Game of Thrones Season 8 - Episode 3 Recap "The Night is dark and full of terrors"
Warning – Series Spoilers Ahead
8 Years ago, Ned Stark introduced us to the world of Westeros with the words “Winter is Coming”. Today, after all those years, winter came.
The battle was always going to be epic – Game of Thrones fans would demand nothing less. In the last episode, we were left with the main cast holed up in Winterfell accepting their fate that none of them would make it out alive. Flashbacks to the Red Wedding were rampant, and I (like many of you) went into this episode doing my own acceptance that most of the characters that we’ve spent years with were going to die.
This was it.
The Battle & Deaths
Let’s take a minute to acknowledge how terrifying it would be to face an army of the dead. These are not creatures that can be bargained with, they have no emotions, they have no sense of self preservation (“What is dead may never die”), they want only one thing – to kill everything living thing.
The battle starts off with Jorah Mormont in front of the army at Winterfell leading the Dothraki soldiers into certain death. Early in the morning, with no light and heavy fog, it’s impossible to see ahead. Just before the first charge as tip of the spear, Melisandre appears and uses her connection to the Lord of Light to imbue their swords with the power of fire lighting the way ahead and providing a glimpse of hope.
10,000+ Dothraki charge ahead – their lights being seen by all those behind them. As they reach the undead army… one by one, hundreds and hundreds of those lights quickly fade out until there are none and that hope is shattered. Death has many faces, but this time it’s waves of skeleton like foes that are ripping people to shreds. It’s true terror.
Dragons – With the Dothraki army erased, Daenerys & Jon swoop in with their fire breathing dragons to mount an offense against the undead.
Dragons vs. Dragons, Dragons vs. Undead, Dragons vs. Knight King – is epic.
The turning point happens when Daenerys commands her dragon to burn the Knight King who stands there in the path of fire and emerges unscathed. The Dragons suddenly aren’t the ultimate weapon that was meant to defeat them anymore. Things proceed to go downhill from there.
It’s time to panic. Everyone needs to get back within the castle walls, and Grey Worm commands the Unsullied to protect the retreat and stand their ground. It’s a powerful moment where I honestly thought this was the end of his journey (no retiring with Missandei to the simple life for him). He sacrificed at least half of his men to protect the rest of the defenses.
What an absolute legend – Instead of hiding in the safety and security of the crypts, she fought along side her people to inspire bravery and courage. Sadly, she met her end when a wight giant picked her up and squeezed the life out of her (not before she could shove a spear through its eye taking it with her and protecting the other fighters). An epic end to a great character.
Leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, Beric has died many times before – this being his final death. Deep within the castle walls, Beric (the wife and I know him as that guy with the eye-patch) saves Arya Stark and others as he takes hit after hit from the undead. There’s an incredible moment where he’s getting beaten while stretching himself across the hallway buying them time – and that’s all the Lord of Light wanted from him.
Brother at the Night’s Watch, Edd had his last battle where he died a hero’s death protecting Sam on the frontlines. He was the first major character to be killed and set the tone for the rest of the episode.
Redemption was all that Theon could hope for after all the unspeakable things he’s done and has been through. And redemption he got.
Theon volunteered to protect Bran in the woods while he waited for the Night King to come – an act of true selflessness as he knew that this most likely meant his death.
When the time came, Bran told Theon the words he needed to hear, “Theon, you’re a good man. Thank you” and Theon rushed the Night King only to be stabbed by his own spear.
All was forgiven in that moment, and Theon died a true Stark.
Protector of the Khaleesi, Jorah has always been there for his queen Daenerys. Through all the journeys, his love and commitment to her never wavered or faltered.
When Daenerys was knocked from her dragon, and the recently killed undead were coming back to life, he managed to come to her side and protect her one final time.
Acting as a human shield, paid the ultimate price. Of all the characters that died, this one hit me the most.
Her death has left us with more questions than answers. After several attempts at lighting the fire around the castle walls and finally doing it, we knew the end for her was coming soon.
As daylight struck, she walked out onto the battlefield, removed her red necklace, and became her true form – an old woman a far cry from her youth in the series and succumbed to the elements.
I found it particularly interesting that of all the characters, she’s the only one that died in daylight. What does that mean?
The Night King
Can the dead be killed? Well, we found out after thousands of them had been dispatched. No.
At his command, the newly dead rose again to continue the fight leaving us again with the hopelessness that this was the end. How do you stop an infinite army that will only keep getting larger the longer you fight with them?
The entire series has led to this battle, and the Night King looked to have it all in the bag, when Arya appeared and stabbed him ending it all. The army of the undead and the white walkers were done – vanished and wiped from existence. A quick end that finally resolves “A Song of Ice and Fire”.
I was prepared for a lot more deaths. Don’t get me wrong, thousands upon thousands of deaths occurred, but for the main cast nearly everyone made it out alive (as opposed to very few). I’m very interested in seeing who in the last 3 episodes will make it to the end.
We know that Arya is good, but that good to sneak up on the Night King? She’s proven to be a master of blending in and moving without making noise, but this was a whole new level.
Just before she stabs the Night King, we see a closeup (lasting all of a second) on a white walker who turns to the viewer with a knowing sort of face and then it cuts to her jumping on him.
Was that Arya taking on the face of a white walker? Re-watch that scene a couple of times like I did and let me know what your thoughts are.
Sansa and Tyrion
Down in the crypts, after the dead were rising, Sansa and Tyrion share a moment knowing that this was their final moments. They both pulled daggers and made an unspoken pact before counting down.
Did anyone else think that they were going to end it themselves versus letting the dead take them? Because that’s what I thought was absolutely going to happen.
Now that Daenerys and the North’s armies have been mostly wiped out, will they be able to defeat the 20,000 soldiers from the Golden Company that stand in their way of taking the throne?
Will Cersei just steamroll the remaining forces to keep her throne?
I have no idea how this is going to play out – what do you all think is going to happen?
Let me know your thoughts and speculations after this latest episode – I’ll see you all next week!
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