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Recap / Game of Thrones S7E6: "Beyond the Wall"

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A quick establishing shot of the conqueror's table at Dragonstone cuts to beyond the Wall, where Jon's group is marching North. Tormund asks if Gendry's ever been North of the Wall before, only for Gendry to say he's never even seen snow in his life, prompting Tormund to appreciate the land's savage beauty and his comfort on being back in his homeland, "I can breathe again. Down south, the air smells like pig shit." Jon remarks, "You’ve never been down south." Tormund responds he's been to Winterfell and Jon counters, "That’s the North." Gendry asks them how men keep their balls from freezing off, and Tormund advises walking, fighting, and fucking — in that order. Jon points out there aren't any women in a hundred miles, and Tormund agrees, saying they'll have to make do. He and Jon grin as they walk ahead of Gendry, who seems to deliberately fall back. Tormund says he doesn't think Gendry's very smart, but when Jon explains how Davos spoke of Gendry being a strong fighter, Tormund is pleased — because that will end up being of more use, since a smart person wouldn't have accompanied them beyond the Wall searching for the dead. Tormund asks Jon about Daenaerys, and Jon says she won't join them unless he submits to her, causing Tormund to joke that Jon spent so much time with the Wildlings that he's finding it difficult to kneel. Jon says nothing, and Tormund observes that Mance Rayder refused to submit as well, and all that led to was disaster for those who followed him: "How many of his people died for his pride?"
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In the rear with the gear, Thoros asks Gendry if he's still mad about their treatment of him. Gendry retorts they sold him to a witch — Thoros refers to Melisandre as a priestess, but admits there's not much difference. Beric says that they needed the gold Melisandre gave them. Gendry angrily tells Beric he wanted to join the Brotherhood, but they sold him like a slave. He describes how she restrained and stripped him, but Sandor interrupts, dryly noting that it sounds fine to him. Gendry keeps ranting, then Sandor points out it could have been worse: he survived. He accuses Gendry of whinging, which Gendry denies, but Sandor notes that Beric has "been killed six times, you don't hear him bitching about it." Sandor and Beric walk on, while Gendry accepts a drink from Thoros' wineskin, getting a clap on the back in return.

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Jon and Jorah reminisce about Jorah's father Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, with Jorah saying that he should have been a better son. Jon admits when asked that he wasn't with Jeor at the end and tells Jorah that he and the other Watchmen avenged Jeor, executing the mutineers for killing their lord commander. This brings Jorah little comfort, saddened how his father was betrayed and murdered by the men he led. Jon responds, "I hate that [Jeor] died that way." He speaks of his own father Ned, "He was the most honorable man I ever met. He was good all the way through and he died on the executioner's block." Jorah admits Ned would have been right to execute him, but he still hated Ned, and Jon and Jorah agree they're glad Jorah escaped. Jon takes hands Longclaw to Jorah, saying that Jeor thought Jorah would never return, but he did, and the sword rightfully belongs to House Mormont and tries to give it to Jorah. Jorah notes that Jeor gave it to Jon, and that he broke Jeor's heart with his dishonorable actions, then gives it back to Jon, saying that it will serve him and his future children well.

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At Winterfell, Sansa approaches Arya on the walkway, with Arya noting that Ned used to watch them in the courtyard from a similar vantage point, but that Sansa probably doesn't remember since she stayed inside. Sansa protests that she does remember, but Arya ignores her and recounts the memory of finding Bran's discarded bow once; with no one around, she took the opportunity to practice archery, though she laments both that she wasn't good and after every shot, had to retrieve the single arrow that had been left behind. After dozens of tries, she finally hit the bulls-eye, and then heard someone clapping; looking up, she saw Ned smiling down at her, seemingly unconcerned that she was behaving in an unladylike way. Arya decided it wasn't wrong that she'd broken the rules; the rules themselves were wrong, and Ned was tacitly letting her know this. But now, she says, Ned is dead at the Lannister's hands...with Sansa's help. This jolts Sansa out of her comfortable silence, and she pales when Arya pulls out the raven scroll Cersei forced her to send. Arya recites the message over Sansa's objection. Sansa tells Arya she was forced to write it, and Arya coldly asks if they tortured her until she did. Sansa protests that she was only a child, but Arya retorts that even as a child, she would have died before betraying anyone in her family, and when Sansa says they told her writing the letter would save Ned's life, Arya accuses her of being stupid. She then recounts seeing Sansa at Ned's execution, her detailed rememberance taking Sansa aback, as she hadn't known Arya saw it.

Sansa finally puts her back up and asks what Arya did that day, did she fight, did she rescue Ned — no, she stood there, just like Sansa did. Arya shoots back that she didn't betray Ned and the Stark family for Joffrey. Sansa loses her temper and advances on Arya, telling her that the only reason Winterfell belongs to the Starks is because Sansa herself manipulated events to retake it: Jon lost the battle against the Boltons, and only the assistance of the Vale knights turned the tide, while Arya wasn't even in the country at the time. Arya says she was training, and Sansa tells her that while Arya was "training", she experienced things Arya can't imagine, to which Arya retorts that she can imagine many things. Sansa says that Arya never would have lived through what she did, to which Arya only says they'll never know. Sansa asks what Arya intends to do with the scroll, but Arya says she hasn't decided. Sansa asks who else knows about it and where she found it. Arya thinks that Sansa's scared she'll show it to Jon, but realizes that's not it, since Jon would never blame Sansa and would understand. Sansa tries to say that Cersei would be thrilled to know she and Arya are fighting amongst themselves, but Arya figures out that Sansa is worried the Northern lords will read the scroll and turn against her. Arya points out Lyanna Mormont is younger than Sansa was and never would have acquiesced to Cersei's demands. Sansa tries to regain control by pointing out that Ayra's anger might make her do something "unfortunate", but Arya says the same in reverse about Sansa's fear, and she'll stick with anger. She then leaves, with Sansa alone on the walkway.

Beyond the Wall, Jon's group continues north. When Sandor stops to retie his bootstrap, Tormund approaches him with, "You're 'the Dog'", getting a succinct "fuck off" from Sandor in return. Tormund says he's heard Sandor was mean and questions if he was born that way or just hates Wildlings, to which Sandor retorts that it isn't Wildings he hates, it's "gingers". Tormund teases him by saying that they are "kissed by fire", then points out Sandor's burns, causing Sandor to knock Tormund's hand aside and warn him not to do that again. A grinning Tormund follows Sandor as he walks off, asking if he fell into a fire, but Sandor admits he was pushed, which Tormund takes as explanation for his attitude, though he notes that Sandor's eyes aren't angry, they're sad. Sandor asks if Tormund wants to suck his dick; Tormund is confused until Sandor explains it's another word for "cock", and says that he likes "dick", to which Sandor dryly says he bets Tormund does. Tormund declines the offer, saying he only likes women, and describes Brienne; this pulls an incredulous Sandor up short and he confirms they're talking about the same woman. When he asks if she looks at Tormund like she wants to kill him, Tormund snarks that Sandor does know who he's talking about. Tormund speaks of wanting to have children with Brienne, huge children that could conquer the world; when Sandor asks how someone as crazy as Tormund has survived to his age, Tormund shoots back that he's "good at killing people".

Beric tells Jon that he doesn't look much like his father Ned; he must look like his mother instead. He tells Jon how Ned, as Hand of the King, dispatched him to find Gregor Clegane, and then asks if it's true that Jon was resurrected by Melisandre. Beric explains he himself has been brought back six times; that means they serve the Lord of Light, to which Jon protests that he serves the North. Beric says it wasn't the North that brought Jon back, causing Jon to counter that the Lord of Light didn't talk to him, and he has no idea why he would have been brought back. Beric says it's simple: Jon is supposed to be alive, though he admits he doesn't know why. Jon asks what sense there is in serving a god if no one has any idea of his motivations, to which Beric replies he often ponders that same question; but he's come to believe that, as soldiers, they don't need to understand why, as long as they know what they fight for: life itself, they're fighting against death. When Jon points out that everyone dies, Beric simply admits that death will always win, but still must be fought; he and Jon may not have the best lives, but their efforts can ensure others live peacefully. Jon recites a line of the Night's Watch oath, "I am the shield that guards the realms of men", and Beric notes maybe that's all they need to be, which Jon agrees could be true. Sandor and Thoros have stopped and Sandor is pointing out the mountain from his vision, which means they're getting close to the Army of the Dead.

On Dragonstone, Dany asks Tyrion if he knows why she likes him, but he replies that honestly, he has no idea. She says its that he's not a hero, which Tyrion protests by saying that he's acted heroic at times, before Dany cuts him off and says she doesn't want him to act like that; in her view, heroes — like Drogo, Jorah, Daario, or Jon — try to do impressive things and end up dead for their troubles. Tyrion notes that all four of those men were or are in love with her, and when Dany protests that Jon isn't, Tyrion snarks that Jon must have been mooning at her because he wanted her army. Dany says that he's too "little" for her, then realizes who she said that to, but Tyrion admits Jon is rather short as heroes go, and Dany says she knows Tyrion is a brave man; if he'd been a coward, she wouldn't have made him her Hand. Dany then talks about the upcoming meeting with Cersei and says that Cersei would probably like to have her executed, to which Tyrion drily responds that Cersei would have her tortured first. Tyrion says that no one trusts Cersei less than he does, and the only way they'll meet is to have two armies and all three dragons as backup, with a scorched earth protocol in place if Dany is harmed in any way. They discuss the fact that both sides are setting traps for the other, and when Dany asks if a war can be won without "deceit and mass murder", Tyrion advises her that she will need to be ruthless to a degree, but when it comes to motivating people, all Cersei has to fall back on is fear; it's all any of the Lannisters have had, all the way back to Tywin, and it instills resentment. Dany notes that Aegon the Conqueror united the Seven Kingdoms mainly by fear, but Tyrion replies that Aegon built the "wheel" that Dany claims she wants to break.

Dany complains about walking "into the lion's den", but Tyrion assures her that Jaime promised him the Lannister army would be kept in hand. Dany retorts that the only Lannister promises she cares about are the ones Tyrion makes, and he says he promised Jaime that Dany wouldn't do anything rash. When Dany asks what he means by that, Tyrion says that Cersei will almost certainly try to provoke her, and that Dany has on occasion allowed that famous Targaryen temper to get the better of her. Dany demands to know what he means, but when Tyrion brings up her execution of Randyll and Dickon Tarly, says that wasn't a fit of pique, it was a considered action. He calmly states that might be true, or perhaps only Randyll should have been killed, or perhaps they should have been imprisoned; Dany's desire to have a conclusion to the battle prevented them from considering all possibilities. She coldly wonders if Tyrion is taking the Lannister side, but Tyrion points out you have to consider your enemy's position when negotiating so that you'll know how to counter and defeat them. He tells Dany that he wants her to succeed, but that she's trying to do too much at once, and it's possible even if they're victorious, the world they want might not be constructed even in their lives. Tyrion says she will need a trustworthy heir, and that even if she can't give birth, she could appoint someone to rule after her death. Dany says they'll talk about this after the war is over, and Tyrion points out that even though hundreds of arrows missed her at the Blackwater Rush, all it would have taken was one to kill her. Dany asks if Tyrion and Jaime discussed her death, and when Tyrion protests that he's just planning for the long term, she shoots back that perhaps a more short-term view would have kept them from losing Dorne and Highgarden. Tyrion quiets, and Dany again says they'll talk about a line of succession after the war, leaving Tyrion in the map room.

Beyond the Wall, the winds are beginning to pick up. Tormund points out a bear in the distance, just visible through the snow beyond their point man, then the bear stops and looks at them, causing Gendry to ask if bears have blue eyes. It begins to charge and the Wildling runs back to the group, only to get tackled from the side by another bear before he reaches them. The group draw find the man's dropped spear and draw their weapons, setting themselves into a circle to cover all angles. A wight bear lunges into their midst, mauling another Wildling, then knocks Jon aside when he attack it. Thoros and Beric light their swords and dash into the fray, but the bear kills another Wildling before one of Beric's strikes sets it on fire. The now-burning bear faces Sandor, who unfortunately freezes up again, and Thoros has to knock him out of the way to save his life from the bear's charge. He blocks the animal's mouth with his sword, then Tormund wades in with his axe but the bear knocks him back, uses its teeth to rip Thoros' sword from his grip, and begins to maul the monk as Sandor watches. Jorah stabs the bear in the head with a dragonglass dagger and kills it, then Beric and Gendry drag Thoros away from the body and check his wounds, which turn out to be extensive. Jorah says they have to return Thoros to Eastwach but Thoros refuses, and takes a long drink from his flask before Beric cauterizes the slashes with his sword. Beric asks if he's okay, causing Thoros to point out that no he's not; he was just bitten by an undead bear, and Beric helps him back to his feet. Jon and Tormund look at the Wildling's body and see the bear's tracks leading to it; that's the way they need to go.

In Winterfell, Sansa talks to Littlefinger in her chambers, wondering aloud how Arya possibly found the scroll. Littlefinger notes Arya "seems very resourceful" and asks if Sansa is worried. Sansa points out that the Northern lords' true loyalty is to Jon, not her; it wouldn't take much for them to decide to focus on protecting their own lands instead of the North as a whole. Littlefinger points out Jon put Sansa in charge for a reason, and that some of the lords might even prefer her, something Sansa dismisses out of hand. She doubts the trustworthiness and the loyalty of the Northern lords, going over their history of switching sides — such men could never be trusted if they'd change their allegiance that quick. Still, she admits that if the contents of the scroll became public knowledge, that it would be disastrous for Jon, since he placed his trust in a woman who — on the surface, at least — had betrayed her family not once but twice. Littlefinger says that Arya would never betray Sansa, but Sansa says she might if Arya thought she intended to betray Jon, she also notes that she feels like she doesn't know Arya anymore. Littlefinger points out in that case, Sansa could ask Brienne to intercede, since she swore an oath to Catelyn, she is honor-bound to protect both sisters, even from each other, which Sansa agrees is true.

Beyond the Wall, the group continues north, with Jorah keeping pace in the rear with Thoros, whose injuries are slowing him. Trying to distract the monk, Jorah asks him just how drunk he was at the Battle of Pyke, and Thoros admits he doesn't even remember it, some of his comrades told him what he'd done the morning after. Jorah tells him the Ironborn thought he was a god with a flaming sword, while Jorah himself thought he was "the bravest man I ever saw," but Thoros counters that he was only the drunkest. On their way up a rise, Tormund silently signals a halt; the sounds of clanking metal can be heard, and from their vantage point, he and Jon see a group of wights marching on a path below. Jon notes it doesn't seem like that many, but Tormund just says that the rest will probably be along shortly. The group, with a White Walker in the lead, reach a fire Jon's group left as a distraction, the Walker notices something is wrong, but then the living attack. Everyone picks a combatant, but Jorah's fight starts to go south as a wight disarms him and begins to choke him. Jon kills the Walker with Longclaw, causing all the wights but one to fall apart. The last one tries to break away, but Tormund knocks it down and Sandor jumps on it to restrain it, then it lets out a piercing scream. As Tormund and the others bind it, Jon looks in the distance and sees the storm approaching: the Night King heard the wight's scream and is on the way with the Army of the Dead. Jon orders Gendry to return to Eastwatch and send a raven to Dragonstone detailing what's going on; Gendry protests that he won't leave, but Jon argues that he's the fastest and orders him to run, while Tormund confiscates his hammer.

The group run into a walled area, but as they proceed ice begins to crack under their feet: they're on a frozen lake. Jorah sees what's happening and orders them to stop, the cracking of the ice audible to everyone. They turn around to see the vanguard of the Army of the Dead pouring through the entrance into the lake enclosure, and Jon orders them to head out onto the ice anyway. The wights loop around the edges of the lake and begin to surround them, then another nameless Wildling trips. He gets back to his feet, but as the others make it to relative safety (solid ground, at least), he's overtaken by the wights, who tackle him and in doing so, break through the surface of the lake, sending dozens into the water and out of the fight. Trapped on a small island, Jon and company can only wait as twilight begins to fall. Meanwhile, Gendry has made within sight of the Wall just as night descends. On the island, full dark is setting in, while back at the Wall, Gendry collapses in exhaustion just short of the gate. Davos spots him along with a group of Wildlings and brings him inside. Davos demands to know what happened to the rest of the group, but Gendry can only gasp that they have to send a raven.

At the island, the group have passed a miserable night in the cold, trapped in an inescapable position, and we see that the wights have also encircled the group on a ledge higher up from the lakeshore. Irritated by the captive wight's constant growls, Sandor gets up and kicks it, causing it to shriek and the surrounding wights answering it. Beric finds that Thoros has succumbed to his injuries in the night, and covers his old friend's face with his cloak. Sandor notes that freezing to death is supposed to be preferable as methods of dying go, then takes Thoros' flask and begins to drink what's left. Beric prays, then Jon yanks the flask from Sandor's grasp and points out they have to burn the body or it will turn into a wight. He pours the wine on Thoros' clothes, and Tormund notes that they won't be long in joining him unless the Lord of Light sends them fire. Beric lights his sword and ignites Thoros' body, then finishes his prayer before walking away. Jorah points out to Jon that with it getting colder, soon they'll all freeze, and even if they don't the lake will be stable enough for the wights to walk on. He says that when Jon killed the Walker, all but one wight was destroyed, and Jon theorizes that perhaps that Walker had personally turned all of them except that one. Jorah says that if they focus on killing the Walkers, maybe they can escape, but Jon shoots this idea down, saying they have to take the captured wight with them no matter what. Jon says that by now the message to Dany is on its way and that she's their only chance, but Beric refutes this: they can also kill the Night King, who is watching from the highest ledge. Jon protests that Beric doesn't understand how dangerous he is, but Beric asks if the Lord of Light really brought them both back to life just so they could freeze surrounded by wights. Sandor snarks that with Thoros gone, Beric will stay dead this time when he dies, but Beric brushes this off, saying he's been ready to die for a long time. Sandor shoots back that no god he's ever known was worth a damn, and doesn't think the Lord of Light is different. The living and the dead stare at each other, Jon and the Night King locking eyes.

In Winterfell, Sansa is approached by Maester Wolkan, who hands her a raven scroll; an invitation to King's Landing, presumably sent by Cersei. In consultation with Brienne, Sansa tells the other woman that she is appointing her as Winterfell's representative. Brienne notes that the message invited Sansa by name, and Sansa says she has no intention of returning to King's Landing while Cersei is in power; if she wants to have another Stark to hold hostage, she can come north and try to capture one. Brienne says it's not safe, to which a confused Sansa notes that Brienne claimed Jaime treated her with honor. An irritated Brienne says she meant it won't be safe for Sansa if Brienne goes, since that will leave her alone with Littlefinger. Sansa counters there are many Northmen who would be all to happy to toss Littlefinger into a cell or even kill him outright, but Brienne asks if perhaps Littlefinger has been manipulating them behind Sansa's back. She asks to at least have Pod stay behind, but Sansa cuts her off by saying that she doesn't need protecting, she is in her place as the Lady of Winterfell and confident in her power; she's safest there. Brienne tries to bring up her oath to Catelyn, but Sansa cuts her off by saying that the roads will be poor given the recent snows, and that Brienne needs to leave soon to arrive at King's Landing on time. Brienne leaves, and as the door closes, Sansa sits in thought.

The dragons are snoozing in a field on Dragonstone, but stir as Dany approaches, followed closely by Tyrion, who is trying to reason with her about heading North of The Wall. She correctly notes that she is the only person who can save Jon and his group, and Tyrion agrees this is true, but points out that she can't carry out her plans to rework Westeros' ruling culture if she's dead; Jon and his men knew the risks when they left. She challenges Tyrion about what she should do instead, and he says not to do anything, that sometimes, that's the most difficult that can be done. He says that if Dany dies, everything and everyone are lost, but she simply points out that he advised her to do nothing before and she listened; after that disaster, she's not doing nothing again. She climbs onto Drogon's back and flies off, followed closely by Viserion and Rheagal.

Back at the lake beyond the Wall, Jon's group can still only wait; Sandor, bored by the inactivity, picks up a stone and lobs it at the wights, knocking off one of them's jawbone. He then throws another, much heavier stone, but it falls short and slides across the ice to the wights feet...without making the ice crack. The wights and Jon's group both realize what this means, and the wight Sandor hit begins to walk out onto the ice. Jon and company draw their weapons, and a few more wights make their way onto the ice and toward the island. The group set themselves to fight, then Sandor's patience runs out and he attacks first, smashing a wight with Gendry's hammer. Jon, Jorah, Tormund and Beric all join the fight, taking out the relatively small number of wights that have made it to the island, then the wight that Sandor knocked down gets back up, and instead of attacking it again, Sandor knocks a hole in the ice and it falls into the lake. The rest of the wights begin to head toward the island, and Sandor drops the hammer to pull out his old handaxe. They make a valiant stand but the numbers are greatly against them, and another Wildling is pulled down and killed. Jon gives the command to fall back, but in doing so Tormund is swamped and knocked down, and just when it looks like the Giantsbane is about to be pulled into the water, Sandor saves the day. Jon pulls the captive wight along as the survivors make their way to the highest ground (not like that's saying much), the last Wildling saves him from a wight attack but loses his balance and falls off the rise into a group of wights, where he is killed. The wights begin to pile up against the side of the rise to climb it and Jon lowers his sword, understanding that it's almost over. The others are still fighting, and as the wights crest the edge of the rise Jon readies himself for a last stand...then ducks as Drogon roars and looses a blast of flame which obliterates the wights behind the group. Viserion and Rheagal take out the other ones on the lake surface, breaking up the ice as they do, and sending any not destroyed by fire to the lakebed. Drogon breaks up the rest of the ice, then lands on the edge of the island and takes out more wights. Dany offers Jon a hand onto Drogon's back, but Jon hears another wight and turns to fight some stragglers, while Drogon keeps more at bay.

The Night King's lieutenant removes a ice spear from its holder on his saddle, passing it to the Night King who walks down from the ledge over what's left of the lake ice toward where Drogon is. The cold that precedes him extinguishes the dragonfire on the ground, then he raises the spear, sights, and throws — but not at the stationary target Drogon; at Viserion. The spear strikes true in his neck, and Dany looks up with horror at her child's scream of agony. Fire escapes his body, but then it goes out and blood begins to pour from the wound. Drogon roars to his brother, as does Rhaegal, but Viserion tumbles to the ground, plowing a furrow into the icy surface of the lake and sinking into the frigid water as Jon's company looks on in stunned disbelief. Enraged by this development, Jon turns to face the Night King, but as his lieutenant draws another ice spear, Jon runs back toward Dany, yelling for her to leave, even as he's tackled onto the ice, which breaks and submerges him. Dany hesitates, but then sees the Night King and his spear and urges Drogon to take off, the wind of his wings knocking down scores of wights as he tries to gain lift. The Night King sights and throws, but Dany turns Drogon in midair, avoiding the spear but nearly tossing Jorah to his death, grabbed at the last second by Tormund. As Drogon flies off, Dany looks back at the lake, her face twisted by grief at Viserion's death.

The Night King mounts his horse and leads the Army of the Dead away, the cold quickly refreezing the lake surface. Longclaw is lying on the ice next to one of the last holes — and Jon pops up, gasping for breath and barely able to pull himself out of the frigid water. The wights halt as Jon staggers along in the background, the cold sapping his strength, and he falls to his knees. He pulls himself up and faces them, but a mysterious rider, wielding a fiery flail, saves the day: Benjen Stark. He boosts Jon onto his horse and orders him to ride for the pass; when Jon asks Benjen to come with him, Benjen says there's no time and slaps the horse's flank, sending it running. Jon looks back and sees Benjen overwhelmed and dogpiled by the wights, then rides east toward the rising sun.

At Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Sandor, Tormund and Beric have made it back, Sandor still carrying the wight. He dumps it in a boat and shares a respectful nod with Tormund; but when Beric says they'll meet again, Sandor retorts "Fucking hope not." Overhead, Drogon is flying around, screeching in either sadness or anger at his brother's death. Dany is standing on one of the north-side platforms looking for Jon; Jorah advises her that they need to leave, but she says she'll wait a bit longer. After a time, she turns to leave, but then the signal horn sounds as a rider approaches: Jon half-frozen. They get him onto a ship and Davos strips his wet clothes off; Dany is amazed to see the still unhealed scars of his murder and realizes Davos wasn't using metaphor when he spoke of Jon taking a dagger in the heart.

At Winterfell, Sansa has now let herself in Arya's room. She sees a satchel under the bed and pulls it out, opening it to find...faces; one of a man with a brown beard and goatee, the other of an older man. Arya startles Sansa by asking if that wasn't what she was looking for; when an understandably nervous Sansa says there are hundreds of men in Winterfell who are loyal to her, Arya notes none of them are there now. She asks Arya what the faces are, and Arya calmly replies that's exactly what they are: faces, from when she was training to be a Faceless Man. Sansa has no idea what that means, and Arya begins to talk about how she used to play a game in Braavos: the game of faces that she played with the Waif. Sansa says she doesn't want to play, but Arya ignores her and asks how she feels about Jon being King in the North. Sansa again demands to know what the faces are, and Arya says if Sansa wants to ask the questions she can, but that didn't go so well for the last person who questioned Arya. Sansa still wants to know, and Arya talks about how they both wanted to be someone else when they were children; Sansa a queen, Arya a knight. She notes that neither of them attained their goals, since the world doesn't take into account what a girl wants from life, but Arya has learned how to be someone else; how to use the faces to take one someone's appearance, voice, and mannerisms...why, she could even be Sansa she says, as she picks up the catspaw dagger. She says she wonders what it would be like to wear Sansa's dresses and be Lady Stark... Then Arya flips the dagger and offers it to Sansa handle-first, who takes it as Arya leaves the room. Sansa stands confused, wondering what exactly Arya was trying to do.

On the ship, Jon wakes to see Dany sitting at his bedside. She smiles at him momentarily before her face crumples in sorrow; Jon can only apologize. He takes her hand as she weeps and says that he wishes they'd never gone north of The Wall, but Dany shakes her head in negation; if they hadn't gone, she wouldn't have seen the Night King and the scale of the threat facing them. She asks if Jon understands what she means when she says the dragons are the only children she'll ever have, and when he nods, the steel returns to her voice as she vows they will destroy the Night King and the Army of the Dead: together. Jon thanks her, calling her "Dany"; the bemused Dany points out Viserys was the last person who called her that, and Jon wouldn't want to be compared to him. Jon cedes to this, and asks if she would prefer to be called "My Queen" instead, though he can't really bend the knee at the moment. Dany, amazed, asks about the Northern lords, and he says they'll know her as he does; she tearfully says that she hopes she deserves his loyalty, and Jon simply states that he's sure she does. She catches him staring at her and realizes what Tyrion told her earlier is true, then gently pulls her hand from his grip and advises him to rest.

Beyond the Wall, the wights are hauling heavy chains: Viserion's body is being dragged from the lake. The Night King approaches, kneels by the dragon's head, and lays his left hand on the massive snout. After a moment, Viserion's eye opens, now cold blue.


Tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The ice weapons of the White Walkers can penetrate the hide of a dragon effortlessly.
  • Accidental Innuendo: An In-Universe one from Tormund after the Hound gives him a little lesson in Southern semantics.
    Sandor: You want to suck my dick, is that it?
    Tormund: Dick?
    Sandor: Cock.
    Tormund: Ah, dick. I like it.
    Sandor: Bet you do.
  • Accidental Pun: Viserion's Eye Awaken in the episode's final scene essentially shows that he's now "ice-cold".
  • Adaptational Heroism: Tyrion implies support for some form of electoral succession system, citing the election of the Lord Commanders at the Night's Watch and the Kingsmoot (while joking that the Ironborn have their flaws) as precedents. In the novels, Tyrion is explicitly anti-democratic, sneering at the Mountain Clans of the Vale for electing their leaders, deliberating their decisions, and worse giving voices to women, and generally seeing the Free Cities and their oligarchical system on his travels in A Dance with Dragons with bemused contempt.From the books  Ironically, in the same scene Daenerys tells him that his not being a hero is why she trusts his advice.
  • Adult Fear: Dany considers her dragons the closest things she has to children, and in this episode she loses Viserion. Twisting the knife in further, he is resurrected as a wight.
  • Affectionate Nickname: After Daenerys tells Jon that she will help him fight the Night King, he thanks her and calls her Dany out of endearment. She snarks that the last person who called her that was her brother and then tells Jon that isn't company he wants to keep (so she's not quite fond of being called "Dany" in spite of Jon's good intentions), to which Jon decides to call Daenerys his queen instead.
  • Anti-Advice: Littlefinger convinces Sansa to send Brienne away, as he tells her that Brienne can be used by Arya to hurt her. While this eventually works against her, Littlefinger makes it sound like it's sensible advice at the moment. Sansa eventually realizes, to much regret, that Arya doesn't need to use Brienne to hurt her, as she's fully able to deliver on her own threats.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Night King's javelin pierces through dragon scales with ease, which two episodes ago proved tough enough to blunt the impact of a ballista bolt. As the Night King didn't need an impulse to throw the javelin, it's implied that he used magic to aim and strike Viserion down.
    • The Night King also unintentionally (maybe) figured out a dragon's Achilles' Heel, as it isn't the spear itself that causes the most harm to Viserion, but the explosion when The Night King's lance pierces his neck as he's breathing fire. The resulting wound smokes and gushes enough blood for the dragon to bleed out just after crash landing.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Jon finds himself in this with Tormund, but only because they're running out of space on top of their rock being besieged by wights.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: The captured wight is bound and shoved in a sack, much to its displeasure.
  • Back for the Dead: Benjen, who disappeared waaaaaaay back in season one, reappears once again to die against a wight horde to save his nephew's life.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The party is attacked by an undead bear in the middle of a blizzard, which kills two of their mooks and mauls Thoros before they kill it. Rather fittingly, Ser Jorah Mormont of Bear Island is the one to land the killing blow.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Tormund gushes about how he wants to have babies with Brienne, her open hostility to this idea not withstanding.
    Sandor: You're with Brienne of fucking Tarth?
    Tormund: Well... not with her yet. But I see the way she looks at me.
    Sandor: How does she look at you? Like she wants to carve you up and eat your liver?
    Tormund: You do know her!
  • Beneath the Mask: The Hound acts like a jerk, but he's not really one. Noted by Tormund .
    Tormund: I don't think you're really mean. You have sad eyes.
    Sandor: You want to suck my dick, is that it?
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Several wights overwhelm Tormund and try to drag him into the water. Sandor destroys them and pulls Tormund away.
    • Dany arrives just in time to save the group from the army of the dead.
    • Just as Jon has no allies and no way out, his Cool Uncle note  Benjen comes and saves him, giving Jon his horse while fighting the wights off.
  • Big "NO!": A variant. Upon seeing Viserion's death, Drogon and Rhaegal both gave a loud, anguished roar.
  • Bloody Horror: After being hit by the Night King's spear, blood and flame erupts from Viserion's neck wound as he falls to the ground.
  • Break the Haughty: The Night King humbles Daenerys Targaryen greatly in this episode by killing one of her dragons. After trying to assert her dominance over Jon, dismissing her Hand's advice, and being on an authority high after learning the possible prospects of being The Chosen One, she defrosts quite a lot while standing vigil over Jon. Of course, what makes this tragic is that nobody wants to gloat since everyone knows exactly what losing that dragon means. When Jon swears fealty to her and says that the northern lords will support her, she responds: "I hope I deserve it."
  • Bring Help Back: With no chance of outrunning the horde of wights, Gendry is sent to Eastwatch for help.
  • Broken Aesop: Daenerys claiming that, "You have to see it to know," when discussing the White Walker threat, stated in a very dramatic and serious moment, becomes this when one considers that she was more than willing to believe Jon without having seen the threat personally (perhaps not as willing to aid him, but still). Furthermore, other characters believed the threat without seeing it, such as King Stannis and Lord Davos (who rescued the Night's Watch from Mance Rayder), the Brotherhood (Lord Beric, Thoros, and their small band who go North specifically to meet this threat for high risk and zero reward), and Maester Aemon (who sent those messages at the behest of others on their word), among others.
  • Broken Pedestal: Tormund voices criticism of Mance Rayder, seeing him finally as how Jon and Stannis saw him: a proud, romantic fool who cared more for his Pride in refusing to kneel than in helping his people, noting that the many lives lost in Hardhome and other instances where the Wildling alliance collapsed with his death could have been avoided if he had bent the knee.
  • Burn the Undead: Beric and Thoros use their flaming swords to set the wight polar bear on fire. Later, Daenerys uses dragonfire against the army of the dead.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Invoked. One of the reasons Dany has kept her distance from significant relationships with the men she's been with (bar Drogo) is that she physically cannot become pregnant, as the black magic used by Mirri Maz Duur left her barren. She tells this to Jon (minus the black magic stuff), explaining why she then considers the dragons her "children" and what Viserion's death meant for her as their "mother".
  • Butt-Monkey: Gendry is openly treated as this. Tormund grosses on him and straight up weirds him out with the promise of Situational Sexuality, Lord Beric and Thoros are unrepentant about selling him to Melisandre, and Sandor tells him to "quit whingeing" and get with the program. Even Jon Snow (who was visibly weirded out by the latter trying to act like his best friend last episode) expresses skepticism about Gendry's inexperience traveling in the cold and fighting (snarking to Tormund that Ser Davos told him he could fight, in a tone that says, "He's a Tagalong Kid, humor him."). Sure enough, the minute they meet a real fight, Jon designates Gendry as errand boy (and Tormund grabs his hammer, noting that it would slow him down and they have more use for it). Of course, Gendry's sprint through the snow and winter really does save everyone's bacon.
  • Call-Back:
    • Arya remembers how her father used to watch his kids in the training yard, which recalls the scene from the series' pilot where Ned watches Robb and Jon train Bran in archery while Rickon looks on.
    • Sansa is shocked to hear that Arya was also present during their father's execution.
    • Gendry recalls his unpleasant experience with Melisandre where she tied him naked on a bed and drew blood from him with leeches.
    • Jorah and Thoros reminisce about the Siege of Pyke from the Greyjoy Rebellion years ago.
    • Daenerys is called "Dany" once again, this time by someone else other than her brother. She doesn't find it a good fit coming from someone she likes, so Jon switches to "my queen".
    • The mountain "shaped like an arrowhead" that the group travels toward to find the army of the dead was last seen in Bran's vision of the children of the forest creating the Night King. The group likely passed directly over the site where the Night King was born.
    • Jon's group spent most of their time chatting about the past, like Tormund recalling Mance's death, Jorah bringing up how Thoros was the first to breach Pyke (Jorah was the second) and gingers being kissed by fire according to Wildlings.
    • The words Beric uses when they burn Thoros are the same that Thoros used to resurrect him in season 3.
  • Cassandra Truth: Invoked. Daenerys finally comes to understand, at an enormous loss, just how serious Jon was regarding the threat from the White Walkers. She is in equal parts sad and scared at the moment she meets Jon, realizing how brave Jon was by being willing to face those things head on, and thus swearing that she will fight alongside him against the White Walkers.
  • Character Death: The trip past the Wall claims Thoros, Viserion, and Benjen.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Night King and his White Walker entourage don't bother trying to engage Jon and the party directly. They simply wait for the ice to harden, then swamp them with a massive horde of wights.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Gendry's interactions with Tormund and the Hound are filled with this:
    • The former more or less insinuates that if he really needs to feel warm in the cold, finding a bed-warmer is best, and if a woman isn't around, well he can make do with what's available, while giving Gendry a leering look.
    • The Hound on hearing of how Melisandre bought Gendry and then stripped him naked, more or less finds the idea that Gendry was molested by Melisandre hilarious and feels that Gendry should be proud, not horrified, and dismisses the whole slavery and near-Human Sacrifice thing as a minor thing to be worried about.
  • Conflict Ball: After seeing Littlefinger stash Sansa's old letter to Robb (written under duress and read as such by its recipients) purely because she was suspicious enough to shadow Littlefinger, Arya suddenly turns all her suspicions on Sansa and refuses to hear any of her justifications. Given everything Arya's been through, including serving as Tywin Lannister's cupbearer while he warred with Robb and schemed with Littlefinger, Arya has every reason to be more understanding of Sansa's situation and to be even more suspicious of Littlefinger, but instead she brushes off her own sister's abuse and threatens to undermine their family's hold on the North in an act of self-righteousness.
  • Covered in Scars: Jon's torso still bears the marks of his death. Daenerys notices but does not comment.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It's vaguely plausible that the Night King had the foresight to bring throwing spears when Daenerys arrives with her dragons. Those giant chains they use to pull the dragon from the water? Not so much.
  • Creepy Child: Arya telling her own sister how easy it would be to cut off her face and use it to slip into her identity.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Viserion is brutally impaled by one of the Night King's icicle spears, and falls into the lake with blood gushing everywhere, likely drowning in the process. His corpse is then dragged out by the undead army and raised as a wight.
  • Culture Clash: Tormund and the rest of the group. He assumes Sandor Clegane dislikes him out of Fantastic Racism towards wildlings before realizing that it's just Sandor being Sandor. Likewise, Tormund mentions that the only time he came South was Winterfell which Jon reminds him is in the North, because to the Wildlings, everything South of the Wall, is the South.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tormund is not shy to tell Jon how dumb this expedition is.
    Tormund: Smart men don't go North to catch an undead.
  • Death by Irony: Thoros of Myr, a priest of the Lord of Light, associated with fire, dies freezing to death. Sandor states that from what he's heard, it's a good way to die.
  • Decapitated Army:
    • Discussed by Tyrion when he tells Daenerys how everything they've accomplished so far will be in vain if she dies beyond the Wall.
    • Also discussed after Jon killing a White Walker destroys all the wights that Walker has raised from the dead. If that's the case, all they have to do is kill the Night King. Unfortunately he keeps his distance.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Viserion explodes in a fireball when the Night King hits him with the javelin mid-air; this is more than likely due the fact that Viserion was spewing dragon fire at the very moment he was hit, producing a fireball either due to the jolt or that the javelin pierced its "napalm"-forming glands.
  • Determinator: The wight that the Hound hits with a rock gets bashed with a hammer twice, gets sunk, and still tries to drown Tormund.
  • Divided We Fall: Sansa bluntly tells Arya that her continued suspicions and threats to reveal the message Sansa wrote while a Lannister hostage to the Northern Lords is exactly the kind of thing Cersei wants them to do. Arya, still in the middle of her Black and White Insanity, doesn't bother to listen.
  • Dog Pile of Doom: How Jon's team subdues the one remaining wight for proof.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: After the group gets stranded on a island with thin ice standing between them and the wights, Sandor starts to provoke them by throwing rocks on them. When one rock he throws lands on solid ice, the undead horde realizes that the floor is safe for them to cross over.
  • Dracolich: As of the final scene, Viserion has become one courtesy of the Night King.
  • Dramatic Irony: Jon is finally reunited with his long lost maternal uncle only for him to perform a Heroic Sacrifice so Jon can escape, returning to the woman who, unbeknownst to him, is his paternal aunt (who is also unaware of their relation).note 
  • Due to the Dead: When Thoros of Myr is given his last rites by his friend Beric, the Hound comments that freezing isn't a bad way to go (which is probably the nicest thing he could say). The group burn his corpse so he doesn't rise as a wight, which doubles as a meaningful funeral for a Red Priest.
  • Emotional Torque: How director Alan Taylor described the episode's distinct approach to time and travel speeds:
    Alan Taylor: We were aware that timing was getting a little hazy. We’ve got Gendry running back, ravens flying a certain distance, dragons having to fly back a certain distance... In terms of the emotional experience, [Jon and company] sort of spent one dark night on the island in terms of storytelling moments... So I think we were straining plausibility a little bit, but I hope the story’s momentum carries over some of that stuff.
  • Eye Awaken: The last shot of the episode is the Night King placing his hand over Viserion and Viserion's eye opening as pure blue.
  • Facial Dialogue: Tormund has a WTF look when he climbs on the back of Drogon and finds its rider is a tiny slip of a girl.
  • Fair Weather Friend: Sansa doubts the trustworthiness of most of the Northern lords, citing their recent history of rejecting loyalty, pledging loyalty, and then rejecting loyalty again.
    Sansa: [The Northern lords] turn their backs on Jon when it's time to retake Winterfell, then they named him their king, and now they’re ready to turn their backs on him again. They're bloody wind-vanes. How far would you trust men like that?
  • Fan Disservice: Near the end of the episode, Jon gets a Shirtless Scene showing the scars he received from his death. The fact that the scene was played as a Ship Tease with his (paternal) aunt doesn't help.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Daenerys and Jon Snow now fully trust each other after the Pyrrhic rescue beyond the Wall. Jon recognizes Daenerys as a trustworthy ally and is now willing to bend the knee. Dany witnessed the White Walkers' army by herself, saw how ready Jon is to sacrifice himself to save others and she also saw the scar on his chest.
    • Despite claiming to hate gingers, Sandor saves Tormund as he's being dragged under the ice. Then Tormund saves Jorah from falling off the dragon, despite him being the son of a man who "hunted Wildlings like dogs."
  • Freudian Slip: Daenerys gives a list of men she's known who, out of their desire to be a Heroic Wannabe, end up nearly destroying or humiliating themselves, listing Khal Drogo, Ser Jorah, Daario, and Jon Snow. Tyrion doesn't fail to notice that the list includes men "who fell in love with her", which Dany dismisses, noting it unlikely that Jon loves her, or that she feels the same way.
  • Frontline General: Averted by the Night King, who keeps his distance and only takes part in the fight when dragons arrive. It's implied that their Keystone Army applies to other White Walkers and the Night King's death would end the war.
  • Foil: In a way, the circumstances by which the King in the North (Jon) "bends the knee" to the Targaryen contender (Daenerys) is one compared to the first time it happened. Torrhen Stark knelt to Aegon the Conqueror under fear and concern for his subjects—who run the risk of burning by dragon-fire in battle. Jon, on the other hand, was saved by Dany from the army of the dead with dragon-fire.
  • Generation Xerox: Discussed. While Jon Snow has always been compared to Ned Stark, Lord Beric is the first who has actually known Ned personally, stating that Jon doesn't look much like Ned and figures he must take after his mother, a fact that viewers have been aware of since the end of Season 6 (namely that Jon is the child of Ned's sister Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar, and his Stark look comes from his mother Lyanna). Beric says this after walking beside him and carefully studying his face.From the books... 
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Tormund points very closely at Sandor's scars while he brags how gingers are "touched by fire" just like the Hound. It only serves to annoy Sandor, who bats Tormund's hand away.
  • Gunship Rescue: About as close as one can get to one in a medieval setting. When all seems lost, Dany swoops in with her dragons to rescue Jon and co. from certain death and take them away from danger, though at a significant cost.
  • Hand Gagging: Sandor does this to the captured wight and is thoroughly squicked out when the wight's decaying face peels off in his hand.
  • Has a Type: Inverted. When Daenerys criticises the type of men who do stupid things out of desire to be heroic and often end up dying or humiliating themselves (listing Khal Drogo, Ser Jorah, Daario and Jon Snow), Tyrion points out that four out of four men of that same type have consistently fallen in love with her. Notably, at least two of these men are people Dany herself has loved back (three if her look of genuine concern and fear at Jon volunteering for this mission is any indication, along with all the blatant Ship Tease this season). Dany also points out that Jon is "too little" before taking that back after realizing who exactly she is talking to (Tyrion!), but then her other beaus, Khal Drogo and Michael Huisman were both at six feet and above, while Jon is shorter than them and — as Gendry noted in the previous episode — is not as tall as Eddard Stark.
  • Heal It with Fire: Subverted. Thoros has Beric cauterize his bear wounds with his Flaming Sword, but without proper medical attention it's only temporary and Thoros ends up freezing to death in the night after the party is stranded, as he's too weak to withstand the cold.
  • Heir Club for Men: A family heirloom example, but Jon offers Longclaw to Jorah Mormont, as the sword was once his and had been in his family for generations. Conspicuous by its absence is any suggestion that Longclaw should be given to Lyanna, if only to kept for her heirs.
  • Held Gaze: When Dany denies the idea that Jon is in love with her, Tyrion snarks that he just stares longingly at her "because he's hoping for a successful military alliance." Jon and Dany later share a gaze while Jon is recovering from his wounds.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Benjen saves Jon's life and buys him time to escape the army of the dead, fully knowing he's going to die.
  • Heroic Wannabe:
    • Sansa mocks Arya's delusions of trying to be this, noting that while the latter believes she's been training and preparing her life for a revenge quest, the real work of avenging their family and retaking Winterfell was done entirely without her, and that it is she, and not Sansa, who has lived the charmed life.
    • Daenerys snarks about the list of men she's known who, out of their desire of wanting to be a hero (Khal Drogo, Ser Jorah, Daario), ended up risking their lives and making fools of themselves, and she includes Jon Snow in that list. Of course, her own actions later, when she Jumped at the Call after receiving word from the Wall about what happened to Jon's party, suggests a good deal of Psychological Projection.from the books 
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Invoked. Littlefinger points out to Sansa that Brienne of Tarth is sworn to obey her and Arya, and should the younger sister bring up the raven message to the lady warrior, Arya can use Brienne to hurt Sansa. As such, Sansa resolves to send Brienne away, not counting on the fact that Arya is more than capable of delivering on her own threats.
  • Holding Hands: Jon first reaches for Daenery's hand while apologizing for Viserion's death. After Jon tells Dany that he will bend the knee to her and that his people will see the good person she is just as he has, Dany reaches for his hand and the two then spend a bit holding each other's hand.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Quite a lot of them.
    • Jon repeatedly calls for his team to fall back. They are on a hill with the foe pouring in from all sides. There is no "back" to fall to.
    • After the Gunship Rescue, Jon stays on the ground holding off zombies while the others board, which is why Dany has to leave him behind. ...Or so the showrunners claim during the "behind the episode" segment. The show itself demonstrates no good reason why Jon needs to do this — especially given that Drogon can cover their escape with his flames, more effectively than Jon can- although there is the risk of them being caught in the line of fire. It's one of the only decisions Jon makes that could be made to look intelligent, and yet it comes across as the dumbest.
  • Honest Advisor: Tyrion is trying his best to help Daenerys, even if he has to say things she doesn't want to hear, like losing her temper in the face of provocation and the issue regarding who will succeed her. However, because of his tactical failures as her Hand and that she suspects him of subversion, she is unwilling to listen to him.
  • Hourglass Plot:
    • Few viewers would have expected that two episodes after the Battle of Blackwater Rush where we saw Drogon massacring and immolating entire armies, audiences would go from fearing for his enemies to fearing for the dragon.
    • Arya and Sansa experience this. In the beginning, it was Arya who was the rebellious teen who was street-smart, and more critical of feudalism and the roles it forced on women, and more associated with the North and its traditions than Sansa. Eventually, Sansa despite her "Southern ways" became the one to actually restore House Stark to power while Arya has become the most cosmopolitan of the Stark children, having actually seen more of the world (visiting Braavos) than any of the Stark children.
  • Hubris: Dany's motivations for rescuing Jon Snow and his crew is done out of altruism, but part of it stems from a sense of pride in her own abilities and reputation as a Showy Invincible Hero who has always triumphed over her enemies, dodged all bullets, and escaped certain death time and time again. Her dismissal of Tyrion's fears about her life and legacy comes from a sense of being untouchable, despite her Near-Death Experience at the Battle of Blackwater Rush. This episode hands Dany what is without a doubt her greatest defeat, and she's far more respectful to Jon, demurring when he says he will bend the knee by noting that his people won't agree and that she hopes to prove worthy of it.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Arya tries to guilt Sansa for not doing something to stop Ned's execution. (Apparently forgetting the part where her sister was surrounded by armed guards and broke down and begged Joffrey not to kill him) Sansa points out that if Arya was there too then she did even less than she did.
    • She also remarks that she would have allowed herself to be tortured and killed before she helped the Lannisters and that Sansa being a scared child at the time was no excuse. She ignores the fact that she spent a fair amount of time as Tywin's cupbearer at Harrenhal while also having a master assassin indebted to her. But instead of having Jaqen kill Tywin and Joffrey, which would have ended the war in Robb's favor, she chose to use him to protect herself and secure her escape.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Heavily implied by Jorah when he returns Longclaw to Jon. Jorah says it now belongs to Jon and his future children, implying that he approves Jon to be Daenerys' partner.
  • Implied Death Threat: Arya's entire conversation with Sansa in her bedchamber — pointing out that Sansa might have hundreds of men loyal to her but none of them are in the room, the fact that the last person who played the Game of Faces with Arya didn't like how it turned out, talking of how easy it would be to Kill and Replace Sansa thanks to the Faceless Man training, while walking towards her sister holding a Valyrian steel dagger perfect for peeling someone's face off... Then she hands Sansa the dagger and walks away.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Downplayed. The Night King brings Viserion down mid-flight with a single spear throw, but he misses his second throw at Drogon carrying the rest of the characters, when he is taking off no less.
  • Infernal Retaliation: The undead bear is set on fire and just keeps coming, which causes Sandor to freeze up and leads to Thoros being mauled when he saves Sandor.
  • Informed Wrongness: Tormund disparages Mance Rayder for not bending to Stannis out of pride, and how it ultimately cost so many wilding lives. As Mance himself had explained, the wildings wouldn't have followed him any longer if he bent the knee. The wildings, even when presented with a deal that didn't involve them submitting, still largely refused.
  • Instant Messenger Pigeon: Jon's party is stranded on the island for an indeterminate period of time, sufficient for the lake surrounding it to refreeze. In this period of time, Gendry is able to run to the Wall, have a raven sent to Dragonstone, and Dany is able to receive it and mount a rescue before the party is completely overrun. It's not out of the question that a trained raven could fly that far in that period of time,note  but Gendry's ability to make that kind of time in the snow when he's never been North before is a bit hard to believe.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Arya tells Sansa about her time in Braavos as a Faceless Man after the latter sees her collection of faces.
    • Dany sees the scars on Jon's chest and non-verbally deduces that the whole "knife to the heart" thing wasn't hyperbole.
  • I Regret Nothing: Dany doesn't regret executing the Tarlys and even dismisses the idea that it was impulsive. Lord Beric and Thoros also doesn't have any apologies to Gendry for selling him to Melisandre, pointing out that wars are expensive in general, but especially so on the Brotherhood's budget.
  • Irrational Hatred: Jorah admits to Jon that Jon's father Ned was absolutely correct in exiling and sentencing him for his crimes, which he admits are crimes that brought dishonor to his house. However, that still doesn't mean he can stop hating Ned even after he died all these years later. Jon states that he's happy that Jorah escaped his father's punishment, while Jorah states that he's glad he did too.
  • Irony:
    • When Dany receives Davos's raven and is preparing to head north, she ignores Tyrion's advice that doing nothing is the right course of action in this instance, noting that he advised her to do nothing (at least nothing with the dragons) before, and all that did was set her efforts back. By the end of the episode she's suffered a far more costly setback with Viserion's death.
    • The bear-wight is finished off by Jorah Mormont, whose House sigil is a bear.
    • Having survived the psychopathic attentions of Joffrey, Cersei, Lysa, Ramsey and Littlefinger, Sansa finds the latest menace is in her own home from her own little sister.
  • It Can Think: When Sandor whiffs a shot at the wights and his rock slides along the ice, one of the wights regards it before cautiously venturing onto the ice, testing it. Slowly but surely more join in as they realize the ice will now hold their weight.
  • It's All My Fault: Jon feels personally responsible for all who died for his plan. So much that he is willing to bend the knee to Dany for Viserion's sacrifice.
  • It's Personal: After Viserion's death, Daenerys vows to kill the Night King and stop him by any means.
  • Javelin Thrower: The Night King is a terrifyingly good shot with ice spears. He kills Viserion in a single throw, though Drogon manages to dodge the second shot.
  • Just a Kid: Arya points out that Jon Snow would accept this excuse for Sansa's actions, but not Lyanna Mormont who's younger than Sansa was then. This completely ignores the fact that while Sansa and Lyanna are both the daughters of noble houses, the women of House Mormont have traditionally been trained as warriors, while the Southron influence of Catelyn ensured a more 'ladylike' upbringing for Sansa.
  • Kick the Dog: Arya blames Sansa for Ned's death and threatens to murder her.
  • Keystone Army: If a White Walker is killed, all the wights it raised die with it (one lives when they do this, but it's certainly possible it was raised by another; it's also noticeably less decayed). After the group is surrounded, Beric suggests they aim for the Night King, since it follows that if destroying a White Walker kills those it raised, then killing the first will kill them all. They don't get a chance to test the theory.
  • Kill the Cutie: Viserion, the most gentle and timid of the dragons, is the first to die.
  • Last Stand:
    • Executed by Jon's group, who are stranded on a little island in the middle of a semi-frozen lake. Daenerys arrives just in time to save the day, though.
    • Benjen also performs one to buy time for Jon to flee on horse as he stays behind to fight an onslaught of zombies.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: Contrary to previous appearances, the wights go down when hit by normal weapons and stay that way longer than they should. The captured wight does behave properly, as does the decayed one that gets it jawbone knocked off by a rock. It's possible they're wielding dragonglass daggers (note how the bear wight drops the second Jorah stabs it with his dagger), which Jon could have armed them with prior to their departure, but no one mentions it and all of their weapons appear metallic (other than one of Jorah's daggers).
    • It is quite clear that most of them are wielding dragonglass weapons. The Redshirts have spears with jagged obsidian tips, Tormund ditches his metal axe for one with obvious non-metallic "blades" and the rest seem to have hatchets or knives made from the stuff. Jon of course have dragonsteel which works just as well.
    • In any case, the idea that dragonglass or Valyrian steel kills wights rather than just White Walkers is also new this season, and is still this trope (see New Powers as the Plot Demands).
  • Made of Iron: The wight bear slaughters several wildlings easily like a real polar bear would, but the named characters besides Thoros sustain no damage from a massive animal that would have realistically killed everyone present. Jon gets backhanded by the wight bear when he attempts to stab it, which sends him rag-dolling through the air and slamming into the ground. He remains out of commission until the bear is killed, upon which he gets back up with no visible injuries. Tormund also gets sideswiped onto his ass when he tries to save Thoros, but seems to brush it off as barely an inconvenience.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Littlefinger's machinations are working perfectly — Sansa is relying on him again for council, as she feels beset on all sides and without supporters as Jon is currently absent, Arya has turned against her, and the reliability of the Northern lords is dubious (especially if Arya chooses to show them the raven scroll Littlefinger put in her path). He's also succeeded in getting rid of Brienne, who's openly distrustful of Littlefinger, by planting a seed of doubt in Sansa's mind about possible Conflicting Loyalties.
  • The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: Discussed by both Tyrion and Daenerys. Tyrion points out that Dany wants to break the wheel, but is following in the footsteps of Aegon, who built the wheel.From the books  On the other hand, Tyrion starts talking about introducing electoral succession despite being a high lord and the second-in-command of a conquering army, and Daenerys gives him a powerful reality check of why that almost never turns out to be a good idea.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • Jon's group, when they realize that the captured wight called for help which amounted to thousands of wights, making the very soil rumble.
    • Everyone when they see Sandor's missed shot and realise the wights are figuring out the ice is solid enough to let them get at the heroes.
    • Everyone when Viserion is shot down.
  • Meaningful Echo: Like Bronn, King Robert, and the Hound himself, Tormund is good at killing.
  • Meaningful Name: Turns out naming something after a person who turned on you is begging for history to repeat. At least this Viserion checked out first before turning.
  • Mook Chivalry: The wights are nice enough to come at the heroes in ones and twos at first, possibly because they don't know how much the ice will take. Later in the fight they charge en masse and the defenders are swiftly overwhelmed, only being saved by Dany's intervention.
  • Mundane Utility: Beric's Flaming Sword is used for cauterizing Thoros' wound and later as a match so they can burn his body.
  • My Girl Back Home: Brienne isn't really this for Tormund, but he talks about her as if she was.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Viserion becoming a wight recalls Martin's novella The Ice Dragon, which was presented as an in-universe children's story from Westeros.
    • Tormund likes the sound of 'dick'. In the novels there's a Running Gag of Tormund boasting about his.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Word of God is that several plot elements were changed to have people survive the episode.
    • The Synchronization of White Walkers to their wights only is first shown in this episode, despite having no impact on “Hardhome”.
    • The wights are given a new Kryptonite Factor in the form of having them just as weak to dragonglass as White Walkers.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Arya threatens to reveal the letter Sansa wrote to Robb to all the Northern lords despite the fact that it'll weaken her hold over Winterfell as much as it would Sansa's and Jon's. This, presumably because Arya has no compunction about killing anyone that looks at her funny anyway, being aware that Sansa doesn't have this option.
    • Beric setting the polar bear wight on fire causes the Hound to freeze up, which leads to Thoros getting seriously wounded.
    • Sandor gets bored and starts chucking rocks at the wights. Then he whiffs a shot and it slides along the ice, showing the wights that the lake is solid enough to cross.
    • Dany's rescue of Jon's party ends up giving the Night King a dragon to control, making him exponentially more dangerous.
    • Sansa sends Brienne to Kings Landing because she might have Conflicting Loyalties between her and Arya, as Littlefinger himself suggested to her. Then she finds out just how dangerous and insane her sister is, and getting rid of a loyal and capable bodyguard whom her sister respects doesn't seem like a good idea. Not to mention that Brienne is still wary of Littlefinger while Sansa is falling victim to his machinations.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Both Jon and Ser Jorah lament how their fathers, despite being honorable men, came to fates that neither deserved.
    • Dany finally answers a call to help and goes North to fight the Night King and saves the lives of Jon's crew, but in the process Viserion dies and joins the army of the dead. Jon blames himself for the latter, although Dany insists otherwise. Tyrion warns her against going North, noting the risk to her life and her dragons which is the source of her strength, but Dany simply won't do nothing when people call for her help.
  • Non-Human Undead: The army of the dead now includes polar bears and a dragon in the final scene.
  • Not So Different: Tyrion spells out to Daenerys that using the exact same tactics as her enemies makes her "break the wheel" rhetoric complete nonsense, especially since her whole claim is that she's descended from Aegon, who built the wheel.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Gendry bitterly recalls Melisandre's Honey Trap to drain his blood back in Season 3, Sandor retorts that Gendry has nothing to complain about the situation. Gendry is not amused.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Daenerys and her dragons manage to get across the entire continent of Westeros and beyond the Wall in record time after receiving Gendry's raven.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Our heroes see a bear through the snowstorm. It turns to look at them and then Gendry asks a question...
    Gendry: Do bears have blue eyes?
    • Sandor throws a rock at the wights, only to fall short and have it slide on the solidified ice. Cue the wights resuming their attack on the party.
      Sandor: (after whiffing his throw) Oh, fuck!
    • Jon understandably freaks out when he sees the Night King grabbing a second spear, immediately after killing Viserion with the first.
    • Sansa, when she realizes that Arya, in not so many words, is threatening her life directly.
    • The face Daenerys makes when she sees Jon's stab wounds, realizing that he indeed was stabbed through the heart... girl was aghast!
    • Implied. According to the crew commentary, Dany lets go on Jon's hand and excuses herself from the room when she realizes that she is, indeed, in love with him.
  • One-Hit Kill: One throw with an icy spear is all the Night King needs to kill Viserion.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Tormund is a full-on badass who loves nothing more than a good scrap, but when he's knocked down by a group of wights and nearly pulled into the freezing lake to drown, he totally loses his cool, even to the point of screaming for help. After he's rescued, he looks more than a bit unsettled by his close call.
    • Daenerys is, for the first time in a long time, genuinely shook and frightened of the enemy in front of her, but is still determined to fight him alongside Jon.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: While not her biological children, Daenerys considers her dragons the only children she will ever have left considering she became barren following the stillbirth of her son. As such, Viserion's death hits her just as hard (that is, considering that healthy dragons can live for hundreds of years).
  • Out of Continues: After Thoros dies, Sandor points out to Beric that he's on his last life with no Red Priest to bring him back again. Beric doesn't mind; after six failures, he's looking forward to dying for real.
  • The Paranoiac: Due to her past differences with Sansa, her traumatic experiences after they moved to King's Landing and the following events, her cruel training as a Faceless Man, and a little manipulation by Littlefinger, Arya has been made into this, openly suspicious and hostile towards Sansa.
  • The Place: Most of the episode takes place north beyond the wall. Hell, some of it is even at the said wall (particularly Eastwatch).
  • Plot Armor:
    • The party north of the wall includes seven named characters and a bunch of Red Shirts. The red shirts get quickly killed the second a wight gets near them, whereas the wights seem to take their leisurely time when it comes to a main character. The one named character in the party to die only succumbs to his wounds overnight. This is particularly noticeable when Tormund gets pinned by several wights. Every other time an unnamed character was put in the same position, they were instantly torn to shreds. Here, the wights elect to simply hold him and try to drown him, of all things.
    • The only reason why the White Walkers forgot that they possessed ranged weaponry until the dragons showed up.
    • It also helps to explain how Jon was able to survive a dip into freezing water without dying of hypothermia before reaching the Wall; as it's pointed out by Beric Dondarrion earlier in the episode, the Lord of Light is not going to let them die so easily.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite long disliking both, Sandor reassures Beric that Thoros' death was likely quite peaceful.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Jon's group succeeds in capturing a wight, they learn that the White Walkers and the Night King are a Keystone Army, and Dany is completely convinced that the army of the dead must be destroyed. But they lose Thoros (the only Red Priest around that could bring Beric back to life in case he died), Benjen Stark sacrifices himself to ensure Jon's escape on horse, and most important of all, Viserion is killed by the Night King and raised as a wight, giving the undead a Weapon of Mass Destruction at their disposal.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Beric says that all who live fight against death as the first and final enemy, but we are all fated to lose to it sooner or later. What matters is we Do Not Go Gentle.
  • Quit Your Whining: When Gendry complains that Lord Beric and Thoros they sold him off to Melisandre who almost killed him, Sandor tells him to "stop whinging" as Gendry's still alive, while Beric has died six times and he doesn't complain.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: This episode emphasizes what a mismatched bunch this crew really is. They include Ned Stark's bastard son turned King of the North, King Robert's last surviving bastard, an eccentric Wildling leader, an exiled noble serving the last scion of the Targaryen bloodline, an often intoxicated Red Priest, a man who has died six times, and the scarred former bodyguard of King Joffrey. Their different attitudes, upbringings, and experiences lead to a lot comical bickering.
  • Raising the Steaks: The group beyond the Wall comes across an undead bear.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • After the bear is set on fire by Beric, it starts to advance towards Sandor. Given Sandor's pyrophobia, all he can do is freeze up in fear without fighting back.
    • Though Thoros's bite wound is quickly cauterized and he's on his feet again within minutes, it still leaves him too weak to survive the freezing night.
    • Subverted in that despite being out in sub-zero temperatures for unspecified amounts of time without covering their heads or faces, not a one of the main characters seem to suffer signs of frostbite or the effects of lengthy exposure to extreme cold.
    • To the extent that dragons can be analogized to anything real, Dany's constant use of Drogon in combat has made him her biggest and most experienced dragon. Viserion and Rhaegal were cooped up beneath Meereen until Tyrion unchained them, and their only battle was the Siege of Meereen (which was more an exhibition and diplomatic statement than a battle). Drogon, meanwhile, roamed free for that entire period and was the centerpiece of the Battle of the Blackwater Rush. Having been previously speared by Qyburn's ballista, Drogon knows to dodge the Night King's spear, whereas Viserion gets hit because he just flies further away instead of performing a proper evasive move like Drogon does.
    • Jorah admits he has Irrational Hatred of Ned Stark, as the man was completely in the right to punish Jorah for the crime he committed, but Jorah still resents having to live in exile and abandon his home because of it.
    • Being a blacksmith from Flea Bottom, Gendry is not on everyone else's level and Jon has him run for back-up instead.
    • The Hound realizes that a concussive weapon, like Gendry's hammer, can only do so much to the wights. He opts to ditch it and goes for the dragonglass dagger instead.
    • Arya thinks she's working to uncover some kind of insidious conspiracy of Sansa and others working against Jon. The reality is that she's just disturbed, and Littlefinger manipulates her paranoia rather easily.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In our world, pigeons can fly several hundred miles in 12 or so hours. Depending on the exact size of the continent, it might have been possible for the rescue to happen as described.
    • Lakes can also take days to freeze over, even at near-zero temperatures.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Sansa gives one to Arya, calling her out on her Heroic Wannabe airs when objectively Sansa was the one who restored the Starks back in power, while Arya was off to see the world.
    • Tyrion gives one to Daenerys about her increasingly reckless decisions and lack of forward planning.
  • Red Shirt: The men accompanying the characters in the wight hunt don't get any speaking lines nor their names are revealed. They exist so they can be butchered by the undead. Thoros is the only named character to die and he is the only one given a proper departure in contrast to the extras. It's never even made clear if they're wildlings or Brotherhood.
  • Rescue Romance: The Jon/Dany Ship Tease goes into high gear after she does a Big Damn Heroes.
  • Respected by the Respected: The reason Jon declares his loyalty towards Daenerys. She just lost an enormous asset for the wars to come and she still came at the very moment he needed her and later even found the time to provide him comfort during his convalescence. She even states that losing Viserion was a necessary loss for her to realize the gravity of what Jon was arguing and how fragile her dragon advantage is against the White Walkers. The same can be said of Daenerys, who realizes that Jon is not beneath her, but rather, she comes to see him as her equal and a person who has become dear to her through his valorous actions, and the first thing that he does when he wakes up is to console her for the loss of Viserion.
  • Retcon: In a case of New Powers as the Plot Demands, wights are suddenly just as weak to dragonglass and Valyrian steel as White Walkers.
  • Reveal Shot: Gendry collapses in the snow from exhaustion having apparently failed in his quest to fetch help. Then we see he's collapsed right outside the door through the Wall, which is opening so the Night's Watch can come and fetch him.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The minute Jon sees Viserion falling he goes ballistic and starts cutting through multiple wights and gives a Death Glare to the Night's King, visibly considering a Jaime-esque charge to the commander, but he snaps out of it when the Night King's subordinate hands him another ice spear, telling Dany to retreat without him before the Night King can kill another dragon.
  • Schmuck Bait: Sansa is invited (not commanded) to come to Kings Landing. Having no intention of allowing herself to fall into the Lannisters' clutches a second time, she sends Brienne in her stead.
  • Self-Serving Memory: When accusing Sansa of betraying their family, Arya spitefully recalls watching Sansa standing there and doing nothing the day their father was executed, conveniently ignorant of the fact Sansa freaked out when Joffrey passed sentence and fainted after it was carried out, not to mention that Joffrey specifically said, "and my lady Sansa has begged mercy for her father..." just before going spectacularly off-script by ordering the execution in the first place.
  • Separated by a Common Language: People in all of Westeros speak the Common Tongue — the same language is used in the Seven Kingdoms and by Wildlings (aka free folk) who live in tribes beyond the Wall in the North. There is one minor confusion between Sandor Clegane and Tormund. Apparently, the word "dick" for penis is only known southern of the Wall.From the books 
    Tormund: I don't think you're truly mean. You have sad eyes.
    The Hound: You want to suck my dick, is that it?
    Tormund: Dick?
    The Hound: Cock.
    Tormund: Ah, dick! I like it.
    The Hound: Bet you do.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Arya's two conversations with Sansa. Arya points out that Jon will likely forgive Sansa for the raven scroll as she was just a frightened little girl; it's the Northern lords opinion that Sansa is worried about. Later Arya muses over how easy it would be walk around as Sansa herself. All she needs is her face...
  • Ship Tease: Jon and Dany have some of their most overt ship teasing to date. Firstly, there's Dany immediately flying to the Wall when she hears that Jon is in trouble, then she stays on Eastwatch waiting for Jon to return even though the last time she saw him he was being dragged under a frozen lake by two wights, and finally, the two share a number of close moments together where he comforts her over the death of Viserion and she thanks him for showing her the danger beyond the Wall. The scene between the two of them over an Unbroken Vigil is reminiscent of how she nursed Khal Drogo after he fell sick of his flesh wounds.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The benediction that Lord Beric offers to the dead Thoros, "Show us the way, come to us in our darkness and lead your servant into the light", and likewise his description of his calling as a soldier to Jon, with Thoros being associated with drink (and alcohol used as fuel for his fire) alludes to the Rudyard Kipling poem "A Song to Mithras" that in the novels inspired the oath of the Night's Watch (with Mithraism inspiring Rhllorism):
      "Now when the watch is ended, now when the wine is drawn,
      Mithras, also a soldier, keep us pure till the dawn [...]
      [...]Look on Thy children in darkness. Oh, take our sacrifice!
      Many roads Thou hast fashioned: all of them lead to the Light
      Mithras, also a soldier, teach us to die aright!''
    • Gendry running back to Eastwatch and collapsing after delivering his message takes inspiration from the story of Pheidippides and the Battle of Marathon, by Lucian of Samosata.
  • Skeptic No Longer: While Dany was at least willing to believe Jon, fighting the army of the dead and losing Viserion to the Night King has convinced her that he needs to be stopped.
  • Skewed Priorities: Invoked. After personally witnessing the threat of the White Walkers, Daenerys realizes that her battle with Cersei is nowhere as important as the incoming battles with the Army of the Dead.
  • Snow Means Death: Thoros, Viserion (though he "came back" in the end), Benjen, and the Red Shirts all die in the eponymous place. The fact that it's already winter doesn't help.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Tormund calls Sandor on putting a mean front.
  • Straight for the Commander: Jorah, Jon, and Lord Beric note how killing a White Walker kills the wights he is bound to, and they briefly discuss that if they were to attack and defeat the Night King it might kill all the White Walkers and wights. After the Night King kills Viserion and the rest of the party has boarded Drogon, Jon briefly seems to consider charging at the Night King but changes his mind when he sees him grabbing another ice spear and tells Dany to fly instead.
  • Succession Crisis:
    • Tyrion discusses the problem regarding Daenerys' long-term ruling: since she is unable to have biological children due to Mirri's spell, someone else needs to be selected as her heir in order to preserve her reforms in Westeros. Daenerys is unwilling to press the discussion because she feels Tyrion is trying to subvert her rule, though Tyrion is bringing it up because she is putting herself in danger every time she goes into battle riding Drogon.
    • At Winterfell, Sansa laments that Jon left the North without an heir, and while Littlefinger proposes her as a replacement, she doesn't look forward to it, largely since she sees most of the Northern lords as Fair Weather Friend types. Additionally, since they are facing the worst winter they've ever known, Sansa doesn't think it's great weather for loyalty.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Sansa expresses frustration with this. Jon hasn't sent a message in weeks, leaving her to Hold the Line at Winterfell to maintain a large army that is provably untrustworthy in the outset of the worst winter in recent memory. She has defused one moronic coup attempt which, far from providing her validation, merely confirms her suspicions about their disloyalty. Finally, she has to deal with an inane Conspiracy Theory hoisted on her by her paranoid sister, who is convinced Sansa is seeking power for herself.
  • Sword Drag: The first wight to cross the ice does this.
  • Sword Plant: Lord Beric puts out his Flaming Sword by stabbing it into the snow, extinguishing the fire magic.
  • Take My Hand: Daenerys does this when Drogon lands, trying to pull Jon onto the dragon's back. Before Jon can reach her, he has to turn around to deal with more attacking wights.
  • That's an Order!: Sansa sternly and coldly demands that Brienne head south to King's Landing after the latter voices objection and concern for her safety. She combines it with a Death Glare to which Brienne submits and walks out.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: In the time it takes for a small lake to freeze enough to be walkable in permafrost conditions (a couple days at best), Gendry is able to run to the Wall, get a message halfway down the continent to Dragonstone via raven, and Dany is able to fly the entire distance north to arrive just in the nick of time. The raven and dragons might be able to make that kind of time, but Gendry doing the same is less likely. This also raises the question of how long Jon and his commandos were stranded in their stalemate, with no (visible) food, frozen water and problems with fire.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Arya with her bag of Faces, musing about what it would be like to walk around in her sister's face, and how easy it would be to take over her life if she didn't like what Sansa was up to.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Dany sits beside Jon as he recuperates, in a manner not unlike the time she nursed Khal Drogo.
  • Villain Ball: Like at Hardhome, the Night King deliberately holds back on the humans, leaving them to freeze instead of using his magic or, as shown at the end, javelin to kill them immediately.
  • Visual Pun:
    • In order to save themselves from the undead army's Zerg Rush, Jon and his party take refuge on an islet in the middle of a frozen lake, thus showing that they're literally stuck in the middle of nowhere.
    • When the Javelin hits Viserion, his body spills out fire and blood.
  • Wangst: In-Universe. Sandor thinks Gendry is annoying for being way too whiny.
  • Wham Episode: For the first time ever in the series, we see a dragon getting killed. And as if that wasn't enough, he is turned into a wight.
  • Wham Line:
    Jon : No, not Dany, how about, My Queen?
  • Wham Shot: The wights dying after Jon kills his second White Walker, save one.
    • The Night's King killing Viserion.
    • Viserion's blue eyes, indicating that he has become a Wight as well.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rhaegal just disappears after giving the aforementioned anguished roar over Viserion's death.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Jorah asks Thoros if he recalls much about breaking the Siege of Pyke (one of the character's most significant achievements before resurrecting people), specifically how drunk he was to do such a thing. Thoros reveals he was actually blackout drunk, as several comrades had to tell him what he had done the next day.
  • When She Smiles: Jon draws a truly beautiful one from Daenerys when he assures her the northerners sworn to him will see her as the good person she is.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The Hound finds himself to be unable to attack the undead bear after it has been set on fire by the flaming swords.
  • Winter Royal Lady: When Daenerys flies to the Wall, she wears a fur-lined, silver gray outfit specially suited for flying in cold weather.
  • Woman in White: Daenerys in her aforementioned Winter Royal Lady outfit. She's dressed in black after her dragon is killed.
  • The Worf Effect: Daenerys' dragons were, until this season, shown as her go-to solution to end a conflict. Two episodes ago, Qyburn's ballista hit Drogon and failed to permanently injure him. Here, the Night King throws an ice spear by hand and it tears through Viserion, the smallest of the three dragons, piercing his neck and almost instantly killing him. It helps that the Night King has the benefit of magic.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After willingly agreeing to bend the knee to Daenerys, when she asks what the Northern Lords sworn to him will make of such a decision, Jon assures Daenerys that they will come to see her for the good person she is, the one he knows her to be.
    Daenerys: I hope I deserve it.
    Jon: You do.
  • Zerg Rush: The wights' main tactic against Jon and the rest of the party, unsurprisingly.

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