Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 “The Long Night” Written Recap Round-Up

Grey Worm Unsullied Season 8 803 The Long Night
The Long Night’ has come and gone, but one thing’s for sure: Criticism lasts forever. Heading into this roundup, I had a distinct feeling that this would be the most divisive episode yet. And reading over the reviews, boy was I right. For some, it was the action-packed epic it was promised to be, and nothing ill can be said against it. For others, it was a massive letdown, in which the lighting played no good part.

Every week, I’ll be deconstructing the multitude of reviews out there, boiling them down to one short summary sentence that will perfectly encapsulate what the original author was saying, no questions asked…and by that I mean that I will deconstruct whole essays down to one sentence apiece. What I will do is attempt to summarize the original review as best I can, and if my tease whets your appetite for their style of review, you are encouraged to head over to their site and let them know…after of course letting us know your thoughts in the comments below. All squared? Jolly good, let’s dive in.

Here at Watchers on the Wall, we encourage you to ‘Always Support the Bottom.’ This naturally extends to your support of our editor-in-chief Sue the Fury, and her ‘Sullied recap’ of the episode, in which her background knowledge of the books informs her perspective on the episode. Once you’ve done that, you would do well to support our peerless Oz of Thrones‘s ‘Unsullied recap,’ in which his fearless determination to avoid reading the books has outlasted all others, continuing on for 8 full seasons. After this, you can check out what these Internet critics thought of ‘The Long Night:

Akhil Arora, Gadgets 360 – In which he thinks that if you don’t think too much, the moment works quite well.

Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone – In which he does a deep dive into climactic killing of the Night King and why it fell flat for him.

Alex McLevy, The A.V. Club – In which he states the surviving members of this conflict were almost comically limited to identifiable characters.

Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post – In which she calls it a visual comprehensibility problem, whose persistent technical devilment culminated in what feels, at least on a first watch, like a nearly unmitigated artistic disaster.

Dave Gonzales, Thrillist –In which he argues the crypts end up being the least consequential thing in the episode, unless it was a way to set up a Sansa/Tyrion opposition to the upcoming Targaryen rule.

David Malitz, The Washington Post – In which he thinks that all things considered, this was a pretty straightforward episode without any left-field twists and turns.

David Rosenblatt, Squinty Overanalyzes Things – In which David – Hey wait, that’s me! I wrote this review. No free peeks. Go check it out!

Erin Keane, Salon – In which she thinks there was more than a solid hour of fighting between the living and the dead, some stretches more relentless than others, but punctuated with highly satisfying moments.

Hillary Kelly, Vulture – In which she says that this time we get the deus ex machina we deserve.

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly – In which he calls the relentless and mammoth battle a super-sized series of setpieces that never wore out its welcome and generated constant dread and nerve-wracking suspense.

Jeremy Egner, New York Times – In which he believes the episode exceeded all expectations.

Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair – In which she questions whether Lyanna really needed to die.

Josh Wigler, Hollywood Reporter – In which he goes over why the deaths matter.

Julia Alexander, The Verge – In which she says that there were few mic-dropping one-liners, but the number of people who could deliver those snarky comebacks was literally cut down, and most of the rest of the cast didn’t have the breath for wisecracks

Kathryn VanArendonk, Vulture – In which she tallies up the dead.

Kelly Lawler, USA Today – In which she found the battle deadly, beautiful, and disappointing.

Kim Renfro – Business Insider – In which she goes into detail on details you caught and details you missed.

Laura Hudson, WIRED – In which she questions the necessity and truth of prophecies.

Laura Stone, Hey Don’t Judge Me – In which she fittingly sends up the heroic Ser Jorah Mormont.

Lauren Sarner, New York Post – In which she goes over how the dead characters will inform the living characters’ forward momentum.

Lindsey Romain, Nerdist – In which she whittles down the characters to select the MVP of the episode.

Mark Perigard, Boston Herald – In which Bran telling Theon was a good man was the emotional highlight of a bloody, brutal episode.

Michael Rogeau, Gamespot – In which he thinks the long years of expert groundwork amounted to basically nothing.

Mike Bloom, Parade – In which the Battle of Winterfell is reported in the Westeros World News.

Neela Debnath, Express – In which, despite his gripes, he thinks there was never a dull moment and this is how you make a compelling, narratively cohesive battle sequence.

Rob Bricken, io9 – In which he notes that while the battle was incredibly epic, it was not quite perfect.

Ron Hogan, Den of Geek –In which he thinks the Dothraki torches being lit, only to be quickly extinguished was a brilliant shortcut to avoiding a lot of difficult horse combat.

Sarah Hughes, The Guardian – In which she says that the moment the Dothraki flaming weapons were extinguished was both emotional and beautifully shot by director Miguel Sapochnik, despite the show’s failure since Khal Drogo’s death to give even a couple of Dothraki individual personalities has long been one of the show’s biggest flaws

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – In which he praises the half-masterpiece that leaves us lingering with a “What happens next?” problem.

Soumya Srivastava, Hindustan Times – In which she enjoyed the episode but feels the victory feels cheap at the end considering we didn’t lose any main character.

Todd VanDerWerff, Vox – In which he looks at the six winners and six losers of the episode.

Tori Preston, Pajiba – In which she acknowledges that truly satisfying everyone all the time is basically impossible.

Verne Gay, Newsday – In which he crowns it an exhilarating and a spectacular technical achievement in its own right.

Thanks for joining this week. Whose reviews did you love/hate, with all due respect of course, and as always?

131 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. It was a great episode if you like nonsensical plot points, non-explanations, crappy cinematography, and 10 years of build-up ending in one knife stab.

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    2. The episode doesn’t even make the top 15 on the IMDb. Tells you all you need to know about how much the producers hyped it up and how it turned out,

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    3. I liked the episode. I thought it was tense and thrilling.

      And as a stand alone episode I might even say it was great. But as the culmination of the White Walker story, which has been in motion since the very first scene of the show and the very first chapter of the books, it was a massive letdown, and that’s why I only liked it but didn’t love it.

      All these years we’ve been talking about Winter, and the Long Night, and this was it ? One episode ? The Long Night was one night and one battle ?

      We’re never going to see the horrific and harsh winter that Old Nan told us about in Episode 3 of the first season ? The WW had no impact whatsoever on the rest of Westeros ?

      Dany and Jon played no significant role in the NK’s defeat ?

      No, I really can’t say that any of that is even remotely satisfying as the climax to this whole story.

      And the second big issue is indeed the lighting of the episode. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be at night with thick icy fog, but still, that’s no excuse for it to be this bad. Helm’s Deep was at night and in the rain, yet everything was completely visible. It’s all about lighting, and here I have to say that the DP just royally f*cked up.

      It is indeed a visual comprehensibility issue, which severely comprises our ability to appreciate what we’re “seeing”.

      So yeah, I’m gonna say it was an epic and enjoyable episode as an 80 minute fantasy battle, but it was also incredibly flawed, and a very weak resolution to the WW story.

      Not a good payoff to the years of build up about the Winter and the Long Night, which we will apparently never actually see.

      So much for the throne room covered in snow, and people freezing to death, and the whole country being decimated by harsh weather and genocidal ice demons. I guess next episode we’ll be back in our favorite summer resort, King’s Landing.

      The “Great War” just ended up being one fairly isolated and short battle.

      Oh, and the stakes also feel incredibly low now for the final 3 episodes.

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    4. Gawd, I love the GoT fandom. Those who hated Ep 2 loved this one, and vice versa. That outlook is one of the reasons I love this series. So many genre styles of TV…from character building and humor to downright horror and action and everything in-between.

      I love this series more than I care to admit, and even I have had some issues with plots and characters and dialogue choices in the past. This episode was not supposed to be a Cogman-style writing masterpiece. The plot was simply set-up…death is coming. Try to survive. And it delivered on all angles.

      Now comes the real focus where Game of Thrones hooked us all. The character-focused dynamic of KL and those crazy bastards. And I will criticize if characters such as Sansa and Bran continue to do very little. But until then…last night was a nice ride. Full of me drinking too much in honor of Jorah, Theon, Edd and Mel. And a bit for Lyanna.

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    5. Nick20,

      Those are sady kinda good points, most of them. (Jon and Daenerys did a lot of work, though I wish one of them died.)
      But overall the win was too easy, too many people survived, too little carnage done to Westeros as a whole.

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    6. Nick20,

      Although I disagree with most of what you outlined, I 100% agree with the upcoming conflict with KL. After what we just saw, why worry about Cersei and her band of freaks?? That will be interesting on how they resolve this. And I can’t handle Cersei and her smirk for much longer. Ugh.

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    7. I liked both Episode 2 & 3.

      Opinions are like a-holes…. everybody has one.

      This was a great episode. You can’t please everybody.

      The biggest problem is that people set themselves up for failure. They watch all these YouTube videos dissecting every hint of what will come. Most of the videos are wrong. But people hope that one thing will happen…. then something else does… and then boom…. they are let down.

      I enjoyed it. Cant wait to watch it again.

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    8. TOIVA:
      Nick20,

      Those are sady kinda good points, most of them. (Jon and Daenerys did a lot of work, though I wish one of them died.)
      But overall the win was too easy, too many people survived, too little carnage done to Westeros as a whole.

      That was easy? There was more carnage then the Battle of Pelennor Fields in LOTR. The Dothraki got basically wiped out. House Mormont got wiped out.

      Not sure what you were expecting.

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    9. Nick20: And the second big issue is indeed the lighting of the episode. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be at night with thick icy fog, but still, that’s no excuse for it to be this bad. Helm’s Deep was at night and in the rain, yet everything was completely visible. It’s all about lighting, and here I have to say that the DP just royally f*cked up.

      I couldn’t agree more 🙁

      There’s been quite a few dark scenes in GoT over the years, but this episode has to take the first prize in that respect! The battle scenes were bad enough, but down in the crypts it was even worse. I didn’t see the tombs of the Starks open up and the corpses now as wights attacking the people sheltering in there? Perhaps its my age and my eyesight is not so good.

      My daughter reckons one of them was Maester Lewin who as we know Osha killed at his request a few seasons back – Was that so?

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    10. So do people think we get the ever-so-hinted-at Jon / Dany marriage next episode? With the Dothraki basically gone, she needs Northern support more than ever.

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    11. The amount of people who had very detailed and highly emotional attachment to their fan-fic of how this war would end is truly astounding. People REALLY thought that:
      – Jon had to be the one that would kill the NK
      – This would happen in the final or penultimate episode
      – All of Westeros would be destroyed

      Did these people never read about how GRRM thought that Tolkien did it wrong by not focusing more on what came after the “BIG” conflict?

      We are now firmly in “A Dream of Spring” territory, and we have 3 long episodes left! This is a wonderful surprise. I really have almost no clue about what will come next, and that is WONDERFUL. This season rocks!

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    12. The Bastard,

      This has nothing to do with youtube videos. I don’t watch youtube and I didn’t like it.

      The Long Night is the 3rd LOWEST ranked GOT episode EVER on rottentomatoes (behind only Bear and Maiden Fair and Unbowed Unbent Unbroken). Thats not a youtube problem.

      It was a disjointed, nonsensical, poorly written cinematography nightmare that was too dark/snowy and jumped unevenly from scene to scene… replete with too many deus ex machinas….a horrible ending to the main threat of the story since Episode 1 scene 1….no explanations for Mel/Bran/NK/WW are coming…. Jon staring down a dragon… Dothraki are a throwaway…No goodbye words for Beric or Jorah?…Crypt “surprise” amounted to nothing…Bran warging amounted to nothing…. no ‘surprise’ deaths… Never felt like any main characters were in real danger… I’d watch Episode 2 many times before I’d watch this again.

      There are 3 episodes to possibly fix it but I can’t see how they can.

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    13. Now we just sic Arya out to kill Cercei and Euron (seemingly pretty easy compared to the Night King), and Jon, Daenerys, and Sansa can spend the last two episodes duking it out over who rules who.

      I don’t think the gods of the old or the new care too much at this point. Now it’s just life in the Westerosi-hood.

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    14. I’m happy the zombie story is over. It was never the heart of the story and it was always going to end before the “game of thrones”/Iron Throne resolution. How anyone can say they hoped the next 2 episodes featured the unrelenting attack of the dead after how fatiguing this episode was is beyond me.

      The problem is in how the WW were defeated, not when. I love Arya the character, but there is no way you can convince me that she will be AA Reborn/TpwwP in the books. It feels like all of the prophecies from the books were thrown in the trash in favor of a shocking twist. D&D say as much in the inside the episode video. Jon was too obvious for them, so they made the decision 3 years ago, around the time they were writing season 7, for Arya to be the one to defeat the show’s version of the Others. That is just maddening to me.

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    15. The Bastard,

      There ya go.

      My wife is not a book reader of the series. Most of my friends are the same and are not as obsessive as I am with the heavy details and prophecies and such. So expectations are tempered and are not on a fan board daily…like someone, uh, this guy who should be working. I digress.

      The masses rejoiced and had a helluva good time! Sure, everyone should have died. That MIGHT have appeased everyone who didn’t like the episode. But we are so damn spoiled with production and this series. I also wish every episode had masterful writing and cohesive plots but whatever. I’m enjoying myself immensely b/c this will never happen again. I’m sure The Witcher and Wheel of Time will attempt to do the same but we are living in a lucky time with some GoT amazement.

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    16. Myles McNutt at AV Club:
      “The component pieces of a strong battle episode were all here, but something about the choices involved—the number of deaths, the aesthetic chaos, the pacing—turned this nightmare into the kind where you wake up, briefly feel overwhelmed by the terror, and then gradually piece together what happened and realize that it wasn’t as substantive as you initially thought it was.”

      https://www.avclub.com/game-of-thrones-descends-into-a-nightmare-from-which-it-1834369261

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    17. Procyonpi:
      So do people think we get the ever-so-hinted-at Jon / Dany marriage next episode? With the Dothraki basically gone, she needs Northern support more than ever.

      No. The preview shows Euron proposing to Cersei, so I do expect that royal wedding. It’s an hour and 18 minutes, so they need something besides AeJon/Dany and the gang getting ready to go to KL.

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    18. Ryan:
      The Bastard,

      This has nothing to do with youtube videos. I don’t watch youtube and I didn’t like it.

      The Long Night is the 3rd LOWEST ranked GOT episode EVER on rottentomatoes (behind only Bear and Maiden Fair and Unbowed Unbent Unbroken).Thats not a youtube problem.

      It was a disjointed, nonsensical, poorly written cinematography nightmare that was too dark/snowy and jumped unevenly from scene to scene… replete with too many deus ex machinas….a horrible ending to the main threat of the story since Episode 1 scene 1….no explanations for Mel/Bran/NK/WW are coming…. Jon staring down a dragon… Dothraki are a throwaway…No goodbye words for Beric or Jorah?…Crypt “surprise” amounted to nothing…Bran warging amounted to nothing…. no ‘surprise’ deaths… Never felt like any main characters were in real danger… I’d watch Episode 2 many times before I’d watch this again.

      There are 3 episodes to possibly fix it but I can’t see how they can.

      Everybody I know who has a good TV had no problem with the darkness of the episode. I have a 4K TV and streamed it through HBO Now which has solid but not great quality. And the scenes were perfectly fine.

      I put zero stock into RT TV reviews. It has never been a good site for those and it borderline on laughable that anybody would use them.

      The episode were nearly perfect. Most of what happened was foreshadowed (in hindsight) by previous seasons.

      I imagine this would be the same reaction that people would have of the Red Wedding if there wasn’t books behind it to justify it.

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    19. Iceman240857,

      Exactly. You know what’s up.

      This is once in a lifetime type of season and has so far delivered on all levels only 3 episodes in.

      The hardcore fans think themselves into a corner and are almost guaranteed to hate it no matter what happens. A real shame.

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    20. The Bastard,

      What was foreshadowed? Arya? I’ve got no problem with Arya being the one to kill NK …. but “The Great War” lasted about 5 hours and the biggest threat to humanity was killed in one second, and we have very little insight into the mystery of the NK/WW/Bran as well as Mel and Lord of Light etc…. maybe well get it but I doubt it.

      There are plenty of people complaining about it being too dark. Not just me.

      And I put a lot more stock into RT reviewers as they are (mostly) actually professionals vs. people who “watch youtube videos” for plot discussions. The episode is also not anywhere near the top of IMDB episodes for GOT. It was a technical marvel, yes, but not nearly a perfect episode.

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    21. The Bastard: That was easy? There was more carnage then the Battle of Pelennor Fields in LOTR.The Dothraki got basically wiped out. House Mormont got wiped out.

      Not sure what you were expecting.

      Hmm, I dunno, I thought Pelennor Fields was way more epic.

      But yes, overall, it was too easy compared with what it should have been, in my opinion. The Winter and Long Night basically amounted to one short battle. That’s not much of a “Great War”.

      Go back to Old Nan’s scene with Bran in Season 1 Episode 3. She describes in frightening detail what Winter really is.

      “Fear is for the Winter, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep. Fear is for the Long Night, when the sun hides for years, and children are born, and live, and die, all in darkness. That is the time for fear, my little Lord. When the White Walkers move through the woods.

      Thousands of years ago there came a night that lasted a generation. Kings froze to death in their castles, same as the shepherds in their huts, and women smothered their babies rather than see them starve, and wept, and felt the tears freeze on their cheeks.

      In that darkness the White Walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders, big as hounds.”

      Now tell me, do you feel like the implicit promise of that scene was fulfilled ? And no I’m not asking to see ice spiders or to have years of night.

      But a few weeks of it ? People freezing to death and starving ? All of Westeros buried in snow, and covered in darkness ? White Walkers sweeping through cities ?

      Yeah, I definitely expected that, and I’d be shocked if GRRM isn’t planning on portraying that (not that we’re likely to ever read it).

      I expected the WW to affect all of Westeros. I expected the Winter and Long Night to threaten humanity on a huge scale. Instead it was one night, one episode, one battle, and one stab to the NK that ended it all.

      Yes, it’s underwhelming, and far too easy.

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    22. Ryan: The Long Night is the 3rd LOWEST ranked GOT episode EVER on rottentomatoes (behind only Bear and Maiden Fair and Unbowed Unbent Unbroken). Thats not a youtube problem.

      It has an average rating of 8.96, that’s high! The % is about the amount of positive reviews.

      If every critic would give a movie a 6 it would have 100% approval rating, but the movie would still be mediocre.

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    23. Black Raven: My daughter reckons one of them was Maester Lewin who as we know Osha killed at his request a few seasons back – Was that so?

      I believe the crypt is for dead Starks, not for their household.

      Furthermore, They found Lewin dying in the godswood after WF burnt. Then they left to head North. So there’s no way Osha somehow moved Lewin’s body back to the smoldering ruins of Winterfell to somehow bury him in the crypts.

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    24. The battle for the one ring at the end of LOTR pales in comparison compared to the battles of middle earth in the past. Did that make those battles less epic?

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    25. The Bastard,

      And I’m the poster child of a hard core fan. But man…when you have real-life military leaders posting about the attack and defend details??? Daaaamn. GoT is for REAL on another level.

      Now, I WAS saying….”Hey, maybe they should have had the Dothraki behind the main dudes and attacking from sides or something.” So let’s go with that thought…why didn’t NK take a contingent and go around WF to hit from behind? If he knew where Bran was, why didn’t he focus on just that wall and send everyone there? Why didn’t the good guys just start sending trebuchet shots immediately to light them up and get an idea of what they were seeing? Why didn’t NK just send in giants early? Why didn’t NK bring some dead on his dragon to drop them into WF to cause panic and chaos? Or drop them in on Bran?

      I could spend all day with “what if’s” and “whys”. But I’m exhausted.

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    26. The Bastard:
      The battle for the one ring at the end of LOTR pales in comparison compared to the battles of middle earth in the past. Did that make those battles less epic?

      We were never promised that we’d see something on the level of what happened to Middle-Earth in the past.

      With this story, every season has been building up the horror of the Long Night and the Winter, and emphasizing that it’s coming again and that it will be brutal.

      Again, there’s a scene in Season 1 Episode 3 where Maester Aemon predicts that this will be a very long and harsh winter. Both the books and show state that they just had the longest summer in living memory, and that this means an even longer winter.

      All of this is foreshadowing that when winter comes in the main story, it will be a big deal, and will affect the whole continent. There’s no doubt in my mind that GRRM plans (emphasis on the word “plans”) for it to be a very large scale event. It won’t all take place between Last Hearth and Winterfell over the course of a few days.

      In short, the show gave an extremely small resolution to what was foreshadowed to be a huge conflict.

      Again, we’ve been building to it for so long. What did it amount to ? The WW were in all of like 8 episodes in the entire series.

      If this is how their story ends, then what was even the point of the winter/Long Night plot to begin with ? It affected nothing, changed nothing. The rest of the kingdoms will continue to be blissfully unaware of the horror that they were saved from.

      They honestly could have removed the WW from the show entirely, because at this point, it’s very hard to see what purpose they actually served in the story. They were a big boogieman that never really lived up to the hype. They feel like a distraction that was thrown in for some cool zombie action and nothing more.

      No substance, no depth.

      If that works for you then fine, I’m genuinely glad you liked it, but it’s totally reasonable for others to say that it absolutely did not work for them.

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    27. Tomasz Kubienn:
      The episode doesn’t even make the top 15 on the IMDb. Tells you all you need to know about how much the producers hyped it up and how it turned out,

      Currently a 9.4 versus a 8.9 for last week’s and right in the same range as some of the best in the series… Anything in the mid-9’s is superior. But yeah, it was an utter failure. Maybe you can take your negativity and aim it towards something constructive… elsewhere.

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    28. I had to make sure Hillary Kelly didn’t mention that maybe the waif is Arya again. Nope, not a hint of such nonsense. 😛

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    29. Ryan,
      Well said. I wholeheartedly agree with your comment. I don’t either watch youtube videos with most outladish theories.

      I was just bored. And that is a feeling that I can’t remember I ever had watching GOT (well, “Beyond the wall” was boring as well). Everything dragged. I don’t even remember any good character moments at all. The whole crypt thing was preposterous. But most of all, no one effing talked! I rewatched E2 multiple times, I’ll pass on this one.

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    30. Much like episode 1 it was rushed and mushed. But Overall way better than episode one but not as good as episode 2.

      Arya killing the NK was way too contrived.
      Mellisandra walking off at the end after lighting a few fires was a terrible letdown.
      The hard to see fight scenes were laborious.
      The music was not epic as has been before and became tiresome.
      Bran was still a loser and DID NOTHING! but for some reasons actual had a human emotion towards Theon of all people.
      Ghost did nothing.
      Sansa did nothing but still whine about Dany saving everyone and having to bend a knee.
      Davos did nothing but did get a front row seat for the carnage.

      I was really hoping things were getting better after episode 2 but they really are just rushing it and trying to give WOW moments that add nothing or do not follow the story. Should have just skipped the show and waited on the books. No way Martin blows it this badly!

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    31. The Bastard: That was easy? There was more carnage then the Battle of Pelennor Fields in LOTR.The Dothraki got basically wiped out. House Mormont got wiped out.

      Not sure what you were expecting.

      But LotR is basically a fairy tale. Except for the hobbits, good guys win and rule and bad guys are defeated (some hobbits keep wearing a heavy burden).
      GoT was a ruthless realistic take on the story.
      Personally I would have been fine with Westeros being devastated and survivors fleeing to Essos and various islands. Like Valyria was destroyed or Númenor in LotR.
      Since that would probably be a tad too dark for many people, I was at least expecting most of the named characters to die, only a couple did, which was very far from realistic.

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    32. Nick20,

      You act like that was the first and only time we’ve seen the White Walkers in action, but that is not the case. Besides last night, we’ve had four other spectacular White Walker sequences. The characters in the show have been fighting the Great War for a while. Winterfell was the perfect place for a final stand. The Greatest army Westeros has ever seen was gathered there, they were armed to the teeth with dragonglass and other wight/White Walker killing weapons, the defenses were in place, and they had two dragons at their disposal. Once the dead breached the wall, retreat became impossible. Not only that, but if they didn’t defeat them then, then where and how?

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    33. TOIVA,

      They couldn’t have too many deaths, or it would have been cheap. As it was, we lost 3 main cast members, three supporting characters, and one recurring character in a single episode. I can’t think of another television show that has ever done that.

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    34. TheWalkingWolf: Sansa did nothing but still whine about Dany saving everyone and having to bend a knee.

      She did nothing of the sort. She just pointed out that Tyrion an her would have differernt loyalties. Please don’t invent things. The writing was bad enough as it is.

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    35. Young Dragon gets it.

      People act like this was the one and only battle. The white walkers have been attacking for years. They won the battle on the first of the first men. They won the battle of hard home. They won the battle beyond the wall where the night king got his dragon. They were up 3-0 before losing.

      I sometimes wonder what show people are watching when they are being so critical.

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    36. Young Dragon:
      TOIVA,

      They couldn’t have too many deaths, or it would have been cheap. As it was, we lost 3 main cast members, three supporting characters, and one recurring character in a single episode. I can’t think of another television show that has ever done that.

      Theon, Jorah and ? Beric, Edd, Mel and Lyanna were all supporting and I would’nt even call Theon and Jorah “main”. They’ve been there since Season 1, but AeJon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya, Cersei, Sansa, Jaime are the “core 7”.

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    37. Young Dragon,

      Well on the contrary, it feels too cheap as many characters that should realistically have died didn’t. It feels like they had plot armor, like a usual TV show.
      Jaime and Brienne, for instance, completed their arc previous episode. They should have died. All the characters that were on the front line outside of Winterfell should have died. And seeing those few named characters being the only ones standing when Jon was rushing to Bran was very disappointing. How is Jaime somehow one to survive when thousands other trained soldiers with both good hands died?

      I mean don’t take me wrong, it was a good episode and great battle, but it could have been so much better. It ends up feeling very anticlimactic.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Iceman240857:
      Gawd, I love the GoT fandom.Those who hated Ep 2 loved this one, and vice versa.That outlook is one of the reasons I love this series. So many genre styles of TV…from character building and humor to downright horror and action and everything in-between.

      I love this series more than I care to admit, and even I have had some issues with plots and characters and dialogue choices in the past.This episode was not supposed to be a Cogman-style writing masterpiece.The plot was simply set-up…death is coming.Try to survive.And it delivered on all angles.

      Now comes the real focus where Game of Thrones hooked us all.The character-focused dynamic of KL and those crazy bastards.And I will criticize if characters such as Sansa and Bran continue to do very little. But until then…last night was a nice ride.Full of me drinking too much in honor of Jorah, Theon, Edd and Mel.And a bit for Lyanna.

      I loved both.

      Reader since the 90’s.

      Also been here since 2010 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    39. Show kills off more main characters then any other show in TV history….

      Internet fans complain not enough death.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Jack Bauer 24,

      I said main cast members, not main characters. Melisandre was a main cast member. Beric, Lyanna, and Edd have been a big part of the show, so I consider them supporting, though I would understand if you didn’t. Alys Karstark was the recurring character, though I don’t believe her death has been absolutely confirmed yet.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Nick20,

      +1

      As much as I love this series, and as much of a brilliant spectacle as this episode was, S8 is proving to be as rushed and sometimes illogical as S7 was. D&D did much better working from the outside in, adapting existing material, than they’re doing working from the inside out, fleshing out the skeleton.

        Quote  Reply

    42. TOIVA,

      Why? There were less than 30 named characters among 100,000 other warriors, six of those characters being in the crypt and away from the actual fighting. Danerys lost a huge chunk of her forces, but there being survivors isn’t plot armor, because there are survivors of every battle.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Wolfish,

      I couldn’t disagree more. The pacing of this season has been incredible, much better than last season. If they keep this up, this may become my favorite season.

        Quote  Reply

    44. To my surprise, I agree with the Squinty One pretty much word for word.

      With the exception of hide and seek in the Library. Arya has Jon Snow levels of plot armour (see: the Waif) and I just never had any feeling of her being in actual peril. That’s a sad comment to make on a series like Thrones, which boasts of its unpredictability.

      I would also like to ask: is Ghost dead? Where was Pod? What happened to Rhaegal? Actually wait, is that one Rhaegal? These damn dragons are identical and I can’t see a thing. Oh look the all crypt redshirts are dead and somehow Sansa isn’t. I need a sherry.

        Quote  Reply

    45. David – Thank you so much for these short and sweet summary sentences! I appreciate how much work you must put into these post-episode posts and how much time you save me as I cherry pick what reviews I want to read off the “menu” you have prepared. Thanks!

        Quote  Reply

    46. Young Dragon:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      I said main cast members, not main characters. Melisandre was a main cast member. Beric, Lyanna, and Edd have been a big part of the show, so I consider them supporting, though I would understand if you didn’t. Alys Karstark was the recurring character, though I don’t believe her death has been absolutely confirmed yet.

      I agree that Beric and Edd have been a big part of the show, but Lyanna? No, not really. She was in a handful of scenes and played a one note character until last night.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Young Dragon,

      This is exactly where I am at. Westoros doesn’t stand a chance if Winterfell falls. If it felt empty, or easy, you just weren’t paying attention. The fight goes back to Sam first saving the baby, to Hardhome, and beyond. Daeny lost a Dragon. Jon Snow lost his lift saving wildlings and adding them to the side of the living. An entire Dothraki hoard was wiped out. Almost every bit of the unsullied army, wiped out. 95%+ of all Northerners are dead. In the end, it still took a Hail Mary from Arya (who has trained her entire show arch for this moment).

        Quote  Reply

    48. Lars:
      The amount of people who had very detailed and highly emotional attachment to their fan-fic of how this war would end is truly astounding. People REALLY thought that:
      – Jon had to be the one that would kill the NK
      – This would happen in the final or penultimate episode
      – All of Westeros would be destroyed

      Did these people never read about how GRRM thought that Tolkien did it wrong by not focusing more on what came after the “BIG” conflict?

      We are now firmly in “A Dream of Spring” territory, and we have 3 long episodes left! This is a wonderful surprise. I really have almost no clue about what will come next, and that is WONDERFUL. This season rocks!

      I fully agree with this. We’ve had our face-off with Sauron and now its time to cleanse the Shire and explore what life will be like under the rule of a just and honourable king (or queen). Or both. Or Parliament. Or several kingdoms…

      No clue what to expect now.

        Quote  Reply

    49. I think I’ve just had to accept that D&D find Cersei a much more compelling character than I do. Lena is great, but I’ve just never been a huge fan of the King’s Landing machinations, from the Faith on.

      But D&D have also I think elevated Cersei beyond what GRRM had for her as a character. They do seem to love her character.

      So I see why they made this choice – the Long Night finished in one episode, the rest of the story involves Cersei.

      I don’t think it’s TOO different than GRRM, but somehow as a function of it being a book, the battle for Dawn may be longer, or it may play out slightly differently. Obviously, the living will win out over the dead in that too.

      It’s a disappointment for me because I’ve always loved the North story above all else, and the WW/NK/AOTD angle. So I’m disappointed that’s just done, not even that it was ended badly. Just that it was done in 1 episode, presumably to focus on the Cersei battles ahead.

      But if you think Cersei is the most compelling villain, you may appreciate more what’s to come?

      I should also add – I don’t enjoy Euron’s character so it’s kind of a double bore for me.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Another bloody chapter. And then you ask yourself! It was then too early for the Nigth king to die. what now? should Cersei catch Dany and kill her slowly with poison or chop of her head while Jon looks desperate … it will not be a happy ending, I think!

        Quote  Reply

    51. Vally,

      Please tell us what Sansa DID this episode?

      And “pointing out different loyalties” is exactly the “sort”!

      There are no different loyalties. They are fighting together against both enemies! She is still just butt hurt from John joining Dany…..or maybe from Ramsay?

        Quote  Reply

    52. Nadia,

      If the end is as simple as the good guys banding together and defeating Cersei I will be majorly disappointed. That’s not GRRM’s style. It’s not his stated desire for how he wants people to feel about a war or a battle in his series. His desire for a hero vs hero scenario does not involve Cersei and Euron. There has to be more to it than that.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Nick20:
      If that works for you then fine, I’m genuinely glad you liked it, but it’s totally reasonable for others to say that it absolutely did not work for them.

      Yes, yes, you sure use a helluva lot of posts and words to get that point across. But please stop behaving like you were “promised” or “owed” anything based on what you would have wanted to see.

      This has very little to do with “what works for me”, since I don’t even know how the final 3 episodes will play out. It’s simply a narrative choice I understand completely. Could the have given us a Long Week or Long Month? Sure. But that would add very little to what we got to see in this episode emotionally, or in terms of plot, story and character development. The only thing it would have added is longevity and repetition. Possibly it would have been closer to what GRRM is planning… but that is a book … and this a television show.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Nadia:
      I think I’ve just had to accept that D&D find Cersei a much more compelling character than I do. Lena is great, but I’ve just never been a huge fan of the King’s Landing machinations, from the Faith on.

      It’s a disappointment for me because I’ve always loved the North story above all else, and the WW/NK/AOTD angle. So I’m disappointed that’s just done, not even that it was ended badly. Just that it was done in 1 episode, presumably to focus on the Cersei battles ahead.

      I think this is the true crux of the fan conversations about where things are going. The magical story lines vs KL Cersei story lines. Same with dragons vs direwolves.
      If this were a battle between ice and fire instead of a song, fire is definitely winning the day.
      Cersei-wildfire
      Dany-dragons

      We can enjoy both but a lot of us have preferences. I was also a lot more into Stark/North/warging etc than I was with royal plotting.
      Now that the NK is dead, my main wish is that Cersei not win. Anything.
      And that she never gets her hands on Brienne.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Dutch Maester: Yes, yes, you sure use a helluva lot of posts and words to get that point across. But please stop behaving like you were “promised” or “owed” anything based on what you would have wanted to see.

      I never said I was owed anything based on my desires. I simply said that those scenes in early seasons set up that the Long Night would come again and be a big deal. That’s an implicit promise to the audience that it will have a large impact.

      In my opinion, it did not have the impact that it should have.

      Don’t understand why my opinion bugs you so much. Can’t you just tolerate that people see things differently and move on ?

        Quote  Reply

    56. Tyrion Pimpslap,
      Well, I wouldn’t mind another Dance of Dragons, now that we’re done with “Ice”. Dany#s wearing all red in the new promo, so I guess she’ll go all out fire and blood. With no Jorah there to reign her in, there might be a hero vs. hero scenario.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Lars:
      The amount of people who had very detailed and highly emotional attachment to their fan-fic of how this war would end is truly astounding. People REALLY thought that:
      – Jon had to be the one that would kill the NK
      – This would happen in the final or penultimate episode
      – All of Westeros would be destroyed

      Did these people never read about how GRRM thought that Tolkien did it wrong by not focusing more on what came after the “BIG” conflict?

      We are now firmly in “A Dream of Spring” territory, and we have 3 long episodes left! This is a wonderful surprise. I really have almost no clue about what will come next, and that is WONDERFUL. This season rocks!

      Spot-on! I loved all three episodes so far and I think I won’t love the remaining 3 any less than these. I don’t get why is it so hard for some people to enjoy. “Take what you’re given and be thankful or don’t apply at all” – that’s how I always feel when watching my favorite TV shows. While there are always bits I like less, the description below “great” on overall scale is just not possible in my head. Otherwise, I wouldn’t watch it in first place.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Vally,

      It’s really one of the only satisfying conclusions to the story that is left for me. I don’t think Dany being mad or even a deep blood feud between them is necessary. Just conflict that results in opposition. I posted on Saturday my personal fanfic of how the story would play out in the remaining 3 episodes once the NK and AOTD were defeated.

      It basically amounted to Dany wanting to unleash the dragons on Kings Landing and take the throne through fire and blood and win once and for all, with no care for the potential casualties. Jon’s viewpoint would be to save the million people of KL and not have them suffer unnecessarily. Tyrion would more or less agree with Jon.

      Somewhere along the way, Sansa would discover Jon’s parentage and use it to rally the Northerners and the Vale to support him as King, going behind Jon’s back to do so. Dany would catch wind of the plot and charge Sansa with treason, creating a rift with both Jon and Tyrion.

      Sensing she has lost their support, she takes her remaining army and the dragons to attack KL, but discovers she no longer can control Rhaegal, who has now bonded with his rider. So she heads for KL with just Drogon and the remaining Unsullied and Dothraki.

      Episode 5 would feature the two Targaryens converging on KL with separate objectives. The valonqar happens in this episode, as well as the fan service Clegaine Bowl.

      Episode 6 is the resolution of the Jon/Dany story and the aftermath. Expect quite a bit of tragedy and regret, with the survivors learning how hollow the fight for the Iron Throne was. At this point, I still feel like Daenerys will “win” and Jon is killed trying to prevent a full scale destruction of KL, though it is never Dany’s intent for him to die. She takes the throne and lives with regret for all it cost her.

      Just me spitballing. At this point the speculation is probably going to be more enjoyable than the story, I’m afraid.

        Quote  Reply

    59. mau:
      Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I was completely wrong about WW, but I think you may be right about this. There is 240 minutes left. Too much just for Dany vs Cersei.

      Yeah that version of episodes 4 and 5 sounds incredibly feasible to me. Especially the Sansa bit based on their conversations so far. 6 I’ll leave open so I can imagine Jon catches a break at some point in his life until it happens 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    60. Game of Thrones has always been a journey about the characters themselves. Tyrion, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Daenerys, Bran, Jaime, Cersei, Brienne, Sam… White Walkers and the army of the dead had a lot of impact on all these characters’ stories. Yes, the war is over now but the characters are who they shaped up to be in past episodes and I believe this battle left a lasting impact on them. There’s still 3 episodes of the story left and I’m sure the character resolution is what awaits us now. On overall scale, defeating the Night King just couldn’t work as an endgame in a story full of flawed characters.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Nadia:
      I think I’ve just had to accept that D&D find Cersei a much more compelling character than I do. Lena is great, but I’ve just never been a huge fan of the King’s Landing machinations, from the Faith on.

      But D&D have also I think elevated Cersei beyond what GRRM had for her as a character. They do seem to love her character.

      A lot of book fans keep saying that there is no way that Cersei is an end-game villain. Are you … sure? There is textual evidence from a TWOW preview chapter that Euron might team up with Cersei and propel her into an end-game villain: (Short excerpt from the Aeron TWOW preview chapter, where he dreams abut Euron)

      “The dreams were even worse the second time. He saw the longships of the Ironborn adrift and burning on a boiling blood-red sea. He saw his brother on the Iron Throne again, but Euron was no longer human. He seemed more squid than man, a monster fathered by a kraken of the deep, his face a mass of writhing tentacles. Beside him stood a shadow in woman’s form, long and tall and terrible, her hands alive with pale white fire.”

      Maybe Cersei? Anyway, my point is – don’t dismiss Cersei as an end-game villain. And there is still the “valonqar prohecy”, which seems like something that would happen near the end of a story, not in the book before the end. (IMO)

        Quote  Reply

    62. Lars,

      THis is exactly the problem with fandom… they envision something firmly in their head and everything else is “wrong”. Why wouldn’t Cersei be an endgame antagonist in the novels? And was Euron built up there just to be some side thing? Even TV watchers firmly believed Cersei would go full “mad queen” after blowing up the Sept and it never happened as she stayed this cold and heartless villain who is a lot more cunning than people gave her credit for.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Well stated. Upon reflection, after so much nerve wracking
      suspense and pending doom to favorite characters, I have
      to question my own elation for this episode.
      I mean, I’m relieved the Wight / White Walker & frozen King
      finally ended, however I find myself debating the execution
      of those scenes vs the story telling.
      I’ve attempted every season to enjoy the “ entertainment factor “,
      accepting a need to distance myself from known written insights
      from ASOIF. So far, this has worked well for me, accepting the
      GOT as a separate story adapted from the books. Last season
      and this final season has produced stellar acting and awesome
      set scenes. Still, I can’t help but perceive my internal expectation
      of a logic based vs political theatrics, when the episode ends. Last
      night was no different , despite how much I enjoyed it.

      I will not accept Arya as Azor Ahai, but she did fly light as a
      butterfly and and stung like a bee.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Young Dragon,
      Why what?
      Well there was fighting in the crypt. And apparently noone barring Tyrion and Sansa even had any dragonglass there. Basically all those women and children should have died. Seemingly everyone we’ve seen before is fine and well…

      Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Grey Worm etc. were in deep shit from the start of the battle, there is no way in hell they would ever survive.
      And on top of it, they had their character arcs completed, like Beric and Melisandre, that should have been the end for them.

        Quote  Reply

    65. TOIVA:
      Young Dragon,
      Why what?
      Well there was fighting in the crypt. And apparently noone barring Tyrion and Sansa even had any dragonglass there. Basically all those women and children should have died. Seemingly everyone we’ve seen before is fine and well…

      Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Grey Worm etc. were in deep shit from the start of the battle, there is no way in hell they would ever survive.
      And on top of it, they had their character arcs completed, like Beric and Melisandre, that should have been the end for them.

      Dany was going to lose either Jorah or Grey Worm. Not both.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Reading some of your comments and some of the review titles and subtitles I’m reminded why I stopped frequenting fandom places a while ago. I’ve been enjoying movies and GoT so much better since that decision, it’s unbelievable how nitpicking takes out so much of the fun of stuff in a very slow and insidious way.

      All in all I’m just in awe of this show, loving every episode and I’m dreading its end, we’re witnessing the end of something truly incredible here and I just want to enjoy the ride. while I can and I recommend all of you to try and do the same.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Black Raven,
      I don’t know what some of you were watching on but the lighting was perfect on my tv. The episode is also far and away my favorite in the series. I can’t imagine a better beginning of a battle. The people nervous, scared and wondering what was out in the dark. The Dothraki charge and their fires going out. The only issue I have is that some more of the characters should have died fighting the wights.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Lars: Did these people never read about how GRRM thought that Tolkien did it wrong by not focusing more on what came after the “BIG” conflict?

      We are now firmly in “A Dream of Spring” territory, and we have 3 long episodes left! This is a wonderful surprise. I really have almost no clue about what will come next, and that is WONDERFUL. This season rocks!

      TheKnightQueen: We’ve had our face-off with Sauron and now its time to cleanse the Shire and explore what life will be like under the rule of a just and honourable king (or queen).

      Hear, hear! I am so glad, especially on a rewatch, at the direction this show is going. After episode two, I was a little disappointed that their wasn’t more to the Night King than an end to everything, but upon reflection, I didn’t need him or the AoTD to be more than what they were. Just as in LoTR and Sauron. Sure, this story has a lot more humanity and politics and grittiness in it than LoTR, but at the end having it still echo a similar underlying myth of life striving in the face of oblivion…this episode was perfect to me. I am curious what the aftermath is, but this episode was hands down my favorite.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Before the final season began, I made a promise to myself that I was going to cut down on the number of reviews I read for each episode, because so many of them are just so inane and contribute absolutely nothing to my understanding or appreciation of what I just witnessed. Reading most of these one-line summaries is doing nothing but reaffirming that I made the right choice.

      Last season, I read far too many pointless ramblings from critics who don’t value the elements that I value about this show – many of whom are covering it just for the clicks – and myopically fixate on things I couldn’t give less of a shit about (and, apparently, don’t understand how to adjust the brightness settings on their television sets, which is hysterical given their chosen profession). As a result, I spent seven weeks fighting the urge to slam my head against my desk and write extended comments refuting every point I disagreed with, one by one. This season, I cut them all loose … and lo and behold, I’m having I’m a much better time. I’m sticking mostly to the comments section here and the video reviews, which are usually better …. probably because it’s usually a panel of two or more people actually having a discussion about the episode, rather than one person pontificating into the ether and trying to come up with the snarkiest possible line to close out each paragraph.

      I’m holding on to handful of thoughtful critics whose consistently excellent writing throughout the years opinions I always respect, even if I don’t always agree (like Sean T. Collins), and the more purely fan-based recaps emphasizing the emotional experience of watching the episode (like Laura Stone). And of course, the Watchers on the Wall crew. Everyone else … I’ll check in occasionally, but it’s mostly just noise to me.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      It basically amounted to Dany wanting to unleash the dragons on Kings Landing and take the throne through fire and blood and win once and for all, with no care for the potential casualties. Jon’s viewpoint would be to save the million people of KL and not have them suffer unnecessarily. Tyrion would more or less agree with Jon.

      It’s interesting how you gathered that much..

      If she wanted to that it was there for her taking all along and she would have done that with a snap.. and yet she didn’t bit carry on..

      Let’s say Sansa does conspire against dany..who will this fandom support is the question…do you think Sansa Satrk was justified to do so…wouldnt it be nice those who wanted northern independence care about only North..what’s their interest in making jon king of 7 kingdoms suddenly..when the other one got her hands dirty fighting for her family only to pick up the spoils and enjoy the another ones hardship and not even thankful to her..

      I woud have lile to see those who support jon as king of Westeros and suddenly remembering the targ claim doing something about restoring the family back to its place other than just taking up the pieces..

        Quote  Reply

    71. Dragonbringer,

      Understand that I don’t believe Dany is mad or crazy or lacking in empathy. However, in order to have a finale with any surprises there must be conflict among our favorites. They have teased for a while, that when pushed, she is willing to be ruthless when necessary. She even says that’s what she liked about Tyrion. So much time has been spent with Tyrion,Varys, and Barristan cautioning her not to go too far, and she has almost always listened. But she just lost her most trusted ally and friend. She lost most of her army. And she’s dealing with Jon’s identity and what to feel about it. Sansa clearly still isn’t thrilled about bending the knee. What if she found out about Jon’s parentage? Would she feel like if he was king he’d grant the North independence? That’s just one reason I can see it playing out that way. And I don’t feel like Dany would go easy on her if that happened.

      This is why I could see Dany going nuclear on KL in order to take the throne before anything comes of Jon’s parentage reveal.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      The thing is i clearly see that what you say happening is not out of probablity considering what they are doing in the show..
      But my concern is if the show did gave Sansa tyrion and varys conspire against dany…who will the fans support..Somehow I get the feeling they will again say the characters are justified in doing so..
      But I don’t agree with that and in order make it justify they are going to have dany do something like what you are proposing…
      Which is completely opposite of what’s been in the books…now you guys speak about differences in the book …how jon is being treated in the show…but dany has been dealt so much worse in that she will not even come out of this as a good guy or earned enough appreciation for her part in defeating the walkers..
      But I do hope and still stand by my point that dany will be the one who acknowledge jon and she will set aside the throne and leave ..

        Quote  Reply

    73. Wow, after having some time to read those reviews, I gotta say Alan Sepinwall absolutely nails how I felt.
      It’s just that so little was missing for this episode to be perfect (well, relatively speaking, you can always nitpick everything – but it could have been an easy 10/10, like Hardhome). And that it is not up there is just infuriating in retrospect. What’s worse is that it also cheapens “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” as well. That episode is/was so great precisely because most of the lovable characters were to die in the battle… But they didn’t.

        Quote  Reply

    74. Dragonbringer,

      You can’t view it as Dany being the bad guy. I don’t think that is what the show is going for. I don’t think George feels that way either. Yet there are hints at Dany needing to embrace her Fire And Blood ruthlessness in the books. The quote at the end of ADWD “Dragons don’t plant trees” and basically her entire arc in that book serves as a reminder that the dragon is a conqueror, and so she must be too. Of course once she reached Westeros she would not exactly be welcomed with open arms. Yet she must push forward to accomplish her destiny and take back what she believes was taken from her family. And in order to do that, she would unleash her weapons of mass destruction.

      There was always going to be conflict with her in Westeros where she wouldn’t be viewed favorably.

      Whatever you feel about the show’s portrayal of Dany, she has had the most triumphant moments. She is more or less given the credit by the showrunners that they have never given Jon. IMO. They are both supposed to be played as the hero archetype, yet one has been shown to fail repeatedly in ways you wouldn’t expect the hero to fail and the other has mostly triumphed. So if you ask who I think the viewers would support, I’ve seen plenty of people who feel Jon doesn’t deserve to succeed because he is a fool. I expect it would be split, with some rooting for neither of them.

        Quote  Reply

    75. Tyrion Pimpslap: The quote at the end of ADWD “Dragons don’t plant trees” and basically her entire arc in that book serves as a reminder that the dragon is a conqueror, and so she must be too.

      I’d forgotten about that, and now it makes me think of the Greyjoys’ words: “We do not sow.” So there’s a profound irony in Daenerys agreeing to an alliance with Yara on the condition that the Ironborn give up that way of life, only to—quite unwittingly—wind up being, as Daario observed, a conqueror and not a ruler.

      Hope I’m making sense. I’m working on polishing off last night’s Scotch.

        Quote  Reply

    76. Black Raven,

      I have seen this same criticism on other forums and i have seen many answers to the effect of the people answering had no problems at all, they suggested turning up the brightness on their screens and they would see everything clear enough. the original complainant posted back afterwards, saying that their suggestion had worked and thank you. It might be worth a go.

        Quote  Reply

    77. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I think that this is the most important day in asoiaf history. I think right now there are reams and reams of draft version of asoiaf being torn up and thrown into the fire by george martin. I think that in the coming years that we will see the story swing clearly away from the television series at this point. Simply because george martin did himself a great favour and fell behind the hbo series after the 5th book. He is now able to read all the fandoms and get a clear insight as to where his plots might become weak if he is not careful. Maybe that is what has stalled him for the last years, he has looked down multiple paths that he could travel and been unconvinced by any of them , but maybe not clear on why he feels that way about any or all of them, just well aware that he does. These fandoms will be clearing up his doubts no end, i am sure.
      Keep going everyone, as george says, ‘the worst thing that can happen to any work of art is that it be ignored.’

        Quote  Reply

    78. It seems like some people aren’t happy unless everyone dies. Then again, I can’t name a single episode that I’ve ever completely hated. 🤷‍♀️

      The season is half over. You’ll get your deaths. And very likely some people will live that you don’t want to. Funny how that works. It depends on who matters more to you, of course. Jorah was my guy.

      I really expected that Rhaegal would die this episode, so that was a pleasant surprise. Although I would have loved the NK to have a smug-off expression battle with Cersei, at least one ancient RBF is off the table. 🙂

      The amount of work put into this episode is insane. I loved it just as much as Episode 2, for such different reasons.

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    79. The tone and artistry of the cinematography were appropriate. However, I am very let down. As a reader of the stories, I sure hope Martin envisioned a different ending, and I hope I get to read it. Its like your team loosing the Super Bowl in the last two seconds of the game. I am fine with Arya dealing the Night King a final blow, but not like that, not “now the LONG? night is over, on to Cersei”…It cheapened a wonderful show and I do not think they can redeem it. I am not even looking forward to the ending. Really unfortunate for the actors and GRRM. The Long Night should have indeed been long. My favorite part of Season 8, is Jennies Ghost chant. They have lost me. They sold out to a fairy tale ending. The Night King should have mopped the floor with them all. The whole series no longer makes sense in context to how they have now ended the White Walkers.

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    80. ST,

      Was watching on 55″ Samsung flat screen TV. Not on laptop or phone. Not on old tube TV. Just standard what most people probably have. I had eyestrain after.

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    81. Nick20:
      I liked the episode. I thought it was tense and thrilling.

      And as a stand alone episode I might even say it was great. But as the culmination of the White Walker story, which has been in motion since the very first scene of the show and the very first chapter of the books, it was a massive letdown, and that’s why I only liked it but didn’t love it.

      All these years we’ve been talking about Winter, and the Long Night, and this was it ? One episode ? The Long Night was one night and one battle ?

      We’re never going to see the horrific and harsh winter that Old Nan told us about in Episode 3 of the first season ? The WW had no impact whatsoever on the rest of Westeros ?

      Dany and Jon played no significant role in the NK’s defeat ?

      No, I really can’t say that any of that is even remotely satisfying as the climax to this whole story.

      And the second big issue is indeed the lighting of the episode. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be at night with thick icy fog, but still, that’s no excuse for it to be this bad. Helm’s Deep was at night and in the rain, yet everything was completely visible. It’s all about lighting, and here I have to say that the DP just royally f*cked up.

      It is indeed a visual comprehensibility issue, which severely comprises our ability to appreciate what we’re “seeing”.

      So yeah, I’m gonna say it was an epic and enjoyable episode as an 80 minute fantasy battle, but it was also incredibly flawed, and a very weak resolution to the WW story.

      Not a good payoff to the years of build up about the Winter and the Long Night, which we will apparently never actually see.

      So much for the throne room covered in snow, and people freezing to death, and the whole country being decimated by harsh weather and genocidal ice demons. I guess next episode we’ll be back in our favorite summer resort, King’s Landing.

      The “Great War” just ended up being one fairly isolated and short battle.

      Oh, and the stakes also feel incredibly low now for the final 3 episodes.

      True words

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    82. Nick20,

      Yeah, I haven’t read the books but the way readers have been talking all these years I also really thought it would play out similar to how you did.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      It is also maddening to me the blase reason they decided to change it. I mean, it’s their choice whatever, but we don’t have to like it lol. Are they going to give Jon anything good from here? Is he going to be the one to kill Cercei then? Might as well, for as the plot has been making us think it will be one of her brothers or Arya with a face, if the show runners are sticking to being unpredictable as they did with Arya/NK they may as well have Jon do it, as he’s not been a part of the KL plot.

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    84. Iceman240857,

      I used to find Cercei interesting and thought there was a chance she’d become redeemable somehow. Or at least a sympathetic villian. Well that all went out the window season 6. Since then, she’s too one dimensional. At least the NK and his army there was mystery surrounding them with Cercei it’s simply muh throne!

        Quote  Reply

    85. Iceman240857,
      “Now comes the real focus where Game of Thrones hooked us all. The character-focused dynamic of KL and those crazy bastards.”

      In the first couple seasons the KL parts were where it was at. The main story and Ned, Arya, Sansa and all the Lannisters plus LF and Varys were there. Then as time progressed KL and Cercei became more and more like an empty shell with no intrigue. That’s why personally, it would have played out better if the war with NK and one with Cercei were reversed or mixed up together cause right now it feels very anti-climatic. After all is played out I might change my mind. I hope so. But I do think we are about to lose some much loved characters. Maybe most of them. And that will feel so empty after they fought so hard and won “the great war.”

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    86. Pigeon:
      It seems like some people aren’t happy unless everyone dies. Then again, I can’t name a single episode that I’ve ever completely hated. 🤷‍♀️

      The season is half over. You’ll get your deaths. And very likely some people will live that you don’t want to. Funny how that works. It depends on who matters more to you, of course. Jorah was my guy.

      I really expected that Rhaegal would die this episode, so that was a pleasant surprise. Although I would have loved the NK to have a smug-off expression battle with Cersei, at least one ancient RBF is off the table. 🙂

      The amount of work put into this episode is insane. I loved it just as much as Episode 2, for such different reasons.

      I’m still gutted about Jorah even though I sort of knew it was coming. You can see how much it touched the actors too, especially Iain.

      Don’t!!! You’ll start me off again 😢

      https://twitter.com/gotactivity/status/1122891938146017281

        Quote  Reply

    87. Lol at the self-importance of some of those that didn’t enjoy the episode. Apparently GRRM is going to scrap all his hard work on the final books and re-write the whole lot because of some moaners on the internet. Gimme a break!

        Quote  Reply

    88. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      Lol at the self-importance of some of those that didn’t enjoy the episode. Apparently GRRM is going to scrap all his hard work on the final books and re-write the whole lot because of some moaners on the internet. Gimme a break!

      This! Makes me feel even more glad I was able to really love this episode. For those who didn’t like it… well, that’s up to them. I’m glad I’m not one of them.

        Quote  Reply

    89. What annoys me is we all knew that the moment you kill the night king the army would all fall fast and it would be over, the writers knew this so to stop it being flat you had to have a epic fight with meaning and consequence, even something as simple a him killing a main character then another one as they struggle to kill him, and ayra getting the kill would of then felt like it was something, and meant something, some kind of build up.
      but to do this old out dated trope of out of nowhere she comes in kills him made it far to easy and ridiculous, and the sort of thing you’d see 20 30 years ago in some dumb tv show or b movie, Fans are love blind, it was very poor writing, simple as that,
      the direction and editing was very poor as well, after the dotharki scene which was brilliant if illogical it just went down hill

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    90. Nick20,

      To be honest that long night was obviously one night. I think that we cannot know how long was the battle. Now, for us I think one night was enough. They used to nit shiw battles before bwcause they wereso expensive.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Dee Stark:
      Ryan,

      The great war didn’t last 5 hours? Didn’t they fight before at Hardhome? Beyond the Wall?

      Exactly this! THe battle against the dead started in episode 1 and had direct conflicts in all seasons but S4.

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    92. The Bastard:
      I liked both Episode 2 & 3.

      Opinions are like a-holes…. everybody has one.

      This was a great episode. You can’t please everybody.

      The biggest problem is that people set themselves up for failure.They watch all these YouTube videos dissecting every hint of what will come.Most of the videos are wrong.But people hope that one thing will happen…. then something else does… and then boom…. they are let down.

      I enjoyed it. Cant wait to watch it again.

      This is spot-on. That’s why I always head into any TV episode with open mind and intention to enjoy watching it. So far, GoT episodes spanned from “very good” to “no words (in positive manner)” regarding my personal enjoyment, never below that.

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    93. I don’t understand how people are opposed to Arya’s killing of the NK. That was foreshadowed and obvious for years at this point. And as far as Arya plots go, it was one that made the most sense as well.

      Like, this episode had issues (more than it should have), but Arya was not one of them. I mean, she could have died taking the NK sort of like Lyanna Mormont heroically fell, but that would have been repetitive.

        Quote  Reply

    94. No, it’s not up to them. If you like something you just do and if you don’t you can’t decide to just do. 🙂 It doesn’t work that way. We gotta be true to our selves. Simply not liking the turnout of a book or movie/series why should anyone have to hide that? Lol. And why should those who have a different, more positive opinion gloat about it? At the end of the day, who cares? It’s not that serious, just teets (cause I hate the other word) and dragons right?

        Quote  Reply

    95. ygritte,

      Well, it seems to me that I’m currently in better position than you as I loved the episode and you didn’t. Not sure what is there to discuss.

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    96. Emily:
      To my surprise, I agree with the Squinty One pretty much word for word.

      With the exception of hide and seek in the Library. Arya has Jon Snow levels of plot armour (see: the Waif) and I just never had any feeling of her being in actual peril. That’s a sad comment to make on a series like Thrones, which boasts of its unpredictability.

      I would also like to ask: is Ghost dead? Where was Pod? What happened to Rhaegal? Actually wait, is that one Rhaegal? These damn dragons are identical and I can’t see a thing. Oh look the all crypt redshirts are dead and somehow Sansa isn’t. I need a sherry.

      Thanks, Emily – I also agree with that Squinty one pretty much word for word!

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    97. onefromaway:
      David – Thank you so much for these short and sweet summary sentences!I appreciate how much work you must put into these post-episode posts and how much time you save me as I cherry pick what reviews I want to read off the “menu” you have prepared.Thanks!

      Just doin the lord (of light)’s work!

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    98. KG:
      Screw you, Hindustani writer and your “main character” BS.

      THEY KILLED JORAH

      AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH

      I feel this hard.

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    99. Lord Parramandas,

      Okay cool. I’m glad this episode of Game of Thrones made you happy. Now what? 🙂 Many episodes made me happy too. I don’t rely on Game of Thrones for the majority of my happiness though so if I don’t like a particular episode or even the ending to come it’s not the end of the world. But those of us who enjoy this series to the extent we only want to pop in and have essentially lighthearted reading or chat with others we don’t really expect to be called out or belittled for our harmless opinions whether they be negative or not because nobody should be taking it that personal or serious.

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    100. ygritte,

      Isn’t this exactly what I said above? That it’s obviously your thing if you don’t like the episode. I personally go into every GoT episode with intention of enjoying it and in span of 70 episodes so far, I was always succesful. I never had any problem at all to enjoy what GoT gave me as that’s why I watch in first place. But reading the comments on this site, I feel some people get frustrated and disappointed every second day in the week and some even enter the episode with intention to be disappointed and I honestly wonder what is the point of watching the show that way, considering it’s supposed to be source of entertainment? For me, the show is privilege to watch, not obligation. If I didn’t feel this way, I would never even bother watching.

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    101. ygritte,

      But you see that might be predictable too so instead they will either have Arya/sansa kill him because he teams with Dany/they want Gendry on the throne/Sansa wants the throne or Dany kills him because he’s a rival to the throne. Or he’ll turn into a power hungry zombie and kill them all to take the throne! And then varys or tyrion will kill him! Oh wait or Cercei/Euron burn everybody with wildfire and be done with it! Then Bran wargs into Ghost and kills him again just to make sure he’s really dead. Truly bittersweet😊
      Ta daaa plot twists for all tastes! Of course the fact that all of them are equally absurd and alien to his (and other) arcs until now doesn’t matter! Just as long as we are not predictable! 😂

      And of course those of us who dared express any disappointment or question anything about this ep will burn in wildfire- twice! 🤣

      Ugh sorry for that, Ygritte, but I really couldn’t help it!

      That said and on a more serious note my second watch was more fun than the first as after that one I had started to think what happened and got infinitely sad about the problems with some arcs. The second time there wasn’t any emotional investment in it, thus I saw it for what it was. A great spectacle, epic battle, a few emotional moments and that’s that – almost unconnected from ep 2 and past seasons. It’s a strange feeling. I will try to keep my expectations low so whatever happens I won’t be dissapointed again. And who knows maybe they’ll manage to make sense by the end. As mentioned in a previous post elsewhere I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt until the end of season. I hope they manage to conclude the characters arcs in a satisfying and logical way.

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    102. Dyanna: I’m still gutted about Jorah even though I sort of knew it was coming. You can see how much it touched the actors too, especially Iain.

      Don’t!!! You’ll start me off again 😢

      https://twitter.com/gotactivity/status/1122891938146017281

      It shattered me, I must say. RG used a good word earlier, verklempt. Very much so. And in the interview, Emilia especially just didn’t have the words.

      And the fact of not having these actors all working together anymore is sad. How crazy is it that Iain’s wife suffered something so similar to Emilia??? It had to have been a huge help to be able to speak with Emilia about it all, as a good friend who happens to understand 100%. And that Miguel, Bernie, everyone just told him “Go home. We’ll do it later.” These people are family.

        Quote  Reply

    103. Lindsay,

      Real fairy tales are the essence of truth. I think you meant Disney ending. (Although disappointed as I was in some aspects of the episode, I’m inclined to disagree with you.)

        Quote  Reply

    104. Welp, I concur with Nick20 and such.
      The episode was largely well-done for what it *is*, but left much to be desired. I love much, even most of it…but as it worked toward the end and I began to worry what kind of unbearable cliffhanger we’d be left on, the NK+WWs shattered into ice cubes, and I just sank. My excitement level for this episode had been well over 9000; I fully wanted/expected it to become my favorite yet. Instead, I was let down for the first time, in the midst of the last season. It’s a bizarre feeling. For the Long Night/winter to have passed already leaves the stakes feeling so ridiculously low. My excitement for the remaining episodes has dropped steeply, so I desperately hope they’ll have ways of lifting it again. That they’re hiding massive things and misleading us. Never could’ve foreseen this feeling, though. Am I almost more excited for the making-of documentary at the moment? Perhaps. I hope the rest will truly provide sufficient surprising brilliance and then closure to make me look back and say, “Ah, okay. It’s clear now why they structured it as they did.” I’m hoping to be pleasantly shocked and thrilled, but prepared for further disappointment, because it’s difficult to imagine what would plausibly result in that.

      The actors did wonderful jobs and made the most of what they had, and I’d hate to make any of them feel badly. It really all comes down to the writers’ choices, over which they had no control.
      Ramin’s music is excellent as always; he never drops or even fumbles the ball.

      Arya killing the Night King? Erm. Hrm. Not unacceptable, but as much as I’ve always adored and identified with her character, she’s honestly gotten so many kills and “awesome” moments already. I could’ve done with someone who would have received fewer votes in a “Who do you think will end up killing the Night King?” poll. Almost feels as if they’re trying to write “I Love Arya,” when here I’d been concerned with them turning S8 into “The Jon & Dany Dramady Hour” to others’ detriment. Anyways, I’ll never put the AA/TPWWP label on Arry since it just does not work–again, much as I do love her. Not really counting on all my questions to necessarily be answered within the rest of the show, but hey, I could be happily surprised. I guess.

      They did say that there are loads of deleted scenes, right? Can’t wait to see them all. That gives me some hope. Maybe I can assemble them into at least a seventh episode that’ll make me feel one whole heckuva lot better.

      P.S. Yup, notifications are broken; you don’t even get the “confirm subscription” emails. xp

        Quote  Reply

    105. I feel a level of disappointment in some of these reviews. Yes the episode has some flaws (I felt some disappointment on first watch) but overall it’s one of the best they’ve ever done. Just look back at Blackwater and again nobody of note dies, same as Battle of the Bastards.

      I still feel Missandei should have died in the crypts and Pod/GreyWorm/Tormund in the main battle to make it more realistic but GOT has a precedent of not killing that many off in one battle.

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    106. Tomasz Kubienn:
      The episode doesn’t even make the top 15 on the IMDb. Tells you all you need to know about how much the producers hyped it up and how it turned out,

      It was miles better than Battle of the Bastards in my view and surely will move up quickly to a top five episode.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Tyrion Pimpslap: It’s really one of the only satisfying conclusions to the story that is left for me. I don’t think Dany being mad or even a deep blood feud between them is necessary. Just conflict that results in opposition. I posted on Saturday my personal fanfic of how the story would play out in the remaining 3 episodes once the NK and AOTD were defeated.

      I feel this is the most likely out come at this point although Dany has no army now, the Dothraki are gone (unless they were hiding somewhere), the Unsullied are only a few dozen left. We saw boats sailing south in the preview and I’m genuinely confused who is on them!

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    108. I still feel Missandei should have died in the crypts and Pod/GreyWorm/Tormund in the main battle to make it more realistic

      Agree (but please spare Tormund…! Not that I don’t want the others to have happy endings, but if Brienne makes it and Jaime doesn’t, I want to keep my hope for giant-babies alive…xDD; )

      Still, the Great War between the living and the dead is supposed to make something like Blackwater or BotB look like a tea party. -_-

        Quote  Reply

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