Later: They spot some wights and a White Walker and attack. The White Walker is killed by Jon’s Valyrian steel sword. The wights the White Walker “turned” also disintegrate. So this is a rather key addition to the Army of the Dead canon. They’re like ice zombie vampires, kind of?
The captured wight screams like a wounded baby T-Rex, and we know trouble is coming in response. Jon orders Gendry to return to Eastwatch and send a raven to Daenerys letting her know they’re in trouble. It’s a pretty tenuous chain of events that needs to go exactly right for this move to pay off: Jon and his men need to survive long enough for Gendry to get back to Eastwatch and send a raven to Dragonstone, and then for Dany to fly to the rescue and then find them. But it’s all very exciting, so we go with it.
Gendry runs and runs. He eventually collapses at the Eastwatch gate. All that cardio from three years of rowing has clearly paid off.
Dragonstone interlude: Dany is worried about Jon Snow and trying to pretend like she’s not worried about Jon Snow. These men and their bold heroics, she gripes, when she’s as bold and heroic as any of them.
Tyrion suggests Dany is hot for Snow. “He’s too little for me,” she replies to exactly the wrong person. It’s an honest point, though. Jon Snow is 5’8,” which on dating apps would mean he’d face a ton of rejection despite being the King in the North with great hair (Tinder is the only place more brutal than Westeros).
Their conversation goes downhill from there once they start talking about Tyrion’s family. We love the tantalizing prospect of Dany meeting Cersei, and they debate laying traps. Tyrion points out that fear is all Cersei has and that Dany needs to bring more to the table, once again nettling her for killing the Tarlys (he’s got to let this go; the execution was a fair move).
The Hand of the Queen then pushes his luck even further by bringing up a succession plan — who should rule if she were to die? Dany doesn’t want to even talk this until after she wears the crown. She’s focused on victory; planning for failure is not something she wants in her head.
Still, this topic raised a red flag for me. Season 7 is very tightly plotted, and the show’s writers rarely drop anything into a conversation without a specific reason. Why is succession suddenly being discussed? Daenerys is often in danger, but this is the first moment in the history of Game of Thrones that made me really worry her. Whether foreshadowing or red herring, we shall see.
Later, Dany and Tyrion receive that urgent message from Gendry. I assume Dany is super excited to have a reason to wear her awesome dragon queen snowtrooper winter-wear ensemble.
She readies herself to mount up and ride into battle, preparing to go full triple dragon for the last time. “The most important person in the world can’t fly off of to the most dangerous place in the world,” Tyrion says. But the man’s forgetting: She’s not only the most important person, she’s also the most dangerous. Daenerys is the one who knocks.
Beyond the Wall: Jon Snow runs like mad from the wights. He’s a great action-scene runner, almost Tom Cruise-level.
The group flee to a rock formation in the middle of the frozen lake. The wights start to converge on their position but fall through the ice. The weight of an individual isn’t enough to break the ice, but the weight of a group of wights is. So the wights stop their advance, surrounding them. The Night King arrives and sees Jon. Hey, it’s you again!
The men talk through their options as Thoros dies and gets cremated by his own booze. No more resurrections for Beric, who suggests they just make an attempt to kill the Night King. It’s a bit like Jaime’s play at the end of “The Spoils of War” when he foolishly charged Daenerys — we can end the whole thing right here. Next: Exit the Dragon