'Beyond the Wall' was a controversial episode that took Jon Snow's Magnificent Seven to the icy plains beyond the safety of The Night's Watch. However, with so much happening in the previous episode, it seems odd that it would be roasted as the worst episode of the season. Admittedly, the latest run of Game of Thrones is classed as some of the best to grace the popular fantasy epic, so it was always going to be a struggle to single out one particularly bad episode.
Over on fansite Winter is Coming, Thrones fans were asked to vote for their worst moment of season 7. Choices included Samwell Tarly magically curing Greyscale, the bickering Sand Snakes, and Euron Greyjoy's magical fast travel. However, the most popular choice appears to be 'Beyond The Wall' in general. Other options included the Night King's ability to conjure giant chains from nowhere, and Gendry's super speed back to Eastwatch by the sea, which ironically both appear in the same episode.
Ignoring the Night King's questionable javelin throwing skills, the convenient arrival of Benjen Stark, and a fakeout death of Jon Snow, 'Beyond the Wall' was one of the most ambitious Game of Thrones episodes to date. Let's not also forget that we saw Arya and Sansa butt heads over a long-forgotten letter to Robb Stark, the dramatic death of Thoros of Myr thanks to a zombified polar bear, and it was the first true hint that Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen would become more than just friends.
Given that Game of Thrones season 7 was shortened to just seven episodes, 'Beyond The Wall' failed to live up to the hype that the show's penultimate episodes tend to deliver. Looking at dramatic episodes like 'Blackwater' and 'The Rains of Castamere', Beyond The Wall' had a mountain to climb as it set up the season's swansong. That being said, alongside shock deaths and treacherous scheming, 'Beyond The Wall' also gave us the great moment where Viserion the dragon was reanimated as a blue-eyed steed for the Night King (let's be honest, it certainly beats season 5's 'Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken'). With only six episodes of the sprawling saga left ever, here's hoping that Game of Thrones can improve on the harsh criticisms of 'Beyond The Wall' when it concludes in 2019.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres sometime in 2019 on HBO.
Source: Winter is Coming