I don’t even know where to begin. I give this episode a 10. I was thrilled, saddened, and a nervous wreck the entire episode. There were lots of unexpected moments, including some that I thought could have gone another way, but It did not take away from the overall experience that was episode 3. If you haven’t watched episode 3, you may want to stop here, the rest is dark and full of spoilers.
Here goes. I will try my best to write my normal reaction, breakdown, review; however, this episode was magnificent and awe inspiring and I will likely not do it justice. Finally, this was a long episode and so is my review, bare with me.
Sam began the episode quivering and I kept thinking, he really needs to go down into the crypts. He is confused and nervous and was making me feel the same. The unsullied were moving out and the last of the women and children heading to the crypts along with a reluctant Tyrion, who grabs some supplies to take with him. As he turns to leave we see Bran being taken out back to the Gods Wood with Theon and his crew, oddly Alys Karstark is with them, now in hand. We see the bow shot from the trailer and it was simply a random character on the battlements. Davos has command on the battlements. Then we see Arya and Sansa and the dragons flying overhead. Sansa looks rightfully worried. The camera moves through the ranks and the northern alliance are as ready as possible, except for Sam. Edd notes him showing up late and again I think, Sam please go to the crypts, you have a book to write. Jon, Dany and the dragons are overlooking the battleground from a hill.
A lone rider approaches the army and my first thought was “um, the Night King sent a White Walker to discuss terms? They don’t even talk on the show. WTH”. Then we see it’s Melisandre and I was extremely happy to see her. Davos is looking on from the battlements a bit upset as she was never to return. My inner Bran yelled at the TV “Davos we don’t have time for this”. He can be mad at Mel tomorrow. Mel pulls some badassness and magically sets all the Dothraki swords on fire and I’ve been waiting for some magic so thank you. The image of the fire going from left to right in a wave was pretty exhilarating and I found myself clapping and yelling like a basketball game just tied up and my team had been down. Shouts out to Jorah with the translation and to Ghost for showing up after no one spoke to him last week. The expression on all their faces were priceless. Mel says Valor Morghulis to Greyworm, he replied Valor Dohaeris, and I didn’t appreciate that one bit. I was already on the fence with Greyworm dying tonight and Mel seems to have suggested he may indeed not make it. She didn’t speak to anyone else, at this point of the episode I’m annoyed thinking Greyworm is doomed. Mel comes inside the castle and quickly shuts Davos down, she’s not going to make it to morning so chill out. She and Arya share a stare down across the courtyard. We cut back to the Dothraki super pumped and screaming across the open field swords ablaze, Jorah and Ghost by their side. I’m a bit sad Nymeria and the super pack is not here. A few fire balls are launched then the screaming dies and the lights go out. Horses return and so does Jorah and in that moment I thought Ser Jorah was a damned wight. Wheewww. Jon and Dany are being weird. He tells her the Night King is coming and she pulls her arm back from him saying the dead are already here. The interaction seemed strange to me because again we don’t have time for bickering and I was thinking she was mad about The Aegon news but it could also be that her entire Dothraki army got wiped out immediately and she’s ready to go all Dracarys on the undead army. We get a reminder that all our favorite characters are lined up and Greyworm puts his helmet on, and so it begins.
The undead are going full on world war z zombie on the Northern Alliance decimating their front lines. Dany and Jon come through burning through them and finally putting some points on the North’s board. Jon sees the White Walker Generals and decides to take them out and is covered in a snow cloud and there is no visibility to take them out. Cut back to the battlements and Arya is sending Sansa down to the Crypts. Why she wasn’t already down there is beyond me. She protest by saying she wouldn’t abandon her people but then when Arya insists and gives her a dagger she admits not knowing how to use it. First lesson, stick them with the pointy end, #feels.
Pod and Gendry are holding their own and I feel strangely proud of them. Ser Brienne is making her usual battle noises and clearing them out. Jaime is also holding it down with one hand. Then there is Sam laying on the ground needing to be saved and getting Edd killed, I said what I said. Sansa makes it to the crypts and her presence let’s Tyrion and Missandei know things are not going well above ground. Meanwhile in the sky, Danny and Jon are flying into each other. Can’t they get above the storm? The army is falling back. Lyanna is instructing her men from inside and Greyworm instructs his men to stand their ground to protect the retreating forces. Come on Greyworm, you’re asking for it.
Jon has lost Dany and lands near the Gods Wood. As the forces retreat, Arya saves the hound with an bulls-eye over his shoulder. Greyworm gives the signal to light the trenches but the storm clouds still has visibility low. Archers try and their flames go out. Greyworm is looking at the end of it makes eye contact with Mel. He orders unsullied to cover her as she tries to light the trenches with magic. The music is cut and we hear the undead growling and swords hacking and it’s intense as at the last minute before she is overrun, Mel is able to light the trenches. They light up and The hound runs off after looking at the flames and the wights on the other side. Did he see this in the flames before?
In the crypts, Varys is telling bad jokes and Tyrion thinks he can help out and Sansa disagrees telling him they need to look the truth in the face. Tyrion says maybe they should’ve stayed married which pretty much puts to rest that they are still married. Sansa replies that he was the best of them but it wouldn’t work out for them. Tyrion asks why and she says because of Dany. She says Tyrion’s divided loyalties would become a problem, Missandei politely reminds her that without Danny they would be dead already and I’m annoyed with Sansa again, I was liking the Sansa and Tyrion reminiscing moments and she ruined it. However, she seemed to have foreshadowed either a Tyrion betrayal or that there will also be a Stark vs Targaryen battle in the remaining episodes. Perhaps that’s what she and Royce have been sneaking around about. Where is he now anyway? I don’t think I’ve seen him.
Theon is one of my favorites, top 5 maybe 3. I’m so happy Bran was talking to him in the voice over we heard in the trailer. Initially I thought Jon but after their reunion happened, I figured it was Theon. Bran is being creepy and just wargs some ravens in the middle of their conversation, leaving Theon wondering where he was going. I’m not even sure exactly what Bran is doing. I mean we know the Night King is here so why are you looking at him. Initially, I thought he’s about to do something awesomely magical but nope he seemed to have been simply looking at the Night King unless I completely missed it.
The Night King is controlling the wights to jump in the fire to make a bridge for the other wights to use to disregard their trenches. I’m exhausted at this point and yelling again, just give up and get the heck out of there guys. There is no way out of this graveyard. Davos and Lyanna is yelling man the walls, Jamie and Brienne is realigning the army on the battlements and Jon chases the Night King as the undead climb the walls. Jaime moves the archers a level up and we see the clip from the trailer and there are 2 segments of Jaime yelling, in one he says “Draw” to the archers and in the other he says “Come on”, I can’t decide which is the yelling bit from the trailer but i’m leaning towards “Draw”. Either way, neither is Run, Jon or Bronn. Gendry is probably thinking what the heck did I get myself into as the wights make it to the top of the wall. Jaime becomes over powered and Ser Brienne saves him as Same is still whimpering and being saved time and time again. I am just over Sam this episode. Dude you could have gone to the crypts. I get the honor in him staying but seriously. Well at least he kept trying and didn’t hide out as we see The Hound with his back to a wall hiding from the battle. I’m completely disappointed. I completely get the trauma but honestly you knew what the undead were from last season. You knew there would be fire in fighting them. Adrenaline has to take over at some point and suppress the fear.
Cue my everyone’s favorite faceless man assassin and she is tearing wights to pieces with her quarterstaff. She is her weapon. She is spinning and slashing and leaping over wights. I’m loving every minute of it, even Davos appears impressed. Meanwhile, Beric is trying to urge Clegane back into the battle. A wight giant bursts through the Winterfell gates and flings Lyanna with one swipe across the courtyard. I lost my breath for a minute, is she dead? She can’t be dead? We have to see her face when she dies right? I’m going to be mad if that was her death, she was too awesome to go out like that. Arya is still serving up wights left and right and Beric is still trying with The Hound. The Hound says we’re fighting death and can’t beat death to which Beric points at Arya and says tell her that which seems to snap the hound out of it as Arya slides into a window of the castle.
Meanwhile the little bear in all her glory charges the giant who swatted her in true David and Goliath fashion. He snatches her up and I’m yelling at the top of my lungs in shear terror as he crushes her. Lady Lyanna Mormont in her last act of battle, plunges her dragonglass dagger into the blue eye of a giant who has to be named Macumba at this point. There is no proof of his name but I’m pretty sure this is the giant Old Nan was talking about. Bravo, little bear, bravo. This is a death worthy of the little girl with the big heart.
Above the clouds, Dany and Jon are looking for the Night King and he appears and chases Dany as Viserion breaths blue fire on Drogon’s tale. I don’t really think it was having an affect on Drogon but he and Dany were trying to evade the pursuit. The Night King disappears and Jon and Dany pursue him beneath the clouds. The shot above the clouds is absolutely gorgeous, Kudos to the show runners.
Arya is now inside Winterfell library, as she clearly knew where that window would lead her. As Syrio taught her, A girl is being as swift as a deer, as quiet as a shadow and as quick as a snake. Apparently the wights respond to sound, not sure I realized this before this episode. At first I thought, are the wights in the library family, but they were regular wights. There are a couple of close calls as Arya made her way through the library but she is able to make it out using her skills, not before quietly stabbing a wight in the neck. Just when she thought there was time for a quick breather, the wights are in full pursuit and we have the trailer clip. Arya was running from wights, not super science wights as I predicted, but a hoard of wights.
The crypt crew are scared out of their minds because of all the sounds over head. To make matter worst, retreating soldiers are now banging on the doors to be let in. I kept yelling do not open those doors which oddly made me think of Hodor. RIP Hodor. What is Bran doing? I’m getting a little irritated with Bran at this point, show me something Mr. Three Eyed Raven!
The Hound and Beric are in search for Arya and I’m glad that Sandor has finally snapped out of it. I’m also glad that he snapped out of it for Arya. They’ve been through quite a bit and I’m glad that he is showing up for her as he’s done in the past. There’s is a unique bond. A door falls to the ground and a wight is on top of Arya. Beric holds the wights off as Clegane takes Arya to safety, wherever that is. Beric is being annihilated by the wights but he holds them off. His scene reminds me again of Hodor and Ser Barriston. Arya and the Hound make it into a room and miraculously Beric is still trucking. They close the wight out and Beric lays on the ground and takes his last breath in Arya’s arms. Mel is in the room and says the lord brought him back for a purpose. I thought maybe she would bring him back but quickly realized that he has been brought back every time to be there for this moment to save Arya. Not quite Lady Stoneheart, but very similar. For my show only fam, cliff notes version (please excuse me book readers, this is about to be overly simplistic):
After Catelyn dies at the red wedding and her body is thrown in a river. Beric finds it and grants the kiss of life, Catelyn goes on a revenge tour.
Arya turns to Melisandre and again I’m thinking in my Bran mind, please Arya we don’t have time for the list right now, Mel is helping. They recall season 3 when Mel told Arya that she saw a darkness in her and she will shut many eyes, including blue eyes. Light bulb moment! Arya is going to kill the Night King. When Bran gave Arya the Catspaw dagger, I knew he already knew what she would do with it. I’m extremely excited at this point. Let’s go Arya. Mel says what do we say to the God of Death and I’m literally screaming NOT TODAY at my TV. Arya’s breathing changed, her facial expression transforms and you know “it’s about to go down” as a girl runs off.
Theon readies his Iron Born, make every shot count, the undead are in the God’s Wood. I’m at a lost about how they can be quick enough with bows but they, especially Theon, are supposed to be deadly with the archery skills. Simultaneously, there is a Dance of Dragons happening overhead. Viserion is clawing the hell out of Rhaegal and trying to burn Jon. Talons are grabbing and the once brothers are biting each other and the Night King falls from Viserion, rookie dragon rider lol. In my heart I know the fall means nothing and he is alive, but boy did it look like Bran falling from the broken tower. Dany catches up to him on the ground and we have our Dracarys. Drogon let’s him have it as Jon looks on, having been thrown from Rhaegal. Me: Overwhelmingly wondering is the dragon fire working while wondering is Rhaegal okay? The fire dissipates and the Night King is unburnt, unbothered and not phased. To add fuel to the fire, THE NIGHT KING SMILES, followed by me yelling a lot of expletives at the TV. Are you serious? This is not the time for taunting sir, way to mess with my emotions D&D. At this point he’s Mr. King. Mr. King picks up his very pretty ice spear and tries to launch it at Dany but she gets away.
Jon is left on the field of dead bodies, major Battle of the Bastards flashbacks, please don’t charge him Jon. Some where mid charge it seemed to change from a suicide bomber situation to a I just need to get away from all these bodies situation as Mr. King raises his arms and Jon is surrounded. The dead are rising everywhere and Jamie, Greyworm, Sam, Tormund and the rest of the crew are in utter terror, as am I. What I did not want to see and was not ready for, was wight Lyanna, too soon! Edd is raised as well and I could’ve sworn there was a guy that looked like Will from Season 1 Episode 1, but since he was beheaded i’m going to assume it wasn’t him. Dothraki are rising. This is just too much! It keeps getting worse and I’m like what is Bran doing, it has to be epic. Where is Arya? Come on guys this is looking bleak and I’m not liking where this is going, time check to see how much time is left in the episode, about 30 minutes, pull it together guys.
The White Walker generals are walking into Winterfell and the dead are rising in the crypts. I found myself thinking who will they fight for? Will they protect the women and children? Quickly those hopes were dashed as they began eating people. I can appreciate how they handled the dead rising. It was not the same as others we’ve seen and I loved that. While the undead are causing havoc in the crypts, Theon is still holding it down in the Gods Wood. I couldn’t see Alys Karstark but I’m thinking she is dead at this point. Bran is becoming more and more annoying as the episode progresses, he is literally just sitting there. Jon is still fighting his way out of the wights outside the Winterfell gates and Dany swoops in for the save, blazing a path for Jon to get to Bran. As Jon dashes off, wights attack Drogon, as Dany is not checking her surroundings. She is thrown from Drogon and it seems she is in a dire situation. I think Drogon purposefully threw her off to lure the wights his way. As the bodies fall from Drogon, the are reanimating at Dany’s feet. There are Thenn’s being reanimated and i’m thinking, they had to be in the Night King’s army to begin with so is he reanimating bodies that died from dragonglass? Then I thought no, he must have been on the side of the living with the Wildling army. We saw Jorah’s face earlier when he heard Drogon shrieking and I wasn’t surprised when he came to his Khaleesi’s rescue. What I was not expecting was for her to pick up a sword. We have never seen Dany fighting. Other than having her dragons she was pretty much like Sansa on the fighting front. Not tonight, very good Khaleesi, better than Sam. I hate to harp on Sam but I wish he would’ve just gone to the crypts. Perhaps he will appreciate Dany a bit more now. Not to take away from his hurt over Dickon, but this battle may change his perspective towards the Dragon Queen somewhat.
Jon is slashing and moving towards the Gods Wood. He passes friends and is unable to stop to offer any assistance, it’s every man for themselves. Gendry is in full Robert mode swinging the hammer as Sam is barely making it laying on the ground fighting off wights. It is not looking good for Sam but I think he still has a role to play so I think he will make it through the night. I found myself thinking, well at least these aren’t the bite and turn you type of zombies, it’s the little things that count. Jon is moving ahead and I’m like just how large is Winterfell and where is the Gods Wood, he’s tired for goodness sake.
Theon is still holding it down but is out of arrows and Iron Born. Jorah and Khaleesi are fighting back to back in awesome fashion. The undead are making it difficult in the crypts and Tyrion and Sansa shared a moment and I had nothing but tears when Tyrion kissed Sansa’s hand. It felt like all was lost and they were going to try to fight as Sansa reaches for the dagger Arya gave her. To make matters worse, Viserion seems to be stalking Jon, making it even more difficult to make it to his destination.
The music has been driving the entire episode but this moment it is particularly emotional as we get a montage of everyone struggling to stay alive. Varys with the children, little birds was also fitting among the chaos and I’m antsy wondering what about the tunnels are they going to escape through the tunnels, does Sansa even know about the tunnels?
Jon cant shake Viserion. Where are Rhaegal and Drogon?
Theon the brave hanging on by a thread as Mr. King makes a dramatic entrance and I’m holding my breath. Has anyone seen Arya? Snap out of it Bran!
Ser Jorah Mormont is on his knees! They keep playing this music and I’m not holding it together very well!
Jaime and Pod are pinned to a wall.
Ser Brienne is backed into a corner.
Tormund and Gendry are on top of a body pile slashing for dear life.
Sam is sitting and sniffling. No comment.
The Gods Wood is littered with bodies and Theon still stands, another season 1 call back to Maester Luwin asking Theon if there will be a battle in the Gods Wood after Catelyn tells them about the Lannister’s involvement in Bran’s fall and murder attempt. Everything points to something in GOT, gotta love it!
The Night King and his White Walker generals face off with Theon and Bran says “Theon, your a good man”. Well if you’ve read some of my previous posts you already know that it took me a while but I’m a Theon supporter. He has had redemption in my books and Bran supports me! What is Dead May Never Die! Theon StarJoy makes the ultimate sacrifice, the saddest part of the episode, hands down. The award goes to Alfie Allen!
Jon is playing cat and mouse with Viserion and there is a moment when there is blue fire above and red fire below and it is truly spectacular.
The Night King steps over Theon’s body and I’m almost positive the image is from a Bran vision we’ve seen which confirms for me that Bran knew the outcome and aligned all the pieces and players to some end game. Bran is still not doing anything obvious but perhaps he’s done what he was supposed to. All the players are in place and he’s done his part. I wanted more from Bran but there are still more episodes to come.
Jon faces down Viserion in a final act of heroism, what’s left to do. He screams at Viserion as though to say, I am Aegon Targaryen, sixth of the name, do your best. Khaleesi is protecting Jorah and he her as The Night King is standing over Bran and Bran is not even looking his way. There is a breeze through a White Walker’s hair as the Night King reaches for his special sword. Over his shoulder, in the air, Arya Stark of Winterfell, excuse my inner Miley Cyrus, coming through like a wrecking ball! Night King counters and catches her by the throat and like we saw in her sparring with Brienne last season, Arya drops the dagger from one hand to the other and plunges it into his chest. I’m no secret Arya fan girl, so perhaps I am biased, but I had nothing but goosebumps as she decimated the Night King’s and his crew. I will write a separate post solely on Arya soon; however, I find it completely fitting for Arya to have made this kill. Dragon fire couldn’t do it so not Dany, Jon has had multiple standoffs so it would’ve been the obvious kill, there’s no other character I would’ve wanted to make the kill. If the goal was to heal him then I would’ve expected other players such as Bran and Sam but that wasn’t the case, so Arya is the ultimate assassin and I’m satisfied (times ten).
And they all come tumbling down! Including Viserion, who falls rather than shatters, signifying to me that he was undead wight dragon rather than a White Walker dragon.
With everything she lost tonight, Dany cradles Jorah in her arms as he dies and Drogon cradles her as she is inconsolable.
The Hound exits the castle and Melisandre follows him out. She drops her robe, followed by her necklace, keeps walking and begins to buckle at the knees as her glamour wears off. She walks as the sun is coming up and she turns to dust in the snow before the dawn. Another character making an ultimate sacrifice for the living. My unanswered question in this moment has to be is Arya Azor Ahai? I will have to take another look at that in a separate review as I’m not sure that Arya is a princess.
- Saddest/Emotional – Theon’s death
- Most Annoying – Sam
- Aww Moment – Sansa and Tyrion
- Baddass – Arya Kill, Lyanna – Honorable Mention
- Damn – Jorah’s death
- Huh – Bran warging for no reason seemingly
- Aesthetically Pleasing – the dragons above the clouds shot
Well folks that is The Long Night and the long review. Thank you if you’ve made it this far through my RBR.
Winterfell will need major repairs but has earned its name once again, Winter has fallen.