19 Egregiously Unrealistic Things That Happened on This Week's Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is a show about dragons, zombie bears, and people regularly coming back to life, so it shouldn't be news to anyone that watching the fantasy epic requires just a little bit of suspended belief. That being said, I found myself repeating the same thing over and over again as I took in season seven's sixth episode:
"Wow, that makes absolutely NO sense."
"Holy sh*t, that doesn't make any sense."
"Does that make sense to you? Because . . . what the hell?"
Granted, I'm not expecting realism from a show that once depicted the birth of shadow demon, but "Beyond the Wall" — as thrilling as it is — is basically a nonstop barrage of seemingly lazy plot devices designed to move the episode along at warp speed without having to bother explaining how any of it is even remotely possible. I don't necessarily need to have a scene where the maesters outline a mathematical equation about the speed-distance relationship that applies to dragon travel on a whiteboard, but I do need to have some semblance of reality within the story's own universe. Season seven, though exciting, is starting to veer more and more off the rails due to each episode's breakneck pace.
While I don't necessarily mind these wildly unbelievable aspects of the story all the time (I love Game of Thrones, after all) here are a few questions from Sunday night's episode that I'm still baffled by.
Jon Snow's Plan to Capture a Wight
Listen, I know that capturing a wight is Jon Snow's only hope of convincing Cersei that all the Houses need to come together to defeat the White Walkers. I know this. BUT, couldn't he have come up with a better plan to do it? Some planning might have gone down behind the scenes, but from an audience perspective, we just see Jon and the gang charge beyond the Wall armed with a few dragonglass weapons, apparently hoping they'll run into a single wight that they can bound, gag, and drag back to Westeros.
After Hardhome, Jon has seen what the White Walkers can do. You'd think that he would set a meticulous trap for a wight rather than merely crossing his fingers that the Night King's full army doesn't show up. Even if he assumed his plan of wandering around the icy wilderness hoping to stumble into a lonely wight would work, he should have, at the very least, asked Daenerys if she could accompany them to Eastwatch with her dragons in case things went south. She might have said no (she probably would have said no, let's be real), but it's as if Jon didn't even consider that as an option until it was far too late.
The Assumption That Cersei Will Care About Said Wight
We already know that Jon delivers a wight to Cersei in King's Landing thanks to the season seven finale preview, but the fact that Jon, Dany, Tyrion, and everyone else are operating under the assumption that she'll care about the White Walker invasion after seeing the wight is baffling. Cersei has already proved, time and time again, that she's power hungry to the point of insanity. Do they really think she'll put aside her ruthless tendencies (which she hasn't let go of since the show began) after seeing a single wight?
There's no way of knowing for sure until the finale airs, of course, but this is Cersei Lannister — she's the one who blows up the Great Sept of Baelor in season six, remember? Not to mention, she is already well on her way to becoming the Mad Queen. If she finds out that the White Walkers are an immediate threat to the North, and will likely take out Jon, Sansa, and Dany's forces long before her own, there's no way she'll simply agree to help them. She looks out for numero uno at all times and will likely celebrate the idea of the Night King decimating her opposition.
No one is even bothering to anticipate that? They'd rather just march right into the belly of the beast? OK.
Arya's Mistrust of Sansa
After finding that seemingly damning letter from Sansa to the late Robb Stark in "Eastwatch," I was fully expecting Arya to confront her older sister about it. What I wasn't expecting to see was the conversation that actually goes down, however. It basically consists of Arya brutally tearing Sansa apart for not trying to help their family, even after Sansa reiterates how Cersei forced her to write the letter in the first place.
I can understand Arya's fury, but after training at the House of Black and White for literal YEARS, you're really going to tell me that she hasn't picked up any skills to help her detect deception? Or know when she's being steered into a trap? There's a chance the two of them are fighting for show, so that they can team up to take down Littlefinger, but at this point it just feels like Arya is acting out in extreme ways with little to back up her arguments.
No One Getting Upset That the Zombie Bear Mauls Someone to Death
While journeying beyond the Wall, the first encounter with a member of the frozen undead that Jon and Snowflake Team Six encounter is a massive wight bear. It tears into their group and quickly dispatches one of the men. Nothing is ever said for the fallen, unnamed character, not even a throwaway line. Yes, Thoros is badly hurt in the scene and everyone's in shock, but still. That's cold (literally).
Jon Thinking the Small Group of Wights the Gang Sees Are the Only Ones For Miles
This gripe hearkens back to the first one on this list — does Jon Snow truly go into the great white North expecting to run into a single, small group of wights and get home scot-free? The gang gets lucky and is able to take out this smaller pack after discovering that by killing a White Walker, all the wights they've turned will also die, but Jon looks surprised when he sees the full army closing in after the minor skirmish. That's a surprise to you, man? Really?
How Fast Gendry Can Run
I'm not even going to bother trying to figure out the timeline, since, as we're all well aware by this point in the season, everything is happening ridiculously fast. Let's say that Gendry is an extremely fast runner and is able to make it back to Eastwatch in a few hours — how does Jon even know that Gendry is the fastest runner in the group to begin with? Pretty much all he knows about Gendry other than his parentage is that he's a "good fighter." Jon has also only known him for . . . what? A few days? A few weeks, at most? Has Gendry been sprinting around Dragonstone all this time like Usain Bolt?
How Fast a Raven Can Fly
As brilliant Redditor mikeCFNI recently pointed out, "The trip from Castle Black to Winterfell is about 600 miles (a little farther from Eastwatch), a raven going full speed (28mph) could probably make that trip in a little over a day. From Winterfell to King's Landing is about A Thousand Miles according to Cersei in S5E6, so it would be about the same maybe a little more from Winterfell to Dragonstone. So let's say it takes the raven 4 days to get to Dragonstone."
But you know what? I still think it's a little insane how much Game of Thrones is asking us to believe here. Even if the raven does take four whole days to get to Dragonstone, which would be more realistic, the episode makes it look like only a single night passes. A quick line about how they're running out of food or something could solve that (even if it still wouldn't make much sense).
Thoros Freezing to Death
You let Thoros survive a vicious bear attack only to have him freeze to death in the middle of the night? When one of the people in your group has the power to light their sword on fire at will? C'mon.
The Wights Waiting Until the Lake Freezes to Attack
There's a theory floating around about why the Night King keeps Jon Snow and Co. on that little rock all night — he knows that the dragons are coming because he has visions similar to the ones Bran does and is therefore using the group as bait so he can kill and turn a dragon for his White Walker army. Now, while that's cool and all, it's not so much as hinted about in the show. We don't know, with any certainty, if that's why he chooses to hold his army at bay, so it's unfair for us to assume that's the reason.
Going off of only what we see in the episode, it doesn't really check out that the wights would wait for the lake to completely freeze over to attack them. With all the thousands of wights at the Night King's disposal, why didn't he have them strut across the bottom of the lake, Pirates of the Caribbean-style, and stack up on one another until they can pop out and attack the humans? It seems like a better option than waiting hours upon hours for the deep lake to freeze over.
Only Random Characters Dying
Do I want to see beloved characters torn apart by wights? No. Is it almost annoyingly convenient that the only people to die in this episode (other than Thoros of Myr) are randos? YES. In a season where the stakes feel almost alarmingly high, the main characters never seem to actually be in true danger.
The Dragons Not Killing More Wights
By now it's been pointed out to me that dragon fire doesn't seem to affect White Walkers, but the wights? They instantly turn to toast. There's no way that Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal couldn't have wiped out the entire wight population in one fell swoop. By the end of the episode, it looks like the Night King's army is just as big as ever. How can that be?
The Night King's Perfect Aim
OK, Game of Thrones, you want me to believe that the Night King is an Olympic-level javelin thrower? Fine. I'll let that slide. But you also want me to reconcile the fact he can shoot a dragon down midflight with one toss, but isn't able to throw a spear into a dragon only a few feet away from him, sitting perfectly still in the middle of the lake? That's a little harder to swallow.
Jon Fighting Off the Wights Underwater Without Longclaw
After Jon gets tackled into the icy depths of the lake by two wights, I didn't think for a second he was going to die (we've already had enough near-deaths with him, thanks). But it's odd that he's able to 1.) get rid of both of them without his sword, which he luckily drops on the ice before going into the water, and 2.) able to swim through freezing water in 3.) an outfit made of heavy fur that would no doubt weigh any other normal human down. Hmm.
Jon Not Immediately Freezing to Death
Thoros freezes to death without having been dunked in an icy pond, so I'm not buying that Jon can just climb out of the water and into the snowy wind, A-OK. Just how many hand warmers does he have in that fur coat, huh?
Benjen Stark's Miraculously Perfect Timing
Before he has the chance to fight the remaining wights to the death, Jon is saved by his long-lost uncle, Benjen Stark. The half-dead former Night's Watch member rides into the fray and manages to take out a bunch of wights before giving Jon his horse and sacrificing himself. Sure, Benjen has been roaming around beyond the Wall, but he manages to time his arrival at this exact moment? I'll give the show this one, though, since it's such a touching scene.
Jon Surviving the Frigid Ride Back to Eastwatch
As I mentioned above, this man gets drenched in an ice cold lake, then climbs out into below-zero temperatures. With the amount of water that his all-fur outfit probably soaks in, he's basically a sentient ice pack. Taking all that into account, it's a stretch to think he wouldn't turn into a human popsicle on the hours-long horse ride back to Eastwatch (the wind blowing on him because he's riding a horse would make it even colder!).
The Fact They're Able to Hang On to That Freakin' Wight
I'm happy for them, but, through all that . . . how?!
The Giant Chains the Night King Apparently Just Has Laying Around His Igloo
Where does the Night King get the chains to pull Viserion's body out of the lake? Is there a Home Depot north of the Wall that I'm unaware of?
Why Doesn't Anyone Ever Wear a Hat?
THEIR EARS MUST BE FREEZING. NO NORMAL PERSON WOULD GO HAT-LESS IN THIS ENVIRONMENT.