The episode starts north of the wall as our brave group sets out in search of a living dead man to bring back to prove to the queens that the true threat is in the frozen lands. There’s some lighthearted chatting as the older men tease Gendry about the cold. He’s never seen snow before. Tormund makes some raunchy joke about the best ways to stay warm and then we move on to one of the smartest things Tormund tells Jon. Mance refused to bend the knee too, how many of his people died because of that? Cut to Gendry who is cranky at the Brotherhood about that whole selling him thing. He tells them about the leeches and the Hound is all, but did you die?
Jon has a moment with Jorah, he tries to give him his sword. They talk about Jeor Mormont and how much Jon respected him. Jorah admits his shame in disappointing his father and refuses to accept it, which is good because Jon needs his wight killing sword.
At Winterfell, Arya is being the creepy skulky girl we have grown to fear/love. She tells Sansa a story about when she snuck in some archery practice and her dad watched. How she knew it was against the rules for a girl, but her father allowed it because he understood who she was. Then she blames Sansa for killing him. Sansa is taken aback before Arya pulls out the scroll she found last week and reads it to Sansa. She tries to explain she was a child and she was forced to write it, but all Arya can do is say I saw you stand there as he died, you should have died before writing that. They bicker in the way they do but Sansa pops back with something smart, Cersei would love to know they were fighting over it.
Back in the North, Tormund is trying to buddy up with The Hound. He tells him he has sad eyes, then talks about getting back to his woman. Tells the Hound how he wants to make giant babies with her and Gregor realizes he is talking about Brienne. Beric and Jon talk about being brought back by the Lord of Light and then the Hound sees the mountain from his fire vision. They should find the horde soon.
At Dragonstone, Tyrion and Daenerys have a fireside chat. She sorta insults him, he’s not a hero, which is what she likes about him. Tyrion points out the heroes who fall in love with her and she replies Jon’s not her type because he is too short…..
The guys in the North are attacked by a dead polar bear. Thoros takes it on with his flaming sword, which makes the Hound shy away, because fire. And even though it is only one bear and there are many dudes, noone helps him for quite awhile and Thoros gets chomped pretty well. Beric finally saves Thoros and says they need to take him back to Eastwatch, The priest says nah, gimme some wine and do the fire sword trick. So he is all cauterized and back on the hunt for the dead army.
At Winterfell, Sansa is freaking out. She is talking with Littlefinger and stressing out that Arya might show the scroll to someone. She fears the fickle lords of the North won’t support her if they see it. Baylish suggests getting Brienne involved with the sisterly squabble.
In the North, the group finds a small party of the dead. They lay a tempting trap and attack. Jon takes out the White Walker with Long Claw and all but one of the wights crumble to real death, interesting… SO they start tying up the last remaining dead guy to take back as proof when suddenly the thunder rolls. Wait no, that’s the sound of thousands of dead guys on the move. Jon tells Gendry to run back to Eastwatch to send a raven to the Khaleesi. He wants to fight, but Jon says you’re the fastest, get moving. THe rest of the crew finishes typing up the wight and then the walkers are almost upon them. Luckily they find some thin ice with some rocks in the middle. They make their way to the stones as the horde crashes through the ice leaving the men in the center of some trouble, once the water refreezes. Gendry Runs until he can see the gate then he falls and stays down, that’s ok Davos runs out the gate and gets the message.
Night passes in the middle of the circle of death, Thoros does not awaken. The Hound tries to make use of the leftover wine but Jon pours it on the dead priests body, Beric says a prayer and lights up his sword again to burn the body. The circle of death watches silently. Jon hopes for Dany, Beric says we could always kill the Night King.
Cersei has invited Lady Stark to King’s Landing. She is sending Brienne of Tarth in her place. Brienne does not like that plan. Who will protect you from Littlefinger? Sansa thinks she’s a badass and got him under control…
At Dragonstone Dany is marching to Drogon as Tyrion tries to convince her not to go. They knew the risk, she shouldn’t risk herself and her dragons as well. She is all nah, I’m out. He can’t bend the knee if he’s dead. The Mother of Dragons rides off with her children.
In the frozen wastes, The Hound gets bored and tries to skip rocks. Dumb, Cunt! Rolling rocks mean the water is walkable again and the dead approach this unlikely fellowship. The Wildling redshirts are easily outmanned, but then so is Tormund. Our favorite ginger cries out for help as he is tackled and being dragged to the edge of the ice. Just as I am ready to throw all the tables, he is saved and stands to fight again. But our men are vastly outnumbered and Jon yells to fall back. How do you fall back in a circle Jon? There is no chance for them…. Dracarys!
Dany and her babies start firing things up. Drogon lands and she reaches for Jon, but he has to get his men on the dragons back first. He steps back out to fight. The Knight King has had enough. He pulls out a giant ice spear and launches it. We all shriek in horror as Viserion falls from the skies. Jon rages and takes out more dead, the white walker reaches for a second spear and Jon turns to run to Drogon, he is too far away and he yells at Dany to go. She hesitates but then chooses her dragon and they flee. The Knight King launches the spear, which Drogon dodges. Jorah almost falls but his old man ass is caught and he lives to pine another day. Jon is overwhelmed by wights and falls under the ice.
Longclaw is on the edge of the ice and suddenly Jon breaches the water. He struggles to pull himself from the frozen depths. As he tries to walk away, the retreating horde notices him. He stands to fight, we all know he won’t make it. Long lost Uncle Benjen to the rescue. He puts Jon on the horse, insists it won’t carry two and sends Jon south while he swings his tiny burning ball before quickly being overtaken.
At Eastwatch, Daenerys and Jorah keep watch on the wall. Jorah tells her it’s time to go. The Queen doesn’t want to give up. She finally turns her back on the North when the horn blows. Jon has made it to the wall.
Davos gets Jon onto the boat to go south, they start taking his frozen stiff clothes off to try and revive him. Daenerys sees his scars on his chest. What was that Davos was saying about a knife to the heart?
In Winterfell, Sansa is searching through Arya’s room. She finds a satchel under her bed and opens it up to find old dude faces. Arya walks in all chill as Sansa is freaking out. Why do you have faces? Arya would make Jaqen proud with her creep factor in this scene as she talks about her training. How she can be anyone, even Sansa, all she needs is her face. Sansa looks rightfully freaked out as Arya draws her blade, then just hands it to her and walks away.
Jon wakes up to the queen at his bedside. His first though is to comfort her. He apologizes and wishes they had never made the trip north. She consoles him saying it;s ok because now she knows. She vows to fight with him and he metaphorically bends the knee amid a lot of hand holding and googly eyes. She leaves him to rest.
Up in the north, the wights pull Viserion from the frozen waters. The Knight King slowly walks forward and places his hand on the giants head. Viserion awakens with ice blue eyes.
This episode was all anxiety. I was sick to my stomach with stress. I was sure they were going to kill Tormund. They made us think Jon was dead. Viserion though was just tragic. So how will this play out going forward? This puts an interesting spin on the prophecy of the three dragon riders. Does a dead frozen dragon spit fire? What can they do to us in the season finale next week? Tell me what you though in the comments.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO or you can stream it on Amazon with an HBO subscription, get 7 free days now and catch up.