Monday, April 29, 2019

Game of Thrones: Season 8 Episode 3 - The Long Night

Hello friends and welcome to episode 3 of 6 of the final season of Game of Thrones! Winter has come to Winterfell.  This is the big one folks!  The battle that was advertised as bigger/longer than Helm’s Deep.  The battle we’ve been prepping 8 seasons for.  It was a pretty amazing episode directed by the one and only Miguel Sipochnik (Hardhome, The Battle of the Bastards, The Winds of Winter).  But, I gotta say.  Maybe because we already predicted who was going to die, I was kinda hoping for some kind of crazy twist.  This is the problem with over-theorizing stuff.  I will say that I totally called who would deliver that final blow eons ago! (Even called it in my final season office pools)  I know it’s not rocket science but it went against the popular opinion.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  I’m definitely not underwhelmed.  The episode was AMAZING.  It will go down as a grand spectacle that only Game of Thrones could provide.  I just wonder what is to come of the 3 episodes that remain!  And we’ll get into all of that.  So....WOW WOW WOW!  And let’s dive in:

Discussion Points

So the battle went through many phases.  It was all about buying time to take out the Night King.  I had theories that the Night King wouldn’t even be there and would plague The South to keep this battle of winter urging on past this episode.  But, we had all decided that since the Bran plot was key to this episode he HAD to be there.  All of our key players were involved.  And even Melisandre returned to light up some swords and a trench before her final predictions came to pass.  (BTW...I just made the connection to the “BLUE EYES” comment as I’m typing this).   The dead marched their way through trap after trap that Winterfell has set for them.  They kept plowing through.  The Night king made things more difficult along the way.  But the dead kept marching through.  It all came to a climax in the godswood.  People died, people rose.  The Night King fell.  And just like that, Cersei is the big bad of the series.  Surprised?  That was the 1000 for view.  We’ll break down some highlights. 
  • The Dothraki were pretty much decimated.  It was a cool shot of their weapons ablaze, but then all distinguished in the distance.  
  • A lot of the episode was without dialogue.  We bit our nails as our favorites faced demise over and over again.  However, Jaime, Brienne, Tormund, Sam, Pod, Grey Worm, Gendry all survived the onslaught of the above attack.  Dolores Edd was the big victim.  The one who asked his body to be burned ended up turning into a wight.  (But let me ask.  What was the point of seeing them all rise if we never would see them attack people we know?  Kind of a wasted opportunity!).  We did see Brienne save Jaime which was a nice sentiment.  
  • Meanwhile, The Hound freaked out at fire again.  It was dragon fire this time.  But, he also thought the battle was a lost cause.  Felt a lot like Blackwater again.  But, when Beric showed him Arya was in danger he sprung to action.  That almost got me in the feels. 
  • One of my favorite shots of the night was above the clouds in the moonlight when Drogn and Rhaegal with their royal riders facing the Night King and Viserion.  It was like a medievil dogfight in the clouds.  Blue flames against orange.  (Though I don’t remember Drogon or Rhaegal spitting too much fire in those sequences). Speaking of, I’m assuming Rhaegal is alive even after the crash landing and putting Jon in the snow.  Drogon we visually saw fly away and shaking off the dead (cool shot by the way).  (Note: the preview for ep 4 confirm Rhaegal is alive)
  • I think we called that Jorah would find a way to protect Dany one last time and it would be the end for him.  RIP Jorah.  He also saved Sam before he made it to Dany.  He fought nobly with that sword.  
  • Arya was just an all out badass in this episode.  I expected nothing less.  She put that spear to good use. But eventually she got overrun and went into the halls of Winterfell to try and escape the dead (that slamming of her head was brutal).  The Library sequence was so intense.  Beric and The Hound got to her and helped her escape, but we saw Beric’s time end in the process.  Melisandre was there to prophecise and talk about how this was Beric’s reason for coming back.  It all makes sense in hindsight that it was all to keep Arya alive to fulfill her purpose.  (This makes us wonder why Jon has returned besides his birthright.  We’ll have to think on that.).  RIP Beric. 
  • Lyanna Mormont had her David and Goliath moment. The undead Giant (probably not Wun Wun) barged into Winterfell.  She sacrificed her own life to take the behemoth out.  She went out like the badass she was (apologies for using that term twice, but it was earned).  RIP Lyanna. 
  • In the Crypts we saw Tyrion, Sansa, Gilly, Varys and Little Sam amongst a whole lot of civilians.  Obviously the Night King rose the dead which caused problems all around (mostly for Jon who never will get to have a big dual with his nemesis).  But the dead rose in the crypt as expected as well.  None of our favorites perished.  The biggest takeaway from these scenes was Tyrion and Sansa’s bonding.  He told her how they should have stayed married and she told him how he was the best of them.  Awwwww.  This will make one of our regular commenters very pleased with himself at the prospect of their future. Even the kiss on the hand from Tyrion when they thought they were facing their end.  Very sweet.  Could they be the ones in charge when all is said and done?  We’ll see!  
  • To be honest, I was surprised Varys made it out of this episode alive considering Melisandre has prophecised his death as well.  But, maybe it’s still to come.  
  • There was some tension between Jon and Dany too.  When Dany witnessed the Dothraki go out she sprung to her dragon.  They were supposed to be waiting for the Night King.  Dany wasn’t there to light the trench either.  She couldn’t see the air traffic signals from Davos through all the winter winds.  
  • Jon had many moments of bravery and had a sequence much like his Battle of the Bastards POV sequence where he fought his way to Bran.  But he got trapped by Viserion breathing blue fire in the couryard.  In the end he was going to take the dragon head on, but ended up not needing to do such things. 
  • Theon certainly proved his worth in the final moments. He tried to apologize to Bran for things past but Bran told him it all set Theon on the path to who he is and where he is now.  HOME. Awwwww. We all knew Theon would run out of arrows and he did.  But, that didn’t stop him from giving it his all.  The Night King slowly marched in and the rest of the dead moved aside to let him proceed on.  Bran told Theon he’s a good man. He knew this was Theon’s final moment.  Theon marched forward to protect Bran and got killed by the Night King in the process.  RIP THEON.  We knew your time was up, but this was a great way to go!  
  • The Night King came face to face with Bran.  Bran, who had been warging with ravens most of the episode, returned to face him.  As the Night King went to make his move, Arya Frickin Stark jumps out at the Night King and gets caught at the throat.  But, she has her training she’s been working on since she parted ways from Melisandre in season 3.  She sparred with Brienne and did quite a move with her cats paw valaryian steel dagger.  She dropped it and caught it and caught Brienne in the kill position.  She did the same thing on The Night King and took that mo fo OUT! I don’t know if you guys recall back when Arya retuned to Winterfell and Bran gifted her that dagger, I went out on a limb with a theory that I have not dropped.  That Arya would use her assasin skills to take out The Night King!  I was so confident with it that I pretty much listed it in all of my work pools I submitted.  Jon was the popular choice, the obvious choice.  And we do have to wonder why he was brought back.  He certainly is still a very important figure in this story.  But, Arya.  She my girl!  She’s always been my favorite in the books, on the show.   She deserved this moment. 
  • But, that said.  Did it have to happen so soon?  It seemed a little clean, right?  The battle against the dead is done.  All that’s left is Cersei.  Here’s my thoughts.  The TV Show is called Game of Thrones.  The book series is a Song of Ice and Fire.  I think the show and book series are destined to end with different main priorities.  Cersei has been playing this game since season 1.  She’s been the looming problem throughout the show.  If we’re going to play emotional stakes it has to be against the characters we know.  Not some mystical supreme being from the North.  There could be still some rivalries between characters on the same side.  Sansa still spoke of her philosophical differences with Dany, even if Missendi spoke on her behalf.  Maybe Dany will still be the big bad?  I don’t know.  
  • But, this does put in play one of my more recent theories that I’ve subscribed to (not one I came up with myself but one that I think sounds too good not to be the case).   Cersei vs. Brienne and Jaime getting angry with the result.  I had thought Arya might takeout Cersei with Jaime’s face.  But, now with her defeating the Night King, they’re not going to give her the 2 big kills.  They just won’t.  Jon won’t do it.  That doesn’t make sense either.  It’s going to be a brother.  Jaime or Tyrion.  Which would be more emotional?  They both pack a lot of baggage.  Hell, maybe Cersei will kill Tyrion which will set Jamie off.  I still expect Tyrion to survive all of this, but damn that would be powerful!  
  • And we can’t end the episode without chatting really quickly about the Davos/Melisandre staredown.  He had to let her into Winterfell after arming the Dothraki with useful weoponry.  But, she didn’t even give him a chance to talk about killing her or his promise to kill her.  She proclaimed that she would die after this night was over.  She was there for one reason. To fulfill her purpose for the Lord of Light.  After Arya finished her job, she took off her necklace and tried to take off her clothes one more time.  But she went all old lady again and collapsed into the snow.  RIP Melisandre.  But, what about Azor Ahai?  Is it Arya now?  Are Jon/Dany still destined to fulfill that prophecy?  Is the prophecy a bunch of hogwash?  Why was Jon brought back to life?  Ugh. 3 more episodes. We’ll ask these questions then if they’re not answered.  
  • And what the hell White Walkers?  You didn’t do a damn thing in this episode!  You marched in like you were gonna do something, but then were just there for show as the Night King had his Last Jedi Luke Skywalker force projection moment (complete with smirk, minus the dusting off of the shoulder).   That was a little underwhelming.  I thought for sure the Valayrian steel fighters would have to take on some White Walkers.  But, they’re all gone now.  
So there we have it folks!  The Battle of Winterfell is over.  Was it everything you expected?  Do we feel the writers got gun shy with killing people off or are they saving it for the upcoming episodes?  I’m leaning towards the latter.  The Northern Armies are decimated and have to go against 20,000 soldiers plus a fleet down South.  I’m sure Yara will join the fight as well, but she has a skeleton crew as well.  Dany has dragons and she’s taken out a fleet before with them.  I’m just rambling.  I’m sure the show will pull out all the stops for these final 3, so I’ll withhold any further critiquing until we see them.  This episode was a major achievement in television and it should receive all the praise it gets.  Let’s see how the rest of this story pans out!  I look forward to joining you all in the comments to dissect further.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I’ll see you next week! 


MJ said...

Haven't read recap yet. Just have to say - WOW and WOW. Definitely lived up to the Hype. And went so fast - almost feel like I have to watch again as I probably missed things. And Arya - pulling a golem and jumping out from no where. LOL

Mike V. said...

Yeah it was definitely well made. Hope my recap doesn’t come off as complaining! The mrs and I knocked back a few while watching lol. I really enjoyed it. Just questioning where it goes from here. Lots of complaints about how dark it was. I could make everything out and knew if someone big was going to go it’ll be clear enough to tell lol.

Today is my daughter’s bday so I took the day off. My comments may be sparse but I’ll catch up later!

Mike V. said...

Clarification - dark as in you couldn’t see anything. Not dark as in content. Lol

MJ said...

Well - first - you guessed it right Mike. Arya killed the NK !

I often had the feeling that everyone had their parts and that lead to others getting to do their parts. Melisandre especially. But DonDerrian/Arya (sp?) getting the Hound back into it allows for Arya to be saved to enable her to kill the Knight King. Unsullied willingly standing their ground to protect the retreat probably save a ton of people. Lady Mormont dying so that she might kill a Giant, etc.

The whole ep was creepy as hell too. So cool when you saw each Dothraki sword light up down the line. ANd soooo creepy as you watched them all get snuffed out one by one.

Also creepy with Dany and Jon flying around on the dragons and the KN blows in that storm (did we know he controlled weather?) so that they were flying blind.

I did not watch the trailer for next week and fretted all night that Rhaegal was dead - but was told today that he is seen in the next episode trailer. Have to watch that.

Again - very surprised that more did not die. Like Tormund, Greyworm, Podrick, Ser Davos. But hey - guess they need some alive to fight KL and the Golden Company.

And where on earth did Arya come from ? Some are saying she ran thru them all. Some are saying she must have been in one of the trees ? I need to know ! LOL

I get the blues eyes comment now as well - and why Bran was so calm - and looking over Theons shoulder - he knew Arya was coming. Probably why he even gave her that dagger. He could see the future.

Agreed - libarary scen was very tense. And that Lady Mormont went out like the bad-ass she was.

Yeah - once I heard the battle was in Ep 3 I knew that was not the end of the story - the killing of NK. So agree - we now go to Cersei and who in the end will actually rule.

Maybe they are not even going to show the Prince that was promised. There's lots of things from the books (I have been told) that the show ignored.

Yeah - I knew it would be dark - they filmed at night for goodness sake. Also - used a lot of smoke and clouds to give it that creepy look and feel.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind as I write this I have read zero about the show except Mike's recap.

Thanks Mike!

We were wrong about the NK going South!!! NO KL involvement with the NK! Zero, zilch, nada.

WELL, after 8 years of waiting we have the BIG time episode which brought together almost all we read and studied for. Analyzing this and that magic, personage, heritage, etc. And how Jon and the show were always talking about Winter is COMING!. For 8 years we've been trained to be prepared for the ultimate threat. And it's here--I was sitting down prepared for the unfolding of our story for the next couple of episodes.d

I was definitely ready, watching intently. OR TRYING to--the show was WAY too dark/fuzzy on almost everything involving the dragons--I think on purpose since it's cheaper to make CGI when you don't render detail. What a disappointment in that part of the production after waiting an additional year. I know part of this was their theme of the NK making it hard for Dany/Jon to see the wights. But, there is no mistake that it was an excuse. OK, I got that out of my system and can get back to commenting on the rest of the ep.

Lots of ambivelance going on since last night on the ending. More on that later.

1. I noticed Clarice's name on the opening credits and knew that we would see the Red witch returning. BTW, Lena's name was missing. Funny how she just pops up out of nowhere without an explanation. But I liked her return and ending.
2. Jon and Dany on the dragons--I was looking forward to this and enjoyed some of it for sure--particularly when they lit the wights up! One of the best scenes was Dany trying to burn the Night King. It really left us wondering.
3. Where the heck has THAT Theon been--you know the one who was an amazing fighter. It's like he was a totally different character, LOL.
4. OK, for an ep that was billed as shocking re the loss of our friends, I was prepared for a truly shocking ep. I mean every major character survived and most of the B team survived. We've seen more death before guys.
5. Yes, the Sansa/Tyrion relationship just seemed to make a lot of sense given its' earlier ending. He has always truly cared for her. And now she's mature enough to appreciate it.
6. If you watch what Jon did this ep it was kind of really not much. He tried to do several things but failed at it all really. I mean Dany had to save him. It was so sad to see him walk past Sam as Sam was fighting for his life! Dany was shown to be much more capable while Jon walked around with that forlorne look he has. You guys know I am not a Kit Harrington fan and he really looked beyond his talent in this ep. Maybe because the character is written to be weak. OH well.
7. Did you notice the weirwood tree dry up when the NK brought the truly cold winter.

Richard--will continue in another post

Anonymous said...


OK, re the ending and the build up. Toward the end I was noting how much time had gone by and how dire the situation was becoming. So many things were going on in my mind about how things could progress. I was prepared to loose Sam and many more but knew there had to be some miraculous event occur to get to ep4! As the NK approached the 3Eyed Raven lots of things were still possible. Bran could take out the NK. The NK could take out Bran. Dany could swoop in and save Bran. Lots of possibilities and yet I have to admit I didn't consider Arya mostly because she had been eveverywhere else doing so much elsewhere and not close to Bran. And then bam--there she was flying through the air. Did she get a Superman face--you know--since she can fly now. You could see the WW look up and wonder what it was--it brought back memories of those people watching Superman fly by--"look, up in the sky, it's a bird, no it's a plane, no, it's Superman...key music"

The NK is dead, I heard music from OZ--"ding dong, the wicked witch is dead.."

So, where does the story go from here. After 8 years of Winter is Coming and all the stuff North of the Wall, the 3 eyed Raven, etc-- we have Dorothy magically taking it(Winter, bad stuff, you name it) out with 3 eps left to go as she flew from one end of the set to the other. I have said it before the attraction of the books has been the complexity of magic, history, consistent canon, etc--lots of things.

But, I wasn't attracted due to one queen fighting another queen to rule a realm. That's been done before. But, it seems 1/2 of the final season is that story.

BTW, how is it that Dany's white dress seems like it is never dirty, lol.


Mike V. said...

Oh yeah...Bran definitely knew Arya would kill the NK. It was very random when he gave her that dagger which is when I started suspecting he knew how it would play out. Granted, in the heat of the episode I forgot all about that which is by design. You’re following Jon trying to get to Bran. Bran also knows that Jon being Aegon Targ is important so I guess that’s still why he had to be brought back. But it’s confusing because Mel was so desperate to bring Jon back to face the army of the dead. He certainly played his role in getting the dragon glass and recruiting Dany. But he still has a bigger role to play.

Yes, I knew this battle wouldn’t be the end. I think a few of us just convinced ourselves the battle wouldn’t end there. That the Night King would win and they’d have to go on to face him again. That Cersei would have to face the dead too. All that is off the table unless there is a twist we don’t know about yet. I mean, The Mountain is still undead and in King’s Landing. (I’m reaching lol)

The show didn’t ignore the prince that was promisee. Mel brought it up to Dany when she encouraged her to meet Jon Snow. She also talked about it throughout the whole series. Missendi was the one who said it could be Prince or Princess.

I rewatched this morning. I could make out everything. It was done really well. Richard I’m getting to your comments next!

Mike V. said...

I hear you Richard, and I thought the same about budget on the darkness. Miguel Sipochnik is a master of making more with less. He did it in all of his battle episodes. The Dragon stuff on rewatch is pretty impressive. But yeah I think we both expected more. It still was pretty darn awesome.

The numbers.

1. Agreed on all fronts.
2. Have you seen Last Jedi yet? There’s a scene very much like Drogon lighting up the Night King. Impossible not to compare. Lol. But it was cool and I knew it would end how it did.
3. Yeah theon got his confidence at the end of last season. He had been beaten down by Ramsey. But yeah even before then he couldn’t behead Ser rodrick. Granted...he’s a “STARK” so he learned to use a bow and arrow growing up with them. The spear? I don’t know. Lol
4. Jorah, Theon were the big names to go. We just had predicted they would die and the way they would die so it wasn’t shocking. I was prepared to be shocked when Arya was held by NK’s throat. But she made her badass move! I agree though. I expected some surprises. I’m sure they’re still coming.
5. Yep exactly on Sansa/Tyrion. Such grown on Sansa’s part (and Tyrion really). She wanted to the perfect princess fairytale. Now she knows who the good ones truly are.
6. LOL on Kit. Yeah Jon didn’t do much except light some wights on fire and go after NK on dragon like Harry went for the snitch. lol. That was all by design too. We’re meant to think he’s going to save the day. But it was all a diversion. I’m sure he still has a moment or two to come.
7. I didn’t Notice the tree. I’ll have to go back and look.

BTW MJ...Where did Arya come from? Good question! She knows that castle backwardo and forwards and she’s sneaky. So I’m guessing she found a secret path. Lol. The gollum comment is hilarious btw. Okay Richard getting to your continue. Then I have to go celebrate a bday! Lol

Mike V. said...

LOL on Superman. Hey man I’m willing to accept Arya’s got some mad skills. I’m not gonna question it. It was an awesome sequence. I certainly didn’t think of Arya pulling that out int he final moments of this episode. But, I certainly did predict she would be the one to do it last season. It just made the most sense to me. I’m actually surprised most articles I read and interviews I see are saying it was meant to be a big surprise that it was her. Why else was she training all this time? To kill people on her list? Naaaa it was all for a bigger purpose too!

Yep We’re in agreement on book vs. show. That’s why I made my GAME OF THRONES vs. SONG OF ICE AND FIRE comments. The show has always been about political intrigue. So it’s fitting that Cersei takes front and center stage for the ending of this series.

LOL on Dany’s white cloak. Now you’re asking the REAL questions! Okay guys. I’m sure there will be more comments. I’ll catch up later!

MJ said...

4 yes we have def seen more death before, and def espected more B team to die. BUt we still have 3 eps to go

6 in no way do I think Jon SNow is weak. Always disagreed with you on that. And his look at Sam was pure heartbreak. He wanted to help his buddy but he was on a mission to save his brother. Everyone had goals they needed to accomplish - Jon's was to burn as much as possible and then rescue Bran. His dragon crashed - how is that his weakness ?

And yet - Sansa is not a Queen. She's a lady and a warden. Not even the warden really. And her family line would never have put her in a queen unless she married into it. Cersie just grabbed the Crown - she has no rights to it really. Not will Dany if she gets it. I don't think that any woman is supposed to be Queen without a King.

Knife - well they tricked us into thinking that that was the knife Sansa got from Arya - til almost the end. Part of Jon's role was also bringing together so many to fight. Dany would not have gotten on board with Jon.

Prince who was Promised. I didn't mean ignore literally. But they just might not make that mythology occur on the show. I recall that Katelyn had some supernatual stuff after her death - that we saw none of.

Arya - some say she was in a tree. I think she took a path thru the trees and surprised him. That one Wight felt her run by.

Anonymous said...

This guy gets some of what I am saying and feeling. All that information/reading,etc based on years of mythology means nothing.

As I said, queen vs queen has been a meme that really misses the point of the books. And I think most of the show. Oh well, it's done.

I am only interested in seeing the last 3 eps because of the investment I've made. But there is no longer mythology. Certainly not that which we've invested ourselves in for years.

There's really nothing you can be invested in with Bran after all the head fakes. They really didn't need that character as he only served as bait. They could have written in someone else as bait.

Yes, Jon looking at Sam fighting for his life was done well because we knew he was focused on the NK and fighting for all of humanity.


Anonymous said...

Bronn--oh yea, where's he. Strange he couldn't make it in 3 eps to WF. This makes me question everything on what he's going to do.


Anonymous said...

OK, I know I'm going on here.

But, I forgot to say that when the wights were climbing the walls why there wasn't any tar and far being spilled down onto them. It's like medievel tactics 101 when your castle is being stormed. AND we've seen it before.


Anonymous said...

far should be fire, doing too much today


Anonymous said...

Back again to just clarify something.

I'm not disliking Arya killing the NK. I'm good with the assassin doing it. Jon's approach of trudging over a good distance while easily seen toward the NK didn't work out. Dany's approach of dragon fire didn't work. So, yea the assassin is ok by me.

It's a lot more the how and when as well as the resultant meaningless of so much of the books.

BTW, did anybody else love the smiling NK after Dany's dragon fire failed. He had a smirk.


Mike V. said...

The rules of succession in Westeros are kind of crazy, but yes the male heir does get right rights. Same with the Sark in Winterfell. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell meant a MALE Stark. But at one point in the story Sansa was believed to be the last surviving Stark and was the KEY to the North. Which is why everyone wanted to marry her off.

Knife - I thought it was pretty clear that Arya handed Sansa a dragon glass dagger. At first I wondered if she really gave up her cats paw dagger, but I got a better look and knew it wasn’t. Not sure if they were intending that to be tricky. BTW forgot to call out that the “stick it with the pointy end” was a nice callback to season 1. Lol

Yes Catelyn became lady stone hart in the books. But that has nothing to do with one of the central prophecies of the story. The whole TPTWP thing was just mentioned last season. No, they may not really get into it. Especially since the long night is now over (we assume). But yeah...i still wonder if the Lord of Light is meant to be a real thing or not...or if Melisandre was just able to channel the magical powers that gave her sight and power to start fires and raise the dead. Lol

It was actually a White Walker that felt Arya. I know...tough to distinguish between wights and white walkers. Lol But yeah maybe she was in a tree.

The Jon looking at Sam stuff was good. He felt helpless...but he had to go after NK.

I figured you’d feel that way about the mythology Richard. I just think the show never really wanted to get into a lot of the supernatural stuff too deeply. I’ve mentioned That before and heard it several times in the various podcasts/articles. Still has been a great show.

I’ll check out your article. I really think the books will approach this stuff differently if they ever come out. Which makes them both worth seeing/reading.

I really didn’t think Bronn would be at Winterfell. I thought that was all setting up the plot beyond this initial battle. Turns out it is. We’ll find out what Bronn truly is in the end. I still lean towards him double crossing Cersei. Hopefully.

Nice on the TAR. Not sure that would’ve done much to the dead...but I guess it would’ve slowed them down a bit.

I think if Arya is the one to do it in the books, there will be a reason for why she does it that falls in line with prophecy or whatever. (We also don’t know if prophecies are reliable in this universe. Sort of to MJ’s point). Like I said...the show is not over yet. There has to be a reason Jon was brought back as well. Is it because he’s the true heir to the throne? As MJ mentioned? It hasnt’ really mattered in the past. He’s only the heir to the TARG dynasty. They took the throne by usurping too.

Yep...I mentioned the NK smirk in my recap. Loved it...and very much in line with Luke in TLJ. Lol.

Mike V. said...

RE: Arya getting into the Godswood. Just saw a meme. Remember in ep 1 this season when Arya showed up in the Godswood to see Jon? She came out of nowhere. He said “How did you sneak up on me?”. It was kind of setting up her ability to get there stealthily.

And let’s not forget that this seed for Arya to kill NK (on the show at least) was planted back in season 3 when Melisandre met her. That was a show only meeting. But they spoke of the eyes she’d shut forever. It’s vague enough to mean anything, but I never for once thought that blue eyes referred to white walkers, wights or the NK himself. There’s a chance Beniof, Weiss and crew did. I always knew that she’d be an asset in the battle against the dead when she was training in Braavos. It wasn’t just getting revenge for the Starks. So Melisandre had a vision of Arya’s part to play. You can also rewatch this episode and see how the red woman is eyeing up Arya straight from her arrival. I just don’t know how her obsession with Jon plays into it too. But obviously Bran thought it was important that Jon knows who he is as well. So the story isn’t quite over yet even if the battle against NK is.

I’d just say let’s reserve judgement until all 6 are out and ready to be critiqued!

Mike V. said...

This was said on one of my podcasts and it’s too true about ending these big shows. LOST comes to mind too: “endings are hard, and people are very, very uncomfortable with endings because an ending is the moment you have to stop pretending that your version of the show is the canonical version.”

Something to keep in mind. It’s how I watched lost. I loved to theorize. But in the end I was willing to let go of my theorizing to enjoy the showrunners’ Vision of the show and how it should end. Somewhere in this GOT ending will be pet of GRRM’s vision if not a large portion of it. He will explore the supernatural more for sure. But the core of the story will be similar.

Anonymous said...

LOST vs GoT endings. The biggest differnce is one has a canon built by a book series whereas LOST had no background beforehand. So, those of us who have read the books(or atleast some of the books) have over the years come to know what the major themes are. Ep 3 sets up half of the final season having content outside of many major themes/threads. HALF, that's a lot where the central issue will be Cersei vs everybody else.

ARE YOU SERIOUSLY going to tell me CERSEI is the biggest central theme of the books??? OR HALF?

As I said, I will watch the last 3 EPs and see how it goes, but I can't see how a significant part of the mythology can carry forward since WINTER is COMING, LOL.

The above deals with the when of killing the NK.

Now again for the how. Seriously when the WW looked up and then Arya showed up I was thinking of the Superman series tag line. It was laughable. That was just not done well.

And seriously the 3 eyed raven was essentially useless as a character vs the books. And that is again IMHO because the mythology of the books is not as important in the TV series.

And I have even said this show is about the Game of THRONES, Not the Song of Ice and Fire.

But, I wasn't ready for it to be THIS different.


Mike V. said...

A TV Ending is a TV Ending. Weiss and Benioff have information from GRRM on how the story ends and they're using that but have to create the story that hits those plot points on their own. It's the same concept and GRRM I'm sure is struggling with it too. (He himself said when he was interviewed early in the run of the show. "I don't want to be another LOST" or something to that extent when discussing ending his book series. It's tough to end things. And when you have people spending years and years theorizing on crap and coming up with their own theories of how things should wrap up or tie together it makes it near impossible to please everyone. It's the same concept with Game of Thrones. Yes, Thrones has more baggage with the book mythology. But the show has chosen what it's going to subscribe to from the books and what it can't delve into. I think we still have to get a little more to do with the "prophecy" and how it may or may pertain to Jon and/or Dany or someone else or even if it turns out to be a load of horse S##T. But, the book will probably get into it more.

The show has to be about characters we care about or have followed since the beginning. An existential threat is not really interesting as the BIG BAD for a show that has been more about political intrigue.

Trust me...I get it. I'm coming to terms with this myself. But, I went through the same 7 steps with LOST too. Sometimes you have to let go of hopes and dreams to just appreciate what we are getting. It's the only way to enjoy this very unique TV experience we've enjoyed over the past 7 years. I can't imagine how difficult it is to make this show, but they're batting in the high 90th percentile. (I'm probably mixing up statistics and units of measure but just go with it!)

I'm not seriously going to say anything about Cersei being the central theme of the books. I do think she has a good chance to become Queen of the 7 Kingdoms and a threat in the books. I'm saying the TV Show and the Books have different priorities. The showrunners are putting their stamp on this and how they want to end the series (influenced by GRRM's sketchy thoughts on how he "plans" to end the books).

It's been proven that Arya has learned a "special set of skills" from her time in Braavos (even on the run with her various cohorts before Braavos). She is stealthy. She snuck up on Jon in the godswood just 2 episodes prior which was to be a bit of foreshadowing of this moment. Where she was doesn't matter. It's the fact that she used her skills to get to the Night King undetected. (except by a whiff of WW hair) It was unexpected and an awesome moment if you suspend your disbelief for this fantasy/political thriller.

I'm not sure Bran's role is done yet. I felt the same way, but he did have the knowledge of Jon and he felt it very important to get this knowledge to him. So he seems to have a vested interest BEYOND the war against the dead.

Mike V. said...

Look, I would have been just as happy if they explored the more fantasy elements of the series as well. But, it just never seemed to be the priority of the show. We still have fire breathing dragons and magic at play here for the final act.

All I'm saying is let's see what the last 3 hours are before we start throwing daggers. But, you definitely aren't alone in your criticism of this episode. The episode has been very divisive. Which is a HUGE reminder of LOST's final season and the fear people started getting the closer to the end we got. There were people that HATED the origin story of MIB and Jacob. HATED it. And they're the same people that slammed the ending.

One thing we can assume is that the ending will be quite the spectacle. They've only done pre-season interviews regarding the first 3 episodes of this final season. No one really knows what is to come in the final 3. We know about the 55 NIGHTS of shooting for the battle of Winterfell. There's more stuff to come. whether it's supernatural or just straight up fighting with a couple dragons involved...we'll see.

Anyway...I'm not really trying to change your mind. I know you pretty much stick to your guns after you form an opinion! lol Just sharing how I view things. And it's my usual take on any pop culture I digest. Even if I'm disappointed in how it ends it won't diminish the enjoyment I've had of watching the show for the past 8 seasons. It's been awesome and it didn't take long after LOST to find my next new obsession! After this? No clue what will fill the void! Probably more Star Wars and Marvel content. lol

Anonymous said...

LOST--well you know me, I LOVED the origin story of MIB and Jacob! I saw the MIB actor in another show recently, still has lower eyeliner, lol.

Well, I know that Cersei wasn't meant to be the big star of the show as far as the books. But, she has developed a following. I have noted how they are afraid to kill off any major character now vs earlier on. I think that also makes it more like a regular show.

There is zero, nada, zilch chance that Jon will take the throne. The show has gone heavy matriachal.


Mike V. said...

LOST - I thought Richard (Nestor Carbonell) was the one that people joked about his eyeliner. lol

Well I think Leana Headey proved to make the character more 3 dimensional than the Cersei of the books as well. In the books she isn't ambiguous at all. She's just a pure evil person. So there is that. lol Even when you get in her head in the POV chapters...she's just certifiably insane.

I don't think it's being afraid to kill off major characters. They have purposes to serve in the story. Once they're served they can be killed off. Unfortunately, that means that they're needed in the story that follows THE LONG NIGHT. This is why I'm convinced that Jaime and Brienne's bonding will now play a pivotal role in the arc with killing Cersei. Now...I've really subscribed to this doesn't mean I'll be upset if it's not how it goes down! lol I still like the idea of Tyrion doing it. Even Arya with the mask. But...I don't think they'll give Arya both big kills.

I still don't think ANYONE will take the throne. But I get your point with matriarchal. And I think you may be onto something about Tyrion and Sansa... They will have roles to play in the governing of parts or all of the 7 kingdoms. Jon still has no interest in ruling. But he has a role to play in how this final thing pans out. Or else bringing him back to life was "ALMOST" pointless...except for helping to win back Winterfell (it was really Sansa being secretive and getting Littlefinger to help) and then getting dragon glass and dragon fire to delay things enough until Arya could apparate onto the Night King. lol (best meme I've seen now is that Bran used a Dr. Strange move and opened a portal for Arya to jump out of and take him out lol)

There's still a question of if Dany and Jon will be at odds. She saved him during the Battle of Winterfell...though that dragon fire was pretty close to him. lol But could the twists be that these alliances turn on each other in the end? I don't think so, but it's worth speculating.

We have the Bronn threat planted. We'll see where his loyalty lies. We have the Iron Fleet to deal with. (Dany took out the Slavers' Bay fleet easily with 3 dragons) We have The Mountain (Clegane Bowl is happening, fan service and all). Qyburn and his whisperers. 20,000 Troops in the Golden Company.

I just don't know how any of it is a match to the dragons unless they're able to use the weapon they used at Loot Train again.

Oh one other thing. Some are speculating that for those who are disappointed in the lack of supernatural goodness for the ending of this series....THE LONG NIGHT prequel series will probably delve more into all of that. Not that Thrones is intentionally withholding information FOR the prequel series...but that the prequel series is enabled from the tracks laid down in the mothership show.

We could even see the events that lead up to the creation of the Night King/White Walkers. We could see the wall erected. But we'll find out eventually. I'm sure it'll never be as successful as Game of Thrones, but we'll see what they have in mind.

If anything surely there will be a bit of a tease after the series finale of something else coming.

Anonymous said...

From you post above:

This went yard!

"(it was really Sansa being secretive and getting Littlefinger to help) and then getting dragon glass and dragon fire to delay things enough until Arya could apparate onto the Night King. lol (best meme I've seen now is that Bran used a Dr. Strange move and opened a portal for Arya to jump out of and take him out lol)"

Yes, it was Sansa--which leads into the following.

Matriarchal--yea it's been over the top. Honestly I was about to puke when they said Brienne was going to command the left flank! So much wrong with that on so many levels. It was total fan service! She had zero experience commanding troops and yet there were many in that room who had great experience. The way it was lined up the left flank was about 1/3 of them so a big command. And the young Lyanna was picked as strong, great leader,etc. I could go on and on. I mean we've been talking about TPTWP being a woman for a couple years now and before the show's last few years that really wasn't a thing.

And of course Jon and Bran are essentially bystanders and Jaime is a cripple, etc. Tyrion makes a lot of mistakes. Really there's not been a great singular moment for a guy on the show in the last several years where power is taken and HELD and admiration comes his way.

There is zero chance Jon is going to be put in charge vs Dany. NOOOT Happening, LOL. But there will be stupid politics.

Which gets to another point about which I've read from some

Existential threat vs character drama(politics for example). Some have said battling an existential threat is not as exciting for fans. I am 180 degrees different. And that's just one of my major complaints--the show went for the typical BS vs centering more on the mythology and existential threat--which made it so much better than the typical show! Another way of saying it--they gutted the show by taking out what made it great. Just my opinion.

OK, back to work.

Thanks for your comments.

Still bumbing about Cogman not doing something.


Mike V. said...

I’m not going to go as far as you on disgust over the women ruling Westeros and being given high commands/honors. You’ve never liked Brienne, but she has always been a great character in my opinion (books and show) and I felt the knighting ceremony was earned (especially as a bonding moment between Jaime/Brienne) and for her reputation. As far as commanding troops…that I don’t know. Lyanna has basically become a 1 scene wonder to present for the meme culture. She was given a big character moment to end on. I think it was more Hobbits vs. The World than it was her being a girl. Even the smallest person can make a difference, so that worked for me. TPTWP….Dany has always been in the discussion as a candidate even with the books. She was born amidst salt and smoke (REBORN with her Dragons). I did some googling on GRRM’s thoughts on prophecies just to be sure. He talks about them being tricky….helpful in book narratives but you don’t want them to be too obvious. There are even quotes in the books about being careful to trust prophecies. Rhaegar believed in the prophecy so much that he wed Lyanna Stark to have a 3rd child (the dragon has 3 heads). Got him killed. Cersei believed in her prophecy and she helped fulfill it by believing in it. The Valenquor (SP) part of the prophecy still to play out (though it’s never been mentioned on the show…most think that was so they didn’t tip their hand to the show audience). Arya’s role in this war has been long hinted at in the books and show. Even when reading the books and watching the show…I was trying to figure out which characters will prove assets in the Great War to come. I always thought Arya’s training in Braavos would lead her to being a skilled fighter against the Dead. Sure it would help with her list…but I didn’t think that was the only goal. Basically the characters we’ve been rooting for…I thought they were moving towards the same goal….and at least on the show they have. (JAIME, Dany, Jon, Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, etc…) So I don’t think the prophecy is going to be a cut and dry thing. But clearly Bran saw importance in Jon knowing who he truly is…so that is still to play out. I’m not saying that means he’ll rule…but there is a story there. Was it just the maguffin (SP) to incite conflict between Dany and Jon? Maybe.

Mike V. said...

If I had to guess…the fallout of this reveal will happen in episode 4. People are going to find out. I think we’re going to get another calm before the next storm. I’m guessing ep 4 is fallout of battle of winterfell and prep for next battle with Jon/Dany working out their issues. Maybe even Bronn will show up (unless they’re just waiting for that scenario to play out in King’s Landing). I think episode 5 will be whatever big battle we need to have down south…. Maybe Cersei gets captured to end episode 5. But if she does she’ll have some card in her back pocket to play. (i.e. something like she has Brienne or Tyrion and Jaime needs to make a decision. Hell maybe she has both.) She’ll die and they’ll figure out what comes next for Westeros. I really have no idea though.

Anyway I got sidetracked on your comments. The existential threat vs. politics. I brought this up as well. I mean I love all the sci-fi/fantasy elements as well. The show definitely kept their distance from making it a focus (except last season in prep and half of this season). The question is…how long can you keep it up and make it interesting? I’d argue that it would’ve been interesting to mix it in with the Cersei conflict. Have her face the dead as well. She could somehow use them to her advantage. But, I think they wanted to refocus the show on what made it so popular in the first place. Political intrigue and backstabbing. And of course….it’s always been the question over the whole series and is even built in the title….WHO WILL SIT ON THE IRON THRONE? Granted, many speculate NO ONE will. But it still needs to be a focus for the end of the show. It’s been Dany’s goal since the first season to take it. It’s been the Stark Goal to take vengeance on the Lannisters for what has happened to them….(And Cersei was always involved in the wrongdoings of the worst Lannisters). It makes sense that all would be centered on finally bringing that to a culmination as much as it’s been important to focus on ending the story against the dead. Sure….it feels rushed…but that’s because it’s a 6 episode season. 3 episodes were dedicated to the Army of the Dead….3 episodes are dedicated to finishing off Cersei. That’s just how it is. We can blame Benioff and Weiss and the Cast for being tired and wanting to do new things. We can blame GRRM for not finishing the books and giving them more juicy material to adapt. But, we really just need to blame TIME. This stuff is hard to make. And it just feels like the right time to close this chapter.

As always…just my opinions!  :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm saying there's not really any balance in who is ruling & successful and comments. The show even had a moment with Sansa/Dany that explicity threw men under the bus. And so any one or two of those things is no big deal. It's that it is consistent and sometimes in your face on purpose.

Cersei--it would have been interesting for the NK to have gone to KL.

I get that they may be tired too. I guess they just couldn't hold onto the NK because his bookings for better gigs were filling up, LOL.


Mike V. said...

Yeah...I won't doubt there is a bit of an agenda....but with lesser shows I've seen those agendas handled much much worse and in your face. No subtlety whatsoever. (Take CW Superhero shows for instance. You would vomit by watching one episode of this current season of Supergirl lol)

LOL on the better gigs. do this final arc right season 7 and 8 probably could've been 4 seasons alone. They definitely incorporated video game FAST TRAVEL to just get to the point and get done. They used effective real estate to make us feel "SOMETHING" for Jon/Dany....but moments with Brienne and Jaime or Arya/Hound (Talking character relationships not necessarily intimate) feel much more earned in these final seasons than anything with those 2. OH is what it is!

I'm sure George will see all this feedback and take even longer to write the final books for not wanting to mess it up. lol

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Dany/Jon relationship and their feelings sure happened quickly vs others--almost thrown together. And how it plays out is likely to be quick due to just 3 eps. The next ep is likely to be another set up piece.

Cersei looks absolutely brilliant at this point. Certainly Jaime will have to be asking himself some questions. I wonder if Dany is going to feel like she got bum advice to go North and/or taken advantage of. Arya could have done her deal without the dragons, dothraki or many others.


Mike V. said...

Agreed on ep 4 being another setup ep. But, sometimes those are the best ones.

I don't know if I agree with all of that. That Arya could've done that without help. I'm sure they were trying to portray that the battle needed to happen on both ends for the Night King to get to the godswood and try to take out Bran. Arya wouldn't have been able to sneak up on the Night King if the rest of the battle wasn't happening. Jon couldn't get to Bran because of Viserion. Could that possibly have been the diversion Arya needed to get there? I don't know.

Anyway, you might appreciate this article about TPTWP. It pretty much covers everything we did but in a more concise fashion. Even includes the quote(s) from the book about prophecies that I googled yesterday. lol

Anonymous said...

Jon and others have seen the NK many times and some of those were when he was only guarded by a few. Just like when he was killed. It's all fiction anyway so it's whatever they want to do, LOL.

Great article on link. There are a lot of fans out there who aren't happy due to same/similar reasons. The agreement on the underlying issues points to there being a problem to a large group that needs to be acknowledged vs just blaming them as "haters/whatever".

This morning I'm hoping the books will be better--IF they ever get here, LOL


Mike V. said...

Agreed. There is definitely flaws or fear in the writing. It seems they're just happy to be done with the magical elements. I was listening to the Binge Mode podcast today and they brought up some stuff I didn't even pay attention to.

The Night King was born by a weirwood tree. He died by one. The showrunners said that NK "HAD" to be killed by V-steel and in the same place where he was stabbed to be born. Binge Mode had problems with this need to explain those rules IN THE SHOW...not casually throw it in as an aside after the fact. is what it is and yes if GRRM ever writes this stuff he'll definitely get into it more. In the meantime, Emilia Clarke was on Kimmel last night..and she let slip that episode 5 is a big one. Like she couldn't contain her excitement. She said, "WATCH EPISODE 5!!!!! I 4, 5 and 6...but…" As we suspect i'm sure it'll be another visual spectacle (maybe one we can see this time)

Binge mode also brought up a good point around key deaths. They really haven't happened in any of our battles. They usually save them for unexpected moments (this includes the book too)...beheading Ned, Red Wedding, while taking a dump (Tywin), etc.... That's why I'm thinking so many were spared. They want a more emotional payoff for if/when they do finally succumb. I brought this up too with my Jaime/Cersei/Brienne example. That may not be how it goes down but that sort of emotional investment is probably what they're going to go for. One person we really haven't discussed with just as much of a right to kill Cersei is Sansa...sure it would go against prophecy (but it seems they're doing that regularly now lol)…. She certainly respects Cersei's grasp of power and modeled herself a bit after her (just not as evil/diabolical), but she certainly must blame Cersei for much of her family's tragedy. It would also be the subverted expectation over Arya or Jaime or Tyrion. We'll see what happens but I'm still excited for the end!

MJ said...

So - on a rewatch I noted that Jon actually helped Arya carry out her plan. He distracted the Wight Dragon so that Arya could make her move. And he stands before that dragon and yells Goooo. And then you see the Wights hair move in the breeze - which is Arya hauling ass towards the NK. So Jon did play a part in killing him.

Been a rough few days at work - trying to catch up here.

Knife - no I believe they showed her handing her a knife - but we did not see the blade. Not until she was in the crypts and the undead were breaking thru. that's when we learned which knife Sansa was given.

Show didn't have a choice but to go it on their own with only vague outlines from GRRM - and its his own fault too.

I haven't heard any one complaining about this episode - except Richard. LOL Only thing I have heard is how dark it is. People are surprised som many are still alive - but not complaining. You guys listen to way too many whiners. LOL

Anonymous said...

MJ, LOL and again LOL.

You're correct that it's part GRRM's fault too.

Wow, you've heard nobody else. I guess I know more book readers?????

Mike, Good point by Bingemode re the deaths during battles or not for key characters.

I wonder who's going to kill whom at WF now,hmmm? curious minds want to know, lol.

Sansa is definitely a possibility for killing Cersei given how she tormented her nor protected her from Joffrey.


Mike V. said...

MJ, the Jon assisting thing...that was making waves on social media yesterday and Social Justice Warriors (SJW) are crying foul on men trying to take this "win" away from Arya by having a man assist her. lol It was blatantly obvious that Jon was helping. And apparently the Closed Captions don't have Jon saying "go go" either so it might have been improvised by Kit. I don't see why it's a problem either way. But given my status as MAN I'm afraid to say anything in 2019 about it! LOL (besides what I've already said)

Knife - I definitely questioned why Arya would give away the steel but then could tell it was dragon glass (especially on rewatch). Again...stuff was soooo dark. Even the cinematographer had to speak out that it's not his fault.

Every podcast I listened to has spoke about how divisive this episode was. It's either not enough main characters died or they just killed off the magic from the show. I had the same gut reaction and it shows in my recap, but I still loved the episode. The fact that they killed NK in this episode was also a way of subverting our expectations. We expected them to lose initially and the threat to carry on.'s done. lol

But yeah...the internet is loud and full of whiners!

That's basically it...the groups I subscribe to on Facebook or the Reddit site I visit and the podcasts I listen to are full of book readers. So of course people are going to complain. But yeah my wife just watched the show the past few months and she loved the ep with no complaints.

Mike V. said...

correction...yikes...I meant it "WASN'T" blatantly obvious. I meant no offense! LOL

Mike V. said...

Benioff and Weiss were on Kimmel last night. There was a Q&A at the end where some were jokes. But basically they couldn't answer anything. 1 question was "Are the white walkers truly gone?" they said "we can't answer that." Hopefully this doesn't provide false hope. But the fact that they're not answering is something maybe? They asked something about Bran too but I forget. But they said "maybe" as an answer. lol They asked if someone will take the throne. they said "maybe" lol

They also said they're going into seclusion for when the finale airs and for the aftermath. Most showrunners do this. Lindelöf and Cuse definitely did. Chase just didn't answer any questions (Sopranos) saying it speaks for itself. lol

Anonymous said...

LOL - I have no issue with a guy helping a girl. It's her brother for goodness sakes. Well - her cousin actually. I think he was trying to get there himself and couldn't due to the dragon - and he must have seen her about to make her run and so distracted the dragon to assist. It's just kinda nuts to think that a woman doesn't need help sometimes - even trained assassins.

I think that they had to kill the NK earlier so that we can close up all the other threads then. I mean - there is a lot of threads. And you can't have enough time in a finale to kill the NK and do all that closure.

And I guess if they had killed more people then we would not have a lot of that closure - and that kinda would suck. Like Lost - when you invest in a story and the characters you want to know how it all resolves.

I was talking to a coworker just a little earlier and he's annoyed cause people online are hating that Arya was the one who killed the NK. So the opposite of what you are seeing.

People are idiots. I loved the ep

Mike V. said...

Well apparently there's also a double standard issue going on. People are asking how Arya is able to have these amazing fighting skills and they're returning to this concept of MARY SUE that has been associated with Rey. I cry foul on this one...I mean Arya's story about being different started in S1 ep 1...and her whole arc brought her to the point where she killed the NK. So that argument is ridiculous. But then there is a double one is questioning Jon's skills in flying a dragon so expertly on day 2 after is rough initial ride. lol

Anyway...Binge Mode even confirmed that Jon's desperate last ditch effort was to create some distraction. He just didn't know he was doing it for Arya.

I's due to the 6 episodes that things are structured the way they are. There are definitely more threads to tie up. It is interesting to think that the army of the dead isn't quite finished yet. But, I really don't know how they'd go there. Some think that there will still be a twist with Bran. We'll see.

I'm seeing BOTH things....the Arya hate and the Arya love. I don't know how anyone could hate Arya after all the time we spent with her. She was/is my fave in the books and show. She got a bit of her humanity back in these past episodes as well which has been a nice return to form. She's found a way to be ARYA again but still call on the skills she's learned.

(I'm guessing that was MJ posting lol)