Review of Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3
Warning: This review is full of spoilers. If you have not watched the episode, please stop reading. Did I mention spoilers?
"What do we say to the god of death?"
1) Not the best start
This was the long awaited battle of Winterfell. Heroes were born and legends were made.
It started with a visual gem. After a slow 15 minutes, the Dothraki charged with flaming swords. They were routed. It set up a battle that it appeared the living could not win; their best warriors lasted only minutes. As for the dragons, once they engaged, they did a lot of damage. They shot the episode all at night, which from a visual perspective made guesswork for the people watching. I get they had to do that, but it required intense concentration as a viewer. For the record, dragons in battle? Badass.
2) The deaths
Most of the battle did not go well for the good guys. The living retreated to Winterfell, while many characters were dying. Jon and Dany rode their dragons, but at night they could not see the enemy, limiting their edge. (Well, none of us could see anything). Except when the red witch (my next ex wife) brought fire to the party, and when the dragons were breathing. The visuals were at times spectacular, but this was the only disappointing part of the episode; too much of the battle was hard to see and thus hard to follow. I had to watch it three times - the last with the room completely dark, to pick up on everything.
Meanwhile, your top deaths:
1) The Night King (see below).
2) Theon Greyjoy. A fitting end to a character that ran the gamut throughout the series. "Theon, you're a good man," says Bran. "Thank you."
3) Melissandre. (Pour one out for the love of my life).
4) Ser Jorah Mormont. This one was pretty predictable.
5) Beric Dondarrion. (No coming back this time, but his death saved Arya).
6) Dolourous Edd. Loyal to the end, he died protecting his brothers.
7) The Ice Dragon. The NK's biggest weapon was late on the scene, and he was killed along with all the wights at the end.
8) Most of the Dothraki. Boy, they did not last long at all.
9) Lyanna Mormont. What a tough kid. She went out like a hero.
Still, none of the main characters were killed, which is a bit of a surprise. We really did not lose any character we cared deeply about.
3) Does anyone understand Bran?
Dude is just a mess. He exonerated Theon, then warged into a bunch of ravens to draw in the Night King. Can we all just say WTF? When the Night King came to him...well, wow. If his whole role in the show was to be bait...he succeeded. I still don't get his character's purpose, or the Night King for that matter. Both have been mysterious, and there just is not enough development of either to know what is going on. Still...
4) What a finish
Holy bleep! Arya whacks the Night King! What an amazing last 20 minutes. Not really sure there is enough story for the last three episodes, but wow. The plan to lure the NK out worked perfectly. Did anyone else get a Kill Bill vibe when the NK and his team were walking toward Bran? And by the way, poor job of defending your boss, white walkers.
5) Wow. Just wow.
The episode dragged for a while, but what a finish. Arya kills the Night King, and his army dies. Just an incredible moment. Who knows what is next, but with three episodes left, we will see Cersei again. The last 20 minutes might be the best of the series so far. It also showed how brilliant Cersei is. Her plan has worked to perfection. Dany's army has been devastated and might no longer be a match for the Lannister's and the Golden Company. Still, those dragons are equalizers, assuming both lived. From the previews, we at least know Drogon is stilll around. Sad that this show is coming to an end, but it is getting a little more confusing. The Great War between living and dead is over, so now we go back to petty fighting over the throne? We will just have to have a little faith that the writers know what they are doing.
As far as battles go, this was probably not as good as the Battle of the Bastards, but it was pretty amazing. I just wish it had not been so dark. It also could have easily taken up two episodes. Yes, there were a lot of the predictable "saved at the last minute" moments, but that's Thrones. I also question the Night King's strategy. Basically he could have just sat back and let his army of the dead destroy everyone, then kill Bran himself. The only way he could possibly lose was to expose himself.
Having said all that, what an entertainment weekend between this and Avengers: Endgame. I don't think it will be topped anytime soon if ever.