Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 “The Long Night” Recap

Arya Melisandre and the Hound The Long Night

Tonight on Game of Thrones, we were treated to the most intense 80 minutes of television ever. Ever. So buckle up, friends, because no one’s getting any sleep on this Long Night.

Spoiler Note: This is our book reader’s recap, intended for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The post and the comments section may contain spoilers from the novels, whether or not that material has appeared on the show yet. Because no, we are not all Unsullied now. If you have not read the books yet, we encourage you to check out our non-book-reader recap, by Oz of Thrones!

Right off the bat, watching the episode, I wondered, “Does anyone else feel like throwing up or is it just me?” And then I saw Samwell Tarly and thought, “Oh good, it’s not just me.” I can see Sam shares my anxiety about the upcoming battle. Director Miguel Sapochnik (and his always-amazing DP Fabian Wagner) pulls us right into the terrifying shit with Sam and Tyrion in Winterfell with a beautiful tracking shot. Preparations are underway, with the army of the dead just outside the walls, and the tension heavy among the living. Everyone is very very still and waiting. It’s haunting, and I can barely breathe. My stomach hurts. (Hey, wait, there’s Ghost! That’s a nice happy thing, right?)

Then, a rider emerges from the darkness, and we’re all expecting something terrible- but no, it’s just Melisandre! As usual, arriving at a strange time and giving everyone a heart attack. The fire priestess brings the mojo just when it’s needed, turning every arakh into Dothraki versions of Beric’s flaming sword. The first charge is ready to fight the dark.

Davos isn’t so pleased to see her though. They have unfinished business on account of her torching Shireen. But she shrugs off his crankiness with a prophecy (self-fulfilling as it turns out): she announces she’ll be dead before the dawn.

Jorah Ghost Dothraki Fiery Arakhs Season 8 803 The Long Night

The Dothraki screamer attack, led by Jorah, is impressive (and gorgeously filmed- they’re really bringing the cinematography eye candy) but easily beaten back, with the fiery blades snuffed out. They thought they were ready, but can you ever be ready for a horde of zombies? I mean honestly.

The army of the dead arrives and dominates the defenders of Winterfell, with our brave heroes looking beaten down pretty quickly.  Jaime saves Ser Brienne from a gruesome death at wight hands, just before Daenerys swoops in with dragonflame to save them all. On Rhaegal, Jon scopes out the situation and spots the row of White Walkers nearby. He’s getting good at handling his mount, but the Walkers use the cover of snow to confuse Jon in midair.

With the battle getting ugly, Arya sends Sansa down to the crypts with dragonglass and sage advice: “Stick ’em with the pointy end.” Ugh, my heart! It’s okay,  I already knew this episode would destroy it. It might as well be with a sweet moment.

Samwell Sam Tarly Season 8 803 The Long Night
In the godswood, Bran awaits his destiny with Theon guarding him, while Jorah, Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Gendry, the Hound, and others hack their way through the undead. In the thick of it, Sam is nearly killed by a wight, but Dolorous Edd saves him. His relief can only last for a moment though as his old Night’s Watch friend is killed just then by a wight.

In the crypts, Sansa finds a group of scared women and children accompanied by Tyrion- an awkward reunion, to say the least.

Jon and Dany discover how difficult it is to fly their dragons in battle with the White Walkers throwing the skies into wintry chaos, while below the fighters are forced to fall back and retreat into Winterfell’s courtyard, leaving the Unsullied to guard the walls outside.  The army of the dead attack the trench posts where they can, while Arya picks off wights with her fiery arrows. The living aren’t doing so hot; it’s only a matter of time.

Grey Worm is sweating under his helmet; he gives the order to light the trench, but Dany can’t see the signal due to the snowy air. Improvisation is needed; aren’t you glad now that we have a fire priestess around! Even with all her abilities, Melisandre nearly fails though. It’s nice to know there’s still something human in her that falters when she’s confronted by the zombies attacking. But she succeeds, and the trenches alight, buying them time.

The Hound can’t handle the fire; he retreats from it, as usual. PTSD is a real bitch.

Sansa Stark Tyrion Lannister Crypts Season 8 803 The Long NightIn the crypts, Tyrion argues in favor of going above to help; after all he might be able to, using his mind. Sansa thinks that’s a crap plan, and that the most heroic thing they can do is be truthful. Truth in this case includes acknowledging their marriage, with Sansa pointing out why it won’t work. Missandei gives them a good stinkeye and reminds everyone they’d all be dead without Dany.

Bran is his typical eerily calm self as he waits in the godswood. Theon takes the opportunity to try to apologize, but the Three Eyed Raven isn’t having it. Everything Theon did brought him back home, so it’s all good. But now Bran is checking out, for a timely dose of white eyeball/ravenvision time.

The trench was a great plan- it bought them enough time for, say, a bathroom break? But the Night King is here and is saying, “Enough of that!” He directs his army to lay down on the trenches and form bridges, rendering the barriers useless. The wights quickly swarm the walls, and now the battle is truly begun. There is no retreat. There is no being saved from this.

Brienne of Tarth Jaime Lannister Season 8 803 The Long Night

Watching Gendry panic, seeing the wights crawl up the wall, I was absolutely positive he was goner. (Wrongly, as it turns out.) All the dragonglass weapons are shattering around them. Hapless souls fall to the wights, Jaime and Brienne fight at each other’s backs. Sam almost dies again, but Jorah saves him- his father would be so proud of him. But humans are dying everywhere, so badly outnumbered in the battle.

Huddled off to the side is the Hound, shaking from the trauma of the flames, just as he did at the Blackwater. Arya bursts into the courtyard, chopping and twirling through the undead. Beric tries to rally the Hound into action. Arya takes on a crowd of wights, but even she looks like she no longer is excited to be facing Death itself. That spark of arrogance is gone, and that’s what’s really frightening. Seeing her in trouble, the Hound finally jumps into the fight.

Lyanna Mormont Season 8 803 The Long Night

Meanwhile a David and Goliath (or Lyanna and Macumber) showdown happened in the courtyard, and I don’t like it one bit. This is the point where I started gasping and then cry-laughing because goddammit. Goddamn. This girl. This amazing person.

We saw an undead giant in the season 7 finale- we knew it was inevitable, a great weapon for the Night King to wield. And wield he did, on Winterfell and one of its smallest but fiercest  warriors. The wight giant knocks aside several men killing them. The injured girl pulls herself up and runs at this massive thing, screaming. He scoops her up, and he’s crushing her, killing her (it’s killing me), and then- she fucking kills the bastard, dragonglass in the eye.

They both fall to the ground, dead. I am absolutely wrecked at this point.

Beric Dondarrion Season 8 803 The Long Night

The battle is in the skies now, with Viserion attacking his siblings and their riders. They’re holding their own though…for now.

Arya has run into a challenge: making her way silently through the Winterfell library overrun with zombies. It’s like a game of Frogger, jumping from row to row, trying not to get nailed. She makes it out alive, but the tension in that scene and the long run from the library nearly killed me. Seriously:

Back to the crypts where everyone is very quiet but still alive! Someone’s a-knock-knocking on their door but judging from the screaming, don’t answer.

Beric and the Hound are cruising for bruising in the halls of Winterfell, and luckily they find one in the form of Arya needing a hand with a brawl. Arya is saved, but Beric’s last life is lost when he takes several wounds. They manage to get him away, but just long enough to bring him to a room where Mel is. Isn’t that just like R’hllor? Bringing his followers together for one last laugh.

Melisandre isn’t worried about Arya killing her though. Prophecy, remember? Arya will shut different colored eyes include blue ones. Blue eyes, get it? Arya gets it! Okay, good, we’re on the same page here.

Drogon Season 8 803 The Long Night

The Night King is coming for the godswood, via his wights picking off the Ironmen, while he and Viserion personally tear up Jon and Rhaegal. He has that damn Olympic-caliber javelin with him so we know he means business. Jon hits the ground, but soon so does the Night King, exposed for Daenerys to take her shot.

DRACARYS!

Except…it doesn’t work. The Night King is unscathed by fire, not a surprise to anyone who has seen what a White Walker can do to fire. They weren’t sure whether dragonfire would be different- now they know. It’s useless.

Faced with the threat of the javelin thingamabob, Dany and Drogon retreat. Reckless as ever, Jon makes a run for the Night King on foot. But the Night King is too fast.

Night King Come at Me Bro Season 8 803 The Long Night

HE raises all those who have fallen- every Unsullied, every Dothraki, every Northern soldier.

Lyanna Mormont. Dolorous Edd. Qhono, that one really hot bloodrider.

Oh, and the SKELETONS IN THE CRYPT! I TOLD YOU!

They’re tearing up the place, the innocents in the crypt, the wights in the gods wood (you go, Theon!), the monsters all over Winterfell. It’s nightmare central. This is a straight up horror movie and I honestly can’t take it. Somehow I went from sitting on the couch to crouching on the floor in front of the TV, shaking. When the hell did that happen?!

Drogon is being attacked by wights, downed to the point where Dany is on foot and about to become zombie chow when Jorah swoops in and saves his khaleesi! Drogon flies off to save himself briefly, while Jorah and Dany kick some ass- yes, our queen can handle herself sufficiently with a sword when need be.

In the godswood, Theon has no more arrows. So he fights with his bow. He’s a goddamn hero.

Jorah slashes away, taking more hits, and some deep ones, as he defends Dany.

The crypts are sheer hell, with women being torn up. Sansa and Tyrion share a tender unspoken moment, pull out their dragonglass and run.

Vierion lands in the center of Winterfell, and starts blowing it all to hell with his blue flame.

Theon Greyjoy Season 8 803 The Long NightOur favorite warriors are fighting, but losing is inevitable now. Jon, Jaime, Brienne, Pod, weeping Sam, Theon, they’re fighting to the last.

Bran waits, as the Night King arrives in the godswood. He returns to himself to see the end of Theon, and tells him he’s a good man. It means the world to Theon, we can see.

Theon makes a suicide run at the Night King who kills him quickly.

Jon looks for a chance at Viserion, but doesn’t find it. The blue-eyed dragon is unstoppable.

The Night King is on Bran, approaching him as he did the other Three-Eyed Raven. It seems like this will end the same way. But then- just over his shoulder- a leaping woman, Arya diving for him.

But the Night King turns to catch her! And I was convinced, completely, in that moment, that she was done for.  But then Arya drops her Valyrian steel dagger into her other hand and aims low, for his heart, the place where the dragonglass penetrated so long ago to create the Night King.

And he shatters. Every White Walker shatters into ice and every wight drops where they stand. Viserion’s flame dies, and he’s gone.

Daenerys Targaryen Jorah Mormont Season 8 803 The Long Night

Standing by Dany, Jorah drops to his knees- and falls to the ground.

Survivors around the castle stand in awe of what has happened, gazing at the now-still dead.

As he dies, Daenerys weeps for her protector, who has traveled with her for so long, from so far away. Drogon curls himself around Dany to comfort her.

Melisandre leaves the castle, and makes her way through the dead as the skies lighten. Dawn is coming.

She pulls her necklace from her throat, as Davos watches. In a way, he’s always been the one who sees her for what she really is, isn’t he? With her true age coming upon her, Melisandre dies.

Melisandre death The LOng NIght


Stray Thoughts

My main reaction, in general:

Bring Out Yer Dead: Who died in The Long Night? Melisandre, Jorah Mormont, Theon Greyjoy, Beric Dondarrion, Lyanna Mormont, Dolorous Edd Tollett, Qhono the bloodrider, The Night King (and all his sons, and every damn wight everywhere!) Big Curtain Call week, y’all.

Theon’s Last Stand: Beautifully done. Bless Alfie Allen and everything he brought this underrated role and performance, all these years. He was graceful, to the very end.

Blue Dragon Down: I loved the totally terrifying chaos that Sapochnik brought in the direction, it reminded me of modern war movies like Black Hawk Down. It was disorienting but deliberate, scary and very well done.

Djawadi’s piano returns: Djawadi has said before he rarely uses piano in GoT but when he does, boy it packs a punch. WaterTower Music has uploaded the track online already- it’s called “The Night King.”

Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (Not a 10 because sometimes it was a little confusing in some details like where the hell did Gendry and Ghost go, but that’s a pretty minor quibble shhh numbers are arbitrary just have fun)

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

637 Comments

  1. 10/10 just for the sheer scope and attempting to do something like this on television. We will never see something like this again. Thank you to all those involved. Only 3 episodes to go 😥

  2. To those who’ll shame the show for taking out the Night King so immediately into the season, let’s take a step back really quick.

    Cersei, as flawed as she is, makes for a more compelling villain than the NK could ever hope for. The main draw for the White Walkers is the eerily creepy lore they represent. But aside from that, they don’t offer much to the larger thematic of the show. This show always shines the most when dealing with HUMAN drama anyways. Lest we forget, this is a show about the Game of Thrones. At least that’s my opinion.

    As for the battle, I thought it was lovely. Hopefully they fix the darkness in the Blu-ray release. But other than that, it was definitely well worth the wait.

  3. I totally dug Mel in this episode, and the way her story progressed, but did she really have to kill off the Drothraki army in one fell swoop?

    Geez lady. ¯_(⊙_ʖ⊙)_/¯

  4. I would have preferred if there was a reason why Arya was able to get right behind the Night King despite there being a group of other White Walkers (and wights) with him. Like if she changed her face to look like a wight or something.

  5. Jack Bauer 24,

    Totally agree with this. Overall it was a tremendous episode. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I’ve been obsessed with both the books and show for many years now and while I’m sad we’re one episode closer to the end, tonight was extremely well done. I guess the clues really were there?

  6. I will definitely watch this episode before next week’s.

    Well, at least I now know what happened with Tyrion & Sansa.

  7. I can understand the angle of people suggesting Jon was sidelined in the battle as a con to Arya’s heroic moment, but looking analyzing things from a wide lens, Jon is the only reason the living survived this battle. His contribution to the world of the living is monumental and indisputable. Kudos to the showrunners for throwing in a genuinely enticing twist that had some credence and build up from early on. Truly didn’t expect it. Arya deserves MVP hands down. Then I would argue Theon does. And after him, Jorah for sure.

    Was it just me who thought every death in this episode was PITCH PERFECT. I didn’t even care that the death count for major character’s was low because the casualties they did display were gut wrenching.

  8. Onedon,

    Others have stated that as well. I was watching on a pretty high end television. So I’ll go back and rewatch with the brightness adjusted to see what’s truly going on.

  9. Someone with sharper eyes than mine spotted Ghost in the preview for episode 4, I saw Rhegal in it as well. No Gendry : /

    As soon as Mel announced “He served his purpose” of Beric, I knew what was going down. You’ll shut blue eyes forever. Indeed.

  10. DireWolfHeart:
    Someone with sharper eyes than mine spotted Ghost in the preview for episode 4, I saw Rhegal in it as well. No Gendry : /

    As soon as Mel announced “He served his purpose” of Beric, I knew what was going down. You’ll shut blue eyes forever.Indeed.

    The preview shows Arya and Gendry kissing…

  11. I do feel validated though that there was no big secret or “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma behind the Night King, as I’ve long maintained despite what some have theorized here before. In the end, his motivation was that he wanted to kill all humans, as he was created to do. We’ve known all that since Season 5. The show never gave the slightest hint there was anything more to it.

    Lyanna Mormont was probably the highlight of the episode, as well as Arya.

    Jon continues to be a terrible commander who survives thanks to his Valyrian steel plot armour. If Ned and Robb had had even a fraction as much they’d still be with us.

    But there was quite a lot of plot armour this week, epitomized by the crypt wights killing basically all the extras but leaving every named character completely unscathed.

  12. I don’t know about you, but I miss the Night King already.

    Aside from killing everyone and anything in his sights, he wasn’t so bad. The raping and pillaging Wildings were a lot worse, if you ask me. Just sayin’.

  13. That was… stressful lol. I need to rewatch because I struggled to keep track of people. I am just so so happy that Jaime, Pod and Brienne survived, I wasn’t worried about Jon etc, but everyone was so convinced that Brienne was a goner, not so!

    I need to process this, there has to be a twist coming, otherwise it’s just Jon and Dany against Cersei and getting married in the end.

  14. Edward,

    I agree. I’m slightly surprised they killed the Night King off this early, but only because I thought he might be using the Winterfell attack as a diversion while he made his real attack on the south, leaving the Winterfell survivors with the need to head south and defend their short-sighted enemy Cercei from the dead to avoid the whole 1000000 population of King’s Landing from being turned.

    It turns out that Cercei’s plan has actually worked out pretty well (so far), with the Northerners victorious but suffering huge losses, but I don’t think it will save her in the end.

    Still cheering Arya’s deathblow to the Night King!!!

  15. I was never a fan of the Arya theory killing the Night King, but the way they did it, it wasnt cheesy or political or anything of the sort.

    The Night King was prepared for his strongest adversaries: the ones he knew could ultimately kill him. What he wasnt prepared for (well he sort of was) was the one person who didnt seem like a threat, and the one person who could sneak into the Godswood like that.

    Im satisfied with it. Jon seemed destined to be the one with all the buildup over the last few seasons, but they just werent going to give us that.

    Now that the White Walkers are gone, Valyrian steel is kinda overrated. And dragon glass too for that matter.

  16. Sean C.,

    It was Dany who really screwed up the plan by not waiting for the Night King.

    But seriously, Bran knew all along. He was the bait and it worked. It wouldnt have matteres what Jon did or did not do. The Night King had all the cards to protect against the obvious threats.

  17. So Davos was really going to assassinate Mel at the end there lol? He followed her out with his hand on his sword even though she rode in and helped save as many lives as she could? Come on.

  18. Edward,

    Strongly disagree. Throwing in a twist for shock value does not make it “enticing.” It’s the show doing what it has done for the past three seasons, and that’s propelling the female characters of the show regardless of its cost to the story. (Don’t get me started on that chase scene with the Waif in season 5.) Never mind that Jon and Bran were the principal characters connected to the story of the White Walkers for the majority of the show (and that’s leaving out the references to the books.) Forget Hardhome, or even “The Door” episode in season 6. Just have Arya be a “badass” and kill the chief threat to the realm. I mean she’s been aware of the walkers for what? 10 episodes at most?

    The ending, in my opinion, is a giant middle finger to the investment put into watching certain characters, particularly Jon and Bran, develop. And what happens next? Jon concedes the throne to Dany, and Bran sits quietly in the courtyard of Winterfell trying to stay out of the way of others. Give me a break. SMH.

  19. Still awake. Had to watch the second airing as well. ☺ Still same questions the second time on what they did when. Like when Jon and Rhaegal are sitting on the wall when Rhaegal could have been torching wights… Then he lets the NK draw him away just as the wight start climbing the walls. At least make one pass dude! 😜 But, like with any story, some things have to be done or not done for other things to happen.

    I wrote earlier in the week that I could see Jorah living and Lyanna dying. When she ate it then I was thinking there was a good chance. Dangit!

  20. All hail Sue the Fury, who wrote all this while I’m still pondering the first scene.

    \\ ٩( ᐛ )و //

  21. Yeah I noticed Ghost & Rhaegal in next week’s preview. Thank goodness. I thought we had lost them both. Any chance that Sansa finally realizing how useless her character is and has always been will put an end to her pushing to be Queen of the North or whatever in the hell she’s been up to? Just let her and Tyrion run off and start a family and be advisors to some real go getters.

  22. Seth,

    Another rant about feminism destroying the fabric of the series? Yawn. I’ve seen too much of these already.

    What exactly was Bran supposed to do? Was he supposed to do something fan-servicey as warg into a dragon to try and decimate the NK? Meanwhile, the Night King is clearly smart enough to know that Jon was a huge threat to his plot. Arya coming in was fine to me.

  23. For the first 20 minutes at least, the darkness worked – it was unsettling and built up the sense of foreboding.

    Some of the script choices though, I thought were not good. To throw away a main character’s entire journey/arc for the sake of a “twist” was disappointing.

  24. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface: It was Dany who really screwed up the plan by not waiting for the Night King.

    Seems like it wasn’t a very good plan to start. Hey Dothraki, you guys go on the offensive by yourselves against greater numbers in the dark!! 😜

  25. FictionIsntReal:
    I would have preferred if there was a reason why Arya was able to get right behind the Night King despite there being a group of other White Walkers (and wights) with him. Like if she changed her face to look like a wight or something.

    I thought for a second that Mel was talking about Arya taking a WW’s face, but she didn’t go that route. They did plant the seeds for what happened. This season, she snuck up on Jon in the godswood. Sandor also taught her where to stab someone (right in the heart where the children pushed the dragonglass) I do think it would have been cool to have her take off the face of a WW, but I think they usually shatter when killed, so it actually probably isn’t possible.

    Bran seemed to know all that would happen and didn’t look concerned. I could see him looking a little bit over the NK’s shoulder, and it seemed like the NK was giving Bran a look like “why are you so calm? What don’t I know?”.

    I thought this was an amazing episode. I will give it a 9.5, just because I’m not sure what Bran was doing with his ravens, and I think they waisted Jon some by making him stay up on the dragon. He’s more interesting on the ground, and I am glad they gave him his final scene through the courtyard battling Viserion. I thought he was going to take down Viserion after he yelled at him.

    The AOTD was really terrifying and I didn’t think it was going to be as terrifying as it was when they looked unstoppable. I am glad they will transition now to other stories. It truly will be #FORTHETHRONE now. I am really interested in seeing where the characters go from here with so many of the POV characters still with us.

  26. lucy,

    How did they throw away Jon’s arc? The Lord of Light saw the need to revive Jon because he was the only individual capable of bridging together the North and Dany’s forces. His role in this fight has been incredibly crucial. Just because he didn’t get the finishing blow on the Night King doesn’t negate any of the other milestones he’s racked up. The Night King is aware of Jon’s tenacity so he’d be a fool to let him anywhere near his perimeter. THAT would have been absolutely bullocks.

  27. First half of the season all WF except for 5 minutes. Now we transition back to Cersei and KL and honestly Cersei is a snoozefest right now for me.

  28. FictionIsntReal,

    I thought it was because stealth and being ‘no one’ was one of her big skills she learned in Bravos, in the reunion scene with Jon in same exact place he made reference to it also ‘how did you sneak up on me? ‘

  29. With the NK being Arya’s kill, does that mean we’re gonna get a Jon vs Euron showdown at the end? Could they have come directly from GRRM? I’m seeing a showdown with Euron in the books.

  30. Edward,

    It’s not another rant about “feminism”; I’ve never ranted about “feminism” before. And since George R. R. Martin is a self-proclaimed feminist, it’d be futile to complain about feminism as it concerns his work. This is about the show propelling female characters at the expense of the male characters. (That’s is not necessarily feminist.)

    And you want to talk about fan service? Arya’s killing the Night King wasn’t fan service at all? Bran inexplicably taking out the dagger and giving it to Arya wasn’t fan service? Or that the Night King had the reflexes to preempt Arya before she was able to attack, but his lieutenants were deprived of such reflexes, and could’ve stopped or warned their King? Give me a break. If your analysis of these events which transpired on the show are that one-dimensional, then I’ll leave you to it.

  31. Aryas catchphrase is literally
    What do we say to the god of death, not today
    then there is the valyrian steel dagger given to her..
    and we followed her training for so many seasons

    I should’ve seen this coming….. how did I not?

    Cersei >>> NK, so glad we get 3 80 min episodes to wrap up story with the greatest tv villain ever.

  32. Sue, thanks for the awesome recap! I found myself alternately cheering for our heroes and recoiling in horror as some were lost. Am feeling kind of numb now like I’ve been through a war. I suppose I will process it in my dreams and awaken as the winds of winter change to hopes of spring.
    Thanks again for putting what was an overwhelming experience into words!

  33. Seth,

    Hold on, and climb down off that misogynistic high horse. The show has been building up to this from the beginning.

    Arya has been a badass from the Very First Episode when she hit the bullseye from behind Bran, whose archery skills were sh*t by the way.

    She worked to become even more badass at swordplay with Syrio Forel. Next she learned how to be a badass killer from The Hound. And finally, she learned how to be a badass fighter from the Faceless Men.

    Had you been paying attention you would have noticed that everything pointed to Arya being the one with the skills to take out the NK. Bran knew it, which is why he gave her the Valyrian steel dagger last season.

  34. lucy,

    Lucy, I absolutely agree. And this whole “planting seeds” that many of the apologists are proffering is nothing more than reaching. Jon and Bran’s story arc was centered on the White Walkers; that isn’t a dispute. And I don’t know how Arya’s training with a cult of death worshippers–i.e. getting her ass kicked when she was blind, and training with a staff–was inevitably meant to bring her story to the conclusion of killing the Night King. Jon’s resurrection was pointless since Bran could’ve convinced Sansa; Sansa convinced Tyrion; and Tyrion could’ve convinced Daenerys.

  35. By the way, thanks Sue for the great rundown. If you are like me at all, it was a pretty heartstopping night, but I’m relieved that so many POV characters survived.

    Speaking of thank you’s, at least Theon got a more more heartfelt thank you from Bran than Meera did! Theon really had a heroic night. He was definitely not a coward when facing death in the face.

  36. Dany has completely lost her foreign army. This battle took out the Dothraki and the Unsullied.

  37. Two thumbs, two toes up for this episode! And a bow and thank you to Miguel Sapochnik for his direction and work on the show in general! Riveting and intense would be the most appropriate thing I could say about the episode! That the “small screen” once again proves the level of quality is able to deliver makes me only happier!

    I laughed, I cried and did all the things I was supposed to when watching something I truly love and am passionate about! Only three episodes left!!!

    For Ser Jorah…Dolorous Ed…Theon…Beric…Melisandre…and now their watch is ended.

  38. I’m curious if Bran and Arya even tell anyone what happened. Maybe they’ll say Theon did it but died in the process. She was a missed catch of a dagger away from all of them being dead…!! Can she be knighted now too? ☺

  39. Seth,

    I’m curious how you came to the conclusion that the show has sidelined the male characters when many of them were front and center just fine this episode. And many of those male characters also received proper send offs that did justice to their character arcs. So again, I’m confused on how this episode was so “pro-lady”.

  40. Boudica,

    “Hold on, and climb down off that misogynistic high horse. The show has been building up to this from the beginning.”

    Claiming that the show propels female characters at the expense of male characters isn’t “misogynistic.” Misogyny is an politically contrived emotion, but an emotion no less. I proffered an analysis. Perhaps it is you who must climb down that high horse. And no, they were not building this up from the beginning. That’s just more apology.

    “Arya has been a badass from the Very First Episode when she hit the bullseye from behind Bran, whose archery skills were sh*t by the way.”

    Did she kill the Night King with an arrow? No? So how is that at all relevant?

    “She worked to become even more badass at swordplay with Syrio Forel”

    Yes, and the Hound humiliated her and her sword play in season 4. Or did you forget that?

    “Next she learned how to be a badass killer from The Hound.”

    No. She learned where the heart was. This is no more profound than “Stick ’em with the pointy end.”

    “And finally, she learned how to be a badass fighter from the Faceless Men.”

    She trained with a staff. Did she kill the Night King with a staff? No? Then how is it relevant?

    “Had you been paying attention you would have noticed that everything pointed to Arya being the one with the skills to take out the NK. Bran knew it, which is why he gave her the Valyrian steel dagger last season.”

    I do pay attention; close attention. And if you watch that episode, he takes out that Valyrian dagger for absolutely no reason. And when he gives it to Arya, it’s not because she had a “destiny”; Bran said that he had no use for it. But keeping coming with these apologies for this obviously contrived plot twist. I can rebut them all day.

  41. Rillion,

    Somehow I think she’ll have some of both left, but not many. Some Dothraki ran back on foot. You’d think after watching there would only be a handful total left between the two. However, like the other armies on the show so far, they always seem to have troops out of thin air.

  42. Edward:
    lucy,

    How did they throw away Jon’s arc? The Lord of Light saw the need to revive Jon because he was the only individual capable of bridging together the North and Dany’s forces. His role in this fight has been incredibly crucial. Just because he didn’t get the finishing blow on the Night King doesn’t negate any of the other milestones he’s racked up. The Night King is aware of Jon’s tenacity so he’d be a fool to let him anywhere near his perimeter. THAT would have been absolutely bullocks.

    I agree that Jon’s role of bringing all the forces together was essential. And, when Arya heard Jon was alive and at Winterfell, it was Jon who “drew” her home. (She didn’t go back for Sansa.) Someone else posted that Arya wouldn’t be an obvious threat that the NK would worry about. It is like what Tyrion was saying about wanting to be out there, to see what other people might be missing. In this case, people (the NK and his WW) missed Arya (stealth assassin that she is!). Anyhow, Jon certainly was essential to the defeat of the NK and his army.

    I hope that made sense, I’m worn out from that episode and enjoying these posts.

    Thanks Sue! Great recap, loved the music link, and your selection of screen shots.

  43. Jenny,

    I agree. There has to be more then just taking Cersei down and living happily ever after. There is still the final WTF moment to happen, it cant be Arya killing the NK because he doesn’t exist in the books.

    I feel like they did a disservice to Sansa in this episode, they should have had a callback to Maegor’s Holdfast during the battle of the Blackwater and have her calm the folk in the crypts. Instead we get a snide remark about Dany.

  44. I’m writing one more than off to bed to face Monday…

    Favorite moments:
    The Hound picking up Arya to get her out of harms way.
    The Hound conquering his fear of fire when Beric tells him Arya is in trouble!
    Ghost charging into battle with the Dothraki
    (ghost hopefully coming back in episode 4)
    Sam’s scenes
    Arya’s stick/spear fighting sequence
    Jon getting frustrated and yelling at Viserion (It kind of scared Viserion!)
    Jorah defending Dany
    Dany sticking Wights with the pointy end
    Lady Mormont stabbing the f’n giant in the eye
    Arya kissing Gendry again in the preview for episode 4
    Mel lighting the swords
    The poor Dothraki’s flames going out one by one into the storm…
    Arya dropping the mic (the dagger) into the NK
    So many more… off to bed for now…

  45. Edward,

    “I’m curious how you came to the conclusion that the show has sidelined the male characters when many of them were front and center just fine this episode.”

    You’re conflating exposure with character development. Jamie, Brienne, Tyrion, Sansa, Varys, Greyworm, Missandei, Gilly, Podrick, etc. had decent exposure, but their character arcs were done. No one really expected them to contribute anything more than what they’ve done before the battle. This is not about numbers. It’s about the chief characters who have substantial influence in the story being sidelined for their female counterparts for “reasons.”

    “And many of those male characters also received proper send offs that did justice to their character arcs.”

    And how does this have anything to do with that which I’ve stated?

    “So again, I’m confused on how this episode was so “pro-lady”.

    Of course you are.

  46. I get that Jon/Kit has had all the best battle episodes (besides Blackwater) & they wanted to give the others a chance to shine (and boy did they all) I would have liked to have seen Jon get at least a couple nice kills (WW’s or Viserion).

    This was Maisie’s lead youth and every scene she had was outstanding. She deserved the final kill. I just wish they had taken a different approach than “Viserion blocking the door”.

    I’d have gone with Jon & Theon both defending Bran at the end. Theon falls as he did in the episode. Then the NK sends WW’s one after the other at Jon. He cuts them down but you can tell he’s wearing down. NK steps up smacks Jon away with his ice sword (Jon parries but flies away). NK steps up to finish Bran & Arya finishes him as shown. Maybe even have her playing sneak past Viserion & she uses her faceless man training & small stature to slip by?

    Anyway I’m just nitpicking. I still loved the episode. Episode 5 is gonna be the one to really break our hearts. I’m starting to fear for Arya. Looks like they’re showing her falling in love. You know GoT’s doesn’t reward that kind of happiness. Has Arya served her purpose in the story by killing the NK? With both Jamie & Tyrion surviving one of em has a great chance of being the Valonqar.

  47. I’m just glad I wasn’t the only person who said 928 times that I felt like I was going to be sick. Wild.

  48. Ginevra: If they aren’t lying about the 3 years, then I’m 99% sure they didn’t find out from George. George told them all of the endgame many years ago. I don’t understand how this can all be.

    There is no way that they are lying about it, though it is not clear that Arya killing the Great Other is GRRM’s ending.

    DB & D underscore this in their “Inside the Episode”. They make it sound like they knew that Valyrian steel had to be the weapon that killed NK. They then explain that Jon is the hero but it felt wrong and predictable to have him kill NK and so Arya was the twist.

    Rightly or wrongly, DB & D make it sound like the choice of Arya as the destroyer of the NK was THEIR choice, not GRRM’s. It isn’t that Arya is unworthy of that deed, nor is that off-putting because of her gender. It has nothing to do with that.

    The problem that many book readers are having with this choice is that it makes mincemeat of the prophecies laid in the books — prophecies which the show has barely mentioned and rarely followed. It feels like the show’s ending, a “Hollywood surprise”– not the book’s ending. That’s why it feels wrong.

    This is what also makes the choice of using UnViserion to prevent Jon from reaching the godswood seem artificial and forced. All our hero does is run and hide from the dragon. Even at the end, when he has a choice to raise his sword and strike at the undead dragon in the head — he does nothing. He stands up and yells at it??? So what, Jon is Samwell now?

    There will be a debate about this ending for YEARS. This is the debate which GRRM referenced when he was speaking about the topic recently. Who ends up on the throne at the end was certainly known by GRRM and he told DB & Dan and Bryan Cogman those details.

    But that is a long distance call from saying that Arya killing the Great Other was GRRM’s plan all along.

    This is the debate GRRM told us would happen. We are having it now. We will be having it for years.

  49. FictionIsntReal:
    I would have preferred if there was a reason why Arya was able to get right behind the Night King despite there being a group of other White Walkers (and wights) with him. Like if she changed her face to look like a wight or something.

    Jon, Episode one of this season, 2 eps ago: How were you able to sneak up on me like that?

    Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

  50. onefromaway: Someone else posted that Arya wouldn’t be an obvious threat that the NK would worry about. It is like what Tyrion was saying about wanting to be out there, to see what other people might be missing. In this case, people (the NK and his WW) missed Arya (stealth assassin that she is!).

    I saw this setup as homage to the unexpected defeat of the Witch-King of Angmar in Return of the King by Meriadoc and Eowyn: two characters – one tiny like Arya, one female like Arya – overlooked as threats, deemed weak and unimportant, because the Big Bad was only expecting to go one-on-one with the Good Guys’ most elite warrior or wizard. ‘Twas hubris killed the Night King. I’m quite pleased with that twist.

  51. Im gonna say It AGAIN , Miguel did a brilliant job With the script they give him, the battle was SPETACULAR, and CGI and soundtrack. But…

    The way the NK was defeated was SO cheasy, easy, lame, they build the WW since the First scene of the First Episode as the BIGGEST threat. “Winter os coming” ,” the war for the throne means nothing” ” the true danger is in the North” the dead ARE a problem for WESTEROS, and in the end the NK never, NEVER ,left the north, and in the end Cersei and the south people were right, the dead were never a TRUE danger to westeros itself, the WW plot was Just a waste of time, nothing Else, Cersei never get to be horrorized by the dead knocking kings landing and westeros suffer . We never get to explore deeper the WW mitology and simbolism , Lame. Shame.

    And its not Just me with this in mind, you can find Lots and Lots of people trully mad How the NK plot was solved so pathetic on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, even here.

    And for me was not the only problem of the Episode, the plot armor in this Episode was more stronger than Ever, a LOT of soldiers died easily with the dead coming to them, the dotrakis are gone in SECONDS , and brienne , Jaime One hand, pod were alone against a wall holding more than a 100 Just Fine, tormund and gendry same thing, holding a LOT Just Fine, in the cripts tiryon, Sansa, missandei, Varys, gilly and Her kid Just are okay as Well but Lots of ramdons dies and ALL of them are okay, Jon is against an army alone but the dead Just starts come slow this time and One by One because??? Arya cant pass a corridor of dead okay, but can pass way more dead, 20 ww and the NK okay. The plot armor was ABSURD.

    And we didnt get ANY WW Actions, Just wights, only One giant shows up, but we know they had much more, ghost just what??

    The Episode itself was great and the battle the best olfor me in got but we cant be blind to see soo many mistakes were made here.

  52. Seth,

    What’s hilarious is that you wouldn’t even be making all of this noise if Jon had delivered the fatal blow. I’m sure you’d be singing praises and taking cues from Sansa as you sing pointless hymns. You can’t even come up with decent evidence to corroborate your claims about the showrunners shoehorning women into the narrative. A triumphant moment from a female character doesn’t take away anything from the male characters.

  53. Plus, Arya is a mystical assassin, an expert in death. If there was a representative in this story of the Stranger, it would be her.

    She’s perfect to take a necromancer out.

  54. Seth: It’s not another rant about “feminism”; I’ve never ranted about “feminism” before. And since George R. R. Martin is a self-proclaimed feminist, it’d be futile to complain about feminism as it concerns his work. This is about the show propelling female characters at the expense of the male characters. (That’s is not necessarily feminist.)

    How is giving female characters their own plotlines “at the expense” of male characters? Because the male characters are the only ones that really matter? Or they got their big heroic moment stolen from them by a mere girl?

    I’ll echo Edward. Yawn. Every character has their own role. None are at the expense of others. Women who get a promotion at work aren’t holding back men. Women who make music aren’t stealing spots on the song charts from male artists. Women who run for President aren’t displacing men.

    They are living their own lives, their own plot lines, their own stories. We don’t exist just to be sidekicks.

  55. Beric was sent out on his original mission by Ned Stark, Arya’s father
    Beric fought Sandor and said the Lord of Light wasn’t finished with him.
    Beric sold Gendry to Melisandre-at the same time Mel saw all the eyes Arya would close-which is the reason she ran and ended up with Sandor instead.
    Beric died six times and survived longer than I thought he would to bring Sandor North and to help him save Arya so she could kill the NK.
    I can see the poetry in that ending for him. Not too shabby, lightning lord. 🙂

  56. Aegon the IceDragon: With both Jamie & Tyrion surviving one of em has a great chance of being the Valonqar.

    I hate to burst your bubble, but the show has never gone with the Valonquar prophecy.

    If they didn’t think much of The Prince Who Was Promised, essentially ignored Lightbringer, and wholly ignored the Three Heads of the Dragon — if you think the Valonquar is going to HAVE to be how this ends — we have not been watching the same show.

    This isn’t the books. Who is on the throne at the end will be the same. But how we will get there? Nope.

  57. Lol: And its not Just me with this in mind, you can find Lots and Lots of people trully mad How the NK plot was solved so pathetic on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, even here.

    Everyone is welcome to their opinion, but saying “everyone else on the interwebs agrees with me” generally doesn’t lend your opinion any more credibility. Lots on people online are cheering too. People are divided. That’s a good thing, otherwise the episode would have been totally predictable fan service.

    I personally felt the episode was a masterpiece. I didn’t think it was perfect, especially because I wanted there to be a part-2 to the fight against the NK. I also thought they were a little conservative with the carnage. It would have been more realistic if at least 2-3 more characters had died, given the massive bloodshed.

    However as for the episode itself, it was sheer intensity from start to finish. Brilliant acting, incredible music, stunning visuals, lots of emotions. I can’t remember a TV show that accomplished such a feat. So I choose to love it.

  58. Laura: Jon, Episode one of this season, 2 eps ago: How were you able to sneak up on me like that?

    Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

    Your TED talk missed 100,000 eyes watching the NK’s back in a 20 ft circle.

    The NK was facing Bran and the Heart tree, the only tree in the area (the other trees were behind wigths, hence, a clearing). Arya jumped from behind him, so where did Arya “jump” from? The tree (the only hiding place) was in front of him.

  59. Thanks for the recap, Sue! What an intense episode. I am surprised the NK was killed but I did think he would be totally destroyed – just over a period of at least 2 episodes. But it was brilliantly done. I love how that White Walker general felt just a whisper of wind and his hair moved and he gazed back. Then BOOM! Arya comin’ in strong. Amazing!!

    I also laughed out loud when Sansa told Tyrion he was ‘the best of the them.’

    While Jorah and Dany kick some ass- yes, our queen can handle herself sufficiently with a sword when need be.

    I was honestly surprised that she took up a dragonglass sword but I also think it speaks to her relationship with Jorah. He was ready to fight until the end for her and she was going to help him to the best of her ability too. I’m not really an emotional person when watching GoT (literally the only episode that got me teary eyed was The Door), but watching Dany cry over Jorah then Drogon laying near her – yeah, that got me. I got teary eyed once more. 😭

    I wonder if Arya delivering the killing blow to the NK will be book canon as well, but it did remind me of her interaction with the “Ghost” of High Heart:

    “I see you wolf child. Blood child. I thought it was the lord who smelled of death….” She began to sob, her little body shaking. “You are cruel to come to my hill, cruel. I gorged on grief at Summerhall, I need none of yours. Begone from here, dark heart. Begone!” – Arya, ASoS

  60. Steel_Wind,

    To be fair, D&D have<to make it sound like everything is their idea now whether it is or not. That was part of their agreement with GRRM after the Shireen thing (which they revealed was a future book spoiler and caused a lot of people to flip out). They recently said they’ll no longer confirm which information comes directly from him–there’s an article on this very site discussing that. Obviously quite a bit of it does, though, considering they were given a lot of ending details after S2.

  61. Bomi,

    You didn’t see the White Walkers hair blow in the wind as Arya swept by? She moved that quickly. Plus they were all focused on what NK was gonna do.

  62. Firannion,

    Yes! Exactly! There was one more than one tiny woman who killed larger opponents this episode. I also had a similar thought: it was the NK’s hubris that made him overlook other threats. He had the ice spear ready for dragons, but nothing prepared for Arya – who used the same move when she sparred with Brienne!

  63. Aegon the IceDragon,

    Yes please. Her arrogance at having nothing is really annoying. Also, I think she’s like me.. who thinks she’s smarter than everyone.. she was like that before ( disregarding her father and family) and she’s like that now ( disregarding Jon and every other person) just because she filled up the store with grain ( also.. she hasn’t filled it enough for the incoming armies.. though she knew her brother went to fetch them. which means she thought he will fail/die) and remind me why is she smartest person ever?

  64. ThisGirlHasNoName: How is giving female characters their own plotlines “at the expense” of male characters? Because the male characters are the only ones that really matter? Or they got their big heroic moment stolen from them by a mere girl?

    I’ll echo Edward. Yawn. Every character has their own role. None are at the expense of others. Women who get a promotion at work aren’t holding back men. Women who make music aren’t stealing spots on the song charts from male artists. Women who run for President aren’t displacing men.

    They are living their own lives, their own plot lines, their own stories. We don’t exist just to be sidekicks.

    They have been taking Bran’s arc and giving it to Arya since season one. They took all of his risk taking and giving it to Arya.

    Bran’s entire arc is completely useless. When 3ER tells him why he must live? Well, it’s to be bait. Worse, he’s useless bait.

    If Arya can sneak-up on the NK in the middle of his freaking army, what was the point to any of this “plan”? She could have done this anywhere. Bran was unnecessary.

  65. Seth,

    Theres some truth to both sides of the argument.

    Arya was never a badass at the beginning other than being a tomboy. She wasn’t a badass at all until the Faceless Men taught her how to be an assassin. They maybe could have showed that off more than they did, but until she trained for however many months (years?) she was a girl with an attitude.

    As long as everyone keeps that in perspective, everything else on the pro Arya side makes some sense. The chips did fall in place for her to be the one.

    Jon was the obvious choice, and even the Night King knew that.

    That said, Jons whole arc was set up to face and defeat the Night King, so theres something anticlimactic there, but…

    The show isn’t over yet, so lets see what happens.

  66. Edward,

    “What’s hilarious is that you wouldn’t even be making all of this noise if Jon had delivered the fatal blow.”

    It’s not “hilarious,” because that’s my exact point. Having Arya do it makes just as much sense had they had Brienne do it. And she received her Valyrian sword long before Arya received her Valyrian dagger.

    “I’m sure you’d be singing praises and taking cues from Sansa as you sing pointless hymns.”

    Sansa is irrelevant.

    “You can’t even come up with decent evidence to corroborate your claims about the showrunners shoehorning women into the narrative.”

    Really?

    Explain the reason Jon bends the knee to Dany when she already promised to help him with his mission North.

    Explain the reason Daenerys is concerned with succession when she finds out that Jon is Aegon Targaryen VI, when they are essentially a couple in love.

    Explain the reason Lyanna Mormont, a child of 10 (perhaps older,) gets more screen time and platform to speak, than any other head of a house when she has one of the smallest houses in the North?

    Explain the reason Sansa takes credit for the battle of the bastards when she inexplicably withholds information from Jon about the Vale forces garrisoned at Moat Cailin.

    Explain the reason Arya, after discovering Sansa rummaging her room, says something to the effect of “Girls not being able to decide who they want to be” when in both show and books, her bastard brother commissions a Smith to make her a sword, her Lord Father hires the First Sword of Braavos to train her, and her being able to “befriend” Jaquen H’gar and being trained as faceless man. Everything about her arc is her “deciding who she wants to be.”

    Explain Brienne defeating the Hound in the show (When nothing close to that happens in the books.)

    Explain how Khal Drogo succumbs to infection, yet Arya with an open wound in her gut was able to submerge herself in that city water unscathed.

    Explain how Daenrys killing all the Khals in Season 6 earns her the respect of the Dorthraki.

    I have plenty more. Like I said, I can do this all day.

    “A triumphant moment from a female character doesn’t take away anything from the male characters.”

    Why is it “her triumph”? Her character arc had literally nothing to do with the white walkers. Daenerys killing the Knight King would’ve made more sense.

  67. Well, I for one predicted most of this.
    *Engage smug mode*

    There was only one of two outcomes, either the Night King lives, in which case, Winterfell is totally fucked and even with a bunch of stragglers, they will never bring the Army of the dead and Cersei & Co. down in the next three shows, or, our favourite blue lolly on legs gets his comeuppance.

    I also spotted Chekhov’s gun way back with the Valerian steel dagger.
    When Bran gave it to her I knew she had to be the one to be the hero.

    And whilst they had a high body count, it was only the characters that had served their storytelling purpose that died, because the rest are still needed in the battles ahead. The predicted bloodbath never really happened. That is not to say that the big names will still likely snuff it before the final episode 6 titles. The fact that wimpy Samwell has made it this far is proof of that, he should have died three seasons ago. They are saving him to be one of the few survivors.

    My next prediction is that the core ensemble are going to be whittled down to a handful before one of them, (probably Jamie) gets to despatch Cersei.
    Sam is the only safe bet right now.

  68. Thanks for the prompt post, Sue the Fury, no doubt you can imagine the need to group process right now 😀 ASNWP and 3eyes as the keys to victory over Night’s King confirmed, what I was hoping for, but didn’t expect to get. So, a satisfactory outcome despite the horror and trauma. Give thanks to the old gods and the new. Calling Ten Bears – this is your time to kvel.

  69. It was just pointed out to me that Arya tried to save her father, but was held back.
    She tried to save her mother and brother but it was too late and Sandor saved her instead.
    But today she saved her sister by sending her to the crypts, and saved her brother before the NK could kill him.
    Oh and the world too, but I’m talking about the Starks right now 🙂

  70. I am happy that we can finally move past the zombies, even if my head is spinning on how they were ultimately defeated.

    I have zero issue with Arya administering the killing blow. I’m just disappointed there wasn’t more to it. I had expected a joint effort in the final showdown in the Godswood. Would it have killed them to have Jon and a couple others engaged in battle with the other WW’s, allowing for Arya to sneak in for the kill?

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around what Jon’s purpose to the story will be. For so long I have talked myself into believing his role was to be the one who sacrificed his life to save the realm. Now, I begin to wonder if my initial reaction the first time I read ‘A Game Of Thrones’ was correct, and that he will be king in the end.

    Now that we know the vision of a destroyed throne room with snow falling down and covering the iron throne wasn’t from the WW, I believe that it’s more likely that it was foreshadowing Jon as king. I just wish D&D would have built him up as more than a brave warrior with not much strategic thinking. The leader that made me believe he would make a great ruler in the books isn’t as visible in the show. Instead he always seems to fail upward.

    Anyhoo, I didn’t love the episode, but I am happy that the show will finish with the human drama, I just hope this GRRM twist towards the end is good. All of our favorites against Cersei can’t be all there is.

  71. I have to confess I was oddly disappointed after watching it for the first time.

    ASNAWP jumps out of nowhere, kills the Night King, and just like that, the Real War that’s been building up since S1E1 first scene is over, and we can get back to smirking Cersei, who’ll never know what she escaped. Huh.

    I liked it more on my second watch though all that hacking and slashing gets a bit tedious after a while. Fortunately there were some great moments. I liked the beginning, the anticipation was killing me, my heart was thumping along with the soundtrack. Great sequence all the way until the Dothraki lights were extinguished. A real oh shit moment. Spare a thought to this people who were brought to a foreign continent to be extinguished. (Where are all the Dothraki women and children? Still in Essos?)

    I liked the sequence of Theon’s last stand, the NK approaching. Great music. Theon’s death. Sob.

    I liked Dany’s and Jorah last stand (finally Dany’s perfect coiffure was getting a bit messy). And of course I cried when Jorah died.

    I was praying with Mel when she went to light the trenches. Her death in the near dawn was poetic and beautiful.

    Poor Jon, after all the preparation, he was pretty helpless in the end.

    I loved Arya’s old trick of dropping the dagger from one hand to the other – though I’m still a bit miffed that she seemed to jump out of nowhere.

    I’m still not quite sure who all died. Fewer than I expected – not that I’m complaining! 🙂

    All in all, I’d give it 8/10. I liked last week’s episode a lot more, but I’m not really a battle kind of person. And I’m disappointed Cersei won’t get to experience the AOTD first hand. I guess the rest of the season, the rest of the show, is squabbling over the succession, who gets to rule what. I hope there’ll be something more, some interesting twist.

  72. Apparently those doing a body count on the characters care for quantity over quality. Because there’s nothing minor about Jorah Fucking Mormont, Melisandre, Theon Fucking Greyjoy, Beric Fucking Dondarrion, Dolorous Edd Fucking Tollett, or Lyanna Fucking Mormont*. Maybe they don’t get top billing, but 2 of my top 5 favourite characters just bit it (Jorah and Theon, after surviving from Episode 1 to SEVENTY. So thbbbbbbbbbt to you! (No one here, I just need to snark.)

    Jorah – my heart and my tie for #1 along with Sandor. I expected you dead for 4 seasons, and now you’ve gone and done it. Dammit, this will hurt for a long time. I’m glad he saw his gal Dany fighting tooth and nail with him. Iain, you can say more with your facial expressions than anyone I know.

    Theon – from my least favourite character, to the one I most wanted to succeed. You did, man. You really did. Alfie, you are the bees’ knees.

    ARYA. I am so proud. Sandor – equally.

    I truly would have loved to see Edd on the throne, last one left, saying something like “Oh, of course. Of bloody course!!!”

    *Oh yeah, and that Night King guy and Qhono I guess.

  73. Azor Asshai: To be fair, D&D have to make it sound like everything is their idea now whether it is or not.

    Oh it may well be Arya that delivers the killing blow in the book – if GRRM ever finishes it (which I have, sadly, come to doubt). I have ZERO problems with that.

    But I just can’t see Jon being held back from the fight and not having a chance to cross swords with the NK. I got to be honest here — I fucking HATED that. It felt wrong on first viewing. It felt wrong on the second viewing. It will always feel wrong.

  74. RG,

    Arya would have been killed or at best captured and never become who has had she “succeeded” in TRYING to “save her father.”

  75. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

    “Arya was never a badass at the beginning other than being a tomboy.”

    And that’s a point to analyze; GRRM clearly wrote her character to criticize and subvert the asymmetric social capacity of males and females. I have no real problem with Arya. Her story, at least in the books, is quite compelling. My problem is with the show contriving these “female empowerment” narrative while simultaneously botching the story.

    “She wasn’t a badass at all until the Faceless Men taught her how to be an assassin.”

    All we saw her do was train with poisons and a staff.

    “They maybe could have showed that off more than they did, but until she trained for however many months (years?) she was a girl with an attitude.”

    Well Gilly’s baby is still a baby, so how long could she have trained for?

    “everything else on the pro Arya side makes some sense.”

    No, it really doesn’t.

    “Jon was the obvious choice, and even the Night King knew that.”

    How was Jon the obvious choice? We have no idea what the Night King thinks because he doesn’t speak. And even if Jon was the obvious choice, Arya’s killing the Night King was not a coordinated attack. She somehow sneaked pass his wight army, his white walker Lieutenants, didn’t really catch him off guard, but a being who was able to withstand Dragon Fire, has the aim of Olympic Javelin thrower, and the reflexes of an anime character, somehow was killed when Arya dropped her dagger to her hand? Really? Does that really make sense to you?

    “That said, Jons whole arc was set up to face and defeat the Night King, so theres something anticlimactic there, but…”

    Exactly. That’s my point. And if not to defeat him directly, to have more than just stare him down again only to be sidelined by a dragon who should’ve killed him.

    “The show isn’t over yet, so lets see what happens…”

    What’s left?

  76. Does everyone here realize that Pod’s power is unlimited? Everyone in that room in Episode 2 survived the AOTD. Therefore, it is obvious that his singing is immunity to death. Take heed.

  77. Seth,

    Most of those examples aren’t applicable at all. Few of them demonstrate how the series has gone at length to show men as subordinate to women. Have you forgotten all of the instances in the show where women were done absolutely no justice? Or how about all of those instances where women were used as props to highlight the men of the series’ abilities. There’s plenty of those as well.

    The nice thing about Thrones is that in subverting tropes, it also gives women the freedom to operate within their own confines that aren’t necessarily historically accurate. And Arya had a point. Just because she’s been a female in the story who’s gotten to choose her own path, doesn’t mean every other girl in the story got that same treatment. Especially when you analyze Arya and Sansa’s trajectories.

    You’re not as clever as you think you are. That’s something you have in common with a fellow woman of Thrones. So you see, men and woman do have many similarities. And in this episode, that’s highlighted as Arya proved she is also capable of clutch maneuvers that save the world.

    Just look at what you’re doing right now. Any time someone tries to list an accomplishment of feat of Arya’s, you instantly negate it and try to simplify it. That’s very telling.

  78. I don’t subscribe to any social media and I haven’t posted a single comment on the internet in over a decade, but tonight has prompted me to do so. I am a book reader and a show watcher and I subscribe to just about every ASOIAF podcast that exists, and I want to launch a preemptive strike on all the haters out there who will inevitably be disappionted by this episode.

    First, with respect to Arya, the decision to have her be the one to kill he Night King was foreshadowed and LOGICAL. Since season 1 and book 1, Arya has undergone extensive trying to be, ” Swift as a deer. Quiet as a shadow. Calm as still water…Strong as a bear. Fierce as a wolverine.” (AGOT, p.535) In tonight’s episode, all of the training that Syrio gave her was on display. Even the words that Syrio taught her were repeated. “What do we say to the God of Death. Not today.” For those who can’t comprehend how she was able to sneak up on the Night King- look again. Her whole arc was fighting when she could, being quite when it was necessary and attacking when it was least expected.

    With respect to Jon, I understand the disappointment of those who were certain that he is Azor Ahai reborn and personally needed to defeat the Night King. I would have liked to see Jon in a sword fight with the Night King, but it would have amounted to the same thing. Jon would have charged the Night King with his sword, and someone would have had to save Jon and stab the Night King in the back, just like Howland Reed did for Ned Stark in his fight with Ser Arthur Dayne. It was foreshadowed.

    Since the beginning of Jon’s arc, his purposes been to bring disparate factions together. He united “the greatest army the world has ever seen” to buy time for the Night King to be defeated, and that was his ultimate objective. So I’m sorry if you didn’t get you sword fight, but at least the world didn’t end.

  79. Steel_Wind,

    Since there is no Night King in the books (or so GRRM has always claimed), one has to wonder what the equivalent scene could be, or perhaps that was one of the truly genuine D&D original decisions. If the books are never finished and GRRM never weighs in, we may never know.

  80. GRRM always did say the ending of LotR made him wonder about questions like:

    “What did Aragorn do with the remaining orcs?”,
    “What was his tax policy?”,
    “What did he do in times of famine?”.

    We’re now pretty much where LotR finished (minus scouring of the Shire). I guess we will find out! Hope he has some good twists in his outline!

  81. For those who say a Jon/NK showdown would have been too expected, I say that good screen writers could have made that very highly anticipated moment thrilling and dramatic. I can however see, how it was easier to not work that hard and just go with the element of “surprise!” by having a character not remotely connected to the Others story make the kill. In my opinion, it was a cheap twist which made little narrative sense and really just ruined an investment of 7 seasons for me.

  82. Azor Asshai,

    Well I’m gonna say right now it’s looking like show NK and book Euron might be a good match, goal wise. But yeah. No way to know for sure until it’s out there. 🙂

  83. Pigeon:
    Does everyone here realize that Pod’s power is unlimited? Everyone in that room in Episode 2 survived the AOTD. Therefore, it is obvious that his singing is immunity to death. Take heed.

    Agreed. Pod is a clearly a god.

  84. lucy,

    But that’s the thing. People watch GoT for the shock and intrigue. The Night King battling Jon one-on-one wouldn’t have done anything but sideline his task at hand. Why would he even give the individual who he probably deems as one of his most dangerous adversaries an opening? That would have been more disingenuous than what actually happened, in my opinion.

    Not directing this towards you necessarily, but to some I’ve seen complaining about “fan service”. But people seem to only have an issue with fan service when it doesn’t align with their visualizations. Thematically was it as resonant as it could have been? Certainly not. But did it make sense to have Arya deliver the killing blow? (A suspension in belief is only needed for the portion of Arya being able to sneak up fairly easily) Absolutely, in my mind. It’s head canon, but one can surmise that Arya could have possibly put on a wight’s face to masquerade herself before jumping for that killer strike. It’s far fetched, but her abilities veer into mythicism, so I didn’t mind her dealing the blow to another magical force.

  85. Pigeon,

    Please. So much was happening that Jorah is still sinking in for me.
    He was definitely one of my favorites, had some of the most beautiful lines, and so heartfelt. And he stood beside her until the end. Survived grey scale to come back to her. Was always there when she needed him.
    “Will you betray her again, Jorah the Andal?”
    Never.

  86. Edward,

    It probably doesn’t hurt that I agree with you, but I just wanted to say that you’re an excellent writer. I appreciate your logic and writing style. It’s something I don’t see often enough on the internet.

  87. Edward,

    “Most of those examples aren’t applicable at all. Few of them demonstrate how the series has gone at length to show men as subordinate to women. Have you forgotten all of the instances in the show where women were done absolutely no justice? Or how about all of those instances where women were used as props to highlight the men of the series’ abilities. There’s plenty of those as well.”

    Who has disputed this? There are many characters whose characters have been done a disservice–e.g. Catelyn Stark and her whole “mama bear” persona. And if Arya robbed Catelyn Stark of a crucial plot point, I’d levy my criticisms just as much.

    Furthermore, when I started this, I told you for the last “three seasons.” So if we’re going to talk about the entire, it’s indicative of your not reading my statements, or even worse, your reading that which you want to read.

    “The nice thing about Thrones is that in subverting tropes,”

    This wasn’t a subversion of a trope; it just made no sense.

    “And Arya had a point. Just because she’s been a female in the story who’s gotten to choose her own path, doesn’t mean every other girl in the story got that same treatment.”

    She wasn’t talking about every other girl. She made that comment in reference to herself. The statement goes like this, “We both wanted to be other people when we were younger. You wanted to be a queen–to sit next to a handsome young king on the Iron Throne. I wanted to be a knight. To pick up a sword like father and go off to battle. Neither of us got be the other person, did we? The world doesn’t just let girls decide what they’re going to be. But I can now. With the faces, I can choose.”

    When in the story was Arya ever held back because she was female? Yeah, given the environment, she was expected of many things especially since she was a lady; but the same can be said for Jamie Lannister, who also struggles with expectations. The worse Arya’s ever faced was being called a boy, because she very much looked like a boy. (This is mentioned quite a lot in the books and show. Her looking like a boy even saves her life.)

    “You’re not as clever as you think you are.”

    Still makes me more clever than you. (Thank you, Tyrion.)

    “So you see, men and woman do have many similarities.”

    Irrelevant.

    “And in this episode, that’s highlighted as Arya proved she is also capable of clutch maneuvers that save the world.”

    With not prior experience in any major battles, she’s the one to pull off a “clutch” maneuver.

    “Any time someone tries to list an accomplishment of feat of Arya’s, you instantly negate it and try to simplify it.

    What has she accomplished for curiosity’s sake, other than kill the Night King?

    “That’s very telling.”

    Yet, you haven’t told. Or am I meant to guess at this cryptic statement?

  88. Seth:
    Boudica,

    Did she kill the Night King with an arrow? No? So how is that at all relevant?

    It was to establish Arya’s character, showing us that she’s a tomboy, who is clearly very good at something physical that she sets her mind to. She’s already a badass when she hits that bullseye.

    Yes, and the Hound humiliated her and her sword play in season 4. Or did you forget that?

    Syrio began Arya on her journey, teaching her the basics of stance, balance, and “seeing” what your opponent is about to do. He taught her to be quick and quiet. What the Hound thought about it is entirely beside the point.

    She learned where the heart was. This is no more profound than “Stick ’em with the pointy end.”

    And that’s exactly where she stabbed the NK. Came in quite handy, I’d say.

    She trained with a staff. Did she kill the Night King with a staff? No? Then how is it relevant?

    Because she became an expert fighter and assassin with the FM. Other than learning to fight blind we don’t really know the full extent of her training, but we do know it was setting her up to be that badass who kills the NK, and not just someone out to kill people on her list. Again, it’s called character development. No one should be all that surprised.

    I do pay attention; close attention. And if you watch that episode, he takes out that Valyrian dagger for absolutely no reason. And when he gives it to Arya, it’s not because she had a “destiny”; Bran said that he had no use for it.

    Absolutely no reason. Okay, sure, lol. What he said was, “It’s wasted on a cripple.” He took out the dagger and gave it to Arya for a very good reason, we now know. Bran, being the 3ER, knew in advance what would happen. No need for a flashing neon sign proclaiming, “You will kill the NK with this dagger when the time comes.”

  89. Seth,

    Tyrion isn’t looking so smart these days so I wouldn’t consider that comeback very solid but hey! B for effort.

  90. What is dead may never fly fish, so I doubt the Night King need ever go to the bait shop again.

  91. ThisGirlHasNoName,

    Thank you for the kind comment! I’ve been trying to not sound like a complete idiot because I’m tired and still in shock over that episode. But I’m glad if one person got what I was saying. I need a good night’s rest to contemplate my thoughts and recharge.

    See you around!

  92. Aegon the IceDragon,

    I’d have gone with Jon & Theon both defending Bran at the end. Theon falls as he did in the episode. Then the NK sends WW’s one after the other at Jon. He cuts them down but you can tell he’s wearing down. NK steps up smacks Jon away with his ice sword (Jon parries but flies away). NK steps up to finish Bran & Arya finishes him as shown. Maybe even have her playing sneak past Viserion & she uses her faceless man training & small stature to slip by?

    I know what you mean, that would have been all very swashbuckling, but maybe just a tad walt disnyfied for this level of earthy realism. jon getting really frustratingly pinned down by viserion and his blue fire is so much more like the real world. well, at least in my experience it is. when you are racing to be in time for an interview and you are mad keen to present yourself in the absolute best light, isn’t it amazing how the baby will vomit or shit on you, the truck coming down the road hits a pot hole and splashes muddy water all over you, etc. shit happens, and it especially happens when you most need it not to. or perhaps it is always happening and you just notice it more when you need it not to be/ I actually liked the way d&d had it unfold. cheers all, yeah 9.8/10

  93. ThisGirlHasNoName: How is giving female characters their own plotlines “at the expense” of male characters? Because the male characters are the only ones that really matter? Or they got their big heroic moment stolen from them by a mere girl?

    I’ll echo Edward. Yawn. Every character has their own role. None are at the expense of others. Women who get a promotion at work aren’t holding back men. Women who make music aren’t stealing spots on the song charts from male artists. Women who run for President aren’t displacing men.

    They are living their own lives, their own plot lines, their own stories. We don’t exist just to be sidekicks.

    Thank you!

  94. Jack Bauer 24: Was Yohn Royce there?

    Royce is in the preview for 4.
    He was not shown in the battle , tho ‘dismounted’ knights(?) of the Vale where there, where were the mounted ones?

  95. When Arya was chased inside , it clicked to me that someone would show up to rescue her , I thought it would the Hound, Beric and Brienne , and that Beric would bite the biscuit. No Brienne. Brienne gets a lot of fight time but not a lot of elaboration towards the end.

    One thing I thought was going to happen was the four Valyrian swords would be used against the White Walker ‘generals’ , at the end, making it possible for the conclusion we say … little bit of failure of narrative there.

  96. Edward,

    You must understand the disappointment, though? The show’s WW are not the same as the book’s Others. I find it hard to believe that one strike or one kill will defeat the Others. But the show simplified it to killing the Night King would mean defeating the WW and the AOTD. So in that sense, Arya is the one who defeated the WW. When you couple that with all of the years spent digging into the prophecies and how they centered around Jon and Dany. You must understand how it feels like it was tossed away for the sake of a surprise. For the show’s version of events, Arya has to be considered Azor Ahai reborn. She defeated the darkness and brought the dawn. So the whole “dragon has three heads” and Prince Who Was Promised prophecies were in the end pretty pointless. That doesn’t really sit well with me. And I suppose I was lying to myself when I said I didn’t have a problem with Arya delivering the kill blow. It’s the simplification of the whole Others storyline that really boiled it down to just the Night King that made me reconsider my initial reaction.

    The fact that D&D admit that they decided only 3 years ago for Arya to be the one to kill the NK and bring the dawn really stuns me. And to come to that decision because they felt Jon being the hero was too obvious. It sort of validated the criticisms that they value shock factor over story long narrative arcs.

  97. The speculation that the creeps in the crypts would spring out came to be.
    I did not like that, reasons were given as to why that should not have happened and thought those reasons were good.
    Now if the wights had of broken in, (why were’nt there armed defenders with the crypt refugees?) and they had to defend themselves I would have bought that.

  98. Boudica,

    “It was to establish Arya’s character, showing us that she’s a tomboy, who is clearly very good at something physical that she sets her mind to. She’s already a badass when she hits that bullseye.”

    If you’ve practiced archery, it’s not that physical. Dancing is more physical than archery. Nevertheless, I’m not disputing this point. However, many archers are trained as children. That doesn’t make them destined to kill the Night King.

    “Syrio began Arya on her journey, teaching her the basics of stance, balance, and “seeing” what your opponent is about to do. He taught her to be quick and quiet. What the Hound thought about it is entirely beside the point.”

    Yes, and the Hound humiliated her. And no, I don’t mean by just making fun of her practices. When he told her to come at him, he dispatched her rather easily, visibly upsetting her.

    “And that’s exactly where she stabbed the NK. Came in quite handy, I’d say”

    I guess those lessons with Syrio were a waste. Not to mention, the days she’d watch her brother, and subsequently practice archery were a waste too.

    “Because she became an expert fighter and assassin with the FM. Other than learning to fight blind we don’t really know the full extent of her training, but we do know it was setting her up to be that badass who kills the NK, and not just someone out to kill people on her list. Again, it’s called character development. No one should be all that surprised.”

    No. She learned how to wield a staff. That is what we saw. We do know the extent of her training because we saw it. And this mention of “set up” is ex-post-facto reasoning by Arya apologists. There was no set up, at least not before season 7, which makes it worse.

    “Absolutely no reason. Okay, sure, lol. What he said was, “It’s wasted on a cripple.” He took out the dagger and gave it to Arya for a very good reason, we now know. Bran, being the 3ER, knew in advance what would happen. No need for a flashing neon sign proclaiming, “You will kill the NK with this dagger when the time comes.”

    More ex-post-facto reasoning. Littlefinger attempts to manipulate Bran. Bran takes out the dagger for no reason. He states, “It doesn’t matter. I don’t want it. It’s wasted on a cripple.” Arya then question whether he’s sure. Not once did Bran tell her, “you’re meant to have it.” Or, “it’ll be useful for you, etc.” This is the same boy who thought it necessary to tell Jon that he’s Aegon Targaryen VI risking a possible dissertion from Daenerys. And if Arya had to have no knowledge of her role in the killing of the Night King, because the Night King could somehow connect to Bran’s thoughts, then it made absolutely no sense that he would be present at the war council. Either way you look at it, it makes absolutely no sense. But keep the apologies coming.

  99. As well made as that was and the surprise that Arya does the deed. If that is all there was to the aotd then it was just a McGuffin and that will not do!

  100. Edward,

    It was from the season three opener. And your line was almost verbatim from Cersei. As not so smart as Tyrion has been this season, he’s still smarter than Cersei, from whom you poached your line. What does that say about your effort? Nevertheless, you don’t have much to contribute other than apology, so when you have something more substantial to state, I’ll reengage in conversation with you.

  101. Ok, ok…I literally stopped breathing at one point. I love LOTR and Two Towers is my fave but this wiped the floor with Helms Deep. So, top moments (too many to count really but the ones I could clearly see), accolades and minor annoyances:

    1. My sincerest apologies to all Dany fans. I really thought she’d turn bad but you were right and I was wrong. I stand (in the stead of House Mormont) corrected.

    2. ARYA!!!!!!! ARYA!!!!!! AR-YA!!!!!. Also shout out to Jaqen and Syrio for drilling that message into her head. What do we say to the god of death a.k.a obvs the night king duh… NOT FRICKEN TODAY YOU S***BAG.

    3. Jaime Lannister taking COMMAND. It’s a small moment but as a Jaime fan I was waiting for him to show how good as a general he has become in the last few seasons and sure enough, the writers came through with ‘relieve the archers, archers to the top’. YAAAAS! side note: if y’all still believe Braime is purely platonic I weep for you 💎🦁

    4. Unsullied protecting the retreat! DOVAGERIES!

    5. JORAH MY HEART 💔 THEON 🖤💔 One day I’ll stop crying. But that day is not today.

    6. Literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON who killed the wights outside, killed the same wights on the ramparts, and then KILLED THE SAME DAMN WIGHTS FOR THE 100th time. You have to realise, these are humans (some of them like Jaime and Davos) who have not been in top fighting form recently and might be a bit rusty. But they held up! The game kept rebooting and they kept slashing away like some intense zombie fruit ninjas. LEGENDS, the whole lot. I couldn’t see Ghost because it was too.damn.dark but I know he was there, biting some wight heads. MVP (most valuable pet)

    7. AeJon about to take Viserion all by himself. I was holding on to my laptop screen with both hands cuz obvs that would stop him. Course. Me sobbing and shouting at the screen was going to stop him.

    8. House Mormont: here we stand. And they did. They all did. 🐻

    9. Melisandre comin’ in like Gandalf the Red damn near giving me a heart attack at the beginning. But that cinematography of the Dothrakis charging (the last time I could see everything on my screen clearly) was pure gold.

    10. Miguel Sapochnik 🥶🤯👏

    11. Ramin Djawadi with that haunting piano piece again 👏🙌

    12. D&D for that KILLER writing. No one saw that coming. No one. 👏👏👏 👑👑

    13. Podrick my man made it. Really didn’t think he would. But he’s got an album to drop since the single topped Westerosi charts last week so makes sense. If he survives till the end, I’m going to need a spinoff of Podrick trying to make it as a popstar in Westeros. Maybe forms a duo act with ‘Eddie’.

    14. Sansa and Tyrion. I wasn’t expecting it and yet when it happened, I wondered why I wasn’t expecting it. BECAUSE OF COURSE that conversation needed to happen. That moment needed to happen. And I’m happy that it did.

    15. Did anyone else feel like this was a horror movie especially when Arya was in the library on her own? I was waiting for the jump-scare.

    16. Kinda gutted Nymeria and her pack didn’t show but as James ‘Rhody’ Rhodes once said: ‘next time baby’.

    17. WTF was Bran doing this whole time? Like what was he warg seeing? The NK was right there. Was he seeing Arya get ready? Was he warging into someone else? Where was dead Hodor? #confused.com

    18. Lyanna Mormont is a boss. 😎

    19. Guys…Shireen 2.0 survived. #grateful

    20. I AM SO DAMN EXCITED FOR NEXT WEEK.

    Happy for all who survived. Heartbroken for all who didn’t. Their watch has ended, their nine lives are up, they stood till the end. They were good (wo)men.

  102. Too much for me. The Night King is the one out of the 3 who falls off the dragon mid air battle? Theon just had to die 15 sec before the end just because he got a “goooooooood boy!” When most everyone else (actual fleshed characters) was literally covered in mountains of bodies and enemies and lived. Jamie wack a moled with one hand downward chops through at least a dozen but it had to be more from the scope of it single handed (no pun) kills pinned against the wall and isnt even seriously mained. Only Jorahs felt earned, Beric big pic wise but not thematically in the moment. It felt like the army of dead boiled down the a plot device for Dany to lose her army.

    And yeah other than that the action was cool, I didnt hate it as much as it sounds that shit just stood out hard for me.

    Also my name is looking better and better.

  103. Seth,

    Obviously there’s only one explanation for women getting plotlines and directors deciding to use more often actors who are amazing and fan favourites: an evil feminist agenda to take plots away from innocent men. You discovered us, now we have to go back to the sidelines. And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling incels.

  104. Steel_Wind,

    The problem that many book readers are having with this choice is that it makes mincemeat of the prophecies laid in the books — prophecies which the show has barely mentioned and rarely followed. It feels like the show’s ending, a “Hollywood surprise”– not the book’s ending. That’s why it feels wrong.

    I’ve read the books but couldn’t care less whether or not the show has the same ending as GRRM( I know it won’t). I dislike Arya killing the Night King because it feels wrong for the show irregardless of the books.

  105. Right at the end there is a cinema meme that is a cliche, camera pans on all the surviving heroes , but it looks like all the allied spear carriers are dead.
    Preview of episode 4, whole bunch of Unsullied about, how many made it?

    To my eye there is a continuity error , camera seems to show Grey Worm, Tormund and Brienne standing among a pile of bodies in the courtyard, next camera pan, Brienne, Jamie and somebody against a wall. Hard to make out the courtyard scene.

    More left alive in the crypt than implied by the mayhem there.

  106. All the negativity about the NK aside, this episode was amazingly shot. It looked superb. So many breathtaking scenes. Add in the top notch music by Djawadi (as always) ramping up the intensity and I think some people in here are focusing too much on a few surprising/disappointing elements. The episode was among the best in the show’s history.

    I liked the ending with Melisandre. That was a beautiful way to conclude the episode.

  107. Seth,

    You are the dude at the party, looking for where the pattern in the wallpaper diverges. There, go do that all day.

  108. Big surprise , to me, that was not a surprise was Melisandre showing up.
    One thing I thought sure would happen was , before this , since it was set up in season 7, that we would see Mel in Volantis , some plot action set up. Hmmm.

    O well, Melisandre, accomplished her mission , in starts and fits!

  109. The fiery line of Dothraki disappearing in total blackness was so haunting. Masterfully done by Miguel Sapochnik. Arya’s cat-and-mouse through her childhood home was equally effective. As we’ve come to expect from him, he does so much with so little. There was a split second I thought Arya was absolutely done for – after Lyanna Mormort, it was all I could do not to scream HANDS OFF HER!!

    RIP House Mormont, House Umber, House Karstark (that was Alys out with Theon, wasn’t it?), House Most-Of-The-Fighting-Population-Of-Essos. At least from the 804 preview we know Ghost and the two dragons survived. Oh Theon. “You’re a good man…thank you.”

    Glad the Winterfell defenders were able to see the dragons in action as a force for good – a nice contrast for when Jaime last saw them at least. Wonder what Sansa and Arya thought of Jon riding a dragon? (The least Arya deserves is a nice ride on Rhaegal, so please, Jon – take her for a spin!)

    Now we need to see where the lines are drawn the last half of the season. Biggest one for me: Sansa vs Tyrion or Sansa and Tyrion working together, and for whom? I hope beyond hope that it will be the two of them behind a united Dany and Jon, Sansa checking whatever remains of Tyrion’s complicated feelings for his sister. Now that the dead are defeated, back to Westerosi politicking and I can’t say I’m not looking forward to it! Hopefully everyone gets a nice nap in first – they’ve earned it.

  110. Preview of episode 4. Everybody just had the bejabbers waled out of them and it’s all Huzzah! right now!, for taking out Kings Landing?

  111. Hay, this is just sooooo unlikely I have point this out:

    My pick list of who lives and who dies in 803, in the previous thread….

    ….was 100% right. oh, ok, one Major error.

    I’m not sure what the statistical chance of that is, but it’s low.

  112. Still processing but mind already on next week….

    Cirsei and the Iron bank must have hired an assassin to take out Dany! Will it be Jaqen?

    So many thoughts….

  113. Boojam,

    It is indeed bizarre. Logic should dictate that they’ll pay a major price for the incredibly gung-ho decision to immediately attack Cersei after this, which she predicted they would do anyhow back in the S7 finale if they managed to survive the Night King. The Army of the Dead was meant to weaken them for a reason, I’d assume.

  114. Azor Asshai: It is indeed bizarre. Logic should dictate that they’ll pay a major price for the incredibly gung-ho decision to immediately attack Cersei after this, which she predicted they would do anyhow back in the S7 finale if they managed to survive the Night King. The Army of the Dead was meant to weaken them for a reason, I’d assume.

    So Sapochnik has episode 5, after this I am not looking forward to another battle!
    Battle fatigue.
    Preview of E4 shows a ship and a ‘healed’ dragon, that looked like Dany’s ship, puzzle.
    Also the fleet that brought the Dothraki ashore must still be about.

  115. Bye the bye if one freezes the ‘funeral pyre’ scene for E4 , not only Ghost, but all the major characters, at Winterfell, left alive , are in that scene , tho you have to look hard to see.

  116. talvikorppi:

    I liked Dany’s and Jorah last stand (finally Dany’s perfect coiffure was getting a bit messy). And of course I cried when Jorah died.

    I’m still not quite sure who all died. Fewer than I expected – not that I’m complaining!

    For me it was when Drogon landed and wrapped his wings around his Mother like he felt her grief that got me.

    Shhhhhh about deaths, now we are back to back stabbing human conflict no one is safe. Remember, Cersei has a plan for the Dragon queen.

  117. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I too thought there would be a deeper reason the NK heads south and Jon is the Main part in it. My Guess was the NK wasn’t created by the COTF as A-BOMB against mankind. As there are the counterparts ice-fire, Life-death as two sides of a coin, there has to be one to serve to death purposes. And the NK did this for thousands of years, now heading down to the god’s eye where some COTF still live and he was created. There he wants to get that Splinter in his heart pulled off so he can ride into retirement-sunset. And Jon, as the one replacing him sacrifices himself to close that circle for the next 10000 years.

    But now… any volunteers to crew Moat Cailin? 😉

  118. Boojam: Also the fleet that brought the Dothraki ashore must still be about.

    Opps, frames from preview of 4 show the Targ fleet, hard to tell how big it is.

  119. Well done Sue! I love the flavorings of your reactions! LOL

    This was fucking awesome. Goddamn! They delivered the shite tonight! A beautifully shot masterpiece of TV. It was the quality of episode and storytelling I’ve been waiting on since Field of Fire 2.0. Just perfect!!! Loved every second of it and would not change a thing. Was simply enthralled for 82 minutes. I did not move and had to get another drink to calm my nerves after it was over.

    To the people who thought last week’s episode was the best ever, I say…Oh, never mind…
    forget those people.

  120. Very surprised about the good review. I’m so sorry for everyone involved in this show, because they all worked their asses off and it was the most boring episode of GOT for me. I had “Beyond the Wall”-vibes which was up to date my least favorite, but this tops it. The only time I felt anything was with Tyrion and Sansa in the crypts, when he kissed her hand. Very sweet. Apart from that, meh. What an incredible disappointment after last episode. I did’t feel that having the battle in one episode worked. Maybe I should have rewatched 8×2 before going in to this to have a bit of a build up, but on its own, I found it extremely lacking. The ending with Mel finding peace walking towards the dawn was beautiful, though.

    Stray observations:
    Arya killing the Night King was foreshadowed heavily when Bran gave her the dagger in S7. Not surprised. But not mad about it. When discussing a show to death like we do, it is to be expected that some assumptions will come true in the end.
    The library scene was incredibly boring, I wanted to fast forward.
    Absolutely nothing happening downstairs despite so many interesting pairings. Varys and Sansa should have a conversation at some point. Also why give Sansa a dragonglass shard if she doesn’t even use it? And also I hate D&D’s writing for the character, instead of a throw back to the Battle of Blackwater episode, we get….well gain, nothing. So disappointing.
    The skeletons in the crypts breaking through stone. Really?
    Theon making a suicide run with a spear. Unnecessary af.
    Missandei saying they’d all be dead without Dany. How did the Night King breach the Wall again? Yeah, I don’t think so.
    But the worst part of all, was that everyone was mute. It seemed like a deliberate creative choice, which I can respect, but it didn’t work for me.
    I also found the score not on par.

    Bit of a clusterfuck, really. I ain’t gonna rewatch that one soon. At least, we’re done with the Night King and can concentrate on the political side again. Can’t wait for the next episode in which people hopefully talk again.

    What’s gonna happen? Who goes South, who stays north?

  121. I loved the episode, many thanks for the recap Sue. Like you I was on the edge of my seat throughout.

    I have to say the military tactics were terrible though. You don’t have all your troops in an open field and then hurl the artillery into the dark to be overwhelmed immediately by forces vastly outnumbering them. Who on earth drew this battle plan? They should all have been behind the trenches, which were lit when the dead came into view. Seemed ridiculous to me. However, apart from that, I felt the battle was brilliantly done. It really was a lost cause which could only be won by killing the NK.

    Plot armour seemed to be a bit too strong. More than 5 known characters should have died, or at least been wounded. Having said that I’m gutted about Jorah and Theon (who had he stayed by Bran would have survived) although those who died got a heroic end which was satisfying.

    Go Ayra! As soon as Mel said “blue eyes” I knew it would happen.

    I still don’t really understand why Bran is important. He doesn’t do anything except warg into ravens and look back in time. Wasn’t he set up as being vital in the war against the dead? Just by being bait? I don’t get it. How is he powerful in any way? Can anyone explain?

  122. I can honestly say, i think this was the worst episode in the entire series. Too much darkness in the shots. The acting was great, the fight scenes and all thatbut it was a WEAK episode

  123. Isabelle,

    “The fiery line of Dothraki disappearing in total blackness was so haunting. Masterfully done by Miguel Sapochnik. Arya’s cat-and-mouse through her childhood home was equally effective. As we’ve come to expect from him, he does so much with so little. There was a split second I thought Arya was absolutely done for – after Lyanna Mormort, it was all I could do not to scream HANDS OFF HER!!”

    I totally agree with you on this!

    The Dothraki “Charge of the Light Brigade” was stunning as was the scene with the dragons above the clouds. The fire balls zooming over them as they charged the wigts recalled a scene in Spielberg’s remake of ‘War of the Worlds’ and Arya’s library scene being chased by wigts recalled the finale of Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ where the Velociraptors chase the kids in the kitchen. Overall this was simply spectacular and I’ve exhausted my superlatives with which to describe it!

  124. I honestly thought the episode was going to end with Bran and the NK just staring at each other and Ep8.04 would be the confrontation between them. Then we might have had a bit more of an explanation as to WTF the connection between them is. If that’s it for the NK and the supernatural arc of the storyline then I’m rather disappointed. I think it was telling that the NK walked away from Jon rather than confront him: “What is dead may never die” as Theon would have said (Oh Theon, I shed a tear for you but your redemption was complete). Loved Lyanna Mormont going down fighting, loved Jorah holding on long enough to keep his Khaleesi alive and her heartbreak as he gasped his last. Right at the end I thought the NK had got Arya – I forgot to breathe for like a whole minute – and I completely get that killing him was her arc from the beginning. Next ep: Cleganebowl is ON. Going for a lie down in a well lit room now…

  125. 8.03 was my worst D&D fears realized. I think the episode is okay… and some moments are great, but their storytelling beats this episode and the plot resolution felt even more contrived than I ever expected from them.

  126. I am going to have to rewatch the episode again tonight to decide how I feel about it, as I only have my experience of watching it at 2am on my 12″ laptop with headphones to go on, but my provisional feelings are confusing.

    It was clearly an epic and beautifully made spectacle. The scenes with the dragons in the moonlight, the Dothraki araks lighting up and their charge, the snow storm and the dragon battles in particular were simply breathtaking. I was too tense to appreciate them at there time, but I know I will be awed by them on a bigger screen this evening. I am awed in general actually, by the quality of the production on this episode. Beyond Blockbuster movie-level.

    They expertly manipulated our emotions in this episode and, genuinely, I feared for almost every character almost all of the way through. I am not exaggerating when I say my heart was pounding throughout the entire episode (I could hear it with the over-ear headphones!). I don’t like horror or thriller shows, so for me, it was probably too frightening. I didn’t enjoy not knowing if all my favourites were about to become zombie chow.

    I already posted on the live chat that I am pretty disappointed with Jon’s lack of participation in this battle. However, Jon is my favourite character, so I am definitely biased. I feel a deep sense of disappointment that he had such a minor role in the Great War when that has been the primary point of his entire existence in this show. I feel that D&D stating that it would be too obvious to have him kill the NK, so instead they went with the surprise leap attack from Arya, cheapens a lot of the development into his character in these past seven years. Yes, he did bring everyone together to fight the AOTD, but then he didn’t really do much. Are people truly satisfied with him being a bystander after everything he has been through with the AOTD and the NK in particular? I think using shock-tactics to avoid heavily foreshadowed and developed plot expectations is a bit disingenuous to the story they have inherited and woven deftly over the last 7 seasons and I am disappointed. That’s not to take away from Arya, I just feel that narratively, she did come out of the blue. Her arc has been about revenge and battling to regain her humanity against her deep-rooted desire for revenge (and ultimately, her arc is way more important in the defeat-Cersei war than in this one. Are we going to see a twist and see Jon murder Cersei now?). She only just recently learnt about the AOTD, yet now she will be hailed as the saviour of the world, when the character we have seen suffer and fight for this moment, will forever be cast in the shadows hiding from an undead dragon. I really hope that he is able to have a satisfying end to his arc now, but I fear he’s going to be a heartbreaking casualty in the war to come (I had seen him sit the throne at the end of it all, but after tonight, I fear he’s just doomed to have a dissatisfying ending).

    I loved the Sansa and Tyrion moment where they held hands. Absolutely loved it. I wanted them to remarry before, but now I do even more so.

    Jorah’s death, Dany’s reaction and the way Drogon essentially cradled her in shared grief was heartbreaking and beautiful to watch.

    Lyanna’s death was the most affecting for me and I honestly couldn’t stop my lower lip from trembling for several minutes afterwards.

    While I have concerns over the way the NK was killed (I am going with the view that Arya was hiding in the tree, as I just don’t buy her stealthing her way past hundreds of wights and WW encircling and watching their leader – yet somehow missing the assassin creeping up behind him across the open circle), I will admit it was intensely satisfying to see him fall and see the army crumble. I couldn’t control my breathing for a few moments when that happened, it was intense! I had been seeing no way out.

  127. Now this is indeed impressive.

    “Sunday’s final clash was a masterpiece of tension and release, goose bumps and heartbreak, grandiosity and intimacy. It deftly mixed genres (horror, action, melodrama), shots and planes of action as it shifted from the chaos of the fighting in and around Winterfell, to the claustrophobic terror of the crypts, to the dragon dogfighting in the winter sky.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/28/arts/television/game-of-thrones-battle-of-winterfell-review.html#commentsContainer

  128. Dyanna:

    I still don’t really understand why Bran is important. He doesn’t do anything except warg into ravens and look back in time. Wasn’t he set up as being vital in the war against the dead? Just by being bait? I don’t get it. How is he powerful in any way?Can anyone explain?

    The big question for me there is that if Bran was bait, why wasn’t he set up out front? Let the NK show up & go for Bran without tens of thousands laying down their lives? You don’t set a trap to catch a mouse and then surround it with a shitload of cheese for the mouse to get through to access said trap. And we still don’t know WHY the NK wanted Bran. I need an explanation.

  129. How small are some of your “manhoods” that a woman killing a character sends you into a huge rant?

    It is both hilarious and sad at the same time.

  130. Laura,

    Bran was ringed by a hundred wights, probably a dozen White Walkers and the Night King himself. All inside the walled-off Godswood. There is absolutely no way Arya could have crept up on the Night King without being noticed. A truly disappointing Deus ex Machina plot device. They could have shown her jumping off a tree at least, or from the top of the gate through which the Night King entered the Godswood but there was nothing of that.

  131. MissDarkside: The big question for me there is that if Bran was bait, why wasn’t he set up out front? Let the NK show up & go for Bran without tens of thousands laying down their lives? You don’t set a trap to catch a mouse and then surround it with a shitload of cheese for the mouse to get through to access said trap. And we still don’t know WHY the NK wanted Bran. I need an explanation.

    Yes, too many holes in the story when you boil it down.

  132. Also Arya in the library. Moves more silently than the individual drops of blood hitting the floor.

    They covered off really well how she will be able to get there. Her stealth.

    Also having known where Bran was, where the NK would be and grown up at Winterfell she would have easily found a way to get to that tree etc. Bear in mind she wasn’t coming FROM the battle directly like Jon was, she was coming from inside Winterfell where she could easily access roofs and whatnot to bypass the gate. We saw her jump from a window while wounded by the Waif, noneeason to think she couldn’t make another jump etc.

    Laura: Jon, Episode one of this season, 2 eps ago: How were you able to sneak up on me like that?

    Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

  133. While keeping a tiger from the front door, the wolf comes in at the back.

  134. On Reddit there was leaks shared (which no-one believed) about this ending. The person who worked on set leaked in March that Arya jumps out of the tree. It’s not clear as such in the scenes but given the leak was valid… no reason to dispute

    mhpr262:
    Laura,

    Bran was ringed by a hundred wights, probably a dozen White Walkers and the Night King himself. All inside the walled-off Godswood. There is absolutely no way Arya could have crept up on the Night King without being noticed. A truly disappointing Deus ex Machina plot device. They could have shown her jumping off a tree at least, or from the top of the gate through which the Night King entered the Godswood but there was nothing of that.

  135. The Bastard:
    Che,

    Arya was literally trained for stealth.

    But there’s stealth, creeping through dead men, which I could buy, and then there’s invisibility, which I don’t buy. She could have crept past them, but there was a wide empty circle of just snow at least 10 meters in diameter around Bran and the NK that she would have to cross to get to the NK (directly in view of his WW who appear to have minds of their own where the wights do not). Is the suggestion that she became invisible as she crossed it? Because to leap up like that, she would have to pick up speed, which isn’t stealthy. Moving fast across an empty circle that everyone is staring into towards a target that everyone is staring at draws attention.

  136. Seth,

    Ugh. See a shrink about your issues with women. Or go back to polluting the Star Wars fandom. Basement dwelling misogynists like you don’t have any ownership over Game of Thrones.

  137. Dyanna,

    If Bran were positioned “out front,” he would have been annihilated immediately, genius. Not by the Night King, but by whoever. The purpose of putting him in the Godswood was to draw the Night King there.

    I need to avoid getting sucked in to responding to some of these. This sort of episode always attracts the kind of people who just have to find a “gotcha” but who are too stupid to realize they don’t understand anything.

  138. According to a pre-season spoiler which I only just read ( but genuinely posted months ago) , Arya leapt from a tree, if that helps.

    How she got into the tree is another question, would have to look at the whole of the Godswood to see the layout.

  139. Che: But there’s stealth, creeping through dead men, which I could buy, and then there’s invisibility, which I don’t buy. She could have crept past them, but there was a wide empty circle of just snow at least 10 meters in diameter around Bran and the NK that she would have to cross to get to the NK (directly in view of his WW who appear to have minds of their own where the wights do not). Is the suggestion that she became invisible as she crossed it? Because to leap up like that, she would have to pick up speed, which isn’t stealthy. Moving fast across an empty circle that everyone is staring into towards a target that everyone is staring at draws attention.

    If you watch the scene again, you will notice a few things.

    1. Arya was stealth mode up to a certain point, which she was trained to be.

    2. At least one of the other White Walkers noticed her coming by and did nothing to stop her.

    3. The Night King easily caught her without much effort, which is probably why #2 happened. He is sort of overconfident. The same way he just stood there and let the dragon hit him with fire. He could have been attacked by something else, but it seemed like he had zero fear of it. I’m sure living for that long would remove the fear out of it.

  140. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
    According to a pre-season spoiler which I only just read ( but genuinely posted months ago) , Arya leapt from a tree, if that helps.

    How she got into the tree is another question, would have to look at the whole of the Godswood to see the layout.

    This is what I figured must have happened at the time. There’s no other way she could have got past the empty space around the NK and Bran without being spotted. She clearly snuck past the Ironborn (not Bran I would imagine seeing as he knew this was going to happen) and got into position as soon as she left Mel, which I find a satisfying way to explain how she was able to pull it off. The NK would not have considered looking for a small assassin in the branches above when he is faced with his prize.

  141. Che,

    Yes we don’t know how much time elapsed in between her leaving Mel and swooping Ninja like. The logical assumption is that she stealthily made her way to where she thought the showdown would happen and lay in wait. Clearly the director wanted the big surprise moment rather than show her actually making her way there.

    That won’t please everyone I expect, but still…

  142. Vally:
    Very surprised about the good review. I’m so sorry for everyone involved in this show, because they all worked their asses off and it was the most boring episode of GOT for me. I had “Beyond the Wall”-vibes which was up to date my least favorite, but this tops it. The only time I felt anything was with Tyrion and Sansa in the crypts, when he kissed her hand. Very sweet. Apart from that, meh. What an incredible disappointment after last episode. I did’t feel that having the battle in one episode worked. Maybe I should have rewatched 8×2 before going in to this to have a bit of a build up, but on its own, I found it extremely lacking. The ending with Mel finding peace walking towards the dawn was beautiful, though.

    Stray observations:
    Arya killing the Night King was foreshadowed heavily when Bran gave her the dagger in S7. Not surprised. But not mad about it. When discussing a show to death like we do, it is to be expected that some assumptions will come true in the end.
    The library scene was incredibly boring, I wanted to fast forward.
    Absolutely nothing happening downstairs despite so many interesting pairings. Varys and Sansa should have a conversation at some point. Also why give Sansa a dragonglass shard if she doesn’t even use it? And also I hate D&D’s writing for the character, instead of a throw back to the Battle of Blackwater episode, we get….well gain, nothing. So disappointing.
    The skeletons in the crypts breaking through stone. Really?
    Theon making a suicide run with a spear. Unnecessary af.
    Missandei saying they’d all be dead without Dany. How did the Night King breach the Wall again? Yeah, I don’t think so.
    But the worst part of all, was that everyone was mute. It seemed like a deliberate creative choice, which I can respect, but it didn’t work for me.
    I also found the score not on par.

    Bit of a clusterfuck, really. I ain’t gonna rewatch that one soon. At least, we’re done with the Night King and can concentrate on the political side again. Can’t wait for the next episode in which people hopefully talk again.

    What’s gonna happen? Who goes South, who stays north?

    Vally,

    That’s why I have no problem with the show coming close to it’s end. In the last three seasons it’s becoming more and more Hollywood, and less and less GoT. It still has it’s great moments, but spoiled by huge holes in the script/logic every now and again. ( Seriously, stop repeating every catchy phrase from S1. It was fun, but we’re already halfway past this season and it still continues. ). End it till it’s still good, that’s really a great decision from the showrunners.

    So House Mormont is now extinct. That’s sad.

    Even if the Valonqar prophesy was never mentioned in the show, they still can deliver another ( book )fan service by playing it on screen. Cersei has a younger brother right next to her, and he’s far more ambitious and ruthless than both her brothers combined. Proven Kingslayer on his own already. And the army he brought from abroad is to be granted entry to the city. If she marries Euron, I won’t bet on her surviving the wedding night. Would still be some twist to change the main villain at the very end of the show and to see Stark and Lannister troops ( what’s left of them anyway ) fighting together.

  143. I have to say, I get some of the complaints about Jon and Dany being overlooked in last nights episode. I myself am asking questions such as what are their destinies? Why was Jon resurrected by the LOL? Why did Dany step forth from the flames? Why is Bran the 3ER? Was it all really just to bring Arya to that one moment? The answer is surely NO.

    Think about it folks, we still have 3, 90 minute episodes.. all will be revealed- and we have plenty of twists left in store that NONE of you are expecting- just enjoy the ride.

    Arya killing the NK was a twist and a half- and one that had 99% of us taken by surprise (yawning hard at all the folks coming out the woodwork saying they saw it coming since S1- I only realised when Mel gave her line).

    Now, as for Mel, the Hound, Beric. Their purpose WAS to deliver Arya to her destined moment- that was the LOLs plan all along. The Hound put her on a hard path. Beric died once he had fulfilled his purpose of saving her. Mel too (once she told Arya what she had to do).

    To add to the point.. it’s only now becoming clear that SO much of the backstory was all about Arya’s destiny. Such as JHG being in the black cells, Syrio Forell, and why the FM allowed her to leave the HOBAW. Did they know? Damn I love this show.

    It seems to me Bran went for a raven-nap to lay the trap for the NK, and was probably checking in at various timepoints and events to ensure Arya was where she needed to be. So he, like Mel, knew Arya would kill the NK with Dark Sister (yeah- I went there). I cannot wait to see what else Bran gives us.

    I am really disappointed at the apparent impotence of the White Walkers, I have to say.

    And on a side note- damn Davos, give Mel a break already, she SAID she was gonna die, and she tried to save everyone’s ass twice! We loved Shireen too, but let the red woman die in peace!

  144. Contrary to what I posted above about now believing that Jon’s resolution will be intensely dissatisfying and downplayed, I wonder if there is an even bigger moment coming for Jon later in the season (like becoming King?) and they didn’t want him to have all the glory in both key battles/set pieces/important moments of the show? I am still trying to rationalise this beyond “despite Jon’s arc being all about defeating the AOTD, we’re going to overlook him for this task because it’s too predictable and give the role to someone whose arc has had nothing to do with the AOTD, because she happens to have the right training, which has been for a different purpose but don’t worry about that, and she was given a VS dagger” (sorry for my dryness, just pretty sad about the whole way that episode ended – unapologetic Jon fan!). It feels like he may have something to do later in the season because he was a bit of a non-entity this episode, considering this was the climax to his part of the story.

  145. It perplexes me to see the comments. I watched with several show only viewers, who absolutely adore the show, and checked reactions on the GOT reddit that is known to be heavily pro SHOW (not asoiaf reddit).

    Everyone agreed that ending left bad taste in their mouths. Arya had no narrative connection to this storyline beyond Mel popping up this episode. Everything about Northern lore, Brian’s abilities, Jon’s resurrections and dragons was ultimately rendered meaningless. Also massive amounts of plot armour were ridiculous – I lost count how many times it showed the main characters surrounded by 10,000 wights and then magically fine after a cut.

    Shout out to Cersei she was right

    If you watch BTS by D&D their big argument in favour of this being Arya is shock value.

    Dismissal of everyone who dislikes this ending as mysogynist is ridiculous. I am a woman, a feminist, and long time fan of the show. I think this was bad. Writing.

  146. The Bastard: If you watch the scene again, you will notice a few things.

    1. Arya was stealth mode up to a certain point, which she was trained to be.

    2. At least one of the other White Walkers noticed her coming by and did nothing to stop her.

    3. The Night King easily caught her without much effort, which is probably why #2 happened.He is sort of overconfident.The same way he just stood there and let the dragon hit him with fire.He could have been attacked by something else, but it seemed like he had zero fear of it.I’m sure living for that long would remove the fear out of it.

    I haven’t rewatched it yet, but when I do this evening, I’ll look out for these. At the time it seemed like she came from above – you have to pick up quite a lot of speed to jump that high, and she only would have had 10m or so. It feels more likely she came from above.

  147. Apollo,

    I myself am asking questions such as what are their destinies? Why was Jon resurrected by the LOL? Why did Dany step forth from the flames? Why is Bran the 3ER? Was it all really just to bring Arya to that one moment? The answer is surely NO.

    It is all pointless now, the mystic and mystery from the story is gone with the early defeat of the Night King and WW’s. The only fantasy element left are dragons. The 3ER is nothing and the only destiny for Dany or Jon will be sitting on the Iron Throne.

  148. It was odd that NK just flat out refused to go hand-to-hand against open challenge by John in the field. Instead resorted to raising those dead again to fight him. I mean Bran could have waited few more seconds. Was he scared or is there more to that?

  149. Haven’t seen this this brought up yet, but might have missed it. Wasn’t there a vision in the first book, perhaps one of Bran’s dreams, in which he saw a little girl slaying a giant?

  150. Edward:
    I can understand the angle of people suggesting Jon was sidelined in the battle as a con to Arya’s heroic moment, but looking analyzing things from a wide lens, Jon is the only reason the living survived this battle. His contribution to the world of the living is monumental and indisputable. Kudos to the showrunners for throwing in a genuinely enticing twist that had some credence and build up from early on. Truly didn’t expect it. Arya deserves MVP hands down. Then I would argue Theon does. And after him, Jorah for sure.

    Was it just me who thought every death in this episode was PITCH PERFECT. I didn’t even care that the death count for major character’s was low because the casualties they did display were gut wrenching.

    Jon’s bravery was still evident. He engaged Viserion on Rhaegal, knocking the NK off his dragon, which was just as well! And Jon was simply frustrated by being unable reach the Godswood.

    I agree, Ayra’s role was foreshadowed ages back, I just never saw it before.

    Yep, every death was perfectly done. Bravo to the whole team 👏

  151. Apollo: To add to the point.. it’s only now becoming clear that SO much of the backstory was all about Arya’s destiny. Such as JHG being in the black cells, Syrio Forell, and why the FM allowed her to leave the HOBAW. Did they know? Damn I love this show.

    I’ll admit I was initially disappointed with the Night King being defeated in only one episode after all of the build up over the course of the whole show – not that I wanted him and his army to stick around because I hate zombies, so in that light I’m happy to see them gone already. It just felt a little anti-climactic.

    But I was mulling it over. I remember that I was bored stiff with Arya’s Faceless Men storyline, and wondering WTF the point of it was. I always wondered about it… it seemed like they targeted her for recruitment from the get-go, with Jaqen being a prisoner and traveling with the Night’s Watch. But why would they go through such lengths to recruit what was, at that time, just a scared little tomboy? The answer I came up with seems to make sense of the whole story: they knew Arya was, in essence, the “Prince(ess) who was promised” and that they had to train her for what was to come.

    But why? I think it has to do with the God of Death, who is his own entity and it *not* the Night King. The Night King’s whole schtick was raising people from the dead… thereby possibly cheating the God of Death. And since the FM serve the God of Death (aka GoD), it would make sense for them to train and send in their own assassin to serve their god’s will… even if that assassin didn’t realize her true purpose. To think of it this way makes everything make a lot more sense and seems to round out that part of the story a lot better.

    I’m also sad for the all the characters that died, but Baby Bear particularly broke my heart. I’d pretty much already made peace with all of the others (except Melisandre, whom I wasn’t expecting).

  152. Clob,

    See if you can freeze-frame at about the 20-second mark of the 30-second Ep4 preview. I believe that’s Royce, wearing the yellow-ish robe, standing in the front row of people outside the main gate at Winterfell as Jon, Dany, Sam, Tormund, Grey Worm, Sansa and Arya walk forward carrying torches to set fire to funeral pyres. Look directly behind the torch that Grey Worm is holding.

    I can make out most of the other main characters who survived – Tyrion, Varys, and Missandei to the right of the shot, behind Sam and Dany; Bran, Davos, and Sandor in the center of the shot; Brienne, Jaime and Pod to the left-center of the shot, behind Sansa and Arya. I haven’t managed to spot Gendry, but who else would Arya be kissing in the shot immediately before this one?

    Agreed that Royce should have been wight-fodder, though. Maybe he has some part in the wars to come other than being politely dismissed everytime someone wants to have a word with Sansa.

  153. What if Bran is actually the bad guy…. and the Night King was trying to save everybody from him?

    Wouldn’t that be a twist.

  154. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

    I mean in the NK vs. humans plot, she was “NO ONE”.
    The actual threat for the NK came from nowhere / from NO ONE.
    By the way, Arya “becomes active” in the episode at the same time the NK does.
    The shifting balance “the is no hope ! / the is still hope !” makes this episode more brilliant.

  155. The Many-Faced Goddess,

    That certainly makes some sense. The one thing left open now is what exactly is “The Lord of Light” and will it ever be explained in show? The best we’ve had so far is that the LoL is another aspect of The Many Faced God, which I suppose would partly explain things…

  156. Apollo:
    I have to say, I get some of the complaints about Jon and Dany being overlooked in last nights episode. I myself am asking questions such as what are their destinies? Why was Jon resurrected by the LOL? Why did Dany step forth from the flames? Why is Bran the 3ER? Was it all really just to bring Arya to that one moment? The answer is surely NO.

    Think about it folks, we still have 3, 90 minute episodes.. all will be revealed- and we have plenty of twists left in store that NONE of you are expecting- just enjoy the ride.

    Arya killing the NK was a twist and a half- and one that had 99% of us taken by surprise (yawning hard at all the folks comingout the woodwork saying they saw it coming since S1- I only realised when Mel gave her line).

    Now, as for Mel, the Hound, Beric. Their purpose WAS to deliver Arya to her destined moment- that was the LOLs plan all along. The Hound put her on a hard path. Beric died once he had fulfilled his purpose of saving her. Mel too (once she told Arya what she had to do).

    To add to the point.. it’s only now becoming clear that SO much of the backstory was all about Arya’s destiny. Such as JHG being in the black cells, Syrio Forell, and why the FM allowed her to leave the HOBAW. Did they know? Damn I love this show.

    It seems to me Bran went for a raven-nap to lay the trap for the NK, and was probably checking in at various timepoints and events to ensure Arya was where she needed to be. So he, like Mel, knew Arya would kill the NK with Dark Sister (yeah- I went there). I cannot wait to see what else Bran gives us.

    I am really disappointed at the apparent impotence of the White Walkers, I have to say.

    And on a side note- damn Davos, give Mel a break already, she SAID she was gonna die, and she tried to save everyone’s ass twice! We loved Shireen too, but let the red woman die in peace!

    But if they only decided three years ago to have Arya be the one to do it because Jon would be too predictable and they needed someone with Valyrian Steel (paraphrasing their Inside the Episode commentary), then that foreshadowing wasn’t for this purpose. In the books this is all going to go down very different from the simple facts that there is no Night King and Beric is already dead. Who knows whether Arya will have a similar role in the books with the Others (unlikely given the lack of the kill-the-mothership-and-they-all-fall role the Night King embodies) or whether her training is to kill the biggest human threat (which seems more likely). What this feels like, based heavily on their commentaries, is retrofitting Arya’s arc to fit their needs and making parts of her story feel like foreshadowing, when they only recently decided to make her the one to kill the NK because having Jon do it is too predictable (which is a notion I just object to so much – if it feels predictable, it’s because they’ve spent 7 seasons building Jon’s arc to be the main champion for humanity against the AOTD and the NK. Satisfying that arc should be a good thing, not, oh, that’s too predictable because we built it up for so long, let’s just do something shocking instead!).

    In my opinion (just my opinion!), it feels like Arya’s book arc is going to be heavily tied in to the human threats in the end game; that she will be optimally primed to take out the end game human baddie (unlikely to be Cersei), but at great cost to herself.

    To search for clues in a backstory that was written before the decision was made doesn’t feel right. I have admired how D&D have continued with the story since they ran out of material, as it seems an impossible task, but this is the biggest misstep I feel they have made. To choose Arya for shock value (which is what their commentary suggests), doesn’t seem very true to the more sincere writing in the earlier seasons.

    We know Arya is going to have to make decisions regarding Cersei and her need for revenge because Maisie Williams spike pre-season 8 about Arya having to decide between her humanity and her need for revenge. So I wonder if we will see her in action again.

  157. I don’t know. I’ll reserve judgement until I see the last three episodes but for me they killed off the white walkers too early. What are they going to do with the final three seasons? Fighting Cersi and the gold company is boring in comparison. And I’m not impressed with super Ayra. They’ve made her a bit too cartoony and super hero like.

  158. Steel_Wind: There is no way that they are lying about it, though it is not clear that Arya killing the Great Other is GRRM’s ending.

    DB & D underscore this in their “Inside the Episode”.They make it sound like they knew that Valyrian steel had to be the weapon that killed NK. They then explain that Jon is the hero but it felt wrong and predictable to have him kill NK and so Arya was the twist.

    Rightly or wrongly, DB & D make it sound like the choice of Arya as the destroyer of the NK was THEIR choice, not GRRM’s. It isn’t that Arya is unworthy of that deed, nor is that off-putting because of her gender. It has nothing to do with that.

    The problem that many book readers are having with this choice is that it makes mincemeat of the prophecies laid in the books — prophecies which the show has barely mentioned and rarely followed. It feels like the show’s ending, a “Hollywood surprise”– not the book’s ending. That’s why it feels wrong.

    This is what also makes the choice of using UnViserion to preventJon from reaching the godswood seem artificial and forced. All our hero does is run and hide from the dragon. Even at the end, when he has a choice to raise his sword and strike at the undead dragon in the head — he does nothing. He stands up and yells at it??? So what, Jon is Samwell now?

    There will be a debate about this ending for YEARS. This is the debate which GRRM referenced when he was speaking about the topic recently.Who ends up on the throne at the end was certainly known by GRRM and he told DB & Dan and Bryan Cogman those details.

    But that is a long distance call from saying that Arya killing the Great Other was GRRM’s plan all along.

    This is the debate GRRM told us would happen. We are having it now. We will be having it for years.

    And the only reason for the “emphasis” of the prophecies and a multitude of fan theorys is a bored fandom needing something to talk about while waiting for GRRM to write a book.

  159. Jack Hamm:
    Now this is indeed impressive.

    “Sunday’s final clash was a masterpiece of tension and release, goose bumps and heartbreak, grandiosity and intimacy. It deftly mixed genres (horror, action, melodrama), shots and planes of action as it shifted from the chaos of the fighting in and around Winterfell, to the claustrophobic terror of the crypts, to the dragon dogfighting in the winter sky.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/28/arts/television/game-of-thrones-battle-of-winterfell-review.html#commentsContainer

    Yes, the episode got a very nice NYT review.

  160. anon:
    I don’t know.I’ll reserve judgement until I see the last three episodes but for me they killed off the white walkers too early.What are they going to do with the final three seasons?Fighting Cersi and the gold company is boring in comparison.And I’m not impressed with super Ayra.They’ve made her a bit too cartoony and super hero like.

    I expect lots of politics.

    And the Lannisters still have their 3 arcs to complete.
    And Brienne is still a virgin.
    And Tyrion has to decide his path.
    And Hound and his brother.
    And Euron will be ded….
    And the dragons have to be resolved.
    And Grey Worm has to go to the beach!

  161. As a non-book reader, im sick of book readers saying BUT IN THE BOOKS BLABLA
    We have been told over and over that they are two different stories (but not really)

    Anyway, I also see so many comments about story arcs and stuff. I think they have beautifully built this up and I just didn’t realize it. It has been Arya’s story since day one to do this. What do we say to the God of death? Not today. Her encounter with Mel (which i always thought was super important) And all her training… etc. HOW DIDNT I SEE THIS????????

    And then Jon, yeah ill admit I thought he would be the one to end it either by sacrifice or something, but it makes sense, his arc was to bring everyone together to fight this battle, he was revived to do so.. and obviously his parentage has been a huge part of his story… its obviously not over yet

    Anyway, I loved this episode so much. It was perfection.

  162. The Feminist agenda,

    “Obviously there’s only one explanation for women getting plotlines and directors deciding to use more often actors who are amazing and fan favourites: an evil feminist agenda to take plots away from innocent men. You discovered us, now we have to go back to the sidelines. And we would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling incels.”

    I’m glad we have an understanding.

  163. It’s completely understandable that folks will be upset that Jon’s story arc of killing the NK (which, besides the books, they themselves have alluded to) was scrapped in order to give it to Ayra for ‘shock value’. It would not be boring to see Jon fight the NK, D&D!! I agree with others who say Ayra could have joined the fray and killed him thern, rather than just sweeping the whole Prince Who Was Promised off the table in one broad swipe. What was the point, then?

    I love both of the characters, but this was just wrong. Very disappointing.

  164. Apollo,

    I too am interested to see what their full roles are – but so far, Jon’s role was to raise the alarm (as a man of the watch), Daenerys was to gather the army for this fight and Jon got her to come north. That is a great deal in terms of their purpose.

  165. Boudica,

    No, I’m perfectly fine not dropping it. But reminding me of a useless redundancy, i.e. not being able to change anything, should remove the set of subjective values by which one judges, analyzes, and enjoys television.

  166. Che: But there’s stealth, creeping through dead men, which I could buy, and then there’s invisibility, which I don’t buy. She could have crept past them, but there was a wide empty circle of just snow at least 10 meters in diameter around

    Omg, its called imagination, fiction. Lol
    adults…

  167. Jemma: Jemma says:

    April 29, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Also Arya in the library. Moves more silently than the individual drops of blood hitting the floor.
    They covered off really well how she will be able to get there. Her stealth.
    Also having known where Bran was, where the NK would be and grown up at Winterfell she would have easily found a way to get to that tree etc. Bear in mind she wasn’t coming FROM the battle directly like Jon was, she was coming from inside Winterfell where she could easily access roofs and whatnot to bypass the gate. We saw her jump from a window while wounded by the Waif, noneeason to think she couldn’t make another jump etc

    Yes!

  168. the unburdened,

    “diverge” from what? As far as we know, there’s no source material as of yet from the books for this, so I wouldn’t be complaining about a divergence. If you’re somehow characterizing my analysis as a “nitpick” then Kudos to your imaginative illustration of the point using wallpaper at a proverbial party. It makes even less sense than the ending of this episode.

  169. mhpr262:
    Laura,

    Bran was ringed by a hundred wights, probably a dozen White Walkers and the Night King himself. All inside the walled-off Godswood. There is absolutely no way Arya could have crept up on the Night King without being noticed. A truly disappointing Deus ex Machina plot device. They could have shown her jumping off a tree at least, or from the top of the gate through which the Night King entered the Godswood but there was nothing of that.

    Arya was in the Godswood before the WW came in and obviously if you consider the size of the Godstree she jumped down from that.

  170. Dee Stark: Omg, its called imagination, fiction. Lol
    adults…

    I did. As soon as it happened, I imagined she dropped out of the tree.

    What I was debating there was the notion that she managed to run through hundreds of wights, WW, a large open space and still come out of nowhere. Personally, I like my fiction to keep to the rules of its own established universe, otherwise it feels cheap and jarring. Which is why I’m going with dropping out of a tree instead of invisibility

    But if these debates about finer details don’t appeal, maybe just ignore them?

  171. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

    Like who vies for the Iron Throne? Does that really matter? I mean, forget that the White Walker threat was supposed to put things into perspective in that titles and seats shouldn’t prevent putting differences aside and working towards larger goals. Forget the metaphor of “the Others” and just have Dany and Cersei duke it out to see which of them gets to use a title in order to subjugate their people.

  172. Rillion,

    Yeah, I’m not sure exactly what’s left for Dany when she storms KL. Two dragons is a nice start. But beyond the remants of her army and of the Northerners… well I suppose the Glovers could come out of hiding at Deepwood Motte, and the Reeds could emerge from the bogs. Maybe Yara could make a U-turn with her small band of Ironborn. Or Jaime, Brienne and Pod could swing by Riverrun to grab Edmure and the Tully soldiers (after they find the weapons they surrendered to Jaime and the Freys) and maybe even enlist the Frey soldiers while they’re at it (Arya didn’t kill them, just the Freys themselves). Most spectacularly, Varys could once again use the magical GoT transporter, beam himself down to Sunspear, remind the Dornish that the Martells had joined Team Dany, and beam their army to KL in time for the final battle.

    Or maybe just the two dragons and whatever scraps remain from Winterfell will conquer all when the Golden Company switches sides to collect the gold owed the Iron Bank. Occam’s Razor and all that.

  173. I have no problem with Arya killing the NK. My only complaint is that neither Sansa, Varys or Tyrion died, the plot armor is thick with the so called ‘genius bunch’. Sansa used to be a favorite of mine but now she’s just evolved into Cersei 2.0 – all she did was complain about Dany while people where getting slaughtered , she’s as petty as Cersei is. Never mind that Dany fought for her people last night, that she took up a weapon and stood side by side with Jorah ready to die…and the punters will still say she doesn’t deserve the throne. Her crying over Jorah and Drogon enveloping her with his wings and mourning with her was so touching, just broke my heart.

    I am disappointed that Cersie will be the end boss, she’s as thick as a plank in the books but show-girl Cersei is a master strategist when it comes to war apparently. Hopefully Euron backstabs her in his quest to win over the dragon queen.

  174. Edward:
    Arya deserves MVP hands down. Then I would argue Theon does. And after him, Jorah for sure.

    I would argue Melisandre and Arya are co-MVP’s, the dragons get an honorable mention as well, they saved the living army in that initial retreat.

  175. I have never just dissolved into ugly tears like I am now at fiction.
    I started crying when Sansa said, “I don’t know how to use it” and I said “STICK ‘EM WITH THE POINTY END!” too loud to even be sure if Arya was saying that same thing (she was, right?) but full-on sobbing didn’t start until THEON, THEON, I WAS ANGRY IN THE BOOKS WHEN I LEARNED YOU WEREN’T DEAD, THEON… and not just a bookreader/show thing, later he didn’t just suffer more than death but he broke through it to help somebody else.

    And Dany got down and scared for once, and cried over Jorah.

    Fuck. Fuck.

    And Arya’s whole Braavos arc that I hated built upon her lovely early lessons from Syrio and our water-dancer hid from a dozen wights.

    Sweet holy mother of god only knows right now. I’m destroyed.

  176. I’ll give it a 9/10, i don’t give it a 10 because once again i feel that they could have give us more Ghost…
    I don’t understand why so many people complains about not being John who killed the nigth king, imo that was what everybody was expecting and the way they did it with Arya, did make sense and it was unexpected! I Loooved it, so happy i wasn’t spoiled for this season!

  177. This episode has me so conflicted. The suspense building was superb, the cinematography was outstanding, the score was perfect, the deaths of Jorah, Beric, Ed, Lyanna and Theon were heartbreakingly good, and I loved that Arya was the one to kill the Night King. The show had my heart racing throughout! BUT…I feel entirely let down that the entire mythos that began in S1E1 amounted to essentially nothing. The story of the white walkers, the Long Night, the existential threat to humanity, the whole backstory of the Wall, it seemed to amount to nothing. The Lord of Light, Melisandre’s ancient origins, the 3ER, the repeated patterns, why was all of that made to seem so important if in the end we have no satisfactory answers? Saying that the Night King just wanted to wipe out humanity and now he’s gone seems like a waste. Why did the white walkers sleep for thousands of years? All the visions and prophesies led to this and now all we have left to defeat is Cersei? Granted, I want to see her die a horrible and satisfying death and I am sure that the remaining episodes will be fantastic, but it just feels anticlimactic. Unless we are all being fooled into thinking that there is no longer a threat from the dead and the twist is that this will all happen again on the wheel of time. I really hope George finishes the book so we can see what his version is.

    With all that being said, how about all that plot armor? Hahaha

  178. I simply do not understand why people are so angry about Arya being the one to end the Night King, it was always on the cards:

    Arya worships Death
    The Night King is an affront to Death
    Arya became an instrument of god and carried out his will.

  179. Steel_Wind: Oh it may well be Arya that delivers the killing blow in the book – if GRRM ever finishes it (which I have, sadly, come to doubt). I have ZERO problems with that.

    Doubtful, since the NK does not exist in the books. There is no dark lord whose death would lead to the immediate disintegration of the WW and Army of the Dead.

    I’m sure Arya will be hugely important, but she won’t be single-handedly defeating the fucking Others.

    And you can bet that magic and prophecy will be much more heavily involved.

  180. Ant,

    “Ugh. See a shrink about your issues with women.”

    Well, it all started when my mother withheld affection from me. In a boundless rage, I now project my resentment towards her to all women (and I mean every single one) through the comments section of a blog in a single episode analysis scrutinizing plot points, and the disservice to them by indulging modern political narratives. I will not rest until every man, woman, boy, and girl online learns of how much my mommy hurt me. I mean, God forbid that I actually have a point which has nothing to do with “issues with women.”

    “Or go back to polluting the Star Wars fandom.”

    Not a fan of Star Wars. But no, this is not at all projection on your part.

    “Basement dwelling”

    But it’s so cozy down there.

    “misogynists”

    define misogynist. I want you to see how your invocation of the term is not only misplaced, but also essentially, “basement-dwelling” lazy.

    “don’t have any ownership over Game of Thrones.”

    Yes. Submitting an analysis is the exact same as claiming ownership of a television series. If that’s what you learned outside of your basement, I’d rather stay in mine.

  181. The Feminist agenda,

    It is not about women or men, it is about characters doing stuff (or rather being written to do stuff) without any rhyme or reason to it. Seems like you are so fixated upon only seeing the feminist angle whenever a female character gets criticized that you are unable to see beyond that.

  182. The Night’s Jester:
    I simply do not understand why people are so angry about Arya being the one to end the Night King, it was always on the cards:

    Arya worships Death
    The Night King is an affront to Death
    Arya became an instrument of god and carried out his will.

    My problem is that Long Night was one episode and done. Eight seasons and it’s finished in one episode. It’s nothing.

  183. Tyrion Pimpslap: You must understand the disappointment, though? The show’s WW are not the same as the book’s Others. I find it hard to believe that one strike or one kill will defeat the Others. But the show simplified it to killing the Night King would mean defeating the WW and the AOTD. So in that sense, Arya is the one who defeated the WW. When you couple that with all of the years spent digging into the prophecies and how they centered around Jon and Dany. You must understand how it feels like it was tossed away for the sake of a surprise. For the show’s version of events, Arya has to be considered Azor Ahai reborn. She defeated the darkness and brought the dawn. So the whole “dragon has three heads” and Prince Who Was Promised prophecies were in the end pretty pointless. That doesn’t really sit well with me. And I suppose I was lying to myself when I said I didn’t have a problem with Arya delivering the kill blow. It’s the simplification of the whole Others storyline that really boiled it down to just the Night King that made me reconsider my initial reaction.

    The fact that D&D admit that they decided only 3 years ago for Arya to be the one to kill the NK and bring the dawn really stuns me. And to come to that decision because they felt Jon being the hero was too obvious. It sort of validated the criticisms that they value shock factor over story long narrative arcs.

    This. A million times this.

  184. The Night’s Jester:
    I simply do not understand why people are so angry about Arya being the one to end the Night King, it was always on the cards:

    Arya worships Death
    The Night King is an affront to Death
    Arya became an instrument of god and carried out his will.

    The Night King is death. In 2016, D&D revealed in an interview that the Night King isn’t a villain, he is just Death. “In some ways, he’s just death, coming for everyone in the story, coming for all of us.“ So he is as close to an embodiment of the God of Death as you could hope to find. Thematically, it doesn’t quite marry up.

    Personally, I am not angry, more disappointed (that old cliche). I find it tedious when things are done for shock value (which if you watch the Inside the Episode, D&D alluded to being the reasoning behind this decision). I like pay-off in stories and characters I have followed for years upon years and for my favourite, that didn’t happen in this case, which is disappointing. I’ll get over it.

  185. JamesL: irregardless of the books.

    I think you mean “regardless”, or “irrespective”. But “irregardless” is not actually a word and doesn’t make sense. Sorry for being a grammar n*zi, but yeah.

  186. Dyanna,

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only person who quite didn’t hate the episode. I’ve read the books (and this point doesn’t really impinge on your points, Dyanna, so I’m not “having a go”) and there were times I thought GRRM made use of deus-ex-machina type devices in the narrative. (Not saying just in case a non-book reader has sneaked in and I don’t want to spoil anything).

    I’m sorry that the Dothraki have gone – perhaps that is to equalise the Dany/Jon forces v Cersei forces in the forthcoming conflict. I’ll own up I did think the White Walkers would make it to Kings Landing because of Danaerys’ vision of the house of the undying and the iron throne room being in ruins – I’m presuming now it will be dragon fire that ruins it, unless Cersei has another blow it up moment. I was glad to see Danaerys show her softer side (over Jorah) again.

  187. Dee Stark,

    As a book reader, I’m sick of it too, especially since GRRM has said the book and show endings are the same,while everyone is entitled to their opinion, some people just have to find something to complain about and blame their own lack of attention to details on the show.

  188. Sorry, but the episode sucked.

    Very little about it made sense. Mel appears alone out of nowhere right on time, why? Dothraki charge into darkness alone, why? The “raising of the dead” on the crypt got like 3 people killed and they just went and hid in a different corner. Made no difference. Were Tyrion and Sansa making a suicide pact or a fighting pact? Wtf was Sansa talking about “shoving the truth in their faces”? Whose faces? The whole episode was too dark, the scenes that weren’t too dark were too snowy, and the cinematography was awful. Too choppy – it felt like a bunch of little pieces separate that didn’t flow well together. Grey Worm, Tormund, Brienne etc just battling random pockets of wights alone and you never felt like they were in real danger. WTF was Jon basically just yelling at a dragon when he was trying to just get to Bran? Theon rushing at the NK for no reason. Did Arya really just run by like 200 WWs without being noticed? No explanation for Mel? There were like 5 deus ex machinas out of nowhere (Jorah for Dany, Dany for Jon, etc.) And after 8 years of hyping up the night king, he dies in one battle? Maybe that’s not the “end” to the White Walkers and NK backstory/history/current story but if it is, with no further explanation of NK/Bran, then its an enormous disappointment.

  189. Seth,

    Sounds like you just hate Arya.

    How exactly are the writers / Bran supposed to tell Arya / the audience that she uses the dagger on the NK without giving away the fact that she will kill him? Bran can’t just go “Hey, Arya, you don’t know this yet, but you are going to shove this dagger into the heart of the NK and save me, right here in fact!, BTW.” Did you think Bran gave it to her just to cut Littlefingers throat?

    Arya is also one of GRRM’s favorite characters and it’s likely that she ends up being the one to kill the NK in the books as well. You don’t send your favorite character and train her to be an assassin just so she can cook some Frey’s in pies.

  190. Che,

    I think thematically it does work, depending which way you look at it.

    Arya has cheated the God of Death on previous occasions. Assuming that the NK is a face of the GoD, this is that theme writ large.

    You can look at it in terms of her being co-opted by the LoL or in using her skills to the benefit of her own family and home (rather than the GoD), which is effectively what she said she would do when she left Braavos and the HoF.

  191. Stoneheart:
    Dee Stark,

    As a book reader, I’m sick of it too, especially since GRRM has said the book and show endings are the same,while everyone is entitled to their opinion, some people just have to find something to complain about and blame their own lack of attention to details on the show.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but if they share it they are just complaining and short-sighted about what was going on in the show? This board is a wonderful place to debate this show without it getting personal. Debate enriches the experience for many. No need to condemn it as complaining.

  192. I barely slept last night because I was so wired from that episode! So much to say, but for now I’m trying to make it through others’ comments and reactions.

    I’m totally going to crash at work this afternoon sometime.. 🙂

  193. Aurelius:
    Che,

    I think thematically it does work, depending which way you look at it.

    Arya has cheated the God of Death on previous occasions. Assuming that the NK is a face of the GoD, this is that theme writ large.

    You can look at it in terms of her being co-opted by the LoL or in using her skills to the benefit of her own family and home, which is effectively what she said she would do when she left Braavos and the HoF.

    This is very true. I perhaps used the wrong wording when I referred to thematically it not marrying up. I was more responding to the idea that the NK is an affront to death, as supposedly, he is ‘just Death, which comes for us all’.

    You raise an interesting idea however, if she has cheated the God of Death (and this might be cheating him BIG time), will there be a reckoning for Arya?

  194. Isabelle: The fiery line of Dothraki disappearing in total blackness was so haunting. Masterfully done by Miguel Sapochnik.

    That was the most striking visual in the episode, the whole set up and then the charge.
    Tho I , at any lull, I expected someone to ask Jorah, “Wha Hoppen?!”. Did the Dothraki put a dent in the AOD? It’s like ‘where did the yellow go” , just like that?

  195. My, my, so many opinions. Surely that will be the case with the remaining 3 episodes. A deeply divided fandom. There was no other way, I suppose.

    Let me join in on the fun!

    I loved this episode, and that 10 minute sequence complete with Westworld-vibes score was an incredible finale to end it all. Along with many other highlights, like Melisandre living up to her role in the bigger picture, the Dothraki charge, Lyanna vs Giant, and many more.

    But I sympathize with those who are disappointed and/or confused the WW/NK story ended here. Not so much that some are so quick to draw definitive conclusions, without even knowing what will happen next. Because remember, the best three episodes of this show (in my mind, not a fact, but also common opinion) are Battle of the Bastards, Winds of Winter and Spoils of War. Each didn’t have a single White Walker or wight in it.

    My personal thoughts on how it all played out…it was something I would have never guessed, but while watching it and we got about halfway through this episode, two ideas came into my head:
    1. There is no escaping this. They all win or they all die. Now, in this episode.
    2. …because if the survivors were somehow able to escape, and the NK would live… what would be the point of that? Wouldn’t we, either in episode 4 or 5, just see a repeat of this episode, just in a different location? With the same outcome? The Long Week instead of The Long Night?

    So I get the conflict. As for me, it just leaves me with lots and lots and lots of questions on the final three episode…
    – Both Jon and Daenerys, both Drogon and Rhaegal survived the Great War. And the ones that would most logically by responsible for their demise, the NK or Viserion, are now gone. That baffles me. Because who could possibly kill them now? Cersei, Bronn, Euron or the Mountain for Jon and Dany? Unlikely. Qyburn’s scorpion for the dragons? I refuse to believe that.
    – Curious that all of the 6 members of the Great Hall ‘singing crew’ lived. Can’t think of any plot armour at this point in the story that demands Davos, Tormund and Podrick should all live. So why did they?
    – With the Great War now done, I’m close to 100% certain Sam, Gilly, Bran, Sansa, Arya and Missandei all survive the series. Because what could possibly happen to them now? But we do know Varys will die… so is a twist in store for some of them as well?

    With half the story now completed, it makes a lot more sense that the tagline for this season is #Forthethrone. 240 (!) minutes of undoubtedley spectacular television. With 3 episodes to go, I have no clue how this will now end. And that is f*cking fantastic. And perhaps this episodes’ biggest gift.

  196. Having now had a bit more time to digest the episode and hearing fanatical book readers howling “what about the prophecies!?” and “that’s not Arya’s story!!” (despite me not having gone anywhere else on the interwebs except this site. But I can hear their howls all the same, haha.)

    So, two main thoughts and a couple of additional stray ones.

    1) Arya’s story, books and show, has been about identity, family (“pack”), violence, revenge, death. She literally becomes an instument of death in the HOBAW. She kind of shed revenge when she turned north at the Inn at the Crossroads in S7. This episode, she proved she’s not a murder child, death child. She literally killed death. She chose life. I have no problem with Arya killing the Night King, killing death, and reaffirming life (like she did with Gendry S8E2). It was very fitting.

    The problem I have is D&D’s love of GOTCHA surprise moments. I would’ve been so much more invested and scared if we’d seen Arya making her way to the Godswood, past the wights and the White Walkers to get into position to pounce on the Night King. The library creeping type of thing in the Godswood. Maybe it’s good for me we didn’t get it, I might’ve had several heart attacs, haha.

    I knew Arya was going to kill the Night’s King as soon as Mel said “… and blue eyes.” The “what do we say to the god of death?” “Not today,” was a nice touch, a call back to beloved Syrio Forel. Then Arya just disappears for like 30 minutes of the show, until she jumps out of nowhere to do her cool dagger flip thing.

    I’m sorry but it just felt a bit cheap. Not that it was Arya, just the way it was done. And the general idea that the doom, the end of the world as they know it, is over just like that in Ep3. So the last 3 episodes are going to be squabbling for that stupid metal chair, and Cersei and the south never having to confront the very real threat to humanity, so she can continue to smirk.

    2) Book prophecies (Azor Ahai/Prince that Was Promised), which, to be fair, were never such a huge thing in the show. Even in the books, we’ve been shown time and again that seeing prophecies and interpreting them are two very different things. We’re straight up told in the books several times that prophecies are a bitch. Will bite off your cock every time.

    So let’s take the PTWP prophecy. Rhaegar, Maester Aemon, most readers, take it to mean someone born out of the line of Aerys and Rhaella (such as Jon and/or Dany) will be the one to save the world from the icy death.

    Yes, they both played their parts in the ice zombie apocalypse. They were important… But not really the deciders. Arya was. So was the prophecy wrong? Or was the interpretation wrong?

    What happens after the ice demon zombie apocalypse threat is defeated? A tyranny (Cersei) has to be defeated as well, to bring an age of peace, prosperity and enlightment.

    Someone has to bring the light. Enlightment. Lightbringer. Geddit?

    Dany is a conqueror. Jon is a concilliator. She brings brings people to heel by fire and blood. Burning. Fear. Jon works so hard to make disparate peoples work together, find common ground (it’s not for nothing Davos is his Hand), compromise, find a way forward together.

    A couple of other stray thoughts.

    Disappointed that Sansa didn’t show any leadership in the Crypts, like she did at Blackwater. Upholding the morale, consoling her people with some words, maybe a song. Not a hymn of the Seven (like Blackwater) because most of those there were notherners, so not worshippers of the Seven, but some northern song. Even Jenny’s song. Anything.

    I’m not the only one who feared for a suicide (or double suicide with Tyrion) when Sansa got out the dragonglass dagger Arya gave her. That didn’t really amount to anything – Sansa or Tyrion weren’t shown killing the risen dead.

    That said, I liked the Sansa/Tyrion scenes. I have head canon they’ll resume their political marriage, platonically, so join the North and the Westerlands for considerable political power (especially with Sansa’s ties to the Riverlands and even the Vale).

    I feared for Tormund but he kind of had to survive, he’s the face, the named wildling character. Wildlings, what’s left of them, have to have a say in the aftermath.

    Sansa, Tyrion, Varys, all the more political people will come into more prominence now after the supernatural threat has been defeted.

    One more stray thought. In the books, Euron is really a lot worse and scary than the rockstar pirate the show has given us so far. Maybe that’ll play out in the last 3 episodes.

  197. Che,

    I am with you and all the others dissapointed with this episode. Moreover, I feel deeply offended as a woman. I don’t know whether it’s worth to bring in personal experiences, but standing agains impossible odds is something I’ve been in and had my friends in. And miracles do happen in such situations, but it’s not because someone brings in some magical or even professional skills, but because the most ordinary people find incredible strength, when they stand for someone or something they hold dear. And this deeply human motivation was something totally absent in Arya killing the Night King.

    Arya had SNAWP skills – OK, that was established. Then, during the battle she sort of turned into a frightened girl, which was also OK, although could have been done better. But then she got a little peptalk from the Red Woman of whom she knew only that she had stripped her current boyfriend naked and put leaches on his manhood, and all out of the blue she found strength and courage to kill the Night King!

    What???

    Had she killed him defending Jon or Gendry, that could have worked. Sure, allegedly she loved Brann, too, but they shared only like one or two scenes and neither of them showed any special bond between them. Or she could given death to the Night King as a gift. In any case, D&D could have showed the FM having some interest in the WW: the pieces were all there, as many of us have admited, etc. And in general, if Arya was supposed to kill the Night King, why didn’t Melisandre send her into the Goodswood righ in the beginning? What was the point of all those super-ninja stick twisting and hide-and-seek a-la-Jurasica scenes? I could go over and over, but still my rant is not so much about missed foreshadowing opportunities and insufficient setup: my main rant is about the lack of human dimention in solving the Night King’s problem. Arya has been killed as a character and turned almost into a Marry Sue: she has got supernatural skills, she has got Gendry, she has got several scars along the way, but the price has been way too low to be fair. Now the show is simply preaching that being tomboy-assassin is cool, and normal woman are just garbage.

    Moreover, solving Cersei’s problem has become king of cheesy, too. If Arya is such a SNAWP and everyone knows that, why wouldn’t they simply send her to kill Cersei? And worst of all, now I’m really getting the wibes that D&D are going to turn Jon angainst Dany, cause Cersei & Euron won’t be able to provide enough suspense…

    OK, end of rant. I’m now looking forwads Chernobyl miniseries to air next week and restore my belief that miracles of courage do happen in this shitty world.

  198. ^ The NK was coming for her brother Bran, isn’t that motivation enough?

  199. HelenB:
    FictionIsntReal,

    I thought it was because stealth and being ‘no one’ was one of her big skills she learned in Bravos, in the reunion scene with Jon in same exact place he made reference to it also ‘how did you sneak up on me? ‘

    Even the “dagger through the heart” thing is the same weird situation.

  200. I’ve slept and reflected but I’m still feeling a bit let down.

    Mostly, I’m wondering if getting really involved in the fandom, as much as I’ve enjoyed it, actually led me to this place. I didn’t read the books and didn’t really start obsessing over book and fan theories until season 5. The show’s charm grew substantially for me when it seemed that almost every character and scene was purposeful and significant to a carefully crafted, beautifully realized ending. There are three episodes left and while I’m hoping we get an ending that feels authentic to everything that has gone before, I’m less certain of that this morning than I was yesterday morning.

    I can’t help thinking if I’d remained truly unsullied, I would’ve loved The Long Night and been much less conflicted today.

  201. Arya was foreshadowed from the start, I just wonder if the remaining twists have to do with the lord of light. Jon has to have something beyond. I think his true arc was his identity. He was also was the Bastard. And his identity was questioned from the first season when he asked Ned who his mother was. Maybe his true arc is who he is. Aegon. And I think his identity has to do with light, he brings everyone together.

  202. Seth:
    Edward,

    “What’s hilarious is that you wouldn’t even be making all of this noise if Jon had delivered the fatal blow.”

    It’s not “hilarious,” because that’s my exact point. Having Arya do it makes just as much sense had they had Brienne do it. And she received her Valyrian sword long before Arya received her Valyrian dagger.

    “I’m sure you’d be singing praises and taking cues from Sansa as you sing pointless hymns.”

    Sansa is irrelevant.

    “You can’t even come up with decent evidence to corroborate your claims about the showrunners shoehorning women into the narrative.”

    Really?

    Explain the reason Jon bends the knee to Dany when she already promised to help him with his mission North.

    Explain the reason Daenerys is concerned with succession when she finds out that Jon is Aegon Targaryen VI, when they are essentially a couple in love.

    Explain the reason Lyanna Mormont, a child of 10 (perhaps older,) gets more screen time and platform to speak, than any other head of a house when she has one of the smallest houses in the North?

    Explain the reason Sansa takes credit for the battle of the bastards when she inexplicably withholds information from Jon about the Vale forces garrisoned at Moat Cailin.

    Explain the reason Arya, after discovering Sansa rummaging her room, says something to the effect of “Girls not being able to decide who they want to be” when in both show and books, her bastard brother commissions a Smith to make her a sword, her Lord Father hires the First Sword of Braavos to train her, and her being able to “befriend” Jaquen H’gar and being trained as faceless man. Everything about her arc is her “deciding who she wants to be.”

    Explain Brienne defeating the Hound in the show (When nothing close to that happens in the books.)

    Explain how Khal Drogo succumbs to infection, yet Arya with an open wound in her gut was able to submerge herself in that city water unscathed.

    Explain how Daenrys killing all the Khals in Season 6 earns her the respect of the Dorthraki.

    I have plenty more. Like I said, I can do this all day.

    “A triumphant moment from a female character doesn’t take away anything from the male characters.”

    Why is it “her triumph”? Her character arc had literally nothing to do with the white walkers. Daenerys killing the Knight King would’ve made more sense.

    Wow. This guy was bothered everytime a woman won over a man! And he doens’t even notice how problematic this is.

    We can also make long lists of scenes in GoT where a man defeated a woman.
    And scenes where a woman defeated another woman.
    And hundreds os scenes where a man defeated another man.

    But none of those bothered him.
    This speaks volumes.

    I think he should reflect on why is it that women in power bothers him.

  203. Edward,

    Exactly! Yes, Game of Thrones is a fantasy type show but at the end of the day it is a political drama. As awesome as the NK was, he was never meant to be the “big bad”. I am curious though what Bran’s purpose is now. And what the ramifications will be since he is still alive but the threat of the great Other is “gone”.

  204. Sooo…..Good episode but 9.5/10???? Liars and Fools!

    Was I on the edge of my seat…..yes for the most part. But alas the problems:

    The music: while at first the piano was a proper nod to the sequence and show it became to drawn out and discombobulated.

    Attack plan: No logical commander would send the Calvary into a charge when defending or holding ground.

    Everybody in Winterfell is surrounded and overwhelmed by the WW but, Ayra can sneak passed massive numbers and crouthching tiger hidden dragon jump to get to the night king?

    Sansa….”the smartest person Arya knows” still not smart enough to realize that without Dany she would Die, so she shouldn’t bend the knee.

    Mellisandra…walking off and dying. Could have killed her a hundred other ways for it to be more gratifying and deserving.

    Battle sequences were too distorted and foggy: Look I get the Fog of War and the chaos but if your trying to convey what is taking place and transfer information to the viewer, this was not a proper way to do it.

    They gave us ghost but all he did was run and pose.

    8 seasons of lead up to having to fight the Night King and he is defeated in 1 episode. Cheapens his value and legacy.

    What I liked:

    Tyrion and Sansa’s moment
    Jorah Theon Berric Lyanna M. deaths/sacrifice
    Dragon vs Dragon above the Clouds
    The fire don’t burn smile
    The doom we all felt as the horde just keep pressing and pressing and death felt destined.

    Cant say I agree with the sequences or order of it all, though I will admit I cannot understand truly until the season is over. I just don’t see how Cersei can put up a the same fight game and despair that the Night King just gave us.

    Looking forward to next week!

  205. Arya wasn’t foreshadowed from day 1 lmfao. D&D simply decided she was going to kill the NK 3 years ago because it made for a twist and because they thought the character who was actually meant to kill him was too obvious. It’s all in the Inside the Episode video. People can try and bend like pretzels to justify this, but the truth is that Arya’s arc was never supposed to lead to that moment. Her character journey has always been separate from the WW plot, unlike Bran or Jon.

  206. I loved it. When Arya’s arrogance/confidence slipped it was terrifying, and also some of the best acting Maisie delivered in all the seasons combined. I got chills when it all came together, but I still was convinced she would die when the NK caught her by the throat. But she did it. ASNAWP!

    Loved when Davos saw her fighting and stood there in shock, also loved how Beric and the Hound were there for her. I hope she gets to sail off into the western sunset, but I really fear for her now that her ultimate purpose is complete. I still wonder if Gendry will be legitimized?

    So. It’s obvious now that Arya can’t pull off another major kill on the show (I don’t think). Wearing a face to kill Cersei seems to be off the table, so that honor has to go to Jaime or Tyrion. I guess Bronn will be choosing for us. My guess is Jaime dies and Tyrion makes it through to give it a go with Sansa.

    The KL plotline with smirking Cersei seems like a downer now. We can only hope that whatever Qyburn and Cersei have cooking up in the dungeons is sufficiently horrifying to carry us through 3 more episodes.

    The main takeaway is that the books will be completely different. Everything taken off the table in the show is now sure to happen in the books.

  207. For three years we have known Arya would strike the final blow….

    Where, exactly, does that say it was their choice and not GRRM’s

    This was his plan…
    Not theirs.

  208. Hi! I’ve read this site for many years, and I like this group very much. This is my first post, because I don’t speak English well (I don’t speak at all, haha)
    First of all, I am a BIG GoT fan. My absolute favorite is Jon, and I’m all for House Stark, from day 1. I really like Arya, Tyrion and Jamie (at least from s3), when he’s with Brienne.
    I had to write now! MUST! Because I’m very disappointed…this episode was one of the worst for me! Now I’m thinking of my present state: this series was a masterpiece, or just an illusion of greatness?
    I hoped I wouldn’t be among those who wouldn’t pleased with the end… but well… unfortunately now it seems.
    Sorry for my horrible english.

  209. Can’t say I’m dying of anticipation for the next episode. The Cersei – Dany drama seems pretty boring based on the preview.

    But at least the lighting will be better lmao. I could barely see anything this episode and that’s with brightness turned up to the max. Hopefully HBO fixes that issue in the DVD release. It was hard to figure out who was getting shanked by wights for the most part.

  210. Dany vs NK (or Jon and Dany vs NK) … in my minds eye I could see that coming, but I did not think that the NK would be Asbestos Man! What I thought would happen would be that Viserion-Cycle would counter fire with ice breath and it would be a stand off from which Dany would have to retreat.

  211. Jaime and Brienne made it! Now we can have that nice death scene where he dies in her arms.

  212. I have an old ass Panasonic TV, one of the first generations that output in 1080p, and never once did I think it was too dark. It definitely was dark, but that felt like it was by design. Scenes where Arya would disappear into dark hallways, not sure if a wight was waiting to grab her, that was spooky. Not to mention, it was the middle of the night in Winterfell, with the Night King blacking out the sky with a winter storm (amazing effects shot when that cloud rolled in btw). It all added to the chaos of the situation (another feature imo), creating a sense of even greater dread. Imagine being in that fight, everything around you is falling apart, you have to fight the wights directly in front of you or else you die, but needing to have a sense of what’s going on around you so you can strategically retreat. Oh and it’s fucking dark out here man, are you kidding me!?

    I did watch it was all the lights off in my house and it being dark outside, so maybe that made a big difference.

    I agree with 9.5/10. My only issue being that too many of our heroes made it out alive. Take it back to last week, those scenes around the hearth with Jaime, Brienne, Tyrion, etc. What made that so special was we were sure it was the last time we’d see those characters together. There was a real sense that half of those characters could be dead within a week, and having them all survive takes some of the shine off of last weeks episode. I was still shaking all episode. Edge of my seat, yearning for a pause in the action to soak it all in. Not going to lie, I was a bit scared of the dark corners of my house last night. I’m normally a pretty subdued watcher, but I was whooping and wailing. I was so stunned when Arya sprang from that tree or whatever to come kill the Night King. To flip the emotions from “no options, to Arya!, to oh no she dead, to ARYA!!!!” in like 5 seconds of screen time. It was just amazing.

    And with Melisandre’s death at the end, I have to say I don’t think she killed herself as I’ve seen a lot of people state. IMO, there is no way she lives until dawn. When she dropped her gem necklace, the light went out in the stone. Maybe she took it off so she felt like she had a say in her death, but I truly believe she could have left it on, the light still goes out, and the power in the stone is gone. The God of Light was done with her regardless.

  213. Corinne Herron:
    For three years we have known Arya would strike the final blow….

    Where, exactly, does that say it was their choice and not GRRM’s

    This was his plan…
    Not theirs.

    The Others storyline in the books is currently very different to the show as of Book 5 because they don’t have a leader who turned them all. Arya was able to save the day by killing one WW, the NK, thus turning the rest of his army to corpses once more and piles of shattered ice. Who knows where George is going with all this in the books, but at the moment (and from what he has said in interviews about there not being a NK figure in the books), it can’t be a case of one person defeating the NK and the whole AOTD being defeated.

    Just out of curiosity? Did you watch D&D speak on the Inside the Episode commentary? The way they describe the process of choosing Arya 3 years ago because Jon would be too predictable and they needed someone with Valyrian Steel does make it sound like it is their plan, not George’s (which makes sense as they have diverged so much from his army of the dead from the books – and truthfully, their form works better for their medium and it was very satisfying to watch him crumble). We will obviously not know till the books come out and all anyone can do right now is guess (whether educatedly or not).

  214. So, this episode stated that Jon is nothing more than a great honest warrior, bad strategist with a lot of luck that simply happens to be the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna and heir of the Iron Throne. There was nothing special on him like Dany have. Well, that was disappointing. I really was expecting the dead Viseryon to flame him when he finally confronted him and that his intense rage release his Targaryen side and didn’t burn him, but nope. He was absolutely sidelined in the most important battle of this story (it was most important than Cersei’s, no matter how some people want to justify it other way. If it wasn’t for them the NK would’ve complete his mission). Also I was very let down by not having a Jon/NK direct fight, at least a brief one.

    I really like the way Arya killed the NK, it was spectacular.

    About Bran… I wasn’t expecting him to do much but seeing him doing absolutely nothing was really stressing.

    I think we can conclude that all the Others part of the story is a very philosophical lesson that is related with dead and all of our fears in life and the mythological thoughts that someone will come and save us from all of that. The Azor Ahai was flushed to the toilet and it was demonstrated that it was just a fable. The message is that line that says Sansa “we need to face the truth” nothing and nobody will save us from our problems, our fears and death, only we ourselves can save us. That’s why Arya was the hero, because she was No One, a Faceless man (woman in her case), she represents all of us. That’s a GRRM gem.

    The taste is really strange now, because Cersei is not more powerful that the Dead Army and the NK, and it is a very big let down that that bitch will not face that threat, but is the 180° turn to the non-fantasy and reality side of the story that is the main thing, and clearly that’s the way GRRM will finish the story, because the fantasy side was necessary for our minds to fly away from all the politics.

    As for what I expect now I’m really confused because The Jon/Dany army is very low (or should be after what we saw. If not I’ll be really pissed). For them to grow their army they’ll need to talk with all the other lords and that’s a lot of time and we only have 3 chapters left. Maybe they will fast-forward to a couple of years, I really don’t know, but I don’t think they’ll do that. Also, seeing any other main character die fighting against Cersei after surviving The Others battle will feel very weird.

    Maybe the battle with Cersei will not happen at all, and that’s a possibility, maybe Euron betrays her, we only can wait.

  215. Also, as far as D&D missing the low-hanging fruit goes, all they had to do with Sansa this episode was copy the Blackwater sequence. Like, there’s an obvious textual precedent in GRRM’s writing for what her proper role is. But apparently Sansa is less skilled at the role of a noble lady now than she was at fifteen, because instead of comforting “her people”, she just sits and complains about Daenerys.

  216. So in the end it was a victory for Essos.
    Arya’s stealth training (in Braavos) and Old Valyera’s magic steel.
    (I guess Mel helped too.)
    So just why is V-Steel so deadly for big Mother Ice Dudes?

  217. Sean C.:
    Also, as far as D&D missing the low-hanging fruit goes, all they had to do with Sansa this episode was copy the Blackwater sequence.Like, there’s an obvious textual precedent in GRRM’s writing for what her proper role is.But apparently Sansa is less skilled at the role of a noble lady now than she was at fifteen, because instead of comforting “her people”, she just sits and complains about Daenerys.

    I think seeing how much Sansa has changed from the girl she was way back then was quite fitting. She has been through a hell that has changed her, made her colder and less willing to please others (which seemed to be a big motivator for her earlier on). I loved the scene where she pulled out the obsidian dagger.

  218. My comment hasn’t appeared. I’m trying again.
    Hello! I’ve read this site for many years, and I like this group very much. This is my first post, because I don’t speak English well (I don’t speak at all, haha)
    First of all, I am a BIG GoT fan. My absolute favorite is Jon, and I’m all for House Stark, from day 1. I really like Arya, Tyrion and Jamie (at least from s3), when he’s with Brienne.
    I hade to write now! MUST! Because I’m very disappointed  This episode questioned almost everything for me! Now I’m thinking: this series was a masterpiece, or just an illusion of greatness?
    I hoped I wouldn’t be among those who wouldn’t pleased with the end… but well… unfortunately now it seems.
    Sorry for my horrible english

  219. I wish people would learn what Deus ex Machina actually is instead of thinking every surprise last-second save is an example of it.

    Bran suddenly breathing fire and incinerating the WWs would have been a DeM. An established character using established skills and an established weapon is not.

  220. Ant:
    Dyanna,

    If Bran were positioned “out front,” he would have been annihilated immediately, genius.Not by the Night King, but by whoever.The purpose of putting him in the Godswood was to draw the Night King there.

    I need to avoid getting sucked in to responding to some of these.This sort of episode always attracts the kind of people who just have to find a “gotcha” but who are too stupid to realize they don’t understand anything.

    I never said anything about positioning Bran out front. And I don’t appreciate being called stupid.

  221. Che,

    It has nothing to with being “willing to please others”. She’s the Lady of Winterfell, she considers herself these people’s leader, as she said earlier in the episode. She is not doing her job by neglecting said terrified people. That was the whole point of Blackwater when GRRM contrasted Cersei’s inability to be a “real” queen with Sansa rising to the occasion.

  222. LOL @ all the “now there’s only “boring” KL politics, war for the throne and Dany’s conquest left” comments.

    I’m guessing y’all hated seasons 1-4 in its entirity, 9 out 10 season 5 episodes, 9 out of 10 season 6 episodes, and 5 out of 7 season 7 episodes?

    Because that’s what they were all about, in the end. The Game of Thrones. The heart and soul of the show.

  223. Long time reader first time commenter.

    Wow. Just wow. More than happy that Arya delivered that final blow and the throwback to switching sword hands from the Syrio lessons was magnificent.

    How about those moments where the dragons were isolated and dueling above the mist and fog in a lull above the carnage below…

    A little surprised about the relatively low number of deaths amongst the high thread count characters however the passing of Mel, Jorah, Theon et al were carefully and empathetically delivered.

  224. Dyanna,

    You generally agreed with the post that did say that and said there were too many plot holes. it wasn’t a plot hole and the other poster’s comment about positioning Bran out front was plain stupid.

    If nothing else because it was explained explicitly in Ep 2 that they needed to make it difficult enough for the NK that he would take the bait (not to mention actually keep Bran alive) but not make Bran too inaccessible or so that he can’t be defended (e.g. don’t put him in the crypts). The compromise was wait in the Godswood.

  225. kathy,

    Sansa, Varys or Tyrion died, the plot armor is thick with the so called ‘genius bunch’. Sansa used to be a favorite of mine but now she’s just evolved into Cersei 2.0 – all she did was complain about Dany while people where getting slaughtered , she’s as petty as Cersei is. Never mind that Dany fought for her people last night, that she took up a weapon and stood side by side with Jorah ready to die…and the punters will still say she doesn’t deserve the throne

    This!! Really! I am getting tired of Sansa. Girl might have some intelligence, but she’s tiring the shit out of me.. with her thinking she knows everything about everyone… like seriously.. she’s so self centered.. people say she changed.. no not one bit.. she’s was self centered naïve idiot previously and.. now she’s self centered but now thinks that she’s got it all.. I am like girl chill the eff

  226. Corinne Herron,

    David Benioff on Arya killing the leader of the Undeads:

    “We hoped to kind of avoid the expected. We knew all along that Jon was the hero of the story and the one who’s in (?) the savior… but it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment. We knew it had to be Valyrian steel…”

    I think it’s reasonable for peeps such as myself to doubt Martin’s ending is not the same or that in fact it never was. I must say I Didn’t believe it till Sean and later Ginevra pointed the video out in the other thread, since everyone kept insisting the major points will be the same. It’s ok if they decided to go their own way. In fact probably better. Now at least I’ll not know what Martin’s ending really will be till his books come out! It’s really win win for me.

  227. Sooooo, for those hanging onto on D&Ds words (trolling) that they only planned this twist recently, this tweet proves otherwise.. or at the very least, Theon’s fate was sealed then. So it stands to reason Arya’s arc was similarly mapped out then too.

    https://twitter.com/lukanieto/status/1122859003573305346?s=21

    Also- recall Luwin words in S1: “Is there going to be a battle in the Godswood?”

    This show is so clever.. D&D knew the endgame before 2013. Fact.

  228. Jon and Dany discover how difficult it is to fly their dragons in battle with the White Walkers throwing the skies into wintry chaos

    I mean, could they not have used some of the dragonfire to clear the skies? Or at least tried? My only gripe with the entire ep was Jon and Daenerys consistently NOT using dragonfire over and over again. It was maddening to watch them fly around lost and not try to use dragonflame to clear some of the sky. This felt like a budget constraint (as did Ghost disappearing and not showing up again until next week’s preview).

  229. Aegon Snow,

    Jon was not sidelined at all. Mixing it with the NK dragon rider on dragon rider was epic enough yet he chased him down and forced the NK to use his trump card and raise an entirely new AOTD to ensure the battle continued in his favour.

    Jons entrapment and isolation from his loved ones as Winterfell fell really put him through the ringer and it was great to see him trapped and desperate, it really allowed Arya to step up and nail it.

  230. Aurelius:
    Dyanna,

    You generally agreed with the post that did say that and said there were too many plot holes. it wasn’t a plot hole and the other poster’s comment about positioning Bran out front was plain stupid.

    If nothing else because it was explained explicitly in Ep 2 that they needed to make it difficult enough for the NKthat he would take the bait (not to mention actually keep Bran alive) but not make Bran too inaccessible or so that he can’t be defended (e.g. don’t put him in the crypts). The compromise was wait in the Godswood.

    Thank you. I’ve scrolled back and found I quoted the wrong post anyway. Shouldn’t have been posting while at work! Ignore my comment.

  231. Dutch Maester:
    Because that’s what they were all about, in the end. The Game of Thrones. The heart and soul of the show.

    Well it’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Long Night was big deal from the beginning. Ending like this in one episode means it didn’t matter. So yes. It’s Game of Thrones. I was expecting more from the Walkers, but didn’t get anything special. But who knows what next three episodes bring to table. Well we know that Cercei and Euron won’t win so there is that.

  232. It blows my mind how utterly preposterous and ungrounded the entire battle was, and yet ppl seem to hate Arya killing the Night King the most. The only thing that didnt make sense about that is she had trouble sneaking around half a dozen wights in a huge room, so it’s unfair and unfulfilling to not show how she got through hundreds circling her target and just call back on her past training.

    The rest of that battle, though, seemed to be typical TV show keeps all the faves alive in unimmerisive over the top nonsense.

  233. Apollo,

    That has nothing to do with D&D deciding that Arya would provide the fatal blow to the NK. (And there isn’t even a NK in the books).

    “Bran hides in the Godswood” and “Theon dies” don’t prove that GRRM told D&D “Arya kills the Night’s King.”

  234. Apollo,

    That tweet proves absolutely nothing.

    There is absolutely no reason for the writers to lie about when they made the decision.

  235. TheLannistersWin:
    It blows my mind how utterly preposterous and ungrounded the entire battle was, and yet ppl seem to hate Arya killing the Night King the most. The only thing that didnt make sense about that is she had trouble sneaking around half a dozen wights in a huge room, so it’s unfair and unfulfilling to not show how she got through hundreds circling her target and just call back on her past training.

    The rest of that battle, though, seemed to be typical TV show keeps all the faves alive in unimmerisive over the top nonsense.

    We already had Arya silently sneaking up on Jon in the godswood, and showing her sneaking up on the NK in the godswood would have spoiled the twist.

    I do agree there were a lot of missed elements to the battle. No one ever faced down a Lieutenant WW, for instance. Not one shot showing Ghost killing anything, he could have swept in to save someone, or possibly guarded the crypt door or something…

    Sending the Dothraki out blindly was a poor decision, they should have stood their ground. Ah well, it didn’t matter in the end.

  236. Sean C.:
    I do feel validated though that there was no big secret or “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma behind the Night King, as I’ve long maintained despite what some have theorized here before.In the end, his motivation was that he wanted to kill all humans, as he was created to do.We’ve known all that since Season 5.The show never gave the slightest hint there was anything more to it.

    Lyanna Mormont was probably the highlight of the episode, as well as Arya.

    Jon continues to be a terrible commander who survives thanks to his Valyrian steel plot armour.If Ned and Robb had had even a fraction as much they’d still be with us.

    But there was quite a lot of plot armour this week, epitomized by the crypt wights killing basically all the extras but leaving every named character completely unscathed.

    I have to totally disagree with your statement regarding Jon. He wanted to stay to the plan but Dany veered away from it. This was even confirmed by D&D during inside the episode.

  237. Well, the interview on Entertainment Weekly confirms that Maisie Williams was afraid that fans would hate her for stealing Jon’s moment with the NK.

    Even Maisie’s own boyfriend thought it should be Jon. Kit, of course, thought it would be Jon, too.

    Bottom Line: what we got was a twist for the sake of a twist. a script dictated not by the needs of the story, but for a Hollywood Moment. Because “that’s what Thrones does“. I would have been okay with it had they at least given Jon the opportunity to cross swords with the NK. But they wouldn’t even give us that. FFS.

    While I loved most of the episode, I feel ripped off by that part. And yelling at the Undead dragon? Come on! Is there ANYBODY HERE who was okay with Jon doing that, instead of slashing the damned thing in the head? Seriously?

  238. Edward:
    Seth,

    What’s hilarious is that you wouldn’t even be making all of this noise if Jon had delivered the fatal blow. I’m sure you’d be singing praises and taking cues from Sansa as you sing pointless hymns.You can’t even come up with decent evidence to corroborate your claims about the showrunners shoehorning women into the narrative. A triumphant moment from a female character doesn’t take away anything from the male characters.

    Are you kidding? They way they handled the Dorne plot is a giant f’ing shoehorn. No nuance, no complexity, just strong woman kills weak man. It’s been down hill ever since. And the best part is the book Dorne was much more complimentary of women. What the show does is just patronizing to women. Making men look dumb doesn’t make women smart and capable. Having women who are smart and capable and excell in a field of smart and capable men is equality, what the show does is something else.

  239. NK,

    The White Walkers weren’t defeated in one episode. There have been 4 other White Walker sequences before last night.

  240. Finally read the recap! ☺️ Thank you Sue

    Isn’t that just like R’hllor? Bringing his followers together for one last laugh.

    Funny. I thought Mel was constantly aware of where Arya was at all times! I mean Mel returned for THIS. To give Arya the idea of what she’s supposed to do. And it worked beautifully in the show universe. Set up and everything.

    I think Mel is probably the most underrated character. Sure, it doesn’t make anything better re Shireen but boy I was happy to see her light the Dothraki’s swords on fire and the trenches as well. Basically it’s good to have some wizards on your side.

  241. Sean C.,

    She had one line about divided loyalties and now you are equating that to sitting and bitching about Daenerys, really? What did you want her to say to the people in the crypts? What do you expect anyone to say when you are facing an assault of wights and their commanding ice demons? I have my reservations about Sansa but she did her job, she called the banners and made preparations, she acted her title and when down in the crypts, she was smart enough to realize that all they could do is face the truth and understand their roles. I mean Sam decided to fight and in a way he got Edd killed. And while I am not always down with Sansa and I do carry a grudge or two against her, she’s not completely wrong about Daenerys.

  242. Steel_Wind,

    Why would normal people hate Maisie for it? She’s an actress, a damn good one in the role she’s been given and it is out of her control how the story is written. It beyond ridiculous and if anyone hates her they need to have their head checked.

  243. ShameShameShame,

    I’m telling you, Davos will bury the whole lot. Sure he has no fighting experience but he’s lived till the ripe age of being an old fart. Which none of these young idiots did! ☺️

    I’d hope he adopts the one in the crypts that was sitting next to Varys as well!

  244. Sean C.,

    Yes, Sansa’s role and the whole crypt thing was another nonsense in this episode. I mean, what do people do when they face an ultimate defeat with a prospect of enslavement? Right, they choose death on their own terms – not always, but still it’s a re-occurring theme throughout history from the Antiquity till modern days. And it was tackled in “Blackwater”, although then it looked more like overdramatising. However, in this case prepartions for self-immolation would have been justified and right. Sansa would have looked much more heroic with a torch in her hand ready to burn everyone including herself, than hiding behind some sarcofagus with a dragonglass dagger, and the suspense could have been kept with a chance of accidental ignition etc. Unfortunately, the showrunners must have decided that callbacks to Blackwater would be too repetitive and obvious and went on with mummies crawling out from their graves… Sorry guys, at least some of those women and children could have torched one or two instead of running arround like sheep.

  245. carbonUnit,

    I am not sure this is true. Arianne Martell was not the brightest bulb in the land. She and the Sand Snakes almost ruined Doran’s plan with their stupidity. I wouldn’t call the Dorne story line complimentary to women at all. Asha Greyjoy, yes. The Martells? No. And don’t get me started on Quentin, the most idiotic of all characters. So Dorne wasn’t great in the books either, don’t act like it was. You know what also sucked in the books – drunk Tyrion repeating the same line again (“Where do whores go?”). Lost Daenerys repeating the same line again (“If I look back, I am lost”). Dumb Jamie repeating the same line again (“. . . and Moonboy for all I know.”)

  246. Sean C.,

    Because they’ve never lied to us before, of course. 🙄

    As I said- it proves that they had these scenes mapped out in S1/S2.

    There are too many breadcrumbs in the script from earlier seasons to discount.

    If you don’t like this because it doesn’t “fit” with how you think the story should go, then that’s an issue you need to deal with, not me.

  247. Steel_Wind:
    Well, the interview on Entertainment Weekly confirms that Maisie Williams was afraid that fans would hate her for stealing Jon’s moment with the NK.

    Even Maisie’s own boyfriend thought it should be Jon. Kit, of course, thought it would be Jon, too.

    Bottom Line: what we got was a twist for the sake of a twist. a script dictated not by the needs of the story, but for a Hollywood Moment. Because “that’s what Thrones does“. I would have been okay with it had they at least given Jon the opportunity to cross swords with the NK. But they wouldn’t even give us that. FFS.

    While I loved most of the episode, I feel ripped off by that part. And yelling at the Undead dragon? Come on! Is there ANYBODY HERE who was okay with Jon doing that, instead of slashing the damned thing in the head? Seriously?

    That makes me sad. I would never hate an actor for decisions show runners and writers make! Maisie did an amazing job this episode, playing through a huge range of emotions. Her fear was visceral in the library scene. I hope fans don’t turn their disappointment on Maisie; it was hardly her decision!

  248. They may have defeated the AOTD early but when I think about it that is pure GRRM. He always said he was interested in what happened after Minas Tirith, how they put things back together. Cersei is Saruman and the scourging of the Shire. I’m scared…

    I for one hope to see the iron Throne melted down, Dany is queen hanging around with a pack of Corgis and and a baby and a new Parliamentary system of government with Dany’s new BFF Sansa (now that Missandei set her straight) elected Prime Minister.

  249. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface:
    Seth,
    Arya was never a badass at the beginning other than being a tomboy. She wasn’t a badass at all until the Faceless Men taught her how to be an assassin. They maybe could have showed that off more than they did, but until she trained for however many months (years?) she was a girl with an attitude.

    She may not have been ASNAWP until recently, but she’s always been extremely exceptional for her age and gender. One of the first times we see her, she shows up her older brother Bran with a bow and arrow – shows him up bad. And then she shows up Joffrey with a sword – shows him up bad. Yes, she couldn’t have defeated the Hound and Brienne when she was six, true, but surely we expected her to get better with age, right?

    She impressed Jaqen enough for him to give her the FM recruitment coin. She impressed the Hound, too. I do agree that training with the FM is the only thing that made her better than both the Hound and Brienne at such a young age, but she was clearly already on a path to be amazing.

  250. Most everyone seems very pleased about the episode! Except some who absolutely HATE the “plot armor” and “bad storylines” and “cheap death by NK” and etc. And now it’s getting petty-snarky with subtle back-stabbing and choice words. This fandom really is turning into a true Game of Thrones! Without the action, of course, since all of you tough guys/gals are sitting behind a keyboard. Be respectful. Stop being asshats. You can give your opinion without slandering feminism or people who haven’t read the books or whatever.

    IMHO, I really enjoyed most of the episode last night! Putting the actual storyline aside for a minute, the film work, action, horror, suspense and mixed in drama were on point. My expectations were so dang high and Sapo brought it. Sure, I could agree with some of you about the actual “good guys” battle plan but whatever. The eye candy of this battle was fantastic and I had real anxiety!

    The “plot armor” complaint is frustrating to read, but I get it. So many characters before died with much less but Jon survives every…damn…time. Okay, so he does. And you can outline that for the crypt scene as well (only extras died but no one else?? That’s not reality!) or other characters fighting in WF (Tormund standing on top of carnage and not dying?? Samwell laying down being jumped on and not dying? How the frick does Brienne, Pod and Jaime survive with backs against a wall??). Sure, sure, fine. If you put everything in your reality then everyone in front line would have died at beginning and we would have been left with…maybe just Varys? This is a story and some arcs need to be finished. And some characters actually do have to survive so “plot armor” is given. That’s the basis of most every story ever.

    The NK dying is cheap thought…peeps, we just had 82 minutes of a battle all about white walkers and AotD attacking. Massive sequence that was mini-movie length. There have been a few battles before and scraps. I feel this episode was MORE than enough. Of course I want to know more about the “bad guys” but that would bog this show down. Focus on the core of the story and make a really fun and well-produced and directed show. I’m fine with that.

    Plus, the overall story ending (we all know GRRM gave to D&D years ago) focuses on A Story of Fire and Ice…Jon and Dany. Jon’s destiny was never the NK…it’s his fight with his inner self and with Dany (whatever that “fight” might be). Clearing out NK by mid-season (or towards end of combined last season, however you look at it) in a spectacular way was needed and, I thought, done very well.

    Arya’s storyline was lost on me for years, even in the books. But last night it all came together b/c her training was planned from start. Cool! I liked it! Came full circle with dagger, too. And if Jon or Dany or Bran killed the NK then it would have been too predictable. Plus the NK was focused on the main two for defense…he didn’t expect Arya.

    I will say this…I am ready for Bran to do something…anything. Maybe it’s as simple as he is the memories of man and that’s it. But it would be cool for him to do something awesome in the last three episodes. Maybe permanently wipe the smirk off or Cersei. That would be just wonderful.

  251. Ugh, right.

    So everyone defending the Arya killing the NK and defeating the AOTD thing is wrong. And I’ll tell you why.

    The problem with this is not that Arya killed the NK, but rather that killing the NK kills the AOTD and all remaining WW. If they wanted to have Arya kill the NK in episode 3, there were better ways to do it.

    1) Rather than being destroyed if the WW who raised them is killed, the wights turn feral and attack anything and everything, including other wights and WW. When the NK is killed, the majority of the AOTD begins tearing itself apart. The remaining WW and the few hundred or so wights they have between them are outnumbered and surrounded by weapons that can hurt them, that many wights are already armed with, forcing them to retreat south to regain their numbers and the southern lands will be less prepared for their assault. The remaining survivors escape to the crypts, where they easily dispatch the wights still there, which are also in disarray, and wait until morning when there are only a handful of ravenous wights remaining, with a many more scattered to the lands spreading chaos. This would also allow for more intrigue regarding the WW march south towards KL (remember, one million people live there, mostly unarmed) and for an interesting three army battle for KL, wherein Cersei is more prepared to battle the northern army than the AOTD, the northern army is more prepared to fight the AOTD than Cersei, and the AOTD is more prepared for Cersei than the northern army. More interestingly, the wight dragon would still be alive, and feral.

    2) The wights are killed when the WW who raised them is destroyed, but this does not impact WW. This would play out much as the same as above, but without the feral wights and wight dragon in the mix. Personally, I prefer the above as it’s got a bit more to contend with.

    Moreover, the entire theme of the show was that the WW and AOTD were the biggest threats facing humanity. Those are gone now. Biggest threat, my ass, they barely did anything.
    -Killed most of the wildlings
    -Killed the Umbers
    -Attacked Winterfell, killing many

    And let’s not forget that not only did the show cold open with a scene from the white walkers, but that they had been built up to as a threat the entire show, particularly during the last half of season 7. And now they’re defeated.

    Personally, I think they should have waited to kill the NK (have Arya do it if you’d like, I actually do like how she managed it) until later. Instead, have him succeed in killing Bran here, but losing his dragon and being forced to retreat south towards KL, as again, that’s the most populous location to date. It makes sense that this is where a showdown would be between all three armies.

    Not that there’s much of the Northern army left, mind you. Seems between Qyburn’s anti-dragon inventions, the GC coming to aid Cersei, and the fact that she now has the biggest army and the least destroyed city, she’s already won. Is there even really any tension left?

  252. ShameShameShame: We already had Arya silently sneaking up on Jon in the godswood, and showing her sneaking up on the NK in the godswood would have spoiled the twist.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to surmise that she snuck past the WW and the ring several wights deep (because sneaking up on one man with his back turned is not the same as running through WW and hundreds of wights – she would have to be running to leap). Revealing how she got there would ruin the surprise, but the more logical explanation is she went and hid in the weir wood tree before the battle became as intense as it was in the Jon POV montage, waiting for her moment.

  253. NK: Ending like this in one episode means it didn’t matter.

    I’m really struggling with how to interpret this. It didn’t matter?? This was episode 70 and it has been a major plot point since episode 1. Battles between the living and the dead in this war have already been fought in episode 20, 28, 48, 55, 66, 67 and 68, with 69 devoted entirely to this fight.

    So in the grand mosaic of this 73-chapter show, how can you say “it didn’t matter”?

  254. Inga,

    At the least, the little girl with the scar and the DG dagger could have destroyed one, all the better if it was to save Gilly and Little Sam. A ten second scene like that would have been wondrous.

  255. FictionIsntReal,

    Totally agree that Arya must have used her camo skills, maybe not exactly face changing, or maybe yes, but somehow mimicked their smell and sound and essence enough to move through them until the end. I couldn’t stop cheering and crying!

  256. EasyEams,

    Well, I can tell you that America is a free market. Maybe you should write your own story and sell it. Perhaps HBO will pick it up and make a series out of it.

  257. Steel_Wind:
    Well, the interview on Entertainment Weekly confirms that Maisie Williams was afraid that fans would hate her for stealing Jon’s moment with the NK.

    Even Maisie’s own boyfriend thought it should be Jon. Kit, of course, thought it would be Jon, too.

    Bottom Line: what we got was a twist for the sake of a twist. a script dictated not by the needs of the story, but for a Hollywood Moment. Because “that’s what Thrones does“. I would have been okay with it had they at least given Jon the opportunity to cross swords with the NK. But they wouldn’t even give us that. FFS.

    While I loved most of the episode, I feel ripped off by that part. And yelling at the Undead dragon? Come on! Is there ANYBODY HERE who was okay with Jon doing that, instead of slashing the damned thing in the head? Seriously?

    THIS SO MUCH. How hard would it have been to have Jon at least fighting the NK and about to be killed, and then Arya step in if they were so hell bent on making some big surprise? They’ve been telegraphing a show down between Jon and the NK for a long time and them denying us of that is just bullshit. I had a friend say that The Prince That Was Promised must have been all of them. LOL Whuut? It doesn’t make any damn sense. Why did they bother with having anyone speak of the Prince in the first place if this was their plan from Season 1? No, I don’t believe that at all. They made this decision when they ran out of source material for Jon, period. There is no way that Arya is meant to end the Long Night.

  258. Pigeon:
    Does everyone here realize that Pod’s power is unlimited? Everyone in that room in Episode 2 survived the AOTD. Therefore, it is obvious that his singing is immunity to death. Take heed.

    Didn’t Tyrion say, “I think we’ll all survive” or something like that?

  259. Man, those Game of thrones revealed segments really are super spoilery, in the sense they

    show who is still alive in the last episode (or even last scene if what we’ve heard is true). They might also indicate how far each character makes it through the season, if one can assume their interviews are during the actors last scenes- which is somewhat more of a stretch mind you
  260. Ani,

    Your English is OK at least for me: I’m also not a native English speaker and there are plenty of folks like us on this site. So, don’t worry: if you happen to make a mistake, the community will correct you in good will. My English has certainly improved, since I started commenting and I hope yours will, too.

    As for the episode, I share your dissapointment. I spend the whole night waiting and anticipating, I got to watch it at 5 a.m. and it left nothing but ashes in my mouth. It felt like a total filler – a well done filler, but a filler nonetheless. At best, it killed several killed of some tertiarry charracters and revealed that the Night King was sort of a faux main antagonist/threat. IDK, how they are going to continue the story without the main antagonist: Cersei and Euron kill off every single protagonist and still they won’t amount to the level of an existential threat. And worst of all, I feel like now the showrunners may go towards Jon against Dany and Dany posing a fire-type threat etc. purely for shock value. I hope that won’t happen: GRRM has always been a fan of Tolkiens “Scouring of the Shire” chapter and Cersei is his Saruman. However, there were good reasons to cut that plot from “The Return of the King”, and I’m not looking forwards “Scouring of the Seven Kingdoms”.

  261. The music evoked a memory of the KL sept and wildfire and Tommen’s suicide. So beautifully done. All the way through, the music heightened everything, the fear, the tension, the thrills, the sorrow.

    It was astounding, really astounding – having the battle at night was genius, the darkness added an element that intensified the horror. The ice storm, oh my goodness, it all made sense and, more importantly, made us, the viewers, experience the same confusion and fear that the fighters had.

    I was so happy to see Ghost and two dragons in the preview! I was so afraid that there would be no one left. It was a victory! And which side will Jaime take in the next war?

  262. Iceman240857,

    Agreed. I was thinking this morning that Arya’s blind training paid off by dropping the dagger while staring into the NK’s eyes. That’s not an easy thing to catch the dagger without looking. This was even more impressive than her move with Brianne because Arya couldn’t look as the dagger fell. I liked how she was like the wind getting past the WW as it showed a WW’s hair blow in the wind as Arya sped past.

    My biggest questions are about what’s next. What’s next for Bran? Does he have more story to tell or is his arc over now? I think there will be more. Will D&D allow Arya to kill Cersei or will that just be too easy now. She was always capable. I do think Arya will have a huge scene with the mountain though saving Sandor and returning the favor. Or is Sandor’s arc over now that his destiny was to help save Arya from the dead so she could kill the NK.

  263. Posted this in another thread, but looks like the action is over here now.

    Well, somewhat unsurprisingly, it seems there are some that loved it and some that didn’t.

    Reading these comments, has me thinking of the following:

    Our predictions have been wrong (or at least not completely right) on like every episode since we left book material territory. I think this has certainly contributed to some of the vitriol we see when things don’t go as “expected”. With the books, we were omniscient viewers. Now, we think we know where the story is going and are happy/not happy when it goes there. Have we really all been that unhappy since we left existing book material? We’re halfway through the season, maybe we should give a chance and judge it as a whole. There is still what? 4 hours left to devote to…well, we don’t know what, and that’s kind of the point. Obviously there’s a battle with Cersei/KL, but other than that, we really don’t know. There could yet be plenty of exposition where we learn more about the “why” of the WW and their sudden appearance/march southward. At this point, it seems like a lot of our unhappiness (particulalry for well steeped book readers) is that we’ve transitioned from knowing everything from reading the books, to more uncharted terrirotry where the broadstrokes are in keeping with GRRM and straight up adaption for TV audiences. Let the thing play out and the story complete before hating it.

    As for Arya being the one to kill the NK, if you’re just judging this as somebody who has only watched the show, it’s kind of hard not to see (now) how this hasn’t been well set up. I’d argue it was a well set up feint as we all expected something/someone else to be the one to do it. It does fit with Arya’s (TV) arc. And for those saying it was too easy, you could also make an argument that the NK’s arrogance played a role in his death (classic baddy downfall). He was pretty much unstopable up until that point, and he knew it with his knowing looks and smirks throughout the episode/series. Lastly, it’s possible that the comments D&D made on inside the episode are being read into a bit too much. Yes, they’ve known for 3 years, but I don’t think the only/last time they spoke with GRRM was 5 or 6 years ago. I have to think they’ve kept in touch. In fact, I feel like we’ve read that in the updates over the years, and that GRRM has said that broadstrokes are consistent.

    This whole thing has me thinking about Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey archetype. I won’t paste the 17 stages or whatnot (this post is already too long), but each of the main protagonists has gone through this individually. One thought, what if the protagonists also have a version where they are going through this collectively too? The AOTD is merely the “Trial” for the group of heroes. It would again be a feint as we’ve been lead to believe that the AOTD is much more, but hey just a thought.

    Loved the Sansa/Tyrion moment. Loved brief slackjawed/wtf moment where Davos sees Arya fighting wights on the ramparts with her ninja spear. Loved the Mel/Arya interaction. Loved the (subtle) Beric to Hound mention that ‘you’re fighting for Arya’ to get him unstuck–this kind of hit on the Hound’s affection for Arya, and the fact that Beric may have known what/who she was. I think I loved that it was 60 minutes of chaos and I don’t think I got too battle fatigued. Well done in that regard.

  264. Tron79:
    Iceman240857,

    Agreed.I was thinking this morning that Arya’s blind training paid off by dropping the dagger while staring into the NK’s eyes.That’s not an easy thing to catch the dagger without looking.This was even more impressive than her move with Brianne because Arya couldn’t look as the dagger fell. I liked how she was like the wind getting past the WW as it showed a WW’s hair blow in the wind as Arya sped past.

    It looked like her eyes were actually closed. I agree it was a great moment, showing how the “blind Arya” arc was important.

    Great bit with the wisp of wind too…

  265. trarecar,

    But Jon is not a heroic character, is he? He is goodhearted but not very bright, not quick of thought – it would be like him to plod straight ahead and valiantly fight someone who has his “honor” mindset, but against a truly clever and dastardly opponent, he just doesn’t have the brain. Arya was exactly the right choice, she’s almost as smart as Sansa, and way better trained at assassination than Jon. I love Jon, too, of course, who couldn’t?, but I do not admire him as the hero of the piece.

  266. Ginevra: She may not have been ASNAWP until recently, but she’s always been extremely exceptional for her age and gender. One of the first times we see her, she shows up her older brother Bran with a bow and arrow – shows him up bad.And then she shows up Joffrey with a sword – shows him up bad.Yes, she couldn’t have defeated the Hound and Brienne when she was six, true, but surely we expected her to get better with age, right?

    She impressed Jaqen enough for him to give her the FM recruitment coin.She impressed the Hound, too.I do agree that training with the FM is the only thing that made her better than both the Hound and Brienne at such a young age, but she was clearly already on a path to be amazing.

    Agree except for Joffrey when Nymeria showed him up….

  267. Engr Sani:
    FictionIsntReal,

    They were all concentrating on the night king and bran

    Not true. One of the WWs turns his head like he saw something out of the corner of his eye–too little, to late for the NK.

    To all of the posters that have problems with the story as told to this point, book and show: You weren’t paying attention! The fight with the WW is NOT the overarching theme here. Go back to high school literature class! Drop the mysoginistic clap trap! Learn something about human history! Look at the text/scenes! Look at the words from the author/showrunners about their thoughts and intentions! What you have in your head is NOT the story being told! Ugh! I’m sick of reading the whinging. I’m going over to read Oz’s post.

    Thank you, Sue, for a lovely recap after the emotional rollercoaster of this episode.

    And thanks again to all of the posters who are valiantly trying to educate those who cannot see beyond the boundaries of their own skulls.

  268. The Prince that was Promised:
    1. He or she must be born of smoke and salt
    2. He or she must wake dragons out of stone
    3. He or she must be born under a bleeding red star
    4. He or she must make a sacrifice
    5. Darkness must fall upon the earth

    That is not Arya. She is not meant to end the Long Night. Period. Why bring this into the show if that was their plan all along (which I do not believe)? To string the fans along? I hope one can see how that would leave a bad taste.

  269. I was thinking that Jaime will strike the death blow against Cersei, and they will die together. It makes sense, poetically.

  270. Ashara D: Not true. One of the WWs turns his head like he saw something out of the corner of his eye–too little, to late for the NK.

    To all of the posters that have problems with the story as told to this point, book and show: You weren’t paying attention! The fight with the WW is NOT the overarching theme here. Go back to high school literature class! Drop the mysoginistic clap trap! Learn something about human history! Look at the text/scenes! Look at the words from the author/showrunners about their thoughts and intentions! What you have in your head is NOT the story being told! Ugh! I’m sick of reading the whinging. I’m going over to read Oz’s post.

    Thank you, Sue, for a lovely recap after the emotional rollercoaster of this episode.

    And thanks again to all of the posters who are valiantly trying to educate those who cannot see beyond the boundaries of their own skulls.

    What a lovely sentiment to express on what is usually a fun place to debate these things.

  271. Sad to see that so many are disappointed that they didn’t see the twist coming that they are writing it off as non-canon/something D&D clearly made up when it’s clearly not the case. Go back and watch again there are plenty of breadcombs that lead up to this, it’s just most of us missed it because we were so focused on Jon.

    In a recent interview on the Southbank show both D&D and GRRM confirm they spent a lot of time going through the ending once they ran out of material this roughly ties in to what they say in the behind the episode, James Hibberd also alludes to this coming from GRRM but seemingly the don’t want to out right state it not to spoil the books. Time to accept many of us were wrong and respect they deliberately bait and switched us.

  272. “That weapon (VS dagger) has been one of the totemic pieces for us and ultimately we’ve known for a LONG LONG time that was going to end the Night King”. 3 years is NOT a long long time.

    D&D as usually are providing inconsistent info.

    So this scene was indeed planned a long (long) time ago.

    TormundsWoman,

    Apollo,

  273. Dee Stark:
    As a non-book reader, im sick of book readers saying BUT IN THE BOOKS BLABLA

    If this weren’t in the book-readers thread, I would sympathize with that.

  274. They did make it up. They say so in their interview. They just thought Jon doing it was predictable. So they threw away the story for a “twist” and a YASSSSS queeennn moment. Utter effing trash.

  275. Lady MarMar,

    What do you mean Jon is not heroic? Are you equating being super smart with being heroic because then Tywin was the most heroic of people in Westeros, wasn’t he?
    Jon is the definition of heroic. Here are the synonyms for heroic: brave, courageous, valiant, valorous, intrepid, bold, daring, audacious, superhuman, Herculean, fearless, doughty, undaunted, dauntless, unafraid, plucky, indomitable, stouthearted, lionhearted, mettlesome, venturesome, gallant, stalwart, chivalrous, noble. Tell me how many of those cannot be used as an adjective to describe Jon. You may not think he’s bright enough, never mind that he was the only smart enough to understand the threat and try to unite people to fight, but saying that your perceived lack of smarts on his part makes him less heroic is just plain nutty.

  276. Jon Snowed:
    Sad to see that so many are disappointed that they didn’t see the twist coming that they are writing it off as non-canon/something D&D clearly made up when it’s clearly not the case.Go back and watch again there are plenty of breadcombs that lead up to this, it’s just most of us missed it because we were so focused on Jon.

    In a recent interview on the Southbank show both D&D and GRRM confirm they spent a lot of time going through the ending once they ran out of material this roughly ties in to what they say in the behind the episode, James Hibberd also alludes to this coming from GRRM but seemingly the don’t want to out right state it not to spoil the books.Time to accept many of us were wrong and respect they deliberately bait and switched us.

    There’s not a NK character in the books (yet) so how could Arya kill it? Additionally, the Arya sneak attack works visually but on the page it would not have the same tension imo.

    Just the logistics of writing it are confusing. How does GRRM articulate a sneak attack via his PoV writing style without telegraphing it? The only example I can think of is Pate and it’d be really odd to have a NK PoV chapter. I am not inherently against it, I just think there’s simpler ways to get to the same ending.

  277. I thought it was pretty obvious when the NK raised all of the dead when he saw Jon that there was absolutely zero chance that the two would engage. He would never have bothered to fight Jon one-on-one. Why would he?

    I was a little disappointed at how fast it was over at first, but, in retrospect, I couldn’t say that I can think of a better way that they should have handled it.

  278. D&D have stated they don’t want to spoil the books so will neither outright confirm or deny what GRRM told them after Shireen. That said both D&D and GRRM stated in a Southbank interview only two weeks ago that the ending will be the same.

  279. Exactly, you make my point, thank you! Jon is all those things, and is good at plodding straight ahead and fighting and dying. He is kind of like Ned, in that way, a bit dim but very truthful and brave.

  280. Mango: I expect lots of politics.
    And Brienne is still a virgin.

    😂 Not for long if the gods are good. Next episode IS directed by David Nutter who tends to do more character moment so who knows, maybe they do a little stopover at Harrenhal on their way down to King’s Landing.

    Side note, why does everyone want Jaime dead? Why can’t he and Grey Worm get a nice early retirement for their leadership during this battle and live a quiet life with their ladies?

    I know I know… coz it’s GOT. Still, one can hope.

  281. I was reminded last night of the Hound, telling Arya “Thats how you kill a man, in the heart.”

    Every single damn thing and line in every show has been FORESHADOWING.

    It was EPIC

  282. I had no problem with Arya being the one to kill the NK in that type of set up they found themselves in. Arya was pretty much the only one with the skill set necessary to do so. And I rather it was someone with Stark blood because that is how it should be.

    Having said that do I think that is how it will go down in the novels, if GRRM ever finishes them? No, not at all. Nothing written in the five published novels so far even hints at this possibility. Everything in Jon’s story, even his conception points to him being the most likely candidate to confront whoever the Others’ leader is. If not him, Daenerys or Bran. The other three magical characters. Of course, we could always be surprised but if you follow the literary bread crumbs then the most obvious thing was always to put your house money on Jon.

  283. Danny,

    Just one word yeah right.
    Aren’t you the one who were afraid that dany will kill jon let him die in this episode.
    Where are those guys who were shouting how dany is thinking about IT when the Dead are coming.

  284. Jon Snowed:
    D&D have stated they don’t want to spoil the books so will neither outright confirm or deny what GRRM told them after Shireen. That said both D&D and GRRM stated in a Southbank interview only two weeks ago that the ending will be the same.

    But this episode isn’t the ending of the story.

    Currently, it’s impossible for the AOTD to end this way because there is no magic reset button NK that you can stab and get rid of the threat with one swift thrust with a VS dagger. Also, GRRM has expressed many times before that he dislikes enemies that are 2 dimensional and pure evil such as Sauron from LOTR. It’s pretty unlikely, given what he has said on the matter, that he will create a NK who is an embodiment of death with no more motivation than simply wiping out all life (aka pure evil).

    By the end of the show, I’m sure the characters will be in similar places to how their book characters end up, but we are not at that point yet, so that doesn’t mean this part of the saga is going to go the same way.

  285. Queen of Nothing,

    Apparently not it would seem. The powers that be on this forum have decided what way this story should’ve gone, and any indication Arya’s arc was planned some time ago (and not a recently conceived twist), is met with scorn. 🤷🏼‍♂️🙄

  286. As many have said, I have mixed emotions about this episode. Beautifully made and acted, but many concerns.

    1) the show has put such an emphasis on clever military strategy over the years. E3’s strategy was absurdly flawed. You use artillery first to soften up the enemy. If the unsullied are great at holding ground, let the dead charge them and have the Dothraki double flank them, like Ramsay did to Stannis. I’m no military expert and I think this is a better plan, while still probably flawed.

    Granted, the lighting of the swords, the charge, and then the swords being extinguished was an amazing spectacle.

    Theon, with all of his fighting skills, just charging at the NK from 50 feet away seemed absurd. At least fight, or pull some arrows out of the dead wights.

    2) I don’t mind that Arya killed the NK. What I mind is that the NK and the AotD are gone in one episode. If they are truly gone. Time will tell.

    3) All of what happened – what was done well and what was flawed… and Bran sitting in the Godswood so calmly.

    The only was this all makes sense to me is if we find out that Bran has been tinkering with time/events and this version of events that we saw was the 1,324,677th time it all played out and the first time the NK was destroyed.

    Last week I posted that I thought the LoL was the NK, due to many greenseer type of actions by the LoL – clearly that was wrong. But now maybe Bran/the 3ERs (in aggregate) are the LoL and the events all had to unfold as they did in order to emerge with a victory.

    If D&D chose Arya to kill the NK, then we still have the third D&D shocker (from GRRM) still to come.

    I like what someone posted earlier that the “little brother” to kill Cersei could be Euron. Hadn’t thought of that.

  287. Well, that’s ice defeated. Seemed pretty predictable to me that it would be, given how everything had been set up. Certainly once the battle got going I thought, there’s no way they can pull this same spectacle off again in a couple of episodes’ time and once the slow-mos started with only a minute or two to go I knew the last minute twist was on its way.

    That episode was hugely entertaining. A few dodgy moments. I didn’t really like Arya appearing out of thin air like that and I can understand people being annoyed by it but, f **k it, I think no matter what they did it would feel like a cop-out in some way or another.

    Now it’s on to defeating fire.

  288. Seth: “She wasn’t a badass at all until the Faceless Men taught her how to be an assassin.”

    All we saw her do was train with poisons and a staff.

    Well that’s been a bit of a complaint from readers and viewers-only for quite some time. For readers it was a complaint that they abbreviated/limited what and how much they showed her learning at the HoBaW, as well as changing the waif to be an adversary rather than a friend. In the books her training in just a handful of chapters has already been more AND she’s still there. I’m personally disappointed they cut her learning languages. (Some) Viewers-only complain because she’s been doing things that are unbelievable with how much she was shown to have trained. That just goes along with how much, or little, that they decided to show in the adaptation. I believe in the books she will return to Westeros very convincingly a badass assassin with all of the skills -and- that’s what D&D want us to believe despite how limited their time was to convey that.

  289. Lady MarMar:
    I was thinking that Jaime will strike the death blow against Cersei, and they will die together.It makes sense, poetically.

    Like it made sense that Jon would kill the Night King? I expect surprises.

  290. If you feel the need to belittle or insult someone because they hold a different opinion about a TV show please have a word with yourself.

  291. I’ve had a thought – wasn’t the original plan for season 7 to have 13 episodes? In that case the episode recently aired would have been episode 10 and the end might have seemed to have occurred less suddenly (to some – I personally didn’t mind it).

    *Still, as I’ve said before, one thing GoT brings home to me (not directly but seeing the restrictions to freedom faced by the “ordinary” – what GRRM called the “small folk” – people) I’m not going to criticise people for having an opposing opinion.

    * With the proviso that the differing opinions are expressed courteously. Obviously the lack of freedom of the “small folk” isn’t addressed in this particular episode – I’m thinking of earlier in the story.

  292. Bran,

    I still fear it might be true. I am not backing away from that one. I distrust everyone. From what I’ve seen, she tilts more towards Viserys than to Aemon. I want Dany to be happy but I also want the Starks to get what they want. They ruled the North for 8,000 years, long before any dragons showed up. They have the right to be their own thing. If Dany conquers the IT, then she can have it and she can rule whoever wants to be ruled by her.

  293. Bran,

    I’m glad that Dany didn’t embark on killing Jon, but I would have welcomed some continuation of what happened in “The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”.

  294. Tron79,

    Yeah, what happens next is a bit one. Arya’s big moment is done so I expect her to have some time with the Hound and finish that off.

    All signs point to Jaime killing Cersei so you know that won’t happen! If it did though…that’s fine.

    Bran is the big question for me. So I expect a big twist with him at end of season or near the end. He can’t be RoboBran the entire time with is only talent as warging into crows.

    I will agree with some haters on there about Sansa…if she doesn’t start showing how smart she is as talked about, her arc will have been stunted. I really, really, really hope they bring her out more.

    There is only so much time, though. I won’t get everything. My dream of Ice Spiders and Nymeria’s Pack showing up was shattered last night. Broke my lil’ GoT heart.

  295. Sean C.,

    That’s one of the aspects I found disappointing. They sold the character short again, just like last season. Tyrion and Varys weren’t treated much better.

  296. Tobias Umber,

    If D&D chose Arya to kill the NK, then we still have the third D&D shocker (from GRRM) still to come.

    I thought we got all 3?

    1) Shireen
    2) Mel’s Age
    3) Hodor

  297. Oh… and will the morons around the internet that still thought the waif is wearing Arya’s face finally shut up about that?? I suppose there will still be a few even though it makes less fuckin’ sense all the time, and it didn’t already from the start.

  298. Catspaw Assassin,

    Part of me thinks they can’t take out NK this early. There is this theory doing its rounds that Bran might yet be the true NK and the true villain who gets killed by Jon at the end. That Bran planned this whole thing and Arya ruined it. I mean where did Bran warg to for so long? And what was that eye contact between Bran and NK mean and what was that tilt of the head about by NK before he reached for his sword. Would be just like GOT to divert everyone’s attention by making them think that NK is gone forever while his real boss Bran still lives.

  299. trarecar: THIS SO MUCH.How hard would it have been to have Jon at least fighting the NK and about to be killed, and then Arya step in if they were so hell bent on making some big surprise?They’ve been telegraphing a show down between Jon and the NK for a long time

    See, now yes, after all the staring and all Jon’s done through the years I expected that too. I could even see a Tower of Joy moment. Jon/Ned fighting his butt off but starting to lose, then boom Arya/Howland Reed jumps in and same scenario.

    I think the biggest concern is they have a tendency to leave other stories hanging or dumb other characters down etc to get to their moment. I love the moment (And pretty much everything Maisie did in that episode) but what was around it, especially Jon’s actions throughout battle, felt off.

    Steel_Wind:
    Well, the interview on Entertainment Weekly confirms that Maisie Williams was afraid that fans would hate her for stealing Jon’s moment with the NK.

    Even Maisie’s own boyfriend thought it should be Jon. Kit, of course, thought it would be Jon, too.

    Bottom Line: what we got was a twist for the sake of a twist. a script dictated not by the needs of the story, but for a Hollywood Moment. Because “that’s what Thrones does“. I would have been okay with it had they at least given Jon the opportunity to cross swords with the NK. But they wouldn’t even give us that. FFS.

    While I loved most of the episode, I feel ripped off by that part. And yelling at the Undead dragon? Come on! Is there ANYBODY HERE who was okay with Jon doing that, instead of slashing the damned thing in the head? Seriously?

    I really hope Maisie doesn’t get attacked for this. Especially after the crap she got last week.
    She had grown up consensual sex with a guy she’s always liked and she saved her brother from the NK.
    But she didn’t write the episode. She just performed the heck out of it.

  300. “Oh, my sweet summer child,” Old Nan said quietly, “what do you know of fear?
    Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet
    deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long
    night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children
    are born and live and die all in darkness
    while the direwolves grow gaunt and
    hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods”

    “In that darkness, the Others came for the first time”

    Of course the episode was dark. It was always meant to be this dark. It’s the long f***ing night.

  301. So happy to have been DEAD WRONG on my predictions (except for the title- I did get the low hanging fruit there).

    Feeling satisfied that Winter fell, at Winterfell, and in this way. I could probably take time to convince myself that it would have been nice to see some actual combat with the Others, giving Arya that opportunity to sneak up behind the NK; or better yet, Arya dropping straight out of the Weirwood tree would have been cool. That would have remedied the question of how she was able to sneak up on the NK like that, but the killing blow wouldn’t have had to change at all. If she were already there waiting- having slipped in past the Ironborn while they battled wights- seems much more plausible.

    But oh well. Little things to get hung up on. For now, I’m mourning those who gave their lives defending the realm, and I am happy that Winterfell stands.

  302. RG,

    Beric was a great character. I was struck by the scene where the wights are attacking him and for a minute he is silhouetted in a doorway, arms outstretched, and I couldn’t help but see a “Jesus” figure. He died, was resurrected (more times than Jesus!), and continued to sacrifice himself in the fight against the darkness. Wonderful arc and imagery, great actor Richard Dormer.

  303. Apollo: The powers that be on this forum have decided what way this story should’ve gone, and any indication Arya’s arc was planned some time ago (and not a recently conceived twist), is met with scorn.

    Most of us have no difficulty with accepting that D&D had planned this ending “3 years ago”. (NOTE: that actually means “when they were writing Season 7). However, that is a long distance call from saying that was GRRM’s planned ending. We think that’s plainly bullshit — which is why, given the cumulative lore and direction of the series over 5 books and 70 episodes, the Night King was Jon’s foe to kill, not Arya’s.

    It would appear that Maisie Williams herself thought so, too. She was worried fans would blame her for “stealing Jon’s moment”. She can read a script and understand the discordance in The Long Night along with the rest of us. She freely admitted her own boyfriend certainly thought the same thing – It should be Jon. We know this because Maisie has said so. Kit Harrington thought it was supposed to be him, too.

    But instead, we got a plot twist because, that’s what Thrones does. Sometimes, the twists for the sale of twists feel contrived and false. This is one of those times.

    Most of us are HUGE fans of Arya. If there was anybody else other than Jon who should have had a shot at the “Come at me Bro” Night King, it was Arya. Just not like this.

  304. RG:
    Beric was sent out on his original mission by Ned Stark, Arya’s father
    Beric fought Sandor and said the Lord of Light wasn’t finished with him.
    Beric sold Gendry to Melisandre-at the same time Mel saw all the eyes Arya would close-which is the reason she ran and ended up with Sandor instead.
    Beric died six times and survived longer than I thought he would to bring Sandor North and to help him save Arya so she could kill the NK.
    I can see the poetry in that ending for him. Not too shabby, lightning lord. 🙂

    RG,

    I LOVED THIS. You nailed it. That was poetic.

  305. Has anyone talked about

    1) how Dothraki were the ones who charged first…I know people will call that stupid move But it was done to create the dramatic effect needed for the TV ..but at least they were fearless and brave enough to face the unknown… where the northerners and westerosi stood ground they charged..so called foreigners..

    2) how it was Unsullied who stood ground while the northerners and westerosi and others retreated back to Wintrrfell.. so much for being foreigners..

    3) how dany being there on the field putting everything she had gained on the line and facing death is still not enough for some of them..

    4) I would like the writers to give me a reason why dragon fire would not harm NK or WW other than how it will be very easy…when you have killed a dragon by just a spear..

    5) Jorah IMO is the one true good advisor for dany …he doesn’t view himself as morally superior like the other advisors do nor does he keep throwing her father in on every turn she takes…he gave the facts as it is and let her be herself …that’s What made that team great..
    He left dany when he needed him the most first during the Meereen arc and then now…

    I fear for dany on how she will be treated from now on…I do hope she just hops on her Drogon and take missandei and GW and Rhaegal and fly to naath and just stay there…

    Theon what a great way to go and what journey it has been for him…kudos to Alfie..

    Somehow one does wonder looking at the Dead how it was all who once stood against Starks…May be in the end it will be just stark kids and maybe tyrion jamie and Brienne..
    Iam sure many would love it..
    Sam should have stayed in the crypts..

    Shutout for missandei for saying the obvious out loud..

    I love emilia she is the one who came up with dany taking up a sword and defending herself and how dany can’t be a damsel in distress…
    She understands her character more than any other..

    I do hope Darrio comes up with his army after hearing about golden company coming to westeros..that would give dany the support she needs..

  306. Ramsay's 20th Good Man: Now it’s on to defeating fire.

    Hear, hear! Can’t wait for it!

    Do we discuss the promo here? I put it under spoiler tags.

    Dany is wearing all red in the promo for E4, so she will go fire and blood on everyone’s ass.

    Apart from that I’m wodering who is going south and what happens to those people staying at Winterfell. I don’t see Sansa going south, but is she going to stay all alone in the north? So no Sansa in E5? What about Sam and Gilly? Hmm. I thought maybe Sansa and Tyrion will have a bit more to do after the fighters were in the spotlight for this one…

  307. Aegon the IceDragon,

    I think you all are missing a hinted at point that I discussed with my son. I think that the Night King (brown hair and from the north) was a Stark. In some weird full circle way, only a Stark could kill him, and as we know, Jon is not a Stark but a Targarian. Of the last three Starks, who was the one BEST prepared to kill the Night King? Arya. Sansa could NEVER fight, and Bran is well, a crippled seer. In my scenario it HAD to be Arya.

  308. Lady MarMar,

    You see, this proves my point about the show royally fucking up the character of Jon Snow. There is nothing in the books that reads as Jon not being bright. Quite the opposite, actually. Yet for many show watchers, this is how they feel. Going so far as to say he isn’t worthy of being king. Had I never read the books, I would feel this way too.

    D&D say Jon is the hero. Well then why has he had so few singularly triumphant moments compared to other main characters like Dany,Arya, and Tyrion? And now they minimized his role in defeating the one thing his story had been about since the very beginning, the battle against the WW.

    This is the hero of the story, D&D? Well why not try giving him a heroic moment that doesn’t involve him fucking up in some way and being saved by others?

  309. Sister Kisser,

    I think what could have been better is if Jon or The Hound had engaged the White Walkers, momentarily distracting them and the wights and allowing Arya to get the jump on the Night King.

    If it had been Jon, then he could’ve seen Bran apparently about to die and there could’ve been an extra added emotional aspect to it, like Jon was going to fail to save Bran but then, booyah, here comes Arya.

    They presumably thought that if they showed Jon trapped far away from the godswood and unable to get to Bran, then people would expect Bran to die and Arya’s arrival would be more unexpected. But I personally think it could’ve been handled better.

    Ah well, still more sad and epic moments to come, so no point getting hung up on these things.

  310. Danny,

    Inga,

    It’s too bad dany has to loose much of her army and her dragons for the North.now that NK is dead we can make ask dany to get out..
    If it was dany who said those words about Sansa then she would have been nailed to the cross by saying how power hungry she is and how she conspires to gain IT by tricking tyrion and how she has not learned anything from her pasts with cersei and LF..
    IMO she did learn from them nd she has become one of them..but since she is a stark she will be safe until she goes after another stark..

  311. Daryl,

    Again, Jon is as much as a Stark as Arya, Sansa, Robb, Bran and Rickon. Ned and Lyanna were full blooded siblings so by definition their children will have equal amount of Stark blood in them. Ned’s children are half Stark and half Tully, Lyanna’s child is half Stark, half Targaryen. But Stark nonetheless.

  312. mhpr262,

    mhpr262,

    I got to thinking maybe, JUST maybe Bran did do something without us knowing it and got into the head(s) of the NK and Others just enough to stall them and/or mask Arya’s presence… wishful thinking at least!

  313. Jack Bauer 24:
    Was Yohn Royce there?

    Yes, I assume he was there, but don’t recall seeing him. My guess is that the actor can’t fight for crap, or can’t use a sword for crap, so they just didn’t bother showing him at all. He’s still alive. I thought for sure he was a goner.

    It’s a grubby job for a grubby man, but Royce made it out ok.

  314. Tyrion Pimpslap: This is the hero of the story, D&D? Well why not try giving him a heroic moment that doesn’t involve him fucking up in some way and being saved by others?

    If Jon killing the NK was “too obvious” to go with, what the hell does that say about Jon’s likelihood of becoming King? Aegon Targaryen, Sixth of his name, (titles titles). All of it?

    I have a sneaking suspicion that D&D are perfectly aware that the fans are going to lose their shit over the ending in Episode 6. Twist upon twist for the sake of a twist – and our hero will get nothing but the Silent Sisters for his trouble.

  315. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

    I don’t agree that Jon’s whole arc was to face and defeat the NK. His story had to include that element, and his actions were necessary for the defeat, but I see his arc as journeying to know his true identity-the rightful king of the realm-and what he does with that knowledge. He IS the SOIAF, and the rest of the show will deal with concluding his arc.

  316. No, that never made sense to me that Jon would be the NK killer. It was not a good match. I know y’all are crazy about Jon, but he is not the person to “break the wheel.” He is too pedestrian.

    I think the fact that Jon is a T might not mean anything. I hope that breaking the wheel means the whole feudal patriarchy is done. Probably not, but that would be way cooler to me than a continuation of the same old same old. Anyway, I was crazy about the books and I’m crazy about the show, especially after it got over the teenage boy naked lady stage. I hate that it will be over, and want to enjoy it totally as long as it lasts.

  317. Steel_Wind,

    Who mentioned GRRM’s ending? This is the TV adaption of his (as yet unfinished) books. We all know that it will not necessarily be the same point for point as the downfall of the Others in the books.

    But, as D&D have said- they planned the means of the NKs demise a long long time ago- by means of that dagger.

    And yes, dramatic twists are what GOT does. Cuz, ya know, it’s an award winning TV drama that has gathered a massive following partly on the basis of its shock value.

    Jon riding in on a big white horse (or dragon) with a gleaming magical sword bringing down the villain, after literally years of us being told that is what “should” happens, is not particularity fulfilling from a dramatic point of view. It’s contrived.

    Besides- anyone as mind numbingly stupid as Jon would really have no chance of getting near the NK, let alone deserve to beat him.

  318. Steel_Wind:

    Most of us are HUGE fans of Arya. If there was anybody else other than Jon who should have had a shot at the “Come at me Bro” Night King, it was Arya.

    True. And honestly if it had been ANYONE else other than Arya who took Jon’s place, I think the reaction of the fan base would have been, well, A LOT worse.

    Arya’s in my top favorites and her entire story was definitely setting her up for HUGE things. And I suppose I can see how, if you make the NK just Death, then Arya’s continuous connection with the God of Death and Many Faced God does fit pretty perfectly.
    However even forgetting every prophecy the show has shared from the books,
    you have Jon, Sam and Bran’s story lines all wrapped up in getting the information and skills to stop the AOTD specifically. And Jon was brought back to life as if he had a greater purpose in that battle.

    So I think the thing people are having the biggest problem with is Jon’s arc in the story. He’s not a politically ambitious guy. He’s not even a particularly social guy. He’s a good guy who has had one purpose for years. Just that one.
    We might still see some surprises for him I’m sure. I hope. Or he could just fade into the background while Cersei Dany and Sansa get their throne on.

    I’m still hoping for a few twists.
    Also hoping we don’t have to see Cersei torturing anyone again, but that’s a pipe dream I know lol

    PS I wonder if we’ll notice anything different about the weather now…
    And I really hope Bran has a flashback or two to explain that. Or Maybe Harrenhal tourney could happen now that the NK is out of the way. 🙂

  319. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface:

    Now that the White Walkers are gone, Valyrian steel is kinda overrated. And dragon glass too for that matter.

    Valyrian steel seems to have been overrated for the whole series at this point. What did it really do? Killed two White Walkers (Jon at Hardhome and Beyond the Wall) before Arya used the dagger to kill the Night King? Which could have just as easily been a dragon glass dagger? Why make a point of having all these different people acquire Valyrian steel swords if none of them were going to be put to use to fight White Walkers in this episode? Just give them all dragonglass and that’s that. Shouldn’t at least one of Jaime, Brienne or Jorah have at least had an encounter with a White Walker; Valyrian steel versus ice sword/spear? A true sword fight instead of just they all had Valyrian swords so they could stab a bunch of wights? Seems like a lot of build up for little pay off and a missed opportunity to get a really epic sword fight in. Have Brienne or Jorah fight a White Walker, slay it, a bunch of wights drop and it seems like things are turning in the heroes favor, then the Night King raises all the dead up and everyone is screwed again. Idk.

  320. I’ll be the first to bash feminism, but here? C’mon… Folks are saying there was no build up for Arya’s moment against the night king?? Arya’s ENTIRE character was made for it, there was one trained assassin in all of the north, that we know about anyway, and it was her. She was created for this specifically. The night king wasn’t prepared for noone, but that’s just who she was….

    Great episode, but come on, there wasnt anything feminist about it, or really the show for that matter.

    If you want to complain, complain about the plot holes, like, having all those catapults and NOT USING THEM. That’s a solid complaint… but feminism, nah, not here.

  321. Daryl,

    Aaaaand… there is none so accursed as the kinslayer.

    Could this be connected to the belief there “must always be a Stark in Winterfell”? 👊 🖐 🎤 💥

  322. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    At least he still is considered good guy..

    While dany is considered not only stupid and doesn’t have humility or listen to advisors..which are completely opposite in the books..

  323. Queen of Nothing,

    Yeah I loved every scene with Beric Sandor and Arya-even Melisandre. It just felt like this closing of a circle from their Riverlands story. Very emotional. And I love that we’ve seen her coming back to life, more focused on life than death with Gendry and family etc.
    I hope Sandor sticks close.

  324. RG: And Jon was brought back to life as if he had a greater purpose in that battle..

    This. All of this. This in bold, italic, underlined effin Dingbats.

    Because right now, Jon appears to have been brought back from the dead so he could be chased by an Undead Dragon — only to, in the end, shout at it!

    Beric Dondarrion at least had a purpose that he fulfilled. I am not persuaded that Jon Snow did much at all with his “Bonus Life” to merit such mercy from R’hllor.

    Jon saved the Wildlings? Well he already did that before got himself killed. Win the Battle of the Bastards? Do you think the gods care about that? Why? Why would they ever care about that?

    So what else is it then? Near as I can tell, it would appear to be going north of the Wall in Season 7 and getting Viserion killed, causing the dragon to be zombified, the NK to have the means of bringing the Wall down so that the NK’s army could pound Winterfell into the mud. Before Arya killed him, that is.

    That’s D&D’s Hero’s Journey for us. Jon Snow appears to have been brought back from the dead so that he could fuck everything up.

    I am entirely open to being persuaded that isn’t Jon’s heroic arc, post-resurrection. ‘Because right now? There has not been much of a point to it – at least the sort of deeds the gods would take account of so much that they would break the Law of Death to do it.

  325. Dragonbringer,

    Wow, now, you are making assumptions there. First, Sansa distrust everyone. She even distrust Jon for God’s sake. Jon, whom she knows since birth, whom she knows to be a decent man. She’s been bitchy with both Jon and Arya and you are surprised she is bitchy with Daenerys? Come on! Sansa is acting within character, she’s tested my patience on occasions but she’s at least consistent in her character. And whether you find it fair or not, Ned Stark accumulated tons of good will with a majority of fans so of course fan love for him would translate into love and preference for all his children.

  326. WolfDragon,

    There is one guy who brought up feminism as a criticism. I disagree with him. Even though I do have a problem with Arya being the one to end the WW and the AOTD. I certainly wouldn’t have a problem because she is female. As I would have been okay if Dany had dealt the final blow, as her character arc was at least connected to the battle with the Others. Like Jon, she has dreams about the Others in the books. Like Jon, she is from the line of Aerys and Rhaella.

    D&D waved away all of the prophecies from the books with this one decision. Prophecies that GRRM spent so much time weaving into the story. The whole tragedy at Summerhall was centered on tpwwp prophecy. Even the reason for Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship was rooted in that prophecy.

    You can say Jon and Dany coming together allowed them any chance at defeating the Others, but because of the necessarily simplified nature of the Whitewalkers in the show, killing the Night King meant defeating the Others. And Arya, a character with no foreshadowing of battling the Others in the books and zero connection to any of the prophecies surrounding the battle against them essentially became Azor Ahai. She defeated the Others and brought the dawn. That is hard to accept from a narrative standpoint.

  327. It seemed that way to me, too, that Bran’s stare down was disorienting to the NK, that maybe he was trying to bend Bran to his will or something. That little glance the NK gave at the end brought to mind the Children of the Damned, the removal of the “blocks” in the mind of the person concealing the bomb, and then that split second of realization as the last block was removed.

    I loved how Bran played his part and presumably bought some time and surprise for Arya.

  328. Apollo,

    You’ve learned to use the shurg emoji just so you can land some dick-ish swipe at some few book readers (The powers that be decided?) who think some major plot points won’t be the same? Good heavens. Grow up.

    Obvi, the only reason I’m responding is cause you keep posting irrelevant info about other plot points who may end up being the same. I understand you want it bad for some reason to be right, but maybe, just maybe David and Dan didn’t lie.

  329. Dutch Maester,

    Seriously… its always been an important part of the story, but really all the other stuff has had more story telling time, so why did people expect 6 episodes of this??

  330. Tyrion Pimpslap: D&D waved away all of the prophecies from the books with this one decision. Prophecies that GRRM spent so much time weaving into the story. The whole tragedy at Summerhall was centered on tpwwp prophecy. Even the reason for Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship was rooted in that prophecy.

    You can say Jon and Dany coming together allowed them any chance at defeating the Others, but because of the necessarily simplified nature of the Whitewalkers in the show, killing the Night King meant defeating the Others. And Arya, a character with no foreshadowing of battling the Others in the books and zero connection to any of the prophecies surrounding the battle against them essentially became Azor Ahai. She defeated the Others and brought the dawn. That is hard to accept from a narrative standpoint.

    \m/

    Preach on! You have nailed it above. It doesn’t fit within the long laboured over premise of the books, the backstory, the heroic arc, nor does it even maintain a modicum of an excuse for the reason Jon bloody Snow was brought back from the dead in the first place.

    It simply doesn’t fit. The more I think about this, the more D&D plainly got it wrong.

  331. trarecar,

    But she DID kill the NK to end The Long Night. So either the prophecy is incorrect or the show runners messed up. But I agree with you that she is not Azor Ahai.

    The other possibility of course is that the threat of The Long Night still somehow looms and Jon/Danny will be the one to end it.

  332. I mentioned the same last week the certain actors/actresses appear to be filming in warmer climates (Spain/Croatia) and wearing different attire too. No surprise all those actors survived the long night, so I would guess also make it to Kings Landing in episode 5.

  333. Ginevra,

    No I know, I am posting in the wrong thread… but still… we are past the books… lol

    I just meant like, whats the point of constantly saying “but in the books….” blabla…

    The show doesn’t have a lot of focus on the prophecies and Azor Ahai and the PWTWP etc… we had it mentioned a few times but only by Mel and Co and well they are priests so that is what they do.

    Anywho. Whatever.

  334. Danny,

    When she was bitching about Jon and Arya ..the fandom hated her..
    But with dany I don’t see the same reactions..
    That’s exactly my issue with Sansa right now..I guess I know where they are taking the story…they will very well have Sansa take up the spoils after dany and cersei..and I hope not..

    But let’s say she is valid with her distrustful of every person…but What else dany needs to prove here ..if she wants freedom she should learn from yara and At least ask like how she did..

    The eyes she is giving the Unsullied and dragons in the next episode doesn’t please me one bit..

  335. Weird aside. I wonder if I’m the only one who has noticed that Sansa never really reacts to magical things. It never touched her until she got back with Jon, but she didn’t bat an eye when standing in front of Wun Wun, she looked at the dragons in almost irritation, and then she was talking weddings and politics in the crypts instead of freaking out a little. I mean, I would be freaking out a little, because giant army of the dead. Maybe after Ramsay nothing phases her anymore. (that could be true, since the only time she really reacted was when Bran told her he saw her wedding)

    Moving on 🙂
    I am going to say if we’re going back to strictly political game play, the Starks are totally ready now-as opposed to Ned and Cat at the start of the series.
    You have a battle-tested commander (Jon), A stealthy face changing assassin (Arya) A capable if a little hardened game player (Sansa) and a human wikipedia who can warg into creatures to spy on you ala Bloodraven (Bran)
    As a team, they could be a force to rival Tywin and LF at this point.

  336. Steel_Wind,

    Perfectly put…

    Love Arya. Love her arc. Her relationship with Sandor is my favorite dynamic in the series.

    That said, if super flying stealth assassin Arya ends up helping kill The Mountain and Cersie, will Sam’s book be called “A Song of Arya and Arya?”

  337. GRRM had hinted several times that there would be some reconciliation after the big battle with the White Walkers, they still need to decide who will rule, deal with Cersei, potentially deal with Dany. Bran for me will likely play a key role especially if Jon or Sansa are in positions of power.

    Sandor is likely to have a cleganebowl (yes it feels like fan service), I highly doubt Arya kills Cersei now, that will likely be either Tyrion or Jamie as per the prophecy. I do feel Arya will fight against Cersei and/or Dany though because

    we know she filmed some of the last shooting scenes at Kings Landing with Kit. Note. this does not mean end of the story just the last days of filming which were all in Kings Landing

    . I also liked how Sandor’s purpose from the Lord of Light was to keep Arya safe so she could kill the Night King, again more subtle set-up.

  338. I would love to hear Wimsey’s take on this from a plotting and narrative structure perspective. His knowledge of literary structures and character types is unrivalled!

  339. Thanks for your review Sue. Its nice to ‘read’ what actually happened! As so many others have commented, it was TOO DARK 🙁

    Ok, I have a crap TV, but even even watching it in a dark room, in a lot of the scenes I could see fuck all! Would have been better if the second half of the battle was filmed at dawn. For this reason I would rate the BoW well down to the others we have seen. The BotB, the Loot Train, Hardhome, etc were a lot better being filmed in the day time and not in the fucking middle of the night 🙁

    I had no problem seeing what was going on when the action scenes centered around characters, but the aerial shots looking down on the battlefield were piss poor! As were those with the Jon and Dany on their dragons being attacked by the NK on Viserion.

    I hope the final battle which I presume will be at Kings Landing will be better than that one and filmed in daylight.

  340. Apollo:
    Sean C.,

    Because they’ve never lied to us before, of course.

    As I said- it proves that they had these scenes mapped out in S1/S2.

    There are too many breadcrumbs in the script from earlier seasons to discount.

    If you don’t like this because it doesn’t “fit” with how you think the story should go, then that’s an issue you need to deal with, not me.

    Missandi once said that the word for prince and princess in high valyrian was pretty much the same or there was no difference. It was at this point I started to think of the Arya connection. Remember she has also gone under the name ‘Arry as well. That to me was most definitely a bread crumb. Have posted this idea before but got closed down by a book reader…. something about salt and smoke but hey ho

  341. Justin,

    “Sounds like you just hate Arya.”

    I don’t hate Arya. If I had to choose five of the most entertaining characters to watch or read about, she’d be among them. It has nothing to do with how I feel about Arya. It’s about taking characters’ direction and development and undermining it for shock value and “unpredictability.” And as much as I do like Arya, I’m not going to turn a deaf ear to what the show runners have been doing since season 5–and that’s namely botching storylines and the logical foundation set up in GRRM’s world of Ice and Fire to propel and appeal to the “female empowerment” base. Jamie Lannister has a valyrian sword as well, and had he been the one to kill the Night King, I would have been just as critical, but instead, I would’ve met less resistance from the Arya apologists. Hell, they probably would’ve joined me. Then, I wouldn’t have to read these rather unwitting attempts to shoe horn “set ups” and “planted seeds” which they’re using to base a nonsensical conclusion.

    “How exactly are the writers / Bran supposed to tell Arya / the audience that she uses the dagger on the NK without giving away the fact that she will kill him? Bran can’t just go “Hey, Arya, you don’t know this yet, but you are going to shove this dagger into the heart of the NK and save me, right here in fact!, BTW.” Did you think Bran gave it to her just to cut Littlefingers throat?”

    Who knows why he gave it to her? Once again, he took it out for no reason. And he didn’t seem to care about its fate. Since Sansa was protesting Littlefinger’s gift, so it makes sense that he’d give it to her. The implication for Arya receiving the dagger was that she’d kill a white walker. But we have few Valyrian items which weren’t used to kill white walkers–i.e. Oathkeeper, Widow’s Wail, Heartsbane, etc. Why would Arya acquiring the dagger be any more important the Brienne receiving Oathkeeper, Jamie’s receiving Widow’s Wail, or Jorah’s receiving Heartsbane? Arya’s receiving the dagger is no more a “set-up” than the others.

    “Arya is also one of GRRM’s favorite characters and it’s likely that she ends up being the one to kill the NK in the books as well.”

    And I would expect that George Martin would provide a substantial set up to this, not the botched rigamarole offered by Weiss and Benioff.

    “You don’t send your favorite character and train her to be an assassin just so she can cook some Frey’s in pies.”

    And you don’t set up one of the main characters whose story primarily focuses on a looming threat no one wants to believe, have him die to join two demographics, have him resurrected, have him convince one of the other main characters to join his side, risk his life again, just to have him sidelined by a conflict with a dragon which should have killed him 10 times in the episode. It’s nonsensical and ridiculous.

  342. Apollo,

    Help me then who exactly you meant? I see your exchanges with a few book readers of which I’m myself part. Who did you mean?

  343. Yes agree there is no specific Night King yet in the books but that’s because none of the POV have come into direct contact with the White Walkers apart from Sam in A Clash of Kings. Even Hardholme we see through someone else. My guess is that if ADOS ever gets published we will see the battle through several characters likely Mel, Jon, Arya, Bran, Dany, Sansa and Tyrion; potentially Jamie/Brienne if they are there too.

  344. I can only hope Bran was helping Arya get there by warging into anyone who might have seen her coming. Otherwise that was just a big pile of head scratching crap.

    I’m sure I’ll get over it. But right now it’s a big “womp woooomp” for the fearsome NK and all the multitudes of foreshadowing they’ve given Jon to fight him. Gone in one battle with Jon no where near him.

    That being said, the scheming between the characters is what made us love the show. Part of this let down is their fault for putting so much emphasis on Winter Is Coming and the Night King, just to kill him off like this.

  345. Apollo:
    Queen of Nothing,

    Apparently not it would seem. The powers that be on this forum have decided what way this story should’ve gone, and any indication Arya’s arc was planned some time ago (and not a recently conceived twist), is met with scorn. 🤷🏼‍♂️🙄

    For most, is met with disagreement rather than scorn. Debating this sprawling epic is what we do here isn’t it? Such an enormous plot development is going to cause fierce debate. Very few are responding scornfully (though there are the minority, sadly, on both sides bandying around insulting terms).

    GRRM and D&D and all of the cast have warned us that this season is going to be divisive and will spawn enormous debate. I’m not surprised (and personally, I love a good debate with intelligent, informed people with viewpoints different to my own).

  346. SaveTheWolves,

    Thank you. I totally agree that his arc is about his identity. I believe I said it in a comment earlier. Bastard to crow to lord commander to dead man to reborn to king in the north to Targaryen.

  347. RG,

    What is this purpose? To me his purpose was to bring the people together, not stab the night king in the heart.

  348. Dee Stark:
    SaveTheWolves,

    Thank you. I totally agree that his arc is about his identity. I believe I said it in a comment earlier. Bastard to crow to lord commander to dead man to reborn to king in the north to Targaryen.

    I can definitely see that point.
    His life has been very caught up in his identity as well as this battle.

  349. Ann,

    “Wow. This guy was bothered everytime a woman won over a man! And he doens’t even notice how problematic this is.”

    It bothers me only when it makes no sense in advancing the plot. So for example, when Jon bends the knee to Dany, it makes no sense since Dany already promised to help him in his fight North. One of the major plot points for Jon is being disillusioned with the importance of Feudal titles, particularly informed by his time with Night’s Watch and the Free folk. Tormund even tells him that he’ll never be a “kneeler” again. Jon even states that he never wanted to be King, and Sansa even challenges Jon by asking if he did it for love, which significantly undermines Jon’s character.

    I had no problem when Arya killed Polliver, or left the Hound to die. I had no problem when Daenerys tricked Master Kraznys out his unsullied army. I have little problem with Sansa taking down Littlefinger–my only problem is how the show did it, using Bran as a Deus Ex Machina, rather than having Sansa figure it out on her own. I have no problem with the aforementioned because it served their plots.

  350. Dee Stark,

    No I think you’re missing my point. It’s not about who stabbed him in the heart (love that Arya did) and yes I agree and have already said that he is the reason everyone came together. I’m thinking more from his POV and where he goes from here. And also, that he was basically on the sidelines for most of this fight and all the staring build up and everything he did kind of ended with him being trapped is something people need time to wrap their heads around. Probably including Jon.

  351. TheKnightQueen: Not for long if the gods are good. Next episode IS directed by David Nutter who tends to do more character moment so who knows, maybe they do a little stopover at Harrenhal on their way down to King’s Landing.

    Side note, why does everyone want Jaime dead? Why can’t he and Grey Worm get a nice early retirement for their leadership during this battle and live a quiet life with their ladies?

    I know I know… coz it’s GOT.Still, one can hope.

    Indeed, I see the scattered “Jaime gonna die” predictions and really wonder. Then I remember that many of the same persons sagely predicted he would be killed by a wight/WW in the WF battle. Now, I half expect one lonely wight to run out during the opening scene of Episode 4, yell, Oopsie, I forgot! Then kill Jaime and then run back into the WF bonfire for the dead.

    I will be very satisfied if Jaime ends on up Tarth retired as his ladySer becomes the Head of Her House. I would be content.

    But since I am an unreasonable person – I am still rooting for him to be King!

  352. trarecar:
    The Prince that was Promised:
    1. He or she must be born of smoke and salt
    2. He or she must wake dragons out of stone
    3. He or she must be born under a bleeding red star
    4. He or she must make a sacrifice
    5. Darkness must fall upon the earth

    That is not Arya.She is not meant to end the Long Night.Period.Why bring this into the show if that was their plan all along (which I do not believe)? To string the fans along?I hope one can see how that would leave a bad taste.

    There is no show canon for TPtwP though.

  353. Fantastic recap, Sue! The opening few minutes where nothing was happening was so tension-building. I was rocking back and forth and practically tore my t-shirt, clawing at my chest. Then Melisandre lighting up the arakh, the way it spread from one to the other–just stunning. And then the Dothraki charge and all we see are the lights going out one by one. Then more stillness. Just amazing filmmaking.

    As the fight progressed, I do have some nitpicks because it was difficult to see which dragon was doing what, but that is certainly a minor point in an exceptional episode.

    Just because we didn’t see certain things didn’t mean they didn’t happen. Sansa was down in the crypts for quite a while. She probably was comforting people some of the time. If they had shown that, we would have been bored because it would have been too much like Blackwater.

    I still can’t believe Grey Worm made it out alive. He was first on my who will die list. He will have to die facing Cersei, I guess. Not that I want him to die, but telling Missandei he would take her to Naath? Death sentence right there.

  354. Jack Bauer 24,

    You’re right, damnit. LOL *shakes fist to the clouds* Honestly, I’m just totally let down that my favorite character didn’t get to do what they’d been telegraphing he’d do. And you can’t deny they’d been telegraphing it!

    Ugh. This just sucks. But I’ll get over it.

  355. Mango:

    I will be very satisfied if Jaime ends on up Tarth retired as his ladySer becomes the Head of Her House. I would be content.

    So would I 🙂

  356. Jack Bauer 24,

    Mel does mention TPTWP a few times though, but true they don’t make much of the prophecies in the show.

    I dunno, it’s got me wondering if maybe the whole point of these prophecies are designed as red herrings to trick the reader (as well as the characters) into falling for them – much like those who go to clairvoyants and believe all that they’re told, only to be disappointed. Maybe there’s precious little in them after all..

    “a prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is … and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams. That is the nature of prophecy. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time”

    Who knows- we have three more episodes left. I guess many of these questions will be answered.

  357. Ginevra,

    “She may not have been ASNAWP until recently,”

    What does the acronym ASNAWP stand for?

    “but she’s always been extremely exceptional for her age and gender.”

    Okay.

    “One of the first times we see her, she shows up her older brother Bran with a bow and arrow – shows him up bad.”

    Bran is her younger brother. And yes that scene was meant to demonstrate her subversion of the expectations placed on her because she was a lady. There are many symbols GRRM uses in the books to demonstration of stripping femininity, name Arya’s having her cut at the end of the first book (first season.) This is nothing new.

    “And then she shows up Joffrey with a sword – shows him up bad.”

    Yes, she does.

    “Yes, she couldn’t have defeated the Hound and Brienne when she was six, true, but surely we expected her to get better with age, right?”

    How old is she? And I use Gilly’s baby as a reference because Gilly had her baby in the beginning of Season 3. Sansa claimed she was fourteen at the end of Season 3. Gilly’s baby is still a baby. So how much time really passed by? They state that Arya is 18 in season 8, meaning she was 12 in season 3 (given that Sansa is two years her senior.) That means Gilly’s baby would have to be five years in age. He would look more like Rickon did in season (Rickon was six years old then.) The show has no real grasp of time, and I honestly don’t know how old each character is.

    “She impressed Jaqen enough for him to give her the FM recruitment coin. She impressed the Hound, too.”

    Because it’s difficult for an impressionable child to curry favor with a religious cult?

    “I do agree that training with the FM is the only thing that made her better than both the Hound and Brienne at such a young age,”

    She trained with a staff and poisons. How would that build her overall physical strength to withstand that of Brienne’s, much less the Hound’s?

    “she was clearly already on a path to be amazing.”

    Amazing enough to kill a being she had no true understanding of a being, who dwarfs the strength of both the Hound and Brienne? If that makes sense to you, then I’ll leave you to that.

  358. I hope this is why Kit said in an interview that he wasn’t necessarily happy, but satisfied about what happens with his character. I want to have hope that in the end Jon will have a poignant ending worthy of the character I’ve rooted for the most. That doesn’t necessarily mean he lives and is king, and is the reason they are able to defeat Cersei either. I’m actually hoping that Cersei isn’t the main conflict remaining.

    His role in defeating the Others was pretty much tossed to the side. Okay, I don’t like it. But it’s over and done with. Come on, D&D, give me something that makes narrative sense. Give me a conflict of love vs duty. Show me that this character has a purpose besides being the brave warrior who swings a sword and gives a viewpoint into the big battles.

    My expectations are lowered now. Surprise me in a good way, please. The Others weren’t the endgame. I actually believed this from the start. But the ending for the main characters are supposed to have been given to D&D in fairly detailed specifics. So my hope for a poignant ending for Jon is completely based on my faith that GRRM has a worthy ending for the character.

  359. Apollo,

    George R.R. Martin never really contends the use of prophecy. He claims only that they can be self-fulfilling in their misinterpretation. Even if one were to misinterpret the prophecy, how does Arya fit a misinterpreation of the prophecy at all? Who was trying to fulfill the prophecy to begin with? And why would Melissandre claim Jon is the prince who was promised, only “11th hour” act as the Yoda to Arya in this episode? It makes no sense.

  360. There is a making of over on YouTube.
    Glad they explained something , in the sky fight Rhaegal tears some holes in Viserion’s face, I had wondered what was going on there with side-sprouting blue flame.

  361. If all of the time spent on prophecies in the book was all just a giant red herring then I would lose a lot of respect for GRRM as a writer. You don’t spend that much time weaving it throughout the story just for one big fake out.

  362. If Lord Glover comes out now and says “I did not fight beside you on the field and I will regret that until my dying day. A man can only admit when he was wrong and ask forgiveness. House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years. (men murmur) And I will stand behind Jon Snow the King in the North!” then Jon should just behead him right there and be done with it.

  363. Seth,

    The worst thing about this is that anyone criticizing the solution will be labeled as mysogynists etc. I’m a women and yes women often show great heroism. But women who show heroism are not super-ninja-assassin-warrion-princesses, nothing even close to that. And in general, true heroism is never about skills – be it magical, or professional or whatever. True heroism is about overcomming own weaknesses – be it male or female – for the sake of something or someone dear. Basicly, heroism is about love. Had Bran been presented as Arya’s most beloved brother, I would have been OK. But she never had a propper connection with Bran, it was all about Jon. So, there was only one way to make Arya kill the Night King in the right way: saving Jon. Instead, Arya got an ecouragement from a woman who had stripped her current boyfriend naked and leached his penis… Sorry, but that was absoluteley cheesy.

  364. Mr Derp,

    “I did not fight beside you on the field and I will regret that until my dying day. A man can only admit when he was wrong and ask forgiveness. House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years. (men murmur) And I will stand behind Jon Snow the King in the North!

    It would be hilarious. I would pay extra to see Lord Glover do this. I cannot tell you how hard I’m trying not to laugh right now at your comment because it would be bad for business.

  365. Boojam:
    There is a making of over on YouTube.
    Glad they explained something , in the sky fight Rhaegal tears some holes in Viserion’s face, I had wondered what was going on there with side-sprouting blue flame.

    Ah, thanks. Rewatching that scene I could see a chunk of something coming off of one of the dragons, but couldn’t make out what it was.

  366. So Arya deals the death blow to the Night King? That honestly isn’t the most satisfying fulfillment of the War for the Dawn story line. The show has been building up a showdown between Jon and the army of the dead. He’s been the champion for the living and ever since hardhome there was a clear foreshadowing of a Jon and Night king rivalry. Nothing about Aryas story seemed like it was leading her to this. Unless you read into all the themes of facing death as meaning facing the dead. But even that would be a stretch. The only real foreshadowing for this moment was done in the last two seasons.

  367. Tyrion Pimpslap: If all of the time spent on prophecies in the book was all just a giant red herring then I would lose a lot of respect for GRRM as a writer.

    Prophecies always are red-herrings in that that they always are ironic. Remember, the Dragon had three heads: and for all of the “Tyrion Targaryen” and other ideas, almost nobody guessed that it was Arya who was the third head of the Dragon. Melisandre already told us that the Prophecy referred to more than one person, and that both Jon and Daenerys were part of that. Well, now we can surmise that Arya was also a big part of it.

    One other thing to keep in mind about the Prophecy in the books: we keep being told that there is a prophecy, or a collection of related prophecies; we’ve never read even a single version of that prophecy.

  368. Pigeon:
    Jorah – my heart and my tie for #1 along with Sandor. I expected you dead for 4 seasons, and now you’ve gone and done it. Dammit, this will hurt for a long time. I’m glad he saw his gal Dany fighting tooth and nail with him. Iain, you can say more with your facial expressions than anyone I know.

    I saw this and thought of you and the other huge Jorah fans…

  369. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I wouldn’t worry. If we are honest with ourselves they went the action porn route of storytelling starting in season 6. I suspect George watched this episode rolling his eyes.

    I don’t know what to think regarding their multiple year claim that George gave them the ending. I won’t call them liars, but I find it difficult to believe George has decided the final big boss battle as Jon vs Euron. Remember the Night King does not exist in the books for Arya to kill, so I don’t see that ending the same way at all.

    I said higher in the thread I predict this as the most overrated TV Episode that will ever be made. The stunts, action, VFX, action direction are amazing and will never be topped in TV. Probably not even in most movies. However the actual storytelling left a lot to be desired.

  370. Jack Bauer 24,

    Mel said that the PTWP was supposed to be born amids smoke and that he was supposed to draw a sword from the fire (and that that sword would be Lightbringer). Now the Night King was killed with a dagger… Seriously?

  371. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I think he’ll have SOME moment due to the fact Benioff said (and I’m repeating myself but what the hell):

    Jon was the hero of the story and the one who’s in (?) the savior… but it just didn’t seem right to us for this moment

    It just implies that there may be another where his role as a hero might actually appear to be more within the lines of what they envisioned for the end. That being said there’s Apollo who keeps calling Benioff and Weiss liars on this specific thing (he likes to call it inconsistent because why not but it’s a lie). So I suppose we need to take that with a grain of salt.

  372. TormundsWoman

    “Jon Snow defeated the Night King!”

    Yeah, that’s how it would go. Failing upward. Being given credit for something that wasn’t presented on screen. Just like he “avenged the Red Wedding” despite them showing him fail in battle only to be saved by the Knights of the Vale. Some hero you got there, D&D.

    Okay. I need to count to ten…Bitterness isn’t healthy…

  373. Inga: Had Bran been presented as Arya’s most beloved brother, I would have been OK. But she never had a propper connection with Bran, it was all about Jon. So, there was only one way to make Arya kill the Night King in the right way: saving Jon. Instead, Arya got an ecouragement from a woman who had stripped her current boyfriend naked and leached his penis… Sorry, but that was absoluteley cheesy.

    How was that at all “cheesy?” And Arya did save Jon. She saved Sansa, Bran, Daenerys, the third Stark soldier on the right, etc. She saved Gendry. And she saved herself. She had all the motivation in the world to do what she did. And all of the Inner Michael Jordan, too!

    Looking back, this was foreshadowed going back to Season 1: what do we say to Death? Basically, Banging Gendry and Snuffing the NK were set up way back in 2011: and Arya has been an archetypal example of a protagonist with a lot of foreshadowing.

  374. Inga:
    Jack Bauer 24,

    Mel said that the PTWP was supposed to be born amids smoke and that he was supposed to draw a sword from the fire (and that that sword would be Lightbringer). Now the Night King was killed with a dagger… Seriously?

    She was wrong about Stannis too. She doesn’t always interpret everything correctly.

  375. Tyrion Pimpslap: Some hero you got there, D&D.

    Jon might be heroic, but he’s never a hero! GRRM has been telling us for 20 years that SoI&F is a rebuttal to stories that have heroes.

  376. Inga,

    Oh! You mean the same Melisandre that thought Stannis would be king? Because both in the show and the books it has been shown she’s infallible, right?

  377. Seth,

    Well none of these prophecies should ever be taken literally- as they’ve been passed down over millennia. So any interpretation would be a misinterpretation in itself. And we know that Mel has a shockingly bad track record of those interpretations.

    All this fluff about lightbringer being a sword, Melisandre being Nissa Nissa etc are prime examples of fandom misinterpretation

    So for that reason, I’m not gonna try and shoehorn Arya into those prophecies. Who knows- maybe AA and TPTWP were not necessarily destined to be “the only one” who defeats the powers of darkness? Maybe their role was simply to bring those forces together collectively, in a way that we as viewers have been enthralled by the last 2 weeks preceding the battle.

    Also, it’s important to keep in mind that Arya did not defeat the AOTD all on her own. It was a massive collaborative effort- again to our great delight. And the dragons (if we need a loose definition of lightbringer) took out a pretty huge proportion of the dead already.

  378. Jack Bauer 24: She was wrong about Stannis too. She doesn’t always interpret everything correctly.

    Nope. And the reason for that is made pretty clear, both on the show and in the books. R’hllor does not just implant knowledge of the future in its followers heads. Instead, it shows them signs and symbols. It is a lot like trying to guess what is going to be in a movie or on a TV show based on only trailers or even still photos.

    And we only have to look at how badly people here (and everywhere else) misinterpret the trailers and publicity stills for this show (and for Avengers and for the Harry Potter movies and for the Star Wars movies and for pretty much everything) to see how hard Melisandre’s job was.

  379. Just getting to some primary random thoughts/questions I remember while watching both times. It wasn’t a top favorite episode but I still thought it was great! These aren’t negative thoughts per se, just things that crossed my mind while watching:

    – First off, the trailer shot of someone grabbing a bow was nobody in particular. A lot of conversation on that for nothing. 🙂

    – Where the hell did Melisandre come from? Did she actually ride all the way around toward the aotd just so she could ride in like that!?

    – Flaming up the Dothraki weapons was cool as hell! I clapped for that!

    – If they had the distance dialed in for the trebuchets why did they wait until the Dothraki charged so they were only able to fire off a few rounds? Wouldn’t it have been better to just blanket the area with fire bombs for as long as they could to diminish the dead as much as possible? Seemed like a dumb plan for the Dothraki to charge regardless.

    – Where did Ghost go? Did they really kill him off like THAT!? Seeing the e4 preview I’m back to “where did he go” during the fighting?

    – As the aotd charged in Jon and Daenerys did a few flame strafing passes. Those alone should have wiped out thousands of the wight but it didn’t seem to make a difference. I mean, the wight were pretty much piled up against the living and barricades so one might think they could have roasted as many as half or more of them with just those passes alone.

    – The ‘wall of Winter’ was cool imo. Making it impossible for J&D to see anything made it more “realistic” that they couldn’t wipe out the aotd as quickly with dragons as one might think.

    – So Daenerys couldn’t see the signal to light the trench… Jon and Rhaegal were sitting on the wall right above the trench waiting for the NK. They show them as the trench fire spreads past them. Couldn’t Rhaegal have just given it a quick blast??

    – Bran “leaves” to fly around in some crows. After seeing the NK what was he doing the whole time?

    – Arya staff fighting was cool as hell. I wanted a bunch more of that!! Davos watching was brilliant. Also loved her crowd surfing roll down the stairwell and leap onto the roof.

    – I had a “told ya so” thought in my mind when Lyanna ate it. She didn’t belong in the fighting… and personally thought they gave her too big of a death scene for how minor the character was. I just do. I’d have preferred any of the others fighting in the courtyard to kill the giant over her — but actually live in doing so.

    – Arya running for her life was tense but in all honesty I still wasn’t afraid she’d die. Pretty damn lucky Beric and Sandor were there when she ended up on her back though. When Beric died I couldn’t help but think of how he was kept around this long to never give his life to resurrect somebody. When Melisandre mentioned Arya closing blue eyes I admit I was looking at Mel wondering if she had blue eyes. I took myself completely out of the meaning of their conversation. 😛

    – Rhaegal and Viserion fight was awesome, especially the shot from the godswood. Drogon kicked some ass this episode. Rhaegal was pretty good too. I figured he was dead as well until the e4 preview.

    – Jon was more scared to face the NK than I thought he’d be (before the dead rose).

    – crypt dead came to life after all. Are they going to run for the secret exit?? Nope

    – The rest of the episode was the most stressful with everything muted and seemingly moving in slow motion. It looked like that was when a bunch of our characters were going to die and I kept yelling at Jon to HURRY UP!! Get to the Night King!! (Again, not even thinking of Arya)

    – Sansa and Tyrion hiding made me think that if they do live in the end that they’ll stay together despite everything.

    – When Theon charged the NK I had to question if he might have lived had he simply stood next to Bran. Maybe the NK would have just flung him aside…

    – What was Jon doing when he stood to face Viserion? It looked more like he was simply giving up – ‘go ahead and roast me’

    – I saw the breeze blow the WW’s hair and him glancing back but still didn’t know what was happening. I wrote last night that my thoughts when the NK caught Arya were, “OH SHIT! NO!!” That was the only time during the series that I thought Arya was going to die. I was almost immediately prepared to be PISSED!!! But no… ASNAWP did what ASNAWP does!!! 😀

  380. Inga,

    There’s a difference between George Martin’s portrayal of women, and that of the show’s. Martin’s portrayal of women, and his subverting tropes, is meant to demonstrate that women have content of character, and are not just Disney damsels. That they too can function and respond to changing environments. I’m all for that. The show however is all advancing the plots of female characters as exposition for political power dynamics. Never mind that they seek to control and pretty much further the very system which claim would not let them choose what they want to be (that’s not at all hypocritical.)

    The purpose of this conclusion was to propel Arya’s character as an “empowered female” because the Night King had nothing do with her plot–only an indirect reference to a “God of Death” who the Faceless Men taught her had many faces. Not to mention, her embracing the philosophy of the Faceless Men would necessitate her being a supporter of Death, not an opponent, making her kill the Night King even more nonsensical.

  381. Apollo: Well none of these prophecies should ever be taken literally- as they’ve been passed down over millennia.

    Ah, but they should be taken literally, at least in stories. (Real world prophecies obviously are 100% bullshit.) In stories, prophecies almost always are true. The problem is that prophecies never come true in the way that people expect them to do: the seem to say one thing, but really mean another. (See “irony”!)

  382. Seth: There’s a difference between George Martin’s portrayal of women, and that of the show’s. Martin’s portrayal of women, and his subverting tropes, is meant to demonstrate that women have content of character, and are not just Disney damsels.

    Which is exactly how the show portrays them, oddly enough….

  383. Clob: Seemed like a dumb plan for the Dothraki to charge regardless.

    But that is how cavalry have always operated throughout real history, up until WWI. Even then, generals fought the war looking to get infantries to punch big enough holes in opposing trench lines so that they could (finally!) send in the cavalry. An amusing historical side-note is that one of the bigger loses of American soldiers in WWI came when such a hole was punched and the French sent their cavalry through: only to have them mowed down by the 2nd line of German machine guns. Many of the horses (being smarter than the generals) turned around and ran right over the American infantry men following them!

    Now, does it look stupid to us? Sure. But: 1) we’d seen the AotD and the Dothraki had not; and, 2) real humans with plenty of experience with machine gun fire still thought that cavalry charges were sound tactics. (And, of course, the show & books make it pretty plain that the Dothraki have a pretty strong superiority complex: they tend to believe that they are far superior warriors to everyone/thing else!)

  384. Apollo,

    Yes, interpretations can’t be taken literally, but that doesn’t mean they should be entirely ignored. They’re like rumors or stereotypes. Not to be taken literally but have just enough truth to warrant consideration. In what way, shape, or form does Arya fit into the prophecy? Not even a little bit.

    As for Arya not defeating the AOTD on her own, that’s where you’re wrong. The show was lazy and had the Night King act as base of command for every wight and White Walker. By killing the Night King, she did defeat the entire AOTD on her own, because the Night King had already raised the fallen by time he reached Bran. There was no collaboration. The show runners chose politics, over story. And that’s vexing.

  385. Seth,

    As much as some will be convinced this is the proper ending and will use anything to prove so. Your equally convinced it shouldnt be this way and talk just as much against it.
    In the end its a matter of taste and this one simply isnt your cup of tea. Theres no right or Wrong. Just the lucky ones and the unlucky ones.

  386. Dragonbringer,

    I really don’t understand all the hype about Sansa. What has she done? oh right! sent a raven to LF to get knights of vale. And why does Dany has to prove that she is sane time and again is what I don’t understand one bit. She went to rescue Jon.She came north, she fucking gave her armies, she fought on a dragon and hell she even wielded a sword. What did sansa do that is brilliant? sat and bitched about dany right at the moment where Dany was in the thick of the fighting.. All the people who say she has changed.. she didn’t you people.. she was selfish and she is selfish.

  387. Thanks Sue, you and Oz are the best – and now for the rest (of the recaps).

    WHOA MAMA, what a battle. Sue, I was queasy too; anxiety is a stinker even if it IS just HBO!

    Heros all. But I’m still a GO on Team Arya and yes, I did have a hunch she’d be the one who suckka punched the NK. Shame bell on him for his conceit! My big question is does this Arya victory make her the “Prince” (sic) who was promised????????? Hmmmmmm. PS, something tells me Cersei has more “green slime” surprises in store for KL before episode 6. Dragons and Mad King goo do not mix well and makes for a very ashy throne room, or so goes Dany’s old vision.

  388. Ginevra: I saw this and thought of you and the other huge Jorah fans…

    That was an excellent scene. I had thought it possible that Jorah would die saving his niece, which would have been one of those “45% correct” endings for him: he would have died restoring his honor within his house, and as both the show and books make really clear, that is everything to these people.

    But this was definitely the 55% correct and some extra credit. What made it work really well was how Daenerys was fighting to protect Jorah at the same time. (That was choreographed really well, too: she came across as someone with good innate talents for swordsmanship, but who was also completely untrained.)

    Having Drogon move in to snuggle Daenerys as she was mourning Jorah really capped the scene. If it were not for all of the botox treatments, I probably would have shed a tear or two….

  389. Seth: No it isn’t. Not for a while, at least.

    It was from the start. Indeed, the show even toned down some of the more “stereotypical” feminine aspects of Catelyn (who is much more of a shrew in the books) and Cersei (who is an even bigger idiot in the books than on the show). The only “damsel in distress” female of any prominence in either medium is Sansa. We do not know yet if Book!Sansa will stop doing that (she still was pretty much that in Crows), but my bet now is that she’ll step up her game there.

  390. Mr Derp,

    My guess is Glover was fighting. Just on the side of the AotD. Didn’t Tormond (or Ed) say that anyone who wasn’t at Winterfell by then was now in the AotD?

  391. Wimsey: Prophecies always are red-herrings in that that they always are ironic.Remember, the Dragon had three heads: and for all of the “Tyrion Targaryen” and other ideas, almost nobody guessed that it was Arya who was the third head of the Dragon.

    Because she wasn’t? The “dragon must have three heads” stuff has never even come up on the show.

    The Azor Ahai/TPWWP prophesies did, but the show’s resolution basically it. And Mel is suddenly acting like this was about Arya all along, which makes no sense at all given her past behaviour.

    The show’s presentation of the prophesies is hopelessly muddled. It’s all well and good to subvert understanding of a prophesy, but the events we see here don’t do that, they just ignore everything that was supposedly important before without explanation or understanding of where the subversion is. And with Melisandre, the only character shown to care about said prophesies, deceased, I don’t expect further clarification.

    Wimsey,

    Catelyn is not a “shrew”.

  392. Jack Bauer 24,

    Ah, that makes sense. To be honest, the episode really did not need that: it was horrific enough as it was. I was worried that giant ice spiders would look too Star Wars or too comical.

  393. Seth,

    Yes, but she didn’t get to that point (or indeed reach her destiny if we dare to call it that), without the help of all the others either directly (Beric, The Hound, Melisandre, Theon, Bran) or indirectly (all the other combatants). So a collaborative effort.

  394. Dragonbringer:
    Has anyone talked about

    1) how Dothraki were the ones who charged first…I know people will call that stupid move But it was done to create the dramatic effect needed for the TV ..but at least they were fearless and brave enough to face the unknown… where the northerners and westerosi stood ground they charged..so called foreigners..

    2) how it was Unsullied who stood ground while the northerners and westerosi and others retreated back to Wintrrfell.. so much for being foreigners..

    3) how dany being there on the field putting everything she had gained on the line and facing death is still not enough for some of them..

    4) I would like the writers to give me a reason why dragon fire would not harm NK or WW other than how it will be very easy…when you have killed a dragon by just a spear..

    5) Jorah IMO is the one true good advisor for dany …he doesn’t view himself as morally superior like the other advisors do nor does he keep throwing her father in on every turn she takes…he gave the facts as it is and let her be herself …that’s What made that team great..
    He left dany when he needed him the mostfirst during the Meereen arc and then now…

    I fear for dany on how she will be treated from now on…I do hope she just hops on her Drogon and take missandei and GW and Rhaegal and fly to naath and just stay there…

    Theon what a great way to go and what journey it has been for him…kudos to Alfie..

    Somehow one does wonder looking at the Dead how it was all who once stood against Starks…May be in the end it will be just stark kids and maybe tyrion jamie and Brienne..
    Iam sure many would love it..
    Sam should have stayed in the crypts..

    Shutout for missandei for saying the obvious out loud..

    I love emilia she is the one who came up with dany taking up a sword and defending herself and how dany can’t be a damsel in distress…
    She understands her character more than any other..

    I do hope Darrio comes up with his army after hearing about golden company coming to westeros..that would give dany the support she needs..

    I hate to say, but it bothered me a bit Jon’s precious northern people who gave the “foreigners” the stink eye.. has to hide behind the “foreigners” and I swear to God if Sansa gives one more snide remark about Dany… Sansa can go straight to hell.. she filling her grain store or not

  395. Move over Brienne. Arya is now the baddest chick in Westeros. Damn did she kill it this episode.

  396. Sean C.: The show’s presentation of the prophesies is hopelessly muddled.

    It was not “muddled”: it was simply not given undue prominence. Moreover, it is very possible that the Prophecy is a big Mt. Molehill: something that we fans built up over the years because, well, how many times could you argue about who Jon’s mother was or what LF was doing, etc, or speculating about whether Martin would finally release the next book this year?

    At this point, I strongly suspect that a lot of the things that we argued/discussed so much in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s was basically due to fans forgetting the proportions of things from the books. Oh, sure: every now and then we would reign ourselves in and discuss the things that really were prominent: but, again: how often could you discuss those over and over again?

  397. Pigeon:
    Does everyone here realize that Pod’s power is unlimited? Everyone in that room in Episode 2 survived the AOTD. Therefore, it is obvious that his singing is immunity to death. Take heed.

    Gods, old and new! You’ve got it!

    Let’s have Pod sing to all the troops before they march to face Cersei and the elephants*.

    *no elephants.

  398. Seth,

    I really do not think Arya will be the one to kill the Others’ main dude in the novels. She’s awesome, I love her, no one has her skill but as you mentioned, the books have been telling us otherwise. It was Frodo’s job to destroy the ring and though Sam did a lot of the heavy lifting, Frodo was still the one to destroy the ring. It was Harry Potter’s job to end Tom Riddle and despite the fact that Hermione was the MVP for much of that journey, it was still Harry Potter who dueled TR. Predictable sure but true to what was laid in the long journey to the battle. This particular fight is Jon’s and failing that is Bran or Daenerys. Unless something changes course greatly in the sixth novel, everything before that has given us clues about who are the likely sacrificial “heroes” in this story. Now it could be that we are all for a big surprise come the sixth novel if it ever comes but as of right now I will still hold to my belief that the Others’ killer will be someone other than Arya. Though in the context of the episode’s predicament, Arya was really the only one who could have pulled that off.

  399. Sue: were you watching this along with me? Because I had exactly the same feelings that you had!! I swear I embraced my knees and chewed a cushion for 80 minutes, and then needed about 5 hours to calm down…

    I stayed away from Internet all day long to prevent any leaks, and was doing exceedingly well until 20 minutes before the episode started, and then I felt all the nerves and pain in my stomach and my heart was beating uncontrollably. It all paid off, because, despite all the criticisms, no other show I’ve ever seen has made me feel this invested, nervous, excited, sorry, worried, scared, screaming at the TV, fist-pumping when Arya did the trick, crying like a baby with Dolorous Edd’s, Theon’s and Lyana’s deaths…, cringing at the fact that we may have lost all the characters in one episode, fearing the last 3 episodes would be of Cersei drinking with a smug smile in her face only interrupted by the disgust of having to deal with Euron.

    I’ve heard criticisms about the episode (too dark, too confusing, they killed the NK too quickly, the fact that it was Arya and not Jon or Dany who killed him, not enough important deaths, etc. etc, etc. ). I respect their opinions, though do not share most of the. This season I decided to savour it, to let the show surprise me. I got rid of the tin foil hat and I’m just living the experience. And it has been great.
    I seriously recommend it. It’s the last season. No matter what anyone else would have done if they directing instead of Sapochnik (by the way MY HERO!!!!) there is no going back and every time you take the eye from the ball, looking for the missing parts, is time you will miss not living the final moments…

    In doing so, I have become even more appreciative and thankful with D&D and the amazing team that produces GoT, because even the most devoted fans and analysts got surprised by something yesterday!

  400. BranStark: I hate to say, but it bothered me a bit Jon’s precious northern people who gave the “foreigners” the stink eye.. has to hide behind the “foreigners” and I swear to God if Sansa gives one more snide remark about Dany… Sansa can go straight to hell.. she filling her grain store or not

    But, again: when have people ever not been like that? Moreover, insofar as Sansa knows, Daenerys is just another member of the family that had her grandfather & uncle brutally executed and her aunt kidnapped & raped. She’s from a world in which the sins of the father are held against the son (or daughter/sister).

    Martin has his faults as a writer, but one thing he does that most fantasy writers do not do is have people show normal human flaws. Northerners basically are xenophobic people (like just about everyone else!): why would they trust these foreigners?

    Now, if Sansa continues to give Daenerys “stink-eye” after this, then we should start questioning her motives and character. We won’t know until next week. (Even then, a big part might be what she learns concerning Jon’s parentage and the actual history.)

  401. Wimsey,

    Yes, indeed, it was muddled. The show gave cursory outlines of the Azor Ahai/TPWWP mythology, then ignored it in resolving the story in a way that sheds no light as to what we’re supposed to take from any of it. Melisandre was talking about being “born amid salt and smoke” since Season 2, for instance — so what was that about?

    And this is certainly not a molehill in the books. The prophesies are hugely important to the backstory of the series (it’s very central to R+L=J, for instance, which the show dropped entirely), and interpreting those prophesies drives the action of a number of characters, and looks to drive moreso in coming books.

  402. Wimsey,

    I’m simply going by D&D’s own words in the inside the episode video. They said Jon is the hero of the story. I’m saying if that’s the case they’ve done a poor job of showing it.

    Regarding prophecy and Chekhov’s Arya, there is nothing in her story in the books at all related to the prophecies GRRM wove throughout them. One quote from Syrio does not constitute a gun being hung. IMO. It is trying to shoehorn meaning and reason behind Arya being the one who defeats the Others.

    There is misinterpreting prophecies and then there is going so far out of the blue to have made any discussion of them worthless. The Ghost Of High Heart was proven to have been correct in all of her other prophecies. Now you are telling me that the biggest one she made, the one that had the biggest impact on the series and what spurred so much of the events in it, was just completely wrong? In the end, AA Reborn/TpwwP did not come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella. Because that’s the role Arya played. For the purposes of the show, the one that killed the Night King is the one who defeated the Others and brought the dawn. That was Arya. She is AA Reborn.

    That gun most certainly was not hung.

  403. Her past behaviour, where she was convinced for years Stannis was TPTWP, then Jon, then she switched to Dany (albeit watering it down to saying she has a part to play in the wars to come)?

    So Mel’s a flipper- we know this and have for quite some time. Or maybe she’s simply managed to finally connect all the dots.

    Sean C.,

    And Mel is suddenly acting like this was about Arya all along, which makes no sense at all given her past behaviour.

  404. Wimsey: Indeed, the show even toned down some of the more “stereotypical” feminine aspects of Catelyn (who is much more of a shrew in the books) and Cersei (who is an even bigger idiot in the books than on the show). The only “damsel in distress” female of any prominence in either medium is Sansa.We do not know yet if Book!Sansa will stop doing that (she still was pretty much that in Crows), but my bet now is that she’ll step up her game there.

    Are you out to annoy us today? Why would you say Cat was a shrew stereotype in the books?! Or more of one? What books did you read? Was it the same ones I did? Please mention specific instances where her actions would be considered as such (you know, shrew like) and where if she’s be a man’s would not be considered as advice. Sometimes even sound advice.

    I swear sometimes I think you’re doing these things on purpose.

  405. Disaya,

    It may appear pointless to you because it’s not your point you’re defending. Will this change, at all, the show’s conclusion of the battle? No. I never claimed that, nor did I pretend at that. I’m saying that it’s nonsense. And for the time being, those who try to ex-post-facto a justification for this nonsense will be met with a response.

  406. With the army of the dead finished, the Dothraki and the Unsullied wiped out almost in their entirety, what exactly is the motivation for the North (outside of Jon doing “stupid things for women” and commanding it) to continue to allow Dany to laud her Queenly title over them and order them to now win her the throne from Cersei in another do or die battle? They can now tell her to stuff it – they didn’t sign on to get her the Iron Throne. They signed on to save themselves and humanity against the dead. Seems like they will all have to love her now for helping them? Or will she will win them over by proclaiming the North free forever (as Sansa wanted) once they help her get rid of Cersei. What other reason could there be for the North to fight again after that last nightmare?

    Just wondering out loud.

  407. Ginevra,

    “She finally realizes and it’s too late.”
    Yeah I can see this effecting Dany intensely. Here is this man who stood by her, never doubted her, always protected her and died for her.
    In a way, Jorah was her heart. The way he saw her and reminded her of who she really was.
    I think the aftermath of this battle is going to have an impact on several relationships, especially hers.

  408. Wimsey: But, again: when have people ever not been like that?Moreover, insofar as Sansa knows, Daenerys is just another member of the family that had her grandfather & uncle brutally executed and her aunt kidnapped & raped.She’s from a world in which the sins of the father are held against the son (or daughter/sister).

    Martin has his faults as a writer, but one thing he does that most fantasy writers do not do is have people show normal human flaws.Northerners basically are xenophobic people (like just about everyone else!): why would they trust these foreigners?

    Now, if Sansa continues to give Daenerys “stink-eye” after this, then we should start questioning her motives and character.We won’t know until next week.(Even then, a big part might be what she learns concerning Jon’s parentage and the actual history.)

    What bothered me much is even in this episode.. she saw dothraki perish.. she saw the threat.. and she saw dany and jon charging on the back of the dragons.. and she has the audacity to sit and talk about loyalties towards “the dargon queen” it just looks like envy to me…

  409. Apollo,

    Then why didn’t she just stay in the Godswood with Bran? Ultimately the Night King would’ve made his way to Bran. (They even planned for it.) Was it all for the “shock” that Arya was “set up” as way back as nine episodes prior to kill the Night’s King?

  410. Wimsey,
    Yeah, I get all that… This wasn’t a living on living battle like our history to start though and it wasn’t in daylight when they can see what they’re doing and have some kind of back-up or know when they need to retreat and to where. I might have felt differently if it was daylight. Even with flaming swords it would have been pretty impossible to see what’s going on. I also don’t think the wight have a problem seeing in the dark, or need to anyway. The Dothraki are suppose to be great on the open field on horseback, but everyone should have known this was different and they would be vastly outnumbered. The result wasn’t surprising. At the very least maybe they should have had fires burning across the area so they’d at least have some light to start instead of looking into pitch black…

  411. Aegon the IceDragon,

    She really did. Watching through it again, and knowing how Miguel likes to decide “who’s story he’s telling”, it seems clear that this episode was predominantly Arya’s story and despite my feelings about other parts of the episode and other characters, Maisie really did nail it. Her fight scenes, the library, and her running–honestly so much reminded me of KL Syrio stuff that when Mel said that line, it felt right.

  412. Seth: With not prior experience in any major battles, she’s the one to pull off a “clutch” maneuver.

    Arya was trained to be an assassin. This is what she did here. Makes sense to me.

  413. Direwolf Lvr:
    With the army of the dead finished, the Dothraki and the Unsullied wiped out almost in their entirety, what exactly is the motivation for the North (outside of Jon doing “stupid things for women” and commanding it) to continue to allow Dany to laud her Queenly title over them and order them to now win her the throne from Cersei in another do or die battle? They can now tell her to stuff it – they didn’t sign on to get her the Iron Throne. They signed on to save themselves and humanity against the dead. Seems like they will all have to love her now for helping them? Or will she will win them over by proclaiming the North free forever (as Sansa wanted) once they help her get rid of Cersei. What other reason could there be for the North to fight again after that last nightmare?

    Just wondering out loud.

    Also please remind me why Dothraki and Unsullied has to fight for the Xenophobic mob? right because Dany thought about north too..And why does she not have her army now?
    She could have easily played GOT with cersei… there is no pleasing you guys.. as far as Dany is concerned…

  414. BUT… ARYA a trained killer, better than everyone.. WHY does she scream out LOUD before attacking the NK??? She tells him she is there!

  415. Juri:
    BranStark,

    You are hilarious!

    That I am.. but aren’t the people who stood in the van guard are from ESSOS? saving northerner’s asses? and guarding their retreat?

  416. Poor Dothraki. The Unsullied became the forefront of Dany’s army in part of Grey Worm. He’s a recognizable face and a fan favorite. Seems like the Dothraki got the short end of the stick and they never tried building Qhono up as someone to care about. Also seems like their numbers diminished and the army should have been bigger? It’s like they didn’t know what to do with them so they just threw them head on into the AotD and exterminated the problem.

  417. Danny: t was Frodo’s job to destroy the ring and though Sam did a lot of the heavy lifting, Frodo was still the one to destroy the ring. It was Harry Potter’s job to end Tom Riddle and despite the fact that Hermione was the MVP for much of that journey, it was still Harry Potter who dueled TR.

    These are very different stories. LotR is completely different from either GoT or Harry Potter in that the story is completely plot-driven with no protagonists; Frodo’s job was not to destroy the Ring, but to heroically get the Ring to the place where Eru (god) would provide a nice Eucatastrophe (= Deus ex Machina to everyone other than Tolkien) to get rid of it.

    Harry Potter is much more similar to SoI&F in that it is character driven, but Rowling & Martin follow very different modern literary theory. Rowling really follows the school honed by Dickens (Harry Potter has been called “David Copperfield with Magic” by a lot of people), whereas Martin really follows the school honed by Tolstoy and (more recently) Faulkner. The former school produces a lot more single protagonist stories such as Harry Potter: and when Harry is the only protagonist, then you know that it’s going to be Harry who walks out to the forest at the end. The latter school frequently uses multiple protagonists: and that means that any one of the protagonists can be the one that winds up doing the equivalent of stabbing the NK.

    So, there is no reason to think that it will not be Arya: and all of the stuff from the show foreshadowing that it would be her (which, given 20/20 hindsight, seem obvious now!) is from the books. There are, after all, 5 or 6 primary protagonists in the story (6 to be certain on the TV series; Sansa really has not met the criteria for being a primary protagonists in the books so far, but Martin intimates that will be case.)

  418. Jack Bauer 24: Also seems like their numbers diminished and the army should have been bigger? It’s like they didn’t know what to do with them so they just threw them head on into the AotD and exterminated the problem.

    That was a pretty damn big cavalry in front of the Unsullied. However, “they didn’t now what to do with them so they just threw them head on into the INSERT OPPOSING ARMY HERE” was more or less the standard operating procedure with cavalry until WWI ended. (Humans really are quite dumb!)

  419. BranStark,

    Yeah I actually think Dany could get a lot of credit and backing now. I mean, she came and her army died for the North and her dragons were injured and she nearly died herself.
    Songs will be sung about flaming swords, the red priestess and the dragon queen. The long night of ice and fire.
    From a PR perspective, she has a much better chance of winning over the people now than she did when she landed on Dragonstone.

  420. Clob: If they had the distance dialed in for the trebuchets why did they wait until the Dothraki charged so they were only able to fire off a few rounds? Wouldn’t it have been better to just blanket the area with fire bombs for as long as they could to diminish the dead as much as possible? Seemed like a dumb plan for the Dothraki to charge regardless.

    I think the point of using artillery like that is to break the enemy lines, so that the cavalry can splinter the enemy forces. Clearly it didn’t work. I think once the Dothraki had obviously been wiped out, they should’ve begun firing at will. Presumably the producers thought it’d ruin the tension of waiting for the wall of wights to appear.

    Clob: So Daenerys couldn’t see the signal to light the trench… Jon and Rhaegal were sitting on the wall right above the trench waiting for the NK. They show them as the trench fire spreads past them. Couldn’t Rhaegal have just given it a quick blast??

    Jon landed on the wall of the godswood. Presumably he couldn’t see the signal and he can’t just light it up without warning.

  421. I guess there’s at least one positive result of the war… Sansa probably doesn’t have to worry about not having enough food to feed everyone through winter. 😛

    And on that… Is it going to become summer now that the NK’s magic has been destroyed/dissipated?

  422. Seth,

    I’m not sure I understand the question.

    Arya didn’t know what she was supposed to do until Mel gave her a pretty strong hint and reminded her of her abilities. At which point the penny immediately dropped (for her and for me too), and off she went.

    It’s interesting I guess, because both Dany and Jon have had their destiny’s built up to have some significance (which they surely have in the wider story), and both have a varying degree of awareness of their apparent roles to play.

    But here we have little Arya, who for the sake of argument had no inkling of any special destiny and yet she stumbled across it almost accidentally (although it’s clear now it was far from accidental).

    Sometimes stuff just happens, unexpectedly – that have far reaching implications.

  423. Clob: I guess there’s at least one positive result of the war… Sansa probably doesn’t have to worry about not having enough food to feed everyone through winter.

    See?! There’s always a silver lining!

  424. Look, all of those boring Arya training episodes finally paid off. I love that the true destiny of her skills is not to avenge her family BUT to protect it.

  425. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: Jon landed on the wall of the godswood. Presumably he couldn’t see the signal and he can’t just light it up without warning.

    I guess that’s a bit of an explanation. Still, people were yelling to light the trench and shooting flaming arrows at it all along the walls. One would think he’d at least hear all that and figure it out. *shrug*

  426. Iul:

    I’m sorry, but Arya just became someone ! Didn’t she ?

    No need to be sorry :-). After years of childhood PTSD, she started rehabilitating after Lady Crane’s ministrations. But ‘unfinished business’ caused setbacks, especially last season when she had to be undercover as No One to defeat the nefarious Littlefinger with Bran and Sansa’s help. Only this year has she been able to do truly progress. I think the process is almost complete…thanks to sibling love (Jon), romantic love (Gendry), and renewed friendship (Sandor). Yesterday we saw her break down at Beric’s death and then vanquish the greatest foe of all. She told SAnsa Ned had approved of the secret archery practice because he knew she was becoming what she was meant to be. And yesterday, she proved beyond question her worth as a warrior. She really is someone now.

    Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,


    Arya was never a badass at the beginning other than being a tomboy. She wasn’t a badass at all until the Faceless Men taught her how to be an assassin. They maybe could have showed that off more than they did, but until she trained for however many months (years?) she was a girl with an attitude.

    Try convincing Tywin LAnnister and Jaqen that the girl who out=thought them and survived just had attitude. Or Melisandre that the girl who grabbed her and declared, “You’re a witch! You’re going to hurt him.” wasn’t brave. Or Sandor,who she called the “worst shit in Westeros” for harming that father and Sally. Sandor learned she was right. There were others too. That was all pre-Braavos.

  427. Still mulling over the episode, remembering a few moments. Things, pictures that have stuck in my mind since first watch.

    Theon reaching for another arrow, grabbing thin air, all the arrows gone.

    That was so poignant. A metaphor for the living losing the battle against the dead.

    But he didn’t give up. The living didn’t give up.

    He done good. Ned, Yara would be proud. Most of all, I think Theon himself could be proud. He did everything he possibly could. He died before knowing he paved the way for Arya and ultimate victory.

    Another visual I really liked was the all lit up Dothraki horde riding out. It looked beautiful, hopeful, especially great from Jon & Dany’s vantage point. But even better, storywise, cinematographically, was seeing it from the ground level… and seeing all those lights go out. That really hit me, and all the characters. Great cinematographic storytelling. (And a great way of solving the budget, practical and CGI problems of having horses in a battle.)

    Spare a thought to the Dothraki people. Most of their fighting age men are now dead, following a magical foreigner to a foreign continent to die an icy death. I suppose the Free Cities won’t be threatened by Dothraki attacks anytime soon. That’s kind of a good thing, isn’t it?

  428. Will post my review later. Too much to do at work, but I enjoyed the episode quite a bit. Was a bit disappointed with a few things too, but mostly good.

  429. Lady MarMar:
    trarecar,

    But Jon is not a heroic character, is he? He is goodhearted but not very bright, not quick of thought – it would be like him to plod straight ahead and valiantly fight someone who has his “honor” mindset, but against a truly clever and dastardly opponent, he just doesn’t have the brain.Arya was exactly the right choice, she’s almost as smart as Sansa, and way better trained at assassination than Jon.I love Jon, too, of course, who couldn’t?, but I do not admire him as the hero of the piece.

    John is absolutely a heroic character. Have you not watched the show for the last almost 8 seasons? I’m still not sure what makes Sansa or Arya “smart” or smarter.

    Jon risked everything, including his crown, to join forces to defeat the NK. Hes killed White Walkers and faced the NK twice.

    Arya was trained to be a faceless man. What else has she done? Sansa isn’t really all that smart frankly. What has she actually done of her own accord that is important?

    I loved the episode and can rationalize the way they used Arya to kill the NK but it was disappointing too.

  430. Juri:
    BranStark,

    They were Dany’s cannon fodder all along… be it in Essos, King’s Landing or the North.

    Juri:
    BranStark,

    They were Dany’s cannon fodder all along… be it in Essos, King’s Landing or the North.

    still.. she need not use them to save north… even after that Sansa has a problem with Dany.. I would think Sansa is just envious of Dany…

  431. Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,

    Sansa hype is tooooooooo painful to watch actually… I think… just because they had altered her story and fans were pissed that she had to be with Ramsey… they wanted to make her look strong.. instead she comes off as a shallow person… who really emulates Cersei and LF(read envy and bitching) rather than have stark values..

  432. How it went when the wights attacked, breached the walls and ran amuck inside was spot on with my imagination. Before that though I really thought the WW would be out there fighting, cutting down people with ease, including a few of our major characters. Didn’t everybody expect that? I really didn’t think they’d continue with their lazy-ass approach of doing nothing until their grand entrance. Huh

  433. Stark Raven' Rad: No need to be sorry :-). After years of childhood PTSD, she started rehabilitating after Lady Crane’s ministrations. But ‘unfinished business’ caused setbacks, especially last season when she had to be undercover as No One to defeat the nefarious Littlefinger with Bran and Sansa’s help.Only this year has she been able to do truly progress.I think the process is almost complete…thanks to sibling love (Jon), romantic love (Gendry), and renewed friendship (Sandor).Yesterday we saw her break down at Beric’s death and then vanquish the greatest foe of all.She told SAnsa Ned had approved of the secret archery practice because he knew she was becoming what she was meant to be.And yesterday, she provedbeyond question her worth as a warrior.She really is someone now.

    Ser Brocolli McBrocolliface,


    Arya was never a badass at the beginning other than being a tomboy. She wasn’t a badass at all until the Faceless Men taught her how to be an assassin. They maybe could have showed that off more than they did, but until she trained for however many months (years?) she was a girl with an attitude.

    Try convincing Tywin LAnnister and Jaqen that the girl who out=thought them and survived just had attitude.Or Melisandre that the girl who grabbed her and declared, “You’re a witch!You’re going to hurt him.” wasn’t brave.Or Sandor,who she called the “worst shit in Westeros” for harming that father and Sally.Sandor learned she was right.There were others too.That was all pre-Braavos.

    Arya killed Tywin? She allowed Jaqen to make her blind and forced him to give her her sight back? Give me a break.

    Having an attitude and being brave doesnt make you a badass. Before her Faceless Man experience she could have been killed at any moment. It wasnt her immense smarts or badassness that kept her alive.

    I can accept she was trained to be an assassin even though she never actually became a Faceless Man, but don’t make things up.

  434. Clob,

    Yeah I was super disappointed about that TBH. I’d have liked to see some standoff with them and the Valyrian swordsmen/women.

    And now that I think on it.. where was my wight Hodor??

  435. RG,
    Some one sent me this today ” Daenerys and Jon continue to suggest that neither is ready to rule anything, from a brainpower standpoint. She just sat there on a grounded Drogon until the wights swarmed him like undead fleas. Later Jon stood up and squared off against an actual zombie dragon, only to be saved by Arya. Good job, Targaryens”

    And the person knows full well that I would be pissed after reading this… like robbing the heroes of what they have achieved so far based on small mis steps and giving Sansa undue credit me… gives me Rage……… unlike anything .. but then.. when I think of it.. they just really wanted to make sure that I get pissed.. so..

  436. Clob:
    I guess there’s at least one positive result of the war…Sansa probably doesn’t have to worry about not having enough food to feed everyone through winter.😛

    And on that…Is it going to become summer now that the NK’s magic has been destroyed/dissipated?

    Looks like it’s already summer in KL anyway lol.

  437. I understand why a lot of people wanted Jon to be the one to kill the NK. Almost everyone was probably expecting that. I certainly was and that’s why I kept yelling for him to hurry up and get to him. However, had we gotten that would it have been a better scene? All I can imagine is him running in there and squaring up with the NK. What we’d have then is basically another generic sword fight with one fighter decidedly stronger. The beat up and exhausted Jon somehow besting the NK who wasn’t the least bit fatigued, if that was even possible for him, wouldn’t have felt very realistic. Maybe Arya’s scenario wasn’t much different, but I don’t think Jon’s would have been better.

  438. What if find of this episode, difficult. As for a stand-alone episode I will give this a 10. It was perfect from beginning to end. Even the defeat of the NK is amazing. The emotion. I cried with Theon. But I have some small problems that is more concerned of the whole show/ last season instead of this episode:
    1. The WW treat: It felt short. We got 1 scene in 8×01 and that’s it. And in this episode the WW itself didn’t do much, only the wights. I think hardhome was more epic that way.
    2. The defeat of the NK lowers my excitement for next week.
    3. The dead felt to un-GRRM and D&D are still doing his work.

    Still perfect episode, with the small “mistakes” which are more my interpretation, it still a sold 9,5/10.

    And big praise to Wimsey to understand that the NK would be defeated here.

    Mr Derp:
    If Lord Glover comes out now and says “I did not fight beside you on the field and I will regret that until my dying day.A man can only admit when he was wrong and ask forgiveness.House Glover will stand behind House Stark as we have for a thousand years. (men murmur) And I will stand behind Jon Snow the King in the North!” then Jon should just behead him right there and be done with it.

    That would be the most funny scene out there if that happen. I can see it happen, and that the camera zoom in on the faces of Jon, Dany, Arya, Sansa and Bran.

  439. Clob:
    I understand why a lot of people wanted Jon to be the one to kill the NK.Almost everyone was probably expecting that.I certainly was and that’s why I kept yelling for him to hurry up and get to him.However, had we gotten that would it have been a better scene?All I can imagine is him running in there and squaring up with the NK.What we’d have then is basically another generic sword fight with one fighter decidedly stronger.The beat up and exhausted Jon somehow besting the NK who wasn’t the least bit fatigued, if that was even possible for him, wouldn’t have felt very realistic.Maybe Arya’s scenario wasn’t much different, but I don’t think Jon’s would have been better.

    Only problem I had was that the WW’s did nothing. They were window dressing. Didn’t even hack any redshirts on the way to the Godswood? I don’t know how Arya got by all the generals without any commotion?

  440. Does anyone even care about Euron at this point? After all that we’re shifting to KL with the last 2 big bads being Cersei and Euron. Yuck. After facing the AotD and the NK, are we supposed to be fearful of the Golden Company? With no elephants at that.

  441. Jack Bauer 24: Does anyone even care about Euron at this point? After all that we’re shifting to KL with the last 2 big bads being Cersei and Euron. Yuck. After facing the AotD and the NK, are we supposed to be fearful of the Golden Company? With no elephants at that.

    Without elephants The Golden Company are mullets!

  442. Oh yeah, and a couple of other visual moments that stay with me.

    Dany dracarysed the Night King, and he smiled. Looked smug. So we know he’s sentient, has thoughts and feelings.

    Which leads to the Night King/Bran standoff. They look each other in the eye. And the Night King tilts his head slightly. Some communication passed there. It was almost as if they shared a moment, understood each other. Almost as if the Night King was the man he used to be for a moment, with his human desires and conflicts, his hates and loves. His terrible fate at the hands of the Children of the Forest. Bran understood him.

    That moment didn’t last, of course, he goes for his icy weapon… and super ninja assassin warrior princess puts an end to his suffering.

  443. Jack Bauer 24,
    In the preview we have Daenerys still sitting in a queenly position and giving a speech to cheers about ripping Cersei out of KL. I’m just hoping that there are some private discussions before all of that, specifically between J&D to figure things out, as well as with the others in the know (we do know J&D still have that fireplace exchange coming). Fighting together and surviving the aotd together would seemingly get everyone more on the same side don’t ya think? Band of Brothers stuff and all that…

  444. About the characters:
    Last week I gave Sansa the win over Dany because she was half right, what about the north?
    But in this episode sorry, my win goes to Missandei. How much I agree with Sansa to become independent. Come on Dany is fighting her ass off for her and almost died for her. (Did drogon and Rheagal die? that was not clear to me). And at that moment Sansa utter that to Tyrion. Sorry Sansa you were right in episode 1 and 2, but wrong in this episode.

    tNCMVP (The non combative MVP) is Missandei in this episode.
    I liked that moment between Sansa and Tyrion later on.

    ps did ghost and Gendry die?

    Jack Bauer 24: Only problem I had was that the WW’s did nothing. They were window dressing. Didn’t even hack any redshirts on the way to the Godswood? I don’t know how Arya got by all the generals without any commotion?

    +1 I expected them to do something, they should have had a white walker in the library scene.

  445. Jack Bauer 24,

    No, but I’m not expecting it to be the good guys vs bad guys ending. But I didn’t expect Jon,Dany, and Bran to be so sidelined in the final battle with the NK. My only reason for hope is that the remaining episodes will hew closer to GRRM’s imagination of the ending, as they’ve said all along.

  446. One thing I love is that we don’t know where this story is going next – other than into another war with Cersei. I should rephrase that; we know where the story is going next in very general terms, but we don’t know how it’s going to get there. I am now intrigued by the character implications from yesterday’s episode.

    Arya – How will the saviour of humanity be treated? With reverence? Will she garner a following of her own? Will her actions even become public knowledge?

    Jon – Will he conversely lose the devotion of those who follow him, seeing as he was pretty ineffective in that battle and now the war with the dead is over, what is going to be his driving force and motivation? And will he be questioning why he was brought back from death to flail about on a dragon and then be held captive by an undead dragon for the entirety of the battle. (Sorry, still hurting about how he was written in this episode, don’t mean to be sarcastic).

    Dany – Is she still going to be inflexible and unmovable in her claims to the iron throne knowing her armies are wiped out? Will she accept that her lover is actually her nephew and the claim to the throne she has believed is hers these past eight seasons is actually his? Will she care? Or go full conquerer? It looks from the preview like she is pretty popular with that northern gathering. Maybe they finally realise that she saved their asses by bringing them the canon fodder and the giant flying distractions that held off the dead long enough for Arya to knife the NK.

    Sansa – Will she finally show Dany respect and appreciation for saving them? And possibly let go her ‘What about the North?’ mission when she realises that most (or at least half) of the population of the north is decimated and they haven’t got enough survivors to stand as an independent kingdom?

    Tyrion – Will he finally make up for his mistakes and come up with a beautifully intelligent way out for our heroes to defeat Cersei? Will he be the valonquar after all or will it be another twist?

    Jaime and Brienne – Will they finally just do it already?!

    I am yet to rewatch last night’s episode and I am really not feeling it right now. I think tiredness (as I only got about an hour’s sleep afterwards as my youngest decided to start crying for the remainder of the ‘night’ after I had crawled into bed at 4am) is making me feel more emotional about this than I will come tomorrow. Right now I’m still feeling really confused. It was a spectacle to be sure and a thrill to watch. When Arya first stabbed the NK I was so relieved and moved, but soon afterwards I started to feel a deep sense of loss for Jon’s arc. I am not at all optimistic for his future in this show. I love his book character, but this Jon is almost unrecognisable to me and I fear it’s about to get worse.

    I’m feeling a lot less excited for the episodes to come than I was before yesterday. I’m more intrigued, but less excited, if that makes sense?

    I’m hoping I feel differently after some sleep and a rewatch of three.

  447. Jack Bauer 24:
    Does anyone even care about Euron at this point? After all that we’re shifting to KL with the last 2 big bads being Cersei and Euron. Yuck. After facing the AotD and the NK, are we supposed to be fearful of the Golden Company? With no elephants at that.

    But we have Euron Greyjoy’s huge cock (as he stated in 6×05), that should count for something.
    Still I think Cersei preferred those Elephants.

  448. Clob:
    Jack Bauer 24,
    In the preview we have Daenerys still sitting in a queenly position and giving a speech to cheers about ripping Cersei out of KL.I’m just hoping that there are some private discussions before all of that, specifically between J&D to figure things out, as well as with the others in the know (we do know J&D still have that fireplace exchange coming).Fighting together and surviving the aotd together would seemingly get everyone more on the same side don’t ya think?Band of Brothers stuff and all that…

    There’s still the whole Aegon bombshell to sort out between them and I’m hoping to see Arya and Sansa learn about it and what their reactions will be. 804 is an hour and 18 minutes, so they have a lot of time with no battles. There doesn’t need to be much time in KL until they all get there. We’ll see that scene with Cersei overlooking the GC and I guess a potential wedding with Euron. I guess with the dragons recovering they won’t be able to blitz KL straight away, because does the GC really stand a chance any other way? They are human, so they can literally roast them all. Seems like too easy a battle compared to the AotD.

  449. Clob:
    Jack Bauer 24,
    In the preview we have Daenerys still sitting in a queenly position and giving a speech to cheers about ripping Cersei out of KL.I’m just hoping that there are some private discussions before all of that, specifically between J&D to figure things out, as well as with the others in the know (we do know J&D still have that fireplace exchange coming).Fighting together and surviving the aotd together would seemingly get everyone more on the same side don’t ya think?Band of Brothers stuff and all that…

    “We gain our friends on the battlefield.” So I would think J & D would have even more to share now.

  450. As for the complain that Arya doesn’t fit the PtWP prohecy, that’s because she wasn’t the PtWP. Didn’t people listen to what Missandei said to Sansa.

    It was still Dany who was the PtWP. Without her the NK would have destroyed Westeros completely. Yes Arya gave the final blow, but it was Dany who did the most work here. She burned half of the army of dead in the first 5 minutes. Her armies made sure the northerners could survive. Which made sure the hound and Beric were in the castle walls. Which made sure Arya survived the library exit. Etc.

    And at the same time it’s Jon. He got Dany there.

    Che,

    +1 about the intrigued and excited. Same as you.

  451. kevin1989: Come on Dany is fighting her ass off for her

    First it’s “Jon’s war”, now she is fighting especially for Sansa? No. Dany fights for her own selfish reasons, because she wants to sit her ass on the IT.

    Apart from that, she only told Tyrion that there’d be a conflict of interest. Missandei going all Dany stan made me chuckle.

  452. kevin1989,

    The multi-person solution to the prophesy of AA and PtWP prophesies seems to have come true. It was never going to be just one person.

    Jon raised the alarm and died to get people to pay attention and save themselves. He forced people to pay attention and focus on the real threat to humanity and in so doing, managed to secure the biggest ally they needed to defeat the dead. Without him, no one would have known and all would be dead.

    Dany brought with her the armies (cannon fodder) and her dragons (weapons of mass destruction) to engage the AOTD in battle to ensure it wasn’t just a fell swoop through Winterfell over and done with within moments. She sacrificed all her power to end the Great War. Without her, everyone would have joined the Night King’s army within minuets of the dead swarming over Winterfell.

    Given time to do so by Dany’s sacrifices and after heeding advice by Mel, Arya struck the killing blow to the Night King, ending the threat once and for all. Without Arya everyone would have died at Winterfell and the NK would have easily taken the 7 Kingdoms and won.

    Looking at it this way does make me feel so much better about the whole thing. I still don’t think it’ll go down like this in the books (largely due to the absence of the NK figurehead), but I feel those three will probably all be involved in similar roles.

    I think I need to accept this to be able to move on and enjoy the rest of the series. And I soooo want to.

  453. I have such mixed feelings.

    I kind of wish D&D had their reason that the NIGHT KING would have expected Dany or Jon, because that makes way more sense. And obviously the Night King knew the Mother of Dragons and Jon – he’s encountered them before. And he knows Bran/3ER. They would have obviously been the ones he sought to neutralize, as he did with the dragon/dragonfight. So giving that explanation – that the one who killed the Night King in some ways had to be able to do it in a way the Night King himself didn’t anticipate.

    But just giving the reason that it was too predictable for US seems wrong from a character standpoint. So I’m just hoping they misspoke, I guess.

    I’m disappointed in the end of the AOTD because I just find Cersei kind of boring. I might be in the minority, but I’ve always found the King’s Landing intrigue just way less interesting. So having the rest of the season focused on that SEEMS boring to me, although maybe that will change.

    One moment that stood out – when Jon got up and faced Viserion, I was SURE that was the moment Jon got tested with dragonfire. D&D are smart enough to know the theories that only true Targs can withstand dragonfire, and it’s like they dangled that moment and then just didn’t have anything come of it.

    I don’t know how I feel honestly. The episode I think was amazing, but I don’t look forward to so much Cersei now.

  454. Interested in seeing the rating for this one. With how anticipated it was and it leaking a couple hours early, a lot of viewers may have been tempted to watch ahead. Also Endgame launched this weekend, but I’m not certain that was going to have any effect one way or another. We’ll see if viewership increased over the past 2 epsiodes.

  455. So why did Bran save Jaime by omitting to tell everyone what happened between them eight years prior? What role is Jaime going to have, seeing as he didn’t do anything of note in this battle, not enough to warrant Bran saving him? Will he have a crucial part in defeating Cersei? I wonder if Bran saw him killing Cersei and Jaime really is the Valonquar?

  456. Some comments are so dramatic LOL

    Anyway, I would like to know what people expected Jon had to do in this episode?
    Am I missing something? Is not everything else has done enough, must he always succeed?

    FYI Jon is my all time favorite and the rest could die for all care.

  457. Che: I wonder if Bran saw him killing Cersei and Jaime really is the Valonquar?

    Repeat after me: the Valonquar part of Maggie the Frog prophecy has never been mentioned in the show.

  458. Nadia:
    I have such mixed feelings.

    I kind of wish D&D had their reason that the NIGHT KING would have expected Dany or Jon, because that makes way more sense. And obviously the Night King knew the Mother of Dragons and Jon – he’s encountered them before. And he knows Bran/3ER. They would have obviously been the ones he sought to neutralize, as he did with the dragon/dragonfight. So giving that explanation – that the one who killed the Night King in some ways had to be able to do it in a way the Night King himself didn’t anticipate.

    But just giving the reason that it was too predictable for US seems wrong from a character standpoint. So I’m just hoping they misspoke, I guess.

    I’m disappointed in the end of the AOTD because I just find Cersei kind of boring. I might be in the minority, but I’ve always found the King’s Landing intrigue just way less interesting. So having the rest of the season focused on that SEEMS boring to me, although maybe that will change.

    One moment that stood out – when Jon got up and faced Viserion, I was SURE that was the moment Jon got tested with dragonfire. D&D are smart enough to know the theories that only true Targs can withstand dragonfire, and it’s like they dangled that moment and then just didn’t have anything come of it.

    I don’t know how I feel honestly. The episode I think was amazing, but I don’t look forward to so much Cersei now.

    I used to love KL and the political drama there, but those days are but a memory now and long gone unfortunately. KL is a shell of its former self and we went from the likes of Tywin to Euron. Of course we were going to lose people along the way, but KL just feels too empty now. And I’m way over Cersei at this point. Lena’s been great and Cersei was a great character, but she is too mustache twirling cartoony now.

    Also, Tyrion not being a focal point there anywhere has a lot to do with it. He was a main part of KL for the first 4 seasons and after he left its pretty much been Sparrows then wildfire annihilation and now….Euron.

  459. Boojam: Royce is in the preview for 4.
    He was not shown in the battle , tho ‘dismounted’ knights(?) of the Vale where there, where were the mounted ones?

    Well, I hope their horses survived. The Dothraki horses certainly didn’t. And they’re going to need horses in the future.

    Lord Yohn Royce and Tormund Giantsbane have the same kind of plot armour. They need to be spokespeople for their region/people. Well, we won’t need Yohn Royce if Robin Arryn takes charge himself. Maybe listening to his favourite cousin Sansa Stark, now that uncle Petyr is dead. Uhm… It could get awkward if Sweetrobin learns Sansa and her siblings killed uncle Petyr.

  460. kevin1989:
    About the characters:
    Last week I gave Sansa the win over Dany because she was half right, what about the north?
    But in this episode sorry, my win goes to Missandei. How much I agree with Sansa to become independent. Come on Dany is fighting her ass off for her and almost died for her. (Did drogon and Rheagal die? that was not clear to me). And at that moment Sansa utter that to Tyrion. Sorry Sansa you were right in episode 1 and 2, but wrong in this episode.

    tNCMVP (The non combative MVP) is Missandei in this episode.
    I liked that moment between Sansa and Tyrion later on.

    ps did ghost and Gendry die?

    +1 I expected them to do something, they should have had a white walker in the library scene.

    Ghost, Rhaegal, Drogon, Gendry are all alive and in the 804 preview.

  461. Che: Without her, everyone would have joined the Night King’s army within minuets of the dead swarming over Winterfell.

    Without her the Night King would not have had a dragon to bring down the Wall in the first place, so I don’t really understand that argument.

  462. Dee Stark:
    Some comments are so dramatic LOL

    Anyway, I would like to know what people expected Jon had to do in this episode?
    Am I missing something? Is not everything else has done enough, must he always succeed?

    FYI Jon is my all time favorite and the rest could die for all care.

    For me, it’s that the WW and the NK have been Jon’s fight up until now. His storyline is finally revealing the deep secrets that have always been there about him and his parentage is clearly going to be a huge deal to him (and maybe the realm?) in the latter half of the series, but what we know him for, thus far, is sacrificing himself over and over to fight the WW and the NK and yet we didn’t see him engage a single WW or get close to the NK. To me, this felt HUGELY anticlimactic to what his story has almost entirely been about, a total disservice to what he’s suffered, achieved and lost over the course of this series. I honestly would have been way more satisifed if he’d fought a few WW at the very least. I’d have been totally satisfied if he had engaged the NK in combat, was clearly losing as you can’t beat death, to then have Arya come in and take the kill as the unexpected factor the NK couldn’t prepare for – it would have been a beautiful nod to Ned’s one-sided fight up against Arthur Dayne to then have Howland Reed save him by killing Dayne unexpectedly. It seems a really big lost opportunity. I don’t need Jon to be the one to kill the NK personally, but to not be involved beyond chasing him on a dragon feels really hollow. I too am a massive Jon fan (and I”m so overtired and emotional about all this!!) and I just feel really short-changed. I’ll get over it!

  463. Vally: Without her the Night King would not have had a dragon to bring down the Wall in the first place, so I don’t really understand that argument.

    The NK would have found a way round. Death is inevitable after all.

  464. Jack Bauer 24,

    I’m in agreement with your feelings. Now if Littlefinger were still in the mix in KL it would be a bit more complex. There just isn’t as much dimension with the elimination of characters.

  465. Juri: Repeat after me: the Valonquar part of Maggie the Frog prophecy has never been mentioned in the show.

    Ha! Indeed, but if the end beats for the characters are supposedly the same in show and book form, then that prophesy will still spell the end for Cersei.

  466. Vally,

    Let me rephrase this, yes she is also there for herself:
    She is fighting her ass off, even for Sansa.
    Sansa would be death if it wasn’t for Dany, Even Jon couldn’t have won without her. She burned half of the NK army away in 5 minutes.

    I gave Dany lot’s of slack past episodes, and yes maybe she even turn the “insane” route with her character. But nobody even me can’t deny, without her humanity would be death in Westeros.

    For me she was the hero in this episode, and maybe she will be a villain in 4 till 6 who knows. But you can’t deny her contribution in this night.

    Che,
    completely agree with you here. And I also think the book will get a different route.

  467. Bronn has to arrive in 804, right? Presumably they will be in KL in 805 so it has to be next epsiode?

  468. Che: The NK would have found a way round

    He probably will in the books. In the show, he breached the Wall because he got one of Danys dragons. So Dany is partly responsible for the Wall falling in the first place. It’s only fair that she helps clean up the mess.

  469. Juri,

    There’s no need for “repeat after me” I think. That’s just being rude.

    “Valonquar” means little brother in High Valyrian. Che’s probably using it here to wonder if Jamie really is the little brother that kills Cersei. I was wondering that myself to be honest though it is not clear that Bran sees the future.

    Anyway, yes it stems from a prophecy that appears in the books and this is a show AND books thread as Sue says every time on her recap.

    One is allowed to use book terms or theories to glean or guess what may happen in future books or future eps, I would hope and if not maybe you can take it up with the wotw staff.

  470. tinfoil theory (which probably not going to happen): At the end of season 7 Qyburn took that dead hand. But why? If the NK is defeated here (Which they knew before writing season 7) what was that purpose. What will Qyburn do with it.

    What if he finds out what the dead ticks? Made them alive. What if Qyburn finds out how the WW work, is made etc and he starts this whole process again. Cersei has plans with Dany and with Jon, what if that is making her something like a white walker, one of the 2. Maybe not a white walker perse, but something similar.

    Still that mad scientist is up to something with that dirty hand.

  471. Inga: So, there was only one way to make Arya kill the Night King in the right way: saving Jon

    Arya was saving everyone she loved, not that I think that’s the only way to do this the ‘right’ way. They didn’t have to be standing by the night king for it to be true. This is an odd criticism to me.

    Speaking of odd criticisms, are people mad Sansa was talking to Tyrion about why their relationship wouldn’t work because they took that as a slight on Dany??? That’s bizarre to me and I thought Missandi’s comment was annoying, although I’m giving her a pass since they were all stressed out of their minds.

  472. talvikorppi,

    I was totally convinced he’s alive because he had a famous Valyrian steel sword 🙊☺️

    That being said it’s sad that the show wiped out the Mormonts. I mean I was betting on one of them surviving (Lyanna to be honest) but at least they made the former LC proud.

  473. Would respectfully disagree here Che, this is the end game of the whole story. Clearly Theon was coming from GRRM in that his end goal will be to redeem himself and fight for the Starks. What we have left is what GRRM always talked about, what happens next after the big battle.

    While I am sure there will be some slight differences to how the White Walkers are defeated it’s coming in the books too (if they are ever published). People talk about no Night King, that’s true but only because the Army of the Dead has no POV it doesn’t mean there is no leader. I suspect it will happen at the trident as Dany has a dream of fighting someone all in blue if I recall correctly, so most likely the leader is not revealed yet because he doesn’t need to be.

  474. Boojam:
    When Arya was chased inside , it clicked to me that someone would show up to rescue her , I thought it would the Hound, Beric and Brienne , and that Beric would bite the biscuit. No Brienne.Brienne gets a lot of fight time but not a lot of elaboration towards the end.

    One thing I thought was going to happen was the four Valyrian swords would be used against the White Walker ‘generals’ , at the end, making it possible for the conclusion we say … little bit of failure of narrative there.

    Brienne’s story is with Jaime. Everybody should know this since S8E2. That’s why she wasn’t with Arya.

    Agree about the Valyrian steel swords. Jorah used his (Heartsbane, the Tarly family sword given to him by Sam) to good effect, but Jon (Longclaw), Brienne (Oathkeeper), Jaime (Widow’s Wail – ugh, named by Joffrey) only hacked wights, not White Walkers. OK, so they never got the chance, being overrun by wights as they were… But the mythos, importance of Valyrian steel was kind of glossed over… until Arya did her thing.

  475. Nadia:

    I kind of wish D&D had their reason that the NIGHT KING would have expected Dany or Jon, because that makes way more sense. And obviously the Night King knew the Mother of Dragons and Jon – he’s encountered them before. And he knows Bran/3ER. They would have obviously been the ones he sought to neutralize, as he did with the dragon/dragonfight. So giving that explanation – that the one who killed the Night King in some ways had to be able to do it in a way the Night King himself didn’t anticipate.

    That is actually the reality I̵