“Death is the enemy,” Beric says. “The enemy constantly wins, however we still have to fight.”Photograph courtesy HBO
On critical night’s “Game the Thrones,” a phibìc of the Wall-focussed episodethat we expected to be snowy, wighty, and grunty, we acquired all that, andjust a smidge more: Khaleesi tears, a swinging-lantern surprise, aknapsack full of pistol intrigue. And yet, for some of us, thispenultimate illustration of the penultimate season the our display of showsunderwhelmed; I gained reports the a bird flipped at a tv inMassachusetts. On the other hand, it’s hard not to love these crazygoofballs. Chandelier we?

We open up on snow, snow, and an ext snow: our gang of fur-clad bravehearts,bareheaded other than for Gendry, who wears an amusing hood atop whatappears to be a shearling coat. “You ever been north before?” Jon Snowasks. “Never viewed snow before!” Gendry says, shivering. Tormundmentions the utility of fucking to save warm, then, after ~ making a crudejoke come Gendry that leaves him wide-eyed, problems to Jon eye thatGendry isn’t smart. Exactly how dare you, sir!

The long trudge v the North offers the men numerous time come catchup—there i will not ~ be time because that exposition, the writers seem to it is in remindingus, as soon as the wights begin skibbling. They talk of the Dragon Queen, andof everybody’s favorite topic: bending the knee. Jon snow complainsabout it; Tormund reminds him that Mance Rayder was too proud to do it.“How countless of his human being died because that his pride?” Tormund says. Gendrysquabbles with the Brotherhood males for marketing him toMelisandre—remember the leeches, you bastards? The Hound roll his eyes.“This one’s been killed six times,” that says, nodding in ~ Beric. “Youdon’t hear him bitching about it.” prefer real brothers!

Jon and also Jorah capture up about Jeor Mormont and Ned Stark: fathers wholived nobly and died unfairly. This is a manly prelude come a portentousmoment: the handing back and forth of Longclaw, Jon Snow’sValyrian-steel sword. If you, favor me, walk a littlewho’s-got-Valyrian-steel refresher prior to this episode—because Valyriansteel and dragonglass space the just things that deserve to kill WhiteWalkers—you could have been reminded that Jeor offered Jorah’s knife toJon, that was like a kid to him. “Changed the pommel indigenous a bear come awolf, but it’s still Longclaw,” Jon says, every decency. No, Jon Snow! Youare also noble! You require that thing, for chrissakes. “It’s been in yourfamily because that centuries,” Jon says. Aw, shucks, Jorah says—but i broughtshame upon mine house. You take it. May it offer youwell. Phew.

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At Winterfell, Arya, somehow properly tricked by Littlefinger’smachinations of critical week, has actually grown suspicious and also scheming. Arya tellsSansa a story about shooting arrows also though the was against therules, and their dad clapping because that her when she fight the bull’s-eye. “Iknew the what ns was doing was against the rules, however he to be smiling, soI knew it wasn’t wrong,” she says. “The rules were wrong.” She’s turn off toa an excellent start; castle think the Dad fondly for a second. “Now he’s dead,killed by the Lannisters, v your help,” she says. Oy! No, Arya, no!

Sansa’s eyes widen. “What?!” Arya takes the end the role she uncovered inLittlefinger’s mattress and reads it melodramatically. The the letterthat the Lannisters do Sansa send come Robb—remember Robb?—asking him toswear fealty come Joffrey. Stand in former of what appears to be a hugepink slab of meat, lock bicker around loyalties and Ned’s execution.Seems choose they should have spent much more time capturing up beforethis—surely Sansa would have actually mentioned despising Joffrey at some point?More bickering, hard to believe and harder to enjoy. (You desire to it is in apretty queen! You need to be on her knees thanking me because that savingWinterfell! Well, i still hate you! Your experiencing sounds like baloney!Etc.) climate Sansa claims something sensible: “Do girlfriend know how happy Cerseiwould be right currently if she saw united state fighting?” come this I might add, do youknow just how happy Littlefinger would be, too? In fact, he’s probablynestled behind a nearby pole, yet for once, the camera doesn’t cut tohim act the old lurk-and-smirk.

On the long Cold Trudge, Tormund and also the Hound interact in part sailortalk. At the very least someone’s got some joie de vivre roughly here! Tormundsays he wants to do babies v Brienne the Tarth. “Great bigmonsters,” that says. “They’d dominate the world.” The Hound, we can see,is much more focussed on the moment that Brienne practically killed him, however hedoesn’t get into it. Beric and Jon Snow talk about the mr of Light,a.k.a. The good Resurrector, and his mysterious ways. “Death is theenemy,” Beric says. “The enemy always wins, however we still have to fight.”You claimed it, brother. Up ahead of them, the Hound sees the vision he sawin the fire made real: “A mountain like one arrowhead.” The plot isnearly top top us!

In cozier quarters—the regal caves the Dragonstone—Tyrion is staring intothe fire, talking around boys v Dany. “Do you understand why I favor you?”she says. Ns honestly don’t, the says. “You’re no a hero,” she says. AsTyrion provides evidence around the dirt Gate and his confront slash, shecontinues: heroes execute stupid things and they die. She rattlessome off—all heroic, most not dead. “Drogo, Jorah, Daario. Also this . .. Jon Snow.” They’re all in love with you, he points out. She scoffs atJon Snow’s puniness, then asks around Cersei. If Bran wargs thisconversation and also tells Jon around it, i hope he leaves that part out.

Up in Snowsville, things space really acquiring cooking: a substantial blizzard,panting and also trudging, and also lo—a creature in the distance! can it be anice spider? No—before you recognize what the hell is walking on, or why, abear—a be affected by each other the size of a woolly mammoth, through the threadbare fur of anold teddy bear and the eerie shuddering move of a military-graderobotic dog—is ~ above them,snarling and snorting and chomping, and also being whacked through flamingswords.

At Winterfell, simply as reasonably, Sansa is confiding in Littlefinger.Her pertains to are legit: currently that Arya’s found that scroll and also believedthe worst, will the Lords of the North have actually reason to mistrust she asshe leader them into the long Horrible Winter? Why not talk to Bran,all-seeing stiff, or the woeful tree he hangs out with? That thing’snever betrayed you while purring around being in love through you and yourlate mother. Littlefinger acts favor he’s being faithful to both sisters.“Arya’s not like them,” he says. “She would never ever betray your family.”He argues that Brienne help—a legitimately great idea. What is he up to?

Now we’re scaling Mt. Arrowhead. Jon and Tormund watch some poor guys downbelow: a White Walker, add by wights. The White Walker—tall,with great posture, a balding head, and long white hair and beard—lookslike a steel version of Mr. Rosso native “Freaks andGeeks.” Sadly, he is much less chill. Ours ragtag troupe attacks frombehind, and, after a totality bunch of group fighting, Jon whacks the W.W.and that shatters favor glass—Goodbye, Mr. Chips!—and the wights, in turn,crumble, too. Well, not all of them.

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,” together the closeup of the door captioning says: in thebackground, one priceless brown-skulled howler howls on. Our heroes lookat him, a tiny bit in love. Might you be theone?, they all thinksimultaneously, and begin to capture their brand-new friend to carry toCersei. They’re in as well deep to realize the absurdity of this plan now.(As a friend put it, happen a wight to Cersei would be prefer bringingsome melted glacier water come prove climate change to Trump—that is tosay, ineffective. Top top the other hand, you can’t let glacier water the end ofa bag and also have that run approximately the office like a psychopath. I’moptimistic!) as they subdue it and also put a bag end its head—?—they hearthe rumblings the a jillion an ext wights in the distance. Jon speak Gendryto scram. “Run ago to Eastwatch! obtain a raven to Daenerys, call herwhat’s happened!” the says. I’d be really curious to check out that raven’sscroll.