Game of Thrones season seven: Episode six recap, 'Beyond The Wall'

Mary Gallagher
Jon and his men go beyond The Wall (HBO/Sky)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones season seven, episode six.

In last week’s dramatic episode of Game of Thrones Jaime and Bronn survived to fight another day, Gendry, the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon made a triumphant return, and Jon Snow and his band of rugged men went north of The Wall to capture a soldier from the army of the dead as proof the Seven Kingdoms face an even greater evil than Queen of the Iron Throne, Cersei Lannister.

So it was to be expected that the penultimate episode of the penultimate season of Game of Thrones would be a rollercoaster of emotions; making us flinch, laugh (yes, laugh), mourn, gasp and hope that love will conquer all – after a shirtless Jon clutched Daenerys’ hand and declared her his Queen. Hooray!

Aside from all of that, the running theme was of children and heirs, and we were reminded in an early scene between Tyrion and Dany that the Mother of Dragons can’t have kids because slave Mirri Maz Duur – who caused Dany to have a miscarriage and Khal Drogo to fall into a coma – cursed her.

Jorah Mormont sees White Walkers for the first time (HBO/Sky)

But first, we see Jon, Beric, Thoros, Tormund, Gendry and the Hound keep their spirits up in the frozen North as they tease young Gendry for his constant moaning. A dead bear galloping out of the fog towards them breaks up the laughs however, and it takes the whole group to take it down. Luckily, the bear’s tracks point them in the direction of the White Walkers’ army, and off they go.

They manage to trap a scout group of dead soldiers and Jon kills the accompanying White Walker, before they capture and gag a screeching soldier, but not before he lets out a bone-rattling scream that echoes through the frosty mountains in a chilling call to battle.

Back in Winterfell, we’re delighted to see that sibling rivalry is the reigning power and Arya just won’t give her big sister even the slightest of breaks.

It’s revealed that the letter Littlefinger planted for her is Sansa’s message to her brother Robb – written shortly after their father Ned was beheaded by the Lannisters – in which she insisted their dad deserved to die and she was being treated well and loved married life with Joffrey.

Sansa and Arya are struggling to see eye-to-eye back at Winterfell (HBO/Sky)

Sansa tries to convince Arya that she wrote the letter when she “was a child” and under duress, but she doesn’t really try hard enough and instead, she makes Arya flinch with guilt for failing to intervene as she too watched their dad die from the baying crowd.

This scene frustrates us as much as them, because we are baffled as to why neither of the sisters has looked to devious Petyr Baelish for an explanation to how the letter was leaked. And Sansa later confides in him about Arya finding it.

Please hurry home Jon and knock some sense into your bickering sisters.

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“He’s too little for me.”

Elsewhere, Tyrion and Daenerys sit by the fire at Dragonstone, and the dwarf plants the seed of love, recalling the longing way that Jon Snow stared at Dany during his visit to their little island, and that his fascination was more than wonderment at her shock of plaited white hair.

She brushes him off with a throwaway comment, insisting Jon is “too little” for her, and our hopes for a Dany/Jon union are immediately crushed, not to mention saying it to poor Tyrion, the shortest man in all of Westeros.

Dany and Tyrion discuss tactics (HBO/Sky)

Their conversation turns to less romantic matters and we’re reminded that Varys begged Tyrion to find a way to keep Dany’s impulsive nature and her anger under control, after she killed off Samwell Tarly’s brother and father because they refused to bend the knee to their new Queen.

The pair talk about Cersei’s request for a meeting at Kings Landing and that it could be a trap, obviously, but Tryion encourages Dany to refrain from “deceit and mass murder” on her first visit to the capital and it puts her in a bad mood.

He also brings up the subject of her heir, and the fact that she hasn’t got one, which makes her even more angry and she refuses to discuss the matter until she takes over the Iron Throne.

“Lord of light, come to us in our darkness as the night is dark, and full of terrors.”
The Lord of Light brings fire (HBO/Sky)

Back beyond The Wall, Jon and his merry men aren’t merry for much longer as they’re surrounded by thousands of dead soldiers and a group of White Walkers on horseback. Despite their predicament, we enjoyed seeing hundreds of the dead crash into the lake as the ice broke.

Jon sent Gendry, the fastest of them all, back to The Wall to send a raven to Dany in the hope she’d fly on her dragon Drogon and rescue them, but time is ticking, and they’re freezing, almost to death, and Beric Dondarrion wants to fight the White Walker one on one, knowing that to kill the leader of the pack, or who turned the dead soldiers, will kill them all.

Jon’s adventure beyond the wall proved costly in more ways than one (HBO/Sky)
Dany goes to Jon’s rescue beyond the wall (HBO/Sky)

Finally they see Dany swoop in on Rhaegar, with Viserion by her side, and the pair blanket the White Walker army with fire.

But the Northern rescue mission did not go as expected.  The remaining men – Tormund, The Hound, and Beric – scramble onto Rhaegar with Dany, and watch Jon as he fights a few more dead soldiers and shows off his skills in front of his lady. While they are distracted, the White Walker general throws an spear into the air and dramatically, takes down Viserion, with him crashing to the earth and sinking to the bottom of the lake, presumed dead.

Amazingly, Jon makes it back to The Wall after his uncle Benjen rides in and gives a bedraggled Jon his horse (and Benjen takes the brunt of the remaining dead soldiers).

“The dragons are my children. They are the only children I will ever have. Do you understand?”

Dany feels it is important to tell Jon she cannot have children, and that the dragons are the only brood that she’ll ever know. Though we accept that it isn’t strange for her to say this, because she’s mourning Viserion, we’re also left hopeful that she’s laying her cards on the table for her (fingers crossed) future husband so that he ‘understands’ her predicament.

However, she is his aunty and this would – in the real world – stop them from being together romantically, never mind having kids. But we know that sort of thing doesn’t bother that Targaryen lot, but anyway…

We were previously left wondering what it would take for Jon to bend the knee; Dany swooping in on a dragon and saving his life perhaps? It happened, and here we are with Jon telling her that he is “so sorry” that Viserion had to die, but she is now his “Queen”, which makes her tearful and happy.

The last scene of this intense episode sees the army of the dead dragging Viserion’s lifeless body from the icy deep, as the White Walker general watches over proceedings. He walks up to Viserion, places his cold, dead hand on the dragon’s nose and suddenly, Viserion’s eye open. Only now, it’s an icy shade of blue. The White Walkers now have a dragon. Well, that’s just great.

Other points to consider from episode seven
  • Will Arya betray Sansa and show the letter to the Lords if she thinks Sansa is waiting to steal Jon’s crown?
  • We really want wildling Tormund to have giant children with Brienne, as he suggests.
  • The biggest tragedy could have nothing to do with dragons or White Walkers, but be the fact Jon and Dany can’t have kids if they get together.

READ MORE

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Game of Thrones season seven recap: Episode one, ‘Dragonstone’
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