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How do you even begin to recap that episode? Wait… how do you recap that episode at all? Which dragon was that? Did Jaime just die? Was that Beric? Who just got stabbed?
I’ve been concerned about the lighting since we found out about the 55-night shoot. But if the story is that the NK and the Frozen Cadavers show up at Winterhell at night, then it is what it is.
What I do know is that if you are not a Lord of Light worshipper yet, you should probably reconsider your priorities. Join a man for a Long Night…
Lets be honest… I don’t know how any of them survived.
The Cold Before the Storm
Lots of movement. Not a lot of dialogue. The episode sets the tone from the beginning with intense music while some frantically make last minute preparations while others ponder their existence.
Sam’s hands are cold. Lyanna shouts orders (hell yes). Tyrion reluctantly heads to the crypts. The rest watch over the wall or stand on the battlefield waiting on the first signs of the impending doom. How many of them will be left, if any?
The Unsullied surrounding Winterfell were really a sight to behold. Dany and Jon watch over a hillside ready to find the Night King and attack by air.
And then… RED VELVET!
Melisandre lights up a Dothraki fatty, tells Davos she’ll be dead before the dawn, and before they even get a good toke in, they all go dark.
You gotta know you’re in a buttload of trouble when the same Dothraki who tore through the Lannister army during the Loot Train go down immediately to the AOTD. This is probably when my brave ass would have found a good horse and started trotting south. Sayonara MF’s!
But visually, that symbolic fire-to-darkness was actually one of my favorite scenes. Jon apparently wanted to wait for the NK to arrive. But Dany having seen all of her Dothraki faithful bite the dust in a matter of minutes is ready to take action.
And then, Winterhell broke loose.
When Dany and Drogon swoop in and light the first line of arctic ambassadors up, we get a sense that maybe there is hope. But it would go south from there pretty quickly, which is coincidentally what I was begging everybody at Winterfell to do the whole damn time, Cersei and the Golds be damned.
At this point, it’s just a matter of which character we know and love is going to die first. I still don’t know how as many of them made it out as they did. The magic of television, I suppose.
Someone forgot to tell Jon and Dany that flying a dragon in a blizzard is not an ideal weather condition, but they try it anyway. Do dragon wings freeze up?
On the ground, it’s just utter chaos. Brienne. Jaime. Sam. Jorah. Clegane… all just fighting for their lives, and us at home holding our collective breaths.
The first major casualty was Edd, right after he saves Sam.
At the request of Arya, Sansa heads down to the crypts which is a sign to everyone down there that things above are not going well.
Brienne and Tormund begin commanding everyone fall back to the castle and Lyanna orders the gate to be opened to allow reentry. Worm and the Unsullied stand to protect the retreat where I was fully prepared to see him die next. Instead, he backs up and orders the trench to be lit and struggles with the decision to pull the bridge knowing that he is leaving his Unsullied brothers to die.
Davos signals to Dany to light the trench, but blizzard conditions. So, they try to do it with arrows which fail because of, you know, blizzard conditions.
RED to the rescue! The Lord of Light lights it up again. And the Hound REALLY retreats.
Back down in the crypt, Tyrion is itching to be up where the action is but Sansa wisely reminds him that there is nothing he could do. Sansa tells Tyrion that he was the best of them and goes on to say that a marriage now wouldn’t work out because of their divided loyalties. Missandei reminds them that without the Dragon Queen, they would already be dead.
This was your subtle reminder that even though a victory eventually happened, there are going to be issues with sides even after this is over. Yes… more Jon and Dany drama.
Back at the Weirwood, Theon tries to apologize to Bran. But Bran interrupts and tells Theon that he is exactly where he needs to be… home.
World War Z 2
We finally get a glimpse of the NK who orders the dead to start sacrificing themselves by laying on and smothering out the trench fire, creating bridges and leading to World War Z Pt. 2. In the meantime, Jon spots the NK on his dragon and takes back to the air to chase him down.
Once the walls were breached, I just don’t know how any of them survived (how many times am I going to say this), especially Jaime, Brienne and Pod. At one point, it looked like Jaime had four dead on him and a few seconds later he was freed. Don’t get me wrong… Im happy he made it. His presence will definitely make the eventual meeting with Cersei more intriguing. But come on.
Ok. Enough nitpicking. For now, anyway.
As the dead encroach, our hero Arya gets to work smashing everything she sees much to the amazement of Davos. The only thing that could get the Hound back in the game was to see Arya in trouble as she had saved him earlier with an arrow shot from the wall.
One of my biggest fears for all of them were the giant wights. Unfortunately, it was the brave Lyanna Mormont who would get the misfortune of meeting one of them first. And it didn’t go well. In her final act of heroism and even after her insides had been crushed, Lyanna stabbed the giant in the eyeball with dragonglass, killing it instantly. RIP Lady Mormont.
In one of the most iconic scenes, Jon and Dany find the NK in the air and get hazed with blue fire. The two dragons flying above the clouds during their search in the moonlight were beautiful.
Arya somehow finds herself in a library that Sam is NOT in, but instead is full of dead people. In one of the more terrifying sequences, Arya finds herself on the run (the scene from the trailer, no less) and eventually crashes through a door where Beric and the Hound are standing. Beric throws his lightsaber to save her life but also leaves himself unarmed. Dammit… this would be the end of the great Beric Dondarrion.
Velvet makes it clear that the Lord of Light brought back Beric to serve a purpose and that the purpose had been served (to save Arya). Then, she reminds her about the “eyes” comment. Brown. Green. BLUE.
The dead begin to encroach on Bran while Jon and the NK battle dragons in the air. The NK is knocked off Viserion as is Jon off of Rhaegal. And when Dany has her chance… Dracarys. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work.
But Jon sees his opportunity to go after ol’ blue eyes himself. Of course, the issue is that blue eyes can raise the dead surrounding him and Jon never makes it. When the dead start rising all around the castle, the general reaction from everyone was, “we’re fucking toast.”
To make it worse, the dead in the crypts rise as well and now all of the women and children are as good as gone. Tyrion and Sansa share a sentimental moment realizing that they are both about to perish. Maybe they do end up together after all, and it is considered a betrayal. But that’s just some worthless Oz conjecture for ya.
As Dany lands to save Jon (who then runs to save Bran), Drogon is piled on by the dead knocking Dany to the ground. Drogon is forced to fly off just to survive and Dany is aided by Jorah.
Meanwhile, Jon does everything he can to get to Bran while Theon does everything he can to protect him. But Jon cant get there due to the ice-fire-blaster Viserion burning the joint down.
Whenever the Djawadi piano music hits in GoT, be ready for tragedy. In this case, Jorah goes down fighting like hell and Theon goes down on a suicide run at the NK. Both gave their lives. Both redeemed. Fuck this show anyway.
And just as Jon is about to get freeze barbecued and Bran is about to get NK’d, Arya jumps in like a wolf to attack ol’ Blue Eyes. When he catches her in mid-air, I was sure she was done. But Arya drops the dagger into her other hand and plunges it into the NK. He shatters. The dead all drop. And the Great War is concluded.
With her job fulfilled, Velvet walks among the piles of bodies, drops her necklace, and quickly dies of old age as Davos looks on.
Poetic. Haunting. Tragic.
Episode 803 Personal Awards
“Stick them with the pointy end.” -Arya
“At least we’re already in the crypt.” -Varys
“Fuck off! We cant beat them.” – Clegane
“Brown eyes. Green eyes. BLUE eyes.”
The unspoken “I’ve always loved you” by the dying Jorah Mormont.
Favorite Sequence: Way too many to pinpoint. So much of it was visually stunning. I’ve already watched it twice and really can’t wait to watch it again.
The “Ow, That Shit Hurts Award” goes to: There were plenty, but Beric’s damn death by a hundred jab holes was horrible for me.
Official Season 8 DEAD Penis Count: A HUNDRED THOUSAND
Death Toll: Jorah, Beric, Red Velvet, Lyanna Mormont, Theon, Edd, Qhono, and the Night King with all of his groupies.
Overall Thoughts: The expectations for this episode were so high that there was no possible way it was going to meet everyone’s expectations. But for me, it did. To truly understand how incredibly difficult it had to be to film this at night over an extended period of time and to even get close to getting the lighting right without making it look like there were spotlights everywhere is really astounding.
That said, it was difficult to follow at times. But hell, it should have been. Thousands of dead people invading should invoke chaos. And on screen, it looked chaotic. Yes, there were plenty of television’s magical “happened to be in the right place at the right time to save someone” sequences. But I’m not going to take a dump on something that had me on the edge of the couch for an hour and twenty minutes and felt like a movie over a couple of lucky coincidences.
I’m probably most pleased with the fact that it was neither Jon nor Dany who killed the Night King. It was f’in Arya!
What are your thoughts? Share them below and let’s discuss. We ain’t got many left.
Until next week, hang out and stay awhile. Invite a friend to join us. And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz
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