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Game of Thrones season 7: we have 27 questions about the White Walker battle in “Beyond the Wall”

Where did those big chains come from? And many, many other questions.

It looked cool, but uh, what?

“Beyond the Wall” was one of the most purely spectacular Game of Thrones episodes to date, but if you think about it for more than a few minutes, the whole thing comes crashing down faster than King’s Landing under a scorned queen’s wildfire siege. More than any other episode of season seven — or really, the entire series so far — the hour glossed over so many logistical hurdles and relied on so many convenient twists to arrive at its ice dragon endgame that it didn’t make much sense at all.

The ridiculousness began as soon as Jon Snow and his merry band of wight-hunters began their trek north of the Wall in search of a reanimated corpse to capture and bring back to Cersei. The plan was ill-formed from the start, and they made some baffling decisions along the way. Yet their mission was ultimately successful, give or take a dragon death.

Not only did the tiny search party stumble upon a separated group of wights sooner rather than later, but they discovered that killing one White Walker probably kills every wight that it turned — in a moment that fortuitously still left them a single wight to capture. And from there, they made a series of miraculous escapes from what should have been certain death. There were countless holes in this idea and its execution, and yet, Jon Snow emerged victorious and alive once again.

In an effort to highlight the glaring moments of “Beyond the Wall” that just didn’t make any sense, we came up with 27 basic questions that the episode failed — or more accurately, didn’t even try — to answer.

  1. Instead of Jon leading a ranging party north of the Wall to aimlessly search for a wight to capture and deliver to Cersei, why didn’t just Dany scout out the White Walkers from the air, on her dragons?
  2. Alternately, why didn’t Dany escort the party to help them capture the wight?
  3. Why didn’t anyone in Jon’s party appear to bring any food or other supplies, or bother more appropriate winter gear (namely: hats)?
  4. Who truly believes that seeing a wight will actually convince Cersei to join Jon and Daenerys in battling the White Walkers?
  5. Has anyone pointed out to Jon and Dany that Cersei technically has her own wight bodyguard? Like, maybe Jaime could have mentioned as much when he met with Tyrion about this very plan?
  6. Shouldn’t Tyrion, at the very least, know better than to bet so much on appealing to Cersei Lannister’s humanity?
  7. Why didn’t the group bring a raven with them to send a message back to Eastwatch in the event of trouble?
  8. Wasn’t it really, um, convenient to have the ice break just in time to stop the wights? And for Jon and his buddies to end up on a perfectly placed island?
  9. Why didn’t the Night King just use his ice javelins against Jon, Jorah, Tormund, and the rest of the wight hunters while they were stranded on an island in the middle of the lake? Was he playing a longer game to lure Dany out?
  10. Why didn’t the Night King first try to kill the dragon that Dany — and eventually the rescued members of Jon’s party — was riding? Assuming that what he really wanted a zombified dragon, wouldn’t it make more sense to start with the biggest of the three and the easiest one to hit?
  11. Why didn’t Dany or anybody else try to kill the Night King?
  12. Why did Dany bring all three dragons beyond the wall, when she only used one against the Lannister army? Gendry didn’t know how many undead were coming, so he couldn’t have warned her of the massive army.
  13. Jon and Dany have an essentially unlimited supply of dragonglass now, right? Why didn’t they bring dragonglass arrows, to kill White Walkers with from a distance?
  14. How was Gendry able to run all the way to Eastwatch, however far that was, in what appears to be record time?
  15. While we’re at it, how did Gendry even know where to run after fresh snow wiped out Jon and co.’s tracks, especially since Gendry had never even experienced snow before, period?
  16. How the hell did a raven travel the 2,000 miles from Eastwatch to Dragonstone in less than a day? If it took 12 hours, and the raven never stopped to rest, that’s a 167-mph raven.
  17. And even if it did take more than a day, how did the men not end up like poor Thoros before the hour Daenerys swooped in?
  18. Could Jon really not break away from the fight to get on the dragon with everybody else?
  19. How did Jon survive his plunge into the icy lake water at the hands of the wights, let alone pull himself out while bogged down by soaking wet clothing?
  20. And how did he manage to then ride a horse back to Eastwatch while barely conscious (and also bogged down by soaking wet clothing)?
  21. Why didn’t Benjen show up earlier in the battle against the Night King? The last time he suddenly appeared to help a fellow Stark, he said that the Three-Eyed Raven had sent him; presumably that means Bran sent him to help Jon. But does that mean that Bran didn’t dispatch Benjen until Jon was stranded, dripping wet, and being chased by wights?
  22. Where even was Benjen, before showing up to rescue Jon out of nowhere?
  23. How did thousands of supposedly terrifying and powerful wights not manage to kill anyone except anonymous redshirt wildings?
  24. Where did the Night King acquire giant, industrial-strength chains that he could use for hauling a dead dragon out of a freezing lake?
  25. And if he didn’t just find them somewhere, how did he forge them? We don’t know exactly what the White Walkers’ relationship to fire is; we know they don’t like it, but have shown to have a bit of resistance to it (like when the Night King walked through it to kill the Children of the Forest). We do know the wights are killed by fire. It seems implausible that the White Walkers would have been able to create those giant chains without help from their undead army, but how exactly would they have done it?
  26. Who jumped into the freezing lake to attach the giant chains to the submerged dragon body — the wights that previously wouldn’t enter the water?
  27. And last but definitely not least: Why did no one, out of everyone in this entire all-star war council, realize how dumb the whole “capture a wight” plan was from the start?

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