Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 3 “The Long Night” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Arya after all is said and done - by her.
83.32% (3)

While nearly every major character lives (depending on how you define major), that doesn’t take away from how epic The Battle of Winterfell was.


Network
HBO
Director(s) Miguel Sapochnik
Writer(s) David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Air Date 4/28/2019

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When All Seemed Lost

To put it simply, the living were on the fence for most of the fight. The Dothraki? Massacred to the point some retreated – DOTHRAKI RETREATED! And while, yes, Daenerys and Jon had dragons, there was the need to question what was the withe to collateral damage ratio? Plus, with it being decided they would go after the Night King, who either brought a storm or planned the fight around one, he used the cloak of clouds to try to assist the two one one fight. Leading to his dragon being injured but the one Jon was on seemingly dying. However, that wasn’t the first death. That honor goes to Edd for saving Sam. Someone who ends up on the ground for most of the battle, chilling on a stack of corpses, yet living. It’s remarkable that man’s luck really.

Yet, one could argue he isn’t the only lucky one. After Jon hits the ground, Daenerys lands and damn near loses her dragon since withes attack it like a cow on The Walking Dead. Leading it to take flight and Daenerys alone on the ground. Forcing me to remind you: Daenerys can’t fight. But, since the Lord of Light, the Old Gods, and News, as well as the rest, seem to have a cloak of protection on lead characters, Ser Jorah basically sacrifices himself to keep her alive.

Ser Jorah dying.

As for other favorites? Well, Jamie and Brienne get surrounded multiple times, seeming like they’d be ripped apart, yet they live. As for Gendry and Podrick? We don’t see them explicitly die, so we’re left to assume they are alive. Which is sort of what we’re left with here. Unless, like Lyanna, you see them crushed by a giant, stabbed in the chest like Theon, or a gruesome death period, we’re left in limbo.

Take who may have lived in the crypts. We last see Varys, Tyrion, and Sansa alive, but does anyone else survive when the withes make it down there and overrun the place? Can’t say. So it seems, like how the first two episodes were a reunion, it seems the next will be a reunion of seeing who lived, who is maimed, and a whole bunch of funerals.

The Boss B****

Leaving what happened to Bran, Jon, and the Night King? Well, Bran did his whole Undertaker eye trick, and that didn’t do a damn thing. Well, maybe called the Night King to him but with that marking on his arm, that didn’t mean much. As for Jon? Well, he tried to get to Bran, even was face to face with the Night King, but once the Night King raised himself a new army, Jon didn’t see that man for the rest of the night.

Leaving… Oh, we forgot about Melissandre, who magically appears, Beric, The Hound, and Arya. Well, getting to the point, they have multiple HOLD THE DOOR moments, in which the door breaks down. So Beric dies an honorable death slowing withes down so The Hound and Arya can be safe. Leading to Melissandre taking Bran’s usual place as the person who just pops up. But, she offers no spells or anything besides words of encouragement for Arya. Words that perhaps gave her the strength, after possibly having a kill count matching any person you can name to… Hold up – Arya’s kill count is higher. You know why?

ARYA KILLED THE MOTHER F***ING NIGHT KING AND ALL HIS SOLDIERS!

Arya as she stabs the Night King and ends the battle, neé the WAR!

Meaning, if Gendry is alive, he better have a better stroke this time since Arya clearly was sexually frustrated for she was on one the entire episode.

Oh and Melissandre strips down, takes off the necklace which keeps her young and alive, and dies to end the episode. Anti-climatic, I know.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How are certain people still alive will be the major question for the next episode? Especially those who were fighting in the courtyard.
  2. Shouldn’t there have been more giants?
  3. Why didn’t any of The Night King’s men stop Arya?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Confirmed Deaths: Edd, Ser Jorah, Viserion, Theon, Beric, The Night King, Lyanna, The Dothraki, Melisandre (Suicide)
  • Confirmed Living: Arya, Jon, Daenerys, Ser Davos, Bran, The Hound, Drogon, Varys, Tormund, Gendry (Assuming that was him in the scene after Tormund), Podrick, Jamie, Brienne, Greyworm (Assuming that’s him outside the city gates), Missandei, Gilly, Rhaegar (Update: Seen flying in episode preview, with wing torn a bit)

Highlights

Even Without Killing Major Characters, It Was Epic

While it may feel like a cop-out that no true, consistent, fan favorite died, that doesn’t take away from the hour and a half of some of the greatest battles you likely ever seen. I mean, Avengers: Endgame didn’t have this much quality action and a need to fear for characters lives. Yet, that is part of what has long made Game of Thrones so great. Despite eight seasons, characters who seem unkillable, there remains that eternal idea no one is safe.

Daenerys stays on the ground too long with Drogon, and it appears between the dragon dying, if not her, it’s over and any theory you had better on her is over. Arya fought most of the battle without much help until she encountered Beric and up until then, her kills were impressive. Jon had nearly everyone who died on the battlefield to face off with before Daenerys saved him.

Sansa and Tyrion hiding as others get killed.

Then there was the crypts. We see Sansa and Tyrion looking like Romeo and Juliet, like they are ready to slit both of their throats to survive rather than possibly die due to withes. It all was so draining as you got non-stop action, not much in the way of breathing room, and were left to believe those who worked on this show, behind the scenes, they are as much worth tracking as the actors you fell in love with.

But oh, when Arya killed the Night King… only a slew of .gifs could properly express my emotions. Second smallest, only to Lyanna, but just as much attitude and heart, and while Lyanna killed a giant, Arya killed a king! Pushing the idea she needs to become a legendary folklore feature. Someone start sending out crows to tell this child’s story!

Lyanna’s End

Generally speaking, the women of Game of Thrones eclipsed the men in terms of saves and being badass. However, the grandest death was Lyanna’s. Yes, Theon ran and tried to stab the Night King but he was way too obvious, and we know he can’t fight all that well. So that death wasn’t all that. However, Lyanna, as the writers said, was the smallest warrior with the most gall so, again, her taking out a giant! Even if with a basic ass stab was just *spontaneously combusts*

Lyanna before killing a giant.

Low Point

Bran Is Useless

Melisandre, who spent the whole series sacrificing other people and mostly focusing on her survival, put herself in danger and helped. W T F DID BRAN DO? I get he was bait, and allowed Arya to have her moment but, what was he looking at while his eyes were white? What was he doing? We see ravens travel the land but not much else when it came to him using his powers. So… are we just to accept because he is the new Third Eye Raven, and he rushed the process, he is going to be useless for a very long time?

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How Would You Rate This?

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Even Without Killing Major Characters, It Was Epic
100 %
Lyanna’s End
95 %
Bran Is Useless
65 %
I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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