You brought up a lot of nuance to the discussion, so allow me to clarify a couple of things.
First, I was writing my real time reactions as if I were one of the players in the game. I was convinced by Cersei’s emotional reaction to the wight, unsurprised by her immediate rejection of the truce and amazed at her eventual promise to help. She played me and everyone at the dragon pit beautifully.
But as a fan who can watch every scene, I saw the scene as Cersei being herself. Remember after Jamie told Cersei the war was over because of the dragons in episode 5, Cersei made it clear she would fight to the end with whatever means she had: “So we fight and die, or we submit and die. I know my choice.”
I agree with you that Cersei is definitely playing the game with more finesse than before. If she were a chess player, she would have progressed from the simple two move combination to seeing three or four moves in advance.
But can we really say that false promises about a truce and fighting along side of team Stark-Targaryen while bringing in the Golden Company is the long game, when one side has the ultimate nuclear weapon?
How does winning a series of battles do anything but push Daenerys to become even more desperate and vengeful? As long as Dany and one dragon are alive, she will be able to kill Cersei, melt the Red Keep and possibly kill everyone in King’s Landing.
Now that I think about it, it really would be poetic justice if the daughter of the Mad King destroys the monster who actually did “burn them all” at the Sept of Baelor by finishing off the entire city? (Supposedly the Mad King had wildfire buried throughout King’s Landing. Could the intense power of dragon fire raise the temperature of those underground stores to cause the wildfire to explode?)
Second, the fact that the wight remained animated and blood thirsty after the long trip south was the only thing that gave us pause and think it might have actually worked. Just imagine if the wight had turned to a bag of inanimate bones.
I agree that the plan was a total disaster as it ended up giving the Night King a zombie ice dragon. But we have to come back to how fast they are trying to tie up loose ends. If the dragon destroys the wall, fans can assume that the spells were destroyed as well in the affected area. Without the dragon, how does the army of the dead get through?
We’ve already discussed the illogic of having a wight get past the wall’s magic. It was a hole I had anticipated, expecting that one of the old guys would get mortally wounded as they capture a wight. Then, the wight disintegrates as they pass under the wall, leaving the Magnificent Seven crestfallen. How great a twist would it have been if Jorah got cured of grey scale only to go on a suicide mission, die and come back to serve his Khaleesi as proof that the army of the dead exists? That would rank right up there with Hodor as one of the most tragic twists in the show.
For me, this episode made up for all the crap that happened this season. None of the inconsistencies destroyed the spell binding nature of the story, as they have started to do these last two seasons.
Thanks for continuing the discussion.