‘Beyond the Wall’ is the sixth and penultimate episode of the seventh season of HBO’s fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 66th overall. Here we see Beric talking to Jon on the other side of the Wall.
From this episode until the grand finale we began to see problems of another kind. Since George R.R. Martin didn’t finish the last two novels of his epic when they were filming the last two seasons, the producers rushed the story to levels that spoiled the rhythm of the series.
Many fans of the novels are furious with Martin because even today he has not finished the last two novels of A Song of Ice and Fire. I feel a little more empathy for the writer. Writing is a thankless task that is done in solitude, in the writer’s home. Most writers can’t even make a living from their craft. When the miracle happens, as it happened to Martin when HBO decided to bring his most ambitious work to the small screen, it is natural that with the river of money flowing towards the writer he changes his lifestyle, doing the writing in the bedroom more difficult, especially due to Martin’s advanced age.
But the mistake of this episode and others of the following season is that Martin was right in asking the creators of the HBO series David Benioff and D. B. Weiss that the series should run for about fourteen seasons. That would mean that filming would be roughly halfway through by now. If we assume one season per year, the eighth season should have been released in 2018; the ninth in 2019, the tenth in 2020 and this month that I write the fans would be watching the eleventh.
Benioff and Weiss went their own way by taking a shortcut, narrowing down the remaining seven seasons in episodes 66 to 73. And unlike previous seasons that had ten episodes each, the seventh season only has seven. The following season, the eighth and last, only six episodes. That’s far from the adequate pace, although it was only until the middle of the eighth season that fans were very disappointed by this rush.
But still, in this rushed episode 66, we see two conversations between the Stark sisters in which Arya tells Sansa that since she was a child she wanted to become a knight, though there are still no female knights in Westeros; and that she wanted to break the rules. (Worse still, the writers recast this Arya girl with psychopathic traits as we see when she talks to Sansa.) But feminism doesn’t end there. Near the end of the episode the king of the north, Jon, promises Dany that he will bend the knee before her.