Swift as a deer. Quiet as a shadow. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Quick as a snake. Calm as still water. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Strong as a bear. Fierce as a wolverine. Fear cuts deeper than swords. The man who fears losing has already lost. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Fear cuts deeper than swords.
What an incoherent, half-ass, mumbling nutsack of an episode, coming on the heels of perhaps the show’s finest hour of all time. I was amped for this one. I was ready for some serious mind-fucking time-traveling landing-sticking and what we got was a muddily staged episode of The Walking Dead backed inexplicably by the Westworld soundtrack.
So let me get this fucking straight.
For what feels like eleventy billion years and forty-fuck-six books or whatever we have had this entire build-up about Bran being the Three Eyed Raven and the Night King bringing down the Army of the Dead to rule over all of the living. We needed dragons to defeat him and we all needed to unite our houses and get over our differences and there was this whole elaborate bait plan with Bran and stupid now-dead Theon and some flaming arrows in a circle and whatever.
All so ARYA could kill the Night King? Don’t get me wrong, her arc has made perfect sense from beginning to end, and I yelled FUCK YEAH ARYA MOTHERFUCKING STARK QUEEN IN THE NORTH BITCHES so loud I scared the cats. I loved that moment. It was the only part of this that made sense: all her wrong turns, all the faces she put on, all her training. Swift as a deer, through the halls. Quiet as a shadow, hidden in the library. Calm as still water. All so she could save her brother. I have all the Stark feelings and I’m so glad they all lasted the night, but the show’s mythologizing has been pretending to be so much more complex for so long.
They all could have hurried the process up a lot if the Night King had just gone straight there instead of controlling the weather (WTF sudden new power?) so as to cause a three-dragon pileup in the ionosphere. Dragons don’t work in the snow? Is there like a recharge period between burninations, because I feel like Rhaegal in particular was phoning this in.
There were some truly lovely callbacks in this episode, hidden in the horseshit: The Hound’s fear of fire. “Stick them with the pointy end.” Every minute of Sansa & Missandei reminding Tyrion that being a drunk dickhead isn’t a personality. The return of Jorah and Dany’s chemistry right before he got turned into a pincushion. Jaime and Brienne beside one another the whole damn time. Davos seeing Melisandre and putting on his killy face.
But overall the whole goddamn thing was so infuriating. Jon Aegon Targaryen Snow, coming upon the ice dragon, gets in its face and … yells at it? Really loud? He walks up to the Night King who is RAISING ALL THE DEAD especially slowly so as to make sure he gets eaten? Worrying more about where Dany was half the time than where his WHOLE ENTIRE HEADASS ARMY was?
Mr. A, who is the sort of nerd who listens to podcasts about Herodotus and shit, was screaming at the TV like, “Why are you digging one flaming trench when you could have three? Did you learn nothing from the Huns?” and similar. “Send your heavy cavalry around to flank them!” Stuff like that. Axis and Allies is fun in our house.
They made ten thousand dragonglass daggers and axes and stuff, and apparently dragonglass doesn’t kill the wights, just the Walkers. But the wights were the problem? More fire, less dragonglass next time.
Here’s who’s dead at the end of this in order of how sad I actually am about it: Jorah. Beric. Lyanna Mormont. Melisandre. Six thousand of the ten thousand Unsullied, and Theon. Is that it? I was ready for all my favorites to bite it and … we lost two of them?
We’ve had all this buildup, and the end of this show involves a showdown in King’s Landing with Cersei and Euron, the human equivalent of a strip club mop bucket? My baby sister could take Euron in a fight. Yara’s going to disassemble him starting with his metatarsals.
There had better be some serious explaining of literally everything from the beginning of time coming up, because if Martin’s drunk and horny D&D campaign actually ends with someone on the Iron Throne, and not with the kind of dissection of medieval wish-fulfillment I thought was happening here, I will cut a bitch like Arya in the godswood.