Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 "Beyond the Wall"

Beware, this post is dark and full of spoilers. To be fair, this episode leaked nearly a week ago so if you have made it this far without seeing it then congratulations to you.

Still here? Good, let's crack on with this then.

In time honoured Game of Thrones tradition, the penultimate episode of the series provides a rollercoaster of feels that reduce even the strongest among us to mere cravens. We have come to expect the second last episode of every season to provide some pretty good action along with a notable death (or three) and this one does not disappoint.

Last week ended with the Westerosi Suicide Squad venturing north of the wall to capture themselves a wight (or at least some evidence of the White Walkers). So it makes sense that they are the main focus of this weeks episode (especially given the title). Jon and his merry men venture further north and things seem to be going well so far. They share some banter; the Hound and Tormund crack a couple of dick jokes and Gendry gets made fun of a bit.  A little later they get their first taste of action, running into an undead bear which takes out a couple of unnamed members of the squad before sinking its teeth into the unfortunate Thoros of Myr. Despite being bitten by a bloody zombie bear, Thoros lives to fight another day and the Squad marches on. They get their prize after a run in with a group of wights led by a solitary White Walker but are forced into the centre of a frozen lake when an army of wights charges them, during the commotion Gendry is sent back to Eastwatch to get a raven to Daenerys pleading for her help. After a long night (see what I did there?) waiting in the freezing cold, which unfortunately claims the already weakened Thoros, the army of the dead charges in and certain death looks inevitable until Daenerys swoops in with all three of the dragons. The Squad (wight and all) climb onto Drogon's back and are ready to leave but are held up by Jon who continues to fight off wights, this delay allows the Night King enough time to grab hold of an ice spear and kill one of the dragons (looks to be Viserion, the smallest of the three). A shocked Daenerys is urged to leave by Jon, who is left stranded and is forced through the ice by a group of wights. Jon escapes the ice (obviously) and realises he is left alone amongst an army of wights, luckily for him Benjen Stark rides in to save the day and sends Jon off on his horse before sacrificing himself for his nephew. Jon makes it back to Eastwatch and is taken south by Daenerys, during the trip Jon promises to bend the knee to Daenerys in return for her help in the wars to come. During the episode we also see a confrontation in Winterfell between Sansa and Arya over the letter that Arya recovered last week written by Sansa basically condemning their father to death. We also see Tyrion discussing with Daenerys who will rule should something happen to her as she has no obvious successor. The episode ends with the army of wights dragging the frozen body of Viserion out of the water and the Night King bringing him back as a bloody wight-dragon-zombie thing.

So there you go, three deaths and a shit-load of potential for next week's finale and the upcoming final series. Sifting through this amount of theory laden material is one hell of a task but there is only really one place to begin. A FUCKING DRAGON DIED! There have been many long standing rumours and theories about the fate of the dragons and who would ride them eventually, and it seems that this week we got a big pile of conformation on some pretty sweet ice dragon theories. I suppose it's only fair that the Night King gets a dragon to use in the war, seeing as Dany had three. These events also pour water over some of the theories about who would be the third dragon rider if we assume that Dany will ride Drogon and Jon will ride Rhaegal (the one named after his supposed father). So no luck to Tyrion who looked as good a bet as any. So what will these events mean? Will Viserion the ice dragon help the Night King bring down the wall? Or will it help to freeze the sea around Eastwatch allowing the army of the dead an alternative way around? Or will this be left until next year and we get no pay out in the near future? (Most probably the last one).

This episode provided a suitable ending for a few storylines that have been running now for some time, but in a way that only Game of Thrones can manage these resolutions simply pave the way for even more complicated storylines. The death of Benjen Stark (is he Coldhands? Who cares he's dead now) provides an ending to a story that has been running in the background since way back in the very first series when Benjen originally goes missing. The forgotten man is given a heroic death that is fitting of both a Brother of the Night's Watch and a Stark (although I'm pretty sure we didn't actually see him die so you never know). Another series one storyline that is almost brought to a close is that of Beric Dondarrion. He was originally sent out by Ned Stark to hunt the Mountain in series one and along the way he has died five time (pretty sure it is five) and been resurrected by the now deceased Thoros of Myr. Although Dondarrion is still alive and kicking at the moment, the death of Thoros means that he is on his last life and I wouldn't be surprised if he is taken out before the series end. There is also the matter of Sansa's letter, which is now in the hands of Arya. This letter also comes to us from way back in the GoT archives but is now a major point in the story of Winterfell this series. It is clearly causing tension between the Stark sisters (which could be what Littlefinger has been scheming this series) and as a result Sansa is now aware of Arya's newly acquired skills from the Faceless Men. With Sansa sending Brienne south to Kings Landing, it appears that she is vulnerable but if there is one thing we know about Arya is that she is loyal to her family, so I doesn't look like Sansa will die at the hands of her sister.

So what is in store for us next week in the finale? A meeting of most of the major characters (for the first time ever) in order to discuss the threat that the Night King poses, little do they know that his threat level is now through the roof seeing as he has a new pet. We know this show too well to think that this meeting is going to go by smoothly and no confrontation will occur, so who will be the instigator of the madness? Will Cersei have a trick up her sleeve? Will Dany's temper get the better of her? Personally I feel that the upcoming episode is a going to be a  step in a new direction for the show, very rarely do we see so many main characters in one place at the same time (with dragons) so to predict the outcome is almost impossible.

But wait there's more, The Hound has headed south...The Mountain is in the south...TIME TO GET HYPE!!!!!!!