Review: Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 “Beyond the Wall”

For me, the mark of an excellent television show is the ability to perfectly marry scope, wider thematic statements and resolution with intimate character development, revealing moments and a plethora of emotion. This episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ goes beyond that with stunning writing that brilliantly reflects the arcs of each character, utilising their previous experiences to inform their decisions. In itself, this is a wonderfully thought-provoking sentiment, something at the core of the show’s historical vision, in noting how individuals adjust their behaviour to reflect the actions of those in the past. Arya’s rebellion against the rules is spurred on by her wish to cleanse the injustice of administrations and reinforce loyalty, something she questions within Sansa. Tormund’s attitude towards Jon’s decision to not bend the knee is informed by his view of Mance Rayder, and his fate. These examples, only two of many, showcase the show’s magnificent understanding of character. This climaxes in the final third, an unwavering display of tension, bravado and grandness created by the super direction, score and cinematography. Its the perfect culmination and also stepping stone of these characters arcs. Danerys and Jon are not forced together, but the writers sew the seeds in an organic, meaningful way, past the fan service that many were suspicious may occur. This is a perfect episode that inspires to not only deliver in terms of spectacle but enforce the complexity of the characters. 10/10

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