No matter how you feel about Tyrion’s slapdash plan to capture a wight and bring it to Cersei as proof that the threat beyond the wall is real, there’s no denying the sheer awesomeness of watching the last scene of “Eastwatch.” Jon Snow leads a motley crew of warriors into the cold dead night on a mission that will probably leave some of them dead. This was Game of Thrones’ Avengers moment. Boy, was it riveting.
What made it so satisfying was that all of these characters from different corners of Westeros decided to put aside their differences for the greater good, something showrunner D.B. Weiss addressed in the latest installment of Inside the Episode.
“The end of [episode] five, where you get the whole team together, within two minutes you realize that everybody has a good reason to hate everybody else,” Weiss said. “It’s a real quick enmity ping-pong match between them and you realize that all of these guys are going to walk out into the wilds of the North together and try to do something extremely dangerous.”
The plan itself is convoluted and logistically impossible if you consider how much time it takes to travel from Dragonstone to beyond the Wall and then back down to King’s Landing. Unless someone in Westeros suddenly invented the steam engine, the Night King will have already crossed the wall by the time Cersei and Daenerys call a truce (if they do at all).
But with just two episodes left in the season, the writers have decided to take some temporal liberties for the sake of plot development. Here’s Weiss attempting to explain why they decided to go this route.
“When the first wights got through [Castle Black] in season one, they sent Alliser Thorne down with a hand that was [still twitching], to prove to everybody that this was going on,” he said. “By the time this hand got down there, it had rotted away to nothing and stopped [twitching]. There was the idea that bringing one of these things down south had been put out there before in a way that didn’t work, but, in theory, you could bring one of these things down and have it still be functional by the time it gets to King’s Landing. That seemed like that would, on a story level, do the trick.”
Now it’s up to Jon and his patchwork squad of Jorah Mormont, Tormund Giantsbane, Gendry, Thoros of Myr, Beric Dondarrion and the Hound, to actually go out and execute this likely doomed plan. We say this because a penultimate episode of Game of Thrones is typically the most brutal of that season—Ned Stark’s execution and The Red Wedding both fall into that category, as does the epic “Blackwater"—with the finale acting as something of a denouement.
And if the action-heavy, White Walker-filled teaser for “Death is the Enemy” is any indication, not everyone will make it back alive.
Watch Benioff and Weiss breakdown the White Walker plan below.