Man, I yack about “Game of Thrones” for three weeks and the show is mostly guys and gals standing around, talking.
I leave for two weeks, and my man Phil subs in, recapping two of the most exciting episodes the series has thus far produced.
I get back and, until the last 20 minutes (of an episode that went about an hour and 20 minutes), it’s back to standing around talking. Or walking in the cold and talking.
That last 20 minutes, though, hoo boy.
It’s the Walking Dead on Ice, and Mother of Dragons finally realizes the Imp might not be a wartime consiglieri and, once again, everyone is able traverse what used to be very long distances in Westeros as if someone figured out warp drive.
Here are 15 conversations, theoretical and allegorical, from S7 e6 “Beyond the Wall”:
IN THE FROZEN NORTH:
Tormund and Jon: As the extremely dirty and half frozen dirty dozen wander beyond the wall towards zombieland, Tormund reminds Jon that Mance Rayder wouldn't bend the knee, either, and that all kinds of Wildlings died as a result.
Jon: Dany (I call her Dany) is not queen. We’re tight like that but I am still K.IT.N.
Tormund: So you know how we’re kind of supposed to be Celts and/or Irish in this thing and no Irish knee is made to bend to haughty kings and queens? Do you know what HAPPENED to the Irish over time? It is ROUGH, son. Consider your choices.
Jorah: I sucked, straight up. My dad died like a dog and I feel bad about it.
Jon: It’s true but we’re cool now.
Jorah: You know your dad wanted me dead.
Jon: I SAID WE’RE COOL NOW HERE IS YOUR DAD’S SWORD.
Jorah: Eh keep it. I am sure it will come in handy later.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT A REALLY EMPTY AND DEPRESSING LOOKING WINTERFELL
Sansa and Arya: So, here’s a question. Did Littlefinger hide the scroll knowing full well that Arya would find it? Either way, both Stark girls seem to play right into his little fingers (sorry, it was right there) as discord is sewn between them.
Arya: I always wanted to be a knight. I shot arrows until I hit the target and Dad supported me even though it was not the best look for his youngest daughter.
Sansa: (expression says “your point?”)
Arya: Well you helped kill him; I am gonna read this thing aloud --
Sansa: OK yes I know where this is going.
Arya: I mean...
Sansa: My time in King’s Landing was really really not fun.
Arya: You are a moron.
Sansa: No really it SUCKED.
Sansa: Please remember I, via the Knights of the Vale, rescued Jon during the Battle of Bastards because Littlefinger has a wildly inappropriate thing for me and is probably not allowed near schools.
Arya, like Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”: Sansa, it just hit me. You’re scared of the bannermen. Also maybe being called a sissy by Lady Mormont, who is like 12.
Sansa: Don’t go away mad, just go away.
Arya: You have no idea how pissed I am right now.
The Hound and Tormund: I am so ready for the Hound and Tormund buddy comedy, I can’t tell you.
Hound: Redheads suck.
Tormund: Gonna mock your burn scars now, this absolutely won’t come up again later.
Hound: God you suck.
Tormund: Also I am super into the tallest, most badass lady in Westeros.
Hound: ...are you serious right now?
Tormund: I want to make a race of giants with her.
Tormund: “I know how she looks at me.”
Hound: “Like she wants to carve you up and eat your liver?”
Tormund: “You do know her!”
If time still worked now the way it did in, say, s1 and 2, they would indeed be here all week.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT DRAGONSTONE
Dany and Tyrion: Tyrion is looking mopey, possibly because he’s as in love with Dany as everyone else, possibly because he is a TERRIBLE Hand. Two military losses, then he suggested that Jon and a crew kidnap an undead magic zombie skeleton thing and BRING IT BACK?!?! He has Peter principle’d his way into this gig, and he is maybe starting to know it.
Dany: You are not a hero.
Dany: It was a compliment. All these dudes are heroes and they are dumb and boys are dumb.
Tryion: You named literally everyone you are into.
Dany: Jon is too little for me ... woah, did I say that out loud?
Tyrion: I can’t with you.
Dany: You are my Hand.
Tryioin: Can we talk about succession.
Dany: No, dude, we’re not going there.
Tryion: Be loved not feared and you need to plan because someday you will be dead.
Dany: You are talking about me being dead so lets talk about how I HAVE LOST MAYBE TWO ARMIES USING YOUR ADVICE AND NOW TINY HERO JON SNOW IS BEYOND THE WALL BECAUSE OF YOU.
CUT TO: TRUDGING THROUGH THE SNOW/WE DO NOT HAVE A SLEIGH
Jon’s crew and a zombie bear, which, in fairness, this episode needed:
Gendry: Do bears have blue eyes?
Thoros: This flaming sword is so freakin’ cool.
Hound: Flame makes me useless I’ma just stand here.
Zombie bear: [which of you need not be around next season?]
Thoros: I was supposed to be a Red Priest not a Redshirt heyo!
AT WINTERFELL, WHERE PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP/INTO YOUR LIFE IT WILL CREEP
Sansa: How did she find the note?
Littlefinger: Haven’t the foggiest also I have a bridge to sell you.
Sansa: If the bannermen knew about my terrible taste in dudes....
Littlefinger: (sings “Trust in Me” from “The Jungle Book”)
Littlefinger: How’s about we take Brienne off the board so there is one fewer person between me and you personally?
Sansa: Man that’s a good idea.
ICE ICE BABY
Jon’s suicide squad and the Night King’s army: Man, this was a terrible idea. I just want to reiterate what a terrible idea this was. You know whose idea it was? Tyrion. You know who is not freezing his junk off surrounded by zombies? One guess.
Jon’s men: Hey, we got a zombie thing guy! Can we leave ... oh wait.
Jon: ….Is that the night king? GENDRY!
Jon: Run like the wind back to Castle Black and tell Dany we are screwed.
Tormund: Best to do it unarmed, son.
Gendry: Yes sir I will just use the teleportation that we can apparently do now (runs off)
Beric: Time to use this totally awesome flaming sword to burn my man Thoros’ body now.
Jon: We are still just gonna do this “Walking Dead” thing huh.
Sansa and Brienne: Sansa gets an invitation to King’s Landing. At this point, the double dealing is so egregious that I have no idea if it is even real or if Littlefinger set it up or what.
Brienne: It is moronic for you to go to King’s Landing; they will slaughter you.
Sansa: True. How about you do it for me?
Brienne: That is also a terrible idea.
Sansa: And yet one of us is lady of Winterfell and oh it’s not you.
Brienne: Littlefinger is a snake and only I or maybe Podrick can watch over you.
Sansa: OK, slow your roll. Podrick??!? That’s just rude. Also it is possible I am straight up overthinking all of this so who knows what is going on in my head.
Brienne: Seriously this is an idea of astonishing badness.
Sansa: Best get moving.
Brienne: Whatever, man.
Tyrion and Dany: Yet again, Tyrion makes the wrong call.
Dany: Just got a light-speed raven so I am off to rescue this man o’ mine.
Tyrion: Please don’t do this please do nothing.
Dany: Your advice has been so so wrong in these matters. Also I have three dragons.
BACK AT WALKING DEAD ON ICE:
Jon and his people: You know that scene in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” where alls of the Ultrons attack the heroes as they fight in a big circle? That is basically what happens here: Everyone tries to kill as many zombies as possible.
Jon: FALL BACK.
Everyone: Dude where? We are in a circle surrounded by zombies and literal thin ice.
Jon: I could use an important woman in my life to rescue me as in the Battle of the Bastards oh HELLO.
A DRAGON STARTS MOWING DOWN ALL THE ZOMBIES LIKE A BOSS.
Dany is riding Drogon, and also she has Viserion, and maybe there’s a third dragon called Rhaegal who seems to be slacking a bit. Things are looking up for everything with a pulse until ...
Night King and his henchman:
Night King: [have we talked about how I was All-Westeros/Above the Wall in the ice javelin?]
Henchman: [please your majesty tell us again we definitely haven't heard about it 3,000 times]
Night King: [dude just hand me the thing]
And then the Night King takes out Viserion, and your Facebook feed fills with people who are like, “I just poured one out for a creature that is a) CGI and b) never existed in the first place.”
RIP, VISERION, SON OF DANY
Jon: I need to rage, I’m gonna do this final battle with the Night King.
Night King: [I’m on a roll hand me another javelin]
Jon: DANY, BOUNCE!! NOW!!!!
Everyone leaves Jon to die the hero's death, except....
Jon and Benjen: Uncle Benjen “deus ex machina” Stark comes to rescue Jon, throw his freezing butt on a horse and send him back to civilization
Jon: Uncle Benjen
Benjen: Thank god I have been up here for years I need a decent death
Jon: .....OK I am barely awake you do you
WINTERFELL, WHERE WINTER HAS FALLEN
Sansa and Arya: Sansa, in full paranoia mode thanks to #$%@ Littlefinger, starts going through Arya’s stuff and finds a bunch of, well, faces.
Arya: Can I help you?
Arya: I trained to be a Faceless Man.
Sansa: I know all of those words but not in that order.
Arya: Time for truth or...well, not dare, but you’ll catch on.
Arya: You are weird with Jon on the throne.
Sansa: Seriously, can we talk about the faces.
Arya: You wanted to be a queen, I wanted to be a knight, we both lost. Also “The world just doesn't let girls decide what they’re going to be”
Sansa: That line is going all over Twitter huh.
Arya: You betcha. Also: (sings the Cure’s “Why Can’t I Be You?”)
Arya: But I wouldn’t do you like that .
Jon and Dany: Dany ccarries a torch for Jon, even thought theirs is the fastest and least emotionally credible romance in Westeros. Jon arrives, three-quarters frozen, and gets his garments broken off him.
Dany: [oh wow the rumors are true….not THOSE rumors; the ones about you maybe being dead]
Jon: So….about your dragon.
Dany: It’s cool I believe you now that I saw all the frozen dudes. I mean, I basically lost a child but we’re good.
Jon: Thank you, Dany.
Dany: OK let’s not get too familiar.
Jon: Fine I will bend the knee.
Dany: [can we hold hands]
Jon: [can we hold hands]
But the episode is not quite done. The Night King and his workforce are seen dragging the corpse of Viserion out of the ice.
Night King: [hold my beer]
Night King touches Viserion’s snout
Viserion: [new zombie-ness who dis]
Next week: the end of the season.