Ayyyy... what the shit was that?
For nearly seven weeks, the airing of Game of Thrones on HBO has coincided with the schedule of Twin Peaks, on Showtime. These two shows have many aspects in common, among them:
- Spectacular filmic and directorial gymnastics!
- Absurd exaggeration and reinterpretation of classic soap opera dynamics, except one does it on purpose
“Beyond the Wall” was another of this season’s fast-moving installments which portrayed an epic battle and CGI that probably cost more than the GDP of many small countries. It was also a typical penultimate GoT ep, in that someone deeply beloved had to get got. These scenes were, as ever, dazzling and harrowing to watch—although the shot where Jon looks around in slow-mo at a losing battle and accepts his mortality right before a woman swoops in to save him (see also “Battle of the Bastards”) is getting a little rote! The visually stunning parts came between many other scenes of advancing the story dialogue and left field character development—scenes that resembled my morning in that I wanted to hit the snooze button like, six times.
Thrones is adept at foreshadowing, particularly when Season 1 shit comes to fruition in, like, Season 5. In this episode, they were so stoked at foreshadowing they were doing it like 20 minutes beforehand! For instance! When that ice-zombie Kodiak bear rolled through to bust some heads during Operation Catch a Wight, a.k.a. the dumbest mission of all time, it was not only very cool but also a big clue as that animals can also become White Walkers. So when The Night King shot an icicle spear through the air and downed Viserion in a chemtrail of blood, we already had that little template in our minds. More believable! Just like the fact that wights have been making huge chains of steel for eternity, just in case something like this ever happened.
More foreshadowing: back at Dragonstone, while Tyrion tries to convince Daenerys not to go nuclear at King’s Landing, he also points out that Jon Snow’s been making moon eyes at her and then somehow, for reasons that are rather random, they get into a conversation about who might be her successor, because she just cannot bear children. What’s that you say? Oh, her dragons are her children, as she tells Jon while holding his shirtless hand, and she can’t actually bear kids herself. (UNLESS: HEARTY TARGARYEN SEMEN????)
This is obviously important information because these two are going to have full-on sex and now that he’s like “YOU ARE MY QUEEN AND MY EARTH” Wu-Tang style, they are clearly going to also unite their kingdoms via marriage. (Did you catch that “the last person who called me Dany was my brother” line? Implying that Jon’s nicknaming her that was a Targaryen trait? It wasn’t weird before but these people are trying to make it weird!) Also, they’re on, what, their second or maybe third date? I’M JUST SAYING, from a PERSONAL STANDPOINT, I’m not trying to talk about my fertility with a dude before we’ve even made out. Don’t put the cart before the freakin’ horse!
Whatever, though. Please check out my art project, which is a hexaptych entitled “Zaddy Brooding.”
Back in Winterfell, this Littlefinger shit is boring and unbelievable; why would Sansa take his word about Arya considering all last season she was talking about how she didn’t trust him? This dude traded her off to freaking Ramsay Bolton! I do not believe that it’s because she is scheming on permanent Winterfell leadership or that she’s lonely and freaked out and without guidance now that Jon is gone and her remaining siblings have become total freakos; MAYBE they could have made the case for that, at some point, but that would have required like three more scenes of character development and frankly, it seemed like they just couldn’t find the time.
ALSO some character development bullshit: Arya turning on Sansa so quickly and easily after falling for a stupid Littlefinger trap? But, you know, WOMEN BE FIGHTING! Although her case could be made more saliently, considering that wearing the faces are clearly pushing her towards the brink, and that her sole purpose in life is to avenge her family’s murders. But she’s cleverer than that, even stewing in the anger she cites to Sansa as a motivator. She certainly won’t stab her sister and take her face, but for the sake of us all, she needs to sink a dagger into Littlefinger’s belly. PUT US OUT OF OUR MISERY, ARYA.
My pals, I’m not trying to be a killjoy out here; that Viserion death moment was one of the most holy-shit, gamechanging scenes of the series; at some point White Walker dragon is going to meet his siblings in an Epic War of Fire and Ice (TM) and shit is gonna go the fuck down. But you know what? That’s not gonna be ‘til like, 2019. They’re not even gonna start filming this shit ‘til October! As a consolation prize for this rather disappointing season, script-wise, can we at LEAST get a little nookie up in here? Benioff and Weiss, consider this a ransom note: LeT. JoN. aNd DaNy. BoNE. OR ELSE.
Finally, I would like to shout out Daenerys’s truly excellent Beyond-the-Wall-going ensemble, which is some true Ghesquière-era Balenciaga, meets Balmain 2012 structure, meets my cat.
JON & DANY BONING COUNTDOWN: If they don’t do it in the next episode (at King’s Landing, where all blood-relative sex goes down) I’m flipping this desk OVER! I swear to you!!
Deaths: Various randos that happened to be with the Band of Bros beyond the wall. Thoros of Myr (DEATH BY BEAR). A fuckton of wights (can you die if you’re already dead but also reanimated?). Uncle Benjen. Viserion, son of Daenerys—but he’ll be back, with breath like Vaporub.
Boners: Tormond for Brienne of Tarth, which is the sweetest boner in all the land! He just wants to make monster babies with this specimen! Daenerys, for Jon (“He’s too little for me” is a weak defense). Jon for Daenerys, especially after he let out that weirdly sexual exhale at the end of the episode? Did he spontaneously cum? What was that?