The Game of Thrones episode we had all been anticipating (and dreading) has come and gone, and it was full of action, horror, heartbreak, and triumph. “The Long Night” kept us on the edge of our seat as Winterfell’s fate hung in the balance, before delivering a victory for our heroes in a rather unexpected way. As always, the cast and crew have plenty of thoughts to share, so let’s go behind the scenes with today’s interviews and videos!
The episode’s MVP was definitely Arya Stark, but Maisie Williams wasn’t sure how fans would react to her killing the Night King. She tells Entertainment Weekly that she “immediately thought that everybody would hate it; that Arya doesn’t deserve it. The hardest thing is in any series is when you build up a villain that’s so impossible to defeat and then you defeat them. It has to be intelligently done because otherwise people are like, ‘Well, [the villain] couldn’t have been that bad when some 100-pound girl comes in and stabs him.’ You gotta make it cool. And then I told my boyfriend and he was like, ‘Mmm, should be Jon though really, shouldn’t it?’” Maybe it’s time for a new boyfriend…just saying.
Williams came around to the idea quickly, however. “When we did the whole bit with Melisandre, I realized the whole scene with [the Red Woman] brings it back to everything I’ve been working for over these past 6 seasons…It all comes down to this one very moment. It’s also unexpected and that’s what this show does. So then I was like, ‘F—k you Jon, I get it.’”
For his part, Kit Harington was willing to let someone other than Jon have the glory. “I think it will frustrate some in the audience that Jon’s hunting the Night King and you’re expecting this epic fight and it never happens — that’s kind of Thrones. But it’s the right thing for the characters. There’s also something about it not being the person you expect. The young lady sticks it to the man.”
For all of her training, Arya has never been in a real battle, and Williams had no idea how grueling it would be – but the reward was well worth it. “You try and you train but nothing can prepare you for how physically draining it is. It’s night after night and again and again and it just doesn’t stop…But the sense of achievement after a day on set is unlike anything else. One of those really tough days, you know it’s going to be part of something so iconic and it will look amazing.” That it did.
For more on Arya’s big moment, head over to EW.
EW also brings us an interview with Carice Van Houten, whose character had a significant role in the Winterfell battle as well. Van Houten wasn’t sure where Melisandre’s storyline would end, but she admits she didn’t have high hopes. “I had a bit of a feeling it was not going to end well for me. I was a bit emotional. I really like that we finally know what she came for, and it’s the end of her journey. ‘I can go now, my work is done’ — without it being really dramatic. It’s a life that’s been hundreds of years that’s come to an end now.”
We don’t know much about Melisandre’s story, and Van Houten wishes the show could have explored it more. “I would have liked to know a bit more about her past. Because she was a slave. It would have been a nice moment to show she is human and connect her to to others. As an actor it’s more interesting to play doubts and secrets. And it’s nice to tap from your own s—. I wish we knew a bit more about her s—.” Perhaps we will find out more in the books?
As to how the series ends, Van Houten is unsure of how fans will react. “People have had so much time to make up their own story. I guess they become attached to something they wish or fear for. Some will be surprised. Above all, they’ll say that it’s over. It’s a pretty f—ing unique show, let’s face it. This is freeing in a way. You need to jam in life a bit. Now I’m going to try another instrument.” It seems the best way to view the finale is with an open mind – much easier said than done of course!
Read the rest at EW.
One character who didn’t have a pivotal moment last night, was Samwell Tarly, who was just trying to survive. Actor John Bradley doesn’t mind, though; he tells Esquire that “you need a character like Sam to represent the man on the street, because then that contextualizes all of the threats and all of the stakes. You need a Sam for Jon Snow to make sense. In order for Jon Snow to appear above and beyond the regular guy, you need to see the regular guy. And as much as a lot of men don’t like to admit it…Sam’s coping with it is probably how they cope with it.”
Even thought Sam is a “regular guy” and not a warrior, he felt a responsibility to stay and fight. “He wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if Jon or anyone else died while he was safe in the crypts.” As he sees the woman and children heading to those “safe” crypts (ha), Sam “decides that these are the people he’s fighting for. He decides to fight for his own sense of duty. I think that’s a really powerful moment.”
Like Van Houten, Bradley is also unsure how the audience will feel about the show’s ending. “One word that I always use to describe how people feel about the show is satisfying. Happiness isn’t something that this show goes about too well, because they’ve never bothered about keeping an audience happy. So when people say, ‘Am I gonna be happy with the ending?’ It’s like, well, maybe not. Because everybody’s got a different way that it wants to end.” Truer words were never spoken.
Check out the entire interview here.
Speaking of ends, Ser Jorah Mormont met his during the battle. Iain Glen tells the Making Game of Thrones blog that he “went through a real range of emotions” when he read the script. He admits he “felt at peace with it. Because in some ways Jorah has been offering himself, his life, to Daenerys for six or seven seasons. So there was a completeness to it.”
In the episode prior to Jorah giving his life, he gave Daenerys advice – to make amends with Tyrion and win over Sansa. Glen explains, “Whatever you say about Jorah, one of his good qualities was that Dany’s best interests were always paramount…Jorah realizes that people do need to compromise and come together. He’s very persuaded that Tyrion has Dany’s best interest at heart. He trusts him. With Sansa, he’s trying to encourage a unified front and stop any instinct Dany might have to separate herself. He feels quite strongly that’s not the way to win the war.”
On a personal note, tragedy almost struck Glen in real life as he filmed his final fight. As he was rehearsing on set, he received a message from his wife. “She was in the hospital — she had suffered a brain hemorrhage. The nature of it, after it was all said and done, means it’s never going to happen again, and she’s fully recovered, but I was completely on the floor at the time, a total mess. And of course there was a connection with Emilia, who I know has spoken publicly about her medical issues, and she was brilliant, and she, Miguel [Sapochnik] and [executive producer] Bernie Caulfield told me to go, get on a flight.” Thankfully his wife pulled through and he was able to finish his scene two weeks later.
For more on Jorah’s journey, read the full interview at Making Game of Thrones.
House Mormont lost another member (and the last one we know of) last night, as Lady Lyanna fell during the battle as well. Bella Ramsey doesn’t mind, however, since she got to go down fighting. She tells Making Game of Thrones, “I was so excited to get going and full of gratitude to even be asked back. I didn’t expect it. So when I read Episode 3, I was shook. But in a good way.”
Although filming the battle was difficult, Ramsey rose to the occasion. “Intense is an understatement. There were weeks after weeks of night shoots in very cold weather. It was one of the toughest things I’ve had to do, but I love a challenge so I’m not complaining. There were these massive wind machines, tons of fake snow falling, lots of battle cries, and a mass stampede of people…It was thrilling, for me as an actor. I was completely immersed in it.”
As Lyanna died, Ramsey states that director Miguel Sapochnik helped her imagine what her character was experiencing in that moment. “And then the battle cry. That was the best bit. I had this song in my head which we sing at church quite often which goes, ‘There is victory in the end, your love is my battle cry… every giant will fall.'” She may be gone, but Ramsey has no regrets. “If you’re going to die on Game of Thrones, at least die well. That final scene took ages, lots of green screen, lots of long night shoots, but it’s all worth it. RIP Lyanna.” RIP indeed, fierce little bear.
In this week’s “Inside the Episode,” David Benioff and Dan Weiss break down the climactic battle between the living and the dead.
The next two videos are from HBO’s website and are only available in the United States. In “The Great War” several cast members discuss their characters’ roles in the battle.
What happens now that the Army of the Dead has been defeated? Check out next’s week preview below!
Edit: dammit Jfunnell4
Imagine being a child actor in this. Probably the coolest thing Bella will ever film in her life and at such a young age.
I’ve been underwhelmed by GoT episodes before but this one really hurts because I think they may have really screwed the story. I loved the first 2 episodes this season and was sure we were being set up for an amazing finish for this story but now I’m not so sure. I think the episode peaked with that great Dothraki scene in the beginning. The awful lighting really inhibited mine and many others enjoyment of the episode. I don’t understand how they would spend so much time and money on an episode and have it lit so poorly.
I think it was a huge mistake to end the WW threat before the finale act. I agree with others that the human drama is better than the White Walker stuff but its presence in the story was still very important and helped make this story so captivating. Go on youtube the most popular videos deal with theorize about the white walkers, prophecies, 3ER, etc. Now that fantasy element with all its mystic and mystery has been completely eliminated and I feel the story has been deflated. The finale drama for the Iron Throne won’t have the same appeal with that threat in the background missing. The only fantasy element left seems to be dragons because they have not included any of the prophesies from the novels. It is now a fake historical drama with dragons. Worse was the way the WW plot was ended with the Arya “twist” instead of a more satisfying ended involving Jon or Bran.
I think these past 2 seasons should have been mapped out differently so the beginning of this season would involve more drama between Cersei/Euron and Starks/Dany which would lead to a climatic finish with the AoTD vs Westeros for episode 4-5. Then a return to the finale battle for Iron Throne in episode 6. I hope I am wrong and episode 4 hooks me again but I believe they have ruined the climax and finale drama by removing the White Walkers so quickly and in a unsatisfying way.
All the marketing this season was #ForTheThrone. It’s always been about the throne.
I’m fine with Arya doing the Night King in, I just wish they had done something to signal Arya was on her way to the Godswood — tension doesn’t come from not knowing the bomb is under the seat, tension comes from knowing the bomb is under the seat — with Jon floundering, the idea that Arya needed to get there would have added to the tension, especially if Theon had seen Arya coming and bought her enough time to get set up to kill NK. I think that last scene was pretty weak sauce and a bit let down from what could have been.
I’ll forgive the ridiculous use of cavalry to charge head-long into an unknown foe, without the slightest attempt at recon, but it was a fun battle nonetheless.
Would like to have seen an interview with Ben Crompton.
You don’t seem to be aware that you’re disappointed the show was different from the expectations you built up for yourself from YouTube videos. You don’t know what the story is and yet you’re already complaining. And there are dragons, but here you are b****ing that the fantasy element is gone
The lighting was a problem, but the rest of your comment is ridiculous. It’s great that GRR Martin and the showrunners don’t bow to unimaginative and unintelligent dudebros who think they know it all and don’t understand their own limitations.
Am I the only one who thinks Grey Worm was MVP? The Unsullied shone in that battle, but they would have broken and run if Grey Worm had given up. He kept the retreat organised. He improvised a way to get Melisandre to where she needed to be. You can see the burden on his face as he makes every decision. Kudos to the actor, I was feeling like I was right there in his shoes.
Get a better TV. Honestly. Just go purchase a better one. Either that or calibrate it properly. I have a middle of the road 4K TV with HDR. I was streaming with HBO Now which is above average quality but not even Vudu HDX level. And I had no problems at all with the black levels of the show.
All these complaints about the darkness is really a reflection on people’s own systems and their ability to calibrate properly.
Going to make the unpopular comment about how problematic this show can be with any POC representation.
Literally the wipe out the brown Unsullied and Dothraki masses, especially the latter without giving them even one character who speaks for them.
And almost all the white characters we care about somehow miraculously survive like 100 to 1 odds?
Whatever, there’s no point belaboring it because enough has been written about it, it wasn’t great.
Emilia’s performance was amazing in Jorah’s death scene. Though as she said, it might not have been a huge amount of acting. You could tell the emotion was real in that scene.
We’ve never seen Dany so utterly devastated. Amazing scene.
“Art is not a democracy” – George RR Martin. And thank the gods for that.
Dunning-Kruger effect is in full swing here.
Let’s maybe not insult people’s intellect over a difference of opinion about a TV show ?
We get it, you think this episode was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
That’s awesome, but let people express their opinion. Stop trying to convince everyone that you’re right.
Art is indeed not a democracy, and it’s also not objective. Everyone relates to these things differently.
1. The show is based on bloodlines, so obviously whatever skin color they pick the vast majority of the characters will be that same color.
2. The Dothraki are still white.
3. I see Black Panther and don’t think there is too little white representation. I think it is a great movie. I see Game of Thrones and don’t see too little POC representation. I think it is a great show. There is more to life then seeing everything based on the color of people’s skin. Must be sad to view life your way.
It’s tragic that people like you feel the need to insult others over a difference of opinion about a TV show.
I’m actually not insulting their intelligence. If you understood what I was talking about, I was insulting their perceived intelligence and how confident they are in their opinion based on it.
Most of the complaints I see on this episode are hilarious when then they make a bunch of comments that shows they don’t understand what they are fully watching. But they are so certain they are right.
Yes, I think you’re right. I really love the show. I even liked ‘Beyond the wall’ while nobody else did. But this episode just felt wrong.
Sam was too much Damsel in distress while it wasn’t his first time to be in a battle or being surrounded by wights. He was much braver during his previous encounters.
And even after reading everything here on this site and seeing the interviews with D&D I still think Jon should have been the one to kill the Night King. But with the help of Arya and maybe also Jaime. They should have used the Valyrian steel swords against the White Walkers.
I also expected some known wights that had to be killed by our main characters to make it really emotional.
Kingslanding should have been attacked too. But I knew the moment they showed everyone losing, the Night King somehow was going to be killed within a few minutes and not 2 episodes later.
It was a bit too dark. I know it wasn’t a problem for everyone. But they cannot expect all their viewers to have an expensive tv-screen. The visuals who were not too dark were very beautiful.
The thing is the White Walker plot was always destined to end in some sort of disappointment, because of how they’d been built up. Let’s say that the Walkers won the Battle of Winterfell last night and killed more characters with the rest escaping on the dragons. You could then perhaps have had a battle in Kings Landing. But 1) This would be repetitive, and 2) If they couldn’t beat them the first time, how would they beat a larger Army of the Dead the second time?
Jon Snow killing the Night King would have been too cliched. I don’t think the role suited Daenerys either. For me it had to be someone from the North/Theon, but the more I think about it the more it becomes obvious that Arya is the perfect choice.
I do think a couple more characters probably should have died, and the episode certainly wasn’t perfect, but the fight for the Iron Throne has always been the focus of the show, so I’m satisfied that the Walkers are gone.
Who is the main villain of Thrones? The Night King, or Cersei?
What interests you more, the carefully constructed political web, or people realising the struggle for the Throne is pointless in the face of doom?
I’m firmly in camp “for the Throne”. I loved Frank Herbert’s Dune for the same reason – a well crafted universe where decisions have political consequences. For me, the Army of the Dead is an unwelcome distraction, turning everything into Just Another Zombie Movie. I hate zombie movies.
But I totally understand the feelings over in the Night’s Watch. My cousins over there have the totally opposite view, that the purpose of the politics is just to set up rivalries to be overcome. I would single out Davos as the ur-example: he’s lost his sons, his king, his army, and gets disrespected for being the ‘Onion Knight’. His journey is similar to Cersei’s in that regard, but he doesn’t lust for power, status or even revenge. He sits happily alongside Tyrion and Brienne, two people he ‘ought’ to despise. Episode two was a very fitting climax of the good people gathering for the good fight, and the Watchers in this crowd don’t take kindly to Sansa still being so focused on “afterwards.” For the politickers though, afterwards is very important.
So it seems to me, we have two camps of people with very different ideas of where the focus of Thrones ought to be. The fight for the living, or the fight for the throne.
Melisandre did not only safe the battle for the dawn, but was, with a few exceptions like Theon/Bran Sansa/Tyrion, literally the only good thing in this underwhelming episode of pure and poor idiotism. I totally agree with JamesL. How thick can plot armor be? D&D and sadly Sapochnick too became infected with Peter Jackson syndrome. Drunken from their success and surrounded by yes sayers. And all that after the beautiful episode 2.
You know if the Valyrian Steel magic works against the White Walkers why does not Old Valyrian dragon fire? Same Valyrian magic.
I just finished watching the Game Revealed video. It really gives you an idea of the scope of the job they had and I can certainly appreciate all the work they put into this episode. Thank you for posting them, on to the next one now!
Aren’t unsullied unafraid? They told us in season 3 that unsullied would fall on their own sword if that needs to be done. Don’t they fear death. Only Grey worm because he started to love misandei.
Pff people who see racism in everything are just as annoying as people who are racist bastards.
How the hell do you even come to this conclusion about race. The dothraki aren’t black, the unsullied aren’t black the starks aren’t white. What matters is that they are human.
They didn’t kill the brown masses, and let the white characters live. They killed a group called the unsullied and a group called the dothraki because that’s what the story asked for. (later on more about that).
They were being killed because they were the strongest and bravest off all who could stand on the forefront. That’s why they were killed first.
And to think off it. Dany has a huge political problem now. To stay queen she needs the help of the north now more then ever.
It kind of reminded me of the way Babylon 5 Season 4 decided to deal with its material. Rather than have everything rushed at the end they have dealt with one threat and can now concentrate on Cersei. Much like how the Shadow War was resolved in the first six episodes then they dealt with the corrupt Earth government in the rest. I remember feeling disappointed they had ended that storyline early at first and then I became just as invested in the conclusion of the other storyline as it played out. I think people will inevitably feel some sort of anticlimax as this portion of the story ends but as they see the rest develop will realise that as a whole it was the best structure in order to do it justice.
Beautifully put. And spot on, I think. I’m pretty sure I’m in team living with most of my favorite characters, but I can appreciate the throne fight. 🙂
The exact same thing could be said of you. You’re so certain that you’re right, yet your remarks seem “hilarious” to others who view things differently.
What will it take for people to finally grow up and realized that no one is “right” because it’s all subjective and it’s just a TV show ?
I don’t understand why you feel the need to dictate that your opinion is correct.
And Dunning-Kruger is overestimating one’s cognitive abilities. By saying that people are suffering from that, you are indeed insulting their intellect. And again, why couldn’t the same be said of you ?
Apparently some people are disappointed because we got no further explanation for what the White Walkers are. Personally I thought it was fairly clear, they are a Weapon of Mass Destruction. They kill humans – it’s just what they do. They have human level intelligence and maybe confused human thoughts, similar to the dragons. It’s a bit of a mystery what Rhaegal thinks of all this, or if the Night’s King is showing some cockiness or even playfulness. The mystery doesn’t need to be explained for me – they’re magical beings and I’m fine with that.
…. Although I do understand why people feel the exact opposite way too. The Night King is made such a prominent character yet leaves so much unanswered. It’s a bit like having to ask, “where was Ghost??” all the time.
Very well said.
That is ridiculous. One should not have to recalibrate their settings to watch a specific TV show. Obviously a ton of people had the same problem. Maybe, just maybe, HBO should have taken into account that people enjoy things more if they can see them clearly. And not everyone can afford to just go buy a 4K TV at the drop of a hat. Get over yourself.
About Sam. He’s grown so much with Jon as his bff and Gilly, taken on a WW, a Thenn, saved Jorah’s life and stole Heartsbane from a father that terrified him. But this battle really did some damage, and you could see it. He ran away after Edd died. He was on the ground crying. War does this to people, especially one like that, but it was actually really gut wrenching to see it play out.
I think he might struggle with this going forward.
HUGE HUGE LET DOWN!
I think the Walkers motivation was pretty clear. The show (and books) are so huge that every little thing is analysed to the nth degree, which is great, but not every thing needs to have some deep explanation. Indeed sometimes you can over-explain things.
I’m sure that there will be things in the books that aren’t fully explained too, and that’s OK too.
I’m not saying I necessarily agree with the critique, but this is a wrongheaded line of reasoning. The characters of the Dothraki and Unsullied are absolutely people of colour, both because the actors are (and thus present to the audience for whom this is made as such) and because their civilizations are very much coded as referencing what for North American audiences foreign/non-white civilizations from our world. How you handle those characters 100% has racial representation implications (this is, mainly in respect of the Dothraki, also an issue in the source material; since GRRM hasn’t really written the Dothraki as a group since AGOT, I’m hoping that TWOW will improve on this score)>
I would like to point out that, according to this episode, R’hllor Rules!
In fact the episode epitomized the trend throughout the series showing that the God of Light seems to be the only really effective deity in the world of Game of Thrones. The Seven and their servants have shown themselves to be totally clueless and do not seem to posses any supernatural powers, and the same may be said for some other deities such as those of the Dothraki. Some cults like Lhazareean witches, Warlocks of the House of the Undying and the Faceless men seem to posses some powers of conjuring, but not any larger vision or goals. The Old Gods of the north are shown to have real powers and vision, but they seem rather exhausted and mostly passive.
In contrast the Lord of Light has shown his power to resurrect the dead, and to conjure all kind of strange powers, but most of all, an active agenda carried out relentlessly for a long time by its faithful, in defense of the living against the Great Other – such as the activities of Melisandre and Thoros, the resurrections of Beric and Jon, the support given by the red priests to Daenerys. In fact the battle of Winterfell makes sense to a great extent from the viewpoint of the Lord of light, and it would be told by his priests going something like this:
Three times the lord of light drew a magical line of fire to protect the living against the forces of darkness, by flaming swords, by dragonfire and by fiery trenches, but three times it was extinguished by the Great Other. Then the prince that was resurrected by the Lord of Light threw the Emissary of the Great Other to the ground from the sky but he did not succumb. And the princess that the Lord of Light nurtured threw dragonfire against the Emissary, but he did not succumb. Then the noble warrior with the fiery sword six times resurrected by the Lord of Light fought alongside the tall warrior that the Lord of Light kissed in his childhood and showed a vision in the fire to. These two great warriors of the Lord of Light protected from the Great Other’s horde the princess with the dagger that was never cold, until the Red Priestess gave the princess the message the Lord of Light had prepared for her many years ago. The princess heard the message and she understood it, and she put the dagger in the heart of the Emissary. Then the Emissary and all the army of the Great Other finally succumbed and the living were saved from the darkness. Amen.
I watch the episode a second time on my tablet which is one of the first one released. So pretty damn old and pretty shitty quality of video output. And still I could callibrate it right to see it perfectly there.
If people just callibrate their device right at the moment they bough it, people wouldn’t complain about the lighting. Not a single device you bough even the expensive 4k tv’s are calibrated right for watching movies perfectly. It just take less then half an hour after you buy it and every TV show is watched better because of it.
So don’t blame hbo. Just calibrate your device. Even tv’s of 15 years ago when callibrated right shows us what is going on.
Can a man be brave if he’s afraid?
Yes he ran away and it was a good choice else he was death. Later on he fought again.
What I meant is. That I never think of the characters (and real people) about their color of their skin. We are all people. The dothraki and unsullied aren’t defined by their skin color for me. But by what they stand for. Both fearless, strong and good in battle. That’s why they were in the forefront. Because of the skills they had to offer.
And I think one reason is that dany needed to lose her armies for the later 4 episodes because they want to implement her need for the northerners. The biggest question is now raised. What weight more. The remaining northerners or 2 dragons.
The issue wasn’t peoples TVs. It was a conscious decision by either D&D or Miguel or both to increase the horror element and put the audience in the dark with the characters. It worked well for that suspenseful Dothraki scene in the beginning but the mistake was having the whole episode in the dark. Hopefully HBO realizes this mistake and fixes the lighting for future airings and the DVD because the episode would be a much a more enjoyable watch with proper lighting.
Are we sure that the night king was the great other? I think he is not the great other. I think the great other lived even before the nk was made. I think the nk was an instrument of the great other. Without the great other the nk couldn’t have been made.
Did Alfie Allen do something wrong? Why is he never in any of the behind the scenes stuff or interviews? I figured he’d at least get some time to talk about the episode he freaking dies in
Has Ramin used the piano at any other point besides last night’s score and the light of the seven?
If not, I love his utilization of it it. The piano chords symbolize the moment of reckoning.
Build up the threat of the Walkers & the Great War for 8 years for them to be killed off in a single episode. MEH. Then leave 3 episodes for Cersei who we know has been a royal jerk for the last 8 years. I’ll stick around for the final 3 episodes but the thrill is completely gone.
I loved all the death scenes in this episode (in emotional way). I was even brough to tears two times in this episode alone.
One relatively minor detail that I need to vent: while several characters seem to be wearing plot armor, why weren’t more of them wearing actual armor? For example, Jon, Sandor and Gendry were wearing only plain leather, along with Sam (standing in the front line no less) and several others. Some characters – e.g. Arya and Tormund – I can understand, but for most, it would seem prudent to wear more than a plain tracksuit in a combat situation like this.
That’s the only time. I know. I’m just saying I think Sam needs a hug. 🙂
I agree with those who consider the human drama more appealing than the WW narrative but the presence of the WW mystery and threat in the overall plot arc helped make the human drama for the Throne more captivating. The story has now lost an important fantasy element which now makes the war for the Throne much less interesting(for me and many others at least). With the WWs gone, 3ER being pointless, prophecies being irrelevant for the show, it is now a fake historical drama with dragons.
There should have been at least 2 episodes minimum dealing with the Long Night with the 1st making it seem like the WW and NK are winning and the finale killing of the NK happening in episode 4 or 5.
Hopefully what they have planned for the finale 3 episodes proves me wrong but I believe the story has lost something very important that helped make it so captivating.
It wasn’t one episode. They’ve been fighting the White Walkers for several seasons now. The only difference is this time, they won.
Exactly what I wanted to say. I don’t get what people expected… so all the beyond-the-Wall conflict doesn’t count as the battle against the dead?
Going forward, I’m wondering where Dany/Jon get their supporters/strength from. The Dothraki are gone, and there are only some Unsullied survivors (see, the preview for the next episode). There are only a few survivors from the Northern Bannermen; the Umbers were all dead before the battle even began, the Stark troops took a beating, along with the Mormont and Karstark forces. The Vale Knights were in the front line along with Jaime and Brienne and took heavy casualties. Notably, I remember the Glovers are not present at Winterfell. So what happens? Does Dany recall the Second Sons from Mereen? Does the Golden Company eventually switch sides? Does Yara show up with more Ironborn?
and before this episode it was fake historical drama with dragons and WW.
It’s turned into super hero ayra show and sour face sansa show with a obvious ending now .
Biggest threat sorted by a super hero ayra . No one died that wasn’t obvious .
D any should of took the throne .she’s lost more than all of them for what.
Lord of light . Night king all the mystery point less .
Did anyone die in battle .nope . Couldn’t see anyway too dark . Disappointing .more died at the red wedding
Bug off. Meanwhile, I always thought Arya’s story was sooooo boring, but now everything made sense. Loved that she came out of nowhere, literally, and did that !
The WW were a huge plot point in the overarching story. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t have a significant screen presence, their presence in the story was there and it was very important.
I’ve defended this show for 7 seasons all the way up until Episode 2 of this season. You cannot build up a threat over 8 years with the theme that the petty wars of the seven kingdoms are meaningless, then dedicate 3 more episodes to the so-called “meaningless” war. It is extremely anticlimactic. Sam should of died at least 3 times in this episode, they cut to several shots of him laying on a pile of bodies fighting the dead. Really? “This is about the living and the dead” Lol. They could of dedicated Season 7 to dealing with the threat of Cersei and this season to the “Great War” OR the dead could of won Winterfell and the stakes would of been higher when dealing with Cersei and the Walkers. This episode was poorly written, my desire to continue this show has diminished significantly after this episode. Like I said, I’m sticking around for the last 3 to see a conclusion to this story that I’ve invested so much time into; hopefully, it makes up for the huge disappointment of Ep 3.
They were. And now they are not.
Now it’s time to see how the world looks now that they’ve saved it. Something popular fantasy movies and shows never explore.
And I think it won’t be only about Cersei.
I thought it was VERY interesting how pieces of “Light of the Seven” were worked into that sequence and “The Night King” song. What did that say to me? In basic terms, that it ties the NK and Cersei together as the main baddies.
Well and in my case, this episode landed in my no.1 spot on my GoT ranklist and is tied with two LOST episodes for my favorite TV episode of all time. No matter what you or any other complainer says, my love for GoT can only go up for the remaining 3 episodes, considering I enjoyed every single episode so far.
Why do I get the feeling that the people hating on this episode are the same ones who pushed the stupid ass theory of the night king attacking kings landing.
They are. People who envisioned in their head the army of the dead is the very endgame and can’t accept anything different now.
We all need a hug, after the death of jorah and theon.
And did thormund and ghost die?
I understand what you mean. But I think it’s more that we got the biggest baddy of the show. Cersei is evil and maybe more human on human drama. But she is less frightening than the night king. And now it feels more like: we ended the biggest treat the thing that our characters should fear more than anything and is almost impossible to defeat to a villain that seems easily defeated.
For a book this would work for a screen it’s more difficult. There’s a reason we didn’t get the scouring of the shire on screen. Because it’s wouldn’t have worked on screen.
I really hope it works and it will feel like breaking bad part 2 as in, part 1 ended the story that started in the first season. And part 2 focused on Walter white personally and not his empire. It worked there to stop the biggest storyline midway season 5 and move away from that. Hopefully it will have the same effect here.
From someone who’s been obsessed with both the book and show versions of this story…Episode 1 was awful but Episode 2 and last night were terrific. Was it perfect? No. Perfect would have been Jon Snow outdueling NK in some crazy flaming sword fight. What they did definitely caught me by surprise, though, and I really enjoyed it. Go ahead and complain that we didn’t lose enough great characters, but I’m glad. I want more Brienne, Podrick, Tormund, etc. Jorah hurt, but he certainly went with honor and I loved Drogon being sad about it. He was there when the dragons were born and we were reminded of that by Drogon’s reaction. It bothers me a little that Cersei and Euron are going to dominate the rest of the screen time, since both of them have become really predictable and annoying. I’m hoping they’ll come up with some more surprises for us in those battles, but I’m not at all disappointed so far. I’m really going to miss this show and last night was crazy. I was gripping my chair for 80 straight minutes. Mr. Sapochnik once again did an amazing job.
No thank goodness! Both survived. Basically everyone survived except
Lyanna, Jorah, Theon, Beric, Melisandre and Edd. Oh and 98% of the Dothraki.
It’s because they way the treat feels. In season 1 till 7 it was: this is what they are capable of, once they move pasted the wall this is going to happen there and to the other characters there. For now they are save, the wall still stand. Till then only a handful were busy with the white walkers. It was just a small portion of the story.
Cliffhanger season 7: oh shit oh shit, it’s real now. All the characters are in danger. We are fucked. Nobody is save from them.
Episode 8×01: everybody get together to fight this enemy. One castle down. Still not bad for an invasion. One castle we can live with.
Episode 8×02: already at winterfell.
Episode 8×03: oh defeated.
They weren’t really a treat to westeros. They just moved in and they are gone. They got hold of 1 castle of many the second they failed.
But I started to see why they went this route. The north remembers but the south will never believe them. Meaning the hero thrope can’t be used by dany or Jon to make the people of westeros know that their asses were saved by them.
They were heroes but could be portrait als the villains who try to dethrone the right full queen cersei. We and the north know the truth. The southern common folk would never believe this “myth” really happened.
Yea 100% that’s what I think the musical score is telling us.
I prefer the show ending back where we started, a politically centered game of thrones conundrum rather than everyone unifying against a easily vilified entity.
This is called overthinking, and falls in line with the showrunners wanting to “surprise” everyone.
The whole show has built up the Jon vs NK narrative, and it rings a little hollow to basically take Jon completely out of the picture aside from his brief staredown with the NK.
The episode was super entertaining but all that buildup for a flying sneak attack from Arya. Eh.
Defeating the White Walkers was actually an important piece to even enable “What comes after” part. Not to mention that GoT has always been a characters’ journey and I’m sure this battle and everything leading up to it seriously affected the characters themselves.
The show is based on the War of the Roses, which happened in England. There werent any people of color then. Sorry. GoT isnt racist. Its literally based on the history of White people. If anything, GoT has gone out of its way to infuse people of color. And yet you bitch.
We’ll never know what GRRM’s true intent was at this point, even if he finishes the books.
It’s not inconceivable that he created the WW purely as a plot device to unite otherwise opposing forces against Cersei.
If you want to know the WW true motives (I do too) give it two years, I’m sure there will be a history book released by the g man himself covering the second long night
I have to agree with you. It will not only be about cersei. It will be about Jon and dany and the claim of jon. It will be about the choice of the north to stay or leave the seven kingdoms. Or maybe something else will be implemented. Some sort of democracy. The first step to it. I hope they play that right.
Lost was one of my favorite shows. Which episodes? My favorite was the constant 4×05. I loved the end (the last season itself not zo much but the end was beautiful so this give me hope the ending of got will be also). I would recommend leftovers for you. Season 1 is OK but season 2 and 3 are brilliant and have the lindelof vibe. The ending is also brilliant.
Not everyone. I though he was going to go there. Or rather it was possible. Now it’s not happening and I’m okay with it as long as episode 4 till 6 are great pieces of television. But still the more I think of it the less I liked episode 3. Not so much because how it looked it was perfectly shot and acted but something is starting to gnawn at me (later more about that)
And 98% of the unsullied died.
I’m wondering if the north will follow dany now. It looks like it in the trailer. Luckily for her they really hate cersei.
I’m in the denial phase. Hopefully acceptance arrives before Sunday. I’m not happy with how the show has handled my favorite character. That’s no shock. Plenty of other people at some point have felt the same way about one of their favorites. Whether it’s Dany,Sansa,Jaime,Catelyn, etc., we’ve seen fans voice their displeasure. It’s the nature of these type of stories, I suppose. You invest yourself so much into the speculation that you are bound to be disappointed in one way or another. The nature of GRRM’s story being told by someone else in a different medium with different requirements makes the situation even more remarkable.
I want to enjoy the ending. I really do. It’s just that I’m having difficulty understanding what the point of Jon in the show is. He’s not special. They’ve been hammering that home since season two. He’s not a good strategist. He isn’t particularly bright. And that runs counter to what I feel about the book character. But it’s not the books and I must come to accept it if I am to enjoy the ending, as much as that’s possible. Perhaps appreciate is the better word.
I love Arya. Had I never read the books I would have marked out so hard for her killing the NK. So I understand why so many people enjoyed that. And I understand how it shoehorns nicely into happening in the show.
I teared up at Theon’s ending and liked the Melisandre ending. The relentlessness of the battle against the dead was so fatiguing for me. I can’t believe people would want that for two or three more episodes. I appreciate that it’s finally over.
Why would the theory of NK attacking Kings Landing be stupid when in S7 e7 Jon said a million people in Kings Landing would become part of the AOTD? It actually would make since for the NK to attack KL and it would of made for a much more compelling story.
So why did I have no problem watching the scenes? If it was really a problem with the lighting, then 100% of viewers would have a problem watching it.
I forgot what keeps gnawing at me. I started to think about that I don’t really care for action (for the reasons the director of the episode talked about). I don’t like super hero movies but I liked dark knight because they let go of that easily win element. And being more character driven. And I love the battles in got and LOTR. I can watch them over again and still feel invested in it. So I started to think about the battle of helm’s deep and about the battles in got which I would rather watch, yes for the got episode. HD for helm’s deep.
1. Blackwater. Yes, I would watch rather blackwater.
2. Wotw, yes, I would rather watch wotw again.
3. Hardhome. also a yes.
4. Botb. Yes rather this battle.
5. Spoils of war. Rather HD battle.
6. Beyond the wall. Yes rather watch this episode then the battle of HD
7. The long night. Hmmm I really can’t say. I incline to say HD.
I want the long night to be the best battle out there. But something is missing for me the more I think about it. It’s not the directing because it’s the best directing of the whole show. The actors were amazing. Maybe tomorrow once I have slept I know what that feeling is.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
She’s not wrong to bitch now if she so chooses though. Not sure how you figure Dothraki and Unsullied fit into the War of the Roses part but I’m sure you’ll let us know. Because Martin may have started it so, but it was a seed that grew in the telling and it included the whole Planetos world due to Dany being in Essos for so long looking for armies to take the Westeros white medieval world by fire and blood.
In my mind those copper skinned Dothraki and Essosi multi-racial Unsullied are not exactly going to turn white so they can fit in with the War of the Roses whiteness concept. I think we need to leave that one behind when talking about the current situation of the show.
The most perfect series finale ever was for Six Feet Under, where there was a montage of what everyone’s life was until their death. I wish we could have something like that here but I doubt it will happen.
Another excellent finale was for The Sopranos but I know that was also very polarizing, many people hated it. Could possibly be the same for Game of Thrones.
To all the naysayers take heart. You only have three more weeks to bitch about this show. It will be over soon, you can make it!
Six feet under was amazing. My favorite ending of any show.
I loved the ending of sopranos. Sopranos was about life. And in life you don’t have the perfect beginning middle and end. That was the whole point of that ending. Because in real life, before one thing ends an new thing already started a way back.
Pointing out constructive criticism isn’t bitching. And got is not free from constructive criticism, even if we all like it very much.
So except others opinion, thank you very much.
The ending of Six Feet Under will be hard to beat by ANY show.
The ending of Sopranos, at first I was perplexed but I’ve since come to appreciate it as perfect. It was beautiful in it’s way, despite being so sad. All without revealing a thing. Just brilliant.
I have no problem “accepting” others opinions. But some perspective is in order. I stand by my post, thank you very much.
But the deep and engaging politics of KL has been neutered. Cersei and Euron are nothing more the mustache twirling villains while Dany is bloodthirsty for the throne.
I understand your point of view, and I also assumed that the White Walkers would last longer, until I thought about it. Jon and Danerys assembled the largest army Westeros has ever seen, mined a mountain of dragonglass, set up Winterfell’s defenses, and had two dragons at their disposal. Winterfell was the perfect place for them to make their final stand. If they lost, the Army of the Dead would become exponentially more powerful, and the living would become much weaker. Besides, as soon as the dead breached the wall, a retreat would have been practically impossible for the vast majority of the living’s army. There could only have been one of two outcomes: either the living would win, or the dead would. As it turns out, I didn’t need for the Army of the Dead to advance any more south to realize how big of a threat they were to Westeros. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire 1 hour and 22 minutes, especially once “The Night King” music started playing. We the viewers knew that that battle would decide the fate of Westeros, even if the rest of Westeros didn’t. And that’s enough for me.
Also, I still don’t consider them being defeated in a single episode. The battles that took place Beyond the Wall still count.
I guess they’ll try to unite what’s left of the North and maybe look to some Southern Houses that aren’t affiliated with Cersei/the Lannisters. Dornish houses may be inclined to ally with them as well as the Tully’s and their vassals. Part of me wishes they’d burn the Red Keep(with Cersei in it), turn King’s Landing into a free city and try for a federation among the remaining Houses/regions of Westeros. If the dragons live, I hope Dany/Jon leave Westeros for a place they have a better chance to flourish.
Jon would have a hard time on a dragon in armor I would think. The other two , I agree.
I am not ok. 💔 Jorah 💔
Youre missing the point entirely. GoT has gone out of its way to diversify its cast. I already said that.
Most of the main characters are “white” because most of the main action is set in what is analogous to Western Europe. Also, a shit ton of “white” people were killed.
Lets keep race politics out of it, as I stated. You can agree or not.
So would the folks complaining about the NK being “defeated in one episode” be happier if this nearly 90-minute episode had been split into two 50-minute ones with a stray Cersei or Yara scene stuck in to pad them?
Also watching in a dark room makes a difference. I watched it the first time in my Samsung HD TV. It’s not a new 4HD or anything. It looked even better on my second watch on my larger Sony TV. Again the tv isn’t a new 4HD one. It’s aftually not that advanced by today’s standards. Both times were in a totally dark room though. I’ve been watching it that way all season. The second time was with headphones which was really awesome to hear the soundtrack the best way possible. There are various display settings that will make a pretty huge difference also. Most standard modes are dimmer to save on the backlighting.
I am somewhat surprised at the negative reaction I have been seeing to this episode. Seems like it’s either love it or absolutely hate it, no in-between. I doubt they expected that. My guess is they figured universal praise, but it just hasn’t happened.
I too have a 4K TV that is professionally calibrated, I couldn’t see shit either. One glimpse of the many youtube reaction videos out there today, show that we are not on an island with that thinking. It’s been a common complaint.
I have been reading a lot of criticism about yesterday’s episode. I categorize the criticism into several groups:
1) the people who say negative things to pick up a fight, because 80 minutes of TV fighting was not enough for them. They would complain no matter what. So…
2) The people who felt they missed most of the action because it was so dark they could not see well what was going on. My sympathy for you guys. I understand. That happened to me with the battle at Castle Black way back when. I hope you can re-watch S8E03 on a better TV or after you calibrate the one you’ve got, as someone above suggested. Knowing winter was here I prepared myself so I calibrated my TV and got HD service. I saw a lot better. It was still chaotic because that is the way it was supposed to be. Not knowing exactly at the end who died and who survived is part of the chaos. You cannot expect a normal battle (which I suspect is tremendously chaotic, anyway) when one of the sides is death itself and, as Jon said, the soldiers don’t get tired, they don’t sleep, and they don’t need to rest… and the odds are a gazillion to 1 against you. There are no rules of fighting. They had to try and kill the one who controlled WW and wights… it was the only course of action.
3) Those whose theories came crashing to the floor. Suck it up! Some theories were very creative and entertaining and helped us throught the long night of one and half years of waiting for the last season (and many were wrong!). Some theories were just awful (and also mostly wrong !). The problem is not of the show for not doing what the ones with the theories thought should happen, but the way some of the “experts” and “critics” delivered their ideas: “The battle against the NK will last two episodes”; “Jon / Dany is Azor Ahai, ergo, he / she will kill the NK”, “This or that character will definitely die”, “This or that character has plot armor, and is never going to die”. In the end, the only one who was right about at least some of the survivors was Tyrion when he pointed out in episode 2 that the group by the fire were going to live… There you go!!
What amazes me is that the most hacked tv show in history was able to surprise so many people and subvert so many expectations. Chapeau D&D! Keep us gessing until the end.
4) The people who wanted the fight against the NK to last longer because they love violence… Sorry. This show has lots of very violent battles in it (and looks like another one is coming), but it is not a show about warfare nor about sheer fantasy, for that matter. It has to do with power and how people deal with it, and how this affects humanity as a whole.
As somebody before me suggested the #ForTheThrone hashtag in all Season 8 official materials should have been a good indicator that the end game had to do with the throne and what might end up happening in connection to it (will they fall back into they way things were 100 years prior -Targaeryens in the throne)?, 10 years ago (a Baratheon in the throne)?, will it remain the same as it is (a Lannister in the throne)?, or will a fundamental change take place and if so, in what direction? Who knows).
As it has not happened in a long time in Westeros, many of the traditional houses have disappeard or been seriously decimated. One could feel tempted to think of the latter, but then again, in Ramsey’s words “if you think this will have a happy ending… ” (you know the rest).
5) Finally the group of people who fill disappointed about what they feel was pointless about the NK and his purpose. They fill betrayed somehow because the fight between the dead and the living has been going in crescendo since the first season, and it was done in one episode. So some were asking what was the point or the purpose of the NK. Here I have an idea and it is that the NK did not have an agenda. He was created by the Children of the Forest as a weapon to kill the living… We know the creators fucked up the code so the weapon ended up turning on them too.
To me the NK is like that mass destruction weapon that comes out of wars (think of chemical warfare during WWI or nuclear weapons during WWII). Those are weapons created by a group to win over the other side. On their own they don’t have an agenda, the agenda is set by those who use them. But since nothing prevents the technology from falling into other hands (call it the enemy, the wrong hands, or the hands of the successors of the original creators, who do not care or understand the purpose it was created for), then there is potential for a problem. If those hands are of an unstable person with fidgety fingers… there is a recipe for disaster.
So back to GoT they were able to difuse this bomb, but did they learn the lesson or not? Were the seeds for a new ominous conflict planted? What is the new deadly weapon (something we have not seen yet or something we know? We have a couple of undead people in the Mountain and AeJon… We also have a mass murderer who has just been upgraded to heroic status (I celebrated Arya killing the NK, but thinking more carefully about it… that is what she has become).
So everything falls back to the humans and how will they do with the mess Westeros is right now… Stay tuned. (sorry for the super long post)
Best post I have seen on this episode. Bravo!
May be time for Dany to call in Daario and the Second Sons.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
I’m not missing the point at all. I’ve read your whole comment and understood exactly what you said. Your response though to Nadia wasn’t addressing the Unsullied and Dothraki which Nadia wanted to bitch about on the second line of her comment. You chose to answer only the part about the Westeros while you swiftly forgot she mentioned those from Essos as one of the complaints. Pretty big one.
If you don’t want to have a discussion on race don’t engage in one. Or do whatever. I suppose I just don’t like it when people tell other people to stop bitching. I mean if you were friends or familiar with one another then it would be different. But people have the right to post legitimate likes or dislikes about what they feel strongly.without being so summarily shut down.
Jack Bauer 24,
There is no need to call him…
He must have heard the news about golden company moving to westeros…given his character he will rally the troops and set sailing already..
In the frames of the ‘funeral pyre’ scene next episode who is carrying a torch?
I make out Grey Worm, Jon, Dany, and it looks like Sam, it that Sansa or Arya also?
Ok it’s been 25 hours – time for me to pour my thoughts
Let’s start with the good
Arya – love that she did it- it came out of nowhere but yet it didn’t cuz we’ve been getting hints for years now – it was unexpected and that’s what GOT is known for – also love how throughout the episode she seemed to be the hounds strength to keep going on
Sansa has always been my favourite and that little moment between her and Tyrion was sad and I’ve never been more afraid however she really needs to lay off Dany now
Dany- omg where do I begin – she proved this episodes she’s more for saving people than revenge by going after the wights instead of the NK- she’s also proven she still loves Jon when she comes back to save his ass on Drogon
Drogon – there’s something about seeing a dragon covered with undead people stabbing away that reminded me of birds covered in angry ants and I was afraid he was gone- also love the bird like sounds the dragons made while flying through the blizzard
Viserion- CGI masterpiece and my nightmare fuel for years I’m sure – let’s be honest he was scarier than the NK
Rhaegal- that shot of him going down was cinematic – but where did he go after – I suppose he took a time out with ghost
Ghost- bloody amazing charge and then nothing – time out with Rhaegal I suppose feasting on the Dothraki that had just fallen
Dothraki – cannot express how amazing that sequence was – from their arakhs lighting up to them charging to the main title music to their fires going out looked bloody awesome
Lastly THEON. For a man with no balls I’d say he had the biggest balls ever and I love him which is weird cuz I hated him – the magic of GOT
And now the Bad –
I’m not gonna complain about it being dark it’s supposed to be dark it gives us an idea of just how horrible any war would have been without spotlights
Ok so the NK and the long night – WTF 8 years we’ve been building up to this – it ends in 1 night – the long night wasn’t very long – and while I’ve already stated Arya taking out the NK was shockingly awesome I wish the bloody NK did something – burns down 1 wall raises the dead kills Theon – really??? I suppose no one would win in combat with him (pun intended) but honestly I wish we had gotten more
Don’t even start with the white walker generals – wtf did those asswipes do – unless it was then that brought the blizzard I really don’t know what their purpose was
Also I do believe GOT has finally cheapened when it comes to character deaths – that swarm of undead should have destroyed everyone including Tormund Jaime Brienne Pod and anyone else outside the main gates – Jorah’s death was beautiful but then again he disappeared for so so long I thought he was already dead
There’s so much else I’d like to say but I suppose I want to see where the show goes with it first – had this episode been the last episode I’d have said yeh that’s awesome – had they lost winterfell and then had the final battle in KL that would have been cool too – like a 3 way battle – this decision to end the Army of the dead confuses me – one thing is certain though – CERSIE IS IN FOR SHIT but then again she may fuck things up for everyone
“Going to make the unpopular comment about how problematic this show can be with any POC representation.”
Do you agree with this? Again, GoT has gone out of its way to include people of color. You say you understand me but apparently you dont. Do you agree with the absurd assertion that GoT is “problematic” when it comes to diversity? Do you?
“Literally the wipe out the brown Unsullied and Dothraki masses, especially the latter without giving them even one character who speaks for them.”
Danys army is from Essos, comprised mainly of what can be called analogous to Middle Eastern and North African warriors. Yes they got wiped out, but so did most of the Knights of the Vale, Wildlings and Northerners, so the carnage was colorblind. Did the Knights of the Vale have a spokesman in Ep 3? Hell, who didnt get wiped out?
“And almost all the white characters we care about somehow miraculously survive like 100 to 1 odds?”
Again. Most of the main characters are from Westeros, ie Western Europe, the UK and Ireland in particular, so yes most of the main characters are white by default.
If you truly understand me, this is my criticism point by point. Im not neglecting anyone but addressing Nadia’s race baiting, which is unnecessary and disappointing. We dont need race baiting here.
I can’t tell either. It’s so quick. It looks like someone shorter than Sansa, I think.
So sorry about Jorah. He did really well in his final battle. His Dad would be proud of him.
But yes, it is a pity he was killed. At least he was spared the “wightening”.
Don’t the WW ‘Captains’ usually do some wights directing? These guys just stood around like a bunch of baby ducks. I thought for sure all the surviving heroes where gonna wind up with Bran and fighting WWs, while the Arya story played out the way we see it. Failure of imagination.
I understand the reasons behind the Dothraki charge and how the lights kept going out and all..
But I do wonder how the Dead managed to put out all the fire from the Arakh and those catapults..
Wouldn’t they have gotten fire and burned..
I have a theory, and I might need to borrow Ten Bears tin foil hat, but hear me out:
What we watched was just half of the AOTD. NK has a double and the WWs were extras. They have been hiding in the gods wood Now the real battle begins…. No? ah well.
It was not the my fav episode, too dark to see, I honestly fast forwarded many parts. I didn’t mind at all that Arya killed him What surprised me was the timing of his death. But I will watch the next two episode with different expections, see how it all plays out, so I will reserve judgement on this one For Now
My apologies, I inadverantly put in a spoiler from the books, didn’t catch it till I posted. Have edited; hope its all ok
Was it really race baiting? I didn’t think what she said or the way she said it was inflammatory. Maybe I need to develop a thinner skin. I didn’t say I didn’t agree with your points about the inspiration source race composition as Martin clearly stated it years ago. Though I remember many came up with interesting explanations that proved that England was not quite as uniformly white as we we assumed at that time. I wish I had the articles that were posted a long while back.
Anyway, this was your response to the whole comment that I understood at that point (based on your words) before this long detailed one:
“The show is based on the War of the Roses, which happened in England. There werent any people of color then. Sorry. GoT isnt racist. Its literally based on the history of White people. If anything, GoT has gone out of its way to infuse people of color. And yet you bitch.”
Does it sound to you like you mention anywhere the Dothraki and Unsullied addition to Westeros and why the show didn’t give them more of a “voice” I think she called it. You told her to basically shut it and addressed the origin of the story and the whiteness of the Westeros characters. Which I already said above.
I stand by what I said re your original comment.
Btw out of curiosity would you have understood your comment as addressing that specific complaint if you read anyone here post what you posted? I wonder how much of a mind reader do you think other peeps are.
Gendry is out of focus in the back of Sansa, Jon, Arya images
maybe now Theon will get a freaking funko doll
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
TormundsWoman, as well!
There is no doubt that GOT has problems with diversity. (If you took a look at press with good POC coverage you would know that.)
The idea that GOT is based on European history does not help. As far as I recall, there are no fiery dragons, warging or 3 eyed ravens in European history, War or Roses or otherwise. I do not think anyone was raised from the dead in the War of the Roses or any other European war. So using a more and more layered POC participation would not have been outrageous as GOT is not restricted to the exact features of any historical models.
There has been a worthwhile discussion of several themes (for example, the white savior fantasy including loyal grateful beneficiaries) and incidents portrayed in GOT in terms of insensitivity to POC. (See the discussion in any press with high POC representation.) There was one scene in particular scene that was fairly emotionally violent for POC – it caused a bit of a commotion. That tells me that they also lack POC in roles behind the camera. Unfortunately, GOT has developed a bit of a following among certain political groups because of some of these factors, the low diversity generally and the racial purity preferences of the Targs.
It seems to me that D&D have tried to respond in various ways. Although they do not say so, I believe that the prominence of Grey Worm & Missy are a part of an effort to do the best with the few they have in speaking roles. I never thought we would lose Grey Worm early because that would reduce their POC by 50%. This season they actually gave them their own dreams outside service. Anyway, getting diversity right is good business practice.
Spotted the millennial who looks for ridiculous reasons to be offended while watching a fictional TV show. How woke of you.
Jack Bauer 24,
and House Glover to step up. And House Reed? MIA
Yeah they spared him and Theon. Now Beric was killed before the NK raised the dead, so I wonder if we had a wight Beric mulling around off camera? Poor Beric raised again 😃
Jack Bauer 24,
The Night King’s motivations were not necessary to expand on beyond what Bran alluded to. Why? Because D&D have said in the past that he was simply death and that is all. Occam’s Razor and all that.
The Night King and his army being defeated by the end of this episode was not a bad thing or a ‘terrible ending’ (in my opinion). Why? Because this is a TV show called Game of Thrones. The focus is the tussle for the throne, and the battle with the Night King and his army was a secondary story, even though the show began with that storyline.
I truly believe everyone is entitled to an opinion and analysis about the show, in particular Episode 3, but I think many people have lost sight of the fact that the TV show is BASED on the books, rather than being an exact replica of them, and there has been much proof of this throughout the eight seasons the show has been airing.
That being said, I personally loved the episode, and the way it ended. I think it was a fitting way for him to go out, especially in light of Arya’s arc in the show. Can’t wait to see what this bittersweet ending is all about!
I like the description of the events as told by a priest of the Lord of Light that you have written. It has an old legends feel to it. Well done.
Brilliant! I love this.
Did anyone figure out what Bran’s ravens were doing?
He said he had to go away then his birds flew…to..do..what..?
Do you think that GoT is “problematic” concerning people of color?
Yes GoT includes the armies of Essos with Grey Worm and Missandei being prominent people of color. Did I need to be that specific for you to understand my position. If so, I hope that helps.
Do you believe GoT has a problem with racial diversity? That’s the crux of the issue.
Oh yes!! GoT is followed by a bunch of Wight Supremacists. It is known.
Well the ravens immediately flew to the NK so I guess part of it was to reveal his location to the audience. Aside from that it wasnt really obvious.
Would have made more sense if Arya was able to sneak up on the King because characters with Valyrian swords had whittled down the ranks of his supporting walkers.
The northerners don’t wear full armor so that would answer Jon’s no armor question, Gendry has no money and instantly went north where they don’t wear armor. Sandor got rid of his armor after almost dying and came back in season 6 then went north where again they don’t build and use armor and I think the smiths were focused more on making thousands of dragon glass weapons instead of armor for an exceptionally big man.
Was that the Long Night? One episode? Go past the Wall and lose the first battle?
I don’t know, but one episode and that was it?
To track the NK. Once he spotted him I’m not sure why he was still warging for so long. The ravens weren’t around NK anymore, but he stopped warging soon as NK got to the Godswood.
Well that’s just not true. Robb, his wife, and Catelyn and his wolf die at the red wedding. No one else notably does. Edd, Lyanna, THeon, Jorah, and Beric die.
The majority of the show is about the petty wars and power and no one cared about the WW threat besides Jon, Freefolk, and Nights watch, Jon got the majority of the north to join the cause vs WW. The Vale as only there cause of Sansa and Royce continued to play the game and be a hindrance instead of being all in on the WW threat. Name one other kingdom that was there to help? Handful of iron born. Arya freed the river lands, they didn’t show. No reach help, Cersei held the west and crown lands, and of course the Dornish are no where. So the focus of the 7 Kingdoms was not the WW it is still power and the throne. Game of thrones not Game of Living
I thought Bran sacrificed himself and Arya was wearing his face… Right up until she flew at the Night King from behind that is…
Jon vs Night King would’ve been so Tom Cruise or Schwarzenegger vs villian. I did find Aryas move a bit Rey vs Imperial guardish. She would not have done that Tarzan yell before stabbing that SOB.
The dragons above the clouds and the shot od Drogon firing away at the Night King were the best since Reign of Fire and Dragonslayer.
Ah, I see.
Bran, ever useful.
Thanks! I suppose we could miss the NK, he looks so much like any random guy on a blue fire dragon.
In your opinion sure. And I respect that. However I agree w others that seeing 80 minutes of the WW attacking and basically cleaning house only to have them do it again in two episodes is crazy. The show has always been about ruling Westoros not saving it. But the show just did save westoros and left time to get back to the true heart of the story which is the throne.
And I don’t agree w those who wanted a final battle in the finale. Maybe if there was only 3 seasons sure end it big and epic but after 8 seasons there needs to be a final episode to tie up all the kingdoms and characters. That can’t be done in 30 minutes after a battle. THats why it appears the final battle is episode 5 maybe linger into ep 6.
I agree. I have just watched the video ‘The Game Revealed’ and the clips showing the battle scenes and within the crypt are fine regarding the brightness levels. In fact I got more enjoyment watching that than the episode itself! At least I could see what was going on.
I appreciate that battle was always going to be at night, but HBO must have dropped the light levels during the final edits which IMO fucked up the viewing for many people – me included 🙁
Yeah the most ambitious battle scene in any format had no imagination. Am I the only one who honestly thought at the end they wouldn’t make it through? I was standing up hands on the back of my head screaming how will they make it? And now the stage is set corn a final battle for the throne where Dany at one point had a clear advantage no longer does. It has been said the finale is bitter sweet. I’m starting to think Cersei May make it out alive…but KL is def going to blow up ha ha ha no throne to sit on, now that is IRONy……..get it? Bad dad joke I know
It’s Tuesday April 30, 2019 at 12:46 am EDT and I have NOT watched the episode yet. Nor have I read any comments or posts. I have been off the internet completely. I know nothing about what happened. I just zipped down to the bottom of this Comments section to ask one favor:
Can someone – anyone – just tell me one thing?
Did Arya survive?
If not, I’m not going to watch the episode.
A simple, detail-free, emoji reply will suffice.:
✅👸🏻 = YES! ASNAWP lives!!!
❌😩 = So so sorry. She didn’t make it.
I’ll check back in a bit.
To the WotW editorial team…
Can you make a questionnaire (a WotW Poll) regarding if viewers thought the night scenes were too dark which spoiled their viewing experience? For me, this has been so throughout the series and this latest episode S8E3, the worst ever in that respect.
I also find the audio level (not so much the music, but when characters are talking) has always been very low on GoT compared to other programs also shown on the same channel – In my case on Sky Atlantic.
So it wasn’t the ending the bothered me. I liked it even better once Oz mentioned that Ayra was jumping like a Wolf. The only thing better would have been if Nymeria and friends would have surrounded the NK before she made the leap somehow…
What bugs me is something bigger…It’s really Bran’s story from the beginning. It seems like Bran becoming the 3ER just brought doom upon the world. The old 3ER seemed to be doing an OK job wasn’t he? The NK couldn’t penetrate his defenses. 3ER Max was never marked. Bran makes mistaks and gets marked. Then he goes back behind the wall still marked, which puts the entire world in danger… All I can reason is the 3ER Max knew that to kill the NK, Bran would have to get the NK back to Winterfell for Arya to use the dagger. I’m not a book person, so I’m not sure how much different this all is in the books. Why did 3ER Max need Bran? Was he about to die so he needed an apprentice? 3ER Max was doing OK wasn’t he? I’m hoping D&D actually have more for Bran to do these next three weeks. There are three more super sized episodes coming.
Watch the episode. Now. All I’m gonna say.
✅👸🏻 = YES! ASNAWP lives!!!
Ten Bears: YES! ASNAWP lives!!!
I will say no more as it will ruin your expectations of E3. I think you’ll be VERY HAPPY with this episode 🙂
I see that Ghost is still alive in the preview I think. Can someone tell me what the point of him was in this episode? He ran into battle, obviously survived, and then what? Ran away? And why the hell would Jon allow him to do that anyway?
I mean come on now. If you’re going to do that you might as well have not even included Ghost.
I agree that their overall motivation was clear. But there was this perceived tension between the NK and Jon Snow. It felt like a two-way obsession, and I would have liked some, even small, explanation why.
Yes, I certainly can’t complain that it wasn’t a fitting way to go for him. Just freakin’ heartbreaking. As it should be. Dany and Drogon were wonderful here.
Jack Bauer 24,
Bella Ramsey is 16. She is hardly that young, considering Isaac Hempstead-Wright started GoT at 11.
LOL, aw Ten Bears. She most certainly does. And how. 🙂 Can’t wait for your thoughts!
if Beric Dondarrion was resurected to serve a mission, and Melisandre lived for centuries to complete her mission, what will JS mission be before he turns into a dust cloud i wonder
“Ghost does show up, and he does some … he’s very present and does some pretty cool things in Season 8”
That is what VFX supervisor Joe Bauer said https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5b7eb066e4b0348585fe242b
So did he he work on a different cut of Season 8 then the one we’ve seen, or are we in for some cool Ghost scenes in the second half of the season? Because he’s been far from “very present” for a long time now and unless you consider running into battle and disappearing for the rest of the epsiode “pretty cool”, I’m not sure what Bauer is getting at here. Jon has Rhaegal now, so is he taking Ghost to KL?
He said that to try rally people to the cause. It wouldn’t make for a compelling story, it would just unnecessarily drag out this storyline and make that threat overwhelming to the point that the living couldn’t defeat the dead. Personally I would find it boring as hell to see another three episodes of this, with everyone just gradually being killed. You’re also assuming that the NK army can operate without him being there to command it. If he wasn’t there then that would give the north the chance to defeat and burn that portion of his army, without it also being defended by a dragon. Yes it’s likely that the dead would still win but tactically it would not really make sense. Anyway why exactly does this one storyline need to be the ultimate endpoint to the series? It was time to wrap it up, and they did so in a spectacular way. We all know GRRM’s last book is called A Dream of Spring, is that meant to refer to the NK & the army of the dead? Clearly not.
I hear he learns how to shake a paw in Episode 4, and may briefly scratch his ear.
“Hurry up and watch it!!” is all I have to say 😉
Not much to add just want to say I concur.
Yeah it does count but I think what most people are sore about is just how it happened. A great war victory is not as satisfying when they’ve built up the foe as being all powerful and mysterious that even battle hardened warriors and all the books Sam read at the Citadel couldn’t beat or figure out all to just finally be taken out by a kid you didn’t see, doing a stylized sneak attack jump out of nowhere, with one knife to the chest. Anti-climatic I guess is the right word. Arya had nothing to do with the White Walkers throughout the whole of it. But if that’s the story then that’s the story that is being told. I’m okay with it, just surprised.
I thought they would have an existential meaning. If that makes any sense. I mean, that is what drew my interest in them if anything did. That, and the fact my man Jon was the one I thought would face off with the leader and do some heroic sh*t.
But perspective IS opinion.
Yes, this! There is a strong similarity and in the end the whole resolution of Season 4 turned out to be gripping. Let’s hope for the same and not rush to judgement when we’re only halfway through it.
After all, the broad canvas of “external threat gone / internal threat remains” is going to be pretty much how GRRM has planned for the books.
I’m ashamed at the comments you’re getting. Everything you wrote is the truth and as much as I very much enjoy this show (and these books), dealing with race is not one of their strong suits.
Which scene are you talking about?
Thanks for that!
I probably won’t get to watch it until Wed. night.
You guys know that the use of the light in this episode is a direction team’s decision, right? It’s not something arbitrary; probably (and well, I mean, surely), the direction team decided that this episode should be seen by the viewers as the characters of the show do see the battlefield: completely dark. It’s THE long night, the AOTD is there, the NK is there. You are not supposed to see it clearly. You even shouldn’t be able to see at all. I mean, there’s also that snow storm… and there you are, some of you complaining about TV settings.
It’s the direction’s team choice (an artistic one related to the storytelling) to make you feel like the characters do, and I think they totally manage to do it, so for me that’s an achievement. You feel lost, tense, blind… so, everything but comfortable. And that was exactly the point of the light in this episode. You don’t have to be very smart to realize about this… I mean, come on… you can complain about some parts of the script in this episode, but not about the direction/light with the arguments most of you are using.
You’re a good friend/coworker to be doing OT, Ten Bears. 🙂
After letting it sit for a few days, I am coming to terms with how the episode ended. I am still feeling very mixed about the episode; some parts I loved, others I disliked more than any other moments during the show’s run. It was certainly thrilling.
I am going to reserve judgement on this season until it has finished. It was never going to be an easy job finishing George’s story and obviously, those who have read the books (many times over) and have dedicated decades to this story (not myself, I read them after season 5 ended) are going to feel strongly about what they see happen in this final season.
What I feel dishearted by is the bandying around of the puerile term “haters” to label to anyone who criticises (some vociferously) what happened in the episode and disagree strongly with the way this season is unfolding. I personally don’t have too enormous a problem with the AOTD being wiped out so soon, though I do wish it hadn’t been so simplistic an ending (all it took was a VS dagger through the dragon glass heart of the NK and boom, the problem goes away), but I am content to realise that the show medium probably needed something like this and that it will happen differently in the books (if we ever get them).
It’s the term “haters” that bugs me and the smug superiority of those who use it to condemn those who dislike the episode as mere whingers. In art, there are always going to be a huge range of opinions. Especially in this form of art, which is an adaptation of a much greater-scope artwork. Opinions are going to be massively divided. Those who feel the path chosen by the show runners to end the threat this way aren’t simply stupid people who didn’t see signs along the way, they simply feel the method chosen to end the AOTD and the timing of it doesn’t work, for various reasons. It’s a critique of an art form, a review of what went down, not rabid fans clinging to their YouTube theories. GRRM spoke of how this season was going to generate debate. If he can recognise it for what it is, genuine debate, not ‘hating on something’ (I cannot stress how ridiculous I find that term), then perhaps we should all do the same and embrace the debate.
If people enjoyed it, genuinely, good for them. It is great so many people loved it. It would be good though if those who did enjoy it can restrain from labelling those who critique and question this enormous plot development as whinging haters.
Forgot to give a shoutout to one of my favourite performers, Javier Botet (library wight). I first saw him in Guillermo del Toro’s films, probably most known for ‘Mama’ with Nikolaj.
I am now wondering if Dany’s third betrayal, will be Tyrion betraying her for his love of Sansa?
Sansa won’t yield in her fight for an autonomous north.
I feel as though we are being set up for a Tyrion/Sansa love story. Kind of beautiful how they’re at a point in their arcs where Tyrion can recognise and respect Sansa as an equal and where Sansa is a strong, powerful woman who, unlike the Sansa of season 1, is not blinded by beauty and superficial charm.
I note as well that the original outline for the ASOIF plot had Tyrion forming part of a love triangle that was central to the overall story…
Tyrion has been shown making some ill considered decisions and taking gambles that haven’t paid off recently too.
I feel that this is almost inviting both the audience and Dany to start underestimating him and failing to see him as the immensely smart, shrewd and often ruthless player he still is.
We are definitely overdue a blindsiding from him!
OK. Yesterday I was mad, now I’m coming to terms with this episode. At least, I’m trying to.
For those who are still mad… I guess we have a legit reason for it. Deep in our hearts we all believe that the world follows certain rules. Rules make the world sane and just. The whole history of human cognition has been an attempt to identify those rules be it natural laws or the will of god(s) and fictional art/storytelling has always played a role in this process as much as science. Moreover, art/storytelling has being leading investigation of human psychology since the dawn of mankind and still does in many ways. And there are rules in storytelling as Whimsey has admitted many times.
According to the rule any story should raise some problem in the beginning and provide a solution at the end. In this case we were led to believe that the WW were a problem and the solution was building up as the main protagonist acknowledging the problem and then bringing everyone together for the common cause. Now it looks like we have been misled. I bet it’s GRRM’s idea, cause he has always been a fan of “The Scouring of the Shire”: premature, relatively low-cost, and unsatisfactory defeat of the WW could be the third WTF moment. If yes, GRRM and D&D are trying to alter the rules of storytelling in a big way; however, it may end in a success as much as in a failure.
One can argue that the story or the central problem of GoT has never been about dealing with an existential threat but rather about ruling. However, if it’s about ruling, it’s very hard to address ruling in a fictional world. Westeros is more or less functional; however, Essos is totally artificial, simplified, and contrived. Real-world nomads never “followed the strong” the way Dothraki follow Dany; countries that practiced slavery never functioned the way the cities of the Slaver’s Bay did. Therefore, Dany’s “ruling arc” is a waste of time; and Jon’s arc has never been about ruling – it was about bringing everyone together for the sake of survival at any cost… So, maybe the story isn’t about ruling either: maybe it’s simply about survival in the face of all kinds of challenges varying from existential threats to petit schemers and backstabbers? After all death is all the same be it from the hand of the Night King or some random dude.
Nevertheless, it feels a bit too late to make this point in the story now. And there is the lingering question of what was the role of the main protagonists now? I get it: Jon has been humbled once again – his most heroic moment was stolen by his little sis and that feels unfair, although she had the best skills for the job – there has been no investment. OK, this happens in real life, and the god are c***s as Sandor put it: Jon/PTWP was simply a diversion to the NK like Aragorn to Sauron. However, if LOTR has balanced Aragorn’s and Frodo’s and other heroes’ roles in a fair way, GoT is trying to be intentionally unfair. And that may end in a disaster, cause once again the world without rules is just a chaos no-one wants to relate with or be invested in.
Oh god, I just woke up and realized Theon never learned who Jon was and isn’t alive to give him the Stargaryen speech 🙁 ffffffff
Yeah. I’ve held off voicing my thoughts because I feel like an ungrateful jerk for being disappointed – but I am, for the reasons you’ve already laid out in your comments. I know Jon did stuff but it still feels off to me. I’m trying so hard to not be disappointed because I love this show, I love the hype, I love reading all of your guys’ thoughts on this here board, I love the cast, I love how passionate everyone is, I love how for these weeks, it feels like nearly the whole world is watching the same thing every Sunday night/early Monday morning and it feels so communal (like everybody reading a new Potter book the day after release communal!!) – but, with this episode, I feel like I felt after I saw the Buffy finale for the first time. So let down. There were moments I loved, the episode was beautifully shot, acted, and directed, but as much as I adore Arya and have since I first cracked open AGOT, the NK stuff felt hollow to me. I just think of Jeor Mormont setting Jon’s focus on the true wars of the realm all the way back when he was a little nooblet in season 1, the stuff with the wildlings, Hardhome, Melisandre, being resurrected, etc. and then 803 and… sigh.
But I want to be on board!!!
Game of thrones has been ruined by its own popularity and weird fan service to potter fans
ayra defeating the night king was the equivalent to hot pie coming out of nowhere to kill him
The biggest threat was meant to be the army of the dead, all thones and titles mean nothing and are petty, but it turned out they were not a threat at all, ayra could of guarded bran and dany could of took the thone,
Little girl kills night king with a little dagger
Little girl kills a giant
main characters get over run several times but miraculously survive
ayra gets a jon wick scene, ayra gets a walking dead horror scene ayra gets a super hero night king scene , ayra gets some dialogue in a room scene. ayra for some reason goes to the library mid battle to find martins books to try make sense of this silliness
night king challenges bran to a creepy stare match, it lasts forever while super hero ayra can take flight from nowhere
The red woman turns up casually just to light some fires, well that was worth the years of intrigue , the lord of light is a match stick then
theon gets sacrificed by bad writing,
ghost instead of defending winterfell decides to run with dothraki, that’s all we see of him, but of course he survives, no one dies here not even wolves and dragons .not in the biggest battle
The red woman walks of into the night dies, The End and the end of the best show on tv , it drops from 1st to barely top 10 now for me
To those defending the writing, think about this, Grey worm ,pod gendry survived, as much as i like them they survived, think about that ,
Hmm, I’m not sure- hasn’t one of the over arching themes of ASOIF always been that men are the real monsters?
The most sadistic, grotesque cruelty in the series and books comes from man.
And it’s always been about nuance, complexity – not straightforward battles between good and evil.
However, at the end of the day, we always have Sam reading his bff’s sex scene aloud in a great shirt
✅👸🏻!! I have been looking forward to reading your thoughts!!
There is one thing that is for certain for a show of this magnitude. There is absolutely no way they can please everyone. No matter what choices they made for the story, some will love it and some will hate it. That’s true for any story, but especially true for a story like this. There is a lot of expectation and a lot of hype and years upon years of theorising.
Thanks Vanessa and everyone else who has helped make this site a success. I’ll never say never but I don’t feel much inclined to partake with the site anymore, there is so much negativity these days, but of course everyone is entitled to an opinion so I won’t say people shouldn’t express disappointment if they feel that way. I think I’ll just watch the last three episodes myself and keep any opinions to myself. It’s not this site in particular which I have always found to be (mostly) a nice site but I think I’m over fandoms in general – but maybe it’s high time I was especially as I am in GRRM’s age bracket.
However, once again, I do appreciate the work the people behind this site have put in over the years (I always liked Oz’s reviews but this year have held off commenting there because I once revealed something unintentionally though that might have been on an Oz thread). And thank you for my Joffrey doll won in a competition who continues to glare down at me and require a good dusting down from time to time.
So goodbye (probably) – and despite this comment participating in this site HAS been mainly a positive experience for me.
Dame of Mercia,
I know how you feel, I dread to think what will happen on GoT fandoms once the series is completely finished. And then no doubt all kick off again in a few years when (if) the books are ever finished.
The books will forever be the true story for me but I’ve enjoyed the show adaptation for all its numerous flaws as entertainment in its own right.
The lack of light did ruin it for me. (I have a Sony Bravia TV.)
From what we saw in Ep 1 and 2, Jon doesn’t need any Stargaryan speech. He has a more diffcult problem now. He always wanted to be a hero, he was continuosly offering his life for that payoff, he sacrificed everything he had, but his little sis has stolen his purpose of life at the very last moment. If that gives an impetus for Jon’s character further development, it might be a genious twist. If not, it will be a disaster ruining the whole story for the sake of a cheep jump-scare surprice.
Your post is a perfect example of just downright horrible opinions of some people.
Arya killing the night king is the equivalent of hot pie killing him? Are you serious? Hot Pie could barely hold a sword and is a cook. Arya is a trained assassin.
It is amazing how much hate great art gets wants it gets to a certain level of popularity. There are years and years of nerd fandom that shows this trend. It is kind of sad that some just cant enjoy it.
Episode 3 was one of the most epic hours of television. Time will be kind to this episode once the obnoxious haters have gone on to their next series to complain about.
Isn’t it a bit weired that the explanation for the WW is to establish the long night and main target is now Bran the 3ER, but nearly no one in Westeros is aware that there is something like a 3ER and are fine with it.
So an explanation could be the 3ER is the only reason the long night is not already there, as his “magic” holds the NK back, like sleeping for 1000 years to the common people, but “old” 3ER is dying and needs a successor. NK has raised because of old 3ER weakness. This also implies the 3ER is the source of the magic that builds the great wall.
If Bran would not have been marked in a lack of better knowing during his training, he would have ended up in that cave the same way as old 3ER. But due to this mark he had to flee and “organize” to finally kill the NK.
This might be still no fully satifactional theorie, but better than any current explanation in the show.
According to Mel with her god of light/live, the WW is a fighter or incarnation of the god of darkness/dead, not the god himself as far as I remember.
I don’t think Jon is going to have an identity crisis because Arya stole his kill. Sheer relief they’re defeated and almost everyone he loves survives will be at the forefront I imagine (and immense pride in his little sister – he always encouraged her, especially by giving her her first sword). Also, he’ll be too busy planning the next war to have time to naval gaze and figuring out what to do with his newfound legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen news.
Valid points. I’m sorry you’re getting such disgusting and insulting replies.
There’s more to that I think. GoT has been misleading us on purpose and it has been doing that since S1, when you think about that. In the beginning those intentional misleads were relatively mild, although still shocking: say Ned’s death could be anticipated, cause father figures always die to give way for younger generation. Red Wedding was a much more shocking twist, but it gave an impetus to the stories of Jon and Tyrion; Jon got more problems but losing the potential support of his brother in the wars to come and become more of a player in his own right, while Tywin could relax and unleash his long hold grunge against Tyrion, which led to Tyrion turning tables on his family. Now, the show has made a major twist by killing the Big Bad prematurely and in an unsatisfactory way and we screem: that’s not the deal we signed for. And indeed it’s not: it’s like ordering salmon and getting a beafstake instead. Medieval fantasy is supposed to be about Ragnarok, not about Scouring of the Shire. But GRRM is a fan of Scouring of the Shire, so it’s not like we haven’t been warned. However, the warning was masked in every possible way and therefore we have every right to feel cheated. And if the next three episodes fail to deliver something substatial, the whole story will be a waste of time and money and paper. GRRM and D&D have taken a risk to alter the very rules of storytelling and we can only pray for them to know what they are doing.
I share your disappointment with the NK stuff (but I am working to get on board with the twist) and yeah, I think he should have had a role in taking out the NK. But after rereading the books and watching the show, my gut is telling me Jon is a character meant to unite different groups of people, bring them together, possibly be some sort of peace-maker. I don’t know, I could be totally wrong – it would be a bit ironic for somebody who was brought up to be a warrior and dreamed of being that warrior hero to have a role as a unifier and peace-maker. I think Jon’s initial desire for being The Hero died when he was with the wildlings and he was forced to betray his first love, Ygritte, for the Watch and he saw the task for what it was – gutting, hard, and full of conflict. Ditto with leadership – Jon was so all for being the leader, he wanted it – until he was immersed in the miserable, lonely, polarizing job it is. Both roles are fun to dream about but in reality, both are hard, hard sacrificing jobs. I think Jon will do them out of duty but I think he now knows them for the burdens they are.
Jon, kind of like Dany, has experienced connecting with so many different people, he’s garnered personal relationships with Tyrion, Stannis, Tormund, Mance, Ygritte, Mormont, Melisandre, Sam, Grenn, Pyp, Dany, his family, etc. – all of these people from different cultures, different walks of life, different statuses. And he’s managed to bring so many different peoples together to fight a war for their common humanity. Plus, each of these people have broadened his scope beyond previous preconceptions. So I wonder if that’s Jon’s purpose, to unite disparate groups of people, to work toward a negotiation of peace, with some sort of sacrifice involved to that end.
It’s not fancy but as always, I could be wrong 🙂
I read the books several years ago and have to confess I’ve forgotten most of what is in them. Ooops. But like you, I have enjoyed both the books and the show.
I agree that given a choice I would have much preferred to see Jon defeat the NK but I’m not overly disappointed with it being Ayra. It fits much better than I thought it would.
Losing more characters seems to be a more believable outcome but again I agree with your view that getting more of their storylines is great! I’m sure more will be killed off before the end anyway, surviving Ep 3, is no guarantee they will live at the end.
Again, like you, I’m a little bothered about Cersei and Euron dominating screen time. I’m pretty bored with both of them.
However, in the main, Ive loved Season 8 and I am super excited for the next three episodes.
lol kool aid drinking doesn’t change bare facts,
Hot pie had as much chance to kill the night king as ayra, its fan service to the kids who love ayra and dirty old men first you get the sex scenes now she is night king killer,
it’s kids tv trope, harry potter on steroids, poor fan service and a insult to the story we watched for 8 seasons
who needs magic and swords and the lord of light and resurrected fighters, when you have a little girl with a dagger who can creep past hundreds of dead men
I wondered the same. What is going on w/ Alfie?
LOL…. Thanks for the laugh.
You doubled down on your laughable opinion.
Arya makes sense as the killer. Always has. People just didnt predict it and are mad that their thoughts on how it would go down differed.
Death has always been a major part of Arya’s storyline, and the Night King was the personification of death. It made perfect sense for her to be the one that kills him.
The analysis isn’t right. The tension came from thinking there was NO-ONE to save the day in Jon’s absence.
Knowing Arya was on her way as well as John automatically increases the chances that one of them would get there. Intercutting between the two would also reduce the tension.
The omniscient viewer is a boring viewer. It this case the drama was better served by us not knowing anything more about Arya than the characters in the Godswood.
Completely agree, once the episode was over I felt the episode was the best of the show. But an hour later my excitement was gone, which is strange because I talk alot about this show, driving my partner and friends crazy. And that’s gone.
Personally I’m content with the AOTD being gone like you, I can see why it needed to happen.But personally Cersei isn’t what she was in earlier seasons where you loved to see her. (Luckily we have Lena to act it). And Euron is not so great either as a villain. He is for me the “moustache villain”. I hope you understand what I meant.
I still think episode 4 till 6 will be amazing I loved 1 and 2 so probably not going to dislike the rest.
My problem with this episode are minor but make the huge difference, and as some stated on the internet D&D should have known that. (I remember LotR where Jackson keeps on making changes because he felt things were missing, and that made the feeling much better):
1. White walkers itself, in hardhome we got that amazing white walker fight, that felt thrilling. Here they did nothing, it would have been an small point that could have made the ending of the WW more satisfying. Why not have an white walker in that library scene, making an extra layer that he is finding something for the NK, and that Arya was also running from him.
2. The ending itself, I have no complain about Arya being the one killing it, and having Dany and Jon sidetracked. But combining this with 1, why not have Jon fighting 2 or 3 white walkers. Have Dany and Jorah do the same, maybe Theon fighting one. That way Jon couldn’t get to the NK and Arya needs to be the one.
3. Why didn’t Mel bring more of her priesters?
4. Somehow at the end I didn’t feel that feeling like “We did it, he’s gone”, like we got at the end of the 2 battles in LotR when they won. Even the death of Voldemort felt right and that was a children’s movie. I didn’t have that here. Something was missing, and I don’t think it was a directing fault. I loved everything of the episode from beginning to end, I cried with theon and Jorah’s death, but still I’m missing something that even drain my excitement about the first couple of seasons away.
I think it was the implement of despair and hope at the end.
So don’t call me a hater, yesterday I felt great about the episode, but now I felt that something is lacking. Still think the episode is well done but I change mine 9,5 to a 8,0/8,5.
I’m not sure how much Jon will be planning the next war. I was struck in the preview that Dany seemed to be by herself in the great hall. Was Jon just out of view of the shot or was he somewhere else? Perhaps he’s not going to join Dany in KL. He seems to be going on horseback somewhere in the preview… The interesting thing to me with Jon not being the one to make the kill is that Jon gets to live on. I would have thought his “purpose” would have been over and he would have likely died during or after making the final blow. Mel was talking about Beric being brought back for a reason (to save Arya), and now his watch has ended. So, I think Jon can last much longer in the season now. I’m not sure how much D&D will carry over the LOL story. I find it interesting what Jon will do now. There are many more possibilities since he wasn’t the one needed to kill the NK. There’s gotta be something else that the LOL had in mind down the road.
He feels awkward during interviews and doesn’t like to give them.
There’s also a shot of her walking by herself through the castle with a very grumpy look on her face.
I loved her “You were the best” to Tyrion. And still I’m wonder does she really feel that or is she Littlefingering Tyrion there.
Already the word hater. I read some comments here about people who are giving critic about the episode, and they are always voicing it normally (at least most of them) just like che for example.
It is in fact the ones that think this episode is the best of the show that are the most insulting to others here, like you just did with calling people who not share you’re opinion “haters”. No real argument why this is the best episode of the show, just name calling.
So come with argument why this is the best episode of the show instead of name-calling other’s who don’t share your opinion.
And still I don’t have a feeling anyone really hated the episode, just that we think a 10 is undeserving. It’s still great, but not the best in my opinion.
The problem now is that too much praise is given to visualization instead of what GoT ticked in the first seasons and made it great, the story. Yes this episode was an visual master piece, but even if it was we have the right to criticize the story and the writing.
It worked well for me as otherwise I wouldn’t put this episode on top of my ranklist. As for Night King getting defeated, we already got to know in Beyond the Wall episode that killing him means death of every White Walker and every reanimated corpse as he was the original White Walker and he created them. ANd we got to know even prior to that that White Walkers are vulnerable only to Valyrian steel and dragonglass. Everything was already set in place, the only element missing was a person to deliver the killing blow.
The battle against the dead was going on for several seasons now… from first episode to attack on the Fist of the first men to Sam killing the white walker to Hardhome massacre to the attack on three-eyed raven’s cave to Viserion getting killed to Wall being breached. And this was battle was the climax of multi-season long war, the moment where everything seemed lost. I feel people forget the fate of the world was at stake here. If this battle was lost, no armies of the world couldn’t stop the White Walkers. Someone had to be the person to stab the Night King and thinking on overall scale, Arya is the only character possessing enough stealth to even sneak into the godswood unnoticed. As soon as Melisandre said “Blue eyes!” in this episode, I very much considered it a possibility and I’m actually glad they didn’t rely on Jon or Dany “saving the day” again… they already have a big part in the story and the story is not only about them, but also about Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, Jaime, Bran, Cersei, Sam and so on.
It’s ironic D&D are getting so much flak because I’d bet they got at least part of this structure from George.
George has been saying for years that his ending resembles The Lord Of The Rings are more specifically, The Scouring of the Shire chapter. Let’s recap what happens there:
The Big Bad, Sauron is killed early (Night King) and then the heroes need to deal with Saruman (Cersei) in the Scouring Of the Shire chapter after Sauron’s destruction …( except that in the book it won’t be Cersei but rather Fake Aegon, who’s plot in the books has been mostly absorbed by Cersei in the show, including having Fake Aegon’s Golden Company.)
If there’s a NK (The Great Other?) in the books the showdown will happen between Jon and NK BUT I wouldn’t put it past George to mirror the Tower of Joy Ned and Arthur Dayne showdown and have NK almost destroy Jon only to have Arya sneak behind and stab him in the back, saving Jon. (like Howland Reed did to Arthur Dayne, saving Ned). She didn’t train so many years as a Sneaky Assassin just for nothing, you know.
Pretty sure that’s exactly what happened.
In the novels the Others haven’t even appeared; Jon Snow is still dead; Daenerys is on the other side of the Narrow Sea; plus myriad ongoing side plots. Yet GRRM is currently writing the penultimate novel.
Anybody who thought that this story was just building towards a huge conflict with the undead and nothing more has been deluding themselves.
Nobody has been misled. Some people, however, have willfully got carried away with their imaginations. Even with only four episodes left I was still reading comments about vast, convoluted conclusions to the story that had no basis in reality or what had been portrayed on-screen.
Right up to a few hours before the episode began, there was someone commenting here that there was “zero percent chance” that the AotD would be defeated. Of course someone like that will feel bitter and disappointed, because they completely misread the situation.
There are some aspects I am disappointed with too. I didn’t particularly like the manner of Arya’s last second attack. But the overreaction in some quarters is based primarily in sour grapes, not in the rules of storytelling being broken.
What was supposed to happen according to the rules?
Jon unites an army to fight the dead – check
They fight a life or death battle that they’re on the cusp of losing – check
Our protagonists are saved by a last-minute intervention that wins the day – check
That’s what we got. People are just upset at the how, when and where of it all.
For example, I’ve seen complaints that the Night King was killed with a Valyrian steel dagger (which we know kills the undead / white walkers) when fire (which we know the Night King / White Walkers are immune to) didn’t work. So some people would’ve been quite happy for the established rules of the show and the supposed rules of storytelling to be broken, as long as things happened the way they wanted them to.
Bran told Tyrion who would survive the battle last episode. That’s how he knew that everyone in the great hall would survive (which they did). I did think this when I watched the second episode, and was surprised that none of the commenters picked it up, but I also wasn’t 100% sure as I thought Pod and Tormund were likely to die. He even said something about having preemptive knowledge or something. I wonder what else Bran told him, maybe how he dies, or what he needs to do to defeat Cersei? Something important to the ending for sure, or else they would have shown the full scene.
no its how it was done people have a problem with, no one cares she killed him its how she done it,
might as well had hot pie turn up and hit him with a pork pie, would of been just as silly
All of the Unsullied. The greatest defensive army this world has ever seen and they showed it. It didn’t matter what they got hit with, not a single soldier broke ranks. They kept their tight formation, never cracked, and protected everyone else that was fleeing and running about wildly for as long as was possible.
My favorite two LOST episodes are “The Incident” (S5 finale which holds the no.1 spot on my ranklist) and “The End” (which is almost unbeatable regarding sparking emotions in my case… I was in tears for whole last 30 minutes of this episode during my last time watching it). “THe Constant” is good but not among those very favorite episodes in my case (no.6 in LOST for me). As for Leftovers, I watched it but ended up being absolutely frustrated regarding that show, liking it less and less every season. THe only TV show so far I can legit say I didn’t enjoy watching it.
I almost never compare my favorite TV shows to each other but I can legit say “The Long Night” is tied with those two LOST episodes of being my favorite TV episode of all time and it will be hell of hard to beat it. It beat “Battle of the Bastards” and “The WInds of Winter” on my GoT which almost felt unbeatable for me, especially during my recent rewatch when they both gave me whirlpool of emotions. But prior to this episode, I believed that if there is an episode that can beat them, it’s this one and it’s exactly what happened. Unless the finale really brings something that would really pull on my emotional heartstrings, I don’t think any of the following 4 episodes can push it down on my GoT ranklist.
Ramsay's 20th Good Man,
I hear your points and I agree mostly.
But I can feel for those invested in seeing Jon have a final battle with the NK. This is exactly how I felt when I didn’t get to see the Waif and Arya’s fight in the “No One” episode. I had felt there was so much build up, I really needed to see Arya come into her own and show the Waif what’s what.. I felt extremely cheated when Mylod decided since the fight was in the dark it would be better not to show it and just cut to the final scene. I started having extreme feelings of dislike for Mylod’s direction and I was praying he wouldn’t get to direct again! Even though looking back now, there were some great scenes that he directed (in the Broken Man in particular). I personally just didn’t feel the same investment in seeing Jon battle with the NK as much as others felt. I identified much more closely with Arya’s arc and other characters like Jaime. I personally still have not gotten over the “No One” episode. I wanted to have some night vision or something to let me see what happened and how Arya pulled that off after being totally out gunned by the Waif for so long. So I can feel for those who feel cheated now with Episode 3. I hope it turns out for them as it did for me though. At least with Arya they showed that her training paid off. I think D&D will have something great for Jon to complete his arc. I will say if they don’t, fans will be rightly upset, and even if great things happen, they still may feel cheated because of their investment in the build up.
I AGREE CARICE…. .Wouldve been nice to get an explanation on Mel, but its just one more thing we won’t ever know about…
As far as we know, maybe it was just one stab that was needed after Arya cut off the candle.
Oh don’t get me started on this!!!!
It’s been how many years now, and I honestly still can’t let it go.
I’m just saying that maybe we actually didn’t miss that much regarding events itself. I personally loved “No One” and no matter how many people complain about that episode, it won’t change a bit in my case.
From the “Game Revealed” video, it looks like the crypt sequence was planned to be much longer but got cut down to basically nothing. That would explain the emphasis on, for instance, Sansa being given the dagger that she never does anything with in the finished product.
That’s something I’d really like to know also. What was the point of that?
This verbalises well how I’m feeling about it. I actually don’t have a problem with Arya being the one to take the final shot and kill the NK as she has the right weapon (with a rich in show history), has the right training, there has been in show foreshadowing (even if it does feel retrofitted and confusing – if Mel knew all the way back then in season 3…then what gives?) and her storyline has been around the God of Death and the NK is Death personified. So all in all, it works.
HOWEVER, and this is why I feel so disappointed, they went with the surprise Arya leap in as a cinematic twist when you feel all is lost, instead of satisfying one of the main character’s 7-seasons-long build up, rendering his story feeling unfinished. Yes Jon unified people and brought Dany north and so he did save mankind as well, but, it still feels like you have got to the end of a book and found there is no ending. It is so unsatisfying. Jon and the NK have had two stare downs – one at Hardhome and one beyond the wall. There was massive unfinished business between the two. Jon is among the few people alive to have fought and killed White Walkers. He has a Valyrian Steel blade. He fights damned well. He was brought back by the Lord of Light to serve a greater purpose (or why bring him back). And yet in the final showdown, the climax of the largest part of hist story, we saw him spend most of his time dog-fighting with dragons (which while visually stunning, meant he wasn’t actually doing much) and then fighting wights and then hiding from an undead dragon. Not a single WW battle (would that have been too difficult to add in?); no satisfying conclusion to his personal conflict with the NK (the only character to actually have one with him). It just feels so unsatisfying. And it feels as though it was done for the shock value of having Arya leap out of nowhere at the moment you think all is lost. It feels like a cheap trick at Jon’s expense. Would it truly have made for terrible television to have Jon engage the Night King, lose or about to lose and then have Arya show her stealth training to sneak up on the NK and VS dagger him in the heart? Currently, I feel his story has been left without an ending. No matter what happens next with the rest of the season, his parentage, Cersei, all the rest, that element of his story didn’t get an ending. The AOTD (and especially the NK) has always been predominantly Jon’s story, yet in the end, he wasn’t a part of the climax. He was absent from it and it has left me feeling very disappointed and frustrated.
It’s a shame. I absolutely love this show and, for the most part, admire what D&D have done with the adaptation since they went past the book material, but this decision (and the reason they gave during their commentary) has marred this final season for me at this juncture. I am very aware it’s not over and of course I’ll be there at 2am to watch as always on Sunday. I just hope that by the end, this unfinished ending to Jon’s NK/AOTD story can be repaired by what’s left of the season. I really want to enjoy it.
I agree, Bran provided Tyrion with intel during the fireside chat. I also think Tyrion and Cersei had a private convo out of our earshot. Tyrion knows things, I hope the show will remember that and give Tyrion’s story the proper denouement by showcasing his “wit and wisdom.”
For those bringing up The Scouring of the Shire, yes. Cersei is likely to be killed because of her hubris and inability to take responsibility for her actions. Does she blame Qyburn and he snaps? That would be a parallel. It’s popularly thought that one of the brothers will kill her, there is much lore about “golden hands” at play. And know we know it won’t be Arya (on the show at least).
Interesting thing, when Wormtongue kills Saruman, a mist blows away in the wind, reminds me of the MMR prophecy about Mountains blowing in the wind like leaves. So possibly Cersei is killed by the Mountain. Just a thought. A stronger parallel would be Qyburn as a sycophant who snaps. Eh what do I know. Just thinking out loud.
I am disappointed that Varys has been so sidelined, but it seems he has a new network of little birds. I’d like The Spider to have a glory moment before the show ends.
I like this. Thanks for sharing.
Exactly… which is okay because the story is coming to an end
I don’t understand this quibble (not yours) but others.
I absolutely loved the episode too until that scene. I won’t get into it here. My main point is I can understand how others are feeling about investing in the build up with Jon and the NK. This space is really more for those commenting about episode 3 but on another day though I will happy to write all about No One again!
I loved this episode. I thought it was a great way to end the WW threat and I am so HAPPY we are getting three episode of aftermath…. seriously I was not expecting that. so thank you D&D.
My ONNNNNNNNNNNNLLLLYYY tiny issue with the episode was that I wish we had some of our amazing warriors square off against the white walker generals with their VS swords. Seriously only for some eye candy and cheering moments. That is all.
But maybe they didn’t do that because they wanted to really show us how badly our heros were losing.
Indeed – I called the NK the Emmissary not the Grat Other…
I don’t understand how people can call a GOT episode “awful” hahaha
I enjoyed every minute of this as it aired, but rewatching, the only Monday morning quarterback thing that really occurs to me about how they went about this is okay, after the dracarys moment, we know for sure that even dragon fire won’t kill him, which I knew anyway, because they’re immune to fire. But is he indestructible? Drogon has some pretty strong jaws. Land and tear him to shreds. Even if it doesn’t kill him, how effective will he be without arms and legs? Dismount and stab him with dragonglass once he’s been reduced to a disembodied head. I guess you run the risk of being overrun, but man, at least try to grab him in your claws and fly off somewhere else to kill him, then. Even immune to fire, he can’t go head to head with a dragon.
But I love that it was Arya. Absolutely no complaint there. If anything, a major complaint about Arya’s storyline has been what the point of it all is. It seems so disconnected to the rest of the plot. She gets taken to another continent, has no contact with any other main characters, plays no role in the War of the Five Kings, no role in taking back Winterfell. It was never clear what her purpose was in the story, but now we know. I don’t know or really care if this is George’s plan or not, but it works. This gives a real divine purpose to everything that has happened to her and to those who have been adjacent to her. It makes it obvious why Beric was kept alive, why the Hound was kept alive, even why Melisandre thought she had to take Gendry, not to sacrifice him, but to make Arya abandon the brotherhood. It answers the question of why Jaqen was ever in the black cells in the first place, as there is clearly no way after seeing what he can do that he would ever be taken captive unless he wanted to be.
People seem to be missing the wolfpack thing in their desire to pin all of the greatness of House Stark on Bran and Jon and hoping they’d do everything just between the two of them. The points of the Starks is they win together. It takes all of them. Sansa has been through everything she has been through to keep the others just cynical enough to not be stabbed in the back. Jon has become the great uniter, a leader that everyone looks up and loves, and seeing he literally died for his people was enough to convince the commander of the greatest army the world has ever seen to help him. Bran’s role is to be the Three-Eyed Raven. They should have used him better because they could really have used better recon, but he’s not a weapon of war. It’s not his destiny to defeat the darkness. It’s just his destiny to be the Three-Eyed Raven, which is an important enough role in itself. None of the previous ones defeated the darkness, either. His role is just to keep the light alive. Arya’s role is to be the killer.
Together, they’re unstoppable. But only together. The pack survives.
What about the prophecy? Well, what about it? When Melisandre believed Stannis was the Prince Who Was Promised, did she ever give the impression that that meant he would personally deal the death blow to the Great Other? No, it meant the realm needed a king who understood the threat and united the people to fight it. Are not Jon and Daenerys just that? All these people complaining that it would have been better to see Westeros completely overrun for a generation, the entire continent taken, all cities turned to corpses; well, that is exactly what would have happened if not for Jon and Daenerys. They’re still heroes. They’re just not the only heroes. It took Jorah keeping Daenerys alive all these years and guiding her home. It took Sam and Sansa and Davos keeping Jon from giving in to his death wish and continuing to fight. It took Melisandre to bring him back from the dead. It took Beric, the Hound, and Jaqen to at turns inspire, enrage, and train a great killer who also happens to be small enough and light enough and ambidexterous enough to pull off such a ridiculous move. It even took Littlefinger to liberate Winterfell and bring the dagger there in the first place. Even a guy with zero heroic intentions still played his role without even knowing he was doing it. This is exactly the way real wars are won, not by lone heroes charging in alone; by teams.
On your “tiny issue”, I think storywise, White Walkers didn’t expose themselves because killing them means the death of all reanimated corpses that were brought to life by this walker. THey were “lords” in the battle while the undead were the soldiers. THey only came to the scene when victory was all but assured. But yes, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing some WW in action as well.
Ser Not Appearing in this Series,
Funny! I recall a large number of posters pontificating here that GRRM had provided the entire plotline to D&D, and that it’s blasphemy to suggest the books would be different – frankly, I think there’s more than a grain of truth in that satire!
The lowest describing adjective for GoT episode I have is “very good”. Can’t go lower than that in my book.
I assume he was ‘tracking’ the NK until he was in eyesight, as well as confirming that Arya was where she was supposed to be.
I love this comment so much!
Very well said. I agree.
Ramsay's 20th Good Man,
I missed that completely – so all the responses are very useful. I was not paying sufficient attention.
Here here! Beautifully stated.
Several persons helped me out with my question – the birds went to look for NK. They spotted him and made it clear where Nk was positioned.
Read the thread – some colleagues were following better than I was.
Yeah that is a good point.
Ramsay's 20th Good Man,
I said that. Because if the NK/WW are completely gone now, then that is absolutely horrific storytelling which amounts to nothing more than a distraction.
I still believe there might be a twist where “there must always be a NK” as there is always is a 3 eyed raven. But if not, seriously, what was the point?
The AOTD was supposed to serve as an existential threat to humanity…. DEATH…like famine, disease, global warming, overpopulation, whatever. They served to show the folly of human endeavors/titles/hubris when Death was knocking at the door. HUMANITY was supposed to band together to fight them. If only about 5% of all of the world had to face them, and the rest of the world (Kings Landing, everything south of winterfell, Essos, etc.) aren’t faced with the threat of eradication and can remain happily ignorant and go about their daily lives… what was their point all along?
Not to mention, we are left with a million unanswered questions…. what made them raise now… why is he so connected to Bran…is the NK a seer… how are Mel and the Lord of Light connected and what does she see…etc. etc. The “great war” lasted all of a few hours and the NK was killed in one second…… if that is the culmination of 8 years of “Winter is Coming” , that is not a “misread of the situation”… that is a complete breakdown in storytelling.
They have 3 more episodes to clear things up and like I said we may not have seen the last of the dead yet. But if we have, I’m not sure they can salvage what they’ve done. Honestly, who cares who sits on a throne if the NK and WW are gone? Sorry, but Cersei isn’t a “bigger bad” than the NK. She just isn’t.
Well said, thank you.
My emotional and mental state as well!
Anyone know what the ratings for the episode are?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the episode! Good luck keeping away from spoilers until you watch it.
I watched the episode for the first time last night. I do not like battles and seriously considered not watching it and just moving on to Episode 4. However, I am so glad that I watched it. It was wonderful.
War is messy and chaotic. The characters on the magic side of the story – Arya, Mel, Jon, Dany, Bran, Beric – all stood out. The non-magic set delivered their work – Grey Worm, Jorah and Theon in particular. Jaime and Brienne put in everything they had without having to be in the spotlight. Jaime commanding when needed but mostly just working in the trenches like crazy. Loved the Tyrion/Sansa moment – knew from he said he was out of the whoring business that he was thinking “the wife-life.” Varys, well, he did tell Ned he was not a hero. Davos seemed to have a bit of time to meander about, lol! Sam was Sam.
The visuals were outstanding. Mel’s lighting of the arakhs, was great!.
Jon is a hero. Jon did what he was supposed to do- raise the alarm and get help. Daenerys did what she was born to do – deliver the army to fight the ATOD. Jon did not have to kill the Nk himself. It was appropriate that the Stark that trained as an assassin did the deed. My only quibble is that that jump out of nowhere was less than satisfactory.
Well done, well done.
Knight of the Walkers,
I saw lots of people complaining about why did the NK always avoid fighting Jon Snow, only viewing him from afar and sending his minions against him. But I believe the answer is pretty obvious: from the first time they saw each other Jon was carrying a Valyrian steel sword – apparently the one thing in the world that could kill the NK!
We now know that dragonfire couldn’t hurt him, and we don’t know if dragonglass would kill him NK like it did the whights and the White Walkers, but comments D&D made imply it wouldn’t have. In any case both the NK and the WW stayed consistently rather far from any potential attacks by dragonglass too during this battle, as well as during the stand-off on the frozen lake. The only time a WW was killed by dragonglass was Sam’s attack from behind when we should assume that the WW didnt know men had reaquired the knowledge that dragon glass could kill them. The other two WW were killed by Valyrian steel at chance encounters, Hardhome and when the Eminent Eight stumbled by chance upon the group of ranging whights with the WW at their head.
My impression is that the NK “saw” what happened to his creatures (as he controlled them all I assume he also had some kind of connection to them, centainly with the other WW) and carefully avoided any possibility of himself or his WW entering a one on one with someone carrying a Valyrian steel sword and even dragonglass, letting the masses of expendable whights do the work. In fact I suspect the writers assume the NK could somehow “smell” Valyrian steel, as we see that he never comes even close not only to Jon, but also to the other three sword-carriers (Brienne, Jamie and Jorah). Similarly he “smelled” Arya’s Valyrian steel dagger coming at him from behind, and therefore could turn around and block her before she struck him…only missing the little hand trick she learned from the Forel family…
All of this.
The ugly tone taken by some of the writers’ defenders is really unnecessary, especially on this site. And the generalized accusations are just as bad. I adore both the books and the show and I’ve read quite a few written critiques of both, but I’ve never watched a single YouTube video about it.
To those going off on critics with nothing more than “It’s a TV show, you’re taking all the fun out of it, why are some people incapable of enjoying anything” (etc., etc.), well—for some of us, being immersed in another world requires a degree of believability (especially, not despite, accounting for the presence of dragons and other magical elements), and when that’s gone the spell is broken.
My husband and I loved the spectacle, and we’ll be watching again some night this week (after dark). Having said that, I can tell you he’ll probably be yelling the same thing at the TV screen that he was yelling the first time: “WHY ARE THEY SENDING OUT ALL THEIR CAVALRY WITHOUT DOING ANY RECON FIRST?!”
Ser Not Appearing in this Series,
That’s hilarious. I missed the part in your comment re: spoof, since it was spoiler covered I clicked directly on the link to see what it was that Martin thought of the ep. I got to Rachel Ray and that was it. Thank you.
Now that I’ve had time for everything to sink in, I am feeling more positive than I did initially. I was one of those convinced the NK would win and move south after this. You know what? I was wrong. I’m also a book reader who found the Arya twist surprising. I always thought the prophecies would play a big role in the Long Night (Azor Ahai, Lightbringer, TPTWP), but they’re not really a show thing, and that’s okay.
And, the more I think about it, I do bet this is the structure that GRMM goes with for the story. The living will fight the Others, but that’s not the end of the story. It seems exactly like something that GRRM would decide to do. Normally, fantasy series end when the supernatural threat is defeated, but this isn’t a normal fantasy story. It will be interesting to see how these next 3 episodes play out, and I bet there’s more than meets the eye here. The producers, cast, and crew have been very tight-lipped about the back half of the season. We know next to nothing about what happens. All of the promo material and promotional hype didn’t extend beyond episode 3. I think that’s partially so we wouldn’t know the outcome of the battle, but I also think that’s because there are some big surprises in store. I’m looking forward to it!
Right now the show is like any fantasy this complex, leaving loose ends and questions. Personally I’d love someone explaining Mel, Lord of Light, 3ER, Children of the Forest, HOBAW s well as AOTD and Night King. Its easier to do this in the books, but we are never going to see that. If the show can show us some background maybe it would help us better understand what we watched. Perhaps if we had two or three normal seasons this could all be done Not sure they can in the nt three shows
BTW ten bears, really eager to read your comments!
The ratings are usually released Tuesday afternoons, so we should know soon.
I have no doubt that Jon will be happy with Arya, but I don’t think that he’ll be all that busy with the next war. The war against Cersei is Dany’s and Sansa’s and Tyrion’s, not his. Sure, Jon will be involved, but more like a follower, so there should be time for identity crysis. Once again, Jon used to see himself as “the shield which guards the realms of men”. He accepted his idedntity as Aegon Targarian seamlessly excatly for the same reason: it asserted his identity as “a protector of the realm”. Now it turns out that he was just a diversion… It’s not that bad: diversion is a shield/protection; however, Jon aslo wanted to sacrifice his (shitty) life for a greater good and that turned out to be unnecessary. So, no there is a question what he’s gonna do with his life. The realms of men seem to be safe (at least comparatively). He has never been power-hungry. Dany proved to be rather worthy of the Iron Throne – there’s definitely a good heart under that annoingly queenly persona. So, Jon can simply relax and do what men do: serve his lady. I guess this also falls into the duties of the protector of the realm;) Or not? If not, what can provoke a conflict?
Yesterday I thought that D&D were setting up Dany as some sort of a villain, but now it just doesn’t seem right. Both Ep 2 and 3 revealed the best of Dany: she was shown to be brave and caring and vulnerable. The promo of Ep 4 implies that she might take a darker turn, but that may be just a deception. Dany always went fire and blood, when she felt insecure, but on the other hand she never failed to show her good heart when she felt secure and loved. Sure, she’s a bit power-hungry, but no-one is perfect. So, it might be hard to turn her into a villain now: Jon has already learned the lesson that patting is the best way to calm an angry dragon.
What worries me now, it’s not Dany – it’s Arya. She has just saved the realms of men, including her loving family; she has never paid a real price for her skills; she has Gendry, etc. Everything looks all just rainbows and unicorns for her and yet Melisandre said she saw darkness in Arya. What kind of darkness? For now, the House of Black and White experience was 99% white: Arya passed the graduation test and used the acquired skills for the common good. And she may go on: she may kill both Cersei and Euron without breaking a sweat (and Lord Glover, too), she may kill anyone who might endanger her family’s safety or wellbeing. But that’s power and power corrupts and faces are poison to anyone who is not no-one. So, I have a feeling that Arya might get somethig very dark in the future – at least, her story needs that for the sake of balance. Otherwise, she’ll be the most disneish SNAWP the world has ever seen.
Knight of the Walkers,
Yes, that’s the Point. This way it’s far more interesting. Instead of unified mankind against the dead,
now we have in the red corner: “Team Southern” led by the Lioness with totally f**ed up or bought allies, but intact strongholds and an intact army fresh and well mounted.
BUT will all South support her? Dorne surely not, Dragonstone not, The Riverlands could turn North but are without a Tully leader, Stormlands without a Baratheon. Who holds the reach after the Lannisters sacked them and the House Tarly gone to ashes?
and in the blue Corner: “Team Northern” led by, by… who?! Dany? Aegon? Sansa? They still have two Dragons now with two riders ready for Combat which can make a huge difference.
BUT Winterfell (as many other strongholds) is a ruin, which can’t withstand a siege, with so many allies recently joined Team Dead. Could Yara conquer the Iron Islands back to save the western shore of the North? Who is left of Dany’s Army to defend her Claim for the Throne and will the North join her in her fight after losing most of it’s Population?
So what’s wiser? Trying to fix Winterfell, crewing Moat Cailin and maybe White Harbour to face the Southern Army in the North? Or heading south with the biggest possible army to sack Kings Landing before Cersei is able to build up her army?
Would say tuff stuff for the last 3 Episodes – or a solo Mission for ASNAWP 🙂
Doesn’t it bother anyone else that writers, directors and show-runners keep giving interviews telling us why characters acted and scenes unfolded the way they did?
1) The white walkers’ use of symbols dates to Ep1 S1 and recurs throughout the show, yet Dave Hill has to give an interview telling us why they are doing it and it is never even broached on air https://nypost.com/2019/04/18/game-of-thrones-writer-dishes-on-shows-most-hyped-reveal/
2) Jon ignores an ally’s distress (Sam) for the first time in order to keep pursuing the Night King, and Sapochnik needs to tell us why in the Behind the Scenes feature. https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Why-Doesnt-Jon-Save-Sam-Game-Thrones-46083923
3) D&D and Sapochnik tell EW that they needed the Arya twist because having Jon kill the NK was too predictable. (can’t link this because it’s on a site that is banned at work)
If they feel the need to explain so many plot motivations after the fact, they must not be confident their point was solidly made ON THE ACTUAL SHOW. That’s a story telling problem and reminiscent of HBO scrapping the original pilot because half the audience did not get that Jaime and Cersei were twins.
I’m not sure you’re going to like my answer though it seems rude of me not to answer it, even though you initially didn’t want to have any discussion about racial diversity in GoT at all.
Yes, I think there is. But I’m not sure it is in the sense you approach this topic. I think generally speaking the problem arises from real life concerns of our own universe. It’s difficult to offer equal opportunity employment when you adhere directly to the source material inspiration (in this case Medieval England). If you want to be faithful to it as a producer, then you automatically create a problem for yourself whether you mean to or not. Because everyone wants a piece of the pie, everyone (minorities included) want to put food on the table and be at the same time part of something this big. It’s just a reality. Not talking about it does not make it go away.
Now many at the time said: well, there are other pies at HBO why can’t this be faithful to the source material inspiration and the rest can go be hired in I don’t know, let’s say Insecure or something. But it is extremely odd to say “I cannot take an artistic license about what the world is based on, however I can for example cut half of Dorne plot from the source material, or make Sansa go north to marry Ramsay and be raped in the process while that may never happen in the books. Those I can take artistic license on.” So for me, again for me, that’s creating problem for yourself. You either can or you cannot all across the board. Would it have made a huge difference if let’s say the Tyrells or Lannister Houses were POC and you’d have ignored The War of the Roses inspiration? I don’t know. Nobody tried. And now nobody will.
Again, I don’t bitch about this issue myself I answer because you asked. This is probably the second or third time I participate in such a discussion. I am however not blind and if some people want to point it out, that’s ok. And if you want to disagree that’s ok too.
I do hope that Jon doesn’t have to fly the dragon much more. I was shouting to myself, “when is Jon going to get off the dragon and back on the ground??”. I was one who predicted he wouldn’t fly the dragon at all, because Jon seemed like a ground warrior. I was wrong with the dragon flying prediction. Even at the BOTB he took on the whole calvary on foot. And it didn’t help that the NK brought on the snow storm, so that pretty much neutralized what Jon could do from above. I was happy they at least completed their initial plan. They did in fact get the NK on the ground and Dany blasted him with dragon fire, just as planned… So at least they did fulfill the mission even if it didn’t phase the NK. It was much like exploding the nuclear bomb on the ships in Independence Day and it having no effect…
I can imagine a great scene like you described where all of the POV characters who carried Valyrian steel swords were rescued by Jon. Jon then flew them out to the godswood to face down the NK and his WW generals…..
I love this.
I’ve been getting increasingly suspicious that the threat of the Others may well be more or less wrapped up around the conclusion of The Winds Of Winter (or soon thereafter), and we move into something like what happens in these last three episodes for the bulk of A Dream Of Spring. It wouldn’t surprise me, at any rate, since George seems more enthusiastic about telling the story of the aftermath of the great wars than the usual fantasy storyline about the defeat of the threat being the end of the story.
Just realized a major clue that D&D gave us.
After the RW, when Arya and the Hound come upon the Lannister soldiers, Arya attacks them and kills one.
The Hound asks “is that the first man you killed?”
Arya: “The first man.”
I always thought she said that line oddly, with emphasis on the “first. Welp, now we know.
(The NK was a “first man” from the Age of the First Men).
I’d think Edmure might be back in place as Lord of Riverrun by now… plus we have Robyn Arryn and Yohn Royce and what’s left of the Knights of the Vale. As for the Stormlands… control of that would make a good incentive for someone to legitimize Gendry now, would it not?
Thanks! I have been reading, and many make sense but we don’t really know. I’m hoping there’s more Bran details in coming episodes but not holding my breath lol.
The Many-Faced Goddess,
If the rumors about the lengths of both books are to be believed, GRRM will cliffhanger us for TWoW. He’s got plenty of time in the final book.
Has anyone else wondered why Jon needed to be riding Rhaegal at all? Rhaegal has always been able to follow Dany’s commands without a rider before and Jon literally just rode a dragon for the first time the episode before, so can’t have been too adept at it (unless Targaryens are born with dragon riding skills). Would it not have made sense to have him hiding in or near the Godswood? It all would have gone wrong, undoubtedly, and perhaps they felt the NK wouldn’t come if he were nearby, but it’s a strange decision for the most seasoned battle-fighter, to stick him on a dragon that has never needed a rider before to follow Dany. It’s a bit like plucking him out of his own storyline and dropping him into hers playing second fiddle. Was the plan all along that if dragon fire failed, Jon would attack with Longclaw? I wish we’d got more details during their battle planning session in episode 2. Why weren’t Arya and Sansa turning to their brother and demanding, “You’re going to ride a what for the duration of this battle?!”
This, all of this. Well said.
That can’t have been a clue. As they themselves have said, they decided to have her be the one to kill the NK only a few years ago – from the timing they described, probably as they were hashing out how seasons 7 and 8 were going to go, which also makes sense as they would have been planning the ending then – also, it’s season 7 when we get the picture of the dagger in Sam’s book and when she is given it by Bran – that’s when the actual foreshadowing starts, everything else is retrofitting existing scenes into foreshadowing.
That line from Arya struck me as the first man she killed, as in she had only killed a boy before that.
Ramsay's 20th Good Man,
I’m with you on what you wrote. ☺
Too many people have been thinking the very end of the story is simply defeating the aotd. Yes it was a large portion of the story for a few characters for quite a while, but there’s been more of everything else. We’re five novels deep into ASoIaF and George has included Others and wights in very, very little. Five books of character story arcs almost completely devoid of any aotd inclusion! We’ve been told a hundred times the ending will be very close to George’s. Perhaps people should consider the probability that George’s story isn’t so primarily focused on the aotd like some believe. So far the books Others&aotd don’t even have a Face, an individual evil dude like the NK for everyone to fixate on.
Yeah,that was why I said the end of TWOW or soon thereafter – I meant in the first bit of ADOS. In fact, it might be likely that he ends TWOW with the Other invasion imminent or the Wall coming down – pretty much just like season 7 ended.
For the funeral pyre scene, it looks like these are the people with the torches: Tormund, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Grey Worm, Dany and Sam. And Ghost is standing among the crowd, so Yeah! Also in the crowd: Varys, Missandei, Tyrion, Bran, The Hound, Lord Royce, Pod, Gendry, Brienne. I can’t make out Jaime anywhere, but he could be next to Brienne. Also can’t make out Davos. This scene is at the 18 second mark in the preview. Kind of telling that the few remaining Unsullied are standing behind Dany’s people on the right, and all the Northman are on the left.
Hodor must have been there fighting??
Him killing Bran would have been awesome.
Do they feel the need to explain everything or are they just answering questions that have been asked of them?
None of the issues you listed make any difference to understanding what actually occurred in the episode.
All of these interviews are added bonuses for those that wish to read more about the characters’ and writers’ motivations. They are not mandatory to understanding what was portrayed on-screen.
“Swift as a deer. Quiet as a shadow. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Quick as a snake. Calm as still water.”
Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
I really don’t care why Jon Snow ignored Sam.. seriously he had to chose between Sam and pursing Bran/NK and he CHOSE RIGHT. Sam was told to stay in the crypts for fucks sake
You could see on his face how desperately he was trying to get to Bran. He was terrified the Night King was going to kill him.
For sure. I think the decision they made with that was spot on. They didn’t even need to include him having to decide which way to go but they did to show us how important it was for him to try to get to Bran.
It’s really strange that both episodes that were great from the technical side and still left a WTF feeling had Arya’s story in the focus. Mylod did a great work with many episodes, including “Queen’s Justice” which is one of my most rewatched, so it’s not like he doesn’t know how to direct. And it’s not like D&D and other writers don’t know how to write: we had plenty of battles and fights which were resolved in the most satisfactory way. IMO, the whole criticism regarding Terminator-Waif, fights in the dark, etc. result from the feeling that there is something off with the story (and in both cases it’s Arya’s story) – it’s the feeling that some piece of the puzzle is missing, but people can’t figure out which piece and they just criticize all and everything or try to fill the gap with their own theories. In “No-one” the missing piece was the price Arya was supposed to pay for acquiring her “ultimate boon”: she stole it, but instead of requesting retribution, the owner gave her a big smile. So, we’ve got that WTF moment, cause Waif’s face on the wall has never felt like a right payment for the ASNAWP skills (and it still doesn’t). Now we’ve got the payoff of the ASNAWP skills, but the question of the price still lingers. If the remaining episodes will manage to answer this question in a satisfactory way, great. If not, Arya as a character risks to be turned into Mary Sue and the risk of such twist makes us legitly frustrated.
The Many-Faced Goddess,
The question is how many nothern / vale Lords & bannermen will follow Dany south after that massive bloodshed. Isn’t it more likely for them to go home and reestablish whats left of it? Dealing with Plundering, rebuilding strongholds & stuff. But Cersei will arrive before the great castles are fixed again.
If Cersei splits her fleet, Euron eastern, Strickland western shore, Lannister Army Kingsroad, the north is screwed.
If the north heads south with only 50% of its forces they are screwed too. Maybe the dragons can destroy some of the fleet or Army but it won’t be enough. Arya, pls check your death list!
What’s the point of Jon?
How about he’s Aegon the Uniter. The man who forged an alliance between the Night’s Watch and the wildlings. The man who took back Winterfell and reunited the North with his strange gathering of soldiers. The man who sailed south and made an alliance with a foreign Dragon Queen when no one else could.
What’s the point of Jon? Jon single-handedly saved the North by uniting and building an army large enough to protect it until someone killed the Night King.
Sure, he seemed to have a connection to the NK. However, the NK saw him kill one WW in single combat. I’m sure he heard about the second. If the NK allowed himself to be in a 1v1 situation with ANYONE, never mind Jon, it would’ve been ridiculous. The NK knew if he died his whole cause was lost. He wasn’t 1v1ing anyone.
Perhaps our Aegon the Uniter will have one more job before the show is over. Once more uniting the Seven Kingdoms. He’s done a fair job at it already (despite that one dying hiccup…).
Well, it’s a grim reality that great conflicts never touch more than 5% of the global population (usually much less;).
But I do agree with your main poin: if Death is the enemy and it always wins (which is a legit point), if it’s an ultimate price for life (which also is a legit point), it can’t be destroyed – it can be only reloded/replaced with another embodyment. And by every rule of storytelling, the only possible candidate for that embodyment is Arya. I’m not saying she is to become a new Night Queen but something has to happen to give her story a satisfactory enging. As many have admitted, for the moment she indeed looks like a super-ninja-assassin-warrior-princess on steroids who wandered into GoT from a completely different show.
You and others are way overthinking this. No, in real life Europe there were no dragons or undead… obviously. But do you think they chose actors and actresses from the UK by accudent?accident?
No. Because Westeros is literally analogous to Western Europe, the UK in particular. And its set in medieval times. Thus most of the main characters are going to be white.
Its not problematic. Just because GoT is a fantasy, you cant ignore the very real world inspiration behind it.
GRRM has said exactly what GoT is based on and his characters follow that. Its sad that people cant accept that and feel a need to wag their fingers and say the show is insensitive.
Also, as many bad things or more have happened to white characters than characters of darker shades… is that problematic to white people?
Seven hells people…
Thank you for the thoughtful answer. I do disagree respectfully.
Artistic license (we know D&D certainly have done this) within plot stories is one thing, but outright changing the race of characters is completely different.
If the Tyrells were made to be Black, and the Baratheons were made to be Sri Lankan, and Targaryens were made to be Chinese, that just wouldnt make any sense in the context of the story.
People may not like it, but GRRM based his novels on real history, and he colored his characters accordingly. It would be silly to change it. Remember, GoT wasnt a worldwide hit when they started, so they werent thinking they needed to appease everyone. That was the right choice.
I didn’t start this discussion, but I felt I needed to address it because people are looking for things to be offended by.
Why do you think Bran insisted John know about his parents/aunty before the battle?
I think by killing the Night King, Arya was serving the Many Faced God. From the show, it seems like there are two active gods in Westeros -The Lord of Light and The Many Faced God. Both gods are yin and yang to each other. Both rely on that continuous cycle of life and death. Whereas the Night King would have destroyed that balance. By Killing the Night King, Arya was using her No One training. In that act, she was the high priestess of both the Many Faced God and R’hller.
Seeing how Viserion wasn’t mourned, I doubt the end of the Dothraki people will be mentioned. Didn’t Daenerys take all of the Dothraki warriors? – leaving only women, children and the old at Vaes Dothrak? All of their history, culture and families – wiped out.
Also, for all of the ‘this isn’t historically accurate to include people of color in medieval England’ arguments, please see the following (consider too that a series with magic, dragons, etc, is not historically accurate):
Exactly. Everything else is retrofitted like you said. They absolutely werent setting this up for Arya back in the first couple of seasons.
Ten Bears –
She is alive. Just stay far, far away from ANY forms of media because there are spoilers about this episode everywhere! Looking forward to your comments! Take care!
I’m also thinking about this dragon-riding issue – not only in case of Jon, but in case of the Night King, too. My initial thought was that D&D made the NK airborn to make him able to escape Winterfell after being defeated and attack King’s Landing this way merging the threat of the dead with the threat of the living (Cersei). I was wrong. For now it seems like D&D simply wanted a dance of dragons (like they have wanted an wight-bear). Besides that, they wanted Jon to look badass in every possible way, to compensate for robbing him of his allegedly ultimate kill. This makes me think that GRRM may sideline Jon even more. Anyway, now I find it symbolic that Jon was blocked from the Godswood by an undead dragon as a representation of his lineage. The Ningt King has always been the kill for a Stark: “Winter is comming” were Stark words and there always had to be a Stark in Winterfell. And Jon has never been a Stark, he has been a Targarian, and the Targarians were just a huge decoy lured in to mislead the NK (as well as us:). And not only Targarians, Jamie and Brienne and two Valyrian swods forged of Ice were a decoy, too. When I think about Bran’s visions now, it feel like he was looking for a decoy, rather than an actual answer how to kill the Night King. The answer has always been simple: stab him into the heart with a Valyrian steel. I guess dragonglass would have done the work, too, it’s just that the Night King was wearing a dragonglass-proof armor, only Valyrian steel could cut through. So, that may be the whole mystery of the Night King: Children of the Forest created him using dragonglass and planned to kill him afterwards, but the Night King wanted to survive, so he made himself armor and used his greensight to outmaneuver his creators/destroyers. Therefore, the 3-eyed-ravens had to build up a serious decoy to distract him. As for killing, maybe, indeed he could have been killed by anyone, and the Stark in Winterfell was a reference to Bran, but still it was reasonable to give the task to one of Bran’s relatives, cause family love always gives some additional motivation, although in this case it was underused.
I dont think anyone is saying there were ZERO people of color in medieval Europe or England. If that’s your point, very good, there were probably a few here and there.
The historical argument is based on GRRM himself. Its literally based on medieval England. The fact that its fantasy doesnt change that. The White Walkers are based on the vikings.
Should Scandanavians be offended that GRRM chose their ancestors as the literal personification of death coming to destroy the world?
Can you imagine the “woke” outrage had GRRM chosen Arabs for that role?
I feel the very same way! I feel like it was missing from me here, which might be my own fault, but something more from Jon. I also admit, when I used to see this play out in my head, I always imagined Jon and Arya fighting together. Maybe Jon gets injured or killed and Arya kills the NK then but this fell flat for me and I hate that I feel this way because I love the show and I love both Jon and Arya.
This is the best description for how things played out I have seen yet.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
I think people who whinge about the lack of POC in GoT should simply ask for a show based on something else than European history. Seriously, the global narative has been Europo-centric or rather Frank-Anglosaxon-centric for way too long. I would gladly watch something based on the Indian history or Chinees history or Aztec history or whatever: I was really sad when Netflix cancelled “Marko Polo” although this show was not on the level of GoT and I always watch Bollywood historical dramas and fantazies when I get an opportunity.
Nobody is judging the structure of the season end the endgame. So that comparison with George you cant use. The what will happen is not what make a show great, it’s the how. Look back at for instance Blackwater, what happen was simple and not so special, but how it happen was. That made GoT different.
As I stated above, it’s the how that matters.
I liked those 2 episodes as well, I liked the End very much because of the emotion, but I’m still mad at ABC for interfering with their original plan of 5 seasons (4 and 5 both 24 episodes each), it messed with the structure of season 5 and 6 (the most).
I think including one scene with the WW would have saved the episode from critic I think, show us what they can do. I still love the episode but it’s not my favorite of the show. (Still even the least of GoT is better then many shows out there)
I can see that point, but our heroes could have battled them right at the end, Jon fighting NK, WW trying to intervene, Jorah, Dany, Sandor etc fighting those WW with wights, Jon falls back almost lost and being killed, Arya finished the NK. It would have been a scene of 3 minutes max.
If you do not believe the diversity issue is applicable or important in this context then I will not try to persuade you. There is a large amount of discussion on the diversity issue in GOT, in the fantasy genre and in film/TV generally. Any Internet research provides some good articles.
There are a few that specifically discuss how best to handle diversity in the fantasy genre. This is not the best place to rehash these articles. A lot of your arguments in your post have often been used to explain why they were good reasons why POC and women were excluded from stories and other areas of life. Always a good reason/excuse – until the barriers are broken.
However, I will say that I hope other persons of goodwill will at least consider the issues raised with open minds. If we mess up, let it be because we are trying to include rather than exclude. Better to overthink than be thoughtless – at least the mistake is in the right direction!
But Jon is a Stark. Their blood runs through his veins, same as the Targaryen side. He is Ice and Fire personified. I think it is trying to find reasons for why he didn’t face the Night King that simply isn’t there. D&D didn’t want it because it was too obvious to them. Plain and simple. There was no lore behind the decision.
As for why Jon was on dragonback, I hope they did follow the lore on that and that it is foreshadowing the conflict to come. Once a dragon is ridden, it bonds completely with it’s rider. That is why he had to ride Rhaegal, because Dany could no longer control it.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
I will not say much about it, but as a minority myself (being gay), I always am annoyed by gay people always talking about: That show doesn’t have enough gay or lesbians in it. And my answer to that is: I rather they exclude gay or lesbians instead of including them and mess things up, portrait us in a stereotypical way, and second I don’t want my sexuality to be a “selling point” for TV-marketing. I rather watch a good written, good executed show that doesn’t have a single gay person it it, than a simple-minded show that include them because they need to be included.
That same opinion I have with the whole including different races, if the writers can write it non-stereotypical why not include it, doesn’t it make sense and feel just that it must be included, please don’t include. I don’t care that GoT has few people of different color, same as I don’t care if a good well written show/movie is 100% of different color, as long as it is great. So I’m with you, it doesn’t matter that GoT doesn’t have many people of color, or people of different sexualities.
Do I think that a broadcast company should include people of different races, yes, hell yes. Does it to be in GoT, no. So does HBO have a race-problem or does HBO promote every different race? If the answer is yes, why are we complaining?
And personally I’m more worried what is happening in the world when it comes to hate of different colors, sexualities etc than if a TV include it or not. People are being murdered for it and we are worried if a TV show is including them. I find that very worrisome that their priorities are with TV shows instead of those victims.
End rent and expressing my opinion about this matter.
I think that telling Jon his true lineage right before the battle was part of the decoy: if the Night King was a greenseer he must have watched them all the time, therefore Jon’s parentage reveal added to the PTWP prophesy and set Jon as the main opponent to the Night King, and he overlooked other potential threats.
Bran to Jon: You’re a Stark. You’re a Targ. And you know Nothing Aegon Targaryen.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
The White Walkers are based on the vikings? LOL. I thought they are based on Scots.
Thoughtless? Well that’s a throw away excuse to justify your position. GRRM has been very clear about the real world inspirations for GoT. You just can’t deal with that fact.
Want a fantasy show with people from every race and background perfectly mixed equally? Great! Go make that. But GoT isnt being exclusionary. Its following the source material, which is directly based on actual Human history. That’s not my opinion.
The Scots are the wildlings. The Wall is Hadrian’s Wall.
GRRM based much of the story on real history, the majority of which is White history. Its a shame that pisses some people off.
I think it makes sense that the WW did next to nothing (as well as our protagonists with Valyrian swords). We still don’t know, how many WW the NK had. According to the scrip of Ep 707, there should have been hundreds of them, although we saw only 4 or 5, and Ep 802 showed us a line stretching into the darkness, but when you think of it, there were no more than 10 WW in that line. I guess, initially D&D really wanted to have hundreds, but then the prosthetic department said no-no-no and they went with initial Devil’s dozen shrunken to 10, cause Jon and Meera had taken out three. Under such circusmtances, the Night King couldn’t send 10 WW against 4 Valyrian steel swords – too dangerous. So, he simply used wights he had in abundance. Reasonable.
Moreover, it looks like D&D intentionally wanted our heros to end the battle with a feeling of unfulfilled purpose. It’s not only for Jon, but also for Jaime and even Brienne. Jorah was the only one with a Valyrian steel sword who got a satisfactory death, but again that was connected to defending Dany, not to fighting WW. And when you think of it, Jorah defended Dany with the Tarly family sword given by Sam – someone who really had reasons to wish Dany’s fall in the battle. I wonder, whether that will lead to some further interaction between Sam and Dany? Sam promised to find Jorah after the battle and if he does, he should find weeping Dany by Jorah’s dead body. That might help him to see her in a different light. And there was a EW report about some “sensible scene” filmed after the battle with beloved characters lying dead on the ground. Could it be that, please? I’m afraid to make predictions, because D&D have been misleading us with filming spoilers and leaks from the set as much as with everything else, but a woman can dream:)
I meant more that they all were in the godswood, where the NK was heading. If Jon and all the fighters were able to get there, they could have implemented that.
I mean a Stark is a Stark by surname. When we go into blood, no Stark is a Stark: Jon and other Stark children must have blood from many ancestors.
As for the main point, you may be right and it may be that D&D have just ruined the entire story, because no story can be good without a proper resolution. But I still have hope that the story can be salvaged with some genious twist, cause it has always been good at subverting expectations and delivering something unexpected but good. Usually, I absolutely hate such subversions: I want life to be predictable (at least in fiction) and I want my expectations to be met. However, GoT has seduced me and now I can’t gt off the hook. I’ve invested like three years of my life into this show: if it’s all for nothing, if I have been simply made a fool… But let’s face it: D&D have invested like 12 years of their life into this show and GRRM even more, so, there must be a plan and a good one, or else they will undermine their legasy, their carriers, and everything else.
YAWN. Nice try troll. Wrong fandom and website for phony race baiting. But good luck to you!
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
I always thought the Ironborn were closer to being the “Vikings” of Planetos, although “We do not sow” would have been historically inaccurate; plenty of evidence suggests the Vikings were excellent farmers, and did not become seafaring raiders until a climate catastrophe in the (7th?) century resulted in widespread crop failure.
I find it difficult to believe that GRRM would have portrayed any human culture, even an über-violent one like the Vikings’, as an existential threat to all other humans.
Hi Ten Bears! YES She Did!
Really want to hear what you thought!!
Its not literal in every way, just as Hadrians Wall isnt a 700 foot ice wall. Its more representative. The Vikings were still northern conquerors. The Iron Born do fulfill some Viking characteristics, but Martin isnt being 100% literal on everything. The Vikings obviously werent undead Ice creatures…
The race issues are superfluous and petty, in full context. The overall inspiration for the whole story deals in Anglo history and folklore with other cultures mixed in. That some people feel the need to complain about it is what drives rational people nuts.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
I realize it’s not literal. But the Others are a supernatural force with just one goal in mind. They’re not conquerors; they’re annihilators. They have no interest in land, resources, booty, or trade. Hence my comment. I don’t think they’re the equivalent of any living human culture, fictional or not.
On your other point, I do agree. There are plenty of other forums (fora?) where I would much rather address diversity issues.
I now FEEL like a troll for my snarky response to Nadia. =( I am not very good at snark I just took what Nadia said immediately as race baiting. Apologies to all.
Thanks for the post-mortem Vanessa, and I’m not sure if this has been mentioned before- but I am able to watch the HBO featurettes even in the UK.
First of all – I love how this community is coming together to help Ten Bears avoid spoilers for this epic episode.
DON’T READ BEYOND THIS POINT IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE READING – – –
I love how Emilia and Ian are quite emotional when they are discussing their scene. Both of them seem to hold back tears. And I’m not one to cry – even with all the deaths we’ve seen in GoT — but that final scene with Jorah and Dany, well I teared up a bit.
I loved the cut to Kit: “I was pissed.” Hahaha but I do love the fact that Arya dealt the killing blow, because it was just another subversion of the fantasy trope (the male protagonist). Is anyone else a Magicians fan here? There was an episode this past season where they addressed the “male protagonist” so eloquently.
Anyways Maisie totally trolling us in that Vogue article from March that Watchers covered:
Williams agrees: “I’d say the key players this season are all female,[. . .]”
Well, YES. THEY. ARE.
I am still not ok. 😭
I hope it was just trolling. Or else she spoiled quite a bit. Namely who likely winds up on the throne and who does or doesn’t kill Cersei.
To be fair theres nothing on earth that literally translates to “anhiliators” in the whole of human history. But in Medieval England, the Vikings did try to take over the country from the north. I think we are talking around eachother on this. The Others are inspired from what I know anyway from Nordic mythology. There is a connection, just not a literal one.
I think we are mostly on the same page.
For the most part D&D and GRRM have done a good job of not making GoT “political” in the real world sense. The strong female characters have been realistic and not forced in an uber militant feminist way. Im not for pushing politice via entertainment.
If D&D had Arya be the one for any reason other than to surprise the audience, or because plotwise the NK knew he was a mortal threat, and they did it because of an aversion to a “trope” then that would be disappointing.
You dont set up a character over multiple seasons to defeat his gravest adversary and then deprive him of it because hes a man. That’s just dumb. Id prefer if we avoid anything related to “we need to prop up females over males because tropes.”
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
I sure wish there were more of the gorgeous Dothraki alive Middle Eastern Spanish dudes were foxy.
Mother of a dragon,
I was disappointed the way they slaughtered the Dothraki the way they did. It really made zero sense charging them into the utter darkness like that.
People can bicker about who should have killed the NK but that was straight up estupid.
So much for the prince that was promised, and all the years of built up expectation.
Since I know that I will never see the end in the books I hoped for something at least acceptable in this show.
Most fan-fictions are better than this.
Some have gleefully attributed the ending with Arya to the subversion of a trope. Their interpretation isn’t that far off from what D&D said:
– Jon doing it is expected
– Despite his arc, it doesn’t feel right
– Jon doing it would be boring
From that, you still don’t get to Arya doing it, with prophecy and all. That’s an entirely different decision altogether, and it’s not too much of a stretch to say it’s one that requires a deeper reason.
I don’t want to get in the habit of giving these guys too much credit, but with the reason they gave, it leaves room for that interpretation to make sense.
Sorry for the offtopic, but as a medievist I can’t help:)
Your facts about the Vikings are inacurate: Vikings rose gradually during the Medieval Warm Period which followed the Cold Period which was one of the factors leading to the collapse of the Roman Empire and the Great Miration period. So, the Vikings were children of the Global Warming. Sure, they were excelent farmers, but they rose on slave trade: the Caliphate which was the greatest superpower of that time consumed slaves in immense quantities and they castrated most of boys, so they couldn’t increase slave numbers through the natural reproduction. And the Vikings were one of the providers of the slave supply: now we find Arab coins all over the the Daugava-Dnieper route, which was the man route of the slave trade.
I think there’s no need to call criticism hate.
I like that the WW issue ended now, I think “no one” was very appropriate to take out Death (with the dagger that started the war of the 5K, nice irony) and I had no problem with the lighting. I also liked that GW was by far the most capable commander. I even liked the suspense and thrill. But I can follow most of the criticism too.
For me, the strength of GoT is drama coupled to a certain degree of fictional realism, and that was lacking more clearly because this episode was about thrill and action. I found the episode good tv, but it lacked “GoT”. If they didn’t want characters to die, they should have kept hidden. And Jon should be given his holidays in Essos now. But this is something that’s been growing over the years.
Small example: Jaime’s espace in the river was more acceptable to me than Sam’s escape of the wights. It’s curious that Jorah, who wears armor, is stabbed to death by wights when characters without armor survive them. If the WW are not doing anything, why show more than before? If Melisandre doesn’t arrive unexpectedly, the Dothraki are useless. Who wants to use unarmored cavalry against an army that doesn’t run or feels pain?
Cersie dying by golden hands could just as easily be the hands of the golden company as it could be jaime.
At this point I just expect it to be Arya.
She killed all the Freys. She killed Pytr Balish. She killed the NK.
Arya is turning into a trope.
Right. Who cares if it was expected that Jon was going to do it. D&D have been hinting at it ever since Hardhome!
It rings hollow despite how well it was done in the episode.
In fact, who needs Unsullied or Dothraki or dragons. Just send Arya. Shes Faceless. Send her down to Kings Landing. She takes various faces and kills Euron, Cersei and the Mountain and everyone of importance in one night because shes easily capable of it.
Thanks D&D. You turned Arya into the single greatest killing machine of the entire show….
In the Spirit of The Seven, allow me to make a quick septet of notes…
1. The WW and KL storylines will never intersect or mean anything to one another at all, other than the forced mashing-together of them in Season 7… which was for what, exactly? A chance to show the audience that Cersei lies? Big reveal, that…
2. The people that died in this battle are mostly those we’ve already been saying “I can’t believe they made it out of that alive!” about for 3 or 4 years, plus a(nother) little girl for the shock value. What happened to this show’s brutal unpredictability? What happened to making me upset ABOUT the show instead of AT the show?
3. Both of Westeros’s new populations of color were conveniently wiped out in actions that otherwise meant little. This is not good, and defending it as a narrative choice as if Game of Thrones exists in a vacuum separate from our real world does not make you look great. The scene with the fire swords being lit and subsequently flickering out one by one was very cool but ultimately pointless (true for many shots in this episode.) The tactic of the Dothraki charge was in itself Sand Snake levels of ridiculous. There are legitimate ways to use cavalry during siege defense. Charging into the dark at an enemy of unknown size and position is not traditionally accepted as one of them.
4. Jon’s big reveal to Dany at the end of 8.2 means absolutely nothing in 8.3. (Yet in 8.4 we’re apparently supposed to fall back into a world where bloodlines and spiky chairs are the only shit that matters.) Cool.
5. All the crypt foreshadowing in 8.2. amounts to nothing in 8.3. No recognizable Starks rise from the dead. No one important dies down there. Sansa and Tyrion hold hands once, and then do absolutely nothing of any use. Cool.
6. Bran’s epic journey and all of the strange powers he has developed culminate in an episode of TruTV’s Bait Car. Cool.
7. Instead of the unspeakable, ancient evil of the Night King and an undead dragon completely shifting the paradigms of Westeros as they march inexorably south, our big bads are now a lady who everyone already hates, and who sucks so bad at plotting she accidentally made her son jump out a window… and Euron actual fucking Greyjoy. They would have served well as important characters involved in the endgame, but to have these two as the main antagonists of the series’s final conflict? Totally indefensible.
This has nothing to do with viewers’ “expectations” not being met. This is about objectively bad storytelling and squandering seven-and-one-third seasons of setup. I look forward to three more chances to be surprised, but at this point my feelings are basically give me Cleganebowl and pull the plug.
P.S. — I’ll take back 30 to 50 percent of my criticism if Cersei burns King’s Landing with the rest of the wildfire stores and Qyburn uses some kind of Night King magic to create their own Army of the Dead.
(Dan and Dave, post episode 5) “We knew everyone was expecting the hound to be the one who kills the mountain but we decided to have Arya do it because no one would see that coming.”
Yes, thank you, D&D, from me too! Thank you to George as well for creating the character and in the process in the books of also turning her into a killing machine!! Thanks guys! Favorite character – love her!! ASNAWP!! 😀
Seriously, if Jon and Dany and Sansa dont all agree to just send her in commando style, and instead try attacking Kings Landing with what’s left of their forces, then they are truly the biggest idiots in the universe.
Im being tongue in cheek, but D&D literally have made her practically invincible. Im not really sure what the point of the next two episodes is.
She literally will win the war with Cersei single handedly based on her immense skills. (See what she did to the Freys)
And from me! Thank you George, D&D, and Maisie for giving us an amazing, complex, fascinating, endearing, badass, and just all-around wonderful character! I’ve never (ever!) felt so emotionally invested in a character in any medium. Ever! ASNAWP! 🙂
Hahahaha yes. Actually wouldn’t be shocked if the mountain beats the hound, but then immediately gets stabbed through the back or something by arya. Or else the hound wrecks him, but then takes off his face and IS arya. “Gotcha” twists seem to be a big part of whatever formula has taken the place of a conventional narrative arc.
I have always enjoyed Arya as a character and I am glad that your fanboy/fangirl wet dreams have been fulfilled but the problem is that Dan and Dave have turned her into a nuclear weapon. She is literally a more powerful than Drogon.
She can do things literally no one else can to a level that completely makes her character unrealistic.
If D&D want to save face, she will die before the endgame because shes simply too powerful.
I seriously hope this is right.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
(Fanboy for future reference. 🙂 )
I certainly won’t deny that she is powerful — very powerful. But a nuclear weapon, no. She earned all her fighting skills through perseverance over the course of many seasons! And over that course, she got her ass kicked for a season and nearly died before being able to get the upper hand on the Waif. In the Battle of Winterfell, she was in plenty of danger and had to be saved by Beric and Sandor. Even she was not able to take on a whole pile of wights, especially after getting that head injury.
The problem is, this kind of criticism is rarely ever levelled against a male protagonist like Jon. For comparison, he gets resurrected, he dodged/survived a hail of arrows in the BotB, survived facing a cavalry charge, getting smothered, being surrounded by wights in this battle, and other countless close calls. Then he learns how to ride a dragon in 10 minutes. Then some people expected that Jon would defeat the NK, and this doesn’t make him super powerful?
Again.. some people just can’t let Arya have the credit for the kill. They have to shoehorn in the male protagonist as having a hand in it. Pathetic!
That isn’t what this theory is trying to achieve at all (not that I believe this is what happened, if Jon had seen Arya, they’d have made that clear), it’s about desperately trying to find a resolution for Jon’s personal fight against the NK and the AOTD, but I think your post reflects part of the problem I have with having Arya leap in to kill the NK single-handedly without any help required (I don’t have a problem with her being the one to kill him though). It has taken what was the fight of all the living against the NK and the dead and boiled it down to super-hero Arya saving the day single-handedly. Having someone help Arya get to the Godswood wouldn’t have taken away from her being the one to kill the NK, nor would having anyone else there fighting him would have. Jon helping her get there (which isn’t what happened in that scene), wouldn’t have been shoehorning in a male protagonist! Firstly, because killing the NK has been Jon’s mission since their face-off at Hardhome years and years ago, so shoehorning is definitely the wrong word to use if you’re talking about including Jon in helping bring the NK down – it would have been a natural conclusion for his 7-season-long story with the AOTD and the NK, to be an important part in the NK’s downfall. And secondly, having someone help her wouldn’t detract from her achievement of being the one to take the risk, use her skill and make the kill.
Arya has pretty much supernatural powers. Jon does not. She is a Ninja warrior who xan sneak past hundreds, if not thousands, of enemies undetected and then leap 20 feet through the air.
Jon cant do any of that.
Arya can take the face of anyone she wants and BECOME them. She killed ALL the Freys this way. Jon cant do any of this.
Im not talking about Jon surviving pitched battles or being resurrected by Melisandre.
You cant be serious. Arya is literally a superhero with superpowers. It doesnt matter how she got them, the fact is D&D gave them to her. Hell she survived multiple stabs from an assassin better than her straight into her gut. She should have conpletely bled out and died from multiple wounds to essential organs.
Don’t tell me about what Jon has done. Hes not anywhere the Avenger/X-Man Arya is. She could waltz into the Red Keep completely undetected and kill everyone in one night.
You know that’s true. Shes already done it. Can Jon do that? No.
So yes, D&D did make her a virtual Nuke.
Very well stated. This isn’t about hating on Arya. Sorry but Jons arc has been built up for over 7 seasons, and yes he happens to be a “male protagonist,” but hell, D&D strung us all along all this time, and decided that it was too predictable if he was the one? The heck? That’s their reason.
For Hecks sake.
I wonder, what Ten Bears will say…
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
Making a character too powerful with no restrictions on those powers is always a mistake.
I thought they handled Arya killing the Night King better than they could have. I did have an issue with how powerful she had become last season, however, because of the potential ramifications for the narrative.
Because the question is understandably being raised now, why doesn’t she just go and kill Cersei? She planned to anyway.
Why can’t she kill Dany if she goes all fire and blood in the conclusion? Save the Seven Kingdoms more bloody conflict.
There’s no restriction on Arya’s powers, so now that question always lingers. Now they’re probably going to have to concoct some nonsensical reason why she can’t do that.
Dany is incredibly powerful… because of her dragons. And sometimes her dragons aren’t around. They’re incredibly destructive and potentially indiscriminate, so their use isn’t always appropriate. And when they die, so does Dany’s special power. The restrictions are clear.
As I understand it, in the novels the Faceless Men’s power is restricted by exorbitant prices, be it sacrificial or monetary, and a religious code of practice.
As things stand, there are no restrictions on Arya’s powers and apparently no consequences. And that’s created a hole in the narrative that they’re going to have to try to plug, most likely with some tenuous side plot or plot device.
Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
Exactly. Someone else gets it.
Let’s assume that Arya would use a face to get close to Cersei. Whose face would she use at this point? Could just anyone get close enough to Cersei to kill her? The Mountain is almost always at her side, so that poses a problem, and Arya is not careless enough to throw her life away just to get Cersei. She could use Cersei’s handmaiden’s face because there’s a chance she could get close to her without the Mountain nearby. But is her handmaiden deserving of death? It has been show over and over again in the show that Arya will not kill those she doesn’t feel deserves it.
Cersei would certainly command an exorbitant price to be assassinated by a FM because she’s not an easy target (unlike Walder). It would likely take a lot of time and careful planning to do it. And no, using Jaime’s face isn’t an option because again, Arya has no reason to kill him (even more so now that he’s fought with them and has the support of Brienne).
So while I do agree that there are few restrictions on her power, I wouldn’t say there are none. Arya is not a blind murder-bot the way some people seem to suggest. She has very much maintained her compassion and sense of justice amidst her darkness.
That being said, I’ve never been shy about consequences coming for Arya and her great power. I’m nervous as to what that might be, but I don’t think we can close the book on her vengeful past and just say that she got a free pass all this time. I admit that would seem odd for GoT. We still have 3 episodes to go..
Arya took the face of an innocent Frey girl when she killed Walder. I don’t believe she killed a young girl to get that face, and if she did, there’s nothing to stop her from doing it again.
Shes not a Faceless Man, so she requires no price to take faces and kill. She wasnt paid to kill the Freys. She did it out of spite.
Arya really has no check on her power other than what the script says.
None of this is about Aryas morality, its about the simple super power shes been given and that shes used. Shes a ninja that can assume identity of whoever she wants. If she can kill all the Freys, she can kill Cersei and her minions just as easily.
It would take less planning than an assault with armies and dragons.
I do agree there are 3 LONG episodes left, and Im curious to see how D&D reign in this power or simply avoid using it.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
No, that was not an innocent Frey girl. When she approaches Walder, he specifically says “You’re not one of mine. Too pretty.” We don’t know who it was, but the show isn’t going to bend over backwards showing and telling us that she does not kill innocent people without making it a big deal if she does. I think we’re supposed to assume she just took the face from the HoB&W, or took it off someone already dead, or something.
I still maintain that while she certainly could kill Cersei, it would not be a walk in the park as you suggest. In fact, we get hints of that when she talks with Jaqen in season 2 where he says it could take up to months or a year to kill someone. Not all targets are the same, and some would be more difficult to pull off, even for Arya.
It doesnt matter what he told her. We know she took the face of a young girl and used it. She killed Walder, his sons and then poisoned all the major members of his house lol
She was pretty damn effective too.
Lets just accept that D&D have made her a ninja warrior assassin capable of killing pretty much anyone she wants. That’s what weve seen on screen. That’s not fan speculation shes done it. She snuck past an undead dragon, hundreds of Wights and a dozen White Walkers. On screen.
Please. D&D have created a character that’s too powerful. That’s not an opinion. Its on screen for all to see.
How many times are you going to say the same thing? We get it, you think Arya is immortal.
I mean, she couldn’t possibly have ever needed any real help or intervention this episode from, say, Sandor…Beric…Mel…urm…oh.
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
It absolutely matters, because your statement is factually inaccurate! You said she took the face of an innocent Frey girl, which she did not.
I’m not at all denying that she’s very powerful and dangerous towards her enemies, but she’s far from being invincible. We’ve seen her in danger many times, she’s needed protection, and in this episode the most scared we’ve ever seen her.
In regards to Cersei, they’ve shown her to be extremely cunning and ruthless in her own right, so I completely disagree that they could just have her waltz in to the Red Keep, kill Cersei, and then return home to a celebratory boinking with Gendry.
The difference with the Night King is that he’s supernaturally powerful, but he’s not a strategist. He doesn’t employ deception, cunning, treachery, and scheming the way the “human” antagonists of the story do. He’s an overwhelming force of death — that’s it. Maybe what we’ll learn in the remaining episodes is that the true danger and threat is the human enemy. I mean.. we’re not going down from here. Things are only going to get more dangerous in facing Cersei and Euron.
Really, I don’t have a problem at all with how powerful she is in the show. I think they’ve found the balance for making her powerful enough to be able to wreak havoc on her enemies and take down the NK, but not so much that it’s out of this world. Remember that in the books she’s an incredibly powerful warg. And what was that that GRRM said awhile back about not going ahead with the 5-year gap? “If a 12 year old has to conquer the world, then so be it.” Likely an exaggeration, but it’s pretty clear we can expect big things from Arya in the books as well. And will there be a consequence to this power? I’m sure there will be. I don’t want there to be on an emotional level, but in terms of the story, there should be. (As long as it’s not her death!)
No apologies necessary. Thank you for the lesson!
Arya’s role in the outcome of this battle was prophesied by Melisandre in Season 3, Episode 6, when she told Arya, “I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you’ll shut forever. We will meet again.” (Melisandre repeated the same words to Arya in Season 8, Episode 3.) So Arya’s tacit agreement with her destined mission to destroy the Knight King wasn’t a surprise and, it most definitely wasn’t a disappointment. I was delighted to the delivery of this one-upmanship with Arya’s youthful bravado.
Whether it was a Frey girl or not, she used the face of a young girl to infiltrate and kill ALL the Freys. That’s the point.
Of course when faced with 20 wights at once she had to run, but that doesnt negate her superpowers on the whole.
Ill say it one last time then move on. She can do things no other character can. She CAN waltz into Kings Landing because she can become whoever she wants. The show has clearly established this. Its on screen fact.
Shes a ninja warrior due to her Faceless training as well, so shes equipped to kill pretty much anyone at any time.
In Kings Landing she wouldnt be walking around AS Arya. Shed be someone completely different, and no one would notice her. She could easily become one of Cerseis assistants or handmaids. Very easily.
You can pretend its not true and make up excuses for why Cersei is more dangerous than the NK (Shes not even close, the NK would have crushed her) but despite Arya being mortal and having a limit to how many wights she could fight at once, her powers enable her to transform into anyone she chooses (her own words to Sansa) and then kill them when least expect it. Literally no one else can do this except Jaqen, and Ill be truly surprised if we see him again.
Everything Im saying is based on what the show has given us on screen. Period. Literally the best strategy is for Arya to sneak into the Red Keep and murder everyone. Shes already proven she can do this. No one knowe who she is so they cant defend it.
Frankly, shes a rouge Faceless Man. Im surprised the real Faceless Men let her go once she basically learned how to be them. Defeats the point of them having a code to what they do.
I beg to differ with your analysis. The vanquishment of the Knight King (ergo the White Walkers and wights) didn’t completely eliminate the fantasy element. I suspect that Arya with her assassin tools (bag of faces, and body transformations) will play a big role in the remaining episodes, in particular regarding the removal of Cersei Lannister from the Iron Throne (if Jaime Lannister doesn’t volunteer for the pleasure of carrying out the task) and, possibly the killing of The Mountain (if The Hound doesn’t get to him first). These are the only two major venomous archenemies that remain on Arya’s kill list who are still alive.
After being the one to kill the NK, I find it a lot less likely now that Arya will be the one to kill Cersei. I had thought she would be the one prior to the last episode (especially as Maisie said prior to season 8 that Arya has to decide between her newfound humanity and her desire fore vengeance this season, which we haven’t seen yet), but now it seems unlikely, though of course, never impossible with this show. Would Arya be the one to kill both the ‘monsters’ left at the end of the series? And then go on living? Die in the attempt? Everyone has been pointing out these last few days that this is an ensemble piece, but if Arya is the one to despatch both villains and save the day in both major conflicts, where is the ensemble in that?
Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,
I’ll try to sum up my points I’m trying to make as well.
Yes, she could kill pretty much anyone she wants. But not all targets are the same. Using her FM powers to kill Cersei poses a few problems:
Not just anyone could get close enough to kill her because Cersei is more cunning and suspicious. Arya would have to take the face of someone particular like Jaime or a handmaid, but both of these pose a moral problem for her. She doesn’t kill innocents, and Jon certainly would not be okay with killing Jaime or an innocent handmaid for Arya to run in there and assassinate her. In fact, I think we can assume that Jon does not know about Arya’s powers yet. I’m sure she knows how upset Jon would be, and from Arya’s expression when she says “once or twice” after Jon asks her if she’s ever used Needle, a part of her knows it was wrong to join the FM and possibly feels some level of guilt or shame.
So what’s keeping them from sending Arya in to assassinate everyone? Well, Jon doesn’t even know she trained with the FM (yet at least). Will she tell him? Will she go rogue? And how does her firm morality play into it if it required her to kill someone innocent to get to Cersei? This is enough to keep it from being a walk-in-the-park.
And lastly, the reason she’s not a “nuke” is that she’s a good person. While she could indiscriminately kill almost anyone she wanted, she wouldn’t. By comparison, if say Ramsay had her abilities, that’s a nuke.
Even I would be upset if Arya ends up killing Cersei. I think there’s practically no chance that happens, and I completely agree that it would disrupt the feeling of an ensemble. It would be detrimental to her arc, and be bad storytelling. Here’s hoping I’m right! 🙂
I am interested in how Arya goes forward into life. I think the major magic bits of the show are winding down but they are not done yet.
In Arya’s case, can she just marry and enjoy a domestic life possibly with Gendry yet still remain an assassin that can switch faces? Does she return to the HofB&W?
Similarly, with Bran. I think Bran may still have some future role. His conversation with Jaime seems incomplete. Anyway, what happens with Bran? Does he just live in WF? Does he go to live in a tree?
Apparently GRRM’s final big twist is “at the very end” according to D&D in the interview they gave after “The Door” where they reveal that they were given three big WTF moments. I would love the last one to be about Bran and something so creative and extreme we all lose our minds in the last episode – so creative I can’t even think what it might be (way beyond the ‘Bran made the mad king mad’ or ‘Bran set the pieces in motion for the whole story’ theories). I think the hint of him affecting the past in his TOJ visits is a big hint of something to come – we never saw any payoff for that. They set it up, but then never used it, so it must still come into play. Bran was also told many times that he can’t linger in his visions or warging for too long or he will stay there, lost, forever. I feel this has to come into play too, or why warn him so many times?
Does anyone know if/where TenBears posted after watching?
I can’t find it & I’m anxious to see what he thought 🌝
Great and really interesting interviews. I think John Bradley nails it with his thoughts on the ending, it simply won’t please everyone we can see that with the Long Night. I’m also internally fearful of the next three episodes and where they may go.
Bella Ramsey as always shows maturity beyond her years, RIP Lyanna you were a great supporting character.
The bit where Greyworm sacrifices the unsullied to light the moat was a real punch to the gut. I must admit I find both him and Missandei quite dull characters but you are right he really shone in that episode – I still think he should have died though for realism purposes:)
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