The Great War is here, and by the end of this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, everything has changed. We’re diving into what happened, our thoughts on the episode and a look at who is gone. MAJOR SPOILERS ahead…
Last night brought us the third episode of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. This episode saw the living finally battle the army of the dead. There were two ways this episode was going to play out. One option would see the dead win and the good guys retreat south with whoever was still alive. The other option would see the living fight off the dead, and kill the Night King, so that the final three episodes focused solely on the battle against Cersei for the Iron Throne.
In the end the show went with ending the battle against the dead here, with Arya Stark killing the Night King after a long bloody battle against the dead. The battle itself wasn’t exactly everything that it should have been after 69 episodes of lead up to this threat. The first half of the episode took it’s time getting to the battle, and would have felt much more enthralling if we had actually seen the Dothraki soldiers battling the dead. Instead we simply saw their flaming swords go out one by one as they were overtaken by the zombie army.
When the battle finally begins it feels muddled. Game of Thrones has never been good at lighting the darker scenes, and having this battle play out at night- with what seemed like only natural lighting, didn’t help anything. The episode begins to pick up as it starts to focus on the individual characters as they battle the dead. From Arya Stark running away from the dead in the halls of Winterfell, to Jon and Daenerys battling the Night King on their respective dragons. The more the episode focuses on the characters and their struggle to win this battle, the more exciting and enthralling it became.
As the battle comes to a close and we begin to see characters die, the tension rises more and more, before sputtering out slightly with multiple fake outs over who died and who didn’t. In the final moments, the episode ends strong with some rather significant deaths, and the feeling that this battle will not end in any happy way. Sansa and Tyrion are ready to fight to the death in the crypts. Jorah is ready to die defending Daenerys. Jon is about to be killed by an undead Viserion. Jaime, Tormund, Podrick, and Brienne are moments away from being torn apart by the dead. And the Night King is just steps away from killing Theon and Bran.
It all ends when Arya, after a brief encounter with Melisandre, heads out to the Godswood of Winterfell to kill the Night King with the Valyrian Steel knife that once belonged to Littlefinger. After stabbing him with the dagger, he shatters to pieces, and the dead all fall. The battle versus the living and the dead is over. Now all that remains is the final battle for the Iron Throne.
Usually, we keep this pretty solitarily focused. But with this being such a large episode, I’m going to dive into the opinions of our entire team here at Poor Man’s Spoiler. Most of the team was disappointed in the fact that everything ended so abruptly. That we didn’t get any definitive answers for some of the elements concerning the Night King and his plans for conquering Westeros. There’s also some frustration over the fake outs on some of the potential deaths in the episode. The layout of the episode was also a little rough, with the opening seeming to lag on far too much, and the final deaths not feeling as strong because of the abrupt end to such a long built up conflict.
This episode is going to be one that will likely divide fans. But this final season was always going to be something that divided fans. There are a million ways these final six episodes could have played out. We’re lucky that HBO and the minds behind the show didn’t go along with the initial plan to simply make it a two hour long movie. There’s also a damn good chance that the final three episodes are going to severely divide the fanbase, especially depending on who sits on the Iron Throne once all is said and done.
For now, this is the end of the saga between the army of the dead, and those that live in Westeros. We’ll see the final count for who all lived and died next week. But this episode was definitely something that is going to be talked about for a long time to come.
Kill Count: Unknown
- The Dothraki Soldiers are all decimated by the Army of the Dead.
- Most of the Unsullied are wiped out by the undead.
- Edd Tollett, Lyanna Mormont, and Beric Dondarrion are confirmed dead, by White Walkers.
- Jorah Mormont dies protecting Daenerys outside of Winterfell.
- Theon Greyjoy is killed by the Night King, trying to protect Bran.
- The Night King is killed by Arya Stark.
- The Army of the Dead are wiped out when Arya kills the Night King.
- Melisandre dies after taking off her necklace and walking out past Winterfell.
“What do we say to the God of Death.” – Melisandre
“Not today.” – Arya Stark
Check back with us next week when we dive into the fourth episode of the final season of Game of Thrones. And be sure to catch Game of Thrones each Sunday at 9pm ET on HBO.