there’s a minute in “Beyond the Wall” once Daenerys, having received a raven that Jon snow & Co. Space in a pickle up North, prepares to launch a rescue mission, and Tyrion exclaims, “The most crucial person in the people can’t fly off to the many dangerous location in the world!” it is maybe the most reasonable advice the Hand has provided all season, yet of course, that is specifically what Dany proceeds come do, since there is no plot allude too absurd for this supersize episode.

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The spine that the entirety thing is Jon’s patently ludicrous, if enjoyable, wight-hunting escapade. The trip up north is strategically doubt on every level: not just tactically (wights don’t seem to execute a ton that hanging out solo, waiting to it is in kidnapped) or in the plausibility the the best outcome (Cersei being like, “Why, yes, this is precisely the evidence I require to begin acting in the rational attention of our human being collective!”), but additionally in the needlessly huge risk that takes. Even if Jon has tendency to be every aw-shucks about it, the is the King in the North, and somehow that manages to be both freighted with treatment for his people and also totally cavalier about how effed they’d be if he died.

Spoiler alert: Jon is still alive, however not specifically for lack of trying. First, the tape of Boyfriends have actually a run-in v an ice grizzly the rips up Thoros the Myr, who eventually dies indigenous his wounds. (Exit, sought by an ice bear.) Later, castle spy a tiny party of wights and go to catch them, finding out in the process that, apparently, if friend slay a White Walker, all the wights they made will likewise perish. They bag the single remaining specimen, however then, as even they expected, more wights come surging ~ them. Jon sends Gendry come run ago to Eastwatch for this reason he can send a raven come Daenerys, i beg your pardon is an insane rescue setup except for the truth that the group’s flight path bring away them end a frozen lake the cracks, developing a kind of moat that offers everyone sufficient time come wait till Gendry (#stillrunning) deserve to hail the rescue party. I beg your pardon begs the question: If Daenerys find these men so beneficial that she’ll come running as soon as they acquire in a jam, why didn’t she simply send a dragon v them in the first place?

A restless Hound shortly compounds the foolishness by throwing rocks in ~ the wights — i m sorry skid throughout the re-frozen moat, rousing lock to choose up their charge. (There’s a lesson right here in not underestimating her opponents, but likewise in not being a dumb-dumb.) the looks favor it’ll be a rout, however as in the fight of Bastards, Jon is saved from encircling enemies by a woman with perfect timing — this time, Daenerys, leading her dragons ex machina.

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The music at this moment is the many unabashedly triumphal we’ve heard in a while, but the minute turns tragic. Together the party seems all set to wing ago to Eastwatch, the Night King take away an ice cream spear and intends it perfect at Viserion, one of Dany’s two smaller sized dragons, bringing it down through a bloody scream. Jon, seeing just how shell-shocked Daenerys is and also realizing the Drogon could be next, sends them off as some wights pull him underwater. Favor Jaime Lannister ~ the prey Train Battle, he manages to pull himself out of the water— miraculously, Longclaw is appropriate there wait for the — and as the gathers self to challenge the wights, prepared to die a noble but pointless death, he’s conserved by … Uncle Benjen, who appears to have a homing beacon ~ above every Stark young stranded phibìc of the Wall. Ns going come guess that, just as the Three-Eyed Raven when sent that to conserve Bran and also Meera, Bran himself sent Benjen this time, yet that doesn’t make it read as any type of less ridiculous in the moment.

Ultimately, what to be this entirety plotline for? It gave us the big plot twist that appears to it is in mandatory in each episode this season: The Night King, having hauled increase the dragon’s corpse, now has an ice cream dragon that his own. That let us indulge in the satisfied of a Bad News Bears–style adventure plot, together the guys pal around, their former enmities filed down to mere grumpy ribbing. (Gendry the freshman: “You sold me to a witch!” The an elderly boys: “Yeah, yet she to be a sex witch, so avoid whining.”) It offered us among the many fun exchanges in recent memory, between Tormund and the Hound. I could write a whole essay on just how the joke of Tormund’s love for Brienne has actually turned right into a wealthy vein the both comedy and also feeling — but perform we yes, really think Tormund knows the word ginger however not dick?

Mostly, we had actually to walk North in order to move Daenerys and also Jon toward a an individual alliance. Both Dany and also Jon space caught between a setting of preeminence that foregrounds their subjects — who forever need saving — and also another the prioritizes their own motives and feelings. They insurance claim to provide an alternative to the self-serving Cersei, yet Jon swooped off through his merry men, placing his world at risk, and while Daenerys has talked about her subjects a lot of this season, they it seems ~ far more abstract 보다 her desire to case her personal inheritance. These are people whose identity as rulers is deep entwined through their separation, personal, instance selves and also stories. Come Daenerys, Jon’s legitimacy as king is precise embodied in the wounds the bears.

In their last scene together, Daenerys sits at Jon’s bedside. It’s mostly a scene around grief — a primal mother’s grief — and also love, as the 2 tentatively, then much more forcefully, clasp hands. Jon calls she by a pet name, Dany. It’s an intimate minute with vast political consequences, since Jon climate tells her that he will certainly bend the knee. I expect you might argue the Daenerys verified grit in the confront of his own poor decision-making, yet I’m much an ext inclined to believe that once he claims his human being will follow her as soon as they check out her together he does, he is talking about seeing her together a beloved woman who has made a great personal sacrifice, not a strategist. Dany has obtained a many mileage out of the queen-as-mother bit, so who knows, perhaps this will prove an simpler political blog post to swallow 보다 I think. Yet given every the speak of heirs in this episode — Tyrion speak Daenerys the her vision won’t be completed in a single lifetime; Jorah refuses to take back his father’s sword, telling Jon pointedly that he wishes it will serve him and also his youngsters well — probably some Targaryen-on-Targaryen babies will seal the deal.

So in this week’s main plot, the narrative brings together two lover — two lovers that are very Right because that each other, also as there’s something a small forced, a little too insisted-upon, in your chemistry. In the Winterfell subplot, miscellaneous of the very same is in ~ play, together the show pulls Arya and Sansa personally in ways that nothing feel totally natural. (Hat tip here to sarah Mesle, whose Los Angeles review of books recap of “Eastwatch” crystallized some of this for me.)

It pains me the in an illustration that’s all about dudes with rivers of poor blood between them acquiring all chum-chum, 2 young women who have each had actually incredible, complicated growth arcs are presented to be so inflexible, for this reason rooted in the previous that they’re willfully letting the rot your present. However mostly, I simply don’t purchase it. Ns don’t believe for a second that Arya still cares that, earlier in the day, Sansa had better penmanship and was proud of she knitting. Ns don’t think she provides two shits around her sister’s wardrobe choices. For all Sansa and Arya have seen and experienced — all the times they’ve to be beaten down and then wised up and also learned to maneuver in a civilization that, as Arya place it, doesn’t let girls decide what they desire to be — why can’t Arya it seems ~ to identify that both of your paths have led them with some witchy thickets? Sansa tells she sister the she can’t imagine what she’s suffered and also Arya responds icily, “Oh, ns don’t know about that, I can imagine fairly a lot.” and also yet her imagination cannot organize a location for a sister who was as soon as weak sufficient to create that letter yet might currently be strong. She definitely can’t imagine that Sansa takes pleasure in her farming abilities — hell, she maybe even thinks the she has better ideas than her brother — and yet no plotting mutiny.

Maybe the present can’t develop of it, either. ~ Arya confronts her sister through the letter, Sansa takes her concerns about having it exposed to the north lords to Littlefinger, that notes that Brienne has sworn to serve both distinct sisters. If one were plotting to damage the other, i will not ~ she intercede? yet then Sansa, confusingly, doesn’t turn to Brienne for support. Instead, she sends out her away to king Landing in response to a summons from Cersei. What room we claimed to take it from this, various other than a suggestion that Sansa is trying come strike Arya before Arya strikes her? Again, I simply don’t to buy it.

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When Sansa discovers Arya’s bag of challenge masks, her small sister walk full-on Jaqen H’ghar ~ above her, explaining what they average in a sinister tone. Arya also threateningly tells her, together she walks toward her sister v the catspaw dagger, the she can even end up being Sansa, if she had her face. Arya hands she sister the knife at that allude and walks out of the room, yet the totality scene doesn’t bode well for a return of same relations in between the stark girls. Is that too much to hope that this is every an elaborate double cross top top Littlefinger and also not a authorize that the Starks room on the Lannister path of mistrust, fear, and also cutting your sleep to spite your sibling’s face?

Let’s hope following week’s season finale — the critical episode prior to the show’s eighth and also final season — has actually some answers. Until then, I’ll just be here, thinking of your sad eyes.