Most Game of Thrones fans have been a little irritated with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) lately because it seems like the best and most obvious way to defeat the army of the dead is to fly her dragons north and burn them all down with dragon fire. Now that she's done exactly that, it's obvious why this was a bad idea: dragons and White Walkers don't mix.
But first, on tonight's episode, Jon's (Kit Harington) little suicide squad provided some hilarious fan service — seeing as all of these characters have some kind of shared history. Whether it was Jorah's (Iain Glen) war stories with Thoros (Paul Kaye), or the Hound's (Rory McCann) realization that Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) was crushing on the woman who nearly killed him, Game of Thrones took every opportunity to wink at their own tangled web of storylines.
And then everything pretty much went south from there, even while the gang headed north.
After capturing a wight and making a run for it, Jon and his whole team — except for Gendry (Joe Dempsie), who raced back to Eastwatch — found themselves surrounded by wights. Their only saving grace? Those wights were held back by a thinly iced-over lake, which would collapse and swallow them if they tried to attack. And thus the standoff began.
Here's where it's time to start complaining — again — about how ridiculous the pace of Game of Thrones has become.
Gendry somehow managed to run all the way back to Eastwatch to deliver a message to Daenerys that she and her dragons were needed north of the Wall. A raven then traveled all the way to Dragonstone to relay that message. Then Daenerys gathered her dragons and flew all the way up there to save the day.
People in Westeros have often remarked on how difficult travel is and how long it takes to get from one place to the next — and yet somehow all of this managed to take place in the matter of a couple days? The accelerated timeline of Season 7 is beginning to feel less like rising action, and more like a race to the finish line.
Dany did manage to save most of the remaining members of the group — RIP Thoros — with two huge exceptions.
First, one of her babies met a tragic end in this snowy battle. Viserion was struck down mid-flight when the Night King launched a deadly ice spear into his heart. He fell hard and then crashed into the icy water, never to resurface. Dany's stricken expression as she watched her dragon die was probably the most heartbreaking thing we'll witness all year.
Now let's talk about that idiot Jon Snow.
What? You just saw the Night King take a freaking dragon down, and you thought NOW was your time to take him to the mat? Never mind the hundreds of wights and extremely thin ice standing between you and him? Someone needs to put an obedience collar on Jon and give him a good zap whenever he gets these self-sacrificing notions.
Jon fell through the ice to his "death;" but later emerged only to be faced with an army of undead after him again. Luckily it was Uncle Benjen (Joseph Mawle) to the rescue, and Jon escaped on horseback. As for Daenerys, she'll probably be mourning the death of one of her children for a good long while.
At least until the Night King rides Viserion's reanimated corpse into battle.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.