Game of Thrones “Beyond the Wall” and the endgame

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Jeff Turner
CONTRIBUTOR

“Beyond the Wall” has all the makings of a great episode of “Game of Thrones.” It’s a major battle and a lot of focus devoted to one character struggle. It’s got a lot of great banter with the visuals to compliment it. The episode is definitely watchable and propulsive, but its flaws are so omnipresent and underwhelming. Starting first with Winterfell. 

In “Beyond the Wall,” Arya Stark spends the entire episode tormenting her sister for what she perceives as an attempt to usurp power over Jon. This has all been orchestrated by Littlefinger to retain control over Sansa and retain his power, but the aching question here is, why would Arya fall for this in the first place? 

The decisions she has made here and in the previous episode, “Eastwatch”, make no sense contrasted to her character in a lot of the previous seasons. Not even when weighed in comparison to the choices she made in the first half of this season. She sounds like the little kid from season one, and granted, this is the first time she’s been back, but this is still a serious stretch.  

There are other examples, ranging from the fast travel that has punctuated this series since the season six finale to Dany bringing all three of her dragons along seemingly so one can die to serve the plot. Let’s not even note the fact that if they had just stuck to the war effort, the Walkers likely wouldn’t have the resources to destroy the wall with ease, which is exactly what’s going to happen. “Beyond the Wall” has more flaws than it probably should have, but the finale has been set in motion where all the major characters gather to talk about a truce with Cersei. 

The finale from last season was a bloodbath as “Thrones” is famously known to do, but what about here? Not much has been heard from the Greyjoy’s since Euron took Yara captive and Theon jumped ship. It’s hard to imagine much more coming out of that, official prediction: two of the three Greyjoys go down in the finale. 

Second prediction to supplement the first: the negotiations don’t go well. It’s hard to say what that means, but even if Cersei is trying to perform pragmatism, she is not as skilled at it as her father was. It seems unlikely that everything will go swimmingly. It’s hard to imagine getting rid of Cersei just yet, as Lena Headey has been the actor bringing in all of the awards for the show. 

For season eight, due to come out late 2018 or early 2019, there has to be a big confrontation with the Night King. “Game of Thrones”, a show that had once been heavily invested in politics of this fantasy world, will delve a little into convention as seen in “Beyond the Wall.” Any politics will be focused on building the army. Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff seem to be aiming to make the series finale more of a theater experience with a rumored two-hour run time.  

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