SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from Season 7, Episode 6 of Game of Thrones, “Beyond The Wall”. Proceed at your own risk.
Another Game of Thrones Season 7 episode has arrived, and with it comes the latest batch of shocking moments. In Episode 6, some of these moments even double up on the shock factor. “Beyond the Wall” is the penultimate chapter in a thrilling season that has been packed with action and reveals.
As the story propels itself forward at lightning pace, priming the audience for the HBO series’ eighth and final season, here are this week’s five shocking moments:
Viserion’s Death – and Reanimation
We knew that Daenerys’ three dragons weren’t invulnerable. Season 7 has done a good job of making us well aware of this. In a foreshadowing of the Viserion felling scene in “Beyond the Wall”, Episode 4 saw Bronn injure Drogon using Qyburn’s scorpion ballista catapult, built for Cersei and revealed to her in Episode 2.
Brought down by the Night King, Viserion falls prey not to a heavyweight contraption, but to the Night King’s Olympic-worthy javelin skills. He sets his sights on the dragon flying some distance above and lets loose a spear that pierces and mortally wounds the fire-breathing beast.
Viserion’s near-lifeless body slides beneath the broken ice. A hush falls as Daenerys and the others witness his end. Dany retreats with Drogon, Rhaegal, and the hunting party – minus Jon who has been rugby-tackled into the water. It’s at this point, of course, that Uncle Benjen comes to the rescue, saving Jon and fulfilling his destiny.
While Viserion’s death is something we weren’t prepared for, what happens at the end of the episode is a humdinger of a twist. The Night King gets his undead minions to haul Viserion out of the water, at which point he resurrects the dragon, recruiting him into his army of the dead. If any of these plot points demands a shocked face emoji, this is it.
Thoros Carks It
Knowing Thoros’s life-restoring abilities as a servant of the Lord of Light, the audience breathes a sigh of relief. Having this guy with the group is insurance for viewers – if anything happens to fan-favourite Jon Snow, Thoros is on hand to bring him back to life (again). Or, indeed, six-times arisen Beric Dondarrion.
Sadly, Thoros breathes his last breath later and we’re left without that safety blanket. However, with Thoros’s death, Melisandre, the Red Woman, now becomes a whole lot more important. The group that’s travelled beyond the wall even discusses her a few times, reminding us of her significance.
Of course, Thoros’s death also signifies that Beric Dondarrion could be about to fulfill his purpose and that the Lord of Light is almost done with him.
The other crucial thing about this whole strand is how it affects The Hound.
Let’s look at why the bear is on fire: because Beric Dondarrion slashes at it with his flaming sword.
As the bear approaches Clegane, Thoros steps in with his flaming sword to save the Hound’s life. In the process, the hulking beast winds up biting Thoros before Jorah Mormont comes to the rescue to finish the bear off.
Gendry and Beric then drag Thoros away from the flames. Thoros takes a swig from his flask and encourages Beric to use his flaming sword to cauterize his wounds.
Clegane is now a liability – and hints that he’s really got to get to grips with his fear of fire.
It seems likely that he’ll find himself in a position where he’s forced to confront it — and given he’s heading to King’s Landing, it’s highly probable this moment will occur during a head-to-head with his brother, Gregor – aka The Mountain – the person responsible for deliberately burning Sandor as a child and – ahem – stoking his fear of fire.
And so, the highly anticipated Cleganebowl – an epic duel between the two Clegane brothers – is signposted, and loaded with added intrigue.
Dany Sees Jon’s Scars
When Jon is first brought in front of Daenerys at the start of Season 7, Davos let slip that Jon had been stabbed in the heart. Not wanting to let her know that he died and was resurrected, Jon quickly glosses over it. The slip wasn’t lost on Dany, however, and it’s been bugging her ever since.
Passing it off as a metaphorical stab in the heart, Jon has maintained the lie. But as Episode 6 approached its closing moments, Dany visits a bare-chested Jon in bed with the nasty scar above his heart clearly visible.
She’s preoccupied with her dragons, the Night King, and what she’s just seen as she chats with Jon. But there’s no missing that deep wound in his chest. Will she realise he’s been brought back from the dead? What repercussions would this have? And will it put the nail in the coffin for their budding relationship? Those of us weirded out by the fact she’s his aunt, are hoping so.
Sansa Finds Arya’s Faces
And then in walks Arya. “Not what you’re looking for?” Arya asks from the doorway.
Sansa’s response is to remind Arya of the loyalty of the men to her at Winterfell. She’s clearly s–t-scared of her sister.
“Where did you get them?” Sansa asks. Arya gives her some kind of explanation before introducing a “game” trying to catch Sansa out in a lie. The moment is the catalyst for a frank discussion between the two sisters, in which Arya threatens Sansa, approaching her with the Catspaw dagger.
She flips the dagger around and hands it to her sister, as Sansa breathes a sigh of relief. Arya wants to frighten Sansa for some reason, but that this is the Catspaw dagger is also significant. It’s the dagger used by the assassin hired to kill Bran, which Littlefinger later passed along to Bran who then passed the Valyrian steel blade on to Arya who has now handed it to Sansa.
It’s Official – Tormund Is in Love
Hooray! The couple fans have been shipping since the two first met is quickly becoming an actual thing. In the opening scenes of Episode 6 as the hunting party march to find a wight to capture and bring back to Cersei, Tormund reveals his lust for Brienne.
The whole exchange with Sandor Clegane is a wonderful conversation to behold.
“I have a beauty waiting for me back at Winterfell,” says Tormund. “If I ever get back there. Yellow hair, blue eyes, tallest woman you’ve ever seen. Almost as tall as you.”
It dawns on the Hound who Tormund is describing – the woman who left him for dead. (Note, Brienne is also on her way to King’s Landing by episode’s end).
“I see the way she looks at me,” says Tormund.
“Like she wants to carve you up and eat your liver?” asks Clegane.
Tormund’s response? “You do know her.”
The wildling warrior goes on to say he wants to make babies with her: “Great big monsters; they’d conquer the world.”
LOL. Just priceless.
The final episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 airs on Sunday 27 August in the US, and simultaneously in the UK at 2am on Monday 28 August.