Game of Thrones: The Long Night — Season 8 Episode 3 Recap (Spoilers)

Game of Thrones: The Long Night — Season 8 Episode 3 Recap (Spoilers)

Well it certainly was a “Long Night.”

Man. Wow. So much to unpack. I don’t have the space, stamina, or processing power to cover everything incredible that happened in last night’s LONGEST RUNNING BATTLE SCENE IN TV OR MOVIE HISTORY, so I’ll stick to the highlights and low light—literally, it was dark (again, literally)—of one of the greatest events ever to appear on television: the battle of Winterfell.


  1. Arya got the Night King. This was … amazing. Arya, who battled all episode like a cross between Ronin and John Wick, got the word from Red Lady Melisandre that it was all up to her, and girl, did she deliver. Pouncing out of the night like a jungle panther—to protect Bran, who inexplicably decided to play with birds all episode rather than, you know, HELP OUT—the Night King reacted just in time to catch her flying assault. But you got sloppy, ice zombie. Some deft knife-hand switching, and that was that for the reign of the dead. Some have complained that this felt too easy, but I don’t feel that way. The dude survived a bath in dragon fire, so he was feeling pretty cocky, I bet. Arya is a master assassin and still barely pulled it off, and we’ve known since Sam’s heroics that valyrian steel can kill the White Walkers. Her getting the big baddie himself fits the story nicely. Also, cool nod to the famous dagger that was sent to kill Bran once before. (If that’s what Arya used, which I’m pretty sure it was.)


  1. Dark skies make bad battle plans. Daenerys and Jon continue to not impress me with their battle acumen. The dragon jousting in the sky was hard to watch—I could barely see anything until I majorly adjusted my screen brightness settings—then Jon lost his dragon and got caught out in the middle of a battlefield AGAIN with no backup or support. Dany saved him in the nick of time, but that she allowed Drogon, the one indisputable game-changer on their side in this battle, to be swarmed by the dead while she watched the trenches burn. Come on, Dany! You can check that out from hover mode! Then she lost her dragon too, and well, Jorah did what he always wanted to: die gloriously for his queen. So long, mildly annoying character I never rooted for, ever.


(One note: I hate that Dany sent the Dothraki to their deaths like that, but I honestly don’t know how else you’d use light calvary in that battle. They’d have been useless penned up in the castle, so you either have them attack the enemy on open ground, or, like, send them away to another castle and skip the fight. Here, I don’t think any living person could be spared. This applies less to the Unsullied, who were always going to be the rear guard, given their temperament and superior training. But unlike the Dothraki, they’d have been excellent on the walls, and the foot soldier formations outside didn’t really accomplish anything. It sure feels like Dany burned her Essos forces aggressively and somewhat unnecessarily. Some loyalty.)


  1. The Sers survived! I’ll be honest, we didn’t lose nearly as many people as I’d suspected. The group I was certain had no shot was the gang that started outside the walls. Impossibly, Gendry, Pod, Ser Brienne, Ser Jaime, Tormund, Grey Worm, and Sam all survived. That seems really unlikely, given the absolute flood of the undead—especially after the Night King called his crew up off the floor, and the attacking force basically doubled—but I don’t care. Those are my favorites. I think it’s high time for Gendry and Pod to be knighted, and Sam should get, like, unlimited reading hours for life or something. Also, based on next week’s credits, Ghost appears to have survived too! And the dragons! Let’s get Cersei! (I think the kill should go to Ghost, in remembrance of his brothers, but that’s just me. Sansa will probably get it.)


  1. She knew only one king, and his name was Stark. My hero, my liege, my Lord for life, little Lyanna, didn’t make it. But she went out like a BOSS, though, taking down an undead giant with only her dagger. (The women on this show get basically everything done.) Her death was hard to watch. Her rebirth as a zombie, even worse. But she manned the gate and didn’t flinch. RIP, Lady Mormont. House Reichs is still pledged to your honor.


  1. Farewell to the fallen. Goodbye to Ser Jorah (she was always too young for you, bro), Theon Greyjoy (you finally didn’t annoy me all episode long, and Bran gave you peace), Lady Lyanna (I just can’t), Melisandre (okay, you came up clutch this time—those trench logs were not going to burn without you), Dolorous Ed (now your watch has ended, Lord Commander), Lord Beric Dondarrion (meh), and all the brave men and women on the field, the walls, and in the castle and crypts (I told you that was a bad place to hide).


So Cersei is the true villain of the story, and now we turn to the endgame . On to King’s Landing, where death may await us all. But not today

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