Helen Sloan/HBO
James Hibberd
August 20, 2017 AT 10:18 PM EDT

The Hound tries kicking the captured wight. He does this to make it scream and lure the wights across the thin ice. Smart idea, but it doesn’t work. He then throws rocks at the wights, which is a rather dumb idea — by having that heavy rock hit the ice in front of the wight, the zombie realizes the ice isn’t that thin after all, or perhaps it has frozen further, and starts a procession across. The Hound’s “oh, I done screwed up” reaction is priceless, but man, it’s the second time he’s fumbled on this mission. 

Fighting, fighting, fighting!

Anonymous grey shirts get killed. I’m itching to play as Beric with his flaming sword, and totally X+Square+RT these wights. There’s a harrowing moment when Tormund gets dragged toward a hole in the ice. Once again, things are looking bleak for Jon Snow. And once again, he’s lucky there’s a capable woman who cares about him out there to help him. 

It’s Daenerys to the rescue, her dragons cooking the wights. I want her to turn all three of them at once on the Night King and roast his arrogant big-nosed face. But she doesn’t know who the Night King is and is intent on rescuing the group — which she could do if Jon would stop fighting and run away from the action for once. C’mon, let’s go!

The Night King has a spear. He aims like a javelin-throwing Olympian bringing winter to the summer games. He lets it fly and scores a direct hit on Viserion, and the dragon bleeds fire, falling into the frozen lake. Wow. The Night King just took out a dragon. It’s a brutal, ugly demise too. The visual effects are just … incredible … flawless. Most movies don’t look anywhere near this good. And it’s great to have director Taylor back in the GoT world. And when the Night King clams gets a second spear, the suspense of this sequence flies through the roof. 

Jon Snow falls through the broken ice. It’s an intense scene as the other heroes climb onto a dragon (which has to be so weird — what is The Hound thinking right now?) and Dany takes flight, barely missing the second ice-and-magic spear.  

Jon climbs out of the water, as we knew he would. We’re not falling for Jon Snow almost dying anymore. (A sharp viewer online pointed out the eyes on the wolf’s head on Longclaw seemed to open when he came back out, which is freaky, but perhaps a trick of the light?) Who thought Dragon No. 2, Rhaegal, was going to circle around and Jon was going to mount up? I sure did. Instead, it’s Save-y McSaverson Uncle Benjen to the rescue. He puts Jon on his horse and then gets swamped by wights. It’s a rather contorted bit of plotting to avoid Jon simply getting on a dragon with the others, which makes me wonder if the show is saving Jon mounting up for some other time…for some other reason… 

Later, the Night King has Viserion dragged out of the lake by giant chains. The chains are from the Army of the Dead’s…um…okay, I got nothing for this. Look, the White Walkers found some chains, all right? The Night King touches the dragon, and we wait. His eyes turn blue. Of course, it’s the dragon named after Dany’s brother that went bad.

Boat: Jon made it back to Eastwatch and then was put on Dany’s boat. When he’s stripped of his shirt, Dany sees Jon’s stab wounds, showing he really did take a dagger in the heart. More importantly, she sees the King in the North is totally ripped. 

Jon gradually wakes. He opens his eyes to find Dany intently staring down at him: Hiiiiiiii

“I’m so sorry, I wish he’d never gone,” Jon says ultra sincerely and takes her hand. It does seem like a rather poor trade — a dead guy for a dragon — but given the wight’s potential to change the war in Westeros, perhaps not. 

Dany vows to help Jon destroy the Night King and to “do it together.”   

Jon thanks her, calling her “Dany.” He’s trying out the nickname used by author George R.R. Martin and GoT recappers everywhere who get weary of spelling out “Daenerys.” She’s not a fan of that name as it reminds her of her brother (which is an interesting subject to bring up given what just happened to Viserion).

Instead, Jon goes ahead and gives her the commitment she’s been longing for: He calls Dany his queen, saying he’ll bend the knee and his bannermen will just have to get on board with it. She’s deeply touched and says, surprisingly, “I hope I deserve it” — this is a rare moment of Dany sounding vulnerable and uncertain. Emotionally, it’s a side of her she didn’t really show to Daario. 

Now Dany takes his hand. “You should get some rest.” 

Jon looks at her like: Hey, I ain’t THAT tired

More Beyond the Wall coverage coming soon:
— Emilia Clarke on Dany’s ‘heartbreaking’ loss
Thoros of Myr actor gives his exit interview
HBO’s season finale preview reveals an epic reuni0n
Our podcast (new episode Monday) where we’ll talk about what it was like on set for that polar bear fight
HBO’s season 7 finale preview reveals epic reunion scene
— Alan Taylor on that intense frozen lake battle
GoT stars explain that deadly Sansa vs. Arya tension

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