SPOILER ALERT: This article contains major spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6: Beyond the Wall. Do not read if you haven't seen the episode.
by Sam Clench
If you haven't seen the episode yet and don't want to know what happens, leave now. Staying would be as dumb as, say, going for a casual stroll beyond The Wall in some half-arsed attempt to kidnap a zombie.
BEYOND THE WALL
Jon Snow's Game of Thrones All Stars, plus a few nameless extras who will be conveniently easy to kill off, have embarked on their idiotic adventure beyond The Wall. This is their plan, in case you've forgotten:
1. Find the Night King's army
3. Take a wight to Cersei, assuming she will react like a rational person for some reason
There are many flaws with this plan. How will they isolate and capture a single wight? How will they get back to Eastwatch with the entire undead army chasing them? How will they avoid freezing to death when no one even bothered to bring a hat?
Gendry, at least, appears to be staying warm, courtesy of the white hot anger he still feels about that time he was forced to have kinky leech sex with Melisandre. Poor lad.
"Smart people don't come up here looking for the dead," Tormund says, once again reinforcing the fact that this suicide mission makes no sense and they're all going to die without the intervention of several jarring, conveniently timed plot devices.
It is, without a doubt, the dumbest plan in the history of Game of Thrones. Which is really saying something.
Anyway the leader of the Free Folk, whose whole schtick is refusing to kneel to southern monarchs, ditches all his deeply held beliefs out of nowhere and advises Jon to kneel to Daenerys. Then he tells the Hound about his plan to have "great big monster" babies with Brienne after seducing her with his erotic chicken eating routine. No pithy joke I could make here would be funnier than their actual exchange.
The Hound: "You're with Brienne of f**king Tarth?"
Tormund: "Well I'm not with her yet, but I've seen the way she looks at me."
The Hound: "How does she look at you? Like she wants to carve you up and eat your liver?"
Tormund: "You DO know her."
There you have it, gents. Find yourself a girl who looks at you like she wants to chop out your vital organs.
Meanwhile, Jon torments Jorah by humblebragging about that time he became Lord Commander Jeor Mormont's surrogate son after Jorah - his actual son - disgraced the family name.
Jon served as Jeor's personal steward, and was groomed to be his successor. He saved the Lord Commander's life. Then Jeor gave him the Mormonts' family sword in a display of his undying gratitude. In every possible way, Jon was the perfect son Jorah had failed to be.
Oh and as if that's not enough, Jon is about to take Jorah's girl as well. Brutal.
After some more good-natured but ultimately pointless banter, the Fellowship of the Really Stupid King comes across an undead polar bear. It has heard Tormund's notorious boast about "fooking" a bear, and it's come to fook him in return to reclaim the pride of its species.
Unnamed Extra #4, a real fan favourite, is promptly killed. He will be sorely missed.
Thoros is also fatally wounded after the bear, which is now on fire by the way, eats a rather large portion of his chest. The other brave heroes stand around doing nothing for a suitably dramatic period of 15-20 seconds before Jorah finally intervenes.
The letter Arya discovered in Littlefinger's room is one we've seen before. Sansa wrote it under duress back in season one, shortly before Ned Stark was executed. At the time, you may recall, Robb and Maester Luwin immediately realised it was "Sansa's hand, but the Queen's (Cersei's) words".
Arya, it seems, isn't so clever. She accuses Sansa of helping Joffrey murder their father and, even more shockingly, wearing a nice dress.
"I would have let them kill me before I betrayed my family," Arya says, conveniently forgetting all those fatherly fireside chats and mutton dinners she shared with Tywin Lannister back in season two.
At this point Bran chimes in to say Sansa looked very pretty in her dress the day her father was beheaded. Then he realises no one can hear him, because he's surfing the tree internet alone in bed with a bowl of Cheetos finely balanced on his chest.
Later, after sending away Brienne - the only person in Winterfell actually capable of defending her from her psychopathic shadow assassin sister - Sansa sneaks into Arya's room and discovers her handbag full of dismembered human faces. Sadly, Ed Sheeran's face is not among them.
Arya catches her, and in a scene straight out of a very campy horror film, she delivers a lengthy monologue about how she could cut off Sansa's face, steal her identity and start wearing all the pretty dresses herself.
If pretty dresses are the ultimate goal here, a shopping trip would probably be marginally less painful. Emphasis on marginally.
Now, if you're thinking to yourself 'when did Arya get so crazy?', allow me to remind you of that time she butchered Walder Frey's sons, cooked them into a pie, then made Walder Frey himself eat said pie before slitting his throat with a creepy grin on her face.
You liked it when she did that, you fiends.
BEYOND THE WALL
Jon and Tormund stumble upon a suspiciously small group of wights, led by a single White Walker. They are quite obviously some kind of bait. And yet, like the most gullible fish in the sea, Jon barely hesitates before taking a bite.
It turns out killing a White Walker also deactivates all the wights it has brought back to life, much like destroying the Droid Control Ship shuts down the Trade Federation's army in the critically acclaimed film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
New fan theory: the Night King is Jar Jar Binks. Go on, prove me wrong. I'll wait.
Having captured a wight, Jon and co finally realise they have no exit strategy. They send Gendry running back to Eastwatch to beg Daenerys for help. I hope he didn't skip leg day.
Meanwhile, the rest of the fellowship sprints to the middle of an ice lake, where Jon once again demonstrates his talent for getting hopelessly surrounded by enemies.
It looks like our heroes are on, ahem, thin ice.
Daenerys is in that annoying phase of young love where her friends keep saying "Jon sooooo has a crush on you," and she keeps replying "What, no he doesn't, don't be silly. Why, has he mentioned me?" before giggling uncontrollably like a wine-addled five-year-old.
"He's too small for me," Daenerys insists as Tyrion pushes her to acknowledge the obvious. If Tormund were here, he could confirm her suspicions. He has seen Jon's pecker. What kind of god has a pecker that small?
The scene goes to great lengths to highlight the fact that Daenerys cannot have children, which probably means she's about to get pregnant. Suddenly worried about the line of succession, Tyrion brings up the prospect of democratic elections, though I have to be honest, Game of Popularly Elected Officials doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
The message from Gendry arrives quickly, seemingly defying all rules of space and time. Either he used a jet-powered raven, or he ditched the bird altogether and rowed to Dragonstone.
Daenerys ignores Tyrion's characteristically awful advice and decides to fly to Jon's aid, leaping at the chance to try out her fabulous new winter coat, which is made of beautiful white fur.
At least now we know what happened to Ghost.
BEYOND THE WALL AGAIN
Jon and his beleaguered buddies have been stranded on the frozen lake for what, one day and one night, tops? Somehow in that time, Gendry ran a marathon back to Eastwatch, a raven flew (or Gendry rowed) thousands of kilometres to Dragonstone, and Daenerys flew all the way back on her dragons.
The timing just doesn't add up. It's a colossal, gaping plot hole. But hey, three dragons shooting fire at ice zombies is pretty cool, so let's suspend our disbelief.
When Daenerys reaches the lake, the battle is not going well. Extras #7, #2 and #11 have all tragically perished amid the wights' onslaught, and Tormund has copped a scratch to the face, which counts as a pretty close call for a major character at this point.
Thoros, meanwhile, has finally succumbed to his wounds from the bear attack. Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.
Just as Jon prepares to climb onto Drogon and fulfil his destiny as a Targaryen dragon rider, he realises Daenerys hasn't seen his sweet sword skills yet, and runs back towards the undead army to show off.
But this isn't Jon's moment. It is the Night King's moment. Through the magic of HBO, the NFL's talent scouts are watching, and he will never get a better chance to showcase his skills as the next Tom Brady.
He grabs an ice spear and without even winding up, fires a hail mary pass a mile into the air, hitting Viserion right in the breadbasket. A touchdown ensues. A very loud, bloody touchdown, as the dragon crashes down to earth.
This kid will go at #1 in the Draft for sure.
Daenerys flees before the Night King can take out another dragon, leaving Jon behind, alone, to face the oncoming horde of Bolton cavalry. Wait, I mean wights. The scenes are just so similar.
In yet another case of lucky timing that blurs the line between convenient and laughable, Benjen Stark appears out of nowhere to give Jon a getaway horse, then dies a heroic death, neatly tying up a loose plot thread.
Back at Eastwatch, Jorah can barely contain his excitement. Daenerys's new boyfriend has seemingly perished, giving him clear air in his ambition to progress from creepy uncle figure to last penis standing.
Then, at the last possible moment, Jon emerges from the tree line. The look on Jorah's face is one of pure horror. Once again, he resigns himself to an eternity in the friendzone.
ON A BOAT
Daenerys stands awkwardly in the doorway to Jon's cabin as Davos undresses him, revealing the Pecs That Were Promised.
She notices the deep stab wounds littering Jon's torso, but doesn't seem too shocked. Considering his behaviour during the battle, it's probably easier to believe Jon was resurrected at this point than it is to believe he survived his own suicidal tactics for so long.
Jon finally wakes to find Daenerys at his bedside. "Davos!" he yells. "Fermented crab, now!"
While they wait, Jon apologises for getting her dragon killed with his stupidity, and offers to acknowledge her as his queen. This appears to be both a pledge of fealty and an implicit marriage proposal. I mean, she has been asking him to get down on one knee all season.
"I can't have children," Daenerys warns him. "Challenge accepted," Jon responds.
NORTH OF THE WALL YET AGAIN
That's not good.
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*Game of Thrones airs on SoHo at 1pm and 8.30pm on Mondays, and is available to stream on NEON.