TV Recap: ‘Game of Thrones’ – The Living Battle, the Dead, Ice and Fire Join Hands


The penultimate episode of Season 7 saw Jon’s ragtag posse striking out North of the Wall to capture a wight. This, of course, leads to zombie bears, zombie dragons, an important death and general mayhem. Again, zombie bears and zombie dragons. They’re as terrifying as they sound. This week’s episode also features the budding romance between Jon and Daenerys and the strained relationship between coldblooded assassin Arya and her sister, Lady Sansa, to Littlefinger’s utter glee. Here’s what happened on Season 7’s episode 6 on “Game of Thrones.”

Once More Into the Breach

The episode begins with Jon’s posse, who are seen walking through the white wilderness Beyond the Wall, searching for a wight to capture. The group of men, all of whom have varying opinions of each other, break off into little conversations. Jon and Ser Jorah bond over their late father Jeor Mormont. Jon tries to give his sword, which was originally Jeroh’s, back to him, as the weapon was a family heirloom. Jorah refuses, saying Jon’s earned it and he lost his right to the sword long ago. He tells him to give it to Jon’s own children when the time comes, and the pair seem to form a respectful bond.

The Hound is not amused, Gendry. Shush.

On the other hand, Gendry is still angry about his past dealings with fire worshippers Thoros of Myr and Beric, who previously sold him to the Red Woman. The older men of the group are amused by Gendry’s anger, with The Hound basically telling him to suck it up. If you didn’t die or get your face burnt off, you don’t get to complain.

Tensions Rise Between Arya and Sansa

Tensions are high between the Stark sisters as Arya broaches the subject of Sansa’s message, which she discovered among Littlefinger’s things in the past episode. The pair fight, with Arya swearing she would never have written such a message even under duress, while Sansa points out that Arya did nothing to save their father either. Arya seems thrown off by that retort, as she seems to believe she’s an invincible, honorable fighter who bows to no one. Arya realizes her big sister is concerned she’ll tell the Stark bannermen, who are already restless without their King. Sansa is visibly nervous when Arya refuses to say whether or not she’ll tell their fighting force.

It’s still unclear what Arya’s exactly aiming to do in Winterfell, as she’s done nothing but sneak around while Sansa struggles to hold Winterfell together with her bare hands. She later voices her concerns to Littlefinger, who plays upon her fears about her sister, driving the pair further apart.

The Snowy Trek Continues

Jon’s posse continues crunching through the snow, in search of a wight to capture. Beric speaks about the Lord of Light with Jon, as the pair are the only two to have been revived by the Lord of Light after dying. Jon isn’t moved by Beric’s words, and tells Beric he doesn’t know why he was saved in the first time.

On the way, Tormund also gushes about “Brienne of Fucking Tarth” to The Hound, who quickly realizes Tormund’s talking about the humungous blonde who kicked his ass a few seasons back. Tormund, oblivious to The Hound’s feelings about Brienne, plans out their future and the humungous fighters their children will be. He has still not said two words to her. Ah, love.

Daenerys and Tyrion Talk About the Future

Back in Dragonstone, Daenerys and Tyrion talk about Daenery’s future. Tyrion sits before the fire, drinking, as Daenerys complains of the stupid, heroic men of Westeros who make stupid, “brave” decisions that end up killing them. She counts Drogo, Jorah, Daario, and Jon Snow among the bunch (all her former suitors) and praises Tyrion for not being a hero, in the biggest backhanded compliment of the season. Tyrion does point out a few heroic acts, but she speaks over him, saying “I don’t want you to be a hero. Heroes do stupid things and they die.” This, by the way, is a perfect tagline for “Game of Thrones” itself.

Tyrion steers her back to the issue at hand, the upcoming meeting with Cersei in King’s Landing. He cautions her not to be impulsive, which Daenerys is displeased to hear; she’s further miffed when Tyrion brings up her lack of a successor, which leaves Daenerys’ followers vulnerable if she were to die. Daenerys is irritated by Tyrion’s thoughts of her death and his reminder that she’s barren, saying they’d discuss her successor once she’s on the Iron Throne.

Zombie Bears, Capture of a Wight, Stranded on an Island

Finally, Jon’s posse comes across a wight, though it’s not what they expected. Apparently, animals can also be turned into White Walkers, and a zombie bear with distinctive, icy blue eyes charges the group. The wight bear manages to maul Thoros of Myr before Beric manages to set the bear alight, finally killing it. While the other wants Thoros to return to Eastwatch, he refuses, drinks from his everpresent flask, and motions for Beric to cauterize his wounds. The Hound, who’s had a terrible history with burns and fire, turns away from the sight. He was also paralyzed with fear during the fight with the bear after Beric and Thoros light their fireswords.

But very soon, the group finally finds what they’ve been searching for: a group of human wights, led by one of the Night King’s inner circle. The group sets a trap and ambushes the White Walkers, but the battle is short-lived. After Jon kills the leading Wight, all but one of the wights also die, revealing that if one kills a single wight, all of the wights they’d previously turned also die. This is an incredibly important detail, as the White Walkers are notoriously hard to put down.

But soon the undead cavalry is seen in the distance, ready to avenge their lost wights. The group runs away as quickly as they can, finding a nearby lake with a thin layer of ice on top and sprinting to a small rock island in the center. As the wights are too heavy to cross the ice, they wait for the water to completely freeze, standing en masse around the pinned down posse.

Goodbye Thoros of Myr; Gendry Makes It To the Wall

Jon’s posse, stranded on the island in the frozen lake, spends the night and wake to find Thoros of Myr has succumbed to his wounds during the night. His best friend, Beric, tearfully covers his face and prays over him before setting the body alight, so the man doesn’t become a wight. Thoros, who was Beric’s priest, was the only one who could revive Beric whenever he died, which ends Beric’s immortality streak. The next time he dies, death with stick.

During the burning, The Hound is visibly shaken by the flames, standing far away from the blaze. The group stare at the hordes of White Walkers, which have not moved from the shoreline.

Meanwhile, we see Gendry running to the Wall to send a raven to Daenerys, begging for help. The man finally collapses a few yard from the Wall, but is luckily seen by Ser Davos and the Night’s Watch. Ser Davos grabs the kid and asks why he’s alone, ordering his men to send a raven when Gendry gasps out what’s occurred.

Sansa Sends Brienne to the Meeting of Kings and Queens

Sansa receives a raven, with news of the meeting at King’s Landing. She should appear at the meeting as she’s the proper Lady of Winterfell, but she declines, not wishing to return to a city that had been her prison for years. Instead, she orders Brienne of Tarth to go in her stead, as she can fairly represent Sansa’s interests in the negotiations. Brienne is understandably worried about leaving Sansa, particularly with Littlefinger lurking at every corner. She tries to persuade Sansa to keep Podrick by her side during Brienne’s absence, but Sansa refuses, petulantly insisting she’s a great lady who doesn’t need protection.

The Hound Throws a Stupid Rock

The Hound doesn’t have much patience, and it end up costing Jon’s posse dearly. The huge fighter, bored by the hours-long standoff in the freezing cold, begins to throw rocks at a wight standing at the shoreline. Unfortunately, he misses and hits the ice, which holds the rock’s weight.

The wight he’d been hitting tentatively steps on the ice, then begins to make his way towards him. As the ice continues to hold, the horde begins to rush the posse, who are quickly embroiled in a losing battle with the army of the dead. The only uplifting point is when The Hound shakes off his fears and saves Tormund, who almost becomes a wight himself. When all hope is lost, and Jon prepares to die in a slo-mo throwback to the Battle of the Bastards, a far away shriek is heard. Can it be the cavalry has arrived?

Daenerys Comes in With the Save

In a hail of dragonfire, Daenerys swoops into the battle with all three of her dragon children. As Viseryion and Raegal circle the White Walkers, blasting them into dust, Daenerys lands on the posse’s rock and reaches for Jon, who lets his men load onto the dragon’s back while he fights off any straggling White Walkers. Jon is just about ready to climb onto Drogon, when…

A Dragon Dies, Jon Does a Stupid Thing

The Night King take an icy, point javelin and throws it at Daenery’s dragon, Raegal, and hits the beast in its chest. The dragon falls in a burst of blood and dragonfire, landing on the ice and slipping into the ice water. Jon, Daenerys, and the rest of Jon’s posse are visibly shocked by the death, as dragons are supposed to be impossible to kill.

Jon, in an act of stupid bravery, charges the White Walkers, telling the group of Drogon to leave him as he covers their backs. Daenerys is visibly torn between wanting to stay and getting the others to safety, but eventually leaves on Drogon. Jon is eventually overcome by a few wights and falls into the lake.

A Wayward Uncle Saves the King in the North

Somehow, Jon claws his way to the lake’s icy surface and struggles out of the water. He’s clearly exhausted and hypothermic, and can barely lift his sword. As the White Walkers turn back to kill the lone, live man, Coldhands (aka, Jon’s Uncle Benjen), comes out of the foggy frozen tundra, swinging a ball of fire. He makes it to Jon, who’s understandably surprised to see his MIA uncle, but Coldhands refuses to answer his questions, shoving the King in the North onto his horse and telling him to ride to Eastwatch. As he rides off, Jon tiredly watches his uncle turn to the swarming White Walkers, who eventually disappears from sight among the undead horde.

Why Do You Have Disembodied Faces in Your Bag?

With growing concerns about Arya’s thoughts on her, Sansa breaks into her sister’s room to snoop. Rifling through her bag, she stumbles across Arya’s skinned face masks, which include Walder Frey, the man who murdered their family. Arya walks into the room, surprising her, and Sansa asks why she’s got a bunch of skinned face masks, which is a fair question in most situations involving disembodied body parts.

Arya closes in on her sister with a long, chilling speech more reminiscent of a serial killer toying with a victim than a sisterly heart to heart. There’s also talk about the pair wanting to be other people during childhood, which Arya can now literally do. Cool, I guess? Arya picks up her Valyrian steel knife during her monologue, edging closer and closer to a frightened Sansa before handing it to her and walking out. Sansa’s still creeped out by the masks which is, again, is fair when you find skinned faces in your little sister’s purse.

Jon Finds His Way Back to “Dany,” Bends the Knee (Metaphorically)

Coldhand’s trusty horse takes Jon back to Eastwatch, where Daenerys has been stalling the posse, hoping Jon would make it back. Jon is quickly hauled inside and stripped of his frozen clothes, during which Daenerys sees the various stab wounds Jon received when he was killed by traitorous members of the Night’s Watch. She’s visibly shaken by the marks (which are strategically placed one the high points of Kit Harington’s abs, because television).

When Jon wakes, he finds Daenerys still by his bedside, crying. As he’s Jon Snow, he immediately apologizes for whatever’s making somebody cry; in this case, it’s his stupid quest to capture a wight, which led to the death of Daenery’s child/dragon. They hold hands and she brushes away his apology and swears she will fight the White Walkers alongside the King in the North. When he thanks her, calling her “Dany,” she dryly reminds him the last person who called her that was her brother, someone he should not want to share a nickname with. He responds by calling her his queen, surprising the weeping monarch. When she replies “I hope I deserve [your fealty],” Jon responds “You do.” They pair clutch hands before Daenerys seemingly remembers her station and leaves him to rest. Jon makes puppy eyes, but complies.

A Dragon is Recruited to the Side of the Dead

In a shocking twist, we see lines of white walkers pulling on heavy iron chains, dragging the dragon’s body out of the lake. When the entire body is on dry land, the Night King walks over and touches his snout, turning him into a wight/zombie dragon. The episode closes on a huge, icy eye. Crap.

“Game of Thrones” airs Sunday nights at 9 pm on HBO. Watch the preview for Season 7’s finale below.

Any pet theories confirmed or denied after this week’s episode? Predictions for next week’s season finale? Let us know in the comments below!