So the talk of the town for the past, like, year is that the final season of Game of Thrones is coming up. How do I know that? Okay, I just said that it’s the talk of the town. F*ck, this is a terrible set-up for what I’m about to tell you all, then: I’ve never seen Game of Thrones in spite of everyone talking about it. And I probably never will watch it.
Now let me preface this entire piece by saying that I think people who refuse to indulge in mainstream pop culture simply to act like they’re above being mainstream are the absolute worst. I am not that girl who wore Vans to prom that I doodled all over because ~*~ I’m not like most girls.~*~ I would never be the Betty Buzzkill by pretending like I don’t know all the names of the Kardashians. (If I were, I’m working at the completely wrong websites.) But with that being said, if there’s people talking about Khaleesi like they rushed a sorority together, I sit that conversation out. And that’s fine with me because I’ll take any pass to not converse with people. (It’s why I wear still wear my headphones in public, even though I broke them two weeks ago.)
I’m well aware that GOT is an incredibly curated HBO show that wins all the Emmys or is a runner-up to another HBO show because that channel borderline has a monopoly on award shows at this juncture. And obviously, I applaud all and all Emmy nominated shows for giving the platform that privileged white males so desperately need. Thank you for your service! So I recognize that Game of Thrones is technically very good. However, I feel like I’ve given Game of Thrones a fair shot. I watched the three-part South Park episode about it, and it wasn’t great. Truthfully, I think the only HBO shows I’ve ever watched are the ones that come from the same people that did Seinfeld. Also, Big Little Lies because that was only seven episodes so it wasn’t much of an investment. But I’ve been told by people that in order to watch GOT, it’s such a tedious thing to get into. And that’s not to be understated. Each episode is at least an hour with no commercial breaks—it’s like I need an Adderall just to get through a recreational show. But wait, isn’t this supposed to be entertainment, not a chore?
I’m not just averse to Game of Thrones; I don’t go out of my way to invest myself in shows or movies that are dark and/or serious in general. I’ve seen, like, five Oscar nominated movies in the past decade. I’ve also never seen a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. I’m sorry, but do you really expect me to buy him as a romantic lead after learning that he wears headphones and vapes during sex? I don’t think so.
I used to watch stuff that had more substance when I was younger, but then life happens when you get older and you become more wary of the world. After a hard day of writing about the Kardashian family, taking a depression nap, and forcing myself to drink water and maybe eat a vegetable, I just wanna take a load off, man. And I do that by watching the same four or five shows that I always watch. I’m not the only one. Live look at a conversation with my politically correct, craft beer swilling, yoga instructor sister who is meditative and constantly trying to self actualize to a fault:
Why is she into even more trash than me? Being the legit journalist that I am, I sought out a quote from her:
“As someone who used to watch a lot of crime shows and dramas, I switched over exclusively to the brand of reality TV because I watch less television, I realized when I do I want to decompress and escape the world around me. Sad to say that my former TV preferences became far too reminiscent of headlines and daily life to comfort/entertain me, which is why I turn to the walking messes of delusion that grace Andy Cohen’s late night couch after their episodes in which they self destruct once again in front of America.”
Well put. Maybe she should be the sister working at this site instead.
So forgive me if I’d rather watch Judd Apatow movie. I’m sorry if The O.C. is the most drama I can handle. Pardon me while I watch “The Contest” for the thirtieth time because I have SO. MANY. THEORIES. about that episode of Seinfeld.
I can assure you I have been told to watch *insert serious television show or movie here* even more times than a guy saying “Oh, you’re a female writer in New York? Like Lena Dunham?” (No.) Or “Oh, you like vulgar jokes? So you like Amy Schumer?” (No.) Or “Oh, your name’s Millie? Like the Lil Wayne song or the disgraced lip synching group from the 80’s, Milli Vanilli?” (Get f*cked.)
If I haven’t watched any TV show by now, not just Game of Thrones, chances are I’m not going to watch it. I’m fully aware that for a duration of the time a popular *serious* television show airs, I’m gonna be questioned about watching it. And there’s a five year period afterwards where people still interrogate me about my decision to not watch it. (By the way, a very special f*ck you to Breaking Bad for saying they’re coming out with a movie once that period ended.) And THEN people are going to remark that I’m way too proud for being an outlier when really, I just don’t want to watch the show. Also, if it’s truly *classic* television, I’ll get around to watching it eventually and people will still want to talk about it with me long after the show has ended. But for the time being, I don’t want to talk to about Khaleesi like she and I took a blood oath together.
Unless I’m doing “Netflix and chill” (God, are we still using that phrase?) with someone that’s over 6’8″, I’m not gonna watch what you say that I *should* watch. So no, I won’t be watching Game of Thrones any time soon. With that being said, stay tuned for my next article where I tell you that I don’t think Beyoncé is that great, Taco Bell is better than Chipotle and Del Taco, and Friends actually kinda sucked.
Images: HBO; Giphy (3)
Well friends, we’ve made it through another season of Game of Thrones and what’s really fucking me up about this finale is that it didn’t give us a mind-numbing plot twist, horrifying death, or really anything that we didn’t expect. In fact, with the exception of maybe the death of Littlefinger (which I totally called but it’s fine), we all predicted just about everything that was going to happen in this finale. Jon and Dany banging? Check. Cersei somehow fucking up this truce? Check. Zombie Viserion wrecking the wall? Check. And yet, I’m still sitting here, two hours after the credits rolled, unable to formulate coherent thoughts.
Because it was so damn good.
Season seven was kind of crazy in that it gave us almost everything we wanted?? Sure, there were setbacks, but minimal ones when you consider the things we’ve suffered in the past. I spent most of this finale cheering when I fully expected myself to be on the ground weeping. But that’s the magic of Game of Thrones: even when you know exactly what’s coming, you aren’t ready.
Let’s just say that in a show of many amazing scenes and heart-wrenching reunions, nothing compares to the great Treaty of King’s Landing we were treated to at the opening. As Tyrion astutely points out later, no one gathered here likes each other. Actually, most of them openly despise each other. And yet, they’ve all come together to glare and discuss the possibility that all their petty shit doesn’t really compare to the army of zombies slowly marching their way. It’s a treat. There are so many beautiful single interactions, it’s hard to gloss over them all.
First and foremost, Bronn sitting at the top of Highgarden, looking over the thousands of Unsullied soldiers and contemplating life without a penis is the single best representation of every straight man that I’ve ever had to interact with in my life.
Bronn: What could you possibly do without a dick?
Me: A whole lot fucking better, tbh.
Also Bronn acting as the welcoming party to a bunch of people who have tried to murder each other is everything this already tense event needed. Like yeah, send out Ser Bronn of the Blackwater to be an emissary. He’s the face we want representing us.
Jaime’s face while he listens to Cersei give the Mountain detailed instructions on who to murder first kind of makes me think this is the first time he’s recognizing how truly insane she is. Like…my dude….she blew up a church with hundreds of people in it. What did you really expect here?
Cersei: Where the fuck is the dragon queen? Why didn’t she sail with the rest of them?
Me: We all know her dramatic ass is about to soar in here on the back of Drogon. Cersei, PLEASE.
Can we all take a minute to appreciate Jon Snow walking around in the near tropical climate of King’s Landing in full Northern furs? We get it. You’re a king. You still sweat.
Last but certainly not least, Brienne and the Hound bonding over the fact that they’d both do just about anything to make sure Arya survives warmed what little part of my heart that this show hasn’t decimated.
The entire crew comes together in the long abandoned dragon pit. If that seems like some obvious foreshadowing, it’s because it is. This pit is where dragons withered away and eventually died, kind of like how this truce is about to go.
Cersei attempts a dramatic entrance after Jon, Tyrion, and their entire assorted crew has taken their places. What she doesn’t know but will soon be very familiar with: No one is more dramatic than Deanerys Targaryen.
Hound: You’re even uglier than I am now
Mountain: *zombie silence *
Hound: Yeah, well, this has been nice. Burn in hell.
The brief reunion of the Clegane brothers does little for the single most awkward silence that settles in as everyone waits for the Mother of Dragons to ride her ass into this treaty. Luckily, they don’t have to wait long.
Jaime: *shits himself immediately*
Cersei: *sips wine*
While she’s doing a very convincing job of playing it cool, Cersei’s mask drops for a second when Drogon lands in the pit. She’s nervous, and not for the last time during this meeting. While I get that this is a big dramatic show of power, all I can really think about are all those spoiled children who rode elephants into their birthday parties on My Super Sweet Sixteen.
Once everyone is seated and have re-secured their thoroughly snatched wigs, Tyrion attempts to start conversations. Unfortunately, he has yet to experience the singularly annoying experience of being in the vicinity of Euron Greyjoy.
Dark Pacey Witter stands up and immediately tells Theon that he has Yara and will kill her if Theon doesn’t submit then and there. Sir. Please read the room.
Tyrion: Who the fuck are you?
Euron: Your sister’s fiancé.
Tyrion: Honestly idk which one of you I feel worse for.
Even Cersei is fucking annoyed with Euron and tells him to shut up and sit down. Marriage is going to be super fun for these two.
Tyrion starts off logically by pointing out the one thing they all have in common: no one in this circle likes each other. No one can disagree here, but still not a great reason for a meeting. At this point Jon jumps in with his likely now trademarked speech about the Army of the Dead. Usually this performance brings a room to its knees, but Jon has never been a room with Cersei Lannister. She’s unmoved, even when Dany chimes in and promises a truce until after the White Walkers are dealt with.
Enter the Hound, with a crate strapped to his back carrying the wight. I feel like there were probably better means of transportation here, but it’s fine. After a prolonged silence, the wight jumps out and immediately lunges for Cersei. If only they’d let it take her out, we could have solved half of the group’s issues in the first five minutes of the episode. But clearly their expedition was worth it because, finally, Cersei’s resolve cracks. She is visibly shook, along with everyone in attendance. Except for Qyburn of course, who is visibly aroused at the sight of a real life zombie.
In a move that shouldn’t have surprised anyone, Euron immediately bails, and announces that he’ll be taking his fleet back to the Iron Island, where they will be safe from White Walkers. Sure, wights can’t swim, but they’ve got a dragon. This plan seems flawed to me, and yet no one is stopping him, probably because they are all openly hoping Euron is the first to go.
If you thought Cersei immediately accepting that truce was far too easy, it’s because it was. Yeah, she’s down to put their differences aside to fight the Army of the Undead, but only if Jon agrees to stay neutral in the ensuing war between her and Dany. Clearly she didn’t see their epic handholding session last week.
Cersei knows that Ned Stark’s son would be too honorable to make a fake vow in front of every important person in Westeros, and she’s absolutely right. Which is why Jon, the man who is has been campaigning for peace in the face of the White Walkers at all fucking costs for the past six years, calmly and clearly denies her request.
Dany: Um that was cute but also what the fuck
Tyrion: You know what’s super cool, Jon? Lying.
Cersei storms off with Jaime and company in tow, and not even an impassioned plea from Brienne can get him to stick around. It is Cersei’s world and Jaime is just living in it. Now that Jon has tanked the truce that he has spent almost this entire show working towards, it’s become a fun game of “who is Cersei least likely to murder right now” as they all decide who to send in to try and talk some sense into her.
Tyrion wins out in the end and opts to go try and convince Cersei to drop her ego in favor of not being turned into a zombie. Could you imagine a wight Cersei Lannister? Bye bye, Night King. There’s a new bitch in town and she looks good in black.
He runs into Jaime on his way to his likely death and honestly, can we all just take a second and imagine the lovely life these two could have had if Cersei weren’t around? Imagine the laughter. The joy. The not always thinking about murdering each other. What fun.
Cersei and Tyrion sitting here and hashing out 20-plus years’ worth of resentment is honestly the most realistic thing that’s ever happened on this show. It’s like any family holiday after the kids have gone to sleep and your mom and her sister are four bottles of wine deep. Secrets are coming out.
Tyrion: Fucking kill me.
Tyrion: Man I did not see that coming, where is the wine?
With all their feuding and hatred for each other I have completely failed to notice that the only thing these two have in common is their inhumane love of wine. Together they probably singlehandedly keep the Westerosi wine industry afloat.
In the end, I think Tyrion’s saving grace is that Cersei knows he truly did care for Myrcella and Tommen, whose deaths she completely blames on him. Killing Tywin made the Lannisters weak, and circling families moved in and started hacking away at their power. She tries to go on some lengthy speech about family over all, but Tyrion cuts her off immediately with the realization that she’s pregnant. He figured it out faster than I did, and I watched the episode where she actually announced it.
Back in the dragon pit, Jon and Dany have gone into their own secret pow wow, rehashing the fact that their grand plan is essentially went up in smoke because of Jon’s giant crush on her.
Dany talks about how chaining up dragons was the beginning of the end for her family and how their death brought the realization that without dragons, the Targaryens were nothing. This might be her projecting a bit after the loss of Viserion, but best boyfriend in the world Jon Snow is having none of that self-deprecating bullshit. He believes in her, with or without dragons, with or without children, and especially with or without clothing if you catch my drift.
Dany: I can’t have children.
Jon: Who told you that?
Dany: This random blood witch who murdered my husband and spoke exclusively in riddles.
Jon: Ah yes, a trusted source then.
Honestly I’ve never watched two people eye-fuck each other so aggressively while discussing the impending apocalypse. Someone get these two a room STAT.
Tyrion walks back into the arena and everyone is shocked to see him alive. They’re even more shocked about what follows…Cersei and her entire squad. She’s agreed to the truce under some new rules: The Lannister armies will not stand down, but they will march North to fight alongside Jon and Dany.
Spoiler alert: She’s lying. It’s this thing adults do. Someone please explain it to Jon.
Cersei: When all this shit is done, maybe all you assholes can remember that I agreed to help despite the fact that you’re all going to try and murder me anyway.
Dany: Read at 10:15am.
Up North, Sansa finally finds out that Jon has bent the knee to Dany and she is less than psyched. To be fair, without any context this is kind of a big deal and you know Jon’s eloquence in war battles does not extend to letters to his sister. In modern times, Jon Snow definitely reads iMessage novels and responds with a “K.” His letter probably went something like “Sansa, I am bending the knee to Dany. Talk soon. X. Jon. PS – Winter is Coming.” Thanks for the overwhelming lack of details.
Sansa: I can’t believe he’d do this
Littlefinger: I mean…Daenerys is crazy hot
Sansa: What does that have to do with anything?
Littlefinger: …oh right, you’re like 15, huh.
Baelish is not so subtly implying that Sansa should overthrow Jon and if that means getting rid of Arya in the process…so be it. He puts the idea in Sansa’s head that Arya only came back to kill Sansa for betraying their family and marrying their enemies. He convinces her that Arya’s grand plot is to become Lady of Winterfell, despite the fact that Arya has made it clear she’s never wanted to rule anything. I swear to GOD if this isn’t just some ploy by Arya and Sansa to kill Littlefinger and they actually turn on each other I will lose my goddamn mind.
The good news is I’m a prophet, and that’s exactly what it was.
Jon, Dany, and the team are already strategizing their move North. Jorah suggests that Dany fly to Winterfell to avoid coming into contact with any lingering enemies in the North, but Jon argues that arriving together will actually help the Northerners believe that Dany and Jon are allies. Also, all that romantic travel time together? Can you imagine?
Dany decides to sail together, because riding in on a dragon might look like she’s there to fuck shit up rather than save everyone. Jorah, assuredly back in the friend zone, takes this loss in stride. Jon, victorious, is surely en route to pound town.
Theon pulls Jon aside to rehash the incident in King’s Landing and discuss his general role in the fall of the Starks.
Theon: So…you told Cersei the truth…when you could have lied.
Jon: Yeah I think we’ve all covered that at this point.
Until this moment I kind of forgot that Jon and Theon really did grow up together. But while Theon sits there and recounts all the times that Jon was right, even when he was young, it makes you remember that once upon a time, everyone wasn’t trying to murder each other all the time. I’m nostalgic for something I never even got to experience because this show has effectively turned me into a puddle of unnecessary and unwanted emotion. Jon and Theon were both unwanted sons whose only saving grace was that Ned Stark had too much honor to do anything other than raise them as his own. I’m not crying. It’s fine.
Jon: I’ve done a lot of things I regret.
Theon: Not compared to me.
Jon: No shit, you’re actual garbage.
Theon’s come-to-Jesus moment about doing the right thing is cute, but honestly so poorly timed. Like dude, there are some fairly pressing matters to attend to but sure, let’s discuss your daddy issues right now.
Jon: I forgive you, you spineless worm.
Jon’s speech about Theon not having to choose his identity between Greyjoy and Stark is some very serious foreshadowing for the undoubtedly near future when Jon finds out he’s got a similar decision to make: Stark or Targaryen. What are the odds that Bran busts in moments after him and Dany are done banging to let him know that they are in fact related? Considering Brann’s general lack of timing or usefulness, I’m going to go with Very High.
Theon lets Jon know that he’s finally grown a pair and is going to go save Yara. Hope he wasn’t looking for any kind of congratulations, because he absolutely isn’t getting one from the Honorable Jon Snow, who would have busted Euron’s door down three weeks ago to save his sister.
The rest of the Iron Islanders are not so moved by Theon’s sudden surge of bravery. They have no plans to rescue Yara, and instead are looking to save themselves and hide out until Winter passes.
Iron Islander: We’re going to sail to a quiet island, kill all the men, rape the women, and then build a life on their graves.
Theon: Calm down, Christopher Columbus.
A fight ensues in which Theon gets wrecked in front of all his men, likely losing any last bits of respect they might have for him. All in a day’s work for poor Reek.
Iron Islander: Stay down or I will kill you.
The tides turn when the dude goes to knee Theon in the balls and is met with no resistance. Like, Theon actually smiles while the guy is going to town on his crotch. At this point, every other man watching this fight take place immediately switches sides because no one wants to be against the guy who laughs while he’s getting kicked in the dick.
For potentially the first time in his life, Theon wins. His men applaud him, and they’re off on their way to save Yara. Better late than never, I guess.
Sansa summons Arya to the Great Hall for what I’m really hoping is a big fake display of tension that ends in the murder of Littlefinger. I mean, Brann is there. What could possibly go wrong?
Arya looks a bit uneasy surrounded by soldiers. Sansa tells her that what’s about to happen isn’t something that she wants to do but something that she has to do for the North, and then proceeds to start listing charges. Murder and treason are on the table, and someone needs to answer to them. But who is that person?
MOTHER FUCKING PETYR BAELISH. THAT’S RIGHT. NO ONE FUCKS WITH THE STARKS.
Sansa: How do you plea?
Arya: My sister asked you a question.
Petyr: * KILL BILL SIRENS *
Sansa starts reading off the charges that Baelish has racked up since season one and honestly, it is wild. I forgot half the shit he’s pulled, including instigating the conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters aka the reason everyone is in this mess in the first place. Maybe another day, Petyr could talk his way out of this, but that was before Bran, Master of Receipts showed up to start taking people down. Fucking finally.
Baelish: I loved your mother since I was a boy.
Baelish: I loved you more than anyone.
Sansa thanks Petyr for all he’s taught her and then lets Arya slice his throat. This entire room of hard-ass Northerners watches him bleed out on the floor and
Sansa: * Commands the death of Petyr Baelish after he spent years plotting against her family, manipulating her, and generally being a giant fucking creep *
Me: Skin clears, hair shining, crops flourishing, credit score raising, living my best life.
Cersei interrupts Jaime’s strategy session to let him know that he’s a fucking idiot for believing anything she’s ever said. Fair.
Cersei: I have no intention of helping them fight the White Walkers and I never did.
All of us:
Sure, she’s completely betrayed everyone again and did the one thing Jon wouldn’t do, but Cersei makes a pretty fair point: If dragons and the Dothraki and Jon, the zombie expert, can’t take out the White Walkers, what good would a southern army do? Cersei knows that Dany is down a dragon which means something is up. She’s confident that the army of the Iron Bank, the 20,000 strong Golden Company made up of mercenaries, will come through for them once Jon and Dany have defeated the Army of the Dead, and she knows this because Euron left their little powwow and sailed straight to Essos to recruit them.
Cersei: No one walks away from me.
Jaime: Yeah I’m starting to see that.
Jaime is pissed that Cersei conspired with Euron behind his back and tells her that he’s going to honor his pledge and take their armies North anyway. Cersei threatens to charge him with treason, and for the second time this episode one of Cersei’s brothers dares her to kill him. However, this time, she doesn’t seem to hesitate.
That’s right. Cersei came closer to killing Jaime then she did Tyrion, and that is the single most shocking thing to happen in this finale. Not even I, the great Game of Thrones prophet, saw it coming.
Sure, Jaime does walk away in the end, but there was a moment where we all weren’t sure if he would. Like that, Cersei has severed her last true ally, the only one who cares about her and not her power.
As Jaime rides away, hopefully North, hopefully into Brienne’s steady and strong arms, it begins to snow. In the South. This does not bode well for anyone, but especially not for all those poor souls in Fleabottom.
Sam and Gilly arrive in Winterfell, and Sam heads straight to see Brann. I realize this is going to be an important conversation but I’m already mad that I have to listen to it.
Sam: What happened to you beyond the wall?
Brann: A lot of not chill shit.
Bran gives Same an explanation of the Three Eyed Raven business that he should have given Sansa and Arya about two weeks ago. He also tells Sam that Jon is en route to Winterfell with Daenerys, and that he needs to know the truth about who he is ASAP.
Sam: What are you talking about?
Bran: R + L = J
Sam: Of course.
For real, Bran just fucking lays out the entirety R + L = J for Sam and the whole world stopped, as if we all haven’t known this to be absolutely true for the past year.
Bran: Yeah so his last name should be Sand. Wild right.
Somehow, Sam brings a little fact to the table that magic-ass Bran didn’t know: Jon isn’t a bastard. Just like the scroll that Gilly read told us all two weeks ago, Rhaegar annulled his marriage to Elia and married Lyanna in secret. Bran has a vision to support this seconds later.
These two giant fucking nerds are having the epiphany of a lifetime in a quiet room in Winterfell: that Robert’s entire rebellion was built on a literal throne of lies. Jon is legitimate, the heir to the throne, and this entire voiceover is occurring as he heads to Daenerys’ room, his AUNT’S ROOM, for some sweet, sweet, incestuous sex.
That sound you heard Sunday night was every single person in America screeching at the exact same time.
The voiceover also heavily implies that Jon and Dany are in love and that sound you hear is the screeching of every single person in America as we all openly root for incest. Can’t wait for all of this to come crashing down when they both arrive to Winterfell and Bran drops some knowledge on them.
Jon finding out he fell in love with his aunt:
Dany finding out that she fell in with her rival:
Lyanna: His name is Aegon.
Ned: JON YOU SAY? A FINE NAME.
Like. Yes. We all knew this was the truth. We all knew this would happen. But listening to Bran’s monotone voice fucking confirm that Jon, the bastard who has suffered everything, was never really a bastard at all and in fact the one true heir to the Iron Throne while he and Dany stare lovingly into each other’s eyes, butt-ass naked, is going to be the end of me. I’m calling in sick to work for the rest of the week. No one talk to me.
Engrave “He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the Iron Throne” on my fucking gravestone.
Sansa and Arya bonding over the cold-blooded murder of Littlefinger is the only thing keeping me from passing out at this moment. The two of them sit there, compliment and insult each other, and then quote Ned and it’s fine we’re all just sobbing.
Down at the Weirwood, acting like he hasn’t just singlehandedly ruined and saved all our lies, Brann is having yet another vision. In it, Tormund and Beric are holding down the fort at Eastwatch, looking out into that vast expanse of the North.
Except, by holding down the fort, I mean watching as the entire White Walker army comes marching out of the trees towards the wall. There’s a noticeable addition to their ranks: Viserion, who shows up to shoot some blue fire at the wall and also directly into my god damn heart. To make matters worse, THE NIGHT KING IS RIDING HIM. SURE. FINE. THIS IS FINE.
Tormund and Beric don’t even fuck around with pretending to try and fight. They just start screaming, letting everyone know that it’s time to get the fuck out of there. You know what’s really effective at tearing down a giant magical ice wall that’s stood for centuries? Zombie dragon fire. No one even has to yell Dracarys. Viserion just goes to town on the wall and an entire section of it crumbles down like it’s made of Legos.
Just like that, the White Walkers have breached the wall and begin their march into the North. Meanwhile, Jon and Dany are hanging out on their love boat, blissfully unaware that they’re related and sailing towards imminent death.
It’s fine. Really.
Oh, and we won’t get to find out what happens until 2019, which gives us plenty of time to recover, reflect, and then immediately start writing think pieces about how this all goes down. The only thing I can sit here and say with 100% confidence is that it’s not going to be a happy ending for anyone.
Hmm…so here we are. The famed penultimate episode of this Game of Thrones season. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, the second-to-last episode of every Game Of Thrones season is always the episode where shit goes down. Past seasons have given us The Rains of Castamere (aka The Red Wedding), The Battle of The Bastards, and The Watchers On The Wall. This season we got…Ocean’s 11: White Walkers?
Full disclosure: I did not like this episode, so let’s get into the roasting, shall we?
Beyond The Wall
The episode begins and I’d almost already forgotten that the plot of tonight’s episode is going to be, “try to kidnap a zombie and bring it back to Westeros.” Fuck. That is such a terrible idea.
This is a show in which a pair of twins have children together, and I think this might be the worst idea I’ve ever heard.
Everyone is trying to make Gendry be chill about the fact that his comrades sold him to Melisandre and she put leeches on his penis. Don’t give in, Gendry. You
are hot have a right to your feelings.
Real question: Has anyone ever travelled further or endured more to be in the friend zone than Jorah Mormont? Dude was sold into slavery, got his skin scraped off, and now he’s beyond the world on Operation Zombie Kidnap, all so Dany might give him a hug later. So sad.
Mormont and Jon Snow get into an honor-off over which one of them gets to keep the fancy sword. The whole thing is very phallic.
Jon: I’m so honorable, I’m giving you the sword.
Jorah: I’m so honorable, I’m giving you the sword back.
It’s Sansa Vs. Arya: Who Will Bitch Slap Who?
Arya: Remember our dad? He used to stand here.
Sansa: Uh…yeah I was there.
Arya is all pissed off about a letter none of us remember from like 15 seasons ago.
Sansa: You’re being really petty right now.
Arya: You used to be really fucking stupid.
Me: Also true.
Arya tries to hit Sansa with an “I was training to be a faceless man,” while Sansa responds with an “I low-key saved this entire family.”
Ugh. Littlefinger is such a tricky bitch for pitting the girls against each other this way. Don’t they realize they should be using their Lady Stark powers to save the North??
Beyond The Wall
We cut back to the wall and everyone is literally just still walking. The Hound teaches Big Red (or whatever tf this character’s name is) the word “dick,” and Big Red won’t shut tf up about Brienne, who isn’t interested.
This scene serves literally no purpose, and was a waste of all of our times.
We open on Dany giving Tyrion a backhanded compliment.
The conversation quickly shifts to Jon Snow, and Dany and Tyrion start acting like a couple of middle school girls who are trying to figure out if they both have a crush on the same guy.
Tyrion: He likes you!
Dany: No he doesn’t!
Tyrion: You like him!
Dany: He’s too short!
Tyrion tries to casually bring up the fact that Dany has a bad temper, Dany counters that by getting insanely pissed and storming out of the castle.
Tyrion: Hey since you’re like barren or whatever maybe we should figure out who inherits the throne when you die?
Beyond The Wall
Ugh. The five most boring characters and Jon Snow are still walking. Walking walking walking — OH FUCK IS THAT A POLAR BEAR?
YOOOOO IS THAT A ZOMBIE POLAR BEAR?
Welp, our fateful band of semi-virgins set out to find a zombie, and now they fucking found one. Good for you, Jon Snow. You’ve fought the wildlings, the Boltons, a wight, a White Walker, and now a zombie bear. Good for fucking you.
The zombie bears are going ham killing everyone except the characters we actually care about. One of them chomps on Thoros for a good 30 seconds and yet he somehow survives.
Beric uses his flaming sword, which just turns the murderous zombie bears into murderous zombie bears that are on fire. Good job, Beric.
For real though, shouldn’t the fire stop the zombie bears? Do the zombie bears follow different rules than zombie people in the Game Of Thrones universe? What the fuck is happening?
Littlefinger tries to drag Brienne into his Arya-on-Sansa fantasy, and guess what, it works.
Brienne: Cersei wants you to come to Kings Landing.
Sansa: Lol nah you can go instead.
Sansa uses this opportunity to rummage through Arya’s shit looking for….weapons? Money? IDK.
BET YA DIDN’T EXPECT TO FIND A BAG FULL OF FACES, YA BISH.
Okay, but seriously, Arya just like…keeps the faces in her bag? That’s how the faces work? You just like, toss them in your bag along with a couple tampons and a bobby pin and shit?
Arya At Brunch: Ugh sorry about my enormous bag, I just have like, my whole makeup bag, my lunch, a hair straightener, and like 15 faces in here. Can’t leave the house without them!
Of course Arya walks in right as Sansa finds the bag full of faces. Doesn’t Sansa get that she’s like, a ninja or some shit now?
Arya: Why don’t I give another long speech about feminism?
Sansa: Umm no bitch you can’t change the subject I need to know wtf is up with these faces.
Arya: **pulls out knife like she’s going to cut Sansa’s face off**
Arya: **hands Sansa the knife instead**
Me: So did y’all two just make up or…?
Beyond The Wall
Operation Zombie Kidnap is in full effect. Luckily for all the main characters, none of them died in the dead-flaming-polar-bear attack and now they’re all 100% fit to take on the band of White Walkers they’ve just stumbled upon.
Jon: **Kills a White Walker and like 10 wights explode with him**
Me: This feels like important information.
Things are actually going pretty well for a group of five humans who travelled thousands of miles to try and kill a mythical undead corpse-person, but then they finally get to the “kidnap a zombie” part of their plan and shit starts to fall apart.
We now move into Plan B of Operation Zombie Kidnap, which apparently is just “Gendry runs as fast as he can back to the wall.”
These guys really didn’t think this through, did they?
Even still, they’re all doing a pretty good job considering there appear to be over a thousand wights and White Walkers and just like, five or six of them.
They’re able to fight their way onto a very conveniently located rock and now the plan is to just…wait? Luckily in all the hubbub they were able to still keep an eye on the wight they tied up. I guess these guys are still really committed to bringing one of these things back home with them.
CUT TO: Gendry Forrest-Gumping it across the North. Remember when it took like, multiple seasons to get to get places? Well now Gendry can just run the entire distance of the North during the commercial breaks, and ravens send as fast as texts.
(I know Game Of Thrones doesn’t have commercial breaks don’t @ me.)
Gendry collapses just before the end of his marathon. The fact that “Gendry running as fast as he can back to The Wall” is the only part of this plan that worked out is so, so baffling to me.
Back at the conveniently located rock, Jon and co are not doing so hot. Thoros died, which makes sense because he was attacked by a zombie polar bear that was on fire.
Beric does his flaming sword trick for the 15th time and honestly, I’m no longer impressed. Get a new trick, dude.
In the distance we see The Night King, aka Demon Elsa, and somebody (I can’t remember who, this episode was really stupid) has the brilliant realization that if you kill him, you probably kill all The White Walkers at once.
Jon: Challenge accepted.
Dragonstone & Beyond The Wall
Cut to Dany serving us full “Winter Is Here,” ready to fuck some shit up. She’s going to get on her dragon and fly north to set shit on fire, aka the very obvious thing that she should have done from the beginning.
Dany: I’m flying North.
Me: When tf did you have time to get a winter coat made?
Back beyond the wall, The Hound just fucked everyone over by throwing snowballs at the wights. Men are so fucking stupid.
We’re now in for one of Game Of Thrones’ famously
boring riveting fight scenes.
Jon: Fall back!!! Fall back!
Everyone: Lol where?
The entire crew is surrounded. They all grab hands and accept death like at the end of Toy Story 3, then…
Dany shows up on her dragons and does what we all have wanted her to do from day one: starts burning zombies.
Dany: Get on the dragon loser, we’re going back to Westeros.
Jon: Just lemme kill a few more zombies real quick.
Everybody is so busy paying attention to wtf Jon is up to, that nobody realizes Undead Elsa is about to kill one of the fucking dragons with his ice spear.
Word to the wise: if the fucking Ice King is anywhere near your shit, have one person in your crew assigned to watching the Ice King at all times. Ya gotta keep an eye on the Ice King.
Live footage of the Ice King approaching to kill everyone:
Dany is now force to haul ass out of the North with one less dragon, while Jon Snow gets pulled into yet another fake-out death.
Jon Snow: **almost dies**
Me: Lol yea right dude you can’t die. Uncle Benjen is probably going to show up to save you or some dumb shit like that.
Uncle Benjen: **Shows up to save Jon**
Me: Of. Fucking. Course.
Dany is sad because her new boyfriend who she doesn’t realize is actually probably her nephew is either dead or a zombie right now, and her dragon baby is also dead.
Luckily for her, it’s apparently very easy to just ride away from an entire army of White Walkers, and Jon is actually like, fine.
Me, every second of this episode so far:
CUT TO: Jon awaking with Dany standing over his bedside.
Dany sees Jon’s stab wounds for the first time and is like, “I KNEW I smelled a red flag.”
Even still, Jon looks so good whenever he wakes up from a near death experience. We, the audience, know this, but Danearys Targaryen has yet to experience it.
Dany: I can’t have kids.
Dany: But we can like, do other stuff…
We find out that Jon is down to bend the knee to Danearys, but more importantly it’s pretty clear that Danearys is down to bend da knees to Jon, if ya know what I mean (blow jobs).
Beyond The Wall
Lest you forget, the idiots who decided that kidnapping an undead demon was a good idea, also let one of their dragons be killed, and left that dragon’s body in the hands of the White Walkers.
If you didn’t see this coming, you literally have not been paying attention.
That’s right: We’ve got a White Walker dragon now. What does that mean, exactly? IDK, but it can’t be fucking good.
The episode opens on the fiery graveyard that is the Reach and luckily for all of us, the show runners didn’t even decide to further entertain the thought of Jaime or Bronn’s death. They come crawling out of the lake on the opposite end of the shore, away from where Daenerys and company have set up camp.
The first, wholly ungrateful words out of Jaime’s mouth: You could have killed me.
Bronn: And honestly I SHOULD have.
Bronn is not here for Jaime dying before he gets his now-much-deserved castle. He’s also not here to fuck with three dragons after watching the havoc that one just managed to cause. Jaime, it would appear, isn’t too crazy about the idea either.
Jaime: This is fucking insane.
Jaime: THREE DRAGONS.
Jaime: I have to tell Cersei.
Bronn: How far away can I get before you do that.
Across the way, Tyrion is surveying the wreckage from their clearly victorious battle. It’s, uh, pretty bleak to say the least. It’s obvious he’s highly conflicted about everything that just happened, and that’s before we even get to the (literal) firing squad.
The Dothraki have lined up the surviving members of the Lannister army, who are about to receive their first ever momentous speech from the Queen of Dragons herself. Honestly, I’m jealous.
Dany: I know Cersei has talked a lot of shit, but I’m not here kill you all or burn Westeros to the ground.
Men who are quite literally covered in the ashes of their fallen brothers: Yes, we can definitely see that.
She gives them all a simple choice: either bend the knee and help her free Westeros from the tyranny of Cersei Lannister and those like her, or die. For the most part, they’re all quick to kneel. Except of course for Lordy Tarly, the righteous curmudgeon.
Tyrion tries to reason with Tarly, citing the fact that he was quick to switch allegiances from the Tyrells to the Lannisters, but it’s no use. He even opts for mercy, sending Tarly to the Wall where he can glare the White Walkers into oblivion, but neither Daenerys or Tarly are having it. Then Dickon steps in and Tyrion fucking loses it.
Dickon: You’ll have to kill me to.
Tyrion: No you don’t understand; we’ll need jaws like yours to rebuild this country once the war is done.
Even though Tyrion is suffering a severe internal struggle, Dany does not budge. These men made their choice and while honorable, she’s not going to allow dissenters to live, not even in chains. She sentences them both to death with one quick Dracarys, at which point every other survivor who may have been on the fence immediately drops to their knees.
RIP Dickon. The strongest jaw and dumbest name that Westeros ever did see.
Jaime returns to King’s Landing for the second most traumatic interaction of his week: letting Cersei know that they are, for all intents and purposes, royally fucked.
As we’ve come to expect, Cersei keeps her cool in the face of devastating news. She knows their odds, but also knows that there is no scenario in which Daenerys lets them live. Jaime killed her father. Cersei has been rising armies against her. There can only be one hot blonde family in King’s Landing. It’s just not looking good for the Lannisters.
To make an already highly tense conversation even worse, Jaime then breaks the news about Olenna’s role in Joffrey’s death, at which point we actually see Cersei’s stone cold façade crack a bit.
Jaime: She’s dead. Her whole family is dead. You won.
Olenna, from the grave:
Cersei’s anger solidifies her resolve: either they submit and die or fight and die. It’s obvious which choice she’s going to make, but the same can’t be said for Jaime.
Jon’s daily cliffside brooding is interrupted by the return of Dany and Drogon, who land close enough for Jon to have his first real interaction with a dragon. I’m not crying. It’s fine.
Dany watching Drogon snuggle up to Jon is the equivalent of any girl seeing a hot guy with a puppy. It doesn’t matter if she knows it yet, she’s already in. Science is against her, there’s no fighting it.
Dany: They’re beautiful aren’t they.
Jon: yoU’RE BEAUTIFUL—I MEAN, yeah they’re alright.
They discuss the battle at the Reach and Daenerys can tell that Jon is also conflicted about her so casually lighting the Lannister army up. Not because he cares about the Lannisters, but because he cares about men burning to death. Plus, that means less people to help in the war against the White Walkers.
Dany changes the topic and finally gets around to asking Jon about Davos’ comment RE: taking a literal knife to the heart. This could have been a great moment for the two of them if, in a move we all should have seen coming, Jorah didn’t arrive to RUIN THE GOD DAMN MOMENT.
Jorah, with his urgent fucking whispers and his “I just returned from a semester in Thailand” haircut, is finally back and Daenerys is actually choked up about it. She hugs him, swerving what looked like a potential kiss in the process, which puts Jon on high alert. Move over, White Walkers, enemy number one is now this old guy with the obvious boner for a teenage girl.
Somewhere inside near the alcohol reserves, Tyrion is chugging wine and trying to rationalize Daenerys’ decision to roast the Tarly’s and hundreds of other men he’s likely known his entire life. Varys isn’t helping, sharing his very similar experiences with Dany’s father and the role he played there.
Varys: You need to find a way to make her listen before she goes crazy.
Tyrion: * chugs entire bottle of wine *
Jon receives a raven with news that Arya and Brann are alive and that Brann saw the army of the dead marching for Eastwatch. He’s ready to pack up and head home, with or without Daenerys’s army.
Dany says she can’t abandon her position and let Cersei waltz in, so Tyrion suggests bringing the threat to Cersei to make her believe. He proposes capturing one wight and bringing it to King’s Landing, to convince Cersei that this is something worth putting their differences aside for. In order for Cersei to even entertain the idea, Davos is going to smuggle Tyrion inside so that he can try and convince Jaime to make it all happen.
Let’s move past every logistical issue that this idea presents really quick to imagine Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, Dany, and Jon all in one room trying to strategize against an army of zombies, with a very nervous Davos in the background. I get that this is the goal we’ve been working towards for a few years now, but it’s taken until this moment for that to seem even remotely real. Can you imagine the amount of wine that would require?
Jorah volunteers to go North to capture the wight, which means Jon immediately signs up as well. It makes sense, he’s the only one with any experience in the area, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to like it, especially Daenerys. The face she makes when Jon announces his plan honestly belongs on the cover of a Nicholas Sparks novel. JUST MAKE OUT ALREADY.
After warging into a flock of ravens and seeing the growing army of the dead, Brann decides it’s time to reach out to the Citadel for help. If only he knew that his letter would be read aloud to a table of catty old men in burlap sacks while Sam filed scrolls in the background.
While the Maesters laughed at the idea of a crippled boy seeing the White Walkers through a bird, Sam comes to his defense. He makes the valid point that a crippled kid who managed to survive on his own beyond the wall for years is someone they might want to listen to, even if what he has to say sounds insane.
Sam: If all you well-respected assholes were to, I don’t know, warn everyone about the White Walkers, we might be able to actually survive.
It takes Sam breaking out his big boy voice, one that is three octaves lower than we’ve ever heard from him for the Maesters, to listen. They decide to reach out to Bran for clarification before moving forward. Good fucking luck with that one.
Later, Sam is starting to regret teaching Gilly how to read as she recites every inane fact that she can find while he goes through his first career-based existential crisis. Welcome to the club, my dude.
Gilly: What’s an annulment?
Sam: A really good fucking idea is what it is.
But she didn’t just ask for any reason. Gilly just so happened to find a passage about a secret annulment for none other than Rhaegar Targaryen that took place in Dorne. I’m sorry, did Sam just completely gloss over the part where Rhaegar’s marriage was annulled and he was remarried in secret in Dorne?? Is he so busy pouting over his job that he’s just going to ignore that Gilly likely found proof of Jon’s parentage?? COOL.
Instead of listening to the one tidbit of information that the internet has been clamoring for, Sam marches down to the restricted section of the library to steal some scrolls before packing up his family and busting out of the Citadel under the cover of darkness. Thank God. I could not have handled one more scene in this boring building full of crusty old men.
There appears to be some unrest at Winterfell, where the Lords of the North are suggesting that Sansa should be leading the North. She placates them for the time being, but Arya is suspicious. She follows Sansa back to her room, their parents’ old room in fact, to accuse her of hoping that Jon never returns.
Realistically, Arya and Sansa will never see eye to eye on these things. One of them is a political strategist and the other is an assassin and these aren’t typically the kind of people who approach situations with the same mindset. Sansa wants diplomacy and Arya wants wrath and I just want everyone to calm the fuck down.
Davos and Tyrion arrive on the shores of King’s Landing a mere five minutes after deciding to move forward with their plan. God bless this shortened season and its lack of patience for long travel montages.
Tyrion: Last time I was here, I killed my dad.
Davos: Last time I was here, you killed my son.
Tyrion: Honestly that was like two seasons ago. No one even cares anymore.
Bronn drags Jaime into the dragon skeleton basement of King’s Landing under the pretense of training, but instead brings him face to face with Tyrion. Last time Jaime saw Tyrion was right after he murdered their dad and yet this is still a slightly less uncomfortable reunion than Sansa and Bran’s.
Tyrion: Man. You look good. So good. Not even a little charred.
Jaime: What did I do to deserve two siblings who bring me nothing but suffering.
While Tyrion makes his plea to Jaime, Davos takes a stroll through Flea Bottom to find our long-lost second-favorite bastard. That’s right, GENDRY IS BACK. With a quick throwaway reference to the fact that this poor kid has been rowing for the past five or so years, Davos gets right to the point.
Davos: Nothing fucks you harder than time.
Gendry: Weird way to start a conversation but okay.
Davos came to recruit Gendry into their war. Not sure how psyched Daenerys will be to have a Baratheon in her ranks, but I’m here for her collecting every attractive bastard that Westeros has to offer. Davos has a similar thought and warns him to keep his bloodlines to himself.
They may their way back to their boat on the shore where some guards happen upon them. Davos managed to trick them with some gold and Westerosi Viagra, which could have made for a clean getaway if Tyrion hadn’t arrived at that very moment. As the most famous and wanted dwarf in the country, he’s kind of hard to miss.
Gendry knocks the guards out before any trouble can start, and the three of them start their journey back to Dragonstone. With Gendry’s experience, they’ll be back in about 15 minutes.
Jaime makes his way back to Cersei’s rooms for his second life-ruining conversation this episode. I don’t know when this poor guy became the most relatable person on this show, but as a middle child, perpetual meddler and someone who constantly finds herself mediating fights that she has no right having any part in, I feel for him.
Jaime: So Tyrion was here.
Cersei: Bitch I know.
Jaime: Why do I even try?
Now in possession of Qyburn’s many little birds, Cersei already knew that Tyrion was in the city and that Bronn had facilitated a meeting. She’s open to meeting with Daenerys, not because she’s afraid of the White Walkers, but because she knows that in times of war it’s best to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Cersei: Never betray me again
Jaime: * flashes back to his nightly fantasy of smothering her in her sleep * Of course not.
Back on the shores of Dragonstone, Davos is prepping Gendry for his first meeting with Jon.
Davos: Whatever you do, do not tell him that you are the bastard son of Robert Baratheon.
Gendry: For sure.
*Two minutes later*
Gendry: Hello your Grace, I am Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon.
Gendry thinks that since their fathers were close friends, he and Jon should trust each other as well. He wants to fight for Jon, who accepts him in spite his total lack of fighting experience or really any experience in something that isn’t rowing a boat.
Gendry: I want to fight zombies.
Jon: Dude, I also want to fight zombies.
Gendry: Did we just become best friends?
Davos: Fuck me right? The only guy in all of Westeros with survival skills. It’s cool, no one listen to me.
Everyone makes their way down to the beach to bid farewell to the crew headed out to catch zombies. Is it a coincidence that the team is led by two men who spend 98% of their time glaring into the distance? Probably not.
Back for revenge, it’s now Jon’s turn to ruin a tender moment between Jorah and Dany as he strides up in the middle of their goodbye. Jorah manages a quick kiss on the hand before Jon steals the show with his own special kind of sentimentality.
Jon: Well hey, at least if I die you won’t have to worry about me refusing to bow to you.
Dany: Not a kiss, but I’ll take it.
Like, could Daenerys look any more love struck as they push their boat out into the surf? Jorah feels it. Tyrion feels it. Every angry commenter who will point out that I’m advocating for incest feels it. We all know this is happening. WE KNOW.
Our last stop this episode, Jon and his merry crew of wildling hunters have landed at Eastwatch, where Tormund is less than excited to hear about their new plan.
Tormund: You want to go back out there?
Tormund: And you didn’t even bring my warrior queen to try and convince me? Fake friend.
Despite his misgivings, Tormund is obviously on board with the plan because he’s a day one Jon Snow ride or die bitch. What makes things even more interesting is the group he presents to Jon as potential recruits. The Hound, Beric, and Thoros were picked up just south of Eastwatch while attempting to travel beyond the wall and are absolutely game to join Jon’s potential suicide mission. Let’s do a quick breakdown of the group here.
Jorah’s father, the previous Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, hunted Tormund and the wildlings. In turn, Tormund fucked him and his men up. They hated each other. Jorah and his father also weren’t fond of each other, but that’s not going to stop Jorah and Tormund from getting into it.
The last time Gendry ran into Beric and the Brotherhood, they sold him to Melisandre who tried to sacrifice him to the Lord of Light. Needless to say, also not fans of each other.
Then there’s the Hound, who hates fucking everyone, and Jon, who also likely hates everyone but really just wants to stop the White Walkers and maybe relax for once in his cursed life.
Together, this motley crew is heading out into a frozen wasteland to try and catch a wight and save Westeros from disaster. It’s like an Armageddon sequel. Take all my money and give me one hundred spinoffs.
All in all, not the most exhilarating episode this season. But to be fair, we probably didn’t need much more excitement after last week. Maybe I’ll actually be able to fall asleep before dawn tonight without all that post-dragon battle adrenaline pumping through my veins.
What will next week hold? A coup in the North? Peace between two warring queens? More cryptic mumblings from Brann? A montage in which Daenerys tries and fails to write love letters to Jon? Only time will tell.
Dany when Jon finally sails back into Dragonstone: