A wild night starting with a spine chilling moment, followed by some gripping actions, the ultimate faceoff between the living and the dead and let’s face it, the living are the underdogs here. Will it be the last stand for westeros or winterfell will miraculously triumph? the third and the longest running episode of HBO’s epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones aired this Monday amid phenomenal hype. Showrunners put it up against the epic battles in fantasy genre like the Battle Helm’s Deep in Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It was indeed the longest battle sequence in the film or TV history.
Titled ‘The Long Night’, the episode was a spectacular entry of season 8 so far. The northerners and Daenerys’s armies suffer some heavy casualties. We see the Dothraki horde vanquished within 10 seconds of them charging into the dead army. Yes, the fight begins after setting the groundwork for the past 7 seasons. The Night King is here with his white walkers and the army of the dead. We see Melisandre the red witch making a mysterious return and helping the Dothrakis by igniting their swords. Only to perish moments later. The unspeakable horrors lurking in the dark starts getting on everyone’s nerve. The fight officially begins when two waves bump into each other with characters like Brienne, Jaime, Gendry and Ghost (yes the big bad wolf) charging forward.
Heavily outnumbered, Daenerys and Jon decides to take the dragons for a ride in search of the Night King and setting ablaze the zombies. However, they are encountered with the Night King himself riding undead dragon Viserion. Audience get to see some thrilling air action as three dragons engage in dogfights.Meanwhile in the ground we have the first major death we have been prepping for since past two episodes. Its Eddison Tolett, acting lord commander of the Night’s Watch. He died while saving Samwell who seems petrified seeing the horror and having his friend slain to save him.
Followed by him we see Lyanna Mormont perishing after a giant wight grabs hold of her but she died the most badass way possible! stabbing the giant in the eye and killing it before our young bear bade adieu.
Sansa, Tyrion, Varys and other vulnerable characters are seen under in the crypt still tryjng to find the light hearted side.
In the Godswood we see Theon and the ironborns surrounding bran who seemingly is indifferent to everything.
Arya Stark, Westeros’ most fierce assassin is seen killing of wights but as soon as they invade the fiery trench lit by Melisandre, things get a whole lot bloody. The remaining number of living is decreasing every minute.
Back to the fight for aerial supremacy, the chaotic battle managed the Night King to fall of his ride and he stood defenseless in front of Daenerys, who menacingly utters ‘Dracarys’ and the Night King is set ablaze, history, end of the battle, right? Except it came out wrong and what seemed to be the first shocking twist of the episode, like Daenerys, the Night King is also fireproof. His terrifying smile and the next action surely made the audiences skip beats. The Night King ignoring Jon Snow completely, pulls a ‘Hardhome’, raising all the dead bodies who were the casualties of the battle.
Arya is chased by wights who invaded the castle and heroically saved by Beric Dondarion and Sandor Clegane. The death of Beric came out as the third major kill as his purpose was served. Melisandre reminds a key phrase to Arya, “Not today”, she whispered and left the castle to the wild.
Daenerys is meanwhile trapped by ever increasing wights but saved at the last moment by Ser Jorah, last of the house Mormont. Together they fight a helpless battle only hoping that Bran’s plan will work.
Heavy casualties is seen in the crypt as well as rhe bodies stored in there also rose with the Night King’s order. Sansa, Tyrion and others are seen sneaking and enduring the claustrophobic atmosphere.
As Jon Snow falls behind the Night King, a mesmerising montage shows our heroes fighting for their lives protecting their loved ones. The white walkers accompanies the Night King under the Weir wood tree where Theon is the only man standing between him and Bran.
Bran gives him a final thank you nodding that he redeemed himself. Theon charges into the Night King only to be met with a swift death.
The breathtaking background score of Ramin Djawadi left everything to standstill. Zoom to Theon beeding to death, Jorah takjng every knife wound to protect Daenerys, a helpless, desperate Jon standing against the undead Viserion unarmed and the Night King reaching for his icy blade to finish Bran, who still manages to stare blank into Night King’s eyes. All hope seemed lost and then suddenly! A girl named Arya Stark sneakily jumps atop the Night King from behind who catches her by throat in an instant. For those who thought this was the end of the two Stark siblings, our faceless assasin had a trick up her sleeve.
She dropped the valyrian steel dagger, the same dagger that ignited the fight for the throne from her left hand only to catch with her right.
Arya Stark of Winterfell stabs the Night King in the andomen...shattering him to pieces..alongside all the white walkers..all the wights dropping dead like dominos. She singlehandedly removed the threat of the dead army once and for all. The living triumphed!
Ser Jorah breathed his last in honour of fighting to protect the women he loved. Daenerys in tears holds him close.
The final 30 minutes of the episode in a sense redeemed all the negativity in it like visually imparing cinematography, rushed jump cuts, scrambled storyline and all that.
As the dawn quickly approaches we see Melisandre leaving the castle. She removed her robe and the red necklace. Resulting in aging quickly and being the final major death in the episode.
The episode came pretty close to the hype it built up. Showing the audience the end of the Night King showrunners David Beinoff and DB Weiss reminds that this indeed is the Game of Thrones, not Zombies. The preview hints that the next episode will see the team teavelling to Kings Landing to prepare for one last fight against Cersei.