Well, that insanely undercooked plan to head north of the Wall and bring back a wight went just about as well as could be expected. Dany‘s team is one dragon down, the Lord of Light is one follower down, and everyone should be about one digit down at least, given the freezing cold temps they just endured.
As per usual, the latest Game of Thrones episode was packed full of references and foreshadowing, and as per usual, we’ve gone through and marked it all. Here’s everything you might have missed.
1. The opening shot of the table foreshadowed the battle.
The episode opens with a close-up of the table map at Dragonstone, with the fire crackling in the background. From this angle, it looks like the fire is just north of Eastwatch, a.k.a. where the seven faced down the army of the dead and Dany and her dragons came to save the day.
h/t Redditor SchmedStark.
2. The show was weirdly obsessed with Dany’s ability to reproduce.
Dany’s infertility was brought up a lot this episode: Tyrion raised questions about her successor, Dany explicitly told Jon that the dragons are “the only children I’ll ever have”, and Jorah told Jon – Dany’s current frontrunner for baby daddy, incest be damned – that he hopes Longclaw will serve “you and your children well”.
Clearly something’s coming, most likely hard questions about who will rule after Dany dies. The prophecy that she will never again give birth to a child comes from Mirri Maz Dur, after Dany demanded she heal Khal Drogo, not knowing that the witch would sacrifice her and Khal Drogo’s child, Rhaego.
Mirri tells her:
“When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before.”
While the show makes it pretty clear that Dany is infertile, in ‘A Dance With Dragons‘ she appears to have a miscarriage. Plus, there’s a whole thing about maybe the prophecy being fulfilled by things like Quentyn Martell of Dorne (borne in Sunspear) travelling west then east, the Dothraki sea drying up, etc. Either way, questions of Dany’s future children look like they’ll be coming in to play a lot in the season finale / final season.
“Only death can pay for life,” Mirri also says. Does Viserion’s death Dany can have another child?
3. We’ve seen the mountain that looks like an arrow before.
The Hound had already seen the mountain they reach before, in a vision in the fire. But we the audience have also seen it – in Bran‘s vision of the children of the forest.
h/t Redditor Smurph269.
4. Jon was quoting his Night’s Watch oath back to Beric.
Some of the best moments in this episode were the conversations taking place between members of the Seven we might never have had a chance to witness otherwise.
Beric and Jon were having a nice heart to heart about whom they serve (the Lord of Light and the North, respectively). Beric gave his whole “death is the enemy” speech, and Jon responded by repeating a line from his Night’s Watch oath.
“I am the shield that guards the realms of men.”
He might no longer be part of the Night’s Watch, but he hasn’t forgotten his vows.
5. Tormund calling Brienne “a beauty” is a throwback to Brienne’s past.
Brienne had something of a traumatic childhood. Her unfeminine looks and towering height attracted cruel taunts from people calling her ‘Brienne the Beauty‘. Yet when Tormund tells the Hound, “I have a beauty waiting for me back in Winterfell,” he’s being dead serious. This relationship better bloody happen, is all I’m saying.
6. The Night King seems unbothered by fire.
We’ve established that White Walkers can be killed by dragonglass or Valyrian steel, and that wights can be killed by fire, but it doesn’t seem like White Walkers are all that bothered by flames. The Night King walks right on through the dragon fire, and it doesn’t go out.
This is fine. Everything’s fine.
7. Longclaw’s eyes change as Jon climbs out of the water.
When Jon sinks beneath the icy cold water, the eyes on the wolf hilt of Longclaw go completely white. As he reemerges, the eyes start to reappear as (dragon?) slits, and when he climbs out, they’re completely black again.
h/t Redditor k1d6r4y.
8. Benjen Stark is the only family member Jon knows by his true relationship.
Jon’s actual family history threw out every single one of this relationships: his dad is actually his uncle, his half-sisters are actually his cousins, etc. But Benjen Stark is Ned and Lyanna Stark‘s brother, and is therefore still Jon’s uncle. Well, was Jon’s uncle.
9. It’s not *totally* inexplicable that Jon didn’t freeze to death.
Jon managed not only to climb out of freezing cold water (and in all those furs), but make it back to the Wall without dying of hypothermia. A normal human would have carked it, but Jon isn’t a normal human. Maybe he survived the freezing cold because he’s already dead, or maybe he survived thanks to his Targaryen blood, in the same way that Dany can survive walking through fire.
Or maybe it’s just sloppy writing. TBC.
10. Arya gave Sansa the Catspaw dagger.
There’s a LOT to digest from Arya and Sansa‘s scenes, and not all of it good. It seems like they’re playing into their base characteristics, with Arya becoming a caricature of herself and Sansa acting as though she knows best, again.
But it’s important to remember that despite literally threatening to cut Sansa’s face off, Arya gave her sister the dagger. She’s setting something into motion here, and it might not necessarily be sororicide
11. It looks like the Night King might be the third head of the dragon.
Although this is the first time we’ve ever seen an ice dragon (!!!!!) the concept of one has been brought up in the books, including an oft-repeated turn as a constellation in ‘A Clash of Kings‘. Check out the description Osha gives Bran: