If you've got chills, and their multiplying, it must mean you've just watched the promo for the next episode of HBO's Game of Thrones. After weeks of Queen Daenerys getting us hot under the chainmail by uttering the word "dracarys," it is time to "chill out" as the seventh season of the Ice and Fire epic comes to a close. With officially eight episodes EVER left of the show, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have quite the "Mountain" to climb to wrap up the sprawling saga with a neat bow of death and destruction.
So, as we head into the final two episodes of Season 7, what can we expect? It looks like it is “Snow” Joke when our King in the North takes his Suicide Squad of rogues beyond the Wall in Episode 6, and given that the penultimate episode of each season is usually “the big one,” we can expect a snowy swansong for the tail end of this year’s abridged season. If you’ve got your tin foil hat on, let’s take a look at the promo for Episode 6.
From disfigured and disgruntled dog to fan-favorite character, our c-word-dropping Hound was right all along. Season 7 had the scarred Sandor Clegane look into the flames and see his own vision of a the dead marching at the place where the Wall meets the sea, so what better place could we find ourselves at in Episode 6?
Clegane's hazy vision also saw an arrow-shaped "mountain," which we had previously theorized meant a battle with his brother and confirmation of Cleganebowl. However, the promo shows said arrow-shaped mountain looming in the background.
Away from a frosty foray to the Wall, things look to be getting a little sticky at Winterfell. All Sophie Turner's Sansa Stark has done this season is pensively glower across her homestead, while "Episode 6" won't be changing that tried and tested formula. "Eastwatch" saw Arya inadvertently catch Petyr Baelish's plotting to shift the balance at Winterfell, but what happens next? With Littlefinger exposing a long-forgotten letter alluding to Sansa's allegiances, our resident schemer has put the wolf among the pigeons.
Episode 6 implies that the power is slipping away from the Lady of Winterfell when Arya asks if Sansa is “scared," but could the plucky Stark sisters be concocting a double (double) cross of the serpentine Littlefinger? For seven seasons we have watched Aiden Gillan’s wanky whisperer pull the strings, but the Starks have seen off much bigger enemies and time could be running out for Baelish.
The Famous Five
Death has been marching on the Wall for quite some time now, so we can expect Episode 6 to be curtains for some of our familiar faces. In a season that has waved goodbye to the Tarlys, the Sand Snakes, and Lady Olenna, we are still waiting for that big “gasp” death robbed from us last week thanks to Bronn of the Blackwater. It is seemingly impossible to top the likes of the Red Wedding or Ned losing his melon, but are we heading for an emotional swansong for one of our favorites?
If you note the shot of the disbanded group running back toward safety, we look a little short on numbers. I count only five making it to the Wall, meaning that apart from those nameless Night’s Watchmen, two of our main seven will be breathing their last in Episode 6. While we won’t get into speculation on who won’t be returning to their loved ones, we better prepare that “In Memoriam” page.
Being honest, we should forget the Cleganes, because Episode 6 hints at another throwdown that wouldn't look out of place on WWE. In the blue corner we have the Night King, facing off against our moping #JonSnow in the black corner. The two fearless leaders previously had a slanging match back in Season 5's "Hardhome," but expect both men to be out for revenge in round two.
Leaving Cersei and that pointy chair at King's Landing behind, the rest of Season 7 and 8 are expected to see the Night King emerge as the de facto villain of the show. Mad queens are one thing, but truthfully, the ultimate boss battle here will be that spikey-headed scoundrel and his legions of undead followers. Episode 6 might not be the ultimate showdown between ice and Snow, but let's imagine it as the pre-fight press conference.
Light 'Em Up
It isn't all slush puppies and snow angels though, could there be the warming flames of hope burning on the horizon? Grab your burning loins, because Episode 6 will finally see that glorious shot of Ser Beric Dondarrion lighting his flaming sword to fulfill his fire wight credentials. The leader of the Brotherhood without Banners has dodged death before, and his resurrection prowess will presumably come into play again next week.
However, Beric doesn't look to be the only one starting a bonfire. Earlier trailers from the season have shown this exact battle with several pyres of burning land or possibly even wights in the background. Cue the hype machine, because a last-minute rescue by Queen Dany could be on the horizon yet again. Our Mother of Dragons flew to glory in "The Spoils of War," and Episode 6 could be a chance for #DaenerysTargaryen to use her scaly armada once again. While the hot to trot Targaryen could be Jon's ultimate savior, at what cost will it come to her and her dragons? Let's just say, it could be "ice" to read up on those ice dragon theories before next week!
No matter what happens, it is all hands on deck and balls to the Wall when Game of Thrones returns for its penultimate episode of Season 7 on August 20.
What are you most hoping to see in next week's episode?