Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 Review: A Heart Attack Waiting To Happen

Guys, I don’t even know how to write about this episode. It was the most tense hour and a half of television I’ve ever watched.

So let’s get into this.

This third episode of Season 8 was basically the Battle of Winterfell, the fight we’ve all been waiting for. Well, it’s also the fight we’ve all been dreading, but let’s put that aside for the moment.

The Night King and his army arrive at Winterfell and truly show off how outmatched the forces garrisoned at Winterfell really are. The Dothraki charge, complete with cool new fire-swords courtesy of Melisandre, is demolished in the span of thirty seconds after they bum-rush the wights. The Unsullied lines can barely cover the retreat of the other ground forces outside the battlements. If you didn’t already think that the wights are unstoppable, this episode definitively proves that.

The story jumps around between all the beloved characters gathered at Winterfell, making sure that you as a fan are aware of and anxious about their current well-being. Unfortunately, the action during most of the beginning is very poorly lit. It was very difficult to tell what was going on, and I know that bothered a lot of people. I didn’t mind it as much in hindsight because the unknown factor of what was coming out of the darkness added to the stress.

So let’s get into those character deaths we’ve all been waiting for.

Edd Tollet is the first to go, cut down by a wight during the fight outside Winterfell’s walls. His death didn’t surprise you much, but it did cut at the heartstrings because of how quickly it was over. It was like he was there and gone.

Lyanna Mormont bites it next, but even though she was an awesome character, I didn’t feel saddened by her death. She had an epic death. She takes on an undead giant, and even as it crushes her to death in its palm, she stabs it in the eye with a dragonglass dagger.

Beric Dondarrion was the one person who died who I cared about the least. That sounds callous, but come on. I’m not alone on this, right? I would have felt worse if Podrick had died (which he didn’t). Plus, ever since Thoros died north of the Wall, I’ve always felt that Beric’s days were numbered.

Theon Greyjoy. Oof. If you had told me in Season 1 that I would end up caring the most about Theon in the “final fight,” I would have given you the most scathing look I could muster (which probably isn’t all that scathing). His death made me cry. The plan had him at Winterfell’s godswood, protecting Bran from anyone (*cough cough* the Night King *cough cough*) who tried to get him. And that’s what he does. Even when he’s surrounded by White Walkers and wights and he knows he’s going to die, Theon protects Bran. And what killed me the most was that Bran, who has been an utter fucking robot since he turned into the Three-Eyed Raven, showed an ounce of humanity at this moment and told Theon, “You’re a good man” before he died.

Jorah Mormont died doing what he loved: protecting Daenerys from danger. It was sad, but it was not unexpected.

Freaking Melisandre made an appearance that I did not see coming. First she walks up out of the darkness and lights the Dothraki screamers’ arakhs, then she lights up the trench when Dany can’t see it due to the Night King’s storm (yeah, he brings a storm into the mix), then she gives Arya a much-needed pep talk, and when everything is finally over, she walks out into the dawn, takes off the necklace that keeps her young, and crumbles into dust. Huh. Did not see that coming.

The Night King dies. Yup. He dies. And Arya fucking Stark delivers the final blow. She comes out of nowhere like an assassin in the night (which is exactly what she is) and leaps at him with her Valyrian Steel dagger held aloft. He catches her by the throat and by the hand that is holding the dagger, so what does she do? She lets go of the dagger and drops it into her other hand. The Night King never saw it coming.

So this episode does a great job of ramping up and revving the tension it has slowly accrued from previous episodes. The episode is titled “The Long Night,” and that’s exactly what it feels like. A long…arduous…nail-biting…night.

I want to applaud whoever was in charge of laying out the battle plans for the Battle of Winterfell. You can always tell, in the grand scheme of things, who is doing what. Occasionally, when the camera zooms in on some action, it’s confusing as to who is alive or who is undead. But honestly, after the last episode’s copious amounts of breathing room, I was okay with nonstop action.

The one weakness was probably the dragon fights.

Yes, there are fights involving dragons.

It felt like a Transformers fight at times, where it looks like a mess of scales and fire, and it was uber hard to tell if it was Viserion goring Rhaegal’s underbelly or the other way around.

What’s funny is that to summarize the episode is actually very simple.

The Night King and his army attack Winterfell, they kill most of the people there, but they are defeated when Arya kills the Night King.

I didn’t realize this, but Episode 2 wasn’t the only “set-up” episode of this season. Even though “The Long Night” was a highly anticipated episode, given how the Night King is defeated in it means that the actual resolution of the series is still ahead. In a way, this third episode is still setting up what happens next.

And that freaking blows my mind.


2 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 Review: A Heart Attack Waiting To Happen”

  1. hahaha love your title for this!! That moment with Bran before Theon died hit me in the feels for sure. Yeah Jorah’s death was not unexpected. Really agree that this is such a nail biting episode! And yeah it’s surprisingly simple considering all the tension! haha and I’ll have to echo your question WHERE IS GHOST?!

    Liked by 1 person

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