Burning Questions of Beyond the Wall Game of Thrones S7E6

Welcome to Burning Questions of Game of Thrones, a weekly re-cap of the HBO series devoted to theories and speculation. In other words, nerdgasm central.

Theories include plot points from both Game of Thrones show and A Song of Ice and Fire books for a deeper interpretation of things that happen in the show. I’m a book nerd that is watching the show first this one time. So please watch where you step because

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I won’t refer to any leaked plot information for season 7. 

Feel free to jump in the comments to give me your two cents.

How Can One Episode be So Bad and So Good At the Same Time?

You will find tons of blogs and vlog reviews that talk about this episode’s problems. It’s being called the worst episode of the series. I wouldn’t go that far, but BEYOND THE WALL, S7E6 left fans scratching their heads or yelling at the screen, and for good reason. Implausibility. Impossibility. Stupidity. I have nothing new to add, except to say that I heartily agree. Compressing the storyline seems to be strangling some of the sense out of it. But I prefer to focus on positive aspects and elements on which I have something different or interesting to add. Let’s go.

Well, That Worked out Splendidly

Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall S7E6

In my last post, I predicted that everyone on this expedition would die except for Jon Snow. This moment looked like it was the end. Somehow, no one asked Eastwatch for a map of the territory beyond the wall. Because they’ve had rangers recording the territory for thousands of years. But I digress. 

Who Else is Down for a Face-off Between Nymeria’s Pack and the Ice Bears?

The Pack Against the zombies, Game of Thrones

HBO, have a heart. Go all out with the CGI for season 8. Give the fandom what they/we want. Zombies. Fire. Bloodshed. And the creatures who bring them.

How Amazing was Daenerys’s Fiery Arrival?

Drogon brings the pain north

Daenerys and the dragons show up, giving us what we’ve longed to see, dragon fire eating up those frozen zombies. The shots of fire plowing 

Fire and Blood in the North

through the ice were gorgeous. This was an incredibly satisfying sequence. I wanted her to aim Dracarys straight at the Night King, but ice spears. Those spears raise another question…

Drogon Landing2

dracarys3

Did the Night King Lure Daenerys North in order to Kill a Dragon?

White Walkers with spears

The White Walkers have never carried spears like this before. If this was a trap to lure the Daenerys and her dragons, it would explain the night(s?) long vigil on the lake during which nothing happened. If it were just about killing the guys on the ice, it would have been easy enough to kill them. But if they were waiting for the dragons to arrive in order to kill them, then that wait on the lake makes sense. This would mean that the Night King is more knowledgable about his targets than previously thought and much more formidable. If the White Walkers are capable of pre-mediation on this scale, then Westeros is in big trouble. 

Who else Screamed When Dany + Jon on Drogon Almost Happened?

DanyJonDragonOMG2

The look on her face when she extends her hand is beautiful. She can’t wait for him to experience it. For a fraction of a second, it looks like Daenerys and Jon will both be on Drogon’s back and we start screaming, but no, he’s off to kill some other beast and Daenerys hears Jon’s command to leave, but doesn’t really get it until

Oh My God. Not the Dragon Baby

Night King Aims at Viserion Image: edited screencap, SL

Viserion is hit

The horror and heartbreak of watching that gorgeous creature fall out of the sky raining fire and blood (hey!) was comparable to the breathless shock of watching Tommen step off the windowsill in season 6. It’s horrible because they’re Dany’s babies, they’re endangered species, but also because we didn’t even get to know the little fire breather. We know Drogon the biggest, oldest, wild child but the other two aren’t as well-known to us. And now Viserion is undead. 

Seriously Tyrion? “Do Nothing?”

Tyrion telling Daenerys to leave Jon to get zombified out in the snow was shocking to me, never mind his emotional “if you die we’re all lost” speech. This is not some unknown Northern Lord, this is Jon Snow you suggested abandoning to the Night King. How could you? what is wrong with you? I think that these words will come back to haunt Tyrion. His conversation about Daenerys’ legacy and succession is necessary but very badly timed. She was in crisis mode and he brought that up? Between that and his disastrous invasion plans, I’m wondering if there’s something we don’t know going on.

Why Daenerys’s Coat is the Hottest Thing Since Dragon fire

Danys dressI’m such a huge fan of the Game of Thrones costume designer, Michele Clapton that I have a Pinterest board devoted to her work for the show. I have never seen a show or film in which I wanted to wear everything

Every season or so, Clapton creates a look so epic that it breaks the Internet. Last year it was Cersei’s Murder Dress, 

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the black leather gown she wore in the fiery season finale. That black dress with the silver epaulet details was so epic that it made as much news as the massacre that ended the season. 

Daenerys' Dragonscale Coat

This year, it’s Daenerys’ Dragonscale Coat. This piece is so gorgeous that I stopped the episode to look at it.  The was designed in the Game of Thrones costume workshop.  According to Clapton, the coat is meant to signify her allegiance to Jon Snow. White and gray, fur, etc. I think it also very clearly gives a visual clue to Dany’s mindset. She’s following Olenna’s advice to be a Dragon. That scale effect down the back of the coat is stunning, and very dragon like. We get it Daenerys. Dracarys. 

Take two Starks, add Chaos and Stir

There’s a huge clue to the truth in this scene and no one has talked about it (that I know about). Arya has caught Sansa searching her room and is slowly closing in to threaten her life. Sansa is scared. But pay attention to Arya’s movements in the scene. 

Arya threatens Sansa

“How do you feel about Jon being King,” asks Arya. “Is there someone else you think should rule the North instead of him?”

Arya moves toward the window as she asks this question. Her tone of voice is slightly louder as she moves toward the open window in her room in the middle of winter. Sansa challenges her about the faces in the bag, Arya, still at the window, responds:

“You want to ask the questions? Are you sure? The game of faces didn’t turn out so well for the last person who asked me questions.”

As the conversation moves to the faces and Arya’s abilities, Arya moves back toward the center of the room and away from the window. She threatens Sansa, gives her the dagger and leaves. Her actions seem to warn her — don’t lie to me, I’m a killer — but also to reassure her — by giving her the dagger, Arya is telling Sansa “you have nothing to fear from me,” without saying it out loud. She may be urging her to use it.

Arya hands Sansa Cat's Paw

I think Arya played this entire scene for Littlefinger’s benefit, and that he or one of his spies was outside that window listening to every word. It’s possible that Arya was testing Sansa while making sure that Littlefinger knows that she’s on to his plans for Sansa and the North. Why? Because we know Sansa doesn’t trust Littlefinger at all and yet

Why is Sansa Confiding in Littlefinger?

Sansa confides in Littlefinger?

In a later scene, she seems to be confiding her concerns about Arya to the Lord of Chaos, Littlefinger. What in the hell? Is she so freaked out by Arya that she had to tell him about it? Is it a ploy?  Littlefinger mentions that Brienne would intervene if Arya became a threat to her or vice-versa. This is true, and if in fact, Arya had plans to kill Sansa (which I don’t believe) this would seem reassuring. But then:

Why Did Sansa Send Brienne South?

This scene blew my mind because it proves that Sansa has a plan, and she doesn’t want Brienne to intervene. Since Brienne would only intervene to protect her or her sister, the speculation here can only be very dark indeed. Either Sansa is planning to kill her sister – because she sees her as a threat to her own power in the North — or she and Arya are planning to kill Littlefinger, and want to keep Brienne out of it (this doesn’t make sense exactly, because Brienne’s job is literally to get blood on her hands).
Sansa told Jon back in episode 1 or 2 that she learned a lot from Cersei Lannister. She specifically mentioned that Cersei got rid of all of her enemies as something to admire. If she has decided that both Littfinger and Arya are threats to her plans for the long-term stability of the North, then she might just kill them. But she’s such a girly girl. Could Sansa use the dagger herself? Clearly, something is happening, because after she forces Brienne to leave, this is Sansa’s posture:

After Brienne Leaves

Clearly, not business as usual.

Sansa has the Power to End Littlefinger and Keep the Vale

I’m not sure if she’s forgotten or if she’s biding her time, but her explanation to Brienne that she’s keeping Littlefinger close because they need his army (the Vale forces) to remain loyal and available to the North is not exactly true. Remember this?

Lysa-Arryn takes a flying leap, Game of Thrones S4

Sansa Stark was standing (or kneeling) right there after being threatened by her crazy aunt Lysa. Littlefinger stepped in and after telling her the only woman he ever loved was her sister, shoved her out the moon door. In the inquiry that followed, which was conducted by the Lords of the Vale, Sansa said her aunt was crazed with jealousy (true) and flung herself from the moon door in despair (not so much). She could now turn on him and report to Lords of the Vale that she was forced or intimidated into lying. They would absolutely believe him. She may not recall that she heard Lysa confess that she killed for Littlefinger, but if she does remember, she will have figured out exactly what that means. Sansa has the power to grind him into dust, and he must know this. She may actually be in danger.

WTF Bran?

Say something to your sisters. Give them the information they need. Tell your brother/cousin Jon Snow that he’s a Targaryen and the true King. Have a feeling. Ugh.

RIP Uncle Benjen, You Deserved Better

Jon has been searching for you for 5 seasons. Jon lost his life because he was told you had been found. You probably know the truth about Lyanna and Rhaegar and could have told him about his mother and how his parents met. It was you who told him that he didn’t now what he was giving up by joining the Night’s Watch.  This death felt like such a rip-off and a lost opportunity.

See you after the finale!

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