose. Arya assumes Sansa has been here all this while, wanting to be a queen and wear pretty dresses when we know that she has merely wanted to survive. What Sansa is right now is what we expect of her and we cannot say the same for Arya. Even with all her travelling, training and killing, one would assume more maturity from her rather than attacking a scared little girl who just wanted to keep her father alive.
Dany, too, with all her promises about being a better ruler than any that came before her, needs to be controlled by people around her. Her impulse is still to set fire to things, accuse those who counsel her of not being on her side at the slightest disagreement. The unwillingness to acquiesce to her demands, which she admired in Jon, she hated in Tyrion. Yes, Tyrion is a Lannister and therefore, perhaps his interests lie elsewhere, but Jon is the King in the North, a direct contender to the throne she so desires. So what is it that makes the difference? Who are we kidding, we know she sees doves and harps every time he looks at her.
If anyone needed more proof, the way she waits for Jon to return when everyone expected her to mourn for her dead dragon baby, should help you out. As Night King’s Olympic medal worthy javelin throw pierced through Viserion and all we get from her is just a sad, sullen expression. Even as Jon apologised to her, she shuts him up and shakes her head as if it was not too big a price to pay.
We, of course, aren’t too bothered because Viserion is still better than Drogon. He’s the smallest of his two brothers and we practically still have three dragons. Also, how else would we ever get to see an ice-spewing reptile?
But Dany’s nonchalance still hurts. May be she does only love Drogon. Hell, I’m more mad than her right now but then I don’t have a half naked Jon Snow in bed to distract me.
First Published: Aug 21, 2017 08:33 IST