My Analysis on Game of Thrones' "Beyond the Wall"

Written by: Don Cabuhat

TV | Aug 23, 2017

Beyond the Wall Game of Thrones Game of Thrones Season 7 GoT HBO

The penultimate episode of the penultimate season of Game of Thrones is the most gorgeous, most horribly written episode I have ever seen.

We return to find Jon Snow and his suicide squad on their way to capture a White Walker. With a bit of a walk to go, we are treated to a few scenes where the band of misfits tries to settle the bad blood between them.

Sadly, those were the only highlights of the episode.

As expected, the raiding party's brilliant plan went sideways fast. The sequence is riddled with unnatural coincidences which corner them into a situation where they are poised to succeed.

Given the size of the "Real North", are audiences supposed to believe that the party just happened to be near an islet in the middle of a lake that allows them to spend the night? To add insult to the viewer's intelligence, the writers had Sandor Clegane do something so uncharacteristically foolish to kickstart the action. The Hound may be an ass but he is not stupid.

On another note, we all know that Jon Snow won't die, but a sequence of events that continuously tries to manipulate the audience into thinking that he might is just sad. If you cannot find a way to make a scene compelling other than reusing the tropes you've already done on the show, then you've got a serious problem.

When did Game of Thrones lose its balls? One noteworthy character death was so uncharacteristic for the show that it felt disturbingly wrong. We haven't seen an unexpected character death in the whole season. I thought bringing extras along just to kill them off was below Game of Thrones. I was wrong.

It seems like the showrunners are prioritizing on getting the audience from point A to point B rather than developing things organically; something the show has been doing for six seasons.

One example is the scene where the Night's King throws an ice spear at Viserion. Drogon was nearer, easier to hit, and was the only way the humans could escape. Was the Night's King just showing off? With the way everything unfolded, it's either that or the Night's King really just doesn't know how to prioritize his targets.

On the flip side, everything in Winterfell is unravelling. To no surprise, Littlefinger's plan is going well. It's sad that after everything the Northerners had to endure, they're once again on the verge of losing any semblance of order.

Jon Snow's alliance with Dany gives Littlefinger the opening he needs to wrestle control of Winterfell away from the Starks. This shift might just be the final straw for Arya before she goes full-on psychotic and makes a bold move against Sansa and Littlefinger.

On a side note, the show finally reveals the key to winning the war against the White Walkers. In the most nonchalant, uninspired, and blasé way of informing the audience, the information that Sam has been looking for was done over an anticlimactic scene consisting of a few throwaway dialogues.

Another one of these uninspired scenes made its way into this episode as well.

Dany, as revealed by Tyrion, apparently cannot have kids. The scene was so out of place with the rest of the episode that it took a while for me to register the magnitude of the information given.

It isn't hard to see that the writers are planting the seeds for Jon Snow's ascension to the throne. The problem is how the writers are not even being subtle about it.

Penultimate episodes in Game of Thrones have traditionally been the highlights of their corresponding seasons; often mirroring the strength of the said season overall. While it could still be considered as such, this episode was the worst one in terms of the quality we've come to expect. Despite the amazing visuals and the hype it brings for the season finale, "Beyond the Wall" is one of the worst episodes in the whole series.

About the author: Don Cabuhat

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