David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, thank you Game of Thrones for television. Tonight’s episode is why I love television more than most people. We’ve been waiting for this battle ever since Ned Stark said, “Winter is coming.” The Army of the Dead arrived and they were ready to take over the world. However, the Army of the Living said, “Not today.” Here’s the review for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3, “The Long Night.”
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3: “The Long Night”
-The Battle of Winterfell. HOLY SHIT. I’m still shaking after what I just witnessed. This episode had the impossible task of living up to an insane amount of hype and it came pretty close to doing that.
-So many things to unpack here. I apologize if my thoughts seem jumbled, but I’m still coming down from a high.
-Let’s start with who died for the good guys. These are confirmed deaths.
- Dolorous Edd
- Lyanna Mormont
- Beric Dondarrion
- Theon Greyjoy
- Jorah Mormont
- A decent amount of women and children in the crypts.
- A lot of Dothraki, Unsullied, and Northern soldiers
-Once Melisandre returned at the beginning of the episode, you knew she was going to light some things on fire. Lighting the Dothraki swords was a good move. Watching them charge into battle and get slaughtered was not a good move!
-The Dead’s plan was fairly simple. Let the Northerners charge, gain more soldiers, and then charge at them once the winter winds take over. That worked to perfection as they overpowered the Army of the Living. It’s here where we saw our first major death, which was Edd. I don’t blame Sam for running away after he saw one of his friends die.
-When Jon and Daenerys started to burn the dead, my only thought was “Where is the Night King and his dragon?” Well, it’s clear the Night King was waiting for Jon and Dany to get lost in the storm in order to attack. That worked as he was able to injure one of the dragons. However, I didn’t expect the Night King to fall off the dragon, which proved to me that he can be beaten.
-Why didn’t Jon and Dany take their dragons to the trenches and light them on fire more? It was very nice of Melisandre to light the trenches on fire, but once the dead formed a wall with their bodies and breached the castle, more fire from the dragon’s could have helped!
-Did anyone have trouble seeing in general? I understand that a battle at night is going to lead to chaos and confusion. However, I should not have to adjust my television set in order to see more clearly. At times, I felt I was squinting just to make sense of what was going on.
-Lyanna Mormont, you are a badass. You lived like a badass and you died like a badass. I don’t care if you thought that was a cop out. That was just an awesome moment.
-Another problem I had with the episode dealt with its continuity issues. Game of Thrones is not going to kill a major character offscreen. However, there are multiple times when Jamie, Brienne, and Sam are on the verge of death and the camera pans away from them. We assume they all survive, but the quick cutaway acts as a way to save the character instead of letting the scene play out. If major characters did not die last night, I’m assuming that they will die facing Cersei’s army.
-I absolutely loved the Night King smiling at Daenerys. It turns out that the Night King was more powerful than we thought. Fire cannot defeat him,. I view this is a parallel to Daenery’s quest to become the Queen of Westeros. Fire cannot make you Queen. I don’t see an outcome that ends with Daenerys on the Iron Throne.
-Goodbye, Jorah Mormont. You were a loyal solider to Khalessi and to be quite honest, Dany didn’t deserve Jorah’s loyalty. Jorah would give his life for Danerys and all she did was put him in the friend zone and banish her from the kingdom.
-The crypts was interesting, but not as climatic as I thought it would be. The dead rising was entertaining and the somber moment between Tyrion and Sansa was touching, but overall, it wasn’t that much of a bloodbath.
-Let’s get into Melisandre and Arya’s interaction. Arya, the Hound, and Beric Dondarrion are forced into a great hall. Beric dies and out of nowhere, Melisandre appears. Melisandre states that the Lord of Light kept resurrecting Beric for a specific purpose and now it was evident what that purpose was. Beric’s job was to save Arya. Melisandre and Arya recongize each other from a previous meeting in Season 3. Arya was the only one to step up to Melisandre and right there, Melisandre sensed that Arya was special. Melisandre saw darkness in Arya and that Arya will shut the eyes of brown, blue, and green people and that they will meet again.
Well, they picked a great time to reunite as Melisandre gave Arya the pep talk she needed. Once Melisandre stressed the importance of killing someone with blue eyes, I knew that meant the Night King. Melisandre quoted Arya’s combat teacher, Syrio Forel. What do we say to the God of Death? Not today.
-Theon finally received what he was searching for his whole life, which was acceptance from the Starks. Theon has been running for most of his life. Theon ran away from Ramsay Bolton. He abandoned his sister, Yara when Euron held her captive. He betrayed the Starks and took Winterfell for himself. However, when push came to shove, Theon did his best to defend Bran from the Night King and the white walkers. Bran reassured Theon that he was a good man and that’s all he needed to hear. The Night King made quick work of Theon, but he died as a man with honor.
-Finally, let’s discuss the scene that will be talked about for years to come, which is when Arya killed the Night King. Arya sneak-attacked the Night King, but the Night King caught her in mid-air. However, Arya was able to drop her sword into her off hand, stab the Night King, and dissolve the Army of the Dead. After all of the build-up that made it seem that Jon was destined to fight the Night King, it never happened. I support this decision because it was never Jon’s destiny to kill the Night King. For everyone complaining that Game of Thrones got too predictable, I’d argue the opposite. Arya killing the Night King was a delightful surprise and having Jon kill him in a battle would have been the predictable approach. Plus, Arya fulfilled Melisandre’s prophecy. It was the girl who worked her way up from a little girl to a deadly fighter that saved the world instead of the “Prince Who Was Promised.”
-This episode is going to be very divisive. On one hand, the show’s conclusion will feature humans versus humans for the Iron Throne, which I’m very much in favor of. However, the white walkers were teased as this unstoppable force throughout the entire series. The Night King was the most powerful creature on the planet. The Army of the Dead was so powerful and yet the living defeated this unbeatable army overnight. If that’s the case, then were the white walkers a distraction from the true enemy of the show, Cersei? This may be the case, but I have a feeling that there’s still one more surprise from the dead before this series comes to a close.
See you next week as the fight goes to King’s Landing. Do you know who has green eyes?
What did you think about The Battle of Winterfell? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @unafraidshow.