Game of Thrones: The Long Night

“Valar morghulis.”
“Valar dohaeris.”

We have been waiting for this confrontation from the first scene of the first episode. After nearly seventy minutes of overwhelming battle, we finally have an outcome to the biggest threat in Westeros.

I would say that this episode is satisfying in several ways. We had each of our main characters go through a painful struggle, each tackling that struggle in unique ways, and each paying a cost. It goes without saying that the battle itself was epic; the sheer scope and the level of practical and visual effects in this episode were stunning.

As far as deaths go, we really only had a few major fatalities that I’m aware of: Theon, Jorah, Beric, Edd and the littlest Mormont are gone. Theon and Jorah had the kind of deaths that they deserved; Theon knowing he was about to die, and going out defending Bran defined him in a way that paid tribute to both his long struggle and character growth. Jorah died exactly as he would’ve wanted, defending Dany to his final breath; it was a hero’s death, and totally fit his character arc for the entire series.

Edd died saving Sam from certain death, and fulfilled his role as one of the last members of the Night’s Watch. Beric’s final death was just as heroic, using his own body as a shield for Arya to get away finally serving his purpose, which I guess was to save Arya (more on that later). My favorite death, though, was Lyanna Mormont, who went out like a badass. A giant zombie crashed into Winterfell and literally tossed her aside, she taunted it and it grabbed her, wounding her mortally, but in her last act, she stabbed it through the eye. She was as tough in death as she was in life. We’ll miss you, littlest Mormont.

Which of course leaves those who didn’t die. The list is surprisingly long, not that I wanted any of these characters to die, but it feels a bit off that they all made it out alive. While most just went through hell, it is strange that we didn’t lose some more important side characters like Grey Worm or Davos. Speaking of Davos, his confrontation with Melisandre was a little sad. His vengeance can never be sated, and honestly, I wonder what her purpose was in the grand scheme of things? While her actions delayed the dead, she couldn’t stop the onslaught. Her final act was to give up, to wander out into the frozen wastes and remove the magical choker that kept her young. An odd yet beautiful end to one of the show’s most enigmatic characters.

I have to mention some of the great character moments, too: Tyrion and Sansa hiding behind a crypt together; I thought their interaction was sweet. Sam almost literally stumbling through the fight, but managing to hold his own. Brienne and Jaime fighting to the end, leading and saving countless people and killing hundreds of undead. The Hound freaking out and almost giving in to death until he was shown that Arya was in trouble.

Arya, oh Arya. Our unstoppable badass finally has to use those skills she learned to save the world. She wasn’t just meant to fight the dead on the wall, but damn, she was good at it. She wasn’t just there to give Beric a fitting death, or wake up the Hound to action. Her role, as hinted by Melisandre, was to kill the Night King. Despite Jon and Dany trying everything to get to him, even dragon’s breath wasn’t enough to kill the zombie king. In the end a Valyrian Steel dagger, the same one that almost killed Bran in season one, saved him by stopping the biggest threat to the realm. Talk about circular storytelling.

Bits:

In the after show, the producers confirmed they had Arya in mind for years to be the one to kill the Night King.

Did we just lose all the Dothraki and Unsullied?

With Viserion gone, we have only one confirmed Dragon left, Drogon. Will Rhaegal turn out to be alive too? What about Ghost? It seems unlikely the dire wolf survived that initial assault, especially since we didn’t see him again throughout the episode.

Ultimately, this episode was about characters, some whose stories have ended. For others, that story continues with big honking question marks. I think the biggest of those questions – are there enough forces to face Cersei in the final battle for the throne? With three episodes left, we won’t have to wait long for an answer.

4 out of 4 Armies of the Dead.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

25 comments:

sunbunny said...

I read online (Vanity Fair, maybe?) that Ghost is alive. Choosing to believe that.

ARYA! ARYA MY DARLING DARLING GIRL! I wouldn't be at all surprised if she's the one to kill the Night King in the books too. GRRM loves her and for good reason: she's AWESOME. Plus, I think I read that his wife said she'd leave him if he killed her off.

It hardly matters now, but was the Night King a Targaryen ancestor? Fire cannot kill a dragon and all that.

Onward to Cersei! Which I think will be the more interesting conflict.

Serena + Pumpkin said...

I found the episode actually disappointing. It’s like with the MCU, there’s no stakes if ppl don’t die. Also, it would have been nice to see Jon fight Viserion instead of trying, and/or Sansa and Tyrion actually fighting. These are small moments that could have made the whole episode more about a group effort, rather than the pat “Arya saves the day” (which was admittedly awesome).

Additionally I don’t understand Bran’s point except to be bait. He warned but didn’t use any of that information to help the battle. I would have liked to see some actual interaction with the Night King, maybe actually having him speak a final word before being shattered.

Don’t get me wrong, it was still great. But ever since they broke beyond the books, GoT has definitely not had the quality or emotional resonance. With the exception of last weeks episode, its been more about plot than character development or even politics.

Mark Greig said...

Just finished watching it and I am exhausted. I really feel like I lived through that entire battle with them. It was slightly unrealistic how many people didn't die considering how overwhelmed they were.

I loved, loved, loved that Arya got to be the one to kill the Night King.

I'm just now worried that, with only three episodes left, they're going to rush through the final confrontation with Cersei. I don't know why they decided these last two seasons should be abbreviated. It's like the producers have just got fed up and want to get the whole thing wrapped up as soon as possible so they can go make Star Wars movies.

TheShadowKnows said...

"I don't know why they decided these last two seasons should be abbreviated."

I believe so the producers would have more money to spend on individual episodes (like this one).

BrianN said...

Other than the Deus Ex Machina and comparatively low 1st teir character death count, it was amazing. One of less than a dozen viewing experiences in my life where i was "on the edge of my seat". I hate zombies, not interested in dragons, but the production value of the episode was off the charts. I just wish shows knew where to stop raising the stakes...all or almost all of the different battles were beyond helpless by the time TNK was killed...like when he raised the dead in front of Jon, thats where the "all hope is lost" hit...after that, it was silly (Dany killing any whitewalkers in hand to hand? Sorry, not buying it).
I didnt quite get why Melisandre had to go off and just give up...why not have her immolate to save Arya? Ive been a fan of Tyrion and Sansa...so that part was awesome. People may forget that Tyrion is younger than Jamie, so its not like he's completely an ODB.
AFAIK, the Dothraki were smothered in one of the most awesome scenes ever. The unsullied are like the rest of the defenders, battered but still exist.
Serena: "Also, it would have been nice to see Jon fight Viserion" What, you wanted him to fight him how...roundhouse kick to the claw? Bran DOES get on my nerves as well...sure he gave Theon the thanks, but otherwise just didnt seem to care that thousands were dying for him. I think its good that TNK never spoke, but we never really knew what his "deal" was...Bran simply saying something to give him context would have been enough. So yeah, ill agree with you that emotionally the death of TNK was pretty flat.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the 'Three eyed raven' (Bran) seeks magical balance and will further ensure that Jon fulfills his purpose of eradicating the 'Lord of Light' (Dany), now that the 'Night King' has been dealt with. Is this the third betrayal that's been predicted for Dany?

Nick said...

Ghost and the other dragon appears in the preview for the next episode, so they're alive. Unless it's some clever editing going on.

Did anyone find some of the scenes too dark? Had a hard time trying to figure out what's going on.

Henrik Bennetter said...

Very cool ending, but it felt unsatisfying.

My main gripes would be that although, in the end, this was where all events were meant to lead - that the battle(s) themselves where illogically ill prepared and fought.

More thought shouldv'e been put into how to handle an army of undead. Sure, they had a fire-trench, but that was about it really (except for Dragonglass weapons).
To both me and the wife it just seemed stupid to have so many soldiers outside the walls.
It's like Ramsay Bolton said to Roose once (didn't he?): Stay inside the walls.

I just feel that they should have made more barickades and hurdles for the undead to cross while trying to pick them off as much as possible, rather than face them head-on.

Having said that - I understand the choices made on a visual and psycological basis. It was harrowing to see all the flaming dothraki-swords being extinguished, and all the unsullied being overwhelmed by a anctual WAVE of undead. We were, probably like all of you, on the edges of our proverbial seats (sofa).

And I have to give them this, towards the end I had the feeling that none of them might make it - that this was just another red wedding-deal. The deus ex-machina of Arya was really cool (and extremely brave).
Just a shame that such an awesome threat was snuffed out so relatively fast.

But where do we go from here? Well, as usual I can hardly wait to find out.

Anonymous said...

When I will watch this season for the second time, I'll skip the first 40 minutes of this one. It was probably very expensive to make, but endless scenes of people running around in the dark just don't work for me.

That'd also make me miss another of the "these characters have a history but haven't seen each other in a while" scenes that have been overabundant both in this season and the previous. They only work when it's a special and unique moment. Putting one or two of them in every episode ruins them. This time around, it actually was a near repeat of last weeks scene, with Jaime switched out for Theon.

Thankfully, the rest of the episode had some good stuff in it. Sansa/Tyrion scenes are always good and Carice van Houten gave her best performance ever as Melisandre for her (presumably) final episode.

The Night's King is a great creepy and scary villain, but never had any character development. This made the close-ups of his face fall flat, because we never really get any idea of what he's thinking or feeling.

And then there's Arya. The ending would have been a terrible disappointment if it had been any other character. Arya is just so cool, so of course she gets to be the hero! Maisie Williams was great throughout the episode.

Halfway through this episode, I almost wanted to turn it off because I didn't like it at all. I'm glad I didn't.

TheShadowKnows said...

I really don't see how Arya killing the Night King can possibly be called a "deus ex machina". A "deus ex machina" is something that is brought into the story at the last minute, usually because the writer can't think of any other way out for the protagonist. If the Lord of Light had appeared and vaporized the Night King, that would have been a DEM. If the weirtree had come to life and crushed the Night King, that would have been a DEM. If the Night King had stabbed Bran and both of them had died, that would have been a DEM. If Cersei's army had appeared at the last minute and riddled the Godswood with Valyrian steel arrows, that would have been a DEM.

Arya killing the Night King wasn't a DEM, because every element of it was based on things established, in many cases, YEARS earlier. It was established that Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers. It was established that the dagger in question is Valyrian steel. It was established that killing a White Walker kills all the dead under its command. It was established that Arya is a trained assassin. It was established that Arya is very stealthy. It was established that Arya is even more stealthy in her own home, Winterfell. It was established that the Stark children could travel all over Winterfell unseen by climbing on the rooftops. Even the "dagger drop and stab with the other hand" trick was established when Arya was sparring with Brienne last season! Furthermore, halfway through the episode itself, Melisandre gave Arya a pep talk reminding her about "closing blue eyes" and saying "not today" to death. Then Arya ran off, pretty clearly going to at least take a shot at killing the Night King. So this is hardly something that can be fairly said to have come out of nowhere, which is the very definition of a DEM.

(Don't even get me started on the reasons that it isn't accurate to call Arya a "Mary Sue", as some people are doing...)

Mark Greig said...

Some of the "Mary Sue" accusation seem to be coming from biter people who think Arya stole Jon's kill, that he should've been the one to kill the Night King because...well, I can only assume from their attitudes because he's a bloke. One even came shouting at me that because we didn't see all her training on screen it was "nonsensical" that she has all these assassin skills and Jon should've killed him because he "did all the work" (????).

TheShadowKnows said...

"Some of the 'Mary Sue' accusation seem to be coming from biter people who think Arya stole Jon's kill, that he should've been the one to kill the Night King because...well, I can only assume from their attitudes because he's a bloke."

I think it's pretty safe to assume that's motivating most of the criticism, yes. Never mind that Jon is still the one responsible for building the coalition that was able to hold the dead long enough for Arya to take out the Night King, even if Jon didn't get the kill personally. And never mind that Arya didn't "steal" anything - Jon had already failed, and if Arya didn't take the shot they'd all be dead, followed by everyone else in Westeros.

"One even came shouting at me that because we didn't see all her training on screen it was 'nonsensical' that she has all these assassin skills and Jon should've killed him because he "did all the work" (????)."

That's hilarious; I'm pretty sure most people feel we saw more (much more) than enough of Arya training. And again: Jon did do quite a bit of work, building a coalition and gathering resources, going on when no one would listen or believe him, even dying for the cause. He deserves full credit for all of that, regardless of whether his cousin was the one to get the actual kill. I doubt JON is going to begrudge it: "You should have just let everyone die, Arya!" Yeah, not likely.

Mark Greig said...

Jon has done a lot of good, but he ultimately failed to do the one thing everyone was expecting him to do. They wanted him to be Luke Skywalker, not Frodo, and they feel cheated that the show denied them the typical final fight between the hero and the villain. Why they were expecting Game of Thrones of all shows to slavishly follow worn out fantasy conventions is beyond me.

Elle Mars said...

I honestly don't know what to think about this one. I feel like I'll be able to judge everything better when we finally reach the ending three weeks from now. I would have liked to have seen more of the NK's conquest throughout Westeros to really establish him as a threat. I mean, we only got to see the aftermath of Last Hearth, and then, boom, Winterfell right away. I hope there is more to this than we think and that the writers still have something in store for the whole "Winter" arc. I'm pretty done theorizing at this point about everything- Azor Ahai, the White Walkers, Lord of Light, etc. I honestly think that all these theories and expectations are really starting to hurt the show.

As for the battle itself, I have to say that Miguel Sapochnik deserves all the accolades ever. He just gave us the longest battle sequence that has ever been put to screen, whether on film or TV. And it was something pretty incredible to behold. I had no problem with the darkness of it all (maybe because I watched it with lights off!). And "plot armor" aside, they always do a good job of really selling that a character might die.

As for the lack of character deaths, part of me does think that would have added to the emotional weight of the battle. Another part of me is starting to reflect on our notions of fandom in general and how we expect characters to die just to either A) heighten the stakes; or B) because their arcs are over. I mean, Return of the King only had Theoden as a casualty, and we still very much felt the emotional weight of everything. I didn't feel cheated just because we didn't lose Legolas (the one with barely an arc who would have been a prime suspect) or anything. Maybe GoT loves these characters as much as we do and wants to close their stories properly and not just in service of a great battle. Now, if the series ends with all the characters we expected to lose (Brienne, Davos, Tormund, Grey Worm, etc.) being relegated to background extras a la Ghost now that they seemingly have nothing to do- well... then I might change my mind. :) Again, I feel like I can decide on anything just yet.

I am REALLY interested to see what happens next now. Dany lost the Unsullied and the Dothraki along with pretty much all her allies - the Martells, the Tyrells, and everyone else. Jon might be in a state of emotional disarray given his knowledge of his true lineage and who knows what sh*t he might give himself after knowing he really wasn't the leader people might have expected them to be. Meanwhile, Cersei's probably watching far away in King's Landing, watching with a smug smile and a fresh army of 20,000 sellswords (minus elephants).

Additional thoughts:

- I kinda like that the NK was just a force to be reckoned with and they didn't try to characterize him, because four episodes left may not have been enough to establish a big bad's backstory.

- What deaths we did get were done very well. Even Beric, a character people may have forgotten about for a few seasons, went down a hero, holding the door, or rather using himself as a door to protect Arya and the Hound. And Lyanna Mormont's death was awesome and heroic. Still, it was pretty shocking seeing someone so small and seemingly frail get killed so brutally.

- Arya yaaassss

I kinda love this episode for the interesting discussion it's sparking in the Thrones fandom now. We shall see where everything goes from here. :)

magritte said...

I feel like the Night King being killed Arya makes a muddle of the whole Melisandre story line. She comes off as terminally confused, chasing one red herring after another. First she decides Stannis is the Azor Ahai and when she learns that the White Walkers are on the move, she persuades him that his battle lies in the north, getting him killed. Then she decides it must be Jon Snow and brings him back from the dead. Now, just as the Night King arrives in winterfell, she suddenly recognizes, no, the "prince that was promised" is Arya?

Jon Snow made perfect sense, especially once he was revealed as a Targaryen, the the house with the most natural affinity with fire and the red god. If the Azor Ahai isn't gender specific, Danaerys would have made far more sense than Arya. The Starks are associated with the north, with ice, and with the old gods, not with fire. And the gods of the Faceless Men are more associated with darkness and death than fire and life. It's a song of ice and fire, not ice and ice.

Jon Snow's whole story arc from the first season has been focused on the fight against the White Walkers. Arya's story arc has been about revenge. The story's structure demanded that Jon, Bran and Danaerys be at Winterfell for this battle but it felt more like coincidence than destiny that Arya was even there, rather than off in King's Landing finishing up her list.

Sure, it makes literal narrative sense for Arya to kill him off, but any character with the right weaponry and combat skills could have done it. Just like you could certainly construct a logical series of events that would lead to Jon Snow killing Gregor Clegane or Cersei. But to me this feels like a choice made purely to screw with fan expectations rather than in service of any larger narrative design. Bran's story line seems to have finished up in kind of a flat way too; it's hard to see much of a role for him in the final battle for the iron throne. If GRRM ever finishes the series, it will be interesting to see what he does with the Night King.

I am also surprised how few deaths there were. I'm really surprised Jaime Lannister is still around (though there's a popular fan theory that needs him alive), particularly with what Bran said to him last week. To be honest, I've been surprised how few major "good" characters have died since the Red Wedding. It feels like they've moved toward more traditional high fantasy where the good guys mostly survive and win. Though maybe they're going to really give the finger to the fans and have Euron & Cersei ruling the Seven Kingdoms in the end.

I found the lighting and editing of a lot of the battle scenes confusing and I wasn't sure where the fights were going on relative to one another. Maybe they could have had them staring over a model of Winterfell arranging the battle plans to help us get our bearings. And sometimes I wasn't even sure who was on the screen.

Henrik Bennetter said...

TheShadowKnows: You are absolutely correct about the term for deus ex-machina, of course, and I apologize for using the term incorrectly.
I was trying to emphasize that I just did NOT see that (Arya) coming.
Obviously, neither did the Night king (or his lieutenants) :D
Nevertheless, I used the term incorrectly. My bad.

Now, a few days after the episode, one thing's stuck in my mind and that is Melisandre.

Storywise I get why they wanted to set her death up like they did, so that Davos could get the satisfaction/closure of seeing her die - but I don't quite get why she commited suicide like that.
Wouldn't it have made more sense if she did something...more?
Will we see her necklace again?

Also, one more thing I realized concerning the people that died: Beric (to Arya), Theon (to TNK) and Ser Friendzone (to Daenarys) all looked like they were trying to say something, some final words, but died before they could.
What do you think that means/has significance for?

Juan said...

magritte i couldn't agree with you more. I was going to write a long essay about how it made more sense from a narrative point of view that it was Jon or Dany who slould have killed de NK but you just saved me the time. Thanks :)

Arya killing the Nk was awesome, I want deny it, but it was too out of the blue for me. Jon at the very least should have had a duel whit him. It was the culmination of his arc. I wouldn't have minded is the NK killed and then Arya avenged him. That would have been more interesting. Now his whole story and resurrection feel pointless. Same with Mellisandre and her prophecies.

The same about all the people that survived, the White Walkers generals that did't do anything or Bran overall purpose. This was suposed to be the fight for the world, for the living and pretty much resolved it in one night. 8 seasons of building up for this? For Euron and Cersei? Euron?! Really??? I feel cheated what can I say.

This episode was one big middle finger from David Benioff and D. B. Weiss to the audience or they are simply bad writers.

Addendum rant: So Valiryan steel forged with dragon fire can kill de WW, but dragon fire itself not? Please!

Anonymous said...

People complaining that not enough people died in this fight..umm there's three episodes to go. Just saying.
Cersei might be the final boss for Jon to kill.
Arya's win was awesome and Jon and all paved the way for it. That's all good.
Loved Tyrion and Sansa in the crypt.
Bye Jorah, Theon and Melissandre and all the others.
mazephoenix

TheShadowKnows said...

"So Valiryan steel forged with dragon fire can kill de WW, but dragon fire itself not? Please!"

Well, in fairness, you can make a wooden stake with a hatchet, but the hatchet itself won't kill a vampire if you hit it in the heart. And for that matter, even a mundane gun is a lot deadlier than its raw materials.

With respect to Arya being the one to kill the Night King, it was established as a possibility in a way it wasn't for most other characters (e.g., Brienne, or Daenerys for that matter); if Sansa had popped out of the crypts and killed the Night King, that would have been another story. Furthermore, I'm not convinced it was supposed to be a coincidence that Arya was the one to kill the Night King. If you're the God of Death, what could be a greater blasphemy than the undead - things walking around that are supposed to be dead? Would you not send a servant to eliminate the source of the blasphemy? Could there have been a reason Arya was allowed to leave the temple of the Many-Faced God alive, despite turning apostate?

With respect to Jon and the prophecies, I personally think the prophecies were probably meant to be rubbish, even in the books. The whole point (IMO) is that nutters like Melisandre see whatever they want to see in them. The fact that someone really does have some magical powers doesn't make their metaphysical views correct, or ensure that they can interpret a prophecy correctly (even assuming there is a "correct" answer, which I personally doubt in this case). All that said, though, this was as much Jon's victory as anyone else's. He was the one who worked tirelessly to warn others and to build a coalition to face the threat. Without him, there would have been no hope and no chance for Arya to kill the Night King, and to a certain extent this is also true of Daenerys (even though she built her army for selfish reasons, rather than because she had any idea of the real threat that needed faced). So if the prophecies mean anything at all, they could still apply to either Jon OR Daenerys.

Unknown said...

My issue wasn't so much who killed the night king thats up to the show makers but I reliesed why that moment bothered me it was such a cliche moment that I have seen so many times were it seems like all is lost but suddenly out of nowhere they are all saved and the fact that all it took to win was killing one specific indivual which is something iv also seen to many I admit that visual this episode looked wonderful and did enjoy but its a shame that for a show that was supposed to be different and unique it has fallen into many cliche but I only wish good will to those who did love the episode

BrianN said...

Henrick: Cavalry is useless inside a city's walls and spearmen are normally the grunts of the battle...the battle plan was correctly planned in that regard. And as for more hurdles, they showed that even a wall couldnt stop them. I think Melisandre immolating herself to kill some white walker luitenants to cause a distraction to give Arya the opening would have been a much better choice for her end rather than simply walking away.
Anon: I think last week closed alot of threads beautifully so that anyone could rightly die...unfortunate that so few did. You are completely right about TNK, intent matters. From the defeat of the Dothraki to when TNK raised the dead, i loved it; then it got too unbelievable.
TSK: Its a Deus ex machina in the sense that all seemed lost, and then out of nowhere comes the salvation. Its a DEM to me because how stupid (and useless, they never even moved) were the white walker commanders to let her come literally out of nowhere. It was an established DEM, but still it was DEM. Agreed that Arya wasnt a Mary Sue, but I would have liked to see a shot of her actually being stealthy and not have her literally appear out of the darkness.
Mark: Im so glad that it wasnt Jon...and i sincerely hope he doesnt get the throne...too cliche. Completely agree with you on the prophecies.
TSK: I had hated the entire "faceless" Arya arc, but that development gave it meaning...she was MUCH better equipped to kill the night king than Jon.
Elle: Theories and expectations hurt just about every show that doesnt follow convention. The show wont end the way that the masses want (happy ending good vs evil), but for that they have almost all the rest of the movies and TV. It was a stupendously glorious battle and not simply violence for violence's sake...the darkness added to the chaos. The unsullied are still around, the Dothraki died to give us one of the most chilling moments in history.
Magritte: "Making perfect sense" makes a story dull and predictable. Bran and his story do annoy the heck out of me. And they did give us an overview of the battle in the previous episode.
Juan: Its the combination of the Vailarian steel and dragonfire that was needed to kill TNK, otherwise it would simply be too easy.
Unknown: I agree with the "all is lost" part, but how "that all it took to win was killing one specific indivual"

Juan said...

If the whole point is that prophecies don't matter, then why use them in the first place. Why build all this years of anticipation just to throw all away in seconds.

Foreshadowing is an argumental tool often use heavely in fantasy stories, but it should be use correctly in order for it to be efective. Usually for them to work and still surprise the audience they should have a twist that subvert their expectations. For example the fact that Jon was the prince that was promised was not because he was prophesied, but because Ned promised his mother that he would protect him, the son of a prince not a bastard. Or the fact that been born under a bleeding star didn't meant a red comet, but the Sword of House Dayne, Dawn (allegedly builded from a meteorite a.k.a. a falling star), that was put next to Lyanna bloodstained sheets, etc.

"Making perfect sense" doesn't make a story dull and predictable if its done right. In fact it can be a great pay off. And there is nothing wrong with that. If not go ask Marvel, its not Warmachine, Groot or the Wasp that killed Thanos, but the person that you would expect. For something to be dull o awesome its not in the unexpected or the shock value of it, but in the execution. In fact the writers tried to use retro active foreshadowing with Melisandre, even though in the feature at the end said that they thought to make Arya the slayer of the NK only tree years ago and she met Mel all the way back in season 3 before they could have consider it.

But to be honest I really dont mind that Arya killed the NK, I really dont. I love her, she is my forever girl, and probably theres "no one" better suited for it. But my problem is, as I said before, in the execution. It was so anticlimatic. Her showing out of nowhere, Jon didnt have the confrontation that his character deserve with the NK even if it killed him, the NK lieutenants doing absolute nothing and then solving all the problems for the future of humanity with one knife trick. I would had have the same problem if it was Jon, Dany, Jaime, Missandei or whoever. They builded this confrontation for years and they solved it in the third episode in just 30 seconds! Is like Snoke in the Last Jedi all over again.

And now all we have to look forward is the confrontation with Cercei, the dull Euron (seriouly that character is a joke compared with the one in the book) and what's his face commander of the Goldden Company. How can they compare to a war with the representation of Death itself?! Wanna bet that in the next episodes all those characters that survived the death of the zombie apocalypse will suddenlly be killed by simple humans in ridiculous ways just for the shock value and the tears?

Henrik Bennetter said...

So, I watched the episode again. Read all the comments here, including my own and realised that I sounded really naggy.

After a rewatch everything made sense. I mean, of course The Dothraki and Unsullied had to be outside the walls - and the barriers not to hard to traverse. They had to make the night king think he had outsmarted them, to lure him in and so forth.

And after considering all the hints and clues and explanations of Aryas arc (thank you all, and internet) it makes absolutely perfect sense for her to appear, and kill TNK, like she did.

Raya said...

I wasn't too crazy about this episode. It gave me pretty much the same feeling as the battle against Ramsey: The side we root for basically gets slaughtered during 90% of the episode. At the last minute, someone saves the day. No one important dies.

Since I don't really enjoy watching people get slaughtered, this episode felt reeeaaaly long. I even had to take a break because I felt watching it was exhauting. I'm not saying it was bad, and I'm not sure there would have been a better way to do it (people have been waiting for this battle for so long, it had to be long and brutal). Maybe battle episodes are just not my thing.

I loved some of the character moments, like Lyanna Mormont being a super badass, Tyrion and Sansa's scenes, Clegane almost giving up until he saw Arya...

I don't have a problem with the whole Melisandre/prophecy thing. I always figured Melisandre was good at seeing stuff, but terrible at interpreting them.
That, or her god had bad diction.

"Did we just lose all the Dothraki and Unsullied?"
Pretty much. Which means now Daenarys really needs to work on her relationship with Sansa.
The Dothraki's death scene was brilliant. It didn't make much sense if you thought about it too much, but it was still really intense to watch. Plus, that way we didn't have to watch horses get eaten alive. Small mercies...
The Unsullied's death was heartbreaking, but fitting.

@TheShadowKnows
"It was established that Arya is a trained assassin. It was established that Arya is very stealthy. It was established that Arya is even more stealthy in her own home, Winterfell [...] So this is hardly something that can be fairly said to have come out of nowhere"

Don't forget that Arya was also blind for a while and had to learn how to fight in complete darkness. The whole episode was completely set in the dark, the big bad is called the Night King, the episode is called the Long Night, the screen itself was black most of the time... Not only did it make perfect sense for Arya to kill the NK, but one could even argue that she was the only one who had the complete skillset to do it.

Anonymous said...

I dont think anyone is contesting Aryas kill of the Nk its Jons simultaneous uselessness that rubbed people the wrong way. After so much build up he does not even fight the Nk. Infact NOBODY even fought a walker. As a spectacle and event episode it delivered. But alot of the spectacle was reached through lack of common sense. Eg the Dothraki charge. Instances like that have plagued the series in its last few 'go big' episodes.