It's no joke when we say that the latest season of HBO's Game of Thrones hasn't been pulling any punches. Season 7 of the icy adventure may have been cut short in its episode count, but that hasn't stopped the usual trail of death and destruction following the characters around the Seven Kingdoms. In particular, we have seen the race toward the Iron Throne get smaller as the threat to humanity gets bigger.
Cersei Lannister started the season as the biggest foe facing our heroes, but we have seen the Night King and his army of the undead (very slowly) step out from the snowstorm as the ultimate villain of the piece. As we move far beyond #GeorgeRRMartin's books, the show is revealing spoilers left, right, and center. Most notably, Season 7's penultimate episode dropped one hell of a bombshell about how to end the White Walker war.
Warning: spoilers for Game of Thrones "Beyond the Wall"
The Walking Dead
Forget your dragonglass armory or trio (sorry duo) of dragons, it appears that it really is as simple as topple the king and the rest will follow. "Beyond the Wall" saw a Magnificent Seven of Westeros' most rugged bachelors heading to colder climes with the simple aim of nabbing a wight. Safe to say, things didn't go to plan, and after a blizzard-ravaged battle in the middle of a frozen lake, it was up to Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons to save the day.
However, before we got to the lady and the lake, we saw Jon's "Snow Men" tackle a scouting group of wights. Here, our King in the North took out a pallid White Walker and saw his surrounding popsicle zombies crumble back into the ground. Thrones just changed the endgame with the reveal that if you kill a White Walker, he takes all those he turned with him.
So, with the horn-headed Night King being the one who created the entire species of arctic assholes, if we kill him, all the White Walkers will surely perish, too. Sadly, instead of "break the curse and everyone returns to normal," it looks like once you are turned by a White Walker that is really it — bad news for Benjen eh!
You Missed Your Shot
Annoyingly, #DaenerysTargaryen and her three scaly blowtorches just missed a golden opportunity to end the war before it began. Instead, Dany flew in wearing that fabulous winter wardrobe in an attempt to save Snow and his Suicide Squad. If the Night King can take out a flying Viserion in the middle of a storm, how hard would it have been to launch one dragonglass spear at a stationary White Walker — do the math, kids. There will undoubtedly be another chance for the King in the North to face off against the abominable snowman, but our favorite characters may have just wasted their best chance yet of ending his reign of terror.
Team Dany are currently hard at work in those mines at Dragonstone to extract all the dragonglass they can, which seems like a lot of extra work considering we only really need to kill one guy. Interestingly, the reveal that killing one White Walker destroys all the undead also created a predicament for who the "big hero" of the piece actually is — literally anyone could strike the Night King down at any moment. In fact, all it would take is for the Night King to slip on a Valyrian blade and the whole thing would be over.
We know that it is only a matter of time before NK's army of the dead breach the magic of the Wall and make a move for King's Landing. Once the wights are sprawling out across the Seven Kingdoms, there is an unlimited supply of fresh flesh ready to stick in the deep freeze and join the Night King's cause. However, we can already foresee a final battle where all the wights and Walkers suddenly vanish in a puff of dusty bones.
There is still no sign of that Horn of Winter to bring down the Wall, but with an ice dragon now by his side, expect the Night King to take to the skies as that elusive third dragon rider — sorry, Tyrion — before the season is over. "Beyond the Wall" just upped the ante in the never ending battle between man and White Walkers. Your move, Night King, your move!