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).