Night King actor spills details on season 8 battle, Kit Harington on saying goodbye to Jon Snow, Game of Thrones themed MetroCards now available!

706 - Night King Frozen Lake

If you’ve been following our Game of Thrones news, you know that there is a big battle set to take place in season eight. The sequence took 55 days to film, and we concluded back in January that it would likely happen in the mid-season. Now, thanks to the actor who plays the Night King – Vladimir Furdik – we know whether we were right or not!

Mashable reports that Furdik let the news slip during a fan convention in Hungary. “In the third episode of the last season, there is a battle that the creators intended to be a historic moment in television,” he said. As we’ve pointed out before, this certainly makes sense, as we know Miguel Sapochnik, renowned for his action sequences, directed episode three.

Furdik adds, “Almost the full episode will be about the battle, it will take about one hour.” It looks like we won’t have to wait long to see the White Walker army attack – here’s hoping some of our favorites make it out alive!


Farewell to a great supporting cast member: Jon Snow’s beard.

Speaking of favorites, Kit Harington shared his feelings about being done with Jon Snow in a recent BBC interview. “It was emotional to leave the job definitely, but I wouldn’t say I was sad: if like me you go all the way back to the pilot of Game of Thrones, that’s almost 10 years of your life. That’s really unusual in an actor’s career. It was a huge emotional upheaval leaving that family.”

Harington – currently performing in the play True West at the Vaudeville theater in London – has no desire to reprise the role. “Would I want to go back and do more? Not on your life.” It would seem he is having a difficult time letting go of his heroic alter ego, however, as True West director Matthew Dunster admits, “The difficult part has been persuading Kit he can’t always be the winner. At one point in rehearsal Johnny put a cable around Kit’s neck for maybe five seconds and Kit freaked – he wasn’t happy at all.”


In other news, Gothamist reveals that limited edition MetroCards are available in NYC starting today. “There will be 250,000 copies of the four MetroCards available at in the Grand Central subway station while supplies last. Each features an iconic moment from the past seven seasons, including Cersei Lannister’s Walk Of Atonement, Jon Snow’s Revival, The Night’s King at the Massacre of Hardhome, and the birth of Dany’s dragons.”

These cards will be dispensed in random order at the larger vending machines and booths throughout Grand Central as part of the #FortheThrone marketing campaign, which includes 150 Game of Thrones ads and art being displayed throughout the station. You can get a sneak peek at each of the four cards below.

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61 responses

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    1. That’s the last straw, Furdik! Too much talk! Dump all the footage and reshoot the entire battle with Richard Brake’s Night King!! 😉

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    2. So this will be another battle of black water/battle for the Wall type episode I’d guess. All likely shot at night to increase the scale, logic suggests we will lose some characters (Grey Worm, Jorah, Tormund probably) but if you look back at previous battles we rarely lose anyone significant in them.

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    3. Jon Snowed,

      I fully expect lots of significant deaths in this one though, since it’ll be the 3rd to last episode ever.

      I’m sort of bracing myself for Ghost to die in this one, but I hope not. IMO, everyone associated with the North that isn’t absolutely essential to the last 3 episodes will die in this battle (i.e. Tormund).

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    4. lucy:
      The battle will take up almost the whole episode.It will be about an hour. So much for any feature length hold out hopes.

      As has been discussed in recent threads, “feature length” is a pretty subjective phrase since it can mean anything over 40 minutes. I’m not sure how much stock we can put into what Furdik said anyway. “It will take about one hour” is pretty vague.

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    5. Mr Derp,

      I figure that this far out from premiere, more than four months to go yet, that post-production isn’t complete and therefore the episode lengths are not finalized. The way I’d read his comment is that according to the scripts they worked off of this battle was a majority of the written episode. Typically all of the episodes have been on average of “about an hour” – most somewhat shorter with some longer. Knowing that the episode is mostly involved with the battle he can say that it will last about an hour. That was probably the length aimed for when writing and filming. However, when the episode is all set and final it could very easily end up at 70-75 minutes with lingering shots, cgi elements/shots over-running estimated times, regular scenes running a bit longer than expected, reshuffled scene(s) added in… We all hope all of the episodes are long, but one of them will end up being the shortest. If just barely over one hour is the shortest I’m okay with that… as long as the last one or two are closer to 90+ minutes than 60. Definitely don’t want to be “jipped” with another 50’er either.

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    6. Clob,

      I wonder if there’s going to be any time gaps in season 8 or something like that. I feel like The Long Night should last, ya know, a long time, but it currently sounds like it’s only going to last an episode or two.

      Especially IF Dany gets pregnant. 9 months will have to pass by fairly quickly.

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    7. I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the Night King and the Army of the Dead are gonna be defeated in The North.

      I mean, I find it hard to believe that Vlad would be talking up this historic battle sequence/episode he filmed if he was also involved in an equally epic and crucial battle sequence at the end of the season.

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    8. Mr Derp,

      I think it’s worth bearing in mind that during the previous Long Night they didn’t have dragons or a weirwood god or dragonglass weapons or The Wall, which has given the Westerosi a chance to prepare for invasion.

      If the First Men had been as prepared as Jon and co are, then perhaps it would’ve been The Really Scary But Fairly Short Night.

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    9. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      I don’t think we know the specifics of what happened during the last Long Night, do we?.

      Don’t forget that Team Boatsex isn’t the only side with a dragon. The NK has one too. But yes, I would generally agree that they seem fairly well prepared now. At least, as well prepared as they can expect.

      My personal opinion is that the AOTD will be defeated in the North, but the NK will still be alive and make his way South on top of Viserion. Bran’s vision of a dragon flying over KL will be the NK and Viserion, IMO. I’m pretty sure you think it’s Dany and Drogon though, if memory serves.

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    10. I kind of wish the battle vs the white walkers would be more drawn out. All these years they are this big threat and it feels they will be defeated fairly quickly. Who knows tho

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    11. Shane snow,

      That’s why I’m somewhat skeptical about the entire AOTD being defeated by the end of episode 3. They’re the entire driving force behind the show, yet they’ll be gone after an hour of battle?

      I can’t wait to see how it all plays out in a few months.

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    12. lucy:
      The battle will take up almost the whole episode.It will be about an hour. So much for any feature length hold out hopes.

      This is only about one episode.
      Even if he turns out to be exactly right and most of it is an hour-long battle, it could still easily be what you’d think of as “feature-length.”

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    13. This doesn’t prove there will be no major battle in episode 5. I mean it’s still the penultimate episode, so epic moments are pretty much guaranteed. Perhaps it’s all misdirection and an even bigger battle was filmed that we don’t know about.

      I don’t believe for a second that, after 7 seasons of buildup, the NK and his army will be defeated mid season after barely 3 episodes.

      I expect the NK won’t be defeated until either episode 5 or even 6.

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    14. Mr Derp,

      Personally it will be disappointing if the AOTD and the NK defeated in only 3 first episodes ..who will left then as great villain for the rest of the episodes ?Cercei?..Nah i want the NK to half win in Winterfell [the main characters such Jon,Danny,Arya,Tyrion,Sansa,Jaime,The Hound and Breanne to escape South in KL for to negotiate Cerceis ”help” ]and to destroy it ..I want Cercei to met with him face to face and to realize that she and her unborn bastard is not safe[as she thinks she is]..That will be kinda so ironical twist for Cerceis Endgame…dont you agree?Imagine the NK to be the Valongar in Maggies prophesy and to wrap his pale dead hands on her pale white throat and to chock the life out of her ..maybe he transform her into NQ in the end and takes her with him in the Lands of Always Winter to live happily ever after as a couple with their WW babies…..LMAO.

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    15. Boy, I’m not into the battle sequences so much. Now to hear 60 minutes of battle? All in the dark? I’m going to make a prediction that Episode 3 will be my least favorite of all time, even with some gut wrenching, hair raising moments that will no doubt have me on the edge of my seat… even as I wish the long night would end, already.

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    16. lucy:
      The battle will take up almost the whole episode.It will be about an hour. So much for any feature length hold out hopes.

      Maybe the battle itself will be about one hour. But we can assume there will be a build up of 10 minutes. The battle needs to be build up. Or episode 2 needs to end on a big cliff that the night king is looking at winterfell. And he said almost the whole episode. So 10 minutes before 10 after.

      And another thing is. The battle episode of season 7 was the shortest of the whole show. Even when the average runtime was the longest in season 7. It’s about the whole not one episode.

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Mr Derp,

      I think episode 3 will be the biggest battle. But doesn’t mean episode 5 will be less epic. Look for instance at season 3 episode 9. It’s not a big battle episode but still epic. It’s about the defence of our beloved castle. We can assume our heroes will be defeated there and fleeing south where they need the help of cercei.

      Do we need another battle that will be some sort of copy of episode 3 but in a different location? No. So it will not be a battle but something else.

      This is my prediction:
      Episode 3: big battle. Combination of a battle a la blackwater and hardhome. With lots of magic (melisandre), but still lots of human interaction, maybe will feel like the battle of gondor in return of the king. Battle human part battle human part etc. Winterfell will fall. Many heroes will fall. Some will escape through a special way.

      Episode 4: fleeing continues. Getting south.

      Episode 5: this will contain some action at kings landing but not with the night king. It’s all about human interaction and taking the castle for our heroes. Maybe the night king will show up last minute as a big cliffhanger.

      Episode 6: first half. Night King battle at kings landing. Defeating. His army. The night king will flee to the gods eye. Where the second half will take place.

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    17. Olli,

      The battle will contain lots of human interactions. We can assume that 1. It will contain lots of emotional moments. It will not be just a battle. 2. We can assume it will have phases. Maybe something like: intro of episode. Human forces will attack. Our heroes win. Moment of silent. Human interaction. But wait the battle is not over. After couple of minutes frozen yogurt guy will show up with his army and his blue eyes. All seems lost. Battle of retreat. All seems lost. But wait there’s help. Maybe it’s the red priesters coming to the rescue. They defeat a lot of frozen yogurt guys army. Our heroes escape. But still cattle falls.
      Doesn’t sound boring to me. Especially if there’s lots of emotion.

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    18. Mr Derp,

      I thought the general understanding of the Long Night was a really long winter during which the White Walkers invaded; the First Men and the Children teamed up to beat them having belatedly discovered the means to do so; and then Bran the Builder built The Wall to make sure they couldn’t invade again.

      I think the fact that the Night King has a dragon makes it more likely that the conflict will be resolved sooner rather than later. Because mankind are obliged to take the fight to the Army of the Dead, otherwise the Night King could simply tour Westeros torching enemy strongholds one by one as he goes.

      And yeah, I think Dany will torch King’s Landing. I think it’ll be more interesting.

      King in the North East,

      There will definitely be more than one major battle sequence, but the Night King doesn’t necessarily have to be involved in all of them. There’s at least one more major antagonist who may need to be defeated militarily.

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    19. It may not be the last but I don’t think we should assume that this big battle episode 3 will be the first we’ll see of fighting the NK and the AotD either. What I’m thinking is that I don’t expect the first time we see fighting against the NK being when they walk up to Winterfell. There’s a good possibility that there will be smaller scale “speed bumps” seen before there during the first two episodes, such as Last Hearth, Karhold or even out in the open. Seeing a few defenses totally devastated as the dead move south should not only raise the level of impossible the living are facing but also expand that war to at least half the season.

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    20. Pigeon:
      I wonder if Muppet Night King ever gets annoyed that Brake’s Night King is always in the promo material.

      In the back of my mind I would still like the twist of there being two of them (Night Princes), each with a battalion of the dead army. ☺

      Maybe.
      I think it’s a bit of proof that MOST people think Brake’s was far more menacing.

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    21. Clob: Maybe.
      I think it’s a bit of proof that MOST people think Brake’s was far more menacing.

      Oops, I edited and put the new text within the quote. :/ not used to posting with my phone.

      In the back of my mind I would still like the twist of there being two of them (Night Princes), each with a battalion of the dead army. ☺

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    22. All of this has me thinking this is definitely going to be rushed. The WW take 67 episodes to cross into Westeros and now they’re going down in Episode 3 ? I mean, it’s pretty clear that Episode 3 is THE big White Walker episode. It seems like it’ll be the climax, at least from an action standpoint, of that entire plot thread. It’ll just be underwhelming, if so.

      I want to see what Old Nan talked about in Season 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zECQXn6yFms&pbjreload=10
      The LONG Night. Obviously they can’t have it last an entire generation, but it could be weeks or possibly months. Months of night and snow, as the WW “move through the woods”, slaughtering and conquering.

      That’s what I personally want to see. I feel like you’d have needed 6 or 7 episodes to properly tell that kind of story. 3 is just way too short, and it probably won’t even be 3 whole episodes with all the other stuff going on (Jon’s parentage, Cersei, Theon, etc…).

      I really feel like they may have mismanaged these last two Seasons. I mean, very little of consequence actually happened in Season 7. The first four episodes are a war between Cersei and Dany that has no consequence whatsoever. Dany doesn’t conquer any lands. She takes Casterly Rock and that’s it. She can’t even hold it. All she really does is burn food and Lannister men.

      Episode 5 was moving people into position, traveling, etc…
      Episode 6 was basically all in the North, and Episode 7 was a summit.

      7 hours of TV just so Olenna and Littlefinger can die, Yara can get captured, and the Night King can get a dragon. Nothing else of genuine consequence actually happened.

      Maybe the WW should have arrived around the middle of Season 7. Then end the season with things looking bleak, as the Long Night has set in, and our characters are forced to retreat. Episode 7 could have been a massive defeat for our heroes taking place in the North.

      Then the first half of Season 8 deals with defeating the WW, while the second half ties up loose ends.
      I feel like this would have been more satisfying. We could have gotten 6 episodes of WW drama.

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    23. Clob,

      I think that’s entirely possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if the season opened with the Army of the Dead assaulting one of the major Northern strongholds, with the refugees turning up at Winterfell later in the episode or in the following episode.

      Nick20,

      I’m not worried about the Long Night / Army of the Dead storyline being rushed.

      When they initially announced that they were only going to film 13 episodes in the final two seasons I was worried. But now I’ve come to accept that it’s entirely reasonable and practical for it to be resolved swiftly.

      Mainly because an unrelenting undead army, with a dragon-riding general and the ability to regenerate its numbers from all that they kill doesn’t exactly align with a long, drawn-out conquest.

      They would unquestionably win any battle where Dany’s dragons (or perhaps Bran, depending on what powers he exhibits) aren’t present, increasing their numbers in the process.

      The winter would fundamentally undermine the human armies’ ability to fight, travel and feed themselves; not to mention the rest of the civilian population.

      From a storytelling and production process, I’m not sure how such a war could be depicted or filmed anyway. I mean, look at what they have had to do with Season 8, just so that they can include these humongous, CGI-laden, 55-day battle shoots. They had to push the season back an entire year!

      And let’s not forget, GRRM supposedly plans to release only two more books and, as I understand it, most of the novels’ story threads are still lurking around the end of Season 5 / middle of Season 6 compared to the show and the White Walkers have barely appeared at all.

      He dedicated two books to the War of the Five Kings, yet he’s going to depict an incredible continent-wide conflict between the living and the dead in the two remaining novels, even though one of our protagonists is currently dead, many more aren’t even in Westeros and the antagonists have yet to fully appear?

      I doubt it.

      If I fear anything being rushed, it’s the personal relationships, politics and resolution.

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    24. Interesting you talk about people associated with the North as I was expecting to lose Jorah, Greyworm, Tormund and maybe Jamie so only one from the North. I feel Ghost is a good shout though. I’m struggling to think of others perhaps Beric, Ed but I have a feeling we will lose one of those earlier than this big battle.

      Of course we could lose small part characters like some of the Northern lords but not convinced there is significant character investment for those to make much of a difference. Thinking back is Ygritte the biggest character we’ve lost in a battle so far?

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    25. I’d say it’s likely the battle will be drawn out over at least three episodes and the in the first we will see the White Walkers winning by defeating the Nights Watch and Umbers/Karstarks before they reach Winterfell. Minor spoiler/speculation

      I think the Unsullied may meet them in the open field too

      which would likely be episode two if I am correct. Of course for all we know this may run all six episodes, the only thing we know for sure is there will be a big battle in episode three no idea of the outcome.

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    26. Clob: Oops, I edited and put the new text within the quote. :/ not used to posting with my phone.

      In the back of my mind I would still like the twist of there being two of them (Night Princes), each with a battalion of the dead army. ☺

      I don’t think that the moment at Hardhome can really be topped for ol NK. His raising of the dead while staring down Jon, that expression, the silence at the end of the episode…it was just so bloody good. Nothing against Furdik as an actor, but he doesn’t have the same narrow, steely-eyed features.

      Your idea of 2 NKs (or NPs) is stellar! 😀

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    27. I would imagine we will see the battle of Winterfell through the eyes of Jon (bound to be involved in fighting), Arya (again I think she will fight), Jamie/Brienne (fighting), Dany (could be fighting), Sansa (likely in hiding) and Sam (in hiding). You could throw in the Hound, Jorah and Greyworm too but I’d guess they are the probable victims if they are not dead before. The other one is potentially Bran.

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    28. Nick20,

      There’s enough time, look at for instance Lord of the Rings. Count how many battles there are with the orcs/uruk hai and how long they are. You don’t need a very long battle, you need a good set-up.

      Jon Snowed,

      +1 and maybe the end of the NK is a smaller battle but still an important one, look at return of the Kings, first the big battle for Gondor, but Sauron is not defeated there. He will be defeated later in the movie, on a smaller-battle-scale. But a more emotional scale. The End of the Night King must not be big battle, but a big emotional resolution.

      Pigeon,

      Still one of my favorite episode of the show. Only WoW will top that one for me.

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    29. I am sure Sam would like to help but he’s far from a fighter he’d be far better off guarding little Sam, Gilly, Sansa and Missandei in my view.

      It would be interesting if Sam is the one to defeat the Nights King although I do feel it will almost certainly be Jon given all the build up, especially the stare at Hardholme.

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    30. kevin1989:
      Nick20,

      There’s enough time, look at for instance Lord of the Rings. Count how many battles there are with the orcs/uruk hai and how long they are. You don’t need a very long battle, you need a good set-up.

      ‘+1 and maybe the end of the NK is a smaller battle but still an important one, look at return of the Kings, first the big battle for Gondor, but Sauron is not defeated there. He will be defeated later in the movie, on a smaller-battle-scale. But a more emotional scale. The End of the Night King must not be big battle, but a big emotional resolution’.

      I’ve been having some concerns like Nick20, but what you write here, sounds entirely plausible to me.
      I believe and have written before, that NK must reach KL, or else the story makes no sense!
      The NK and whitewalkers vs the Living theme is so deeply weaved within the fabric of the story, that taking them out like that in an episode having hardly reached Winterfell, cancels everything that has been worked on the story for such a long time. The main points of the story are Jon, Dany and the WW/Nk, if you take them out too soon, then there’s no story left to tell.

      So, if we assume that the NK/WW are defeated with whatever cost at ep 3 all that would be left would be whoever is alive, takes down Cercei and co and takes the throne. Very anti climatic at the least – most important to my view it would destroy the core of the storytelling itself.

      But what you say here, would make sense: NK and co reaching KL and a hero/heroine (or a company of heroes and heroines) doing what needs to be done to take him down and save the world. Cercei and co and the Throne, aren’t the center of the story anymore, as the story has moved beyond the sphere of the mundane human affairs to a matter of life and death – as it was at the LoR end too. So, I expect that on episode 5 (which is also directed by Sapochnik): not a grand scale battle per se but something equivalent to what you write.
      And then on ep6 the aftermath of the resolution. 🙂

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    31. I’m sure other people have said this and I’m gonna join them. If this battle is the defeat of the NK/WWs, what will they do for the remaining three episodes? The fighting between normal humans is the bit I love best but they’ve been really skimming through that and there aren’t that many warring factions left. Hoping for a good resolution to Cersei/Euron vs everyone else but most of the other plots have been resolved by death or people accepting they have to band together to defeat the greater enemy. Going back to squabbling after that will be an anti-climax.

      I can imagine there might be a time jump to show how things settle down after the initial fighting, recovery of the remaining characters, what happens to any loveboat conceived offspring etc, but that would only be one episode tops surely, not half a series?

      Usual of course I could be COMPLETELY wrong disclaimer here 😀

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    32. I try not to dwell on bits of the show I thought were a bit disappointing, mostly because there are so few but I have to say replacing Richard Brake as night king has impacted the show. The new guy just doesn’t cut it for me.

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    33. Lame as hell if the AOTD and the NK are defeated by episode 3. 7 seasons of massive buildup for him and his army to finally cross the wall….and they’re all defeated 3 episodes later? I certainly hope not.

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    34. I find it kinda depressing that after 7 seasons and all that we’ve seen on the show, people seem to want or expect a generic fantasy conclusion where the good guys defeat the supernatural bad guys in a climactic battle, the victor is named king/queen and fade to black.

      Nah, I really hope there’s a bunch of twists and betrayals and surprise defeats and surprise alliances, etc etc etc.

      I think Jaime and Cersei hinted at the direction of Season 8 in the Season 7 finale:

      Cersei: “If dragons can’t stop them. If Dothraki and Unsullied and Northmen can’t stop them. How will our armies make a difference?”

      (She’s actually underestimating. It’s dragons, Dothraki, Unsullied, Northmen, Knights of the Vale, Wildlings, a weirwood god, all the Valyrian steel in Westeros and the only cache of dragonglass weapons in Westeros)

      But if they lose, the smallfolk of King’s Landing and what’s left of the substantially gutted armies of the Reach/Riverlands/Stormlands and the Golden Company are going to band together to defeat the Army of the Dead instead? Hmm…

      Jaime: “When the fighting in The North is over, someone wins. You understand that, don’t you? If the dead win, they march south and kill us all. If the living win and we’ve betrayed them, they march south and kill us all”
      Cersei: “The Targaryens and the Starks already want to kill us all. Most of them will die in The North”

      Someone will win in The North and the living will take major losses regardless.

      If the Night King wins, how do the decimated armies of Jon and Dany go about allying with an intransigent Cersei or capturing King’s Landing before the final showdown?

      If the living win, then in their weakened and perhaps divided state there’s potential for an intense final showdown with Cersei over King’s Landing.

      Personally, I just can’t really see them deciding upon two battles against the Army of the Dead a couple of episodes apart, especially sieges, while the human, political conflicts that have been so integral to this show take a backseat to a generic fantasy conclusion.

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    35. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Ultimately, I don’t see a human “victory” at the end of this. I see a heartbreaking sacrifice to give the NK what he wants in order to return to the shadows back north of the wall. Possibly boatbaby and/or little Sam and/or Cersei’s child.

      If the army of the north remaining in the north is enough to defeat the NK at Winterfell now, all of the sacrifice to “petty squabbles” throughout all of the seasons of the show are meaningless. Robb losing 20k northmen going south is meaningless. Jon killing another ?7k? in BOB is meaningless. There’s no actual “cost” to any of it and the constant undercurrent of the “real threat” in politics of the show was, itself, a red herring. The bill on all of the petty squabbles has to come due in the end. Which IMO = “almost” having enough power to defeat the NK. But falling short. And the surviving characters all having to deal with the blame that is rightly laid at each of their feet for the wars of men that they fought in the first place.

      It probably won’t go that way. Too bitter. Not sweet at all. But it’s how it “should” go.

      If not, we definitely need to see the remaining forces of the realm to show up to help. The Tyrells and Tarlys were defeated. Where is the remaining strength of the Reach? The Hightowers? ETC. Where are the Yronwoods and Daynes? There’s just been a huge glossing over of “everyone else” the last season or two that has harmed the feasibility of the show. I guess they gave up all hopes of feasibility in putting Cersei and the Sneks in charge given their actions and how no one in those societies as established would have fell in line and let their various crimes go unchecked. And they didn’t have dragons or likely the support of their bannermen. But that’s a tangential argument.

      When facing a global threat, the globe comes to the fight. Lose in the north, retreat. Everyone else shows up for the battle at the central location(KL). Win or lose there(I suspect the show gives us a human victory) you can’t have 60k+ able-bodied fighters sitting it out just chillin down in Oldtown and Dorne and the ending make sense to the people that actually paid the most attention along the way.

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    36. I see a lot of comments about Bran not making it out of this huge battle. I also agree but I think we could see how powerful he is now as he wargs multiple dead friendlys from the battlefield almost in polar opposition to what we see the NK do at HH. They will battle the AotD and buy the remaining heroes time to escape south.

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    37. Bran is only at risk because of his disability and that he has no way to get out quickly if the humans are defeated a widely expected. It’s more than possible he can flee south though and survive until the very end.

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    38. Reading these comments about the guesses about who is going to die in this battle made it all very real to me quite suddenly. Picturing a battle between the living and the dead and watching those emotional, distraught moments with characters reacting to other characters’ deaths just became very vivid to me. Imagine Tormund dying, with Jon at his side, only to be wightified moments later and go after Jon… honestly, it sends a shiver down my spine. I too predict we will lose quite a few supporting characters in that big battle (possibly even a main one – thinking maybe Jaime and/or Brienne – not sure why, but I have a bad feeling about them).

      As for how the episodes go for the season, I don’t think that a big battle in episode 3 necessarily means the end of the NK. I do suspect that most of the AOTD will be wiped out.

      During the filming season we saw Winterfell burning. At the time many of us thought that was a trap for the AOTD and that a large percentage of the NK’s army might be wiped out.

      I don’t think the NK or most of his WW will be killed in episode 3 though. I reckon they escape the battle on dragon/horse back with a much smaller army to return later in the series – possibly after the Cersei/GC/Euron threat has been resolved – one way or another? That battle would leave plenty of fresh dead to replenish the NK army. However, for that second battle if the dead vs the living, I wouldn’t imagine the same action packed take on it (as this would unessarily repeat episode 3), but perhaps by this point team North & Co. have found a way to kill/reason with the NK and we will see this small-scale enterprise set against the back drop of a larger battle. I’m guessing that takes place episode 6.

      I love not knowing what’s coming, but I keep realising how traumatic it’s going to be to lose characters we love, so maybe it’s good there’s still 5 months to imagine everyone stays safe and the NK decides that actually, he doesn’t want to kill everyone after all and what he really wants is to go back north and leave our fan-favourites the hell alone.

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    39. I’m thinking it may be possible that the NK & his army bypass WF almost entirely (something to do with the crypts/Starks buried there/Bran/magic)

      He heads straight to KL, battle ensues, Cersei somehow ends up being the Night Queen ?

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    40. Che,

      I can just imagine a scenario where Tormund is dying and he tells Jon right before he dies to burn his body so he can’t come back as a wight.

      It’s going to be quite emotional for sure!

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    41. MaesterMercy,

      The NK may try to bypass Winterfell purely because of strategic reasons: Winterfell is well prepared, so attacking it will be risky. Meanwhile, passing by will put Jon in disadvantage: he will have to go on pursuit into an open field, some of his bannerman may object and most probably will, there will be a mess, etc.

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    42. 1) Jon Snowed,

      So you figure Tyrion will be…home knitting?

      Expect Tyrion and Jaime to figure heavily in planning/leading the battle. If Peter Dinklage is on set, he will not be hiding with the women and children. I expect a war council – not leadership by Jon, warden of the north.

      I cannot wait to see their faces when they see the NK’s dragon!

      2) Tron79,

      I also expect that someone unexpected will give the final blow to the NK. Candidates include Sam, Arya and the Kingslayer. I expect at least an exchange with Jon though.

      3) I assumed that the battles would have started in Episode 2 at least at the far reaches of the North – poor last hearth. The Wall is now down and the NK can move quickly. I wonder how they are going to handle NK new speedier transport with the dead slow pace of the ATOD.

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    43. I would not bet on Bran diying. This book series has Bran as the first POV chapter and I bet heavily on the last chapter being a Bran POV chapter.

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    44. Che: I don’t think the NK or most of his WW will be killed in episode 3 though. I reckon they escape the battle on dragon/horse back with a much smaller army to return later in the series

      It’s difficult to imagine the NK retreating isn’t it? He and the WW, as well as the wight, seem more like a machine with no fear or self-preservation. The wight obviously don’t have it. Perhaps that will be the reason that the living will prevail, and do so in quicker fashion than one would imagine. The NK doesn’t appear to care about the loss of his dead troops so he can just send them all with no strategy. That would be a mistake against adequate numbered and prepared defenses. It would seem a little silly for him to just stand there though after his army dwindles to nothing. Still, I don’t think we’ll see him retreat – win or be killed… It seems many to most have been thinking that he overwhelms Winterfell, the survivors retreat and he continues on southward after them where he’s defeated later.

      If there is a specific goal and/or destination other than ‘just’ wiping out all of the living one would think he’d head directly towards it and fight until he achieves whatever it is. I think we’re accurately assuming he does go to Winterfell. Is that a primary point of interest because of Bran the Builder’s descendants or simply because that’s where most of the living in the North are congregating?

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    45. The Whitewalkers skipping Winterfell won’t be happening, whilst there are no credible spoilers and we know very little about what happens we do know a large battle will take place there.

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    46. To be honest I simply forgot about Tyrion but I just cannot see him in the direct fighting or Sam. Yes they are both brave and I recognise Tyrion led the vanguard at Blackwater but we need to be realistic, they are simply not fighters and they’d be meat for the Night Kings army in no time. Jon on the other hand is the leader of the humans and very likely acknowledged as rightful heir to the throne by the point this goes down. I am sure those who support him will urge him not to fight but he’s just not that personality and I’m certain he will be involved in the thick of it.

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    47. I really don’t see any scenario where Cersei or her baby are given to the Nights King, or she even becomes the Night Queen. Based upon what little we know I’d guess she will die in the final few episodes either via some trial or in trying to blow up Kings Landing to defend it against the Nights King/Dany.

      As for victory, I’m sure that will happen but only at great cost. I expect a lot of death and destruction and how things are rebuilt and stabilised will form the content of the final episode.

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    48. Inga:
      MaesterMercy,

      The NK may try to bypass Winterfell purely because of strategic reasons: Winterfell is well prepared, so attacking it will be risky. Meanwhile, passing by will put Jon in disadvantage: he will have to go on pursuit into an open field, some of his bannerman may object and most probably will, there will be a mess, etc.

      Hi Inga *waving as usual*
      I think you’ve just inadvertently hit on a phrase which sums up all 8 series plus everything else that’s in the books 😀

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    49. Didn’t GRRM say he was surprised that Sauron was defeated earlier than expected in LOTR? If I recall he admired the fact that there was more story left after that and that’s where the bittersweet parts came in.

      I’m actually HOPING the WW are defeated earlier because they are boring as heck.

      Also

      isn’t Winterfell burning down? I really think Dany does it

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    50. MMJ:
      Didn’t GRRM say he was surprised that Sauron was defeated earlier than expected in LOTR? If I recall he admired the fact that there was more story left after that and that’s where the bittersweet parts came in.

      Yeah, I think season finale will be that bittersweet part. It’s directed by D&D (Ep. 5 by Miguel). So I don’t think there will be any battle in the last episode.

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    51. The Army of the Dead can be well south of Winterfell, yet the final confrontation of the living with the dead can still happen there.

      We’ve seen the NK surprise an unready and unsuspecting Bran in a green-seer vision. I speculate Bran will pay the NK back in kind: one or more green-seer “battles” in which Bran interferes with the NK’s visions, leading his army into traps or diversions which weaken the strength of the undead.

      The AOTD swarm past Winterfell, leaving it as an isolated island of humans in a sea of devastation. But Bran’s interference forces the NK to return to Winterfell, to kill Bran as he killed the previous 3ER. But Bran is the 3ER now, protected by Winterfell, Jaime, Brianne — and No One else.

      There, in “the place where Winter Fell,” Sam the Slayer removes the dragon glass from the body of the NK, just as the AOTD besiege King’s Landing. Cersei shows her gratitude by ordering the Lannister armies to burn Winterfell.

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